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Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 10 November 2010, Official Report, columns 325-26W, on the diplomatic service, what constitutes the calculation of disproportionate cost; and on how many other occasions has this answer been provided by his Department since May 2010. 
Guidance on the disproportionate cost threshold is issued by Her Majesty's Treasury in the form of a written ministerial statement. This was last issued in January 2010 (20 January 2010, Official Report, column 15WS).
Mr Lidington: The Government's priority is the EU Bill. This will increase democratic and parliamentary control, scrutiny and accountability in EU decision making. We have also begun initial work to review the EU's existing competences, to see if they strike the right balance between what should be done at EU level and national level. We will look at individual dossiers, such as the application of the working time directive in the UK, as well as the bigger picture. But, in accordance with the coalition agreement, we have been clear that there will be no transfer of power or competence from the UK to the EU during the lifespan of this Parliament.
Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received of anti-Semitism in Brandenburg, Germany and the surrounding area; what recent representations he has made to the Government of Germany on anti-Semitism in that country; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Lidington: The state Government of Brandenburg have said that in 2009 there were 109 instances of anti-Semitic crime in Brandenburg, four of them violent. I have made no representations to the Federal Government of Germany on this matter.
The German Government take the rights of their citizens seriously. The German constitution, the basic law, enshrines legal rights, including in matters of religion or race. Article 1 provides for 'The Protection of Human Dignity', Article 3 provides for 'Equality before the Law' and Article 4 provides for 'Freedom of Faith, of Conscience and of Creed.'
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what work his Department is undertaking with the government of Kuwait to encourage democratic reform amongst Gulf Cooperation Council countries. 
Mechanisms such as the annual European Union/Gulf Cooperation Council Joint Ministerial Council, at which Kuwait is represented, also allow for wider discussions with all Gulf Cooperation Council partners.
Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assistance he has offered in resolving the dispute in establishing a legitimate government in the Ivory Coast. 
Mr Bellingham: The British Government fully support the position taken by the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States that Mr Alassane Ouattara was the winner of the presidential elections in Cote d'Ivoire. We support the efforts of these bodies to resolve the political crisis. We will continue to support measures that maintain pressure on Mr Laurent Gbagbo to cede power including sanctions against those impeding the will of the democratic majority.
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support his Department provides to the government of Kuwait to combat terrorist organisations in the Middle East. 
Alistair Burt: The UK and Kuwait maintain close co-operation on counter-terrorism policy. On 9 August 2010 the UK and Kuwait signed a Memorandum of Understanding for security cooperation to facilitate the sharing of expertise and cooperate in the field of security in order to tackle any threats facing the two countries including fighting terrorism, organised crime and money laundering.
The recent visit to Kuwait made by my noble Friend Baroness Neville-Jones to speak at the Fourth Anti Money-Laundering Conference highlighted the valuable work undertaken by the UK and Kuwait to combat illicit financing across the globe.
Alistair Burt: The window for peace in the middle east is closing as the facts on the ground change: there is an urgent need for progress to secure a two state solution, based on 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the future capital of two states and with a fair settlement for refugees. This is important for Israelis, for Palestinians and for the international community, including the UK. We understand the depth of Israeli security concerns. But the strength of our friendship means that we can and must say frankly that we were disappointed that Israel did not renew the freeze on settlement construction and that peace talks are currently on hold. We will continue to work with the United States, the parties to the conflict and with our EU and UN partners to return to direct negotiations to achieve a two state solution.
Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent progress has been made by the UN inquiry panel chaired by Geoffrey Palmer investigating the interception on 31 May 2010 of the Free Gaza movement flotilla. 
Alistair Burt: The UN inquiry panel, headed by Geoffrey Palmer, last delivered a progress report to the UN Secretary-General on 15 September 2010. The report was largely procedural in nature, explaining the panel's understanding of the tasks at hand and working methods. We understand the panel is due to deliver its final report in March 2011 at the earliest.
My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary welcomed the UN Secretary-General's establishment of a panel of inquiry, and both Israel and Turkey's commitment to participate. The panel has an important role to play in investigating and resolving the dispute over the Gaza flotilla incident and preventing future recurrence. It is also vital that the existing national investigations proceed swiftly, transparently and rigorously to ensure full accountability.
Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2010, Official Report, column 515W, on Palestinians: international assistance, what recent progress he has made together with his EU counterparts on further EU action for peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis. 
Alistair Burt: The middle east peace process remains among the government's highest foreign policy priorities. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary visited Israel and the Occupied Territories on 3-4 November 2010, during which he spoke with both Palestinian and Israeli Ministers to urge them to make progress.
