Crime Lower: services provided to suspects not yet charged
 Total claimed/paid (£000)
 2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

Total amount claimed

180,629

192,460

187,275

180,007

169,960

Crime Lower: services provided to suspects charged
 Total claimed (£000)
 2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

Total amount claimed

292,464

293,983

288,907

260,212

240,930

Crime Higher: Legal aid schemes
 Value (£000)
 2007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12

Total

692,258

699,444

733,610

702,848

699,425

Powers of Attorney

Bob Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what recent assessment he has made of the application process for a lasting power of attorney; [143843]

(2) what steps he is taking to expedite the time taken between applying for and receiving a lasting power of attorney. [143844]

Mrs Grant: I meet regularly with the Public Guardian to discuss current operational performance and to receive updates on the progress of the work to transform the application process for lasting powers of attorney (LPAs).

Over the last financial year, the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has implemented a programme of ‘continuous improvement’, which has seen the average time taken to register a lasting power of attorney reduce from 62 working days in April 2012, to 44 working days as of January 2013. Six weeks of this time (30 working days) is a statutory waiting period during which objections to registration can be made. Current processing times are the shortest they have been since the OPG's launch in October 2007.

As part of the Ministry of Justice's Transforming Justice agenda, the Office of the Public Guardian is also more fundamentally transforming the process to make and register a lasting power of attorney.

As outlined in the Government consultation ‘Transforming the Services of the Office of the Public

25 Feb 2013 : Column 173W

Guardian’, published on 27 July 2012, and the response published on 22 January 2013, the OPG intends to make the process for making an LPA ‘digital by default’. In April 2013, the OPG will launch a new digital tool which will make it easier for customers to complete the current LPA forms online. This will help to eradicate many of the errors that currently occur during the completion of the LPA form and will reduce inefficiencies in the current processes.

Also in April, we intend to reduce the current statutory waiting period from six to four weeks in order to make the process quicker for customers, while still retaining adequate safeguards.

Prisoners: Repatriation

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with which countries the UK has a prisoner transfer agreement. [143250]

Jeremy Wright: The UK has prisoner transfer agreements (PTAs) with over 100 countries and territories.

A complete list of all bilateral PTAs can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/publications-and-documents/treaties/treaty-texts/prisoner-transfer-agreements

as well as links to lists of all countries and territories which are signatories of the following multi-lateral agreements which the UK is also party to: the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons and the Scheme for the Transfer of Convicted Persons within the Commonwealth.

The UK has implemented the multi-lateral European Union prisoner transfer agreement (EU PTA) along with a further 11 EU member states.

Prisons: Food

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he made of whether his Department will be open to compensation claims from those prisoners possibly affected by contaminated halal meat in prison food. [143531]

Jeremy Wright: The Ministry of Justice has received a small number of civil litigation claims following the discovery of contaminated halal food. Each claim will be considered on its merits and robustly defended where appropriate.

Private Prosecutions

Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many private prosecutions were brought in courts in England and Wales in (a) 2011 and (b) 2012. [142117]

Mrs Grant: Information held centrally by the Ministry of Justice on the Court Proceedings Database does not include the circumstances behind each case beyond the description provided in the statute. It is not possible to separately identify from this centrally held information which prosecutions brought before the courts were private prosecutions.

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Prosecutions

Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he intends to take to ensure that the use of deferred prosecution agreements avoids any public perception that wealthy corporations allegedly in breach of the law can evade criminal prosecution using methods not available to smaller corporations or private individuals. [144004]

Damian Green: Transparency and openness are key to the operation of the deferred prosecution agreement process for the public and for organisations alike, and will be underpinned by published guidance. A DPA will be subject to judicial scrutiny to ensure that it is in the interests of justice and that its terms are fair, reasonable and proportionate. It will be approved in open court and the final agreement will be published. The public will know what wrongdoing is alleged to have occurred, the steps taken to address it and the sanctions for it.

Public Appointments

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people he appointed to public bodies in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; (i) how many and (ii) what proportion of those appointees were (A) black or from an ethnic minority, (B) Hindu, (C) Muslim and (D) Chinese in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. [144111]

Mrs Grant: The number of appointments and re-appointments for the Ministry of Justice's public bodies regulated by the commissioner for public appointments are set out in the following table:

 AppointmentsRe-appointments

1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011

206

111

1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012

119

57

Information on the number of appointments of candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds, but not by religion and not broken down by ethnic group, is collated and published by the commissioner.

Copies of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 annual reports are available at

http://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk

Copies are available in the Library of the House.

Public Order Act 1986

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many convictions there were under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 for behaviour that was found to be insulting in each of the last five years. [140213]

Jeremy Wright: Information held centrally by the Ministry of Justice on the Court Proceedings Database does not contain information about the circumstances behind each case, beyond the description provided in the statute under which proceedings are brought. It is not possible to identify from this centrally held information whether or not a conviction under Section 5 of the Public Order Act, for causing harassment, alarm or

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distress through behaviour which is threatening, abusive or insulting, was obtained specifically as a result of insulting behaviour.

Reoffenders

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many prisoners reoffend within one year of release; [141283]

(2) what assessment he has made of the correlation between a prisoner’s gender and the probability of their reoffending. [141289]

Jeremy Wright: The proportion of adult offenders released from custody in the 12 months ending March 2011 who reoffended within a year (the one-year proven reoffending rate) is 47.2%. The equivalent figure for juvenile offenders is 72.6%.

The one-year proven reoffending rate for adult male offenders released from custody in the 12 months ending March 2011 is 47.5%; and for females, 44.6%.

The one-year proven reoffending rate for juvenile male offenders released from custody in the 12 months ending March 2011 is 74.2%; and for females, 56.2%.

Some of the factors we know to be associated with levels of reoffending are (a) number of previous offences,

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where a large number of previous offences is associated with high reoffending rates and (b) an offender's age, where the reoffending rate falls with increasing age. Therefore, in order to compare directly the reoffending rates of different groups of offenders (by gender, or any other characteristic), we would need to control for the offender mix by taking into account such factors.

Please note that proven reoffending statistics are available from the Ministry of Justice website at:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/statistics/reoffending/proven-re-offending

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the reoffending rate was in (a) England, (b) Hull and (c) Kingston upon Hull North constituency in each of the last five years. [144537]

Jeremy Wright: The following table presents the number of offenders in Kingston upon Hull and England who were released from custody, received a non-custodial conviction at court, received a caution, reprimand, warning or tested positive for opiates or cocaine in each of the years, 2006 to 2010 (the latest calendar year available); and the proportion that committed a proven reoffence within a one year follow-up period.

 20062007200820092010

Kingston upon Hull, City of

     

Proportion of offenders who re-offend (%)

31.4

31.3

31.3

32.2

33.8

Number of offenders in cohort(1)

5,222

5,421

5,274

4,888

4,861

England

     

Proportion of offenders who re-offend (%)

26.9

26.7

27.1

26.4

26.8

Number of offenders in cohort(1)

695,372

717,094

685,260

650,475

604,541

(1) This number does not represent all proven offenders. Offenders who were released from custody or commenced a court order are matched to the Police National Computer database. A certain proportion of these offenders cannot be matched and are, therefore, excluded from the offender cohort, ie the group of offenders for whom reoffending is measured.

In response to a Ministry of Justice consultation on improvements to reoffending statistics, proven reoffending data are produced only at the regional, probation area and local authority level and not at constituency level.

