Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will assess the merits of extending to 75 years the copyright protection period for recorded works which currently receive copyright protection for 50 years. 
Copyright terms are harmonised within the EU. The Government are not aware of current plans to extend
the term for recorded works to 75 years and have made no such evaluation of the type suggested by my hon. Friend. The previous Government published an impact assessment on the proposal to extend performers' rights in sound recordings to a term of initially 95, but later to 70 years. This proposal is still on the table in Brussels.
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what grants have been awarded by his Department in 2010-11 to date; what grants he plans to award in each of the next two years; what the monetary value is of each such grant; and to which organisations such grants are made. 
John Penrose: The first table shows grants (both capital and resource) that have been awarded by the Department in 2010-11, and those announced for 2011-12 and 2012-13. The second table includes those organisations where an allocation has been confirmed for 2010-11 but where further announcements have yet to be made.
|Grant||Organisation||2010-11( 1) (£000)|
|(1) Total value of the grants in 2010-11, planned or forecast.|
(2) This sum is gross of administration costs for the scheme.
(3) These grants are fully or part funded by other organisations or Government Departments.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to ensure that all areas of the country have television reception of an adequate strength to participate in digital switchover. 
Mr Vaizey: Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) coverage is planned to reach 98.5% of households-the same as pre-switchover analogue terrestrial coverage reception. The power of the digital transmitter network has to be restricted to low levels until switchover takes place, in order to avoid interfering with the analogue network. At switchover in a region, coverage and reception reliability will increase significantly when the power level is increased.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions Ministers and officials in her Department have had with Members of the National Assembly for Wales other than Ministers in the Welsh Assembly Government on a proposed pilot in Wales for high speed broadband services. 
Mr David Jones: The Secretary of State and I have had regular discussions with Ministerial colleagues, Welsh Assembly Government Ministers and with Members of the National Assembly for Wales on a range of issues affecting Wales including broadband.
My officials will continue to work with colleagues in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and the Welsh Assembly Government on ways in which we can together help deliver 21st century broadband infrastructure for Wales.
Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the uptake was of early education places for three and four-year-olds in each local authority by children of households in each (a) family income and (b) employment category in the latest period for which figures are available. 
The Childcare and Early Years Survey of Parents collects information on the take-up of the entitlement to free early years provision by three and four years by family income and by family type and work status and allows for national level estimates to be made.
|Table 1: Receipt of the entitlement to free early years provision, by family income-Base: All eligible three and four-year-olds|
|Family annual income (£)||Received free hours (or attended school)|
|Table 2: Receipt of the entitlement to free early years provision, by family type and work status-Base: All eligible three and four-year-olds|
|Family type and work status||Received free hours (or attended school)|
Data on the take-up of free early education places by three and four-year-olds by local authority area are available in Table 5 of the Statistical First Release 'Provision for Children Under Five Years of Age in England-January 2010' at:
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps his Department takes to ensure that the provisions of article 12 of the UN convention on the rights of the child are applied to all policies which affect young people. 
Sarah Teather: The Government believe that involving children and young people in discussion about services that affect their lives is likely to improve services and help in developing confident and responsible citizens.
The Department has engaged with children and young people through a range of channels including its Children and Youth Board; the Office of the Children's Commissioner; and key stakeholders from the children's sector.
Ms Ritchie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he plans to have with the European Commission on the reintroduction of the Northern Ireland aggregates levy credit scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
Justine Greening [ holding answer 10 November 2010]: State aid approval for the aggregates levy credit scheme was due to expire in April 2011 and discussions had begun to continue the scheme until at least 2021.
However, as a result of the European General Court ruling of 9 September, that approval was annulled and continuing the scheme would have constituted illegal state aid. The Government have therefore announced that the scheme will be suspended from 1 December 2010.
The Government support the re-introduction of the scheme at the earliest opportunity. Officials are working closely with the authorities in Northern Ireland and representatives of the quarrying industry to provide the Commission with evidence to enable them to approve the scheme both retrospectively and for the future.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what representations he has received from (a) the British Bankers Association and ( b) individual banks on the rate at which the proposed bank levy should be charged; 
Mr Hoban: The Government published 'Bank Levy: A Consultation' on 13 July 2010, and invited the views of business, as well as the views of representative bodies and tax advisers on the design and implementation of the levy. The Government received a total of 48 responses, including from the British Bankers Association and a number of banks, on a wide range of issues. Details of the responses received, and a full list of respondents, were set out in 'Bank Levy: Consultation Response', published on 21 October, available at:
The Government have not received any representations on the bank levy from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF Article IV report on the UK economy published on 9 November 2010 stated that the bank levy "is in line with the design of the financial
stability contribution (FSC) set out in the IMF's paper prepared for the G-20-"A Fair and Substantial Contribution by the Financial Sector".