The UK supported the December 2010 EU Foreign Affairs Council conclusions which reaffirmed the EU's stance supporting a negotiated two state solution. It remains the UK view that this is the only sustainable solution with a viable Palestinian state existing alongside a secure Israel recognised by her neighbours. These conclusions also expressed the EU's concern over the prevailing situation in Gaza. The EU reiterated its call for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza.
Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answers of 14 June 2010, Official Report, column 301W, and 12 July 2010, Official Report, column 515W, on Palestinians: international assistance, what recent progress has been made on lifting the Gaza blockade; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: Israel's recent announcement on exports was an encouraging step. The key will be implementation. We discuss these issues regularly with the Government of Israel and will continue to do so. Following the recent announcement the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development had positive discussions with the Government of Israel about the type and levels of exports they plan to achieve in 2011. We want to see a return to pre-2007 levels of exports in 2011 and have made clear that we stand ready, with EU partners, to work with Israel to achieve this.
Nicola Blackwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations his Department has made to the Government of Singapore on behalf of Mr Alan Shadrake; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: In my statement of 16 November 2010, I expressed dismay that Mr Shadrake had been convicted and sentenced to six weeks in jail in Singapore for expressing his personal views on the Singaporean legal system.
In January 2011, our high commissioner, Paul Madden, raised Mr Shadrake's case during his farewell call on Singapore's Foreign Minister, George Yeo, highlighting the UK position on freedom of expression. We will continue to call on all countries, including Singapore, to recognise the right to freedom of expression as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Our high commission in Singapore will continue to provide consular assistance to Mr Shadrake, as they have done since his arrest in July 2010. Mr Shadrake is currently appealing against his conviction.
Mr Bellingham: I was saddened to hear of the deaths in Arusha of protesters who were demonstrating against the outcome of the mayoral election held in December 2010. Our high commission in Tanzania is monitoring the situation closely. Our high commissioner is in contact at the highest level with the Government of Tanzania and Opposition leaders to clarify the circumstances of these tragic deaths, and to urge for a resolution through political dialogue.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had recent discussions with his Tanzanian counterpart; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Bellingham: The Under-Secretary of State for International Development, the hon. Member for Eddisbury (Mr O'Brien) and I have had numerous discussions with senior members of the Tanzanian Government concerning all aspects of our bilateral relationship. These discussions have included the future of our trade and development relationships, and our joint work to advance peace and security in East Africa, in particular on the growing problem of piracy in the Indian ocean.
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contact the British High Commission in Tanzania has had with opposition leaders in that country since their arrest in January 2010. 
Our high commission staff have been in touch with senior representatives of the opposition party since news broke of their arrest on 5 January. Our
high commissioner spoke to Dr Slaa, Secretary-General of the Chama cha Maendeleo na Demokrasia (Party for Democracy and Development) (CHADEMA), on 12 January 2011, following the funerals of those killed during the demonstrations, to stress the need for a peaceful resolution of differences through dialogue.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will meet his Turkish counterpart to discuss the religious (a) rights and (b) properties of the Greek Christian minority in Turkey. 
Mr Lidington: Our embassy in Ankara raises the issue of respect for all religious minorities in its wider discussions on human rights with its Turkish counterparts. Respect for religious minority groups was also raised in the 2010 Progress Report on Turkey's EU Accession process.
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Development on financial assistance for North African countries to deal with humanitarian issues relating to West African migrants coming to the EU. 
Alistair Burt: Through the EU, the UK provides support to some north African countries to help implement their agreed country action plans. These funds support work across a number of areas, including migration and strengthening the rule of law. The Department for International Development does not provide direct support because it prioritises assistance to less developed countries.
Naomi Long: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with the (a) Northern Ireland Executive, (b) Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and (c) Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the effects on Northern Ireland of banking regulation. 
Mr Hoban: Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such discussions.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will seek a refund of the capital gains tax levied by the Spanish Government on British citizens which the European Court of Justice has declared to be discriminatory. 
Mr Gauke: These cases concern tax paid by individuals to a foreign state. It follows that the UK Government has no direct involvement and it is for the individuals themselves to take forward any action if they believe they have paid too much tax following a decision by the ECJ.
A proposed regulation on derivatives transactions, central counterparties and trade repositories, the detail of which is currently under negotiation in the European Council;
A review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), on which the European Commission has recently issued a consultation paper; and
A proposed regulation on energy market integrity and transparency, currently in the early stages of discussion in the European Council.
