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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Scotland

Olympic Games 2012

Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment his Department has made of the economic benefit to (a) West Lothian and (b) Scotland of the London 2012 Olympics. [115990]

David Mundell: The Olympic Delivery Authority publishes regular updates on the London 2012 Olympic Games. Their latest figures show that over £33 million worth of direct contracts have been awarded to 30 businesses in Scotland—that does not include the additional downstream benefits of the supply chain. Furthermore, a recent report by Oxford Economics has identified that Scotland will benefit from £185 million through tourism over a 12-year period, with gains in employment from London 2012-related tourism effects.

Departmental Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the lowest hourly rate paid to staff by his Department is; how many members of staff based outside London are paid less than £7.20 per hour; and how many members of staff based in London are paid less than £8.30 per hour. [116370]

David Mundell: All staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from other Government bodies. It reimburses those bodies for the costs involved. The Office does not maintain a record of the hourly pay for staff; such information is the responsibility of the parent bodies.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the lowest hourly rate is paid to staff by his Department; how many members of staff based outside London are paid less than £7.20 per hour; and how many members of staff based in London are paid less than £8.30 per hour. [116371]

Mr Paterson: The lowest hourly rate paid to staff by my Department is £8.00 per hour. No staff based outside London are paid less than £7.20 per hour. No staff based in London are paid less than £8.30 per hour.

Welfare Reform

Mr Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his oral answer of 4 July 2012, Official Report, column 900, on welfare reform,

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what his responsibilities are in respect of welfare and benefit provisions in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [116136]

Mr Paterson: Social Security, child support and pensions are the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), in Great Britain, and of the Minister for Social Development in Northern Ireland as these are transferred matters.

Section 87 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 provides for arrangements to ensure that there are single systems of social security, child support and pensions across the United Kingdom.

I remain in regular contact with both Ministers in respect of the welfare reform agenda.

Wales

Ministerial Meetings

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what bilateral meetings she has had with the Minister for the Cabinet Office in the last 12 months. [116017]

Mrs Gillan: I meet the Minister for the Cabinet Office on a regular basis.

Official Visits

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many (a) Labour, (b) Conservative, (c) Plaid Cymru and Liberal Democrat hon. Members have visited the Wales Office, Whitehall, since July 2010. [116016]

Mrs Gillan: I have regular meetings with hon. Members from all parties, both in Gwydyr House and in the House of Commons.

Poverty: Ministerial Meetings

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many meetings she has had with ministerial colleagues to discuss poverty in Wales since May 2010. [116018]

Mrs Gillan: Both I and the Under-Secretary of State have regular meetings with ministerial colleagues about a range of matters relevant to Wales.

In March, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), published “Social Justice: Transforming Lives”. Together with the Social Mobility and Child Poverty strategies, it sets out an ambitious approach, aspiring to deliver lasting life change which goes much wider than increases in family income. The strategy is available at the following link:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/social-justice/

The Welsh Government are responsible for many of the policies involved in tackling poverty. We will work closely with the Welsh Government in delivering our ambitions.

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Poverty: Children

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Pontypridd of 3 July 2012, Official Report, column 532W on poverty: children, what the number of children living in poverty in Wales was in each quarter of the last four years; and what estimate she has made of the likely number in each of the next three years. [115995]

Mrs Gillan: The Welsh Government are responsible for many of the policies involved in tackling poverty, including child poverty.

Information on levels of child poverty in the United Kingdom and Wales, dating back to the three year period 1994-97 and up to the period 2008-09 to 2010-11, is included in the statistics on Households Below Average Income (HBAI). The latest HBAI publication was released by the Department for Work and Pensions on 14 June 2012 and is available at the following link:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/hbai/hbai2011/index.php?page=contents

Disaggregation by geographical regions is presented as three-year averages as single-year regional estimates are considered too volatile. Information for Wales in each quarter of the last four years is therefore not available.

The level of poverty is dependent on a number of factors which cannot be reliably predicted. While income is important, considering this measure in isolation fails to properly reflect the real experience of poverty. The Government are therefore developing more effective measurements of child poverty which will provide a more accurate picture in Wales and the UK. We will be launching a consultation seeking views on how to do this in the autumn.

Third Sector

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Pontypridd of 3 July 2012, Official Report, column 533W on third sector, how much the big society seminar held by her Department in Cardiff in 2011 cost; and what the main outcomes were. [115997]

Mr David Jones: The cost of the big society seminar—£518.40—was published as part of our transparency measures and is available on our website.

The seminar was very successful, engaging the grassroots of civil society in Wales with the big society vision. From the discussions held during the event we identified several outcomes for further exploration; such as the huge potential of the National Citizen Service in Wales; the need to grow the social investment market; and the need to work in partnership with the Welsh Government.

Since the seminar we have secured funding for a pilot of the National Citizen Service in Wales; we have set up the big society advisory forum; and we are in the final stages of planning an event around social investment to be held in September. We will continue to encourage the Welsh Government to become involved in these important initiatives.

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Attorney-General

Cybercrime

Helen Goodman: To ask the Attorney-General what recent discussions he has had with the Director of Public Prosecutions on the prosecution of crimes committed online. [116697]

The Solicitor-General: None recently, but I am aware that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) robustly prosecutes crimes committed using computers or other devices (including mobile phones) and last year they trained a number of prosecutors specifically on prosecuting cybercrime. The CPS has also developed further general training in this area which will be available to all its prosecutors later this year.

Sentencing

Gareth Johnson: To ask the Attorney-General (1) how many requests he received from the Crown Prosecution Service relating to unduly lenient sentences in each of the last 10 years; [115887]

(2) how many unduly lenient sentences he referred to the Court of Appeal in each of the last 10 years; what the offence was in each case; and how many times the Court of Appeal found a sentence to be unduly lenient in each year; [115888]

(3) how many requests he received from victims' families relating to unduly lenient sentences in each of the last 10 years. [115889]

The Solicitor-General: Statistics on sentences referred to the Court of Appeal as unduly lenient are published annually on the Attorney-General's Office website at:

http://www.attorneygeneral.gov.uk/ULS/Pages/default.aspx

The figures show that the Attorney-General and I have referred 117 individual sentences from the year 2011. The Court of Appeal found 97 of these sentences to be unduly lenient. The figures for the preceding years are as follows:

 Referred sentences considered by Court of AppealSentences found by the Court of Appeal to be Unduly Lenient

2010

77

65

2009

108

77

2008

71

57

2007

106

86

2006

144

113

2005

108

82

2004

137

108

2003

96

88

2002

139

120

These figures do not include those sentences in respect of which a notice of application was lodged with the Court of Appeal and subsequently withdrawn prior to the sentence being considered by the Court of Appeal.

Information published on the website also shows the offences associated with each Reference to the Court of Appeal for years 2008 to 2011 inclusive, however reliable data for the earlier years could only be obtained at disproportionate cost as it would have to be extracted from individual files.

