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Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in (a) Sunderland, (b) Tyne and Wear and (c) the North East Strategic Health Authority area have received the health in pregnancy grant since its introduction. 
Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will take steps to (a) identify and (b) publish the potential impacts on (i) equality of outcomes, (ii) equality of assets and (iii) equality of access to services of measures relating to its expenditure under consideration in the Spending Review; 
(2) if his Department will take steps to assess the impacts on (a) equality of outcomes, (b) equality of assets and (c) equality of access to services of measures relating to its expenditure under consideration in the Spending Review. 
Mr Gauke: HM Treasury will ensure the relevant equality considerations are taken into account in the context of its expenditure under consideration in the Spending Review, in compliance with its obligations under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Danny Alexander: We do not gather information at a constituency, city or town level. The annual Country and Regional Analysis exercise identifies expenditure per head by nine regions in England. We can provide data for the north-west region.
Annette Brooke: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what advice he has received on the contractual rights of public service pensioners to have their pensions up-rated annually in line with increases in the retail prices index. 
Danny Alexander [holding answer 13 September 2010]: The emergency Budget announced that from April 2011 the indexation of benefits, tax credits and the state second pension will be based on the consumer prices index (CPI) instead of the retail prices index (RPI). This change will also apply to public service pensions through the statutory link to the indexation of the additional pensions, in long-term benefits (including the state second pension).
The change in future uprating of public service pensions to CPI applies to new pensions coming into payment, pensions currently in payment and to future uprating of deferred pension rights. The change in indexation is forward looking, so future increases in the value of deferred pensions, or pensions in payment will be based on the CPI while past upratings of public service pensions in line with RPI will not be affected.
Danny Alexander [holding answer 13 July 2010]: It will be for the Independent Public Service Pensions Commission to take a view on the precise definition of accrued rights that it uses when making its recommendations in due course.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what proportion of the individuals and other taxpayers identified in the HM Revenue and Customs Annual Report for 2009-10 as not willing or able to pay tax are those (a) willing but not able to pay, (b) able but not willing to pay and (c) are neither willing nor able to pay; 
(2) what definition of a willing and able taxpayer HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) uses in the context of its Departmental Strategic Objective 1; and what methods HMRC uses to calculate the number of willing and able taxpayers in the UK. 
The definition of 'willing and able' customers is based on the Individuals Prioritisation Project (Individuals Segmentation). This was a research project run in 2007-08 to understand the attitudes and likely behaviours towards HMRC and compliance of the adult UK population
covering both tax and benefits administered by HMRC. The methodology used to calculate the number of 'willing and able' customers is outlined in the Individuals Prioritisation Project, available at:
The breakdown by segment requested is not currently published; however, the Individuals Prioritisation Project produced a set of 'key discriminating questions' which are used to track the segmentation in an ongoing survey. Sampling for the survey is representative of the UK adult population (over 16s). HMRC plan to publish the survey results later in the autumn.
Mr Gauke: On 20 September the Deputy Prime Minister announced that the Government will introduce tax increment financing powers for local authorities in England as a means of supporting investment in key local infrastructure and unlocking higher levels of economic growth. The Government will set out more on the framework within which Tax Increment Financing powers will operate through its forthcoming White Paper on sub-national growth after the spending review.
Mr Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the proportion of recipients of furnished holiday lettings relief who were female in the latest period for which figures are available; 
(2) how many recipients of furnished holiday lettings relief in (a) Scotland, (b) England and (c) Wales claimed in respect of achieved lettings of between 71 and 105 days in each of the last five years; 
(3) how many properties in respect of which claims for furnished holiday lettings relief is granted offering (a) more than 10 beds and (b) fewer than four beds made claims in respect of achieved lettings of between 71 and 105 days in each of the last five years; 
(4) how many recipients of furnished holiday lettings relief in each local authority area made claims in respect of achieved lettings of between 71 and 105 days in each of the last five years; 
(5) what discussions he has had with (a) VisitScotland and (b) the Scottish Executive on the likely effect of the increase in the qualifying thresholds on achieved lettings for furnished holiday lettings relief on currently eligible properties in Scotland; 
(6) if he will consider the merits of incorporating into his proposals for furnished holiday lettings relief contingency plans to permit variation and relaxation of the proposed eligibility thresholds to take account of the effect of prolonged periods of extreme adverse weather on the ability of such businesses to continue trading. 
Mr Gauke: For the tax year 2008-09, HMRC estimate that 50% of individuals reporting income from furnished holiday lettings (FHL) were female. Of those individuals offsetting furnished holiday lettings losses against other income, HMRC estimate that 44% were female.
