Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what information his Department holds on the number of persons who have (a) enlisted in and (b) deserted from the (i) Afghan National Army and (ii) Afghan Police in each of the last 12 months. 
Dr Fox: We are making excellent progress on growing the Afghan national security forces and are currently ahead of schedule for meeting the target of 171,600 Afghan National Army and 134,000 Afghan National Police by the end of 2011.
Recruitment and retention are matters for the Government of Afghanistan but we will continue to work closely with them to help build their capacity and capability.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has sought legal advice from (a) the Attorney-General and (b) external sources on the compatibility with human rights legislation of the terms of service in the armed forces of people under the age of 18 years. 
Mr Robathan: The long-standing rule, recognised by successive Governments, states that whether advice has been or has not been received from the Attorney-General is not normally disclosed outside Government. We are content that our personnel's terms and conditions of service are fully compatible with human rights legislation.
The UK ratified the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict in June 2003. It requires all feasible measures to be taken to ensure that members of the armed forces who have not attained the age of 18 years do not take part in hostilities.
Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he has received on the Government's response to the recommendations in respect of under 18-year-olds in the Army contained in the 25th Report from the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Session 2008-09, on Children's Rights, HC 318. 
Mr Robathan [holding answer 19 October 2010]: The Department has received five letters from Members of Parliament and interested parties which make specific reference to the 25th Report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights on Children's Rights.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what meetings he has had with BAE Systems on the recent (a) grounding of the BAE Systems Hawk T.1 Trainer and (b) temporary suspension of all but non-essential Typhoon aircraft. 
Peter Luff: None. Ministry of Defence officials have, however, had a number of meetings with BAE Systems in order to maintain the continued airworthiness of the Hawk T1 and Typhoon aircraft.
Both aircraft fleets are currently airworthy and available for operational tasking.
Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) officials and (b) external advisers are working on his Department's Strategic Defence and Security Review. 
Dr Fox: Within the Ministry of Defence (MOD), a team of about 30 people was established to co-ordinate the Defence contribution to the Strategic Defence and Security Review. A wide range of personnel across the MOD and armed forces participated in developing that contribution.
The Department also consulted a number of external experts during the Review. The National Security Secretariat in the Cabinet Office conducted a series of formal and informal consultation exercises with external experts which senior officials from the MOD participated in. No external experts were employed by the Department for this work.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on overseas visits for senior officials in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr Robathan: Business expenses incurred by the most senior civil servants (director general and above) on official visits, including overseas, are published by the Ministry of Defence on a quarterly basis at the following website:
Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 30 April 2008, Official Report, column 484W, on radioactive materials: transport, what the cost of the procurement of new truck cargo heavy duty tractor heads and trailer refurbishment was; and what the unit cost was of the new vehicles. 
Peter Luff: The total cost of the procurement of nine new truck cargo heavy duty tractor heads, eight refurbished truck cargo heavy duty trailers plus associated research and development costs was £12 million at outturn prices.
Jonathan Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) meetings and (b) other consultation his Department has (i) held and (ii) planned with members of academia as part of his Department's Strategic Defence and Security Review. 
Dr Fox: The Ministry of Defence has engaged a wide variety of academic organisations, including the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and Chatham House. I have also spoken on a number of occasions at these institutes on the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), as have my officials and senior members of the armed services. This engagement will continue into the SDSR implementation stage.
Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the likely savings accruing to his Department's research and development budget for the new generation of Trident missiles of postponing the programme for those missiles by one year. 
Dr Fox: The Trident D5 missile is expected to remain in-service until the 2040s. While there is some associated life extension work to allow that length of service, as the 2006 White Paper "The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent" (Cm 6694) made clear
"decisions on whether we wish to acquire a successor to the life-extended D5 missile and what form any successor might take are unlikely to be necessary until the 2020s".
There is therefore no planned research and development spend on a new generation of ballistic missile at this point.
Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of extending the service life of a Vanguard Class submarine by (a) one year and (b) each of the subsequent four years after its original decommissioning date. 
Dr Fox: As the 2006 White Paper "The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent" (Cm 6994) made clear, we will extend the life of the Vanguard Class beyond its original decommissioning date by five years to deliver a service life of 30 years. To achieve that five year extension will require three additional Long Overhaul Periods (LOPs). Planning is at an early stage but initial estimates suggest this will cost around £1.3 billion between 2014 and 2024.
Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to publish the Initial Gate Business Case for the Trident successor programme once it has been approved; and whether he will publish a summary of the expected costs of the successor programme following such approval. 
Dr Fox: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Katy Clark) on 12 July 2010, Official Report, column 447W.
Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the last formal design review of Trident nuclear warhead took place; and when the next such review is expected to take place. 
Dr Fox: The most recent formal Trident nuclear warhead design review was undertaken in 2006. The date of the next such review has yet to be decided.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the Initial Gate for the Trident successor programme to be approved by (a) the Investment Approvals Board and (b) his Department. 
Dr Fox: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 12 July 2010, Official Report, column 447W, to the hon. Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Katy Clark).
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department plans to mark the 400th anniversary of the first publication of the King James Bible in 2011. 
Mr Vaizey: The Department is not planning to mark this anniversary. However, the British Library plans to highlight the linguistic contribution of the King James Bible in its exhibition on the English language, 'Evolving English', scheduled for November 2010 to April 2011 in London. It plans to feature a first edition from 1611 as a star exhibit.
Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what his policy is on steps to protect the interests of smaller commercial radio stations during digital switchover. 
Mr Vaizey: Government recognise the importance of local commercial radio stations to the communities they serve and have committed to reserving part of the FM spectrum as a platform for local and community radio stations, for as long as it is needed.
In addition the vast majority of digital receivers already receive FM and Government will work to ensure all future digital sets incorporate FM.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of OFCOM's performance in discharging its duties under the Digital Economy Act 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: I have been asked to reply in my capacity as a Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
This Department is in regular contact with Ofcom about its work on developing the Code of Practice known as "The Online Copyright Infringement Initial Obligations Code". The making of the code by order requires the consent of the Secretary of State and the code will be laid before Parliament, before coming into force. Under section 126D (2) (b) of the Communications Act 2003 Ofcom has been notified that the code must be made by 31 March 2011. I have every expectation that Ofcom will be able to meet that deadline.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will publish the data used by his Department to inform its decisions on the apportionment of costs for the implementation of the notice sending regime under the Digital Economy Act 2010. 
Mr Vaizey: I have been asked to reply in my capacity as a Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
The Department has consulted extensively on the policy underpinning the file-sharing provisions in the Digital Economy Act. Decisions on the apportionment of costs were informed by the data about costs supplied to this Department as a result of those consultations and a specific consultation on the proposals for cost sharing.
The first consultation on unlawful P2P and the responses can be found at:
The second consultation on the DEA proposals and the responses can be found at:
The consultation on cost sharing can be found at:
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he made of the cost to his Department and its non-departmental public bodies of compliance with (a) domestic, (b) European and (c) other international human rights requirements in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
John Penrose: Compliance with the requirements of human rights instruments whether domestic, European or international is part of the mainstream activity of the Department, and, where appropriate, its arm's length bodies.
We are unable to disaggregate the cost of human rights work without incurring disproportionate cost.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will estimate the cost to his Department and its non-departmental public bodies of implementing and monitoring compliance with legislation transposing EU requirements in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. 
John Penrose: Compliance with EU requirements is part of the mainstream activity of the Department, and, where appropriate, its arm's length bodies.
There are however no records of the costs to the Department in implementing and monitoring compliance with EU requirements. As such no reasonable estimate can be made, save at disproportionate cost.
Jake Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what consideration he has given to the merits of introducing a UK film quota. 
Mr Vaizey: At a recent roundtable with various organisations involved in the film industry, which discussed how best to strengthen its sustainability, a number of those present commented on the pivotal role played by distribution in the film value chain. This is something we will explore further with the industry in the coming months. Consideration will inevitably be given to all the distribution options available at that stage.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what meetings Ministers in his Department have had with (a) Rebekah Brooks, (b) James Murdoch and (c) representatives of News International since 6 September 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: Since 6 September 2010, Ministers in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have not formally met with Rebekah Brooks, James Murdoch or other representatives of News International Ltd.
Andrew Bingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent estimate he has made of the average cost to a small business of compliance with the bidding process for contracts related to the London 2012 Olympic Games set out on the Business Link Olympics website. 
Mr Prisk: I have been asked to reply.
This Department has made no such assessment.
The free "CompeteFor" service enables all businesses to compete for many contract opportunities linked to the London 2012 games. However, the actual cost of bidding for such contracts depends on the requirements of the buyer, which may vary, depending on the type of product or service being procured. Business Link advice is available to help bidders.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent progress he has made in securing agreement at global level on reducing aviation emissions. 
Mrs Villiers: At the 37th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which took place between 28 September and 8 October, a climate change resolution was adopted which agreed the following:
A collective, global aspirational goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020 for international aviation in addition to a 2% per year fuel efficiency improvement;
15 guiding principles for the design and implementation of market-based measures for international aviation;
Work to develop a framework for market-based measures;
Exemptions from certain activities for small emitters;
Provisions on assistance for developing states.
