Executives: Pay

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will publish a list of all (a) consultative events and (b) bilateral meetings held by his Department since June 2010 in relation to the Government's review of executive pay; on what dates any such meetings took place; and what organisations were represented at such meetings. [120965]

Jo Swinson [holding answer 14 September 2012]: Between May 2011 and September 2012, the Department held or attended more than 100 bilateral meetings, 25 consultation events and several conferences specifically

8 Nov 2012 : Column 695W

to discuss the Government's review of executive pay. Through these meetings, the Department engaged with over 150 stakeholders, including investors and investor bodies, businesses and business groups, the TUC, lawyers and consultants, and many others. In addition, the Department has considered over 600 responses to the five relevant consultations published since October 2010.

(1)

A list of meetings has been placed in the Libraries of the House. The list does not provide details of all attendees at all meetings as this information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The Department does not hold information on meetings held before May 2011 or on all meetings where, although not on the agenda, executive pay was discussed.

(1) A Long Term Focus for Corporate Britain, October 2010

Executive Remuneration Discussion Paper, September 2011

The Future of Narrative Reporting: A Further Consultation, September 2011

Executive Pay: Consultation on Enhanced Shareholder Voting Rights, March 2012

Directors' Pay: Consultation on Revised Remuneration Reporting Regulations, June 2012

Gangmasters Licensing Authority

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on the trades union membership of the board of the

8 Nov 2012 : Column 696W

Gangmasters Licensing Authority; and if he will make a statement. [127116]

Mr Heath: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Gangmasters (Licensing Authority) Regulations 2005 sets out in schedule 1 the organisations eligible to nominate representatives to the board. This includes trade union organisations as well as representatives of labour users, labour providers, manufacturer, retailers and others. The Red Tape Challenge concluded that an amended structure and smaller board (currently there are 19 members plus nine ex officio members) would assist in providing clear strategic leadership and direction to the authority.

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what the annual (a) real terms and (b) percentage change in the budget of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority was since 2010; [127136]

(2) what plans he has to reduce the budget of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority. [127137]

Mr Heath: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The budget for the Gangmasters Licensing Authority over the spending review period is set out in the following table:

 2010-112011-122012-132013-142014-15

Total (£ million)

4.0

4.2

4.0

4.0

3.9

      

Change

     

(a) Real terms (£ million)

0.1

-0.3

-0.1

-0.2

(b) Nominal (percentage)

5.0

-5.0

0

-3.0

No decisions have been made about budgets beyond the current spending review period.

Groceries Code Adjudicator

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with retailers on the introduction of the Groceries Code Adjudicator. [127296]

Jo Swinson: My predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb), met a wide variety of stakeholders as he developed policy around the Groceries Code Adjudicator. These included retailers, suppliers, trade associations, non-governmental associations and campaign groups.

I met with retailers on 10 October 2012, including representatives from the British Retail Consortium, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda and Morrisons. I met with supplier and campaign groups on 18 October 2012, including representatives from the Groceries Market Action Group, the National Farmers Union, The Food and Drink Federation, Traidcraft and ActionAid.

Higher Education: Admissions

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills for what reason a combination of A level and Pre-U qualifications is not allowed within the ABB+ non-limitation policy for university applications; how many students will be affected by this; and if he will make a statement. [127417]

Mr Willetts: The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) consulted on the suite of qualifications that should be included in estimating the number of places to be freed from student number controls through the high grades policy (ABB+ in 2013/14). As a result, HEFCE included the Cambridge Pre-U qualification on the list of equivalencies with A Level. However, HEFCE concluded that allowing for combinations of different qualifications would add a significant level of complexity and that it would not be feasible to single out the combination of Pre-U and A Level for inclusion without also including other combinations. HEFCE also allocated a number of protected core places to each institution to enable them to make offers to students with combinations of qualifications or with lower grades. HEFCE is confident that there are sufficient places available for institutions to make offers

8 Nov 2012 : Column 697W

to students with A Level and Pre-U in combination and any other qualifications or combinations of qualifications not included on the high grades exemptions list. The awarding body estimates that around 600 students take the Pre-U in combination with A Level.

Regional Growth Fund

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford of 29 October 2012, Official Report, column 115W, on Regional Growth Fund, what categories his Department has used to classify withdrawn bids to the Regional Growth Fund; and for what reason the 30 bids to the Regional Growth Fund were withdrawn. [127558]

Michael Fallon: 30 bidders have withdrawn from Rounds 1 and 2, allowing over £108 million to be recycled back into the RGF (including for Round 3). For a fund of this size these numbers are low; withdrawals also point to the robustness of the process, about which the NAO has been positive.

There are various reasons for withdrawals; for example, withdrawal of support from the parent company; inability to secure match funding; failure to get planning permission; and a change in market conditions. Listing the specific reason for each withdrawal may prejudice the future commercial interests of the company but all bids have been withdrawn because they are not going to deliver the benefits forecast in the bid.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills by what date he expects all successful bids to (a) round one, (b) round two and (c) round three of the Regional Growth Fund to have received their first payment of funds; and what benchmarks and targets his Department has set for this process. [127559]

Michael Fallon: For Rounds 1 and 2 of the Regional Growth Fund, total spend to date is £516 million: this comprises first and subsequent payments according to the schedules set out in final offer letters and firms' own requests; more than 80% of Rounds 1 and 2 projects have started. We expect the majority of remaining contracts for Rounds 1 and 2 bids to be finalised this year and those firms will then be able to make their first payment request according to their own requirements.

In Round 3, last month we announced the 130 bidders selected to proceed to due diligence and contracting; of those, 128 have accepted draft conditional offers. We now have in place a new accelerated timetable and target dates for contracting with a new three-month time limit from announcement to conditional offer letter (19 January 2013) and a further three-month time limit from conditional offer to completion of due diligence and final agreement (19 April 2013). However, we expect that some of the 128 bidders will finalise their contracts before those target dates and thus make their first claims in this financial year.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Southport, of 17 July 2012, Official Report, column 768W, on Regional Growth Fund, what

8 Nov 2012 : Column 698W

the total value of funds that have been drawn down against final offers under round

(a)

one and

(b)

two of the Regional Growth Fund to date. [127562]

Michael Fallon: Under Round 1 of the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), £224 million has been drawn down; £292 million has been drawn down under Round 2. This makes a total of £516 million.

There remain two further quarterly payment dates in this financial year: RGF Rounds 1 and 2 grant recipients making their first claims as they fulfil the conditions in their final grant offer letters will be added to those firms already drawing down grants.

Secondment

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many staff of his Department undertook secondments to business and industry in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13 to date; and in what (i) sectors and (ii) regions each such secondment took place. [124862]

Jo Swinson [holding answer 25 October 2012]: The number of Department for Business, Innovation and Skills staff who undertook secondments to all external organisations in (a) 2011-12 was 22 and in (b) 2011-13 to date is 10.

The sector of industry and the region in which each secondment took place is not centrally held and while the information may possibly be held within the individual business units, collecting it would involve disproportionate cost.

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many people from business and industry undertook a secondment to his Department in (a) 2011-12 and (b) 2012-13 to date; and what (i) sectors and (ii) regions each such secondee came from. [124864]

Jo Swinson [holding answer 25 October 2012]: The number of all secondments into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills from external organisations during (a) 2011-12 was 25 and (b) 2012-13 to date is five.

