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Mr Gauke: Under longstanding agreements with our EU partners, we are permitted to retain our existing VAT zero rates. We may not, however, apply any new zero rates or extend the scope of existing ones.
The Government are committed to keeping everyday essentials such as food and children's clothing, as well as other zero-rated items like newspapers and printed books, free from VAT over the course of this Parliament.
Justine Greening: People who work less than 30 hours are not generally entitled to the working tax credit. However, the qualifying requirement is lower for some groups. For single adults with a child or those with a disability the qualifying requirement is 16 hours.
The new universal credit, to be introduced over the next two Parliaments, 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.
Mr Harper: The Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill includes provision to create fewer and more equal sized constituencies, and for the four Boundary Commissions to conduct a review of the constituencies in their respective areas by October 2013. The Bill is currently being considered by the House of Lords.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will take steps to ensure that hon. Members and other elected representatives are informed about (a) the size of their electorate each year and (b) the performance of electoral registration departments recorded by the Electoral Commission. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answers of 6 September 2010, Official Report, column 298W, on the electoral register, how many electoral registration officers have been reprimanded for a breach of official duty under section 9A of the Representation of the People Act 1983 since its entry into force. 
Mr Harper: Breach of official duty under section 63 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 is a criminal offence. Any decision to bring a prosecution under section 63 would be made by the Crown Prosecution Service. There is no provision for the Electoral Commission or any other body to issue reprimands to electoral registration officers (EROs) under this section.
The Electoral Commission has established performance standards for EROs. Following this year's assessments, the Commission is in the process of contacting all EROs who have fallen below certain standards. In the first instance this will be to identify the reasons for poor performance and then to develop appropriate methods to ensure improvement.
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what underpinning work his Department carried out prior to the announcement of the 2015 deadline for the withdrawal of British combat troops from Afghanistan. 
Mr Robathan [holding answer 29 November 2010]: Prior to the announcement by the Prime Minister that we will not have combat troops in Afghanistan by 2015, the Ministry of Defence was undertaking work along a number of themes, including examining the development of Afghan National Security Forces and looking at the future shape of operations in Afghanistan. This work continues as we begin the process of transition.
Dr Fox: Excellent progress is being made on growing the Afghan National Police. As of the end of October the Government of Afghanistan report that they numbered approximately 116,000, and are currently ahead of schedule for meeting the target of 134,000 Afghan Police by the end of 2011.
International Security Assistance Force and the NATO Training Mission, Afghanistan are working hard to improve the capabilities of the Afghan National Police. In Helmand, this includes training both recruits and non-commissioned officers at the Helmand Police Training Centre.
Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assistance his Department plans to provide to Afghanistan to help retain and develop its army and police following the proposed transfer of power from NATO to the Afghan National Forces. 
Dr Fox: Following the transition announcement at the Lisbon conference, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is working through how best to support the Afghan authorities in providing security once the transition process is complete.
The UK military provides support to the development of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in three main ways: through embedding staff officers in NATO Training Mission Afghanistan (NTM-A) Headquarters, by providing trainers and support to NTM-A training institutions, and through the partnering of deployed ANSF in Helmand province.
The Afghan Government has introduced a number of measures to improve the retention rate of the ANSF such as a pension scheme and a work cycle consisting of periods of operations, training and leave. The International Security Assistance Force continues to focus on expanding the ANSF and works to balance quality with quantity which the UK fully supports.
Dr Fox [h olding answer 2 December 2010]: Decompression is available to all service personnel returning from operations in Afghanistan. It is conducted over a period of 36-hours at the Sovereign Base Area in Cyprus, a suitable location away from both the operational theatre and the emotional pressures of the homecoming. Civilian officials do not make use of these decompression facilities as there is no assessed requirement for them to do so.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely effects on his Department's operations in Afghanistan of compliance with President Karzai's decree on private security companies; what discussions he has had with his Afghan counterpart on the decree; and if he will make a statement. 
Supplies are delivered to UK Forces in Afghanistan through a number of means including military and contractor convoys. Following President Karzai's decree on 16 August 2010 to disband private military security companies, UN Assistance Mission to
Afghanistan (UN-AMA) and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been working with the Government of Afghanistan on behalf of the International Community to implement the decree. Work is ongoing to develop an Afghan-led solution, including for convoy protection where required, which will include the use of elements of the Afghan National Security Forces.
Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on redevelopment at each RAF base in the UK in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of likely expenditure on work classified as redevelopment in each of the next five years. 
|Expenditure by station|
Information for the financial year 2005-06 is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Data for RAF stations in Scotland are not currently available and I will write to the right hon. and learned Member with the information requested.
