Police: Surveillance

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Attorney-General in how many cases criminal charges have been (a) considered and (b) brought against undercover police officers for suspected offences committed while they were undercover in the last three years. [174607]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the numbers of defendants and suspects who are undercover police officers. To obtain these data would require a detailed manual file analysis which would incur a disproportionate cost.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Air Pollution

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the continuation of the air quality grants programme. [174672]

Dan Rogerson: Since it began in 1997, the air quality grant programme has played an important role in supporting measures to improve local air quality and to assist the Government in working towards EU air quality standards, especially for nitrogen dioxide (NO2). The grant programme is reviewed annually, based on departmental priorities, and announcements on funding for 2014-15 will be made early next year.

Bovine Tuberculosis

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department plans to permit the use of gassing as part of the badger cull. [174518]

George Eustice: Only controlled shooting and cage trapping and shooting are permitted as control methods during the badger control pilots.

As set out in our draft “Strategy for achieving officially bovine tuberculosis-free status for England”, further research into alternative population control methods (eg sett-based culling methods and non-lethal methods)

11 Nov 2013 : Column 444W

is under consideration. This includes investigating the potential use of anoxic gas or gas-filled foam as a sett-based means of humane culling.

EU Justice and Home Affairs

Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the possible financial implications of opting out of each of the police and criminal justice measures in the third pillar of the EU treaties; and if he will make a statement. [173630]

Dan Rogerson: On 9 July, the Home Secretary announced to Parliament that the Government intended to exercise the UK's opt-out under the Lisbon treaty and seek to rejoin a package of 35 police and criminal justice measures that are in the UK's national interest. Following debates and votes in both Houses of Parliament the Prime Minister wrote to the President of the Council of Ministers on 24 July to provide formal notification that the Government have decided to exercise their right, provided for by article 10(4) of protocol 36 to the treaties, to opt out of all pre-Lisbon police and criminal justice measures.

The Home Secretary has committed to providing Parliament with an impact assessment on the final list of measures that the UK will apply to rejoin. This will be done in good time ahead of the second vote on this matter and contain all relevant information.

Recruitment

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many new staff his Department has employed under (a) fixed-term contracts and (b) short-term contracts since May 2010. [174459]

Dan Rogerson: Core DEFRA recruited (a) 76 staff under fixed-term contracts and (b) 84 staff under short-term contracts between 1 May 2010 and 31 October 2013.

Water Charges

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost of water charges was in real terms in each water company area in each of the last three years. [174426]

Dan Rogerson: The following table sets out the average charges for each water and sewerage and water only company for the past three years.

£
 Average water bill
 2011-122012-132013-14
 WaterSewerageBothWaterSewerageBothWaterSewerageBoth

Water and sewerage company

         

Anglian

191

241

431

194

241

435

194

240

434

Dwr Cymru

186

259

445

183

256

440

181

253

434

Northumbrian

166

198

365

166

196

362

164

195

359

Essex and Suffolk

221

221

221

Severn Trent

180

159

339

179

159

337

177

158

335

11 Nov 2013 : Column 445W

11 Nov 2013 : Column 446W

South West

235

328

563

232

322

555

230

319

549

Southern

156

280

436

156

283

439

158

291

449

Thames

208

137

345

204

142

346

207

147

354

United Utilities

196

210

406

194

210

405

193

213

406

Wessex

237

230

467

241

228

469

249

229

478

Yorkshire

170

196

366

169

197

367

167

201

368

          

Water only company1

         

Bristol

183

185

191

Cambridge

129

130

130

Cholderton

210

 

207

204

Dee Valley

146

148

150

Portsmouth

99

96

96

— —

Bournemouth and West Hampshire

161

157

154.

South East

209

201

201

South Staffs

144

145

144

Sutton and East Surrey

184

184

186

Affinity Water (Central)

185

179

174

Affinity Water (East)

179

173

171

Affinity Water (South East)

202

202

203

1 Customers of water only companies have their sewerage service provided by their local water and sewerage company.

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with water companies on the use of their concessionary schemes to protect community groups from unaffordable surface water drainage charges. [174670]

Dan Rogerson: As a result of the switch by some water companies from the rateable value to a site area method of calculating surface water drainage charges, some community groups experienced unaffordable water charges. The Government brought forward legislation through the Flood and Water Management Act and in December 2010 issued guidance to allow undertakers to operate concessionary schemes for community groups for the purpose of surface water drainage charges.

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the development of social tariffs to help low income households with the cost of water. [174671]

Dan Rogerson: The Government place a high importance on affordability of water bills. We have issued Social Tariffs Guidance to allow water companies to develop concessionary schemes to support those customers that struggle to pay their bills. Water companies can do this in the light of local needs and circumstances and in consultation with their customers. Three companies have already done so.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Cybercrime

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to prevent cyber attacks. [173522]

Hugh Robertson: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with full support from our security and intelligence agencies, continues to address threats in cyberspace and to work with our allies and partners to do the same. The UK plays a leading role in the debate on how we tackle those threats more effectively. We maintain permanent representation at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, where we are closely involved in discussions on cyber issues. We participated in the UN Group of Governmental Experts which produced a report on cyber issues. We are playing a leading role in global capacity building efforts to support the development of operational and policy capabilities in other countries, and also support international activity to increase co-operation to tackle cybercrime.

Developing Countries: Internet

Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking with his international counterparts to advocate a multi-stakeholder approach to internet governance rather than a centralised approach. [173610]

Hugh Robertson: At the heart of the Government's vision for the future of cyberspace is an open, borderless internet that benefits from collective oversight between Governments, international organisations, industry and civil society. This is vital to ensure secure and reliable access to the internet, to enable the internet to remain a driver of growth, development, good governance and innovation in our societies, and to protect our citizens from crime and terrorism online.

In 2011 the Secretary of State launched the “London Process” of international conferences on cyberspace with the objective of achieving a more transparent and inclusive model of governance within which no single

11 Nov 2013 : Column 447W

body controls all of the functions that govern the internet. The London conference was followed by conferences in Bulgaria and South Korea, and we very much welcome the Netherlands Government's offer to host the next conference in early 2015. We will work closely with Dutch counterparts to help ensure it advances our shared goals. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, who have the policy lead, other Government Departments, industry and civil society to continue to advance the arguments for a "multi-stakeholder approach" to internet governance. We are doing this through bilateral discussions, including though our global network of posts and official visits to and from the UK; and working within international fora.