The sector of industry and the region of origin of each secondee is not recorded centrally and while the information may be held with the individual business units, collecting it would involve disproportionate cost.

Work and Pensions

Community Care Grants: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Community Care Grant applications his Department has received from applicants in Warrington in each year since 2002; and how many grant awards were made in each such year. [127563]

Steve Webb: The following table contains the number of applications and awards of community care grant in the Warrington local authority area for each year from 2009.

8 Nov 2012 : Column 699W

The data for previous years is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

We do not hold data for 2012-13.

Table 1: Applications and awards of community care grants in the Warrington local authority area 2009-12
 Community care grant applicationsCommunity care grant awards

2009-10

2,020

870

2010-11

1,880

880

2011-12

1,740

760

Notes: 1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using official/national statistics but in this case we only have Management Information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as official/national statistics and there are some issues with the data; for example, it does not include applications which were processed clerically and have not yet been entered on to the social fund computer system. 2. Figures are for applications received, not for the number of people who made an application, and for initial awards made, not the number of people who received an initial award. (Some people made more than one application or received more than one initial award.) 3. All figures are rounded to the nearest 10 applications/awards.

Future Jobs Fund

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received assistance through the Future Jobs Fund in Ashfield constituency in (a) 2009, (b) 2010, (c) 2011 and (d) the latest period for which figures are available. [127369]

Mr Hoban: The Future Jobs Fund lasted between October 2009 and March 2011.

Overall there were 170 starts to Future Jobs Fund vacancies in the Ashfield constituency: less than five starts in 2009, 150 starts in 2010 and 20 starts in 2011.

Note that since placements usually lasted for six months, people who started in one year (e.g. 2009) might still be receiving assistance in the next year (e.g. 2010), so the number of starts in 2010 and 2011 will be different to the number of people receiving assistance in 2010 and 2011.

Personal Independence Payment

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance his Department will issue to providers of the Personal Independence Payment assessment process on (a) the provider's role in collecting written evidence relating to the claimant's disability and (b) which claimant should be invited for a face-to-face consultation. [127095]

Esther McVey: We will give providers guidance on carrying out Personal Independence Payment assessments, including on the collection of evidence, carrying out paper-based assessments and inviting claimants to face-to-face consultations.

As part of the Personal Independence Payment assessment we intend to make greater use of appropriate evidence to support claims. Evidence may be sent in with the claim form or requested by the provider where appropriate.

The aim of the face-to-face consultation is for the health professional to gather sufficient factual information about the claimant and the impacts of their health

8 Nov 2012 : Column 700W

condition or disability to enable the health professional to complete a clear, fully reasoned and justified report to a DWP Decision Maker.

While face-to-face consultations will be an important part of the assessment for most individuals, allowing an in-depth look at their circumstances, they .will not be appropriate in every case. For example, we will not be requiring people claiming under the terminal illness provisions to attend face-to-face consultations. Meanwhile, where we already have enough evidence on which to make an assessment, it would be inappropriate to require individuals to attend a consultation. However, these decisions need to be taken on a case-by-case basis, as impairments can affect people in very different ways.

Staff

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on (a) recruitment agency fees, (b) outplacement agency fees for displaced or redundant staff and (c) staff training in each of the last 12 months. [125716]

Mr Hoban: The information requested is as follows:

(a) From October 2011 to September 2012 DWP spent a total of £11,291,521 on recruitment agency fees, which is primarily salaries paid to interim staff.

£
 Spend on recruitment agency fees (interim recruitment)Spend on recruitment agency fees (permanent recruitment)Total

2011

   

October

616,063

7,002

623,065

November

1,104,237

30,479

1,134,716

December

811,121

5,518

816,639

    

2012

   

January

847,421

5,000

852,421

February

555,509

14,584

570,093

March

857,763

7,933

865,696

April

477,568

65,145

542,713

May

589,136

3,000

592,136

June

561,858

12,000

575,858

July

1,268,210

12,028

1,280,238

August(1)

1,789,605

1,789,605

September(1)

1,649,958

383

1,650,341

Total

11,128,449

163,072

11,291,521

(1) Includes Child Maintenance Group expenditure, who joined DWP in August 2012.

The figures relate to the number of Contingent Labour workers in DWP, of which there were 143 in September 2012.

These workers are engaged where we do not have available skilled resource in-house, mainly in specialist roles such as Project Management and IT, for example there are about 65 currently engaged on universal credit.

The above figures are published on the DWP website under ‘staff numbers and associated costs’ at the following link:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/publications/corporate-publications/workforce-management.shtml

8 Nov 2012 : Column 701W

All external recruitment is authorised only in exceptional circumstances and is subject to Chief Executive Officer and Permanent Secretary approval. All exceptions made to the freeze are reported to Ministers on a monthly basis.

(b) From October 2011 to September 2012 DWP spent a total of £78,720 on outplacement fees for displaced or redundant staff.

 Spend on outplacement agency fees for displaced or redundant staff (£)

2011

 

October

11,940

November

18,000

December

  

2012

 

January

2,160

February

March

33,300

April

May

13,320

June

July

August

September

Total

78,720

(c) From October 2011 to September 2012 DWP spent a total of £6,644,705 on staff training. For clarity, this does not include any travel and subsistence or salary costs of the DWP employees attending the training.

 Spend on staff training (£)

2011

 

October

700,031

November

516,625

December

486,574

  

2012

 

January

357,913

February

478,189

March

1,452,946

April

821,553

May

271,332

June

268,890

July

259,924

August

445,356

September

585,372

Total

6,644,705

Universal Credit

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to provide an exceptions process to allow those most at risk under universal credit to be paid in a different manner. [127460]

Mr Hoban: For a minority of claimants alternative payment arrangements known as payment exceptions may be required; this might include paying rent directly to the landlord, making payments more than once a month, or splitting the payment within the household.

8 Nov 2012 : Column 702W

These exceptional payment arrangements would be time-limited and implemented in conjunction with the appropriate budgeting support / financial product to ensure claimants successfully transition to universal credit monthly budgeting.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what work his Department is undertaking to support families with their budgeting skills in anticipation of the introduction of universal credit. [127461]

Mr Hoban: One of the aims of universal credit is to enable and support people to manage their affairs and become more self-sufficient. Supporting the development of effective budgeting skills is an important part of that and we are examining a range of options to support claimants, including working with the advice sector and a range of banking and financial product providers.

In particular we have undertaken work to explore the feasibility of making financial products with budgeting functionalities available to universal credit claimants. These accounts would support claimants to manage their money through inbuilt budgeting features such as the ability to split UC into different sub-accounts for specific expenditure items such as rent, utilities etc. to support and develop good monthly budgeting behaviours.

