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Serbia: Bail

Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many cases of UK nationals having been refused bail by the Serbian criminal justice system his Department was dealing with in the latest period for which figures are available. [92439]

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Mr Lidington: The UK Government do not collect data on the number of UK nationals refused bail by the Serbian criminal justice system. However, our embassy in Belgrade are aware of three UK nationals currently on remand in prison in Serbia pending future criminal hearings, one of whom has applied for bail and has had it refused.

Serbia: Detainees

Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the welfare of UK passport holders detained by the Serbian criminal justice system. [92440]

Mr Lidington: Foreign and Commonwealth Office consular staff in Serbia endeavour to visit UK nationals detained by the Serbian authorities as soon as possible after their arrest, and conduct a welfare questionnaire aimed at establishing the conditions they are experiencing in prison, whether they have access to legal representation and to check whether they are being treated in line with internationally accepted standards in relation to prison conditions.

Our assessment is that UK nationals are not treated differently in any way from other incarcerated persons within Serbia. As the European Commission's October 2011 Report on Serbia notes, Serbia is continuing to make efforts to improve prison conditions, but many prisons still lack adequate facilities.

Serbia: EU Accession

Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of offences under the Serbia criminal justice system that would need to be repealed before that country's accession to the EU. [92437]

Mr Lidington: The UK Government have not made an assessment of the precise legislative changes that Serbia will need to make in order to accede to the European Union (EU). As the European Commission's 2011 Opinion on Serbia's application for EU membership noted, in order to meet EU standards and accede to the EU, Serbia will need to adopt and implement new legislation across a number of fields, including changes to the constitution and criminal code. The UK, in supporting an EU future for Serbia and all countries in the Western Balkans, will continue to insist that applicant states fully comply with the EU's membership criteria before acceding.

Dr Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what account he has taken of the (a) human rights record and (b) rule of law in the Republic of Serbia in formulating his policy on its potential accession to the EU. [92438]

Mr Lidington: The UK Government strongly support an EU future for Serbia, and for all countries in the Western Balkans, but insist that applicant states fully comply with the EU's membership criteria before acceding. This includes meeting the Copenhagen criteria, which require applicant countries to have achieved stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights and respect for and protection of minorities.

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Applicants must also meet the requirements of the EU acquis, including chapters 23 and 24, which cover judiciary and fundamental rights and justice, freedom and security.

The European Commission's October 2011 Opinion on Serbia's application for EU membership noted that Serbia has made significant progress against these criteria, but that further implementation of reforms is required. We will continue to encourage, and offer support to, the Serbian authorities in making these necessary reforms.

Sovereignty: Scotland

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what communications his Department has received from foreign governments in relation to the Scottish Government's policy of seeking independence for Scotland. [92455]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has discussions with, and receives representations from, Governments across the world on a wide range of issues. As has been the custom of successive Governments, we do not routinely publish communications received from foreign Governments.

Syria: Politics and Government

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) military and (b) financial assistance the Government has offered to the Free Syrian Army in the last two months; and if he will make a statement. [92223]

Alistair Burt: The British Government have not offered to provide any military or financial assistance to the Free Syrian Army.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), in a statement following his meeting with members of the Syrian opposition on 21 November emphasised Britain's commitment to supporting peaceful democratic change in Syria:

“We call on all sides to refrain from violence, show restraint and vocalise their support for peaceful protest.”

Voluntary Organisations

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contribution his Department is making to implementation of the Compact with the voluntary sector; and if he will make a statement. [92284]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) signed up to the renewed Compact published in December 2010. Much of our activity takes place overseas so is not within the remit of the Compact. We work hard, however, to strengthen and support civil society in all the countries that we work in.

The FCO make it as easy as possible for staff to contribute to their community by giving all employees up to five days paid special leave a year for this, whether in the UK or abroad. Many staff also choose to give up their own time to volunteer.

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International Development

Afghanistan: Education

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many people in Afghanistan have undertaken an education programme funded by his Department in the last three years. [92298]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: Education is vital for Afghanistan's long-term prosperity. The UK supports the Afghan education system by pooling funds with other donors through the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF) which helps to co-ordinate international funding and strengthens Afghan government financial systems. UK aid channelled via the ARTF has helped ensure that now 5.8 million children are attending school—almost 40% of them girls. Our contribution has also helped train teachers and rebuild schools. DFID is also funding technical and vocational education and training. We have provided training for 3,460 citizens of Helmand province so far, helping them to find employment and apprenticeships.

Afghanistan: Females

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had on increasing female representation in political life in Afghanistan. [92328]

Alistair Burt: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

In advance of the International Conference on Afghanistan in Bonn on 5 December, I met Afghan civil society representatives and female parliamentarians and discussed the importance of women participating fully in the political process.

The Government's International Violence Against Women Champion, my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Lynne Featherstone), attended the Civil Society Forum on Afghanistan in Bonn where she reiterated the British Government's commitment to an inclusive political process in Afghanistan and the importance of the protection of Afghan women's rights. She also met a range of representatives from Afghan civil society and discussed female representation in political life.

Afghanistan: Terrorism

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with the Government of Pakistan on reducing (a) Taliban and (b) terrorist attacks in Afghanistan. [92329]

Alistair Burt: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has had regular discussions with his Pakistani counterpart, most recently in December 2011. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs encouraged Pakistan to play a full role in the stabilisation of Afghanistan and in the improvement of regional security. We welcome Pakistan's

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agreement to the Istanbul Process on regional security and co-operation drawn up at the Istanbul Conference in November 2011. It is important that both Afghanistan and Pakistan work together to improve their long-term prosperity and security.

Charities: Education

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of his Department's joint working with the education charity TIDE. [92168]

Mr O'Brien: DFID's joint working with TIDE was subject to a full evaluation as part of the 2009 “Review of DFID's work to Build Support for Development through the education system” completed by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Developing Countries: Employment

Mr McCann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what definition of new jobs created his Department uses in respect of its country plans. [92214]

Mr O'Brien: Currently Department for International Development (DFID) country offices choose definitions of job creation appropriate to the local context. The range of job definitions includes:

Wage employment in the formal sector

Wage employment in the informal sector

Increase in income for self-employed individuals/households

These are designed to capture the variety of situations where a DFID intervention has given people the opportunity to earn their way out of poverty. Income increase is a particularly relevant metric in rural areas, especially amongst farming households, while wage employment is more commonly the focus in urban interventions. Policy interventions also tend to focus on formal employment (ie data collected by national statistics offices).

Employment

Mr McCann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how he will measure progress made towards his target to support jobs and opportunities to generate income for more than 10 million people. [92132]

Mr O'Brien: The overall Department for International Development (DFID) target of supporting jobs and opportunities to generate income for more than 10 million people is derived from the targets in the plans of DFID country offices and UK-based departments. These operational plans can be found on the DFID website at

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Site-search/?q=operational+plans

Each country office and department is responsible for monitoring progress against its operational plan on the basis of progress reports received from projects and programmes as well as periodic reviews and evaluations.