Government Ministers and officials have discussions and meetings with a wide variety of organisations as part of the process of policy development and delivery. It is not the Government's practice to provide details of all representations made or meetings held.
FHL is currently the subject of a formal consultation in which a question of the impact of the extension on the eligibility thresholds on different regions of the UK is included. Responses to the consultation will be reviewed carefully, including any suggestions made concerning adverse weather relief contingency plans.
Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer under what circumstances in a tax calculation exercise where a taxpayer is assessed as having a higher tax liability because their employer made an error the additional tax liability will be charged to the employer. 
Mr Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the level of (a) fraudulent claims and (b) other abuse of low value consignment relief in respect of imports from Crown dependencies; and what steps HM Revenue and Customs has taken to (i) detect and (ii) reduce such abuse in the last two years. 
Mr Gauke: No estimate of the level of fraudulent claims has been made due to the difficulty of establishing the facts. This is because case law in this area as to what amounts to an abusive practice is unclear.
The United Kingdom Border Agency apply risk-based controls to detect and take action against inaccurate claims to, or abuse of, the import VAT relief and, as I told the House in my written answer to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Bromsgrove (Sajid Javid), on 13 July 2010, Official Report, column 661W, the Government are actively reviewing the operation of low value consignment relief.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to respond to questions (a) 11575, tabled on 22 July 2010 and (b) 12560, tabled on 27 July 2010, on the 2010 Budget; what the reason is for the time taken to reply; and what guidance his Department issues on the period within which replies should be provided to questions for ordinary written answers.
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many newly-started businesses failed in (a) the UK and (b) Carlisle constituency in each year since 2008. 
ONS does not produce information on the number of newly-started businesses that failed in a particular year. However, annual statistics on the number of enterprise births surviving into a particular year are available from the ONS release on Business Demography at:
The table below contains the latest statistics available, which show enterprise births in 2006 and 2007 and the number surviving into 2008, for Carlisle and the UK.
|Enterprises births in 2006 and 2007 and the number surviving into 2008 for Carlisle and the UK|
|Births||Number surviving into 2008||Births||Number surviving into 2008|
John Stevenson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of the gross domestic product of Carlisle constituency is attributable to the activity of (a) the public sector and (b) the private sector. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning the proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) within Carlisle constituency which can be attributed to the public and private sectors (15430).
I fear that such estimates are not available. The Office for National Statistics does publish estimates of regional Gross Value Added. These are available at NUTS3 level within the EU geographical Nomenclature, for example for East Cumbria. Estimates are available broken down by industry but not between public and private sectors. These are available at
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning the most recent estimate of gross domestic product for both Cumbria and Carlisle constituency (15432).
The Office for National Statistics publishes Gross Value Added (GVA) rather than GDP for regions. GVA is measured at current basic prices, which is GDP less taxes on products, plus subsidies on products. The data are produced at three geographical levels using a European classification system called NUTS (Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics). GVA by NUTS2 regions (groups of counties and local authorities) and NUTS3 regions (individual counties and unitary authorities) are available for the period 1995-2007.
The most recent total GVA estimates for the Cumbria NUTS2 and East Cumbria NUTS3 areas, within which Carlisle constituency falls, are shown in the table below. I fear that estimates relating to Carlisle constituency specifically are not available.
|Total gross value added|
Table 3.1, Regional GVA, ONS, available on the National Statistics website at:
Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many households in Washington and Sunderland West constituency (a) applied for and (b) received vouchers under the Home Access scheme in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Gibb: The Home Access programme provides computers and broadband internet access to low income households. The number of households at 7 September 2010 who have (a) applied for the programme in Sunderland is 1,975, with 133 being rejected as ineligible, and 147 being returned to the applicant with a request for further information. The number (b) receiving payment awards is 1,687. The programme is based on local authority areas, so the figures are provided by the Sunderland local authority area as a whole, as the data are not available by parliamentary constituency.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) what steps he is taking to increase the involvement of young members of the public in the making of decisions that affect them taken by (a) Ministers in his Department, (b) officials in his Department and (c) public bodies which fall within his Department's area of responsibility; 
Tim Loughton: The Department is committed to enabling young people to have better opportunities to engage in decision making at national level and in their communities. Ministers and officials actively engage with children and young people on emerging policies that affect them through the Office of the Children's Commissioner and the Department's Children and Youth Board and through our stakeholders in the children and youth sectors. For example, I am in regular contact with members of the UK Youth Parliament through their regional meetings and I will be attending their second debate in the House of Commons on 29 October.