Mr Robathan: While there is no requirement for recruits into the armed forces to state whether they had previously been a member of any cadet force, we estimate that approximately 25% of the intake to our Services has had some form of cadet experience.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much funding his Department plans to allocate to research on mental health issues in respect of serving personnel and veterans in each of the next three years. 
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence fully supports the need for high quality research which examines the mental health of current and ex-service personnel. We provide funding for military staff to work at the King's Centre for Military Health Research, which has conducted a number of highly-acclaimed studies over the past years into various aspects of defence health, including mental health. Funding over the next three years is estimated at some £1.25 million. In addition, the Surgeon General's Department has a research budget of £250,000 per annum, which can be used to fund research into areas of relevance to military medicine, including mental health.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much funding his Department plans to allocate to the trial of an online early intervention service for serving personnel and veterans. 
Mr Robathan: The Government are committed to the mental health of our armed forces, both while they are serving and after they have returned to civilian life. We are determined to ensure that those who need it receive the high standard of treatment and care that they deserve.
In his recent study into the mental health of serving and ex-serving personnel entitled "Fighting Fit", commissioned by the Prime Minister, the hon. Member for South West Wiltshire (Dr Murrison) made a number of recommendations, one of which was the trial of an online early intervention service for serving and ex-serving personnel. Plans are being finalised for development of this trial in close consultation with the Department of Health, who are responsible for the delivery of health care to those who have left the services. Details, including the extent of any direct financial contribution from the Ministry of Defence, have yet to be confirmed.
Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what types of boots are supplied to Army personnel; where each such type is manufactured; and what the (a) unit cost and (b) life expectancy is of each type of boot. 
Mr Robathan [holding answer 3 December 2010]: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) currently has three contracts supplying 32 types of boot to armed forces personnel, most of which are used by the Army; two contracts are with UK companies, and the other is with a Spanish company.
The life expectancy of boots depends upon the purpose and the environment in which the boot is being used. In normal use, most boots have an expected life of around three years but combat boots in theatre have a life of about six months.
In accordance with European Union public procurement directives, it is at the discretion of the companies to choose where the manufacturing work is carried out, and the MOD does not routinely collect these data.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate he has made of the number of questions to his Department tabled in the (a) House of Commons and (b) 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. 
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely effect on provision for the defence of the Falkland Islands of the use of the C130J aircraft as a replacement for the Nimrod MRA4; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces (Nick Harvey) on 30 November 2010, Official Report, column 747W, to the hon. Member for Upper Bann (David Simpson).
The Government remain unequivocally committed to the defence of the Falkland Islands. Hercules C-130 aircraft will continue to play a role in this task, along with the many other military assets devoted to the task.
Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the multi-agency response to a fictitious scenario planned for the US base at RAF Welford will take place; and what agencies will be involved. 
The exercise was attended by representatives from the following agencies: the Ministry of Defence (MOD) (including the MOD Police and Guarding Agency), the Home Office, the Royal Air Force, the United States Air Force, and five Home Department Police Forces.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the capabilities are of the (a) Nimrod MRA4, (b) Remotely Piloted Air System, (c) P3 Orion and (d) Breguet Atlantique in respect of (i) speed, (ii) range and (iii) equipment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: The Nimrod MRA4 was planned to have maximum speed of up to 360 knots, and a range of 6,000 miles, or 14 hours without refuelling. I am withholding information about the capabilities we had planned for the MRA4 as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. We have not made any assessment of the capabilities provided by any particular unmanned aerial vehicle in the maritime domain, nor of the P3 Orion or Breguet Atlantique.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements he has made to (a) protect the carrier fleet, (b) provide strategic deterrent against submarines following the cancellation of the Nimrod MRA4; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 28 October 2010, Official Report, columns 450-51W, to the hon. Member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow (Mr McCann), the right hon. Member for Coventry North East (Mr Ainsworth) and the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones), which made clear that we are now developing a longer term plan to mitigate the impact of the cancellation of Nimrod MRA4.
In respect of other Nimrod MRA4 programme costs, the Ministry of Defence has made estimates of savings that would accrue from measures considered in the strategic defence and security review for the purposes of formulating policy. Some of these have been published to help inform the public debate. In the case of the Nimrod MRA4 we estimate that around £2 billion will be saved over the next 10 years, by not bringing the aircraft into service. Release of further detail may prejudice the MOD's negotiating position with its commercial suppliers. The MOD is therefore not prepared to release more detailed savings or updated estimated in-service cost figures at this time.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what additional funding his Department plans to allocate to increase the safety of UK ships importing energy supplies in each year of the Spending Review period. 