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Ethiopia: Resettlement

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information his Department holds on whether any UK aid to Ethiopia has been spent on the villigisation programme in the Gambella region. [91852]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development does not directly support the Government of Ethiopia's villagisation programme, despite requests for us to do so.

UK aid helps provide health and education services and clean water to tens of millions of poor people across Ethiopia. We are committed to providing basic services to people wherever they live. A small proportion of this nationwide-support is being provided in areas that are included in the villagisation programme in Gambella.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make representations to the Ethiopian Government for it to halt the villagisation programme in the Gambella region. [91853]

Mr O'Brien: The villagisation programme has the potential to provide better services to people in rural areas. But only if it is well designed and managed.

Ministers and senior officials have raised our concerns with senior members of the Ethiopian Government that the programme is being poorly implemented. The Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell) raised our concerns again when he visited Ethiopia last week to attend the African Union summit

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the villagisation programme in the Gambella region; and if he will make a statement. [91854]

Mr O'Brien: The UK Government led an independent multi-agency mission to Gambella in February 2011. The mission found no evidence of systemic or widespread human rights abuses or forced movement of communities. The mission did find that the villagisation programme was poorly planned and implemented. For example, new sites often did not have facilities such as schools and health centres in place. Latest reports from partners indicate that new infrastructure is slowly being put in place and also that some people are being allowed to return to their places of origin.

The Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell), issued a public statement on the situation after the release of Human Rights Watch report last week on villagisation in Gambella which confirmed that we are taking a close look at their findings and will raise any concerns with the Ethiopian Government.

EU External Trade: Rainforests

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of recent progress by the EU in negotiating

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further Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade voluntary partnership agreements with rainforest nations. [91669]

Mr O'Brien: Negotiations of Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) voluntary partnership agreements (VPA) have been concluded with Ghana, Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Liberia and Indonesia. Formal negotiations on partnerships are under way with four countries: Malaysia, Vietnam, Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The European Union is also in preliminary discussions with Thailand, Lao PDR, Cote d'Ivoire, Guyana, Honduras, Colombia and Ecuador; and these may result in new negotiations this year and next.

Freedom of Information

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department publishes on its website its response to each request it receives under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; whether the response is published in the same part of its website on each occasion; and what the average time taken is between responding to a request and the information being made available on the website. [92126]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development has published a selection of information released in response to Freedom of Information requests on its website. All such information is published on a dedicated page. It is not possible to calculate the average time taken between responding to a request and the information being made available on the website. DFID does not retain information on the dates of changes made to this part of its website to allow such a calculation to be made.

India: Tuberculosis

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of recent reports of an outbreak of totally drug resistant tuberculosis in India. [91824]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The UK attaches great importance to the control of all forms of drug resistant tuberculosis (TB), which pose a significant public health hazard. We fund the World Health Organisation (WHO) to provide technical support to the Government of India on TB control.

WHO is working closely with the Indian Government to better understand the clinical situation of affected patients and give public health advice to protect patients, families, care-givers and the community. The local health authorities are mounting an effective public health response, including:

(a) mandatory notification of all TB cases from labs and providers,

(b) finding and treating any known multi-drug resistant (MDR) and extremely drug resistant (XDR) TB cases,

(c) immediate universal access to free MDR and XDR TB diagnosis and treatment in Mumbai,

(d) strengthening basic TB control in the city, with a major investment in systems, people, and infrastructure.

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Overseas Aid

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has provided to the overseas territories of other countries in each of the last 10 years. [92052]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) provides no bilateral funding to overseas territories of other countries. However, DFID provides the United Kingdom's contribution to the European Development Fund (EDF). The EDF provides development support to African, Caribbean and Pacific states as well as to EU member states' overseas countries and territories, including British overseas territories. Each EDF agreement provides funding over a four or five year period.

EDF allocations to all EU member states' overseas countries and territories since 1998, including the UK's contribution to these allocations, is set out as follows:

£ million
  Period of allocation Contribution UK’s approximate contribution

EDF 8

1998 to 2003

165

21

EDF 9

2003 to 2007

175

22

EDF10

2008 to 2013

285

42

Overseas Territories: Business

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department gives to small businesses in British Overseas Territories. [92013]

Mr Duncan: Providing support to small business development is a key element of the Department for International Development's (DFID) assistance to British Overseas Territories that are in receipt of financial aid. These businesses are a priority for the aid programme because they are critical to increasing the role of the private sector in driving economic growth. This is especially important for Montserrat and St. Helena, where dependence on UK aid transfers is greatest.

This year, DFID is providing £500,000 to the St. Helena Development Agency so that it can support new business development on the island. In addition, we are providing support to tourism development activities to get the island ready for the airport which is scheduled to open in late 2015. In Montserrat, we are providing around £700,000 this year to help small businesses secure access to finance to assist their businesses in tourism and other key sectors.

Sri Lanka: Human Rights

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he has had any discussions with the Sri Lankan government on (a) the human rights situation in the North and East of that country and (b) access to those areas for independent human rights monitors. [92572]

Mr Duncan: Ministers at the Department for International Development have not had any discussions with the Sri Lankan Government on the human rights

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situation in the North and East of that country, or on access to those areas for independent human rights monitors. The high commission in Colombo, however, regularly meets with the Sri Lankan Government to discuss a range of human rights issues, including access for monitors.

Sri Lanka: Politics and Government

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the post-conflict humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka; and whether he has discussed with the Sri Lankan Government any proposals to improve the situation. [92573]

Mr Duncan: The UK continues to have concerns about human rights in Sri Lanka, including disappearances and extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests and restrictions on free expression. Ministers at the Department for International Development have not held discussions with the Sri Lankan Government. Ministers in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and our high commission in Colombo continue to raise the matter with the Sri Lankan Government.

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) assessment he has made of and (b) discussions he has had with the Sri Lankan government on food security and shelter for people from the North and East of that country. [92576]

Mr Duncan: The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is one of the main providers of humanitarian assistance in Sri Lanka. Its shelter grant project continues to help people from the North and East restart their lives; including through livelihoods support.

Ministers at the Department for International Development have not had any recent discussions with the Sri Lankan Government on food security and shelter for people from the North and East of that country, but the high commission in Colombo has regular discussions with the World Food Programme about the situation in Sri Lanka and continues to raise the importance of ensuring internally displaced people are living in adequate conditions.

Tanzania: Radar

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance BAE Systems has sought from his Department on the oversight of the £29.5 million the company was required to pay to the Government of Tanzania following its conviction of financial offences connected with the sale of a radar system to Tanzania; when he expects the payment to be made; and whether BAE Systems will pay interest earned on the sum over the period since the court ordered the payment to be made. [92405]

Mr O'Brien: BAE Systems has requested the Department for International Development's (DFID) assistance to work with the Government of Tanzania to finalise the details on the specific use of the funds and ensure the

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appropriate procurement, monitoring, reporting and audit arrangements are in place. At DFID's suggestion, BAE Systems will be party to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) governing these arrangements, together with the Government of Tanzania, DFID and the UK's Serious Fraud Office.

