|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps his Department plans to take to encourage and support small and medium-sized enterprises and third sector organisations to compete for departmental contracts in line with value-for-money policy, UK regulations and EU procurement directives. 
Currently, the Department works to the simplified Pre Qualification Questionnaire issued by the Office of Government Commerce. This enables public sector purchasers to identify the most suitable suppliers to invite to tender.
All departmental contracts of £10, 000 or over awarded in the last five years have been advertised through supply2gov, who provide small businesses with visibility of public sector contract opportunities.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on overtime for staff working within the Secretary of State's private office in each of the last five years. 
|Financial year||Amount of overtime spent (£)|
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on printing (a) Command Papers, (b) papers laid before Parliament by Act, (c) consultation documents and (d) other papers in each of the last 10 years. 
John Penrose: The amount claimed for motor mileage on departmental business in private vehicles within travel and subsistence in the UK cannot be separately identified without incurring disproportionate costs.
The Department's policy on staff travel limits claims at the HMRC approved mileage rate to official journeys which could not practically be made by public transport, or where the employee needs to use a car because of
disability. Where, exceptionally, a staff member needs to use a private vehicle for any other reason, claims are paid at a reduced rate.
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport when he plans to announce the conclusions of his Department's review of remote gambling; and whether he has taken account of the effect on the Horseracing Betting Levy of the remote gambling industry in formulating those conclusions. 
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will take steps to ensure that all areas of the betting industry contribute to the Horseracing Betting Levy. 
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions his Department has had with transport operators on travel from elsewhere in the UK to London for (a) those volunteering, (b) adults with paid tickets and (c) schoolchildren with donated tickets to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. 
The ODA is in discussion with transport operators, such as train operating companies and coach companies, to develop Olympic Service Delivery Plans (OSDP). These plans focus on the provision of additional capacity to meet the extra demand there will be at games time, including trains running earlier in the morning or later at night. More detail on these services will be announced next year.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions his Department has had with local authorities and others on accommodation for those from elsewhere in the UK in London who are (a) volunteering, (b) adults with paid tickets and (c) schoolchildren with donated tickets to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. 
Hugh Robertson: There are no central plans to provide volunteers or spectators with accommodation in London. However there are venues at other locations across the UK which will give people the chance to get involved with the Games in their own local area.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has made it clear that volunteers and spectators will be expected to find and pay for their own accommodation. This has not put people off applying to become London 2012 Games Makers, as LOCOG has received over 240,000 applications from across the UK.
The Life-Time UK Alliance, initiated by Volunteering England, is setting up discussions with voluntary organisations, which have capacities to offer accommodation for volunteers, to explore whether they could make provision within their resources for volunteers.
Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what savings to the public purse his Department identified in the budget for the 2012 London Olympics as part of the comprehensive spending review. 
Hugh Robertson: The spending review reduced the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) forecast completion cost by £20 million. This saving will be achieved by no longer delivering the external "Wrap" around the Olympic Stadium, unless alternative sources of funding, or savings from other efficiencies, can be found. This decision is subject to planning conditions. The £20 million saving has been added to the contingency fund potentially available for the Olympic programme.
This cost reduction is additional to over £700 million of savings to the public purse achieved in the Olympic programme to date, including the £27 million saving announced in May 2010 as part of the in-year savings across Government.
John Penrose [holding answer 29 November 2010]: It remains a Government policy to transfer responsibility of the Royal Parks to the Greater London authority and we will legislate at the first available opportunity.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent assessment he has made of the relationship between the level of success at elite level sport and mass participation in sport at grassroots level; and if he will make a statement. 
Hugh Robertson: The results of UK Sport's post-Beijing Sporting Preferences survey were that 18% of British adults said that the success of Team GB at the Beijing Olympics or Paralympics had led to specific changes in their participation, involvement or interest in sport.
In addition, research commissioned by Sport England in 2009 with Mike Weed from the Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research (SPEAR), titled 'The Potential of the Demonstration Effect to Grow and Sustain Participation in Sport', concluded that people can be inspired by elite sport, sports people or sports events to participate themselves. On the issue of increasing the numbers of participants, it was found that this was mainly the case with former participants whose participation has lapsed. The study also showed that this was most effective where there was a local connection.
Hugh Robertson: The Sports Cabinet comprises the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and the four home country Ministers with responsibility for sport, as well as the chairs of UK Sport and the home country sports councils.
Its focus is on issues affecting sport across the UK. We are working with colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to finalise the agenda for the next meeting scheduled for 15 February 2011.
Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many (a) interventions were made in respect of and (b) people participated in the Aimhigher programme in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
It is not possible to give a figure for the number of separate participants. However, in the 2009-10 academic year, the number of individual contacts totalled 2,226,580. Many participants took part in more than one activity and it is not possible to estimate the number of people helped.