Mr Robathan: Departmental funding is not allocated by task in this way. The protection of trade routes and merchant shipping is one of the primary roles of the Royal Navy. As announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Ministry of Defence will also support the new National Maritime Information Centre where departments will work together to monitor and maintain the maritime integrity of the UK. Energy security and supply is an important element of this. In the last six months the Government have made substantial progress in developing security relations between the UK and Norway, which is a key energy partner of the UK.
In addition to this, MOD Guard Service at RAF Welford also have a power of arrest as a crown servant under the RAF Welford bye-laws. These are authorised by the appropriate authority, who in this case is the RAF Station Commander at Welford.
Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse is of the security enhancement to the US base at RAF Welford; and from which budget the expenditure was drawn. 
RAF Welford is made available to the United States Visiting Force (USVF) under the NATO Status of Forces Agreement of 1951. The cost of the
physical security enhancements made at the base was therefore met by the United States Air Force at no cost to the public purse.
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of his Department's requirement for (a) maritime radar capability and (b) carrying of sonobuoys to fulfil search and rescue tasks; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 16 November 2010, Official Report, column 735W to the hon. Member for New Forest East (Dr Lewis); and the answer the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology (Peter Luff) gave on 4 November 2010, Official Report, column 954W, to the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson).
Our requirements for both maritime radar and sonobuoy capabilities were assessed during the strategic defence and security review and these are kept under regular review. The UK will continue to provide search and rescue services using a range of assets depending on the response required.
Mr Robathan: Two members of staff are employed full time on the Trident Value for Money review, with a number of other Ministry of Defence staff providing significant input to the review within the scope of their existing posts.
As at the end of August, the total cost of both officials assigned full time on the Trident Value for Money review is approximately £70,000. The final staff cost is estimated to be approximately £120,000.
In addition, there has been some expenditure on external assistance and technical consultancy for the Value for Money review and linked aspects of the Strategic Defence and Security Review. It has not been possible, in the time available, to determine the precise amount attributable to the Trident Value for Money review and I will write to the hon. Member in due course.
You recently asked how much has been spent to date on carrying out the Value for Money review of Trident; and how much we estimate the final cost will be.
While I was able to provide information on MOD staff costs I was unable to provide the total amount spent during the Value for Money review including external assistance or technical consultancy in the time available.
I am now in a position to provide that information. The total expenditure for the Value for Money review is expected to be some £320,000 against a saving of £3.2 billion from the next 10 years.
Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what mechanism his Department has achieved cost savings in joint work with the US to procure a common missile compartment for the planned successor submarine; and how much funding has been allocated by his Department to the common missile compartment project to date. 
Dr Fox: By working collaboratively with the United States, the UK is sharing the costs of designing and integrating a missile compartment. This enables the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to avoid the significant costs associated with having to adapt and integrate a US only design into a UK submarine, or design and develop a bespoke UK missile compartment.
The decision to proceed with the Vanguard replacement submarines, including the Common Missile Compartment, will not be taken until the main gate decision point, which the Strategic Defence and Security Review confirmed is now planned for the next Parliament. As the design of the missile compartment matures, it is possible that further opportunities to reduce production and whole life costs will be identified.
Mr Robathan: The RAF currently has no plans to change the number of university air squadron bursaries that it offers per year. No decisions have yet been made on the future of bursaries following the Strategic Defence and Security Review announcement.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department has undertaken an impact assessment in respect of the economic effects on the arts sector of the reduction in funding to organisations regularly funded by the Arts Council in the North East as a result of the outcomes of the comprehensive spending review. 
Mr Vaizey: As part of the spending review, the Department will be reducing its own administrative budget by 50% and has asked a number of its arm's length bodies, including Arts Council England, to do the same. At a difficult time our aim has been to ensure that the maximum amount of funding is spent at the front line, rather than on bureaucracy. We had regular discussions with those arm's length bodies during the spending review and those discussions continue. We are confident that in cutting administration in order to limit cuts to the front line, arts organisations across the country, including those in the North East, will continue to thrive.
Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent assessment he has made of the likely effects of local authority funding reductions on arts organisations based in Rochdale metropolitan borough council area. 
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent assessment he has made of the likely effect on arts organisations based in Warrington of local authority funding reductions for arts projects. 
Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the net savings to the public purse arising from the proposed new arrangements for the British Film Industry consequent on the closure of the UK Film Council. 
Mr Jeremy Hunt: It would be premature to give an estimate of the savings now. We first need the due diligences to take place between BFI, UK Film Council and Film London. It would be inappropriate to comment at this stage.
Margot James: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department's Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme is available to higher education graduates from further education colleges. 
