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Communities and Local Government

Bromley London Borough Council (Crystal Palace) Act 1990

Jim Dowd: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when he plans to bring forward amendments to the Bromley London Borough Council (Crystal Palace) Act 1990. [186474]

Brandon Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to the answer that I gave to the hon. Member for Croydon North (Mr Reed), on 11 November 2013, Official Report, column 482W.

At present, the Government do not have any plans to bring forward amendments to the Bromley London Borough Council (Crystal Palace) Act 1990. My officials will further consider what legislative options might be required to enable the rebuilding of the Crystal Palace over the coming months, once the ZhongRong Group has developed more detailed proposals and consulted the public.

Certification Quality Marks: Iron and Steel

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what recent assessment he has made of the financial effect on small and medium-sized businesses of the requirement for CE marking of structural steel; and if he will make a statement; [187202]

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(2) what steps he has taken to reduce the impact on small and medium-sized businesses of the requirement for CE marking of structural steel; [187203]

(3) when in the last 12 months he has met bodies from the steel industry to discuss the requirement for CE marking of structural steel. [187204]

Stephen Williams: The Department produced an impact assessment on the then proposed Construction Products Regulation in August 2009. While there was no specific assessment of the impact resulting from the CE marking of structural steel, the impact assessment considered how the changes would affect smaller firms more generally. The impact assessment is available at:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100104170521/http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/planningandbuilding/constructionproductsimpactfinal

Unlike the Directive the Construction Products Regulation repealed on 1 July 2013, the Regulation sets out simplified procedures for micro enterprises and manufacturers producing products for specific projects.

There have been no meetings in the last 12 months between Ministers in this Department and bodies from the steel industry to discuss the CE marking of structural steel. However, officials are in regular contact with the industry.

Community Relations: Hinduism

Bob Blackman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what financial support his Department provided to the Hindu community in (a) 2010-11, (b) 2011-12, (c) 2012-13 and (d) 2013-14; and if he will make a statement. [186227]

Stephen Williams: I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 29 January 2014, Official Report, columns 599-600W.

Floods: Insurance

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 25 November 2013, Official Report, column 17, what assessment he has made of the number of properties offered under the help-to-buy scheme which are in areas insurance companies deem to be at high risk of flooding; and what discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on including such properties in the Flood Re insurance scheme. [187155]

Kris Hopkins: National planning policy is very clear that inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided and any development that is necessary in flood risk areas should be safe and resilient, without increasing flood risk elsewhere. New house building, including all properties offered under the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme; and most other forms of development should not be permitted in functional floodplains, where floodwater has to flow or be stored.

These important elements of national planning policy have been in place for a number of years. The proposals for the Flood Reinsurance scheme will therefore not include new builds.

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Housing: Floods

Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of recommendations by the Environment Agency against granting planning permission for residential development because of flood risk was not complied with in each of the last three years. [184494]

Nick Boles [holding answer 27 January 2014]: The Environment Agency is consulted for planning applications involving flood risk in specified circumstances. The Agency advises local planning authorities on avoiding inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding or, where development is necessary, how to make it safe and resilient without increasing flood risk elsewhere. The Agency reports the number of planning applications on which it was consulted for detailed flood risk advice in “Managing flood and coastal erosion risks in England”. Reports are available from the Environment Agency at:

www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/library/publications/144594.aspx

However, the overall decision is one for the local planning authority to consider and weigh up the relevant material considerations.

The most recent Agency report advises that:

“Across all development types, 2012-13 is the seventh year in succession in which over 95% of planning applications (where the outcomes are known) were decided in line with Environment Agency flood risk advice. Of the 68,903 new residential units within planning applications on which the Environment Agency has been notified of the decision, over 99% were decided in line with Environment Agency flood risk advice”.

With regard to the differences between the two percentage figures: the 'over 95%' figure is derived from the total number of notified planning decisions for all types of development; whereas the '99%' figure is derived from the number of residential units for which planning permission has been granted within those notified decisions.

This proportion has remained similar over a number of years, and is broadly the same proportion as when the right hon. Member was the Secretary of State with departmental responsibility for the Environment Agency (on residential applications, the figures were 99.2% in 2012-13 compared to 99.1% in 2009-10).

Property Development: Floods

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many times he has exercised his power of recovering a planning appeal to (a) overturn and (b) uphold a local authority's decision to (i) allow and (ii) refuse a planning application for (A) housing and (B) commercial development on a flood plain or in an area of flood risk in each of the last four years. [186800]

Nick Boles: We do not hold the information requested. All decisions on recovered appeals in areas at risk of flooding will be determined taking account of the particular circumstances of the case and having regard to the provisions of the local development plan and relevant national planning policy.

National planning policy is very clear that inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding should be avoided, but where development is necessary it is made safe and does not increase flood risk elsewhere.

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Public Appointments

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many public appointments his Department made in the last 12 months; how many such appointments are remunerated posts; what the level of such remuneration is; and how many people so appointed are (a) women and (b) men. [186392]

Brandon Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 5 February 2014, Official Report, column 301W, by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr Maude).

Roads: Lighting

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions his Department has had with local authorities about the safety effect of dimming street lighting. [186310]

Brandon Lewis: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 10 February 2014, Official Report, columns 419-20W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberconwy (Guto Bebb).

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Crime

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were referred to each of her Department's sobriety pilot scheme areas; how many people completed the scheme in each area; and when she intends to release the full project evaluation. [187236]

Norman Baker: The Home Office published guidance on Using Conditional Cautions with Sobriety Requirements in November 2013. Annex A to that guidance is a summary of findings from the conditional caution sobriety pilot that took place between May 2012 to January 2013. Of the 92 eligible offenders, 68 did not consent to the sobriety conditional caution.

Crown Prosecution Service authorisation for the caution was not given in five cases. There were three breaches of a caution where the offender failed to report for the breath test, having complied with the conditions for between eight to 18 days. Hence, the conditions of the caution were complied with in 16 cases.

Alcoholic Drinks: Prices

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the conclusions of the research commissioned by her Department on the impact on minimum pricing of alcohol has led to the development of legislative proposals by her Department. [185890]

Norman Baker: The Home Office has used the conclusions of the research commissioned by the Government and carried out by the University of Sheffield alongside a range of sources of information to develop legislative proposals related to alcohol pricing.

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Animal Experiments

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to publish her Department's strategy to reduce the number of animals used in medical experimentation. [185282]

Norman Baker [holding answer 30 January 2014]: In support of the Coalition Government commitment to work to reduce the use of animals in scientific research, we published a Delivery Plan on 7 February that set out how the Government is supporting and encouraging the 3Rs—replacement, refinement and reduction—and the programmes and policies through which Government will continue to deliver its commitment.

Antisocial Behaviour

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of current governance arrangements between local authorities and police forces for addressing anti-social behaviour. [186881]

Norman Baker: In many areas, the police and local councils work together very effectively to tackle antisocial behaviour. However there are still too many cases of victims reporting the same problem repeatedly and not getting an adequate response. The community trigger introduced in the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill will give victims and communities the right to demand that local agencies, including councils, the police and registered providers of social housing, deal with such cases. It will require them to work in partnership and adopt a collective, problem-solving approach to persistent antisocial behaviour.

Asylum: Advisory Services

Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will publish the specification for the contract awarded to Migrant Help to provide advice services for asylum seekers from April 2014. [186795]

James Brokenshire: I will place a copy of the statement of requirements for the contract awarded to Migrant Help to provide advice services for asylum seekers from April 2014 in the House Library.

Asylum: Syria

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria her Department has adopted in deciding which refugees from Syria will be offered asylum in the United Kingdom. [184869]

James Brokenshire: The Government consider each asylum application lodged in the United Kingdom, including those made by Syrian nationals, on its individual merits in accordance with the immigration rules and our international obligations, including the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.

