Drugs

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many members of his Department have been disciplined due to drug offences in the last 12 months; [80827]

(2) what his Department's policy is on mandatory drug testing of its employees. [80850]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: Two employees in my Department were dismissed as a result of disciplinary action for drug offences in the 12 months ending 31 October 2011. Both of these were for bringing a controlled substance on to departmental premises.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 167W

My Department does not have a mandatory drugs testing policy for employees. However, it does have employee policies on drugs and alcohol. All employees are expected to report fit for work, and any indication that an employee had reported for work in an unfit state through drug abuse would be investigated. Being unfit for duty through drink or drug abuse is a breach of the required standards of conduct.

Drugs-related offences are regarded particularly seriously in disciplinary terms. Conviction of a criminal offence—or receipt of a police caution—for a drugs-related offence is considered gross misconduct. Drugs-related offences may result in dismissal even if the individual does not receive a custodial sentence.

Harassment: Convictions

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people prosecuted under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 were convicted; and how many received a (a) custodial sentence, (b) fine and (c) non-custodial sentence in (i) 2006-07, (ii) 2007-08 and (iii) 2008-09. [81407]

Mr Blunt: The number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty and sentenced at all courts, by result, under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act and section 32 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, in England and Wales for the financial years 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 can be viewed in the following table.

Under section 32 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 a person is guilty of an offence of racially or religiously aggravated harassment if they commit an offence under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 which is racially or religiously aggravated (as defined in section 28 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998).

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates courts, found guilty and sentenced at all courts, by result, under section 2 of the Protection from Harassment Act, and section 32 of the Crime Disorder Act 1998, England and Wales, 2006-09 (1, 2)
Statute/offence description 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 (3)

Section 2 Protection from Harassment Act 1997

     

Offence of harassment

     

Proceeded against

5,006

4,940

4,865

Found guilty

3,543

3,650

3,892

Sentenced(4)

3,566

3,671

3,893

Of which:

     

Fine

367

410

553

Immediate custody

387

394

462

Community sentence

1,299

1,390

1,648

Suspended sentence

268

261

335

Other sentences(5)

1,245

1,216

895

       

Crime and Disorder Act 1998, S.32

     

Racially aggravated offence of harassment

     

Religiously aggravated offence of harassment

     

Racially or religiously aggravated offence of harassment

     

21 Nov 2011 : Column 168W

Proceeded against

191

186

239

Found guilty

125

126

144

Sentenced(4)

127

128

145

Of which:

     

Fine

17

21

16

Immediate custody

10

15

23

Community sentence

57

49

62

Suspended sentence

12

18

22

Other sentences(5)

31

25

22

(1) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (3) Excludes data for Cardiff magistrates court for April, July and August 2008. (4) The sentenced column may exceed those found guilty as it may be the case that a defendant found guilty, and committed for sentence at the Crown court, may be sentenced in the following year. (5) Other sentences includes: absolute discharge, conditional discharge, and otherwise dealt with. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services: Ministry of Justice.

Insolvency: Fraud

Peter Aldous: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the potential effect of proposed changes to (a) conditional fee arrangements and (b) after-the-event insurance on the effectiveness of measures to address fraud in insolvency cases. [81619]

Mr Djanogly: As I stated in my answer on 8 November 2011, Official Report, column 183W, an updated impact assessment was published alongside the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill which includes provisions on the proposed reform of no win no fee conditional fee agreements. Officials are continuing to discuss the likely impacts of these changes in relation to insolvency proceedings.

Knives: Convictions

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people aged (a) under 18 years and (b) over 18 years were convicted for possessing a knife in 2010 in each police force area. [81623]

Mr Blunt: The number of persons found guilty at all courts for having an article with a blade or point, by age group, and police force area in England and Wales, for the year 2010 (latest available) can be viewed in the table.

Annual court proceedings data for 2011 will be available in the spring of 2012.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 169W

21 Nov 2011 : Column 170W

Persons found guilty at all courts for offences of having a blade or article which was sharply pointed in a public place or on a school premises, by age group, and police force area, England and Wales, 2010 (1, 2, 3)
Number
Police force area 18 years and under Over 18 years

Avon and Somerset

29

130

Bedfordshire

19

59

Cambridgeshire

6

49

Cheshire

9

74

City of London

10

Cleveland

16

76

Cumbria

10

39

Derbyshire

14

71

Devon and Cornwall

25

116

Dorset

15

64

Durham

13

57

Essex

39

159

Gloucestershire

4

45

Greater Manchester

55

245

Hampshire

37

142

Hertfordshire

22

78

Humberside

24

91

Kent

19

93

Lancashire

27

163

Leicestershire

11

72

Lincolnshire

16

56

Merseyside

39

213

Metropolitan Police

493

1,034

Norfolk

18

88

North Yorkshire

17

55

Northamptonshire

13

73

Northumbria

51

220

Nottinghamshire

31

114

South Yorkshire

36

119

Staffordshire

24

78

Suffolk

12

45

Surrey

10

36

Sussex

20

103

Thames Valley

28

175

Warwickshire

5

20

West Mercia

21

93

West Midlands

79

268

West Yorkshire

26

159

Wiltshire

15

45

England

1,348

4,827

     

Dyfed-Powys

6

35

Gwent

14

49

North Wales

12

55

South Wales

40

154

Wales

72

293

     

England and Wales

1,420

5,120

(1) The figures given in this table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. (2 )Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. (3) Offences used: Criminal Justice Act 1988 s. 139 as amended by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 s.3—Having an article with blade or point in public place. Criminal Justice Act 1988 s. 139A (1) and (5)(a) added by Offensive Weapons Act 1996 s.4 (1)—Having an article with blade or point on school premises. Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services in the Ministry of Justice.

