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Gregory Barker: A household is said to be in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel to maintain an adequate level of warmth (usually defined as 21 degrees for the main living area, and 18 degrees for other occupied rooms).
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate has been made of the number of households which will enter fuel poverty in each London local authority area following the introduction of the higher standard rate of value added tax. 
Gregory Barker: The change in the rate of value added tax (VAT) will not have any direct impact on the level of fuel poverty, as the reduced rate of VAT, which applies to domestic heating fuels, will remain unchanged.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) what assessment he has made of the compatibility of his policy of providing no subsidy for nuclear power with the existing limitation on liabilities on private nuclear power plant operators under the Nuclear Installations Act 1965; 
(2) if he will estimate the potential cost to the public purse of a beyond- design-basis accident at a civil nuclear installation in the United Kingdom that creates liabilities above the existing limitation of liabilities placed on nuclear installation operators; 
(3) what discussions Ministers and officials in his Department have had with companies that have indicated an interest in building new nuclear power plants in the UK on the implications for their investment in new plants of the removal of limitation on liabilities under insurance arrangements covering nuclear installation operators. 
Charles Hendry: The UK has an established and robust regulatory framework that ensures the nuclear industry effectively manages the risks associated with the operation of civil nuclear installations and facilities. As a result of this approach the probability of a beyond-design basis accident is considered to be exceedingly small, the possible costs for which it would not be meaningful to estimate in advance.
There is in place a well-established international regime for regulating liability and compensation for third party damage in the event of an accident. The Nuclear Installations Act 1965 ("1965 Act") implements the UK's obligations under the Paris convention on nuclear third party liability and the Brussels supplementary
convention, which we have been contracting parties to since the 1960s. In giving effect to the Paris convention, the 1965 Act limits the liability of nuclear operators to £140 million.
We are currently working on amendments to the 1965 Act to implement the changes to the conventions agreed in 2004. These changes set a minimum operator liability of €700 million but there is discretion to set a higher limit or have it uncapped. In the circumstances we are reviewing the limitation of operators' liability. We have held no discussions with potential new nuclear operators on this issue however we intend to consult on our proposed changes to the 1965 Act, including limitation of liability, later this year.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what reason the Office for Nuclear Development was established as a non-departmental public body; what assessment was made of the merits of establishing it as a unit within his Department; and whether it receives any funding support from the commercial nuclear industry. 
Charles Hendry: The Office for Nuclear Development (OND) is not a non-departmental public body, but a unit within the Department of Energy and Climate Change. It was established in September 2008 to create a one-stop shop within Government to deal with nuclear matters. The OND does not receive any funding support from the commercial nuclear industry.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the level of the average household (a) gas and (b) electricity bill in (i) 1997 and (ii) the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Charles Hendry: For an average consumer using 18,000 kWh of gas per year and paying by standard credit, the average annual domestic gas bill in Great Britain was £328 in 1997 and £717 in 2009, the latest year for which the figures are available. Adjusting for the effects of inflation, in real terms (using 2005 prices) equivalent bills were £393 in 1997 and £649 in 2009.
For an average consumer using 3,300 kWh of electricity per year and paying by standard credit, the average annual domestic electricity bill in the UK was £285 in 1997 and £461 in 2009. Adjusting for the effects of inflation, in real terms (using 2005 prices) equivalent bills were £342 in 1997 and £417 in 2009.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the effect of the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 on fuel poverty since July 2009; and if he will make a statement. 
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he plans to bring forward proposals to restrict existing rights to appeal against decisions of the Boundary Commission as part of his proposed reform of constituency boundaries. 
Mr Harper: The current rules for boundary reviews do not provide for an 'appeal' process as such but they do set out arrangements for consultation on the Commission's recommendations. Representations may be made on the provisional recommendations and, upon the publication of revised recommendations, further representations may be made before final recommendations are published.
As my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced on 5 July 2010, Official Report, column 24, a Bill will be introduced before the summer recess to implement the coalition agreement commitment to make provision for the creation of fewer and more equal sized constituencies. Detailed provisions on consultation will be included in the Bill and Parliament will have the opportunity to debate the Bill fully.
Mr Harper: As my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced on 5 July 2010, Official Report, column 24, a Bill will be introduced before the summer recess to implement the coalition agreement commitment to make provision for the creation of fewer and more equal sized constituencies. At the next boundary review, in common with boundary reviews conducted under the existing legislation (the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986), registered electorate will be the basis for the review.