Proven reoffending is defined as any offence committed in a one-year follow-up period and receiving a court conviction, caution, reprimand or warning in the one year follow-up. Following this one year period, a further six month waiting period is allowed for cases to progress through the courts.

Small Claims

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many claims made at the small claims court were (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful in each of the last 10 years. [144547]

Mrs Grant: The Ministry of Justice does not hold figures centrally which specifically relate to the success of claims at the small claims court. This is because we are currently assessing whether the information held on the administrative computer systems on this subject can be extracted to a high standard of quality.

Mr Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent representations he has received on the working of the small claims court. [144563]

Mrs Grant: No recent representations have been received on the workings of the small claims court.

The small claims track financial threshold is due to increase from £5,000 to £10,000 on 1 April 2013, as announced by the then Secretary of State for Justice, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke), in March 2012, following the publication of the “Solving Disputes in the County Court” consultation response. The MOJ received a number of representations on this issue during the course of the consultation process and further representations have subsequently been received over the last 11 months on this issue. Representations have also been received from the Civil Court Users Association on the specific issue of the increase in the small claims financial threshold.

In addition, representations have been received from a number of individuals and organisations in relation to the “Reducing the number and costs of whiplash claims—A consultation on arrangements concerning whiplash injuries in England and Wales.” The consultation opened on 11 December 2012 and is due to close 8 March 2013, after which the Government's response will be published.

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Solicitors: Complaints

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many complaints the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) received against solicitors in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what action was taken by the SRA in response to such complaints. [143744]

Mrs Grant: The SRA has informed me that it does not hold specific data on the number of complaints held against solicitors as it receives information about solicitors from a range of sources. This includes complaints, media reports, monitoring firms and other external intelligence. However, the SRA has provided details of the investigations it has held in 2012.

In 2012, the SRA investigated and closed a total of 6,000 cases, with 4,395 of those cases requiring no regulatory action. Of those where the investigation was upheld, the following sanctions were applied:

In 489 cases the allegation was upheld with

315 cases being issued a letter of advice

38 cases being dealt with by a finding and warning

37 cases being dealt with by rebuke/reprimands

3 cases being dealt with by way of a fine

119 cases are being further dealt with by Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) referral

32 cases have other ongoing action

In some cases, more than one sanction was applied, meaning the total number of sanctions do not necessarily add up to the number of cases investigated.

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will estimate his Department's total staffing requirement in full-time equivalent posts for fulfilling its minimum statutory obligations. [143339]

Mrs Grant: The core responsibilities of the Ministry of Justice are set out in the Appropriation Act for each year, which authorises the use of resources for each Department. The core functions listed include the administration of the National Offender Management Service, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Services and civil and criminal legal aid, together with functions in relation to justice policy, victims and the criminal justice system.

As at 31 December 2012, the Ministry of Justice (comprising Ministry of Justice Headquarters, Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, National Offender Management Service and the Office of the Public Guardian) required a staffing level of 63,658 full-time equivalent staff to deliver these core responsibilities. This is around 9,800 fewer full-time equivalent staff than at September 2010.

The Ministry of Justice reviews staffing levels to ensure that the Department can meet its core responsibilities as efficiently as possible.

Stop and Search

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many stop and searches in each police force led to a conviction in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [143810]

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Jeremy Wright: Information held centrally by the Ministry of Justice on the Court Proceedings Database does not include the circumstances behind each case beyond the description provided in the statute. It is not possible to identify separately from this centrally held information convictions resulting from stop and search.

Styal Prison

Susan Elan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what proportion of prisoners at HMP Styal are from Wales. [143620]

Jeremy Wright: On 31 December 2012 there were 26 female prisoners at HM Prison and Young Offender Institution Styal recorded as originating from Wales. Information on offenders' residences is provided by offenders on reception into prison and recorded on a central IT system. Addresses can include a home address, an address to which offenders intend to return on discharge or next of kin address and these figures are included in the answer.

If no address is given, an offender's committal court address is used as a proxy for the area in which they are resident. These figures are also included in the answer. No address has been recorded and no court information is available for around 3% of all offenders, and these figures are excluded from the answer. These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible error with data entry and processing.

Trafford Housing Trust

Mr Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what discussions he has held on the effect of the recent legal case between Mr Adrian Smith and Trafford Housing Trust on his Department's policies on freedom of speech for staff. [134936]

Chris Grayling: I apologise for the delay in responding. I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as the House returns.

Substantive answer from Jeremy Wright to Mr David Burrowes:

I have not held any discussions on the effect of this case, which was about the contractual relationship between an employee and his employer.

Training

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on training and education for civil servants in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. [144091]

Mrs Grant: The Ministry of Justice is committed to providing training and education for all civil servants, in line with the commitment set out in the civil service reform plan

“to provide at least 5 days a year targeted at the skills most needed for their roles”.

Civil servants in the Ministry of Justice have access to a range of learning opportunities through the Ministry's business-specific Justice Academy learning portal; locally delivered business learning; and the full range of Civil Service Learning products.

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Generic training and learning is provided by Civil Service Learning, and external spend on learning and education is subject to the governance arrangements put in place by the Cabinet Office.

Budgets for training and education are devolved and are managed locally by the Ministry's different business groups and agencies. The Ministry does not record this information centrally. Therefore, to establish the cost for all training and education for all civil servants in any given year would require a Ministry-wide survey of all its local business areas. This would incur a disproportionate cost.

Victim Support Schemes

Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to revise the existing Code of Practice for Victims of Crime; what consultation process will be undertaken to revise the Code; and if he will make a statement. [144150]

Mrs Grant: My Department will consult on a revised Victims' Code in spring this year. The draft Code is intended to give victims clearer entitlements from criminal justice agencies and to better tailor services to individual need.

Work Capability Assessment: Appeals

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many appeals were made to a First Tier Tribunal hearing against failed work capability assessments in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [143178]

Mrs Grant: The First-tier Tribunal—Social Security and Child Support (SSCS), administered by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, hears appeals against Department for Work and Pensions decisions on entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA), decisions in which the work capability assessment (WCA) is a factor, rather than appeals against WCA decisions themselves.

Information on the number of points an individual has received in the WCA is held only within individual case files, not in the tribunal's database. Information on the number of appeals made as a result of specific WCA outcomes could, therefore, be provided only at disproportionate cost by manually checking individual files.

The following table therefore shows the total number of ESA appeals in which the WCA was a factor received by the tribunal in (a) 2010/11, (b) 2011/12 and (c) April to September 2012 (the latest period for which information is available).

Employment and support allowance appeals received in which WCA was a factor
 Number

April 2010 to March 2011

184,800

April 2011 to March 2012

165,300

April to September 2012

117,000

Note: 1. Data are taken from management information. 2. Values are rounded to the nearest hundred.

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Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many appeals were made to an upper tribunal hearing against failed work capability assessments in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [143179]

Mrs Grant: The First-tier Tribunal—Social Security and Child Support (SSCS), administered by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, hears appeals against Department for Work and Pensions decisions on entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA), decisions in which the work capability assessment (WCA) is a factor, rather than appeals against WCA decisions themselves.

Appeals against decisions of the First-tier Tribunal—SSCS are heard by the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal, subject to permission to appeal being granted by either the First-tier Tribunal or the Upper Tribunal.

