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Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Northern Ireland

HMS Caroline

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what his policy is on the future of HMS Caroline; and if he will make a statement; [111916]

(2) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the future of HMS Caroline. [112069]

Mr Paterson: Before HMS Caroline was decommissioned in 2011 she was the second oldest ship in the Royal Navy and the only surviving ship to have fought in the Battle of Jutland. She is therefore of significant historic value and is the only naval vessel in the world to have in situ First World War turbines.

HMS Caroline has been in Belfast's Alexandra Dock for more than 80 years and was a floating base for the Royal Navy Reserve. I very much support HMS Caroline remaining in Belfast, and the Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), has had several discussions with the Northern Ireland Minister for Enterprise Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster MLA, on how best to secure her future and to encourage greater interest in her.

My right hon. Friend is seeking to meet the Minister for the Armed Forces in early July with Arlene Foster MLA when she is next in London to continue these discussions. I also have had private discussions and intend to visit HMS Caroline shortly.

Procurement

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total (a) number and (b) value of contracts issued by (i) his Department and (ii) bodies for which he is responsible which were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises was in the latest period for which figures are available. [111210]

Mr Paterson: My Department does not record and publish information by category of supplier.

Third Sector

Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for what non-devolved public funding educational and voluntary organisations in Northern Ireland may apply to support their work. [112035]

Mr Paterson: The following websites might assist the hon. Member:

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/Gettinginvolvedinyourcommunity/Communitygroupsandprojects/DG_10025966

http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/voluntary-and-community-groups-applying-for-funding

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Scotland

Public Sector: Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the (a) highest, (b) median, (c) median full-time equivalent and (d) lowest full-time equivalent salary was paid by (i) his Department and (ii) its public bodies in (A) 2010-11, (B) 2011-12 and (C) 2012-13. [112474]

David Mundell: The Scotland Office does not employ staff directly. All staff join on a secondment type basis from other Government bodies, principally the Scottish Government and Ministry of Justice, which remain the employers. As such there are variations in pay costs within the administration grades. The information requested is shown in the following table:

£
 (A) 2010-11(B) 2011-12

(a) highest

84,102.96

84,102.96

(b) median

35,605.73

35,816.90

(c) median full-time equivalent

36,455.21

36,589.75

(d) lowest full-time equivalent

17,496.96

17,882.04

(C) 2012-13

Not all bodies have set their pay levels for 2012-13 so full-time equivalent salary information cannot be provided.

Sovereignty

Mr Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress he has made on arranging a referendum as to whether Scotland should remain part of the UK. [112299]

David Mundell: The UK Government is in discussion with the Scottish Government on how Scotland's two Governments can work together to deliver a legal, fair and decisive referendum.

Wales

Public Sector: Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the (a) highest, (b) median, (c) median full-time equivalent and (d) lowest full-time equivalent salary was paid by (i) her Department and (ii) its public bodies in (A) 2010-11, (B) 2011-12 and (C) 2012-13. [112472]

Mr David Jones: The following figures (which include allowances) are all full-time equivalent salaries. As the Wales Office has a relatively small staff complement, to protect the confidentiality of individuals, the highest and lowest full-time equivalent salaries are shown via reference to a range.

(A) 2010-11

Highest (FTE): £90,000 to £95,000

Median (FTE): £38,828

Lowest (FTE): £15,000 to £20,000

(B) 2011-12

Highest (FTE): £90,000 to £95,000

Median (FTE): £39,117

Lowest (FTE): £15,000 to £20,000

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(C) 2012-13

Highest (FTE): £90,000 to £95,000

Median (FTE): This information cannot be provided until all 2012 pay changes have been processed.

Lowest (FTE): £15,000 to £20,000

House of Commons Commission

Water Supply

Thomas Docherty: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, what recent estimate has been made of the annual water (a) usage and (b) cost for the Commons part of the parliamentary estate. [112843]

John Thurso: The information requested is as follows:

(a) It is not possible to provide figures for water consumption for the House of Commons alone. The volume of water consumed by the parliamentary estate in each of the last four financial years was as follows:

Cubic metres
 Mains waterBorehole waterTotal

2008-09

150,172

172,221

322,393

2009-10

138,057

171,728

309,785

2010-11

132,876

136,571

269,447

2011-12

118,215

104,306

222,521

The House's long-term target for water use is to reduce the volume we consume by 25% by March 2021, relative to 2008-09 baseline levels. In 2011-12 we achieved a 31% reduction relative to our 2008/09 baseline year, with a fall in consumption for the fourth consecutive year. We are therefore already meeting our target.

(b) The cost of water consumed by the parliamentary estate in each of the last four financial years is set out in the following table. Estimated costs to the House of Commons are also set out. These costs are based on a 60% allocation of water costs in shared buildings plus the full costs attributed to House of Commons buildings on the estate.

£000
 TotalHOC

2008-09

354.0

256.9

2009-10

252.2

195.8

2010-11

277.9

204.9

2011-12

248.4

180.7

The hon. Member may wish to contact the Environment Team in the Parliamentary Estates Directorate for further information.

WiFi

Mr Whittingdale: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, what further steps he plans to take to extend wi-fi access throughout the parliamentary estate. [112075]

John Thurso: A business case to provide a comprehensive wi-fi service across the parliamentary estate was approved in December 2011. A full OJEU tender process was commenced in January. Subject to the successful outcome

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of the tender, the renewal and extension of wi-fi will begin towards the end of this financial year with plans to complete the implementation in April 2013.

Transport

Aviation: Exhaust Emissions

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent progress has been made with the International Civil Aviation Organisation on an agreement on a global emissions trading scheme. [111494]

Mrs Villiers: The Government's Work programme continues on emissions trading and other market based measures for tackling carbon emissions.

A range of global market based measures is being assessed by a small group of ICAO Council members. Work is also under way to explore what a global market based measures framework might look like. The June ICAO Council session will consider progress on this work programme between 26-29 June.

With the necessary political will, we believe that it may be possible to negotiate a global agreement in ICAO for tackling CO2 emissions from international civil aviation. We continue to believe that a global approach to aviation emissions reduction is the best solution but that regional measures can play a crucial role in the absence of such an agreement.

Cross Country Railway Line

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has to promote the electrification of the Bristol to Birmingham train line; and if she will make a statement. [112719]

Mrs Villiers: Where there is a strong business case, and subject to affordability, the Government supports progressive electrification of the rail network. The Department for Transport expects to announce a decision on rail investment in the period from 2014 to 2019 by the end of July 2012.

Electric Vehicles

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department is undertaking collaborative work with the European Commission to secure an early adoption of electric vehicle infrastructure standards. [110897]

Norman Baker: The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) is driving plug-in vehicle infrastructure standards in the relevant UK and European forums. OLEV is a member of the British Standards Institution (BSI) PEL/069 Committee, which sets UK standards and represents UK interests in EU standards setting bodies such as the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENELEC).

The Government also actively participates, at both ministerial and official level, in CARS 21 (Competitive Automotive Regulatory System), a Commission-led process to make recommendations for the policy and regulatory framework for the European automotive industry. The EC intends to adopt a communication on the recommendations, including on recharging

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infrastructure, of the CARS 21 process, to which both my Department and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will be responding.

Fuels: EU Law

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects the transposition of the Renewable Energy and Fuel Quality Directives to include mandatory sustainability standards and enhance incentives for waste-derived feedstocks to be completed. [110896]

Norman Baker: On 15 December 2011 we amended the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007 to introduce mandatory sustainability criteria for biofuel feedstocks. The amended Order provides enhanced incentives for biofuels made from wastes, residues, ligno-cellulose and non-food cellulose, so that biofuels made from these feedstocks are eligible for twice the financial support given to other biofuels. The amendments also mean that no support is provided for biofuels that fail to meet the mandatory sustainability criteria.

