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14 Feb 2011 : Column 529W—continued

Telecommunications: Hearing Impairment

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to increase the range, quality and availability of telecommunications equipment for individuals who are (a) deaf, (b) deafblind and (c) hard of hearing. [40903]

Mr Vaizey: As part of its implementation of the European Framework on Electronic Communications, Government are supporting deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing telecoms users by pursuing the duty to promote the availability of terminal equipment suitable for disabled users through the e-Accessibility Forum, which draws together Government, industry and the voluntary sector to explore and understand issues of e-accessibility and develop and share best practice across all sectors.


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One of the group's workstreams includes looking at what consumer technology and digital equipment is on the market and how issues surrounding affordability and availability of assistive technologies can be overcome.

Telecommunications: Sign Language

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he plans to take towards ensuring that there is equal access to telecommunications for users of British Sign Language in the next 12 months. [39567]

Mr Vaizey: The revised provisions of the EU Electronic Communications Framework, which include revisions to the Universal Services Directive, provide for member states to empower national regulatory authorities (Ofcom in the UK) to specify, where appropriate, requirements to ensure that disabled end-users:

In order to fully implement this provision, officials in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have proposed making changes to section 51 of the Communications Act 2003 to clarify Ofcom's power to impose a general condition in relation to equivalence. In addition, they are further analysing the responses to the recent Government public consultation on proposals to implement the revised framework, including article 23a of the USD directive on equivalence of access and choice for disabled end-users.

Ofcom are also undertaking a review of relay service provision for hearing- and speech-impaired users of electronic communications, which includes video relay.

The Connected Kingdom: How the Internet is Transforming the UK Economy

Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport if he will assess the conclusions and recommendations of the report The Connected Kingdom: How the Internet is Transforming the UK Economy. [39779]

Mr Vaizey: We will take into account the findings of this report when developing policy on the internet economy, including the current digital and creative industries growth review which will look at potential opportunities and barriers to growth for these sectors.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Common Fisheries Policy

Sheryll Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the new proposal for a basic regulation on the Common Fisheries Policy will consider (a) fish discards and (b) the role of fishermen in drawing up local management plans. [39606]


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Richard Benyon: We are calling for radical reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP), and are pressing the European Commission to include measures to (a) tackle discards by providing the incentives and regulatory framework to enable us to catch less but land more of it, for example replacing landing based quota with catch quotas; and (b) simplify and decentralise the CFP to allow those closest to fisheries a role to input into regional management plans.

EU Cotton Subsidies

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will seek reform of EU cotton subsidies in the forthcoming negotiations on reform of the Common Agricultural Policy. [39578]

Mr Paice: I believe that the time has come for the last remaining direct support to the EU cotton sector to be decoupled and the UK will be pursuing this end as part of our negotiating position in the forthcoming common agricultural policy reform round.

Members: Correspondence

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Minister of State for Agriculture and Food intends to reply to the letter of 1 December 2010 from the hon. Member for Hartlepool on the Not in my cuppa and cows belong in fields campaigns. [40901]

Mr Paice: A reply to the letter in question was sent to the hon. Member's parliamentary office on 15 December 2010. I have arranged for a copy of my reply to be sent to the same address.

Sugar Beet

Thomas Docherty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Rural Payments Agency in relation to the early release of single farm payments to sugar beet growers. [38606]

Mr Paice [holding answer 7 February 2011]: Over 85% of claimants under the 2010 single payment scheme were paid in the opening month of the payment window. The remaining payments are being made as soon as the Rural Payments Agency completes the regulatory checks on the claims concerned. There have been no specific discussions in relation to sugar beet growers. Any cases of hardship among those, whether beet growers or farmers, awaiting payment, will be considered under well-established procedures operated by the agency.

Northern Ireland

HM Coastguard Proposals for Modernisation

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the HM Coastguard Proposals for Modernisation consultation. [39499]


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Mr Swire: The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), has invited the Transport Minister with responsibility for the maritime sector to visit the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Bangor later this month. This will enable him to consider the service provided by the centre before decisions are made on how best to modernise the coastguard service and introduce changes that will benefit the maritime industry and the public.

National Asset Management Agency

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Irish Minister for Finance and (b) Chancellor of the Exchequer on assets held in Northern Ireland by the Republic of Ireland's National Asset Management Agency. [39501]

Mr Swire: The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), and I discuss these matters from time to time with Treasury Ministers, ministerial colleagues in the Northern Ireland Executive and with the Irish Government. These matters were also raised at a meeting that the Secretary of State held with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr Hoban), in Belfast with Northern Ireland Ministers on 24 November 2010.

Northern Irish Economy

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he plans to publish the draft paper on the Northern Irish economy; and what his timetable is for implementation of the recommendations of that report. [39500]

Mr Swire: The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the right hon. Member for North Shropshire (Mr Paterson), the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, the hon. Member for South West Hertfordshire (Mr Gauke), and I are working closely with the First and Deputy First Ministers and the Ministers for Finance and for Enterprise in the Northern Ireland Executive. We aim to publish the Government consultation paper on rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy soon.

International Development

Belize: Overseas Aid

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) projects and (b) organisations in Belize received funding from his Department in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [40803]

Mr Duncan: In the past five years, Belize has received debt cancellation from DFID under the Commonwealth Debt Initiative, as well as assistance through the Belize Strategic Fund (BSF). The BSF, which ended in July 2008, provided support to the Government of Belize to implement its Medium Term Economic Strategy and National Poverty Elimination Strategy and Action Plan. Support from the BSF was provided to the Auditor
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General's Office and Ministries of Economic Development, Finance and Human Development, as well as through a non-governmental organisation (NGO), The Society for the Promotion of Education and Research (SPEAR).

Belize currently benefits from DFID Caribbean's regional programme, including support to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and the Caribbean Aid for Trade Trust Fund (CARTFund), through which a project at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MOFAFT) to facilitate the implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in Belize has just been agreed. The MOFAFT also recently received support from DFID (through the Inter-American Development Bank) to develop its Aid for Trade Strategy.

Departmental Allowances

Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what allowances are available to officials in his Department working overseas. [39844]

Mr Duncan: Information on allowances available to Department for International Development (DFID) officials who work overseas can be found on the DFID website at:

Departmental Energy

Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reduction his Department has made in (a) energy costs and (b) carbon emissions since the implementation of a real time energy display. [39653]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) has reduced its (a) energy costs by 18% and (b) carbon emissions from energy usage by 6% in its two UK offices, since the introduction of real time energy recording.

These reductions are based on a comparison of consumption and expenditure over the period July 2010, when the real time system was implemented, to the end of January 2011, compared to the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

Israel: Agriculture

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he has had discussions with his Israeli counterpart on international co-operation in agriculture technology relating to farming in arid conditions. [40507]

Mr Duncan: No, I have not had any discussions with my Israeli counterpart on international co-operation in agriculture technology relating to farming in arid conditions.

The UK currently has no direct co-operation with Israel on international development. Having recently become a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), we hope Israel will consider joining the OECD's Development Assistance Committee.


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Sudan: Human Rights

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his most recent assessment is of the humanitarian situation in north Sudan; and if he will make a statement. [40919]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: We remain concerned about the security and humanitarian situation in Darfur, where 40,000 people have been displaced by recent fighting. We are calling on the Government of Sudan and all armed groups to allow UNAMID and aid workers full and unhindered access.

