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Mr Hoban: The Government wholly owns the following three banks: Bradford & Bingley plc; Northern Rock plc; and, Northern Rock (Asset Management) plc. The Government partially owns the following two banks: Royal Bank of Scotland plc and Lloyds Banking Group plc.
The Government's shareholdings in all the above five banks are managed by UKFI (United Kingdom Financial Investments Ltd) whose objectives are to maximise taxpayer value, help maintain financial stability and promote banking competition.
The subordinated bonds issued by Bradford & Bingley plc (B&B) are not covered by the Treasury wholesale deposit guarantee arrangements announced on 29 September 2008. Payments of these bonds, including interest, are entirely a matter for the board of B&B.
The company announced on 23 February 2010 that it will defer payment (principal and interest) on its subordinated bonds until the £18.4 billion statutory debt owed to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and the Treasury is repaid. The deferral of the payments of these bonds is part of the condition for which EC state aid approval was granted on 25 January 2010.
If the parents or guardians of a child that received a voucher under the scheme have not opened an account within a year of the voucher being issued, HM Revenue and Customs will have opened a stakeholder account for them.
Mr Hoban: The Government have pledged to make fair and transparent payment to Equitable Life policyholders, through an independently designed payment scheme, for their relative loss as a result of regulatory failure.
1p per litre on 1 October 2010;
0.76p per litre on 1 January 2011; and
1p per litre above inflation each year thereafter until 2014.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of households in (a) the UK and (b) Bristol East constituency who will be eligible for the proposed transferable tax allowance for married couples. 
Mr Gauke: The Government have not announced their plans for recognising marriage in the tax system, and therefore it is not possible to provide the estimates that the hon. Lady asks for. Proposals will be brought forward by the Chancellor at the appropriate time.
Mr Hoban: We are working with international partners, looking at all the options, and will be taking note of the International Monetary Fund's report on how the financial sector can make a fair and substantial contribution. We will introduce a banking levy as detailed in the coalition agreement.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has commissioned research to look at the actual costs of complying with the VAT rate reduction and rate reversion. The findings of this work will be published in line with HMRC's stated publication policy following their expected completion later this year.
Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what role the Government has in (a) determining the legal implications of setting a minimum price per unit of alcohol in Scotland and (b) ensuring that implementation is compatible with EU competition law. 
Mr Davey: The Scottish Government's Alcohol etc (Scotland) Bill is currently being considered by the Scottish Parliament. At this stage, it is for the Scottish Government to respond to the questions that have been raised about the Bill and to ensure its legislation and actions are compatible with EU law and within competence.
Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what legal advice he has received regarding the minimum pricing per unit of alcohol; and what steps he is taking to ensure that minimum price setting is compatible with (a) domestic and (b) EU competition law. 
Mr Davey: As part of the Government's work in examining options for tackling harms associated with excessive consumption of alcohol, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has considered the legal issues associated with a minimum unit price for alcohol. The Department will continue to contribute to the Government's work in this area, including advising how competition law relates to any proposed measures.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment his Department has made of levels of demand for apprenticeships in the London Borough of Bexley. 
Mr Hayes: We know that the demand from young people and adults for good quality employer-owned apprenticeships is high. Last year, there were 800 starts in Bexley and there have already been 500 starts in the first half of this academic year (up to 31 January).
We intend to increase the number of apprenticeship places for people of all ages, and we are committed to improving the quality of apprenticeships to make them better suited to the needs of employers and learners.
The Government's decision to redeploy £150 million of our savings for 2010-11, creating an additional 50,000 places this financial year, demonstrates our commitment to high-quality skills. We are investing in our future and training the next generation, as well as developing the existing work force, which is vital as we emerge from recession.
Mr Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps his Department has taken to assist small and medium-sized businesses in Reading East constituency. 
Mr Prisk: The Government are currently setting their policy priorities for the next five years, which will aim to make this the most entrepreneurial decade in history. This means creating the right environment to start and grow a business, including tackling issues such as the availability of finance and skills, the burden of regulation and issues of business confidence and taxation.
The Government are committed to promoting economic growth across the country and will support the creation of local enterprise partnerships to promote local economic development, to replace the regional development agencies. These may take the form of the existing RDAs where they are popular.
The Government are also redirecting £150 million of funding in 2010-11 to create an additional 50,000 high quality employer-led apprenticeship places. These new places will be targeted especially at SMEs to make it easier for small businesses to take on apprentices and access the benefits they can bring to the workplace.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether any domestic properties in the gift of the Government have been allocated to the use of Ministers in his Department. 
Mr Hayes: The announcements on savings to reduce the fiscal deficit made by the Government on 24 May 2010 included a reduction of £200 million in the train to gain budget in 2010-11. However, this resource is being reinvested in more apprenticeship places and further education capital projects. We will set out our plans for future years, including details of any ring-fences, in the forthcoming Spending Review. In general, we will aim to enable each of the sectors we fund to plan ahead with comparative certainty, although every Government needs to retain a capacity, subject to parliamentary scrutiny, to be able to respond to changing circumstances.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the change in the number of students studying at further education colleges in the west midlands between academic years 2009-10 and 2010-11. 
Mr Hayes: The following table shows learners studying at FE colleges in the west midlands Government office region in 2007/08 and 2008/09, the most recent years for which full year data are available.
|Learners studying at further education colleges in the w est midlands, 2007/08 and 2008/09|
| Notes: 1. Further education provision includes general further education colleges including tertiary, sixth form colleges, special college-agricultural and horticultural colleges and art and design colleges, specialist colleges and external institutions. 2. Volumes are rounded to the nearest hundred. 3. Figures for 2008/09 are not directly comparable to 2007/08 due to a change in funding methodology. Source: Individualised Learner Record.|
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