My ministerial statement on 7 November 2011, Official Report, columns 7-9WS, gave further details on these amendments and the ongoing transposition of the Fuel Quality Directive.

Low Associates

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department has received any representations from Low Associates since May 2010. [111595]

Norman Baker: To the best of my knowledge, the Department for Transport has not received any representations from Low Associates since May 2010.

Oil

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress she has made on the inclusion of a default value for (a) oil shale and (b) other highly polluting crudes in the European fuel quality directive. [111493]

Norman Baker: On 23 February member states voted on a European Commission proposal for the implementing measures of article 7a of the Fuel Quality Directive.

The proposal voted on included default values for petrol and diesel derived from oil shale and other oil feedstocks. At the vote, where the UK abstained, a ‘no opinion' result was delivered under the weighted voting procedure known as Qualified Majority Voting. The Commission's proposals will now go to Ministers at Environment Council for consideration.

The European Commission has announced its intention to complete an impact assessment of the proposed measures. This is a significant and helpful development which will help Member States to better understand the potential financial and environmental impacts of the proposal.

This Government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sees the Fuel Quality Directive as a key tool in achieving this aim. We are continuing to seek an effective solution to address the carbon emissions from all highly polluting crudes, including oil shale.

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Public Expenditure

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will publish a statement of her Department's expenditure in each of the last 36 months; and what steps she is taking to avoid an annual underspend. [110083]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport's annual report and accounts, which set out the Department's annual expenditure, are available on the Department's website for 2009-10 and 2010-11:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/dft-annual-report-accounts/

The accounts for 2011-12 are due to be published at the end of June 2012.

If an underspend is identified in areas of departmental expenditure, the Department considers, in conjunction with HM Treasury, whether there is a case for reprioritising expenditure to alternative programmes. Such reprioritisation, where agreed, is undertaken within the spending control framework set by Parliament and in line with the Department's duty to ensure value for money from public spending.

Railway Network

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the implementation of the proposals in the Strategic Rail Authority West Coast Main Line Strategy of June 2003 for railway infrastructure enhancement works at Rugby including higher-speed lines, a new station, reduced maintenance and a renewed flyover. [112467]

Mrs Villiers: The strategy for modernisation of the West Coast Main Line was appraised by the Strategic Rail Authority at route wide level and is reported in The Modernisation of the West Coast Main Line published by the National Audit Office in 2006.

Railways: Fines

Ian Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what fines were imposed on businesses by the Office of Rail Regulation in each financial year since 2004-05; [112420]

(2) what fines were imposed on businesses by the former Rail Regulator in each financial year from 2000-01 until its transfer to the Office of Rail Regulation. [112421]

Mrs Villiers: Details of financial penalties imposed on businesses by the former Rail Regulator in each financial year from 2000-01 until its transfer to the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) and by the ORR in each financial year since 2004-05 are published on the ORR's website at:

http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.1387

In addition, details of a proposed penalty against Network Rail announced by the ORR on 29 May 2012 can be found on the ORR's website at:

http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/ConWebDoc.10934

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Rolling Stock

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason the number of new rail carriages and the number which would represent additional capacity and net additions in her Department's press release of 26 November 2010, “More than 2,100 new carriages for rail travellers as Government unveils rail investment package”, set a target of over 2,100 new rail carriages by 2019 whereas the figure in paragraph 1.17 of her Department's publication, Reforming our Railways: Putting the Customer First, CM 8313, is different; and if she will make a statement. [107215]

Mrs Villiers: The Department for Transport's November 2010 Press Notice announced 2,100 new carriages for the rail network following the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Justine Greening), confirmation that, in spite of the fiscal deficit this Government inherited and already having committed to completing Crossrail, the Thameslink project would go ahead in its entirety and that a further 650 carriages would also be added to the network to ease overcrowding as part of the HLOS programme.

The March 2012 Rail Command Paper set out that the Department has allocated funding for approximately 2,700 new rail carriages, 600 more than referred to in the November 2010 Press Notice. This follows subsequent announcements on rolling stock, including in relation to the Intercity Express programme.

The variation in the number of net additional carriages between the two publications relates to ongoing commercial negotiations and agreement on final deployment. It was made clear in the November 2010 Press Notice that this figure would fluctuate as commercial negotiations proceeded. Our current view is that this is in the range of 1,800 to 1,850 vehicles.

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the availability of rolling stock; and if she will make a statement. [112655]

Mrs Villiers: Rolling stock deployment is a matter for the rail industry with the Government's role primarily focused on ensuring that this represents value-for-money when the taxpayer's interest is involved.

As we said in paragraph 4.65 of the Department for Transport's publication, ‘Reforming our Railways: Putting the Customer First’, CM 8313, in future Government will give greater flexibility to franchisees over the rolling stock decisions they make when bidding for franchises.

The Association of Train Operating Companies recently released a policy paper giving its views on the future requirements for rolling stock, for the period 2014-19. This document can be found at:

http://www.atoc.org/clientfiles/File/ATOC%20Rolling%20Stock%20Strategy%20-%20Final_1.pdf

Treasury

Bank Services: Young People

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider providing support to all 16 year olds to set up a bank account at the same time as they receive their national insurance number as part of their preparation for employment. [112556]

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Mr Hoban: The Government set up the Money Advice Service to promote understanding of the financial system and raise levels of financial capability across the UK. The service is undertaking a strategic overview of the educational work of the financial services industry, to inform and improve the provision of financial education for young people. A two-part research project, which is expected to be completed by June 2012, will inform further work in this area.

The service is also currently developing a suite of advice based products and services that will cover those events typically experienced by 16-25 year olds who will be considering and making independent financial decisions for the first time.

Economic Growth

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to rebalance the economy and encourage export-led private sector growth. [112712]

Miss Chloe Smith: The Government's priority is to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries through sustained deficit reduction, monetary activism and supply-side reforms. Examples of supply-side measures implemented include lowering the rate of corporation tax, designating enterprise zones across the UK, launching the National Loans Guarantee scheme, allocating £2.4 billion to the regional growth fund, creating over 450,000 new apprenticeships and reforming the planning system.

Specific measures to promote exports include UK Export Finance launching Bond Support, Working Capital and Foreign Exchange Credit Support schemes for SME exporters and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) developing a new package of support to help exporters enter new markets. At autumn statement 2011 the Government announced extra resources to double the number of SMEs UKTI assists per year and provide an enhanced package of support to mid-sized exporters. UK Export Finance will also work closer with UKTI on the High Value Opportunities programme launched in “The Plan for Growth”.

EU Budget

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his red lines will be at the EU budget negotiations for 2013. [112347]

Mr Hoban: The Government has been clear that is unacceptable for the Commission to propose an inflation-busting increase to EU spending for 2013, at a time when Governments across Europe are making difficult decisions on public spending.

It is important to remember that the EU's annual budget is negotiated under qualified majority voting in Council, and must be agreed by the European Parliament. Therefore, the UK cannot veto the proposals.

However, the Government is working closely with other member states to push for a more realistic budget that recognises the economic reality facing Europe and delivers the best possible outcome for taxpayers.

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Finance Act 2008

Pete Wishart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will amend section 58(4) of the Finance Act 2008 to remove the retrospective elements of the legislation. [112374]

Mr Gauke: There are no plans to amend section 58(4) of the Finance Act 2008.

Pete Wishart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from HM Revenue and Customs on the retrospective elements of section 58 of the Finance Act 2008. [112375]

Mr Gauke: Policy advice provided by HM Revenue and Customs to Treasury Ministers has included advice on the retrospective elements of section 58 of Finance Act 2008.

