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26 Jan 2012 : Column 343W

Housing Benefit: Autism

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department has conducted an assessment of the potential effects of extending the shared accommodation rate for housing benefit to those under the age of 35 who suffer from autism. [91879]

Steve Webb: We are unable to complete such an assessment as data are not available that identifies people with autism within housing benefit. However those that receive the severe disability premium will be exempt as will those individuals who have a non-resident overnight carer or who live in certain types of supported accommodation.

Further, individuals can apply to their local authority for a discretionary housing payment. We have trebled the support for discretionary housing payments and this will enable local authorities to provide additional support such as allowing extra time to find suitable alternative accommodation and provide longer term support for vulnerable customers.

Identity Assurance

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reason his Department has published a cancellation notice in the Official Journal of the European Union in respect of its tender for identity assurance services; and if he will make a statement. [91958]

Chris Grayling: The cancellation notice was issued in order to allow a short period of further consultation and collaborative working between my Department, Cabinet Office and other Government Departments. This will ensure that the Department for Work and Pensions' identity assurance arrangements are fully coherent with broader Government policy and intentions in this area, and—where appropriate—provide a suitable route to market for other Departments.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to issue his Department's tender for identity assurance services; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the time taken to issue that tender on his Department's programmes. [91959]

Chris Grayling: Following a period of consultation and collaborative working with Cabinet Office and other Government Departments, we expect to issue the tender no later than the first week in March. Although we are developing contingencies to mitigate the effects of any delay, we have been able to manage the impact within the procurement process, and do not at present anticipate any effects upon dependent programmes.

Pensions

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were members of (a) defined benefit and (b) defined contribution pension schemes in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [90928]

26 Jan 2012 : Column 344W

Steve Webb: The response is derived from two data sources, for employer-based pension schemes and non employer-based pension schemes respectively.

The numbers of employee jobs with (a) defined benefit and (b) defined contribution employer-based pension schemes, in each of the last five years for which figures are available, are provided in the following table. These data are from the ONS' Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings.

Note that employees may have more than one job. The figures are for indicative purposes only and should not be considered an accurate estimate of employee job counts.

Defined contribution pensions here include employer-based Group Personal Pensions and Stakeholder Pensions, where individuals enter into a contract with a pension provider (usually an insurance company).

Million
  Employer- based defined benefit schemes Employer-based defined contribution schemes Total

2006

8.5

4.2

12.7

2007

8.6

4.2

12.9

2008

8.6

4.2

12.7

2009

8.5

4,2

12.6

2010

8.2

4.2

12.5

The membership numbers of non employer-based defined contribution pension schemes are provided in the following table. These include personal pensions and stakeholder pensions and would not be included in the ASHE figures shown above. Data are derived from HMRC's Tables 7.4 and 7.5 as reported to HMRC by pension providers.

Million
  Non-employer based defined contribution pensions schemes Personal pension schemes Stakeholder pension schemes Total

2005-06

6.3

0.8

7.1

 

2006-07

6.1

0.9

7.0

 

2007-08

5.9

0.9

6.8

 

2008-09

5,6

0.9

6.5

 

2009-10

5.3

0.9

6.2

 

For both ASHE and HMRC data sources, components may not sum to their total due to rounding.

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many reports of benefit fraud were received through the benefit fraud report hotline in the last 12 months; and how many of these resulted in an investigation. [91124]

Chris Grayling: Every call to the national benefit fraud hotline is assessed. The information is passed to either the Fraud Investigation Service for investigation

26 Jan 2012 : Column 345W

leading to a prosecution or sanction if appropriate, or to customer compliance teams who will correct the benefit and start the recovery of any overpayment.

In 2010-11, 251,847 allegations of suspected benefit fraud were reported to the hotline of which 30,516 were referred to the Fraud Investigation Service.

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much money was claimed back as a result of investigations carried out following reports to the benefit fraud hotline in the last 12 months. [91125]

Chris Grayling: The amount of money recovered as a result of investigations carried out following a report of suspected fraud to the national benefit fraud hotline is not available.

However, in 2010-11 the Department recovered over £322 million of debts owed to the Department.

Universal Credit

Michael Ellis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made on the testing and implementation of computer systems that will be used to administer the universal credit. [90906]

Chris Grayling: Universal credit is on track and on budget to deliver a new benefit system fit for the 21st century from 2013.