The MoU and annexes are close to being finalised and are expected to be signed in February. Under the provisions of the MoU, the payment must be made within 14 banking days of signature by all parties and will include the interest accrued on the sum before it is transferred by BAE Systems.

Third Sector

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he has taken to ensure Compact compliance in determining the future of his Department's relationship with the educational charity TIDE. [92194]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development's (DFID) funding relationship with the educational charity TIDE ended in August 2010 following the findings of the 2009 “Review of building support for development through the education system” completed by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The process to arrive at a decision to terminate this funding relationship, and its implementation, were based on the guidance in the Third Sector Compact. All recommendations of the 2009 review, including the proposal to terminate the “Enabling Effective Support” programme (through which TIDE received DFID funding) were subject to three months consultation prior to the decision to terminate the programme. The findings of this consultation, together with the decision to terminate the programme, were published on the DFID website on 18 January 2010. All projects were given a seven month grace period to complete activities prior to the withdrawal.

Tuberculosis: Drugs

Mr Virendra Sharma: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what information his Department holds on progress made by UNITAID to (a) triple access to rapid tests for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and (b) significantly reduce the price of drug-resistant tuberculosis medicines. [92135]

Mr O'Brien: UNITAID is having a positive impact on markets for TB drugs, including for multi drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). With UNITAID funding, new laboratory infrastructure has been established in 18 countries. 10 of these are routinely diagnosing MDR-TB. Using state-of-the-art tests provided through UNITAID's support. We expect countries to have detected approximately 12,000 MDR-TB cases by the end of 2011 compared with only 2,300 MDR-TB cases notified by these same countries in 2008.

To provide faster treatment and stop the spread of MDR-TB, UNITAID supports a Strategic Rotating Stockpile (SRS) of 5,800 patient treatments. Treatment delivery time for urgent orders has been reduced from over 100 days to less than 30 with SRS.

But the price of anti-TB medicines remains high, especially for MDR-TB. The costs of active pharmaceutical ingredients and oil for the manufacturing process have

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increased. Nonetheless, 15 out of 16 first-line TB medicines have shown reduced or maintained prices from 2009 and as more cases are detected, the size of the second-line market will increase, making it more attractive to generic manufacturers. The addition of four new quality generic suppliers of existing MDR-TB medicines is already improving the sustainability of the market for these medicines. Any movements in prices will be reported by UNITAID in the coming months once the data are collected and verified.

World Bank

Mr McCann: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with the World Bank on the World Development Report 2013 on jobs. [92222]

Mr O'Brien: In the UK's statement to the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the World Bank, the Secretary of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell), made clear that we welcome the planned World Development Report 2013 on jobs. Jobs are the lynch-pin in translating economic growth into effective poverty reduction.

We have encouraged the World Bank to deliver a report that is built on solid evidence and analysis and that provides very clear policy-options for stimulating job-creation, not least for poor women and in fragile states. Officials have been instructed to continue technical consultations with the bank over the coming months to this effect.

Deputy Prime Minister

British Constitution

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether a commission on the UK's constitutional future was discussed by delegates at the most recent meetings of the (a) British-Irish Council and (b) Joint Ministerial Council. [92549]

The Deputy Prime Minister: No such commission was discussed at the most recent meetings of either the British-Irish Council or the Joint Ministerial Council.

The published communiqués for both meetings set out details of the matters discussed. These can be found at:

http://www.britishirishcouncil.org/communiqu%C3%A9s/communiqu%C3%A9-17th-bic-summit-dublin

and

http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/joint-ministerial-committee-%E2%80%93-communique

Treasury

Bank of Ireland

Ian Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has had any discussions with the Financial Services Authority on the interests of Bank of Ireland bondholders in Unsecured Perpetual Subordinated Bonds originally issued by the Bristol and West Building Society. [79334]

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Mr Hoban [holding answer 8 November 2011]: Treasury Ministers and officials meet senior members of the Financial Services Authority on a regular basis to discuss a wide range of economic and financial issues. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of such meetings.

Business: Disclosure of Information

Ian Lucas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his policy is on project-by-project reporting of contracts between governments and extractive industry companies; [92137]

(2) what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in other EU member states on financial transparency in corporate dealings. [92138]

Mr Gauke: As the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, my right hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr Osborne), have made clear, the UK is pressing for requirements to be placed on EU extractives companies to disclose the payments they make to foreign governments. EU discussions on this subject are ongoing and officials are engaging with the European Commission and EU member states on this issue.

Child Care Tax Credit

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many women he estimates will leave employment as a result of child care support being reduced from 80 to 70 per cent. of cost. [91190]

Mr Gauke [holding answer 25 January 2012]: The information requested is not available.

Community Development Tax Relief

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 23 January 2012, Official Report, column 33W, on community development tax relief, what assessment he has made of the ways in which the Community Investment Tax Relief is not as effective as it could be; and if he will make a statement. [92506]

Mr Gauke: The Government are in the process of informally consulting on Community Investment Tax Relief.

EU Budget: Contributions

Mr Dodds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has made an assessment of the net contribution of each (a) nation and (b) region to the EU Budget in each of the last five years. [92808]

Mr Hoban: Details of the UK contributions to the EU budget, including net contributions, are published in the annual European Union Finances documents. The most recent of these were published in December 2011, presenting figures from 2005 to 2011, and they are available on HM Treasury's public website

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/int_eu_statefraud.htm

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Details of other member states' contributions can be found in the European Commission's annual EU Budget Financial Reports. The most recent report was published in October 2011

http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/biblio/publications/2010/fin_report/fin_report_10_en.pdf

Excise Duties: Beer

Bob Stewart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the effect on the brewing industry of the rate of beer duty. [92216]

Miss Chloe Smith: HM Revenue and Customs estimate the effects of changes in duty on prices and, from there, the overall demand effects. These results are published in the following technical paper:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/research/alcohol-consumption-uk.pdf

In addition the new high and low strength Beer Duty rates introduced in October 2011 are likely to result in a move to produce and consume lower strength beers.

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

Financial Services Authority

Stephen Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many fines have been levied by the Financial Services Authority in each of the last five years. [92412]

Mr Hoban: This is a matter for the Financial Services Authority (FSA), whose day-to-day operations are independent of Government. I have asked the FSA to write to the hon. Member on the issue he raises. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Individual Savings Accounts

Duncan Hames: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the individual annual limit on investments in Individual Savings Accounts was in each tax year since their introduction. [92949]

Mr Hoban: The annual subscription limits of Individual Savings Accounts for each tax year since their introduction in 1999 are published in Table 1 of the HMRC ISA Statistics, which can be found at the following link:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/isa/ISA_Statistics-November_2011.pdf

National Insurance: Numbers

Mike Crockart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many complaints HM Revenue and Customs has received in respect of duplicate national insurance numbers given in the last five years; and how many of these cases resulted in (a) the wrong tax code being given, (b) arrears being due from affected individuals and (c) refunds being due to affected individuals. [92521]

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Mr Gauke: The NI number is unique to one individual. HMRC and DWP have a robust set of processes in place to ensure duplicate NI numbers are not incorrectly allocated to individuals.