While this agreement represents a significant step forward internationally, the UK, along with 43 other European states, placed a collective reservation on those elements of the resolution where we believed more ambition is required and where the text could potentially compromise the effective introduction of aviation into the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) in 2012. A number of other states also placed reservations on this resolution for different reasons.
This is the first global sectoral emissions target but the UK remains committed to pressing for more ambitious international action on tackling the climate change impacts of aviation and in the meantime we will continue with preparations to include aviation in the EU ETS.
Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what discussions he has had with Air Travel Organisers' Licensing on reform of its financial protection scheme; 
(2) if he will bring forward proposals to guard against future failures of tour operators and airlines. 
Mrs Villiers: We are taking the need to update the Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) financial protection scheme very seriously, and are working on what can be done to ensure that it remains relevant to today's travel market. The Department for Transport is having ongoing discussions with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regarding possible options for reforming ATOL and we hope to be able to make an announcement soon.
The finances of UK airlines are regularly monitored by the CAA as a condition of the operating licences issued by the authority, which should reduce the risk of failure. I understand that the European Commission is considering the options for airline insolvency protection across the EU.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorists had their driving licence endorsed with points for offences committed while overseas in each of the last five years. 
Mike Penning: There is no mutual recognition of penalty points between Great Britain and other countries, therefore the answer is none.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what employment legislation his Department is responsible; and what progress his Department has made on the Government's review of employment law. 
Norman Baker: Department for Transport officials are collating information on all employment law that affects the transport sector. This work has had to follow more immediate priorities in the reducing regulation agenda and will be developed in conjunction with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Angie Bray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures his Department is taking to ensure that drivers with foreign number plates are (a) complying with the requirement to register their vehicle properly and (b) if not, if he intends to ensure that this is enforced. 
Mike Penning: The Department for Transport has operated a strategy of education, warning and direct enforcement action to help tackle non-compliant unlicensed foreign vehicles.
The approach has included presentations to community leaders, articles in the media and the issue of information leaflets. It also involves warning notices being placed on vehicle's windscreens.
If there is evidence that a foreign vehicle is in breach of the rules, it can be clamped and impounded.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has made an estimate of the expenditure by each train operating company on (a) stations and (b) ticketing systems in the last 10 years. 
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 20 October 2010]: Ministers have not made an estimate of the expenditure by each train operating company on either stations or ticketing systems in the last 10 years.
Simon Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic (a) accidents, (b) fatalities, (c) accidents involving motorcyclists, (d) fatalities involving motorcyclists, (e) accidents involving cyclists and (f) fatalities involving cyclists there were in (i) Norfolk and (ii) Norwich South constituency in each of the last five years. 
Mike Penning: The information requested is shown in the following table.
|Reported personal injury road accidents and fatalities, accidents involving motorcyclists and pedal cyclists and fatalities in these accidents: Norfolk local authority and Norwich South constituency( 1) : 2005-09|
|Year of accident|
|(1) Based on 2010 constituency boundary. (2) Includes fatalities to other road users, not just the road user type specified.|
Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he made of transport spending per head in (a) England, (b) the UK, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber, (d) London, (e) the North West, (f) the West Midlands and (g) the North East in 2008-09. 
Norman Baker: The HM Treasury annual publication Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) details identifiable transport expenditure per head for 2008-09 as follows:
(a) England: £314;
(b) the UK £334;
(c) Yorkshire and the Humber £248;
(d) London £641;
(e) the North West £287;
(f) the West Midlands £259; and
(g) the North East £234.
Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on what occasions he has raised the issue of child soldiering with his counterparts in those countries where the practice is prevalent since his appointment. 
Mr Bellingham: In his speech on 'Britain's Values in a networked world' on 15 September 2010, my right hon. friend the Foreign Secretary said:
"Our starting point for engagement on human rights with all countries will be based on what is practical, realistic and achievable, although we will always be ready to speak out as a matter of principle."
Although my right hon. friend the Foreign Secretary has not yet had occasion to raise the issue of child soldiering in bilateral contacts since his appointment, our ambassadors overseas do so as a matter of course with relevant interlocutors. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also maintains regular contacts with the Office of the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict, and used the UN Open debate on 16 June and the 15th session of the UN Human Rights Council on 13 September 2010 to press for further action by serious offenders. We will continue to call for protection of children in armed conflict, and encourage co-operation of armed groups and national governments with the United Nations in particular.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to seek to secure progress in respect of the political situation in Nagorno-Karabakh. 