While universal credit represents a huge step forward in the evolution of the working age benefits system, it is not based on new large-scale, complex IT systems. Over 60% of the total system is based on re-using existing IT, with the new developments using tried and tested IT technology.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 19 January 2012, Official Report, column 920W, on universal credit, what the membership of the transition working group on the likely effects of universal credit on local authorities is. [91939]

Chris Grayling: The Local Authority Transition Working Group membership consists of senior representatives from local authority revenues and benefits services covering England, Scotland and Wales. They are nominated by the Local Authority Associations, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and Welsh Local Government Association. In addition there are several representatives from local authorities who have expressed an interest in working with my Department on welfare reform impacts.

There are also representatives from my Department, Department for Communities and Local Government, Scottish Government and Welsh Assembly Government.

The terms of reference for the group and minutes from the meetings are published on my Department's website:

www.dwp.gov.uk/local-authority-staff/universal-credit-information/local-authority-transition-working/

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 19 January 2012, Official Report, column 920W, on universal credit, which local authorities (a) have been visited and (b)

26 Jan 2012 : Column 346W

will be visited in the course of work to assess the likely effects of universal credit on local authorities. [91940]

Chris Grayling: In recognition of the importance of LAs to successful delivery of UC, an LA liaison team, which included an LA secondee, has been established to build and manage our relationships with LAs, bringing LA insight and expertise into the programme and communicating key messages back to LAs. One key aspect of building a successful rapport with LAs has been our programme of visits to individual LAs nationwide—including four to Wales and nine to Scotland. The programme began last summer and by the end of March over 100 LAs will have been visited.

The following list contains the names of the LAs already visited up until January 2012:

Amber Valley

Ashford

Barking and Dagenham

Basildon

Bath

Bedford

Birmingham

Blackpool

Bolton

Bolton Benefits Forum

Bournemouth

Bracknell Forest

Brent

Brighton and Hove

Bristol

Bromley

Bromsgrove

Burnley

Bury

Cannock Chase

Castlepoint

Cheshire East

Colchester

Conwy

Cornwall

Coventry

Dartford

Dundee City

Dundee Benefits forum

Durham

East Devon

East Riding of Yorkshire

Edinburgh

Enfield

Erewash

Falkirk

Fife

Flintshire

Fylde

Glasgow

Great Yarmouth

Guildford

Hackney

Hammersmith and Fulham

26 Jan 2012 : Column 347W

Harlow

Harrogate

Harrow

Hertfordshire

Hinckley and Bosworth

Inverclyde

Isle of Anglesey

Isle of Wight

Islington

Kent

Kings Lynn

Kirklees

Knowsley

Lambeth

Leeds

Leicester

Lewisham

Liverpool

Newcastle

North Devon

North Lincolnshire

North Warwickshire

North Yorkshire

Northampton

Perth and Kinross

Poole

Renfrewshire

Ribble Valley

Rushmoor

Sevenoaks

Sheffield

Shepway

Shropshire

South Norfolk

Southampton

Stockport

Surrey

Tameside

Tonbridge

Warrington

West Norfolk

West Somerset

Wiltshire

Wrexham

Wyre Forest.

Visits booked between February and March 2012:

Angus

Calderdale

Cleethorpes

Darlington

Derbyshire

Dales

Grimsby

Hull

Luton

Merton

Mid-Devon

Middlesbrough

New Forest

26 Jan 2012 : Column 348W

Northumberland

Oxford City

Pembrokeshire

Salford

Sandwell

Sefton

South Kesteven

South Northampton

South Oxfordshire and The Vale White Horse

South Somerset

Stour Valley

Wyre Valley.

Housing associations visited:

Amicus Horizon

Guinness

East Thames Housing

Knightstone.

Welfare Reform Bill

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment his Department has made of the effects of the provisions of the Welfare Reform Bill on levels of subjective well-being of children. [90930]

Maria Miller: I refer the hon. Member to the response I gave on 20 January 2012, Official Report, columns 1020-21W.

Work Experience

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information his Department collects on the ratio of work placements to job interviews undertaken under the sector-based work academy scheme. [91960]

Chris Grayling: Information on the number of claimants participating in the sector-based work academy scheme will be published later in the year.