The coalition Government are committed to providing a new impetus for social mobility in this country and will be investing in raising the attainment and aspiration of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Universities and schools have learned a lot from the Aimhigher programme about "what works" and can build on this in a way that best supports their pupils and students.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he plans to ensure that the (a) Medical Research Council and (b) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council include improving the protection of animals in their corporate and strategic aims. 
Mr Willetts: The Medical Research Council (MRC) and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) are non-departmental public bodies which receive their grant in aid from this Department. In keeping with the Haldane principle, day-to-day decisions on the scientific merits of different strategies, programmes and projects are taken by the Research Councils without Government involvement.
The MRC and BBSRC are committed to ensuring that any research programmes they fund follow high standards of animal welfare, and avoid the use of animals wherever an alternative exists. In partnership with other funders of biomedical research in the UK the MRC and BBSRC have published guidelines on "Responsibility in the use of animals in bioscience research" This is available from NC3R's website:
The centre provides a UK focus for the promotion, development and implementation of the 3Rs in animal research and testing, and brings together academia, industry, government and animal welfare organisations. NC3Rs aims to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas, and the translation of research findings into practice that will benefit both animals and science. The centre funds high-quality 3Rs research, organises workshops and symposia to disseminate and advance the 3Rs, and develops 3Rs information resources and guidelines.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he plans to ensure that the (a) Medical Research Council and (b) Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council prioritise
reductions in expenditure on animal experiments and the development of methods that reduce and replace the use of animals in laboratory experiments. 
Mr Willetts: The Medical Research Council (MRC) and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) are non-departmental public bodies which receive their grant in aid from my Department. In keeping with the Haldane principle, day-to-day decisions on the scientific merits of different strategies, programmes and projects are taken by the Research Councils without Government involvement.
The law states that the use of animals in research where it may cause pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm, is subject to licence and will be permitted only where there is no practicable alternative. The MRC and BBSRC are committed to ensuring that any research programmes they fund follow high standards of animal welfare and avoid the use of animals wherever an alternative exists. All proposals submitted to the MRC and BBSRC are subject to robust peer review which includes assessment of the justification for the proposed use of animals. The MRC and BBSRC are committed to supporting research which aims to refine techniques, reduce numbers, and replace animals in research wherever possible, supporting research programmes which contribute to developing new knowledge or new methods that help replace or refine animal use and in providing funding for the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs):
Steve Rotheram: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of the new apprenticeships announced in his Department's paper Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth he expects to be in the (a) public and (b) private sector; and what proportion of such apprenticeships of each type he expects to be at level (i) two, (ii) three and (iii) four. 
Mr Hayes [holding answer 3 December 2010]: Last month, "Skills for Sustainable Growth" and "Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth" set out the Government's plans to abolish central targets and increase freedom and flexibility for Further Education colleges and training organisations to respond effectively to the needs of employers, learners and their communities. Support for employers to offer more Apprenticeships will be a key part of that response. The Apprenticeships Programme is demand led, so the Government do not set targets for Apprenticeships by sector or level. But the Government have announced that they will increase annual funding for Apprenticeships by up to £250 million a year, so that by 2014-15 up to 75,000 more places will be available than under the previous administration.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people aged 19 years and over are taking apprenticeships at level
(a) 2, (b) 3 and (c) 4 in 2010-11; and how many such people took apprenticeships at each level in each of the three previous years. 
[holding answer 3 December 2010]: The following table shows the number of Apprenticeship
Programme starts by level for learners aged 19 years and over in England for 2005/06 to 2008/09, the latest year for which full year data are available.
|Apprenticeship programme starts for learners aged 19 and over by level, 2005/06 to 2008/09|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.
2. '-' Indicates a base figure of less than 50.
3. Figures are based on age at start of programme.
Individualised Learner Record
This Government are committed to increasing the number of apprenticeships, in particular, advanced and higher apprenticeships. British employers currently face a work force with insufficient skills at intermediate technician and associate professional level, critical to many industries of the future.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the proportion of households in each parliamentary constituency which have access to broadband at speeds of 2 Mb or more. 
Mr Vaizey: This Department has not published estimates by constituency. According to the Digital Britain report published in 2009 approximately 11% of households do not have access to broadband at speeds of 2 MBps or more.
Broadband Delivery UK is assessing current broadband provision at community level across the UK in its work to deliver the coalition Government's objective to facilitate universal broadband access of at least 2 Mbps.
Mr Vaizey: Sub loop unbundling (SLU) is a regulated product offered by BT Openreach. Take-up of SLU is first and foremost a matter for Openreach and its customers, with Ofcom able to intervene if necessary.
I have had discussions with communications service providers, Ofcom and BT Openreach regarding this subject and will play a facilitative role where there are issues that need to be addressed in discussion between the parties.
Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what financial assistance is available to (a) individuals and (b) community groups in rural areas who wish to be connected to broadband services. 
Mr Vaizey: The coalition Government have committed £530 million in the recently announced comprehensive spending review (CSR) to support broadband rollout, including a standard level of service for all. Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) are in the process of assessing the models for commercial deployment of broadband with public support in commercially challenging/rural areas and will be working with local government bodies, such as county councils on models for local delivery of broadband.
Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his most recent estimate is of the level of access to broadband in Wales; and what steps his Department is taking to increase that level. 
Mr Vaizey: This Department has not published estimates. However, according to the most recent Ofcom Communications Market Report published in August, broadband delivered over a standard fixed telephony line is also available to all homes and commercial properties in Wales, as all local exchanges in Wales are DSL-enabled. But various factors (such as line length and contention) influence the actual broadband speed at customer premises. Broadband take-up in Wales has risen to 64% of homes but this still lags behind the UK average of 71%.
Broadband Delivery UK is assessing current broadband provision at community level across the UK in its work to deliver the Coalition Government's objective to facilitate universal broadband in the UK.
The Government aim to stimulate private sector investment to deliver the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015. Broadband Delivery UK is working with the Welsh Assembly Government to bring the benefits of superfast broadband investment to Wales.
Susan Elan Jones:
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people contacted Consumer Direct in each of the last five
years; and how many such contacts related to debt and consumer finance issues. 
|All contacts( 1) (Thousand)||Unique contacts( 2)||Unique contacts regarding credit and debt||Percentage of credit/debt unique contacts|
|(1) All contacts to the service even if they are from the same person about the same issue. (2) One record per issue from a consumer. (3 )To date.|
Mr Davey: Well-informed, empowered consumers are central to our vision for how a credit market between customers and lenders should work. I want to encourage both to take responsible decisions and to strengthen protection where necessary, particularly for the most vulnerable. Earlier this year I announced a joint BIS and HM Treasury review of consumer credit and personal insolvency that will look at all aspects of the consumer credit lifecycle from the decision to take out a loan through the lifetime of the loan.
The review will also provide a framework for us to consider how best to take forward the recommendations from the recent OFT review of the high cost credit market. Among those being considered are that the Government should work with lenders to provide information on high-cost credit loans through price comparison websites, and that the Government work with credit reference agencies to explore ways in which high cost credit lenders could provide information to credit reference agencies on the payment performance of their customers, allowing those with good payment records to use mainstream lenders more easily in the future.
Government are also firmly supportive of a stronger link up between the Post Office and credit unions and we are actively looking into ways the two can work more closely together. For example, Post Office Ltd plans to share guidance with sub-postmasters shortly to demonstrate how they can work with local credit unions.
Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department has assessed the likely effects on (a) small businesses and (b) independent financial advisers of the Financial Services Authority's proposals to implement the recommendations of the Retail Distribution Review. 
The Financial Services Authority (FSA), an independent body, is introducing the Retail Distribution Review (RDR). The FSA has consulted extensively on the RDR since 2006 and in accordance with the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, has published cost-benefit analyses of the proposals.
The FSA has also published analysis of the impact of its proposals on different sectors of the industry alongside policy documents; including research by Deloitte and Oxera, as well as a survey from NMG Consulting which asked specific questions about the impact of the changes on sole traders. This information is available on the FSA's website.
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect of the Government's proposals for higher education funding on the international competitiveness of universities in (a) England and (b) Oxford West and Abingdon constituency. 
Mr Willetts: The UK higher education system is already recognised as world class and internationally competitive. The reforms we are proposing seek to build on and strengthen that position. In particular we expect that increased student choice will improve quality and drive up standards. This country is already a popular destination for international students second only to the United States and we expect that to continue as the student experience improves. Our reforms will put university funding on to a more sustainable footing which will benefit institutions in Oxford West and Abingdon and across the country.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department plans to spend on higher education in each year to 2014-15; and what estimate he has made of the level of such expenditure under the current arrangements for higher education funding in each such year. 
Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will place in the Library a copy of the accounts of the National Union of Students for each of the last five years. 
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to paragraph 4.8 of the Local Growth White Paper, Cm 7981, from what budget headings the funding from other departmental budgets to increase the regional growth fund will be drawn. 
As set out in "Local Growth: realising every place's potential", published on 28 October 2010, funding for the regional growth fund will be drawn from the Department for Transport, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Martin Vickers: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what information his Department holds on the number of social enterprises established in the last 10 years; and what information it holds on the proportion of such enterprises which have continued to operate after three years. 
Mr Prisk: BIS does not hold information on the number of social enterprises established in the last 10 years. It also does not hold information on the proportion of such enterprises which have continued to operate after three years.
BIS do produce estimates of the number of social enterprises in the UK. Latest estimates are that there are around 60,000 social enterprises with employees in the UK-around 5% of all SMEs with employees.
Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) if he will place in the Library copies of the financial reports of each student union which have been made available to governing bodies in accordance with section 22(2)(h) of the Education Act 1994 since the implementation of that Act; 
(3) what guidance on (a) secondary legislation and (b) compliance his Department and its predecessors have provided to (i) governing bodies and (ii) students' unions in respect of section 22 of the Education Act 1994; 
(4) what the name and address is of each independent person appointed by each higher education institution governing body to investigate and report on complaints from students on their union in accordance with section 22(2)(m) of the Education Act 1994; 
(5) if he will place in the Library copies of publications by each higher education institution that bring to the attention of students those matters listed in section 22(5) of the Education Act 1994 for the most recent period in which such publications are available; 
(6) what steps his Department and its predecessors have taken to ensure compliance by (a) governing bodies and (b) students' unions with the provisions of section 22(1) to (5) of the Education Act 1994 on requirements to be observed in relation to students' unions; 
(7) whether his Department has been informed of an infringement of the requirements of (a) section 22(1), (b) section 22(2)(a), (c) section 22(2)(b), (d) section 22(2)(e), (e) section 22(2)(f), (f) section 22(2)(g), (g) section 22(2)(h), (h) section 22(2)(i), (i) section 22(2)(j), (j) section 22(2)(k), (k) section 22(l)(i), (l) section 22(2)(m), (m) section 22(2)(n), (n) section 22(2)(c)(i), (o) section 22(2)(c)(ii), (p) section 22(3), (q) section 22(4) and (r) section 22(5) of the Education Act 1994 in the last 10 years; 
(8) if he will place in the Library a copy of each publication published by each higher education institution governing body bringing to the attention of students those matters listed in sections 22(4)(b) and 22(4)(c) of the Education Act 1994; 
(9) if he will place in the Library a copy of each code of practice published by each higher education institution governing body in accordance with section 22(3)(b) of the Education Act 1994 since the implementation of that Act. 
Mr Willetts: The Department does not hold copies of the reports, publications or codes of practice requested. They would need to be requested from the relevant higher education institution or student union, as appropriate. Nor does the Department hold details of the independent persons referred to in section 22(2)(m) of the Education Act 1994.
Higher education institutions, as autonomous organisations, are themselves responsible for determining what steps they need to take to ensure compliance with any relevant piece of legislation which applies to them. As far as records show the Department has not been informed of any infringements of these provisions of the Education Act 1994. Nor has the Department issued guidance on (a) secondary legislation or (b) compliance in respect of section 22. Any infringement of legislation would be a matter for the courts to consider.
Conor Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he plans to bring forward proposals to make (a) student unions and (b) external organisations affiliated to student unions subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
18. Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the change in the number of police officers in England and Wales between March 1997 and March 2010. 
19. Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what date she expects DNA records of people not charged with a crime to have been removed from the national DNA database. 
Mrs May: The Government are committed to restoring the rights of individuals, particularly the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. We will bring forward proposals for a more proportionate DNA retention regime in the new year. This will adopt the protections of the Scottish model. We will remove the vast majority of unconvicted people from the National DNA Database as soon as possible after Parliament has agreed to our proposals.
We are also taking steps to ensure that the database will, for the first time, hold the profiles of all serving prisoners and all those previously convicted of serious crimes, rather than wasting resources on the retention of the DNA of innocent people.
Mrs May: As part of the Government's National Security Strategy, we conducted a National Security Risk Assessment. This is the first time that Government have ever undertaken a comprehensive assessment of all national security risks to the UK. The most important risks were then placed into three tiers to inform the strategic defence and security review.
21. Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with police forces on the likely number of police community support officers at the end of 2014-15. 
Mrs May: The Government's proposals for amendments to the Licensing Act were outlined in our response to the consultation on "Rebalancing the Licensing Act", which was published on 1 December. Many of these measures will be introduced through legislation included in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, which was introduced on 30 November.
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many recorded crimes attributable to alcohol per 1,000 crimes there were in (a) each local authority in Wiltshire, (b) Wiltshire and (c) England in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and what the cost to the public purse was of such crime in each such area in each such year. 
James Brokenshire [holding answer 1 December 2010]: Data relating to police recorded crime where alcohol is an attributable factor is not collected centrally and could be collated only at disproportionate cost.
The total number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for alcohol-related offences, and the number of alcohol related offences per 1,000 prosecutions for all offences, in the Wiltshire police force area and England, from 2000-09 can be viewed in following table. Court proceedings data for 2010 are planned for publication in spring 2011.
|T otal number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for alcohol-related offences( 1) , and number per 1,000 prosecutions for all offences, Wiltshire police force area and England, 2000 - 09( 2,3)|
|Number of defendants|
|(1) Includes offences of:|
(a) Drunkenness simple.
(b) Drunkenness with aggravation.
(c) Offences by licenced person.
(d) Other offences against intoxicating liquor laws.
(e) Driving after consuming alcohol or taking drugs.
(f) Causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.
(2) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.
(3) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff of (a) her Department and (b) its agencies have been offered enhanced early retirement packages in each of the last three years. 