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Data held by the Attorney-General's Office, but which has not been assured, indicate that in 2011 the Attorney-General and I received requests from the Crown Prosecution Service to consider referring 225 individual sentences to the Court of Appeal as potentially unduly lenient sentences. Equivalent figures for the preceding years are:

 Number

2010

200

2009

223

2008

190

2007

271

2006

247

2005

308

2004

194

2003

238

2002

252

The Attorney-General's Office does not hold the equivalent data for requests received from victims or their families. To provide such information would incur a disproportionate cost as it would have to be extracted from individual files.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Democratic Republic of Congo

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions HM Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo has had with the Government of that country on the conduct of the elections held in December 2011. [116064]

Mr Bellingham: Since the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)'s presidential and parliamentary elections in November last year, the British ambassador in Kinshasa has made it clear to the DRC Government on several occasions that we support the recommendations of the EU election observation mission report, which include restructuring the electoral commission CENI, establishing a constitutional court to address electoral disputes, and auditing and revising the electoral register.

Israel

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs on his proposal to exclude goods made in Israeli settlements from EU markets. [116229]

Alistair Burt: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has not held any discussions with the Irish Foreign Minister on settlement goods.

However, settlement produce is the subject of discussion within the EU. EU Foreign Ministers, at their meeting on 14 May, agreed that:

“the EU and its Member States reaffirm their commitment to fully and effectively implement existing EU legislation and the bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products. The

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Council underlines the importance of the work being carried out together with the Commission in this regard”.

This ongoing work includes measures to ensure that settlement produce does not enter the EU duty-free.

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the European Commission on exclusion of participants based in or operating from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories from regulations for Horizon 2020. [116230]

Alistair Burt: We have not held any discussion with the European Commission on exclusion of participants from regulations for Horizon 2020.

We enjoy a close and productive relationship with Israel. It is this very relationship that allows us to have the frank discussions often necessary between friends. We believe that imposing sanctions on Israel or supporting anti-Israeli boycotts would lessen this influence, not increase it, and would do nothing to promote the peace process.

Israel: Palestinians

Nadhim Zahawi: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Palestinian Authority on the importance of direct peace talks. [116184]

Alistair Burt: We and our EU partners have welcomed the recent efforts by the Palestinian and Israeli leadership to renew direct contacts. We have urged both sides to focus on dialogue, to avoid steps that could undermine the prospects for peace and to work towards the resumption of direct negotiations. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), conveyed this message when he met President Abbas on 6 July.

Michael Ellis: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the number of (a) Qassam rockets, (b) Grad rockets and (c) mortar bombs launched into Israeli territory from Gaza (i) since 1 January 2012 and (ii) in June 2012; and what reports he has received of the number of persons (A) killed, (B) seriously injured and (C) slightly injured in such attacks. [116240]

Alistair Burt: We remain concerned about continued indiscriminate rocket attacks by Palestinian militant groups on Israel, as well as air-strikes and other attacks by the Israeli military on Gaza.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) produce a detailed breakdown of Israeli-Palestinian conflict related casualties every month for the UN OCHA humanitarian monitor report, these can be found at:

http://www.ochaopt.org

The Israeli Defence Forces report that over 400 rockets have been fired from Gaza so far this year. During the recent outbreak of violence in June over 100 rockets were fired into southern Israel, with 10 Israeli civilians injured.

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Middle East

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what delegation the UK plans to send to the Helsinki conference on the Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference on a nuclear-weapons free Middle East in December 2012. [116065]

Alistair Burt: The UK delegation to the conference on achieving a Middle East Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone will be determined once further details have been announced by the conference facilitator. These include the date and other practical arrangements. As co-convener of the conference, the UK is committed to its delivery. We fully support the work of the facilitator Mr Jaako Laajava to bring all parties of the region together to discuss this issue.

Culture, Media and Sport

Atos

Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 14 June 2012, Official Report, column 567W, on Atos, what the total monetary value was of each contract between his Department and Atos in (a) 2009, (b) 2010, (c) 2011 and (d) 2012. [115088]

John Penrose: A breakdown of spend in relation to the information and communication technology service contract and the Mobile Infrastructure project, which started this year, is set out in the following table:

£
 Information and communication technologyMobile Infrastructure project

2009

2,801,923

0

2010

3,232,498

0

2011

2,856,981

0

2012

1,973,434

164,639

Total

10,864,836

164,639

Broadband

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how many local authorities have submitted their local broadband plans; and how many of those submitted have been approved. [116576]

Mr Vaizey: I can confirm that 44 out of 45 local broadband plans have been approved by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt). The local authorities for the outstanding plan, covering Sandwell and Birmingham, are working to submit their plan for approval in July 2012.

Mobile Phones

Andrew Bridgen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what progress has been made by Ofcom on the terms of reference for the Spectrum Auction; and when such an auction will be held. [116575]

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Mr Vaizey: Ofcom are currently considering the responses received as a result of their recent consultation on the auction of spectrum suitable for 4G services, which closed on 22 March, and are expected to make a statement in the summer. Ofcom remain on schedule for the UK auction process to start by the end of 2012. This is compatible with the spectrum becoming available to allow successful bidders to start rolling out 4G services in these bands in 2013.

Departmental Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the lowest hourly rate is paid to staff by his Department; how many members of staff based outside London are paid less than £7.20 per hour; and how many members of staff based in London are paid less than £8.30 per hour. [116372]

John Penrose: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) does not pay its employees at an hourly rate. DCMS's lowest annual salary rate is £19,836 per annum, which equates to more than £8.30 per hour. All DCMS employees are based in London, except for eight individuals based in the regions, working in connection with the Olympic Games. All of these individuals earn over £7.20 per hour.

RTE

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed closure of the London bureau of Raidió Teilifís Éireann. [115931]

Mr Vaizey: No assessment has been made.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what recent meetings he has had with his Irish counterpart on the London bureau of Raidió Teilifís Éireann. [115932]

Mr Vaizey: Neither myself nor the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), have had any meetings with Irish counterparts to discuss this matter.

Subtitling

Anna Soubry: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps he is taking to review the provision of subtitling on all broadcast platforms, including catch-up and on-demand services. [116182]

Mr Vaizey: The Government understand that television subtitles on all broadcasting formats are vital if profoundly deaf and hard of hearing people are to have access to television and online TV services. It is for this reason that the Government are committed to maintaining access to broadcasting services for people with sensory impairments and to help ensure that the subtitling offered is of a consistently high standard.

In May of this year, I hosted an event, together with Intellect and the Royal National Institute for the Blind to celebrate the successes made by the UK TV industry over the last 10 years. During this event, the provision

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of subtitles on all broadcast platforms, including catch-up and on demand services was discussed. The event also looked at the challenges facing the industry, with the advent of Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) or connected televisions regarding subtitles of programmes delivered through online channels, video on demand and catch -up TV channels.

