Biofuels

Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent assessment his Department has made of the level of imported ethanol from the US being supplied under the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO); and what action his Department is taking to ensure that the RTFO supports the UK biofuels industry; [133990]

(2) if his Department will consult on the effect that the joint obligation for the use of both biodiesel and ethanol under the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation is having on the supply of imported ethanol. [133991]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport administers the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (RTFO) and produces statistics on the supply of biofuel and biogas in the UK by country of origin and feedstock, and reports performance. Data are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport/series/biofuels-statistics

For data reported under the RTFO from December 2011 to April 2012, 69% of bioethanol reported was sourced from US corn oil. For the first quarter of 2012-13 (14 April to 15 July 2012) this figure was 76%. However, this latest data only covers biofuels for which Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs) have

17 Dec 2012 : Column 543W

been issued. Suppliers do not need to apply for RTFCs until the end of each year. The data may not therefore be fully representative of actual supply.

The RTFO scheme is designed to reduce carbon emissions and promote the supply of sustainable biofuels. The RTFO operates as a market-based instrument which gives suppliers the flexibility to meet their obligation at least cost. It is our primary mechanism for implementing the transport elements, of the EU Renewable Energy Directive. The Directive does not provide for differential levels of support for domestic supply. All ethanol produced from US corn oil supplied under the RTFO since December 2011 has had to meet mandatory sustainability criteria in order to. benefit from incentives under that scheme, supported by independent verification.

The Department for Transport has committed to a review of the double certificate scheme and support provided under the RTFO in 2013.

In carrying out the review we will continue to take into account the views of suppliers reporting under the RTFO, including views on whether there should be a split or joint obligation.

Bus Services: Private Sector

Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what share of the deregulated bus market was operated by private transport companies with operations in more than one country in each year since 1986-87. [133937]

Norman Baker: I regret that this information is not held by the Department for Transport.

Consultants

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many full-time equivalent staff were employed on consultancy contracts in his Department on the latest date for which figures are available; how many such staff were employed on the same date 12 months ago; and if he will make a statement. [132215]

Norman Baker: The Department does not employ staff on consultancy contracts. However, the Department does engage staff via "contingent labour" contracts. The latest figures can be found at the following website:

http://data.gov.uk/dataset/dft-workforce-management-information

Crossrail Line

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will investigate reports that blacklists (a) were and (b) are being used by contractors completing construction work on public contracts relating to the delivery of Crossrail. [133680]

Stephen Hammond: Crossrail Ltd is responsible for the delivery of the Crossrail project and the management of its contractors.

Crossrail Ltd is not aware of, and has seen no evidence of, blacklisting of any kind in connection with the Crossrail project.

17 Dec 2012 : Column 544W

Crossrail Ltd requires all companies working on the project to comply with the law, which includes compliance with the Employment Relations Act 1999 (Blacklists) Regulations 2010. The Department understands that Crossrail Ltd is seeking written assurances from its contractors that they are aware of and complying with these obligations.

High Speed 2 Railway Line

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the construction and operation of High Speed 2 on the short-term and long-term operation of the Hangar Lane Gyratory. [133823]

Mr Simon Burns: HS2 Ltd's initial assessment of the effect on traffic and transport near the proposed route will be published as part of the Draft Environmental Statement in spring 2013.

HS2 Ltd is working hard to ensure that the alignment of the railway through the Hanger Lane area does not result in a significant loss in road capacity. This work includes data provided by Transport for London as well as HS2 Ltd's own traffic assessments.

HS2 Ltd is also working in partnership with Transport for London to explore the possibility of making improvements to the junction once the works required for HS2 are complete.

Israel

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the content is of the agreement between the Government and the Government of Israel regarding the authority of Israeli security agents on UK soil. [133807]

Mr Simon Burns: The Department for Transport has made no such agreement, nor are we aware of any such agreement.

Public Transport: Crime

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what categories of crime have (a) increased and (b) decreased on (i) railways and (ii) buses in each year since 2005. [134151]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport does not routinely hold rail crime information, as the British Transport Police (BTP) is the national police force for the railways. BTP statistics show that crime on Britain's railways fell by 9.1% over the last year. This was the eighth consecutive year of falling crime on the network. Crime on the railways over the past five years fell by over 30%.

Information relating to bus crime is not held by the Department for Transport.

Railways: Norwich

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions trains between Norwich and London Liverpool Street were more than (a) 15 minutes, (b) 30 minutes and (c) one hour late in arriving at their final destination in (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012 to date. [133993]

17 Dec 2012 : Column 545W

Norman Baker: The Department does not hold the information requested. However, Network Rail publishes performance data on its website.

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average age of rolling stock used on the Norwich to London railway line was during (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012 to date. [133994]

Mr Simon Burns: A variety of train types, of differing ages, use the Norwich to London line. The average age of train operator's entire fleets is available from the Office of Rail Regulation's website, here:

http://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/displayreport/report/html/53dcc4e1-3223-48f9-9e9c-10d51359cdd7

However, this is not broken down by route.

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) on how many occasions trains or rolling stock used on the Norwich to London railway line failed routine safety inspections in each of the last three years; [134008]

(2) how many instances have been identified of employees (a) operating vehicles and (b) managing infrastructure on the Norwich to London railway line without the appropriate safety certificate or authorisation during each of the last three years. [134009]

Mr Simon Burns: This information is not held by the Department for Transport and is a matter for the individual train operator and the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). I suggest my hon. Friend contacts the Chief Executive Office of the ORR at the following address for further information:

Chief Executive

Office of Rail Regulation

One Kemble Street

London

WC2B 4AN

Railways: Tees Valley

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with (a) Northern Rail and (b) Network Rail about improving infrastructure and rolling stock on the Tees Valley Line. [133978]

Mr Simon Burns: Ministers have had no recent discussions with Northern Rail or Network Rail about improving infrastructure or rolling stock on the Tees Valley line. However, departmental officials are in regular contact with the Tees Valley Metro promoters to help them achieve their objectives.

Roads: Accidents

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic collisions were responded to by police in (a) the Suffolk police force area and (b) England in (i) 2009, (ii) 2010, (iii) 2011 and (iv) 2012 to date; and how many such collisions involved a fatality. [133659]

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Stephen Hammond: The Department only collects information relating to personal injury accidents, and therefore does not include in its statistics damage-only accidents, or cases where a police officer attended an accident but did not report it.

In each of the last three years, the number of reported personal injury accidents and the number of those accidents involving a fatality, where a police officer attended the scene and obtained report details, in (a) the Suffolk police force area, and (b) England, were as follows:

Reported number of personal injury accidents in the Suffolk police force area, and England, where a police officer attended the scene and obtained report details, 2009-11
  Number of Accidents
  200920102011

Suffolk

Fatal

37

19

28

 

Total

1,640

1,523

1,598

     

England

Fatal

1,715

1,431

1,491

 

Total

115,531

110,033

108,895

In-year totals for 2012 have only been published at Great Britain level. The latest published figures cover the period to June 2012 and are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras45-quarterly-statistics

Figures for geographic areas within Great Britain for the year 2012 are due for publication in June 2013.

Roads: East of England

Mr Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding his Department has allocated for road safety improvements in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk in each of the last three years. [133747]

Stephen Hammond: The Department does not make separate allocations for road safety improvements but such improvements can be funded via the Integrated Transport Block capital allocation. Over the last three years, the capital allocation for these specific authorities is as follows:

All figures £ million
 2010-112011-122012-13

Suffolk

5.061

4.508

4.122

Central Bedfordshire

1.995

1.464

1.339

Cambridgeshire

6.104

.4.439

4.059

Essex

10.445

9.150

8.366

Hertfordshire

8.755

6.804

6.221

Norfolk

8.224

5.824

5.324


In addition, authorities are able to use revenue funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government's formula grant for road safety measures.