There are serious humanitarian challenges in Eastern Sudan and in the Three Areas-Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and Abyei. The UK is working multilaterally and bilaterally to help address these.

We are closely monitoring the situation of migrants moving from North to South. The UK has worked with the UN and partners to support contingency planning to deal with this, including providing £15 million to the emergency element of the Common Humanitarian Fund.

Turks and Caicos Islands: Loans

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the implications for development policy of the decision to grant a loan guarantee to the Turks and Caicos Islands. [40512]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), like all British Overseas Territories (OTs), is constitutionally dependent on the UK and the UN Charter obliges the UK Government to promote the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories.

Successive White Papers since the 1970s have committed HMG to meet the reasonable assistance needs of the OTs. The International Development Act 2002, enacted by the previous Government, specifically exempts the OTs from the poverty reduction criteria that apply to the rest of the Department for International Development's (DFID's) aid budget.

This Government fully intends to stand by their commitments to the OTs. We will not let TCI fall victim to financial ruin. If DFID had to provide money in the event that the guarantee is called this would not count as official development assistance (ODA).

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the departmental minute of 3 February 2011 on the contingent liability arising from a UK guarantee of a commercial loan to the Turks and Caicos Islands, what plans he has to set conditions for the loan guarantee to the Turks and Caicos Islands should the initial conditions for the provision of the guarantee be met. [40571]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The key conditions for the Department for International Development (DFID) guarantee of commercial lending to the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) are that the TCIG strengthens its capacity and systems to manage its public finances, and achieves a fiscal surplus in the financial year ending March 2013.


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These are continuing, not only initial, conditions. Further conditions are not needed because the UK Government currently intends to retain sufficient financial control over public finances in order to ensure that TCIG emerges from its financial crisis as soon as possible, and that the loan guarantee arrangement is no longer needed.

Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what development objectives for the Turks and Caicos Islands will be achieved by the proposed loan guarantee; and if he will make a statement. [40796]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The main objective of the proposed loan guarantee is to enable the Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) to have access to commercial lending which would not be available without the guarantee. This lending will allow the time TCIG needs to achieve a fiscal surplus by applying the right economic measures.

Communities and Local Government

Affordable Housing: Peterborough

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will take steps to support the development of intermediate affordable housing in Peterborough; and if he will make a statement. [40513]

Grant Shapps: I have today announced the publication of the Framework for the Government's Affordable Homes Programme for 2011-15. The programme is designed to support the delivery of up to 150,000 affordable homes through a new investment model which is giving greater flexibilities to social housing providers on the use of assets combined with investment of almost £4.5 billion over the next four years. The Framework document invites bids from providers who are interested in participating.

Affordable Rent will be the principal element of the new programme. Affordable Rent homes will be made available to tenants at up to a maximum of 80% of market rent and allocated in the same way as social housing is at present. There is flexibility within the programme for providers to include provision of affordable home ownership, through both shared ownership and equity loans, to meet the needs and priorities of local communities such as Peterborough where this also offers value for money and increases housing supply.

Departmental Carbon Emissions

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much his Department spent on carbon offsetting in each of the last three years; and to which companies payments for carbon offsetting were made in each such year. [40290]

Robert Neill: The Department for Communities and Local Government has spent the following amounts on carbon offsetting in each of the last three years:


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Spend (£)

2007-08

2,338

2008-09

2,657

2009-10

2,850


The Department purchases all of its offsets through the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund (GCOF). GCOF purchases Gold Standard, or equivalent, Certified Emissions Reduction credits under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism.

Departmental Furniture

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library copies of each invoice from Kinnarps (UK) Ltd to the Audit Commission in respect of furniture purchases in the last 12 months. [36897]

Robert Neill: This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission and I have asked the chief executive of the Audit Commission to write to my hon. Friend direct.

I would comment that, together with the answer to the hon. Member of 31 January 2011, Official Report, column 528W, this is a prime example of how the public sector can deliver better value for money, without affecting frontline services, by improving value for money on procurement.

Letter from Eugene Sullivan, dated 14 February 2011:

Departmental Overseas Visits

Mr Nuttall: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cannock Chase of 1 Feburary 2011, Official Report, column 743W, on
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departmental overseas visits, what the cost to the public purse was of each overseas visit undertaken by the right hon. Member for Tooting. [40914]

Robert Neill: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Lancaster and Fleetwood (Eric Ollerenshaw), on 4 November 2010, Official Report, column 941W.

Departmental Procurement

Mr Burley: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 3 November 2008, Official Report, column 119W, on departmental procurement, on what goods and with which suppliers the expenditure of £52,078.16 via Barclaycard was incurred; and how much of this was paid to each such supplier. [36986]

Robert Neill: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister became the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2006 and the Deputy Prime Minister's Office existed as a separate Department until 2007 when it closed and its records were archived. These records would have included records of transactions undertaken using their Government Procurement Card (Barclaycard). The individuals who carried out this storing process have now all moved on. Consequently we have not been able to retrieve the documentation and any cost involved in trying to resolve this would be disproportionate.

Departmental Research

Mr Raynsford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research his Department has commissioned since 12 May 2010 on (a) attitudes and (b) morale among (i) its staff, (ii) the staff of its agencies and (iii) the staff of non-departmental public bodies for which he is responsible; and if he will make the findings of such research public. [38780]

Robert Neill [holding answer 7 February 2011]: My Department (including staff working for the Residential Property Tribunal Service), Ordnance Survey, the Planning Inspectorate and the Fire Service College took part in autumn 2010 in the 2010 Civil Service People Survey. The Highlights reports from the survey have been placed on each organisation's website and all the results have been placed by the Cabinet Office on:

My Department also carried out a Values Survey which ran for two weeks from Monday 28 June. This asked staff to assess how their work area performed against DCLG's four headline values and 18 related behaviours and showed that:

I am placing a copy of the People Survey Highlights reports and a summary of the Values Survey in the Library of the House.


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Domestic Rates

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment his Department has made of (a) the requirement for a property revaluation in order to implement a house price tax on dwellings valued at £2 million or higher and (b) the frequency of such revaluations for the purposes of such a tax. [39842]

Robert Neill: There has been no such assessment. The Government have no plans to introduce a house price tax on dwellings of whatever value. I note a house price tax (a discrete capital values system of domestic rates) was introduced by the last Administration in Northern Ireland under direct rule, which necessitated a revaluation of dwellings.