Lockerbie: Bombings

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what recent discussions he has had with his (a) Scottish and (b) Libyan counterpart regarding the status of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi; [80852]

(2) how many (a) letters and (b) e-mails his Department has received on Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. [80832]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 171W

Mr Kenneth Clarke: The release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds was a matter for Scottish Ministers. I have had no discussions with either my Scottish or Libyan counterparts regarding his status.

My Department was recently a copy recipient of one letter regarding the status of Mr al-Megrahi. No e-mails have been received.

National Offender Management Service

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he has any plans to establish a Head of the Probation Service within the National Offender Management Service. [81683]

Mr Blunt: As probation trusts are independent, arm’s length bodies, operating under contract with the Secretary of State, a Head of Probation could not have the same functions as the Director of Probation performed under the earlier, centralised, arrangements.

However, we recognise that probation trusts need a consistent point of reference and representation within the National Offender Management Service. The new structure which began to be implemented in April 2011 includes a Director of Probation and Contracted Services, who is responsible not only for holding trusts to account against their contracts, but also for ensuring they have the support they need to be effective public sector providers.

Prisoner Escapes

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many prisoners have escaped from custody in each month for the last five years; and how

21 Nov 2011 : Column 172W

many such prisoners escaped while being transferred between prisons; [80853]

(2) how many escaped prisoners have been returned to custody in each month of the last five years. [80854]

Mr Blunt: The number of escapes has been falling since 1995 when central records began. Table 1 shows the number of KPI(1) (key performance indicator) escapes, by month over the last five financial years from (a) prison establishment, (b) prison escort(2), and (c) contractor escort(3) (which includes escapes from court(4)). None of the escapes from escort occurred while transferring prisoners between prisons.

(1) A KPI escape is one where a prisoner is at liberty for 15 minutes or more before recapture, or an offence is committed during an escape lasting less than 15 minutes.

(2) A prison escort is an escort performed by prison staff, often to hospitals.

(3) A contractor escort is one undertaken on behalf of the National Offender Management Service by a contractor to a court, originating from either a police station or a prison, or transferring prisoners between prisons.

(4) Escapes from contractor escorts include escapes from court; the majority of contractor escapes are from insecure docks rather than escort vehicles.

Table 2 shows the number of prisoners recaptured per month having escaped from establishment or prison escort. Historically recapture details of prisoners escaping from contractor escorts are not held centrally in an easily retrievable format and details could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Following the establishment of new escort contracts and procedures in August this year prisoners recaptured following an escort escape are now recorded in an easily retrievable format.

Table 1: KPI escapes, by month and escape type, from April 2006 to March 2011

Prison establishment Prison escort Contractor escort

June 2006

1

0

2

July 2006

0

1

2

August 2006

0

1

1

September 2006

1

1

3

October 2006

0

1

1

November 2006

0

1

2

December 2006

0

0

2

January 2007

0

1

1

February 2007

0

0

3

March 2007

0

0

2

April 2007

0

0

2

May 2007

0

0

1

June 2007

0

0

1

August 2007

1

0

3

September 2007

2

0

1

October 2007

0

1

2

November 2007

0

0

2

December 2007

0

0

1

January 2008

0

1

2

March 2008

1

0

1

April 2008

0

0

3

May 2008

0

1

1

June 2008

0

0

1

October 2008

0

1

2

November 2008

0

1

1

December 2008

0

0

3

January 2009

0

1

1

February 2009

0

0

1

21 Nov 2011 : Column 173W

21 Nov 2011 : Column 174W

March 2009

1

0

2

April 2009

0

1

0

May 2009

1

0

1

July 2009

1

0

1

September 2009

0

0

2

October 2009

0

0

3

November 2009

0

0

1

December 2009

0

1

0

January 2010

0

0

0

February 2010

0

0

3

March 2010

0

1

1

May 2010

0

1

2

June 2010

1

0

1

July 2010

0

0

2

August 2010

0

0

2

December 2010

0

0

1

January 2011

0

0

1

March 2011

0

0

1

Total

10

16

72

Note: Months when there are zero escapes in all three categories are not shown.
Table 2: Number of prisoners recaptured following KPI escape from (a) prison establishment or (b) prison escort (but not contractor escort), by month of recapture from April 2006 to March 2011

Number of prisoners recaptured

August 2006

3

November 2006

2

December 2006

1

January 2007

1

February 2007

1

March 2007

1

September 2007

1

October 2007

2

January 2008

2

August 2008

1

October 2008

1

November 2008

1

January 2009

3

April 2009

1

May 2009

1

July 2009

1

March 2010

1

May 2010

1

June 2010

1

December 2010

1

Total

27

Notes: 1. The table provides details of month of recapture and will not necessarily correlate to the month of escape for incidents shown in table 1. 2. Recaptured prisoners are shown only for escapes from prison establishment or prison escort. Details of those prisoners recaptured following escapes from contractor escort could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. 3. Months when there are no recaptures are not shown.

Prisoners

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders given custodial sentences since 10 August 2011 are serving their sentences in prison establishments operated by the (a) public and (b) private sector. [81504]

Mr Blunt: As at 30 September 2011 there were 10,191 sentenced prisoners with a centrally recorded sentence start date of 10 August 2011 or later. Of these, 8,615 were held in prison establishments operated by the public sector and 1,576 were in prisons operated by the private sector.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Prisoners: Repatriation

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent discussions he has had with his European counterparts on the transfer of UK prisoners to foreign prisons. [80825]

Mr Blunt: The Council Framework Decision on the application of the principle of mutual recognition for judgments imposing custodial sentences or measures involving deprivation of liberty will enter into force from December 2011; once implemented, this measure will help expedite the transfer of prisoners within the European Union. My right hon. Friend Lord McNally recently discussed the transfer of prisoners with the then Albanian Justice Minister, and my officials regularly discuss prisoner transfers with their European counterparts.