NI identities may become confused if two or more people end up using the same NI number. However, where confusion is identified action is promptly taken to establish the reason for the confusion and to identify the true owner.

It would require a manually intensive trawl and be disproportionately expensive to identify the number of complaints received in HMRC over the last five years from individuals whose NI identity may have been confused, subsequently resulting in HMRC issuing incorrect tax codes, billing or payments.

Older People: Finance

Paul Maynard: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of gross national income is spent on services for the elderly. [92096]

Mr Hoban: Many public services are shared across groups, for example expenditure on roads. It is therefore not possible to provide a clear split between the proportion of national income spent on any particular age group. However, the Office for National Statistics publish an allocation of some public services to households in ‘The Effect of Taxes and Benefits on Household Income, 2009-10’. This includes an analysis of certain benefits in kind for non-retired and retired households for expenditure in 2009-10.

PAYE

Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many First Tier Tax Tribunal cases have been brought against HM Revenue and Customs in respect of penalty charges for late receipt of P35 returns; in how many of these tribunals the appellant was successful; and what cost was incurred to the public purse in legal and administrative costs for these tribunals. [92947]

Mr Gauke: HMRC's records show that the First-tier Tribunal received 154 appeals against P35 penalties in 2010-11 and decided 82. The appellant was wholly or partially successful in 22 cases (27%).

Taxpayers can ask the independent tax tribunals to hear their appeal where they consider that HMRC has made an incorrect decision.

The information relating to cost is not available.

Revenue and Customs: Closures

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which tax office will take over the work of the Bristol office following its closure. [92934]

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) currently has four offices in Bristol. On 25 January HMRC confirmed that Norfolk House, Bristol will close during the 2013-14 financial year. This follows feasibility work which considered the impact of closure on staff and the business. The intention is for staff to

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relocate with their work to The Crescent Centre, Temple Back, Bristol. Enquiry Centre services will remain in the locality.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what criteria he took into account in determining the tax offices for closure before 2015. [92933]

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) business planning determines the requirements for accommodation during the spending review (SR) period. This includes projected reductions in staffing levels over the SR period, where HMRC lines of business have indicated they do not want to retain a presence, where staff numbers are too low for the office to be cost effective or where HMRC can take advantage of forthcoming lease breaks. When any offices are proposed for closure, feasibility and equality impact assessment work is undertaken before a final decision is made. This includes one-to-one meetings between staff and their managers to ensure that their personal circumstances are taken into account; analysis of equality data to highlight areas of risk or significant impact; and estates work to consider the planning and implementation aspects of closure.

Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on the proportion of calls answered of reductions in staffing at HM Revenue and Customs. [92644]

Mr Gauke: HMRC is fully committed to improving service for customers. The percentage of call attempts handled by its contact centres April to December 2011 has risen to 74% compared to just 44% during the same period last year.

HMRC plans to continue to improve its level of service over the 2010 spending review period.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what level of access to HM Revenue and Customs' tax credit computer system staff employed by Teleperformance at the Bathgate contact centre will have; [92385]

(2) what level of access to HM Revenue and Customs' tax credit computer system staff employed by Sitel at the Lillyhall contact centre will have; [92386]

(3) how many tax credit claimants' personal details employees of Teleperformance will have access to under the terms of HM Revenue and Customs' contract with Teleperformance to provide call handling services at the Bathgate contact centre; [92387]

(4) how many tax credit claimants' personal details employees of Sitel will have access to under the terms of HM Revenue and Customs' contract with Sitel to provide call handling services at the Lillyhall contact centre. [92388]

Mr Gauke: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Livingston (Graeme Morrice) on 10 January 2012, Official Report, column 70W.

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Export Controls

Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what powers the Government has to seize shipments of strategic goods passing through UK ports where they are bound for (a) embargoed and (b) non-embargoed destinations. [92805]

Mr Gauke: Enforcement of strategic export controls is the responsibility of HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Border Agency. The powers to seize shipments of strategic goods are contained in the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. Section 68 of that Act makes it an offence to export or bring to a place of export any goods the exportation of which would be contrary to any prohibition or restriction in force; contravention of section 68 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 renders the goods liable to forfeiture. Officers of HM Revenue and Customs and UK Border Agency can seize the goods under section 139 of the same Act. The same powers apply for both embargoed and non-embargoed destinations.

Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance his Department issues on the circumstances in which shipments of strategic goods identified as destined for an embargoed destination may be released when passing through UK ports. [92806]

Mr Gauke: HMRC has internal guidance in place for HMRC and UKBA staff dealing with strategic exports to both embargoed and non-embargoed destinations. The guidance is that it is normally appropriate to immediately seize unlicensed strategic goods once it has been established that goods require an export licence or are otherwise in breach of sanctions or embargoes.

Strategic goods destined for an embargoed destination would normally only be released for export on production of an export licence issued by the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills. Strategic goods destined for embargoed destinations would only be released without a licence where the goods were not subject to control or where a legal exemption existed.

Tax Allowances: Unemployment

Jim Shannon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has had discussions with the CBI on its proposal to introduce a tax incentive young Britain credit for firms taking on unemployed people aged 16 to 24; and if he will introduce such a tax incentive. [92336]

Mr Gauke: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

A list of ministerial meetings with external organisations is published quarterly on the HM Treasury website:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/minister_hospitality.htm

31 Jan 2012 : Column 596W

On 25 November 2011, the Government announced an ambitious programme for tackling youth unemployment. Starting in spring, the Youth Contract will deliver:

an additional 250,000 work experience or sector based work academy places for every unemployed 18 to 24-year-old;

more Jobcentre Plus support for 18 to 24-year-olds, including extra advisor time and a careers interview from the National Careers Service and weekly, rather than fortnightly, signing;

a total of 160,000 wage incentive places (at £2,275 each) to make it easier for employers to take on young people. This has been welcomed by the CBI and is more generous than their proposal of incentive payments of £1,500;

additional funding to support the growth of 16-24 apprenticeships, ensuring the funding for at least 40,000 incentive payments (at £1,500 each) for employers next year to raise demand for 16-24 apprenticeships; and

a new £50 million a year programme for those 16 and 17-year-olds not in employment, education or training to get them learning, on an apprenticeship or in a job with training.