Fire Services: Pensions

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many members of the Firefighters Pension Scheme there are; [40115]

(2) what proportion of (a) active and (b) deferred members of the Firefighters Pension Scheme are aged between (i) 20 and 30, (ii) 31 and 40, (iii) 41 and 50, (iv) 51 and 55 and (v) 56 and 65 years; [40274]

(3) what proportion of members of the Firefighters Pension Scheme are (a) (i) part time and (ii) full time, (b) (A) male and (B) female and (c) (i) active members and (ii) deferred members/pensioners; [40281]

(4) what proportion of active members of the Firefighters Pension Scheme earn (a) between £10,000 and £15,000, (b) between £15,000 and £20,000, (c) between £20,000 and £25,000, (d) between £25,000 and £30,000 and (e) £30,000 and more; [40380]

(5) what the administration costs of the Firefighters Pension Scheme are for 2010-11; and what the costs were in each of the last 12 years. [40395]

Robert Neill: This information is not collected centrally by the Department. However, scheme membership data, as at 31 March 2007, can be found in the Firefighters' Pension Scheme Valuation 2007 prepared by the Government Actuary's Department:

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assumptions he has made in respect of the dropout rate from the Firefighters Pension Scheme attributable to (a) potential increases in contributions and (b) its indexation against the consumer prices index; what assessment he has made of the effect of the dropout rate on the future viability of this fund; and if he will make a statement. [40356]

Robert Neill: Consideration of the effects of this policy on the opt-out rate will be made as part of the process of determining the distribution of increases in contributions across members of the Firefighters' Pension Schemes. We are engaging with a range of scheme interests on how best to achieve these savings and wish to implement change in a way which minimises increases
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in opt-out rates. The Government have already committed to implementing contribution increases in a progressive way so that higher earners pay higher rates than lower earners. No assessment has been made of the number of additional members that might opt out as a result of the change in indexation.

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the pension entitlement will be of a member of the Firefighters Pension Scheme who retires after 30 years' full-time service on a salary of (a) £10,000, (b) £15,000, (c) £20,000, (d) £25,000, (e) £30,000, (f) £40,000 and (e) £50,000 if the pension is uprated in line with (i) the retail prices index and (ii) the consumer prices index. [40370]

Robert Neill: Existing members of the Firefighters' Pension Scheme, with an accrual rate of 1/60th of final salary for the first 20 years of membership and 2/60th accrual for the last 10 years, would be entitled to (a) £6,667, (b) 10,000, (c) £13,333, (d) £16,667, (e) £20,000, (f) £26,667 and (g) £33,333 if the salaries quoted were the final pensionable salary amounts. A member of the New Firefighters' Pension Scheme, with an accrual rate of 1/60th of final salary for each year of members, would be entitled to (a) £5,000, (b) £7,500, (c) £10,000, (d) £12,500, (e) £15,000, (f) £20,000, (g) £25,000 if the salaries quoted were the final pensionable salary amounts.

Because future measures of inflation are not known, it is not possible to estimate uprated amounts.

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the likely savings to the Firefighters Pension Scheme of the proposed indexation according to the consumer prices index (a) in 2010-11 and (b) in the next (i) 10, (ii) 20, (iii) 25 and (iv) 30 years. [40388]

Robert Neill: The Department has not made any separate assessment of the likely savings of the changes to indexation.

Local Government: Pensions

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what proportion of (a) active and (b) deferred members of the Local Government Pension Scheme are aged between (i) 20 and 30, (ii) 31 and 40, (iii) 41 and 50, (iv) 51 and 55 and (v) 56 and 65 years; [40270]

(2) what proportion of members of the Local Government Pension Scheme are (a) (i) part time and (ii) full time, (b) (A) male and (B) female and (c) (i) active members and (ii) deferred members/pensioners; [40278]

(3) how many members of the Local Government Pension Scheme there are. [40322]

Robert Neill: At 31 March 2010, the latest date for which data are available, there were 4,061,000 members of the Local Government Pension scheme in England. Of these, 1,684,000 (41%) were active members, 1,245,000 (31%) were members entitled to deferred benefits and 1,131,000 (28%) were pensioners.


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Data are not available broken down by age, gender or employment status.

These data are available in the statistical release 'Local Government Pension Scheme Funds England 2009-10' that was published on 13 October 2010 and is available on the Department for Communities and Local Government website at:

The data are as reported to DCLG by the 81 Local Government Pension Scheme administering authorities in England on the annual SF3 form.

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assumptions he has made in respect of the dropout rate from the Local Government Pension Scheme attributable to (a) potential increases in contributions and (b) its indexation against the consumer prices index; what assessment he has made of the effect of the dropout rate on the future viability of this fund; and if he will make a statement. [40357]

Robert Neill: Consideration of the effects of this policy on the opt-out rate will be made as part of the process of determining the distribution of increases in contributions across members of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England and Wales. We are engaging with a range of scheme interests on how best to achieve these savings and wish to implement change in a way which minimises increases in opt-out rates. The Government have already committed to implementing contribution increases in a progressive way so that higher earners pay higher rates than lower earners. No assessment has been made of the number of additional members that might opt out as a result of the change in indexation.

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the pension entitlement will be of a member of the Local Government Pension Scheme who retires after 30 years' full-time service on a salary of (a) £10,000, (b) £15,000, (c) £20,000, (d) £25,000, (e) £30,000, (f) £40,000 and (e) £50,000 if the pension is uprated in line with (i) the retail prices index and (ii) the consumer prices index. [40369]

Robert Neill: A member of the Local Government Pension Scheme with an accrual rate of 1/60th of final salary for each year of membership would be entitled to (a) £5,000, (b) £7,500, (c) £10,000, (d) £12,500, (e) £15,000, (f) £20,000 and (g) £25,000 if the salaries quoted were the final pensionable salary amounts.

Because future measures of inflation are not known, it is not possible to estimate future uprated amounts.

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of active members of the Local Government Pension Scheme earn (a) between £10,000 and £15,000, (b) between £15,000 and £20,000, (c) between £20,000 and £25,000, (d) between £25,000 and £30,000 and (e) £30,000 and more. [40376]


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Robert Neill: This information is not collected centrally by the Department. Data about fund members can only be obtained from their local authority pension provider.

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the likely savings to the Local Government Pension Scheme of the proposed indexation according to the consumer prices index (a) in 2010-11 and (b) in the next (i) 10, (ii) 20, (iii) 25 and (iv) 30 years. [40387]

Robert Neill: The Department has not made any separate assessment of the likely savings of the changes to indexation. The impact of any savings on the scheme's future pension liabilities will be taken into account at each pension funds triennial valuation exercise.

Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the administration costs of the Local Government Pension Scheme are for 2010-11; and what the costs were in each of the last 12 years. [40397]

Robert Neill: Details of the pension administration costs of the Local Government Pension Scheme in England for the period 1998-99 to 2009-10, the latest date for which data are available, are given, in £ million, in the following table.

£ million

1998-99

61

1999-2000

63

2000-01

70

2001-02

74

2002-03

.77

2003-04

80

2004-05

88

2005-06

91

2006-07

95

2007-08

105

2008-09

114

2009-10

115


The last five year's data are available in the statistical release "Local Government Pension Scheme Funds England 2009-10" that was published on 13 October 2010 and is available on the Department for Communities and Local Government website at

The data are as reported to DCLG by the 81 Local Government Pension Scheme administering authorities in England on the annual SF3 form.

Local Government: Powers

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the general powers of competence proposed in the Localism Bill with the powers of a primary authority to require enforcement authorities not to proceed with an enforcement action. [39723]


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Greg Clark: The general power of competence gives local authorities the power to do anything an individual may do. It does not provide local authorities with any new powers of regulation or enforcement. There can, therefore, be no incompatibility with the provisions of the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008, which is concerned with the proper exercise of such powers. Local authorities will still be required to abide by statutory limitations or restrictions.

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether a local authority exercising its powers of general competence could be sanctioned for ignoring a primary authority arrangement. [39724]

Greg Clark: The general power of competence will not allow a local authority to ignore a primary authority arrangement under the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008. Such arrangements apply to the exercise of certain enforcement powers, and as the general power does not give authorities additional enforcement powers, it cannot be used to circumvent such arrangements. In any case, the exercise of the general power is subject to existing statutory limitations and restrictions such as those set out in that Act.