Prisons

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisons he has visited on official business in the last 12 months. [80835]

Mr Kenneth Clarke: In the last 12 months I have visited six prisons. These were:

Prison Date

HMP High Down

November 2010

HMP Wormwood Scrubs

December 2010

HMP Wandsworth

December 2010

21 Nov 2011 : Column 175W

HMP Doncaster

January 2011

HMP Preston

February 2011

HMP Cardiff

July 2011

Prisons: Employment

Mark Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many serving prisoners are working and earning a weekly wage of over (a) £100, (b) £150 and (c) £200. [81318]

Mr Blunt: Setting rates of pay for work done in prison is delegated to the governor and information on this is not routinely collected centrally. Prison Service Order (PSO) 4460 on prisoners’ pay sets out the general parameters for local pay schemes including minimum rates of pay for various circumstances. The minimum employed rate is £4.00 per week. As well as work, prisoners are paid for participation in other constructive activity.

A one-off survey of prisoner pay was conducted in 2007 and found that the average rate of pay for activity inside prisons was £9.60 per week.

A small number of prisoners in open prisons are allowed to work outside the prison for resettlement purposes, subject to a risk assessment. A survey conducted in summer 2010 showed that there were 459 such prisoners. Rates of pay for prisoners working outside are a matter between the prisoner and the employer and are not routinely recorded by prisons.

Prisons: Uniform

Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will take steps to ensure that prison officers are issued with (a) stab vests and (b) other personal protective equipment where necessary. [81413]

Mr Blunt: Stab resistant vests and other personal protective equipment are available to prison staff in circumstances where there is a particular risk that requires such equipment to be worn. Attacks on staff in prisons with bladed weapons are relatively rare and there are no plans to routinely equip all prison officers working in prisons with items such as stab-proof vests.

All prison officers are trained in control and restraint techniques and receive personal protection training. In addition, prison officers working in the adult male and young adult male closed prison estate are all equipped with batons for use as a defensive weapon.

Probation: Ex-servicemen

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many probation trusts have appointed a veterans link to ensure armed forces personnel are directed to relevant welfare agencies. [80032]

Mr Blunt: It is the responsibility of each probation trust to make arrangements to address the needs of offenders who have previously served in the armed forces. To date, 18 of the 35 probation trusts have

21 Nov 2011 : Column 176W

appointed a veterans link. The remaining trusts are alive to the needs of ex-service personnel and are looking at ways to address them.

Sexual Offences: Victim Support Schemes

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the total value was of grants awarded by his Department through the Victims Fund to local sexual assault services in financial year (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12. [81247]

Mr Blunt: In 2010-11, the Combined Victims Fund, jointly funded by the Ministry of Justice and the Government Equalities Office, provided grants totalling £2.25 million to 52 voluntary sector organisations providing support for victims of sexual violence and abuse.

In 2011-12, we have committed £5.099 million in total to supporting victims of sexual violence through two funds:

The Rape Support Fund is providing £2.8 million to 65 existing rape support centres across England and Wales and £600,000 to develop four new rape support centres in Hereford, Trafford, Devon and Dorset.

The Victim and Witness General Fund is providing £1.699 million in grant funding this year to 34 voluntary sector organisations supporting victims of sexual violence in England and Wales.

Treasury

Corporation Tax: Transport

John Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was received in corporation tax from the transport sector in each year since 2001. [81326]

Mr Gauke: The following table shows the liability for the transport sector for each financial year from 2000-01 to 2009-10. More recent data are not available.

Transport sector (1) corporation tax liabilities, United Kingdom, financial years
Financial year (2) Corporation tax liability (£ million) (3)

2000-01

623

2001-02

676

2002-03

717

2003-04

779

2004-05

837

2005-06

819

2006-07

835

2007-08

793

2008-09

748

2009-10

627

(1) Summary Trade Classification categories Road Haulage, Sea Transport, and Other Transport and Storage. (2) Comprises accounting periods ending within each financial year. (3) Liability figures, especially for 2009-10, are subject to revision—for example as additional returns are received. Further information is available in the National Statistics publication on corporation tax available at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate_tax/ct-menu.htm

Departmental Assets

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assets with a value of £250,000 or more his Department has bought since May 2010; for what purpose; and if he will make a statement. [77331]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 177W

Miss Chloe Smith: The Treasury has not purchased any assets with a value of £250,000 or more since May 2010. The Department has assets under construction which will fall into this category once they have been capitalised. Those assets will be included in the Department’s 2011-12 annual report and accounts, as appropriate.

Departmental Public Expenditure

Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he receives any external funding for (a) his ministerial office and (b) his advisers; and what the (i) source and (ii) amount is of any such funding. [77593]

Miss Chloe Smith: No external funding is received for either the office or advisers of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne).

European Union

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many members of staff of his Department are working on the Government’s examination of the balance of existing EU competences. [79810]

Mr Hoban: The examination of these issues draws on existing resources.

Members of Her Majesty’s Treasury staff contribute to a wide range of European issues as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Excise Duties: Rural Areas

Mark Menzies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department is taking to ensure that fuel duty and vehicle excise duty do not disproportionally affect the rural population. [81282]

Miss Chloe Smith: In a £1.9 billion package of support for motorists at Budget 2011 the Government applied to the European Commission for a rural fuel duty rebate pilot scheme, cut fuel duty, deferred the planned 2011-12 increase to January 2012, abolished the fuel duty escalator and replaced it with a fair fuel stabiliser, froze Vehicle Excise Duty for heavy goods vehicles in 2011-12 and limited the duty increase for all other motorists to inflation only.

