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Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): There is a wide range of social security benefits in the UK, with different rules governing how non-EEA1 nationals can access them. As a general rule, non-EEA nationals who are subject to immigration control have no access to income-related benefits and other non-contributory benefits administered by DWP. However, non-EEA nationals who are working in the UK and paying NI contributions have access to contributory benefits.

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Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Lord McKenzie of Luton: EEA nationals who have paid national insurance contributions will qualify for contributory benefits on the same basis as UK nationals. EEA nationals can claim UK disability benefits if they are normally resident in Great Britain and have been in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey for at least 26 out of the past 52 weeks. In certain circumstances, time spent in another EEA state can be aggregated to count towards the 26 weeks. Access to income-related benefits such as income-based jobseeker's allowance is subject to the habitual residence test and includes the requirement that a person must have a right to reside and be habitually resident in the UK.



Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): UK Financial Investments Limited (UKFI), which is wholly owned by the Government, will oversee the conditions attached to subscribing to the Government's recapitalisation fund, including in relation to remuneration policies. UKFI will work to ensure management incentivisation based on long-term value maximisation, which attracts and retains high-quality management and which minimises the potential for rewarding failure.

More broadly, on 13 October the chief executive of the Financial Services Authority wrote to the chief executives of the major banks and building societies, setting out the criteria for remuneration policies and practices which are properly aligned to sound risk management and controls. The FSA is currently undertaking a review of regulated firms’ remuneration practices and the authorities have made it clear that failure to comply with the standards set out in the 13 October letter will be reflected in the FSA's risk assessment of firms and taken into account when setting capital requirements.



Asked by Lord Avebury

Lord Tunnicliffe: The UK Government do not presently provide direct financial assistance to the Rohingya refugees. The British high commissioner visited the Rohingya refugee camps on 30 October 2008. He has asked the British Council to carry out a scoping study for the provision of English language training in the camps. British high commission officials will again visit the camps before the end of the current financial year.

Practical help for the Rohingya refugees is provided by UK-supported development partners such as the European Union and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They support the operation of the official camps and the daily care and protection of the families living there. A number of smaller national non-governmental organisations also operate in the camps.

The UK is a major contributor globally to the UN agencies. In Bangladesh, in addition to the UNHCR's management of the camps, the United Nations Children's Fund, the Word Food Programme, the World Health Organisation and United Nations Population Fund have all provided various forms of assistance to the Rohingya refugees, some directly to the camp residents and some to Rohingya communities around the camps.



Asked by Lord Bradley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): In the White Paper Raising Expectations and Increasing Support: Reforming Welfare for the Future, we accepted that there is a need to look closely at the challenges that the current system of benefits presents to carers. However, it would not be right to do this in isolation. Many of the challenges faced by carers occur because of the interaction between different aspects of the wider welfare system, not just the rules of carer's allowance. Therefore, we remain committed to looking at carers' benefits in the context of our wider ambitions for the welfare state and to ensuring that the needs of carers are central to the future reform of the benefit system.

China: Aid


Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

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Lord Tunnicliffe: The United Kingdom's development programme with China was £38.5 million in 2008. Between 2004 and 2006, the Department for International Development (DfID) provided the United Nations Family Planning Association with £99,000 to assist with monitoring and evaluation of family planning surveys carried out by UNFPA. None of this money was channelled to the China Population Association. The DfID programme in China provided no funds during the past five years to the International Parenthood Association.

Common Agricultural Policy: Single Farm Payment


Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): While every single payment scheme (SPS) claim undergoes a series of validation checks, changes or new information can come to light, either notified by the farmer or identified by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). In these cases RPA has an obligation to ensure that the correct money is paid. This means that a claim that was deemed to be complete and correct at a point in time can change and result in underpayments and overpayments to previous scheme year claims. Any future changes of information could result in new cases of overpayments being identified.

Customers who received a partial payment for SPS 2005 and 2006—an action taken to ensure that farmers received payments as quickly as possible—were sent a letter advising them that, if the partial payment was greater than the final payment due, they would be obliged to repay the difference.

Farmers who have been written to recently about overpayments for the SPS have been asked to arrange repayment or agree a repayment plan within one month

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of the date on their invoice, not 30 working days. Where the notification was sent out in early December, this period would include the Christmas and New Year bank holidays.

All farmers who applied for the SPS in 2005 and 2006 were provided with a scheme handbook giving details of the procedure for appealing if they were unhappy with any decision taken by RPA.

Co-operation Ireland


Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office has not provided funding to Co-operation Ireland in the past and there are currently no plans to provide funding to this body in the future.

Crime: Domestic Violence


Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): While the records held by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) include a count of cases proceeded with in specialist domestic violence courts, these data are not yet considered sufficiently robust to provide a reliable indication of the relative workload of these courts. The CPS is working with the cross-agency Specialist Domestic Violence Courts Steering Group to ensure improvements in the recording and analysis of information on these proceedings in future.

The table below shows the number of defendants prosecuted for domestic violence in all courts during the year ending December 2008, together with the outcome of proceedings. Convictions were recorded in respect of 47,451 defendants, representing 72 per cent of the total. Unsuccessful outcomes were recorded for a further 18,490 defendants, representing 28 per cent of the total. The latter included 14,348 proceedings dropped by the CPS before evidence was heard in court, amounting to 21.8 per cent of completed cases of domestic violence.

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January-December 2008

Administrative Finalisation



Discharged Committal



Prosecutions Dropped



Dismissed after Trial



No Case to Answer



Judge-directed Acquittal



Jury Acquittal



Unsuccessful Outcomes



Guilty Plea



Conviction after Trial



Proof in Absence



Conviction Outcomes



Total Outcomes


Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The information requested has been placed in the Library of the House.

Crown Prosecution Service


Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The Crown Prosecution Service advertises vacancies in a range of media to attract potential recruits from all sectors of the community. All recruitment is undertaken on a fair and open basis, and selection is on merit.

Equality and Human Rights Commission


Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): In 2005, no money was spent on consultants and staff costs in preparation for the establishment of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. In 2006, £1,810 was spent on consultants’ fees and £369,100 was spent in staff costs preparing for the establishment of the commission. In 2007, £1,828,825 was spent on

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consultants’ fees, and the commission's staff costs up to the establishment of the commission on 1 October 2007 were £8,397,505.

Forced Labour


Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The Government take the issues of slavery and forced labour seriously and recognise that these continuing violations of human rights present an obstacle to achieving the millennium development goals and tackling world poverty.

The Government pursue the objective of abolition of slavery and forced labour through the appropriate UN organs, notably the United Nations Human Rights Council, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). In September 2007, at the UK's instigation, the Human Rights Council established a new UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery.

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