As part of the Communications Review process the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published a paper on the ‘Consumer Perspective’ which, among other things, asks questions about accessibility issues. This will be discussed at the next meeting of the DCMS eAccessibility Forum, and comments on this and other papers can be submitted before 14 September, via the Communications Review website:

http://dcmscommsreview.readandcomment.com/

Tourism

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the budget allocated to VisitBritain for attracting tourist visitors from Japan was in each year since 1997. [116388]

John Penrose: The following table shows VisitBritain total spend on attracting tourist visitors from Japan. Figures include marketing costs and direct infrastructure costs of running the VisitBritain Japan office.

 Net expenditure (£)

2004-05

910,903

2005-06

897,836

2006-07

757,244

2007-08

884,659

2008-09

883,255

2009-10

721,855

2010-11

693,522

2011-12

(1)1,304,369

(1) 2011-12 expenditure includes spend allocated to Japan for the GREAT campaign, Partnerships, Press PR UK, and B2B UK. Note: VisitBritain was established in 2003; data before 2004-05 are not available.

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the expenditure in the retail sector attributable to visitors from Japan in the latest period for which figures are available. [116390]

John Penrose: Neither the Department nor VisitBritain has made an estimate of expenditure in the retail sector attributable to Japanese tourists.

Work Experience

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of interns working in the media sector. [115940]

Mr Vaizey: No estimate has been made.

The graduate internship market is hugely diverse and we welcome the numerous quality opportunities which both public and private employers provide.

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Treasury

Business: Barnsley

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many reports his Department received from small businesses in Barnsley Central constituency required to pay breakage fees from swap protection contracts in each of the last three years. [116445]

Mr Hoban: Treasury Ministers and officials meet and receive representations from, a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the usual policymaking process. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.

EU Grants and Loans

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was allocated to Wales in addition to the block grant under the EU share of Wales Objective 1 and Convergence funding needs in each year since 2000. [116304]

Danny Alexander: European Structural Funds expenditure, including Objective 1 and Convergence funding, scores within departmental expenditure limits but is offset by Structural Fund receipts which score as negative DEL The devolved Administrations plan for expected Structural Funds expenditure and receipts within their DEL which usually nets to zero within the block grant.

Financial Services Authority

Michael Connarty: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the process to replace the Financial Services Authority with successor bodies to be completed. [115982]

Mr Hoban: The Government's intention is for the new regulatory authorities to be in place in early 2013. This is dependent on the Bill receiving Royal Assent at the end of 2012, which will be subject to the parliamentary timetable.

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will carry out an investigation into the cost-effectiveness of the Financial Services Authority. [116487]

Mr Hoban: The Government have no plans to carry out an investigation into the cost-effectiveness of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The FSA's successor bodies, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) will be subject to full audit by the National Audit Office, including value for money studies. In addition the Treasury will have the power to order an independent inquiry into the regulators' economy, efficiency and effectiveness.

Financial Services: Advisory Services

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will assess the implications of the Retail Distribution Review for the level of independent financial advice available to the public. [116489]

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Mr Hoban: The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) is the responsibility of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), an independent body. 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.

Money Advice Service

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will commission an independent study into the cost-effectiveness of the Money Advice Service's allocation of marketing and brand awareness. [116488]

Mr Hoban: The Money Advice Service (MAS) is an independent body, funded by a levy on the financial services industry. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is responsible for approving its business plan and budget. MAS published its business plan and budget for 2012-13 in March 2012. Lord Turner, Chairman of the FSA, has made it clear that the FSA intend to commission an independent review into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of MAS's use of public resources in the first half of next year.

MAS makes an annual report to the FSA in relation to the discharge of its consumer financial education function, including setting out the extent to which the body has met its objectives and priorities for the period covered by the report. The annual report for 2010-11 is available on MAS's website. The service will publish its 2011-12 accounts in July and will report on its marketing spend for 2011-12 in its annual review to be published in August.

Public Sector Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer 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 associated public bodies in (A) 2010-11, (B) 2011-12 and (C) 2012-13. [111027]

Miss Chloe Smith: The figures requested are available as follows:

 2010-112011-12

Median(1)

36,875

36,736

Mean

42,723

42,749

Minimum

15,500

16,063

Maximum

195,063

195,063

(1) The median figures will be published this month in the 2012 Departmental Annual Report and Accounts and are for HM Treasury and its agencies. Figures for 2012-13 are not yet available.

Departmental Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the lowest hourly rate is paid to staff by his Department; how many members of staff based outside London are paid less than £7.20 per hour; and how many members of staff based in London are paid less than £8.30 per hour. [116384]

Miss Chloe Smith:

The lowest rate paid to staff in HM Treasury is £8.81 per hour.

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Regional Pay

Mr Bradshaw:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the potential effect of regional public sector pay on social mobility. [115847]

Danny Alexander [holding answer 10 July 2012]: The independent Pay Review Bodies are currently considering the case for greater local pay flexibility in the wider public sector and will report from July onwards. UK civil service Departments are also considering their approach.

Nothing has yet been decided and the effect on social mobility can only be assessed once formal proposals have been made.

Quantitative Easing

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) on how many occasions he has received notice from the Bank of England that it would support quantitative easing in the latest period for which figures are available; what the value was of the proposed quantative easing on each such occasion; and on how many occasions he supported such an easing; [116033]

(2) if he will make it policy that his Department controls the money that is released through quantitative easing; [116068]

(3) what assessment he has made of the implications for the economy of his Department not controlling the process of quantitative easing. [116069]

Mr Hoban: Quantitative easing (QE), or asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves, is implemented via the Asset Purchase Facility (APF), a subsidiary company of the Bank of England established in January 2009. QE was authorised in March 2009 by the then Chancellor in a published exchange of letters with the Governor of the Bank of England.

Decisions on the scale and speed of QE are those of the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) which has operational responsibility for monetary policy as set out in the Bank of England Act 1998. QE is an additional policy tool to Bank Rate in order to enable the MPC to meet the inflation target in the medium term.

Given that HM Treasury indemnifies the Bank for any losses it makes arising out of the use of the APF, the Chancellor authorises, at the MPC's request, changes in the maximum amount of assets that can be purchased.

The MPC voted for an increase in asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves at the following times, which the then Chancellor authorised in published exchanges of letters with the Governor: March 2009 by £75 billion; May 2009 to a total of £125 billion; August 2009 to a total of £175 billion; and November 2009 to a total of £200 billion.

The Chancellor had made clear that he would follow the arrangements put in place in 2009 for authorising further asset purchases. The MPC has requested, and the Chancellor has authorised, an increase in the ceiling of asset purchases financed by the issuance in central bank reserves in October 2011 to a total of £250 billion; in February 2012 to a total of £325 billion; and in July 2012 to a total of £375 billion.

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As the Chancellor's letters have made clear, monetary policy continues to have a critical role in supporting the economy as the Government delivers on its commitment to fiscal consolidation and it remains the primary tool for responding to changes in the economic outlook.

Tax Evasion

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was lost to the Exchequer as a result of tax evasion in each of the last five years. [116456]

Mr Gauke: HMRC has only produced an illustrative breakdown of the tax gap by behaviour for 2007-08 and 2009-10.