John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on which occasions he has discussed with the chief executives of (a) Royal Bank of Scotland Group, (b) Lloyds Banking Group and (c) Barclays (i) the bonuses paid to their staff and (ii) their personal bonus since 1 December 2010. 
John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many windows of his Department's premises in Whitehall were broken in (a) November and (b) December 2010; and on what dates such breakages occurred. 
Justine Greening: Spending on press cuttings since 2002-03 is shown in the following table. Because of a change in accounting system in 2002-03, information in relation to earlier years could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Justine Greening: Figures for the UK's gross and net contributions are available in the annual White Paper on the "EU Budget and measures to counter fraud and financial mismanagement". The latest publication is available in the House Library as well as online at:
|UK contributions to EU budget( 1)|
|Gross contribution( 2)||Net receipts( 3)|
|(1 )Source-Various editions of the EU budget White Paper, 2010-11 projection from the OBR Autumn Forecast (Public Finances Supplementary Data, Table 1.6):|
(2) After UK abatement.
(3) Net of public sector receipts.
Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate revenue to accrue to the Exchequer in a financial year from fuel duty levied at the present rate on unleaded petrol and diesel on the basis of (a) the volume of fuel purchased in the most recent financial year for which figures are available and (b) an average price of £1.30 for diesel and £1.26 for petrol. 
Justine Greening: Table C11 on page 100 of the June Budget (HC61) forecasts receipts from fuel duty in 2010-11 and through to 2015-16. An update will be provided in Budget 2011 on 23 March. Information on fuel supply volumes is available at:
Mr Hoban: The Government have asked the Consumer Financial Education Body (CFEB) to deliver a free and impartial national financial advice service that will be available to everyone in the UK online, over the phone and face-to-face, by spring 2011. This will increase levels of financial literacy and empower people to take charge of their finances.
Justine Greening: I refer the hon. Members for Hartlepool (Mr Wright), York Outer (Julian Sturdy), Hendon (Mr Offord) and the right hon. Member for Gordon (Malcolm Bruce) to the answer given on 1 November 2010, Official Report, column 665W, to the hon. Member for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith).
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he has made an assessment of petrol prices in (a) rural and (b) island petrol forecourts; and if his
Department will undertake a study of the effects of such prices on rural economies; 
A range of evidence is being considered as part of the work prior to submitting a formal proposal to the European Commission for a pilot scheme that will deliver a maximum of five pence per litre duty discount on petrol and diesel in remote rural areas.
Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people will be taken out of income tax as a result of the £1,000 increase in the personal allowance in each (a) region, (b) local authority and (c) parliamentary constituency. 
Mr Gauke: June 2010 Budget estimates of the number of persons taken out of income tax as a result of the £1,000 increase in the personal allowance in 2011-12 by Government office region are provided in the following table.
|Government office region||Number taken out of tax (thousand)|
Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many basic rate taxpayers will pay less tax as a result of the £1,000 increase in the personal allowance in each financial year from 2011-12 to 2014-15. 
Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will assess the likely effects of changes to the claimant count forecast in the November Economic and Fiscal Outlook on projections for expenditure on (a) jobseeker's allowance and (b) housing benefit. 
As Chair of the Budget Responsibility Committee of the Office for Budget Responsibility I have been asked to reply to your recent question.
The forecast effects of changes to the claimant count forecast in the November 2010 "Economic and fiscal outlook" on the forecast for these benefits are shown in Table 4.16 of the "Economic and fiscal outlook" document. The figures are contained in the line in Table 4.16 that shows the change in DWP benefit payments on account of changes in the economic assumption for unemployment.
The effects on benefits from the changes to the claimant count forecast shown in that table are in the order of £0.2 billion, or less. These figures cover changes to jobseeker's allowance and housing benefits, and also some negligible amounts to council tax benefit. The OBR only shows forecasts of spending to the nearest £0.1 billion, and most of the changes to the underlying benefits are less than £0.1 billion.
Julian Sturdy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department plans to take steps to address Lloyds TSB shareholders' compensation claims arising from the HBOS/Lloyds TSB merger. 
Mr Hoban: Treasury has received a letter written on behalf of certain shareholders in Lloyds, alleging that the circular sent out by Lloyds to its shareholders in advance of the HBOS acquisition was misleading, and that Treasury is responsible for that. Treasury has replied, strongly refuting the allegation.
Ian Mearns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Sure Start maternity grants were made to mothers for a second or subsequent child by the Jobcentre Plus social fund budget area that covers Gateshead constituency in 2009-10. 