The Administrative Appeals Chamber does not record whether appeals are related to the WCA or another aspect of the decision on an individual's entitlement to ESA. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost by manually checking individual files.

The following table therefore shows the total number of ESA appeals received by the Upper Tribunal in (a) 2010/11, (b) 2011/12 and (c) April to September 2012 (the latest period for which information is available).

Employment and support allowance appeals received by the Upper Tribunal, April 2010 to September 2012
 Number

April 2010 to March 2011

211

April 2011 to March 2012

312

April to September 2012

226

Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much his Department spent on appeals against work capability assessments in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [143180]

Mrs Grant: The First-tier Tribunal—Social Security and Child Support (SSCS), administered by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, hears appeals against Department for Work and Pensions decisions on entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA), decisions in which the work capability assessment (WCA) is a factor, rather than appeals against WCA decisions themselves.

The estimated total cost of ESA appeals in which the work capability assessment was a factor during (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12 and (c) April to September 2012 (the latest period for which published data are available) is summarised in the following table:

 Number of ESAappeals disposed of in which WCA was a factor(1)Total cost(2) (£ million)

2010-11

166,500

39.8

2011-12

189,500

43.2

April to September 2012

103,000

23.5

(1) Values of appeal numbers of 1,000 or over are rounded to the nearest hundred. (2) Costs are rounded to the nearest £100,000. Notes: Data are taken from management information

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These estimated costs were calculated by multiplying the average cost of an individual first-tier tribunal social security and child support case in 2010-11 and, 2011-12 (the latest period for which this data is available) by the number of ESA appeals disposed of in which the work capability assessment was a factor in each of these time periods.

The cost for 2011-12 differs from that in previous questions relating to the cost of ESA appeals because the final audited figures for 2011-12 were not available at the time of the previous questions. Instead, the latest available data (for 2010-11) were used to calculate the cost figure quoted in the previous questions.

Young Offenders

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many male offenders are in the secure youth estate in the latest period for which figures are available; [143951]

(2) how many female offenders are in the secure youth estate in the latest period for which figures are available. [143953]

Jeremy Wright: At the end of December 2012, there were 1,462 male offenders in the secure youth estate.

At the end of December 2012, there were 61 female offenders in the secure youth estate.

The data for December 2012 are provisional and will be finalised when the 2012-13 Annual Youth Justice Statistics are published, which is planned for January 2014.

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

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many young people under the age of 16 there are in the secure estate, by age; and how many of each age have a mental health problem or learning disability. [144641]

Jeremy Wright: The following table displays the number of young people under the age of 16 held in the secure estate by age at the end of December 2012.

AgeNumber of offenders (December 2012)

10

0

11

0

12

2

13

17

14

44

15

172

The data for December 2012 are provisional and will be finalised when the 2012-13 Annual Youth Justice Statistics are published in January 2014. The figures are from the YJB e-asset database and have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large-scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing and can be subject to change over time.

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While young people receive educational and health assessments on entry to custody, information on the number of young offenders diagnosed with mental health problems or learning disabilities is not collected centrally.

The Ministry of Justice Green Paper published on 14 February 2013 “Transforming Youth Custody: Putting education at the heart of detention” (Cm8564) discusses, among other issues, the educational, emotional and health needs of young people in custody. Wider research, included in the Green Paper, shows that in general young people entering custody have higher levels of mental health problems and learning disabilities when compared with the general population.

Young Offenders: Greater London

Sadiq Khan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice of people aged under 18 years old who were arrested in the Metropolitan police area in each year from 1997 to 2012, how many had previously been found guilty of (a) no offences, (b) one to five offences, (c) 10 offences, (d) 11 to 20 offences and (e) more than 20 offences. [140285]

Jeremy Wright: The Ministry of Justice extract of the police national computer (PNC) holds data regarding all individuals given a caution by any of the 43 national police forces or convicted in a court. It also includes some information where a defendant has been brought to court and been found not guilty. It does not contain information regarding arrests of individuals so it is therefore not possible to provide the previous convictions for an individual who has been arrested.

Young Offenders: Special Educational Needs

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many young offenders have entered the secure youth estate having previously been subject to a school action plan plus since May 2010; [143943]

(2) how many young offenders have entered the secure youth estate having previously been subject to a school action plan since May 2010. [143944]

Jeremy Wright: Young people receive an educational assessment on entry to custody. However, information on the number of young offenders who have previously been subject to a school action plan or a school action plan plus is not collected centrally.

Among other issues, provision for those in custody with special educational needs was the subject of a Ministry of Justice Green Paper published on 14 February 2013: “Transforming Youth Custody; Putting education at the heart of detention” (cm 8564). The Green Paper invites views on how best to meet the needs of young people in custody with special educational needs.

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many young offenders have entered the secure youth estate having previously been diagnosed with having learning difficulties since May 2010; [143947]

(2) how many young offenders have entered the secure youth estate having previously been diagnosed with dyslexia since May 2010; [143946]

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(3) how many young offenders have been identified as having special educational needs (a) on arrival and (b) at a later stage whilst in the secure youth estate since May 2010. [143945]

Jeremy Wright: While young people are assessed for literacy, language and numeracy on entry to custody, and, where appropriate, during their detention, information on the number identified with learning difficulties, diagnosed dyslexia and special educational needs is not collected centrally.

Among other issues, provision for those in custody with special educational needs was the subject of a Ministry of Justice Green Paper published on 14 February 2013: “Transforming Youth Custody: Putting education at the heart of detention” (cm 8564). Wider research, included in the Green Paper, shows that in general young people entering custody have higher levels of learning difficulties, diagnosed dyslexia and special educational needs when compared with the general population.

Robert Flello: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many young offenders have entered the secure youth estate having previously been subject to an educational health and care plan since May 2010; [143949]

(2) what arrangements are in place for young offenders who have previously had an education health and care plan when they enter the criminal justice system. [144058]

Jeremy Wright: Proposals for education, health and care plans are one of the measures included in the Children and Families Bill. They are being trialled in a number of pathfinders across the country and information is not collected centrally on whether any young person previously subject to an educational, health and care plan has entered the youth secure estate. Existing arrangements for those who have previously had a statement of special educational needs would continue to apply to anyone entering the criminal justice system.

Among other issues, provision for those in custody with special educational needs and health issues was the subject of a Ministry of Justice Green Paper published on 14 February 2013: “Transforming Youth Custody: Putting education at the heart of detention” (cm 8564). The Green Paper invites views on how best to meet the needs of young people in custody with special educational and health needs.

Deputy Prime Minister

Elections: Petitions

Angie Bray: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many election petitions have been filed in the last 30 years; and what the reasons for the filing of each was. [143052]

Mrs Grant: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

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In the last 30 years, a total of 135 election petitions were filed in the Election Court. This figure consists of 118 local government petitions and 17 parliamentary petitions.

It has not been possible to obtain the reasons for each of the 135 petitions filed over the whole of the period in question. The court files for the years prior to 2005 are no longer available and the Election Court ledgers for parliamentary and local government election petitions, which might hold the information, are not held in a collated format. However, I can confirm that available records from 2005 to 2013 indicate that election petitions are filed for various reasons, ranging from local government election petitions alleging discrepancies with postal votes and corrupt illegal practice; to parliamentary election petition for non-compliance with the provisions of the European Conventions on Human Rights and misreporting of a candidate’s allegiance and funding.