The Government have committed to speeding up the implementation of individual electoral registration and is currently considering the different
options for implementation, including ways to maximise the completeness and accuracy of the electoral register, as well as tackling electoral fraud. The Government will inform the House of its plans in due course.
Thomas Docherty: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate his Department has made of the cost to Government Departments of administering the proposed referendum on the alternative vote system. 
Mr Harper: Many of the cost elements of running the proposed referendum on the alternative vote system will be similar to those for a general election. The previous Government estimated the cost for conduct elements of the 2010 general election in Great Britain at £82.1 million, Official Report, 30 March 2010, column 1079W. Based on this, and our modelling for the 2009 European and 2010 general elections, it can be estimated that the cost of conduct elements for the proposed referendum will be similar. We have made initial assumptions about the conduct costs of a referendum were it not to be combined with any other polls and on that basis we currently estimate a saving of £17 million on the conduct costs of the referendum through combination.
Additionally, as indicated in the written answer by my hon. Friend the Member for South West Devon (Mr Streeter) of 6 July, Official Report, column 144W, the Electoral Commission has estimated that the cost of its own activities in relation to the referendum at £9.3 million.
Under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, designated lead campaign organisations are entitled to send a referendum address post free, similar to the entitlement in place for candidates at general elections. The cost of funding this entitlement does not form part of the costs of the conduct of the poll. The Government are considering how this entitlement will apply at the referendum on the alternative vote.
Mr Harper: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister announced the Government's proposals for a referendum on the alternative vote, on 5 July 2010, Official Report, column 23-25. My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister and I have had discussions with the Commission on a number of matters.
Mr Bain: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what information he has (a) sought and (b) received from the Electoral Commission on the simultaneous holding of the next general election with elections to the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales on 7 May 2015. 
Mr Harper: The Government are currently considering what would be the fairest, most appropriate and robust procedure for a power of recall. We will bring forward our legislative proposals in due course.
Mary Creagh: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent estimate has been made of (a) the size of the adult population and (b) the number of people registered to vote in the Metropolitan District of Wakefield. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what recent estimate has been made of (a) the size of the adult population and (b) the number of persons registered to vote resident in the metropolitan district of Wakefield (6722).
The table below shows (a) the mid-2009 estimated resident population aged 18 and over for Wakefield and (b) the number of people registered to vote in local government elections as at 1 December 2009, resident in Wakefield. These figures are the latest available.
The definition of residency differs between the two figures above. The mid-year population estimates refer to the usually resident population as defined by the standard United Nations definition of residing in an area for at least 12 months, regardless of eligibility to vote. To register to vote in local government elections, a person must be resident in the electoral area. In this context, residency is not defined in law but it has been held by the courts to entail a 'considerable degree of permanence'.
|Estimated mid-year population and persons registered to vote, 2009|
|Metropolitan borough||Number of people registered to vote 1 December 2009||Resident( 1) population aged 18+ mid-2009|
|(1) Population estimates are rounded to the nearest thousand.|
Office for National Statistics
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many lone parents there are in Cynon Valley constituency. (6779)
The number and type of families in the UK can be estimated using the Annual Population Survey (APS). Estimates are provided for lone parent families which include at least one child aged under 16.
The latest available figure is for 2008 and is shown in the table below. This is based on the 2008 parliamentary constituency boundary. Cynon Valley, as constituted in 2008, consisted of 13 electoral wards, two fewer than the current constituency. The breakdown of the data available is not sufficiently detailed to determine whether the newly constituted parliamentary constituency contains the same estimated number of lone parents as the 2008 constituency.
|Geographical area||Number of lone parent families-with at least one child under 16 (thousand)|
APS January to December 2008
Priti Patel: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether he has issued guidance to non-departmental public bodies planned to be abolished on expenditure by them from the public purse; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Maude: In May 2010 HM Treasury wrote to Government Departments to set out spending controls to contribute to the delivery of £6.2 billion savings in 2010-11. These controls also apply to non-departmental public bodies.
Mary Creagh: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate has been made of (a) the average income per household and (b) the average income per individual in Wakefield constituency in each of the last five years. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what estimate has been made of (a) the average income per household and (b) the average income per individual in Wakefield constituency in each of the last five years. (6721)
Table 1 shows the estimated average net weekly equivalised household income in Wakefield constituency, both before and after housing costs, in 2007/08, the latest year for which data are available and for 2004/05, the year previous to 2007/08 for which data are available. Incomes are presented net of income tax payments, National Insurance contributions and Council Tax. The incomes are equivalised to take account of each household's size and composition, in recognition of how these affect their standard of living. Data for individuals are not available.