G8: Borrowing

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information his Department holds on the proportion of gross domestic product required to cover the necessary contribution of Government borrowing in each G8 country. [80625]

Miss Chloe Smith: The International Monetary Fund publishes information on the General Government Balance for a range of countries including the G8 countries in its Fiscal Monitor publication. The latest Fiscal Monitor, which was published in September 2011, can be found here:

http://www.imf.org/external/ubs/ft/fm/2011/02/pdf/fm1102.pdf

21 Nov 2011 : Column 178W

Inflation

Chris Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the potential effects on consumer confidence of the recent rise in inflation. [81325]

Miss Chloe Smith: Consumer Prices Inflation was 5% in October, reflecting increases in energy and commodity prices. The Bank of England and external forecasters expect inflation to decline over the next 12 months. Lower inflation should support consumer confidence going forward.

Infrastructure: Costs

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost of providing additional public infrastructure at existing standards to accommodate a rise in the number of UK residents of 10 million by 2033. [80635]

Danny Alexander [holding answer 14 November 2011]:I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Ealing Central and Acton (Angie Bray) on 8 November 2011, Official Report, column 184W.

Money Advice Service

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to ensure that the Money Advice Service fulfils a strategic oversight role for additional financial education; and if he will make a statement. [81241]

Mr Hoban [holding answer 15 November 2011]:As an independent body with a statutory function set out in the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, it is for the Money Advice Service to determine how it delivers this function.

The service is undertaking a two-part research project. First to consolidate its understanding of existing evidence on the impact of educational practice within financial education, and similar interventions that seek to influence behaviour; and, second, to map the wide range of initiatives that are currently funded by the financial services industry. It expects to have completed this landscaping work by the end of June 2012. The service will then, on the basis of these findings, determine how best it may fulfil its overview role in this area.

NHS Trusts: Redundancy Pay

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which (a) foundation and (b) non-foundation NHS trusts have had approval from his Department for employee pay-offs in each of the last five years; which such NHS trusts had the (i) largest such payment and (ii) largest number of such pay-offs in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [80896]

Danny Alexander: This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Treasury's role is to ensure that individual special severance payments are fully justified in terms of value for money and legal risk.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 179W

Public Sector: Pensions

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many and what proportion of public sector workers (a) of each gender and (b) in each age group will receive an increased pension as a result of moving to a career average from a final salary pension scheme; [79649]

(2) how many and what proportion of public sector workers (a) of each gender and (b) in each age group will receive an increased pension as a result of the offer on public sector pensions made by the Government on 2 November 2011. [79650]

Danny Alexander: The Command Paper “Public Service Pensions: good pensions that last” set out the Government’s preferred scheme design for public service pensions. The next step is for trade unions to discuss this with the schemes and put forward any detailed alternatives which fall within the cost ceilings. The impact of the reforms on individual groups will depend on the final scheme designs agreed between the Government and trade unions.

As agreed with the trade unions, the Government will ensure that there is a full equality impact assessment before changes to public service pensions are implemented.

Matthew Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the effect on public spending on public sector pensions (a) in cash terms and (b) as a share of gross domestic product of implementing in full the preferred design for new pensions schemes in each of the next 10 years; [79657]

(2) with reference to Public Service Pensions: good pensions that last, what estimate he has made of the effect of implementing in full the preferred design for new pension schemes on savings to the Exchequer in each of the next 10 years. [79658]

Danny Alexander: The written answer I gave on 14 November 2011, Official Report, columns 643-44W, set out the Office for Budget Responsibility’s March 2011 forecast expenditure on public service pensions, and expected savings from the switch to CPI uprating and increasing employee pension contributions.

Changes proposed in the Command Paper “Public Service Pensions: good pensions that last” will only affect expenditure on public service pensions in the medium and long term. The paper set out the Government’s objective that those public service workers who, as of 1 April 2012, have 10 years or less to their current pension age, will see no change in when they can retire, nor any decrease in the amount of pension they receive at their current normal pension age. Schemes and unions will discuss the fairest way of achieving this objective, within the Government’s parameter that costs to the taxpayer in each and every year do not exceed the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts for public service pensions.

Mr Anderson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which trade union leaders were described by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury on the BBC Andrew Marr programme on 6 November 2011 as being strongly in favour of strike action over planned changes to public sector pensions; and if he will make a statement. [80391]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 180W

Danny Alexander: Most of the unions want to reach an agreement and discussions with interested parties regarding public service pension reform are ongoing.

Social Security Benefits: Uprating

Mr Anderson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the merits of the use of the Consumer Prices Index including housing costs as the measure of indexation for the annual uprating of (a) benefits, (b) tax credits, (c) the second state pension and (d) public sector pensions; and if he will make a statement. [81616]

Danny Alexander: The Office for National Statistics is currently developing a measure of CPI including housing costs with a view to publishing this in early 2013. HM Treasury is therefore unable to comment on the merits of using any such measure at this point in time.

State Ownership

John Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the names are of all (a) state-owned enterprises and (b) companies in which there are state-owned shares. [81285]

Danny Alexander: There are currently 382 bodies which meet the classification of public corporations. A full list is published monthly on the website of the Office for National Statistics, and the most recent version can be found at the following link:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/na-classification/national-accounts-sector-classification/classification-update---october-2011/public-sector-classification-guide---october-2011.xls

The principal Government shareholdings are those managed by the Shareholder Executive and UK Financial Investments Ltd. Relevant details can be found on their websites:

http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/shareholderexecutive/structure/portfolio-unit

and

http://www.ukfi.co.uk/about-us/market-investments/

Students: Loans

Helen Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effect on the level of public sector debt of the requirement for student loans to meet higher tuition fees in each of the next 10 years. [80193]

Danny Alexander: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) published its assessment in November 2010 of the effect on the Government's net cash requirement of all student loans out to 2015-16 and the contribution within that from the higher tuition fee policy.