Mr Vaizey: The DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries Scheme is a pilot scheme open to arts graduates who graduated from their first degree in 2009 or 2010. Those with an NVQ level 4 or 5 qualification are also eligible. Advice provided by Jerwood, as managers of the scheme, to the first round of host organisations stated that graduates who gained their first degree or equivalent from higher education institutions were eligible to apply; additionally Jerwood aim to be as flexible as possible with eligibility criteria and attempt to assess exceptions on a case by case basis, within necessary limitations on time and resources. Host organisations for the second round have been advised that the focus should be on the level of qualification achieved, rather than where the qualification was gained.
Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much funding he plans to make available to each of the non-national museums in each of the next three years. 
The Design Museum, National Coalmining Museum, People's History Museum and Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives receive grant funding only. The Geffrye Museum, Horniman Museum and Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester receive grant in aid.
Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the potential legacy for southern coastal resorts of the London 2012 Olympics; and if he will make a statement. 
Hugh Robertson: The Government and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) established the Nations and Regions Group to ensure UK-wide engagement and to maximise the legacy from London 2012. This group works directly with representatives from each of the nations and English regions to realise the sporting, economic, and cultural benefits of the 2012 games.
The southern coastal resorts stand to gain from the wide range of opportunities created by the 2012 games, through businesses winning games-related work, increased tourism and cultural celebrations. Some examples of how the south coast, and specifically your own constituency, will benefit from the games are given as follows.
Over 15,000 schools and colleges across the UK have registered for LOCOG's London 2012 education programme Get Set, 2,446 schools and colleges are registered in the south-east. In the Brighton and Hove local authority area 49 schools and colleges have registered for Get Set.
Over 890 cultural or sporting projects across the UK have been awarded the Inspire mark. In the south-east 78 projects have been awarded Inspire marks, some of these projects are based in the southern coastal resorts. One example is Brighton and Hove Primary Schools Language and International Project which links 34 primary schools together, and encourages focused learning and inter-school activities to bring children together from across the city.
In addition, 204 contracts have been awarded by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to suppliers in the south-east and some of these suppliers are also based in southern coastal towns. One of the suppliers is Brighton and Hove city council which has provided business services and consultancy.
So far 22,209 companies in the region have registered on Competefor (the website where London 2012 contract opportunities are advertised), and 169 contracts have been awarded to Competefor suppliers. Not all the information on 'supply chain' level contracts is in the public domain. There may be other companies that have secured 'supply chain' contracts in the region.
The Minister for Sport and Olympics has recently announced the 'Places People Play' programme, which will bring sporting legacy to life in communities across the country. This will be achieved by transforming the places where people play sport, inspiring people to make sport happen at a local level and creating sporting opportunities that give everyone the chance to become part of the mass participation legacy. Further detail can be found at the following link:
Locations across the UK, particularly those that are hosting international teams in pre-games training camps (PGTCs), have additional opportunities to realise the economic benefits of the games. 13 agreements have been signed with teams to hold PGTCs in the south-east.
In addition, enhancements to the Weymouth and Portland sailing venue were completed in November 2008. The National Sailing Academy will benefit from the improved facilities that the games will leave behind, providing a state-of-the-art facility for elite training, competition and local community use.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much funding (a) Sport England and (b) the Football Foundation provided for youth football development by (i) Premier, (ii) Championship, (iii) League and (iv) Conference football clubs in the period 2005 to 2009; and how much such funding each body plans to provide in the period 2009 to 2013. 
Sport England has advised that between 2005 and 2009 they provided a total of £11 million in funding for youth football development through the Whole Sport Plan, and between 2006 and 2009 the
Football Foundation provided a total of £59.1 million. Sport England does not hold the breakdown by different divisions.
Hugh Robertson: Unlike the UK School Games, the Olympic and Paralympic-style School Sports Competition will be based on school and not regional participation. It will not be a single event catering for only our most talented young athletes, but a package of events and activities across England, inspiring a generation of young people to compete in sport. The aim is to ensure all children get an opportunity to participate in competitive sport, not just elite athletes.
The national level event in 2012 will build on the good work that has been achieved through the UK School Games, as a showcase for our most talented youngsters to compete against each other, on behalf of their schools.
Hugh Robertson: Attending this year's Games served to strengthen our commitment to deliver an exciting, inclusive, and engaging Olympic and Paralympic-style school sports competition, with the power to change lives in every school in the country.
On his visit to the Games this year, the Secretary of State was particularly interested to see the Athletes Village atmosphere and enjoyed meeting young people gearing up to perform at their very best.
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the compliance of (a) his Department, (b) its agency and (c) its non-departmental public bodies with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation's criteria for sourcing sustainable timber. 