Ann Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will ensure that the proposed general powers of competence to be provided to local authorities under the provisions of the Localism Bill are compatible with the requirement in section 66 and 5 of the Regulation Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 for the regulatory authority to satisfy himself prior to granting civil sanctions powers that then will be exercised in the manner required in section 5. [39725]

Greg Clark: Section 5 of the Regulation, Enforcement and Sanctions Act 2008 relates to the exercise of regulatory functions. The general power does not provide local authorities with new regulatory powers. Local authorities will still be required to abide by statutory limitations or restrictions.

Planning Permission

Julian Sturdy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether all buildings designated as agricultural are considered under the same category within the planning process. [39702]

Robert Neill: The use of land, including the buildings located thereon, for the purposes of agriculture is not development by virtue of section 55(2)(e) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This means that the use of land or buildings for agricultural purposes is not subject to planning control. The planning definition of agriculture is at section 336(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

The construction of agricultural buildings may, however, be subject to planning control depending on the nature of the development proposed.

The construction or use of buildings on agricultural land which would not be for agricultural purposes would generally need planning permission. For example, the establishment on agricultural land of a seed research laboratory is likely to require planning permission.


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It is for the local planning authority, in the first instance, to determine whether a building or land is being used for agricultural purposes or otherwise, and to determine whether specific planning permission is required for any development.

Dan Byles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Planning Inspectorate has considered multiple planning applications in the name of Patrick Hanrahan; and what the Inspectorate's policy is on monitoring the submission of multiple applications in different geographical areas under the same name. [39927]

Robert Neill: The Planning Inspectorate considered one enforcement appeal and one planning appeal made in the name of Mr Patrick Hanrahan both of which were dismissed on 21 June 2010. Both appeals were in the Local Planning Authority geographical area of Cheshire West and Chester council.

The Inspectorate does not monitor the submission of multiple appeals in the same name in different geographical areas. As a tribunal service making decisions on individual appeals it would have no purpose in maintaining such information as individual appeals must be determined on their merits. However, as data on all appeals are held on a database, were that information to be sought by any party, a list of all appeals made by an individual or company would be compiled and provided on request.

Public Houses

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps his Department is taking to support the development of community pubs. [40904]

Robert Neill: Community pubs are often important local assets. Along with other institutions such as village shops and community centres, pubs can play an important role in strengthening community relationships and encouraging wider social action. We are, therefore, developing a number of measures to help support community pubs.

As part of our determination to shift power to local neighbourhoods, we aim to ensure through the Localism Bill that community organisations have a fair chance to bid to take over and run assets and facilities that are important to them, including local pubs.

The Department will undertake a public consultation into the issue of restrictive covenants on pubs, with a focus on the impact they have on local communities. This will be completed in the summer of 2011.

We are committed to helping firms with business rates: making small business rate relief automatic; introducing a more generous small business rate relief scheme for a year from October 2010; and giving councils powers to levy discretionary business rate discounts-which could, tor example, be used to support local pubs.

The Government are also to ban the sale of alcohol below cost price, helping protect pubs from unfair "loss leading" by some shops. Licensing rules will be reformed to make it easier to play live music in local pubs, and the Government have already scrapped the planned 10% rise in cider duties (the so-called cider tax).


14 Feb 2011 : Column 544W

We are currently considering the use of a number of social finance initiatives, such as community shares, which will make it easier for community organisations to gain the finance they need to take their plans forward.

Scotland

Departmental Carbon Emissions

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on carbon offsetting in each of the last three years; and to which companies payments for carbon offsetting were made in each such year. [40521]

David Mundell: All central Government ministerial and official air travel has been offset from 1 April 2006 through the Government Carbon Offsetting Facility. In each of the last three years the Scotland Office has been part of the Ministry of Justice for these purposes and data about carbon emissions have been submitted to the Ministry of Justice for inclusion in its returns.

Scottish Trades Union Congress

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he last met representatives of the Scottish Trade Union Congress. [40902]

David Mundell: The Secretary of State has met representatives from the Scottish Trades Union Congress on several occasions in the past few months, most recently in November, to discuss a range of issues and plans to meet them again in the near future.

VAT: Charities

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the change in the level of value added tax receipts from charitable organisations in Scotland as a result of the increase in the standard rate. [40906]

Michael Moore: The coalition 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. Voluntary organisations do a great deal for our country and make a large contribution to our communities. This is why charities in the UK receive £3 billion of tax relief a year, including over £1 billion in Gift Aid and around £200,000 in VAT reliefs.

Energy and Climate Change

Fuel Poverty

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what central Government funding was allocated to the alleviation of fuel poverty in each region of the UK in each year for which figures are available; and how much such funding he plans to allocate in each of the next five years. [40364]


14 Feb 2011 : Column 545W

Gregory Barker: The following tables show the actual spend in 2008-09 and 2009-10 and the budget for 2010-11 to 2012-13 for the Warm Front scheme.(1)

Actual spend (£ million)

2008-09

397

2009-10

369


Budget (£ million)

2010-11

348

2011-12

110

2012-13

100


It was announced in the spending review that from 2013 support for the most vulnerable will be delivered through the Green Deal for energy efficiency and a new obligation on energy companies.

The spending review 2010 announced that support worth £250 million in 2011-12 rising to £310 million in 2014-15 will be provided by energy suppliers to vulnerable consumers to help with their energy costs. In total suppliers will be required to provide around £1.1 billion in support. The following table shows the funding 2011-12 to 2014-15 for the Warm Home Discount scheme.

Value of the Warm Home Discount scheme (£ million)

2011-12

250

2012-13

275

2013-14

300

2014-15

310


Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change when he expects to complete and publish his Department's fuel poverty review. [40947]

Gregory Barker: We hope to initiate the independent review of the fuel poverty target and definition shortly, with a view to completion by the end of the year.

Green Deal

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he plans to take to include (a) energy savings and (b) water efficiency measures in the Green Deal; and if he will make a statement. [39835]

Gregory Barker: Green Deal finance will support measures that can be expected to pay for themselves in energy savings over their lifetime and within the period of the finance arrangement.

We will shortly launch a Call for Evidence from industry and other stakeholders on the costs and benefits of a wide range of measures and on how best to formulate an eligibility criteria.

Measures that deliver hot water efficiency may be eligible if they deliver sufficient energy savings to pay for themselves and meet the wider criteria.


14 Feb 2011 : Column 546W

Solar Power

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 7 February 2011, Official Report, column 3WS, on feed-in tariffs, what methodology his Department used in order to define a solar installation of over 50 kW as large scale; and if he will make a statement. [40662]

Charles Hendry: 50 kW is simply the threshold used in the existing statutory definition of microgeneration which is why it provides the starting point for defining the scope of the fast-track review of large scale solar PV.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent representations he has received on the takeup of solar installations in the built environment; and if he will make a statement. [40663]

Gregory Barker: We frequently receive representations on the uptake of solar photovoltaics (PV) in the built environment. We also receive regular information from Ofgem on uptake of solar PV under the feed-in tariffs (FITs) scheme. The latest information shows that just over 21,000 solar PV are currently registered for FITs, the vast majority of which are attached to buildings.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the evidential basis is for his proposal to undertake a fast-track review of all photovoltaic installations greater than 50kw; and if he will make a statement. [40664]

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what his estimate is of the number of large-scale solar photovoltaic schemes which will come into operation in the next five years. [40892]

Gregory Barker: As the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change confirmed in a written ministerial statement to the House on 7 February 2011, Official Report, Columns 2-3WS, we are aware that several large solar photovoltaic (PV) installations have already received planning permission. Industry projections indicate there could be many more in the planning system.