Home Department

Asylum: Egypt

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many members of the former Egyptian Government have claimed political asylum in the UK. [91694]

Damian Green: The information requested could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

Travel Requirements

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) quickest and (b) slowest times taken to process an application for a convention travel document submitted in each of the years from 2000 to 2010 were. [91700]

Damian Green: The information in the format requested could be obtained only by the detailed examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

26 Jan 2012 : Column 349W

However the published targets for processing applications for Home Office travel documents are 70% within 20 working days and 98% in 70 working days.

Women and Equalities

Civil Partnerships: Ceremonies

Jim Shannon: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities (1) what recent discussions she has had with (a) the Church of England and (b) other church groups on same sex marriages in church; [92353]

(2) what representations she has received from the Church of England on same sex marriages in church. [92354]

Lynne Featherstone: The Government will publish a formal consultation on equal civil marriage in March 2012. I have met with a wide range of organisations ahead of this consultation including with representatives from the following church organisations: Church of England, Catholic Church, the Evangelical Alliance, Christian Institute, Quakers and Unitarian and Free Christian Churches. Discussions have been held and are ongoing with other organisations including those representing other faith groups, non-religious groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups.

This consultation will not propose any changes to religious marriage. Same-sex couples will not be able, under these proposals, to have a marriage through a religious ceremony on religious premises.

International Development

Burkina Faso: Poverty

Chris Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate his Department has made on the number of people living in poverty in Burkina Faso. [92228]

Mr O'Brien: According to the latest available data from the World Bank (2003), it is estimated that 56.5% out of Burkina Faso's total population of 16.5 million are living below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day.

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not have an aid programme or a presence in Burkina Faso.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Elections

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the conduct of the recent elections in the Democratic Republic of Congo. [91964]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: President Kabila was inaugurated as President of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 20 December. Her Majesty's ambassador attended the inauguration. We remain concerned about reports of irregularities during the electoral process and call on CENI (the DRC Electoral Commission) to investigate

26 Jan 2012 : Column 350W

fully all such complaints. We await the final reports of international election observation missions, including the European Union and Carter Center missions.

Developing Countries: Diseases

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's programmes to tackle non-communicable diseases in developing countries. [91621]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development's health focus is to improve the provision of basic health services for the poorest by supporting health systems strengthening, health worker capacity and access to essential medicines. Increasing coverage, equity, access and quality within the health system will strengthen services to identify, prioritise and address all causes of ill health including non-communicable diseases. We regularly monitor our programmes to ensure that they are meeting their objectives.

The Global Status report on non-communicable diseases 2010, published in 2011 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), contains information on the most cost effective approaches for tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as well as information on the availability of procedures to treat NCDs in the different regions of the world.

Developing Countries: Multinational Companies

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department works in partnership with (a) Nestlé and (b) other multinational companies on programmes in developing countries. [91619]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) is not working directly in partnership with Nestlé on programmes in developing countries. DFID does support Fairtrade International, who work with Nestlé on their Fairtrade products.

DFID works in partnership with a range of multinational companies through our bilateral and multilateral programmes, including the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund, Business Innovation Facility and Business Call to Action.

Diseases

Valerie Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of levels of (a) cardiovascular disease, (b) cancer, (c) chronic lung diseases and (d) diabetes in (i) Eastern and Southern Africa, (ii) West and Central Africa, (iii) the Middle East and North Africa, (iv) South Asia, (v) Central Asia, (vi) East Asia and the Pacific, (vii) the Caribbean, (viii) Europe, (ix) Latin America and (x) the UK's Overseas Territories. [91620]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) tracks the burden of non-communicable diseases through the Global Status report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The 2010 report, which was published in 2011, contains information on the burden of non-communicable diseases

26 Jan 2012 : Column 351W

(NCDs) by the six WHO regions. In addition it contains information on the extent of the underlying risk factors for NCDs, such as tobacco use and high blood pressure. The report also includes country specific data and can be seen at

http://www.who.int/nmh/publications/ncd_report2010/en/

Members: Correspondence

Mr Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when his Department plans to respond to the letter of 5 October 2011 and email of 10 November 2011 from the hon. Member for Basildon and Billericay regarding a constituent, Mr James Lowe. [91882]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: My hon. Friend's letter to the Minister of State, Department for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Rutland and Melton (Mr Duncan), of 5 October was transferred to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for reply, since the questions from Mr James Lowe covered the Israel/Palestine conflict which is an FCO lead. The FCO Minister responsible for our relations with the middle east, my hon. Friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt), replied on 31 October on behalf of the Government.