Support for budgeting skills more generally is included in the work we are progressing as part of broader claimant support arrangements. It will also be assessed as part of the Direct Payment Demonstration Projects and is included in the scope of many of the LA-led pilots announced last month.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what work his Department has undertaken to generate innovative approaches to ensure that local support is in place to support the introduction of universal credit. [127462]

Mr Hoban: We are in talks with local authorities, social housing providers and charities about how localised claimant support will operate under UC. This includes discussions about how people will access advice and information during transition and migration to UC and in the future. Details for how localised claimant support will operate will be made available in the new year.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the likely average time it will take under universal credit for a payment to be made following the submission of a fresh claim. [127463]

Mr Hoban: The universal credit assessment period will be for a month from the date of claim, and the claimant will be paid within seven days of the end of the assessment period.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who will qualify for payment of universal credit under the proposed exceptions process. [127464]

8 Nov 2012 : Column 703W

Mr Hoban: The number of claimants who will qualify for a payment exceptions under universal credit will depend on the detailed rules. These rules are currently under development and the Direct Payment Demonstration projects set up in June 2012 are helping to inform the development of the criteria, in particular for determining when it would be appropriate to make a payment direct to a landlord. The learning from the project is therefore informing the development of the detailed process and this will be finalised in summer 2013.

Vacancies

Mike Freer: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's vacancy rate was in 2011-12; and what vacancy rate has been assumed for 2012-13. [125717]

Mr Hoban: The Department has a reducing headcount profile and a freeze on recruitment has been in place in the Department since May 2010. The replacement of leavers is authorised only in exceptional circumstances and is subject to chief executive officer and permanent secretary approval. All exceptions made to the freeze are reported to Ministers on a monthly basis.

The Department does not record a staff vacancy rate. Staff turnover rate is used as a key measure in work force planning.

The turnover rate is used to monitor the pace at which staff leave as a proportion of the total number of staff in the Department. Turnover is expressed as an annual percentage rate.

In September 2012 the annual departmental turnover rate for permanent staff was 4.1%. This rate excludes all staff on fixed term contracts. Our current planning assumption is that it will fall from its current rate to 3.5% during 2012/13.

Work Programme

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what procedures he has put in place to monitor the outcomes for individuals given early access to the Work programme as a result of having been identified as potentially affected by the household benefit cap; and if he will make a statement. [127419]

Mr Hoban: No new procedures for monitoring outcomes of individuals given early access to the Work programme as a result of being identified as potentially affected by the benefit cap have been put in place.

Appropriate claimant outcomes are already monitored through the Work programme.

Working Conditions

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will adopt the Protection of Workers Bill as Government legislation in order to increase its chances of being enacted. [127250]

Mr Hoban: The Government are committed to protecting workers and reducing violent crime. We believe the law already provides adequate provision for taking action

8 Nov 2012 : Column 704W

against perpetrators of violent assault against people while they are at work. We do not therefore see a need for additional legislation as proposed by this Bill.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of assaults on public-facing workers by members of the public. [127251]

Mr Hoban: The Government already support a number of initiatives to reduce violent crime. There is also a wide range of advice and guidance for employers in relation to tackling the risks of assault to their workers from public organisations and industry and trade union bodies.

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of existing legislation in deterring assaults on public-facing workers. [127252]

Mr Hoban: DWP is not responsible for specific legislation in relation to criminal assault and so has not conducted any assessment of its effectiveness.

Defence

Armed Forces: Sexual Offences

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will detail how many people serving in the (a) Royal Navy, (b) RAF and (c) Army have a conviction from civil courts for offences of (i) rape and (ii) sexual assaults; and if he will make a statement; [122510]

(2) how many cases of (a) rape and (b) sexual assault were reported to the civilian police by members of the armed forces in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [122511]

Mr Francois: The service police are not aware of any serving armed forces personnel that have been convicted of rape in a civil court. There are, as of 17 October 2012, two armed forces personnel serving in the Army who have been found guilty of sexual assault in a civilian court and who are subject to Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangements (MAPPA). Records are not held centrally of any convictions where MAPPA does not apply.

Police primacy for serious sexual offences committed in the UK usually rests with the civilian police. Civil police forces are under no obligation to inform the Ministry of Defence of crimes reported to them by members of the armed forces. Therefore we are unable to provide this information.

Army: Germany

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much has been spent on the refurbishment of bases to facilitate the return to the UK of troops currently stationed in Germany; [126210]

(2) what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse in (a) 2012-13 and (b) each subsequent financial year of the return to the UK of troops currently stationed in Germany; [126211]

8 Nov 2012 : Column 705W

(3) what the present timetable is for the return to the UK of troops currently stationed in Germany. [126212]

Mr Francois [holding answer 1 November 2012]: The Ministry of Defence is meeting its time scales to withdraw troops from Germany by 2020. The detailed work to optimise the military footprint and associated costs, is being developed. An announcement will be made in due course.

Corporate Gifts and Hospitality

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which officials in his Department have received gifts or hospitality from employees or representatives of the defence industry valued at over (a) £100, (b) £250, (c) £500 and (d) £1,000 in each of the last three years. [125989]

Mr Francois [holding answer 31 October 2012]: The Ministry of Defence's rules on the acceptance of gifts and hospitality state that every Head of Division or Commanding Officer must maintain a hospitality log in which to record contact with persons, firms or organisations holding or seeking to obtain Government contracts. All offers of gifts, complimentary vouchers, other incentives and hospitality made to Crown servants whether accepted or declined must be recorded in the log. Senior management are responsible for undertaking regular reviews of the hospitality log, but the information is not collated centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Defence Infrastructure Organisation

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in what areas he proposes that the Defence Infrastructure Organisation will find savings. [126801]

Mr Francois [holding answer 5 November 2012]: The formation of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has brought together property and infrastructure functions from across Defence, which will for the first time provide a strategic and integrated view across the estate.

The major costs of the DIO are manpower and contract costs associated with hard and soft facilities management, utilities and accommodation. It is anticipated that the formation of the DIO will eliminate duplication, deliver economies of scale and allow the Department to focus investment in the estate, resulting in savings in both manpower and contract costs.

Libya

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the functionality and performance of the Combined

8 Nov 2012 : Column 706W

Forces Air Component Command and the Combined Air Operations Centre was during Operation Ellamy; and if he will make a statement. [126764]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 5 November 2012]: The Combined Forces Air Component Command (CFACC) exercises the command function over the air component during an operation. During the majority of Operation Ellamy the CFACC was based in the existing NATO Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) at Poggio, Italy, co-ordinating all NATO air operations during the campaign. Additional personnel from across the contributing countries were accordingly posted to this centre during Ellamy.

During the NATO-led Libyan campaign, the Alliance proved it can deliver a robust and credible response to new security challenges in line with the 2010 Strategic Concept. The NATO Command Structure responded promptly to manage the Libya operation and the Alliance proved to be reliable, capable and very successful at combining its members and partners into an effective force; the UK played a critical role in this success.

Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the response times were of the Air Tasking Order cycle during Operation Ellamy; and if he will make a statement. [126765]

Mr Robathan [holding answer 5 November 2012]: During Operation Ellamy last year, the NATO Combined Air Operations Centre in Italy employed an air tasking order with a 72 hour overall cycle. This allowed comprehensive planning of deliberate targets and supporting air activities. However, the NATO process also allowed for the generation of targets on a much shorter timeframe as required. The planning cycle also ensured that, where required, consecutive coalition fast jet sorties could respond dynamically to any emerging threats to the Libyan civilian population.

Military Police

Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what awareness and investigation training has been provided to members of the Royal Military Police in relation to rape and sexual assault cases in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [125789]

Mr Francois: Royal Military Police (RMP) personnel undertake awareness and investigation training throughout their military careers, which includes training in relation to rape and sexual assault. The following table shows the number of personnel who have attended and been provided with the appropriate training in each of the last five years.