Financial Services Authority

Ian Murray: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what fines were imposed on businesses by the Financial Services Authority in each financial year since 2000-01. [112419]

Mr Hoban: This is a matter for the Financial Services Authority (FSA), whose day-to-day operations are independent from government control and influence. This question has been passed on to the FSA, which will reply to you directly by letter. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

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Income Tax

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what average sum of income tax was paid by individuals earning (a) £100,000 to £149,999, (b) £150,000 to £249,999, (c) £250,000 to £499,999, (d) £500,000 to £999,999, (e) £1,000,000 to £4,999,999, (f) £5,000,000 to £9,999,999 and (g) in excess of £10,000,000 in the (i) under 10 per cent, (ii) 10 to 20 per cent, (iii) 20 to 30 per cent, (iv) 30 to 40 per cent and (v) above 40 per cent tax band in (A) 2009-10 and (B) 2010-11; [112457]

(2) what the average overall rate of income tax was paid by individuals earning (a) £100,000 to £149,999, (b) £150,000 to £249,999, (c) £250,000 to £499,999, (d) £500,000 to £999,999, (e) £1,000,000 to £4,999,999, (f) £5,000,000 to £9,999,999 and (g) in excess of £10,000,000 in each of the (i) under 10 per cent, (ii) 10 to 20 per cent, (iii) 20 to 30 per cent, (iv) 30 to 40 per cent and (v) above 40 per cent tax band in (A) 2009-10 and (B) 2010-11; [112456]

(3) assuming a static model, what the average reduction in tax is for those earning (a) £100,000 to £150,000, (b) £150,000 to £250,000, (c) £250,000 to £500,000, (d) £500,000 to £1,000,000, (e) £1,000,000 to £5,000,000, (f) £5,000,000 to £10,000,000 and (g) over £10,000,000 for those (i) whom HM Revenue and Customs estimates are currently paying an average tax rate of above 40 per cent and (ii) who are paying the 50 pence rate from a cut in the additional rate of income tax from 50 pence to 45 pence in (A) 2009-10 and (B) 2010-11. [112239]

Mr Gauke: The information is as follows:

(i)-(iii) The following table shows average tax rate by income category:

Proportion of individuals reporting various average tax rates by total income category (2010-11)
Percentage
 Income
Average tax rates£100,000 to £150,000£150,000 to £250,000£250,000 to £500,000£500,000 to £1 million£1 million to £5 million£5 million to £10 millionOver £10 million

Above 40%

0

6

73

81

80

81

72

30% to 40%

67

77

18

11

10

8

12

20% to 30%

24

13

5

4

5

4

8

10% to 20%

8

3

2

2

2

3

3

Under 10%

1

2

2

2

3

4

6

Source: HMRC

Figures are based on an analysis of self assessment (SA) returns for the 2010-11 tax year. Estimates are based on SA data available at Budget 2012 and populations are scaled up to reflect late returns. Income bands include those with average rates at the lower limit (eg a tax rate of exactly 30% falls in the “30% to <40%” category). The top marginal rate of income tax was 50% in 2010-11. The tax rate structure, together with allowances and reliefs, mean that an individual’s average tax rate is lower than their marginal rate.

Statistics on average rates and average amounts of income tax for income ranges up to £2 million in 2009-10 and 2010-11 are published on HMRC’s website in table 2.5:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/income_tax/table2-5.pdf

(iii) The costing documentation published at Budget 2012 contains the static cost of the reducing the additional rate of income tax from 50 to 45%.

Table A2—Post-behavioural Exchequer impact, liabilities and national accounts bases
£ million
 2012-132013-142014-152015-162016-17

Static cost

0

-3,010

-3,350

-3,750

-4,190

Behavioural impact

0

2,930

3,270

3,650

4,080

Post-behavioural yield (liabilities)

0

-80

-80

-100

-110

Post-behavioural yield (national accounts)

0

-50

-100

-100

-110

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The static cost is the loss in tax revenue from those incomes which are subject to the additional rate, ie the tax base multiplied by 5%. The final cost of the measure is much less, around £100 million per year, as it accounts for behavioural responses associated with changes in personal tax rates. An estimate of the impact broken down by these income groups is not available, as the behavioural response is only estimated in aggregate.

For more details see the HMRC report “The Exchequer effect of the 50 per cent additional rate of income tax”, available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/excheq-income-tax-2042.pdf

Landfill: Taxation

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he plans to take any steps to provide support to the waste removal and skip industry after the increase in the level of tax imposed on skips depositing in landfill sites; [112159]

(2) what meetings he had with industry representatives in advance of the decision to increase the level of tax imposed on skips depositing in landfill sites; [112160]

(3) what estimate his Department has made of the potential reduction in the number of jobs as a consequence of the change in the level of tax imposed on the skip and waste removal industry. [112161]

Miss Chloe Smith: HMRC guidance issued on 18 May and 1 June 2012 clarified existing policy and law in relation to certain types of waste disposed of to a landfill site. It clarified whether those types of waste were subject to the lower or standard rate of tax and the evidence needed to support application of the lower rate of tax. There was no increase or change in tax liability.

The guidance was issued in response to requests from the industry. Some landfill site operators, who were applying the correct rate of landfill tax, claimed they were suffering competitive disadvantage compared to others who were incorrectly applying the lower rate of tax.

HMRC are working actively with the users and operators of landfill sites to assess fully the impact of the guidance, and to support businesses in understanding and complying with their existing obligations. They have set up a direct dial telephone line (0161 827 0233) for businesses to call if they wish to discuss this issue.

North East

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of his policies on levels of aggregate demand in the North East. [112766]

Miss Chloe Smith: Returning the UK economy to sustainable economic growth that is more balanced across the UK and sectors is a key priority. In the Budget, this Government took steps to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy.

The Budget decision to increase the personal allowance by £1,100 in April 2013 is expected to take nearly 35,000 people in the north east out of income tax. The Budget announced a further £11 million allocation for the

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Growing Places Fund in the north east to provide additional infrastructure to unlock growth and around £28 million from the Get Britain Building Fund, delivering over 750 homes and supporting over 1,500 jobs in construction and related sectors locally. The Budget also announced the north east LEP will pilot a rural growth network to test the potential for use of the planning regime and targeted infrastructure investment to support economic growth. In addition, Newcastle has been awarded "super-connected city" status and will receive up to £6 million for provision.

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many regulations his Department has repealed between 1 February 2012 and 31 May 2012; and if he will estimate the potential savings to those affected in each case. [112778]

Miss Chloe Smith: Between 1 February 2012 and 31 May 2012 HM Treasury repealed the following Statutory Instruments:

(1) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc. (France and Monaco) Order, 1945

(2) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc. (Belgium and Luxembourg) Order, 1945

(3) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc. (Denmark) Order, 1945

(4) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc. (Finland) Order, 1945

(5) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc. (Greece) Order, 1945

(6) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc. (Italy) Order, 1945

(7) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc. (Netherlands) Order, 1945

(8) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc (Czechoslovakia) Order , 1945

(9) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc (Yugoslavia) Order, 1945

(10) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (Siam) Order, 1946

(11) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) Order, 1946

(12) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (No. 2) Order, 1946

(13) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (Poland) Order, 1946

(14) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (Hungary) Order, 1946

(15) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (Romania) Order, 1947

(16) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (General) Order, 1947

(17) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (Austria) Order, 1947

(18) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (Germany) Order, 1949

(19) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (Japan) Order, 1950

(20) Trading with the Enemy (Transfer of Negotiable Instruments, etc.) (Germany) Order, 1952

(21) Iran (European Union Financial Sanctions) Regulations 2010

(22) Iran (European Union Financial Sanctions (Amendment) Regulations 2012

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Since the One In One Out system has been in operation HM Treasury has saved business £26.46 million per annum in regulatory costs, within the scope of the policy. Statements of HM Treasury's regulatory and deregulatory measures are published every six months on our website.