I am particularly keen to ensure that we listen to the views of the most vulnerable children and recently met a group of care leavers to discuss how we could improve the support we give to young people leaving the care system. In the future I have asked the Children's Rights Director to set up quarterly meetings with groups of looked after children and care leavers, so that I can have an ongoing dialogue with them and take their views into account when making decisions about how to improve the outcomes of children in care.
We are currently developing our proposals for the future of youth services and on new approaches to giving young people a voice and strengthening youth scrutiny over national and local policy. I have taken action to ensure that young people are integral to the wider consultation process through a range of events, including one I hosted at the Department, organised in partnership with the National Children's Bureau, with around 20 teenagers from different parts of the country.
Officials from my Department, with colleagues from Communities and Local Government (CLG), are working to assess the impact of current approaches to youth empowerment and democratic engagement and are drawing on the mechanisms and experience of youth organisations to involve young people directly in this work. This will also help to inform decisions about priorities for future funding.
Both Departments (Department for Education and CLG) are also working with the Office for Civil Society to support the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme. Young people were involved in the work that led to the creation of NCS, and their direct contribution to its continuing development is an essential part of future plans for the programme.
Mr Simon Burns: The current book value of the vacant freehold buildings and parcels of land in each region owned by the Department is set out in the following table. Also included are vacant leasehold properties but no market value has been required to be assessed for these properties. There is an active disposal strategy for the properties.
|Region||Address||Asset value (£000)|
|(1) Not assessed|
Mr Simon Burns: The General Ophthalmic Services Activity Statistics for England and Wales, published by the Information Centre for health and social care, showed that in England there were 11.278 million national health service funded sight tests in 2008-09 and 11.812 million NHS funded sight tests in 2009-10. The data published by the NHS Information Centre provide a breakdown of these figures by eligible groups only.
Mr Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on how many occasions a general practitioner has been found to have charged a patient for medical services which should have been provided free of charge in the last three years. 
Mr Simon Burns: This information is not held centrally. Under the terms of their national health service contract with the local primary care trust, general practitioners (GPs) are prevented from charging their patients a fee for treatment under the contract, or otherwise, except in certain prescribed circumstances. Where a patient is unhappy about a charge being made for any treatment or service provided by their GP, they may raise it through the NHS complaints procedure.
Anne Milton: We will be publishing a white paper on public health towards the end of the year and will consult on proposals. We recognise the impact of wider determinants on health such as wider economic circumstances and are working closely across government as we develop the public health white paper.
Barbara Keeley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much funding his Department allocated to primary care trusts for the provision of psychological therapies to adults, excluding money allocated through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, in each year since 2006-07; 
(2) how many primary care patients were referred to psychological therapies, excluding those provided through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme, in each year since 2006-07. 
Paul Burstow: The number of patients referred for psychological therapies is not collected centrally. Patients receive psychological therapy in a variety of settings and the only record in many cases will be in patients' medical notes at their general practitioner surgery.
|Financial period||Spend ( £ million )|
Mr Simon Burns: The Department, through NHS Choices, is committed to reaching those who do not have access to the internet in their homes, particularly those people who are both socially and digitally excluded. NHS Choices already has a number of partnerships and runs initiatives with those involved in digital inclusion, including the network of public libraries, UKonline centres and Race Online 2012.
Mr Simon Burns: The policy on the transfer of all the rights and liabilities of primary care trusts to successor bodies, including Private Finance Initiative and other service contracts, is being developed as part of the Health Bill.
Ian Swales: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment his Department has made of the contribution of school nurses to the implementation of his Department's NHS White Paper; and if he will make a statement. 
Anne Milton: We are currently considering the responses to the consultation on the implementation of the proposals given in the White Paper and will publish a Government response in due course. School nurses make an important contribution to child health and this will continue in the future.
Mr Prisk: Following his appointment my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State attended the Farnborough International Air Show, where he met representatives from a wide range of aerospace companies of different sizes within the UK supply chain, from primes to small companies, and both national and regional trade associations.
As announced at Farnborough, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State agreed to chair an Aerospace Business Leaders group which will involve representatives from leading UK aerospace companies to consider issues of strategic importance affecting the sector. Dates for the first meeting are being arranged.
Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many small and medium-sized enterprises received assistance from the public purse in the form of (a) grants, (b) tax relief, (c) investment allowances and (d) other financial assistance in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10; and what the average grant made under each category was in each such year. 
|Grant for research and development||2008/09||2009/10|
|(1) Not available. RDAs have not yet reported aggregate figures for business receiving support in 2009/10.|
|Technology Strategy Board (TSB)|
|Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs)||2008/09||2009/10|
Classic projects are 1-3 years duration and shorter projects 10 to 40 weeks (with the latter being launched in July 2009). The above figures represent the number of individual SMEs participating In KTP projects during each year.
|Collaborative research and development||2008/09||2009/10|
Around 2,500 small and medium companies benefit each year from company tax reliefs that are available in the form of payable credits for qualifying expenditure on research and development, land remediation and film production; around a further 6,000 benefit by taking these reliefs in the form of reduced tax liability. Numbers specifically for 2008-09 and 2009-10 are not yet available, but estimated costs are published on the HM Revenue and Customs website:
HM Revenue and Customs estimate that in 2008-09 (the latest tax year for which data are currently available) around 900,000 small and medium-sized companies and around 1.2 million self-employed individuals and partnerships claimed capital allowances. It is estimated that these companies' tax liabilities for 2008/09 were around £7,000 lower on average and these individuals' and partnerships' tax liabilities for 2008/09 were around £2,000 lower on average as a result of using capital allowances. Figures for 2009/10 are not yet available.
|Small Business Research Initiative||2008/09||2009/10|
|Number||Value (£000)||Average (£000)||Number||Value (£000)||Average (£000)|
1. Payments made during 2008/09 and 2009/10 include payments on prior projects for which the offer was accepted In an earlier year.
2. For the purposes of these figures a SME is defined as having less than 250 employees and an annual turnover not exceeding £50 million.
3. All data relate to tier 1, 2 and 3 areas.
The Small Firms Loan Guarantee and Enterprise Finance Guarantee are loan guarantees through which the Government guarantees additional lending by accredited lenders including the main high street banks rather than to provide direct assistance to small and medium sized enterprises.
Under the Small Firms Loan Guarantee, there were 2,368 loans with a total value of £178 million in the financial year 2008/09 (average loan size of £75,350), and 16 loans with a value of £600,000 in 2009/10 (average loan size approximately £37,500). The Small Firms Loan Guarantee was replaced by the Enterprise Finance Guarantee.
The Enterprise Finance Guarantee came into operation in January 2009. Between 14 January 2009 and 31 April 2010, 9,237 businesses were offered loans with a value of £947.1 million, of which 8,344 businesses have drawn down loans totalling £850.6 million. The average size of loans drawn is around £101,940.
BIS has assisted 153 businesses in 2008/09 and 170 businesses in 2009/10 through a range of venture capital funds delivered through Capital for Enterprise Ltd. These include the Enterprise Capital Fund programme, the UK Innovation Investment Fund, and the Capital for Enterprise Fund. Details of these funds can be found at the CfEL website:
The regional development agencies (RDAs) provide access to finance support and advice to small business through the business support products provided by Solutions for Business. In 2008/09 RDAs reported that:
233 small businesses received assistance for equity investment and loans through Finance for Business;
2,388 small businesses received advice and support through Understanding Finance for Business;
299 small businesses received micro finance through Small Loans for Business.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for more than 99% of private businesses, and their performance and activity is a key driver of the UK economy. If we are to promote growth in the economy, we need to support small businesses by addressing the challenges they face.
We are doing so in a number of ways, including: ensuring we have a simpler tax system that rewards endeavour; enabling better access to both debt and equity finance; reducing red tape; and making sure that the support we provide SMEs is delivered in the most effective and efficient way possible.
Reducing the headline rate of corporation tax from 28% to 24% over the course of four financial years from April 2011.
Reducing the small profits rate (formerly known as Small Companies' rate) from 21% to 20% (an increase to 22% was previously planned for April 2011).
Increasing the threshold tor employer national insurance contributions by £21 above indexation. This will increase the number of employees for whom employers pay no NICs by 650,000.
Introducing the Regional Employer NICs Holiday for New Businesses-new businesses starting up in selected regions (Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and the following areas of England-north-west, north-east, Yorkshire and Humber, west midlands, south-west and the east midlands) will not have to pay the first £5,000 of class 1 NICs due in the first 12 months of employment. This will apply for each of the first 10 employees hired within the first year of business, and will run until September 2013.
A £200 million extension to the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), to benefit around 2,000 extra small businesses. In total, the EFG will now support up to £700 million in bank lending to viable small businesses.
A new £37.5 million Enterprise Capital Fund to support small businesses with high growth potential-combining both Government and private sector funding.
Confirmation of a Growth Capital Fund, to provide funding of between £2 million and £10 million for SMEs with strong growth potential.