Tax Collection

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the potential effects of the closure of HM Revenue and Customs offices on the collection of tax revenues. [92932]

Mr Gauke: To meet the efficiencies required by the spending review (SR) settlement, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is making changes to the way it delivers its business objectives. By 2015 it will be a smaller, highly skilled department working across fewer sites with an increased focus on compliance.

HMRC is committed to bringing in an additional £7 billion a year by 2014-15 and this is being achieved by the expansion and transformation of compliance activity across the country. Enforcement and Compliance is expected to increase its staff by 2,500 between 2011 and 2015. This will take place against a background of an overall reduction in HMRC numbers and offices and the majority of new posts will be filled by internal redeployment from business areas which are contracting.

The office closures occurring during the SR period to 2015 reflect the fact that there will be 10,000 fewer staff and HMRC can make more efficient use of space across its entire estate and make savings.

Energy and Climate Change

Carbon Trust

Tristram Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he has made an assessment of the economic value to the Carbon Trust of its branding. [91775]

Gregory Barker: The Department has not made an assessment of the economic value to the Carbon Trust of its branding.

However, under the terms and conditions of DECC's grant to the Carbon Trust, a private company limited by guarantee, the trust must comply with European state aid rules and ensure that use of grant does not unlawfully subsidise any. commercial activity.

31 Jan 2012 : Column 597W

Departmental Training

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many away days his Department has held since May 2010; and what the cost was of each event. [92943]

Gregory Barker: We have interpreted away day to include team and group away days and requested replies as such:

Total number of away days—42

Total cost of away days—£72,801

31 Jan 2012 : Column 598W

Total number of staff attending—1800

Average cost per head—£40.50

Away days are an investment by teams in planning, improving performance or enhancing skills and business relationships.

The change of environment and the time spent together without distractions allows teams to focus on their challenges.

While facilitators are not always used, they provide structure and purpose to the day. They are used very successfully in the private and public sector as a productive means of meeting a team's objectives.

Event date Event title/function Event venue Number of staff attended Event costs (£)

15 June 2010 and 5 November 2010

Finance away days— Business planning

BIS Conference Centre, Victoria Street, SW1

(1)30

(2)320

25 June 2010

CESA (Team 1) away day

Reading Uni

10

175

14 July 2010

International Energy and Climate Change (IECC)—group away day

London Wetlands Centre, Barnes, London

105

7,055.58

29 July 2010

IECC Senior Leadership Away Day—to strengthen the senior leadership team, facilitated by an executive coach and including the hire of facilities.

Coin Street Community Building, London

10

3,759.48

5 August 2010

Energy Markets and Infrastructure (EMI) Directors Business Planning Meeting

Commonwealth Club, Northumberland Avenue

12

478.03

10 August 2010

CESA (Team 2) away day

Mothers Union

8

403.68

27 September 2010

Science and Innovation Group—team building

National Physical Laboratory

41

838.62

4 October 2010

EMI SCS event to discuss EMI objectives and the year ahead and CSR/addressing staff issues

Institute of Government, Carlton Gardens, SW1

30

803.75

8 October 2010

EMI All staff (London) event—to understand EMI objectives, update on people plan and discuss CSR concerns

BIS Conference Centre

225

2,575

15 December 2010

EMI Directors business planning meeting

Commonwealth Club, Northumberland Avenue, SW1

13

767.25

27 January 2011

Strategy directorate away day

Fulham Craven cottage meeting room

30

1,304

16 February 2011

Strategic analysis volunteering day

London Wildlife Trust, Camley Street National Park, 12 Camley Street, London N1 4PW

22

1,276

16 March 2011

Green deal teams all staff event

Civil Services Sports and Leisure Centre

46

450

18 March 2011

Coal liabilities unit (CLU) away day (EDU Directorate)

Dexter House 2 Royal Mint Court Tower Hill

20

1,200

14 April 2011

OCCS staff away day

BIS Conference Centre

70

810

18 April 2011

Finance team away day

One Great George Street

45

2,503.50

9 May 2011

Planning and performance away day

BIS Conference Centre

15

334.50

23 May 2011

DECC Legal offsite event

Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre, London SE1 9NH

45

4,517.40

23 May 2011

Commercial team away day

Virtual Office Group

8

346.80

16 June 2011

Feed-in tariffs away day

Coventry

8

(3)500

26 June 2011

EMN team leaders away day

Wallacespace 2 Dryden Street, London WC2E 9NA

16

1,286.40

31 August 2011

ICC away day

St Martins in the Field

45

1,132.25

1 September 2011

Press Office and Ecomms teams away day

Wallacespace, 2 Dryden Street, London WC2E 9NA

13

1,148

12 September 2011

L and D board away day

Broadway House

12

512

28 September 2011

NDSD away day

Old Admiralty

40

347.40

29 September 2011

Energy Markets and Infrastructure (EMI) directors event to discuss priorities and risks for year head and working better as a team and across DECC

The Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

12

1,891

4 October 2011

EMI SCS Event to prepare for all staff event on 7 October 2011—discuss EMI objectives and priorities for the year ahead and update on the EMI people plan

Institute for Government, Carlton Gardens, London , SW1

29

747.00

7 October 2011

EMI all staff (London) event—To explain EMI priorities and objectives for the year ahead and update on the EMI people plan

BIS Conference Centre

(4)250

2,431.25

7 October 2011

Smart Meters programme

BIS Conference Centre

80-90

2,698

21 October 2011

SEG away day

ETC Venue

150

9,000

26 October 2011

EMN team leaders away day

Wallacespace, 2 Dryden Street, London WC2E 9NA

11

1,082.40

31 Jan 2012 : Column 599W

31 Jan 2012 : Column 600W

4 November 2011

ICCEE Group senior leadership forum post DECC restructure

Devonport House Hotel

8

3,900

9 November 2011

Energy Markets and Infrastructure (EMI) directors business planning meeting

The Royal Society, Carlton House Terrace, London SW1

14

688.00

14 November 2011

Heat and industry away day

St Martins in the Field

30-50

2,994

17 November 2011

Offshore inspectorate planning event

210 Bistro Business Centre

20

1,248

29 November 2011

Future electricity networks away day

National Grid, Wokingham

14

330.88

30 November 2011

Energy economics analysis away day

Eastbury House, London

20

290.58

15 December 2011

Finance team away day

One Great George Street

35

1,215.60

17 January 2012

EMM all staff away day

One Drummond Gate, Victoria, London, SW1V 2QQ

95

6,802

18/01/12

Away session for programme support and delivery team in green deal directorate

Southwark Cathedral Conference Centre

18

576

19 January 2012

Office for Nuclear Development away day

Thistle Hotel Westminster

(4)50

2,062

(1) 30 At each. (2) For both. (3) Travel only (4) Approximate.

Departmental Work Experience

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what work experience or traineeship schemes his Department offers to minority groups. [92754]

Gregory Barker: DECC participates in the “Whitehall Internship” programme which offers placements to people including college students and under graduates from underrepresented groups including black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. So far we have had three placements for 16 to 18-year-olds (and will be taking the same number again this year) and in addition we will be offering two graduate and undergraduate age placements this summer (2012).