Large-scale solar PV was not fully anticipated in the original feed-in tariffs (FITs) scheme and there is a risk that, if unchecked, such schemes could push FITs off trajectory and may make the spending review savings difficult. That is why we have started a fast-track review of such schemes.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential effect on certainty and transparency in the market for photovoltaic installations of his proposal for fast-track review of such installations greater than 50kw; and if he will make a statement. [40665]

Gregory Barker: I recognise that the industry needs a long-term plan for investment in which it can have full confidence. By bringing forward the first review of feed-in tariffs (FITs) and fast-tracking consideration of
14 Feb 2011 : Column 547W
large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV), I intend to bring certainty for industry. We are getting on with work on the fast-track review as quickly as possible and will publish detailed proposals next month.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential effect on employment arising from photovoltaic installations of his proposal to fast-track review such installations greater than 50kw; and if he will make a statement. [40666]

Gregory Barker: The feed-in tariffs (FITs) scheme has been a clear success at stimulating green growth, driving innovation, creating jobs and cutting carbon since its introduction last year. These successes have been delivered by a scheme in which currently all but three of the solar photovoltaic (PV) installations accredited are below 50kW.

The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change only announced the start of the FITs review, including fast-track consideration of large scale solar PV, on 7 February. Detailed proposals on the fast-track review are being worked up and will be published for consultation next month.

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many large-scale solar photovoltaic schemes have qualified for the Feed-In Tariff scheme since its inception. [40893]

Gregory Barker: Data provided by Ofgem shows that a total of three large-scale (over 50 kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) schemes have been accredited for Feed-In Tariffs since the scheme started in April 2010. All of these schemes have a total installed capacity of between 50 kW and 100 kW.

Solar Power: Israel

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has had discussions with the Government of Israel on co-operation in the solar power industry. [40508]

Gregory Barker: While DECC does engage with Israel through multilateral fora that seek to promote renewable energy, such as the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the Department has not had direct discussions with Israel on solar power.

Solar Power: Planning Permission

Martin Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many solar panel farms generating between one and five megawatts of electricity (a) have received planning permission and (b) are under active consideration. [38712]

Gregory Barker: The Department does not routinely collect these data. However, data obtained from RESTATS:

and Cornwall county council shows six solar park projects have received planning permission since the establishment
14 Feb 2011 : Column 548W
of the FITs scheme on 15 July 2010. Data dated 4 February from Cornwall county council also shows 14 awaiting planning decision.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

George Hollingbery: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will estimate the annual cost of including in the warm home discount individuals with a terminal illness who receive disability living allowance or attendance allowance through the special rules process, but who do not receive pension credit in (a) Meon Valley constituency, (b) Hampshire and (c) nationally. [40506]

Gregory Barker: The coalition Government have recently consulted on the Warm Home Discount scheme which would require energy suppliers to provide financial assistance to more of their most vulnerable consumers.

A response on the consultation, including eligibility for support, level of benefit and the cost of targeting this support, will be published in due course.

Treasury

Air Passenger Duty

Henry Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what proportion of (a) liable passengers were charged under and (b) total revenue was received from each band of air passenger duty in the last year for which figures are available; and what estimate he has made of the equivalent figures for 2010-11; [39635]

(2) how much revenue he expects to raise each year from the recent increase in air passenger duty in respect of band (a) A, (b) B, (c) C and (d) D; [39636]

(3) how much was received in air passenger duty from flights to the Caribbean in each of the last five years; [39637]

(4) what estimate he has made of the likely cost to the Exchequer of limiting the standard rate of air passenger duty to business or first class tickets; [39638]

(5) whether he assessed for benchmarking purposes the use of a per plane system of aviation taxation in other countries as part of his aviation taxation review; [39639]

(6) what the (a) collection and (b) administrative costs associated with air passenger duty were in the latest period for which figures are available; and what assessment he has made of the efficiency of HM Revenue and Customs in collecting (a) air passenger duty and (b) other taxes. [39694]

Justine Greening: For each destination band under air passenger duty (APD), the numbers of chargeable passengers and the revenue declared are published on a monthly basis on HMRC's UK Trade Info website:

Data are available up to November 2010.

Forecasting of tax receipts is undertaken by the Office for Budget Responsibility; its latest forecast was in November 2010 and is published at:


14 Feb 2011 : Column 549W

HMRC does not collect information on the contribution to APD revenues made from flights to specific countries including those in the Caribbean.

No estimate is available for limiting the standard rate of APD to business and first class passengers, as data submitted by airlines for the purposes of APD are not broken down on this basis.

The Government are taking a range of factors into account in exploring changes to the aviation tax system; major changes will be subject to consultation.

The cost of collecting APD, including administrative costs incurred by HMRC, is 0.04 of a penny per pound collected for 2008-09. APD is the cheapest of all HMRC's taxes to collect. The latest costs of collecting all HMRC taxes are contained in Table 1 of HMRC's Departmental Autumn Performance Report 2009, which is available on the HMRC website:

Child Benefit: Lone Parents

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many single parent families resident in (a) Coventry, (b) the West Midlands and (c) England he expects to have their annual income reduced as a result of implementation of the proposed changes to child benefit announced in the June 2010 Budget. [39720]

Mr Gauke: It is estimated that around 50,000 single-parent families resident in England will be affected by the proposed changes to child benefit announced in the June 2010 Budget.

Estimates of the number of single-parents affected by the child benefit changes are not robust at regional level.

Information on household income for child benefit claimants is not available at parliamentary constituency or local authority level.

Civil Servants

Kate Green: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which senior civil service staff have left his Department since May 2010; and what contractual or non-contractual payments were made by his Department in each case. [34537]

Justine Greening: The following senior civil service staff have left HM Treasury since May 2010.


14 Feb 2011 : Column 550W

Full details of the remuneration paid to members of the Treasury Board, including any payments associated with their departure, are published annually in the Treasury Group Resource Accounts. Protected personal data relating to individual payments made to other staff are not available.

Climate Change Levy: Northern Ireland

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department conducted an impact assessment on the replacement of the climate change levy exemption for Northern Ireland. [39496]

Justine Greening: A tax information and impact note was published alongside the draft legislation on the replacement of the climate change levy exemption for Northern Ireland on 31 January and is available on the HMT website.

Copies of the draft legislation and tax information and impact note have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and are available on the Treasury website at:

Departmental Manpower

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2011, Official Report, column 589W, on , what the administrative arrangements were for the work now carried out by the Devolved Countries Unit prior to that unit's formation in 2008. [39651]

Danny Alexander: Prior to 2008 the Devolved Countries Unit was a branch within a larger team. Currently the Devolved Countries Unit has a deputy director solely responsible for devolution issues in HM Treasury. Prior to 2008 the deputy director responsible for the devolution unit was also responsible for other policy areas, including local government.