The Jobcentre Plus social fund budget area that covers the constituency of Gateshead is Northumbria. A total of 4,800 Sure Start maternity grants were awarded for
Northumbria in 2009-10. The exact number of awards for a second or subsequent maternity for Northumbria in 2009-10 is not available, but is estimated to be 52% of all awards, namely 2,500.
1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using official/national statistics but in this case we only have Management Information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as official/national statistics and there are some issues with the data; for example, the total number of Sure Start maternity grant awards for Northumbria does not include claims which were processed clerically and have not yet been entered on to the Social Fund Computer System.
2. Both numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100.
Department for Work and Pensions Social Fund Policy, Budget and Management Information System (for total number of awards for Northumbria).
The estimate of 52% was obtained by analysing families in Great Britain with a child (or children) aged under one from the Department for Work and Pensions Income Support and Jobseeker's Allowance Quarterly Statistical Enquiries for August 2009.
Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the effect on (a) inflation and (b) economic growth of likely increases in (i) oil and (ii) food prices in 2011. 
Justine Greening: The Government consider a range of factors when making their assessment of the UK economy. The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) set out its forecast for the economy in its November 2010 "Economic and Fiscal Outlook". The OBR's inflation forecast is broadly consistent with the Bank of England and HM Treasury's latest average of independent forecasts.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to consult the UK Statistics Authority on his proposed changes to the index-linking arrangements for pensions and benefits; and if he will make a statement. 
Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 23 November 2010, Official Report, column 209W, on the renewables obligation, if he will estimate the contribution of the renewables obligation to the total tax burden; and if he will estimate the sum attributed from the renewables obligation to public expenditure. 
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has published a forecast of the Renewables Obligation (RO) in its "Economic and fiscal outlook" on 29 November 2010. This forecast is consistent with
the ONS's current methodology for evaluating tax and spend through the RO, though the ONS are currently reviewing this.
Mrs Ellman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) which individuals and organisations he plans to consult on the future of HM Revenue and Customs staff and buildings in Liverpool following the outcome of the comprehensive spending review; and when he expects such consultation processes to commence; 
Mr Gauke: The purpose of the review of the Liverpool estate is to establish business requirements for the future and how this will shape estate requirements. As part of this, HMRC will consult with the Government Property Unit about the estate requirements of other Government Departments in the Liverpool area and internally with business managers and, via the trade unions, with members of staff. Consultation has already started and will be taken forward jointly by HMRC's Workforce Management Programme and the Estate Consolidation Programme.
Mrs Ellman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish the results of the latest review of the HM Revenue and Customs estate in Liverpool; and what options he is considering for the future of that estate. 
Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has not yet completed the latest review of its estate in Liverpool. Options under consideration include the vacation of its building at Queens Dock but no decisions have yet been taken. This was communicated to staff at the four offices in Liverpool in December. Discussions with internal business units and the Government Property Unit in relation to wider civil estate needs have already started and HMRC expects to be able to publish the outcome of the review of the Liverpool estate in spring 2011.
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many and what proportion of
people had tax debts of under £10,000 in the latest period for which figures are available; and how many and what proportion of these cases he estimates will be referred to private sector debt collection agencies; 
HMRC will be referring a range of types, sizes and ages of debts to private sector debt collection agencies in 2010-11 including debts relating to both individual and business debtors. This will accelerate the collection of lower value debts and is expected to generate an additional £140 million from debts that might otherwise be written off.
HMRC do not currently refer cases to private sector debt collection agencies for door-to-door visits and this work is currently undertaken in-house by HMRC. There are no current plans to change this approach.
Mr Byrne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the monetary value was of tax receipts for (a) business services, (b) education, health and social work, (c) financial intermediation, (d) manufacturing and (e) other wholesale and retail trade from (i) personal tax, (ii) direct business tax, (iii) consumption tax, (iv) property tax and (v) environmental tax in (A) 1998-99, (B) 1999-2000, (C) 2000-01, (D) 2001-02 and (E) 2002-03. 
HMRC produce a breakdown by broad industrial sector for corporation tax, PAYE income tax and class 1 national insurance contributions (NICs) and value added tax (VAT), No breakdown by industrial sector for self-assessment taxation or property and environmental taxes is available.