Nick Herbert: In accordance with Cabinet Office guidance and in the knowledge that the Superannuation Bill will remove the option for enhanced benefits, the Home Office and its agencies (UK Border Agency, Criminal Records Bureau and Identity and Passport Service) have offered no enhanced terms in the recent voluntary early departure scheme. The figures for previous years are in the following table:
|Staff leaving with enhanced terms|
CER-Compulsory early retirement
FER-Flexible early retirement
UKBA-United Kingdom Border Agency
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what expenditure (a) her Department and (b) its non-departmental public bodies incurred on sponsorship in each year since 1997 for which figures are available. 
The exception is spend that has been identified for the Identity and Passport Service in relation the National Identity Service and is shown in the following table. Records are unable to be identified of any sponsorship activity earlier than 2008, and to do so would also incur disproportionate costs.
|Amount spent (£)|
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she plans to review the effects of the international treaties on drugs to which the UK is a signatory on the scope of UK legislation on drugs. 
James Brokenshire [holding answer 3 December 2010]: The UK is currently a signatory to all three UN drug conventions: the single convention on narcotic drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 protocol; the convention on psychotropic substances of 1971; and the convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances of 1988.
Drugs are a global problem. A co-ordinated international response is vital in our commitment to tackle drug misuse. The UK's Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 implements the provisions of the UN conventions on drugs to which we are signatories, and continues to provide a coherent legal framework.
James Brokenshire [holding answer 2 December 2010]: The most recent estimate by the Home Office of the size of the UK illicit drugs market was published in 2006, which estimated the value of the UK illicit drug market at between £4-£6.6 billion for the reference year 2003-04. This report is available on the Home Office website at:
James Brokenshire [holding answer 2 December 2010]: The last estimate for the proportion of acquisitive crime which is drug-related was published in 2005. This estimated that between one-third and a half of acquisitive crime was related to use of class A drugs. This report, 'Measuring the harm from illegal drugs using the Drug Harm Index', is available on the Home Office website at:
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects to make a decision on the application for a residence card as a family member of a European Economic Area national of the constituent of the hon. Member for Torbay, Ms Maria Bellucci (CTS Reference: B29682/9) and what steps she is taking to reduce the time taken to process such applications. 
Damian Green: The Home Office would not usually publicly discuss details of an individual's case. However, if my hon. Friend would care to write to me, I will provide an update on Ms Bellucci's status.
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has introduced a package of measures to speed up the consideration of applications for residence cards. UKBA has increased case working resources, restructured staff training, and put new case monitoring systems in place. These measures have allowed UKBA to reduce processing times for residence cards applications to under five months.
Damian Green: As the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) announced in her statement to Parliament of 23 November 2010, Official Report, columns 169-71, the Government will shortly launch a public consultation on proposed changes to the student visa arrangements. The proposals will result in a more selective system and reduce the numbers to support our aim of reducing net migration to sustainable levels.
James Brokenshire: Data on the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for motoring offences (held by the Home Office), disorder offences (provided by the Ministry of Justice) and environmental offences (held by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) are provided in the following tables.
Police Powers and Procedures-England and Wales 2008-09 and 2007-08-chapter 3 -Fed Penalty notices
Criminal Statistics, England and Wales 2009, Supplementary Tables-chapter 2, table 2.1
|Number of fixed penalty notices issued in England and Wales by category and year( 1)|
|Table 1: Motoring and environmental penalty notices|
|Number of motoring FPNs issued||Number of environmental FPNs issued|
|Table 2: Penalty notices for disorder|
|(1) Data provided for the two most recent years available for each series. Updates for all data series for more recent years will be published during 2011.|
George Freeman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effect on industrial growers of hemp of recent changes to licences for that activity under the provisions of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. 
James Brokenshire: My officials have met with hemp growers, hemp industry representatives, and the National Farmers Union to discuss licensing arrangements that met their needs while conforming to the requirements of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and our international obligations under UN Conventions. The Home Office is currently reviewing licensing arrangements for industrial hemp with Business, Innovation and Skills, Department of Energy and Climate Change and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many appeals before the Immigration and Asylum tribunal were adjourned because no representative of her Department was present in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Damian Green [holding answer 1 December 2010]: The number of appeals which were adjourned because no Home Department representative was present (in each of the last five years for which figures are available) are:
|Adjournments where no Home Office representative was present (percentage of all adjournments)|
|AIT immigration judge stage||AIT reconsideration stage|
The percentage figures show the percentage of the total adjournments for the year.
On 15 February 2010, the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal became part of the unified Tribunal system. The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) Immigration Judge stage is equivalent to the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and the AIT reconsideration stage is equivalent to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).
The statistical information provided is taken from locally held management information provided by the Tribunals Service. This information has not been quality assured under National Statistics protocols and its validity is completely reliant on the quality and timeliness of the information held on the database.
Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to increase the level of her Department's representation at appeals before the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal. 
Damian Green [holding answer 1 December 2010]: There is a difference in representation rates between the first-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) where all hearings are represented. At the first-tier appeal hearings are prioritised for representation initially on the basis of harm.