Mr Lidington: I have recently encouraged both Azerbaijan and Armenia to work with the Minsk Group towards a durable peaceful settlement, and to avoid unhelpful exchanges of rhetoric. I spoke to the Armenian Foreign Minister, Edward Nalbandian, on 18 October, and met President Aliyev, Foreign Minister Mammadyarov and other key figures during my visit to Azerbaijan on 20 and 21 October and delivered these messages, reiterating the UK's support for the Minsk Group process.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made a recent estimate of the number of British nationals resident in (a) Armenia, (b) Azerbaijan and (c) Georgia. 
Mr Lidington: The most recent estimates from our embassies in the South Caucasus are that there are the following numbers of British residents: (a) around 50 in Armenia, (b) around 2,000 in Azerbaijan, and (c) around 200 in Georgia.
Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with his counterparts in southern African countries the implications for the stability of the region of the announcement by President Mugabe of his intention to end the coalition government in Zimbabwe. 
Mr Bellingham: We discuss the situation in Zimbabwe regularly with our interlocutors at all levels in the southern African region, including its regional implications. We will continue to do so.
Despite President Mugabe's recent announcements, the Inclusive Government remains in place with no date set for elections. In his statement of 7 October Prime Minister Tsvangirai reaffirmed his commitment to the Inclusive Government, which continues to offer the only credible means of transforming Zimbabwe and delivering basic services to its people.
We will continue to support President Zuma and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in their efforts to facilitate discussion between the parties in Zimbabwe and to press for the reforms outlined in the Global Political Agreement. Credible and properly conducted elections will be key to Zimbabwe's future. We, with our international partners, will continue to work closely with the region to try and achieve this.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on overseas visits for senior officials in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) spent £108,421 on overseas visits for senior officials during the 12 months ending in June 2010.
Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had on steps to ensure the safety of UK-based aid workers in Somalia. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK Government take the safety of British aid workers in Somalia very seriously at all times. The Department for International Development (DFID) works closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and other agencies to assess threats and vulnerabilities. The FCO currently advises against all travel to Somalia. Where UK-based aid organisations decide to work in Somalia and choose to discuss this with the UK Government, we make them aware of travel advice and the need for them to ensure that they have adequate security measures in place. The FCO would attempt to provide all possible consular assistance in Somalia, although it should be noted that there is no current HMG representation in the country.
Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether he has made an estimate of the change in the level of carbon dioxide emissions from his Department since May 2010; and what steps he plans to take to meet his Department's target of reducing such emissions by 10% by May 2011. 
Mr Maude: Since May 2010, the Cabinet Office has reduced the carbon emissions from its estate by 9.1% compared to the same period last year. The Department is currently taking forward a series of projects aimed at further reducing its carbon footprint, and meeting the target. These include measures such as the installation of voltage optimisation kit, power factor correction and improving the insulation of buildings on the estate.
David Simpson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much his Department spent on overseas visits for senior officials of (a) his Department, (b) the Prime Minister's Office, (c) the Leader of the House's Office and (d) the Deputy Prime Minister's office in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr Maude: Details of expenses incurred by the Cabinet Office's senior officials can be found on its website:
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether he plans to review the honours and awards system with a view to changing eligibility criteria; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Maude: The system of state honours and awards is kept under continuous review. At the request of the Prime Minister, the independent honours committees are now seeking to give particular weight to candidates who have been working in support of the Big Society.
Mr Bain: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the statement of 14 October 2010, Official Report, columns 505-06, what estimate he has made of the wind-up and reorganisation costs in respect of the closure of the non-departmental public bodies, non-ministerial departments and public corporations referred to in the statement in each of the next five years. 
Mr Maude: All costs associated with public bodies reform, including redundancies, will be met from within each Department's budgetary settlement as determined by the spending review.
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the statement of 14 October 2010, Official Report, columns 505-06, what estimate he has made of the net savings likely to accrue from closure of
the non-departmental public bodies, non-ministerial departments and public corporations referred to in the statement in each of the next five years. 
Mr Maude: The primary purpose of the quango review is to increase accountability; however, savings will also be generated through cutting down on duplication, executive pay, administrative overheads and communications. From closing RDAs we expect to save £270 million, and from BELTA we expect to save £80 million. However we have purposely not put an overall figure on this as it is down to individual Departments to develop their own implementation plans.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate he has made of the proportion of gross domestic product used to pay interest on the national debt (a) between 1980 and 1990, (b) between 2000 and 2006 and (c) between 2006 and 2010. 
Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.
Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated October 2010:
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking what estimate he has made of the proportion of gross domestic product used to pay interest on the national debt (a) between 1980 and 1990, (b) between 2000 and 2006 and (c) between 2006 and 2010.