The following table reproduces the figures in the OBR's November 2010 Economic and Fiscal Outlook report.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 181W

Impact of student loans on central Government net cash requirement
£ billion

All student loans (cost of net outlay) Effect of new policies

2010-11

4.1

0.0

2011-12

4.3

0.0

2012-13

5.4

0.7

2013-14

7.3

2.5

2014-15

9.3

4.3

2015-16

10.7

5.6

In its July 2011 Fiscal Sustainability Report, the OBR published long-term projections of the impact of student finance arrangements on public sector net debt. However, these did not separate out the effect of the new fees regime from 2012-13 and were based on stylised loan assumptions beyond 2013-14. Their analysis demonstrated that the increase in debt would peak in the 2030s and then decline as loan repayments rise relative to the value of new loans.

Decisions are taken each year on the level of the tuition fee cap, tuition loans and maintenance loans for the next academic year. It is therefore not possible to conclude what the overall impact of student loans on public debt will be in each of the next ten years.

Tax Allowances: Manufacturing Industries

Mark Menzies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has considered introducing as part of his strategy for growth a 100% capital write-down allowance on new plant and equipment for the manufacturing sector. [81115]

Mr Gauke: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), keeps all tax measures under review. Any proposals for new tax incentives would need to be considered in the context of the current fiscal position.

Taxation: Energy

John Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was received in taxation receipts from energy suppliers in each year since 1986. [81317]

Mr Gauke: Energy suppliers pay tax to HM Revenue and Customs under Climate Change Levy, Corporation Tax, Pay-As-You-Earn and National Insurance Contributions, Stamp Duty Land Tax, Stamp Taxes on shares and Value Added Tax. They also pay national non-domestic rates to local authorities.

Climate Change Levy is paid by energy suppliers. Annual receipts from Climate Change Levy since June 2001 are published on a monthly basis in table 2 of the Climate Change Levy Statistical Bulletin, which is available on the HM Revenue and Customs website:

https://www.uktradeinfo.com/index.cfm?task=bullclimate

Annual receipts for 2006-07 to 2008-09 for Home VAT for the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2007 category, “Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply” are published in table 2.3 of the HMRC VAT factsheet (October 2009). This category is broader than just ‘energy suppliers' and the figures will also cover other activities carried out by these traders, not just

21 Nov 2011 : Column 182W

their supply of electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning. The figures will also not capture activity by traders for whom energy supply is not their main business and who are classified under other SIC categories. The factsheet is available from the HMRC website at:

https://www.uktradeinfo.com/index.cfm?task=factvat

Home VAT refers to VAT charged on the supply of goods (and services) made by a VAT registered business in the UK. Estimates for calendar years 2004 and 2005 are available on a similar but older SIC code covering “Electricity, Gas, Steam and Hot Water Supply.”

Total receipts for PAYE income tax and class 1 National Insurance contributions for the SIC 2003 category “Electricity, Gas and Water Supply” are shown in the following table. This category is broader than just ‘energy suppliers' and the figures will relate to all economic activity of PAYE schemes within the sector, not just that related to supply of gas, electricity and water. In addition these figures will not include energy supplied by schemes whose main business is captured elsewhere within the SIC. The table shows total PAYE receipts for the Electricity, Gas and Water Supply sector. Figures are not available for years before 1999-2000.

Total receipts for PAYE income tax and class 1 National Insurance contributions in respect of employee and employer liabilities combined, for the electricity, gas and water supply sector (1999-2000 to 2010-11, years from May to April)
Sector £ billion

Electricity, Gas and Water Supply

 

1999-2000

1.2

2000-01

1.2

2001-02

1.1

2002-03

1.1

2003-04

1.1

2004-05

1.1

2005-06

1.1

2006-07

1.3

2007-08

1.4

2008-09

1.5

2009-10

1.5

2010-11

1.6

Note: PAYE IT and NICs class 1 figures are slightly incomplete in that some late payments are omitted. These late payments represent about 1% of the total, and do so fairly consistently from year to year, so comparisons between years are not significantly affected.

The following table on corporation tax liabilities shows the liabilities of companies within HMRC's Summary Trade Classification category “Production and Distribution of Electricity, Town Gas and Other Forms of Energy” for accounting periods ending in the financial years 1994-95 to 2009-10. Figures are not available for earlier years. As with PAYE and VAT, the figures presented will cover some economic activity by the companies included that is not connected with energy supply. In addition, some companies which supply energy as a minor part of their overall activity will be classified in other industry categories.

Energy Suppliers sector (1) corporation tax liabilities, United Kingdom, financial years
Financial year (2) Corporation tax liability (3) (£ million)

1994-95

585

1995-96

570

1996-97

535

21 Nov 2011 : Column 183W

1997-98

316

1998-99

333

1999-2000

428

2000-01

355

2001-02

396

2002-03

290

2003-04

318

2004-05

576

2005-06

680

2006-07

847

2007-08

922

2008-09

743

2009-10

1060

(1) Summary Trade Classification category Production and Distribution of Electricity, Town Gas and Other Forms of Energy. (2) Comprises accounting periods ending within each financial year. (3) Liability figures, especially for 2009-10, are subject to revision—for example as additional returns are received. Further information is available in the National Statistics publication on corporation tax available at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate_tax/menu.htm

Information on receipts paid by energy suppliers is not separately available for Stamp Duty Land Tax, Stamp Taxes on shares and national non-domestic rates.

Taxation: Gambling

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 6 September 2010, Official Report, column 204W, on taxation: gambling, what recent assessment he has made of the rate of gross profits tax levied on (a) bingo clubs and (b) bookmakers; and for what reasons there is a difference between the two. [80752]

Miss Chloe Smith: The rates of general betting duty and bingo duty were set by the previous Government. Bingo duty is charged at 20% of gross profits and general betting duty is charged at 15% of gross profits. The March 2011 Budget left rates unchanged. All taxes, including gambling taxes, are kept under review.