Somalia: International Co-operation

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what international development objectives he has set for the international conference on Somalia on 23 February 2012. [91965]

Mr O'Brien: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on 12 January 2012, Official Report, column 429W.

Yemen: Overseas Aid

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid his Department has allocated to Yemen for 2012. [91135]

26 Jan 2012 : Column 352W

Mr Duncan: Because of the uncertainty around the environment in which we will be delivering our aid programme next year, we are not yet in a position to confirm our proposed assistance to Yemen for 2012-13. We are hopeful that political transition progresses successfully and that we are able to scale up our aid to Yemen significantly.

Justice

Appeals: Hull

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what the average length of time was from receipt of (a) an income support, (b) a tax credits and (c) a disability living allowance appeal to the clearance or disposal of the case (i) nationally and (ii) at the Hull venue in each month since April 2008; [91553]

(2) what the average length of time taken was from receipt of an appeal under the Mental Health Act 1983 to the clearance or disposal of the case (a) nationally and (b) at the Hull venue in each month since April 2008; [91554]

(3) what the average length of time taken was from receipt of an immigration appeal to the clearance or disposal of the case (a) nationally and (b) at the Hull venue in each month since April 2008. [91555]

Mr Djanogly: The Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) Tribunal, the Mental Health (MH) Tribunal and the Immigration and Asylum (IA) Tribunal each hear appeals of different types and complexity, have different requirements for the composition of panels and different hearing lengths, all of which has an impact on the time taken to dispose of cases. The waiting times are therefore not directly comparable between jurisdictions.

The following tables show the average time taken in weeks from receipt of an appeal by Her Majesty's Court and Tribunals Service until the date of disposal of the case nationally and in Hull (except for the Mental Health Tribunal, for which it is not possible to provide data specific to Hull as its database does not store information by area, hospital or NHS Trust) in each month since April 2008.

Social Security and Child Support appeals—average waiting times in weeks
Weeks
2008-09
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

National

                       

Income support

8.5

9.6

9.4

9.4

9.9

10.7

9.7

12.8

13.0

13.9

13.2

14.0

Tax credits

8.2

17.3

8.0

8.1

18.4

9.5

8.6

12.2

15.2

12.0

12.4

11.7

Disability living allowance (DLA)

10.5

11.0

11.3

11.8

11.8

12.1

11.9

14.1

14.0

15.5

15.3

15.3

                         

Hull

                       

Income support

11.5

9.9

15.3

14.9

16.6

14.8

7.4

8.7

12.5

39.8

9.2

13.4

Tax credits

3.8

4.3

6.6

22.0

0.0

2.7

0.0

0.0

0.0

0.0

7.7

0.0

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26 Jan 2012 : Column 354W

DLA

14.3

10.4

13.0

12.2

11.0

12.8

11.0

17.1

15.1

17.3

15.5

14.5

Weeks
2009-10
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

National

                       

Income support

14.6

15.1

16.7

16.1

15.2

16.5

16.0

16.8

16.8

16.5

16.7

17.7

Tax credits

14.6

13.6

12.1

11.6

11.7

12.6

13.5

15.7

17.0

17.3

14.3

22.7

DLA

15.7

15.3

15.5

15.9

15.2

15.5

15.9

16.4

16.0

17.3

18.2

18.9

                         

Hull

                       

Income support

8.5

10.6

11.5

10.0

22.4

15.5

10.5

15.5

15.1

22.7

11.1

15.9

Tax credits

15.1

9.4

19.2

18.5

3.4

0.0

0.0

23.0

10.3

0.0

0.0

17.7

DLA

14.9

0.0

11.0

13.1

19.3

14.1

12.2

13.9

13.7

20.8

16.2

17.5

Weeks
2010-11
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

National

                       