As for the previous answer, historical figures for corporation tax receipts paid by several broadly-defined business sectors for the years requested are published in Table 11.1 on the HMRC National Statistics website:
For personal taxes a breakdown by sector can be produced for PAYE income tax and class 1 NICs received by HMRC in respect of employee and employer liabilities. Figures for the requested sectors are as follows:
Figures for 2001, 2002 and 2003 not contained in the archived factsheets are in the following table. These data relate to calendar years and are not available in financial year format. Figures for earlier years are not available.
|Total net tax|
Mr Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to his Department's document, Furnished Holiday Lettings: a summary of responses, (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of the metrics (a) used in the impact assessment to calculate the anticipated differential impact on businesses in remote and rural areas of changes to related eligibility criteria and (b) which underpinned the conclusion that evidence suggested that the projected asymmetry was not of sufficient scale to outweigh the considerations which led to the Government's proposals; 
(3) what field research was undertaken in Scotland and Northern Ireland; and in what ways the findings of such research influenced the position set out in the key findings and the Government's response; 
(4) how many (a) supportive and (b) negative responses were received to question five in his Department's consultation on furnished holiday lettings from respondents in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) each region in England. 
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what tax information exchange agreements the Government have established with other countries; and whether he has any plans to review such agreements. 
Mr Gauke: Tax information exchange agreements are in force with Bermuda, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, the British Virgin Islands, Liechtenstein, Gibraltar and the Bahamas. Similar agreements have been signed with Anguilla, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica, Grenada, Belize, San Marino, the former Netherlands Antilles, Aruba and Liberia but these have yet to enter into force. The United Kingdom can also exchange information with over 100 other jurisdictions through our network of agreements for the avoidance of double taxation and under bilateral agreements regarding the taxation of income from savings. All international tax agreements are kept under review.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the cost to charities in 2011 of raising the value added tax rate to 20%; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gauke: Charities benefit from a range of tax reliefs which for 2009-10 the Government estimate are worth approximately £3 billion per annum. These include reliefs from VAT; for example: VAT zero-rating on the sale of donated goods, medical and scientific equipment and, for qualifying charities, goods for use by disabled people. All zero rates are derogations from the normal EU VAT rules, and represent benefits not enjoyed by charities elsewhere in Europe.
Charities carrying out non-taxable activities may incur irrecoverable VAT on their purchases, but information is not available to assess accurately the amount or the effect of the increase in the standard rate of VAT.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider the merits of changing the value added tax (VAT) rules to ensure that charities are not adversely affected by the recent rise in VAT; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gauke: The Government inherited an exceptional fiscal challenge. The most urgent priority is to tackle the record budget deficit to restore confidence in our economy and support the recovery. We recognise that the increase in the rate of VAT is unwelcome, but it is necessary to sustain public finances and ensure long-term fiscal stability.
The Government support charities. Charity tax reliefs are currently worth around £3 billion a year, of which Gift Aid makes up over £1 billion, and the Government are committed to retaining the existing VAT zero rates for charities, which provide them with a benefit of around £200 million. We will continue to look at options within the VAT system where these are available to us and affordable within agreed funding arrangements.
Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the amount of additional value added tax to be paid by charities, voluntary organisations, and the third sector in each financial year to 2015-16 attributable to the increase in the basic rate of this tax on 4 January 2011. 
Mr Gauke: Charities benefit from a range of tax reliefs which for 2009-10 the Government estimate are worth approximately £3 billion per annum. These include reliefs from VAT; for example: VAT zero-rating on the sale of donated goods, medical and scientific equipment and, for qualifying charities, goods for use by disabled people. All zero rates are derogations from the normal EU VAT rules, and represent benefits not enjoyed by charities elsewhere in Europe.
Charities carrying out non-taxable activities may incur irrecoverable VAT on their purchases but information is not available to assess accurately the amount or the effect of the increase in the standard rate of VAT.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations his Department has received from (a) Visit Britain and (b) other interested bodies on the effect on businesses in the (i) restaurant and (ii) hotel sectors of the level of value added tax. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his contribution of 22 June 2010, Official Report, column 178, on ways and means: financial statement, what progress has been made towards the introduction of a fuel stabiliser; if he will introduce a fuel rebate for residents of remote rural areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Justine Greening: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to the hon. Member for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith) on 1 November 2010, Official Report, column 665W and to the hon. Member for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Mr MacNeil) on 21 December 2010, Official Report, column 1143W.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the annual amount of carbon dioxide emissions arising from travel of personnel between 15 Brigade headquarters and the units under its command at (a) its current location in York and (b) a new location at Catterick. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: It is not possible to provide a meaningful estimate of the carbon dioxide emissions arising from the travel of between 15 (North East) Brigade headquarters and the units under its command at this time.