John Penrose: The Department does not in its day to day work source timber; however we are aware of the compliance issues through attending workshops run by the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET), and advised our agency and arm's length bodies of the requirements.
The Solicitor-General: Budgetary responsibility lies with the Accounting Officers for the Law Officers' Departments. Nevertheless the Law Officers expect each of those Accounting Officers to ensure maximum value for money in respect of all expenditure and to ensure that any expenditure is necessary and appropriate. The information relating to specific LOD's is as follows.
The Attorney-General's Office has no planned expenditure on conferences in 2010-11 other than for training purposes. Such events would only take place if there was a significant business need, and every effort would be made to maximise value for money.
The Treasury Solicitor's Department has no planned expenditure on conferences in 2010-11 other than for training purposes. In some years the Department has held an all staff conference but will not hold such a conference in 2010-11.
No staff conferences are now held outside London.
Wherever possible HMCPSI facilities are used.
Where it is not possible to use HMCPSI facilities, other Government departmental facilities are used at nil cost.
Attendance at conferences for staff training purposes will be authorised only where there is a clear business need.
The Serious Fraud Office's expenditure for conferences would have to be met within a tight budget framework given the need for the SFO to meet the reduction in funding following the comprehensive spending review, and therefore there would have to be a significant business need or spend to save opportunity for any conferences to go ahead. At present the SFO has no plans to hold any internal staff conferences.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), like other Government Departments, is subject to budget reductions and must make cost savings. The CPS has implemented a freeze on new Government advertising and marketing spend for the remainder of the financial year 2010-11. Conferences fall within this expenditure.
If the CPS does run a conference or event, such as the annual Senior Managers' Conference, CPS premises rather than outside venues are used wherever possible to maximise value for money. Attendance at conferences for staff training purposes will be authorised only where there is a clear business need.
The National Fraud Authority (NFA), since May 2010, has observed the cross- Government guidance on marketing by Departments and has not funded any
conferences. External conferences are only attended by the NFA where a highly compelling business requirement can be justified, identifying cost savings where possible.
Robert Halfon: To ask the Attorney-General what estimate he has made of the Law Officers' Departments' 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. 
The Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSol), the Attorney-General's Office (AGO), HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) accounting systems do not capture spend on printing by type of document, and so it is therefore not possible to provide complete figures for all the various categories of document without incurring a disproportionate cost. The information that is available is detailed as follows.
TSol routinely publishes as Command or House of Commons papers each year, an Annual Report and Accounts and Crown's Nominee Accounts. Additionally it publishes annual Resource Accounts which include the accounts of the AGO and HMCPSI and is laid under Act. The estimated cost of printing these accounts, including design and typesetting, for each of the last three years is:
|Accounting y ear||£ million|
The Serious Fraud Office has spent the following on publishing papers presented to Parliament under Act. Printing costs are not recorded separately from publication costs and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
|Accounting y ear||£|
Mr Cash: To ask the Attorney-General what advice he has given to Cabinet colleagues on the legality of the European Financial Stability Mechanism in relation to its application to the United Kingdom. 
The Attorney-General: By long-standing convention, observed by successive Administrations and embodied in the Ministerial Code, whether or not the Law Officers have advised or have been requested to advise on a particular issue, and the content of any advice, is not disclosed outside Government.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) accounts for more than 90% of the Law Officer's departmental vote expenditure, and will face a budget reduction of 25% following the outcome of the comprehensive spending review. Planning is currently under way to ensure this reduction is achieved and equality impact assessments will be undertaken as part of this process.
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will provide (a) cash and (b) other incentives to businesses to employ jobseekers who formerly claimed incapacity benefit. 
Mr Prisk: The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has not in the past provided financial incentives of this nature to employers to encourage them to employ workless people and there are no plans to do so in the future.
Mr Willetts: Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) allocated £193.6 million in 2009-10 to higher education institutions in England as the charity support element of quality related (QR) research funding. Official data for research funding from charities to higher education institutions in 2009-10 are not yet available. In 2008-09, the most recent data available from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the charitable sector spent £665 million on research in English HEIs.
Mr Robin Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills which statutory bodies are responsible for ensuring that company liquidations are initiated and performed according to legal requirements; and how many (a) formal investigations have been undertaken and (b) charges have been brought in respect of liquidations in each of the last three years. 
Mr Davey: There are different routes for a company to enter liquidation. Compulsory liquidations result from a winding-up order made by the court on the petition in most cases of a creditor. In a few cases the petition may be presented by a Government body such as the Insolvency Service in the public interest and very occasionally by the company itself. On the making of a winding-up order the Official Receiver is appointed as liquidator.