Of the various reasons, petitions challenging the way votes are counted in an election seem to be more prevalent, having occurred approximately eight times over the last eight years. This reason is closely followed by petitions disputing postal votes in which accusations of tampering and impersonation were made. The latter petitions have declined in recent years following the implementation of new postal voting security measures in 2007. More recently provisions have been brought forward in the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 to allow a Returning Officer’s fee to be reduced or withheld in the event of poor performance, which could be applied to poor management of a count where the wrong candidate is returned.

I am placing a copy of a spreadsheet detailing the grounds for election petitions since 2005 in the House Library.

Treasury

Alcoholic Drinks

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the level of alcohol-related absenteeism in his Department; whether his Department has an (a) internal alcohol policy and (b) occupational health strategy; and if he will publish such documents. [143974]

Sajid Javid: There is no current estimate of alcohol-related absenteeism in HM Treasury. Sick absence is regularly monitored and reviewed and interventions take place where appropriate.

HM Treasury takes the well-being of its staff very seriously. The Department has a formal occupational health service which is available to all employees. This is in place to deliver medical advice and information as required, which helps to prevent sickness absence or aid the return of those who may be off work due to medical conditions.

In addition, a confidential welfare, counselling and advisory service is also available to all staff. Employees can access professional counselling support and advice through this service. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to support staff if they have any personal problems including those arising from alcohol misuse.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 185W

Although there is no current internal alcohol policy, other policies and procedures set out the expected standards of behaviour for staff working for HM Treasury.

Broadband

Alun Cairns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the additional revenue generated by the application of annual licence fees for 700 MHz spectrum from the end of 2014. [143099]

Danny Alexander: The responsibility for determining the annual licence fee rates for commercial users of 700 MHz spectrum is the responsibility of the independent office of communications, Ofcom, as part of its spectrum management duties under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. HM Treasury has therefore not made a formal estimate of any future spectrum licence fees for 700 MHz spectrum.

Accommodation

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what occupation costs of each type are incurred for each property used by his Department; [143301]

(2) what the names and locations are of all properties used by officials of his Department; whether those properties are (a) owned by the Department, (b) leased by the Department and (c) subject to a private finance initiative agreement; when existing lease agreements relating to such properties are due to expire; and what the total floor space is of each property; [143385]

(3) what the (a) total floor space and (b) floor space measured in square metres per full-time equivalent post is of properties used by his Department. [143364]

Sajid Javid: Please refer for answers to the State of the Estate Report 2011, as published on:

http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/networks/pam/property-asset-management-in-government/state-of-the-estate-reports

Child Benefit: Migrant Workers

Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to end child benefit payments to non-resident children of migrant workers; and if he intends to copy other European Economic Area countries and impose a residency condition on such payments. [142736]

Sajid Javid: The UK and other EEA member states do operate a residence requirement for the award of child benefit under domestic legislation. However, as things stand, the EU Regulation 883/2004 places an additional requirement on EEA member Governments to pay family benefits to nationals of EEA countries who are working and paying compulsory National Insurance contributions in their country in respect of members of the family who are residing in another EEA member state.

Coastal Communities Fund

Mr Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will increase the level of funding available through the Coastal Communities Fund for future years. [143917]

25 Feb 2013 : Column 186W

Danny Alexander: Funding for the Coastal Communities Fund is equal to 50% of the revenues generated by the Crown Estate's marine assets. The funding for 2013-14 will be £27.8 million, an increase of £4.1 million from 2011-12.

Funding for future years will be determined in line with this formula and will be reviewed as part of the spending round. We will also review the size of the fund should revenue rise or fall significantly in any given year.

Corporation Tax: Duchy of Cornwall

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 25 January 2013, Official Report, column 517W, on corporation tax: Duchy of Cornwall, whether he plans to consider whether or not the Duchy of Cornwall should be treated as a corporation for tax purposes and thereby liable to pay corporation tax. [144181]

Mr Gauke: I refer the hon. Gentleman to my answer to his question of 25 January 2013, Official Report, column 517W.

Cycling

Mr Bradshaw: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) who his Department's cycling champion is; [144447]

(2) what progress his Department has made on implementing the Cycle to Work guarantee; [144465]

(3) whether his Department has signed up to the Government's Cycle to Work scheme. [144478]

Sajid Javid: HM Treasury first offered members of staff the opportunity to sign up to a Cycle to Work scheme in 2008. The Department currently offers staff the chance to purchase a bicycle through a scheme twice a year in May and November. Each window is open for a four-week period. HM Treasury encourages all its employees to choose environmentally friendly forms of transport to and from work in both its London and Norwich offices and provides free secure storage and changing facilities for those who choose to do so.

HM Treasury does not currently have a cycling champion.

Debts Written Off: Burma

Alex Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what mechanisms he has put in place to ensure that British debt relief to Burma is spent on poverty reduction rather than the military. [143111]

Sajid Javid: An international agreement was reached at the Paris Club on 25 January to clear Burma's arrears towards its Paris Club creditors. As part of this agreement cancelation of arrears due to the UK is subject to Burma's satisfactory performance under an IMF Staff Monitored Program. No additional funds have been created which could be diverted towards military use.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 187W

Excise Duties: Tobacco

Ian Paisley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the effect the incidence of downtrading in the tobacco market has on revenue to the Exchequer. [143763]

Sajid Javid: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has not made any assessment of the effect on tobacco duty of downtrading separately from other relevant factors such as the structural changes to cigarette duty (‘rebalancing’) and the wider economic position.

HMRC publishes data on excise duty collected on tobacco products in the HMRC national statistics bulletin. This shows that tobacco duties have continued to contribute to fiscal consolidation, raising an extra £400 million in 2011-12, despite the continuing consumption trend towards cheaper cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco (downtrading).

Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 11 February 2013, Official Report, column 446W, on excise duties: tobacco, when he expects to sign the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on tobacco control illicit trade protocol. [144404]

Sajid Javid: The Government are fully committed to the objectives of the World Health Organisation's Framework Convention on tobacco control illicit trade protocol. The Government are working closely with the European Commission to establish the best way to implement this protocol across the EU and are awaiting a decision from the Commission on the correct legal base before proceeding further.

Food: Waste

Luciana Berger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much surplus food was thrown away by his Department in (a) 2010, (b) 2011 and (c) 2012. [143461]

Sajid Javid: No surplus food has been thrown away by this Department in 2010, 2011 or 2012.

Inheritance Tax: Scotland

Mr Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of estates in Scotland which were subject to inheritance tax in 2011-12; and which will be so subject in each year to 2018-19. [144618]

Mr Gauke: The number of estates paying inheritance tax in Scotland on death in 2009-10 is published in Table 12.10, available from the HMRC website at

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/inheritance/table12-10.pdf

Data for 2010-11, 2011-12 and later years will be published to the publication schedule, which is available from the HMRC website at

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/updates/annual-plan.pdf

Forecasts of the number of estates in Scotland paying inheritance tax are not available.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 188W

Minimum Wage

Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions (a) he and (b) HM Revenue and Customs has had with the (i) Attorney-General and (ii) the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) about the CPS's policies on prosecuting employers who fail to pay the national minimum wage. [143922]

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

Minimum Wage: Lancashire

Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employers in (a) Pendle and (b) Lancashire have received a warning for non-payment of the minimum wage in the last 12 months for which figures are available. [143680]

Mr Gauke: HMRC does not keep these statistics by reference to town or county.