The most recent tax gap estimates were published in September 2011 in ‘Measuring Tax Gaps 2011’, which can be found at the following link:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/measuring-tax-gaps.htm

In ‘Measuring Tax Gaps 2011’ HMRC estimated that evasion accounted for around £4 billion (12%) of the 2009-10 total tax gap.

The HMRC publication ‘Protecting Tax Revenues 2009’:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100330144254/http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/pbr2009/protect-tax-revenue-5450.pdf

estimated that evasion accounted for around £7 billion (17.5%) of the 2007-08 total tax gap.

HMRC will publish the 2010-11 illustrative breakdown of the tax gap by behaviour in ‘Measuring Tax Gaps 2012’ in October 2012.

Tonnage Tax

John McDonnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of the UK's (a) imports and (b) exports were undertaken by vessels in the tonnage tax in each year since 2000-01. [R] [115937]

Miss Chloe Smith: HMRC does not hold the information on imports and exports undertaken by vessels in the tonnage tax regime as requested.

John McDonnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effect on the level of revenue accruing to the Exchequer of the introduction of the tonnage tax scheme in 2000-01. [R] [115938]

Miss Chloe Smith: Tonnage tax was introduced in 2000. The size of the UK fleet has increased significantly since then.

Estimates of the tax liabilities due to tonnage tax for each year from 2000 to 2009 are available at the following link:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201011/ldhansrd/text/111215w0001.htm#11121582000209

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Prices

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what comparative assessment she has made of the use in countries other than Scotland of minimum pricing for alcohol as a means of reducing consumption or tackling problem drinking; [115338]

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(2) what representations she has received from organisations working with problem drinkers or alcoholics on minimum alcohol pricing; [115339]

(3) what estimate she has made of the likely change in the level of revenue to the Exchequer which would result from minimum alcohol pricing; [115340]

(4) what assessment she has made of the potential effect of minimum alcohol pricing on the cider industry; [115371]

(5) what representations she has received from cider makers and apple growers on the potential effects of minimum alcohol pricing on their income; [115372]

(6) what assessment she has made of the potential effect of minimum alcohol pricing on farm sales of cider; [115373]

(7) what assessment she has made of the likely effect on revenues for major retailers of the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing; [115374]

(8) what estimate she has made of the proportion of alcohol sales which would increase in price if a minimum alcohol unit price of 40 pence was implemented; [115375]

(9) what assessment she has made of the change in the level of alcohol consumption in each income group since 2004; [115396]

(10) what assessment she has made of the level of hazardous and binge drinking in each income group; [115397]

(11) what assessment she has made of the effect of a minimum alcohol price of 40 pence per unit on each income group. [115398]

James Brokenshire: In the forthcoming months the Government will produce an Impact Assessment that will consider the impact of minimum unit pricing on a number of key groups; including the impact on the alcohol industry as a whole, impact on the Exchequer, income groups and consumer groups. The Assessment will refer to the most recent available evidence and analysis relating to reducing consumption and tackling harmful drinking. These impacts will be measured against a range of minimum price levels.

The Government will launch a consultation in the forthcoming months on key proposals in the Alcohol Strategy, including the level to be set for a minimum unit price. We will consider representations as part of that consultation.

Alcoholic Drinks: Scotland

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to her Department's consultation on minimum alcohol pricing, what information her Department has gathered on the (a) proportion of alcohol sales and (b) types of drink which have increased in price in Scotland as a result of minimum alcohol pricing. [116027]

James Brokenshire: The Scottish Government have not yet brought their minimum unit pricing legislation into force. To accompany the forthcoming consultation, the UK Government will produce an impact assessment that will consider the impact of minimum unit pricing in England and Wales. The assessment will refer to the most recent available evidence and analysis relating to alcohol sales and the impact on different types of alcoholic drinks.

11 July 2012 : Column 223W

Assets

Stewart Hosie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assets her Department has sold and leased back over the last 12 months; what the sale price was of each asset so sold; and what estimate her Department has made of the cost to the public purse of leasing back each such asset over the period of the lease. [116768]

Damian Green: The Home Office has not sold and leased back any assets over the last 12 months.

Asylum

Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she estimates that all cases referred to the Case Assurance and Audit Unit will be cleared. [115960]

Damian Green [holding answer 9 July 2012]: As the chief executive of the UK Border Agency reported to the Home Affairs Committee on 15 May, we intend to close the controlled archive by December 2012.

Due to the nature of individual live cases, we cannot give a date for when all of these will be cleared. Cases will be worked to the furthest possible point and if barriers remain to final conclusion, a grant of leave or removal, then the cases will continue to be actively monitored until full conclusion is possible.

Child Protection

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the answer of 17 May 2011, Official Report, column 156W, to the hon. Member for Bolton South East, on children: protection and the answer of 19 April 2012, Official Report, column 457W, on children: EU action and pursuant to the answer of 4 July 2012, Official Report, column 653W, to the hon. Member for Slough, on children: EU action, when her Department plans to report on the steps that would be required to ratify and implement the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. [116386]

Lynne Featherstone: As the hon. Member is aware, discussions are taking place across Government to establish a clear picture of current levels of existing compliance. Subject to the successful progression of these discussions, we aim to reach a decision on the steps needed to ratify and implement the convention before the conclusion of this Parliament.

Deportation

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on deportations in each of the last five years. [115513]

Damian Green: The UK Border Agency annual accounts for 2010-11 can be viewed at:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/aboutus/annual-reports-accounts/

A copy has also been placed in the House Library.

11 July 2012 : Column 224W

These accounts include the costs of Public Expense Removals, and also of the various voluntary removal schemes which the Agency operates. The gross costs to the Agency of removals shown in the Agency's accounting records between 2006 and 2011 are detailed in Table 1; these figures include the total programme costs of the voluntary return schemes including re-integration assistance, flights and running costs. The Agency also receives funding from the EU for its removals programme, and the amounts received and expected from this source are shown in Table 2, which will offset some of the gross costs.

EU Funds received for 2009-10 and 2010-11 remain subject to audit and possible amendment.

Annex: Net costs of public expense and voluntary removals schemes

Table 1: Gross removal costs 2005-10
Public Expense Removals (PERs)
 £ million

2006-07

20.2

2007-08

22.3

2008-09

27.0

2009-10

27.5

.2010-11

28.4

Voluntary Removals Schemes
 £ million

2006-07

22.2

2007-08

21.7

2008-09

10.8

2009-10

20.4

.2010-11

17.3

Table 2: EU Funding for Removals 2005-10
 £ million

2006-07

3.2

2007-08

3.2

2008-09

6.3

2009-10

4.1

2010-11

2.7

Note: EU funding for 2009-10 and 2010-11- is subject to EU audit and possible amendment.

Drugs: Crime

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate her Department has made of the number of acquisitive crimes committed that are related to the consumption of illegal drugs. [116451]

James Brokenshire: The most recent Home Office estimate of the proportion of acquisitive crime which was related to the use of class A drugs was published in 2005. This estimated that between one third and a half of acquisitive crime was related to use of class A drugs.