Sovereignty: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions he has had with the (a) Bank of England and (b) Scottish Government on the representation that an independent Scotland which retained the pound sterling would seek to have on the Bank of England's monetary policy committee. [111082]

Mr Hoban [holding answer 14 June 2012]: Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

The Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England meet regularly and discuss a range of topics on the UK economic and monetary conditions.

The Treasury has not had any discussions with the Scottish Government on this issue.

Margaret Curran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what mechanism would be available to an independent Scotland which retained the pound sterling to influence interest rates; [111083]

(2) how an independent Scotland which retained the pound sterling could influence the Bank of England's monetary policy committee; [111084]

(3) whether an independent Scotland which retained the pound sterling would be able to appoint external members to the Bank of England's monetary policy committee. [111085]

Mr Hoban [holding answer 14 June 2012]: The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England is independent and the UK Government has no say over its monetary policy operations.

Members of the MPC do not represent individual groups or geographical areas; they are independent and appointed by the UK Government based on their knowledge and experience relevant to the Committee's functions.

The Government has no plans to change this framework.

If an independent Scotland were to seek to re-enter a formal monetary union with the rest of the UK, the arrangements would have to be agreed with the UK Government.

If an independent Scotland were to retain sterling without joining a formal monetary union with the rest of the UK, the presumption is that the MPC would only take account of economic conditions within the formal sterling area when setting interest rates.

Margaret Curran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what correspondence (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with the Scottish Government on the potential consequences of Scotland leaving the UK; and if he will place in the Library a copy of any such correspondence. [112626]

19 Jun 2012 : Column 850W

Danny Alexander: The Treasury has had no correspondence with the Scottish Government on the consequences of Scotland leaving the UK.

Margaret Curran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with Scottish Government Ministers or officials on the potential consequences of Scotland leaving the UK. [112636]

Danny Alexander: The Treasury has had no discussions with Scottish Government Ministers or officials on the consequences of Scotland leaving the UK.

VAT: Sixth Form Colleges

Debbie Abrahams: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) for what reason sixth form colleges are required to pay VAT; [112656]

(2) if he will ensure equal treatment of (a) school sixth forms, (b) academy sixth forms and (c) sixth form colleges under VAT rules. [112657]

Mr Gauke: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer given on 23 April 2012, Official Report, column 610W.

Welfare Tax Credits

Jim Shannon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people in Strangford constituency were in receipt of tax credit in each of the last three years; [112188]

(2) how many people in Strangford constituency receive child benefit. [112190]

Mr Gauke: The number of households in Strangford constituency in receipt of tax credits for each year up to 2010-11 (the latest year for which data are available) can be found in table 3 of HMRC's publications ‘Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics Finalised annual awards. Geographical analyses’, available at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/final-award-geog.htm

For ease, this information is as follows:

2010-11: 8,800 households

2009-/10: 10,100 households

2008-09: 9,900 households.

The number of families in receipt of child benefit in Strangford as at August 2011 (the latest date for which data are available) can be found in HMRC's publication ‘Child Benefit Statistics Geographical analysis’ found at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/child_benefit/chb-geog-aug11.pdf

This was 11,525 families.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her Department's policy is on farm research. [111977]

19 Jun 2012 : Column 851W

Mr Paice: DEFRA's overall policy on research is set out in the Evidence Investment Strategy, which was updated in 2011(1). The 2010 cross-government UK Food Research and Innovation Strategy set out a coherent framework to support and enhance UK farming and food research(2).

Agricultural research is important to inform and underpin our business plan priority for a sustainable and competitive farming sector. Major current research priorities are set out in evidence plans, which are published on DEFRA's website and are refreshed regularly(3).

(1)http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/2011/04/27/pb13471-evidence-investment-strategy/

(2)http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/goscience/docs/c/cross-government-food-research-strategy

(3) http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/tag/evidence-plan/

Agriculture: Renewable Energy

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of farmers are involved in renewable energy production. [111980]

Mr Paice: Data published by DEFRA in January 2012 and collected as part of the EU Farm Structure Survey show that, in 2010, 5% of farmers in England were involved in renewable energy production of some form.

Animals: Imports

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps she is taking to stop the illegal import of animals into the UK. [112109]

Richard Benyon: All imports of animals from outside the European Union are subject to veterinary checks on entry to ensure that the consignment meets our import conditions and that transport conditions are acceptable. Imports are restricted to airports with border inspection posts (BIPs), which have the facilities to safely check imported animals. Veterinary officers employed by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) carry out the checks at the BIP.

The checks consist of a documentary check (on the exporting country's health certificate), an identity check to match the documentation to the actual consignment and a physical check on the actual animal(s). A random non-discriminatory proportion (about 3%) of animals entering the UK via a BIP are tested for relevant animal diseases as part of the compliance check.

Trading Standards officers are responsible for dealing with illegal imports of animals outside a BIP.

Animals coming from other parts of the EU must also be accompanied by the appropriate health certification and AHVLA notified of their arrival at least 24-hours in advance. Checks are not conducted at the border but AHVLA undertake risk-based checks at the point of destination.

All pet dogs, cats and ferrets entering the UK (with the exception of the Republic of Ireland) are subject to a similar checking regime which is in place to keep the UK free from rabies and the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis.

Additional controls are also in place to prevent the illegal import of endangered species.

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Stringent penalties remain in place for those that breach the law by smuggling animals into the country or by knowingly using false or misleading information/documentation.

Badgers: Birds

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the effect of badgers on ground-nesting birds. [110665]

Richard Benyon: The most recent relevant research by my Department is a report by the Central Science Laboratory (now Food and Environment Research Agency) in 2007, ‘The ecological consequences of removing badgers from an ecosystem.' This report looked at the effect on ground-nesting birds, among other species, of the randomised badger culling trials. It is available on the DEFRA research web-pages as project ZF0531.

Cetaceans: Japan

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Japanese government (1) on the annual killing of dolphins by Japanese fishermen; [112782]

(2) on Japanese whaling activities in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary; and if she will make a statement. [112790]

Richard Benyon: Through the International Whaling Commission (IWC), the global convention for whaling, the UK regularly states its opposition to Japan's so-called ‘scientific' whaling in North Pacific and Antarctic waters.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the hon. Member for Taunton Deane (Mr Browne) raised UK concerns in relation to Japanese whaling on a visit to Japan in May. British officials also regularly meet with Japanese officials both in London and Tokyo to express deep concern over whaling and the hunting of dolphins.

I will be attending this year's IWC meeting in July (IWC64) to demonstrate the UK Government's commitment to the work of the IWC, and our support for the moratorium on whaling.

The Japanese Government is in no doubt as to the strength of feeling in this country about the killing of all cetaceans, and of the UK Government's policy. The UK Government will continue to make our opposition on these issues clear to all whaling countries at every appropriate opportunity.

Coastal Areas

Gavin Shuker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding has been allocated to coastal erosion projects since 2010. [111945]

Richard Benyon: The following table shows the total funding provided by the Environment Agency to manage coastal erosion risk management in England, from 2010-11 to 2012-13. The funding for 2012-13 is the total for the approved start of year allocations whereas the funding for 2010-11 and 2011-12 is actual expenditure.

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The figures include the total amount in capital grant to all risk management authorities, but do not include funding for strategies, studies and coastal monitoring.

 £ million

2010-11

17.1

2011-12

14.9

2012-13

20.1

In addition to this, £7.6 million was allocated under the coastal change adaptation pathfinder in 2010-11.

Fisheries

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the outcome of the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministerial Council held on 12 June 2012 in Brussels, if she will ensure that no further restrictions are imposed on fishermen in terms of days at sea limitations; and if she will make a statement. [112378]

Richard Benyon: I provided a statement on 14 June 2012, Official Report, column 467, updating the House on the outcome of the June Fisheries Council and the progress achieved in the negotiations on the reform of the common fisheries policy.