There are a number of initiatives to increase representation at the first-tier Tribunal. We are currently in the process of training asylum case-owners to handle a wider range of appeal types. This will provide a flexible resource whereby case-owners can be utilised to increase overall representation in court.
Work is also under way looking at how UK Border Agency can balance its presenting resource with the demand for appeals in regional hearing centres. We are working with the Tribunals Service looking at the forecasted volume and location of hearings to ensure that ties up with UK Border Agency's available resource.
Other work has also been undertaken recently to analyse the productivity of our presenting resources with the aim of identifying ways to improve performance through introducing new working practices, some of which will be driven through modernising our IT systems.
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to respond to the letter from the right hon. Member for Camberwell and Peckham dated 8 October 2010 on police numbers in Southwark. 
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements she plans to make for the undertaking of the functions of the National Police Improvement Agency after its closure. 
Nick Herbert: The Home Office is currently working with the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA), and the wider police service, to determine the most appropriate arrangements for those functions that will continue after the NPIA is phased out.
"We are keen to encourage independent candidates to stand for election alongside those candidates supported by the main political parties. In partnership with the Electoral Commission we will embark on a programme of activity which seeks to raise public awareness of Police and Crime Commissioners to secure a healthy voter turn out, and to encourage independent candidates to represent their communities."
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether responsibility for determining the number of police community support officers (PCSOs) will rest with proposed police commissioners; and who will decide in March 2012 how many PCSOs are to be (a) retained and (b) funded; 
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the compliance of her Department with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber. 
Nick Herbert: The Home Office actively seeks to procure timber and wood derived products originating from either legal and sustainable or Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade licensed or equivalent sources. This is in line with UK Government timber procurement policy.
Mr Gauke: HMRC holds limited data on individuals with gains below the annual exempt amount (AEA) due to reporting requirements. Estimating the behavioural response to large increases or decreases in the AEA is exceptionally difficult as there is little direct evidence and conflicting arguments about potential responses, therefore estimates can be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Estimates of the revenue implications of small increases to the annual exempt amount for the new CGT regime will be available in Table 1.6 (Direct effects of illustrative changes tax changes) on the HMRC website from 31 December 2010.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department undertook an equalities impact assessment in respect of his proposal to withdraw child benefit from households with one higher rate tax-payer; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gauke: HM Treasury has considered the equalities impact of the change to child benefit. The Government published an 'overview of the impact of Spending Review 2010 on equalities' alongside the spending review document. This document considers the overall impact of the spending review on groups protected by equalities legislation and it can be found at:
Danny Alexander [holding answer 29 November 2010]: The Conflict Pool was created in 2009 by the previous Government by merging the Conflict Prevention Pool and Stabilisation Aid Fund. In 2010-11-the first full year of its existence-the Conflict Pool has a budget of £229 million.
Mr Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the number of questions to his Department tabled in (a) the House of Commons and (b) the House of Lords that remained unanswered after 10 working days as a result of observation of guidance on the timing of answers to similar Questions tabled to more than one Department in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Margaret Curran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people likely to be employed in the (a) public and (b) private sector in (a) Scotland, (b) Glasgow and (c) Glasgow East constituency in each of the next five years. 
Danny Alexander [holding answer 2 December 2010]: The Treasury has not made estimates of employment for the public and private sectors in Scotland, Glasgow and Glasgow East. In devolved areas it is for the Scottish Government to make its own decisions and assessments of the employment effects of its policies. The latest forecasts for the whole of the UK were published by the Office of Budget Responsibility on 29 November.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps the Government are taking to ensure that consumer protection in financial services forms part of the work of the G20 to address the global financial crisis. 
"options to advance consumer finance protection through informed choice that includes disclosure, transparency and education; protection from fraud, abuse and errors; and recourse and advocacy".
Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on establishing an expert group to report to the G20 summit in 2011 to deliver recommendations on supporting effective financial consumer protection around the world. 
At the G20 summit in Seoul on 11-12 November, where the Prime Minister represented the UK, G20 leaders "asked the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to work in collaboration with the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other international organisations to explore, and report back by the next summit, on options to advance consumer finance protection...". The G20 will consider next steps once the FSB has completed its report. The Summit Declaration can be found at:
Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the regulatory effect of the proposals on mortgage lending made by (a) the Financial Services Authority and (b) the European Commission. 
The Government believe that it is right for the FSA to ensure that the UK mortgage market has responsible lending practices. We will continue to work with the FSA, mortgage lenders and intermediaries, and consumer groups to ensure a mortgage market that is sustainable for all participants.
The European Commission has not yet announced any proposals on responsible lending. Should any proposals be put forward the Secretariat General requires that all Commission initiatives with significant impacts be supported by an impact assessment.
Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on fiscal measures to assist first-time homebuyers who decide to commit a large proportion of their income in mortgage payments in order to get onto the property ladder. 
Mr Hoban: First time buyers of residential property worth up to £250,000 can claim relief from stamp duty land tax (SDLT) on the purchase of their first home. The relief is available for two years and will expire on 24 March 2012.
Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the number of borrowers who may not be able to take out remortgages following the introduction of the Financial Services Authority's proposals for the mortgage market; and if he will bring forward fiscal measures to assist such borrowers; 
(3) what assessment he has made of the likely regulatory burden arising from responsible mortgage lending proposals made by (a) the Financial Services Authority and (b) the European Commission; 
(4) if he will take steps to ensure that (a) self-employed homebuyers and (b) other homebuyers with variable incomes will be able to obtain mortgages under the Financial Services Authority's proposals for the mortgage market. 
The Government believe that it is right for the FSA to ensure that the UK mortgage market has responsible lending practices. We will continue to work with the FSA, mortgage lenders and intermediaries, and consumer groups to ensure a mortgage market that is sustainable for all participants.
The European Commission has not yet announced any proposals on responsible lending. Should any proposals be put forward, the Secretariat General requires that all Commission initiatives with significant impacts be supported by an impact assessment.
Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to encourage local private finance initiative providers to renegotiate the terms of their contracts with local public bodies for the purpose of taking into account the effects on them of changes in the economic situation since those contracts were first negotiated. 
Danny Alexander [holding answer 2 December 2010]: The Treasury continues to recommend that local authorities seek value for money in PFI contracts. Guidance on where value for money savings may be made within existing PFI contracts and where renegotiation is unlikely to provide value for money will be set out in due course. Treasury officials have met with a number of major equity holders in PFI contracts to discuss options for savings.
Dr Francis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he took to ensure that the outcomes of the comprehensive spending review were compliant with the (a) Human Rights Act 1998 and (b) Equality Act 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
The Treasury takes equalities matters very seriously. Policy makers are aware that all policies have to be Human Rights Act compliant and legal
advice will be sought where there are concerns. In addition, where a measure resulting from the spending review requires primary legislation it will be accompanied by a statement under section 19 of the Act as to compatibility.
Whether or not a full equality impact assessment will be carried out in any case depends on the likely impact of a proposed policy on members of the relevant groups of people and whether it would be proportionate and possible to do so.
However, the Treasury does not dictate the details of how other Departments will live within their settlements-this will be for Departments to decide themselves. Other Government Departments will ensure that equality and human rights considerations are taken into account when these decisions are made. Decisions about the publication of Equality Impact Assessments are also for individual Departments to make.
Danny Alexander: The Treasury had a role to play in assessing the impact of public expenditure reductions as a whole during the spending review process. The Treasury made a qualitative assessment of the likely impact of the spending review on different groups using the information that is currently available, and these assessments were considered when decisions were made. Further assessments will be made by Departments themselves as they make decisions about the allocation of resources to different policy areas.
The Government have not made an assessment of the likely effects of the outcome of the spending review on women in Wales. The role of the Treasury in making decisions about public expenditure in devolved areas of spending is to allocate resources-it is then up to these areas to decide how best to manage these resources. In devolved areas of spending it is for the Welsh Assembly Government to conduct their own equality impact assessments of policy proposals, in line with their legal obligations.
Bridget Phillipson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish his Department's impact assessment of the likely effects of reductions in the number of public sector jobs in areas where the private sector is classified as underdeveloped. 
Danny Alexander: The United Kingdom faces the largest peacetime deficit in our history. The public sector paybill accounts for around half of departmental resource spending, so deficit reduction will inevitably impact on the public sector workforce. However, not tackling the deficit would be the worst thing for jobs in the medium term, across the public and private sector
The Treasury published information on actions being taken to encourage growth across the country, and how each region will benefit from schemes announced in the spending review, including capital investment programmes. This information is available online at
Michael Dugher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether the budgetary settlement agreed by his Department with the Ministry of Defence included an assumption that a proportion of the costs of the SAR (H) programme would be borne by the Ministry of Defence; 
(2) whether his Department has been asked to approve a transfer of resources between the Ministry of Defence and Department for Transport as a result of the proposal to de-militarise the Search and Rescue (Helicopter) programme; 
(3) whether the Ministry of Defence departmental expenditure limit he announced in the comprehensive spending review will be changed as a result of the proposal to de-militarise the Search and Rescue (Helicopter) programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Danny Alexander [holding answer 25 November 2010]: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, my hon. Friend the Member for South Leicestershire (Mr Robathan) gave the right hon. Member for Coventry North East (Mr Ainsworth), on 19 November 2010, Official Report, column 967W.
Mr Gauke: Complaints information for the last five years is published in HMRC Annual Reports for 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09 and the HMRC Departmental Accounts for 2009-10. The information is reported on an annual basis and is available from the HMRC website:
Mr Hanson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many compliance officers HM Revenue and Customs had on 5 April 2010; and how many he expects there to be on the same date in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012; 
(3) how much revenue which would otherwise have been lost through (a) tax avoidance and (b) fraud his Department has recovered in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10; and how much he expects to recover in (A) 2011-12 and (B) 2012-13. 