We have also offered two, week long, placements for school age (under 16) through the Access Project in 2011 which aims to improve disadvantaged students' chances of gaining places at “Russell Group” universities.

Environmental Transformation Fund

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what proportion of the long-term finance from the Environmental Transformation Fund for developing countries was delivered through (a) his Department, (b) non-governmental organisations and (c) multilateral agencies between 2008-09 and 2010-11. [92522]

Gregory Barker: The International Window of the Environmental Transformation Fund provided £800 million of international climate finance for developing countries between 2008-09 and 2010-11. £400 million was provided from DECC's budget and £400 million from DFID. All of the finance was delivered through multilateral agencies: £735 million to the Climate Investment Funds; £50 million to the Congo Basin Forest Fund; and £15 million to the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility.

Fuel Poverty

Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many and what proportion of pensioner households in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK were in fuel poverty (i) in each year since 2000 and (ii) on the latest date for which information is available. [91702]

Gregory Barker: Fuel poverty is a devolved measurement and each country of the UK is responsible for measuring the number of fuel poor households in their own country. The method for estimating whether a householder is a pensioner differs between countries. The following tables show the number of fuel poor households (in thousands) containing a pensioner in each year since 2000 for which they have been measured. Fuel poverty figures for England for 2010 will be published in May 2012. Figures for Wales and Northern Ireland are not produced every year, so it is not possible to produce a consistent UK based estimate. The 2010 figures for Scotland were based on fuel prices at the time. Fuel prices have since increased.

Number of pensioner households in fuel poverty
Thousand
  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland

2010

n/a

357

n/a

n/a

2009

2,045

438

n/a

149

2008

1,720

344

135

n/a

2007

1,462

361

n/a

n/a

2006

1,285

324

n/a

115

2005

794

224

n/a

n/a

2004

604

n/a

54

78

2003

634

n/a

n/a

n/a

2002

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

2001

1,058

n/a

n/a

82

2000

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Percentage of pensioner households in fuel poverty
Percentage
  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland

2010

n/a

48

n/a

n/a

2009

26

57

n/a

62

2008

22

46

42

n/a

2007

18

51

n/a

n/a

2006

17

44

n/a

47

2005

11

30

n/a

n/a

2004

8

n/a

18

38

31 Jan 2012 : Column 601W

2003

9

n/a

n/a

n/a

2002

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

2001

15

n/a

n/a

37

2000

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Green Deal Scheme

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with HM Treasury on the use of the £200 million additional funding recently announced to incentivise take-up of the Green Deal. [92666]

Gregory Barker: My officials are in the process of considering options for how to use the £200 million funding to incentivise uptake of the Green Deal, and have had a number of discussions with HM Treasury on this matter.

Renewable Energy: Feed-in Tariffs

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2012, Official Report, column 622W, on solar power: feed-in tariffs, what his most recent estimate is of the cost to the public purse of legal proceedings arising from the decision to reduce feed-in tariffs for solar energy including costs relating to the appeal. [92769]

Gregory Barker: We estimate that the Government have incurred costs of approximately £66,400 to date; this includes the cost of the first hearing as well as the recent appeal court hearing.

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear our case then we will incur more costs, however, if the Supreme Court then ultimately finds in our favour, we will expect to recover all or a substantial proportion of our costs.

We are doing this to protect consumers bills, the annual cost to consumers if we did not act could be £100 million per year—more than a 1,000 times our legal costs to date. The cost of defending ourselves in court pales in comparison to the £1.5 billion additional lifetime cost if we do not act.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been spent from the public purse on legal proceedings in respect of his decision to reduce rates for solar feed-in tariffs; what the cost was for each (a) trial and (b) appeal stage of the legal process; and what estimate he has made of the total overall cost of the proceedings relating to the (i) seeking permission to appeal to the Supreme Court and (ii) any subsequent appeal to the Supreme Court. [92939]

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the costs to the public purse has been of legal fees arising from each stage of the judicial review proceedings relating to its feed-in tariffs proposals. [92961]

31 Jan 2012 : Column 602W

Gregory Barker: We estimate that the Government have incurred costs of approximately £66,400 to date; this includes the cost of approximately £58,000 up to the point of judgment in the High Court and a further £8,400 to include the recent hearing in the Court of Appeal.

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear our case then we will incur more costs, but it is not possible to estimate this cost at this stage. If the Supreme Court ultimately finds in our favour, we will expect to recover all or a substantial proportion of our costs. We are doing this to protect consumers bills, the annual cost to consumers if we did not act could be £100 million per year—more than a 1000 times our legal costs to date. The cost of defending ourselves in court pales in comparison to the £1.5 billion additional lifetime cost if we do not act.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

Dr Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the proportion of the warm homes discount budget under the terms of the control framework for his Department's levy-funded spending that will be spent on (a) assisting those receiving the guarantee credit element of pension credit and (b) low income and vulnerable households at risk of fuel poverty in the next 12 month period for which figures are available. [92379]

Gregory Barker: The Warm Home Discount Scheme impact assessment sets out the levels of expenditure to assist households in or at risk of fuel poverty. These are shown in the following table by activity and scheme year. The next 12-month period for which figures are available is 2012-13. Those in receipt of pension credit guarantee credit only, or aged 80 and over and in receipt of both pension credit guarantee/savings credit will be eligible to receive a Core Group discount in 2012-13. These pension credit recipients and other low income and vulnerable households may also receive assistance under the other elements of the scheme.

£ million
Expenditure type 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15

Core Group

97

143

159

190

Broader Group

3

47

88

90

Total Legacy Spending and Industry Initiatives Cap:

150

85

53

30

Legacy Spending Cap

140

70

35

O

Industry Initiatives Cap

30

30

30

30

Total

250

275

300

310

Business, Innovation and Skills

Arms Trade: Libya

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) on what dates in February 2012 overseas trade missions in support of UK defence and security exports planned by the UK Trade & Investment Defence & Security Organisation to Libya are scheduled to take place; what the overall budget is for the mission; which companies will be

31 Jan 2012 : Column 603W

represented on the mission; whether any companies have been sponsored by the Government to attend; and what the cost to the public purse was of sponsorship to each such company; [92940]

(2) if he will call for a robust Arms Trade treaty during the overseas trade missions to Libya in February 2012; and if he will make a statement. [92960]

Mr Prisk: UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) Defence & Security Organisation is organising a civil security trade mission to Libya near the end of February 2012. The Government are not sponsoring participating companies and costs will be largely offset by contributions by companies. The list of companies attending is not yet finalised.

Securing a robust Arms Trade treaty is a priority for this Government. Ministers of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills do not plan to accompany the civil security trade mission to Libya.