Alongside reform negotiations the UK has been pushing for review and amendment of the Cod Recovery Plan—a long-term recovery plan covering cod in the North sea, Irish sea and west of Scotland. The UK successfully secured a review of this plan and, in particular, the application of days at sea restrictions on the UK fleet. Work is ongoing, but the UK is actively engaging with the Commission to ensure our concerns are heard and addressed.

Food Labelling

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether her Department has issued any guidance for consumers to distinguish whether products labelled as produce of Morocco are from the disputed territory of Western Sahara. [112141]

Mr Paice [holding answer 18 June 2012]:No such guidance has been issued. General advice has been given to the British Retail Consortium (at the consortium's request) about the consumer sensitivities surrounding the labelling of produce imported into the United Kingdom which, under the EU's rules of origin, is of Western Sahara provenance.

Under UK law, the country of origin declared on food labels must not be such as to mislead consumers as to the true provenance of the produce concerned, and the British Retail Consortium has been advised about the desirability of giving “Produce of Western Sahara” as the declaration of origin on the labels of such goods.

However, in the case of produce packaged in the region of production, DEFRA recognises that it may not be practical or economic for an importer or a retailer to label goods of Western Sahara origin in that way, in view of the fact that such a declaration of origin cannot be made when the goods are imported into the EU if they are to qualify for the preferential tariff treatment provided for by the EU—Morocco Agreement.

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Food: Waste Disposal

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has any plans to build further anaerobic digesters like the one recently built in Didcot. [112087]

Richard Benyon: The Department is aware of two anaerobic digestion (AD) sites being built in England, which are designed to feed biomethane into the gas grid. These sites are in Poundbury in Dorset and Stockport in Greater Manchester. Poundbury is due to become operational this autumn and Stockport by early 2013.

Forestry Commission: Redundancy

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Forestry Commission is encouraging staff to take voluntary redundancy; how much the voluntary exit scheme has cost the Forestry Commission to date; how many voluntary redundancies there have been in the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. [111150]

Mr Paice: The restructuring of Forestry Commission England, Forestry Commission Great Britain and Forest Research has been based on offering a combination of voluntary exit and voluntary redundancy schemes. These schemes commenced in June 2011, and up to the end of May 2012 have cost £6.8 million in total.

227 staff have left under the voluntary exit arrangements and 10 staff have left under the voluntary redundancy scheme. There have been no compulsory redundancies.

Fraud

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the level of (a) procurement and (b) other fraud affecting her Department's spending in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. [110176]

Richard Benyon: Core DEFRA does not prepare a specific estimate of the level of fraud affecting its spending.

We investigate all suspected cases of fraud. In core DEFRA in 2010-11, no cases of procurement fraud and only one case of other fraud, with an estimated value of £634, were discovered. In 2011-12, no cases of procurement fraud and two cases of other frauds were discovered, which related to personnel records and staff use of IT.

Health Insurance

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many staff working in her Department are entitled to private health care as part of their remuneration package. [111255]

Richard Benyon: Private health care is not offered as part of core DEFRA’s remuneration/employment package.

Inland Waterways: Conservation

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to protect waterways from invasive species. [112114]

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Richard Benyon: The Government's approach to tackling invasive non-native species—whether terrestrial or aquatic—is set out in the Invasive Non-native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britain, published in 2008. Extensive information on the implementation of the strategy can be found at:

www.nonnativespecies.org

With regard to aquatic invasive species, we are promoting awareness and good practice to help prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species through two campaigns, which are strongly supported by a wide range of partners. These are “Be Plant Wise”, aimed at the horticultural sector, and "Stop the Spread—Check, Clean, Dry", aimed at all users of waterways. Under legislative powers, final outcomes are still pending on whether certain aquatic invasive plant species will be prohibited from sale but we are already working closely with key bodies in the ornamental aquatics sector, including retail and producers, on voluntary restraint and the “Be Plant Wise” messages. Through our agencies we are directly tackling key national priority threats; for example, we are eradicating the South American water primrose, Topmouth gudgeon and the American bullfrog, and with other partners we have responded rapidly to the finding of the killer shrimp in Britain.

We have also committed approximately £5 million of water framework directive funding to help tackle invasive non-native species issues. This funding is supporting a number of work areas including several research projects concerning, for example, the killer shrimp and crayfish, and also biological control of key aquatic invasive plants. It is also supporting a large number of county or catchment-based partnership initiatives around the country that through innovative approaches, volunteering programmes and landowner liaison are taking the issues into the heart of their communities.

Innovation

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps her Department has taken to promote innovation. [110887]

Richard Benyon: Innovation is essential to enhancing the competitiveness and resilience of all of the sectors DEFRA works with. In the agricultural sector, for example, we welcome the emphasis in the CAP Reform proposals on stimulating innovation.

In March, we held, in partnership with the Technology Strategy Board, an ‘Innovation for Growth' Summit for the agri-food sector to raise awareness of the potential for growth from innovation and the support available, which included a competition with £500,000 worth of prizes for Small and Medium Enterprises to develop innovative ideas. Competition grant award winners will be announced in early July.

The Food and Green Economy Programme established DEFRA's Innovation Hub as a mechanism to engage and inspire UK businesses to share learning and ideas on innovation, e.g. The Hub organised a workshop titled ‘Catalyst Workshop to explore the opportunities of a circular economy' with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation—February 2012. The Hub is currently engaging with individual businesses and business groups (e.g.

19 Jun 2012 : Column 856W

BRC and CBI) to identify, discuss and address barriers to business innovation, and will be holding further events in 2012.

The Food and Green Economy Programme also set up and funds the UK's National Contact Point (NCP) on Eco-Innovation. The role of a NCP is to provide advice and individual assistance to support SMEs and improve the dissemination and exploitation of their project by bridging the gap between research and innovation, helping them to expand their businesses and raise their competitiveness in the world markets. The NCP is co-funded with the Technology Strategy Board and provides services to increase access to EU funding programmes.

Additionally, the Food and Green Economy Programme is currently working with (and supporting financially) the Green Alliance to establish a Circular Economy Task Force. This Task Force will bring together interested businesses and business groups to provide a mechanism to further develop links between Government, business and other organisations to address resource opportunities and concerns, to disseminate leadership thinking and best practice and to provide a forum for policy innovation.

DEFRA organised and hosted the 10(th) European Forum on Eco-Innovation titled ‘Towards a Resource-Efficient Economy: From Policy to Action’ in 2011. These Forums bring together key players in business, academia, finance, policy and green groups to encourage innovation through cross fertilisation between disciplines and sectors. The aim is to identify and prioritise the key issues that need to be addressed by Government and EU action.

The Technology Strategy Board (TSB), DEFRA and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council co-funds the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Innovation Platform, worth £90 million over five years which matches funding by industry. The TSB's contribution of £50 million is new investment in innovation.

DEFRA funds the Waste and Resource Action Programme (WRAP). WRAP works in partnership, helping businesses and the general public to reduce waste, to use more recycled material, and recycle more. As part of WRAP'S Retail Innovation Programme is a Water Minimisation Innovation Fund, aimed at providing support for retail supply chain packaging optimisation and innovative design projects.

Landfill

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what effect the EU directive on the recycling of cardboard has had on the charges paid by councils in landfill charges. [110934]

Richard Benyon: The Government are not aware of an EU directive that specifically relates to the recycling of cardboard. Cardboard that local authorities collect and recycle can count towards the requirement in the revised waste framework directive for the UK to recycle 50% of household waste by 2020. This in turn will reduce the amount that local authorities have to pay in landfill tax.