Severn River Crossing

Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have

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had with the Welsh Government on the management of the Severn river crossings once they pass into Government ownership. [132635]

Stephen Hammond: As yet, there have been no ministerial discussions with the Welsh Government on the management of the Severn crossings after the end of the current concession agreement.

Officials meet regularly with colleagues in the Welsh Government and have discussed the future of the crossings.

Shipping: Exhaust Emissions

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the effect on the level of the shipping industry's compliance with the sulphur provisions of the revised Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships—MARPOL—of (a) Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans and (b) an energy efficiency design index for ships; and if he will make a statement; [134033]

(2) whether guidance on Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans has been issued by (a) his Department, (b) the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and (c) other Government Departments; [134034]

(3) what recent assessment he has made of the effect the sulphur provisions of the revised Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships will have on shipping freight movements from the UK to Europe; [134035]

(4) if he will take steps to ensure that UK compliance with the sulphur provisions of the revised Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships does not (a) increase road freight journeys and (b) reduce freight movements by sea; [134036]

(5) when he expects the amended EU Directive 1999/32/EC on the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels and reducing sulphur emissions from maritime transport to be transposed into UK law. [134037]

Stephen Hammond: The aim of Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans and the Energy Efficiency Design Index is to improve energy efficiency of ships and thereby reduce the amount of CO2 they emit. Improving the energy efficiency of a ship will normally result in lower fuel consumption, which will have the effect of proportionately reducing all gaseous emissions, including sulphur oxides. However, this would not achieve compliance with the sulphur limits in the revised Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention, or with the new EU directive 2012/33/EU. To comply with the International Maritime Organisation and EU sulphur limits, shipowners would either have to use a compliant fuel oil, install suitable abatement technology (e.g. an exhaust gas cleaning system) or switch to a low-sulphur alternative fuel (e.g. liquefied natural gas).

The Department for Transport's Maritime and Coastguard Agency has produced guidance on Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plans, and I expect it to be published in the week commencing 17 December as a supplement to the existing international guidance produced by the IMO. No other UK Government Department has published guidance on these plans.

17 Dec 2012 : Column 548W

The Government are aware of concerns, including concerns about increased road freight journeys and reduced freight movements by sea, which have been raised by some elements of industry. On 22 October, I hosted a round table discussion with a range of industry stakeholders to consider cost-effective and technical solutions which could be used to meet the new requirements. At that meeting, I explicitly invited the shipping, freight logistics and ports industries to provide evidence to the Department to support claims about negative impacts, either in aggregate or concentrating on specific routes. Following on from this meeting, I am pleased to say that elements of the shipping industry have commissioned a study to consider the economic and social impact of the new requirements. In parallel, the Government are looking at ways of helping the industries to meet the new regulatory requirements.

The Government will also publish a draft impact assessment as part of the transposition of the new directive next year. The deadline for transposing the directive into domestic legislation is 18 June 2014.

Transport for London

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 11 December 2012, Official Report, column 195W, on Transport for London, what payments for (a) capital and (b) revenue funding have been made to Transport for London under the Bus Service Operators Grant in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13; what such payments will be made in (A) 2013-14 and (B) 2014-15; for what purpose such payments are made; and if he will make a statement. [134073]

Norman Baker: Bus Service Operators Grant is currently paid direct to bus operators and as such no payments were made to Transport for London under the Bus Service Operators Grant in (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13.

At present bus service operators in London have both a contractual relationship with Transport for London and claim Bus Service Operators Grant from the Department for Transport. From October 2013, Bus Service Operators Grant will be devolved to Transport for London for services tendered by Transport for London. The exact sum to be transferred to Transport for London has yet to be determined.

Transport: Floods

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department has spent on repairing flood damaged (a) roads and (b) railways in the last 12 months. [133742]

Norman Baker: The Department for Transport does not have a specific fund to deal with flood damage on the local road network. In October 2010 and as part of the Spending Review the Government rationalised the number of individual grants to local authorities allowing greater flexibility in how funding is spent. This enables them to better respond to local needs and incidents such as the recent flooding events that have been encountered.

Over the four year period from 2011, the Government is allocating £3 billion to local highway authorities for highways maintenance. In addition we also announced

17 Dec 2012 : Column 549W

in March 2011 a further £200 million to deal with damage to the highway network caused by the severe winter weather that was encountered at the end of 2010.

The Autumn Statement on 5 December 2012 also announced that the provision of a further £333 million over the next two financial years to 2015 for essential highways maintenance on both the strategic and local highway network. Details of final allocations to local highway authorities will be announced shortly.

The Department has not provided any additional funding to the Highways Agency specifically for damage caused by flooding to the strategic road network for which they are responsible.

In addition, the Department has not provided any funding specifically for repairing flood damaged railways over the last 12 months. Any funding to repair damage is entirely a matter for Network Rail.

West Coast Railway Line: Franchises

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps were taken to ensure the compliance of the new management contract with Virgin for the Intercity West Coast Mainline with EU procurement requirements. [134112]

Mr Simon Burns: The Secretary of State carried out his duties and obligations within the Railways Act 1993 and within domestic and European procurement law. The UK Government do not normally comment on their dealings with the European Commission or other European institutions. Any such discussions or dealings, whenever they do take place, are confidential.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council: National Lottery

Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much Lottery funding has been (a) received and (b) spent by the Arts Council in the last two years. [133808]

Mr Vaizey: The information is as follows:

(a) Arts Council England (ACE) received net lottery income of £152 million in 2010-11 and £182 million in 2011-12 (after transfers to the Olympics are taken into account).

(b) ACE drew down £123 million of lottery money in 2010-11 and £115 million in 2011-12.

Lottery money is not subject to annuality rules, so income does not have to be spent in the year that it is received.

Clothing

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff of her Department are employed in fashion and textile policy areas. [134013]

Mr Vaizey: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) deploys staff flexibly across a range of projects and priorities. Currently, seven full-time members

17 Dec 2012 : Column 550W

of staff are deployed on projects in the creative industries. DCMS also employs press officers and legal advisers who support creative industries work.

Common Purpose

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much her Department paid to (a) the Common Purpose Charitable Trust, (b) Common Purpose Customised Limited, (c) Common Purpose International and (d) Common Purpose UK in each year between 1997-98 and 2010-11. [134074]

Hugh Robertson: In 2002 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport paid £8,460 for two employees to attend the ‘Common Purpose Spring Programme’ in order to further develop their leadership skills. This is the only recorded expenditure with a Common Purpose organisation since 1997-98.

Consumers: Protection

Mike Crockart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 20 November 2012, Official Report, column 463W, on direct selling, what steps her Department is taking to provide more effective protection for consumers in addition to new website pages and a new consumer guide. [133405]

Mr Vaizey: Further to my answer of 20 November 2012, Official Report, column 463W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport (Oliver Colvile), I can advise that the Department has taken a number of steps to provide more effective protection for consumers against unsolicited marketing calls, with a focus on improved enforcement. This includes successfully pressing the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to increase the resources it devotes to enforcing the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) 2003, which have since increased from 28 staff members to39. The ICO has also now published on its website a list of the most complained about companies that make calls to Telephone Preference Service (TPS) registered consumers. If the companies fail to remedy their actions they are likely to face further enforcement action. On 28 November the ICO also served monetary penalties totalling £440,000 to two owners of a marketing company, who were responsible for illegally distributing millions of unsolicited spam text messages to consumers. In addition, the ICO is considering issuing monetary penalties to three other companies for breaching the TPS.

The ICO is also working closely with the Claims Management Regulator (CMR), which regulates financial companies, to identify those responsible for many unsolicited marketing calls and texts. Also, the ICO has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the CMR, to facilitate the sharing of information about breaches of the PECR by claims management companies.

I will also be meeting the ICO, TPS and Ofcom again in the new year to review progress and explore further options for improved enforcement.