For the purposes of your question, we have interpreted 'interest on the national debt' to mean interest and dividends paid by all parts of the public sector, including local authorities and public corporations. Statistics for the 2010 calendar year are not yet available.
Interest and dividends paid by the public sector, expressed as a percentage of gross domestic product, were as follows:
a) 1980 to 1990 inclusive: 4.6%
b) 2000 to 2006 inclusive: 2.2%
c) 2006 to 2009 inclusive: 2.1%
For information, I have attached a table, as an Excel spreadsheet, giving data for each of the calendar years 1980 to 2009 inclusive.
|Public sector interest and dividends as a proportion of GDP|
|Public sector: Interest and dividends paid to private sector and rest of world (£ million)||Gross Domestic Product at current prices (£ million)||Public sector: Interest and dividends paid as % of GDP||Period||Public sector: Interest and dividends paid as % of GDP|
Dr Whitehead: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what research his Department has undertaken on the effects of public spending reductions on demand for services provided by the voluntary sector. 
Mr Hurd: The Government recognise this is a particularly challenging time for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector and are working closely with partners in the sector, across Government, and at the Third Sector Research Centre to understand and mitigate the impact of public spending reductions on the sector. It is currently too early to assess the impact of these reductions on demand for voluntary sector services; however, recent research has demonstrated the increasing demand for services as a result of the recession, in conjunction with a more difficult funding situation.
The Government remain committed to ensuring the sector can play a key role in building a stronger civil society and are working to open up a range of opportunities for the sector. This includes a £100 million fund to support the sector in the transition to delivering public services. We are also working to open up new sources of funding through the Big Society Bank. Throughout this the Government are dedicated to limiting the impact of spending reductions on the sector and are working with local partners and the sector to share best practice in reducing spending.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 14 September 2010, Official Report, column 969W, what assessment he has made of the merits of moderating submissions to his Department's Spending Challenge website before they are posted to that site. 
Danny Alexander: The Government received over 100,000 suggestions through the Spending Challenge website, including over 45,000 from members of the public.
We were clear that offensive and inappropriate ideas were not welcome and, initially, a team of moderators pro-actively reviewed ideas post-publication to ensure compliance with our moderation policy. In response to a small number of malicious attacks on the website, the Government took steps to disable interactive features and pre-moderate ideas submitted prior to publication.
Luciana Berger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many interns his Department has engaged in the last 12 months; and how many were (a) unpaid, (b) remunerated with expenses only and (c) paid a salary. 
Justine Greening: In the past 12 months HM Treasury has engaged 42 paid student placements, all of which were paid above the national minimum wage.
There is no central record of unpaid placements which are occasionally arranged on an ad-hoc basis.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had at EU level on the orientation of priorities for the reform of the EU budget in the period 2014-20; and if he will make a statement. 
Justine Greening: The Government engage regularly and actively on EU reform issues with other EU member states and with our EU partners at all levels. Discussion of the EU budget for the post-2013 period began just days ago with the publication of the European Commission's Budget Review document.
We are keen to engage in a thorough debate around reform of the EU budget. We will highlight in our discussions with our European partners that the Government aim first and foremost to reduce the overall level of EU spending, in line with the tough budgetary decisions that member states are taking domestically. We will also continue to press the case for re-prioritisation of EU-level spending, with a view to enhancing the effectiveness and value-added of EU budget expenditure within a smaller envelope.
Mr Clappison: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of (a) the European Commission's recent proposals for reforms of the EU budget and (b) the likely effect of such proposals on the future of the UK budgetary rebate. 
We welcome the Commission's focus on the need for reform of the budget to support the EU's priorities-in particular economic growth. But the Review does not go anywhere near far enough on recognising the economic and fiscal context. We need to see a much stronger focus on prioritisation and where savings can be made. The UK will not support a new
EU tax, and such proposals are a distraction from the key issues of how to reduce spending and best support the economy. The Prime Minister also made clear that we will not support any increase to the EU budget in the next Financial Perspective.
The document made no specific proposals on the UK abatement. The Government are committed to preserving the UK abatement.
Ian Mearns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people in Gateshead borough (a) who will pay no income tax as a result of the increase in personal allowance from April 2011 and (b) who were in employment but below the income tax threshold in each of the last three years. 
Justine Greening: The personal allowance for under 65s will be increased by £1,000 in April 2011, with the gains limited to basic rate taxpayers. The Government have estimated that the 880,000 lowest income taxpayers will be removed from tax altogether.