In addition to consideration of Syrian asylum applications under our normal rules, the Home Secretary announced on 29 January plans to provide emergency sanctuary in the UK for displaced Syrians who are most

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at risk. Under the new vulnerable person relocation scheme (VPR), the Government will work with UNHCR and other partners to identify the most vulnerable cases displaced by the conflict in Syria and relocate them to the UK. In particular, the programme will prioritise help for survivors of torture and violence, and women and children at risk or in need of medical care.

Mr Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what procedures are in place to enable individuals to offer accommodation to refugees from Syria under the Government's recently announced scheme; and if she will make a statement. [187099]

James Brokenshire: We are in discussions with partners including local authorities regarding the accommodation and support those relocated under the vulnerable person relocation scheme will need when they arrive in the UK. The scheme aims to help the most vulnerable refugees, giving priority to survivors of torture and violence, and women and children at risk or in need of medical care, and those relocated are likely to have very specific support or medical needs. We do not believe, therefore, that it is feasible to place them with individuals in the UK, and we have no plans to enable individuals to offer accommodation under the scheme. However, the Government welcome offers of assistance for the scheme, and those who wish to help may want to inquire with their local authority about ways in which they may be able to contribute.

Borders: Personal Records

Mr Hanson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on the e-Borders programme in (a) 2009, (b) 2010, (c) 2011, (d) 2012 and (e) 2013. [183279]

James Brokenshire: Due to the ongoing legal arbitration between the Home Office and Raytheon, it is not possible to disclose any financial information relating to the e-Borders programme.

Community Relations

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent work has been undertaken by the task force on tackling extremism. [186290]

James Brokenshire: The Prime Minister's Task Force on Tackling Radicalisation and Extremism convened for the final time on 26 November 2013. During the five months of its operation, the Extremism Task Force considered a range of measures to confront extremism in all its forms, including in communities, schools, prisons, faith institutions or universities.

On 4 December 2013 the Government published a document that set out the conclusions of the Task Force discussions and the practical steps that Ministers have agreed to address the gaps in our response to extremism. These include:

Taking steps to ensure local authorities are supporting people on the front line of tackling extremism, and intervening where they are not taking the problem seriously;

Giving additional support to local communities which are on the frontline of tackling extremism, and intervening where they are not taking the problem seriously; and

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Addressing extremism in institutions by improving oversight of religious supplementary schools, finding trained Muslim chaplains to challenge the extremist views on campuses and restricting the ability of extremist and terrorist prisoners to radicalise others.

Departments will now provide regular updates to the Prime Minister on how their measures are being implemented, their impact, and any further steps needed for an effective and comprehensive approach to dealing with extremism.

Council of Europe Convention On Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violenc

Emma Reynolds: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects ratifications by the UK of the Council of Europe's Convention on Violence against Women and Domestic Violence to take place. [187096]

Norman Baker: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 12 November 2013, Official Report, columns 542-43W.

Criminal Investigation

Charlotte Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which organisation her Department and its subsidiary bodies use to tackle internal instances of crime, including corruption and fraud; and whether she has designated this organisation or any individual within it to grant authorisation for carrying out directed surveillance under section 28 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. [186712]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office has an internal anti-corruption unit within the corporate security directorate, for the purpose of deterring, preventing, detecting, investigating and prosecuting corruption and fraud.

Three officers in this unit are trained authorising officers for the purposes of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

Drugs: Misuse

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to page 18 of her Department's Evaluation Framework for the UK Drug Strategy, what assessment she has made of (a) the Impact Analysis project of New Drugs Legislation in the Czech Republic, (b) the paper, What can we learn from the Portuguese decriminalization of illicit drugs in the British Journal of Criminology, (c) the King's College London Randomised Injecting Opioid Treatment Trial report, (d) the report by the National Treatment Outcome Research Study, “After Five Years”, the Department of Health and (e) the No. 10 Strategy Unit Drugs Project Phase 1 report, Understanding the issues; and if she will make a statement. [186538]

Norman Baker: The Home Office has reviewed a wide range of evidence to develop the approach to the evaluation of the 2010 Drug Strategy, including but not limited to the documents listed in the question. In addition, I am engaged in a study of international comparators. The assessment of evidence to feed into the evaluation is ongoing and will continue throughout the evaluation process.

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Entry Clearances

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effect of the introduction of online visa applications and booking systems. [186294]

James Brokenshire: Online visa applications have been introduced for all international visa applications and are being developed and implemented for in country application routes. This is in line with the Government’s digital by default agenda and streamlines the customer journey during the application process. As part of the delivery of this current programme of work a range of research and testing has been carried out with customers to ensure the system delivers and continuously improves. It is too early in the delivery of the current programme to have carried out a more detailed review of the impact of these changes, however user testing and efficiency is central to the whole approach.

Mr Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visa applications were refused due to applicant error in the last 12 months; and how many such decisions were subsequently overturned at appeal. [186360]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office does not collate statistics on this and therefore does not hold this information centrally. Moreover, there is no clear definition of 'applicant error' which could be used to do so.

Entry Clearances: China

Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many work visas have been issued to Chinese nationals in each of the last five years. [186730]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 10 February 2014]: The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the number of work visa applications issued by nationality in table be_06_q_w within the release Immigration Statistics. A copy of the latest release, Immigration Statistics: July to September 2013, which includes these quarterly data up to the third quarter of 2013, is available from the Library of the House and from gov.uk at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-july-to-september-2013/immigration-statistics-july-to-september-2013#before-entry

Firearms: Licensing

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effect of moving the firearms licensing system online. [186289]

Norman Baker: We anticipate that moving the firearms licensing system online will reduce the administrative burden and to a degree the cost of the current system. We are working with police and stakeholders to agree the approach. However, we will not be able to measure the benefits fully until the system is fully operational. Moving the licensing system online will not however eliminate the gap between the cost of administering the scheme and the income derived there from.

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Human Trafficking

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2014, Official Report, column 481W, on human trafficking: victim support scheme, how many of the 270 males referred to the Salvation Army since 1 July 2011 were granted discretionary leave to remain on the grounds of personal circumstances. [185646]

James Brokenshire: The requested information cannot be obtained without incurring disproportionate cost.

Illegal Immigrants

Stephen Barclay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many named illegal migrants are currently listed on the (a) National Operations Database, (b) Case Information Database, (c) National Allegations Database, (d) Migration Refusal Pool, (e) Warnings Index and (f) Watch Lists. [182841]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 16 January 2014]: The information is as follows:

(a), (b), (c) and (d)

The Home Office databases do not record information on illegal migrants in the format in which you have requested. This information could be obtained only by a disproportionately expensive manual case-by-case search to collate the data.

(e) and (f)

It is long-standing policy not to discuss either the specific information held on the Warnings Index and Watch Lists, or details relating to the volumes of data on it, as to do so would not be in the interests of border and national security.

Immigrants: Detainees

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many immigration detainees have been transferred from Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre to Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre in each of the last 12 months; [186543]

(2) how many immigration detainees have been transferred from Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre in each of the last 12 months; [186544]

(3) what the escorting arrangements are for immigration detainees who are transferred from Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre. [186546]

James Brokenshire: The data requested about the transfer of immigration detainees to and from Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) and Harmondsworth IRC can only be collated and verified at disproportionate cost.

Tascor Services Ltd operates the Home Office escorting contract and carries out all routine transfers of immigration detainees to and from Harmondsworth and Colnbrook IRCs.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether contracted companies receive a payment for each reception and discharge of an immigration detainee. [186545]

James Brokenshire: There is no payment made for each reception and discharge of an immigration detainee.

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John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what payments have been made to (a) GEO and (b) Tascor in respect of the transfer of immigration detainees from Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre to Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre in each of the last 12 months. [186547]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office does not make payment to GEO in respect of the transfer of immigration detainees between Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre.