17 Dec 2012 : Column 551W

Creative Partnerships

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much she plans to spend on creative partnerships in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15. [134070]

Mr Vaizey: Creative Partnerships was funded at arm's length from Government by Arts Council England. Funding for the programme ends in 2012-13. We have put in place a package of cultural education initiatives in partnership with the Department for Education and our cultural sectors to improve the provision of cultural education in England.

England Athletics

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will assess the effects of the decision by England Athletics to increase registration fees for participation in grass roots athletics on participation in athletics by people living in deprived areas. [133783]

Hugh Robertson: England Athletics is currently undertaking a consultation looking directly at the issue of affiliation, including participation fees, with results expected early in the new year. They have an ongoing commitment to provide sporting opportunities for individuals in deprived areas, through their work with Street Games and through their Athletics Networks in communities across the country.

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of England Athletics. [133784]

Hugh Robertson: Sport England conducts regular six-monthly reviews and assessments of the national governing bodies it sponsors. These are underpinned through the Active People Survey, sports satisfaction survey as well as general internal sport measures. Sport England has advised that England Athletics is currently performing well against its participation targets and has a strong governance structure in place. Once a week participation in adults aged over 16 in athletics has grown from 2,809,300 (Active People Survey 5 2010-11) to 2,933,100 (Active People Survey 6 2011-12).

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many members of staff at England Athletics receive (a) a company car and (b) private medical insurance. [133785]

Hugh Robertson: Neither the Department nor Sport England records this information.

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the investment made by England Athletics to improve access to athletics for people from the most disadvantaged areas of England; and what assessment she has made of any change in athletics take-up resulting from that funding. [133804]

Hugh Robertson: As part of their investment into the sport, England Athletics works in communities across the country and takes seriously the issue of engaging

17 Dec 2012 : Column 552W

with deprived communities. This can be seen through their work with Street Games as well as their commitment to work in communities throughout the country. Once a week participation in adults aged over 16 in athletics has grown from 2,809,300 (Active People Survey 5 2010-11) to 2,933,100 (Active People Survey 6 2011-12).

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of trends in participation in athletics under the stewardship of England Athletics. [133805]

Hugh Robertson: Sport England has advised that England Athletics is currently performing well against its participation targets. Through their measurement survey, Active People, Sport England have seen continued and positive growth in the sport, with 2,033,700 people participating in athletics regularly. Sport England will continue to assess the work being carried out by England Athletics to ensure that they continue to deliver value for money. Once a week participation in adults aged over 16 in athletics has grown from 2,809,300 (Active People Survey 5 2010-11) to 2,933,100 (Active People Survey 6 2011-12).

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will provide a breakdown of expenditure of the funds given to England Athletics by Sport England as a part of the commitment to deliver an Olympic legacy; how much of this funding has been spent on staff salaries to date; and if she will list the titles and roles of any additional posts provided for out of this additional funding. [133809]

Hugh Robertson: Over the period 2009-13 Sport England will invest £20 million directly into England Athletics through their Whole Sport Plan, and they will be announcing details of their funding agreement for 2013-17 shortly. In addition to this, Sport England have alternate funding streams available which athletics clubs are able to apply to. Neither the Department nor Sport England hold the additional information requested regarding England Athletics staff.

EU Law

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which EU directives her Department transposed in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which EU directives her Department expects to transpose in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate she has made of the cost of each such directive to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector. [133695]

Hugh Robertson: The information requested is as follows.

(a) In 2011, the Department transposed the following EU directives:

Directive 2009/140/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 amending Directives 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services, 2002/19/EC on access to, and interconnection of, electronic communications networks and associated facilities, and 2002/20/EC on the authorisation of electronic communications networks and services (“Better Regulation Directive”).

17 Dec 2012 : Column 553W

Directive 2009/136/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 November 2009 amending Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users' rights relating to electronic communications networks and services, Directive 2002/58/EC concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector and Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on co-operation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (“Citizens Rights Directive”).

(b) None.

(i) and (ii) None expected at the current time.

The Department does not record centrally the cost of transposing each such regulation, and to compile this data would incur disproportionate cost.

In order to increase transparency, in the forthcoming Statement of New Regulation (SNR5) the Government will, for the first time, be publishing those new European Union (EU) measures which are being implemented in UK law and have a direct effect on business.

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which regulations her Department introduced as a result of EU legislation in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012 to date; which regulations her Department expects to implement as a result of EU legislation in (i) 2013 and (ii) the next two years; and what estimate she has made of the cost of each such regulation to the (A) public purse and (B) private sector. [133696]

Hugh Robertson: The information requested is as follows.

(a) Regulations introduced by DCMS as a result of EU legislation in 2011:

Electronic Communications and Wireless Telegraphy Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1210); Communications Act 2003 (Maximum Penalty for Contravention of Information Requirements) Order 2011 (SI 2011/1773); Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1208); Electronic Communications (Universal Service) (Amendment) Order 2011 (SI 2011/1209).

(b) None.

(i) Regulations to be introduced by DCMS as a result of EU legislation in 2013:

It is anticipated that regulations will be made to implement the EU Mobile Roaming Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012 on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the Union).

(ii) Regulations to be introduced by DCMS as a result of EU legislation in the next two years:

It is anticipated that regulations will be made to implement the E-Commerce Directive (Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2000 on certain legal aspects of information society services, in particular electronic commerce, in the Internal Market), in relation to offences relating to extreme pornography and threatening communications in Scotland, and various human trafficking offences across the UK.

The Department does not record centrally the cost of implementing each such regulation, and to compile this data would incur disproportionate cost

In order to increase transparency, in the forthcoming Statement of New Regulation (SNR5) the Government will, for the first time, be publishing those new European Union (EU) measures which are being implemented in UK law and have a direct effect on business.

17 Dec 2012 : Column 554W

Music: Children

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many children participate in each Music Education Hub. [133983]

Mr Vaizey: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 9 November 2012, Official Report, column 819W.

Ofcom

Mike Crockart: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people (a) viewed Ofcom's new website on nuisance calls, texts and emails and (b) received or downloaded a copy of the new Consumer Guide between 1 October and 30 November 2012. [133412]

Mr Vaizey: The Office of Communications (Ofcom) have advised that their website page on nuisance calls, texts and e-mails has been viewed 43,259 times and their new Consumer Guide has been downloaded 4,351 times, since 1 October 2012. Ofcom's website also allows consumers to view individual pages offering information on different types of calls from abusive and scams calls to marketing calls, texts and silent calls. These individual pages have been viewed a total of 26,465 times.

Olympic Games 2012

Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress her Department has made in putting in place a solution so that London 2012 supplier companies can make reference to the work they have undertaken; and whether she expects this process to be complete by the end of 2012. [133736]

Hugh Robertson: Positive progress has been made in the discussions with the British Olympic Association and International Olympic Committee on a framework to give London 2012 suppliers greater freedom to promote their work on the Games. Our intention is to make an announcement shortly.

Pay

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much was paid in (a) year end and (b) in-year bonuses to officials in her Department in each of the last two years. [132862]

Mr Vaizey: The following table shows the payments the Department has made in (a) year-end performance related payments and (b) in-year reward payments, to employees in the last two years.

£
 Year-end performance related paymentsIn-year reward payments

2012

600,710

45,750

2011

710,703

63,350

The Department makes these payments to its employees for two purposes: (a) special payments made during the year to reward outstanding contributions in particularly demanding tasks or situations; and (b) performance

17 Dec 2012 : Column 555W

related payments (PRP) to reward highly successful performance over a whole year. PRP are made in line with departmental pay strategy and Cabinet Office principles on performance-related pay.

Public Appointments

Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many public appointments (a) regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments and (b) not regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments have been made by her Department since 2007; and in how many such cases the services of recruitment consultants were retained. [132778]

Hugh Robertson: The Department does not hold centrally data on appointments which are not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. To compile this data for the period requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Appointments data before 2008-09 in the form requested are not held centrally by the Department but in the last four years, 247 new appointments, regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, have been made; recruitment consultants were contracted for four of these.