As announced in the emergency Budget, we have published a Green Paper on business finance before the summer recess and we are now analysing the responses. We are also expecting recommendations shortly from the Banking Industry Taskforce, led by the British Bankers' Association, which was announced in the Green Paper.
BIS is also supporting work to develop the capacity of the microfinance sector via the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA). The CDFA's members-Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs)-undertake enterprise lending in disadvantaged communities or groups who are unable to access finance from mainstream banks. They are supported by Community Investment Tax Relief (CITR).
Introducing a 'one-in, one-out' rule whereby no new regulation is brought in without other regulation being cut by a greater amount.
Undertaking a review of employment law to ensure they offer maximum flexibility; protect fairness; and promote competitiveness.
Working to make it easier to register a limited company at Companies House by reducing paperwork and moving towards a 'one-click' registration.
As an interim step towards 'one click registration', by April 2011 we have announced that we will launch a one-stop-shop portal for starting a company through which business owners can
access an online incorporation service and access to registration for PAYE. By end 2011 we will introduce a single interaction form to enable businesses to register for multiple taxes online and to authorise tax agents.
We have set up the new Sub-Committee on Reducing Regulation, with a remit to reduce the burden of regulation on business. It has already announced a major review of regulations in the pipeline.
June's Budget also announced regulatory sunset clauses: regulations will cease to be law after seven years (unless they are explicitly set to have a longer timeframe). They may only be extended beyond this period if Parliament has confirmed they are still necessary and proportionate.
As part of the spending review, we are considering all aspects of expenditure, including priorities for providing business support and the channels through which it can be most effectively and efficiently delivered.
We are committed to renewing and strengthening local economies-and are enabling business and local authorities located in genuine economic areas to come together to form Local Enterprise Partnerships.
We asked local authorities and business to put forward outline proposals for partnerships. Over the coming weeks Ministers will consider the proposals received in detail, looking at how they will support economic growth, before providing feedback to partnerships ahead of the publication of the White Paper on sub-national economic growth and the introduction of the Localism Bill.
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what contracts his Department has awarded to voluntary sector organisations in the last two years; and what the monetary value was of each such contract. 
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he expects to publish his Department's White Paper on Sub National Growth; and if he will make a statement. 
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to prevent scams perpetrated on UK residents through emails originating outside the UK. 
Mr Davey: £4 million of funding over three years is being provided for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Trading Standards Services to enable them to target these types of criminals and tackle online fraud, such as e-mail scams that encourage people to send money in order to claim lottery winnings or a big prize. This funding is providing both specialist IT equipment and specialist training to ensure that enforcers have the skills required to undertake investigations.
The OFT has recently consulted on a longer term national strategy for e-consumer protection to be delivered by the end of 2010. The strategy will enable enforcement agencies to work together even more effectively and ensure better targeting and co-ordination of e-protection activities and there are no overlaps.
The Government are currently reviewing whether enforcers have the necessary powers to tackle e-crime against consumers, against the backdrop that many consumer laws were implemented before the internet age.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he had with representative bodies on the implementation in October 2011 and effects of the European Agency Workers Directive; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: I have met various bodies representing the views of hirers, agencies and agency workers to discuss the impact of this directive. Consequently I am aware of different points of view expressed about certain aspects of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 which implement the European Agency Workers Directive and the Government are currently considering the way forward.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 16 September 2010, Official Report, column 1263W, on industrial development boards, what role he expects the private sector to take at sub-regional level in undertaking the functions previously carried out by the advisory panels; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the likely effects on the consumer credit market of the European Consumer Credit Directive. 
Mr Davey: An Impact Assessment accompanied the regulations implementing the Consumer Credit Directive when they were laid before Parliament on 30 March 2010. The amending regulations laid before Parliament on 5 August 2010 to correct errors in the original regulations did not change the intention of those regulations and so no new Impact Assessment was prepared.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Bridgend of 20 July 2010 on letters to a constituent from Getty Images. 
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses with less than 10 employees his Department consulted on its decision to retain additional paternity leave. 
Mr Davey: Regulations introducing Additional Paternity Leave were made by Parliament in April 2010, with effect for parents of children due on or after 3 April 2011. The policy they implement was subject to a number of consultation exercises under the previous administration, to which small businesses and their representatives made a significant contribution. Details of the consultations, including responses from business, are available at:
The coalition is proceeding with the introduction of Additional Paternity Leave as an interim measure towards the fulfilling of our commitment to encourage shared parenting from the earliest stages of pregnancy-including the promotion of a system of flexible parental leave.