Mr Gerald Howarth: There are no disabled service personnel currently working at Imphal Barracks, York, but 13 civilians working at the barracks have declared themselves as disabled. We are unable to say how many of those civilians are ex-service personnel, as civilian personnel are not required to declare whether they are ex-service.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will commission an equality and diversity report to assess the suitability of (a) the 15 Brigade headquarters premises at York and (b) Bourlon Barracks at Catterick for employment of disabled service and ex-service personnel. 
There are no firm plans at present to locate further units at Bourlon Barracks in Catterick. However, should a decision be made to develop Bourlon Barracks, we would comply with the legal requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, to ensure that the needs of all disabled personnel are taken into account.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will estimate the capital cost of bringing Bourlon Barracks at Catterick up to the standard required for use as a brigade or garrison headquarters; if he will estimate the staff redundancy and recruitment costs which would arise from moving 15 Brigade headquarters from York to Catterick; and if he will carry out a full investment appraisal before deciding where to locate the 15 Brigade headquarters. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: Bourlon Barracks is being retained as a site for future development within the Catterick Long Term Development Plan, which could see additional units being moved to Catterick. No estimate of costs involved has been made since there are no firm plans at present.
A project team has been set up to review the headquarters structure of the Regional Divisions and Brigades within the UK and it is currently looking at the functional responsibilities and span of control of each of the Brigades. This work is expected to be completed later this year.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reasons the recently planned official visit to Afghanistan of James Blunt and Katherine Jenkins did not take place; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: Katherine Jenkins and James Blunt were due to fly to Afghanistan on a civilian chartered aircraft on 20 December 2010. Due to a technical issue a spare part was required. Unfortunately, by the time it took to arrive and once a time to enter European airspace was reallocated (which was beyond our control), the crew had exceeded their duty time, necessitating the cancellation of the flight. With the general disruption to the airbridge and to civilian flights into and out of the UK as a result of snow, they were understandably unable to rearrange their schedules. Therefore regrettably, the visit did not take place.
Mr Gerald Howarth: The information is not held centrally and could be obtained only through a manual search of records. However, on 22 July 2010, Official Report, columns 29-30WS, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced that all service personnel serving tours in Afghanistan and Iraq of six months or longer will continue to receive two weeks mid-tour leave, but now with a guarantee that any days lost owing to delays in transit or for any other operational reason, will be made up at the end of their tour.
Mr Gerald Howarth: None. Despite adverse weather conditions and technical issues, all members of the armed forces serving in Afghanistan who were due to be back in the UK for rest and recuperation over the Christmas period arrived before 25 December 2010.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent estimate he has made of the level of poverty among armed forces veterans who retired before 1975 and do not receive a full armed forces pension; and what welfare provision his Department offers to people who retired from the armed forces before 1975. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: No such estimate has been made. The Government provide a comprehensive programme of support for all ex-service personnel. All former service personnel facing difficulties in their civilian lives, regardless of when they retired from service, have access to the free Veterans Helpline and the Veterans Welfare Service which provides tailored advice and support to those in need.
We are committed to rebuilding the Military Covenant and officials are in regular discussion with the Department of Health, Ministry of Justice, Department of Communities and Local Government and the Department of Work and Pensions, the devolved Administrations and others to ensure that former servicemen and women receive the services they deserve.
Former service personnel injured as a result of service before 6 April 2005 can apply for compensation in the form of a war pension, and this includes those who served before 1975 and who are not in receipt of a full armed forces occupational pension. For those whose disablement affects their ability to work, additional provision may be made in the form of supplementary allowances, paid in addition to the war pension. All pensions and allowances are tax-free and can be worth up to £520 per week.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the criteria for entitlement to a full armed forces pension for people who retired from the armed forces before 1975 were last reviewed; and if he will make a statement. 
Prior to 1975 officers who left service at age 55 with 34 years reckonable service and other ranks who left at age 55 with 37 years reckonable service were entitled to a full career pension. This qualifying period remained the same when the Armed Forces Pension Scheme 1975 was introduced.
No. It is a principle of public service pensions policy, and one that has been upheld by successive Governments, that any changes to pension schemes are
not made retrospective. It is a legal principle that individuals receive the benefits in accordance with the scheme rules in place at the time of their retirement.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of extending eligibility for a full armed forces pension to those who retired from the armed forces before 1975; and what proportion of his Department's budget this would represent in 2011-12. 
