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Young Offenders: Islington

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many young adult offenders aged 18 to 20 from the London Borough of Islington have been held in a (a) young offender institutions, (b) local prisons and (c) other parts of the secure estate in each month since May 2009. [99461]

Mr Blunt: All young offenders sentenced to Detention in a Young Offender Institution (DYOI), which is the most common custodial sentence for this age group, are held in appropriately designated YOI accommodation within the prison estate. The majority of this accommodation is in dedicated YOIs, although some establishments in the estate have a dual designation (designated both as a prison and a YOI) and hold both adult prisoners and young offenders. The following table shows the number of offenders aged 18-20 years old with a recorded residential address or proxy in the London borough of Islington who were held in predominant function male Young Offender Institutions, predominant function male local prisons and other prisons (including female prisons) on a set day in each month where data is available since May 2009.

Number and location of male and female young adult offenders (aged 18-20) originating from a local borough of Islington
Location May 20 09 Sep tember 20 10 Nov ember 20 10 January 2011 Mar ch 2011

(a) Male Young Offender Institutions

47

31

33

27

29

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(b) Male local prisons

0

1

2

1

2

(c) Other prisons (including female prisons)

4

11

8

12

12

Location May 20 11 Jul y 20 11 Sep tember 20 11 Nov ember 20 11 Jan uary 20 12

(a) Male Young Offender Institutions

29

31

41

45

40

(b) Male local prisons

0

3

3

1

2

(c) Other prisons (including female prisons)

6

6

7

7

7

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

Information on offenders' residences is provided by offenders on reception into prison and recorded on a central IT system. Addresses can include a home address, an address to which offenders intend to return on discharge or next of kin address and these figures are provided in the table above.

If no address is given, an offender's committal court address is used as a proxy for the area in which they are resident. These figures are also included in the table above. No address has been recorded and no court information is available for around 3% of all offenders, these figures are excluded from the table above.

International Development

G20 Countries

10. Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent representations he has received on UK aid to G20 countries. [99637]

Mr Duncan: Of the G20 countries, DFID gives aid to India, South Africa and to Indonesia for climate change. DFID no longer has bilateral aid programmes for Russia and China and does not for instance give direct aid to fight poverty in countries like Brazil or Argentina.

AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

11. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the future programme of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. [99639]

Mr O'Brien: The fund will spend some $9 billion to $10 billion between now and 2014 on the renewal of previously approved programmes. A new transitional funding mechanism could mean short-term changes to expected results. None the less, the UK contribution could support 412,000 people on antiretroviral therapy, 366,000 DOTS treatments of smear positive TB cases, and distribution of 10.3 million bed nets. The Secretary

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of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell), will give evidence on the fund to the International Development Committee in mid April.

Nepal

12. Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department provided to the Gurkha region of Nepal in the last year for which information is available. [99640]

Mr Duncan: Gurkhas are recruited across the whole of Nepal. By 2015, UKAid will lift 400,000 people out of poverty, provide safe water to 100,000 people and ensure 4 million people are resilient to disasters and climate change. We have expanded and enhanced the Gurkha welfare scheme.

Argentina

Derek Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he has received reports from the UK's representation at the Inter-American Development Bank and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development about the US Administration's change in policy in September 2011 on loans to Argentina from these institutions; and what reports were received. [99304]

Mr Duncan: The US Administration have not formally communicated their change in policy towards loans to Argentina at the Inter-American Development Bank and International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to the UK. Nor have the US Administration formally lobbied the UK to change its policy.

Officials at the Department for International Development were only made aware of the new US position towards loans to Argentina when recent loans were considered at the two institutions on the 14 September 2011 in the case of Inter-American Development Bank, and 14 February 2012 in the case of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Developing Countries: Private Sector

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding has been allocated by his Department to programmes run by the private sector (a) in each (i) country and (ii) continent and (b) under the auspices of each multilateral institution; and how many of his Department's staff work on each. [99092]

Mr O'Brien: Information on whether programme funding has been channelled through the private sector is not held centrally.

The Department for International Development (DFID) does not allocate a specific proportion of the budget to private sector projects. The DFID annual report and accounts 2010-11 set out the plans for the priority pillars for the four years of the spending review period and private sector department plans for the next two years.

For planning purposes the Department for International Development (DFID) allocates money by priority pillars.

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The pillars are wealth creation, governance and security, climate change and global partnerships, as well as DFID funding in support of the Millennium Development Goals (education, health, water and sanitation and humanitarian assistance).

DFID's private sector department is playing a key role in promoting private sector activities within wealth creation, as well as the other pillars. More detail on DFID's approach to working with the private sector is contained within the paper titled ‘The Engine of Development: The Private Sector and Prosperity for Poor People’. This can be found on the DFID website:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Media-Room/News-Stories/2011/Mitchell-Harness-dynamism-and-energy-of-private-enterprise-in-international-development/

For more information on current activities in this area and budget allocations please see the DFID annual report and accounts 2010-11, which can also be found on the DFID website:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/Annual-report/

Further information on DFID projects/programmes can be accessed from our Project Information Database:

http://projects.dfid.gov.uk/

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Where-we-work/

and in the DFID departmental operational plan:

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

on the DFID website. DFID operational plans provide information on programme spend broken down by the various pillars.

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what criteria his Department uses when assessing the value for money of the private sector programmes it funds. [99094]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development's (DFID's) work with the private sector ensures value for money by maximising the impact of each pound spent to improve poor peoples' lives. DFID ensures value for money throughout the full programme cycle, starting with the DFID business plan, results framework:

www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/

and operational plans:

www.dfid.gov.uk/What-we-do/Publications/?p=OP

DFID uses a value for money framework based on assessing the effectiveness and efficiency of all projects as well as ways to reduce the overall costs. The specific criteria for ensuring value for money at a project level are determined on a case-by-case basis. All proposals for DFID funding must be accompanied by a business case. This is the main record of the proposal, summarising value for money considerations and intended results. Indicators for tracking value for money are included in the logical framework, which is an annex to the business case. DFID's monitoring and evaluation processes include an annual review against the indicators in the logical framework and requires an assessment of whether a project remains good value for money. The project database:

http://projects.dfid.gov.uk/

provides access to business cases, logical frameworks and annual reviews.

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Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the application process is for funding from his Department's private sector programme. [99378]

Mr O'Brien: The Department for International Development (DFID) supports various funds designed to encourage businesses to invest in development projects. These include initiatives which work in a wide range of DFID's priorities countries such as the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), the Business Innovation Facility (BIF) and the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). The application process is different for each scheme.