Income support

18.0

17.3

17.4

19.7

18.7

20.2

20.6

19.6

20.1

20.3

22.7

24.5

Tax credits

12.7

12.4

13.7

13.9

16.2

15.9

15.6

16.0

16.1

17.6

17.3

16.7

DLA

19.8

19.5

20.3

21.2

21.6

21.6

22.3

22.8

23.7

26.3

25.7

27.6

                         

Hull

                       

Income support

15.3

10.7

20.6

19.3

11.9

34.5

26.7

19.2

21.9

7.6

26.0

16.5

Tax credits

4.0

0.0

18.1

0.0

15.3

20.0

18.5

18.9

7.6

24.0

0.0

2.4

DLA

17.4

19.4

23.2

22.1

23.6

22.8

21.0

24.6

25.8

19.5

24.0

29.3

Weeks
2011
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct

National

             

Income support

22.9

25.2

24.8

26.3

27.4

26.6

25.4

Tax credits

16.6

18.2

16.0

19.3

18.8

19.5

17.4

DLA

27.9

28.3

28.5

29.1

28.7

28.2

28.3

               

Hull

             

Income support

8.8

7.9

24.4

20.1

10.4

22.1

8.3

Tax credits

1.0

9.2

13.0

6.8

0.0

1.6

2.4

DLA

23.0

24.5

24.8

28.7

28.5

31.1

31.2

Note: Individual cases can have a disproportionate impact on the overall data at venue level due to the relatively low volumes involved. Figures are available for October 2011 for SSCS but not for MH or IA. This is because statistics were, exceptionally, published for SSCS from January until October 2011.

Waiting times within the SSCS tribunal have increased as a result of increased numbers of appeals following reforms in the welfare benefit system. Appeals to the SSCS tribunal in 2010-11 were over 70% higher than they were in 2008-09. The SSCS tribunal has responded strongly by increasing its capacity to deal with the increased workload. It has increased the number of tribunal sessions held, recruited administrative staff, judges and other panel members, introduced more efficient processes and extended opening times. Additional panel members for the Hull venue have been appointed and will take up their roles in the spring. This will further improve capacity at Hull.

Mental Health appeals—average waiting times

The First-tier Tribunal Mental Health hears applications and references for people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007) or living in the community following the making of a conditional discharge, or a community treatment or guardianship order.

Section 2 cases are appeals made by an individual against their admission to a secure hospital for assessment. Hearings must take place within seven days of receipt of the appeal application by the tribunal.

26 Jan 2012 : Column 355W

‘Restricted’: Appeals against restriction orders (from a court) or a restriction direction (e.g. for a prisoner transferred to hospital).

‘Non-restricted’: Appeals against the application of provisions of the Mental Health Act 1983 (as amended by the Mental Health Act 2007) which do not fall into the above two categories.

26 Jan 2012 : Column 356W

The following tables show national data only. The Mental Health Tribunal database does not store information by area, hospital or NHS trust so it is not possible to provide data specific to Hull.

Mental Health average waiting times in weeks
Weeks
2008-09
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

Section 2

2

2

2

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Restricted

16

16

16

16

14

15

15

15

15

15

15

15

Non-restricted

10

9

9

9

9

8

8

8

8

8

8

8

Weeks
2009-10
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

Section 2

1

1

1

1

1

0

1

1

1

1

1

1

Restricted

15

14

14

14

13

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

Non-restricted

8

8

8

8

8

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

Weeks
2010-11
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

Section 2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Restricted

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

14

13

Non-restricted

8

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

9

8

Weeks
2011
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep

Section 2

1

1

1

1

1

1

Restricted

14

13

13

13

13

12

Non-restricted

8

8

7

8

8

8

Note: The Mental Health Tribunal database does not provide statistics on waiting times. The figures provided are therefore estimates based on time bands rather than on the exact length of time taken in individual cases.

Immigration appeals—average waiting times

The Immigration and Asylum jurisdiction deals with appeals against refusal decisions by the UK Border Agency (UKBA), acting for the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on matters of immigration and nationality.

Immigration entry clearance officer appeals (ECO) are appeals made by people who are not in the UK, but who have applied to live here permanently. They also include appeals based on specific human rights or racial discrimination grounds, arising from the points-based system for visa applications.

Managed migration appeals are made by people who are already in the UK and are either seeking to stay permanently or to stay longer than they are currently entitled to.