Mr Robathan: No specific estimate has been made of the cost of backdating armed forces' preserved pensions prior to 1975 but as the number of those affected is large, the costs would be considerable and likely to run into billions of pounds.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces veterans who retired before 1975 and do not receive a full armed forces pension live in (a) Wigan constituency, (b) the North West and (c) the UK. 
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to ensure that the Red Arrows and the Royal Navy participate in the Kalamata Memorial Service for the Greek Campaign in May 2011. 
Mr Gerald Howarth: The Government fully endorse the importance of commemorating past conflicts in which UK forces were involved, showing respect for those who gave their lives in many parts of the world for their country.
I can confirm that a request has been made for Royal Navy and Royal Air Force (Red Arrows) support at the Kalamata Memorial Service for the Greek Campaign in 2011 and this is currently under consideration.
Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason the Met Office published estimates in October 2010 which showed a 60 to 80 per cent chance of warmer-than-average temperatures in the winter of 2010; and what the scientific basis of such estimates was. 
Mr Robathan: This was one piece of raw computer model output, published in the science area of the Met Office website for international collaboration with other scientists and not issued as a long range forecast to the public. Met Office forecasts are produced by weighing up all available evidence. In late October 2010, based on all available evidence, the Met Office advised that there was an increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season.
|Tail number||Total flying hours|
The total flying hours of an aircraft do not on their own determine the operational utility, condition or remaining service life. All aircraft have appropriate scheduled and preventative maintenance programmes. Aircraft can also be extended in service through specific programmes to extend fatigue-life and additional or upgraded capabilities can be fitted to older aircraft.
Nick Harvey: This decision to discontinue the Sea Harrier was made by the previous Government. I refer the hon. Member to the answer provided by the then Minister for the Armed Forces on 28 February 2002, Official Report, column 1453W.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will place in the Library a copy of the room booking schedule for accommodation at Okehampton Training Camp for August 2011; and if he will make a statement; 
Of the 776 beds at Okehampton Training Camp, only 517 are covered by the contractual agreement between Defence Estates and Landmarc Support Services. The use of any beds above that number is charged at a higher rate. The current assessment is that all 517 beds are required in August 2011 for military training purposes (and on the basis of previous years it is likely that all 776 beds may be required in August for military personnel).
Mr Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of returning the RAF Kinloss site to its original owners in its (a) current state and (b) original condition as agricultural land. 
When an airfield is declared surplus to Defence requirements it is normal for MOD to investigate the Crichel Down (Former Owner) position. Whatever the outcome of any eventual investigation, there is no obligation to return it to its original condition.
Gemma Doyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will estimate the change in unemployability allowance payable to a member of each of the armed forces at each rank living until (a) 60, (b) 65, (c) 70, (d) 75, (e) 80, (f) 85, (g) 90, (h) 95 and (i) 100 years as a result of the use of the consumer price index rather than the retail price index to calculate such allowances; 
(2) if he will estimate the change in disablement gratuity for each specified minor injury to a member of each of the armed forces at each rank living until (a) 60, (b) 65, (c) 70, (d) 75, (e) 80, (f) 85, (g) 90, (h) 95 and (i) 100 years as a result of the use of the consumer price index rather than the retail price index to calculate such sums; 
(3) if he will estimate the change in disability pension payable to a member of each of the armed forces at each rank living until (a) 60, (b) 65, (c) 70, (d) 75, (e) 80, (f) 85, (g) 90, (h) 95 and (i) 100 years as a result of the use of the consumer price index rather than the retail price index to calculate such pensions; 
(4) what estimate he has made of the savings which will accrue to his Department from the change in pension indexation from the retail price index to the consumer price index in each financial year to 2019-20. 
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much less exceptionally severe disablement allowance a member of the armed forces in each of the three forces retiring at each rank would receive as a result of the change to link pensions to the consumer prices index from the retail prices index if they lived until (a) 60, (b) 65, (c) 70, (d) 75, (e) 80, (f) 85, (g) 90, (h) 95 and (i) 100 years; 
(2) how much less mobility allowance a member of the armed forces in each of the three forces retiring at each rank would receive as a result of the change to link pensions to the consumer prices index from the retail prices index if they lived to the age of (a) 60, (b) 65, (c) 70, (d) 75, (e) 80, (f) 85, (g) 90, (h) 95 and (i) 100 years; 
(3) how much less invalidity allowance a member of the armed forces in each of the three forces retiring at each rank would receive as a result of the change to link pensions to the consumer prices index from the retail prices index if they lived to the age of (a) 60, (b) 65, (c) 70, (d) 75, (e) 80, (f) 85, (g) 90, (h) 95 and (i) 100 years; 
(4) how much less constant attendance allowance a member of the armed forces in each of the three forces retiring at each rank would receive as a result of the change to link pensions to the consumer prices index from the retail prices index if they lived to the age of (a) 60, (b) 65, (c) 70, (d) 75, (e) 80, (f) 85, (g) 90, (h) 95 and (i) 100 years; 
(5) how much less comforts allowance a member of the armed forces in each of the three forces retiring at each rank would receive as a result of the change to link pensions to the consumer prices index from the retail prices index if they lived to the age of (a) 60, (b) 65, (c) 70, (d) 75, (e) 80, (f) 85, (g) 90, (h) 95 and (i) 100 years. 