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Meat

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many meetings Ministers in her Department have had with the devolved Administrations to discuss desinewed meats; what the dates were of such meetings; which Ministers attended; and if she will make a statement; [112379]

(2) how many meetings Ministers in her Department have had with Ministers from the devolved Administrations and the Food Standards Agency to discuss desinewed meats; what the dates were of such meetings; which Ministers attended the meetings; and what the outcomes were; [112380]

(3) how many meetings Ministers in her Department have had with Ministers from the devolved Administrations and the European Commission to discuss desinewed meats; what the dates were of such meetings; which Ministers attended the meetings; and what the outcomes were. [112381]

Richard Benyon: The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the UK Central Competent Authority for food hygiene legislation and is responsible for the official controls carried out in the supply chain for desinewed meat (DSM). The FSA has played the lead role on behalf of the UK Government in developing a UK policy position on this issue, including consultation with the devolved Administrations. Together with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the FSA has also represented the UK in discussions with the Commission.

Consequently, Ministers from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have not had any discussions with the devolved Administrations in relation to DSM.

Meetings

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what dates (a) she, (b) Ministers and (c) senior officials in her Department have met representatives of (i) the Institute for Public Policy Research, (ii) the Taxpayers' Alliance, (iii) the Institute of Economic Affairs, (iv) ResPublica, (v) the Centre for Social Justice and (vi) Policy Exchange; and if she will publish the minutes and agendas of these meetings. [108971]

Richard Benyon: I met representatives of Policy Exchange in November 2010. This was an introductory meeting, and no formal minutes were taken. I also spoke at a Policy Exchange event, in July 2011 on the subject of protecting rivers and wider water issues. Details are available on the Policy Exchange website.

No other meetings between either DEFRA Ministers or senior officials in core DEFRA (Permanent Secretary and Directors-General) and representatives of the above organisations have been held since May 2010.

All meetings held by Ministers and the Permanent Secretary with external organisations are published regularly on the Department's website:

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

and

http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/about/who/management/

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Departmental Administration Costs

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent on the administration of her Department in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11 and (c) 2011-12. [109834]

Richard Benyon: The overall cost of administration for core DEFRA in the financial years 2009-10 and 2010-11 can be found in the 2010-11 DEFRA annual report and accounts. The published document can be found via the following link:-

http://www.defra.gov.uk/publications/files/defra-annual-report2011.pdf

Data for the financial year 2011-12 will not be available until publication of the 2011-12 DEFRA annual report and accounts, which is expected to be in July 2012.

Palm Oil

Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she plans to take steps to prevent the importation into the UK of palm oil which has not been certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. [109192]

Richard Benyon: The UK cannot unilaterally introduce its own import restrictions, as any potential measures of this sort would instead have to be agreed by the EU as a whole. They would also need to be compliant with World Trade Organisation rules that seek to prevent barriers to free trade.

The Government are supporting the work of the Roundtable, and others, to encourage the sustainable production of palm oil through a number of positive initiatives to encourage United Kingdom users to move to sustainably sourced palm oil.

Procurement

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total (a) number and (b) value of contracts issued by (i) her Department and (ii) bodies for which she is responsible which were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises was in the latest period for which figures are available. [111171]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA's spend with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been reported in the Cabinet Office report, “Making Government business more accessible to SMEs—One Year On”:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/making-government-business-more-accessible-smes-one-year


Rural Areas: Broadband

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many applications her Department has received for the Rural Community Broadband Fund. [111984]

Richard Benyon: Round one of the Rural Community Broadband Fund closed on 31 January, with 39 expressions of interest received, of which 16 were endorsed with conditions and invited to develop full applications.

Round two of the fund opened on 10 May and will close on 6 July.

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Sulphur Dioxide

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment she has made of the environmental impact of (a) open and (b) closed loop sulphur dioxide abatement technology. [R] [112176]

Richard Benyon: DEFRA has included an assessment of the costs and sulphur dioxide reduction potential of open loop seawater scrubbers as part of the work programme for developing a Multi-Pollutant Measures Database (MPMD), which seeks to identify cost effective measures for air pollution control. The assessment was undertaken in 2008 and published in 2009. The MPMD is currently being updated and we expect it to be published in early 2013.

UN Conference On Sustainable Development

Ben Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to ensure that children are a focus of the UK's negotiating position at the Rio+20 Summit in June 2012. [109131]

Richard Benyon: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), has consulted extensively with civil society in the run-up to Rio+20, including groups specifically focused on children and youth. This has been an essential part of informing the Government's negotiating position at Rio+20.

The Secretary of State recently attended an event organised by UNICEF which focused on children and young people's ambitions for Rio+20, and was attended by the British Youth Council, the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts, and other young people's organisations. This manner of engagement has continued at the Rio+20 Conference, where the Secretary of State has again met with representatives from these groups.

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what preparations her Department has made in advance of the Rio+20 meeting in June. [110993]

Richard Benyon: The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs Spelman), has led the UK's preparations for Rio+20, with a focus on delivering an ambitious outcome. She has worked closely with Ministers across Government, in particular the Deputy Prime Minister, who will lead the UK delegation at Rio+20. She has also engaged extensively with her EU and international counterparts, and has consulted comprehensively with UK business and civil society on ambitions for the Conference. The Department has supported the Secretary of State in these essential elements of the Government's preparations.

Whales

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the governments of (a) Norway, (b) the Faroe Islands and (c) Iceland on whaling; and if she will make a statement. [112789]

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Richard Benyon: I wrote to the Faroe Islands Government in May to express the UK's opposition to the hunting of pilot whales and other small cetaceans, and calling for an end to these hunts. I also raised concerns about commercial imports by the Faroe Islands of meat from protected whale species undermining the effectiveness of the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES).

I raised our opposition to whaling when I met the Icelandic Fisheries Minister in February. We have made it clear that for Iceland to join the EU it must accept that its whaling operations are incompatible with membership.

UK Government officials met Norwegian Government officials in the build-up to the 64th International Whaling Commission annual, meeting in July, encouraging support for the moratorium and for the UK's position to ensure the long-term conservation and protection of whales.

Home Department

Association of Chief Police Officers

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will take steps to reduce the cost to the public purse of the Association of Chief Police Officers. [111343]

Nick Herbert: I am taking steps to reduce the annual grant in aid payment from the Home Office to the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) headquarters. In 2011-12, the Home Office provided ACPO with £1,043,000 grant in aid. For the 2012-13 financial year, the planned expenditure has been reduced to £562,000.

Asylum

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what support she is providing to refused asylum seekers who are unable to return to their home countries which (a) are and (b) are not countries to which the UK is not carrying out removals. [111376]

Damian Green: All failed asylum seekers can apply for support under Section 4(2) of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. In order to be granted support they need to show that they are destitute and can satisfy one or more of the conditions set out in regulation 3(2) of the Immigration and Asylum (Provision of Accommodation to Failed Asylum-Seekers) Regulations 2005.

Section 4 support consists of accommodation and a weekly allowance to cover essential living needs.

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many UK Border Agency legacy cases there are. [111612]

Damian Green: As reported by the UK Border Agency chief executive in his letter to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 22 May 2012, the number of legacy cases are: Live asylum cohort 21,000, Asylum Controlled archive 80,000, Migration Controlled Archive 21,500.

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Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers were transferred from the UK to each other EU member state in each year from 1994 to 2002. [112459]

Damian Green: The information requested is shown in the following table.

 Asylum seekers transferred from the UK to other EU member states(2)

1997

(1)103

1998

849

1999

838

2000

703

2001

600

2002

1,060

(1) Figures are only available from the date the Dublin Convention was ratified one September 1997. (2) The figures are based on management information data that are not quality assured under National Statistics protocols. The figures do not constitute part of National Statistics and should be treated as provisional. Figures for 2011 are not currently available, nor has it been possible within the time frame to provide a breakdown by member state.