A full list of the funding schemes and partnership opportunities on offer can be found on DFID's website under the funding opportunities for business page:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Work-with-us/Funding-opportunities/Business/

Information on how to apply is also detailed here.

Iraq

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of his Department's operations in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. [99366]

Mr Duncan: In line with the outcome of the UK Department for International Development (DFID)'s March 2011 Bilateral Aid Review (BAR), DFID will complete its bilateral programme in Iraq in March 2012. The BAR made the assessment that while Iraq continues to face development challenges, it is a middle income country with huge potential. In this context, the multilateral organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank, which will continue to receive core funding from DFID, are better placed to help it to realise the next stage of its development. During the past year, UK Aid has:

Helped the Government of Iraq to develop a clear policy framework for implementing their strategic priorities and thus better respond to the needs of Iraqi citizens, through publication of Iraq's Strategic Government programme and the establishment of two central Government institutions responsible for policy co-ordination and development;

Delivered four expert assessments helping the Government of Iraq undertake reforms to make it easier to do business and invest in Iraq;

Helped over 240 staff and students benefit from professional development opportunities and courses through 35 development partnerships between Iraqi, UK and other universities;

Provided humanitarian support for over 1.3 million Iraqi children and their families, delivering access to health care for 250,000 boys and 250,000 girls, providing 740,000 Iraqis with access to safe drinking water, and helping 80,000 children secure access to education.

After March 2012, DFID will continue to deliver development results in Iraq through core funding to the multilateral organisations, and via regional initiatives with the International Monetary Fund to improve macroeconomic governance, and with the International Finance Corporation on private sector development. Through the Arab Partnership initiative the UK will continue to support reforms in Iraq for a stable, democratic

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and prosperous future, and the UK Government Conflict Pool will continue to focus on stabilisation and conflict prevention.

North Korea

Fiona Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding his Department provides for educational initiatives (a) in North Korea and (b) for North Koreans in the UK; and if he will consider increasing that funding. [99778]

Mr Duncan: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not provide bilateral funding for educational initiatives in North Korea or for North Koreans in the UK and has no plans to do so.

Overseas Aid

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on which countries his Department's governance and conflict programme will focus. [99091]

Mr O'Brien: Capable and legitimate governance institutions are vital for development progress. The Department for International Development (DFID) supports governance activities in all 28 of our focus countries. Her Majesty's Government Building Stability Overseas Strategy sets out the UK's approach to addressing conflict and fragility overseas, which is applied when designing programmes to address conflict. Key priority countries for addressing conflict include Afghanistan, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The type of governance and conflict programmes implemented in our focus countries varies from one to another. The range includes:

Support to elections, parliaments and democratic governance;

Empowering citizens to take control of their own affairs and holding Governments to account;

Improving security and justice for poor people, and reducing violence against women;

Building the capacity of national and local level governments to deliver health, education and other key services;

Promoting effective and sustainable tax systems which strengthen accountability and facilitate the exit from aid.

Somalia

Alun Michael: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) development assistance and (b) other aid his Department provided to Puntland and the South and Central regions of Somalia (i) in each year from 2005 to 2010 and (ii) in the first half of 2011; and what the difference was between commitments and disbursements in each period. [97603]

Mr Andrew Mitchell: The Department for International Development (DFID) does not compile formal aid expenditure statistics broken down at sub-national level, or record commitments separately for actual aid spending. UK bilateral aid expenditure to Somalia (including Somaliland) for each year 2005-06 to 2010-11, is given in Table 1 as follows:

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Table 1: DFID bilateral aid—Somalia
£000
  2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11

Total

18,740

16,631

25,714

33,471

44,431

46,060

Of which:

           

Humanitarian assistance

15,589

7,975

13,675

18,288

31,900

29,855

Source: Statistics on International Development, 2011, 2010. http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/Aid-Statistics/

In the year 2011-12, the UK intends to spend up to £103 million across Somalia, focused on heath services, private sector development, governance and peace-building and humanitarian assistance, subject to results. Up to 60% of this development funding (not including humanitarian aid) from 2011-12 to 2014-15 will be to Somaliland, dependent on results achieved.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Tessa Munt: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to ensure that mineral-exporting countries from sub-Saharan Africa are getting a fair price for their export goods. [99246]

Mr O'Brien: Open and predictable trade rules are the best approach to ensuring trade contributes to the economic development of any country. The Department for International Development (DFID) supports Fairtrade International (FLO). FLO in partnership with the Alliance of Responsible Mining has developed Fairtrade and Fairmined Gold Certification. The certification means that the gold has been responsibly mined and that the miners have received fair prices for their products allowing them to support their families and create a better future. FLO is working to extend this certification to Africa.

DFID also supports countries in sub-Saharan Africa to improve management of their mining sectors so as to maximise the benefits for growth and development. For example, in Sierra Leone, the UK supports a new National Minerals Agency which aims to help raise £2.4 billion in additional Government revenues from mining by 2021.

The UK is also a strong supporter of transparency in the extractives sector. This enables citizens to hold their Governments accountable for what they receive from the exploitation of their countries' natural resources. The UK supports the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative which has already resulted in $500 billion of extractives revenues being reported.

Education

Child: Abuse

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what plans his Department has to prevent the abuse of children who are branded as witches or as possessed by evil spirits. [99905]

Tim Loughton [holding answer 13 March 2012]: The number of cases in this country of child abuse linked to belief, including belief in witchcraft or spirit possession, is believed to be small. Where such abuse occurs, however,

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it causes horrific distress and suffering to the child. It is likely that a proportion of this type of abuse remains unreported.

Research commissioned by the Department for Education in 2006 reviewed child abuse cases occurring between 2000 and 2005 to identify any cases where the abuse was linked to accusations of possession or witchcraft 38 cases involving 47 children were found to be relevant and sufficiently well documented. The children came from a variety of backgrounds including African, South Asian and European. There has been no research conducted by the Department since the 2006 report and there are no official statistics on this type of abuse.

The Department for Education has this year commissioned a small-scale research study to draw together what is already known about the issue. It is hoped to publish the report of this research in the autumn.

I have also established, and chaired during its start-up phase, a Working Group on Faith-Based Child Abuse, involving partners in the statutory, voluntary, faith and community sectors. During the next phase of this work, proposals for tackling this abuse will be shared with a wider group of professionals, voluntary sector, organisations, faith and community groups.