The estimates provided are based on small area statistics published by the ONS. They are classed as experimental statistics which means they have been developed in accordance with the principles set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice but have yet to be fully accredited as National Statistics.
These estimates, as with any involving sample surveys, are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
|Table 1: Average net weekly equivalised household income in Wakefield constituency, 2004-05 and 2007-08 ( 1,2,3)|
|£ per week|
|Mean income before (housing costs)( 4)||Mean income (after housing costs)( 4)|
|1 Incomes are presented net of income tax payments, National Insurance contributions and council tax.|
2 Figures rounded to the nearest £10,
3 Data for both years are based on the 2010 parliamentary constituency boundaries
4 Housing costs include rent (gross of housing benefit), water charges, mortgage interest payments, structural insurance, ground rent and service charges.
Office for National Statistics
Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what information his Department holds on the latest discussions that have taken place between Advantage West Midlands and QinetiQ on the quantum technology project in Malvern. 
Mr Prisk: BIS is aware that Advantage West Midlands (AWM) has been developing a proposal around the Quantum Technology Partnership with QinetiQ. There have as yet been no formal discussions with AWM about their proposal. Individual project funding and investment decisions are for the RDA board, within the context of the RDA budget allocation.
Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what research projects on public attitudes to the use of pesticides have been funded by each research council; what the (i) research topic, (ii) start date, (iii) cost and (iv) project code was of each such project; what the lead institution was in each case; and which such projects have been completed to date. 
Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what research projects on marker-assisted plant breeding (a) each research council and (b) the Science and Technology Facilities Council has funded since 1997; what the (i) research topic, (ii) start date, (iii) cost and (iv) project code was of each such project; what the lead institution was in each case; and which such projects have been completed to date. 
Mr Willetts: The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has undertaken research into marker-assisted plant breeding, but the cost of collating the information in the form requested would be disproportionate.
Mr Vaizey: As stated in the coalition's joint programme for government, we will seek to introduce superfast broadband across the country. On 8 June, the Secretary of State for Culture, the Olympics, Media and Sport set out the Government's plans for ensuring the UK has the best superfast broadband network in Europe by the end of the Parliament.
These plans include enabling access to existing infrastructure to reduce the cost of deployment, and we will be launching a discussion document on how best to do this on 15 July. Ofcom are at the same time taking forward work looking at the potential for other operators to use BT's existing infrastructure. Further, the Secretary of State has proposed three market testing projects for superfast broadband in rural areas, to be paid for with money left over from the Digital TV switchover helpscheme. The venues for these projects are currently under consideration.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that rural areas have access to high speed broadband; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey [holding answer 13 July 2010]: As stated in the coalition's joint programme for government, we will seek to introduce superfast broadband in remote areas at the same time as in more populated areas. On 8 June, the Secretary of State for Culture, the Olympics, Media and Sport set out the Government's plans for ensuring the UK has the best superfast broadband network in Europe by the end of the Parliament.
These plans include enabling access to existing infrastructure to reduce the cost of deployment, and we will be launching a discussion document on how best to do this on 15 July. Further, the Secretary of State has proposed three market testing projects for superfast broadband in rural areas, to be paid for with money left over from the Digital TV switchover helpscheme. The venues for these projects are currently under consideration.
Mr Vaizey: On 8 June, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Culture, the Olympics, Media and Sport set out the Government's plans for ensuring the UK has the best superfast broadband network in Europe by the end of the Parliament. These plans include enabling access to existing infrastructure to reduce the cost of deployment. Further, the Secretary of State proposed three market testing projects schemes for superfast broadband in rural areas.
As a first step towards this ambition, the Government are also committed to making a service level of 2Mbps available in towns and villages still without a basic level of access. The office charged with delivering this Universal Service Commitment, Broadband Delivery UK, will be holding an industry event in July to provide further information on the approach to meeting the 2Mbps service commitment and the market testing schemes.
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the future of (a) Business Link and (b) publicly-funded business support in the north east. 
Mr Prisk: The coalition Government are committed to replacing regional development agencies with local enterprise partnerships. We are working with the regional development agencies (RDAs) to enable this transition. We are reviewing all the functions of the RDAs and we believe some of these are best led nationally, including responsibility for business support. The forthcoming White Paper on sub-national economic growth will set out our approach in more detail.