Staff

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff she expects her Department to have in (a) 2013-14 and (b) 2014-15. [134022]

Hugh Robertson: In the autumn of 2010, the Department launched a Change Programme that sought to achieve a 50% admin cost reduction to meet spending review targets and build the best possible Department with a highly motivated, diverse and talented work force. This would be done while simultaneously prioritising the Departments' critical deliverables, including the successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In order to achieve the required admin budget reduction, the Department sought to bear down on non-pay costs (including an office move to 100 Parliament street in March 2013) in order to minimise the impact on the Departments' pay bill. Where reductions have been made in staffing levels, these have been achieved through three rounds of voluntary exits, including a restructure of our senior civil servants (SCS). This has meant we will have a work force of approximately 330 FTE in 2013-14 with no further reductions in 2014-15.

Tourism: Marketing

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the economic benefit to (a) hotels, (b) bed and breakfasts, (c) restaurants and bars and (d) the leisure and tourism industry in Britain of money spent on marketing the UK abroad. [134071]

Hugh Robertson: Through VisitBritain, we have created the biggest ever international tourism campaign, as we look to take advantage of the opportunities afforded by 2012. Together, the £100 million tactical marketing

17 Dec 2012 : Column 556W

campaign and the GREAT Britain image campaign is aiming to deliver 4.6 million extra visitors and £2.3 billion additional spend over four years. An additional £30 million is being invested in the GREAT campaign for 2013-14, which comes on top of over £22 million already being invested during this financial year. VisitBritain activity delivered £503 million in incremental spend (financial year 2011-12) against a target of £373 million, plus bookings worth £89 million for their commercial partners. Initial evaluation results from the spring 2012 phase of the GREAT image campaign are positive. Britain saw the greatest increase in unprompted recall of advertising and “strong likelihood to visit within a year” compared to major competitors. If stated intentions translated into actual visits they could potentially generate £33 million to £72 million spend. The Department has not made an estimate of the economic benefit from marketing the UK abroad to the specific areas of the leisure and tourism industry requested.

International Development

Developing Countries: Health Services

Heidi Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will assess the adequacy of non-discriminatory medical care provided by each aid agency in receipt of funding from her Department to (a) women and girls who have been raped in situations of armed conflict and (b) such females seeking abortion services; and if she will make a statement. [133504]

Lynne Featherstone: Humanitarian assistance funded by DFID is provided according to humanitarian principles thus according to need and without discrimination.

DFID provides funding to trusted humanitarian partners, whose performance and programme quality we assess regularly. Preventing and responding to violence against women and girls in conflict and humanitarian situations is a key objective of the UK's humanitarian policy.

DFID's policy on safe abortion clearly states the UK is committed to improving women's health and reducing the number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth. Tackling unsafe abortion is part of this commitment.

In countries where abortion is permitted, DFID can support programmes that make abortion safe and accessible, because access to safe abortion reduces recourse to unsafe abortion and saves maternal lives.

Developing Countries: Land

Mr McKenzie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will use the UK's 2013 G8 presidency to promote global action to (a) increase the transparency of land acquisitions and land governance and (b) promote rights for the world's poorest people. [133765]

Mr Duncan: The Prime Minister announced his priorities for the UK's G8 presidency—trade, tax and transparency —on a visit to Northern Ireland on 20 November. These are issues where action by the G8 to “put its own house in order” can also help developing countries to prosper.

17 Dec 2012 : Column 557W

The Prime Minister also wants to use the UK's G8 presidency to support the “golden thread” of conditions that enable open economies and open societies to drive prosperity and growth for all. These include the rule of law, the absence of conflict and corruption, and the presence of property rights and strong institutions.

The UK's presidency begins on 1 January 2013.

Mr McKenzie: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make representations to the World Bank on instituting a six-month freeze on agricultural lending to fund large-scale land acquisitions in order that the Bank can review its current policies on such loans and their links to land grabbing. [133766]

Lynne Featherstone: The UK Government believe that private sector investment in poor countries, and the growth of small and large commercial agriculture, are key to global food security and economic growth in Africa. When done well, commercial investments in agriculture have the potential to be transformational. But it is vital that the rights and interests of the people living on the land are taken into account.

The need for responsible investment also applies to investments supported by the World Bank. The UK Government support the World Bank work on land and welcomes the efforts the Bank is making to be more transparent in its land programmes. We believe that a six-month freeze on agricultural lending could potentially disrupt many valuable projects and create uncertainty over the World Bank's engagement in this area.

Developing Countries: Law and Order

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment her Department has made of the role law enforcement organisations can play in international development. [133401]

Mr Duncan: The role of law enforcement organisations is central to achieving progress in building effective security and justice systems. This, in turn, protects the rights of citizens, promotes the rule of law and prevents violent conflict. Effective law enforcement is one of the key enablers for growth and good governance, contributing to the “golden thread” that runs through successful development stories across the world.

The UK is increasing its support for security and justice in 18 countries, working with state (such as police and judiciary) and non-state actors (informal, often community-based authorities such as village chiefs and other traditional leaders).

The UK's own law enforcement organisations also play a role in supporting law enforcement in developing countries; for example, to tackle corruption.

Indonesia

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance her Department has available for projects such as the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation. [133402]

17 Dec 2012 : Column 558W

Mr Duncan: DFID has no plans to provide assistance to the Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Co-operation. Since April 2011, DFID's engagement in Indonesia has been focused on climate change through the interdepartmental UK Climate Change Unit (UKCCU).

Mali

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid her Department has given to Mali in each of the last five years. [133950]

Lynne Featherstone: Information on the amount of UK aid provided to Mali over each of the past five years can be found in table 14.1 at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/Aid-Statistics/Statistics-on-International-Development-2012/

Treasury

Air Passenger Duty

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of increased air passenger duty on jobs and growth. [133662]

Sajid Javid: The Government have limited the rise in air passenger duty (APD) to inflation over the period 2010-11 to 2012-13. Budget 2012 set out rates from April 2013, which will also only rise by RPI, ensuring that level of APD will remain constant in real terms.

The 2011 consultation gathered extensive views and evidence from stakeholders, which included views on the impact of APD. Over 500 responses were received from a wide range of stakeholders. The Government published its response to the consultation, including a summary of views received, on 6 December 2011.

Broadband

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what methodology he used to calculate the £3.5 billion estimated receipt from the 4G spectrum sale as outlined in page 56, Table 2.1 of the autumn statement 2012; and if he will place a copy of that methodology in the Library. [133951]

Danny Alexander: The estimated value of receipts from the 4G spectrum auction was produced by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). The policy costing note, published at autumn statement 2012, indicates that the OBE’s costing of 4G auction receipts is based upon:

“independent analysis of revenues from comparable spectrum auctions outside the UK, and the increasing economic value of spectrum underpinned by the high level of anticipated competition in the commercial marketplace”:

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/as2012_policy_costings.pdf p.38.

Business: Loans

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2012, Official Report, column 164W, on banks, what recent discussions he has had with (a) private non-financial corporations

17 Dec 2012 : Column 559W

and

(b)

monetary financial institutions on the use of their currency holdings and deposits to lend to British businesses and fund infrastructure projects; and if he will make a statement. [133960]

Sajid Javid: The Government continue to explore a range of options to increase the flow of credit to businesses including the Funding for Lending scheme and the Business Finance Partnership. As set out in the update to the National Infrastructure Plan on 5 December, the Government also undertake a number of initiatives to maintain the level of private investment into infrastructure. As part of this process of policy development and delivery, Treasury Ministers and officials invite discussions with a wide range of institutions and commercial parties to shape these initiatives and interventions.

Charities: Israel

Richard Burden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the extent of compliance by UK charities with the European Council decision of 16 June 2005 on the abolition of financial and tax subsidies to organisations benefiting from developing Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. [133094]

Mr Hurd: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Cabinet Office.

Evidence of misuse of charity funds, or any illegal activities by charities in England and Wales, they should be passed to the Charity Commission to consider.