The proposals currently focus on the four themes of engaging communities; empowering practitioners; supporting victims and witnesses; and communicating our messages.

Drugs: Education

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what funding his Department provided to the Drug Education Forum in each of the last five financial years; and what funding his Department will provide to the Drug Education Forum in each of the next five financial years. [99185]

Tim Loughton: The Department provided the Drugs Education Forum (the Forum) with funding of £64,000 per year from financial year 2007-08 to 2010-11 and £69,000 in financial year 2011-12.

Payments for the Forum were made by the Department to Mentor, the voluntary sector organisation which hosts the Forum.

The Department will not be providing further funding to the Forum. However the Department recognises the continuing need of local areas, schools and practitioners to have access to reliable evidence based information and advice on substance misuse prevention and is currently exploring the best way to provide this.

Families

Mrs Hodgson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) how much funding his Department has allocated to the troubled families initiative in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13, (c) 2013-14 and (d) 2014-15; [99181]

(2) how many civil servants in his Department are working on the troubled families initiative; [99182]

(3) how much funding local education authorities will contribute from pre-allocated resources from his Department towards the troubled families initiative in (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13, (c) 2013-14 and (d) 2014-15; [99187]

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(4) whether funding of the troubled families initiative has had implications for the funding of other programmes operated by his Department; what such programmes are; and what funding has been so diverted in each case. [99552]

Tim Loughton: The responsibility for delivering the Troubled Families programme transferred to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in December 2011. Along with other Departments, the Department for Education (DfE) has agreed to support the programme including by transferring funding to DCLG. An initial £15 million has been transferred for 2010/11, and the Department will be contributing £30 million in each of the next three financial years. Funding is being identified through the normal budget setting process, which involves the Department reviewing its overall priorities, identifying funding lines which are coming to an end or offer less good value for money, and adjusting funding to meet new priorities. Part of the funding will come from what would otherwise have been spent on the DfE programme for families with multiple problems. The estimates memorandum for each Government Department will be published by Parliament and the Estimates themselves will be published by the Treasury in the early part of the new financial year 2012/13. These documents will carry the detail of all programme budget changes.

There is currently the equivalent of one full-time member of staff working on the Troubled Families programme within the Department. A number of other officials are involved from time to time to ensure that programmes, measures and approaches are aligned with wider DfE policies and programmes.

Local authorities have the discretion to make their own decisions on how much funding will be allocated to the Troubled Families programme from central Government grants. Information on estimated expenditure by local authorities from 2011/12 to 2014/15 in respect of this work is not available. The £448 million funding for the Troubled Families programme will be made available to all local areas (at upper-tier local authority level) from 2012/13, primarily on a payment-by-results basis, distributed as a 40% contribution to the costs of actions needed. The remaining 60% will need to be found locally, from the local authority and partners (including, for example, police, health and Jobcentre Plus).

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many regulations his Department repealed between 1 June 2011 and 31 January 2012; and if he will estimate the potential savings in each case. [98275]

Tim Loughton: In the period 1 June 2011 to 31 January 2012, the Department for Education revoked 11 sets of regulations. The Government's aim is to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy on teachers, heads and governors so that they can focus on raising standards, rather than administrative tasks. It is not our intention to estimate the potential cost savings for the revoked regulations, but we are looking into assessing the impact of our measures on teachers' time.

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Schools: Finance

Stephen Twigg: To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will set out the amount of local authority central spend equivalent grant that will be paid in academic year 2011-12 to each academy which converted to that status between May 2010 and August 2011. [99758]

Mr Gibb [holding answer 13 March 2012]: This is a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA).

Peter Lauener, the chief executive of the YPLA, has written to the hon. Member and a copy of his response has been placed in the House Libraries.

Letter from Peter Lauener, dated 12 March 2012:

I am writing with a response to the question you asked the Secretary of State on 8 March 2012 about the amount of local authority central spend equivalent grant (LACSEG) that will be paid in academic year 2011-12 to each Academy which converted to that status between May 2010 and August 2011. A spreadsheet containing the information you have requested has been placed in the Library of the House.

The first schools converted to Academy status on 1 September 2010. Therefore the information provided relates to schools that converted between 1 September 2010 and 1 August 2011. The information is provided in two tabs on the spreadsheet: the first covers Academies converting between September 2010 and March 2011; the second covers those converting between April 2011 and August 2011.

I trust this provides the information you were seeking.

Defence

Afghanistan

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his policy is on allowing bereaved families to visit Camp Bastion; [99899]

(2) what requests his Department has received from bereaved family members to visit Camp Bastion. [99901]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 13 March 2012]: The Department has received some requests from bereaved families. Like the previous Government, the Government's existing policy is not to organise or host visits for bereaved families to Afghanistan. However, we understand that this is a highly sensitive issue and, as a consequence, the feasibility of organised visits is kept under review.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his Canadian counterpart on allowing bereaved family members to visit Camp Bastion. [99900]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 13 March 2012]: The Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), regularly discusses issues on a range of topics with his Canadian counterpart. The matter of bereaved family members visiting Afghanistan has been discussed by officials.

Aircraft Carriers

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much additional changes to the position of the Landing Signals Officer on the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers to accommodate the

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C variant of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter will add to the construction cost of the carriers. [98378]

Peter Luff: The landing safety officer (LSO) role is required to enable the recovery of conventional aircraft to a carrier variant (CV) carrier. It is not required for short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) operations. The cost to provide this role therefore forms part of our estimates for the conversion of a Queen Elizabeth Class carrier to CV configuration. These estimates continue to mature through the conversion development phase (CDP) and at this stage, our cost modelling does not identify the specific cost components for the LSO position.

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect on the UK defence strategy of the absence of a fixed wing carrier strike capability. [99320]

Nick Harvey: As set out in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, our assessment is that expeditionary airpower can be delivered through other means (for example, land basing and overflight agreements with other nations) in the short term. This was illustrated by the campaign in Libya, which also confirmed our assumption that working more closely with allies and partners delivers more military capability.