Course2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

Initial Military Police Training Course. Undertaken by personnel at the start of their career.

115

125

138

155

167

Volume Crime Investigation Course. Undertaken by those who have served for three to four years in the RMP.

58

112

106

109

112

Serious Crime Investigation Course. All who serve in the Special Investigation Branch SIB must attend and pass before serving in SIB.

22

16

29

31

31

Military Police Officers Course. All officers attend when first commissioned into the RMP.

29

25

16

20

19

8 Nov 2012 : Column 707W

8 Nov 2012 : Column 708W

Crime Scene Investigators Course. Covers sexual offences from a forensic perspective.

21

20

21

26

24

Total

245

298

310

341

353

These various courses cover training at different levels for rape and sexual assault cases and include Sexual Offences Act legislation, investigative techniques, forensic awareness, how to deal with witnesses, preservation of evidence, how to deal with a suspected sexual offence, anonymity of victims and signposting victims to assisting agencies. The courses also have contributions from external subject matter experts.

In addition to the specific military police training, 250 personnel have also completed Home Office accredited training specific to dealing with offences of a sexual nature. A further 90 service police personnel, the majority of whom were Royal Military Police personnel, have completed forensic awareness of sexual offences training.

NATO

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in implementing a customer-funded approach to the NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency budget; and if he will make a statement. [127566]

Mr Robathan: The NATO Communication and Information Systems Services Agency (NCSA) was subsumed into the new NATO Communication and Information Agency (NCIA), which was established on 1 July 2012. Elements of the NCIA programme are already customer-funded, and we expect all business to be financed in this way from 2014.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in implementing the new NATO Command Structure; and if he will make a statement. [127567]

Mr Robathan: The new NATO Command Structure (NCS) was agreed in principle at the Lisbon summit in 2010, since when the new geographic footprint and allocation of senior level posts amongst the allies has been agreed. The United Kingdom has retained the post of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) and is filling the post of Commander of the Maritime HQ at Northwood. The allocation of the remaining posts should be agreed in December 2012. Initial operating capability for the NCS is planned for December 2013 with full operating capability to follow no later than December 2015.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) achieved and (b) planned savings for the NATO Agencies Reform Programme are. [127568]

Mr Robathan: The new NATO agencies structure has only been in place since 1 July 2012 so it is too early to make a realistic assessment of savings achieved. The agencies have been directed to deliver an initial saving of 20% on their running and personnel costs while maintaining capability and service delivery.

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on the NATO Agencies Reform Programme; and if he will make a statement. [127569]

Mr Robathan: The reform of NATO's agencies is a key element of the wider programme of transforming the North Atlantic Alliance for the 21st Century. Under plans agreed by Heads of State and Government at the Lisbon summit in 2010 the Alliance has transitioned to a new structure that comprises three core agencies covering communications and information, support, and procurement, all of which were formally established on 1 July 2012. Additionally, an Office of Shared Services has been set up to take forward the provision of shared services across the three agencies and NATO HQ, thus achieving savings through collective procurement and rationalisation.

Reserve Forces

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what proportion of the additional reservists the armed forces plan to recruit will have military experience. [125259]

Mr Francois [holding answer 29 October 2012]: As we build our reserve forces it will be important to capture the skills of those leaving the regular forces, to grow the size of the reserve forces and to benefit from their resilience and experience.

All three services are working to make it as quick and easy as possible for individuals leaving the regular forces to join the reserves. This includes simplifying administrative processes, examining the use of incentives and ensuring coherent communications so that individuals leaving or who have left the regular forces are aware of the opportunities that exist in the reserves should they choose to enlist.

Veterans

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many former military personnel have been provided with grace and favour homes in the last 10 years; what the cost to the public purse was of providing each such home; and which Department funded them. [126800]

Mr Francois [holding answer 5 November 2012]: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 29 October 2012, Official Report, column 32W, to the hon. Member for North Durham (Mr Jones).

Northern Ireland

Prison Service: Protection

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will review the home protection scheme for prison officers. [127513]

8 Nov 2012 : Column 709W

Mike Penning: We keep these schemes under constant review. The home protection scheme is in place to provide protective security measures to those in certain occupations who are assessed by the Security Service to be under substantial or severe threat. Prison officers fall within that range of occupations and will continue to be actively considered.

Energy and Climate Change

Catering

Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much his Department has spent on refreshments since May 2010. [127105]

Gregory Barker: From May 2010 to the end of September 2012, the Department of Energy and Climate Change has spent £414,000 on refreshments for official meetings and engagements held with our stakeholders both here and overseas.

Electricity Generation: Scotland

Mike Crockart: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the total output of electricity in Scotland was from (a) coal, (b) gas and (c) nuclear generation from 1 January to 30 June 2012. [127730]

Mr Hayes: The table shows the generation of electricity (GWh) by fuel type in Scotland in 2010:

Fuel typeScotlandUK totalScotland as a percentage of the UK total

Coal

14,715

107,694

14

Oil

1,213

4,860

25

Gas

8,381

175,003

5

Nuclear

16,381

70,323

23

Thermal Renewables

299

5,358

6

Hydro Natural Flow

3,266

3,603

91

Hydro Pumped Storage

1,830

5,416

34

Non-thermal renewables

3,825

8,872

43

Total

49,908

381,129

13

Source: Table 2, special feature article titled “Electricity generation and supply figures for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England”, Energy Trends December 2011 http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/stats/publications/energy-trends/3917-trends-dec-2011.pdf

Generation statistics have been provided to answer this question because statistics on the supply of electricity are not available at this level of detail ie only available as a UK total.

Statistics on the generation of electricity at this level of detail are not yet available for 2011 or 2012. These will become available in an annual article “Electricity generation and supply figures for Scotland, Wales. Northern Ireland and England”, which is published in the quarterly edition of Energy Trends. The 2011 statistics will be

8 Nov 2012 : Column 710W

published in the December 2012 edition at 09:30 on Thursday 20 December 2012. The 2012 statistics will not be available until December 2013. These statistics can be accessed via the DECC website when published:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/statistics/publications/trends/trends.aspx

Energy

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his contribution of 24 October 2012, Official Report, column 943, on energy market reform, by what date he expects (a) Ofgem to complete its retail market review and (b) Ofgem's proposals to be implemented. [127495]

Mr Hayes: Ofgem published detailed proposals for reform of the retail energy market on 26 October. The consultation is due to end on 21 December. Following this consultation Ofgem is under a statutory duty to consult on the detailed licence changes necessary to implement the proposals. Ofgem have proposed that all measures should be in place by winter 2013.

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to his contribution of 24 October 2012, Official Report, column 940, on energy market reform, how many consumers switched gas or electricity supplier in quarter 2 of 2012. [127499]

Mr Hayes: In quarter 2 of 2012, there were a total of 791,000 switches of electricity supplier, and 570,000 switches of gas supplier in Great Britain. This data is published in table 2.7.1 of DECC's Quarterly Energy Prices Publication. The source data is provided by Ofgem, and is based on meter-point data.

These numbers refer to the total number of switches, rather than the number of consumers who have switched (ie they may include some customers who have switched more than once). They also do not include switches to a different tariff with the same supplier.