Mr Hoban: The Government believe it is important to debate the issues relating to banking reform in a way that allows everyone to make their case. To this end, the Independent Commission on Banking was established in June 2010 to look at the structure of banking in the UK and consider how to promote financial stability and competition in the industry. This will include examining the complex issue of separating retail and investment banking functions. The commission is due to deliver its report to the Cabinet Committee on Banking Reform by the end of September 2011.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidelines his Department requires banks to follow in their treatment of customers who spend significant periods of time, or live, abroad. 
Mr Hoban: Banks and building societies are subject to the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) banking and payments services conduct regime, which provides rules and guidance on firm's conduct of banking business. Banks are not required to follow specific rules for non-resident customers or those spending time abroad.
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the banking sector on personal guarantees for loans; and whether he has made an assessment of trends in the setting of criteria for personal guarantees in the last 10 years. 
Mr Hoban: Treasury Ministers receive representations from a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.
Ian Lavery: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Streatham of 3 November 2010, Official Report, column 826W, on child benefit, for what reason estimates of the number of households affected by his proposed changes to child benefit are not available at constituency or local authority level; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gauke: The estimates in the answer referred to were produced using the inter-governmental tax and benefit model (IGoTM). This is based on data from the Family Resources Survey (FRS). Figures are not available at constituency or local authority level, because the sample size and survey design of the FRS mean that it is not suitable for producing such estimates.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many households in (a) Newcastle Upon Tyne North constituency, (b) the north-east and (c) England he expects to be affected by the proposed changes to child benefit. 
(a) In the north-east is estimated to be around 50,000.
(b) In England is estimated to be around 1.3 million.
Teresa Pearce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what legal advice he has sought on the extent to which implementation of the proposal to withdraw child benefit from households where a parent earns over £44,000 per year is compliant with independent tax regulations. 
Mr Gauke [holding answer 2 November 2010]: It is not the Government's practice to provide details of their legal advice. The withdrawal of child benefit from families containing a higher rate taxpayer will not affect the principle of independent taxation.
Justine Greening: The Treasury's IT infrastructure renewal programme is part way through delivery and is expected to be complete in March 2011. The Department is also in the process of replacing its COINS system, which collects and collates departmental spending information.
the International Monetary Fund (Limit on Lending) Order 2009 (SI No. 2009/1830); and
the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Contribution to Costs of Special Resolution Regime) Regulations 2009 (SI No. 2009/807).
Mr Redwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what new regulations sponsored by his Department have been introduced through (a) primary legislation and (b) statutory instrument in the last six months. 
Mr Hoban [holding answer 8 November 2010]: As set out in my statement to the House on 22 July 2010, Official Report, columns 576-78, it is the Government's ambition to commence payments to policyholders in the middle of 2011.
Mr Hoban: A number of organisations have argued that financial market speculation was an important cause of the 2007-08 agricultural price spikes. However, analysis by bodies such as the IMF and the OECD suggests that such speculation was not a significant factor.
Mr Nuttall: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals to allow shares listed on the Alternative Investment Market to be included as eligible investments within an individual savings account. 
Mr Hoban: ISAs are the Government's main non-pensions savings incentive, and are held by 20 million adults. The Government believe that ISAs are a trusted brand, and that it is important that this is maintained. The Government also believe that ISAs should be mainstream savings products, and therefore do not intend to allow shares listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM)-which can be riskier and less liquid-to be qualifying investments for ISAs. It is already the case that companies listed on AIM may benefit from other incentive schemes, such as investments made through the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts.
Mr Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his most recent estimate is of the annual cost of administering the national insurance system; what estimate he has made of the proportion of national insurance contributions made by (a) employees and (b) employers in the latest period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gauke: The estimate of the annual administration costs of the national insurance system for the 2010-11 tax year is £1.54 billion. The most recent estimates for total national insurance contributions receipts published on the ONS website is £96.9 billion for the 2009-10 tax year, of which 43% relate to employee contributions and 57% employer contributions.
Danny Alexander: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) released the official forecast for whole economy employment to 2015-16 on 22 June 2010. The OBR will update its forecast on 29 November 2010.
Further information on the employment forecast, including projections for general government employment, was released on 30 June 2010 in their document "OBR forecast: Employment", which can be found on the following webpage:
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the likely effects of implementation of the proposals in the comprehensive spending review on the number of public sector jobs in the West Lothian local authority area. 
Danny Alexander: No assessment has been made of the likely effects of implementation of the proposals in the comprehensive spending review on the number of public sector jobs in the West Lothian local authority area. In devolved areas of spending it is for the Scottish Government to make its own decisions on the allocation of its budget, and as such any associated implications for jobs.
Bob Russell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the outcomes of the comprehensive spending review on HM Revenue and Customs' tax inquiry services for the public. 
Mr Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his most recent estimate is of the annual cost to the public purse of making interest on ordinary bank and building society accounts free from taxation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Carswell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the legal basis under which the UK would be exempt from those EU legislative initiatives in the field of national budgets and macro-economic surveillance proposed in the Task Force report to the European Council of 21 October 2010. 
