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25 Feb 2010 : Column 680W—continued

Distance NM Duration (hours/minutes)























Nuclear Submarines

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what plans he has for the replacement of MR2s in the protection of the UK's nuclear submarine fleet; [318833]

(2) what the end of service date is of the MR2 aircraft; what plans there are for its replacement; when he expects the MRA4 aircraft to enter service; and if he will make a statement; [318836]

(3) if he plans to lease search and rescue aircraft following the withdrawal from service of the MR2 aircraft. [318840]

Mr. Kevan Jones: The Nimrod MR2 will be taken out of service on 31 March 2010, and will be replaced by the substantially more capable Nimrod MRA4. The MRA4 production programme remains unchanged, but the aircraft will be introduced into service at a slower rate as part of a package of key adjustments to the
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Defence programme announced on 15 December last year. During the period of transition we intend to use other assets to fulfil its various roles. We do not currently have any plans to lease aircraft to fulfil the long range search and rescue tasks undertaken by the MR2.

I cannot comment on the levels of protection assigned to the Deterrent for reasons of national security.

International Development

Civil Society Challenge Fund

Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will place in the Library copies of the proposals received by his Department for funding each project which is to receive funding from the Civil Society Challenge Fund 2010. [317592]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Details for the projects to receive funding from the Civil Society Challenge Fund in 2010 are available on the Department for International Development's (DFID's) website at:

Signing of grant agreements for 2010 is still subject to negotiation of financial and other arrangements and the usual DFID approval procedures.

Haiti: Earthquakes

Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions (a) he and (b) officials of his Department have had with (i) politicians and (ii) officials in Haiti on the role the UK can play in the reconstruction of that country. [318157]

Mr. Michael Foster: Reconstruction on such a vast scale is best led multilaterally. The Government of Haiti have asked the World Bank and United Nations to be the joint international leads on this, and we expect the other international financial institutions, the European Commission and Haiti's major bilateral donors also to have a strong role. The United Kingdom is and will remain a major contributor to multilateral funding and in that role fully expects to attend the main reconstruction conference in New York at the end of March.

Mr. Touhig: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the (a) aid and (b) other assistance provided by his Department to the people of Haiti since the earthquake in that country. [318158]

Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development's (DFID's) assessment team provide daily field reports on the developing humanitarian situation in Haiti, to inform departmental decisions on funding and strategic choices. These situation reports are published on the DFID website for members of the public to view.

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Overseas Aid: Asylum

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has allocated to support work with refugees from (a) Iraq, (b) Afghanistan, (c) Sudan, (d) Somalia and (e) Rwanda in 2009-10. [318006]

Mr. Michael Foster: To date, in 2009-10 the Department for International Development (DFID) has provided a core contribution of £19 million to the UN Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to work with refugees worldwide.

DFID has also provided earmarked funding to UNHCR to support refugees in specific countries. In 2009-10 this has included £1.5 million for humanitarian assistance in Iraq and £2 million for Somali refugees in Kenya.

Rwanda: HIV Infection

Mr. Newmark: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will take steps to (a) ensure local HIV positive survivors of the Rwandan genocide continue to receive targeted support and (b) support local organisations in Rwanda in providing services to HIV positive genocide survivors after March 2010. [317224]

Mr. Thomas: Since 2006 the Department for International Development (DFID) has funded a £4.25 million Care and Treatment of Survivors Programme (CTP) targeting victims of genocide who are HIV positive.

From March 2010 this programme will be managed by the Government of Rwanda. DFID worked closely with the Rwandan Ministry of Health (MoH) and genocide survivors' local organisations to ensure that HIV positive survivors will continue to receive targeted support from the Global Fund through government systems.

DFID will continue to support Rwanda's health and social services system, including its specialised services to genocide survivors, through Sectoral Budget Support and General Budget Support. DFID's monitoring and policy dialogue with the government will provide a means of ensuring that services to HIV positive genocide survivors continue to be provided after March 2010.