However, the information requested is not available at district level due to small survey sample sizes at this level of geography, and because the information is based on 2007-08 survey data which would not be reliable for this purpose.
Available information on incomes and tax by district based on the latest available Survey of Personal Incomes (2007-08) can be found in Table 3.14 'Income and tax by borough and district or unitary authority':
Please take into account the confidence intervals in table 3.14a 'Income and tax by borough and district or unitary authority, Confidence Intervals'.
Estimates of numbers of employed persons earning below the income tax threshold are not available from HM Revenue and Customs data sources as these are fully representative of taxpayers only. Estimates using Office for National Statistics surveys would not be reliable due to small sample sizes associated with the specific information requested.
Mr Knight: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made on his plans to publish details of all new Government spending over £25,000 from November 2010. 
Danny Alexander: All Departments are on course to meet the new publication requirements. These requirements are to publish expenditure over £25,000 for April to September by the end of October 2010, and then to publish this information on a monthly basis from November 2010 onwards. A small number of Departments have already published their datasets ahead of the end October deadline.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has assessed the effects of different classes of shares with differential voting rights on the long-term profitability of public limited companies. 
Mr Davey: I have been asked to reply.
On 22 September 2010 my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills announced his intention to conduct a comprehensive review into corporate governance and economic short-termism.
This review will be published shortly and we will consult on this issue.
Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the tax revenue foregone in respect of the exemption from value added tax of Royal Mail's business mail services in each year since 2005-06. 
Justine Greening: Figures for the cost of the general postal services exemption are published on HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) website at:
HMRC does not provide figures for specific business activities as this would breach taxpayer confidentiality.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to announce the future arrangements for (a) national specialist commissioning and (b) the functions and remit of the new Advisory Group for National Specialised Services. 
Mr Simon Burns: Our White Paper "Equity and Excellence-Liberating the NHS" published on 12 July includes our future intentions for the commissioning of specialised services. It proposes that specialised services should in the future be commissioned by the National Health Service Commissioning Board.
The Advisory Group for National Specialised Services (AGNSS) was established following the consultation "Strengthening National Commissioning". The results of the consultation were announced in March 2010. The role of AGNSS is to advise on:
which services and technologies should be nationally commissioned;
which centres should provide them;
the annual budget for nationally commissioned services and technologies; and
the high level strategy for nationally commissioned services and technologies.
AGNSS is an independent stakeholder advisory group. Further details are available at:
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the average life expectancy of a child with osteosarcoma who is being treated with conventional treatments. 
We know that the prognosis for children diagnosed with osteosarcoma is significantly better when the cancer is found early and has not spread from the bone to other parts of the body. The national health
service is expected to ensure that patients with cancer are treated by the right person, with the appropriate expertise, within the agreed waiting times standards.
This Government are committed to improving outcomes for all cancer patients. We have asked National Cancer Director, Professor Sir Mike Richards, to lead a review of the Cancer Reform Strategy (CRS) to align this with proposals in the White Paper to create an NHS that is more responsive to patients' needs. The review will set the direction for cancer services up till 2015, taking account of progress since the CRS was published in December 2007; and show how outcomes can be improved for all cancer patients.
It is not possible to generate an estimate of life expectancy for children undergoing treatment for osteosarcoma. This is because survival data are not available for people below 15 years of age.
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will reverse the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's decision on the funding of life-extending drugs for cancer patients; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Burstow: We have no plans to do so. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is an independent body. Its decisions are based on a thorough assessment of the available evidence and its guidance is developed free from political interference.
An extra £50 million has already been made available in the current financial year to fund additional national health service cancer drugs in England. Building on this, the Cancer Drugs Fund will, from April 2011, provide cancer patients in England with greater access to the clinically effective drugs their doctors think will help extend or improve their quality of life.
Following publication of the spending review, we will publish our consultation on arrangements for the Cancer Drugs Fund very soon. This consultation will set out the available funding for the next three years, along with detail on how we anticipate the fund will operate.
Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment his Department has made of the likely effects on health of circumcision of male infants. 
Paul Burstow: The Department has made no recent assessments of the likely effects on health of circumcision of male infants.
Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department issues to GPs and health care professionals on the circumcision of male infants. 
The Department has not published guidance on male circumcision. General guidance is that doctors should communicate treatment options, outcomes and risks with the patient and gain consent for any procedure. Doctors should make every effort to discuss with parents what is in the best interests of the
child. The welfare of infants must be paramount, whatever the reason for undertaking the procedure. Any medical procedure must be undertaken in hygienic conditions, with appropriate pain relief and aftercare.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on its review of dementia drugs. 
