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|N umber of employment and support allowance commencements-Great Britain and abroad|
|Number of commencements|
Source: Department for Work and Pensions Information Directorate 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Survey
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest ten.
2. Data published at
3. Employment and support allowance replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008.
4. Data are only available for the first three quarters of 2009, so the 2009 total is the total in the year to date.
5. The figures relating to employment support allowance have been thoroughly quality assured to National Statistics standard. However it should be noted that this is a new benefit using a new data source which may not have reached steady state in terms of operational processing and retrospection. Hence most recent data shown are provisional.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations she has received on the introduction of a local student, local provider approach to residential training centres; and what recent assessment she has made of the likely effect of the introduction of this approach on (a) the employment prospects of participants with a disability and (b) the level of funding provided for residential training centres. 
Jonathan Shaw: Residential training college providers were first informed in January 2009 that their current contracts are due to finish in 2011, and that future contracts will be awarded following an open competition.
Department officials have engaged with existing and potential providers on numerous occasions to discuss the future provision. We are also actively considering how best to engage customers (service users) as we progress this work.
We know from evaluation undertaken in 2006 that residential courses tend to exclude some customers, including those who have caring responsibilities. The new contracting arrangements seek to ensure that appropriate support will be available locally to a broader range of customers including women, ethnic minority groups and those who are unable to travel long distances.
Currently coverage is uneven; there is no provision in Scotland, Wales and the North West of England. The new contracts offer an important opportunity to provide a better geographical coverage, which will be an important aim of the open competition. It will also help ensure that potential customers of this expensive provision are not disadvantaged because of where they live. We want to use this opportunity to increase the focus on employment, seeing more people helped into work, as well as obtaining better value for money.
Following open competition and a broadening of the supplier base, we anticipate that more customers will be able to access this provision locally, which in turn will enable a significant reduction in the unit cost.
The Department is responsible for ensuring it achieves the best value for money for any provision it contracts for. This is done through its Commissioning Strategy and by using open competition to procure any new provision. We recognise that the existing residential training providers funding may be affected by the open competition but, in the same way as other potential providers, they will be able to submit a bid to deliver the provision if they wish to do so. We have given current residential training providers over two years notice so that they can plan ahead.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what methodology his Department used to determine whether answers to questions in the formulation "if he will set out with statistical information related as directly as possible to the tabling hon. Member's constituency the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies since 1997" could be provided without incurring disproportionate cost; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Naysmith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to seek to ensure adequate levels of funding for research and development of new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines to reduce the number of cases of MDR and XDR tuberculosis in developing countries. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) is providing £24.5 million, from 2006 to 2013, to the Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development (TBA). The TBA is a not-for-profit public private partnership developing new tuberculosis drugs that will shorten treatment, be effective against susceptible and resistant strains of tuberculosis and be compatible with antiretroviral therapies for those patients who are co-infected with HIV and tuberculosis.
DFID is also providing £12 million to the Tropical Disease Research special programme at WHO, from 2008 to 2013. The work of this programme has included accelerating the development of new diagnostics, including tuberculosis, and gaining evidence about how best to combine therapy for HIV and tuberculosis co-infection.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) if he will place in the Library (a) a copy of the letter from the Minister of State of 3 September 2009 on depleted uranium and (b) other material held by his Department relevant to a possible connection between the use of depleted uranium and alleged increases in the incidence of (i) birth defects and (ii) cancer in Fallujah; 
(2) what assessment he has made of claims that the incidence of (a) birth defects and (b) cancer has increased amongst residents of Fallujah as a result of the use of depleted uranium; and if he will make a statement. 
The Department for International Development (DFID) has consulted a number of international and Iraqi organisations with expertise in the health sector in Fallujah about alleged increases in birth defects in Fallujah. These organisations have confirmed to DFID that they are not aware of any reliable data that show such an increase in birth defects. DFID is not aware of any reliable data that demonstrate an increase in cases of cancer in Fallujah and has not carried out an assessment.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what methodology his Department used to determine whether answers to Questions in the formulation if he will set out with statistical information related as directly as possible to the tabling hon. Member's constituency the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies since 1997 could be provided without incurring disproportionate cost; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department seeks to answer all parliamentary questions that do not incur disproportionate cost. Disproportionate cost is determined via a disproportionate cost threshold (DCT). The current DCT is £800, announced in Parliament by the Treasury on 20 January 2010.
A standard template was devised for use in response to all such questions. This standard template drew on a pre-existing central repository of departmental information, with contributions from NDPBs where appropriate. Using a standard template, which could be modified depending on the constituency, ensured that relevant information could be provided but in a format and content that did not incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will take steps to ensure that the meat and dairy products procured by his Department and its non-departmental bodies are free range or produced to standards equivalent to those of the RSPCA Freedom Food scheme. 
Joan Ruddock: This Department adheres wherever possible to the key objectives of the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI), which advises public sector bodies how they can specify higher animal welfare standards, including farm assurance schemes and higher level schemes such as the RSPCA's Freedom Foods standards. BaxterStorey, our contracted catering supplier for DECC, are committed to buying 100 per cent. British meat, both reared and processed, and are accredited to the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Scheme, demonstrating robust support for enhanced animal welfare, environmental responsibility, quality produce and supporting British producers.
Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent estimate he has made of the levies on fossil fuels necessary to fund the Renewable Heat Incentive in each of the next five years. 
Mr. Kidney [holding answer 10 March 2010]: Government are looking at options of how best to fund the Renewable Heat Incentive and we will make a further announcement at Budget 2010. At this stage we cannot say for sure what the impact upon fossil fuels will be.
£56 million in 2011;
£136 million in 2012;
£263 million in 2013;
£456 million in 2014;
£717 million in 2015.
2009 prices: undiscounted
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 14 December 2009, Official Report, column 929W, on the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority: public relations, what documents Finsbury has produced for Ofgem as part of its contract in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what quantity of high activity radioactive waste has been returned to each port in each country of origin in 2010; and whether all of the radioactive waste in each consignment arose directly from the reprocessing of imported spent nuclear fuel. 
Mr. Kidney: Two shipments each consisting of 28 high level waste (HLW) canisters in one transport flask, with each canister (vitrified waste and stainless steel) weighing up to 550 kg, have been returned to date in 2010. One shipment was made to Mutsu Ogawara in Japan the other to Vlissingen in the Netherlands.
The HLW being returned is a blend of the HLW arising from the reprocessing of overseas and UK spent nuclear fuel. The amount being returned to each country, in an overall programme expected to last some 10 years, is commensurate with the relevant amount of spent fuel sent to Sellafield for reprocessing.
In accordance with the UK's policy of waste substitution, overseas intermediate and low level waste will remain in the UK and an additional radiologically equivalent amount of HLW will be substituted and returned in its place.
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