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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The numbers of children looked after who, during the past six years, had more than five or 10 placement moves
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Improving placement stability for looked-after children is a high priority for the Government, as reflected in their public service agreement targets and the national indicator set for local government. The Care Matters White Paper and the Children and Young Persons Bill include a range of measures which will help to improve placement stability, including revised arrangements for care planning, strengthening the role of independent reviewing officers to ensure placement moves are given greater scrutiny, and ensuring children are placed closer to their homes and schools.
|Children looked after at 31 March 2002 to 2007 by number of placements during the year1,2,3|
|Year ending 31 March|
|Children looked after during the years ending 31 March 2002 to 2007 by number of placement moves during the years ending 31 March 2002 to 20071,2,3|
|Year ending 31 March|
What estimate they have made of the financial benefit to United Kingdom energy companies arising from the free allocation of permits under the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme in 200810. [HL2308]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Jones of Birmingham): The value of ETS allowances is set by the EU carbon market, and varies
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What estimates they have made of the cost of information technology consultancy in the Department for Work and Pensions during each of the three years of the current Comprehensive Spending Review period. [HL2463]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): While the department has estimated its future spend on information technology, no separate estimate has been made of the cost of consultancy within that.
Whether, in light of paragraph 37 of the judgment of the European Court of 4 March in Polejowski v Poland, they will ensure that English courts have the power to secure a proper balance between, on the one hand, the interest of the State in collecting court fees for dealing with claims and, on the other hand, the interest of the applicant in pursuing his claim. [HL2413]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Citizens in a democracy under the rule of law have a constitutional right to a court system, but it is not a constitutional right to free access, provided those who cannot pay are protected.
A review of the previous system of exemptions and remissions was undertaken during 2006 and the recommended changes led to the development of proposals which were subject to a public consultation between 2 April and 25 June 2007. On 1 October 2007, a revised single system of fee remissions was introduced that was designed to protect access to the courts for the less well-off in a fair, consistent and transparent way.
Access to the courts is enshrined in Section 92(3) of the Courts Act 2003, by which the Lord Chancellor must have regard to the principle that access to the courts must not be denied in prescribing court fees and the remission system. Unlike the Republic of Poland, in England and Wales the determination of fee remissions is undertaken not by the courts, but by court officers as part of their administrative function.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Jobcentre Plus currently has 500.81 whole-time equivalents in disability employment adviser roles. Of these, 304 are full-time and 327 are part-time.
In 2008-09 Jobcentre Plus is planning to have 629 whole-time equivalent disability employment advisers. For 2009-10 and 2010-11 we expect our numbers of disability employment advisers to remain the same. It is not possible to break this figure down into numbers of full and part-time staff at this stage of the planning process.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): Arms smuggling into Gaza remains a great concern. The Quadrilateral Committee, which consists of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and the US, has been working closely to address this issue and we continue to support the work of the committee. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary also raised this issue when he met his Egyptian counterpart Aboul Gheit in November 2007. Our embassy in Cairo is discussing this issue with the Egyptian authorities.
Whether the law that currently applies to resolve property disputes between unmarried cohabiting couples is sufficiently clear and uncomplicated and produces fair outcomes for cohabitants and their children; and [HL2415]
Whether they will introduce legislation to give effect to the recommendations of the Law Commission for England and Wales in its report Cohabitation: The Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown to provide a scheme of financial remedies that would lead to fairer outcomes on separation of cohabitants and their families. [HL2416]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Cohabiting couples do have fewer legal rights than their married counterparts, but that is not to say that they have none. In relation to domestic violence, cohabiting couples have the same rights to protection as married couples.
Financial disputes over maintenance payments for children are governed by the Child Support Agency and by legislation specifically designed to cater for their needs. Neither differentiates between cohabitants and married parents.
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