Minimum Wage: Scotland

Fiona O'Donnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many notices of underpayment of the national minimum wage have been served to employers in (a) Scotland and (b) East Lothian constituency in (i) 2009-10, (ii) 2010-11 and (iii) 2011-12. [143991]

Mr Gauke: HMRC does not keep statistics by reference to constituency. The number of notices of underpayment (NoU) issued to employers by the HMRC minimum wage compliance teams in Scotland for the years requested is as follows:

Financial YearNumber of NoUs issued

2009-10

78

2010-11

95

2011-12

72

Minimum Wage: Yorkshire and the Humber

Diana Johnson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many employers in (a) Hull, (b) Kingston upon Hull North constituency and (c) East Yorkshire have received a warning for non-payment of the minimum wage in the last fiscal year. [144609]

Mr Gauke: HMRC does not keep statistics by reference to town, county or constituency.

Money Advice Service

Simon Hart: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what redundancy payments have been made to staff as a result of the Money Advice Service review; and if he will publish the documentation in relation to the calculation of such payments; [143704]

25 Feb 2013 : Column 189W

(2) what assessment he has made of the effects of the recent reduction in staffing at the Money Advice Service; how the staffing requirement of the service was estimated when it was established; and if he will publish all documents relating to its strategic review. [144052]

Sajid Javid: The Money Advice Service is an independent body and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is responsible for approving its business plan and budget.

I have asked the Money Advice Service to respond to the questions that you have raised in writing. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

NHS: Redundancy Pay

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many special severance payments were reported to his Department by (a) NHS foundation trusts and (b) NHS acute trusts in the last year for which figures are available. [143530]

Danny Alexander: The information is not available in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Pensions

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (1) estimate he has made of the number of people with pensions who have taken an annuity provision from their pension between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2012; [143806]

(2) how many people with pensions availed of an annuity provision from their pension between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2012. [144152]

Sajid Javid: According to statistics collected by the Association of British Insurers, 2,062,152 annuities were sold between 1 January 2008 and the end of Q3 2012, the last date for which data are currently available. Some individuals may have taken out more than one annuity and it is therefore not possible to conclude how many people chose to annuitise in this period.

Public Appointments

Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people he appointed to public bodies in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; (i) how many and (ii) what proportion of those appointees were (A) black or from an ethnic minority, (B) Hindu, (C) Muslim and (D) Chinese in each of those years; and if he will make a statement. [144115]

Sajid Javid: During the 2010-11 financial year the Chancellor of the Exchequer made three new appointments and one reappointment regulated by the Office of the

25 Feb 2013 : Column 190W

Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA). During 2011-12 three appointments and eight reappointments were made.

The Commissioner for Public Appointments collates and publishes information on the number of appointments of candidates from ethnic minority backgrounds. However, this information is not broken down by ethnic group. The Commissioner does not collect information regarding candidates' religion.

Copies of the 2010-11 and 2011-12 annual reports are available at:

http://publicappointmentscommissioner.independent.gov.uk

Copies are available in the Library of the House.

Public Expenditure: Wales

Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what Barnett consequentials will be awarded to Wales as a result of funding allocated to projects in England under the local investment element of the Green Deal. [143394]

Danny Alexander: The Green Deal in Wales is being administered by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, with businesses and home owners in Wales benefiting directly from the scheme. As a result, no Barnett consequentials have been allocated to the Welsh Government.

Radio Frequencies

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the level of interest that will accrue to the Exchequer from holding deposits for the 4G spectrum auction; how he intends to spend any such interest; and if he will make a statement. [144262]

Danny Alexander: No estimate has been made of the likely level of interest accrued from 4G spectrum auction holding deposits. The independent communications regulator, Ofcom, has set the initial deposit at £100,000 per bidder. Ofcom has determined that further deposits may be required at subsequent auction stages. Therefore, the value of these deposits is dependent on the level of bidding.

Regulation

Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many regulations his Department introduced between 1 June 2012 and 31 January 2013; and what the anticipated cost is of each. [144199]

Sajid Javid: The Treasury made 21 new regulations between 1 June 2012 and 31 January 2013. These are shown in the following table, along with estimates of cost where these have been made.

Regulation madeNet average annual costs to business, the voluntary sector and the public sector

The Prospectus Regulations

-£60,000. A net saving.

The Terrorism Act 2000 and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Business in the Regulated Sector) Order 2012

£120,000

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25 Feb 2013 : Column 192W

The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) Order 2012

This regulation implements the same policy as the regulation listed immediately above. Its cost is counted as part of £120,000 figure cited above.

The Payment Services Regulations 2012

£170,000

The Financial Services and Market Act 2000 (Gibraltar) (Amendment) Order 2012

No costs were anticipated from this regulation.

The Undertakings For Collective Investment In Transferable Securities (Amendment) Regulations 2012

No costs were anticipated as the regulation corrected minor errors in an earlier transposition of a Directive.

The Money Laundering (Amendment) Regulation 2012

-£3,130,000. A net saving.

The Syria (European Union Financial Sanctions) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2012

The cost of these regulations is negligible because these Regulations do not themselves impose requirements but reflect amendments to derogations made by the amending Council Regulation.

The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Short Selling) Regulations 2012

Quantification of the costs of this regulation wasn't possible. There will be some cost on businesses. However these are anticipated to be incremental, since the UK already as a short selling regime in place, which these EU derived regulations replace.

Community Emissions Trading Scheme (Allocation of Allowances for Payment) Regulations 2012

No cost is foreseen from this regulation

The Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order 2012

The impact on business, charities or voluntary bodies is expected to be minimal, since the direction is in the same terms as that contained in the Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order 2011, and will not require any change in existing compliance procedures.

The Iran (European Union Financial Sanctions) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2012

The cost of these regulations is negligible, because these Regulations do not themselves impose requirements, but only put in place penalties in relation to activities which are prohibited by the directly effective Council Regulation.

The Equality Act 2010 (Amendment) Regulations 2012

There is no quantified cost for this regulation. The regulations implement a European Court of Justice ruling. The insurance industry will face costs from underwriting changes; marketing changes; sales changes; and losses as a result of consumer premium changes.

The Regulated Covered Bonds (Amendment) Regulations 2012

These changes will have no cost as they clarify existing requirements.

The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Disclosure of Confidential Information) (Amendment) Regulations 2012

The impact on business, charities or voluntary bodies is negligible.

The Payments in Euro (Credit Transfers and Direct Debits) Regulations 2012

-£1,390,000. A net saving.

The Belarus (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2013

The cost of the regulations is negligible, because this instrument does not itself impose significant requirements, but only puts in place penalties in relation to activities which are prohibited by the directly effective Council Regulation

Financial Restrictions (Iran) (Revocation) Order 2013

The cost of the regulation is negligible.

The Financial Services Act 2012 (Transitional Provisions) (Rules and Miscellaneous Provisions) Order 2013

Any costs imposed by these regulations are part of the costs of the regulatory reforms made by the Financial Services Act 2012.

The Iran (European Union Financial Sanctions) (Amendment) Regulations 2013

The cost of these regulation is negligible, because these Regulations do not themselves impose requirements, but only put in place penalties in relation to activities which are prohibited by the directly effective Council Regulation.