Exports

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the value of export business gained by UK companies through the direct work of UK embassies and high commissions. [174725]

Mr Swire: Independent monitoring and evaluation exercises demonstrate that UK Trade and Investment and Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff at UK embassies, high commissions and consulates assisted UK exporters in signing contracts worth at least £50.9 billion in the 12 months to March 2013.

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what comparative assessment he has made of the growth in UK exports to (a) countries where a diplomatic mission has been maintained and (b) countries with no UK diplomatic mission. [174726]

Mr Swire: Her Majesty's Government take a systematic and strategic approach centred around building relations with emerging powers, while continuing to work closely on existing relationships, including the US, EU and other partners.

In addition, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office continues to strengthen its diplomatic network, deploying more staff to the fastest growing regions, upgrading existing posts and opening new ones. Comprehensive trade statistics are available from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department is taking to support export growth to countries where the UK does not maintain a permanent diplomatic mission. [174727]

Mr Swire: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is committed to promoting the UK's interests in all countries with which we have diplomatic relations, including those covered on a non-resident basis. In 2011, the UK Government agreed a Network Shift programme resulting in a significant move of resources to emerging powers/markets.

In addition, since 2010, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has opened or upgraded 14 missions overseas. Further openings are planned by 2015. The Foreign and

11 Nov 2013 : Column 448W

Commonwealth Office regularly reviews its global representation to ensure it covers the UK's foreign policy priorities and interests.

Gibraltar

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether any Minister or official has agreed or taken any steps to restart talks with Spain on the sovereignty of Gibraltar under the Brussels Process or any other bilateral process. [174826]

Mr Lidington: There have been no discussions, nor have any steps been taken by UK Ministers or officials to restart talks with Spain on the sovereignty of Gibraltar. Our position on sovereignty is clear and has not changed. We will never enter into arrangements under which the people of Gibraltar would pass under the sovereignty of another state against their wishes. Furthermore, the UK will not enter into a process of sovereignty negotiations with which Gibraltar is not content.

Government Communications Headquarters

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what equipment has gone missing from the GCHQ fixed asset register in each of the last 10 years. [174299]

Hugh Robertson: It is the long-standing policy of successive Governments not to comment on matters of intelligence. GCHQ has effective processes in place for managing its fixed assets; these processes are regularly reviewed by the National Audit Office.

Recruitment

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many new staff his Department has employed under (a) fixed-term contracts and (b) short-term contracts since May 2010. [174460]

Hugh Robertson: In common with other Whitehall Departments, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is subject to the Government-wide recruitment freeze with external recruitment only allowed in business-critical cases. Fixed-term and short-term contacts have been used to fill business-critical gaps.

Since June 2010 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has approved the recruitment of:

(a) 59 fixed-term staff;

(b) 136 short-term contracts.

Some of these contracts have already ended. We do not hold details centrally of contracts set up by posts overseas from their own budgets and this information could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Sri Lanka

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the President of Sri Lanka on accreditation for UK journalists wishing to attend the upcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. [174824]

11 Nov 2013 : Column 449W

Mr Swire: We have regularly raised the issue of media access to Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) with the Sri Lankan Government, and have said we expect full and unrestricted access for all media covering CHOGM. I raised this with the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister most recently on 5 November. Any abuses of human rights, media freedom and other acts which would go against the Commonwealth Charter in Sri Lanka in the coming days will be witnessed by the Commonwealth and the rest of the world. We continue to urge the Sri Lankan Government to give free and unfettered access to CHOGM to all who require it.

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with Lord Marland on human rights in Sri Lanka. [174825]

Mr Swire: The Foreign Secretary has had no recent discussions with Lord Marland on human rights in Sri Lanka.

Mr Steve Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he or the Prime Minister has received in favour of the Prime Minister attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sri Lanka; and if he will make a statement. [174840]

Mr Swire: As the Westminster Hall Adjournment Debate on CHOGM on 6 November highlighted, our decision to attend was not taken lightly but it is the right thing to do both for the Commonwealth, and so we can press for progress in Sri Lanka on a variety of issues. This Government strongly support the Commonwealth, and firmly believe it can continue to be a force for good around the world, promoting freedom, democracy and human rights. We also believe that shining a spotlight on Sri Lanka by attending CHOGM and being part of the debate will be of more use than staying away and not being able to influence that debate.

Sunningdale Park

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how often his Department has used Sunningdale Park for civil service events since May 2010; what the nature of each such event was; and what the cost of each such event was. [174401]

Hugh Robertson: The National School of Government was closed in March 2012. The information requested is not held centrally and can be collated only from the individual Departments at disproportionate costs.

Thailand

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the Ambassador of Thailand about the charges against UK citizen Andy Hall. [174831]

Mr Swire: I discussed Mr Hall's case with Thailand's Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jullapong Nonsrichai on 20 May 2013. The Thai Government are not able to

11 Nov 2013 : Column 450W

interfere with the legal process. Her Majesty's ambassador to Thailand and officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have met Mr Hall to discuss his case, most recently in October 2013. We hope that Mr Hall is able to access the appropriate legal advice to resolve his situation in Thailand.

Visits Abroad

Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many overseas trips, and at what total cost, his Department made in each year since 2010; and what the costs of (a) flights, (b) internal travel, (c) hotel accommodation and (d) subsistence were of each trip. [174857]

Hugh Robertson: Value for money is the top priority in our travel and accommodation arrangements. We are committed to ensuring that travel is as cost-effective as possible, particularly in the current climate of reducing departmental budgets. We are continually looking for ways to get better value out of our spend on travel in the context of wider work on reducing overheads and resources devoted to corporate services.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) also encourages the use of secure video-conferencing in a further effort to reduce the number of flights needed. However, face-to-face meetings are a vital part of diplomatic work and this necessarily incur travel. Ministers and senior civil servants are expected to undertake a heavy work load of travel to help promote UK interests throughout the world. The FCO cannot achieve its objectives without overseas travel.

The specific information you requested is not held centrally; collating it will involve at disproportionate cost.