Financial Services: Education

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the support and advice available for young people and vulnerable groups with financial planning and financial literacy. [39721]

Mr Hoban: The Consumer Financial Education Body, soon to be renamed the Money Advice Service, has statutory objectives to improve understanding of financial matters among the general public and to enhance the ability of members of the public to manage their financial affairs, including among young people and vulnerable groups. CFEB is an independent body which is responsible for measuring the effectiveness of its work.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what role his Department plays in promoting financial literacy. [39722]

Mr Hoban: The Treasury is responsible for developing policy on financial capability and financial literacy. Delivery of financial capability and literacy activities is undertaken by the Consumer Financial Education Body
14 Feb 2011 : Column 551W
(CFEB), soon to be known as the Money Advice Service, and a number of private and third sector bodies. The Government have asked CFEB to deliver a new national financial advice service and annual financial healthcheck, both of which will be available from the spring and which will contribute to increasing levels of financial literacy.

Gift Aid

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount of tax foregone through the Gift Aid scheme in (a) 2007-08, (b) 2008-09 and (c) 2009-10. [40623]

Justine Greening: The Gift Aid scheme results in two types of tax repayments: repayments to charities of tax paid by donors and repayments to donors who are higher rate taxpayers. Data on repayments to charities are published at

and data on higher rate repayments are published at

Gift Aid Transitional Relief Scheme: Charities

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has for the future of the Gift Aid transitional relief scheme for charities. [39488]

Justine Greening: The relief was introduced as a temporary measure, to give charities time to prepare their financial plans, in response to a lower rate of relief from Gift Aid. By April, charities will have had four years to prepare for the change. Gift Aid transitional relief will not be extended beyond April 2011. At the spending review the Chancellor announced help to the voluntary sector through the £100 million Transition Fund to support the charities that are most in need.

Green Investment Bank

Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on the recording of the liabilities and assets of the proposed Green Investment Bank in the Government's public borrowing statistics. [38520]

Danny Alexander: The Government will follow Eurostat's rules, which are set out in the European System of Accounts 1995 (ESA 95) and the Manual on Government Deficit and Debt, to account for the assets and the liabilities of the Green Investment Bank.

Low Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) women and (b) men had earnings that were below the lower earnings limit in (i) 2000, (ii) 1990 and (iii) 1980. [40911]

Mr Gauke: Estimates of the total number of employees earning below the lower earnings limit for national insurance contributions are not available through HMRC administrative data sources.


14 Feb 2011 : Column 552W

Manufacturing Industries: West Midlands

Chris White: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what fiscal measures he is taking to promote manufacturing in the West Midlands; and if he will make a statement. [38587]

Justine Greening: The June Budget announced reductions in the main rate of corporation tax from 28 to 24% over four years, and of the small profits rate from 21 to 20%. While in part funded by reductions in capital allowances, this package will reduce the annual tax burden on companies by over £2 billion. The manufacturing sector is expected to gain over £250 million annually when the package is fully implemented.

The Government recognise the importance of predictability and stability for all businesses and has recently set out a corporate tax road map to provide business with certainty over its plans for corporate tax reform.

The Government are also undertaking a growth review to examine what each part of government can do to support growth and investment. Advanced manufacturing is one of the sectors being examined as part of this first phase of this review, which will report at Budget 2011.

Mortgages

Mr Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions his Department had with the Financial Services Authority prior to the completion of its consultation on its mortgage market review in respect of the effects of its proposals on (a) compliance with Basel 3, (b) availability of mortgage products, (c) capital adequacy and (d) deposit requirements for first time home buyers; and if he will make a statement. [40515]

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 the previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such discussions.

Public Expenditure

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library the figures underlying Chart 1.3 on page 18 of the Spending Review 2010. [39106]

Danny Alexander: The following table presents the figures underlying chart 1.3 on page 18 of 'Spending Review 2010'.


14 Feb 2011 : Column 553W

2014-15 Policy inherited by the Government

Total cuts (£ billion)

81

56

2010-11 efficiency savings

7

-

DEL savings in spending review period (excluding the impact of 2010-11 efficiency savings)

46

48

Budget AME savings

11

-

Spending review changes in AME

7

-

Debt interest savings

10

7


Spending reductions are shown against baseline of growing DEL in line with inflation, in line with Table 4.8 in the OBR pre-Budget forecast, and the AME forecast in the Budget.

At the spending review, the Government set an AME margin, which reaches £4 billion by 2014-15. The previous Government always had an AME margin and therefore, to provide a consistent comparison for implied DEL savings, the table .is based on the assumption that the previous Government would also have set an AME margin of £4 billion by 2014-15. The cuts implied in 'policy inherited by the Government' are therefore made up of £52 billion (including £44 billion DEL savings) as set out in table 1.1 of the June Budget, plus £4 billion of further DEL savings that we assumed the previous Government would have made to fund the AME margin. This gives a gross figure for policy inherited by the Government of £56 billion. Total cuts by 2014-15, which include both the previous Government's cuts as well as this Government's cuts, as shown in the table 1.3, are £81 billion, which is net of the AME margin.

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to table 1.1 of the June 2010 Budget, what his most recent figures are for consolidation plans over the forecast period to 2014-15. [39107]

Danny Alexander: The Government's latest total consolidation plans were set out in Table 1.1 of the June Budget 2010.

The table shows that the Government are undertaking £8.9 billion of consolidation in 2010-11, £41 billion in 2011-12, £66 billion in 2012-13, £90 billion in 2013-14 and £113 billion in 2014-15

The OBR will publish an updated forecast for the public finances at the 2011 Budget in March which will include the impact of consolidation.

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to page 104 of the June 2010 Budget, footnote 1, what recent advice he has received from the Office for Budget Responsibility on (a) his Department's figures for cyclically-adjusted borrowing between 2006-07 and 2009-10 and (b) the Office's view of the cyclical position of the economy; and if he will make a statement; [39108]

(2) whether the (a) Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) and (b) his Department has revised historic figures for cyclically-adjusted borrowing based on the OBR's assessment of the output gap. [39244]

Danny Alexander: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), and I have asked the OBR to reply.


14 Feb 2011 : Column 554W

Letter from Robert Chote, dated February 2011:

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to the June 2010 Budget, page 104, footnote 1, what his most recent estimate is of (a) cyclically-adjusted net borrowing and (b) cyclically-adjusted surplus on the budget for each year from 1997-98 to 2010-11. [39176]

Danny Alexander: In their 'Economic and Fiscal forecast', published on 29 November, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility forecast cyclically-adjusted net borrowing and the cyclically-adjusted surplus on current budget for 2010-11. This is available at:

Outturn figures for these cyclically-adjusted aggregates in previous years can be found in the public finances databank on the Treasury website:

The following table shows cyclically adjusted public sector net borrowing and cyclically adjusted surplus on current budget since 1997-98.