Mr Willetts: The Chancellor announced in the emergency Budget that we will consult with business in autumn 2010 to review the taxation of intellectual property, the support R and D tax credits provide for innovation and the proposals of the Dyson Review. The coalition agreement makes it clear that we are committed to refocusing the R and D tax credit on hi-tech companies, small firms and start ups as recommended by Sir James Dyson.
The Government have also set out its intention to create the most competitive corporate tax system in the G20. The Chancellor announced that the corporation tax headline rate will be reduced from 28% to 24% over four years and that the small companies rate will be reduced to 20%.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what representations he has received from proprietors of cafes, bars and other premises offering wireless internet access to customers on the effects on them of the provisions on illegal file-sharing in the Digital Economy Act 2010. 
Mr Vaizey: As part of the consultative process prior to the Bill's introduction, this Department received representations from various organisations which offer wi-fi internet access including some of the major internet service Providers (ISPs) and higher educational establishments. These can be found at:
In addition, officials sought views from and had meetings with educational and cultural organisations such as universities, museums and libraries who offer wi-fi access. There were also several meetings with individual commercial companies and trade bodies from the hospitality, hotel, and holiday park sectors.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that those who own programme making and special events equipment due to be rendered redundant as a result of the clearance of the 600 MHz and 800 MHz spectrum are not left any worse off as a result of the changes; 
(2) on what terms the Government will provide compensation to those in the programme making and special events sector whose wireless equipment will be rendered redundant as a consequence of the clearance and sale of the digital dividend spectrum. 
Mr Vaizey: Programme Making and Special Events (PMSE) users were given notice in 2005 by Ofcom that they would have to vacate channels 31-37 (600 MHz spectrum) and 63-68 (800 MHz spectrum) by 2012, and in 2007 that channels 61-62 (800 MHz spectrum) would no longer be available for use. Ofcom considers this an acceptable period of notice for users to react and are not obliged to offer compensation or to find alternative spectrum. However, Ofcom has said that most of the 32 channels retained for digital terrestrial television after Digital Switchover in the 600 MHz band will still be available on an interleaved basis for PMSE and it is confident there will be enough spectrum in individual locations to more than satisfy historic peak demand.
After Ofcom's 2005 statement, users had legitimately been expecting to use channel 69 (in the 800 MHz spectrum) for PMSE until 2018, and therefore as Government agreed with a proposal to change the use of this channel, Government will ensure PMSE users will be compensated for being moved from channel 69.
This Government are now considering options on the appropriate level of compensation, taking into account how we can best ensure users are neither better nor worse off, what sort of precedent a compensation scheme would set, and whether it would be lawful. Equally important, in particular in the current financial climate, is the need to appropriately safeguard and make efficient use of taxpayers' money. A decision will be taken as soon as possible.
Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many court orders were issued to bailiffs for execution in each of the last five years; and how many complaints (a) his Department and (b) HM Courts Service has received alleging misuse by bailiffs of powers granted by the courts to execute such orders in each such year. 
|Calendar year||Execution( 1)||Delivery( 2)||Possession( 3)||Committal( 4)|
|(1) Allows saleable items owned by the debtor to be sold unless the amount due under the warrant is paid.|
(2) For the return of goods or items.
(3) For the repossession of property.
(4) For enforcing an order where the penalty for failing to comply is imprisonment. It authorises the bailiff to arrest and deliver the person to prison or the court.
|Financial year||Issued to AEAs( 1)||Issued to CEOs( 2)|
|(1) Covers warrants, for HMCS areas, for distress and clamping, which allows saleable items owned by the debtor to be sold unless the amount due under the warrant is paid and warrants for arrest for non payment of financial orders or non compliance with Community Penalty orders for HMCS areas where CEOs are not employed.|
(2) Covers warrants for arrest for non payment of financial orders or non compliance with Community Penalty orders.
As regards complaints alleging misuse by bailiffs of powers granted by the court. HMCS has a complaint recording system which requires staff to record customer dissatisfaction. However it does not specifically collect data about alleged misuse of bailiff powers but in a more general format of complaints about the way a bailiff has handled a warrant.
|Financial year||County Court warrants||Magistrates warrants|
Graham Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent on employee awaydays in each year since its inception; 
(10) how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental public bodies spent on (i) electricity, (ii) water, (iii) heating and (iv) telephone services in each year since its inception; 
Mr Kenneth Clarke: The Ministry of Justice has four Executive agencies and sponsors nine Executive non-departmental public bodies plus 35 probation trusts, most operate separate accounting systems and processes. The information requested is currently being collated and verified. I will write to the hon. Member once this process is complete, which will hopefully be before the House rises for the summer recess.
