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The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): MoD identifies the costs of operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. The costs that would have been incurred regardless of the operation taking place, such as wages and salaries, are not included. Savings on activities that have not occurred because of the operationsuch as training exercisesare taken into account in arriving at the net figures.
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To ask Her Majesty's Government how much extra monies in (a) social security benefits, and (b) public sector pensions, are forecast to be paid in the financial year 200910 to take account of the 5 per cent and 6.3 per cent inflationary upratings determined by the prices indices of September 2008. [HL3627]
The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): My right honourable friend the Minister for Pensions and the Ageing Society provided an estimate of the costs of uprating DWP social security benefits at the appropriate rates in 2009-10 on 12 February 2009 (House of Commons, Official Report, col. 1545).
The Government do not hold detailed costings for indexation in respect of the full range of public sector pension schemes, but the overall cost of the 5 per cent uprating in 2009-10 has been estimated at around one and a quarter billion pounds.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Andrews on 7 May (WA 134), what criteria were applied in deciding whether further changes in policy and practice discussed in the White Paper Communities in Control required legislation. [HL4049]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Government can promote changes in the policies and practices of external bodies through a variety of means, such as legislation, the provision of funding information or guidance, by piloting initiatives, and by spreading best practice. The assessment of the best means in any circumstances is carried out on a case by case basis.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Andrews on 7 May (WA 134), on what grounds they have decided not to take forward a number of more minor proposals, namely on remote attendance and voting by councillors, payments for councillors on loss of office, and incentives to vote in local elections.[HL4050]
Lord McKenzie of Luton: Most of the proposals for change in the White Paper Communities in Control do not require legislation. For those where legislation is required, the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill, which is currently before Parliament, contains the major provisions, including a number added since introduction.
Given the stage of the parliamentary cycle, we have decided to concentrate our energy on this, and not to publish a Draft Community Empowerment Bill, which would have contained only a few more minor proposals.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Andrews on 7 May (WA 134), what the remaining proposals are which require legislation, in addition to any legislation
17 Jun 2009 : Column WA209
Lord McKenzie of Luton: The Government have no current plans for legislation to implement proposals in the White Paper Communities in Control, beyond those provisions in the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill, currently before Parliament.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Home Office has included the implementation of the cycle-to-work scheme in its business plan for 2009-10 and is committed to its implementation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 24 April (WA 419) and 4 June (WA 105), what performance assessment process is in place for reappointing members of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, including the criteria and evidence used in making the assessment. [HL4098]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): As required by the Cabinet Office and the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments, commissioner performance appraisals have been carried out to provide the necessary evidence for considering any reappointments. The chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission completed annual appraisals for the commissioners, assessing their performance against their own objectives and the key objectives of the commission.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in future consultations with food retailers and trade associations, they will propose inclusion of information additional to guideline daily amounts in front-of-pack nutritional labelling. [HL4032]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Future consultations on front of pack (FoP) labelling will take account of the independent research published on 6 May 2009, which found that a FoP label that included the words high, medium and low, traffic light colour coding and percentage of guideline daily
17 Jun 2009 : Column WA210
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development missions have been combined under the co-location programme; and when the benefits of co-location will be assessed. [HL4203]
Lord Brett: Since the start of the Comprehensive Spending Round 07 period, Department for International Development (DfID) missions in Brasilia, Georgetown, Harare, Kampala and Lilongwe have co-located with Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) posts. The FCO is currently co-located with DfID in a total of 28 overseas sites, and are working with DfID on 10 further co-location projects.
Each co-location proposal is assessed on the basis of a cost benefits analysis carried out between DfID and the FCO. This considers both financial and non financial elements with a focus on achieving best value for the Government. Ongoing assessment of joint missions will take place as part of annual budget planning exercises.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): We believe that there are approximately 36,000 former Gurkhas who retired before 1 July 1997. Of these we estimate that approximately 3,500 are already resident in the United Kingdom and the remaining 32,500 are living overseas.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 1 June (WA 28), what they estimate would be the cost of obtaining centrally the information referred to in the Question. [HL4025]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Clinical diagnosis is a matter for clinicians. We would not normally expect a dispute over diagnosis to arise. Should this happen we would expect roles and
17 Jun 2009 : Column WA211
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they intend to respond to the increase in the number of homeless persons in town and city centres; and what are the implications of that increase for mental health and voluntary social care services. [HL4118]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Over the three years until 2011, the Government are investing more than £220 million through local authorities and voluntary sector organisations to tackle homelessness. This includes a range of specialist provision for people sleeping rough. The £80 million Places of Change programme is transforming hostels to help rough sleepers rebuild their lives.
Our new strategy No One Left Out signals our intent to work with partners to end rough sleeping by 2012. This builds on the considerable success over the past decade substantially to reduce rough sleeping.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Annual rough sleeping figures for London are based on local authority street counts and estimates where street counts did not take place. Number of rough sleepers in London:
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by the Lord President (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon) on 20 April (WA 346), on how many occasions and in what circumstances Ministers
17 Jun 2009 : Column WA212
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The latest statistics on house building starts and completions for England were published in the Communities and Local Government statistics release of 21 May 2009 and accompanying live tables. The web links are shown below:
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