The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Prescribed Financial Institutions) Order 2013

Any costs imposed by these regulations are part of the costs of the regulatory reforms made by the Financial Services Act 2012.

Financial Services Act 2012

£86,000,000. Illustrative benefits of £140,000,000 to £1,100,000,000 per year were also estimated for the Act.

Revenue and Customs: Databases

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many authorised agents have had their registration with HM Revenue and Customs deleted as a result of a data-cleansing routine; how many (a) active and (b) inactive agent codes have been deleted on each day since the data-cleansing routine process began; and if he will make a statement; [143995]

(2) on what date senior HM Revenue and Customs officials were made aware that a data-cleansing routine was deleting the registration status of active authorised agents; on what date that data-cleansing routine (a) began and (b) ceased; how many active agents have had their registration status deleted; how many such agents have not had their status reinstated; and if he will make a statement; [143996]

(3) what steps he has taken to ensure that all active authorised agents who have had their registration status deleted as a consequence of a HM Revenue and Customs data-cleansing process (a) are notified and (b) have their status reinstated; by what date all agents who have had their registration incorrectly deleted will be reinstated; and if he will make a statement. [143997]

Mr Gauke: Since 2009 HMRC has run an annual data-cleansing routine for corporation tax agents every April. The aim is to reduce HMRC stationery and postage cost where agents have ceased to act. It has become apparent that agents who have recently set up but have not yet registered for online filing and are not

25 Feb 2013 : Column 193W

yet authorised to act for a company are being automatically deleted in the annual cleanse. HMRC has now implemented changes to the routine that will ensure that any agent recently set up will not be cleansed in the April 2013 run.

The following table provides the date on which each routine was run, the number of corporation tax agents cleansed and the number reinstated.

DateCleansedReinstated

3 April 2009

92,190

1,559

9 April 2010

3,685

363

8 April 2011

4,568

545

13 April 2012

4,346

379

The criteria for a corporation tax agent to be cleansed are:

(1) Not registered for online filing, and

(2) either:

no client has ever been linked to them, or

more than 12 months since any client linked to them, or

any client linked to them ceased more than 12 months ago.

Revenue and Customs: Procurement

Mr Hanson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to increase awareness among small and medium-sized enterprises of the HM Revenue and Customs procurement plan. [143900]

Mr Gauke: To make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to do business with HMRC, opportunities are published on Contracts Finder alongside procurement opportunities for all Government Departments and agencies

https://online.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

HMRC also publishes all relevant procurement pipeline opportunities on Contracts Finder.

HMRC is in the process of putting together a specific pipeline covering all planned procurements that will be published on the 'Potential supplier' section of its website.

Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services

Mr Hanson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the number of double-handled calls made to HM Revenue and Customs call centres; [144041]

(2) what plans he has to monitor the number of (a) repeat calls and (b) transferred calls made to HM Revenue and Customs call centres. [144042]

Mr Gauke: HMRC does not hold the information requested. The Department is committed to reviewing contact centre management information systems alongside NAO over the next12 months.

Mr Hanson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the customer service experience of HM Revenue and Customs call centres. [144043]

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Mr Gauke: HMRC commissioned a new contact centre customer survey in October 2010. A report covering the results from April 2011 to March 2012 was published in January 2013 and can be found at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/transparency/customer-experience-score.htm

Overall the results from the survey show that 82% of customers rated their experience as providing a good or fairly good service.

Roads: Construction

Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2013, Official Report, columns 927-8W, on roads: construction, what road building schemes he has announced in his autumn statements and Budgets since May 2010; and which of these schemes will require a toll to be levied to finance its construction. [143230]

Danny Alexander: The following road building schemes have been announced in the autumn statements and Budgets since May 2010: upgrades to key sections of the A1 in the north-east, a link between the A5 and M1, the dualling of a section of the A30, improvements to junction 30 of the M25, managed motorway schemes on the M3 and M6, improvements to the M1/M6 intersection, the A14 Kettering bypass/the widening of the A453, improvements to the A45/A46 at Tollbar End, the Bexhill to Hastings link road, the Rochdale interchange, the Kingskerwell bypass in Devon and the Lincoln Eastern bypass.

None of these road building schemes will require a toll for finance.

In the 2012 Budget the Government announced that we had identified a shortlist of options to increase capacity and improve performance on the A14 between Huntingdon and Cambridge. It noted that some of these options could be part-funded though tolling where new road capacity is introduced.

Sickness Absence

Mr Marcus Jones: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many days of paid sickness leave per individual member of staff are authorised in his Department on an annual basis; [144479]

(2) what steps he is taking to reduce sickness absence in his Department. [144493]

Sajid Javid: Provided there is a reasonable prospect of recovery and return to work, and subject to the conditions set out as follows, the Treasury will currently allow up to 12 months (365 days) paid sick absence in any rolling four year period.

Within this limit, the Treasury will allow up to:

six months absence (182 days) including weekends at full pay in any one rolling year;

six months absence (183 days) including weekends at half pay in any one rolling year.

Days paid are in line with the civil service sick pay scheme.

The latest sickness absence data for the rolling year to the end of September 2012 showed that the Treasury's average working days lost (AWDL) figure was 4.0 days

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per individual. HM Treasury is firmly committed to the wellbeing of its staff and the reduction of sick absence across the Department. The Treasury regularly monitors sickness absences across the organisation and the reasons for them, particularly if a clear pattern emerges. There is support available for staff through a confidential Occupational Health service with an on-site Occupational Health Adviser available to discuss any medical conditions which could result in long-term sickness absence. This service provides both help to identify, assess and prevent ill-health wherever possible and to provide assistance to any staff who are affected. There is also an Employee Assistance Programme which provides information and counselling services, particularly if problems could result in stress-related absence. Wellbeing events where staff can take part in health checks are also held from time to time.

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HM Treasury also publishes health and wellbeing information for staff, including actions to help avoid illnesses such as norovirus, seasonal colds and flu. We also advertise a number of wellbeing services which are available on site at full cost to the employee.

Social Security Benefits

Ian Austin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in (a) England, (b) the West Midlands, (c) Dudley borough and (d) Dudley North constituency receive (i) carer's allowance and (ii) tax credits. [143418]

Sajid Javid: The following table shows the number of families receiving tax credits, and the number of claimants of carer's allowance; for the four specified regions.

Thousand
 EnglandWest MidlandsDudley boroughDudley North constituency

Number of families receiving tax credits (December 2012)

3,887.1

459.1

24.6

7.2

Number of claimants of carer's allowance (February 2012)

504.8

63.1

4.0

1.2

The tax credit figures presented here will include a small number of out-of-work families for whom an amount equivalent to tax credits is provided through DWP benefits.

These figures on tax credits are taken from the latest HMRC publication “Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics: Geographic Analyses”, found here:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/prov-geog-stats/cwtc-geog-dec12.xls

The figures on carer's allowance can also be found at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool

Social Services: Finance

Mr Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the statement of 11 February 2013, Official Report, column 601W, on social care funding, what discussions he has had with the Scottish Government on any Barnett consequentials arising from the proposals on the funding of care and support in England; and if he will make a statement. [144620]

Danny Alexander: Social care is the responsibility of the Scottish Government, so the reforms announced will apply only in England. The Scottish Government will receive Barnett consequentials of any changes in UK departmental budgets in the normal way.