A liquidator in either type of liquidation does not carry out a criminal investigation. However, if any prima facie criminal offences come to their attention,
they have a statutory duty to report such matters to the appropriate prosecuting authority, which in almost all liquidation cases is the Legal Services Directorate of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), or to the relevant police authority, for them to decide whether to investigate the matters further.
The Legal Services Directorate of the BIS receives complaints from a number of sources (but predominantly the Insolvency Service) concerning misconduct during the insolvency of companies and individuals. It is not possible to identify from the case tracking system whether the case referred to and investigated by this directorate arose as a result of a compulsory or voluntary liquidation or indeed whether the company referred is not in liquidation at all. In addition, specific charges are not entered onto the case tracking system when proceedings are instituted by this department but rather the charges are entered when a plea is entered and a conviction and sentence or acquittal is recorded. The Legal Services Directorate are therefore unable to state how many charges have been brought in respect of liquidations in each of the last three years.
Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the likely cost to the public purse of any redundancy following the transfer of functions of (a) the Consumer Affairs branch of the Office of Fair Trading and (b) Consumer Direct. 
Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the budget was of (a) Consumer Direct and (b) the Consumer Affairs branch of the Office of Fair Trading in the latest period for which figures are available. 
The Strategic Solution Project aimed to secure the continuation of the Consumer Direct service beyond the expiry of existing contracts in March 2011. The project was on target to deliver a single contract for the provision of Consumer Direct up to 2016-17 but the procurement process was suspended in light of the government's ICT moratorium. The future operation of Consumer Direct will depend on the detail of the transfer of the service to Citizens Advice, which is not yet confirmed.
The Office of Fair Trading does not have a separate Consumer Affairs branch. Since 2006 its structure has been arranged by markets rather than legislation, enabling it to look more easily at whole markets and to use all of the competition and consumer protection tools available to it to improve them where they are not operating effectively.
Mr Davey: Upon receipt of a correctly rendered invoice the Department will aim to pay valid invoices as soon as possible with a target of five working days from date of receipt and within 30 days at the latest in line with our standard terms and conditions. The Department publishes its payment performance at
Robert Halfon: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he has taken since his appointment to reduce expenditure on conferences from budgets within his responsibility. 
Mr Davey: Since my appointment I have taken action to reduce expenditure in general, and administration in particular, across this Department and partner organisations. As a result, departmental expenditure (excluding partner organisations) on conferences is expected to reduce by over 40% this year, when compared to last year.
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding his Department has allocated in grants for (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11; and how much such funding he plans to allocate for 2011-12. 
The Department is currently undertaking an internal allocation exercise to determine detailed allocations for 2011-12 but does not yet have a forecast for grant allocations for the next financial year.
|Total excluding VAT (£)|
|(1) This is for nine months; three months data not available. (2) Before creation of BIS.|
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what timetable he has set for the ratification by Parliament of the provisions of the EU-Andean (Peru and Colombia) Free Trade Agreement. 
Mr Prisk: We expect signature of the EU-Andean Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2011, before which the FTA would be subject to UK parliamentary scrutiny procedures. European Council legal advisers will determine whether the agreement is mixed competence, in which case it will need to be ratified by national parliaments. If, as expected, the FTA is mixed competence, we expect the UK ratification process to begin following signature later in 2011 or 2012. It would take several months to complete the secondary legislation required to ratify the FTA.
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many EU directives are pending transposition into domestic legislation by his Department; and what estimate he has made of the cost of each such transposition. 
Mr Davey: This Department has 17 EU directives pending transposition into domestic legislation. These are at various stages of transposition, and the costs involved can be found in public records, on the individual impact assessments. The Government's Regulatory Forward Programme, to be published in due course for 2010/11, will contain information about measures to be implemented.
Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effect on specialist debt advice services of the time taken to determine the future level of funding for the Financial Inclusion Fund. 
Mr Davey: The Department has been working closely with the different teams that make up its Face-to-Face debt advice project to ensure they continue to deliver debt advice to people in financial difficulty even during an uncertain time for the project itself. At present time we expect the project to meet its overall target of seeing around 90,000 people by the end of this current financial year.
The Government carried out an internal review of support for debt advice provision earlier this year which is now informing our thinking about the future. Final decisions regarding further funding for specific debt advice organisations will be taken once the implications of the spending review have been worked through.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department made of the suitability for appointment of Glen Moreno as Deputy Chairman of the Financial Reporting Council; what assessment he has made of the performance of the Financial Reporting Council against its objective to promote high quality corporate governance; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has every confidence in Glen Moreno, who was appointed Deputy Chair of the Financial Reporting Council through an open competition. I similarly have every confidence in the Financial Reporting Council's work on corporate governance, including the new revision of the Corporate Governance Code and the publication this year of the first Stewardship Code for shareholders.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people of each socio-economic group resident in Newcastle Central constituency applied to attend university at institutions (a) outside the North East and (b) nationally in academic year 2010-11; and how many in each group were successful in their applications. 