Taxation: Land

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing a tax on the land value uplift created by the granting of planning permission on greenfield sites. [80762]

Danny Alexander: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), keeps all taxes under review at the Budget.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Aerials: Mobile Phones

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether (a) she or (b) officials in her Department have discussed with HM Treasury using a proportion of the recently announced £150 million funding for infrastructure projects to improve mobile phone coverage. [79410]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 184W

Richard Benyon: In the course of discussions in the context of the growth review, I and my ministerial colleagues and officials have discussed with HM Treasury the funding of £150 million for improvements in mobile coverage, which was announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), on 3 October 2011. We will be continuing to work with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Ofcom and HM Treasury to optimise the rural benefits of this funding.

Agricultural Wages Board

Nia Griffith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment she has made of the effects of the abolition of the (a) Agricultural Wages Board and (b) agricultural minimum wage on the pay levels of farm workers in Wales who are within the remit of the Agricultural Wages Board; [75361]

(2) what assessment she has made of the effects of the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board on the rural economy in Wales; [75362]

(3) what assessment she has made of the effects of the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board on the ease of recruitment of trained and skilled personnel to the farming industry in Wales; [75399]

(4) what assessment she has made of the effects of the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board on pay levels for children under 16 who work on farms in Wales. [75400]

Mr Paice: On the assumption that the Public Bodies Bill is given Royal Assent, DEFRA will carry out a public consultation on the future of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales. We intend to publish a full impact assessment and equality impact assessment on the effects of any abolition as part of the consultation exercise. DEFRA is currently discussing the position in Wales with the Welsh Government.

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department undertook an impact assessment on the potential effects on wages of agricultural workers of the closure of the Agricultural Wages Board. [80902]

Mr Paice: On the assumption that the Public Bodies Bill receives Royal Assent, DEFRA will carry out a public consultation on the future of the Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales, after that point. As part of that consultation we will publish an impact assessment and equality impact assessment on the effects of its proposed abolition.

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the status is of the Agricultural Wages Board in Wales. [80904]

Mr Paice: The Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) is a statutory body established under the Agricultural Wages Act 1948. The remit of the board extends to England and Wales. Independent members of the board (including the chairman) are appointed by the Secretary of State and by Welsh Ministers. The AWB's functions include an obligation to set a minimum wage rate for agricultural workers in England and Wales.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 185W

Agriculture

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to support farming in the tenanted sector. [80771]

Mr Paice: The Government are committed to supporting farming in all sectors, including in the tenanted sector. Up to June 2011, a total of £237 million has been made available through the Rural Development Programme for England to improve the competitiveness of farm businesses and a further £425 million is being spent in 2011-12 on agri-environment schemes to support farmers to conserve and improve the natural environment. On 9 November I announced at the National Farmers Union Tenant Farmer Conference a new farming and forestry improvement scheme with up to £20 million available over the next two years to help fund small capital grants for business improvement.

I also set up the Farming Regulation Task Force, chaired by Richard Macdonald which has made a number of recommendations on how regulatory burdens on the industry might be reduced, and these include particular recommendations in respect of farm tenancies. I recently published an interim response on the Task Force Report setting out progress so far and a full response will be published early next year.

With specific regard to the tenanted farming sector, I have regular contact with members of the Tenancy Reform Industry Group, which provides advice to Ministers on tenancy related matters.

Agriculture: Young People

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to improve the image of the farming industry as a career option for young people. [80783]

Mr Paice: The Government are keen to promote the agriculture and food sectors as offering an exciting and successful career and to draw people towards the sector. DEFRA is working closely with the young farmers' organisations, the education sector and industry to raise awareness of rural issues, encourage young people to take up apprenticeships and other opportunities, and to further the development of skills and professionalism in the farming sector.

Air Pollution

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many zones and agglomerations exceeded (a) the exposure level of 20 micrograms/m3 of PM2.5 and (b) the limit value of 25 micrograms/m3 of PM2.5 set in the ambient air quality directive (2008/50/EC) in each year since 2008; [80304]

(2) from what date she estimates all zones and agglomerations will achieve (a) the exposure level of 20 micrograms/m3 of PM2.5 and (b) the limit value of 25 micrograms/m3 of PM2.5 set in the ambient air quality directive (2008/50/EC). [80305]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 186W

Richard Benyon: Targets for PM2.5 concentrations became a legal requirement for the first time with the adoption of the 2008 ambient air quality directive (2008/50/EC).

Compliance with the exposure concentration obligation of 20 micrograms(3) is assessed at a member state level. Based on the current calculation method and data from 2009 and 2010, the average PM2.5 concentration across urban background locations is 12.8 micrograms(3). Earlier data are not available.

The limit value of 25 micrograms(3) applies throughout zones and agglomerations and must be met by 2015. In 2008, 2009 and 2010 all UK zones and agglomerations were in compliance with the limit value.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) if she will assess the merits of publishing a new national air quality strategy setting out the Government's plans for achieving NO2 and PM10 limit values and long-term policies for achieving the best possible air quality; [80329]

(2) what steps her Department is taking to reduce NO2 pollution in the UK to ensure that the limit values in the Ambient Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EC) will be achieved in all 40 of the zones that exceeded the limit values in 2010 no later than 1 January 2015; and if she will make a statement. [80330]

Richard Benyon: Limit values for particulate matter are met across nearly all the UK apart from some small areas of London. The Government are working closely with the Mayor of London, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London to minimise the risk of further exceedences in London and expect to be compliant with limit values for particulate matter in 2011.

DEFRA published its air quality plans for the achievement of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) limit values in September this year. These summarise the plans and measures in place or to be put in place to achieve limit values for this pollutant in the shortest time possible. They also set out the time scale by which we expect to achieve compliance with limit values in all those zones where we currently exceed this limit value.