Paul Burstow: We have had no such discussions with the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
NICE is currently carrying out a routine review of its technology appraisal guidance on the use of donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and memantine for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
NICE is an independent body. Its guidance is based on a thorough assessment of the available evidence and is developed free from political interference.
Dr Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the role of local dental committees will be in the restructured NHS referred to in his Department's White Paper, "Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS". 
Mr Simon Burns: Local dental committees would continue to exist and it is anticipated they would fulfil a similar statutory role under the proposals set out in the White Paper, "Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS". Further details will be available at the introduction of the health Bill into Parliament, which will follow later this year.
Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for how many days on average his Department's staff in each pay grade were absent from work as a result of ill health in 2009-10. 
Mr Simon Burns: The information is as follows:
|1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010|
|Grade||Average working days lost|
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to ensure compliance with the Council Recommendation on European Action in the field of rare diseases adopted on 8 June 2009. 
Mr Simon Burns: Officials in the Department have held meetings with the devolved Administrations and also met with several key stakeholders as part of the development of a plan for rare diseases. The plan will be ready by 2013 in line with the council recommendation.
Teresa Pearce: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what epilepsy awareness training is provided to paramedics working in the National Health Service. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department expects the local national health service to have arrangements in place for managing the treatment of all types of seizures, including epilepsy. Epilepsy awareness is a focus throughout ambulance training levels, from those administering basic first aid through to paramedics and staff are expected to act in line with specific clinical guidelines such as those set out in the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee's clinical practice guidelines.
A copy of the clinical guidelines is available on the Joint Royal Colleges Ambulance Liaison Committee's website at:
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 15 September 2010, Official Report, columns 1110-11W, on general practitioners: finance, how the formula for the allocation of funding by the NHS Commissioning Board to GP consortiums will take account of levels of need. 
Mr Simon Burns: This will be a matter for the NHS Commissioning Board. However, the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation will continue to advise the Secretary of State on the equitable distribution of national health service resources during the transition period.
Currently, a weighted capitation formula, based on a programme of statistical and economics research, determines the target allocation for each primary care trust. The formula is made up of several components including an adjustment to reflect differences in the age and morbidity of the population and an adjustment to reflect other factors that affect the need for health care, including a number linked to deprivation such as the proportion of the local population with no qualifications and the numbers claiming pension credit.
Further details about the future allocations process and the distribution of resources will be announced in due course.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had with Welsh Assembly Government Ministers on the effect of his proposed reforms to the duties of general practitioners on the terms and conditions of general practitioners in Wales. 
Mr Simon Burns:
Departmental officials meet regularly with officials from the devolved Administrations, including in respect of primary medical care contractual
arrangements. The most recent meetings were held on 27 and 28 September and included discussions on current and possible future changes to general practitioner contractual arrangements across the four United Kingdom countries.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department spent on external consultants for the building of new health centres in Bentham and Settle in 2009-10. 
Mr Simon Burns: The Department did not spend any money on external consultants for the building of health centres in Bentham and Settle in 2009-10. North Yorkshire and York primary care trust, and the Yorkshire and the Humber Medical Deanery may have done so, but this information is not centrally available.
Dr Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements he plans to put in place to ensure effective co-operation between the NHS Commissioning Board and local health and well-being boards. 
Mr Simon Burns: The consultation document, "Liberating the NHS: local democratic legitimacy in health", which has already been placed in the Library, set out how the NHS Commissioning Board might relate to proposed health and well-being boards.
The Government intend to publish further details on its proposals later this year, following the consultation and engagement that has taken place over the summer.
Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the net cash requirement for the NHS pension scheme was in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and whether any excess was paid into the Consolidated Fund as income in each year in which the requirement was negative. 
Mr Simon Burns: The information requested is only available in the form requested after 2002-03. The following table includes data from the most recent seven years on the net cash requirement for the NHS Pension Scheme as well as details of the actual cash paid to the Consolidated Fund.
|Net cash requirement||Actual cash repaid to the consolidated fund in the financial year|
Schedule 1 of the NHS Pension Scheme and NHS Compensation for Premature Retirement Scheme Resource Accounts
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the cost to the public purse was of payments to external communications agencies for the purpose of promoting organ donation and the organ donation register in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; 
(2) how much his Department spent on organ donation communication campaigning in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. 
Anne Milton: A public awareness campaign on organ donation was a recommendation of the Organ Donation Taskforce (ODTF) first report "Organs for Transplants" published in January 2008. The Department of Health provided specific funding to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) to take this recommendation forward.
The amounts paid to external communication agencies for the purpose of promoting organ donation and the organ donation register for 2008-09 and 2009-10 are set out in table 1.