Mr Willetts: HEFCE uses two different groupings of areas to define participation in higher education: one based on the participation rates of young (19 and under) people in HE (which is used by HEFCE when looking at young full-time entrants); and one based on the proportion of adults who hold HE qualifications (which is used by HEFCE when looking at part-time and mature full-time entrants). Because this table includes applicants and accepted applicants of all ages it breaks down applicants by the HE qualified adults' measure.
|Total number of applicants and accepted applicants from Newcastle upon Tyne constituency who applied to at least one institution outside the north-east, by adult qualification rate quintile-Year of entry 2010|
|Adult qualification rate quintile||Applicants to at least one institution outside north - east||Accepted to institution outside north- east||Accepted to north- east institution|
1. Excluding a small number of applicants for whom adult qualification rate data were not available. Applicants include those who applied in main scheme and clearing so are not directly comparable with those above.
2. The data presented are for the provisional end of year 2010 captured on 13 October 2010. Final end of year data will be available from 20 January 2011.
Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people of each socio-economic group resident in Newcastle Central constituency applied to attend Newcastle University in the academic year 2010-11; and how many in each group were successful in their applications. 
Mr Willetts: Information on applicants to full-time undergraduate higher education courses is collected by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). UCAS do not issue data by individual higher education institutions as this is the subject of a confidentiality agreement between UCAS and the institutions.
Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he plans to allocate further higher education places to the University centre to Crawley project following the implementation of the proposals in the Browne Review of higher education funding. 
Mr Willetts: Full details of the spending envelope for higher education, including whether there is an allocation of funds and student places for the 'University Challenge' project and the proposal for Crawley, will be published in the forthcoming Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) grant letter, which will be issued before Christmas.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Southport of 25 November 2010, Official Report, column 405W, on higher education: finance, what estimate he has made of the funding each university will receive from (a) the public purse and (b) tuition fees in each of the first five years following the implementation of his proposals for higher education funding and tuition fees; and if he will make a statement. 
Grant allocations to higher education institutions (HEI) are for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) within the overall funding made available by the Department. HEFCE's funding for 2011-12 will be published in its annual grant letter before Christmas this year. Funding for subsequent
years has not yet been determined. The level of tuition fees is for individual HEIs to determine. They have not yet set the fees for academic year 2012/13 or subsequent years.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has made an estimate of the number of part-time degree entrants at (a) the Open University and (b) other higher education institutions in (i) 2008-09 and (ii) 2009-10. 
Mr Willetts: Information from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) shows in the 2008/09 academic year, of the 70,195 part-time first degree entrants, 36,015 (51%) studied at the Open University and 34,180 (49%) at other UK higher education institutions.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many higher education institutions have received financial penalties for over-recruitment in the last academic year. 
Mr Willetts: The latest available information from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is shown in the following table. Figures for the 2009/10 academic year will be available in January 2011.
|UK Domiciled Enrolments( 1) by Government Office Region of Domicile-UK Higher Education Institutions: Academic years 2004/05 to 2008/09|
|Government Office Region||2004/05||2005/06||2006/07||2007/08||2008/09|
|(1) Covers enrolments on all levels and modes of study.|
Figures are based on a HESA standard registration population and have been rounded to the nearest five.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people resident in (a) Haslingden and (b) Hyndburn were in higher education in each year from January 2005 to January 2010. 
Mr Willetts: The latest available information from Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is shown in the following table. Figures for Haslingden are not available as data is not collected to this detailed level. Students studying higher education courses at further education colleges are not included.
|Enrolments( 1) from Hyndburn parliamentary constituency( 2) UK Higher Education Institutions-Academic years 2004/05 to 2008/09|
|(1) Covers enrolments on all levels and modes of study.|
(2) Excludes enrolments whose parliamentary constituency could not be established due to missing or invalid postcode information.
Figures are based on a HESA standard registration population and have been rounded to the nearest five.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).
Mr Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 24 November 2010, Official Report, column 342W, on the North East of England Development Board, what the functions of the North East Advisory Panel are. 
Mr Prisk: The principal function of the North East Investment Advisory Panel is to advise One North East on applications for regional selective assistance under the Grant for Business Investment (GBI) scheme of over £250,000 and less than £2 million.