We want to give parents and employers the flexibility they need-that is why we will be consulting on radical ideas on how to make shared parental leave work not just for parents but also the businesses that employ them.
Mr Davey: No. The Postal Services Bill, which has just been introduced in Parliament, draws heavily on Richard Hooper's analysis and recommendations from his updated report, published in September. It is clear from the report that Royal Mail faces serious problems and the need for action to protect the universal postal service is greater than ever.
Richard Hooper canvassed a wide range of interested stakeholders during his year-long review of the postal services sector in 2008 (commissioned under the previous Government), including taking two rounds of written evidence. When producing his update, he again sought the views of all those who had contributed to his original report and met all the leading stakeholders.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he is taking to increase the level of skills in the power systems engineering sector in the (a) short and (b) long-term. 
Mr Hayes: The Government recognises the extent of the skills challenge in the power sector which was underlined by several leading figures in the sector at "The Energy Forum" held on October 11 this year. The Government's response to the challenge, both in the long and the short term, is through its joint support and funding for the National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP) in collaboration with power sector employers.
The Academy is addressing immediate skills gaps at the same time as assessing longer term demand for skills and optimising training capacity to deliver against identified need. Alongside developing qualifications and providing training materials for the sector, the Academy is establishing a network of quality assured education and skills providers to develop the capacity, capability, quality and consistency of training for a sustainable UK power sector.
NSAP will also work closely with the Power Academy, which is sponsored by the Institution of Engineering Technologies, to improve the supply of graduate electrical engineers from higher education. The Power Academy represents a collaboration of 18 power sector employers and seven UK universities, together with the Institute of Engineering Technologies and the Energy and Utilities Sector Skills Council.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made an estimate of the number of (a) men and (b) women who received carer's allowance in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10. 
|As at February each year||Male||Female||Total|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Caseloads for CA show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital or not in payment due to payment of another income replacement benefit.
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data.
Maria Miller: The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is responsible for the child maintenance system. I have asked the Child Maintenance Commissioner to write to the hon. Member with the information requested and I have seen the response.
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Child Maintenance Commissioner.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) monetary value and (b) proportion of child support payments went unpaid in each of the last five years. 
Robust management information is not available on the monetary value of unpaid child maintenance payments or the proportion of child support payments that went unpaid in the last five years. Table 1 in Annex A shows the number of cases which paid any requested maintenance (including maintenance direct arrangements), those that failed to pay at all and those that were classed as assessed but not charging in the quarter to June each year.
|Annex A-table 1: Compliant, nil compliant and assessed not charging caseload|
|Quarter to June each year :||Cases with maintenance liability||Compliant caseload||Percentage of liable caseload||Nil compliant caseload||Percentage of liable caseload||Assessed not charging caseload||Percentage of liable caseload|
1. Figures rounded to nearest 100. Percentages rounded to nearest 1%.
2. Cases are classed as compliant if they are currently open, have been charged and paid money via the collection service (either regular maintenance and/or arrears) over the preceding quarter.
3. Compliant caseload includes cases where a maintenance direct arrangement between the non resident parent and parent with care has been agreed.
4. Nil compliant means that payments were expected but none were received.
5. Cases are classed as assessed and not charging (that is to say they have a positive liability but no active charging schedule is in place) if there have been no charges or receipts via the collection service over the period.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to improve its level of compliance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Steve Webb: The Department takes very seriously its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act. It has experienced a significant increase in the number of Freedom of Information requests received. Despite this, internal monitoring shows that more than 90% of the Department's Freedom of Information requests were dealt with on time in June, July and August this year, the most recent months for which figures are available. The Department is also committed to increasing the transparency of its responses.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made an estimate of the number of people in Peterborough constituency who were participating in (a) community task force, (b) routes into work and (c) work-focused training programmes on 30 April 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
(a) The number participating in Community Task Force on the 30 April 2010 is not available. However, 90 people are recorded as having started Community Task Force in the Peterborough constituency during the period October 2009 to July 2010.
(b) Information on starts to Routes into Work is not available.
(c) The number participating in the Young Person's Guarantee Work Focused Training on the 30 April 2010 is not available. However, 520 people are recorded as having started Work Focused Training in the East of England region during the period October 2009 to July 2010.
Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent progress has been made on his Department's Work programme, with particular reference to Peterborough constituency; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Grayling: The commercial process for the Work programme is on track. The Invitation to Tender for the Framework for Employment Related Support Services ("the Framework") was published on the 23 August, and we are currently evaluating tenders. We expect to be able to announce who has been successful before the end of the year. The Framework will be divided into 11 geographical lots: the East of England lot includes Peterborough.