The Government continue to investigate available measures to hasten compliance with this limit value. We are keeping under review the need to revise or update our air quality strategy to achieve best possible results, taking into account economic circumstances and the availability of feasible measures.

Air Pollution: EU Law

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the Government's response to the European Commission's recent consultation on its review of EU air quality policy. [80307]

Richard Benyon: As part of its review of EU air quality policy, the European Commission launched informal questionnaires on 30 June 2011 seeking to collect views and experiences from all member states and stakeholders relating to the air quality directive (2008/50/EC) and the fourth daughter directive (2004/107/EC). We expect that

21 Nov 2011 : Column 187W

most member states will have responded. DEFRA has submitted a response and this is available on the Department's website.

Air Pollution: Finance

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's budget is for the air quality grant scheme in 2011-12. [80135]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA has an air capital grant fund of £2 million allocated under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003 for local projects to improve air quality. Details of the grants awarded this year are available on the “News” section of the DEFRA website in an article entitled “£2 million boost to tackle air pollution”.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many local authorities have applied for funding under the air quality grant programme since its inception; and what assessment she has made of the contribution successful applicants will make to meeting the UK's nitrogen dioxide targets under the Ambient Air Quality Directive. [80136]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA (or its predecessor Departments) has operated an air quality grant scheme since 1997. Figures for the number of local authorities that applied in each of the years since 2001 are given in the following table; only district-level authorities are allowed to apply for this funding. Earlier figures are not available.

Financial year Number of local authorities

2000-01

88

2001-02

82

2002-03

78

2003-04

92

2004-05

78

2005-06

69

2006-07

102

2007-08

126

2008-09

135

2009-10

133

2010-11

139

2011-12

120

Local authority air quality grant funding provides support to local authorities to carry out monitoring of local air quality, emissions modelling and air quality improvement measures. In recent years more of the available grant has been put to supporting air quality improvement measures, particularly on road transport pollution, including support for the delivery of communications projects, low emission zones, low emission strategies and other interventions. However, it is not possible to quantify the contribution this funding makes to meeting the UK's nitrogen dioxide targets under the ambient air quality directive.

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the monetary value of benefits to public health for each pound spent on improving air quality. [80294]

21 Nov 2011 : Column 188W

Richard Benyon: A number of studies have been undertaken to assess the total costs and benefits of air quality controls. The most recent comprehensive assessment was the Evaluation of the Air Quality Strategy, a report presented to DEFRA in 2004.

This evaluated a range of air quality policies covering both industrial and transport measures. It estimated the total cost of the measures at £4 to £6 billion and the benefits at £14 to £69 billion, yielding a benefit cost ratio of between 2.3:1 and 17.2:1. It is important to note that it is not currently possible to quantify all the public health or environmental benefits of improved air quality.

Air Pollution: Roads

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many kilometres of road exceeded the limit value for nitrogen dioxide in the ambient air quality directive when the most recent measurements were taken. [80306]

Richard Benyon: Assessment of the number of kilometres of UK roads exceeding the limit value for nitrogen dioxide is made by mathematical modelling. For the 2010 calendar year the modelled road length that was assessed as exceeding the annual mean limit value was 4,280 km.

Air Pollution: Schools

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many schools in England are located within 150 metres of a road that exceeds World Health Organisation air quality guidelines for (a) particulate matter and (b) nitrogen dioxide; [80301]

(2) how many schools in each London borough are located within 150 metres of a road that exceeds World Health Organisation air quality guidelines for (a) particulate matter and (b) nitrogen dioxide; [80302]

(3) how many schools in England are located within 150 metres of a road that exceeds the limit values for (a) PM10 and (b) nitrogen dioxide in the ambient air quality directive (2008/50/EC). [80303]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA does not hold information about the location of schools in England in relation to roadside exceedences of World Health Organisation air quality guidelines, or in relation to air quality limit values for nitrogen dioxide or particulate matter in the ambient air quality directive.

Bees

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made on implementation of the healthy bees plan. [80297]

Mr Paice: Since the Healthy Bees Plan was launched in April 2009, the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA), on behalf of DEFRA and the Welsh Assembly Government, has been working in partnership with beekeeping stakeholders to deliver the plan's objectives to improve honey bee health. This work has included:

21 Nov 2011 : Column 189W

improving and raising the profile of the National Bee Unit's BeeBase database as a key resource for beekeepers. Over 25,000 beekeepers are now registered compared with 17,000 in 2008;

supporting education and training of beekeepers to improve their husbandry skills. As part of this work, FERA has co-funded an education initiative with the British Beekeepers' Association and the National Diploma in Beekeeping;

the development of an action plan by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate to increase the availability of authorised medicines for honey bees and to ensure their correct use; and

improving our understanding of the health status of honey bees through the Random Apiary Survey undertaken by the National Bee Unit.

Further details of the implementation of the Healthy Bees Plan are available on the National Bee Unit's BeeBase website.

Bell Pottinger Group

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether (a) Ministers, (b) officials and (c) political advisers in her Department have met representatives of (i) Bell Pottinger Group or (ii) each of its subsidiaries in the last five years; on what dates any such meetings took place; and what was discussed. [80058]

Richard Benyon: Details of Cabinet Ministers' and Permanent Secretaries' meetings with external organisations are published on a quarterly basis and can be accessed on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/about/who/ministers/transparency/

Since May 2010 no DEFRA Minister, senior departmental official or special adviser has met with associates of the Bell Pottinger Group or any of its subsidiaries. Further detailed information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Climate Change: Carbon Emissions

Barry Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect black carbon has on climate change; and if she will make a statement. [80295]

Richard Benyon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, my hon. Friend the Member for Bexhill and Battle (Gregory Barker), on 10 November 2011, Official Report, column 406W.