The National Security Risk Assessment (NSRA) assessed and prioritised all major areas of national security risk domestic and overseas. Subject-matter experts, analysts and intelligence specialists were asked to identify the full range of existing and potential risks, and determined that the strategic environment in the period after 2020 is far less certain. This is why the Government believe that a modern carrier capability, able to undertake a variety of roles such as power projection, peace keeping, conflict prevention and the provision of aid and assistance in times of crisis, will be required.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many successful launches and traps of the F-35C aircraft have occurred (a) at sea and (b) on

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land using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System and Advanced Arrestor Gear in the last three years. [99489]

Peter Luff: There has been one successful launch of the F-35C aircraft using the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System at Lakehurst, New Jersey in November 2011. There have been no F-35C launches at sea and no F-35C traps using the Advanced Arrestor Gear.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what design changes to the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers were needed to accommodate the larger range of weapons used by the F-35C variant; and if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of such changes. [99546]

Peter Luff: No changes to the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier design are needed to accommodate the UK weapon fit for the F-35C variant.

Armed Forces: Life Insurance

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list all compensatory payments made by (a) his Department and (b) other Government Departments to the next of kin of fallen service personnel, setting out how much was paid and over what time period since 2000; how many recipients there have been for each payment in each such year; what the total amount spent on each payment was in each year; whether any eligibility criteria applied in respect of each payment; and which Government Department was the lead Department in administering each payment. [98890]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 8 March 2012]: The following table provides information on the number of recipients of the death in service lump sum, the number of bereaved families in receipt of a survivor's guaranteed income payment and the total amount paid for each year since the introduction of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which is administered by the Ministry of Defence:

Financial year Recipients of death in service payments Total paid (£) Recipients of survivor's guaranteed income payment—spouse Recipients of guaranteed income payment—children Total paid (£)

2005-06

(1)

20,000

5

10

120,000

2006-07

30

490,000

45

60

1,100,000

2007-08

40

765,000

80

95

1,800,000

2008-09

35

610,000

105

140

2,100,000

2009-10

40

720,000

145

190

2,500,000

2010-11

40

690,000

185

245

3,700,000

Total

(1 )Fewer than five Note: All figures have been rounded to 10 or 1,000

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what proportion of service personnel take out life insurance before being deployed to Afghanistan; [99976]

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of service personnel of each rank who were deployed (a) with and (b) without life insurance in each of the last 10 years; [99977]

(3) what estimate he has made of the cost to a member of the armed forces for life insurance each year. [99978]

Mr Robathan: This information is not held by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Personal accident and life insurance is voluntary and is separate from the benefits provided by the Government through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. We have a duty of care however,

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to ensure that personal accident and life insurance cover is available to those service personnel who consider they require it, and the MOD does this through the PAX, and Service Life Insurance (SLI) schemes provided through Aon for PAX, and the Sterling Insurance Group for SLI.

While we hold some information on those who have chosen to purchase personal accident and life insurance under these schemes. I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 February 2012, Official Report, column 651W. We do not have details of how many service personnel are members of other schemes or purchased insurance immediately prior to a deployment.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what subsidy PAX life insurance receives; and what eligibility criteria apply. [99979]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not subsidise PAX. However, service personnel are required to pay extra premiums to cover them for the period that they are deployed on the land or in the airspace over Afghanistan; these additional premiums are directly supported financially by the MOD. This support is available, on an individual basis, to other personal accident schemes which provide cover to service personnel and charge additional premiums for deployment in Afghanistan. PAX is voluntary and additional to MOD benefits provided through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had on auto-enrolment on a life insurance scheme for members of the armed forces. [99980]

Mr Robathan: I have had no such discussions. Personal accident and life cover is voluntary and is additional to the benefits provided by the Ministry of Defence in the event of death through the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme. However, we have a duty of care to ensure that cover is available to those service personnel who consider they require it, and the MOD does this through the PAX, and Service Life Insurance (SLI) schemes provided through Aon for PAX, and the Sterling Insurance Group for SLI.

Army: Recruitment

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence by what process his Department reached the decision that Capita should be the recommended supplier for the Army's recruiting partnering project. [99399]

Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has selected the Recruiting Partnering Project Recommended Supplier in accordance with the Competitive Dialogue Procedure of the European Union Public Contracts Regulations 2006, which apply to all public procurements not covered by a treaty for the functioning of the European Union exemption; the main exemption for MOD being “warlike stores”.

The selection of Capita as the recommended supplier for the Recruiting Partnering Project was decided on the basis of the ‘Most Economically Advantageous Tender' in accordance with predetermined criteria.

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BAE Systems

Gavin Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what meetings Minsters in his Department have had with BAE Systems to discuss cost and time overruns on defence projects. [96429]

Peter Luff: Defence Ministers continue to have regular discussions with BAE Systems about a range of subjects which, where appropriate, will include cost and time overruns on individual projects.

Bahrain

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has had with his Bahraini counterpart on the UK providing assistance to Bahrain's security forces. [99556]

Nick Harvey: The UK is assisting Bahrain in its efforts to implement the reforms needed to bring long-term stability and prosperity to the country. The Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), has not had any discussions with his counterpart, or any other Bahrainis, regarding the UK providing assistance to Bahrain's security forces.

Clyde Submarine Base: Safety

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department has taken to revise the accident probability assessment of Faslane Shiplift for Vanguard-class submarines with Strategic Weapon System Embarked following the fire on the Russian submarine Ekaterinburg in the dry dock at Roslyakovo on 29 December 2011. [99506]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence conducts annual reviews of the safety case for the shiplift at Her Majesty's Naval Base Clyde. The safety case includes fire as a potential hazard and identifies the appropriate safety mitigations to ensure that the risk is minimised. The review takes into account any lessons learned and new information obtained since the last review, as well as the need to deliver continuous improvement.

The annual review is currently under way, and began before the incident with the Russian submarine Ekaterinburg. It is too early to say whether there will be any relevant lessons from this incident. However, any that emerge will be considered during the review process.

Falkland Islands

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse was of protecting the Falkland Islands in each year since 1985; and what estimate he has made of the future costs of defending the Islands in each year to 2015. [91953]

Nick Harvey [holding answer 26 January 2012]: Since 1985 the Ministry of Defence has used a number of budgetary models to record the costs of forces based in the Falkland Islands, making comparison difficult and there is variation throughout caused by what categories of expenditure were included. Prior to 2000-01 the MOD used cash accounting; the costs for financial years 1985-86 - 2000-01 were:

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Financial year £ million

1985-86

572

1986-87

402

1987-88

229

1988-89

102

1989-90

68

1990-91

66

1991-92

72

1992-93

58

1993-94

67

1994-95

66

1995-96

70

1996-97

81

1997-98

76

1998-99

72

1999-2000

71

Since 2000-01 the MOD has used resource accounting and the costs for these financial years are:

Financial year £ million

2000-01

143

2001-02

115

2002-03

120

2003-04

111

2004-05

113

2005-06

143

2006-07

65

2007-08

67

2008-09

70

2009-10

73

2010-11

75

2011-12

64

2012-13

61

2013-14

63

2014-15

65

Since 2006-07 figures are for the cost to the Chief of Joint Operations Top Level Budget only. To provide the level of detailed breakdown for other Top Level Budgets expenditure in relation to the Falkland Islands would incur disproportionate cost. Consequently these figures do not reflect the full cost of defending the Falkland Islands as much of the cost is attributable to other budgets within the Department.