The figures provided are for the Bradford tribunal venue, which hears appeals from appellants from Hull as well as other nearby locations.

Immigration and Asylum—average waiting times in weeks
Weeks
2008 - 09
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

National

                       

Immigration ECO

26.0

26.3

26.3

27.9

27.4

27.2

26.8

26.1

26.8

27.9

27.5

26.5

Managed migration

9.3

9.2

9.5

8.9

9.2

8.8

8.9

8.4

8.2

8.9

8.4

8.4

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26 Jan 2012 : Column 358W

                         

Bradford tribunal venue

                       

Immigration ECO

24.8

24.7

24.8

26.1

26.3

27.8

27.1

26.3

27.0

26.4

28.1

26.3

Managed migration

7.4

8.5

9.0

7.7

8.0

8.8

9.4

9.3

10.9

8.7

9.3

8.1

Weeks
2009 - 10
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

National

                       

Immigration ECO

27.7

28.2

30.0

32.1

31.1

31.5

34.2

34.2

34.9

34.7

31.7

33.4

Managed migration

8.7

9.0

9.6

9.4

9.2

9.9

10.0

10.0

12.4

13.2

12.9

15.8

                         

Bradford tribunal venue

                       

Immigration ECO

26.5

27.6

30.3

29.5

28.3

31.2

32.7

31.9

35.4

35.1

34.4

33.4

Managed migration

7.0

8.7

10.4

9.1

9.4

9.0

9.9

8.5

9.9

10.3

9.5

9.3

Weeks
2010-11
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar

National

                       

Immigration ECO

29.7

28.2

29.0

31.7

31.0

28.8

28.7

29.6

25.2

25.7

27.6

26.5

Managed Migration

15.0

17.3

16.7

17.1

16.8

16.0

15.1

13.7

11.6

11.3

10.8

9.7

                         

Bradford tribunal venue

                       

Immigration ECO

29.7

26.5

27.0

28.8

27.7

27.2

26.7

24.2

25.4

28.0

25.6

27.5

Managed migration

9.0

11.0

10.9

9.5

8.1

9.4

7.2

8.2

11.5

10.6

9.5

8.1

Weeks
2011 - 12
  Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep

National

           

Immigration ECO

26.7

31.7

28.9

28.0

26.8

25.0

Managed migration

9.2

9.9

12.3

11.3

8.5

8.5

             

Bradford tribunal venue

           

Immigration ECO

26.6

27.0

26.8

23.8

26.7

28.8

Managed migration

7.8

10.0

10.0

7.4

7.3

9.7

Criminal Injuries Compensation

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average number of days was between (a) application and decision on eligibility and (b) decision on eligibility and payment for those seeking compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in each year from 1997 to 2011 inclusive. [91500]

Mr Djanogly: CICA's database does not distinguish between decisions on eligibility and quantum because claims officers must decide both before they can record a decision on the database. The following table shows the average number of calendar days between CICA receiving an application and a decision for cases decided in each calendar year, in answer to (a).

To ensure CICA's application of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is as robust as possible all applicants can ask for a review of their case if they are unhappy with the decision. If the applicant remains unhappy after the review they can appeal to the first-tier tribunal. Since decisions at review or appeal are not bound by the previous decisions on eligibility or quantum, the figures for the answer to (b) reflect the average number of days between CICA (or the first-tier tribunal) making the decision the applicant ultimately accepted and CICA receiving the applicant's formal acceptance (all applicants have 90 calendar days in which to return this).

Figures for earlier years are artificially lower because the tariff scheme was only established in 1996, so cases that took several years to decide will raise the average of the years in which they were decided.

26 Jan 2012 : Column 359W

  Average calendar days to decision (a) Average calendar days to accept an offer (b)

1997

215

22

1998

250

24

1999

253

26

2000

252

27

2001

284

28

2002

297

28

2003

311

28

2004

305

28

2005

342

30

2006

356

29

2007

372

49

2008

322

32

2009

310

55

2010

239

33

2011

243

32

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many applications for criminal injuries compensation were received from applicants serving custodial sentences or on remand in each year from 1997 to 2011 inclusive; for what reasons; and what total value of compensation was paid to those applicants in each year. [91501]

Mr Djanogly: CICA do not hold that information in their central database. Paragraphs 13 (l)(e) and 14(3) of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2008, when taken together, mean that a claims officer must reduce or withhold compensation if the applicant has unspent criminal convictions unless there are exceptional reasons not to do so. Previous schemes had similar provisions. CICA publish the specific guidance their claims officers use to deal with unspent criminal convictions. That guidance shows that serving prisoners incur a 100% reduction so it is unlikely that CICA will compensate a serving prisoner.