Banks: Loans

Willie Rennie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what recent assessment he has made of the performance of banks in meeting his Department's mortgage lending requirements; [318816]

(2) what percentage of the lending targets for financial institutions set by his Department has been reserved for support for first-time buyers in the housing market. [318818]

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Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Government agreed lending commitments with Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in February 2009. Under these legally binding agreements, Lloyds committed to lend an additional £3 billion and RBS an additional £9 billion to households on commercial terms (and subject to market demand) over the 12 months from March 2009.

The Government will report annually to Parliament on the delivery of these commitments.

The lending commitments include qualitative commitments on first-time buyers. For example, they require both these banks to ensure that they market products to first-time buyers including mortgage products of up 90 per cent. loan to value.

Willie Rennie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to support first-time buyers in the housing market. [318817]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: In England, the Government's key objective for housing is to ensure everyone has access to a decent home at a price they can afford. The Government remain committed to the delivery of affordable housing, including through both shared equity and shared ownership schemes. Since 1997 the Government have helped more than 110,000 households in England into low-cost homeownership through shared ownership and shared equity.

The Pre-Budget Report 2009 announced that the Government would increase the Development of HomeBuy Direct Homes in 2010-11, delivering an investment of over £150 million in HomeBuy Direct that year and an increase of 3,000 homes above the original target of 10,000 for England. Additionally, the Government announced that housing for first-time buyers would be priorities within the Kickstart Housing Delivery Programme. Further information on Government measures to help homebuyers in England is available at

Decisions concerning whether to engage in lending to support shared equity or shared ownership remain commercial decisions for firms. Where there is public sector investment in financial institutions these stakes will be managed on an arm's length and independent basis by UK Financial Investments Ltd.

Housing policy is devolved in Scotland and the Devolved Administration in Scotland has its own policies to assist first-time buyers; further information is available at

Dunfermline Building Society

Willie Rennie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the sums paid from the public purse to (a) consultants, (b) accountants, (c) legal advisers and (d) other financial advisers for work connected with management of the assets of Dunfermline Building Society. [318671]

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Sarah McCarthy-Fry: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the letter sent to him dated 11 January 2010 from Lord Myners, a copy of which will be placed in the Libraries of the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Government Departments: Procurement

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what proportion of central Government procurement is not co-ordinated through the Office of Government Commerce; [318243]

(2) pursuant to the answer of 29 January 2010, Official Report, column 1145W, on Government departments: procurement, what proportion of Government expenditure on goods and services was undertaken via collaborate procurement programmes in 2009; and if he will list each professional buying organisation and the amount of Government expenditure in each such case. [318313]

Ian Pearson: Management information from December shows that 47 per cent. of categorised central Government expenditure was undertaken through collaborative procurement in 2009-10.

A list of professional buying organisations can be found in Annex C of the Operational Efficiency Programme report Collaborative Procurement which was published in December 2009. Details of Government expenditure through professional buying organisations is not held centrally.

Members: Correspondence

Mr. Baron: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Financial Secretary to the Treasury plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Billericay of 11 January 2010 on his constituent, Mr. Toomey. [318678]

Mr. Timms: I have replied to the hon. Member.

Non-Domestic Rates

Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many hereditaments there are with a rateable value of (a) under £5,000, (b) between £5,000 and £14,999, (c) between £15,000 and £24,999, (d) between £25,000 and £49,999, (e) between £50,000 and £99,999, (f) between £100,000 and £499,999 and (g) at least £500,000; and what the total rateable value is of hereditaments in each category. [317018]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 22 February 2010]: The following data are as at the 2 November 2009 and extracted from the information published by the Valuation Office Agency on the 18 December 2009.

These data are consistent with the statistical release titled: 'Non- domestic rateable values: 2010 Local Ratings Lists-England and Wales', published on 18 December 2009. A copy of this statistical release is available at the following link:

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Draft 2010 Rating List as at 2 November 2009
Hereditaments ( thousand ) : RV m illion )
England Wales Total

Number hereditaments (thousand) Total rateable value (£ million) Number hereditaments (thousand) Total rateable value (£ million) Number hereditaments (thousand) Total rateable value (£ million)

Below 5,000







Between 5,000 and 14,999







Between 15,000 and 24,999







Between 25,000 and 49,999







Between 50,000 and 99,999







Between 100,000 and 499,999







500,000 or over














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