The Home Office does have a contract with Tascor in respect of the transfer of immigration detainees between Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre and Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre. This is based on a rate per mile, the detail of which is commercially confidential.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what payments have been made to (a) Serco and (b) Tascor in respect of the transfer of immigration detainees from Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre to Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre in each of the last 12 months. [186548]

James Brokenshire: The Home Office does not make payment to Serco in respect of the transfer of immigration detainees between Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre and Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre.

The Home Office does have a contract with Tascor in respect of the transfer of immigration detainees between Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre and Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre this is based on a rate per mile the detail of which is commercially confidential.

Immigration

Mr Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people she estimates have arrived in the UK seeking work from Romania and Bulgaria since 1 January 2014. [185858]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 3 February 2014]: The Home Office has not made any estimates. Statistics will be published in the normal way by the Office for National Statistics and the Department for Work and Pensions once they are available.

Licensing Laws

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 9 July 2013, Official Report, column 151W, on licensed premises, what steps she has taken to consult on the implementation of full-cost recovery for alcohol licences; and whether she intends to implement this in July 2014. [186832]

Norman Baker [holding answer 10 February 2014]:We will consult shortly on the regulations to introduce locally-set licence fees under the Licensing Act 2003. It is our intention at present to lay the regulations in June 2014.

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Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many local authorities have introduced (a) a late night levy and (b) an early morning restriction order; and how much she estimates those powers (i) raised in their first year of operation and (ii) will raise in their second year of operation. [186833]

Norman Baker [holding answer 10 February 2014]: Two local authorities have adopted the late night levy so far. Newcastle upon Tyne commenced the levy on 1 November 2013 and Cheltenham will commence its levy on 1 April 2014. A number of other areas have also been actively considering the measure.

Newcastle city council estimates that the levy will raise £320,000 annually.

Cheltenham borough council estimates that the levy has the potential to raise annual gross income of £199,000.

No licensing authority has yet introduced an early morning alcohol restriction order. A number of areas have been actively considering whether the measure could be of benefit to them.

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the net cost to local authorities of implementing an alcohol licensing regime. [186834]

Norman Baker [holding answer 10 February 2014]: We will shortly be launching a consultation on regulations to introduce locally-set fees under the Licensing Act 2003. Alongside this consultation an impact assessment will be published, which considers how to achieve recovery of the costs of licensing authorities in discharging their functions under the 2003 Act.

Misuse of Drugs Ministerial Group

Diana Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times the inter-ministerial group on drugs has met since May 2010; and how many times (a) prevention, (b) education, (c) legal highs and (d) treatments have been on the agenda of those meetings. [186836]

Norman Baker [holding answer 10 February 2014]: Further to the answers given on 9 July 2012, Official Report, column 82W, and 27 June 2013, Official Report, column 353W, I can confirm that the Inter-Ministerial Group on Drugs met on 10 July 2013 and 18 December 2013.

As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to publish details, including agenda items, of such meetings.

Offenders: EU Nationals

Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to ensure that EU nationals convicted of serious crimes are deported; and if she will make a statement. [184011]

James Brokenshire: The Government are clear that European economic area (EEA) nationals who benefit from the right to free movement must adhere to the responsibilities this brings with it and abide by our laws.

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All EEA nationals who have committed a serious offence are referred to the Home Office for consideration of deportation in accordance with the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006. While a valid deportation order remains in force against an individual it prohibits that person's admission to the UK.

The Immigration Bill will strengthen the powers we have to deal with foreign criminals. It will seek to end the abuse of article 8 by ensuring that an appropriate balance is struck between the right to respect for family and private life and the wider public interest in controlling immigration and protecting the public. Additionally we will extend the number of non-suspensive appeals so that, where there is no risk of serious and irreversible harm, we can deport criminals first and hear appeals later. We will look to apply these provisions to both EEA and non EEA nationals.

Passports

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will assess the effectiveness of the use of the Royal Prerogative to remove passports from British nationals whom her Department want to prevent from travelling abroad to take part in extremist activity, terrorism training or other fighting. [186537]

James Brokenshire: The decision to issue, withdraw, or refuse a British passport is at the discretion of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), under the Royal Prerogative. On 25 April 2013, Official Report, column 68WS, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary set out the circumstances under which a passport can be issued, withdrawn or refused. That statement redefined the public interest criteria to refuse or withdraw a passport.

A decision to refuse or withdraw a passport must be necessary and proportionate. A decision to refuse or withdraw a passport under the public interest criteria will be used sparingly and will be subject to careful consideration of a person's past, present or proposed activities.

Measures taken for reasons of public interest, and their effectiveness, are kept under continuous review.

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Pay

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of (a) permanent, (b) temporary and (c) contract staff in her Department are paid the living wage or above. [186671]

James Brokenshire: All permanent members of staff directly employed by the Home Office are paid the living wage or above.

The Home Office does not keep information on the level of pay of staff employed by organisations contracted to provide services within the Home Office. The Home Office's facilities management contracts will be reviewed this year. This will provide an opportunity to consider the contractors' proposed wage rates and their proposals for service delivery. The Government will always award contracts on the basis of the best value for money for the taxpayers—which includes the low paid.

We do not have access to salary data centrally for temporary or agency staff as these employees are not on the Home Office payroll, but we are working with suppliers to ensure that if these staff are engaged in employment for 12 weeks, then in accordance with the agency workers regulations their pay and terms and conditions will rise to match their directly employed colleagues.

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many civil servants are on each pay grade in (a) her Department and (b) agencies and public bodies accountable to her. [187248]

James Brokenshire: The number of civil servants (full-time equivalent (FTE) on each pay grade as at 31 December 2013 is provided for (a) the Home Department in Table 1 and (b) the Executive agencies in Table 2.

Executive non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) are independent of the Home Office. They are responsible for the employment of their own staff. This information cannot be provided as to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

The Home Office Executive NDPBs are the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, Security Industry Authority, Disclosure and Barring Service and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Table 1: (a) FTE of civil servants in the core Home Office by pay grade at 31 December 2013
 FTE 
Department1.AA2.AO3.EO4.HEO5.SEO6.G77.G68.SCSFTE total

Core Home Office

901

4,246

9,606

3,511

1,957

1,230

437

194

22,082

Data source: Data View—The Home Office’s single source of Office for National Statistics compliant monthly snapshot corporate Human Resources data. Period covered: Data is provided as at 31 December 2013. Extraction date: 1January 2014. Organisational coverage: Figures are for the core Home Office (including UK Visas and Immigration, Immigration Enforcement and Border Force) only. Employee coverage: Data is based on full-time equivalents (FTE) of all paid civil servants, who were current as at t31 December 2013.
Table 2: (b) FTE of civil servants in the Home Office's Executive agencies by pay grade at 31 December 2013
 FTE 
Executive agency1.AA2.AO3.EO4.HEO5.SEO6.G77.G68.SCSFTE total

HM Passport Office

537

1,319

758

301

179

88

30

11

3,223

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National Fraud Authority

0

0

5

Less than 5

6

5

Less than 5

Less than 5

25

1 Less than 5. Data source: Data View—The Home Office’s single source of Office for National Statistics compliant monthly snapshot corporate Human Resources data. Period covered: Data is provided as at 31 December 2013. Extraction date: 1 January 2014. Organisational coverage: Figures are for the Home Office's Executive agencies; Her Majesty's Passport Office and the National Fraud Authority. Employee coverage: Data is based on full-time equivalents (FTE) of all paid civil servants, who were current as at 31 December 2013. Redaction: Figures less than 5 have been redacted and replaced with the words "Less than 5", in line with Data Protection Act guidelines on the release of small numbers.

Police and Crime Commissioners

Dr Offord: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what obligation exists on police and crime commissioners to adhere to the framework of national standards and authorised professional practice. [186778]

Damian Green: The Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill, proposes to give the College of Policing the power to set national standards.