Mr Djanogly: The Government are currently completing a review of regulatory measures planned for introduction by the previous Government over the coming year and listed in the Forward Regulatory Programme published March 2010
The purpose of the Forward Regulatory Programme is to improve the management and scrutiny of new regulations as they are developed to reduce burdens on businesses. The programme only includes those regulations that have an impact on the private and third sectors.
Mr Kenneth Clarke: Expenditure on security across the Ministry of Justice's estate covers a wide array of items, including guarding contracts, physical barriers, CCTV, specialist lighting, staff training, information security and IT encryption, as well as the cost of security teams.
Budgets are devolved to the Ministry's agencies and non-departmental public bodies who then apply them as required. Funding for security is not recorded separately. To extract security costs from the general planned maintenance budget and other provisions in the many and disparate MoJ establishments in England and Wales would incur a disproportionate cost to collate.
Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which (a) (i) civil servants and (ii) special advisers in his Department and (b) other individuals are employed to write speeches for each Minister in his Department. 
Mr Kenneth Clarke: One member of staff is employed as a speechwriter to draft speeches for me and to provide support on speeches to be made by other ministers in the Ministry of Justice. Two special advisers work to me, performing a range of duties, including advice and comments on drafts of speeches. No other civil servants or other individuals are employed to write speeches in the Ministry of Justice.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have been driven by the Government Car Service since
the Government took office; and how much each of these persons has received in expenses for use of taxis, buses and underground trains in that period. 
Mr Blunt: The Secretary of State, the Minister of State for Justice (MOJ) and the two Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State at the Ministry of Justice currently have use of an allocated ministerial car during the week.
The number of officials who have been driven by the Government Car Service since this Government took office is not held centrally and could be provided only by contacting every division within MOJ at a disproportionate cost.
MOJ staff, including Ministers and the Department's two special advisers have access to the use of a taxi ordered through departmental taxi accounts or to a car ordered through the Government Car and Despatch Agency. Both the taxi account and the Car and Despatch Agency may only be used in exceptional circumstances which may include:
by the time you cease work either public transport is not available for your journey from work to home or it would not be reasonable to expect you to use public transport
or when heavy baggage has to be transported for work-related reasons.
Ministerial and staff business travel is procured and paid for by the Department prior to travel. Where Ministers and staff have personally paid for business travel; they may be reimbursed by submitting a travel and subsistence claim to the Department. Since the Government took office up to and including 8 July, there have been no such claims made by Ministers or their private office staff. Information is not held centrally for staff in the wider MOJ and could be provided only by examining individual expense claims at a disproportionate cost. However, we are looking at ways in which this information will be centrally recorded in the future.
"the number of Ministers with allocated cars and drivers will be kept to a minimum, taking into account security and other relevant considerations. Other Ministers will be entitled to use cars from the Government Car Service Pool as needed."
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of the performance of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in ensuring that records management and data processing are undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the legislation for which the ICO is a regulator. 
Mr Djanogly: The ICO is the independent authority responsible for compliance with and enforcement of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2005.
It is not the role of the Ministry of Justice, and neither does it have the powers, to assess the ICO's compliance with the legislation that the Office is responsible for regulating. However, the ICO conducts regular internal audits which ensure that its policies and procedures remain subject to scrutiny and review. In addition, regular meetings take place between the Department and the ICO to discuss a range of matters, including the ICO's performance, compliance and audit reports.
Mrs Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of methods of assessing the risk of re-offending of inmates prior to release from prison. 
For those prisoners subject to a determinate sentence of at least 12 months or subject to an indeterminate sentence (life or IPP), an assessment is made at the pre-release stage through the Offender Assessment System (OASys). OASys includes two predictors of reoffending, the OASys general reoffending predictor (OGP) and the
OASys violence predictor (OVP). OVP predicts reoffending involving non-sexual violence, while OGP predicts most other reoffending. The research underpinning these predictors is available on the Ministry of Justice website (Research Summary 2/09 and Research Series 16/09). Validity checks demonstrated that both OGP and OVP substantially improved prediction compared to previous tools.