Business: Scotland

Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what support his Department provided to small and medium-sized enterprises located in (a) Glasgow and (b) Scotland in the last two years. [92730]

Mr Prisk: In addition to general measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the UK start up and grow, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has introduced a number of specific schemes to provide direct support to SMEs.

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) was introduced to help SMEs access the finance they need to start up and grow their businesses. This is a targeted measure aimed at enabling additional lending to viable SMEs that have insufficient security or proven track record with which to secure a normal commercial loan. We have announced continuation of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme until 2014/15 providing, subject to demand, over £2 billion of additional lending over the next four years and the scheme was extended in January to include businesses with up to £44 million annual turnover, and to announce a number of new accredited lenders. Since the launch of the scheme until December 2011, 1,164 loans have been offered to SMEs in Scotland, totalling £162.78 million.

A new Export Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme (ExEFG) was also launched last year, providing up to £1 million of lending to support viable SME exporters who are unable to access a commercial loan. And to address the equity gap for early stage innovative SMEs with the highest growth potential, we have also announced the continuation of the Government's Enterprise Capital Funds programme, increasing our commitment by £200 million over the next four years and providing for more than £300 million of venture capital investment. As of 30 September 2011, 4% of investments (by number) under this programme were in Scotland.

With regard to support for exporting and trade promotion, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has lead responsibility for the UK as a whole for the provision of support and assistance to new and existing exporters of goods and services. In Scotland, Scottish Development

31 Jan 2012 : Column 604W

International (SDI), funded by the Scottish Government, acts as our delivery partner for UKTI trade development services to Scottish based companies. To complement the UKTI offer, SDI additionally offers its own programme of services to Scottish businesses.

All UKTI trade services are available to companies based in Scotland, apart from Passport to Export and Gateway to Global Growth, which are only available to companies based in England (SDI provides their own equivalent service locally). This includes access to UKTI's overseas network in some 96 markets across the globe and services such as the Overseas Market Introduction Service taken up by 238 Scottish businesses in 2011/12 (to end December 2011), the Tradeshow Access Programme with 115 grants to Scottish companies in 2011/12 (to end December 2011), the Export Marketing Research Scheme and the Export Communication Review.

The Technology Strategy Board is the prime channel through which the Government support business-led technology innovation and has a UK-wide remit under which Scottish companies are able to apply on equal footing with applicants from other parts of the UK. The Technology Strategy Board provides support through the following programmes:

Collaborative research and development (R&D) projects—brings together businesses (from large corporate to micro companies) and academic partners to undertake R&D projects from which successful new products, processes and services can emerge. Projects range in value from £10,000 to over £100 million. Over 900 projects are currently being supported across the UK with a combined business and Government investment of over £1 billion (with just over half the funds committed by business).

Knowledge Transfer Networks—KTNs are over-arching national networks which aim to improve the UK's innovation performance by increasing the breadth and depth of the knowledge transfer of technology into UK-based businesses. KTNs play a vital role in making the necessary connections between the various players, helping industry to access knowledge and information central to innovation growth. The Technology Strategy Board provides support for 15 KTNs, which have over 43,000 business members (also have 14,000 non-business members).

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships—KTPs stimulate innovation through collaborative projects between business (including social enterprises) and the knowledge base by facilitating the transfer of knowledge and the spread of technical and business skills through projects undertaken by high calibre, recently qualified, people under the joint supervision of personnel from business and the knowledge base. There are currently over 900 live partnerships across the UK and approximately 75% of the partnerships involve SMEs.

Smart (previously known as Grant for R&D)—Smart offers funding to SMEs to engage in R&D projects from which successful new products, processes and services could emerge. Three types of grant are available: proof of market (up to £25,000 grant), proof of concept (up to £100,000 grant), and development of prototype (up to £250,000 grant).

Small Business Research Initiative—SBRI aims to provide business opportunities for innovative companies while solving the needs of Government Departments. The programme is designed to enable public bodies to fund the development of technology which will meet their future needs or policy objectives. It provides a structured approach and support for the procurement process when acquiring research and development work, particularly the vital engagement with industry.

Eureka—a pan-European initiative for promoting collaborative business-led R&D in fields of advanced technology, in a network encompassing 36 countries. The benefits for UK companies collaborating in Eureka include access to new technologies, the sharing of costs and risks, reduced timescales and access to new overseas markets.

31 Jan 2012 : Column 605W

Copyright: Education

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has assessed the compliance of the proposal in the Hargreaves Review to extend education copyright exceptions with the European Directive on Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society 2001. [92159]

Mr Davey: The Government are clear that any modernisation to copyright law must be in compliance with EU law as set out in the Information Society Directive 2001/29/EC. The Government are currently in consultation on copyright modernisation, until 21 March 2012 and welcome additional evidence from interested parties. The consultation covers a wide range of copyright issues and sets out a large number of proposals, all of which are accompanied by impact assessments on the potential costs and benefits of various policy options.

Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with collecting societies on the proposals in the consultation on the Hargreaves Review to extend educational copyright exceptions; and what assessment he has made of the likely effects on the licence fee income for writers and publishers of such exceptions. [92226]

Mr Davey: The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills my noble Friend the Baroness Wilcox, has regular discussions with the collecting societies on matters of interest to them. The Government's copyright consultation, which runs from 14 December to 21 March 2012, will provide an opportunity for interested organisations and individuals to contribute evidence and data to help inform more robust assessment and analysis of the options under consideration. The initial impact assessment, published alongside the consultation, provides an assessment of the potential costs and benefits for writers and publishers should changes to licensing schemes be made. The Government welcome additional economic evidence from interested parties of the likely effects of amending educational copyright exceptions on the licence fee income for writers and publishers, to help refine its analysis.

Education: Ex-servicemen

Hazel Blears: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding his Department contributed towards tuition fees incurred by service leavers when fees exceeded the sums provided by the enhanced learning credits scheme in each year since 2007-08. [92532]

Mr Willetts: The enhanced learning credits scheme commenced in the 2009/10 academic year, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) began making contributions to the scheme in the same year.

The scheme pays the course fees of service leavers undertaking higher education and further education courses, and contributions are made by the devolved Administrations and by the Department for Education (as appropriate), as well as BIS and the Ministry of Defence (MOD).

31 Jan 2012 : Column 606W

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills contributed £150,000 towards the scheme from its inception up to the end of 2010-11, and has contributed £88,000 so far in the 2011-12 financial year.

It is not possible to break down the total expenditure by year prior to 2010-11 up to the end of 2010-11 without disproportionate work and associated cost.

Exports: Gulf States

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate his Department made of the value of (a) goods and (b) services exported to the Gulf from the UK in each of the last five years. [92673]

Mr Prisk: Using data published by the Office for National Statistics in Pink Book 2011, the estimated value of goods and services exported to the Gulf in the last five years for which data are available are shown in the table below. Data for 2011 are due for publication in summer 2012.