Once the announcement has been made regarding which organisations have gained access to the Framework, we will run a mini-competition for those organisations on the Framework interested in delivering the Work programme.
Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people diagnosed with cancer in fuel poverty who (a) receive and (b) do not receive disability living allowance. 
Steve Webb: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) currently have the governmental lead on fuel poverty. The detailed information as to how many people with a cancer diagnosis are living in fuel poverty and in receipt of disability living allowance (DLA) is not currently available.
People with an appropriate(1) cancer diagnosis are classified as long-term sick in the English Households Survey(2) that underpins DECC's analytical work on fuel poverty. While this survey records some information around the health of the householders, it does not specifically ask about a diagnosis of cancer, which could be deemed intrusive. In addition, the information recorded around health of householders in the survey is not robust enough to disaggregate fuel poverty data by individual types of illness.
The detailed tables of their Annual Report on Fuel Poverty Statistics 2009(3) show that in England in 2007-the latest year for which figures are available-around 17% (1.1 million) of households containing somebody who was disabled or long-term sick were in fuel poverty.
The publication also suggests that of approximately 15.6 million vulnerable households in England in 2007, around 2.7 million were in fuel poverty. Of these, around 73% (2.0 million) of households were in receipt of either means-tested benefits, tax credits, attendance allowance or DLA.
(1) Not all cancer diagnoses will be related to long-term illness.
(2) http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housing surveys/englishhousingsurvey/
As set out in my statement to the House on 26 July 2010, Official Report, columns 77-78WS, we will consider the long-term future of the Independent Living Fund as part of the forthcoming spending review, working with the trustees of the fund, disabled people's organisations, and other key stakeholders including local authorities.
Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which disability organisations the Minister for Disabled People has met to discuss the future of the Independent Living Fund; and on what dates. 
Maria Miller: I have met with a number of disability organisations and other bodies to discuss the future of the Independent Living Fund: the Chair of Equality 2025 on 8 June 2010; the All Party Parliamentary Group on Disability on 21 June 2010; and the Disability Charities Consortium and the Disabled People's Organisations Group on 28 July 2010. I have also met with other disability organisations individually, including speaking with the National Centre for Independent Living (NCIL) most recently on 13 October 2010, and will continue to do so as we consider the future on the Independent Living Fund in the context of the forthcoming spending review.
Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department has taken to support access to independent advice services for single parent families in the last 12 months. 
Maria Miller: Jobcentre Plus offers lone parents advice and practical support with job seeking, training opportunities, in-work income and child care options. Support may include referral to a wide range of local independent advice services.
The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission, for which the Department for Work and Pensions is the sponsoring body, provides, through Child Maintenance Options, impartial information and support to parents about how to make a child's maintenance arrangement. The Options service also provides information and support on other issues parents might face in making maintenance arrangements, such as housing, legal and money concerns. In addition, the service can signpost parents to organisations that provide specialist help and advice.
The Child Poverty Unit, jointly sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions, the Department for Education and HM Treasury, is conducting a pilot looking at how best to co-ordinate local services for separating and recently separated parents and their children so that access to financial, practical, legal and emotional support is speeded up, keeping the negative impact of separation on children's outcomes to a minimum. The pilot is running in 10 local authority areas and focuses on partnership working and aligning activity to improve outcomes.
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost of (a) payments under and (b) administration of a scheme under which people are sent £1,000 on their 100th birthdays. 
Steve Webb: The cost of such a payment would be around £4.9 million in 2010, rising to £10.2 million in 2020. High-level estimates of the full cost of administrating such a scheme are £52,000 in 2010 rising to £128,000 by 2020.
Estimates are derived using Office of National Statistics 2008-based population projections. The estimated administration cost assumes the centenarian is already in receipt of state pension or pension credit, living in Great Britain, and represents the costs of making an additional clerical payment.
Ian Mearns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children were living in poverty (a) before housing costs and (b) after housing costs in Gateshead borough in each year since 2000. 
Maria Miller: Estimates of the number and proportion of children living in poverty are published in the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. HBAI uses household income adjusted (or 'equivalised') for household size and composition, to provide a proxy for standard of living.
As they are based on survey data, child poverty estimates published in HBAI only allow breakdowns to Government Office Region and analysis at local authority level is not possible. However, figures for the North East of England are set out in Table 1.
|Table 1: Number and percentage of children living in households with less than 60% of contemporary median household income for the North East of England, before housing costs and after housing costs|
|Before Housing Costs||After Housing Costs|
|Period||Number (million)||Percentage||Number (million)||Percentage|
1. These statistics are based on the Households Below Average Income series, sourced from the Family Resources Survey.
2. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response.