Justine Greening: The UK's Protocol to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union contains certain provisions that preclude the application to the UK of sanctions under Article 126(11) of the Treaty. This exemption from sanctions is explicitly recognised in paragraph 18.ii of the final report of the President of the European Council's Taskforce (a copy of this document has been deposited in the Library of the House).
The European Commission has now published legislative proposals which would create additional sanctions to encourage compliance by member states with both the EU's Stability and Growth Pact and its Broad Economic Policy Guidelines. However, these relate only to euro area member states and thus would not apply to the UK.
The "EU Semester" would require member states to submit their draft budgetary plans to the EU each spring. The Chancellor secured an exemption from this in the EU Stability and Growth Pact Code of Conduct, which explicitly states that the UK will send its final Budget to the EU after it has been presented to Parliament.
The EU has conducted fiscal and macroeconomic surveillance of its member states for many years under the Stability and Growth Pact and the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines. Many of the Commission and Taskforce proposals formalise this monitoring and are based on existing provisions of the Treaty under Articles 121 and 126.3-126.8. These articles apply to all member states and any proposals made under these Articles, if adopted, would apply to the UK.
Once legislation has been adopted it is open to any one of the EU institutions or to a member state to bring the matter before the European Court of Justice in accordance with Article 263 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money his Department allocated to (a) the Stabilisation Aid Fund, (b) the Conflict Prevention Pool, (c) the Discretionary Peacekeeping Fund, (d) the BBC World Service, excluding the BBC World Service Trust, (e) the BBC World Service Trust, (f) the Special Reserve, (g) the British Council and (h) the security and intelligence fund in each year since 2005. 
Nick Harvey [holding answer 11 October 2010]: The Conflict Pool was formed by the merger of the Stabilisation Aid Fund and Conflict Prevention Pool on 1 April 2009, and is part of a separate HM Treasury settlement on conflict resources which is managed jointly by the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The MOD made a contribution from its Treasury settlement of £6.5 million in 2009-10 to supplement funding available from the conflict pool for security and stabilisation work in Afghanistan.
The following table shows the sums transferred from funds voted by Parliament to the MOD to the Conflict Prevention Pool/conflict pool, the Stabilisation Aid Fund and the Security and Intelligence Account from 2005-06 to 2009-10. It also shows payments made to the British Council for specific services.
The MOD does not contribute funds to the Reserve, which is the responsibility of HM Treasury. The MOD is a net recipient of the Reserve which is used for paying the net additional costs of military operations such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq.
There is no security and intelligence fund. There is however a Single Intelligence Account to fund the business of the intelligence and security agencies. The MOD is reimbursed for some of the services it provides.
Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has made a recent assessment of the capacity of the armed forces to undertake an offensive military operation in the Falkland Islands; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The Government remain unequivocally committed to the defence of the Falkland Islands. I refer the hon. Member to the Secretary of State for Defence's comments during the strategic defence and security review debate on 4 November 2010, Official Report, columns 1071-72W.
Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) training and (b) other provision his Department plans to make to ensure the availability of a fully operational carrier strike capability as soon as the joint strike fighter fleet is available; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: As the Prime Minister made clear in his statement to the House on 19 October 2010, we plan to deliver the carrier strike capability from around 2020. We are currently revising our plans and will ensure everything necessary to deliver this capability is put in place.
Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he has made an assessment of the feasibility of launching a like-for-like equivalent of the Storm Shadow missile by a means other than a Tornado jet; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The Ministry of Defence has assessed that it would in principle be technically feasible to launch the Storm Shadow missile, which is the UK's only air launched cruise-missile, from a number of in-service and future fixed-wing platforms other than the Tornado fast jet. These include the Harrier GR9, Hercules C-130J, A400M, Typhoon and joint strike fighter.
HMS Astute is fitted with a comprehensive suite of navigation aids including a regularly updated outfit of charts, the ability to fix her position using a Global Position System, visual bearings and radar ranges, and a Ship's Inertial Navigation system.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will have discussions with the Defence Manufacturers Association for the purposes of ensuring that future unmanned aerial vehicles are procured from UK manufacturers. 
Nick Harvey: Our primary objective is to provide our armed forces with the equipment and support they need, at the right time, and at a cost that represents value for taxpayers' money. We continue to believe the best approach to delivering value for money is through purchasing goods and services from the global market, in which UK companies compete, including off-the-shelf where appropriate. The Ministry of Defence has a number of future unmanned aerial vehicle requirements at different stages of development. MOD regularly has discussions about its future requirements with interested companies, trade bodies and the National Defence Industries Council.
Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent assessment he has made of progress in welfare pathway pilots for former service personnel in (a) England, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales; and when he expects to publish his conclusions. 
The trial period will end in October 2011. It is too early to draw definitive conclusions. A decision about the future of the scheme, based on the experience of the pilots, will be taken after October 2011.
Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Burmese Government on the continued house arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: Aung San Suu Kyi was released on 13 November. Her detention had always been unjust and her release was long overdue. The Government repeatedly lobbied for her release. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary (Mr Hague) said in his statement this weekend, Aung San Suu Kyi must now be allowed to assume the role of her choosing in the political life of her country without further hindrance or restriction.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent meetings Ministers in his Department had with the director-general of the BBC; and whether the matter of pensions was discussed at those meetings. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs met the director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation on 20 October. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the transfer of the funding of the British Broadcasting Corporation World Service to the licence fee in 2014-15.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has received reports on the treatment of a group of indigenous people by members of the Colombian police in Putumayo province on 17 October 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: We have received reports that on 17 October the Escuadrón Móvil Antimotines (riot police) allegedly beat and illegally detained six leaders of the Nasa indigenous community in Putumayo province.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what allowances and payments in addition to salary were available to officials in his Department and its non-departmental public bodies in each year since 1997; and what the monetary value was of payments and allowances of each type in each such year. 
Alistair Burt: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff may be eligible for certain allowances depending upon where they are posted to work; in the United Kingdom or in a mission overseas. The following figures represent the total amount paid in financial year 2009-10. To obtain figures prior to 2009-10 would incur disproportionate cost.
Diplomatic service staff have a global mobility obligation, and will typically spend over half of their careers outside of the UK, moving country every two to three years. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office pays overseas allowances to compensate for the extra costs incurred through moving frequently and living overseas, the diplomatic service compensation allowance (DSCA). DSCA breaks down into:
DSCA (diplomatic service allowance) is paid to compensate staff for the range of additional costs that result from the career-long disruption caused by frequent changes of location, and any indirect representational expenses. This can include the cost of visiting children at school back in England in the UK and transport to the UK for annual leave.
DSCA (hardship) is paid to compensate staff for the additional costs of maintaining quality of life at hardship posts. Examples include the cost of:
taking additional rest breaks from the country
security and the need for specialist four wheel drive vehicles
extra maintenance of vehicles where driving conditions/servicing are poor
preventative health measures and medicines.
Each post has an individual score in relation to hardship. Many posts do not reach the qualifying level and therefore people in them do not receive an allowance. Other posts do and for these the rate at which DSCA (hardship) is set depends on their individual score.
DCSA (spouse or partner pension compensation): there is a small contribution towards a pension for spouses who have lost their state pension entitlement through accompanying their spouse overseas for many years.
The total for DSCA amount paid in 2009-10 was £23,263,035.
Cost of living allowances (CoLA) compensate for the additional costs of maintaining UK living standards while staff are overseas. In countries where the cost of living is less expensive than in the UK, CoLA might be set at zero. CoLA may fall as well as rise depending on a number of factors. Rates of CoLA vary between countries and can go up or down during a posting. CoLA is based on data gathered by a private company, Employment Conditions Abroad (ECA). ECA supplies data on expatriate terms and conditions to a wide range of international companies, governments and organisations. Their data are based on information sent in by their members, i.e. expatriates employed by the companies who are part of the network, and are then checked against independent sources such as international surveys. ECA provides an objective and logical means of assessing CoLA requirements. The amount paid in 2009-10 was £20,853,196.
It is a condition of their employment that members of the diplomatic service must be prepared to serve anywhere in the world at any time during their career, sometimes at very short notice. Those with children have a legal obligation as parents to ensure that their children receive a full-time education from the
age of five years. Members of the diplomatic service pay UK tax wherever they work and are entitled to have their children educated at public expense. Most parents prefer to take their children with them on postings, but in some countries we do not permit staff to take their children either for health or security reasons. In others, local schools of an acceptable standard are not available. The FCO helps staff meet their potentially conflicting obligations by providing financial support for their children's education in the UK where staff choose this, or are obliged to do so given local conditions in the country to which they are posted. Continuity of education is also an important factor, particularly at secondary level.
Staff serving in the UK were paid £7,487,435, with staff serving at posts overseas receiving £5,843,415
The FCO uses pay allowances as a cost-effective way to recruit and retain staff to posts that require specialist skills or to compensate for long or unsocial hours. Allowances are non-consolidated monthly payments which are paid in lieu of a consolidated increase to basic salary and cease when staff move from qualifying posts. These allowances are subject to statutory deductions for income tax and national insurance contributions:
London location allowance: The amount paid in 2009-10 was £6,749,178.
Overseas location allowance (OLA). OLA has now been abolished as a result of the 2009-10 review of FCO allowances. The amount paid in 2009-10 was £1,366,466.
Market forces allowance, retention and recruitment allowance, professional qualification allowance, private office allowance, management reviewers/internal audit allowance. retention and recruitment allowance is payable only where our pay range cannot match the salaries we need to offer to recruit staff with unique or much sought after skills. It is awarded only with the express authority of the Deputy Director Human Resources. The total for all the allowances in this paragraph paid in 2009-10 was £1,204,413.
Shift disturbance allowance, unsocial hours payment. This is paid to all staff below the senior civil service (SCS) working in the UK or on home civil service terms of service overseas who work shifts as their normal pattern of work. The amount paid in 2009-10 was £531,544.
Hazardous conditions allowance is paid to staff on home tours who visit the top hardship posts-so is paid in the UK and is taxable. The amount paid in 2009-10 was £91,348.