From 2011-12, responsibility and funding for estates management including accommodation costs and utilities such as electricity and fuel oil transferred to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation. This has contributed to the reduction in actual and provisionally forecast future expenditure shown from that year onwards.

The Commander of British Forces in the Falkland Islands is confident he has the resources to defend the islands against any attack. But it should be noted there is no credible threat against the islands.

Food Procurement

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of food procured by his Department (a) meets the Government Buying Standards for Food and Catering and (b) is from British sources. [99801]

14 Mar 2012 : Column 326W

Peter Luff: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 5 December 2011, Official Report, column 136W, and to the answer I gave on 20 February 2012, Official Report, column 467W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton and Honiton (Neil Parish).

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what criteria his Department uses to determine the through-life cost of the (a) carrier variant Joint Strike Fighter and (b) STOVL variant Joint Strike Fighter; and if he will make a statement. [98522]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence bases its through life cost estimates for the joint strike fighter (JSF) on a comprehensive and detailed set of ground rules and assumptions covering all aspects of production costs, reliability data, flying hours required and capability upgrade requirements.

Because JSF remains in the development test phase, we use a mixture of actual data and parametric data based on historical aircraft types to assess the through life costs of JSF for the UK. This methodology is the same for all three variants of JSF.

Although JSF is a complex weapon system that will provide the UK with capabilities not previously available to our Armed Forces, the economies of scale of the collaborative programme involving nine nations means that we expect JSF to be more cost effective through life than our current in-service fighter aircraft.

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the unit cost is of a Joint Strike Fighter. [99134]

Peter Luff [holding answer 12 March 2012]: The cost of the Joint Strike Fighter will be determined at its main investment decision point. The Ministry of Defence does not publish estimates prior to such decision points, as to do so could undermine its commercial position.

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what weapon systems will be used by the Joint Strike Fighter. [99135]

Peter Luff [holding answer 12 March 2012]:The Joint Strike Fighter aircraft will be equipped with a range of advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, the exact mix of which will be optimised to reflect the operational requirement.

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which variant of the Joint Strike Fighter is his Department's preferred aircraft to replace the Harrier jet. [99316]

Peter Luff: In the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the carrier variant of the joint strike fighter was chosen to meet the UK's future carrier strike capability. We are currently reviewing all parts of the equipment programme as part of the Defence budget in planning round 2012, and we expect to make an announcement on this shortly.

14 Mar 2012 : Column 327W

Sir Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the results were of the most recent testing of the F-35B; and if he will make a statement. [99318]

Peter Luff: In October 2011 the F-35B conducted initial sea trials on USS Wasp. During the testing, two F-35B test aircraft completed 72 vertical landings and 72 short take-offs under various conditions, logging more than 28 hours of flight time.

Navy

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take to ensure that the UK remains at the centre of the maritime community. [99858]

Nick Harvey: The Ministry of Defence, through the Royal Navy, regularly engages with key stakeholders in the maritime sector at both the national and international level.

This includes regular dialogue with the shipping industry through the Shipping Defence Advisory Committee; liaison with the Chamber of Shipping, as a lead partner in Sea Vision UK; and through the National Maritime Information Centre, which brings together elements of government and industry to tackle the full range of maritime security challenges in partnership across Government.

The Royal Navy's persistent presence in areas of strategic interest, such as the Gulf, Indian Ocean, Horn of Africa, Caribbean, West Africa and Atlantic regions, also ensures that MOD retains strong engagement links with the global maritime community.

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take to ensure that naval recruitment, training and retainment of personnel sustains an effective Royal Navy. [99860]

Mr Robathan: It is a key requirement for each of the armed forces to maintain a satisfactory balance of skills, experience, ability and seniority in rank to enable delivery of operational requirements. Through careful manpower planning, the application of rigorous standards, campaigns and policies, such as targeted recruitment campaigns and career management, the Royal Navy recruits, trains and retains the personnel required to achieve its operational tasking.

For the longer term, the Government have made a commitment to develop the New Employment Model (NEM) for service personnel. Recognising that the current employment model for service personnel has not changed much in the last 40 years, and needs to be improved to better meet the needs of today's armed forces, the NEM aims to promote greater stability in service life, balanced against the requirement to deliver operational capability. It is hoped that the NEM Programme Steering Board will provide a report for consideration by the Defence Board in the autumn of this year.

Mr Mike Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take to ensure that naval strategy maintains a credible and effective maritime capability. [99866]

14 Mar 2012 : Column 328W

Nick Harvey: As part of the naval contribution to defence strategy, we will maintain credible and effective maritime forces by continuing to invest heavily in new capabilities for the Royal Navy. This investment will see the entry into operational service of the final three Type 45 destroyers, seven new Astute class submarines, the Wildcat helicopter, the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier and joint strike fighter, as well as the Type 26 global combat ship.

Radar: Wind Power

Mr Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 29 February 2012, Official Report, column 386W, on radar: wind power, whether trials have been conducted to test the effectiveness of radar systems that are deemed to be wind-farm tolerant; and if he will make a statement. [99523]

Peter Luff: Wind farm developers are responsible for mitigating the effects of the interference caused by wind farm turbines on Ministry of Defence (MOD) radars. Consequently, industry has completed a trial, in which the MOD was involved, but did not fund, to prove the effectiveness of the planned radar systems in the presence of wind farms.

A further trial is scheduled for July 2012, which will assess the effectiveness of the first radar installation at Remote Radar Head Trimingham, once the major off-shore wind farm development at Sheringham Shoal has been constructed.