Reference:

Macdonald, Z. et al (2005) ‘Measuring the harm from illegal drugs using the Drug Harm Index’ Home Office Online Report 24/05

http://rds.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfs05/rdsolr2405.pdf

11 July 2012 : Column 225W

Extradition: EU Action

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent the UK participates in EU decision number SCH/Com-ex (96) decl 6 rev 2 on extradition; and what assessment she has made of the effects for the UK of that decision. [115819]

Damian Green [holding answer 9 July 2012]: The Council Framework Decision of 13 June 2002 on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between member states, by virtue of Article 31(e), replaces the extradition provisions (Title 3, Chapter 4) of the Schengen Acquis. The Acquis is the legal basis for this declaration so it is considered that this declaration has been superseded by the EAW FD—which is given effect by parts 1 and 3 of the Extradition Act 2003.

Heathrow Airport: Immigration Controls

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average waiting time was on 29 June 2012 at Terminal 4 Heathrow Airport for passengers holding (a) EU and (b) non-EU passports arriving into the UK. [115797]

Damian Green [holding answer 6 July 2012]: On 29 June at Heathrow Terminal 4, the average waiting time was four minutes for EEA passengers and 32 minutes for non-EEA passengers. This is management information which is provisional and therefore subject to change.

Immigration Controls

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations she has received on her border control policy; and if she will make a statement. [115504]

Damian Green: The Secretary of State for the Home Department, routinely receives representations relating to border control policy and regularly meets officials to discuss policy. Information relating to the type of representations is not held centrally and cannot be obtained without incurring a disproportionate cost.

Licensing Laws

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the use by police of powers to take action against licensees whose premises serve people who are (a) underage and (b) already intoxicated. [115336]

James Brokenshire: In 2010, the Government carried out an extensive public consultation on the Licensing Act 2003, which includes a range of criminal offences. Following this, the Government legislated via the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 to increase the penalties and powers available to the police and local authorities in dealing with the criminal offence of persistently selling alcohol to children. The measures included doubling the maximum fine to £20,000 for persistent under-age sales. In the Alcohol Strategy, published

11 July 2012 : Column 226W

in March this year, the Government announced further work with the police on the offence of knowingly selling alcohol to a person who is drunk.

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the use by local authorities of powers against problem drinking and licensed premises that are the source of drunken disorder. [115337]

James Brokenshire: In 2010, the Government carried out an extensive public consultation on alcohol licensing. Following this analysis, the Government legislated via the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 to rebalance the Licensing Act 2003 in favour of local communities. The Act includes new powers for local authorities and the police to tackle problem premises and alcohol-related disorder. The Government have also set out further steps to tackle problem drinking in the Alcohol Strategy, published in March 2012, and will consult publicly on key new measures shortly.

Missing Persons

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to encourage police, health, local government and other agencies to co-operate and share information on missing person cases. [116194]

Lynne Featherstone: The Government published their Missing Children and Adults strategy in December last year which set out clearly the roles and responsibilities of all agencies in tackling missing persons cases. In particular the strategy outlines the importance of information sharing between all agencies and provides examples of good practice in local information sharing including the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub model.

The strategy invites all local areas to review the arrangements they have in place to ensure they are delivering the best service they can to missing people and, following publication of the strategy, the Home Office is working with local, national and voluntary sector partners to encourage implementation including through the better sharing of information in missing children and adults cases.

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assistance her Department provides to (a) the Missing Person Unit, (b) the Salvation Army and (c) other groups for work helping families who have missing relatives. [116195]

Lynne Featherstone: The Government's Missing Children and Adults strategy recognises the key role of the voluntary sector in providing support to missing children, adults and their families. Delivery of this support is one of the strategy's three key objectives and in addition to the close working between the Home Office and organisations such as the Children's Society and Parents and Abducted Children Together, the Home Office has also provided grant funding directly to the charity Missing People to support the delivery of their 24-hour help line support service (116 000) which missing children, adults and their families can call or text to get access to advice and support.

11 July 2012 : Column 227W

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate she has made of the number of (a) children under 18 and (b) adults who went missing in the UK last year. [116196]

Lynne Featherstone: Missing persons figures are supplied by police forces and collated by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). SOCA records these data on missing persons by financial year.

In the year 2010-11, 327,000 incidents of missing persons were recorded. Individuals may be reported missing more than once, however not all police forces supply this information on repeat missing persons. Therefore, based on the percentage of cases known to relate to repeat missing persons, SOCA estimates that these incidents related to approximately 216,000 individuals.

Not all police forces provide the age of missing persons. Based on data that are collected from police forces SOCA estimates that two-thirds (66%) of missing persons incidents relate to children under the age of 18.

The data for 2011-12 have not been published to date.

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to support the families of missing persons. [116197]

Lynne Featherstone: The Government published their Missing Children and Adults strategy in December last year which set out clearly the roles and responsibilities of all agencies in tackling missing persons cases.

In particular, one of its main objectives is to provide missing people and their families with support and guidance, ensuring they are referred promptly to support services by the police and that families understand how and where to access help and support. The Government are providing direct grant funding support to the charity Missing People to help deliver their 24-hour help line support service (116 000) which missing children, adults and their families can call or text to get access to advice and support.

Schengen Agreement

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to the amendment to Article 40 of the Schengen Agreement implemented by Article 1(i) of EU Council Decision 2003/725/JHA, on how many occasions the UK has conducted cross-border surveillance in another EU member state since 2003; and on how many occasions another EU member state has been authorised to carry out such surveillance in the UK. [115966]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 9 July 2012]: The Serious Organised Crime Agency has collected data on requests for authority to continue surveillance into foreign jurisdictions under article 40 of the Schengen convention since 2008. In that time the UK has made 154 such requests and received five requests from other member states.

The figures do not represent the number of occasions that UK law enforcement actually conducted surveillance on foreign soil because such requests for continued surveillance are often facilitated by the receiving country, eliminating the need for UK law enforcement to travel.

11 July 2012 : Column 228W

Of the five requests the UK has received from other member states, all were conducted by UK authorities rather than the requesting member state.

Sexual Offences: Regulations

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when her Department plans to bring into force the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Notification Requirements) (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. [116568]

James Brokenshire: We expect the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (Notification Requirements) (England and Wales) Regulations 2012 to come into force in summer 2012.

Terrorism: EU Action

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions the Government have (a) issued and (b) received requests for judicial assistance and enforcement of judgements under Article 4 of EU Council Decision 2005/671/JHA in each year since 2006; and how many of such requests have been granted. [114207]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 28 June 2012]:We attach high importance to the exchange of information and co-operation in relation to terrorism offences however we do not record the name of the legal instrument under which such requests are issued and received.