Energy: Meters

Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the effect of the roll-out of smart meters on people diagnosed with electromagnetic hypersensitivity; and whether he plans to make the installation of smart meters voluntary for such people. [127713]

Mr Hayes: The Health Protection Agency (HPA) provides advice to the Government and others on the health implications of radiofrequency electromagnetic magnetic fields (radio waves) from smart meters, as it does for a range of technologies commonly found in homes and businesses across the UK. The HPA has advised that the evidence to date suggests exposures to radio waves produced by smart meters do not pose a risk to health.

Some people report real and unpleasant symptoms that they attribute to exposure radio waves. This topic has been rigorously investigated in recent years through research programmes funded by the Government and by academic bodies.

8 Nov 2012 : Column 711W

In April 2012 the HPA's independent Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR) published a comprehensive report on the health effects from radio waves. In relation to the evidence for sensitivity to radio waves in particular, AGNIR concluded there is accumulating evidence that radio wave exposures below guideline levels do not cause symptoms and cannot be detected by people, even those who consider themselves sensitive to radio waves. This conclusion does not belittle the importance of the symptoms that people experience, but it does suggest causes other than those directly related to radio waves should be considered.

We recognise that there will be some consumers who will continue to have concerns about receiving a smart meter, including people with concerns about electro-sensitivity. As the programme develops, we will be considering further, together with the energy companies who will be responsible for the rollout, how best to respond to these individual concerns.

Although smart meters will be rolled out as standard by 2019, there is no legal requirement for individuals to have one.

Insulation

Meg Munn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the recommendation contained in the Committee on Climate Change Annual Report and Accounts 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012, HC245, published in July 2012 on the need for a substantial increase in loft, cavity and solid wall insulation. [126790]

Gregory Barker: The Government strongly agree with the committee on the importance of effective insulation as a means of saving carbon. The new Green Deal and ECO will between them provide a mechanism to drive the delivery of loft, cavity and solid wall insulation, and we have recently announced details of a £45 million cash-back incentive scheme to encourage early uptake of these (and other) measures. There will be a particular focus through ECO on solid wall insulation and on "hard to treat" cavities—measures which have been delivered at a much lower rate in the past.

Macquarie Group

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many times staff of his Department have met representatives of the Macquarie Group in the latest period for which figures are available. [127379]

Gregory Barker: The Department does not routinely hold records of all meetings between its staff and stakeholder groups. On the basis of a search of records held across the Department, staff met with representatives of the Macquarie Group on four occasions in the last 12 months.

Nuclear Power: Emergencies

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how his Department's new National Strategic Framework has assisted the UK's capacity to plan for and respond to nuclear emergencies. [127128]

8 Nov 2012 : Column 712W

Mr Hayes: The National Strategic Framework is ensuring effective co-ordination in delivering continuous improvement of the UK's nuclear emergency preparedness arrangements, bringing national, local and devolved government, industry and the emergency services together in support of the recommendations in Dr Mike Weightman's post-Fukushima report.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent progress has been made on the new UK-France framework on nuclear emergency planning; and if he will make a statement. [127129]

Mr Hayes: The bilateral nuclear planning and response framework was a deliverable of the energy communiqué agreed at the February 2012 UK-France summit There is currently a draft framework in place and both sides are working together to finalise the details. This framework will result in strengthened support and co-ordination between the UK and France in the event of a nuclear emergency in either country. Both Governments are working closely together to finalise and implement the framework over the coming year.

The framework forms part of the UK's contribution to improving international co-ordination as part of the learning from Fukushima, and supports the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Action Plan for Safety which was agreed by members after the Fukushima accident. Both countries are IAEA members of the IAEA's Response and Assistance Network (RANET).

Details on the outcomes from the UK-France summit in February can be found at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_012/pnl2_012.aspx

Renewable Energy

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with Ministers in the devolved Administrations on the contribution from each region of the UK to meeting renewable energy objectives. [126631]

Mr Hayes [holding answer 5 November 2012]:I have had no recent discussions with Ministers from the devolved Administrations. However, there are regular meetings at official level to co-ordinate efforts across the UK. The progress being made in the devolved Administrations will be an important feature in the update to the UK's Renewables Roadmap, which we expect to publish shortly.

Sickness Absence

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for how many and what proportion of days, on average, staff of his Department at each pay grade were absent from work as a result of ill health in each of the last five years. [127181]

Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) was created in October 2008. Therefore there is no data available prior to that date.

DECC collects and records data on its staff who are absent from work due to ill health on a regular basis. The data for the last four years, which shows the average working days lost per person, are shown in the following table:

8 Nov 2012 : Column 713W

8 Nov 2012 : Column 714W

 6 month period ending March 200912 month period ending March 201012 month period ending March 201112 month period ending March 2012
 Total number of days lostAverage working days lost (AWDL)Total number of days lostAverage working days lost (AWDL)Total number of days lostAverage working days lost (AWDL)Total number of days lostAverage working days lost (AWDL)

AA

1

0

14

5.4

0

0

0

0

AO

502

6.4

481

6.5

561

7.3

575

7.4

EO

507

6.4

699

7.1

816

7.2

958

7.5

HEO

553

3.6

1,056

4.9

939

3.2

1,215

3.8

SEO

218

2.6

504

5

608

4.5

604

3.6

Grade 7

348

2

614

3

928

2.8

887

2.3

Grade 6

208

2.5

273

3.4

353

2.4

327

1.8

SCS

33

0.8

26

0.4

56

0.6

218

2.4

Total number of days lost

2,370

3,667

4,261

4,784

Average working days lost

4.1

3.6

3.6—

3

Tidal Power: River Severn

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the implications of the Strategic Environmental Topic Reports on his Department's website for the conclusions of the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study. [127363]

Mr Hayes: Assessments were made of all the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) topic reports produced at the end of the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study in October 2010. These were used to inform the final report and Government conclusions on the study. The SEA investigation was conducted under five broad themes to cover all environmental aspect of the Severn: Air and Climate Factors and Resources and Waste, Biodiversity, the Historic Environment and Landscape and Seascape, Physicochemical and Society and Economy.

The summary conclusion from these reports was that the scale and impact of a Severn scheme would be very significant in an environmentally designated area. There was also significant uncertainty on how the regulatory framework would apply.

The Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study conclusions and summary report can be viewed at:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/meeting_energy/wave_tidal/severn_tidal_power/severn_tidalpower.aspx

Wind Power

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the likely level of subsidy for (a) onshore and (b) offshore wind energy production in (i) 2012, (ii) 2015, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2025 and (v) 2030. [R] [124723]

Mr Hayes: Support for onshore wind under the Renewables Obligation (RO) in 2011-12 (based on ROCs issued) is estimated to be approximately £450 million. RO support for offshore wind in 2011-12 is estimated to be approximately £340 million.

In the Impact Assessment supporting the Government response, to the RO Banding Review, total RO support costs in 2015-16 were projected to be £2.8 billion (in 2011-12 prices). The level of support for onshore and offshore wind will depend on future levels of deployment of these and other eligible technologies. In 2011-12, onshore wind accounted for approximately 30% of RO support costs (based on ROCs issued), while offshore wind accounted for approximately 25%.

As part of the Electricity Market Reform, the Government will be setting Contracts for Difference (CfD) strike prices for onshore and offshore wind from 2014-15 to 2018-19 in the EMR delivery plan, to be published by Government, in 2013, subject to Royal Assent on the Energy Bill.

The Department has not made an estimate of likely renewable energy subsidies in 2025 or 2030.

Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the likely amount of energy produced which will be by (a) onshore and (b) offshore wind energy in (i) 2012, (ii) 2015, (iii) 2020, (iv) 2025 and (v) 2030. [R] [124724]

Mr Hayes: The impact assessment accompanying the Government response to the renewables obligation banding review, published in the summer, estimates annual generation over the period 2013/17. It divides this into capacity built before 31 March 2012 and new build during the banding review period supported through the renewables obligation. This information can be found on DECCs website and is copied in the following table for onshore and offshore wind:

http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/consultation/ro-banding/5945-renewables-obligation-government-response-impact-a.pdf

Modelled annual generation (GWh per year)
 Generation from capacity built by 31 March 2012Generation from net new build under the RO during the 2013-17 banding review period:

Onshore wind(1)

17,100

6,400

Offshore wind

(2)11,000

(3)1,600

8 Nov 2012 : Column 715W

8 Nov 2012 : Column 716W

Total(4)

55,000

32,000

(1) Onshore wind (>5MW) includes onshore wind <5MW in Northern Ireland. (2) For offshore wind this is generation from capacity built by 2013/14 as the band is already set for 2013/14. (3) For offshore wind this only includes generation from capacity build in 2014/15 and 2015/16. (4) Note ‘large-scale’ renewables are-defined as all UK renewable electricity except for <5MW AD, PV, hydro and wind in Great Britain. Other includes large scale PV. Bands for large scale PV will be subject to further consultation in the near future. Large scale PV costs and deployment are indicative at this stage. Source: Modelling by Pöyry consultants; results rounded to two significant figures.

The UK Renewable Energy Roadmap(1) published in October 2011 presents a central range of renewable generation that could make up the mix to meeting the UK’s 2020 renewable target of 24-32 TWh of onshore wind in 2020 and 33-58 TWh of offshore wind in 2020.

The Department has not made an estimate of likely renewable generation post 2020.

(1)http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/meeting-energy-demand/renewable-energy/2167-uk-renewable-energy-roadmap.pdf

Written Questions

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many written parliamentary questions to his Department received a substantive answer (a) within five working days, (b) between six and 10 working days and (c) after more than 10 working days in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [127265]

Gregory Barker: The information is as follows:

Written parliamentary questions answered by DECC between 1 November 2011 and 31 October 2012
 NumberPercentage

Received a substantive answer within five working days

1,551

89

Received a substantive answer between five and 10 days

180

10

Received a substantive answer over 10 days

8

1

Total

1,739

The Government have committed to providing the Procedure Committee with information relating to written parliamentary question performance on a sessional basis and will provide full information to the committee at the end of the current session. Statistics relating to performance for the 2010-12 parliamentary session are available on the Parliament website as follows:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/procedure/P35_Memorandum_Leader_of_the_House_ Monitoring_PQs.pdf

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many and what proportion of written parliamentary questions to his Department received holding responses in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [127266]

Gregory Barker: Only named day written parliamentary questions receive holding replies if the answer is overdue. Of the named day questions answered from 1 November 2011 until 31 October 2012:

597 (87%) were answered on the day;

87 (13%) were answered late and received a holding reply.

The Government have committed to providing the Procedure Committee with information relating to written parliamentary question performance on a sessional basis and will provide full information to the committee at the end of the current session. Statistics relating to performance for the 2010-12 parliamentary session are available on the Parliament website as follows:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/procedure/P35_Memorandum_Leader_of_the_House_ Monitoring_PQs.pdf

Home Department

Alternatives to Prison

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Government expects to bring forward legislative proposals for the community remedy. [127367]

Mr Jeremy Browne: We will legislate on the community remedy at the earliest opportunity.

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the duration is of the community trigger pilot programmes; [127370]

(2) when the results of the community trigger pilot programmes will be published. [127371]

Mr Jeremy Browne: The community trigger pilots started on 1 June in Manchester, West Lindsey and Boston, and Brighton and Hove. A pilot began in Richmond upon Thames on 17 August. The pilots will run during the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Government's antisocial behaviour reforms, and the pilot areas will be able to provide evidence based on their experiences.

We will be assessing the pilots before introducing legislation.

Antisocial Behaviour

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what options, including restorative and punitive sanctions, she is considering making available to victims of antisocial behaviour. [127368]

Mr Jeremy Browne: Under the proposed Community Remedy, it would be for police and crime commissioners to agree a menu of sanctions that reflected the views of victims and the public locally. That menu could then be used in dealing with low-level crime and antisocial behaviour out of court, with victims choosing the sanction they felt most appropriate.

8 Nov 2012 : Column 717W

Better protecting victims is the focus of the Government's antisocial behaviour reforms, including the Community Trigger which will give people the power to require local agencies to deal with persistent problems where they have failed to do so.

Asylum

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the constituent of the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish, Mr Neville Malcolm, HO ref M1033831, will have his legacy case from 2001 decided by the Case Assurance and Audit Unit of the UK Border Agency. [127358]

Mr Harper: I will reply to the hon. Member separately providing details about this case.

Extradition

Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the oral statement of 16 October 2012, Official Report, columns 164-6, on extradition, when she expects to bring forward legislative proposals to give effect to the Government's proposed reforms to extradition which require primary legislation. [127570]

Mr Harper: Further to the statement of 16 October 2012, Official Report, columns 164-66, by the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), the Government intend to bring this legislation before the House as soon as parliamentary time allows, once a suitable legislative vehicle has been identified.

Illegal Immigrants

Simon Kirby: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many illegal immigrants were detained in (a) the UK and (b) in Brighton, Kemptown constituency in each of the last three years. [126961]

Mr Harper: The Home Office releases statistics on detention, solely under Immigration Act powers on a quarterly basis, within Immigration Statistics which are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Science, Research and Statistics website at:

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

The published detention statistics for the past three years report that in the United Kingdom 28,001 individuals were detained in 2009, 25,904 in 2010 and 27,089 in 2011. These figures exclude immigration offenders held in police cells, prison establishments and short-term holding facilities and those held under dual detention powers (criminal/immigration). It is not possible to identify from the statistics which constituency they were resident in prior to their detention and to do so would require the examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

There are no immigration detention facilities within the Brighton, Kemptown constituency.

8 Nov 2012 : Column 718W

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate she has made of the number of illegal immigrants in the UK. [127161]

Mr Harper [holding answer 7 November 2012]:The clandestine nature of irregular migration and the lack of a common definition mean that it is difficult to produce estimates of the illegal migrant population in the UK.

In the last decade there have been two estimates of the illegal migrant population in the UK, giving central estimates of 430,000 (range 310,000 to 570,000) in 2001 (Woodbridge, J. “Sizing the Unauthorised (Illegal) Migrant Population in the United Kingdom in 2001.” Online Report 29/05, Home Office, London, 2005) and 618,000 (range 417,000 to 863,000) in 2007 (Gordon I., K. Scanlon, T. Travers, and C. Whitehead. “Economic Impact on London and the UK of an Earned Regularisation of Irregular Migrants in the UK.” GLA Economics, Greater London Authority, London, 2009.).

The 2012 European Migration Network report 'Practical Measures for Reducing Irregular Migration' (Toms and Thorpe, 2012)

http://emn.intrasoft-intl.com/Downloads/download.do; jsessionid =BB91F016906F64A5AD8BD0C1D8BA1586?fileID=2909

sets out the current UK evidence on the illegal migrant population.