An OASys basic custody screening, to be used with all sentenced prisoners, is currently being piloted in Yorkshire and Humberside with the intention of rolling out nationally. This screening includes the Offender Group Reconviction Scale (OGRS) which predicts all types of reoffending. The validation of OGRS version 3 can also be found on the Ministry of Justice website (Research Summary 7/09).
Mr Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what help and advice is available for former military personnel who enter the criminal justice system, with particular reference to schemes to reduce levels of reoffending. 
Mr Blunt: A broad range of services and interventions are delivered generally to offenders across custody and the community to meet particular needs and address offending behaviour. There are a number of accredited offending behaviour programmes addressing thinking skills, anger management, domestic and other types of violent crime as well as sexual offending. A range of interventions is available for offenders with an alcohol or drug problem. Other activities across prison and probation such as training, education, work, non accredited courses, specialist support and resettlement may also have a significant part to play.
The Ministry of Justice works closely with independent organisations that provide services specifically for veterans, and across Government to raise awareness among ex-service personnel of the help and support available to them and their families while they serve a prison or community sentence.
Contact details are provided for the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA), The Royal British Legion (TRBL), Soldiers Sailors Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help and Combat Stress. Posters detailing the types of support provided by these agencies are distributed and displayed widely across the prison estate and in Probation offices. Prison officers and offender managers now have direct access to the SPVA website.
Ministry of Defence funded mental health services provide support to veterans in prison as well as those in the community. The MoD funded Medical Assessment programme provides specialist military mental health advice for veterans in prison referred to them by prison medical staff. The programme has been extended to include reservists mental health for those who have deployed since 2003.
Many prison governors have managed to appoint a local point of contact for co-ordinating and promoting services as part of the model of practice promoted in the Guide, "Veterans in Custody Support-A Guide" which has been distributed to all prison establishments.
John Mann: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, for what reasons officials working for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority are working in central London; what consideration was given to locating them in a less expensive part of the country; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Charles Walker: IPSA advises me that the merits of basing IPSA in a location other than Westminster were considered early in IPSA's implementation phase. It was concluded that the most appropriate location for IPSA's permanent home was central London, within a reasonable distance of the Palace of Westminster. This decision was taken to minimise the risk of disruption during the handover period between the old system administered by the House of Commons and IPSA's new system, not least in respect of the potential impact on those staff transferring from the House of Commons to IPSA.
Mr Anderson: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what the policy of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is on provision of additional staff resources for hon. Members to assist with the processing of claims for allowance payments. 
Mr Charles Walker: IPSA does not provide additional staff resources specifically to assist with the processing of claims under the MPs' expenses scheme. If MPs are unable to remain within their staffing budget for the current financial year, they can apply to IPSA for support from the contingency fund. All such applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
Ann McKechin: To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what procedures the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority will adopt to reimburse hon. Members for London Area Living Allowance for the period between the date of the general election and the date on which the initial claim for that allowance was submitted. 
Mr Charles Walker: The MPs' expenses scheme does not allow the London Area Living Payment to be paid in respect of any period before IPSA is notified that an MP intends to claim it. Consequently, IPSA is not able to backdate any such claims to the date of the general election.
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, whether the
Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has assessed the merits of introducing a paper-based system for claiming allowance payments. 
Mr Charles Walker: IPSA has advised me that the merits of introducing a paper-based system for claiming expenses were considered during the start-up phase of IPSA. It was concluded that in line with current expectations of IT-led delivery within the public sector, it would be inappropriate to design a new expenses process which was not based at least in part on an IT-led solution.
IPSA remains of the view that an IT-led, rather than paper-based, system is most appropriate. Using an IT-led solution allows IPSA to achieve a high level of transparency more easily and cheaply than an equivalent manual approach. It will also allow any future changes to processes to be more easily implemented.
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, what the policy of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is
on reimbursement of hon. Members for first class rail travel on sleeper services in circumstances where single berths are not available on such services at fares equal to or less than the standard open ticket tariff (a) with and (b) without a supplement. 
Mr Charles Walker: The MPs' expenses scheme only allows the costs of economy/standard class tickets or the equivalent to be reimbursed. MPs travelling on sleeper train services are additionally entitled to claim for sleeper supplements, for either a single occupancy berth or a share of a twin occupancy berth. Both companies which provide sleeper train services within the UK will allow travellers to purchase either berth as a supplement to a standard class ticket.
The total cost of the ticket plus sleeper supplement may be higher than the price of a standard open ticket. Therefore, as the guidance to the scheme states at paragraph 7.7, the total cost will be reimbursed in these cases.