Transport

Blue Badge Scheme

John Woodcock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of blue badge holders who will (a) cease to be automatically eligible for a blue badge and (b) cease to be eligible for assessment for a blue badge, under each of the three options set out in the consultation document. Personal Independence Payment and Eligibility for a Blue Badge. [116822]

Norman Baker: Eligibility for Personal Independence Payments is being assessed on a different basis to Disability Living Allowance. None of the options therefore replicates the existing eligibility criteria for a blue badge as this is not possible.

My Department has indicatively modelled the potential costs and benefits of the three options presented using assumptions sourced from available DfT and DWP data sets. The results of the modelling and the assumptions are presented in the consultation document. However, detailed information on some of the potential impacts is not available. It is not therefore possible to provide precise estimates of the number of existing badge holders who would become ineligible under some options, or those currently ineligible who would become eligible. We have asked in the consultation for disabled people and their representative groups to let us know if they believe they may be affected by particular options.

11 July 2012 : Column 229W

If someone is not eligible for Personal Independence Payment, they would still be able to apply for a badge directly to their local authority under the ‘with further assessment’ criteria. If a person's eligibility is in doubt, the local authority will refer them for an independent mobility assessment.

The Department's preferred option is Option 3 as outlined in the consultation as we would not expect this proposal to significantly affect the overall numbers of people eligible for a badge.

Electric Vehicles

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2012, Official Report, column 841W, on electric vehicles, for what reason her Department moved the commitment to push for the early EU adoption of electric vehicle infrastructure standards from being an action in the main Structural Reform Plan in its May 2011 Business Plan to being an additional departmental action in Annex B of its May 2012 Business Plan; and what progress her Department has made towards securing early EU adoption of electric vehicle infrastructure standards. [116272]

Norman Baker: In line with Cabinet Office guidance the main Structural Reform Plan is now more focussed on the actions we will undertake to implement our major structural reforms. In light of which we have in some cases consolidated some individual actions into higher level actions, in order to retain a manageable number of actions in the main document.

The Office for Low Emissions Vehicles (OLEV) remains an active member of the British Standards Institution (BSI) PEL/069 Committee, which develops and sets UK standards and represents UK interests in EU standards setting bodies. The Government participated, at both ministerial and official level, in CARS21 (Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st Century), a recent Commission-led process which made recommendations for the policy and regulatory framework for the European automotive industry, including on the standardisation of recharging infrastructure. The CARS21 final report can be found at:

http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/automotive/files/cars-21-final-report-2012_en.pdf

The EC intends to adopt a Communication on the recommendations from the CARS21 process, to which both my Department and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will be responding.

Lost Working Days

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average number of working days lost per person was in (a) her Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last three years. [116422]

Norman Baker: The Central Department and its seven executive Agencies recorded the following in respect of average working days lost due to sickness during the financial years 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2011/12:

11 July 2012 : Column 230W

Average Working Days Lost2009/20102010/20112011/2012

DFT C

5.20

4.30

4.50

DSA

12.20

11.10

10.60

DVLA

7.80

7.10

7.50

GCDA

8.20

8.40

8.50

HA

7.30

8.50

9.60

MCA

7.00

5.70

5.20

VCA

4.90

4.30

5.00

VOSA

9.60

8.50

7.70

Average Working Days lost for DftC and the Agencies over all

8.20

7.70

7.90

Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reason her Department moved the commitment to play an active role in the European Commission's review of the long-term targets in new car carbon dioxide reduction regulations from being an action in the main Structural Reform Plan in its May 2011 Business Plan to being an Additional departmental action in Annex B of its May 2012 Business Plan; and what progress her Department has made in playing an active role in the European Commission's review of the long-term targets in new car CO2 regulations. [116212]

Norman Baker: In line with Cabinet Office guidance the main Structural Reform Plan is now more focussed on the actions we will undertake to implement our major structural reforms. The Department remains fully committed to reducing CO2 and chose in the 2012 Business Plan to expand on the previous action by setting a new action, 4.6ii to “develop and promote a UK position on the European Commission's review of long-term targets in new car and van CO2 and the Commission's developing strategy for reducing HGV CO2 emissions” by June 2013. The previous action was therefore moved to an annex in line with guidance.

The Department for Transport leads for the UK in negotiating new car CO2 regulations through the EU, which remains one of the main policy levers for delivering improvements in new car efficiency. We have an active and constructive ongoing engagement with the European Commission and key industry stakeholders and are fully engaged in this review at ministerial and official levels.

Departmental Pay

Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the lowest hourly rate is paid to staff by her Department; how many members of staff based outside London are paid less than £7.20 per hour; and how many members of staff based in London are paid less than £8.30 per hour. [116374]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport consists of a central Department and 7 Executive Agencies - Highways Agency, Driver Standards Agency, Driver Vehicle & Licensing Agency, Maritime & Coastguard Agency, Vehicle & Operator Services Agency, Vehicle Certification Agency and Government Cars and Despatch Agency.

11 July 2012 : Column 231W

In the Department for Transport the lowest hourly rate paid to staff is £6.16; 47 employees based outside of London are paid less than £7.20 per hour and no employees based in London are paid less than £8.30 per hour.

Railways: Safety

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2012, Official Report, column 253W, on railway safety, what role her Department has in setting minimum railway safety standards other than sending officials as observers to Rail Safety and Standards Board committee meetings. [116273]

Mrs Villiers: The practice of sending officials as observers to the Rail Safety and Standards Board committee meetings continues the approach used by the previous administration. In addition, as well as working with stakeholders to ensure that the United Kingdom continues to have one of the safest railways in the world, the Department has provided input to the European Union's harmonised Common Safety Targets (‘CSTs’). These represent the minimum safety levels and safety performance which must be reached by member states.

Roads: Safety

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many local authorities in England operate road safety education activities in schools. [116562]

Mike Penning: The Department for Transport does not collect information about how many local authorities operate road safety education activities in schools in England. Local authorities have statutory duties related to road safety but the decisions about whether they operate road safety education activities in schools in England are for local authorities.

Rolling Stock: Procurement

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date she expects all the rolling stock and infrastructure for Thameslink services to have been delivered; and for what reason the May 2012 update to her Department's Business Plan removed the reference to this being completed by the end of 2018. [116216]

Mrs Villiers: The Department's objective is for all the rolling stock and infrastructure for Thameslink services to be delivered by December 2018.

Ryanair

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will discuss with Ryanair its treatment of passengers with disabilities. [116640]

Mrs Villiers: Ryanair, like all European airlines, is bound by EC Regulation 1107/2006 which confers right of access for disabled passengers when travelling by air.

Treatment of people with a disability by Ryanair is the responsibility for the Irish Civil Aviation Authority as Ryanair is an Irish registered airline.

11 July 2012 : Column 232W

Transport: Infrastructure

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of the (a) road and (b) rail infrastructure projects announced in the 2010 autumn statement were placed on hold between May 2010 and autumn 2011. [116211]

Mrs Villiers: The information requested is as follows:

(a) The document ‘Investment in Highways Transport Schemes’, published alongside the 2010 autumn statement, set out the major roads schemes that will continue to be worked on and those that have been cancelled.