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many applications for criminal injuries compensation were (a) ruled out because the applicant had a criminal record and (b) granted to applicants with a criminal record in each year from 1997 to 2011 inclusive; and what total value of compensation was paid to those with a criminal record in each year. [91502]

Mr Djanogly: The figures are given in the following table. These figures reflect only cases where a claims officer reduced or withheld an award due to unspent convictions because that is the only data CICA's central database holds regarding criminal records. The current (2008) compensation scheme says claims officers must refuse or reduce compensation where the applicant has unspent convictions unless there are exceptional reasons not do so. But there are cases still being considered under previous schemes that didn't make such reductions compulsory. The number of awards paid to those with unspent convictions is therefore likely to be higher—particularly for the years before 2008.

  Number of cases refused for unspent convictions (a) Number of awards reduced for unspent convictions (b) Total value of awards paid (£)

1997

1,879

714

1,252,378

1998

2,840

1,233

2,504,845

26 Jan 2012 : Column 360W

1999

2,230

1,484

3,121,781

2000

2,430

1,312

2,833,142

2001

2,615

1,275

3,156,815

2002

2,796

1,405

3,642,210

2003

2,570

1,453

4,198,745

2004

2,840

1,454

4,064,390

2005

3,478

1,408

4,789,529

2006

3,717

1,528

5,709,034

2007

3,838

1,604

5,518,840

2008

3,818

1,997

8,293,260

2009

4,445

3,133

12,257,770

2010

4,230

2,928

11,798,506

2011

3,726

3,092

14,904,760


Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much funding he allocated to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority in each year from 1997 to 2011. [90754]

Mr Djanogly: The funding allocated to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) for each year from 1997 to 2011 is shown in the following table:

Financial year Funds allocated (£ million)

1997-98

84.0

1998-99

114.6

1999-2000

115.8

2000-01

193.8

2001-02

223.0

2002-03

227.1

2003-04

215.6

2004-05

183.0

2005-06

193.4

2006-07

199.1

2007-08

224.5

2008-09

254.5

2009-10

254.2

2010-11

294.5

Please note, the table:

includes the capital funding and working capital grants provided to CICA to pay approved compensations, which have been accrued in the previous period. The working capital grant in 2010-11 was £20 million;

excludes the Scottish Government contribution towards its proportion of the costs of administering the scheme and for the full cost of all tariff compensation payments where the injury was sustained in Scotland;

excludes funds allocated to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, which the authority effectively superseded in 1996 but which continued to pay for legacy cases and produce separate accounts until 1999-2000—which is why the authority's funds are lower for these years.

As the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is demand-led, the Department keeps the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority's funding requirements under constant review. In addition to the funding provided at the supplementary stages, in certain years the Department also provides CICA with additional funding after the

26 Jan 2012 : Column 361W

Spring (Final) Supplementary to settle those cases which have become ready for decision and payment before the end of the year.

Criminal Proceedings

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice which offences are triable only in (a) Crown courts and (b) magistrates' courts; and which offences are triable in either magistrates' or Crown courts. [91506]

Mr Djanogly: The information requested is to be found in the “Criminal Justice Statistics”, but as the relevant table is available only online, at

http://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/publications/statistics-and-data/criminal-justice-stats/offence-classifications.xls

a copy of it has been placed in the Library of both Houses. The first part of the table shows indictable offences, of which those marked TEW are triable either in the Crown court or summarily, and the remainder are triable only in the Crown court; the second part of the table lists offences that are triable only summarily.