Mr Gauke: Reducing tax loss, whether it stems from avoidance or evasion, is a key priority for this Government and we have recently announced that £900 million will be made available over the spending review period, to enable HMRC to step-up its activity in tackling tax loss to bring in £7 billion additional benefits per annum by 2014-15.
HM Revenue and Customs deployed approximately 31,000 staff across all grades at 31 March 2010 on a variety of compliance activities including risk assessment, addressing inaccurate returns and verifying repayment claims, debt collection and criminal investigations across all heads of duty. We estimate that at 31 March 2011 there will be approximately 29,000 compliance staff. HMRC are expected to find resource savings of 15% through the better use of new technology, greater efficiency and better IT contracts. HMRC are not able to provide estimates for 2012 yet.
HMRC are currently working on business plans which will be published in spring 2011. These will include for example a new team to crack down on offshore tax evasion and additional criminal investigations to increase the number of criminal prosecutions.
The additional tax liability (including penalties and interest) resulting from all HMRC compliance work in 2008-09 was £12 billion. Data for 2009-10 is not yet available. HMRC do not have a breakdown of how much they hope to recover from compliance activity in 2011-12 or 2012-13. The Government's investment of £900 million should raise additional benefits of around £7 billion by 2014-15.
Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what provision HM Revenue and Customs make for those in rural areas who are required to enter their tax returns online and who do not have broadband access. 
Mr Gauke: Taxpayers who do not wish to or have difficulty in filing their income tax self-assessment return online have the option to file a paper return by 31 October following the end of the tax year concerned.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what gender impact assessment his Department has undertaken to determine the relative effects of the
implementation of his proposals regarding child benefit and entitlement to national insurance credits on (a) men and (b) women. 
Mr Gauke: The total balance outstanding for the UK student loan book (including loans not yet due for repayment) at the end of the financial year 2009-10 was £35.95 billion. This figure is recorded in the national accounts as part of public sector net debt. The OBR in its 'Economic and fiscal outlook-November 2010', Box 4.3 page 123, gives an overview of how student loans are scored in the accounts and an estimate of how recent policy changes will affect the forecast.
Mr Gauke: On 2 December the Government confirmed 2011-12 rates and thresholds for income tax, national insurance contributions (NICs), and tax credits. The limit for individual savings accounts (ISA) for 2011 -12 was also confirmed.
Mr Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the real-terms growth of (a) actual and (b) underlying tax revenues in each year from 1985-86 to 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of tax credit recipients who experience marginal deduction rates of (a) 70% or less, (b) between 71 and 73%, (c) between 73 and 76% and (d) over 76%. 
Mr Gauke: Table A3 of the June Budget shows the Government's estimate of the number of working heads of families facing high marginal deduction rates in 2011-12 who are in receipt of income-related benefits or tax credits where at least one person works 16 hours or more a week, and the head of the family is not receiving pensioner or disability premia. For those in receipt of tax credits, around 400,000 are estimated to face a deduction rate of 70% or less; 1,345,000 a deduction rate of between 71 and 73%; 5,000 a rate of between 73 and 76%; and 145,000 a rate of over 76%.
High marginal deduction rates are a long-standing problem that this Government are taking action to address through the new universal credit. This will replace the current complex system of means-tested working-age benefits with a simple streamlined payment. The universal credit will improve financial work incentives by ensuring that support is reduced at a consistent and managed rate as people return to work and increase their working hours and earnings.
Jessica Morden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of women in Wales who will be affected by the proposed reduction in the childcare element of the working tax credit from 80 per cent. to 70 per cent. 
Jessica Morden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of single (a) women and (b) men without children in Wales who will qualify for working tax credits in each of the next three years. 
The Solicitor-General: The Attorney-General and Solicitor-General superintend the Crown Prosecution Service, Serious Fraud Office, National Fraud Authority, Treasury Solicitor's Department and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate. The only Law Officers' Departments which use press cuttings services are the Attorney-General's Office (formerly Legal Secretariat to the Law Officers), the CPS and the SFO and this answer is provided on their behalf.
|AGO press cuttings( 1)|
|Financial year||Total (£ excl VAT)|
|(1) There is no separate account coding for 'Press Cuttings' but based on recorded expenditure with press cutting suppliers since 2000-01, the expenditure on press cutting services for the Attorney-General's Office, excluding VAT, is above|
(2 )Figures prior to April 2000 are not held on the Department's current accounting system and cannot be accessed without incurring disproportionate costs.
|Crown Prosecution Service|
|Financial year||Total (£ inclusive of VAT)|
|(1) The CPS merged with RCPO on 1 January 2010, and the total amount is a reflection of both the CPS's and RCPO's spending.|
(2) Includes online and broadcast media monitoring costs as well as press cuttings services.
|Serious Fraud Office|
|SFO press cuttings|
|Financial year||Total (£ excl VAT)|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|