Chief constables must have regard to national standards concerning police practice and procedure set through Codes of Practice issued by the College; Police and Crime Commissioners must have regard to national standards set through statutory guidance issued by the college concerning the training, qualifications and experience of police staff.

Prisoners: Foreign nationals

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many foreign national prisoners, who were given temporary release to attend interviews with the immigration service at immigration detention centres operated under contract to the UK Border Agency, were transported to and from their interviews in each month of the last three years; [186541]

(2) what the cost has been of escorting foreign national prisoners, who were given temporary release to attend interviews with the immigration service at immigration detention centres operated under contract to the UK Border Agency in each month of the last three years. [186542]

James Brokenshire: Foreign national offenders are not given temporary release in order to attend interviews at Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs).

It is not possible to give the number of foreign national offenders who were moved to attend interviews at IRCs and the cost of those moves as this would require the examination of individual records at disproportionate cost.

Procurement

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what her Department's 10 largest contracts let since the financial year 2010-11 are; what savings have been made in such contracts; what the level of overspend or underspend was in each such contract; and what steps her Department has taken to monitor the performance of each such contract following the contract award. [183961]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 22 January 2014]: It has been the Home Department's policy since January 2011 to publish details of all contracts with a value of £10,000 or more on Contracts Finder:

www.gov.uk/contracts-finder

In addition, Home Department's expenditure over £25,000, is published at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transparency-spend-over-25-000

Each contract has in place appropriate mechanisms to monitor performance.

Property

Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) name, (b) location, (c) floor space, (d) tenure status and (e) value is of properties (i) owned and (ii) occupied by (A) her Department and (B) agencies and public bodies accountable to her. [187289]

James Brokenshire: Published details of Home Office properties can be found at:

http://data.gov.uk/dataset/epims

The value of the properties owned and occupied by the Home Office including leases held on balance sheet is £663.5 million. This includes properties owned by the Department’s sponsored non-departmental public bodies.

Public Appointments

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many public appointments her Department made in the last 12 months; how many such appointments are remunerated posts; what the level of such remuneration is; and how many people so appointed are (a) women and (b) men. [186400]

James Brokenshire: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 5 February 2014, Official Report, column 301W, by the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, my right hon. Friend the Member for Horsham (Mr Maude).

11 Feb 2014 : Column 573W

Social Networking

Mr Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 28 January 2014, Official Report, column 483W, on social networking, what steps the Government are taking to raise procedures for timely compliance of Twitter with requests from enforcement agencies. [186936]

Norman Baker: Further to my answer of 28 January 2014, the Government stresses the importance of robust working relationships with law enforcement agencies as part of its ongoing engagement with social media companies. Ministers will shortly be meeting with a number of companies, including Twitter, to discuss what more can be done to protect people from online abuse. National Policing Leads are also in regular contact with the social media companies to establish effective information sharing protocols.

Speed Limits: Rural Areas

Gavin Williamson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking to ensure that speed limits are adhered to in rural constituencies. [187180]

Damian Green: Enforcement of speed limits is an operational matter for the police.

Individual police forces may also work with local communities and local volunteers to tackle speeding, taking into account specific local needs.

Vetting: Taxis

Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effect of changes to Criminal Records Bureau checks on taxi drivers. [186491]

James Brokenshire [holding answer 10 February 2014]: In October, the London Taxi Drivers Association and some larger mini cab firms raised concerns about the delays experienced by some of their members applying for criminal record checks issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

In response, the DBS undertook to actively follow up with local police forces any application from a taxi driver delayed beyond 45 days. Since being put in place last October, these measures have reduced the number of delayed DBS applications from taxi drivers. The DBS continues to monitor the situation closely.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Dogs: Imports

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many dogs entered the UK from each country for (a) non-commercial purposes under the Pet Travel Scheme and (b) commercial purposes under the Balai Directive 92/45/EEC in each year since 2000. [186362]

George Eustice: I have placed three tables in the Library of the House which set out this information.

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Dredging: West Sussex

Mr Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to require the Environment Agency to dredge the Aldingbourne Rife in West Sussex. [186520]

Dan Rogerson: Every year, in order to reduce flood risk the Environment Agency cuts and removes reed from the Aldingbourne Rife. This maintenance programme is regularly reviewed to find the most effective use of the available funding.

The Aldingbourne Rife catchment drains out to sea through a large tidal outfall at Felpham. Pumps allow drainage to continue at all stages of the tide. This reduces the risk of flooding to Bognor Regis, Barnham and surrounding rural communities.

The Environment Agency and other local risk management authorities are working together to investigate how to manage flood risk from multiple sources across the entire Aldingbourne Rife catchment. This work is ongoing and will identify whether existing flood defence assets need to be improved or whether additional maintenance work such as dredging would be beneficial and cost effective.

A preliminary view on the benefits of dredging parts of the Aldingbourne Rife compared to other options will be known by the summer of 2014.

Environmental Protection

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the evidential basis is for the statements (a) in the Biodiversity Offsetting Green Paper that offsetting guarantees there is no net loss from development and supports our ambition to achieve net gain for nature and (b) in his answer of 9 January 2014, Official Report, column 440, that in Australia there has been a 80 per cent. shift of planning application away from fragile environments; and if he will publish (i) that evidence and (ii) the record of discussions on this issue during the trip to Australia referred to in his evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee on 23 October 2013. [186971]

George Eustice: The metric which underpins biodiversity offsetting accurately and objectively quantifies the impact of development on biodiversity and the level of compensation that would be required. This will better enable local planning authorities to ensure that there is no net loss to biodiversity as a result of development.

The metric will encourage the strategic delivery of offsets in ways that contribute to Sir John Lawton's principles of:

'bigger sites, better managed sites, and more inter-connected sites'.

This can be achieved by encouraging aggregated and connected offsets of priority habitat. As a result, the Government believe offsetting will contribute to their ambition to create net gain for nature by contributing to the Biodiversity 2020 objective to create:

'more, bigger and less fragmented areas for wildlife, with no net loss of priority habitat and an increase in the overall extent of priority habitats by at least 200,000 ha'.

11 Feb 2014 : Column 575W

The 80% reduction in planning approvals for the clearance of fragile environments comes from work by Dr Phil Gibbons of the Australian National University (GIBBONS, P. (2010) ‘The case for biodiversity offsets’ Decision Point 39, 2-3). Other evidence supporting DEFRA's consultation was set out in the accompanying impact assessment. A detailed record of discussions during the trip to Australia is not available.

Fisheries: Morecambe Bay

David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place the most recent version of the draft Morecambe Bay Hybrid Fisheries Order in the Library. [186668]

George Eustice: DEFRA is currently working with the North West Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority on a final draft of the Order. It would not be appropriate to release a draft at this stage, but we will do so when the final draft is ready. This will also go out for public consultation.

Floods: Chatham

Tracey Crouch: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on flood defences in Chatham and Aylesford constituency in (a) 2007-8, (b) 2008-09, (c) 2009-10, (d) 2010-11, (e) 2011-12 and (f) 2012-13; and how much has been allocated by his Department for flood defences in that constituency in (i) 2013-14, (ii) 2014-15 and (iii) 2015-16. [186365]

Dan Rogerson [holding answer 6 February 2014]:The amount the Environment Agency has spent, or plans to spend, on flood defences projects in Chatham and Aylesford is as follows:

 Spend (£)

2007-08

124,000

2008-09

124,000

2009-10

142,000

2010-11

59,000

2011-12

59,000

2012-13

77,000

2013-14

1104,000

2014-15

1222,000

1 Planned spend

Figures do not include local levy funding. The allocation for 2015-16 has not yet been made.