Such is the scale of the country's economic problems that we inherited, no part of society-not even the armed forces-can be fully exempt from the need to find ways to reduce the budget deficit, and some tough policy decisions have therefore had to be made. Armed forces pensions and compensation benefits cannot be treated in isolation from other public sector schemes and benefits.
The emergency Budget announced that from April 2011 the indexation of benefits, tax credits and the state second pension will be based on the consumer prices index (CPI) instead of the retail price index (RPI). This change will also apply to public service pensions through the statutory link to the indexation of the additional pensions in long-term benefits. This link has been in place since 1979.
Legislation which governs the uprating of pensions requires consideration to be given to increases in the general level of prices estimated in such manner as the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions thinks fit-and therefore contemplates that different methods of doing so may be used from time to time. The Government consider that CPI, already used to set the inflation target for the Bank of England, is the appropriate index
to use going forward, and will provide protection against inflation. Unlike the RPI, the way the index is constructed is designed to take account of the fact that consumers will tend to 'shop around', switching to cheaper alternatives when relative prices for similar goods change.
The change in indexation is forward looking, so future increases in the value of deferred pensions, or pensions in payment will be based on the CPI. For this reason the Government believe that this is not a reduction of accrued rights-public service pensions will continue to be index linked and continue to protect individual pensions against increases in the cost of living.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2010, Official Report, column 607W, on Building Schools for the Future programme, how many pieces of correspondence his Department received in support of the ending of the Building Schools for the Future programme. 
Mr Gibb: As noted in my reply to the hon. Member given on 1 November 2010, Official Report, column 607W, the Department for Education is able to provide information on the number of items of correspondence received on a specific subject but is unable to provide information on specific correspondence content.
The review panel will be issuing an interim report in spring 2011 and a final report in September 2011. Future decisions about CAFCASS and the wider family justice system will be made in light of the panel's conclusions.
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the average time taken for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service to allocate cases in each region was in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Tim Loughton: This question relates to an operational matter for which CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) is responsible. I have asked CAFCASS's chief executive, Anthony Douglas, to write to the hon. Gentleman with the requested information. A copy of the letter will be laid in the House Library in due course.
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many people the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service employed in (a) its head office and (b) England in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Tim Loughton: The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) England employs a total of 2,037 staff. Of this number, 154 staff are employed in its national office and the remaining 1,883 are based across England. This information was correct at 15 December 2010.
Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children (a) in total, (b) of asylum seekers and (c) who had been trafficked entered local authority care in each of the last five years. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 10 January 2011]: The number of children who have entered care including unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the last five years is included in the following table. We do not centrally collect the number of looked-after children who may have been trafficked into the country.
|Children who started to be looked-after during the years ending 31 March( 1, 2, 3, 4, ) years ending 31 March 2006 to 2010, coverage: England|
|(1) Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100. (2) Only the first occasion on which a child started to be looked-after in the year has been counted. (3) Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials. (4) Figures exclude children looked-after under an agreed series of short-term placements. Source: SSDA903.|
Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many children (a) in total, (b) of asylum seekers and (c) who had been trafficked went missing from local authority care in each of the last five years. 
Tim Loughton [holding answer 10 January 2011]: The number of children in care who went missing from care in the last five years, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, is included in the following table. We do not centrally collect the number of looked-after children who may have been trafficked into the country and who have gone missing from care.
|Children looked-after who went missing from care during the year ending 31 March( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ) years ending 31 March 2006 to 2010, coverage: England|
|(1) Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. (2 )Figures exclude children looked-after under an agreed series of short-term placements. (3) Historical data may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments and corrections sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials. (4) Children who went missing on more than one occasion during the year have been counted once. (5) Includes looked-after children who were missing from care for a period of more than 24 hours. Source: SSDA903.|
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