Overtime/time off in lieu. All UK based staff, below the SCS, working at home and those undertaking duty visits overseas qualify for pre-authorised paid overtime or TOIL, and call/pager/mobile telephone allowances. This is paid to staff who have a specific roster commitment to be continuously and immediately available on-call outside office hours. The amount paid in 2009-10 was £1,917,631.
It is not possible to break down the groups of allowances above without incurring disproportionate cost. Nor is it possible to provide information prior to 2009-10 without incurring disproportionate cost.
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to identify those of its services that could be provided through the post office network. 
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what services provided by his Department were the subject of a contract with Post Office Ltd in 1997-98 and have subsequently become the subject of a contract with another supplier; and what the monetary value was of each such contract in (a) 1997-98 and (b) the latest period for which figures are available in each case. 
Alistair Burt: There are no records of services provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that were the subject of a contract with Post Office Ltd in 1997-98. There are currently no contracts held between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), FCO Services and Royal Mail.
Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what new regulations sponsored by his Department have been introduced through (a) primary legislation and (b) statutory instrument in the last six months. 
'rationalise and phase out over the medium term inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, which encourage wasteful consumption, with timing based on national circumstances, while providing targeted support for the poorest'.
Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will review the use by the Council of Ministers of first reading agreements with the European Parliament under the co-decision procedure with a view to ensuring adequate scrutiny of proposed directives. 
Mr Lidington: The procedure for agreeing EU legislation with the European Parliament through the ordinary legislative procedure is laid down by the EU treaties. There are no plans to seek a review. To reach a first reading agreement the Council must approve the European Parliament's first reading position. The UK is fully engaged in the consideration of proposals in the Council of Ministers before agreement is given to the European Parliament's position.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the extent of Iranian involvement with terrorist groups in (a) southern Lebanon and (b) Gaza; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: Iranian support to militia groups in southern Lebanon and Gaza is unacceptable. It further undermines international confidence in Iran and the Iranian Government's claim that it supports peace and stability in the middle east.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the use of electronic terminals at checkpoints into Israel from the west bank; and if he will make a statement. 
While we welcome Israel's easing of some restrictions on movement and access in the west bank we remain concerned about the increase in temporary checkpoints and increasing restrictions on movement of Palestinians between east Jerusalem and the rest of the west bank.
Mr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the state of British-Israeli trade relations; and what assessment he has made of their contribution to the UK economy. 
Inward investment from Israel remains strong. Israeli firms are significant investors in the UK. Over 300 Israeli companies now have a physical presence in the UK, providing thousands of jobs. Over 50 Israeli companies are listed on the AIM and main London stock exchange.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of the recent visit of the Iranian President to Lebanon on the political situation in Lebanon; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: The political situation in Lebanon remains tense. The visit of President Ahmednijad has not changed that. We expect all countries to respect the sovereignty of Lebanon and to work for its stability. I regret very much the inflammatory statements made by President Ahmednijad during his visit to Lebanon. Such remarks do not contribute to the stability of Lebanon or the region.
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the rate of (a) sickness and (b) absence was in offices in each region operated by his Department and its agencies in the latest period for which figures are available. 
|Region||Average rate of sickness|
Department for Work and Pensions Personnel Computer, October 2010.
The Department has cut average sickness absence by 25%, from 11.1 days per employee per year in 2007 to 8.3 days per employee per year currently. The latter figure is below the rate of 9.6 days per employee per year reported by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development for the public sector in 2010. The Department is committed to reducing sickness absence further.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of its expenditure on travel undertaken by (a) him and (b) each other Minister in his Department in (i) September and (ii) October 2010. 
Chris Grayling: The following table gives details of expenditure on travel undertaken for each of this Department's Ministers during September and October 2010. The Department is currently reviewing travel expenditure across the board with a view to driving out inefficiencies.
|DWP Ministers-expenditure on travel|
|September 2009 (£)||September 2010 (£)||Reduction (%)||October 2009 (£)||October 2010 (£)||Reduction (%)|
Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people who will stop receiving contributory employment and support allowance after 12 months in each year to 2015. 
Claimants in the work-related activity group who stop receiving contributory employment and support allowance after 12 months will be able to claim income-related employment and support allowance if eligible. We estimate that 60% will be able to claim some income-related employment and support allowance. There will always be a safety net to support those who have no means of supporting themselves.
Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the number of individuals in households in which at least one member works for at least 16 hours per week who will (a) have their income reduced and (b) fall below the equivalised poverty threshold of 60% of median household income as a result of the removal of contributory employment and support allowance after one year; and what the average amount is by which the income of affected households will be reduced as a result of that measure. 
Claimants in the work related activity group who stop receiving contributory employment and support allowance after 12 months will be able to claim income-related employment and support allowance if eligible. We estimate that 60% will be able to claim some income-related employment and support allowance once their contributory entitlement has ended. There will always be a safety net to support those who have no means of supporting themselves.
Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has made a recent estimate of the number of households in (a) Aberdeen South constituency, (b) Aberdeen local authority and (c) Scotland which will be affected by the implementation of his proposal to limit to one year the payment of contributory employment and support allowance for those in the work-related activity group. 
However, to give a general indication of scale, at the end of February 2010, there were 43,070 people receiving contributory employment and support allowance in the work related activity group in Great Britain. The equivalent figure for (a) the Aberdeen South constituency was 60, (b) the Aberdeen city local authority was 190 and (c) Scotland was 3,850.
Claimants in the work related activity group who stop receiving contributory employment and support allowance after 12 months will be able to claim income-related employment and support allowance if eligible. We estimate that 60% will be able to claim some income-related ESA once their entitlement to contributory employment and support allowance has ended. There will always be a safety net to support those who have no means of supporting themselves.
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. ESA statistics can be found at:
3. Benefit type: The benefit type is defined as pay status at the caseload date. This may differ to the status at the start or end of the claim.
4. Stage of ESA claim: The stage of claim is derived from the amount of payment a claimant receives. There are a number of cases where the stage is unknown, these are claimants which do not receive any payment for ESA (credits only).
5. Constituencies used for February 2010 are for the Westminster Parliament of May 2010.
6. As ESA is still a relatively new benefit, the number of customers claiming contributory ESA in the Work Related Activity Group will be likely to increase between now and 2012. In addition, we have now begun reassessing 1.5 million people on existing incapacity benefits, and anticipate that over half of these customers will move onto ESA in the Work Related Activity Group. Some of these customers will be making a claim for contributory ESA. The number of people who will be subject to the one year time limit will therefore be likely to have increased by the time we introduce the measure in 2012.
DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100%
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the oral statement of 9 November 2010, Official Report, columns 168-69, on housing benefit, what the (a) composition, (b) sources and (c) timescale are of the £140 million funding for discretionary housing payments. 
|Source||Purpose||Amount (£ million)|
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the likely growth rate for (a) local housing allowance and (b) the consumer price index from 2013-14 to 2014-15 on the basis of the policy costings in the June 2010 Budget. 
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the level is of the uprating index referred to in the June 2010 Budget policy costings that was calculated on the basis of growth in housing benefit eligible rent and council tax benefit from 2001-02. 
Steve Webb: The policy costing for the change to the non-dependant deduction rates announced at the June 2010 Budget was based on our understanding of the growth of housing benefit eligible rent and council tax benefit eligible council tax between 2001-02 and 2014-15, and incorporates historical data and internal forecast assumptions.
The non-dependant deduction rates that will apply from 2011-12 have not yet been announced. The increased rates will be included in the statement on uprating to be given to Parliament shortly and confirmed by way of legislation in the annual benefit Uprating Order. Implementation will be part of the Department's and local authorities' annual uprating exercises.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants of jobseeker's allowance in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East constituency have received hardship payments in the last 12 months. 
Chris Grayling: The Department does not hold reliable data on the number of jobseeker's allowance claimants in the Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East constituency who have received hardship payments in the last 12 months. Therefore, the information is not available.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many claimants of jobseeker's allowance in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East constituency have contested benefit sanctions in the last 12 months; 
Chris Grayling: There have been 1,070 labour market decisions resulting in a sanction or disentitlement for JSA claimants in the Cumbernauld Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East constituency between August 2009 and July 2010, of which 190 decisions were reconsidered by a Jobcentre Plus decision-maker and 30 went to appeal.
1. The statistics are JSA Labour Market Decisions-not JSA Payment decisions, where initial entitlement to claim JSA is decided. They include disentitlement decisions.
2. All figures show the latest decision given for each case referred-if a case has been reconsidered, the new decision is taken.
3. All figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Some additional disclosure control is applied.
4. Latest figures only available up to end July 2010.
DWP Information Directorate: JSA Sanctions and Disallowance Decisions Statistics Database.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2010, Official Report, column 775W, on mental health services, if he will make it his policy that officials in his Department engaged in delivering the Work programme should receive specific training in recognising, and dealing with, the needs of people diagnosed with depression. 
Chris Grayling: The Work programme will be delivered by contractors drawn from the private, public and voluntary sectors, as well as social enterprises. It will help people with a wide variety of needs, and providers will be given the freedom to design support based on an individual's needs. Specialist organisations will continue to have a role to play, and there will be lots of opportunities for them to work with larger delivery partners as subcontractors.
We will offer flexible support through Jobcentre Plus to customers before they are referred to the Work programme. The support that Jobcentre Plus delivers to customers across all working age benefits will allow more flexibility to Jobcentre Plus managers and advisers to judge which interventions will help individual customers most cost-effectively and meet local need.
Each Jobcentre Plus district has a mental health co-ordinator who supports advisers to provide tailored, personalised support to people who have mental health conditions and over the last year all Jobcentre Plus new claim advisers have had the opportunity to attend mental health training.