However, I am listing in the table the costs for air, rail and hotel bookings combined made through the FCO travel management company, Hogg Robinson Group plc. The figures provided in the table do not include bookings made through local travel agencies at post, accommodation not booked through Hogg Robinson Group and subsistence. Only a proportion of all FCO travel costs are recorded centrally because the majority of travel is paid from budgets delegated to each post and the Hogg Robinson contract does not currently extend to a majority of posts overseas, to other types of travel than air and rail, or to accommodation paid for by Corporate Cards or by posts overseas.

International travel and hotel costs
 £

2010-11

9,042,977

2011-12

10,391,602

2012-13

13,241,662

The reason for the increase in the figures is because the FCO has centralised its booking system, so more travel is booked through Hogg Robinson and less individually through local travel agents in order to receive the lowest possible fares and maximise value for money to the taxpayer.

Since January 2010 the FCO has moved to a system where staff only claim for “actual” expenditure necessarily incurred as part of their duties. Actual expenses are either claimed back or processed on Government

11 Nov 2013 : Column 451W

Procurement Cards. This replaced the fixed based subsistence system which was in use prior to 2010. The current FCO policy ensures more accountability and transparency in all our travel claims as they are regularly audited, while all transactions made on Government Procurement Cards over £500 are published on a monthly basis as part of our transparency obligation.

Transport

Aviation

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the UK Border Force's submission to the Government's Red Tape Challenge on General Aviation. [175016]

Mr Goodwill: I can confirm that the UK Border Force did not submit a response to the General Aviation Red Tape Challenge. All aviation security regulations were looked at as part of the original aviation Red Tape Challenge which took place in 2012 and it was agreed that all of these regulations should remain unchanged.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the UK Border Force will be represented on the Challenge Panel which will oversee the Civil Aviation Authority's changes to the regulatory system for general aviation. [175017]

Mr Goodwill: I can confirm that the UK Border Force (UKBF) is not represented on the GA Challenge Panel which has been set up to provide a critical friend function to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The panel's remit is to challenge and support CAA to deliver

11 Nov 2013 : Column 452W

proportionate and risk based regulation of GA. This will support and encourage a vibrant GA sector, while ensuring that safety and security remain paramount. The panel will report directly to Ministers. The composition of the panel was announced on 6 November.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has a complete list of UK-registered private planes. [175018]

Mr Goodwill: The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is required to maintain the UK Register of Civil Aircraft under the requirements of the Air Navigation Order 2009. The register includes all aircraft registered in the UK and is publicly available through the CAA website. As of 7 November 2013, the register included 19,859 aircraft of which 18,182 were not operated by the holder of an Aeroplane or Helicopter Air Operator Certificate for the purposes of commercial air transport.

Mr Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many private flights are undertaken each year in UK airspace. [175019]

Mr Goodwill: This information is not recorded by the Department for Transport.

Bus Services: Fares

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average bus fare was in real terms in each of the last three years. [174437]

Stephen Hammond: This information is not held in the form requested. However, my Department does publish a local bus fares index. This provides information at constant prices for Great Britain. Figures for the last three years are as follows:

Local bus fares index (at constant prices1) by metropolitan area status and country: Great Britain
March 2005=100       
Year2LondonEnglish metropolitan areasEnglish non-metropolitan areasEnglandScotlandWalesGreat Britain

2011

118.4

119.9

97.8

111.2

108.3

106.6

110.8

2012

120.5

123.6

100.5

114.0

110.1

109.0

113.4

2013

122.1

123.5

102.9

115.5

111.2

112.8

115.0

1 Adjusted for inflation using the RPI 2 Index as at March

The full table, which includes figures from 1995 onwards, can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/206999/bus0405.xls

Car Tax

Sir Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what mechanisms are to be put into place for owners of vehicles manufactured in 1973 to register them as historic for the purposes of vehicle excise duty from 1 April 2014; and if he will make a statement. [174745]

Mr Goodwill: From 1 April 2014, registered keepers will be able to apply to change the tax class of vehicles manufactured in 1973 to the “Historic” tax class by completing an application and sending it to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Swansea.

Driving Instruction

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimates his Department has made of (a) the average length of time and (b) the average cost of learning to drive in the UK. [178466]

Mr Goodwill: Evidence from recent research suggests that learner drivers take about nine months to learn to drive.

We have estimated that the average cost of learning to drive as being between £1,300 and £1,800, which includes the cost of the provisional licence, professional instruction with an approved driving instructor, fuel and vehicle

11 Nov 2013 : Column 453W

costs associated with private practice with a family member or friend, costs of the driving tests and car insurance.

Driving Tests

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average age has been at which people have passed their driving test in (a) Ribble Valley constituency, (b) Lancashire and (c) the UK in each of the last five years. [174863]

Mr Goodwill: The Driving Standards Agency is responsible for driving tests in Great Britain.

There are no practical car driving test centres in the Ribble Valley constituency.

In each of the last five financial years the average age of candidates who passed their practical car driving test in Lancashire was:

 Average age

2008-09

22.1

2009-10

22.2

2010-11

22.6

2011-12

22.6

2012-13

22.7

In each of the last five financial years the average age of candidates who passed their practical car driving test in Great Britain was:

 Average age

2008-09

22.9

2009-10

22.9

2010-11

23.2

2011-12

23.5

2012-13

23.6

Driving: Licensing

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on the introduction of graduated driving licences. [174333]

Mr Goodwill: The Government are supportive of the general aim to reduce the risks that newly qualified drivers pose to themselves and others, which is why they intend to publish a Green Paper later this year.

The Green Paper will open debate on a graduated driver licensing approach in Great Britain. We are conscious of the safety benefits set out in the recently published Transport Research Laboratory report. In preparing the Green Paper, we have tried to balance safety against the freedom and economic impacts young people could face as result of this approach.

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people had their driving licences revoked in (a) Ribble Valley constituency, (b) Lancashire and (c) the UK in each of the last five years. [174862]

Mr Goodwill: The information is contained in the following table:

11 Nov 2013 : Column 454W

Area20092010201120122013Total

Ribble Valley

276

341

444

384

339

1,784

Lancashire

5,528

6,478

7,753

7,193

5,774

32,726

UK (excluding NI)

173,351

224,545

241,107

228,901

179,241

1,047,145

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people hold (a) provisional and (b) full driving licences in (i) Ribble Valley constituency, (ii) Lancashire and (iii) the UK. [178464]

Mr Goodwill: The information is contained in the following table:

AreaProvisional licenceFull licence

Ribble Valley constituency

8,559

84,913

Lancashire

170,513

1,056,207

UK (excluding Northern Ireland)

7,374,233

38,179,796

Driving: Young People

Mr Ward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he plans to publish his Department's Green Paper on young drivers' safety. [174247]

Mr Goodwill: I intend to publish the Green Paper on young drivers later this year.