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed Sudanese asylum seekers were removed from the UK to (a) Sudan and (b) South Sudan in (i) 2010-11 and (ii) 2011-12. [112521]

Damian Green: The following table shows the total number of Sudanese asylum cases removed or voluntarily departed to Sudan and South Sudan from the UK in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Removals and voluntary departures(1,2,3 of) Sudanese asylum cases to Sudan and South Sudan(4), 2010-11 and 2011-12
Number
Sudanese asylum cases removed or voluntarily departed to:2010-11(5)2011-12(5)

Sudan

19

15

Sudan (South)

n/a

0

n/a = not applicable (1) Includes enforced removals, people departing voluntarily after notifying the UK Border Agency of their intention to leave prior to their departure, people leaving under assisted voluntary return programmes run by Refugee Action (prior to April 2011, run by the International Organization for Migration) and people who it has been established left without informing the immigration authorities. (2) Figures include dependants. (3) Removals and voluntary departures recorded on the system as at the dates on which the data extracts were taken. (4) Destination as recorded on source database. (5) Provisional figures. Figures will under record due to data cleansing and data matching exercises that take place after the extracts are taken.

It is not possible within these figures to say what stage in the asylum process these people have reached at the time of their removal, including whether their claim has failed at that point, because those departing voluntarily can do so at any stage without necessarily notifying the UK Border Agency.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the number of persons removed or departed voluntarily from the UK within ‘Immigration Statistics’. The data on removals and voluntary departures by country of nationality and destination are available in

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the latest release, Immigration Statistics: January to March 2012, tables rv.05 and rv.05.q, from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Science, research and statistics web pages at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/migration/migration-statistics1/

Andrea Leadsom: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers were transferred to the UK from other EU member states in each of the years from 1994 to 2002. [112576]

Damian Green: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Atos

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the total monetary value of each contract between her Department and Atos is; [111163]

(2) when each contract between her Department and Atos was most recently (a) agreed, (b) renewed and (c) extended. [111164]

Damian Green: The Home Office has one contract with Atos Origin, which is for the provision of IT services. The estimated total monetary value of this contract, from commencement in 2004 through to expiry in 2016, is £426 million.

This contract was most recently agreed, renewed and extended in October 2009 when the terms of an extension option were renegotiated on more favourable terms for the Department.

Burglary: Middlesbrough

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of burglaries in Middlesbrough local authority area in the latest period for which figures are available. [111384]

James Brokenshire: The police recorded crime data held by the Home Office shows that there were 1,074 recorded offences of ‘burglary in a dwelling’ in Middlesbrough in the 12 months to December 2011. There were an additional 949 recorded offences of ‘burglary in a building other than a dwelling’ in Middlesbrough during the same period.

Conferences

Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her Department's policy is on accreditation at party conferences. [111771]

James Brokenshire: Accreditation is one of a number of potential risk mitigation measures that may be considered as part of the security provided for the annual conferences of the three main political parties. Any measures that are put in place should be proportionate to assessed levels of threat and risk, which are kept under review.

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Crime

Stella Creasy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many hate crimes related to gender were recorded between 2007 and 2012; and what proportion of the total number of hate crimes this constituted in each year. [112579]

Lynne Featherstone [holding answer 18 June 2012]: Police forces began the formal collection of monitored hate crime strands in April 2011 and data for 2011-12 will be published later this year. Gender-related hate crime is not one of the centrally monitored strands for which data are collected.

Findings from the 2009-10 and 2010-11 British Crime Survey on the extent of and perceptions of hate crime were published for the first time in March. I will place a copy in the Library of the House. Alternatively they are also available at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/science-research-statistics/research-statistics/crime-research/hosb0612/

Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will assess the effect boxing clubs have on levels of crime and social disorder in their area. [112184]

James Brokenshire: The Government recognises the important role that boxing and other sports activities can play in reducing crime and antisocial behaviour and preventing young people from being drawn into criminal activity. In the future, Police and Crime Commissioners will decide with their partners on how best to deliver prevention and diversionary services based on local needs.

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will take steps with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport to make it easier for sports clubs to receive funding for projects that tackle crime and anti-social disorder; [112185]

(2) what plans she has to extend support for community-led approaches to tackling crime and anti-social behaviour. [112186]

James Brokenshire: The introduction of directly elected Police and Crime Commissioners in November 2012 is part of the Government's drive towards giving local people more say over the approaches to tackling crime and antisocial behaviour that are most appropriate for their area. We also believe that voluntary and community sector organisations can play a crucial role in delivering approaches which meet local need as well as help local people tackle crime. That is why we have funded the Safer Future Communities project until April 2013 to help establish voluntary and community sector networks for each police force area.

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what support her Department is providing for voluntary organisations that use boxing to engage young people. [112187]

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James Brokenshire: Through the Positive Futures, Community Action Against Crime, and Communities Against Gangs, Guns and Knives programmes, the Home Office provides funding and support to a number of voluntary organisations who use boxing to engage young people.

Crown Prosecution Service

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the cost to the police of (a) terminating the lease and (b) paying for underused office space if the Crown Prosecution Service were to move its staff from Athena House, York to other premises. [111153]

Nick Herbert: None. Decisions about the most effective use of available resources, including decisions about what property to buy or lease and the arrangements for terminating or maintaining leases, are rightly a matter for the chief constable and police authority to take locally.

Cybercrime

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to promote greater international co-operation and cross-border law enforcement in relation to cybercrime. [112718]

James Brokenshire: The Government has opted into the EU directive on attacks on information systems, and we have expressed our support for the EU cybercrime centre at Europol, which we believe will help improve the effectiveness of EU cross-border police work against cyber criminals.

We have worked closely with the Council of Europe to promote the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime globally, and particularly to encourage countries from outside Europe to accede to it.

The new National Cyber Crime Unit in the National Crime Agency will collaborate proactively with international partners, both to enhance existing relationships and to build new partnerships.

Databases: Telecommunications

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many (a) communications data requests and (b) communications data requests under the urgent oral process by each relevant public authority under section 25(1) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 were rejected by content service providers in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and on what grounds such requests were rejected; [110788]


(2) what proportion of communications data requests under the Regulations of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 related to (a) terrorist and (b) paedophile cases in each of the last five years for which figures are available; [110789]


(3) how many (a) communications data requests and (b) communications data requests under the urgent oral process were made by each relevant public authority under section 25(1) of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 for communications

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data under section (i) 21(4)(a), (ii) 21(4)(b) and (iii) 21(4)(c) in each of the last five years for which figures are available. [110790]

James Brokenshire: Statistics on the number of authorisations and notices issued under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA), Part 1 Chapter 2, to acquire communications data are held by the independent Interception of Communications Commissioner. Some figures have been published in the Commissioner's annual reports. The next annual report is due for publication shortly.

There are currently no published statistics relating to the number of RIPA obligations that have been rejected by communications service providers. The Act and its code of practice require that any obligation made under the Act is necessary and proportionate, and must apply to a communications service provider (CSP). The system of Single Points of Contact, and the additional code of practice requirements, are intended to ensure that it is reasonably practicable for a communications service provider (CSP) to comply.

There are no published figures linking crime type investigated to numbers of authorisations and notices. However, in 2010 the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Home Office commissioned a targeted survey of all communications data requested by law enforcement in a two-week period. The survey covered all requests in relation to crime, excluding terrorism. This survey showed the following:

 Percentage

Murder

11.37

Kidnap, extortion and blackmail

2.74

Sexual offences

12.30

Drugs trafficking

26.10

People trafficking

0.89

Other serious crime

29.31

Other crime

17.30

The ‘Other serious crime’ category was not further disaggregated in the 2010 survey but will include crimes such as violence against the person, robbery, fraud, forgery and firearms offences.

It is important to note that the data from this survey represent a snapshot from a limited period of time and may be affected disproportionately by particular investigations in progress at the time of the survey. Accordingly, the figures should be treated as indicative rather than definitive.

The Home Office and the Association of Chief Police Officers have recently commissioned another targeted survey.