Jobcentre Plus learning products currently available for frontline staff include awareness of a range of customer groups including an overview of disability and health conditions, with signposts to sources of specialist help, including the disability employment adviser (DEA) role. DEAs, who focus on customers needing more extensive support, receive further levels of skills training appropriate to their customers, including skills practice in interviewing customers with depression. Furthermore, this learning will be reviewed as appropriate in accordance with the needs of the Work programme.
In addition, advisers, including DEAs, can seek help from their work psychologist colleagues to assist them in supporting customers where appropriate. All Jobcentres
have access to DEA services, either by DEAs located within the Jobcentre or, for example, in more rural areas access to peripatetic DEAs who provide services across a number of locations.
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for Don Valley (Caroline Flint) of 28 October 2010 on Jenny Watson. 
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 13 October 2010, Official Report, column 313W, on housing: regulation, when he plans to announce the outcomes of the review of the Tenant Services Authority. 
Helen Goodman: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, on what dates the Church Commissioners took decisions relating to the sale of the Zurbaran paintings and Auckland castle in 2010; and whether these decisions were amended on any subsequent date. 
Tony Baldry: No decision on the future of Auckland castle has been made at this time and matters relating to the Zurbaran paintings housed within the castle have been discussed at each of the Church Commissioners Board of Governors meetings in 2010.
Helen Goodman: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, on what dates the Church Commissioners sought advice from (a) lawyers, (b) public relations consultants, (c) auctioneers, (d) estate agents and (e) other professionals in relation to the Zurbaran paintings and Auckland castle in 2010. 
Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners, in common with other land and property owners, take professional advice in connection with their interests and assets on a regular basis and cover a wide range of issues.
Helen Goodman: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what costs the Church Commissioners have incurred for professional services in relation to the Zurbaran paintings and Auckland castle from (a) Mischon de Reya, (b) Chelgate, (c) Sotheby's and Christie's, (d) Smiths Gore and (e) other professionals in the last five years. 
Helen Goodman: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, for what purposes the Church Commissioners have sought advice from (a) lawyers and (b) public relations consultants in the last five years. 
Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners regularly take specialist legal and other advice where we are duty bound to do so. In addition, the Church Commissioners would seek to use professional advisers to supplement and support our existing advisers and expertise.
Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what new regulations sponsored by his Department have been introduced through (a) primary legislation and (b) statutory instrument in the last six months. 
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much and what proportion of his Department's aid budget he plans to allocate to debt relief in each year of the comprehensive spending review period. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: In the SR10 settlement we have made provision for the UK's contribution towards the main international debt relief initiatives; the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). We have also made provision for the additional debt relief that the UK provides to poor countries, including under the UK Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.
|SR10 debt relief allocations|
|(1 )Figures rounded to nearest £10 million.( 2 )Rounded to 0 decimal places.|
Debt relief is also provided by other parts of the UK Government. The Government anticipate some debt relief for Sudan, Zimbabwe and others during the comprehensive spending review period, providing certain conditions are met.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many donor countries participate in the multilateral aid assessment body MOPAN; what his policy is on the transfer of the management of MOPAN to the OECD's Development Assistance Committee; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Duncan: There are 16 donor country Governments in the Multilateral Organisations Performance Assessment Network, MOPAN; Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. MOPAN is an informal intergovernmental network with responsibilities shared out on a voluntary basis. The network is currently examining options as to how it could be managed in the future. One of these is to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD's) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), however, other options are also being investigated. We, along with other MOPAN member Governments, will look at the options carefully before deciding which is the most suitable for MOPAN.
Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of children, mothers and babies whose lives were saved in 2009-10 as a consequence of his Department's programmes. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: Using the methodology agreed by the G8 this year at the Muskoka summit, which was developed with the support of the World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, the Government's indicative estimate of the number of lives saved as a consequence of DFID programmes in 2009-10 is 150,000 children, 7,000 women and 35,000 newborns.
An important part of the new Business Plan for Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health will be a rigorous approach to achieving and monitoring results. The public consultation on the plan has just closed; we have received an unprecedented level of public and professional support.
Malcolm Wicks: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation on the Thailand-Burma border, and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Duncan: The situation on the Thailand-Burma border remains unstable following the recent outbreaks of fighting in eastern Burma. Most of the people who fled to Thailand this month have now returned to Burma. We are keeping the situation under review, in close touch with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, non-governmental organisations and the Thai authorities.
The Department for International Development (DFID) is providing £7.5 million between 2009 and 2012 for people affected by conflict in eastern Burma. This assistance is being delivered through a number of non-governmental organisations. It includes the provision of food, shelter and improved access to legal assistance for Burmese refugees in Thailand, as well as aid for health care, water, sanitation and food security for displaced people in eastern Burma. DFID has not been asked for additional funding in response to the most recent fighting.
Norman Baker: The Government have been funding National Standard and Bikeability cycle training in schools since 2006-07 with detailed monitoring of delivery in place since 2007-08. Details of the training delivered are set out in the following table for the period 2006-07 to 2009-10.
| Note: 1. Figures are rounded up to the nearest 1,000.|
Although we do not have an accurate figure for training places funded and delivered by local authorities in England in addition to those funded by the Government, we estimate local authorities outside of London deliver between 20,000 and 30,000 additional Level 2 National Standard or Bikeability places each year.