Floods: Health Hazards

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research has been carried out by (a) his Department, (b) consultants for his Department and (c) agencies for which he is responsible on the effects on the release of methane gas from rotted grass and other vegetation inundated by the recent floods. [186352]

Dan Rogerson: To date there has been no specific research on the effects of rotting grass and other vegetation on the release of methane as a result of the recent floods by DEFRA, consultants or agencies.

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Fuels: Waste

Mrs Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to publish a call for evidence on the refuse-derived fuel market; and what timetable he has set for publication of recommendations arising from that consultation. [R] [186826]

Dan Rogerson: We plan to publish a call for evidence on the refuse-derived fuel market in the spring. The timings for any follow-up consultation and recommendations on the way forward will depend on the evidence submitted.

Game

Andy Sawford: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the rise of the pheasant population and its impact on other wildlife. [186618]

George Eustice: DEFRA has not made an assessment of the rise of the pheasant population nor its impact on wildlife.

Marine Protected Areas

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the UK has taken towards achieving an international agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea including a globally accepted mechanism for designation of high seas marine protected areas before the end of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly this year. [187008]

George Eustice: In accordance with the commitment made in the Natural Environment White Paper, the Government are committed to the negotiation of a new implementing agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction which should, in particular, address the designation of marine protected areas (MPAs).

DEFRA, working in close cooperation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, has played an active role in discussions on this issue at the United Nations Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction. At its last meeting, a process was agreed to prepare for a decision to be made by the end of the 69th session of UN General Assembly on the commencement of formal negotiations for a new Agreement.

The UK will continue to press for an agreement that recognises the role MPAs play in the conservation of marine biodiversity when discussions on the scope, parameters and feasibility of any future implementing agreement are undertaken at the forthcoming UN Working Group meetings.

Pay

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (a) how many and (b) what proportion of staff employed by (i) his

11 Feb 2014 : Column 577W

Department, (ii) agencies of his Department and (iii) contractors of his Department are paid less than the rate defined by the Living Wage Foundation as a living wage. [184445]

Dan Rogerson: The Government support businesses paying the living wage when it is affordable and not at the expense of jobs. The Government's primary policy for supporting the low paid is the national minimum wage which is carefully set at a level that maximises wages without damaging employment prospects.

Core DEFRA has no direct employees paid less than the living wage. There is one agency worker in core DEFRA who is being paid below the living wage. This equates to 0.9% of agency workers in core DEFRA.

AHVLA, RPA and VMD have no direct employees paid less than the living wage.

CEFAS has two direct employees who are paid just below the living wage. This equates to 0.3% of staff employed by CEFAS.

Fera has 17 direct employees, on an apprenticeship scheme, who are paid below the living wage. This equates to 2% of staff employed by Fera.

There are 200 staff paid less than the living wage employed on two contracts, arranged by the core Department, providing services to the DEFRA estate. This equates to 35% of staff employed on these contracts. It would be of disproportionate cost to examine all our smaller contracts.

Plastic Bags: Recycling

Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what provision exists for the recycling of plastic bags (a) nationally and (b) in Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. [187211]

Dan Rogerson: To reduce the overall environmental impact of single use plastic carrier bags, we have encouraged retailers to put recycling facilities for carrier bags at the front of their stores. This makes it easier for consumers to recycle their bags. We have worked with retailers to gain better data on their front-of-store recycling facilities, and over half of supermarket stores (of those which have provided data) have such facilities available. While this is good news, more can be done and we would like to see more such recycling facilities provided.

We do not hold data on the provision of recycling facilities for carrier bags in Gloucestershire.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the potential effect of costs savings at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, on the scientific research and conservation work carried out at the gardens; [186737]

(2) what costs savings he expects to make at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, over the next 12 months; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of such changes on the services provided to the public by the gardens. [186736]

11 Feb 2014 : Column 578W

Dan Rogerson: The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) is funded from a variety of sources: Government, commercial income, charitable giving including through the independent charity the Kew Foundation and other grants. DEFRA provided £32.5 million in funding in financial year 2012-13, the most recent complete year of data, out of total income of £59.8 million.

The total budget for financial year 2014-15 will be set by the RBG Kew Board of Trustees as part of the annual business planning process. This plan will specify the year's activities, including those relating to its scientific research and conservation work, and the services provided to the public by the gardens and will be agreed with Ministers.

Waste: Exports

Mrs Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his policy is on the export of waste from the UK; and what assessment he has made of the effects of the recent increase in exports of refuse-derived fuel on gate fees in the UK. [R] [186825]

Dan Rogerson: All waste exports must comply with the requirements of the EU Waste Shipments Regulation. This does not allow the export of waste that is contaminated to the extent that it could not be managed in an environmentally sound manner. The Waste Shipments Regulation applies directly in the UK and is supplemented by a set of domestic regulations, the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations.

We are aware of concerns about the recent increase in exports of refuse-derived fuel and its effect on gate fees in the UK. We intend to publish a call for evidence shortly that will seek evidence on the market for refuse-derived fuel and the extent to which a market failure might exist. This will enable us to assess the effect of increased exports on the UK market for refuse-derived fuel, including its impact on gate fees.

Women and Equalities

Equality

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities how many and what proportion of businesses participating in the Government's Think, Act, Report scheme have (a) conducted a gender pay audit, (b) are publicly reporting the pay of all employees by gender and (c) adopted any other measures under the Think, Act, Report scheme. [186620]

Jenny Willott: Think, Act, Report is designed to drive greater transparency around the role of women in the workplace. The framework sets out around 50 measures on issues such as internal staff policies; the representation of women in different roles and grades; and pay scales. Companies supporting Think, Act, Report choose which measures are most suitable for them to report against.

Over 160 companies are now participating in the initiative, collectively employing just over 2 million people in the UK. All participating companies report against at least some of the measures in the framework. Of those companies responding to a recent survey, around half have conducted a gender pay audit; and some

11 Feb 2014 : Column 579W

participating companies, such as Friends Life, publish detailed gender pay gap information for each grade. The Government are encouraging more companies to do this.

Reporting the pay of all employees could be contrary to the Data Protection Act 1998, and is therefore not required by the initiative.

Work and Pensions

Atos Healthcare

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to his letter of 8 January 2014 to the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland on the performance of Atos, when he will publish the results of his Department's monitoring of the delivery and quality of service provided by Atos. [186619]

Mike Penning: The letter of 8 January 2014 referred to the Atos Healthcare complaints process for a constituent. There are no plans to publish the results of the Department's routine monitoring of the delivery and quality of Atos Healthcare service provided.

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average waiting time is for applicants for personal independence payments to be seen by Atos Healthcare for an assessment in each region. [186721]

Mike Penning: The Department intends to publish official statistics on personal independence payment from spring 2014.

Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what target his Department has set Atos Healthcare for the length of time taken to complete assessments for personal independence payments; and what steps his Department takes when that target is not met; [186722]

(2) whether his Department has imposed any penalties on Atos Healthcare for delays that personal independence payment applicants have experienced in waiting for an assessment since April 2013. [186723]

Mike Penning: The Department has set both personal independence payment assessment providers a target for the length of time to complete assessments of 30 working days.

The Department has robust expectations for provider performance and contracts include a full set of service level agreements setting out expectations for service delivery, including quality of assessments and the number of days to provide advice to the Department.

Officials meet regularly with both assessment providers to discuss performance. Failure to meet contractual obligations will result in the Department applying service credits in line with the contract.

Children: Poverty

Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the number of children living in poverty with at least one working parent; and what recent estimate he has made of such figures in each year to 2020. [186487]

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Esther McVey: Estimates on the number of children in relative low income, absolute low income and combined low income and material deprivation who are in a family where at least one adult is in work are available in the following table.

However, of the 1.5 million children in working families experiencing relative low income in 2011-12, only 100,000 were from families where all parents (including lone parent and couple families) were in full-time work.