Child Benefit

Steve McCabe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the anticipated revenue that will be raised per financial year due to the change to the high income child benefit scheduled to take effect in 2013. [133101]

Mr Gauke: The latest published anticipated revenue from the high income child benefit charge is set out in Table 2.1 (line 2) and Table 2.2 (line al) of the Budget 2012 document:

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2012_complete.pdf

The Office for National Statistics has since classified part of this revenue as tax.

Child Trust Fund

Mr Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what timetable he has set for the evaluation of the future of child trust funds. [133510]

Sajid Javid: The Government keep this issue under review on an ongoing basis.

Credit Unions

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people who were members of a credit union in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2010-11, (c) 2011-12 and (d) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. [133367]

17 Dec 2012 : Column 560W

Greg Clark: The Government do not hold information on numbers of credit unions members.

Economic and Monetary Union

Sir Tony Baldry: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the financial value of the UK being part of the EU single market. [132088]

Greg Clark: We do not hold estimates of the financial value of the UK being part of the EU single market. The Government maintains the view that membership of the Single Market is still in the best interests of the UK.

Employee Ownership

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proportion of his Department's estimate of the cost of employee owner status consists of (a) capital gains tax revenue foregone and (b) other revenue foregone to the public purse; and what the breakdown is of those amounts. [134442]

Mr Gauke: Details of the estimate are given in the Policy Costings document published by the Government in Autumn Statement 2012, with the following link:

Policy Costings (page 27):

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/as2012_policy_costings.pdf

Ford Motor Company

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his role, responsibilities and duties as a governor of the European Investment Bank are in deciding on the Bank's participation in financing operations outside the EU, including in relation to specific loans; and how these were exercised in relation to the European Investment Bank loan to Ford Otosan. [127543]

Greg Clark: The approval of loans and guarantees is the responsibility of the Board of Directors of the European Investment Bank.

Gift Aid: Nefesh B'nefesh

Richard Burden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much gift aid has been claimed on donations made by UK taxpayers to Nefesh B'Nefesh through the Jewish National Fund in each of the last five years. [133264]

Sajid Javid: I am unable to answer the question because HM Revenue and Customs is subject to a strict duty of confidentiality in relation to customer information.

HM Revenue and Customs, may not disclose customer information outside the Department without the permission of the customer, except where there is specific legislation permitting the disclosure.

Income Tax: Overpayments

Mr Woodward: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average time HM Revenue and Customs took to refund an overpayment of income tax once the overpayment had been identified was in each of the last five years. [133521]

17 Dec 2012 : Column 561W

Mr Gauke: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave my right hon. Friend the Member for Sevenoaks (Michael Fallon) on 4 April 2011, Official Report, column 728W.

Infrastructure

Karl Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the first major infrastructure projects in receipt of the major infrastructure guarantee to be completed. [133603]

Danny Alexander: Discussions on any infrastructure project guaranteed under the UK Guarantees scheme are commercially confidential and exempt from disclosure. Releasing information is likely to have a detrimental impact on the formulation and development of government policy and undermine the Government’s negotiating position during negotiations resulting in less effective use of public funds.

We cannot answer this question further without prejudicing the process of ongoing policy formulation.

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 10 December 2012, Official Report, column 167W, on infrastructure, what the 10 largest infrastructure projects proposed by Departments to the Exchequer are which have not yet secured Treasury approval for funding. [134104]

Danny Alexander: At autumn statement, 5 December 2012, Official Report, columns 871-82, the Government announced a £5.5 billion investment in infrastructure, including £1.5 billion for roads.

The Government will set out detailed plans for spending in 2015-16 in the first half of next year—which will include further decisions on capital spending. Additional spending decisions will be taken as part of the next spending review.

We cannot answer this question further without prejudicing the process of ongoing policy formulation. Releasing this information is likely to have a detrimental impact on the formulation and development of Government policy.

Local Enterprise Partnerships

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer with reference to his Autumn Statement, what additional resources he intends to provide to local enterprise partnerships. [133096]

Danny Alexander: The Government will provide £10 million per year for capacity building within LEPs. Each LEP will be able to apply for up to £250,000 additional funding per year to support the development and delivery of their strategic plan.

Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of changes in capital allowances announced in the 2012 Budget on the growth of the market for low carbon vehicles; and if he will make a statement. [134105]

17 Dec 2012 : Column 562W

Sajid Javid: At Budget 2012, the Government announced that they would extend the 100% first-year allowance (FYA) for businesses purchasing low emissions cars for a further two years, until 31 March 2015. The Government also announced that the capital allowances emissions thresholds would be updated in line with forthcoming European Union targets and that leased cars would no longer be eligible for the FYA.

These changes will take effect from April 2013 and it is too early to evaluate their impact on the market for low emission cars. However, a draft tax information and impact note was published on 11 December;

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/finance_bill_2013_consultation.htm

It is expected that the changes will ensure that, in the context of falling emissions, the capital allowances system continues to provide an incentive for businesses to purchase the most environmentally-friendly business cars.

The decision not to apply the renewed FYA to leased cars is consistent with the Government's wider capital allowances policy and is designed to ensure that the FYA maximises value-for-money in terms of the environmental benefit it brings to the UK.

Northern Rock

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department informed the Office for Budget Responsibility of the potential £270 million remediation to Northern Rock customers when it became aware of the effect on the public finances. [133863]

Greg Clark: As set out in the Office for Budget Responsibility's (OBR) Economic and Fiscal outlook, the OBR projections were based on figures from business plans provided by UK Asset Resolution. The details of the remediation costs were not in the public domain when the OBR published their forecast and, as a result, the OBR were unable to incorporate it into their projections.

Chris Leslie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his written ministerial statement of 11 December 2012, on financial services, if he will give the date on which (a) he and (b) his officials were made aware of the proposal by UK Asset Resolution to remediate the interest charges for affected customers of Northern Rock Asset Management. [133661]

Sajid Javid: The UK Asset Resolution (UKAR) Board formally notified UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI) of its proposal on 5 December. Ministers were made aware of the proposal on the same day. The UKAR proposal was agreed by UKFI in a letter to UKAR on 10 December. UKFI sought and was granted Treasury approval on 10 December.

PAYE

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employers are taking part in the PAYE Real Time Information pilot scheme; and how many employees he expects to be taking part in the scheme by March 2013. [133760]

17 Dec 2012 : Column 563W

Mr Gauke: Over 24,000 PAYE schemes are now taking part in the PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) pilot. HMRC expects to have 6 million employments in PAYE RTI by March 2013.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 3 December 2012, Official Report, column 596W, on PAYE, by what date HM Revenue and Customs matched 6,441,719 hashes received in real-time information submissions against hashes from the BACS payment system. [134058]

Mr Gauke: HMRC matched 6,441,719 hashes by 29 November 2012.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether HM Revenue and Customs is checking the accuracy of data submitted in the real time information pilot for individual PAYE records where it is not possible to hash match. [134075]

Mr Gauke: HMRC are working closely with those involved in the real time information (RTI) pilot to ensure the information submitted is in line with the published RTI guidance. As part of this, HMRC will be liaising with software providers to ensure that payroll software generates the hash cross reference in the correct way. HMRC will also carry out risk-based compliance activity to help ensure that data submitted in real time is accurate.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many individual PAYE records from the real time information pilot (a) have and (b) have not been hash matched in each month since the pilot started. [134076]

Mr Gauke: The numbers of hashes matched and not matched in each month of the RTI pilot are as follows:

2012Matched hashesNumber of records submitted containing a hash that wasn't matched

April

2,193

87,888

May

99,264

577,174

June

747,217

828,226

July

1,091,365

200,638

August

1,307,797

239,494

September

1,209,276

348,078

October

1,453502

273,895

17 Dec 2012 : Column 564W

November

1,544,683

526,608

There are a variety of reasons why RTI submissions may not be matched to a hash cross reference received from the payment system.