The total amount of money spent by NHSBT on the organ donation communication campaign in 2008-09 and 2009-10 is set out in table 2. The figures in table 2 are for total spend and therefore include the figures set out in table 1. The campaign, launched in November 2009, included television, radio, press, digital advertising, roadshows in major cities and targeted messages to black and minority ethnic (BME) communities as well as campaign evaluation.
|Type of agency||Amount ex VAT (£)||Detail|
Agency specialising in targeting black and minority ethnic groups
|Costs to promote organ donation||2008-09||2009-10|
Costs exclude VAT.
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures his Department has put in place to prevent epidemics of sexually-transmitted diseases; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Simon Burns: There are a range of measures in place to control the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prevent epidemics.
These include providing people with information about risks and safer sex and through provision of open access confidential genito-urinary medicine (GUM) clinics. Quick access to GUM services is important to diagnose and reduce the spread of infections. In August 2010, 99.6% of people were offered an appointment to be seen within 48 hours at a GUM clinic. This means that more people are being tested early and having infections detected, preventing onward transmission.
The National Chlamydia Screening Programme (NCSP) aims to control the most prevalent STI, Chlamydia, through opportunistic screening of asymptomatic infections and early detection and treatment, therefore preventing complications and reducing onward transmission. Since the launch of the NCSP, over 3.6 million young people have been tested and over 266,000 have tested positive.
The Health Protection Agency has in place comprehensive surveillance systems that can detect outbreaks as well as monitor trends and inform prevention programmes. The agency also has a lead role locally, regionally and nationally in coordinating investigations and respond to and control of outbreaks/epidemics of STIs such as infectious syphilis and lymphogranuloma venereum.
We know that more needs to be done to ensure all people regardless of age get the right information and advice at the right time to make responsible choices, to increase awareness of risks, to prevent infection, and to access screening and treatment, and we are considering how we can tackle these issues. Later this year we will publish the Public Health White Paper which will set out a cross-government strategy for public health and plans for the new Public Health Service.
Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether local authorities administer funding provided by his Department for speech and language services on his Department's behalf; and if he will make a statement. 
Anne Milton: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 18 October 2010, Official Report, column 580W.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on overseas visits for senior officials in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr Djanogly: The Ministry of Justice's accounting systems do not differentiate between expenditure by members of the senior civil service and junior officials. It would incur disproportionate costs to examine and investigate every transaction to see which grade of staff it related to.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 11 October 2010, Official Report, column 144W, on the Medway Secure Training
Centre: restraint techniques, how many (a) minor and (b) serious injuries there were in (i) 2007-08 and (ii) 2008-09. 
Mr Blunt: All secure establishments submit monthly data returns to the Youth Justice Board (YJB) on the number of injuries from restrictive physical interventions (RPI). Data on injuries are reported against common definitions of minor injury requiring medical treatment (which includes cuts, scratches and grazes) and serious injury requiring hospital treatment (which includes fractures and loss of consciousness).
Data have been collected on the injuries arising from RPI from secure establishments since April 2007 and these figures have been provided in the table for Medway Secure Training Centre.
|Minor injury requiring treatment||Serious injury requiring hospital treatment|
This information has been provided by the YJB. These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and may be subject to change over time.
Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many weeks on average elapsed between the registration of an offender in an offender behaviour programme on (a) alcohol or substance abuse and (b) domestic violence and the start of the programme in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Mr Blunt: Waiting times for programmes are managed locally by each probation trust and prison. This information is not collated centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost by obtaining information held on offender files or on local data systems, validating it, and then collating it in a common format in order to provide a response.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many offenders (a) were on the basic level of the incentives and earned privilege scheme and (b) have been placed on that level of the scheme following a finding of guilt at adjudication in the last 12 months; 
(2) how many offenders in each prison establishment were on each level of the incentives and earned privilege scheme on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) for what types of offence against prison rules an offender may be placed on the basic level of the incentives and earned privilege scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
At the end of September 2010, the total number of prisoners on the basic level of the incentives and earned privileges scheme was 1,386. The adjudication process and the incentives and earned privileges scheme are two separate schemes and therefore operate
independently of each other. No prisoner can be downgraded simply by an adjudication as this is not one of the punishments available to adjudicators. However, an adjudication could be part of a pattern of behaviour leading to a downgrade and punishments also include forfeiture of any of the privileges available under the incentives and earned privileges scheme. Forfeiture can be for up to 42 days for adult prisoners and 21 days for young offenders.
Data obtained at the end of September 2010 for the three different levels of the incentives and earned privileges scheme at each prison establishment are as follows:
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