High Speed 2

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what cost of investment capital his Department used to calculate the figures included in the Strategic Case for HS2. [173477]

Mr Goodwill: For the purposes of the economic appraisal of HS2, we have assumed that the funding and financing of HS2 infrastructure will come entirely from central Government funds.

While our base assumption is that Government are likely to have a central role in driving forward investment in this vital infrastructure for the country we will continue to examine the potential for private financing to reduce the up-front capital demand on the taxpayer and offer value for money.

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people in Stafford constituency have (a) applied to have, (b) been approved to have or (c) had their home purchased under the High Speed 2 exceptional hardship scheme to date. [173479]

Mr Goodwill: In the constituency of Stafford under the High Speed 2 exceptional hardship scheme to date:

(a) six applications have been received;

(b) three applications have been accepted (three are awaiting a decision); and

(c) no purchases have been completed.

11 Nov 2013 : Column 455W

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will commission an assessment of the option of slower trains allowing a new north-south railway to better follow existing transport corridors and landscape as an alternative to High Speed 2. [173876]

Mr Goodwill: HS2 Ltd published a review of route alignments for HS2 Phase One in January 2012, in particular reviewing the case for an alignment in the Chiltern Line and M40 corridors and an alignment in the M1 corridor. These were found to cost £3 billion and £2.2 billion more than the consultation route respectively while producing less economic benefit.

The route for Phase Two is currently the subject of a public consultation. On the Eastern leg, from Birmingham to Leeds, a significant proportion of the route runs in existing transport corridors (the M42 and the M1). On the Western leg, from Birmingham to Manchester, the options report published by HS2 Ltd reviewed a short listed alternative alignment in the M6 corridor rather than the west coast main line corridor that is the subject of the consultation.

Motor Vehicles: Exhaust Emissions

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much of the £80 million of targeted funding for low carbon vehicle technologies made available through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles will be spent on researching the safety implications of such vehicles. [175069]

Mr Goodwill: None specifically, though safety runs through each of the project themes funded by Government. All ultra-low emission vehicles have to adhere to the same strict safety standards as every other vehicle on the roads.

Railways

Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the most recent findings are of the Rail Delivery Group with regard to work force planning and the creation of apprenticeships for the rail industry. [175015]

Stephen Hammond: An efficient and financially sustainable railway is a growing railway, generating new jobs and opportunities. Our substantial investment plans up to 2019, and beyond that for HS2, represent a huge opportunity for the rail industry and its work force.

Network Rail, a member of the Rail Delivery Group, is one of the UK's leading apprenticeship providers and the Rail Delivery Group as a whole is engaged with the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering.

Mr Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what proportion of (a) first class seats and (b) standard class train seats are occupied on weekdays on trains from London to Birmingham between (i) 6 am and 9 am and (ii) 3 pm and 6 pm; [175154]

(2) what proportion of (a) first class and (b) standard class train seats are occupied from Leeds to London between (i) 6 am and 9 am and (ii) 3 pm and 6 pm on each weekday; [175156]

11 Nov 2013 : Column 456W

(3) what proportion of (a) first class and (b) standard class train seats are occupied on weekdays on trains from London to Manchester (i) between 6 am and 9 am and (ii) between 3 pm and 6 pm. [175157]

Stephen Hammond: Franchised train operators are required by the Department to undertake passenger counts on their services as part of their franchise agreements. The Department for Transport (DFT) holds passenger count data for services between London and Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester collected by the train operators that operate on these routes. However, these data are held by DFT on a commercially confidential basis and so cannot be released.

The train operators that operate services on these routes, namely Virgin Trains, London Midland, Chiltern Railways and East Coast may be able to provide more information.

Railways: Fares

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average rail fare was in each of the last three years. [174439]

Stephen Hammond: The Office of Rail Regulation publishes information on the average revenue per passenger journey made with franchised rail operators. The figures for the last three years are as follows:

 Franchised passenger journeys (million)Franchised passenger revenue (£ million)Average revenue per journey (£)

2010-11

1,354

6,620

4.89

2011-12

1,460

7,229

4.95

2012-13

1,502

7,707

5.13

Source: Office of Rail Regulation

Railways: Finance

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2013, Official Report, columns 612-3W, on cross country railway line, what proportion of the total network grant was paid by Network Rail to the franchised train operating company on the (a) Cross Country, (b) Greater Anglia, (c) Great Western and (d) West Coast railway line in each year since 2009-10. [174847]

Stephen Hammond: The network grant is a sum of money from the Department to Network Rail which is not allocated to specific parts of the rail network, nor is it paid to franchised train operators.

There is no recognised rule for allocating the network grant across franchises. However, the Department for Transport (DFT) does publish an indication of how it may be distributed across the train operators. This is calculated by taking the total network grant, apportioned according to each franchise's share of fixed track access charges, charged by Network Rail to run trains on the network:

http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/cp4-pl-fixed_track_ charges_sched_181208.pdf

11 Nov 2013 : Column 457W

A breakdown by operator is available on the DFT website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rail-subsidy-per-passenger-mile

Railways: Franchises

Christopher Pincher: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assurances on access he can provide to existing and potential future open access operators in light of the new East Coast Mainline schedule of rail franchise replacement and extension. [174618]

Stephen Hammond: Access to the network is a matter for the independent Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). Neither the InterCity East Coast franchise competition nor the franchising schedule announced by the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire Dales (Mr McLoughlin), on 26 March 2013 affect this nor do they affect the current Government position on Open Access. This is unchanged from that outlined in the Command Paper, “Reforming our Railways”, published in March 2012 and as stated in my previous written answer to my hon. Friend on 14 October 2013, Official Report, column 528W.