(b) No rail projects were put on hold during the period in question, other than the Intercity Express Programme. The latter programme was only put on hold for the purposes of the Foster review commissioned by the previous Government in February 2010. The then Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), reported the outcome of this review in his statement to the House in March 2011, Official Report, columns 185-87.

Health

Antidepressants

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 26 June 2012, Official Report, column 222W, on antidepressants, what scientific and medical advice he considered on the safety for patients of withdrawing from Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants over several weeks; and which specialists in SSRI withdrawal were recommended by the MHRA in its SSRI learning module. [116105]

Mr Simon Burns: Ongoing concerns about the safety of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in early 2003 prompted a review by an Expert Working Group of the Committee on Safety of Medicines (the predecessor to the Commission on Human Medicines) into suicidal behaviour and withdrawal reactions associated with the SSRIs. This review examined all available evidence including data from clinical trials, published literature, post-marketing studies, reports of patients' experiences and feedback from meetings with patient support groups. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) published key findings and updated advice to healthcare professionals and patients as the review progressed.

The key findings of the Expert Group were widely communicated to healthcare professionals and the public in December 2004, at the same time as publication of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence clinical guidelines on the treatment of depression and anxiety. One of the key findings with respect to the risk of withdrawal reactions was that evidence showed that withdrawal reactions are less severe when the dose is tapered gradually over a period of several weeks according to the patient's needs. The evidence base for the key findings is detailed in the group's comprehensive report, “Report of the CSM Expert Working Group on the Safety of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor Antidepressants”. A copy has already been placed in the Library and is also available on the MHRA website at:

www.mhra.gov.uk

11 July 2012 : Column 233W

Since completion of the review by the Expert Working Group, every effort has been made to issue updated advice as appropriate and communications have been issued to healthcare professionals via the letters to healthcare professionals, the MHRA website and also Drug Safety Update.

This has included the SSRI Learning module available on the MHRA website, which informs health professionals about actions to manage and minimise the most important risks associated with SSRIs. It provides general information on managing SSRI withdrawal, followed by the following advice:

“Severe cases (of withdrawal) may call for specialist advice and possible switch to an SSRI with longer half-life before gradual tapering.”

The target audience for the learning module will know that 'specialist advice' means a psychiatrist or specialist mental health services. The expectation would be that once referred to such services, the patient will be managed appropriately by drawing in the skills of all relevant specialists.

Cancer

Gordon Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to encourage clinical commissioning groups to reduce unnecessary emergency readmissions of cancer patients within 28 days of discharge. [116221]

Paul Burstow: NHS Improvement has been leading a Transforming In-patient Care programme for cancer patients to promote enhanced recovery programmes for elective surgery, the reduction of avoidable emergency admissions, and reducing lengths of stay for those who do need to be admitted as emergencies.

To support improvement across the service, lessons learned from the Transforming In-patient Care Programme will be disseminated to providers and commissioners. Clinical commissioning groups will be under a statutory duty to obtain advice to ensure they are commissioning services to meet the needs of patients and protect their health, and this programme, together with the advice of clinical senates and networks will be a valuable source of expertise.

Dental Services

John Pugh: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were registered in England at NHS dentists in each of the last three years. [116000]

Mr Simon Burns: Information is not available in the format requested.

Under the current dental contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with a national health service dentist to receive NHS care. The closest equivalent measure to ‘registration’ is the number of patients receiving NHS dental services (‘patients seen’) over a 24-month period. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.

The numbers of patients seen by an NHS dentist in the last three years in England are available in the following table.

11 July 2012 : Column 234W

It should be noted that the patients seen measure shows the number of patients who received NHS dental care in the previous 24 months; an equivalent measure covering the 12-month period is not available.

Number of patients seen by an NHS dentist in the previous 24-month period ending 31 March each year in England
 Number of patients

2010

28,362,825

2011

29,112,012

2012

29,582,541

The information is taken from the ‘NHS Dental Statistics for England 2011/12, Third quarterly report’, published on 17 May 2012 by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, and is available online at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dental1112q3

Diabetes

Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the total number was of unplanned hospital admissions involving patients with a form of diabetes in each year since 1997; [116084]

(2) what the total number was of hospital bed days taken up by patients with diabetes in each year since 1997. [116085]

Paul Burstow: The following table identifies the number of finished admission episodes where there was either a primary or a secondary diagnosis of diabetes in England from 1997-98 to 2010-11, for non-elective hospital admissions.

A finished admission episode is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.

 Episodes

1997-98

189,283

1998-99

206,193

1999-2000

225,272

2000-01

237,975

2001-02

255,717

2002-03

287,326

2003-04

319,136

2004-05

359,775

2005-06

401,025

2006-07

429,517

2007-08

461,410

2008-09

513,851

2009-10

570,365

2010-11

615,586

The following table identifies the number of finished consultant episode bed days where there was either a primary or a secondary diagnosis of diabetes in England from 1997-98 to 2010-11.

These data should not be described as a count of people as the same person may have been admitted on more than one occasion and do not account for admissions that had started but not finished within the financial year.

11 July 2012 : Column 235W

 Episodes

1997-98

3,223,707

1998-99

3,389,391

1999-2000

3,608,950

2000-01

3,889,916

2001-02

4,223,874

2002-03

4,831,110

2003-04

5,059,325

2004-05

5,319,268

2005-06

5,577,981

2006-07

5,554,183

2007-08

5,719,773

2008-09

6,095,138

2009-10

6,548,166

2010-11

6,678,441

Drugs: Prisons

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what clinical advice his Department provides on drug treatment in prison for those addicted to heroin; and what National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines exist on such treatment. [116121]

Paul Burstow: In 2006 the Department issued comprehensive guidance on the clinical drug treatment in prisons. In March 2010, this guidance was reiterated and reinforced to ensure that other than in exceptional circumstances, prison opioid substitution treatments (including methadone maintenance) should not exceed six months' duration.

In 2007, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence issued a Technology Appraisal of methadone and buprenorphine for the management of opioid dependence, which found that these treatments were cost-effective and recommended their use to national health service funded organisations, including prisons.

Health Services: Tower Hamlets

Rushanara Ali: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the operation of his Department's new funding formula for health services in Tower Hamlets. [116070]

Mr Simon Burns: On 14 June, the public health finance update document, “Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Update on Public Health Funding”, was published. A copy has already been placed in the Library.

This document sets out the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation's (ACRA) interim recommendations on the public health allocations formula, gives an update on the health premium, and sets out proposed conditions for the ring-fenced public health grant including proposals for local authority reporting on public health spend.

These are interim recommendations. As part of this publication, ACRA identified areas needing further work before making its final recommendations for the formula for making 2013-14 allocations.

The Department is now undertaking a focused engagement process with a full range of stakeholders including public health and local government representatives and the wider national health service community. This

11 July 2012 : Column 236W

feedback will help the work to finalise ACRA's recommendations to support the 2013-14 allocations to local authorities.

