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30 Apr 2008 : Column WA23



30 Apr 2008 : Column WA23

Written Answers

Wednesday 30 April 2008

Afghanistan: NATO Forces

Lord Kilclooney asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): All NATO member nations are contributing forces to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). We do not comment on the numbers of deployed troops from other nations, which are matters for the countries concerned; however, they are listed with periodic updates on the ISAF website, which can be found at www. nato.int/isaf/index.html.

Airports: Heathrow

The Earl of Listowel asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): A letter from the UK Border Agency's chief executive acknowledging the board's 2007 annual report was sent to the chair on 14 April 2008, and was followed by a further letter from the Minister for Borders and Immigration on 23 April 2008.

The board was thanked for its hard work and dedication, and a commitment was made to respond in detail to its concerns within four weeks.

The Earl of Listowel asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: The UK Border Agency deals with unaccompanied children seeking admission to the UK as a priority to ensure their safety and welfare. This includes early referral to other agencies where required.

At Heathrow, unaccompanied children are not held in any of the short-term holding facilities as stated. It is UK Border Agency policy only to detain unaccompanied children in the most exceptional circumstances and with appropriate care while alternative arrangements for their safety and welfare are made.



30 Apr 2008 : Column WA24

At Terminals 1, 2 and 3, there are child-friendly facilities in place and proposed plans to implement such facilities at other Heathrow locations. These provide a safe and comfortable environment in which children are supervised by a responsible adult until they are transferred into the custody of a suitable sponsor or local authority.

Benefits: Employment and Support Allowance

Baroness Thomas of Winchester asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Both contributory and income-related employment and support allowance claimants will be able to earn up to, and keep, £88.50 per week without affecting their entitlement.

Claimants on income-related employment and support allowance will be entitled to full eligible housing benefit and council tax benefit in the same way as those currently on income support. This includes those who are undertaking permitted work within the permitted hours and earnings limits and who, therefore, retain entitlement to benefit.

For main phase contributory employment and support allowance-only claimants, the earnings disregard for housing benefit and council tax benefit will remain at £20. Housing benefit or council tax benefit entitlement will, therefore, be reduced by any earnings above this. When combined with the housing benefit/council tax benefit taper, the £20 earnings disregard means that, overall, a person with earnings is better off than without, as they are allowed to keep around £30, not £20, of their housing benefit and council tax benefit if they earn £88.50.

Bloody Sunday: Saville Inquiry

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The figure was first corrected to Parliament when accurate costs of the Bloody Sunday inquiry were reported by the then Minister of State, the right honourable David Hanson, on 20 July 2006 (Official Report, col. 708W).



30 Apr 2008 : Column WA25

Climate Change

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): We are unable to provide the information requested, as to do so would be of disproportionate cost.

Crime: Murder of Paul Quinn

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The murder of Paul Quinn continues to be investigated by the An Garda Siochana in close co-operation with the PSNI. As this is an ongoing police investigation, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further.

The police on both sides of the border have reported a significant local response to their inquiries.

Food

Lord Krebs asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): Lead responsibility for domestic food security lies with Defra. However, a number of departments address global food security through a range of cross-cutting policies at different levels. These include the Department for International Development, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Her Majesty's Treasury.

Lord Krebs asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: Departments with an interest in domestic food security engage on a continuous basis.

In respect of global food security, cross-governmental co-ordination is currently achieved through ad hoc inter-departmental meetings.



30 Apr 2008 : Column WA26

Immigration: Oakington Removal Centre

Baroness Stern asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The existing telephone system at Oakington immigration removal centre is self-funding. International phone calls will naturally be more expensive than domestic calls, but we believe that the charges offer value for money.

Detainees are additionally allowed to retain their own mobile telephones while in the centre, and this proves a popular method of maintaining a comparable level of contact with families abroad as those still living in the community.

Baroness Stern asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord West of Spithead: We are aware that there have been isolated instances of misuse of the tannoy system at Oakington immigration removal centre in the past. There are clear instructions on its use and we would expect the contractor to take disciplinary action against any member of staff who fails to comply with these instructions.

Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: No. The report of the Bill of Rights Forum was made to the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, not to the Government. However, the report can be obtained by visiting www.billofrights forum.org/.

Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The following table provides details of sponsorships by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in each of the past five years.



30 Apr 2008 : Column WA27

2007-082006-072005-062004-052003-04

University of Ulster LLM Human Rights Dissertation prize

£500.00

£500.00

£0.00

£0.00

£0.00

QUB LLM Human Rights Dissertation prize

£500.00

£500.00

£0.00

£0.00

£0.00

University of Ulster Drama Project for International Human Rights Week

£1,500.00

£0.00

£0.00

£0.00

£0.00

Contribution to Human Rights Education “Lift Off” Conference

£0.00

£3,442.10

£0.00

£0.00

£0.00

University of Ulster Student Design Award

£1,750.00

£0.00

£1,750.00

£0.00

£0.00

Sponsorship of Human Rights Programme in Belfast Film Festival

£1,000.00

£0.00

£0.00

£0.00

£0.00

Total

£5,250.00

£4,442.10

£1,750.00

£0.00

£0.00


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