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department has taken to increase the level of information-sharing between the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and its counterpart organisations in Europe to reduce the number of vehicle offences committed by EU drivers without UK licences. 
Mike Penning: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) shares information with EU member states when registering imported vehicles and exchanging driving licences. This helps prevent stolen vehicles from being registered in other member states and allows the validity of driving licences to be confirmed prior to exchange.
Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his most recent estimate is of the number of uninsured drivers in (a) England and Wales, (b) England, (c) Cambridgeshire Constabulary and (d) North East Cambridgeshire constituency.
Mike Penning: About 1.4 million vehicles (4% of the total) in Great Britain are estimated to be driven by uninsured drivers based on a comparison of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's (DVLA) database of registered vehicles and the Motor Insurance Database (MID). No information is held on a regional or constituency basis.
In addition to existing measures to tackle uninsured driving, a Continuous Insurance Enforcement scheme is planned. The scheme will identify uninsured vehicles by comparing information held on the same databases on a regular basis. Enforcement action will be taken against keepers of uninsured vehicles.
Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has made an assessment of the merits of delegating responsibility for vessel reporting and clearance at UK ports to chartered shipbrokers; and if he will make a statement. 
Those reports are fed, via the UK's ports and harbours (who have the legal status of local competent authorities), to the consolidated European reporting system (CERS) operated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. Those data are relayed, in turn, to the European Maritime Safety Agency's SafeSeaNet system. This process is entirely consistent with the requirements of the relevant European directives relating to vessel traffic monitoring and to port state control, and with the UK law.
Norman Baker [holding answer 28 October 2010]: No. Block funding provided to local authorities from 2011-12 for small transport schemes and highway maintenance will not be ring-fenced. This will give local authorities flexibility to spend the funding as they see fit to meet local priorities.
I recently announced the establishment of a £560 million Local Sustainable Transport Fund to enable local government to deliver sustainable transport measures that support local economies while reducing carbon. The fund will be allocated though a light touch bidding and assessment process which will maximise the discretion available to local authorities on how they use the funding. Further details about how the fund will operate will be published shortly.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans her Department has for the future oversight of earnings and hours worked by agricultural and horticultural workers in England and Wales. 
Mr Paice: We intend to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board and agricultural minimum wage regime, and to bring agricultural and horticultural workers in England and Wales within the framework of the national minimum wage legislation and working time regulations, in line with workers in all other sectors of the economy. This will require specific amendments to the relevant legislation, which will happen simultaneously with the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board.
Enforcement of the national minimum wage is carried out by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills, and HMRC will take on responsibility for enforcing the legislation in respect of agricultural and horticultural workers.
Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has (a) undertaken and (b) evaluated on levels of pain caused to cattle slaughtered by the halal method. 
Mr Paice [holding answer 16 November 2010]: DEFRA and the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry commissioned and joint-funded research to investigate the effects of slaughter by ventral neck incision on the electroencephalogram (EEG) in calves (Project Number MH0129). This work commenced in January 2005 and the final report was published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal in April 2009. It can be viewed at:
http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu& Module=More&Location=None&Completed=0& ProjectID=13009
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with which food industry (a) representatives and (b) organisations she has had recent discussions on the labelling of halal meat. 
Mr Paice: I discussed the labelling of halal meat with chief executives of the major grocery retailers on 21 October. The issue was also discussed at a meeting with Shechita UK and Members of this House on 3 November. This topic was also covered in a meeting with the Business Services Association on 9 November.
Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much (a) Government and (b) public sector funding was allocated to food meeting British Farm Assured standards in the most recent year for which figures are available; what estimate she has made of the monetary value to British farmers of this expenditure; and if she will estimate the level of revenue which would accrue to British farmers if all public sector food procurement met British Farm Assured standards. 
We estimate that the public sector as a whole spends just over £2 billion on food and food services each year and that about £922 million per year
of this is spent on food and food ingredients. Of this, £322 million is spent by central Government and the remaining £600 million by the wider public sector. The most recent data on central Government food procurement are included in the third report on the proportion of domestically produced food in the public sector, published at:
This relates to central Government, those parts of the NHS supplied by the NHS Supply Chain and the MOD; it also includes data on "the percentage of farm assured food of all food supplied" on a Department by Department basis. The range varies from 0 to 100%. No estimates of the monetary value of this expenditure have been possible as we do not have detailed data on the proportion of specific commodities procured meeting farm assurance standards. We do not have any data on the proportion of food meeting farm assurance or equivalent standards procured by the wider public sector.
Mr Paice [holding answer 16 November 2010]: The public forest estate is owned or leased by the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and placed at the disposal of the Forestry Commissioners under section 39(1) of the Forestry Act 1967. It comprises 18% of total forest area in England; 13% is owned by other public bodies and 69% is in private hands.
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