Hashes received for schemes that have recently joined the RTI system cannot be matched where the PAYE scheme is still going through the RTI alignment process. HMRC have also identified that in some cases hash cross references are being included in RTI submissions where the employer is not paying their employees under a BACS Service User Number. Hash matching is not possible in these cases. HMRC is using the RTI pilot to refine its guidance to employers and software developers about hash matching.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many hashes from the payment system have been matched to real time information (RTI) data from employers in each month since the start of the PAYE RTI pilot. [134077]

Mr Gauke: The numbers of hashes matched in each month of the RTI pilot are as follows:

2012Matched hashes

April

2,193

May

99,264

June

747,217

July

1,091,365

August

1,307,797

September

1,209,276

October

1,453,502

November

1,544,683

Senior Civil Servants

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many and what proportion of senior civil servants have left (a) his Department and (b) each of the public bodies for which he is responsible since May 2010; what the rate of turnover of senior civil servants has been in (i) his Department and (ii) each such body since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. [132164]

Sajid Javid: The information requested is provided in the following table:

Senior civil service leavers May 2010 to October 2012
GroupLeavers May 2010 to March 2011Turnover as percentage of SCS May 2010 to March 2011Leavers April 2011 to March 2012Turnover as percentage of SCS April 2011 to March 2012Leavers April 2012 to October 2012Turnover as percentage of SCS April 2012 to October 2012Total leavers

HM Treasury

20

17

18

18

14

16

52

Asset Protection Agency

2

30

2

38

1

41

5

Debt Management Office

0

0

0

0

Office for Budget Responsibility

0

0

0

0

Note: Asset Protection Agency closed down as at the end of October 2012 and therefore this has distorted their results.

17 Dec 2012 : Column 565W

Stocks and Shares

Mr Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will establish a body for the supervision of securities trading with similar powers of proactive investigation and wide-ranging enforcement to those of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. [131712]

Greg Clark: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) already regulates securities trading and the listing of securities, under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and has wide-ranging powers of investigation and enforcement under that legislation. These responsibilities will pass to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when the Government's regulatory reforms in the Financial Services Bill come into effect on 1 April 2013.

The Financial Services Bill will improve the FSA's/FCA's powers in relation to official listing including by: allowing the FCA to discontinue or suspend a listing at the request of an issuer without following the statutory notice procedure; extending powers to impose sanctions on sponsors in relation to certain contraventions; allowing the FCA to make and enforce requirements applicable to persons approved as primary information providers.

Tax Avoidance

Mr Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to end the practice whereby people living abroad and with non-domiciliary status who claim only to be living in the UK temporarily can avoid inheritance tax by buying a house in the name of an offshore entity; and for what reason that is considered to be a tax-free holding in a foreign company rather than a British asset. [131715]

Mr Gauke: Property and other assets outside the UK owned by an individual who is not domiciled in the UK are not included in an estate for inheritance tax (IHT) purposes. This is to encourage individuals who wish to temporarily live and work in the UK to do so by ensuring their worldwide estate does not become liable for IHT in the case of their untimely death. For IHT purposes, only UK assets held directly by non-domiciled individuals are considered. However, if a non-UK domiciled, individual holds shares in an overseas company, the assets owned by that company are not taken into account regardless of where they are situated.

Changing this approach would introduce a significant alteration in IHT tax rules for non-domiciled individuals. The Government have made a commitment that, there will be no further changes to the non-domiciled tax rules for the remainder of this Parliament.

However, the Government are taking steps to ensure owners of high value property pay their fair share of tax. This includes:

an annual residential property tax on residential properties valued over £2 million owned by certain non-natural persons, such as certain offshore entities, from April 2013;

a 15% rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax on residential properties over £2 million purchased by certain non-natural persons; and

the extension of Capital Gains Tax to disposals by non-resident non natural persons of high value UK residential property from 6 April 2013.

17 Dec 2012 : Column 566W

Tax Evasion

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 10 December 2012, Official Report, columns 175-6W, on tax evasion, by what means HM Revenue and Customs assesses the effectiveness of additional or fewer staff in each area of the Department; and if he will make a statement. [134108]

Mr Gauke: HMRC's approach to tackling tax evasion is published:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget-updates/march2012/tax-evasion-report.pdf

HMRC ensures that business areas are resourced to deliver HMRC strategy, using the funding allocated to the department by the Government in the most effective way. Within HMRC, activity to tackle tax evasion is primarily carried out by the Enforcement and Compliance business area.

HMRC collects management information on resources deployed and the total revenue raised from different compliance activities. The effectiveness of additional or fewer staff is assessed using a combination of management information, operational intelligence and planning scenarios informed by a resource allocation model which compares the return from different activities and the impact of different case mixes on revenues. The model is used to estimate the potential impact of different resourcing levels and to inform resource allocation decisions.

The effectiveness of HMRC compliance activity is seen in its results. HMRC has achieved significant successes in reducing both evasion and avoidance. Overall, compliance revenues have more than doubled in six years. In 2010-11 the total revenue from HMRC compliance activities was reported as £13.9 billion; in 2011-12 it was reported as £16.7 billion.

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2012, Official Report, columns 175-76W, on tax evasion, how much HM Revenue and Customs has paid out in rewards for information on tax evasion in each of the last five years in aggregate; and what the range of the individual rewards in each year was. [134109]

Mr Gauke: HM Revenue and Customs are empowered to pay rewards by virtue of section 26 of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005. These payments are discretionary and are not guaranteed.

In each of the last five years, HM Revenue and Customs has paid the following total amounts in rewards:

 £

2007-08

155,950

2008-09

281,000

2009-10

384,110

2010-11

309,620

2011-12

373,780

I can confirm that HM Revenue and Customs holds some information relating to the range of individual awards paid in each of the same five years. However, this is exempt from disclosure because of section 44(1)(a)

17 Dec 2012 : Column 567W

of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which allows a public authority to withhold information which is itself prohibited from disclosure by some enactment.

Temporary Employment: Tax Avoidance

Sir Peter Bottomley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) (a) how many and (b) which employment agencies or umbrella companies operating travel and subsistence schemes have been awarded dispensations to operate such schemes by HM Revenue and Customs; [134011]

(2) how many employment agencies or umbrella companies that have received dispensations to operate travel and subsistence schemes have been audited to verify that they are fulfilling the conditions of the dispensation. [134012]

Mr Gauke: HMRC does not issue dispensations to businesses to operate travel and subsistence schemes.

HMRC issues dispensations to cover certain payments of expenses for which an employee would otherwise get a full tax deduction. It is a mechanism which removes the need for an employer to report the relevant expenses payments on forms P11D or P9D and also removes the need for tax to be paid on those expenses and then reclaimed. Expenses payments covered by a dispensation are normally also disregarded for national insurance contributions (NICs) purposes.

HMRC reviews all dispensations regularly to ensure that the terms and conditions under which they are issued still apply. They have a specialist team which reviews dispensations for those operating in the temporary labour market to ensure consistency.

VAT: Imports

Simon Hart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make representations to the European Commission and other member states in support of an increase in the limit set for goods imported into the EU which are exempt from VAT under Council Directive 2006/79/EC. [133795]

Mr Gauke: When deciding where to set the threshold for this import VAT relief on small non-commercial consignments, careful consideration has to be given to balancing the tax impact on individuals, with the impact on small UK businesses who are required to account for VAT on similar goods regardless of their value. As there is no evidence that the current threshold is causing difficulties to individuals, whereas there is recent clear evidence that a high import relief threshold has an adverse impact on small businesses, the UK has no plans to raise this issue with the European Commission.

Welfare Tax Credits: Warrington

Helen Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people in Warrington North constituency are in receipt of working tax credit; [133759]

(2) how many people (a) in full-time work, (b) in part-time work and (c) not in paid employment in Warrington North constituency are in receipt of child tax credits. [133826]

17 Dec 2012 : Column 568W

Sajid Javid: As at 1 April 2012 in Warrington North constituency, there were 6,000 adults in 4,400 families in receipt of working tax credit.