Staff

Priti Patel: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate his Department's total staffing requirement in full-time equivalent posts for fulfilling its minimum statutory obligations. [143343]

Sajid Javid: HM Treasury's 2012/13 Departmental Business Plan sets out its departmental priorities, staffing levels, and projected budget allocations at May 2012:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/hmt_dept_businessplan_ 310512.pdf

Workforce implications of the Department's spending review settlement are reviewed annually by the Treasury's Executive Management Board, to ensure the Treasury fulfils it core economics and finance Ministry functions. The Treasury's 2013/14 Department Business Plan will set out the resource allocations for the year ahead when published later this year, in line with the cross-Whitehall process.

Tax Allowances

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has given consideration to raising the limits on tax relief on Save As You Earn share option schemes and share incentive plans. [144425]

Mr Gauke: The Government keep the relevant limits for the Save As You Earn (SAYE) and Share Incentive Plan (SIP) employee share schemes under review at all times. The average value of monthly contributions made under SAYE, and the average value of awards made to employees under SIP, are both estimated to be well within the current limits for the schemes.

In response to the Office for Tax Simplification's (OTS) review into the tax-advantaged employee share schemes, which reported in March 2012, the Government have committed to introducing a number of proposals to simplify SAYE and SIP and make them more attractive to businesses and employees. Further detail on these proposals is provided as part of the Government's response to the consultation on the OTS's recommendations, which is available on the HM Revenue and Customs website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget-updates/11dec12/2068.pdf

In all, the Government believe that rather than increasing the current limits, which would be of benefit only to participants who currently contribute the maximum amounts, available resources are better deployed in this package of simplification measures that will benefit a wider range of participants.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 197W

Tax Avoidance

Mr Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to tackle tax avoidance; and if he will consider strengthening disclosure of tax avoidance schemes guidance to help developing countries. [144242]

Mr Gauke: The Government are reinvesting almost £1 billion into HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to better tackle evasion, criminal attacks, unpaid tax debt and avoidance, which will result in additional compliance revenues of £9 billion per annum by the end of 2014/15. The Government have a number of tools at our disposal for tackling tax avoidance, including the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) regime. However, DOTAS is highly specific to the UK, as it only concerns UK taxes and requires a detailed knowledge of the UK's tax system. It cannot, therefore, be applied to other countries. Nevertheless, the Government have other policies in place to more directly assist developing countries by, for instance, building their capacity to establish and maintain effective tax systems of their own.

Taxation: Energy

Andy Sawford: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he has considered introducing energy tax exemptions such as exist in Germany to protect the long-term competitiveness of the UK's energy-intensive industries. [144133]

Sajid Javid: The Government have already taken action to ensure the UK's energy-intensive industries remain competitive. From this year, the Government are implementing measures worth around £250 million over the spending review period to reduce the impact of policy on the costs of electricity for the most electricity-intensive industries. This includes an increase in the level of relief from the climate change levy on electricity for Climate Change Agreement participants from 65% to 90% and a compensation package to help offset the cost of reducing carbon emissions. As set out in the Energy Bill, energy intensive industries will also be exempted from the costs of Contracts for Difference under Electricity Market Reform, subject to consultation and state aid clearance.

Unemployment: Young People

Steve McCabe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions (a) he and (b) his Department has had with organisations, businesses and charities from the west midlands on youth unemployment in that region. [144662]

Sajid Javid: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings and discussions with a wide variety of authorities as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings and discussions.

Announced at the Autumn Statement 2011, the £1 billion Youth Contract went live in April 2012 and will support up to 500,000 young people into employment and education opportunities.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 198W

Yorkshire and the Humber

Diana Johnson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff of his Department are employed in (a) Hull and (b) East Yorkshire. [144420]

Sajid Javid: The number of HMT staff working in Hull and East Yorkshire is nil.

Cabinet Office

Big Society Capital

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many full-time equivalent staff were employed at Big Society Capital in each of the last 12 months; and how many such staff (a) left and (b) joined Big Society Capital in that period. [144261]

Mr Hurd: Big Society Capital (BSC) is an independent organisation established in April 2012. All details regarding its operations, including staffing levels, will be publicly available through its published annual report and accounts.

Civil Service Advisory Board

Mr Spellar: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what his policy is on the implementation of decisions of the Civil Service Advisory Board. [143493]

Mr Maude: There is no civil service body called the Civil Service Advisory Board. However, there was a non-departmental public body, the Civil Service Appeal Board, until 2011, when its functions were accommodated within the civil service.

Correspondence

Mr Cash: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what steps he is taking to ensure that all (a) hon. Members and (b) Secretaries of State are aware of guidance published by his Department in July 2005 on handling correspondence from hon. Members, Members of the House of Lords, MEPs and Members of Devolved Assemblies; what steps he is taking to ensure that all Government Departments comply with the detail prescribed in that guidance (i) throughout, (ii) in paragraph 30 on ministerial signatures and (iii) in Annex A on monitoring, chasing and following up responses; and if he will make a statement. [143824]

Mr Maude: Individual Departments are responsible for the effective and efficient handling of correspondence received in accordance with the principles set out in the Cabinet Office guidance, which is available on the Cabinet Office website:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/guidance-handling-government-correspondence

and in the Libraries of the House.

The Government are determined to respond to Members' correspondence in a timely and accurate manner and publish a written ministerial statement detailing Departments' response times to Members' letters on an annual basis. The statement for 2012 is due to be published shortly.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 199W

Cost of Living

Chris Ruane: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if he will estimate the cost of living, at today's prices, for the average family in each of the last 30 years. [144272]

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated February 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for an estimate of the cost of living, at today's prices, for the average family in each of the last 30 years (144272).

The information requested is not available.

The consumer price inflation statistics produced by ONS are specifically not intended to measure what people often refer to as the “cost of living”. In popular usage, what this means is ill defined. Some use it to mean a measure of the cost of buying sufficient quantities of various items to maintain some minimal standard of living. However, defining this standard is very subjective. Also, if the minimal acceptable standard rises over time, such an index would rise more rapidly than our inflation measures.

Another definition is an index restricted to basic essentials. However, it would be difficult to reach a consensus on what constitutes “basic essentials”. For example, items such as tobacco could be excluded because tobacco may or may not be considered an essential item. Also, many former luxuries such as telephones are how usually considered essential.

The economic definition of the cost of living is the answer to the question “What is the minimum cost, at this month's prices, of achieving the level of utility actually attained in the base period?” Due to the stress on minimum, a cost of living index will usually give a lower rate of inflation than our inflation measures.

Furthermore, consumer price statistics do not measure inflation for the average family. The statistics measure changes to the cost of a “basket” of goods and services bought by households. The content of the basket reflects household expenditure—the more that is spent on an item, the greater importance it has on inflation. The basket looks at total expenditure by households in aggregate rather than expenditure for an ‘average’ family. For example, the prices of gas, electricity and coal heating are included in the basket, although it is unlikely that many households would use all three.

Here is a link to our latest CPI (Consumer Price Indices) release:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/cpi/consumer-price-indices/january-2013/index.html

Please note that these are not cost of living indices and do not approximate cost of living indices.

Cybercrime

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment his Department has made of the cyber security of different brands of mobile devices. [143623]

Miss Chloe Smith: I refer the hon. Lady to the answer I gave on 29 January 2013, Official Report, column 693W.