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many regulations his Department repealed between 1 June 2011 and 31 January 2012; and if he will estimate the potential savings in each case. [98274]

Mr Robathan: Between 1 June 2011 and 31 January 2012, the Ministry of Defence revoked the following items of secondary legislation:

The Clyde Dockyard Port of Gareloch and Loch Long Order 1967 (SI 1967/1141)

The Clyde Dockyard Port of Gareloch and Loch Long (Amendment) Order 1983 (SI 1983/878)

In November 2011, the Armed Forces Act 2011 received Royal Assent. This Act repealed the Naval Medical Compassionate Fund Act 1915 and also revoked the Naval Medical Compassionate Fund Order 2008 (SI 2008/3129).

These repeals and revocations have come as the result of the regular updating and consolidation of departmental secondary legislation and are not estimated to have any financial impact.

Territorial Army: Recruitment

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the upper age limit is for those with no previous military experience for joining (a) 4 Para, (b) 63 Signal Squadron and (c) Honourable Artillery Company units of the Territorial Army. [99462]

Mr Robathan: The upper age limit for joining the Territorial Army for those with no previous military experience is 42 years and 11 months for soldier entry

14 Mar 2012 : Column 329W

and 34 years and 11 months for officer entry. A higher limit can be applied for certain professional or specialist applicants for officer entry; this would not apply, however, to those applying for the units mentioned in the question.

Cabinet Office

Lung Cancer

Derek Twigg: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what percentage of the population died of lung cancer in (a) Halton, (b) Merseyside, (c) Cheshire and (d) England in each year since 1997. [99077]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what percentage of the population died of lung cancer in (a) Halton, (b) Merseyside, (c) Cheshire and (d) England in each year since 1997. (99077)

Table 1 below shows the percentage of the population that died with lung cancer as the underlying cause of death in Halton unitary authority, Merseyside metropolitan county, Cheshire East unitary authority, Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority and England, for 1997 to 2010 (the latest year available).

On the 1 April 2009 the former county of Cheshire and the six former districts within Cheshire were abolished and split across Cheshire East and Cheshire West and Chester unitary authorities. Cheshire East unitary authority comprises Congleton, Crewe and Nantwich and Macclesfield districts. Cheshire West and Chester unitary authority comprises Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston and Vale Royal districts.

Figures on cancer incidence and mortality in the United Kingdom and constituent countries are published annually and are available here:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/all-releases.html?definition=tcm%3A77-21518

Table 1. Percentage of the population that died from lung cancer, England and selected areas, 1997-2010 (1, 2, 3, 4)
Percentage
  England Merseyside Cheshire East Cheshire West and Chester Halton

1997

0.06

0.09

0.05

0.06

0.08

1998

0.06

0.08

0.06

0.06

0.08

1999

0.06

0.08

0.05

0.06

0.07

2000

0.06

0.09

0.05

0.06

0.05

2001

0.05

0.09

0.05

0.06

0.08

2002

0.05

0.08

0.05

0.06

0.06

2003

0.05

0.09

0.05

0.05

0.08

2004

0.05

0.08

0.05

0.05

0.07

2005

0.05

0.08

0.06

0.05

0.07

2006

0.05

0.08

0.04

0.06

0.07

2007

0.05

0.08

0.05

0.06

0.06

2008

0.05

0.08

0.05

0.06

0.08

2009

0.05

0.08

0:05

0.06

0.08

2010

0.05

0.08

0.05

0.05

0.08

(1) Data extracted using original cause of death. Lung cancer is defined using the International classification of Diseases (ICD) Ninth revision codes 161.0-161.9 for the years 1997-2000 and the International classification of Diseases Tenth revision codes C33-C34 for the years 2001-2010. (2) Based on deaths registered in each calendar year. (3) Based on boundaries as of 2011. (4) Figures exclude deaths of non-residents.

14 Mar 2012 : Column 330W

Charities

Kwasi Kwarteng: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when regulations for introducing charitable incorporated organisations into England and Wales will be finalised. [99323]

Mr Hurd: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 8 March 2012, Official Report, column 868W.

Childbirth

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will estimate the number and the proportion of births where one or both parents were UK-born in (a) London and (b) each London borough in the most recent year for which figures are available. [99463]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for the number and the proportion of births where one or both parents were UK-born in (a) London and (b) each London borough in the most recent year for which figures are available (99463).

Figures for live births where one or both parents are UK born have been compiled from birth registration data. The following table shows the number and proportion of live births in 2010 in the areas requested, according to registration data. Information on country of birth of parents is provided by the informant at registration.

Number and proportion of live births in London, where one or both parents are UK born, 2010
Area Number of births where one or both parents are UK born Proportion of births where one or both parents are UK born

London

70,924

53.3

     

Inner London

27,322

50.0

Camden

1,558

50.9

Hackney plus City of London

2,761

59.0

Hammersmith and Fulham

1,520

54.8

Haringey

2,038

45.7

Islington

1,771

60.0

Kensington and Chelsea

909

40.9

Lambeth

2,705

54.9

Lewisham

2,795

56.1

Newham

1,969

31.4

Southwark

2,581

50.3

Tower Hamlets

1,968

43.1

Wandsworth

3,565

64.3

Westminster

1,182

38.6

     

Outer London

43,602

55.5

Barking and Dagenham

1,776

47.6

Barnet

3,067

55.4

Bexley

2,319

77.5

Brent

1,788

34.1

Bromley

3,369

82.8

14 Mar 2012 : Column 331W

Croydon

3,399

61.4

Ealing

2,300

39.2

Enfield

2,487

48.6

Greenwich

2,559

54.7

Harrow

1,429

40.8

Havering

2,407

85.4

Hillingdon

2,361

56.3

Hounslow

1,963

44.3

Kingston upon Thames

1,632

70.6

Merton

1,895

53.8

Redbridge

2,300

51.5

Richmond upon Thames

2,305

77.0

Sutton

1,987

74.3

Waltham Forest

2,259

46.8

Citizenship

Shabana Mahmood: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many young people in Birmingham, Ladywood constituency have taken part in the National Citizen Service to date. [100065]

Mr Hurd: This information will be available shortly.

Civil Servants: Ministerial Policy Advisers

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many special advisers are in post; and how many special advisers have been appointed as civil servants since May 2010. [99078]

Mr Maude: Since May 2010 the Government have published on a quarterly basis details of special advisers, who are temporary civil servants.