We do not believe you can accurately project child poverty to 2020. We know that poverty projections are rarely accurate. For example, IFS projections in October 2011 suggested the number of children in relative poverty would fall by 100,000 in 2010-11, whereas in fact it fell by 300,000.

Estimated number of children in relative low income, absolute low income and combined low income and material deprivation who are in a family where at least one adult works (Before Housing Costs), UK, 2011-12
Million
 At least one working adult in family

Relative low income

1.5

Absolute low income

1.7

Combined low income and material deprivation

0.7

Notes: 1. These statistics are based on Households Below Average Income (HBAI) data sourced from the 2011-12 Family Resources Survey (FRS). This uses disposable household income, adjusted using modified Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) equivalisation factors for household size and composition, as an income measure as a proxy for standard of living. 2. Net disposable incomes have been used to answer this question. This includes earnings from employment and self-employment, state support, income from occupational and private pensions, investment income and other sources. Income tax payments, National Insurance contributions, council tax/domestic rates and some other payments are deducted from incomes. 3. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100,000. 4. Figures have been presented on a Before Housing Cost basis and therefore housing costs are not deducted from income. 5. When considering the living standards of children, measures after housing costs can underestimate the true standard of living as a family may make a choice to spend more on rent or mortgage to attain a higher standard of accommodation. 6. All estimates are based on survey data and are therefore subject to a degree of uncertainty. Small differences should be treated with caution as these will be affected by sampling error and variability in non-response. 7. The reference period for HBAI figures is the financial year. 8. In Households Below Average Income, a household is defined as a single person or group of people living at the same address as their only or main residence, who either share one meal together or share the living accommodation. This differs from a benefit unit (family), which is defined as a single adult or a married or cohabiting couple, plus any dependent children. From January 2006 same-sex partners (civil partners and cohabitees) are also included in the same benefit unit. A household will consist of one or more benefit units. The figures above are based on children living in households in relative low income, absolute low income, and combined low income and material deprivation, who are in families where at least one adult works. Source: HBAI 2011/12

Crisis Loans

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received more than one crisis loan in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010, (d) 2011, (e) 2012 and (f) 2013. [187364]

Steve Webb: Table 1 gives the number of people who received two or more crisis loans between 2008 and 2012. The figures are presented by calendar year.

Table 1: Number of people who received two or more crisis loans between 2008 and 2012
 Number of people who received two or more crisis loans

2008

384,400

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2009

539,000

2010

581,800

2011

508,100

2012

442,500

The Crisis Loan scheme ended on 31 March 2013. 74,400 people received two or more crisis loans between 1 January 2013 and the end of the scheme. This figure includes loans that were received before 31 March 2013 but processed after this date.

Notes:

1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using Official/National Statistics but in this case we only have Management Information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as Official/National statistics.

2. The volume of applications and awards for crisis loans increased following the introduction of telephone applications in 2007-08. In April 2011, the number of awards for crisis loans for general living expenses an individual could receive was limited to three in a rolling 12 month period, causing volumes to fall.

3. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people applied for crisis loans in (a) 2008, (b) 2009, (c) 2010, (d) 2011, (e) 2012 and (f) 2013. [187365]

Steve Webb: Table 1 gives the number of people who applied for Crisis Loans between 2008 and 2012. The figures are presented by calendar year.

Table 1: Number of people who applied for Crisis Loans between 2008 and 2012
 Number of people who applied for Crisis Loans

2008

984,200

2009

1,250,800

2010

1,306,700

2011

1,151,700

2012

1,067,300

Notes: 1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all parliamentary questions using Official/National Statistics but in this case we only have Management Information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as Official/National statistics. 2. The volume of applications and awards for Crisis Loans increased following the introduction of telephone applications in 2007-08. In April 2011, the number of awards for Crisis Loans for general living expenses an individual could receive was limited to three in a rolling 12 month period, causing volumes to fall. 3. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.

The Crisis Loan scheme ended on 31 March 2013. 414,100 people applied for Crisis Loans between 1 January 2013 and the end of the scheme. This figure includes loans that were received before 31 March 2013 but processed after this date.

Employment and Support Allowance

Kate Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of applicants for employment and support allowance who do not receive a decision within the target waiting time of 35 days; and what steps he is taking to expedite such applications. [186211]

Mike Penning: There is no 35-day target for making decisions on employment and support allowance.

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Paul Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 18 November 2013, Official Report, column 669W, on employment and support allowance, (1) if he will set out (a) the age of those with a mental health condition who were transferred from incapacity benefit to an employment and support allowance work-related activity group without being seen by an assessor, (b) what medical conditions those on incapacity benefit had been diagnosed with for the period September 2011 to November 2012 and how many such people have been diagnosed with each such condition and (c) what medical conditions those transferred from incapacity benefit to the employment and support allowance support group without being seen by an assessor have been diagnosed; and how many such people have been diagnosed with each such condition; [186700]

(2) if he will set out (a) what medical conditions those transferred from incapacity benefit to jobseeker's allowance without being seen by an assessor have been diagnosed with and how many such people have been diagnosed with each such condition, (b) what medical conditions those transferred from incapacity benefit to the employment and support allowance support group after having being seen by an assessor have been diagnosed with and how many such people have been diagnosed with each such condition and (c) what medical conditions those transferred from incapacity benefit to the employment and support allowance work-related activity group after having being seen by an assessor have been diagnosed with; and how many such people have been diagnosed with each such condition. [186701]

Esther McVey: Tables 1 and 2 I provide the relevant information requested where it is possible and not disproportionate to do so. However, as noted in the previous answer, decisions on entitlement for employment and support allowance are not based on a diagnosed condition. The decision to place an incapacity benefit claimant on to employment and support allowance, or to support them on to jobseeker’s allowance, following the outcome of their work capability assessment is based on the impact that such conditions have on a claimant's functional ability.

With regards to those incapacity benefit claimants who are reassessed and subsequently supported on to jobseeker’s allowance, all of these claimants will have received a face-to-face assessment. Claimants are not found fit-for-work without a face-to-face assessment.

Table 1 shows the ages of incapacity benefit claimants in the mental and behavioural diagnosis group that were referred for reassessment between September 2011 to November 2012, received a paper based assessments and were placed in the Work-Related Activity Group or the Support Group. (Figures for Great Britain only.)

 WRAGSG

All Ages

71,900

69,200

18-24

2,100

3,500

25-34

10,900

13,700

35-44

18,600

16,300

45-49

12,600

11,400

50-54

12,500

11,100

55+

15,200

13,100

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Table 2 shows those incapacity benefit IB claimants referred for reassessment between 2011 to November 2012 by diagnosis group and whether placed in the Work-Related Activity Group or the Support Group. (Figures for Great Britain only.)

   Outcomes for paper based assessmentOutcomes for face to face assessment
Diagnosis groupWRAGSGWRAGSG

All

145,300

146,100

126,100

69,100

Diseases of the Musculoskeletal system and Connective Tissue

24,400

15,300

22,500

11,000

Diseases of the Nervous System

10,300

15,300

6,200

3,100

Diseases of the Respiratory and Circulatory System

7,900

9,800

4,900

4,600

Injury Poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes

1,700

1,600

2,000

1,200

Mental and Behavioural disorders

71,900

69,200

65,000

32,900

Other

29,000

34,800

25,400

16,400

Paul Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 18 November 2013, Official Report, column 669W, on employment and support allowance, if he will set out (a) what medical conditions those transferred from incapacity benefit to jobseeker's allowance after having being seen by an assessor have been diagnosed with and how many such people have been diagnosed with each such condition and (b) how many people put in the work- related activity group without having been seen by an assessor have been in contact with the work programme; how many such people have achieved employment outcomes; how many people put in the work-related activity group after having been seen by an assessor have been in contact with the work programme; how many such people have achieved employment outcomes; and if he will make a statement. [186702]

Esther McVey: The information is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Employment: Sex Establishments

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what recent evidence his Department has about the future career choices of people whose first job is in ancillary roles in sex establishments such as pole dancing clubs and massage parlours; [187117]

(2) what assessment he has made of the future career choices of people whose first job is in ancillary roles in adult entertainment establishments. [187182]

Esther McVey: The information requested is not available.