% GDP

Cyclically adjusted public sector net borrowing Cyclically adjusted current budget

1997-98

0.6

-0.1

1998-99

-0.2

0.9

1999-2000

-1.1

1.7

2000-01

-1.1

1.6

2001-02

0.2

0.9

2002-03

1.9

-0.6

2003-04

2.6

-1.2

2004-05

3.1

-1.4

2005-06

2.8

-0.9

2006-07

2.3

-0.4

2007-08

2.6

-0.6

2008-09

6.3

-3.1

2009-10(1)

8.8

-5.3

2010-11

7.6

-4.7

201 1-12

5.3

-3.3

2012-13

3.5

-1.8

2013-14

1.9

-0.5

2014-15

0.8

0.5

2015-16

0.3

0.9

(1) Source: OBR's November Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

14 Feb 2011 : Column 555W

The OBR has not published estimates of the output gap or cyclically adjusted balances prior to 2009. The estimates prior to 2009-10 are based on Treasury estimates of trend output and the output gap from the March Budget.

The OBR have indicated that they expect to publish analysis of the output gap pre 2009 this year which will explore different methodologies for evaluating it.

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much of his fiscal consolidation plan will be attributed to the previous administration in each year from 2010-11 to 2014-15; and how much is accounted for by (a) spending and (b) tax measures. [39177]

Danny Alexander: As set out in table 1.1 of the June Budget, the total consolidation attributed to the previous Government amounts to £0.8 billion in 2010-11, £26 billion in 2011-12, £42 billion in 2012-13, £57 billion in 2013-14 and £73 billion in 2014-15.

Of this, the inherited spending consolidation amounted to £0 billion in 2010-11, £14 billion in 2011-12, £25 billion in 2012-13, £39 billion in 2013-14, £52 billion in 2014-15.

The inherited tax measures amounted to £0.8 billion in 2010-11, £11 billion in 2011-12, £17 billion in 2012-13, £18 billion in 2013-14 and £21 billion in 2014-15.

Smuggling: Alcoholic Drinks and Tobacco

Mr Scott: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the monetary value was of alcohol and tobacco products seized by HM Customs and Excise in each of the last three years for which figures are available. [38411]

Justine Greening: The combined value of goods and the associated taxes from alcohol and tobacco seized in the UK by HM Revenue and Customs and UK Border Agency in each of the last three years is shown as follows.

£ million

Alcohol Tobacco

2007-08

23.81

287.81

2008-09

20.18

280.32

2009-10

26.70

262.37


Tax Allowances: Social Services

Penny Mordaunt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what consideration he has given to the introduction of tax concessions for savings schemes solely for the funding of social care; and if he will make a statement. [39732]

Mr Hoban: The Government established a commission on the funding of care and support in July 2010, chaired by Andrew Dilnot. The commission is due to report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Health in July 2011. We will consider the commission's recommendations once we receive their report.


14 Feb 2011 : Column 556W

Taxation: Domicile

Harriett Baldwin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many non-domiciled UK taxpayers filed tax returns with HM Revenue and Customs in each of the last five tax years; [39455]

(2) how many non-domiciled taxpayers have paid the flat annual charge to the Exchequer since its introduction; [39456]

(3) how much tax non-domiciled taxpayers paid to the Exchequer in each of the last five tax years. [39457]

Mr Gauke: The number of individuals who filed a self-assessment (SA) tax return and indicated that they were non-domiciled was as follows:

Number

2004-05

110,000

2005-06

111,000

2006-07

117,000

2007-08

140,000

2008-09

123,000


2008-09 is the most recent tax year for which data are available.

The figures above include both individuals who were UK resident and individuals who were not UK resident.

Individuals who complete a SA return are only required to indicate that they are non-domiciled if this affects their tax liability. Therefore the actual number of non-domiciled individuals who complete a return will be greater than the number who indicate their non-domicile status on their SA return.

The annual £30,000 remittance basis charge was introduced with effect from the 2008-09 tax year. The number of non-domiciled individuals who paid the charge in 2008-09 was 5,400. This is a provisional figure rounded to the nearest hundred and may be updated once all returns for the tax year have been received and analysed.

Figures are not available for the total amount of UK tax paid by non domiciled individuals. However, it is possible to calculate the total amount of UK income tax and capital gains tax (CGT) paid by individuals who completed an SA return and indicated that they were non-domiciled. These amounts for the past five tax years were as follows:

£ billion

2004-05

3.3

2005-06

4.0

2006-07

5.0

2007-08

6.9

2008-09

5.9


Several taxes are not accounted for via the SA system and some non-domiciled individuals are not required to complete an SA return at all.

VAT: Sandwiches

Mr Chope: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his policy is in relation to the liability of fast food outlets to pay value added tax on toasted sandwiches; [40812]


14 Feb 2011 : Column 557W

(2) for what reasons HM Revenue and Customs rescinded its decision that toasted sandwiches should be treated in the same way as other sandwiches and not subject to value added tax in December 2005. [40813]

Mr Gauke: VAT is payable on a supply of hot food that has been heated for the purposes of enabling it to be consumed at a temperature above the ambient air temperature and it is above that temperature at the time it is provided to the customer. This applies to food sold by any business.

Food served in restaurants and cafes has always been taxable at the standard rate as a supply of catering. In 1984 this was extended to include hot take-away food (including toasted sandwiches) in order to bring it into line with that of restaurant meals.

HMRC has a responsibility to administer VAT law correctly. In 2005, a decision that had been made to an individual taxpayer was withdrawn following a review of all the relevant facts. HMRCs policy on toasted sandwiches has remained unchanged since 1984.

Education

Building Schools for the Future Programme: Private Finance Initiative

Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what his most recent estimate is of the total outstanding liabilities to private finance initiative providers under the Building Schools for the Future programme. [35445]

Mr Gibb: We are currently collating information on education PFI unitary charges as part of a wider PFI data collection exercise undertaken by HM Treasury, and we understand that HM Treasury will publish that information as part of the Budget 2011.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2011, Official Report, columns 80-1W, on the education maintenance allowance, what the evaluation evidence and other research referred to is. [34251]

Mr Gibb: When making the decision to end EMA, we considered all the evidence from the EMA Pilots which includes a number of reports conducted by a consortium led by the Centre for Research into Social Policy (CRSP) and involving the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and the National Centre for Social Research. The main reports referred to were: Ashworth, K., Hardman, J., Hartfree, Y., Maguire, S., Middleton, S., Smith, D., Dearden, L., Emmerson, C, Frayne, C, Meghir, C. (2002), 'Education Maintenance Allowance: The First Two Years: A Quantitative Evaluation', Department for Education and Skills Research Report 352; and Chowdry, H., Dearden, L. and Emmerson, C. (2007) 'Education Maintenance Allowance: Evaluation with Administrative Data-The Impact of the EMA pilots on participation and attainment in post-compulsory education', Institute for Fiscal Studies/Learning and Skills Council.


14 Feb 2011 : Column 558W

These reports, and other evaluation evidence, are available at:

We also considered research into barriers to participation (including financial barriers), which was undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research, working in partnership with Triangle and QA Research: (Spielhofer et al (2010) 'Barriers to Participation in Education and Training; DFE RR009'.

Education Maintenance Allowance: Ashton-in-Makerfield

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will (a) undertake and (b) publish an equality impact assessment in respect of the effects on Ashfield constituency of the abolition of the education maintenance allowance. [33983]

Mr Gibb: A full equality impact assessment for the introduction of the discretionary learner support fund replacing the education maintenance allowance (EMA) will be published in due course, once final arrangements for the operation of the new fund have been developed. The Department for Education is undertaking that process in consultation with schools, colleges and other stakeholders, informed by the work that the right hon. Member for Bermondsey and Old Southwark (Simon Hughes) will be doing in his capacity as the Government's Advocate for Access to Education. On publication a copy will be placed in the House Libraries.