Hospital Beds

Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the total number was of patients staying in emergency beds for more than (a) 14 days and (b) 28 days in each year since 1997; [116082]

(2) what the total number was of emergency bed days taken up by patients staying in emergency beds longer than (a) 14 days and (b) 28 days in each year since 1997. [116083]

Mr Simon Burns: The national health service does not categorise beds as emergency and non-emergency beds. NHS Information Centre Hospital Episode Statistics information on the number of emergency admissions with a total length of stay of more than 14 or 28 days, along with the total length of stay for all such admissions, is shown in the following table. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.

Count of discharge episodes(1) and total bed days(2) where there was an emergency admission method(3) and a total length of stay(4) in hospital of (a) more than 14 days and (b) more than 28 days in England from 1997-98 to 2010-11
Activity in English NHS Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector
Length of stay:More than 14 daysMore than 28 days(5)
 Discharge episodesTotal bed daysDischarge episodesTotal bed days

1997-98

540,241

25,653,961

232,379

19,484,769

1998-99

556,056

25,472,015

240,015

19,137,471

1999-2000

556,216

23,952,506

241,201

17,632,440

2000-01

570,342

26,954,807

253,512

20,596,108

2001-02

588,888

26,284,646

266,341

19,798,465

2002-03

598,440

26,368,633

271,961

19,798,801

2003-04

613,344

26,044,563

274,091

19,225,431

2004-05

602,846

25,302,016

265,957

18,532,851

2005-06

578,605

23,952,023

251,844

17,394,544

2006-07

548,300

22,925,967

237,405

16,689,852

2007-08

529,999

20,652,793

226,372

14,559,261

2008-09

550,637

21,468,684

234,510

15,120,476

2009-10

552,643

21,036,016

231,147

14,584,190

2010-11

537,841

20,442,818

221,400

14,103,317

(1) Discharge episode: A discharge episode is the last episode during a hospital stay (a spell), where the patient is discharged from the hospital or transferred to another hospital. (2) Total bed days: This is the sum of the spell duration for all spells that ended within the financial year. It should be noted that bed days are only counted for finished spells during a financial year (including those from spells that started the preceding year). (3) Method of admission (emergencies): This field contains a code which identifies how the patient was admitted to hospital. (4) Length of stay (duration of spell): The difference in days between the admission date and the discharge date (duration of spell), where both dates are given. Length of stay is based on hospital stays and only applies to ordinary admissions not day cases (unless otherwise stated). (5) Length of stay (More than 28 days):The count of discharge episodes and total bed days where there was a length of stay of more than 28 days are included in the count of discharge episodes and total bed days where there was a length of stay of more than 14 days. Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care

11 July 2012 : Column 237W

Hospitals: Admissions

Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total number was of unplanned hospital admissions involving patients over the age of 65 in each year since 1997. [116081]

Mr Simon Burns: The information requested is shown in the following table:

Count of finished admission episodes(1) (FAEs) for patients aged 65 and over where there was an emergency admission method(2) in England from 1997-98 to 2010-11
Activity in English NHS Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector
 Episodes

1997-98

1,406,319

1998-99

1,481,856

1999-2000

1,506,837

2000-01

1,504,752

2001-02

1,519,192

2002-03

1,565,315

2003-04

1,674,083

2004-05

1,749,336

2005-06

1,810,531

2006-07

1,818,011

2007-08

1,844,259

2008-09

1,975,273

2009-10

2,050,451

2010-11

2,109,794

11 July 2012 : Column 238W

(1) Finished admission episodes A finished admission episode (FAE) is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one health care provider. FAEs are counted against the year in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year. (2) Method of admission (emergencies) This field contains a code which identifies how the patient was admitted to hospital. The codes used to identify emergency episodes are: 21 = Emergency: via Accident and Emergency (A&E) services, including the casualty department of the provider 22 = Emergency: via general practitioner (GP) 23 = Emergency: via Bed Bureau, including the Central Bureau 24 = Emergency: via consultant out-patient clinic 28 = Emergency: other means, including patients who arrive via the A&E department of another health care provider Notes: 1. Assessing growth through time Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity (particularly from 2006-07) and changes in NHS practice. For example, apparent reductions in activity may be due to a number of procedures which may now be undertaken in out-patient settings and so no longer include in admitted patient HES data. 2. Data quality HES are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England and from some independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain. Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for health and social care

Lost Working Days

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average number of working days lost was per person in (a) his Department and (b) each of its agencies in each of the last three years. [116099]

Mr Simon Burns: The average numbers of days lost to sickness in each of the last three calendar years in the Department (DH) and its agency, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are shown in the following table.

OrganisationCalendar yearTotal number of (working) absence days due to sicknessAverage working days lost per staff year due to sickness

DH

2009

11,262

4.6

DH

2010

11,810

4.5

DH

2011

9,962

4.1

MHRA

2009

7,297

7.5

MHRA

2010

6,439

6.3

MHRA

2011

5,138

5.2

Malnutrition

Chris Skidmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the total number of patients discharged from hospital with malnutrition was in each year between 1997 and 2010. [116080]

Paul Burstow: The information requested is not collected centrally. However, the following table shows a count of in year discharge episodes(1), where there was a primary or secondary diagnosis(2) of malnutrition(3), from 1997-98 to 2010-11. This indicates that the patient was diagnosed with, and would therefore receive the appropriate treatment, for malnutrition during the last episode of care before their discharge.

 Finished in year discharge episodes

1997-98

1,410

1998-99

1,415

1999-2000

1,540

2000-01

1,381

2001-02

1,517

2002-03

1,719

2003-04

1,818

2004-05

2,006

2005-06

2,265

2006-07

2,883

2007-08

3,008

2008-09

3,633

2009-10

4,412

2010-11

5,558

11 July 2012 : Column 239W

(1) In year discharge episodes A discharge episode is the last episode during a hospital stay (a spell), where the patient is discharged from the hospital or transferred to another hospital. (2) The count of discharges does not represent the number of in-patients; a person may have more than one admission within the year. (3) Primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition The number of episodes where this diagnosis was recorded in any of the 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and 7 prior to 2002-03) primary and secondary diagnosis fields in a Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) record. Each episode is only counted once, even if the diagnosis is recorded in more than one diagnosis field of the record. Notes: 1. ICD10 Clinical Codes The ICD-10 codes for Malnutrition are: E40.X Kwashiorkor E41.X Nutritional marasmus E42.X Marasmic kwashiorkor E43.X Unspecified severe protein-energy malnutrition E44 Protein energy malnutrition of moderate and mild degree E45.X Retarded development following protein energy malnutrition E46 Unspecified protein-energy malnutrition O25 Malnutrition in pregnancy 2. Assessing growth through time HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity (particularly from 2006-07) and changes in NHS practice. For example, apparent reductions in activity may be due to a number of procedures which may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and so no longer include in admitted patient HES data. 3. Additional information Activity in English NHS Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector. Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.