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will review the decision to offer job subsidies for the employment of teenagers as auxiliary workers in lap and pole dancing clubs, strip clubs and in saunas and massage parlours; and if he will make a statement; [187118]

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(2) if he will make it his policy not to offer job subsidies for employing teenagers as auxiliary workers in adult entertainment establishments; and if he will make a statement. [187183]

Esther McVey: This Government took action to ensure that jobs in the adult entertainment industry which might exploit jobseekers were not advertised through Jobcentre Plus. The Welfare Reform Act 2012 ensured that vacancies which involve performing sexual activities were banned from being advertised on Government websites and a distinction was made in law to differentiate between performers and ancillary workers. Jobcentre Plus work coaches are specifically guided to only discuss these vacancies with claimants who ask about them.

Financial Services

Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 4 February 2014, Official Report, column 207W, on financial services, on what dates (a) Ministers and (b) officials of his Department met (i) the CBI, (ii) the TUC, (iii) Which?, (iv) the NAPF and (v) Age UK in the last four months; and what the purpose of each such meeting was. [187363]

Steve Webb: The information requested is as follows:

(a) Details of meetings with external organisations held by DWP ministers are published quarterly, three months in arrears, on GOV.UK as part of this Government's transparency drive. Information relating to October to December 2013 is due to be published in April 2014.

(b) In the last four months Department for Work and Pensions officials have met representatives from the CBI four times, representatives from the TUC on five occasions, representatives from Which? nine times, representatives from the NAPF on 13 occasions, and representatives from Age UK three times. Officials have also met with some NAPF members.

Discussions have covered research findings, pension protection following transfer of employment, definition of money purchase benefits, the new TPR objective, GMP conversion and equalisation; complex multi-employer schemes, automatic transfers; commission; proposals outlined in the consultation on charging; risk sharing, scheme quality; and decumulation.

The above lists are not exhaustive, as officials also have contact with stakeholders from across the industry through working groups, roundtables, open workshops, and other collective forums.

Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his oral answer of 13 January 2014, Official Report, column 577, what the evidential basis was for his estimate of between 3,000 and 5,000 people that may have been affected by the under-occupancy penalty since April 2013. [187104]

Esther McVey: On the information currently available, we estimate the numbers affected are likely to be fewer than 5,000 nationally.

This is based on the assumption that if a claimant's current claim started before 1 January 1996 they would have been entitled to the transitional protection and therefore affected.

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Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of social housing tenants affected by the implementation of the under-occupancy penalty are (a) men and (b) women. [187175]

Esther McVey: This information is provided in our equality impact assessment available from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/214329/social-sector-housing-under-occupation-wr2011-ia.pdf

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of social housing tenants who have moved to smaller social housing since the introduction of the under-occupancy penalty are (a) women and (b) men. [187176]

Esther McVey: The information requested is not available.

Jobseeker’s Allowance: Disqualification

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claiming jobseeker's allowance were issued with a sanction in each of the last five years; and how many of these subsequently did not keep their claim alive. [187150]

Esther McVey: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave to his previous question number 183792, on 22 January 2014, Official Report, column 248W.

The information requested on the number of sanctions claimants who subsequently did not keep their claim alive is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Service Charges

Mr Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many of the 16 examples of ineligible service charges, outlined in universal credit service charges—guidance for landlords in April 2013, are currently eligible service charges under housing benefit. [187368]

Steve Webb: Housing benefit regulations stipulate which service charges are ineligible. For universal credit the regulations say what service charges are eligible. The intention is that there should be no difference in outcome for tenants, landlords and owner-occupiers in respect of what charges are eligible under housing benefit and universal credit and the published universal credit guidance on service charges makes that clear.

Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations

Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the annual (a) staffing and (b) other costs are of conducting medical interviews for employment and support allowance and disability living allowance applicants. [187410]

Mike Penning: Atos Healthcare conducts assessments on behalf of the Department, at a cost of approximately £100 million per annum. This figure not only covers the total number of assessments undertaken across all benefits (excluding personal independence payment) and all costs relating to written and verbal medical advice, fixed overheads, staffing, administrative costs, investment in new technology and other services.

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UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Paul Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the Government's commitment to give due consideration to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) when making new policy and legislation, if he will place in the Library all assessments of how new policy and legislation from his Department since January 2013 has given due consideration to the UNCRC. [186593]

Esther McVey: The Department for Work and Pensions is fully committed to considering the impact of all new policies and legislation, where they impact specifically on children. We have embedded equality analysis into the processes we use to develop, deliver and evaluate our policies, practices and services. This ensures that we continue to assess the likely and actual effects of what we do on children, where applicable, and other groups with protected characteristics. The decision to publish details of equality analysis is made on a case-by-case basis by the appropriate senior responsible officer.

We place the interests and wellbeing of children and young people at the heart of all our work. While developing the 2014 Child Poverty Strategy we have consulted groups representing children, and their rights and wellbeing, in the 2012 Child Poverty Measurement Consultation which ran until February 2013. The response is forthcoming. In addition we have consulted the views of children and young people, and their representatives and families, in a series of focus groups and events prior to the launch of the 2014 strategy's online consultation.

Prior to the introduction of new legislation, detailed consideration is undertaken to ensure that the Bill is compatible with individual's convention rights; which overlaps with the rights set out in the UNCRC.

More widely, the coalition Government are due to report to the UN Committee responsible for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child shortly. The Department for Education is co-ordinating the response with contributions from other Government Departments, including the work that the Department for Work and Pensions has undertaken. Once the Government have submitted their response to the UN Committee, a copy will be placed in the House Library.

The 2012-13 measures consultation:

http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm84/8483/8483.pdf

Warm Home Discount Scheme: Isle of Wight

Mr Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households on the Isle of Wight have benefited from the warm homes discount scheme. [187006]

Steve Webb: The information requested is not available. The number of people who received a warm home discount in Great Britain in winter 2012-13 was around 1.1 million; figures are not available below this level.

Work Programme

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of (a) all participants and (b) lone parents have secured a

11 Feb 2014 : Column 587W

sustained job outcome following their participation in the Work programme in the most recent period for which figures are available. [187151]

Esther McVey: Statistics on how many people secured a sustained job outcome following participation in the Work programme, including those who are lone parents, for the latest data available can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dwp-statistics-tabulation-tool

Guidance for users is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-tabulation-tool-guidance

Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much has been paid to Work programme providers as (a) attachment payments, (b) job outcome payments and (c) sustainment payments for (i) all Work programme participants and (ii) jobseeker's allowance customers since June 2011. [187152]

Esther McVey: The total paid to Work programme providers in the UK for all Work programme participants is £1,047 million, made up of:

£504 million Attachments payments

£242 million Job Outcome payments

£301 million Sustainment payments.

The amount paid in respect of JSA customers (payment groups 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9) is £931 million made up of:

£409 million Attachments payments

£233 million Job Outcome payments

£289 million Sustainment payments

Spend figures are from the start of the programme through to 30 September 2013, the period covered by the December 2013 statistical release.

The Work programme is payment by results. Not only does the Work programme support people into employment, it is also designed with the crucial aim of keeping them there. It encourages long-term private sector employment, not a short-term fix. Providers are paid according to the results they deliver, not rewarded for failure.