As at 1 April 2012 in Warrington North constituency, there were 13,300 adults in 8,400 families in receipt of child tax credit. Of these, there were:

(a) 5,700 adults working 30+ hours (full-time),

(b) 2,700 adults working 16 to 30 hours (part-time work), and,

(c) 4,900 adults either working less than 16 hours or not in paid employment.

Young People

Stephen Twigg: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has carried out (a) a risk analysis and (b) an equality impact assessment of the potential effect on children and young people of reductions to Government budgets and welfare provision; what information in each such analysis and assessment relates to children and young people aged up to 19 years old in Liverpool; and if he will place in the Library a copy of any such assessment and analysis. [132621]

Sajid Javid: This Government are supporting children and young people including by offering 15 hours free child care to all three to four-year-olds and to 260,000 disadvantaged two-year-olds; providing a pupil premium for disadvantaged pupils worth £2.5 billion by 2014-15; and by extending child care support through the universal credit.

Departments have the responsibility to meet all their legal requirements on considering equality impacts, including for the protected characteristic of age, when making spending decisions.

The Government publish their assessment of the overall distributional impact on households of policy decisions at fiscal events. In doing so, the Government have taken unprecedented steps to increase transparency and to enable the effective scrutiny of policy making. This analysis was most recently published at autumn statement 2012 in the autumn statement document: ‘Impact on households: distributional analysis to accompany the Autumn Statement’.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Ascension Island

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to promote tourism on Ascension Island. [133855]

Mark Simmonds: Ascension is a working island, with important military facilities, and no right of abode. A small number of tourists visit Ascension Island each year, usually en-route to St Helena. But there is limited infrastructure and services to support these visits. There are therefore no plans to promote tourism in Ascension.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people have been arrested on Ascension Island in each of the last three years. [133856]

17 Dec 2012 : Column 569W

Mark Simmonds: The numbers of arrests made on Ascension Island in the last five years are as follows:

 Number of arrests

2008

11

2009

11

2010

5

2011

4

2012

12

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many applications for permits to visit Ascension Island have been refused in each of the last three years. [133998]

Mark Simmonds: The numbers of refused entry permit applications to Ascension Island in the last three years are as follows:

 Number

2010

(1)

2011

2

2012

9

(1) Due to administrative changes no records exist for 2010 or earlier.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many tourist permits have been issued for Ascension Island in each of the last three years. [133999]

Mark Simmonds: The numbers of Ascension Island tourist permits issued in the last three years are as follows:

 Number

2010

755

2011

914

2012 (to date)

950

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he plans to modernise transport infrastructure on Ascension Island. [134001]

Mark Simmonds: The Ascension Island Government is working to improve the transport infrastructure on the Island. Work is currently under way to upgrade an 8 km section of road. Discussions are to begin shortly on the island to prioritise future projects such as road infrastructure and improvements to the pier-head, which rely on contributions from the employing organisations on the island. In addition, a bus service is being introduced from the beginning of February 2013 on a trial basis, which it is hoped may become a permanent fixture depending on the level of demand. Financing and managing the transport infrastructure is a major challenge on Ascension Island given the small population and the significant costs associated with bringing building materials to the island.

Bahrain

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on whether the Bahraini Government are

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implementing the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. [133421]

Alistair Burt: 1 have seen reports giving assessments of progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, from both independent non-governmental organisations and the Bahraini Government's own Department tasked with implementing the recommendations. As I said in my statement of 23 November 2012, the UK recognises that establishing the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry was an unprecedented and positive response to the unrest which hit Bahrain in spring 2011. Much progress has been made, but it is also clear that there are areas where progress on implementation has been too slow and others where it is lacking.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) recently visited Bahrain and meet representatives of the Bahraini Government. He discussed the need for full and timely implementation of their reform programme, and of all the recommendations of the Independent Commission report. We remain of the opinion that reform and a meaningful dialogue between all sides in Bahrain is necessary for stability and prosperity to return to the country.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the repeated arrests of Zainab al-Khawaja in Bahrain. [133422]

Alistair Burt: We are aware of reports of the most recent arrest of Ms Zainab al-Khawaja in Bahrain. Although we cannot intervene in the legal proceedings of another state, we monitor all the key trials in Bahrain. We have urged the authorities to follow due process in all cases and ensure those charged have access to legal representation.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he raised human rights concerns with the Bahraini Government on his recent visit to the Kingdom. [133793]

Alistair Burt: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), did raise human rights with both the King and the Crown Prince of Bahrain on his recent visit there.

We consistently raise our concerns on human rights in Bahrain with the Bahraini Government, discussing the issue frankly and openly.

British Indian Ocean Territory

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his US counterpart on the British Indian Ocean Territory. [133852]

Mark Simmonds: I have not discussed the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) with my US counterpart. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and State Department Officials have regular discussions about all

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bilateral matters including the British Indian Ocean Territory. The most recent BIOT Pol-Mil annual talks were held in London in October.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to develop the infrastructure of the British Indian Ocean Territory. [134003]

Mark Simmonds: The UK has no plans to develop the infrastructure of the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Colombia

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on the proposal by the Colombian Government to widen the jurisdiction of the military courts in Colombia. [133059]

Mr Swire: The proposed reform to Colombia's constitution aims to improve the efficiency and independence of the military justice system, and to reform the types of cases which will be judged under that system.

We have underlined to Defence Minister Pinzón the importance that the reform should not lead to impunity for members of the Colombian armed forces and I have also raised the issue with the Colombian ambassador. On 9 December our chargé d’affaires discussed the issue with the Vice Minister for Multi-Lateral Affairs, highlighting the need for constructive dialogue.

Both the Defence Minister and Colombian ambassador have assured us that the reform will not lead to impunity, and that any cases of extrajudicial executions will be investigated under the civilian justice system. We will continue discussing the proposed reform with the Colombian Government.

Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the Government of Colombia about securing the safety of Congressman Ivan Cepeda following the death threat he received on 23 November 2012. [133060]

Mr Swire: We are concerned about reports of a threat made against Congressman Ivan Cepeda, who is an active human rights defender representing the organisations Movimiento Nacional de Victimas de Crímenes de Estado (MOVICE) and Colombians for Peace. Any threat made against the life of a human rights defender is unacceptable. Our embassy in Bogota will raise this case with the Colombian Government.

Our embassy has implemented a high-profile programme of activities to support human rights defenders under threat, including a project to increase their awareness of the protection measures available and meetings with threatened organisations to demonstrate UK support. In a joint statement on human rights in November 2011 both the Prime Minister and President Santos condemned violence against human rights defenders and emphasised their support for the work they do.

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Democratic Republic of Congo

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has taken to press the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to implement peacebuilding and stabilisation programmes in that country. [133638]

Mark Simmonds: Since the recent outbreak of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) began, we have made it clear that while external support for armed groups in DRC must stop, it is also important that the DRC Government shows leadership in addressing the underlying causes of conflict in the region. The Prime Minister delivered this message when he spoke to President Kabila on 22 November, as did I when I visited the region from 20-23 November and met President Kabila, Prime Minister Matata and Foreign Minister Tshibanda. I spoke to Mr Tshibanda again on 10 December. Our ambassador in Kinshasa and other senior officials have also delivered this message, and will continue to do so.

Egypt

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he made to the Egyptian authorities on preventing the smuggling of arms into Gaza through the Sinai. [133056]

Mr Hague: The Government welcomes the Egyptian-led ceasefire in the recent Gaza crisis. We have made clear to the Egyptian authorities our full support to Egypt’s efforts to tackle the flow of illegal weaponry from the Sinai into the Gaza strip. I discussed the terms of the ceasefire and weapons smuggling with the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mohammed Kamel Amr, on 21 November.