UK exports to the Arabian Gulf 2006-10
£ billion
  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Goods

7.2

6.8

8.7

8.5

9.4

Services

5.1

5.2

6.0

6.5

7.1

Goods and services

12.3

11.9

14.7

15.0

16.4

Source: ONS Pink Book 2011, tables 9.4 and 9.5. Arabian Gulf is the sum of data for Iran, Saudi Arabia and Residual Gulf Arabian Countries.

Financial Markets

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will add the reasons for recent changes in carbon prices to the terms of reference of Professor John Kay's independent review of investment in UK equity markets. [92890]

Mr Davey: The Kay Review has wide terms of reference examining behaviour and trends within the entire investment chain. The Government have no plans at this stage to include reasons for changes in carbon pricing within this.

Foreign Investment in UK: Glasgow

Mr Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of (a) the monetary value of foreign investment in (i) Glasgow and (ii) Glasgow South West constituency and (b) the number of jobs created as a consequence in each year since 2005. [91672]

Mr Prisk: UKTI do not collate statistics to that level for Scotland. Scottish Development International may be better placed to respond on this matter.

Freedom of Information

Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department publishes on its website its response to each request it receives under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; whether the response is published in the same part of its website on each

31 Jan 2012 : Column 607W

occasion; and what the average time taken is between responding to a request and the information being made available on the website. [92113]

Mr Davey: Responses to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests made to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which are considered to be of wider public interest are published on the Department's website at

http://www.bis.gov.uk/site/foi/information-released

The Department does not publish a response to every FOI request it receives, but also maintains a Publication Scheme at

http://www.bis.gov.uk/site/foi/publication-scheme

as a means of providing access to information which is proactively published by the Department.

The Department does not have available, without incurring disproportionate cost, the average time taken

31 Jan 2012 : Column 608W

to publish all responses currently on the website, but aims to publish responses within a reasonable period of time.

Higher Education: Admissions

Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what proportion of university applications have come from each of the socio-economic classes A to D in each of the last five years. [92000]

Mr Willetts: The available information, provided by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), is shown in the following table. The table uses the POLAR2 (Participation of Local Areas), measure of the applicants' background. UCAS do not release applicant numbers by socio-economic classes A to D.

UK domiciled applicants to full-time undergraduate courses in the UK by POLAR2 adult higher education quintiles (1)
  Year of entry
  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

POLAR2 quintile

         

1

58,653

67,206

75,753

83,566

84,466

2

76,023

84,964

93,430

102,367

102,961

3

89,114

97,466

107,414

115,914

115,886

4

104,645

112,799

122,038

131,294

130,315

5

120,052

128,521

137,079

146,408

146,904

           

All known

448,487

490,956

535,714

579,549

580,532

           

Unknown

5,661

11,505

8,571

7,272

8,818

           

Grand Total

454,148

502,461

544,285

586,821

589,350

           

Percentage of known (2)

         

1

13.1

137

14.1

14.4

14.5

2

17.0

17.3

17.4

17.7

17.7

3

19.9

19.9

20.1

20.0

20.0

4

23.3

23.0

22.8

22.7

22.4

5

26.8

26.2

25.6

25.3

25.3

All

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

100.0

(1) The POLAR2 (participation of local areas) measure was developed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). It ranks local areas by the proportion of adults who hold higher education qualifications, and splits them into quintiles, where quintile 1 includes the 20% of local areas with the lowest percentage of adults with Higher education (HE) qualifications, and quintile 5 includes the 20% of local areas with the highest percentage of adults with HE qualifications. (2) Components may not sum to totals because of rounding. Source: UCAS

Higher Education: Intellectual Property

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with Universities UK on the development of an easy access intellectual property (IP) scheme to permit free use of IP where it is not being utilised by the universities which created it. [92732]

Mr Davey: The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) leads on Intellectual Property (IP) questions within Government. It has a regular dialogue with UK universities on the protection, development and exploitation of IP assets.

IPO is gathering examples of different approaches to universities' IP management, including those which enable free use of IP where it is not being utilised by the universities which created it. One example is the approach used by the Easy Access Innovation Partnership—a collaboration between the University of Glasgow, King's College London and the University of Bristol which makes unused university IP available free of charge, through simple one-page agreements.

IPO will use its findings to develop best practice guidance for all UK universities.

Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the easy access intellectual property scheme operated by the University of Glasgow; and if he will make a statement. [92733]

31 Jan 2012 : Column 609W

Mr Davey: The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) leads on Intellectual Property (IP) questions within Government. The IPO welcomes innovative ideas for sharing Intellectual Property Assets in ways that stimulate wider economic growth.

IPO is supporting a collaboration between the University of Glasgow, King's College London and the University of Bristol in development of their 'Easy Access Innovation Partnership' project. Easy Access IP provides a radical new approach to the licensing of university IP by making it available free of charge, through simple one-page agreements.

IPO will be making an assessment of the Easy Access IP project once the period for which it provided support has ended. IPO will take forward lessons learned and continue to engage with stakeholders to improve management of IP and Knowledge Exchange in universities to deliver long term benefit to the UK economy and society.

Immigrants: Pay

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent estimate he has made of the number of migrants in the UK working for less than the minimum wage. [92590]

Mr Davey: Our policy is to ensure that all workers who are entitled to the national minimum wage (NMW)—whether migrant or non-migrant—receive it. HM Revenue & Customs investigate all complaints made to them about underpayment of the NMW, as well as working with other Government agencies, including the UK Borders Agency. Anyone who believes they are being underpaid should contact the Pay and Work Rights Helpline.

This Department does not hold the requested information.

Oil: Canada

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has any plans for UK Trade and Investment missions related to Canadian oil sands developments. [91805]

Mr Prisk: UK Trade and Investment has no plans to organise a trade mission to Canada related to oil sands developments.

Overseas Trade: Saudi Arabia

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the monetary value was of Anglo-Saudi trade in (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2008. [91475]

Mr Prisk: Data published by the Office for National Statistics in their “Pink Book 2011” available on their website:

www.ons.gov.uk

shows the following value of trade between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia:

31 Jan 2012 : Column 610W

Total trade in goods and services
£ billion
  2008 2009 2010

UK exports of goods and services to Saudi Arabia

4.2

4.8

5.4

UK imports of goods and services from Saudi Arabia

1.3

0.9

1.0

Total bilateral trade in goods and services: UK and Saudi Arabia

5.5

5.7

6.4

Data for trade between England and Saudi Arabia are published by HM Revenue and Customs in Regional Trade Statistics available via the following website:

www.uktradeinfo.com

for goods trade only. Some trade cannot be allocated to a region, and therefore actual trade may be higher than the published values:

Trade in goods
£ billion
  2008 2009 2010

England exports of goods to Saudi Arabia

2.0

2.2

2.6

England imports of goods from Saudi Arabia

0.6

0.6

0.8

Total bilateral trade in goods: England and Saudi Arabia

2.6

2.8

3.3