  Number of cases refused for unspent convictions (a) Number of awards reduced for unspent convictions (b) Total value of awards paid (£)

1997

1,879

714

1,252,378

1998

2,840

1,233

2,504,845

1999

2,230

1,484

3,121,781

2000

2,430

1,312

2,833,142

2001

2,615

1,275

3,156,815

2002

2,796

1,405

3,642,210

2003

2,570

1,453

4,198,745

2004

2,840

1,454

4,064,390

2005

3,478

1,408

4,789,529

2006

3,717

1,528

5,709,034

2007

3,838

1,604

5,518,840

2008

3,818

1,997

8,293,260

2009

4,445

3,133

12,257,770

2010

4,230

2,928

11,798,506

2011

3,726

3,092

14,904,760

Legal Aid Scheme

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many case starts were awarded legal aid in each local authority in England and Wales in each of the last five years. [91567]

Mr Djanogly: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether the £1 million which Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh was ordered by Plymouth Crown court to pay under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, following his sentencing on 21 July 2008, has been paid. [91951]

Mr Blunt: The confiscation order of £1 million in the name of Manoucehr Bahmanzadeh has been paid in full, plus an additional £19,977.60 of accrued interest

26 Jan 2012 : Column 362W

for late payment. The order was due to be paid by 27 March 2011. The order was paid in full by the end of June 2011 and the accrued interest was paid on 10 August 2011.

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many convicted criminals had their sentences increased for non-payment of money owed under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in each year since its enactment. [91966]

Mr Blunt: Information requested is not held as separate data on the court system that can be extracted without an individual search of each confiscation order record.

Solicitors: Harrow

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the number of firms of solicitors in the London borough of Harrow with legal aid contracts in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13; for what purposes these contracts are held; and if he will make a statement. [91934]

Mr Djanogly: There are 25 provider offices with legal aid contracts in Harrow in the financial years 2011-12 and 2012-13. Of these, eight have an active crime contract, 15 have an active civil contract and two have both a crime and civil contract.

Family services are not currently included in the civil contract. The outcome of the recent family (and family with housing) tender will be announced in February and will show provision for 2012-13.

In addition to face to face services, the public can get help with civil and family problems through community legal advice which includes telephone and internet based services.

Work Capability Assessment

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the total cost has been of Tribunal Service operations relating to appeals in respect of the work capability assessment in 2011-12 to date. [91935]

Mr Djanogly: Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) hears appeals against Department for Work and Pensions decisions on entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA) (decisions in which the work capability assessment is a key factor) rather than appeals against work capability assessment decisions themselves.

The estimated total cost of the 112,320 ESA appeals disposed of from April 2011 to October 2011 in which the work capability assessment was a factor is £26.844 million.

These estimated costs were calculated by multiplying the average cost of an individual first-tier tribunal—Social Security and Child Support case in 2010-11 (the latest period for which these data are available)—by the number of ESA appeals disposed of in which the work capability assessment was a factor.

26 Jan 2012 : Column 363W

Business, Innovation and Skills

Apprentices: Agriculture

Dr Poulter: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to support agricultural apprenticeships and vocational training in the agricultural sector. [91765]

Mr Hayes: The Apprenticeship Programme is our preferred vocational route. It is demand led, therefore expanding and improving the Apprenticeship offer depends on businesses taking the opportunity to employ apprentices.

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) works with employers and training providers to increase their participation in Apprenticeship delivery and are particularly working with Land Based Training, (LANTRA), the sector skills council for Land based and Environmental Industries, to increase growth of Apprenticeships in agricultural areas.

Recent announcements on measures to expand opportunities and boost the quality of Apprenticeships apply across all sectors. In particular, up to 40,000 incentive payments of £1,500 will be made available for small employers who take on their first new young apprentice. This may be particularly relevant to the Agricultural sector.

We have seen growth in the number of Apprenticeship starts in Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care sector in the 2010/11 academic year, based on provisional data (Table 1).

Table 1: Apprenticeship starts in the agriculture, horticulture and animal care sector subject area, 2008/09 to 2010/11 (provisional data )
  Apprenticeship starts

2008/09

5,210

2009/10

5,690

2010/11 (provisional)

6,870

Note: All figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Source: Individualised Learner Record

Information on the number of Apprenticeship starts is published in a quarterly Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest SFR was published on 27 October 2011:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_current

Information on Apprenticeship starts by framework and sector subject areas are available in the SFR Supplementary Tables:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/statistics/statisticalfirstrelease/sfr_supplementary_tables/Apprenticeship_sfr_supplementary_tables/