Members: Correspondence

Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will arrange for the hon. Member for Walsall North to receive a reply to her letter of 1 October 2012 to the UK Border Agency regarding a constituent, CTS ref M15205/12. [126558]

Mr Harper [holding answer 5 November 2012]: The deputy chief executive of the UK Border Agency, David Wood, replied to the hon. Member on 1 November.

Veterans

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign and Commonwealth veterans who served in the Army, Navy or RAF in the last 10 years are facing deportation; and for what reasons. [127416]

Mr Harper: Service and work histories of people facing removal from the UK are held only at the level of co-ordinated paper case files or within the notes section of the UK Border Agency's Case Information Database (CID). This information is not aggregated in national reporting systems, which would mean that this question could be answered only through a disproportionately expensive manual case search to collate the data.

Prime Minister

Macquarie Group

Simon Hughes: To ask the Prime Minister how many times (a) he and (b) his staff met representatives of the Macquarie Group in the latest period for which figures are available. [127377]

8 Nov 2012 : Column 719W

The Prime Minister: Details of my meetings with external organisations are published on a quarterly basis. Details can be accessed on the Cabinet Office website.

Cabinet Office

Catering

Ms Abbott: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how much his Department has spent on refreshments for 10 Downing street since May 2010; [127113]

(2) how much his Department has spent on refreshments for the Deputy Prime Minister's office since May 2010. [127115]

Mr Maude: The Prime Minister's Office and the Deputy Prime Minister's Office are integral parts of the Cabinet Office.

The information requested is not held centrally. However all expenditure on refreshments is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on the principles set out in "Managing Public Money" and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

Civil Servants: Scotland

Margaret Curran: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2012, Official Report, column 368W, on civil servants: Scotland, for which Government (a) Department and (b) agency in Scotland each of the civil servants works; and what the office location is of each. [127412]

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated November 2012:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking, pursuant to the Answer of 1 November 2012, Official Report, column 368W, on civil servants: Scotland, for which Government (a) department and (b) agency in Scotland each of the civil servants works; and what the office location is of each. (127412)

Estimates of regional Civil Service employment are published annually by the Office for National Statistics, with a survey reference date of 31 March. The table provides details of Civil Service employment for posts in Scotland; by department, agency and location as at 31 March 2012. Due to the size of the tables, they will be stored in the House of Commons library.

Government Departments: ICT

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent progress he has made on promoting open standards in government; and if he will make a statement. [127211]

Mr Hurd [holding answer 7 November 2012]: On 1 November, the Cabinet Office published the Open Standards Principles for software interoperability, data and document formats. Government bodies must comply with these principles in all IT procurements and projects, unless an exemption has been agreed. A copy of the Open Standards Principles has been placed in the Library of the House.

We are also making progress on implementing open standards. The Government Digital Service has launched GOV.UK—a simpler, clearer, faster and common platform

8 Nov 2012 : Column 720W

for Government's digital services, based on open standards. Another site, legislation.gov.uk—the online home of legislation—was designed around open standards and has allowed The National Archives to develop an entirely new operating model for revising legislation.

Open standards will bring about a positive change to the way Government buys its IT and delivers services for citizens and businesses. Our Open Standards Principles will drive savings and innovation for both citizens and the Government.

Government Procurement Card

Robert Neill: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which (a) local authorities and (b) other local public bodies hold Government Procurement Cards. [127571]

Miss Chloe Smith: Government Procurement Service manages the framework agreement for Government Procurement Cards (GPC). A list of local authorities and other local public bodies which hold GPCs will be placed in the Library of the House.

Meetings: Media

Ian Lavery: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office which proprietors, editors and senior executives of (a) newspapers and (b) other media organisations he has met since 1 July 2012. [127459]

Mr Maude: Under this Government's transparency agenda we publish such information on departmental websites. An update covering the period in question will be published in due course.

Procurement

Michael Connarty: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what his policy is on how Government Departments should market test the services delivered by their executive agencies to ensure value for money. [126923]

Mr Letwin: Market testing is a crucial part of commissioning out services. This is why extensive pre-market engagement is a crucial part of our procurement processes. Indeed it is the way we are delivering all but the most complex procurements in under 120 days through the new LEAN sourcing processes.

More detail on LEAN sourcing can be found on

http://gps.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/about-government-procurement-service/lean-capability/lean-sourcing

Public Services

Michael Connarty: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what assessment he has made of progress in delivering the objectives outlined in his Open Services White Paper; [126920]

(2) with reference to the undertaking in the Open Public Services White Paper, which Departments have published progress reports setting out the steps that have been taken to open public services since April 2012. [126921]

8 Nov 2012 : Column 721W

Mr Letwin: The Government published Open Public Services 2012 in April this year covering all relevant Departments. It is the most recent update on progress and can be found on:

http://www.openpublicservices.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/

Treasury

Balance of Trade

Mr Cash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate how much of the UK's deficit on trade in goods in 2011 was accounted for by the public procurement trade in goods deficit, defined as the difference between UK public sector imports of goods from the rest of the EU and other EU member states' public sector imports of goods from the UK. [127444]

Sajid Javid: HM Revenue and Customs are responsible for the collection and publication of data on UK imports and exports. The trade statistics branch releases this information monthly as a National Statistic called the Overseas Trade Statistics. Their dedicated website is:

www.uktradeinfo.com

From the collected trade data however, it is not possible to answer this question.

Business: Loans

Mr Hollobone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to ensure that retail banks in which UK Financial Investments Ltd have a controlling stake lend to small- and medium-sized business in (a) Kettering, (b) Northamptonshire and (c) England. [127465]

Sajid Javid: As an engaged shareholder, UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI) works closely with the banks' management to assure itself of the banks' approach to strategy and to hold management rigorously to account for performance. However, UKFI's role is to manage the investment, not to manage the banks; the banks retains their own independent board and management team for strategic and operational decision-making. Within this overarching shareholder framework, management decisions are for the banks without interference from shareholders, including UKFI.

The Government recognise that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are fundamental to the economic recovery. This is why the Government are taking action to help small businesses access the finance they need in order to grow.

On 13 July 2012, the Government and Bank of England launched the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS). The FLS will create strong incentives for banks to increase lending to UK households and businesses by lowering interest rates and increasing access to credit. As a result of the scheme, we have already seen a number of participating banks launch new and discounted SME loan products. As part of the scheme, the Bank of England will publish quarterly data for each group participating in the FLS including the amount borrowed from the Bank, the net quarterly flows of lending to UK households and businesses, and the stock of loans as at 30 June 2012.

8 Nov 2012 : Column 722W

Correspondence

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his Department's target for the timeliness with which correspondence to Ministers from members of the public is answered; and what assessment he has made of the his Department's performance against that target. [127407]

Sajid Javid: The Treasury's target for answering correspondence from members of the public is 15 working days. In 2012 to date, the Treasury has replied to 75% of correspondence from members of the public within 15 working days.