Further Education: Absenteeism

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what the level of unauthorised absence was in further education establishments that were (a) sixth forms and (b) colleges in each year since 2004. [39138]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 8 February 2011]: Information on pupils with unauthorised absence is not collected for further education establishments. The Department collects information on pupil absence for pupils aged five to 15 at the start of the school year from maintained primary and secondary schools, all special schools, city technology colleges and academies.

Information on absence can be found in Statistical First Release 07/2010 'Pupil Absence in Schools in England, Including Pupil Characteristics: 2008/09' at:

Ofsted: Training

Paul Uppal: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what mechanism he has put in place to (a) train and (b) monitor the performance of Ofsted inspectors. [34770]

Mr Gibb: This is a matter for Ofsted. HM chief inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to my hon. Friend and a copy of her reply has been placed in the House Libraries.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 19 January 2011:


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Schools: Admissions

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate his Department has made of the number of surplus places at maintained schools in Birmingham Hall Green constituency in each of the last five years. [33604]

Mr Gibb: The Department collects information from each local authority on the number of surplus places in maintained primary and secondary schools (except special schools) via an annual survey. The following tables show the number of surplus places in maintained schools in Birmingham between 2006 and 2010, which are the most recent data available. The numbers of surplus places are reported at local authority level and not broken down by constituency.

Surplus places in maintained primary schools in Birmingham

Surplus places

2006(1)

8,509

2007(1)

8,649

2008(1)

8,730

2009(1)

8,414

2010(2)

7,875


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Surplus places in maintained secondary schools in Birmingham

Surplus places

2006(1)

2,747

2007(1)

3,107

2008(1)

3,543

2009(1)

3,823

2010(2)

2,783

(1) Number of places relate to the position as at January
(2) Number of places relate to the position as at May
Source:
Surplus Places Survey & School Capacity Collection

Special Educational Needs: Free Schools

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether specific building regulations are to apply to free schools established to cater solely for children with special educational needs. [33589]

Mr Gibb: Every special Free School established to cater only for children with special educational needs will be expected to meet fully the particular needs of their student group throughout their premises. Where construction work or refurbishment is required, the Free School must meet the relevant building regulations for which the Department for Communities and Local Government is responsible. The Department for Education is currently examining all the schools-specific premises regulations with a view to reducing burdens on schools.

Business, Innovation and Skills

Animal Welfare

Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will make representations to the European Commission to keep the deadline of March 2013 for marketing of new cosmetic products tested on animals. [39655]

Mr Davey: Under the terms of the coalition agreement we shall continue to work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research. However, the European Commission is currently conducting an impact assessment on the effects of the 2013 marketing ban, and it would not be appropriate to pre-judge a UK position when such evidence will be made available.

Apprentices

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of apprenticeship places there were in (a) 1992, (b) 1997, (c) 2005 and (d) 2009. [38062]

Mr Hayes: Table 1 shows the number of Apprenticeship starts in England from 2002/03 to 2009/10.


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Table 1: Apprenticeship Programme Starts, 2002/03 to 2009/10
Academic year Apprenticeship starts

2002/03

167,700

2003/04

193,600

2004/05

189,000

2005/06

175,000

2006/07

184,400

2007/08

224,800

2008/09

239,900

2009/10

279,700

Note:
All figures are rounded to the nearest 100.
Source:
Individualised Learner Record

Prior to 2002/03, information was collected on a different basis, and therefore is not comparable with later years. Table 2 shows Apprenticeship starts from 1996/97 to 2001/02, as reported in historical Statistical Releases. Information is not available for 1992.

Table 2: Apprenticeship Programme Starts, 1996/97 to 2001/02
Academic year Apprenticeship starts

1996/97

65,000

1997/98

75,000

1998/99

118,000

1999/00

165,000

2000/01

177,000

2001/02

162,000


Information on the number of Apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly statistical first release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 27 January 2011:

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department has set a target for the number of apprenticeship starts it aims to fund in 2019-20. [40182]

Mr Hayes: The Apprenticeships Programme is demand led. Government do not set targets for apprenticeships but provide funding and forecast the overall number of places that may be afforded. We rely on employers and providers to work together to offer sufficient opportunities to meet local demand, taking advantage of the greater freedoms and flexibilities that we have created in the further education system.

The BIS paper 'Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth' confirms our intention, agreed in the spending review that by 2014-15, we will increase annual funding for adult apprenticeships by up to £250 million above the £398 million a year funding inherited from the last Government. So we will have in place sufficient funding for 75,000 more adult apprenticeship places than the previous Government were providing. Funding plans have not been forecast beyond the end of the spending review period.

Apprentices: Finance

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) whether the 100,00 apprenticeship placements announced on 7 February 2011 are additional to the places announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review; [40350]

(2) how much funding his Department plans to allocate to apprenticeships in 2011-12; [40351]


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(3) whether his announcement of £222 million funding for apprenticeships on 7 February 2011 was in addition to the £250 million funding for adult apprenticeships as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review. [40352]

Mr Hayes: The Apprenticeships Programme is demand led. Government do not set targets for apprenticeships but provide funding and forecast the overall number of places that may be afforded. We rely on employers and providers to work together to offer sufficient opportunities to meet local demand, taking advantage of the greater freedoms and flexibilities that we have created in the further education system.

For 2011-12 financial year, Government's planned expenditure on apprenticeships training is £1,404 million:

These figures have been published in the YPLA's 16-19 Funding Statement (November 2010) and my own Department's Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth (December 2010). No new funding or places have been announced since these documents were published, which both reflect the spending review position.

The £222 million additional funding described during Apprenticeships Week is an underestimate. The correct figure is £226 million. This is difference between the total budget for 2011-12, described above, and the previous Government's budget for apprenticeships for 2010-11 financial year, which was £1,178 million(2). The budget for apprenticeships in the 2010-11 financial year was subsequently increased by this Government by a further £150 million, as announced in May 2010.

This increase of £226 million for 2011-12 is part of the £250 million additional funding announced in the spending review, which we expect to be providing by 2014-15.

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) whether the £1.4 billion of funding for an increased number of apprenticeship places announced on 7 February 2011 is new funding; [40626]

(2) on which dates Ministers in his Department have made public announcements on (a) the creation of apprenticeship places and (b) funding to be allocated to apprenticeships since May 2010. [40627]

Mr Hayes: On 24 May 2010, the Treasury announced an additional £150 million to fund 50,000 additional places in the 2010-11 financial year.

On 20 October 2010, the spending review was published by HM Treasury and announced that

The spending review position is reflected in more recent documents. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills published 'Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth' on 16 November 2010. This includes information on funding and learner numbers up to 2012-13 for
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apprenticeships for people aged 19 and over. The Young Person's Learning Agency published a '16-19 Funding Statement' on 20 December 2010 which includes information on funding and starts up to 2012/13 for Apprenticeships for 16 to 19-year-olds.

For 2011-12 financial year, Government's indicative forecast of expenditure on apprenticeships training is £1,404 million:

These figures were first announced in the BIS document 'Investing in Skills for Sustainable Growth' and the YPLA '16-19 Funding Statement'. This is an increase of £226 million on what the previous Government were providing and is a significant step towards the spending review commitment that runs to 2015.


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