3. The reference period for Households Below Average Income figures are single financial years. Three survey years have been combined as regional single-year estimates are subject to volatility.
4. The income measures used to derive the estimates shown employ the same methodology as the Department for Work and Pensions publication 'Households Below Average Income' (HBAI) series, which uses disposable household income, adjusted (or 'equivalised') for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living.
5. For the Households Below Average Income series, incomes have been equivalised using Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) modified equivalisation factors.
Households Below Average Income, DWP
Liz Kendall: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made a recent estimate of the number of households in each (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) region in respect of which benefits of over £500 a week are claimed. 
The information is available for Great Britain. Latest estimates show that in 2010-11 there are around 100,000 working age households in receipt of more than £500 a week in all benefits and tax credits, including disability living allowance. If disability living allowance is excluded, then around 50,000 working age households are in receipt of more than £500 a week.
The Chancellor's announcement of a benefit cap was informed by high-level consideration of the broad impacts. We are now working up the more detailed design of the caps as part of the spending review. When we introduce legislation for the implementation of the caps, we shall publish an impact assessment.
All figures are rounded to the nearest 50,000.
DWP Policy Simulation Model, based on the 2008-09 Family Resources Survey data.
|Appeals outstanding in Department of Work and Pensions|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.
2. The outstanding figures for disability living allowance and attendance allowance appeals is for week ending 11 June 2010, which is the nearest available date to 14 June.
3. The outstanding figures for all other benefit appeals is for the end of June, which is the nearest available date to 14 June.
The source of the data is the Management Information System programme (MISP). MISP is the departmental performance management, data capture and reporting tool. This type of internal management information does not form part of the official statistics outputs that are released by the Department in accordance with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice.
Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to undertake a gender equality impact assessment in relation to his proposals to introduce a universal credit. 
Maria Miller: Legislation places a duty on all public authorities to pay due regard to the need to promote gender equality. The Government are strongly committed to this principle. My Department undertakes equality impact assessments on any changes to departmental policies and practices and has a well established set of processes to ensure these have a strong evidence base. When we publish our welfare reform proposals we will also be publishing an impact assessment of these changes, which will include an equality impact assessment.
Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people aged 18 to 24 years in (a) Medway and (b) Chatham and Aylesford constituency had been in receipt of benefits for (i) less than six months, (ii) six to 12 months, (iii) 12 to 18 months and (iv) 18 months and over on the latest date for which figures are available. 
Maria Miller: Table 1 provides details of the number of 18 to 24-year-old claimants in Medway local authority and Chatham and Aylesford parliamentary constituency. The data have been split by working-age statistical group and duration on benefit, and are for February 2010, the latest data available at present.
|Table 1: Number of 18 to 24-year-old claimants by working-age statistical group and duration on benefit-February 2010|
|Statistical g roup||Duration||Great Britain||Medway||Chatham and Aylesford|
|"*" Denotes nil or negligible.|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
2. Benefits are arranged hierarchically and claimants are assigned to the uppermost benefit which they receive. Thus a person who is a lone parent and receives Incapacity Benefit would be classified as 'Incapacity benefits', whereas someone receiving both Bereavement Benefit and Disability Living Allowance would be classified as 'Disabled'. For this reason the group 'Lone Parent', for example, will not contain all lone parents claiming Income Support. Some will be included in the 'Employment and Support Allowance and incapacity benefits' group instead:
Job Seeker-Claimant of Job Seekers Allowance
Incapacity Benefits-Claimant of either Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance
Lone Parent-Claimant of Income Support with a child under 16 and no partner
Carer-Claimant of Carer's Allowance
Others on Income related benefit-Other Income Support claimants (including IS disability premiums) or Pension Credit claimant
Disabled-Claimant of either Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance or Industrial Injuries Benefits
Bereaved-Claimant of either Widow's Benefit, Bereavement Benefit or Industrial Death Benefit
3. Lone Parent Obligations were introduced from 24 November 2008 affecting the age of the youngest child. Further details are provided here:
4. Parliamentary Constituency figures are using 2010 Parliamentary Constituency boundaries
DWP Information Directorate 100% WPLS
Guto Bebb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will take steps to ensure that those contracted by his Department to provide services for individuals with speech and communication difficulties offer a bilingual service in Wales; and if he will make a statement. 
To this end a comprehensive Welsh Language Schedule is included in the Department's standard terms and conditions with which our contractors must comply when delivering services to the public in Wales.
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