Excise Duties: Beer

Mr David Hamilton: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the amount of beer duty raised from (a) on-trade sales and (b) off-trade sales in each of the last 15 years for which figures are available. [126970]

Sajid Javid: The information is not available from HMRC given that data on revenue from beer duty is not broken down to the level required to identify the amount of beer duty raised from (a) on-trade sales and (b) off-trade sales. It is possible to identify the proportion of beer sales split between on-trade and off-trade from the 2011 British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) statistical handbook. This cites that in 2010 beer consumption was split: 51% cent on-trade and 49% off-trade.

Ford Motor Company: Turkey

Mr Denham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the effect on the UK balance of trade of the move of the production of Ford Transit vehicles to Turkey in each of the next five years. [127445]

Sajid Javid: It is not possible to identify the effect on the UK balance of trade of the move of the production of Ford Transit vehicles to Turkey in each of the next five years.

Individual Savings Accounts

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what revenue his Department has forgone as a result of (a) cash ISAs and (b) stocks and shares ISAs in each of the last five years; [127188]

(2) what information his Department holds on the total holdings of (a) cash ISAs and (b) stocks and shares ISAs in each of the last five years. [127189]

Sajid Javid: The following table provides the latest available information on the tax cost of ISAs (including former Personal Equity Plans). No distinction is made in the published estimates between the cash and stocks and shares tax cost.

 £ billion

2007-08

2.5

2008-09

2.2

2009-10

1.6

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2010-11

1.9

2011-12

2.1

Information on the total holdings of ISAs (which had reached £391 billion at the end of 2011-12) can be found on the HMRC website in Tables 9.6 and 9.6a at the following address:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/isas.htm

Individual Savings Accounts: Tax Allowances

Mr Byrne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to the Exchequer of tax relief on income from individual savings accounts in each year since 2000; and what estimate he has made of the likely costs in each of the next three years. [127468]

Sajid Javid: The following table provides the tax cost of individual savings accounts by financial year since 2000-01, including the most recent year for which published estimates are available. For consistency, estimates for 2000-01 to 2007-08 include the tax cost of personal equity plans which were absorbed into individual savings accounts from 2008-09.

 £ billion

2000-01

1.3

2001-02

1.4

2002-03

1.4

2003-04

1.6

2004-05

1.6

2005-06

1.8

2006-07

2.1

2007-08

2.5

2008-09

2.2

2009-10

1.6

2010-11

1.9

2011-12

2.1

Pensions: Tax Allowances

Mr Byrne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to the Exchequer of pension tax relief in each year since 2000; and what estimate he has made of the likely costs in each of the next three years. [127469]

Sajid Javid: Available estimates of the cost of pensions tax relief, covering the period 2001-02 to 2010-11, can be found in Table PEN6 on the HMRC website at the following address:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/pension-stats/pen6.xls

Estimates for the next three years are not available.

Press: Subscriptions

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which magazine, journal and newspaper subscriptions held by his Department have been cancelled since May 2010. [127083]

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Sajid Javid: We do not hold records of subscriptions that have been cancelled in HMT since May 2010. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost and would probably be only a partial answer in any case as subscriptions were spread around different business areas and cost centres.

Tax Avoidance

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what processes are followed by (a) his Department and (b) HM Revenue and Customs when information is received from a member of the public in relation to a tax avoidance scheme; [127396]

(2) what assessment he has made of his Department's procedures for processing and investigating allegations of tax avoidance. [127408]

Mr Gauke: When HM Revenue and Customs receives information about tax avoidance, it will assess that information, carrying out further research where necessary. If the information relates to a new scheme, HMRC will assess the risk to the Exchequer in order (i) to advise Ministers with a view to the announcement of legislation, where appropriate, and/or (ii) to develop a strategy for an operational response.

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many visits HM Revenue and Customs staff made to investigate and verify employers' tax status in the latest period for which figures are available; [127409]

(2) how many staff of HM Revenue and Customs are available to investigate and verify employers' claims to be based offshore; [127410]

(3) how many staff of HM Revenue and Customs are available to investigate allegations of tax avoidance. [127411]

Mr Gauke: This Government are determined to tackle tax evasion of all kinds and ensure that the tax system operates fairly and efficiently for all. As part of the 2010 spending review settlement we announced that over £900 million would be made available to HMRC to step up their activity in tackling tax loss. This includes putting extra resource into tackling both avoidance and evasion, including off shore tax evasion. This reinvestment is funding a range of measures which will enable HMRC to bring in around £7 billion each year by 2014-15 in additional revenues.

The information requested is not available in this format. HM Revenue and Customs compliance activity—from policy making, through support and education, to audits and investigations—covers all aspects of compliance behaviour from error through to organised criminal attack. HMRC targets its compliance activity based on risk rather than by direct reference to the legal entity. Therefore, this information could be collated only at disproportionate cost.

Within HMRC compliance work is primarily carried out by staff in the Enforcement and Compliance (E&C) line of business. HMRC take a risk based approach to compliance activity and so a breakdown of the number of E&C officers available to investigate and verify employer's tax status or allegations of tax avoidance is available only at a disproportionate cost.

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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: South West

Jack Lopresti: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress he has made on reducing red tape for the farming industry in the South West. [127130]

Mr Heath: The independent Farming Regulation Task Force reported to Government in May 2011 and recommended over 200 ways of reducing regulatory burdens on farmers and food processors. The Government published their full response to the task force on 21 February this year:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/farm-manage/farm-regulation/

The Government's response consisted of 137 separate commitments to take action to reduce regulatory burdens on farmers. We have established an implementation group chaired by Richard Macdonald to oversee progress in meeting our commitments.

Good progress is being made to meet priority commitments which include reducing the burden of on-farm inspections and paperwork, and working in closer partnership with representatives of the farming industry to develop and implement policies.

Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency conducts supervised loadings of live animals onto lorries. [126912]

Mr Heath: Supervised loadings are carried out by AHVLA inspectors at the point of loading of the vehicle in accordance with the instructions and inspection checklist within the AHVLA Operations Manual.

The checks undertaken by AHVLA include consignment details, transporter/driver details, journey details and a separate checklist of 33 questions on the suitability of the vehicle and the welfare of the animals being transported. Any non-compliances will be recorded and the necessary action taken by AHVLA inspectors.

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency control posts are monitored and regulated. [126913]

Mr Heath: AHVLA do not operate any Control Posts. However, Council Regulation EC 1255/97 establishes the criteria for approving Control Posts as well as setting out the inspection regime necessary to enable the continued approval of these facilities. AHVLA inspectors approve new Control Posts and are responsible for the twice yearly unannounced inspections of all existing Control Posts to ascertain that the requirements for approval continue to be fulfilled.

8 Nov 2012 : Column 726W

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the cost of supervised loadings are borne by the haulier. [126914]

Mr Heath: AHVLA undertakes supervised loadings in accordance with Council Regulation 1/2005, which only provides for costs to be recovered, where breaches of the Regulation are identified and the authority is required to take action to safeguard the welfare of the animals.

Laura Sandys: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratory Agency undertakes checks on vehicles' air ventilation and watering systems to ensure that they are functioning before live animals are transported to overseas markets. [126918]

Mr Heath: Under normal circumstances, AHVLA undertakes risk based checks on a proportion of vehicles used to transport live animals at various stages of a journey. These checks include ensuring that the ventilation and watering systems, where required are fully functioning. In exceptional circumstances, for example where a new or revised export operation is being established, AHVLA will increase the percentage of checks to 100%, until they are satisfied that the risks involved merit a more normal risk-based percentage of inspections.