Railways: Repairs and Maintenance

Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish a schedule of the work for which the Cauldwell Walk depot in Bedford will continue to be responsible following the completion of the Thameslink rolling stock project. [174248]

Stephen Hammond: Network Rail are the owners of Cauldwell Walk depot. It is for the rail industry to decide how and where it manages and maintains its rolling stock fleets. There are a number of possible options for future use of the depot, none of which has yet been finalised.

Railways: Trespass

Mr Alan Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to tackle trespassing on the railway network. [175231]

Stephen Hammond: Trespass on the rail network is a matter for Network Rail as the relevant duty holder.

Network Rail raises awareness of the dangers of trespass through a number of initiatives and is targeting the most likely offenders, young people aged between 16 and 25 years old, via its “Rail Life” and “Trackoff” websites and providing support for community activities including school visits and railway safety centres. In areas with high instances of trespass, Network Rail is replacing existing installations with more secure fences to make it more difficult to access the railway.

More information about Network Rail's work to prevent trespass can be obtained through the National Helpline on 08457 11 41 41 or from:

Network Rail

Kings Place

90 York Way

London

N1 9AG.

11 Nov 2013 : Column 458W

The Government have also made significant resources available to Network Rail during the next Control Period (until 2019) to further improve the safety of our rail network. This includes £109 million ring-fenced funding specifically to reduce risk at level crossings.

Recruitment

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new staff his Department has employed under (a) fixed-term contracts and (b) short-term contracts since May 2010. [174467]

Stephen Hammond: The Department for Transport and its six Executive Agencies have employed 871 new staff under short or fixed-term contracts since 1 May 2010.

Roads: Safety

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to improve rural road safety. [178465]

Mr Goodwill: The Department recently issued revised guidance aimed mainly at local traffic authorities who are responsible for setting speed limits on local roads; it has also been designed to help explain to everyone why and how local speed limits are determined. This circular has been revised following full public consultation in summer 2012.

Traffic authorities set local speed limits in situations where local needs and conditions suggest a speed limit which is lower than the national speed limit. They have the flexibility to set local speed limits that are appropriate for the individual road, reflecting local needs and taking account of local considerations.

I intend to issue a Green Paper on young drivers later this year. Improving the safety and ability of young drivers is a key priority for the Government which is why we have made the driving test more realistic and why we are undertaking a complete review of young people and road safety. The Department is considering several options to ensure that young people are properly prepared and drive safely.

We will continue to work with young people, the insurance industry, and other key partners on the development of any policy interventions we may take forward in the future.

Rolling Stock

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2013, Official Report, columns 612-63W, on cross country railway line, what leasing costs the franchised train operating company on the (a) Cross Country, (b) Greater Anglia, (c) Great Western and (d) West Coast railway line paid to rolling stock companies in each year since 2009-10; and to which rolling stock company each such payment was made. [174848]

Stephen Hammond: Information on leasing costs is commercially sensitive so the Department is unable to provide it.

11 Nov 2013 : Column 459W

Information on which companies lease rolling stock to each of the train operating companies listed is available publicly, including from such publications as "Rail Guide 2013" by Ian Allan Publishing.

Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has (a) to replace class 142, 143 and 144 railbuses and (b) to make such buses compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act. [174956]

Stephen Hammond: Rolling stock deployment is generally a matter for the train operators, with the Government's role primarily focused on ensuring that this represents value for money when the taxpayer's interest is involved.

Thanks to the Government's investment in electrification the number of diesel trains needed in future should fall.

The Department has set out the level of accessibility that it expects Pacers to have if they are to remain in service after 2019. It will be for the owners to decide whether to invest in life-extension works, alongside bidders for future franchises.

Speed Limits

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect on road safety of the divergence of the UK's maximum speed limit from that of other European Union member states. [174832]

Mr Goodwill: The Department has made no assessment of the effect of different speed limits in explaining the safety performance of roads in other EU member states. A range of factors will affect road safety in different EU member states, of which speed limits will be one.

Sunningdale Park

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how often his Department has used Sunningdale Park for civil service events since May 2010; what the nature of each such event was; and what the cost of each such event was. [174408]

Stephen Hammond: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr Maude) today (UIN 174393).

Cabinet Office

Childbirth

Jeremy Lefroy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many, and what proportion, of child births in England were (a) home births and (b) occurred outside maternity wards, in each of the last 10 years. [174717]

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

Letter from Peter Fullerton, dated November 2013:

11 Nov 2013 : Column 460W

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking the Secretary of State for Health how many, and what proportion, of child births in England were (a) home births and (b) occurred outside of maternity wards, in each of the last 10 years. [174717]

The latest year for which figures are available is 2011. The table below shows the number and percentage of women giving birth at home and outside an NHS or non-NHS establishment in England for 2002 to 2011. ONS are unable to identify whether a birth occurred within a maternity ward.

Maternities: place of birth, 2002 to 2011, England
 Women giving birthWomen giving birth at home1Women giving birth outside of an NHS2 or non-NHS3 establishment4
 NumberNumberPercentageNumberPercentage

2011

680,565

16,090

2.4

17,275

2.5

2010

679,638

16,919

2.5

18,075

2.7

2009

663,490

17,834

2.7

18,857

2.8

2008

665,779

18,933

2.8

19,984

3.0

2007

648,684

18,323

2.8

19,348

3.0

2006

629,364

16,923

2.7

17,819

2.8

2005

607,090

15,335

2.5

16,189

2.7

2004

601,467

13,525

2.2

14,338

2.4

2003

584,450

12,746

2.2

13,472

2.3

2002

560,332

12,055

2.2

12,850

2.3

1 At home—denoting the usual place of residence of the mother. 2 NHS establishments (generally hospitals, maternity units and maternity wings). 3 Non-NHS establishments (including private maternity units, military hospitals, private hospitals and communal establishments). 4 Includes women giving birth at home. Note: A maternity is a pregnancy resulting in the birth of one or more children, including stillbirths. The table therefore shows the number of women giving birth rather than the number of babies born. Source: Office for National Statistics

The number of maternities by place of birth (NHS establishments, non-NHS establishments, at home and elsewhere) in England is published annually in the Characteristics of Birth 2 Table 8, available at:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/characteristics-of-birth-2--england-and-wales/index.html

ONS have answered this question using maternities rather than the number of babies born as statistics on place of birth are published in this way.