Some statistics breaking down usage across the categories of communications data are available in the Commissioner's published reports, although not for the whole period requested. A breakdown is provided in the 2010 report. The Commissioner does not publish a breakdown for the use of the urgent oral process across categories of communications data. Guidance on the use of the urgent oral process is included in the Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data Code of Practice.

Nick de Bois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which telecommunication companies her Department consulted in developing the Draft Communications Data Bill. [112852]

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James Brokenshire: Home Office Ministers and officials consulted a number of telecommunication companies and representative trade associations to discuss the cross-Government Communication Capabilities Development programme as part of the Department's ongoing dialogue with industry.

Deportation: Tamils

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her policy is on forcible removals of Tamils to Sri Lanka. [110911]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency's returns policy to Sri Lanka is kept constantly under review. Returns are only enforced when it is safe to do so and when the agency and the courts are satisfied that the individual has no international protection needs. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that not all Tamil asylum seekers are in need of protection.

DNA: Databases

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals have had their DNA data deleted from the National DNA Database in the last 12 months. [111278]

James Brokenshire: Between 1 June 2011 and 31 May 2012, 380 profiles were removed from the National DNA Database under the Exceptional Case Procedure, following requests from English and Welsh forces. Under this procedure, a person may apply to the police force which took the DNA sample and request that their DNA profile be deleted from the NDNAD. If the police force agrees to do so, it requests removal under the Exceptional Case Procedure. In addition, profiles may be deleted because of quality control procedures carried out by the NDNAD, and because of the different legislation governing the retention of profiles applying to Scotland. As part of the implementation of the Protection of Freedoms Act, work is under way to enable the removal from the National DNA Database of records relating to those without convictions in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals are listed in the National DNA Database. [111279]

James Brokenshire: As at 31 March 2012, there were 6,969,396 DNA profile records on the National DNA Database (NDNAD) taken by all UK police forces, which relate to an estimated 5,950,612 individuals. At the same date, there were 6,512,884 profile records taken by police forces in England and Wales, which relate to an estimated 5,570,284 individuals.

The number of individuals is estimated because a proportion of DNA profiles held on the NDNAD are replicates—that is, a person's profile has been loaded on more then one occasion, for example because a person gave different names on separate arrests. The presence of these replicate profiles on the NDNAD does not impact on the effectiveness and integrity of the database.

The data provided is management information and has not been formally assessed for compliance with the

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Code of Practice for Official Statistics. As part of the implementation of the Protection of Freedoms Act, work is under way to enable the removal from the National DNA Database of records relating to those without convictions in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

Drugs: Misuse

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) arrests and (b) reports of incidents of disorder where use of (i) the drug known as bath salts and (ii) substances containing methylenedioxypyrovalerone were made in each of the last three years; how many people have died as a result of use of substances containing methylenedioxypyrovalerone in each of the last three years; and whether she plans to increase (A) awareness of the effects and (B) penalties for the importation, trade or possession of such substances. [111133]

James Brokenshire: Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) has been a controlled Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 since 16 April 2010. Trafficking offences (production, supply, import and export) for MDPV attract severe criminal penalties of up to 14 years' imprisonment and an unlimited fine, and up to five years' imprisonment and an unlimited fine for simple possession. There are no plans to review the classification of MDPV at present.

In terms of statistics, the Government do not collect data at the drug-type level on arrests and incidents of disorder. Similarly, the National Drug Treatment Monitoring System does not collect data on MDPV.

However, the National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths, which collected data from coroners, reported in 2010 (the programme's last report) that two cases had been notified where MDPV was found in post-mortem toxicology.

Targeted information and advice on all drugs, including cathinone derivatives like MDPV, is provided via the FRANK drug advisory and information service which the Government re-launched in October 2011.

Dr Huppert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2012, Official Report, column 594W, on drugs: misuse, when she intends to publish the framework for evaluating the effectiveness of the UK's drug strategy. [111908]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 18 June 2012]: The Home Office will publish a framework setting out the approach to evaluating the 2010 drug strategy in autumn 2012.

Entry Clearances: Internet

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the UK Border Agency plans to update all relevant applications online to ensure that they are not out of date and invalid. [112218]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency seeks to ensure all application forms available on its website are up-to-date, with clearly labelled validity dates. The UK Border Agency does recognise that some applicants

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may download forms some time before completing and submitting them. For a period of three weeks after any changes come into effect, the UK Border Agency accepts applications on the old form.

The UK Border Agency plans to modernise the application process which will remove the need for customers to print off an application form and complete it. Current plans indicate that this modernisation will be complete by 2015.

Entry Clearances: Overseas Students

Michael Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) universities, (b) colleges of further education and (c) private providers have lost UK Border Agency highly trusted sponsor status since September 2010. [111899][Official Report, 27 February 2013, Vol. 559, c. 3-6MC.]

Damian Green: No universities have lost UK Border Agency highly trusted sponsor status since September 2010. There have been 33 further education colleges that have lost their UK Border Agency highly trusted sponsor status since September 2010.

These are:

Abingdon and Witney College

Askham Bryan College

Barnet and Southgate College

Blackburn College

Bolton College

Brooklands College

Carshalton College

City College Brighton and Hove

College of North West London

Coulsdon College

Croydon College

Cumbernauld College

Greenwich Community College

King George V College

Kirklees College

Leicester College

Lowestoft College

Motherwell College

Newham College of Further Education

North West Regional College

Oatridge College

Plumpton College

Reid Kerr College

Sandwell College

South Birmingham College

South Nottingham College

South Tyneside College

Southern Regional College

St Vincent College

Stow College

Varndean College

Worcester Sixth Form College

49 private providers have lost UK Border Agency highly trusted sponsor status since September 2010.

These are:

A+ English Ltd

Abacus College

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Access College London

Azad University (IR) in Oxford

Basil Paterson College

Bedfordshire College

Birmingham International College

Bournemouth Business School International

Cambridge Seminars College

Care in Hand Ltd

Christ the Redeemer College

City Banking College Limited

Colchester English Study Centre

ELT-Banbury Ltd

Embassy CES Brighton

English for Everyone Ltd/IH Aberdeen Ltd

English in York

Foyle Language School

Harrow Academy UK

Institute of St Anselm

Lake School of English Oxford

LAL Language Centres (Torbay) Ltd

Language Studies International

Language Studies International, London Central

Le Cordon Bleu Limited

Leicester Commercial College

London Hotel School

London School of Beauty & Make-up

Loxdale English Centre/Swedish Folk High School

Margate Language Centre

Maria Montessori Training Organisation (The)

Midlands Academy of Business & Technology

MM Oxford Study Services

Northumbria School of English

Olivet English Language School

Princes College School of English

Ray Cochrane CIDESCO International Beauty School

Riviera English School

Sassoon Academy

Shane Global Language Centres

Sophies Recruitment Services Ltd

Stafford House School of English

Stanton School of English

Surrey Language Centre

The New School of English Ltd

Twin Towers English College

University of Leicester International Study Centre

University of Wales International Study Centre

Westminster Academy

Some institutions are seeking to reverse these decisions through current representations. However, some institutions will have reapplied for highly trusted status since revocation and some will be able to reapply for highly trusted sponsor status six months after the decision to remove it.

Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment she has made of the effect of the English language competency requirement for T4 non-EU overseas students on the ability of further education establishments to attract non-EU students. [112337]

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Damian Green [holding answer 18 June 2012]: The Government wants this country to attract and retain the brightest and best students who will help drive growth in the economy. There is no limit on the number of international students that can be recruited by the further education sector but as part of the reforms to student visas we have introduced minimum English language requirements to ensure a student is able to follow the course and integrate into the student community and wider society. Our impact assessment, published in June 2011 and available in the Library of the House, estimated that the package of student reforms will lead to 71,000 fewer Tier 4 student visas being issued per year from 2013-14.