Iraq

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to support reform and development initiatives in Iraq. [133503]

Alistair Burt: Enhancing internal stability is an important element of our Iraq strategy, and the UK has funded a number of projects to strengthen the rule of law and improve the justice system in Iraq. We are also funding a multi-year project to strengthen parliamentary oversight of the government's actions by building the capacity of parliamentary scrutiny committees. Further information on our project activity can be found on the British embassy in Baghdad's website:

http://ukiniraq.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/working-with-iraq/Projects

The Department for International Development ended its bilateral development programme to Iraq in March 2012. The UK will continue to help Iraq address some of the challenges which remain, through our funding to multilateral organisations like the UN, the World Bank and the EU.

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Israel

Mrs Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 12 June 2012, Official Report, column 231, on Israel, whether he has received any recent updates on the situation with the Bedouin villages in the Negev; and whether the British embassy has taken any steps in this regard since the ambassador's visit. [133261]

Alistair Burt: During my recent visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, I met with Israeli Minister Benny Begin on 21 November to ask for an update on Israeli Government plans regarding the Bedouin villages in the Negev. I reiterated our hope that consultations between the Israeli Government and the Bedouin community will lead to an agreed and satisfactory solution to the long-standing problems of the unrecognised villages.

On 17 August, our ambassador in Tel Aviv met with the Israeli Prime Minister's Chief of Staff for Bedouin Status Improvement. He asked for an update on the plan and said that we would have real concerns if there were a large number of forced evictions.

Our officials in Tel Aviv continue to monitor the situation in the Negev in relation to both Bedouin unrecognised and recognised villages and are in regular contact with Bedouin and Government leaders.

Middle East

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has taken to encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to restart peace talks. [133177]

Mr Hague: As I made clear on 30 October 2012, Official Report, column 148, we are asking the new US Administration to lead a major push, backed by European nations, to restart negotiations in 2013 and arrive at a two state solution. The Prime Minister has discussed this issue with his European counterparts, including the French President and German Chancellor.

We continue to make our view on the urgent need for credible negotiations, based on clear parameters, clear to both the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This includes both ministerial and official level contacts. I spoke to Defence Secretary Barak on 1 December and to President Abbas on 26 November. The Deputy Prime Minister also spoke to President Abbas on 27 November.

North Korea

Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he plans to take following the successful rocket launch by North Korea on 12 December 2012; and if he will make a statement. [133961]

Mr Swire: Following North Korea’s satellite launch on 12 December 2012, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), immediately issued a statement condemning the launch. The statement can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-secretary-condemns-dprk-s-satellite-launch

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On the same day, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Permanent Under-Secretary summoned the North Korean ambassador to the Foreign Office. In this meeting, the Permanent Under-Secretary reiterated the UK’s condemnation of this launch, urged North Korea to refrain from further provocations and to take urgent steps to re-engage constructively with the international community.

The UK attended a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on 12 December 2012. The Security Council issued a statement condemning the launch which the UK supported. The UK is now discussing what further measures could be taken in response to the launch with other members of the Security Council.

Occupied Territories

Mr Douglas Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last discussed the expansion of Israeli settlements with his Israeli counterparts. [133414]

Mr Hague: I spoke to Defence Minister Barak on 1 December 2012 to underline the Government's deep concern at reports that the Israeli Cabinet had approved the building of 3,000 new settlement units in east Jerusalem and the west bank and decided to unfreeze planning in the area known as E1. I also passed a message underlining these points to the Israeli Foreign Minister.

The Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Alistair Burt), formally summoned the Israeli ambassador to London to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 3 December 2012, to make our concerns known.

Our embassy in Tel Aviv continue to engage on these issues.

Palestinians

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will condemn the decision of the Israeli Government to withhold tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority. [133366]

Alistair Burt: I have made very clear that we deplore the Israeli Government's decisions to withhold tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority, build 3,000 new housing units in East Jerusalem and the west bank, to unfreeze planning in the area known as E1. We have called on the Israeli Government to reverse these decisions.

I formally summoned the Israeli ambassador to London to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 3 December, to underline the depth of our concerns over these steps.

Stephen Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Israeli Government on the detention and prosecution of Palestinian children. [133417]

Alistair Burt: I have written to the Israeli ambassador to the UK on this subject and have met Baroness Scotland, as one of the authors, to discuss follow up to

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the report “Children in military custody” and our concerns over the treatment of Palestinian children in military custody.

Our ambassador to Israel has also discussed these points with the Israeli Attorney-General and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Most recently the Attorney-General continued this dialogue when he visited Israel in mid-November and held talks with his Israeli counterpart.

Russia

Stephen Phillips: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to support civil society organisations in the Russian Federation. [133501]

Mr Lidington: The promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law is at the heart of Britain's foreign policy. Human rights is a priority area in our bilateral relationship with Russia and supporting the development of a strong civil society forms a key part of this. The Prime Minister met human rights activists at the Sakharov Centre in Moscow during his visit in September 2011. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), and I regularly raise human rights and civil society issues with our Russian counterparts. We also fund a number of projects that help develop Russian civil society including supporting independent media, vulnerable journalists, human rights defenders, judicial reform and initiatives aimed at strengthening the rule of law. We have regular direct contact with human rights activists, and provide support to those who are subject to harassment. We have made statements that demonstrate our concern about constraints on democracy, such as the new law on NGOs in receipt of foreign funding.

One of the most valuable platforms for raising both ongoing and new concerns with Russia is at our senior level Human Rights Dialogues. At the 2012 meeting, there was a detailed exchange with Russian counterparts on a range of issues, including new restrictive legislation, the North Caucasus, freedom of assembly and expression, the protection of human rights defenders and journalists, and the Magnitsky case. We also report publicly on human rights in Russia through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights and Democracy Report, where Russia is listed as a country of concern.

Mrs Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether human rights in the Russian Federation were discussed during the recent visit of the Minister of State for Trade and Investment to Moscow. [133824]

Mr Lidington: My noble Friend Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint’s visit to Moscow, to explore opportunities for UK companies, did not directly cover human rights. The rule of law and business environment were discussed. Lord Green had meetings with First Deputy Prime Minister Shuvalov and Finance Minister Siluanov. Siluanov gave assurances that foreign businesses could be confident in the Russian Government’s commitment to create a stable and predictable trading environment, emphasised by Russia’s World Trade Organisation accession. We believe that responsible businesses contribute to respect

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for human rights. They can set standards of behaviour, improve governance, remove incentives to abuse, maximise skills and strengthen communities.

The Prime Minister raised human rights issues, including concerns around the Pussy Riot case and its impact on the development of democracy in Russia, with President Putin during their meeting on 2 August. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), and I regularly raise human rights and civil society issues with Russian counterparts. Human rights is a priority area in our bilateral relationship with Russia, and we will continue to confront issues and push for progress on human rights and the rule of law, including at the highest levels. One of the most valuable platforms for raising ongoing and new concerns with Russia is at our senior level human rights dialogues. At the 2012 meeting, there was a detailed exchange with Russian counterparts on a range of issues, including new restrictive legislation, the North Caucasus, freedom of assembly and expression, the protection of human rights defenders and journalists, and the Magnitsky case. We also report publicly on human rights in Russia through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights and Democracy Report, where Russia is a country of concern.

Special Representative for Climate Change

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 3 July 2012, Official Report, column 563W, on climate change: international co-operation, what progress has been made since July 2012 towards an appointment of a new Special Representative for Climate Change; whether there has been a delay in the recruitment to this post and what the reasons are for any such delay; when he expects to announce the successful candidate; and if he will make a statement. [133248]

Mr Lidington: As the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has said, climate change poses a fundamental threat to Britain’s prosperity and security. This threat can only be tackled through international co-operation and collaboration. The Special Representative for Climate Change has a central role within Britain’s diplomatic response to the threat. It is important we find the right person and a recruitment process is under way to appoint a new special representative. A new special representative will be announced soon. In the meantime, the FCO continues to work for British interests in this field through its Climate Change and Energy Department and global network of overseas missions and diplomats.