Job Creation: Private Sector

Julie Hilling: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many new jobs created in the private sector in the last 12 months were (a) unpaid workfare or internships, (b) through zero-hour contracts, (c) part-time, (d) part-time working 16 hours or less per week, (e) part-time working eight hours or less per week, (g) paid at the level of the minimum wage and (h) jobs transferred from public sector organisations. [174810]

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

Letter from Peter Fullerton, dated November 2013:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many new jobs created in the private sector in the last 12 months were (a) unpaid workfare or internships, (b) through zero-hour contracts, (c) part-time, (d) part-time working 16 hours or less per week, (e) part-time working eight hours or less per week, (g) paid at the level of the minimum wage and (h) jobs transferred from public sector organisations. 174810

11 Nov 2013 : Column 461W

Information regarding the number of jobs created is not available. As an alternative, estimates relating to the net change in the number of people in employment in the private sector have been provided from the Labour Force Survey (LFS).

Estimates from the LFS of people working part-time and the numbers working 16 hours or less and those working 8 hours or less per week are provided in the table. This covers the level and change between April to June 2012 and April to June 2013.

Unfortunately estimates relating to people on unpaid government schemes or internships are not available. Estimates relating to zero-hour contracts are available from the LFS; however, full estimates of the total number of people in employment on such contracts are not available from this source. This is, in part, due to reporting error as respondents may fail to identify their type of employment contract correctly. This prevents reliable estimates being produced for the private sector.

The ONS produces estimates for the number of people paid below the national minimum wage but does not produce estimates for those paid at the national minimum wage.

However, you may be interested in the 2013 Low Pay Commission Report, which includes an estimate for the proportion of UK jobs that may be considered 'national minimum wage jobs', meaning that they are either below, at, or up to 5 pence above the national minimum wage:

http://www.lowpay.gov.uk/lowpay/report/pdf/9305-BIS-Low_Pay-Accessible6.pdf

(see paragraph 2.5 on page 20).

The ONS is not able to provide an estimate of the number of jobs that have transferred from public sector organisations into the private sector. Information on organisations that have been reclassified from the public sector to the private sector in the previous year are included in the Public Sector Classification Guide, October 2013, available via the following link:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/na-classification/national-accounts-sector-classification/classification-update--october-2013/public-sector-classification-guide--october-2013.xls

The guide is a list of bodies that have been classified by the ONS as public sector bodies within the National Accounts. As there are frequent changes in the names and number of bodies within the public sector, as well as moves in and out, the guide also includes information on former public sector bodies. ONS have estimated that the employment associated with the public sector organisations which have been reclassified to the private sector between October 2012 and October 2013 is less than 2,000 employees. Jobs may have transferred from public sector organisations to the private sector for reasons other than the reclassification of the organisation itself.

Level and annual change of people in employment in the private sector April to June, 2012 to 2013, UK, not seasonally adjusted
Thousand
 Private Sector1
 Total2Annual ChangeFull-time3Annual ChangePart-timeAnnual Change

2012

22,394

16,386

5,982

2013

22,543

149

16,552

167

5,964

-18

Average actual weekly hours worked by people working part-time in the private sector April to June, 2012 to 2013, UK, not seasonally adjusted
Thousand
 Private Sector1
 8 hours or lessAnnual Change16 hours or less3Annual Change

2012

774

1,569

11 Nov 2013 : Column 462W

2013

739

-35

1,602

33

1 In the LFS the distinction between public and private sector is based on respondents' views about the organisation for which they work. The private sector estimates provided here do not correspond to official estimates which are based on National Accounts definitions. However, the official estimates cannot provide a breakdown by full- or part-time status. 2 Total includes those that did not state their full- or part-time status. 3 Includes those in the category '8 hours or less'. Source: Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Recruitment

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how many new staff in the Deputy Prime Minister's Office have been employed under (a) fixed-term contracts and (b) short-term contracts since May 2010; [174446]

(2) how many new staff his Department has employed under (a) fixed-term contracts and (b) short-term contracts since May 2010. [174454]

Mr Maude: The Deputy Prime Minister's Office is an integral part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Barnsley East (Michael Dugher) on 8 October 2013, Official Report, column 171W.

Sovereignty: Scotland

Pamela Nash: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what discussions (a) he and (b) his ministerial colleagues have had with their counterparts in the Scottish Government regarding the Scottish Government's White Paper on Independence. [174385]

Mr Maude: In line with the practice of previous Administrations, details of discussions with the Scottish Government are not normally disclosed.

Sunningdale Park

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how often his Department has used Sunningdale Park for Civil Service events since May 2010; what the nature of each such event was; and what the cost of each such event was. [174393]

Mr Maude: The National School of Government was closed in March 2012. The information requested is not held centrally.

Third Sector

Lisa Nandy: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much funding his Department has allocated for the Big Society Awards in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14 and (e) 2014-15. [174340]

Mr Hurd: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Harrow West (Mr Thomas) on 17 June 2013, Official Report, column 516W.

Funding has not yet been allocated for 2014-15.

11 Nov 2013 : Column 463W

Treasury

Banks: Pay

Steve Rotheram: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what information his Department holds on how many people currently employed by banks operating in the UK are paid (a) the national minimum wage for apprentices, (b) the national minimum wage for full-time equivalents and (c) the national living wage. [174958]

Mr Gauke: The Government take the enforcement of NMW very seriously and HMRC enforces the national minimum wage legislation on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and has done so since the introduction of NMW in April 1999. It does that by investigating all complaints made about employers suspected of not paying the minimum wage, in addition to carrying out targeted enforcement where it identifies a high risk of non-payment of NMW. This is distinct from the concept of a living wage.

HMRC does not hold information on the size of the workforce in specific employment sectors.

Cash Dispensing: Fees and Charges

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will commission a survey of the relative effect of the cost of pay-to-use ATMs on households in each income decile. [174237]

Sajid Javid: The Government have no plans to commission a survey of the relative effect of the cost of pay-to-use ATMs on households in each income decile.

Energy

John Woodcock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has changed energy suppliers for any of its buildings in the last 12 months. [174554]

Nicky Morgan [holding answer 7 November 2013]: The suppliers of energy to buildings occupied by the Department have not changed in the last 12 months.

HM Treasury seeks to ensure that best value for money is achieved for all procurements. In line with Government policy and to benefit from public sector buying power, it has centralised common commodity procurements, such as energy procurement, through contracts awarded and managed by the Government Procurement Service.

