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To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was spent on telecommunications by the Northern Ireland Office in each of the past five years. [HL1714]
Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: The Northern Ireland Office (excluding agencies and executive NDPBs) spent the following on telecommunications in each of the past five years:
These figures include all telecommunications-related spend, including secure telecommunications charges, and mobile and pager charges.
Asked by Lord James of Blackheath
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Myners on 5 February (WA 139), whether the continuation of the previous consent of the European Commission to the rescue of Northern Rock has taken full account of the decision to allow Northern Rock to resume active mortgage lending. [HL1489]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): The previous consent of the European Commission to the rescue of the bank under its competition rules continues while the European Commission is considering Northern Rock's restructuring. Treasury officials have informed the European Commission of the decision to allow Northern Rock to resume active mortgage lending and remain in close contact with the European Commission.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much in salaries and bonuses was paid to each member of the senior management of Northern Rock in 2008. [HL1713]
Lord Myners: During this period of temporary public ownership, Northern Rock is managed by its board at arm's length from the Government on commercial principles. It is a matter for the company's management to release specific business updates or provide any required disclosures in their audited annual report and accounts.
Northern Rock published its 2008 report and accounts on 3 March 2009, which sets out details of remuneration for senior management of the company. A copy of the report has been laid in the Library of the House.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which applications for planning permission in England in 2008 (a) on land, and (b) in the inshore and offshore marine areas, would have required an application to the Infrastructure Planning Commission for development consent if the relevant provisions of the Planning Act 2008 were in force. [HL1816]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): The Planning Act 2008 rationalises eight different consent regimes into a new single consent regime.
We have identified 34 cases during 2008 that would have required reference to the Infrastructure Planning Commission. We do not hold information on applications to local planning authorities which have not been called in, as it is not held centrally. A comprehensive list could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Details of the above cases have been deposited in the House Library.
To ask Her Majesty's Government in the event of a partial or total default by the Irish Deposit Protection Scheme, what recourse United Kingdom Post Office depositors have to the Government. [HL905]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Some savings accounts at the Post Office are provided through a joint venture with the Bank of Ireland Group. Those deposits are covered up to a level of €100,000 by the Irish Deposit Guarantee Scheme, under the terms of the deposit guarantee schemes directive. In addition to the protection of the Irish Deposit Guarantee Scheme, the Irish Government announced on 30 September 2008 that they would guarantee certain deposits with Irish banks, including all retail deposits, until 29 September 2010. Other savings accounts are provided by FSA-authorised firms and are guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. Depositors have been informed about the guarantee arrangements.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Post Office to ensure cash withdrawal machines on their property do not charge for cash withdrawals. [HL1665]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): Post Office Ltd is implementing a programme to install up to 4,000 free-to-use ATMs at Crown and sub-post offices across the country. As at 31 January 2009 Post Office Ltd had installed 1,545 ATMs, of which 932 are located on the outside of branches thus allowing for access 24 hours a day.
Where it is not viable to install a free-to-use ATM, subpostmasters, in their capacity as independent businesspeople, are able to enter into an agreement with an ATM supplier for either a free-to-use or surcharge ATM. There will be no charge for withdrawals at ATMs in directly managed Crown post offices.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which members of the House of Lords are appointees to the non-departmental public bodies listed under Cabinet Office in annex A to the report of the Cabinet Office entitled Public Bodies 2008; and what was their appointment and individual remuneration. [HL1795]
Lord Patel of Bradford: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave on 12 February 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 241).
To ask Her Majesty's Government which members of the House of Lords are appointees to the non-departmental public bodies listed under Department of Transport in annex A to the report of the Cabinet Office entitled Public Bodies 2008; and what was their appointment and individual remuneration. [HL1805]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): This information is not held centrally. Information on board memberships and remuneration is published in individual bodies annual reports and accounts.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many company failures were recorded in 2007 and 2008 in the United Kingdom. [HL1614]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform & Cabinet Office (Baroness Vadera): The table below provides the total number of company liquidations in the United Kingdom in 2007 and 2008.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 24 February (WA 68) concerning treaties signed with the Republic of Ireland, in what way compliance with each of the listed treaties is monitored. [HL1825]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): Our officials work on the treaties on a regular basis, which enables them to monitor their effectiveness. This co-operation has not given us cause for concern with regard to implementation.
Asked by Lord James of Blackheath
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take regarding VAT claims made on or before 31 March 2009, in the light of the judgment of the House of Lords in Marks and Spencer plc v Her Majesty's Commissioners of Customs and Excise (UKHL 8). [HL1954]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): As a result of the House of Lords decision, claims made before 26 May 2005 will not be subject to the unjust enrichment defence. Following a change in the law, claims made on or after 26 May 2005 will be refused if the payment would lead to the unjust enrichment of the claimant.
Asked by The Earl of Shrewsbury
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to introduce a workplace parking levy in Nottingham; and, if so, for what reason. [HL1921]
The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Transport Act 2000 provides powers for local traffic authorities to introduce workplace parking levy (WPL) schemes, but requires the schemes to be confirmed by the appropriate national authority before they can come into effect. Nottingham City Council has made a scheme order, and the Department for Transport is currently undertaking the process of assessing whether the order should be confirmed. No decision on the Nottingham scheme has yet been taken.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how many people work in Israeli-controlled businesses in the West Bank. [HL1773]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): We do not have data detailing the number of people working in Israeli-controlled businesses in the West Bank.
We will continue to urge the Israeli Government to freeze all settlement activity and immediately dismantle settlement outposts erected since March 2001. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary reinforced this message during his visit in November 2008, and I also did during my visit in December 2008.
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