The most recent information is available in the Library of the House and can also be accessed on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/special-adviser-data-releases

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many regulations his Department repealed between 1 June 2011 and 31 January 2012; and if he will estimate the potential savings in each case. [98273]

Mr Maude: The Cabinet Office, jointly with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, leads the Red Tape Challenge programme aimed at cutting existing regulation across all Departments. To date, the Government have agreed to scrap or improve well over half of the more than 1,200 regulations considered so far. Details of regulations being removed and being introduced are published by the Better Regulation Executive in BIS on a six monthly basis.

14 Mar 2012 : Column 332W

Employment: Young People

Mr Laws: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people aged (a) 18 to 21 and (b) 22 to 24 years were (i) in employment and (ii) self-employed in England in the last year for which figures are available. [100063]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, dated March 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, l have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people aged (a) 18 to 21 and (b) 22 to 24 are (i) in employment and (ii) self-employed in England in the last year for which figures are available (100063).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles employment statistics for England from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions.

According to the LFS, during the period October to December 2011, there were 1.29 million people aged 18 to 21 and 1.49 million people aged 22 to 24 in employment in England. In the same period, there were 57,000 people aged 18 to 21 and 102,000 people aged 22 to 24 self-employed in England.

Government Departments: ICT

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many iPads are owned by (a) his Department and (b) other Government departments. [99096]

Mr Maude: My Department includes the Government Digital Service (GDS) which is tasked with transforming digital services to make them better, simpler and more easily accessible for citizens, businesses and for Departments, while saving the taxpayer money.

GDS's running cost is down a quarter on last year. The IT system used by the service was delivered at around a fifth of the cost originally proposed and includes 11 iPads used to support trials and various projects, particularly when it is cheaper than using a dedicated laptop.

Public Sector: Construction

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps the Government are taking to ensure that public sector construction projects deliver value for money. [99299]

Mr Maude: The Government Construction Strategy sets out the programme to improve the value for money of construction projects.

The Government Construction Strategy can be found at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/Government-Construction-Strategy.pdf

A series of newsletters on its progress is published on the Cabinet Office website. The newsletters can be found at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/construction-newsletters

14 Mar 2012 : Column 333W

Public Sector: Procurement

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will review the requirements of pre-qualification questionnaires for the purposes of enabling more small firms to secure public procurement contracts. [97733]

Mr Maude: I have already reviewed the requirements for pre-qualification questionnaires as part of my Department's work to increase the proportion of public procurement contracts awarded to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs).

Statistics

Mr Jenkin: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) whether the Office for National Statistics has issued any guidance to Government Departments relating to official statistics since May 2010; [100194]

(2) whether the National Statistician has issued any guidance to Government Departments relating to official statistics since May 2010; and if he will publish any such guidance. [100195]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Jil Matheson, dated 13 March 2012:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions asking the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether (a) the Office for National Statistics has issued any guidance to government departments relating to official statistics since May 2010 and (b) the National Statistician has issued any guidance to government departments relating to official statistics since May 2010; and if he will publish any such guidance (100194 and 100195).

The Office for National Statistics does not issue guidance to other government departments.

National Statistician's guidance in support of the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice for Official Statistics is published from time to time. Guidance on the Presentation and Publication of Official Statistics; Quality, Methods and Harmonisation; Confidentiality of Official Statistics; the Use of Administrative or Management Information; and, Identifying Official Statistics were published between September 2009 and February 2010. The guidance on the Use of Administrative or Management Information was revised in December 2010. All guidance is available on the National Statistician's pages of the UK Statistics Authority's website:

http://www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/

Trade Unions

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what (a) meetings and (b) other discussions (i) Ministers, (ii) special advisers and (iii) departmental officials have held with hon. Members on trade union facility time since May 2010. [99090]

Mr Maude: No meetings or discussions have taken place with hon. Members on the matter of trade union facility time since May 2010. The Government have announced their intention to commence a consultation shortly with the civil service trade unions on limiting the amount of paid time civil servants can spend on trade union duties and activities, and ending the practice of having civil servants engaged full-time in trade union representative roles.

14 Mar 2012 : Column 334W

Voluntary Organisations: Nottinghamshire

Mr Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will publish his communications with Nottinghamshire county council on their plans to cut funding to the voluntary sector. [99472]

Mr Hurd [holding answer 12 March 2012]:I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by the Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Andrew Stunell), on 12 March 2012, Official Report, column 52W.

Work and Pensions

Action for Employment

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the value was of contracts given by his Department to A4e in each year from 2007 to 2011. [97570]

Chris Grayling: The Department has awarded the following contracts to A4e.

Programme Contract Package Area Year Indicative Contract Value (£)

Work Programme

East Midlands, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire

2011

(1)

Work Programme

London East

2011

(1)

Work Programme

Merseyside.Halton, Cumbria, Lancashire

2011

(1)

Work Programme

Thames Valley, Hampshire and IoW

2011

(1)

Work Programme

South Yorkshire

2011

(1)

Mandatory Work Activity

South East

2011

2,656,013

Jobcentre Plus Support Contract

Black Country

2009

6,083,500

Jobcentre Plus Support Contract

North and Mid Wales and South East Wales

2009

5,221,716

Jobcentre Plus Support Contract

South Yorkshire and Derbyshire

2009

3,078,090

Jobcentre Plus Support Contract

Hampshire and Isle of Wight and Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

2009

8,393,606

Jobcentre Plus Support Contract

West Yorkshire

2009

8,693,203

Jobcentre Plus Support Contract

London

2009

35,000,000

Flexible New Deal

NE, Yorkshire and the Humber and Tees Valley

 

(2)

Flexible New Deal

South Yorkshire and Derbyshire

2009

(2)

Flexible New Deal

Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Rutland

 

(2)

14 Mar 2012 : Column 335W

Flexible New Deal

Black Country

2009

(2)

Flexible New Deal

Central London, Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth

2009

(2)

(1) Dependent on company performance. (2) Flexible New Deal contracts ended early on 1 September 2011. The total value of these contracts up to the point of termination was £157.5 million.

The contract values shown are indicative values for the contract package area at the time the contract was let.

Details of contracts awarded to A4e during 2007 and 2008 are not held centrally. To provide the information requested would incur disproportionate costs.

Atos Healthcare

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the suitability of Atos to undertake work for his Department; and whether such an assessment involved an assessment of the governance and leadership of Atos. [99108]

Chris Grayling: The award of contracts within DWP is conducted in accordance with procurement best practice and, as part of the assessment as to whether to award a contract, the Department carries out a full evaluation of the capabilities of the supplier including governance and leadership. Specifically for Atos, in relation to the direct contracts we have with them, the Department carried out such evaluations prior to contract award.

