1 Mar 2011 : Column 1MC

Ministerial Corrections

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Energy and Climate Change

Feed-in Tariff Review

The following is the answer given by the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Bexhill and Battle (Gregory Barker) relating to a question from the hon. Member for Tiverton and Honiton (Neil Parish) during Energy and Climate Change Question Time on 10 February 2011.

Neil Parish: I very much welcome the Minister’s comments on anaerobic digestion, because I think we can get a great deal more of it. Can he assure us that feed-in tariffs will be set at a fair rate? As we push up energy prices to the consumer, we push more people into fuel poverty. When he tapers the tariffs, will he ensure that hospitals and schools get a fair crack of the whip?

Gregory Barker: My hon. Friend makes some excellent points. We will endeavour to ensure that we are very fair in the review, and we certainly want to sustain investment in renewables in schools, hospitals and other community projects that fall above the 40 kW review level. We also need to ensure that we get value for money for consumers and that we do not offer what Labour did—an open cheque book approach to the industry.

[Official Report, 10 February 2011, Vol. 523, c. 464.]

Letter of correction from Mr Gregory Barker:

An error has been identified in the oral answer given on 10 February 2011. The answer made reference to community projects that fall above the 40 kW review level. It should have said above the 50 kW level.

The correct answer should have been:

Gregory Barker: My hon. Friend makes some excellent points. We will endeavour to ensure that we are very fair in the review, and we certainly want to sustain investment in renewables in schools, hospitals and other community projects that fall above the 50 kW review level. We also need to ensure that we get value for money for consumers and that we do not offer what Labour did—an open cheque book approach to the industry.

Communities and Local Government

Audit Commission: Expenditure

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Audit Commission spent on calls to (a) premium-rate telephone numbers, (b) directory enquiry services and (c) the speaking clock in the last 36 months for which figures are available. [41008]

[Official Report, 16 February 2011, Vol. 523, c. 831-32 W .]

Letter of correction from Mr Robert Neill:

An error has been identified in the copy of the Audit Commission letter that was provided with the written answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for West Suffolk (Matthew Hancock) on 16 February 2011. In the table, the figures given for (b) directory inquiry services and (c) the speaking clock were transposed.

1 Mar 2011 : Column 2MC

The full answer given was as follows:

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.

Letter from Eugene Sullivan, dated 16 February 2011:

Your Parliamentary Question has been passed to me to reply.

The Commission routinely bars premium rate calls for fixed and mobile phones where technically possible. Some premium rate calls are required for targeted business purposes, the main one being for postal franking machines (£162 over the three years). The speaking clock is sometimes used to test lines externally where a guaranteed reply is needed.

For our main offices, all directory enquiry calls are routed to our main provider Cable & Wireless service as this provides the most effective rate. Mobile phone calls to directory enquiries and the speaking clock are barred.

The detail of the spending requested is provided in the table below. However, information for home workers and small office users is excluded, as the detail is not readily accessible from the service supplier for the total period.

Main office phone system and mobile phone contracts
£
  12 months to 31 January  

2009 2010 2011 Total

(a) Premium rate

55

69

46

170

(b) Directory inquiry services

5

1

1

7

(c) Speaking clock

75

44

21

140

Total

135

114

68

317

The correct answer should have been:

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.

Letter from Eugene Sullivan, dated 16 February 2011:

Your Parliamentary Question has been passed to me to reply.

The Commission routinely bars premium rate calls for fixed and mobile phones where technically possible. Some premium rate calls are required for targeted business purposes, the main one being for postal franking machines (£162 over the three years). The speaking clock is sometimes used to test lines externally where a guaranteed reply is needed.

For our main offices, all directory enquiry calls are routed to our main provider Cable & Wireless service as this provides the most effective rate. Mobile phone calls to directory enquiries and the speaking clock are barred.

The detail of the spending requested is provided in the table below. However, information for home workers and small office users is excluded, as the detail is not readily accessible from the service supplier for the total period.

Main office phone system and mobile phone contracts
£
  12 months to 31 January  

2009 2010 2011 Total

(a) Premium rate

55

69

46

170

(b) Directory inquiry services

75

44

21

140

(c) Speaking clock

5

1

1

7

Total

135

114

68

317