Crayfish

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the damage caused by North American signal crayfish; and what steps her Department is taking to control such crayfish. [80848]

Richard Benyon: Research shows that signal crayfish have an impact on both the physical nature of aquatic habitats through burrowing (causing siltation and erosion) and on a range of fauna and flora. The most noted impact is on the native white-clawed crayfish, but effects on other invertebrates and fish species have also been recorded. A preliminary assessment of ecosystem health

21 Nov 2011 : Column 190W

under the water framework directive indicates that 51 riverine water bodies in England (out of 5,818 in England and Wales) are likely to fail to achieve ‘good ecological status' because of signal crayfish.

Currently there are no effective methods available for reducing the scale of the signal crayfish population in England, and DEFRA has commissioned research to develop such techniques. Until effective management tools become available, efforts are mainly focused on limiting the spread of the species to new habitats and on the conservation of native species, such as by the establishment of refuge sites for white clawed crayfish.

DEFRA is also working with the Scottish and Welsh Governments to develop a strategy throughout Great Britain for managing non-native crayfish and their impacts.

Dangerous Dogs

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has received on the effectiveness of policing of dangerous dogs. [81046]

Mr Paice: DEFRA has received a considerable amount of correspondence on dangerous dogs, some of which relates to the enforcement of the legislation.

Consultants

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what procedures her Department uses when engaging external consultants. [73102]

Richard Benyon: The core Department, in line with Government spending controls, ensures that all requirements for potential consultancy contracts are approved at the appropriate level prior to procurement commencing.

The approvals process applies to all expenditure relating to consultancy, both new contracts and extensions or variations to existing contracts. The procedures are as follows:

Approval to proceed before any procurement starts must be obtained for all business critical needs for consultancy services. The business case is completed and authorised by the business area director and sent to the procurement and contracts function.

Expenditure under £20,000: approval will be required from DEFRA’s head of procurement.

Expenditure of £20,000 and over for a period of up to nine months: approvals will be required from the DEFRA head of procurement, DEFRA commercial director and the permanent secretary.

Expenditure of £20,000 and over for a period exceeding nine months: approvals will be required from the DEFRA head of procurement, DEFRA HR director, DEFRA finance director, DEFRA commercial director, permanent secretary, the nominated departmental Minister and the Cabinet Office/Efficiency and Reform Group (ERG).

Once the relevant approval has been received, engagement of external consultants follows the departmental procurement procedures which are in line with Government and European Union procurement regulations.

21 Nov 2011 : Column 191W

Press: Subscriptions

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much her Department spent on newspapers, periodicals and trade profession magazines in 2010-11. [75000]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA spent £327,975.64 on newspapers, periodicals and trade profession magazines in 2010-11.

Capabilities Programme

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the budget was for the (a) infectious diseases: animal and plant, (b) flooding and (c) food and water work stream of the Capabilities programme in each year since 2005; and what the budget will be during the comprehensive spending review period. [79506]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA has four work streams under the Capabilities programme: Animal Disease; Flooding; Food Supply; and Water Supply. Plant Disease is not a work stream within this programme. Budgetary spend since 2005 is:

£
Financial year Animal Disease Flooding Food Water

2005/06

(1)

(2)

67,500

105,000

2006/07

(1)

(2)

69,000

110,000

2007/08

5,360,000

(2)

71,000

115,000

2008/09

6,263,000

142,269

73,000

120,000

2009/10

3,366,800

157,800

75,000

120,000

2010/11

4,499,000

2,445,281

75,000

100,000

(1 )Data not readily available (2) No spend until 2008-09

These figures do not include expenditure by the Environment Agency or local authorities on the delivery

21 Nov 2011 : Column 192W

of flood defences or expenditure made directly by the water industry on resilience and security measures; both of which support the objectives of the Capabilities programme.

DEFRA has not yet finalised provision for the work streams for future financial years.

Ministerial Meetings

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library a copy of the departmental diary of each Minister in her Department since May 2010. [80775]

Richard Benyon: As has been the practice of previous Administrations, information relating to Ministers’ diaries is not normally disclosed. Details of Ministers’ meetings with external organisations are published on a quarterly basis and are available on our website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/about/who/ministers/transparency/

Written Questions

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many parliamentary questions for written answer on a named day by her Department were answered (a) on time, (b) five days late, (c) 10 days late, (d) 20 days late and (e) over 30 days late in each month since May 2010; [79574]

(2) how many parliamentary questions for (a) ordinary written answer and (b) written answer on a named day by her Department have remained unanswered for a period of two months since May 2010. [79575]

Richard Benyon: Statistics on parliamentary questions (PQs) for written answer on a named day can be found in the following table:


Number of named day PQs received On time 1-5 days late 6-10 days late 11-20 days late 21-30 days l ate Over 30 days late

2010

             

May

10

5

4

0

1

0

0

June

42

32

10

0

0

0

0

July

67

50

15

2

0

0

0

August

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

September

23

20

3

0

0

0

0

October

46

35

11

0

0

0

0

November

60

34

21

2

3

0

0

December

38

16

20

2

0

0

0

               

2011

             

January

49

30

13

1

0

2

3

February

92

28

33

15

14

2

0

March

76

36

28

1

11

0

0

April

27

15

11

1

0

0

0

May

38

20

12

1

4

1

0

June

40

17

20

1

1

0

1

July

41

11

22

4

2

0

2

August

2

1

1

0

0

0

0

September

29

13

13

1

0

2

0

October

14

1

9

4

0

0

0

21 Nov 2011 : Column 193W

No named day parliamentary questions have remained unanswered for a period of two months since May 2010; 13 ordinary written questions have remained unanswered for that period.

The Government have committed to providing the Procedure Committee with information relating to written parliamentary question performance on a sessional basis and will provide full information to the Committee at the end of the Session. Statistics relating to Government Departments' performance for the 2009-10 parliamentary Session were previously provided to the Committee and are available on the Parliament website.