Children: Day Care

Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what support he provides for jobseekers who require childcare to return to work. [98831]

Chris Grayling: In order for parents to enter sustained employment many will need to source and utilise formal child care. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recognises the importance of child care as a key enabler to work and improved outcomes for children, particularly those from disadvantaged families.

DWP has an important role in ensuring that a work focus is integrated into the planning and delivery of local childcare services and works locally with the Families Information Service who hold details of local child care and early years provision.

DWP personal advisers consider the personal circumstances of each individual in order to calculate whether the customer will be better off in work. These calculations take into account the number of hours to be worked, the number of children in the household and the costs of registered child care. Advice is then offered on appropriate help, including the child care element of tax credits, they would be eligible for on starting work.

There are a number of options through the Flexible Support Fund (FSF) that can provide support to parents.

14 Mar 2012 : Column 336W

The decision to award a payment from the FSF is the responsibility of and at the discretion of the personal adviser and could include:

Help with associated expenses, including child care costs (provided they are not on the Work programme or Work Choice), for parents participating in DWP approved activities and training opportunities;

Payments to parents to cover up front child care costs when moving into work;

Parents entering employment may be eligible for Childcare Assist, where child care expenses can be paid for up to five days in the seven days immediately before starting work. Written confirmation from the employer of the job start and that it would be for at least eight hours per week would be needed;

If in receipt of a qualifying benefit and subject to certain eligibility conditions Childcare Subsidy can be paid directly to the child care provider to a maximum of £87.50 per week for one child and £150 per week for two or more children up to a maximum period of 52 weeks from when the parent first starts work.

Employment and Support Allowance

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will ensure that no cancer patients lose their contributory employment and support allowance until planned changes to the way cancer patients are assessed for that benefit have been fully implemented. [98834]

Chris Grayling: From April 2012 onwards, claimants of contributory employment and support allowance (ESA) in the Work Related Activity Group will have their contributory benefit subjected to a time limit of 12 months. People in the Support Group will not have their benefit time-limited because they have the most severe health conditions or impairments and are the least likely to move into work. People receiving income-related ESA will not have their benefit time-limited.

Entitlement to ESA is not based on a person's health condition or disability, but rather on the way their health condition or disability limits their functional capability. We are committed to ensuring that cancer patients receive their full entitlement. Our informal consultation on accounting for the effects of cancer treatment in the work capability assessment closes on 9 March 2012. We will publish a consultation response in due course which will outline our proposals.

Fraud

Mr Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in his Department were working on counter-fraud in (a) 2009, (b) 2010, (c) 2011 and (d) 2012. [98467]

Chris Grayling: The Fraud Investigation Service (FIS) is part of DWP and responsible for the investigation of all benefits administered by DWP. FIS pursue a criminal sanction in all cases where the evidence gathered meets the prosecutable standard. This may involve legal proceedings being taken against people who defraud the benefits system. Not all cases will be put before the courts as a prosecution. Less serious frauds will be dealt with by way of caution or administrative penalty where it is appropriate to do so.

14 Mar 2012 : Column 337W

FIS employed the following number of full-time equivalent staff working on counter-fraud activities between March 2009 and January 2012.

  Number of full- time equivalent staff

March 2009

2,778

March 2010

2,760

March 2011

3,195

January 2012

2,876

Internal Investigations, part of DWP Internal Audit and Investigations, is responsible for investigating allegations of fraud and other serious wrongdoing by DWP staff and contractors (including providers). The whole number of full-time equivalent staff employed by Internal Investigations over the past four years is as follows:

  Number of full-time equivalent staff

March 2009

71

March 2010

69

March 2011

58

March 2012

49

Where allegations of potential fraud or irregularities arise, they continue to be investigated by professionally trained staff, who refer the matter to the police where they believe the matter is serious.

Homelessness

Alison McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the potential effect of implementation of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 on the number of individuals and families classed as homeless in (a) Wirral and (b) England. [98849]

Chris Grayling: The Welfare Reform Act 2012 introduces a wide range of reforms to make the benefits and tax credits system fairer and simpler by: creating the right incentives to get more people into work by ensuring work always pays; protecting the most vulnerable in our society; and delivering fairness to those claiming benefit and to the tax payer.

Impact assessments for measures brought in by the Act are available on the Department's website.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Mr Byrne: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of jobseeker's allowance (JSA) claimants were flowed off JSA respectively within three, six, nine, 12, 18 and 24 months of being on JSA in each of the last 18 months. [97621]

Chris Grayling: Estimated off-flow rates from jobseeker's allowance are shown in the following table. It should be noted that it is misleading to make a direct comparison between current off-flow rates and those in 2010. This is because recent figures have been affected by changes in policy that mean unemployed people are now less likely to be excluded from the jobseeker's allowance statistics as a result of their participation in Government-funded employment and training programmes.

14 Mar 2012 : Column 338W

It is not possible to quantify precisely what effect this has had on the rate at which individuals leave JSA. However, any assessment of current figures needs to take account of the fact that if the current practice of continuing to count individuals on Government programmes within the JSA statistics had been in place in 2010 and earlier the off-flow rates for those periods would have been lower than recorded at the time.

Proportion of inflow leaving JSA within certain periods
Percentage
  3 months 6 months 9 months 12 months 18 months 24 months

2010

           

August

57

77

86

92

95

98

September

57

78

87

92

95

98

October

58

78

88

92

95

98

November

59

78

88

92

95

98

December

59

79

89

92

95

98

             

2011

           

January

57

78

88

93

96

98

February

54

78

88

93

96

98

March

52

77

87

93

96

98

April

52

76

87

92

96

98

May

53

75

87

92

96

98

June

54

74

87

92

96

98

July

53

73

86

92

96

98

August

53

73

85

91

96

98

September

53

73

84

91

96

98

October

56

73

83

90

96

98

November

57

73

83

90

96

98

December

58

73

83

89

96

98

             

2012

           

January

56

74

82

88

95

98

Note: These off-flow rates are derived from aggregate data on JSA inflows, caseloads by duration and off-flows by duration. The data are used to calculate the number of people each month reaching a certain duration in their JSA claim. These threshold flows are then compared back to the JSA inflow in an earlier month. The threshold flow as a proportion of the earlier inflow gives the survival rate. One minus the survival rate gives the off-flow rate. Source: www.nomisweb.co.uk All figures are three-month rolling averages.