Excise Duties: Fuels

Ms Ritchie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many petrol suppliers in Northern Ireland have supplied evidence in relation to the extension of the fuel rebate scheme to remote inland areas; and from which areas such evidence was received; [169964]

(2) what assessment he has made of the evidence received from petrol suppliers in Northern Ireland regarding the extension of the fuel rebate scheme to remote inland areas. [169965]

Danny Alexander: The Government have launched a supplementary call for information until 6 December 2013. This has been designed to give fuel retailers in Northern Ireland and other areas of the UK a further opportunity to submit information to the Treasury, as part of its plan to extend the island fuel discount to

11 Nov 2013 : Column 464W

mainland rural areas. The Government aim to submit their application to the European Commission in January.

Financial Services: Insurance

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the number of independent financial advisers trading without professional indemnity insurance; and if he will make a statement. [174957]

Sajid Javid: This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA will reply to the hon. Member directly by letter. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Hibu

Toby Perkins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will meet representatives from the Hibu Shareholders Action Group to discuss reported misconduct by the board of Hibu; whether the Financial Conduct Authority plans to investigate that reported misconduct; and if he will make a statement. [174599]

Jo Swinson: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, given my responsibility for corporate governance and shareholder rights.

I am unaware of the Government having been asked to date to meet with the Hibu Shareholders Action Group. The Hibu Shareholders Action Group is welcome to contact BIS officials in the first instance. I will give due consideration to this should any such meeting invitation be received.

The Financial Conduct Authority has no power to inquire into, or take action in relation to, breaches of company law. This Department, via the agency body—the Insolvency Service—has discretionary powers under the Companies Act to conduct inquiries on behalf of the Secretary of State where it appears that there has been misconduct in relation to the affairs of any company, including those not subject to formal insolvency.

In order to maintain confidentiality and to avoid prejudicing any potential court proceedings the Insolvency Service is not able to confirm whether an investigation of a particular company is taking place.

Infrastructure

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department has spent on administering the UK Guarantees Scheme to date. [175112]

Danny Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Coventry South (Mr Cunningham) on 6 November 2013, Official Report, column 217W.

International Monetary Fund

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he has made in promoting governance reform of the International Monetary Fund; and if he will make a statement. [174962]

11 Nov 2013 : Column 465W

Sajid Javid: The Chancellor of the Exchequer set out his priorities for IMF governance reform in his statement at the October 2013 IMF annual meetings, available at:

http://www.imf.org/External/AM/2013/imfc/statement/eng/gbr.pdf

The UK remains committed to reform of IMF governance to maintain the legitimacy and credibility of the fund.

Minimum Wage

Chris Ruane: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were paid below the minimum wage in the most recent period for which figures are available. [174511]

Mr Gauke: The Government take the enforcement of NMW very seriously and HMRC reviews every complaint that is referred to it, investigating the complaint and, in addition, carrying out targeted enforcement where we identify a high risk of non-payment of NMW.

Since April 2013 HMRC has identified 5,303 workers who are owed arrears.

Minimum Wage: Employment Agencies

Mr Umunna: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many recruitment agencies HM Revenue and Customs has identified that are breaching national minimum wage regulations by charging workers for insurance cover in the latest period for which figures are available; and what enforcement action HM Revenue and Customs has undertaken. [174542]

Mr Gauke: The Government take the enforcement of NMW very seriously and HMRC reviews every complaint that is referred to it, investigating the complaint and, in addition, carrying out targeted enforcement where we identify a high risk of non-payment of NMW.

HMRC records information by Standard Industry Codes (SIC). Under the SIC division for Employment Activities, 20 investigations were completed in 2012-13 where workers were owed arrears. HMRC does not hold its management information in a format that will identify the specific reason for underpayment of minimum wage.

Where arrears due to non-payment of the minimum wage are identified, a formal notice of underpayment is sent to the employer. HMRC contacts every employer whom they find has paid workers below the national minimum wage to confirm that they have paid the identified arrears to the workers. In addition, where arrears are found for five or fewer workers HMRC will contact all the workers to confirm payment by the employer. In cases involving arrears for more than five workers HMRC will contact a minimum sample of five workers to confirm payment by the employer.

Overseas Residence: Landlords

Mr Slaughter: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much in total tax receipts the Exchequer has received from non-UK resident landlords in each of the last five years. [174844]

Mr Gauke: The information requested is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

11 Nov 2013 : Column 466W

Poverty: Children

Stephen Doughty: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of children who will be living in households with incomes below 60% of contemporary median net disposable household income (a) before and (b) after housing costs in (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15, (iii) 2015-16 and (iv) 2016-17. [175113]

Nicky Morgan: The Government do not forecast the number of children in households with incomes below 60% of contemporary median net disposable household income.

The latest national statistics on households below average income (HBAI) are available for the period up to the end of 2011-12 at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/households-below-average-income-hbai-199495-to-201112

Revenue and Customs

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of HM Revenue and Customs' ability to meet the target of a five-fold increase in prosecutions announced in the 2010 Spending Review. [169661]

Mr Gauke [holding answer 8 October 2013]: Currently HMRC is on track to exceed its target for mass market evasion for the current year and has a high degree of confidence of achieving the challenging targets set in the 2010 Spending Review.

The 2010 Spending Review set challenging prosecution targets for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to achieve over the following four years; from 165 in 2010-11 to in excess of 1,165 by the end of 2014-15. Prosecution statistics are as follows:

 Prosecutions achieved

2010-11

165

2011-12

301

2012-13

617

2013-14

1406

1 Achieved by end of August 2013

Sunningdale Park

Sheila Gilmore: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how often his Department has used Sunningdale Park for civil service events since May 2010; what the nature of each such event was; and what the cost of each such event was. [174409]

Nicky Morgan: I refer the hon. member to a previous answer of 15 July 2013, Official Report, column 527W.

Tax Avoidance

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the amount of tax revenue lost to the public purse owing to tax avoidance in the last 10 years. [174822]

11 Nov 2013 : Column 467W

Mr Gauke: The latest avoidance tax gap estimate, for £4.0 billion in 2011-12, was published on 11 October 2013 and can be found at:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/statistics/tax-gaps/mtg-2013.pdf

Paragraphs 1.18 and 1.19 of Measuring Tax Gaps 2013 set out the challenges in comparing avoidance estimates with similar analysis in previous publications.