Working Mothers

Gloria De Piero: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the benefit to the economy of mothers in work in each of the last five years. [186621]

Esther McVey: Mothers make a valuable contribution to the economy every year, with the 5.8 million mothers with dependent children in employment in the UK in 2013 (Labour Force Survey, Q2 2013) accounting for around a fifth of the workforce.

Deputy Prime Minister

Decentralisation

6. Ben Gummer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister What discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on the role of decentralisation in the implementation of the Heseltine review. [902509]

11 Feb 2014 : Column 588W

Greg Clark: The Government published their response to Lord Heseltine's report in March 2013, accepting his recommendation to devolve powers and resources from central Government to local places.

Lord Heseltine is accompanying me as we meet all 39 local enterprise partnerships to provide feedback on their draft bids.

10. Stephen Barclay: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with his ministerial colleagues on devolution and decentralisation. [902513]

Greg Clark: This Government are committed to decentralisation of power and funding to local communities. Most recently, I, alongside my ministerial colleagues from the Departments for Local Government, Business and Transport are going round the country to meet representatives from all 39 local enterprise partnerships to discuss their proposals to drive economic growth.

City Deals

7. Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress he has made on the implementation of the second wave of city deals. [902510]

8. Mark Pawsey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what progress he has made on the implementation of the second wave of city deals. [902511]

Greg Clark: The Government are making excellent progress in the second wave of City Deals. To date we have conducted 12 deals with cities and I am confident that we will conclude the remaining deals in the coming weeks.

Delivery of each Wave 2 City Deal is underpinned by detailed implementation plans, which were agreed with local leaders as part of their deal. These plans are supported by strong city-wide governance arrangements. In addition to local delivery arrangements the Government will also monitor the delivery of each deal, ensuring that both cities and the Government live up to the commitments that have been made.

Enfranchisement: 16-year-olds

9. Mr McKenzie: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what his policy is on votes for 16-year-olds. [902512]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I responded to the hon. Member's question at Deputy Prime Minister's Questions on 11 February 2014.

Public Appointments

12. Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what role he plays in making public appointments across Government; and if he will make a statement. [902517]

The Deputy Prime Minister: The Prime Minister takes my views into account when fulfilling his statutory role in making public appointments.

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Colombia

Jim Shannon: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions he had with (a) church groups, (b) unions and (c) political opposition parties in Colombia on his forthcoming visit to that country. [186502]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I set out details of my visit to Colombia and Mexico at Deputy Prime Minister's Questions on 11 February 2014.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Paul Burstow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister with reference to the Government's commitment to give due consideration to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) when making new policy and legislation, if he will place in the Library all assessments of how new policy and legislation from his Office since January 2013 has given due consideration to the UNCRC. [186582]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Civil Society on 10 February 2014, Official Report, column 552W.

Energy and Climate Change

Eggborough Power Station

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps have been taken to prepare for conversion of the Eggborough power plant to biomass before the decision not to award Eggborough a green subsidy. [186600]

Michael Fallon: Any steps taken to prepare Eggborough for conversion are a matter for the company.

Based on their provisional ranking following phase 2 of FID enabling for renewables, the three Eggborough biomass conversion units that applied to the process have provisionally been assessed as not being affordable. They remain in the process and have received a draft investment contract and have been invited to submit a binding application in March 2014. The final selection of projects and affordability assessment will be carried out following the receipt of binding applications.

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the costs to the public purse were of preparation for conversion of Eggborough power plant to biomass. [186601]

Michael Fallon: The Department has not provided financial support towards any cost of preparation for conversion of Eggborough power plant to biomass.

Based on their provisional ranking following phase 2 of FID enabling for renewables, the three Eggborough biomass conversion units that applied to the process have provisionally been assessed as not being affordable. They remain in the process and have received a draft investment contract and have been invited to submit a binding application in March 2014. The final selection of projects and affordability assessment will be carried out following the receipt of binding applications.

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Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether any Minister in his Department has visited Eggborough power plant in the last 12 months. [186602]

Michael Fallon: No Minister in the Department has visited Eggborough power plant in the last 12 months.

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions or meetings (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with representatives of recognised trade unions about the future of the Eggborough plant. [186606]

Michael Fallon: Eggborough Power Limited has applied for an Investment Contract under the Department of Energy and Climate Change's Final Investment Decision (FID) Enabling for Renewables project. While the selection process for Investment Contract is ongoing, neither the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), Ministers or officials in his Department have met with trade union representatives to discuss Eggborough's FID Enabling for Renewables application or the future of the plant.

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what proportion of the Eggborough plant is owned by foreign companies. [186612]

Michael Fallon: Eggborough has been an independent business since 1 April 2010. The Department does not hold information on individuals or companies that may hold an interest in Eggborough power plant.

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps his Department is taking to keep the Eggborough power plant open beyond 2015. [186623]

Michael Fallon: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Bassetlaw (John Mann) on 28 January 2014, Official Report, column 517W.

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (1) how many people are employed on a zero-hours contract at the Eggborough power plant; [186624]

(2) how many apprenticeships will be incomplete if the Eggborough power plant closes in 2015. [186625]

Michael Fallon: The Department does not hold this information.

Energy

Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2014, Official Report, columns 703-4W, on energy, what assessment his Department has made of the market share of suppliers in the non-domestic energy market in the last 10 years. [186085]

Michael Fallon: The non-domestic electricity markets consists of customers who have their meters read every half-hour: HH consumers (big organisations that consume

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a peak load of 100 kWh of electricity during a day) and non-half hour consumers: Non-HH (medium to small organisations).

The non-domestic gas markets consists of customers who have their meters read on a daily basis: DM consumers (high usage) and non-daily metered: nDM (low usage).

The following reports published by Ofgem show the market share in the non-domestic supply market in Great Britain in 2005, 2007 and 2012.

2005 National Report to European Commission:

http://www.ceer.eu/portal/page/portal/EER_HOME/EER_PUBLICATIONS/NATIONAL_REPORTS/NR_2005/NR/E05-REP-01-03Z_NATIONAL%20REPORTS_QU-UK-V2.PDF

page 41 for electricity and page 77 for gas.

Energy Supply Probe Initial Findings Report in October 2008:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/82755/2013greatbritainandnorthernirelandnationalreportstotheeuropean commission.pdf

pages 127 for electricity and 128 for gas.

2013 National Report to the European Commission:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/ofgem-publications/82755/2013greatbritainandnorthernirelandnationalreportstotheeuropean commission.pdf

pages 60 for electricity and 111 for gas.

The following tables show the market share for non-HH electricity and nDM for gas in 2005, 2007 and 2012.

Non-domestic electricity non-HH market share
 Percentage of market share:
SupplierDecember 2005December 2007December 2012

British Gas

27.54

26.3

24.3

E.ON (formerly Powergen)

16.09

17.6

22.1

RWE nPower

22.16

12.9

8.8

Scottish Power

7.55

11.5

7.4

SSE

10.66

11.4

15.2

Edf

8.7

11.4

14.8

Bizz

0

3.3

0

E4B

0

2.3

0

Opus

0

1.4

5.1

British Energy

0

1.4

0

Haven

0

0

1.6

Gazprom

0

0

0.2

Good Energy

0

0

0.1

Others

0

1.3

0.2

Non-domestic gas non-daily metered market share
 Percentage of market share:
SupplierDecember 2005December 2007December 2012

British Gas

21.46

47.7

35.5

E.ON

24.07

20.7

25.6

RWE nPower

6.10

8.3

0.8

Scottish Power

0

7.2

1.0

SSE

0

6.9

5.7

Total Gas

13.81

3.5

6.6

Edf

0

3.3

0.3

Corona

0

1.0

11.9

Gazprom

0

0

6.5

Opus

0

0

2.4

Dong

0

0

2.0

GDF

4.57

0

1.4

ENI

0

0

0.1

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Shell Gas

16.05

0

0

Others

0

1.4

0.1