Employment: Females

John Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of recent trends in female employment in (a) Glasgow North West constituency, (b) Glasgow, (c) Scotland and (d) the UK. [144216]

25 Feb 2013 : Column 200W

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated February 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for the recent trends in female employment in (a) Glasgow North West constituency, (b) Glasgow, (c) Scotland and (d) the UK. (144216)

The ONS compiles Labour Market Statistics for areas below the UK following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions using the Annual Population Survey (APS).

Table 1 shows the number of women aged 16 and over who were in employment in the week prior to interview for the 12 month period October 2011 to September 2012, the latest available period, and for the 12 month period October 2010 to September 2011 from the APS along with the change in the number between the two periods.

Table 2 shows the employment rate for women aged 16 to 64 in the week prior to interview for the 12 month period October 2011 to September 2012, the latest available period, and for the 12 month period October 2010 to September 2011 from the APS along with the change in the number between the two periods.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. A guide to the quality of the estimates is given in table 1.

A wide range of other labour market data for parliamentary constituencies and local authorities are also published on the Office for National Statistics’ Nomis website:

www.nomisweb.co.uk

Table 1: Employment level for females aged 16 and over
Thousand
 12 months ending 
 September 2011September 2012(1)Change between 12-month periods ending September 2011 and September 2012

Glasgow North West

18

***21

3

Glasgow

124

**124

0

Scotland

1,184

*1,182

-2

UK

13,384

*13,497

113

(1) Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates. See Guide to Quality below. Guide to Quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5% we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220. Key: * 0 ≤ CV<5%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered precise ** 5 ≤ CV <10%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered reasonably precise *** 10 ≤ CV <20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered acceptable **** CV ≥ 20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes CV = Coefficient of Variation Source: Annual Population Survey.
Table 2: Employment rate for females aged 16 to 64
Percentage
 12 months ending 
 September 2011September 2012Change between 12-month periods ending September 2011 and September 2012

Glasgow North West

57.1

62.1

5.0

Glasgow

58.3

58.8

0.5

25 Feb 2013 : Column 201W

Scotland

66.8

66.8

0.0

UK

64.8

65.2

0.4

Source: Annual Population Survey.

John Robertson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate he has made of the number of women with children who are (a) not employed, (b) in part-time work and (c) in full-time work (i) in Glasgow North West constituency, (ii) in Glasgow, (iii) in Scotland and (iv) in the UK in each of the last five years. [144585]

25 Feb 2013 : Column 202W

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated February 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking the number of women with children who are (a) not employed, (b) in part-time work and (c) in full-time work, in (i) Glasgow North West constituency, (ii) Glasgow, (iii) Scotland and (iv) in the UK in each of the last five years. (144585)

Estimates have been provided from the Annual Population Survey (APS) household datasets. They show the estimated number of women with children who were employed on a full or part-time basis and those not employed for the UK, Scotland and Glasgow in January to December from 2007 to 2011. It was not possible to provide estimates for those in Glasgow North West due to the small sample size.

The estimates are derived from the Annual Population Survey (APS) and are not seasonally adjusted. As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

Number of women(1) with dependent children(2) who are i) in full-time work ii) in part-time work iii) not employed, January-December 2007-11
Thousand
 UKScotlandGlasgow
 Employed Employed Employed 
 Full-timePart-TimeNot employedFull-timePart-TimeNot employedFull-timePart-TimeNot employed

2007

2,137

2,751

2,339

185

234

164

18

19

28

2008

2,196

2,749

2,347

187

234

161

19

18

24

2009

2,195

2,775

2,430

184

233

169

16

22

25

2010

2,220

2,780

2,422

184

238

167

16

20

26

2011

2,130

2,697

2,385

170

218

169

17

20

26

(1) Women are aged between 16 and 64. (2) Dependent children refers to children who are aged between 0-15 and those aged 16-18 who are in full-time education. Source: Annual Population Survey household datasets

Employment: Retail Trade

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many people in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England are employed in the retail sector. [143990]

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

Letter from Glen Watson:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many people in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England are employed in the retail sector. (143990)

Annual employment statistics are available from the Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES). The table below contains the latest figures available, showing the number in employment in the retail trade sector in 2011, for Barnsley Central parliamentary constituency, the former metropolitan county of South Yorkshire and England.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Employment in the retail trade sector(1) for Barnsley Central, South Yorkshire and England: 2011
 Number

Barnsley Central

3,730

South Yorkshire(2)

54,932

England

2,346,867

(1) Division 47 of the Standard Industrial Classification 2007. (2) Former metropolitan county of South Yorkshire.

Employment: Yorkshire and the Humber

Andrew Percy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) what proportion of people were self-employed in (a) Brigg and Goole constituency and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber in each of the last five years; [144141]

(2) how many people were employed in (a) part-time and (b) full-time work in (i) Brigg and Goole constituency and (ii) Yorkshire and the Humber in each of the last five years. [144142]

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

Letter from Glen Watson, dated February 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Questions asking how many people were employed in (a) part-time and (b) full-time work in (i) Brigg and Goole constituency and (ii) Yorkshire and the Humber in each of the last five years. (144142); and what proportion of people were self-employed in (a) Brigg and Goole constituency and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber in each of the last five years. (144141)

25 Feb 2013 : Column 203W

The ONS compiles Labour Market Statistics for areas below the UK following international Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions using the Annual Population Survey (APS).

Table 1 shows the number of people who were in full-time or part-time employment in the week prior to interview during the relevant reference periods. Estimates have been provided for the 12 month period October 2011 to September 2012, the latest available period, and for the 12 month periods ending in December for 2008 to 2011 from the APS.

25 Feb 2013 : Column 204W

Table 2 show the number and percentage of people aged 16 to 64 who were self-employed for the same periods.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. A guide to the quality of the estimates is given in the table.

A wide range of other labour market data for parliamentary constituencies and local authorities are also published on the Office for National Statistics' Nomis website:

www.nomisweb.co.uk

Table 1: Number of people employed full-time or part-time in their main job
Thousand
 Brigg and GooleYorkshire and the Humber
12 months ending:Full-timePart-timeFull-timePart-time

December 2008

31

12

1,787

651

December 2009

31

13

1,736

654

December 2010

35

12

1,738

663

December 2011

33

11

1,729

662

September 2012(1)

**29

***12

*1,730

*682

(1) Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates. See Guide to Quality following. Guide to Quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5% we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220. Key: * 0 ≤ CV<5%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered precise ** 5 ≤ CV <10%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered reasonably precise *** 10 ≤ CV <20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered acceptable **** CV ≥ 20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes CV = Coefficient of Variation Source: Annual Population Survey
Table 2: Number and percentage of people in self-employed jobs
 Brigg and GooleYorkshire and the Humber
12 months ending:Number (thousand)PercentageNumber (thousand)Percentage

December 2008

6

10.0

275

8.2

December 2009

5

9.3

266

7.8

December 2010

5

8.2

285

8.3

December 2011

5

9.9

277

8.0

September 2012(1)

***5

9.8

*277

8.0

(1) Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates. See Guide to Quality following. Guide to Quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5% we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220. Key: * 0 ≤ CV<5%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered precise ** 5 ≤ CV <10%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered reasonably precise *** 10 ≤ CV <20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered acceptable **** CV ≥ 20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes CV = Coefficient of Variation Source: Annual Population Survey