From time to time the panel is also asked to advise One North East on: applications for selective financial assistance that fall outside current forms of support; applications submitted under the Tees Valley Industrial programme (TVIP); proposals to make major modifications to existing forms of support; proposals to introduce new forms of support under Section 8 of the Industrial Development Act 1982; administrative aspects of GBI and other schemes; and to provide information on the state of the regional economy to the Government Office for the North East as part of its quarterly report.
Lucy Armstrong Consultant, The Alchemists Northern Ltd. (Acting Chair)
Patrica Alexander Managing Director, Shared Interests Ltd.
David Armstrong Consultant (Offshore Sector)
Paul Bartlett Former Director, Artenius UK Ltd.
Chris Gill Finance Director, Wellstream International Ltd.
Robert Hardy Managing Director, Aescia Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
Gillian Hall Partner, Watson Burton LLP
Stephen Hope Operations Director, Amec
Bill Naylor Managing Director, Naylors Chartered Surveyors
John Pike Former Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Union Snack Ltd.
Stephen Turner Vice President and Project Director, Thales UK Ltd.
Mr Willetts: The latest information from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) is available in the table. These figures are also published in Table 1 of HESA's Statistical First Release which will be updated with 2009/10 figures in January 2011:
|EU-domiciled enrolments( 1) , UK higher education institutions, academic years 2004/05 to 2008/09|
|Academic year||EU-domiciled enrolments|
|(1) Covers enrolments to all levels and modes of study. Note: Figures are based on a HESA standard registration population and have been rounded to the nearest five. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).|
Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the level was of UK (a) trade and (b) investment to and from (i) Azerbaijan, (ii) Armenia and (iii) Georgia in (A) 2007, (B) 2008 and (C) 2009. 
|UK exports of goods||UK imports of goods|
The following data for trade in services is taken from the ONS UK Balance of Payments Pink Book. The data for 2007 come from the 2009 edition and may not be fully consistent with the data published in 2010 for the other two years.
|UK exports of services||UK imports of services|
Data on foreign direct investment (FDI) for the three years requested are not available. In the Office for National Statistics estimates of the UK's FDI positions, it did not identify any inward FDI from Azerbaijan, Armenia or Georgia at the end of 2008, or any outward FDI from the UK in Armenia. Data for UK FDI in Azerbaijan and Georgia involved a small number of investors and so would be disclosive if published.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on the provisions of the Re-Export Controls Bill [ Lords]; what the evidential basis is for that policy; and if he will make a statement. 
Re-export controls are unenforceable. Once a good has left the UK, it is in practice under the jurisdiction of the destination country. We would be claiming that UK export controls applied, whereas in reality we would have no powers to enforce them.
We do agree that it is undesirable for UK-origin goods to be re-exported to destinations or end-users of concern. That is why the risk of undesirable re-export is embedded in our assessment of licence applications: where the risk of such a re-export is sufficiently high, an export licence will not be granted.
If a re-export of concern comes to light we can and do factor that in to our assessment of subsequent licence applications for similar goods to that destination. In practice, a re-export control would give us no extra powers.
My noble Friend Baroness Wilcox responded for the Government during the second reading of Lord Alton's Private Members Bill (Re-export Controls) on 3 December 2010, Official Report, House of Lords, column 1667.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent representations he has received on the provisions of the Re-Export Controls Bill [ Lords]; how many such representations expressed (a) support for and (b) opposition to the principle of the Bill; what response he provided in each case; if he will place in the Library a copy of each such response; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Prisk: My hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, received a letter from the noble Lord Alton on 17 November in support of his Re-export Controls Bill. My hon. Friend responded on 23 November and suggested that the noble Lord Alton raised the issues with my noble Friend Baroness Wilcox at their pre-arranged meeting on 23 November. Amnesty International UK, Oxfam GB and Saferworld also made comments in favour of the Bill when they met me on Wednesday 1 December.
The Department additionally received a note from the Export Group for Aerospace and Defence (EGAD) on 30 November, which sets out their general opposition to the principle of re-export controls. We do not intend to respond to this statement.
My noble Friend Baroness Wilcox responded for the Government during the second reading of Lord Alton's Private Members Bill (Re-export Controls) on 3 December 2010, Official Report, House of Lords, column 1667.
Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his most recent estimate is of the monetary value of (a) freehold land and property assets and (b) business and technology-related assets held by (i) Advantage West Midlands, (ii) the East of England Development Agency, (iii) the East Midlands Development Agency, (iv) the North West Development Agency, (v) One North-East, (vi) the South East England Development Agency, (vii) the South West England Development Agency and (viii) Yorkshire Forward. 
|RDA||Valuation as at 31 March 2010 (£000)|
These figures include land and buildings, investment properties and development assets as set out in RDA accounts. The information on business and technology assets is not held centrally in the format requested, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
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