No recent estimate has been made of the avoidance tax gap in other years of the last 10 years.

On the subject of tax avoidance, I can assure you that the Government are fully committed to tackling tax avoidance, taking all necessary steps to protect the Exchequer.

Since 2010, the Government have introduced 33 changes to the law to close loopholes and tighten our legislation against tax avoidance. We recently introduced the UK's first General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) to tackle abusive avoidance schemes, and have consulted on measures to address high-risk promoters of avoidance schemes.

The Government are also reinvesting almost £1 billion into HM Revenue and Customs 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.

Taxation: Environment Protection

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect of the carbon price floor on (a) increasing investment in low carbon power generation and (b) the price of a tonne of carbon. [174301]

Nicky Morgan: The carbon price floor sets a minimum price for a tonne of carbon dioxide in the UK power sector. The carbon price floor starts at £16/tCO2 in 2013 and increases in a straight line to £30/tCO2 by 2020 (2009 prices). It does this by topping up the EU Emissions Trading System carbon price with a UK only tax (the carbon price support rates) on fossil fuels used to generate electricity.

Universal Credit

John Woodcock: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether Ministers of his Department have attended meetings of the ministerial oversight group on universal credit in the last 12 months. [174814]

Nicky Morgan: As set out in the NAO report, “Universal Credit: early progress” from September 2013,

http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/10132-001-Universal-credit.pdf

Treasury Ministers are represented on the ministerial oversight group on universal credit and have attended meetings in the last 12 months.

USA

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he has made in encouraging

11 Nov 2013 : Column 468W

the American Government and Congress to approve the quota and governance reforms agreed by the International Monetary Fund Board of Governors in December 2010; and if he will make a statement. [174964]

Sajid Javid: The communiqué of the International Monetary and Financial Committee from the recent IMF annual meetings, and the accompanying statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, re-emphasised the urgent need to immediately ratify the 2010 IMF quota and governance reform and urged all members who have yet to ratify, to do so without delay.

http://www.imf.org/external/np/cm/2013/101213.htm

http://www.imf.org/External/AM/2013/imfc/statement/eng/gbr.pdf

The UK remains committed to the delivery of the historic 2010 quota and governance package, which will maintain the legitimacy and credibility of the fund.

Welfare Tax Credits: Foreign Nationals

Nicholas Soames: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people currently claiming (a) working tax credit and (b) child tax credit were non-UK nationals at the point of being issued a National Insurance number. [174961]

Mr Gauke: This information is not available.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts: Finance

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding the (a) Royal Opera House, (b) Southbank Centre, (c) National Theatre, (d) English National Opera, (e) British Museum, (f) Natural History Museum, (g) Imperial War Museum, (h) National Gallery, (i) Royal Museums Greenwich, (j) National Museums Liverpool, (k) National Portrait Group, (l) Science Museum Group, (m) Tate Gallery, (n) Wallace Collection, (o) Museum of Science and Industry Manchester, (p) Sir John Soane's Museum, (q) Horniman Museum and Gardens, (r) Geffrye Museum, (s) Royal Armouries and (t) British Library received or is forecast to receive from (i) her Department, (ii) Arts Council England and (iii) the National Lottery in (A) 2010-11, (B) 2011-12, (C) 2012-13, (D) 2013-14 and (E) 2014-15. [174843]

Mrs Grant: DCMS provides direct funding for 13 national museums, the British Library, the Horniman Museum and Gardens and the Geffrye Museum. Funding allocated in each of the financial years from 2010-15 to these directly sponsored bodies is as follows:

     £000
 (A) 2010-11(B) 2011-12(C) 2012-13(D) 2013-14(E) 2014-15

(e) British Museum

46,343

56,051

45,378

43,862

43,315

11 Nov 2013 : Column 469W

11 Nov 2013 : Column 470W

(f) Natural History Museum

48,586

46,480

45,760

44,314

43,869

(g) Imperial War Museum

23,910

21,961

31,186

21,093

15,944

(h) National Gallery

28,201

26,744

26,320

25,520

25,238

(i) Royal Museums Greenwich

19,002

17,258

16,848

16,382

16,268

(j) National Museums Liverpool

23,712

21,875

22,061

20,912

20,725

(k) National Portrait Gallery

7,577

7,398

7,277

7,040

6,962

(1) Science Museum Group

40,153

38,254

43,660

42,247

41,832

(m) Tate Gallery

54,729

45,105

34,912

24,394

32,500

(n) Wallace Collection

4,212

2,983

2,946

2,894

2,892

(o) Museum of Science and Industry Manchester1

4,882

3,332

0

0

0

(p) Sir John Soane's Museum

1,169

1,130

1,111

1,472

1,062

(q) Horniman Museums and Gardens

4,518

4,385

4,199

4,158

4,008

(r) Geffrye Museum

1,773

1,674

1,645

1,689

1,569

(s) Royal Armouries

8,389

7,901

8,773

7,520

7,438

(t) British Library

105,847

101,873

103,868

292,494

98,821

1 The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester merged with the Science Museum Group in January 2012. 2 This figure includes the GIA initially allocated to the Public Lending Right before it was merged with the British Library.

DCMS also contributed a half-share towards the following awards made by the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund in 2012-13:

Sponsored bodyDCMS/Wolfson Fund total award 2012-13 (£)

British Museum

200,000

Science Museum Group

100,000

National Portrait Gallery

86,000

Royal Armouries

100,000

Wallace Collection

75,000

Information on how much funding is allocated to National Portfolio Organisations and Major Partner Museums funded by Arts Council England, at arm's length of Government, is publicly available on the Arts Council's website:

http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/our-investment/investment-in-the-arts-2012-15/

and

http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/our-investment/funding-programmes/renaissance/renaissance-major-grants-programme/renaissance-major-partner-museums/

Details of lottery grants awarded in particular years can be found on the Department's lottery grants database, which is searchable at:

www.lottery.culture.gov.uk

The database uses information on lottery grants supplied by the lottery distributors. It is not possible to determine how much lottery funding these institutions will receive in future years as the distributing bodies for lottery funds make their decisions independently of Government and this Department and in response to applications they receive.