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The Office for National Statistics published GDP figures for the years 2003 to 2008 in the UK National Accounts Blue Book 2009, pages 36-9. Projected GDP figures for 2009 to 2011 are published in the Economy and Public Finances supplementary material to the Budget 2009, page 25.

Asked by Lord Willoughby de Broke

Lord Myners: The Government's latest forecasts for the UK's gross contributions to the European Community budget for the current financial perspective were published in table 3.2 of the European Community Finances White Paper of July 2009 (Cm 7640), page 25. In line with all other public expenditure estimates, the Treasury does not currently publish forecasts beyond 2010-11.

EU: Employment


Asked by Baroness Noakes

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Using data for 2006 from the Office for National Statistics and input-output analysis, the Government estimate that 3.5 million jobs in the UK are linked directly and indirectly to the export of goods and services to the EU.



Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

11 Nov 2009 : Column WA166

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): Drawback allows businesses to claim a repayment of excise duty on "duty paid" alcohol that they dispatch directly to another member state, export outside the EU, or destroy.

HMRC is aware of arrangements in other member states that allow UK drawback claimants to place UK duty paid goods in tax warehouses in those member states. In order to gain a better understanding of the nature of this trade and any possible associated fraud, HMRC is working with UK representatives and counterpart tax authorities in those member states.

Claims to drawback in the UK are now assured by a central team, enabling better targeting of high-risk claims. A pilot exercise is under way to gain a better understanding of the reasons for the recent increase in the level of drawback claims and to determine a robust operational response. Previous examination of claims indicates, that a large proportion relates to UK-produced beer.

No estimate has been made of the revenue lost to HMRC from drawback fraud across all excise goods.

HMRC keeps neither central records of the numbers of officers deployed on drawback-related cases, nor statistics on the number of drawback investigations, prosecutions and convictions. Obtaining this information would incur a disproportionate cost.

From 1 April 2010, HMRC will introduce a new standard penalty system for a number of excise regimes, including drawback. From this date, anyone making a false claim will be liable to a penalty based on, among other factors, the potential lost revenue.

Asked by Lord Sheikh

The Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The national fraud strategy provides a framework for the counterfraud community to strengthen the UK's fight against fraud and make the UK a more hostile environment for fraudsters. The National Fraud Authority (NFA) is dedicated to delivering on a number of initiatives across the fraud spectrum, co-ordinating the implementation of the strategy between government, law enforcement and the private sector.

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Insurance Fraud

Whilst there has been a reported increase in insurance fraud, research also shows an increase in the detection and reporting of attempted frauds by the insurance industry. Research by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) highlights improved data sharing through the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) and a more focused approach to detecting fraud has been adopted by the insurance industry.

Information Sharing

As part of the NFA's initiative to improve information sharing between public and private sector organisations, it is engaging with the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the ABI (among others) regarding the occurrence of fraud. Improving information sharing channels will serve to improve intelligence gathering, the identification of gaps in our counterfraud measures and the detection of fraud to strengthen our response.

Motor Insurance Fraud (Staged Motor Vehicle Accidents)

General insurance fraud costs the industry £1.9 billion per annum, which adds £44 to the average premium of innocent policyholders. Motor insurance fraud, a highly organised multimillion pound enterprise, is a specific area of insurance fraud which has been on the increase.

Staged motor accidents, including induced accidents which occur when an accident has deliberately been caused with an innocent motorist with the intention of making a false or inflated insurance claim, are a particularly dangerous type of motor insurance fraud involving organised criminal gangs.

In response to this problem a Staged Accident Strategy Working Group (SASWG) was formed under the chair of the Ministry of Justice and latterly the ABI. The group, of which the NFA is a member, has worked with the insurance industry to raise the profile of this type of fraud and has been instrumental in instigating and supporting police enforcement action. By way of example, the IFB worked closely with the Greater Manchester Police on the Crash for Cash operation that recently resulted in the sentencing of 19 defendants for their participation in organising at least 92 fake accidents.

National Fraud Reporting Centre

The recent launch of the National Fraud Reporting Centre (NFRC) on 26 October 2009 now provides a single point of contact for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses to report incidents of fraud. The first facility of its kind, the NFRC's mandate is to advise victims of fraud of action they can take, including directing them to appropriate authorities for further assistance, and to relay information to the police via the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB). The NFIB will be able to better identify and detect cases of insurance fraud.

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Government Initiatives: Advertising


Asked by Lord Newby

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): For the period 2008-09, the amount spent was £1,183,700 on the Know Before You Go campaign, £316,984 on external Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recruitment advertising and £949,700 on external FCO Services recruitment advertising.

The following amounts were spent by the Central Office of Information (COI) on TV and radio fillers:




2007-08-£105,560; and


COI figures also include distribution and production costs of the fillers. The increase in overall expenditure for 2008-09 was due to the increase in TV fillers.

For figures relating to previous years, I refer the noble Lord to the reply given by my right honourable friend the then Minister for Europe, Caroline Flint, on 24 November 2008 (Official Report, col. 1040W).

Government of Wales Act 2006


Asked by Lord Roberts of Conwy

Lord Davies of Oldham: Following the Government of Wales Act 2006, four legislative competence orders have been made and Parliament has approved two further orders by resolution, both of which will be submitted to the next Privy Council meeting on 17 November 2009. Seven Acts of Parliament have included framework powers devolving powers to the National Assembly for Wales.

Government: 30-year Rule


Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

11 Nov 2009 : Column WA169

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Government welcomed the 30-year rule review team's findings, and the Prime Minister announced in his speech on constitutional reform of 10 June that there would be a reduction of the rule to 20 years and consideration of enhanced protections for certain categories of information. The review team made a number of other recommendations in its report, and the Government are preparing a detailed response to these, which will be published in due course. Any change to the 30-year rule will require primary legislation.

Health: Costs


Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Thornton: The difference between the two amounts reflects the fact that there are substantially more United Kingdom state pensioners living in Ireland than there are Irish state pensioners living in the UK.

Health: vCJD


Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): There is currently no additional cost to the coroner service of testing for vCJD. Such testing does not fall within coroners' statutory duties and, as a service, they have declined to engage in a Department of Health-funded research project to test tissue samples obtained at post-mortem for vCJD. Coroners are independent judicial office-holders and there is no authority to compel their involvement in this project. Nevertheless, my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State wrote to the Coroners' Society in March 2009 asking coroners to reconsider their position and agree to a number of coroners taking part in a pilot study, but the society declined, citing the difficulties in obtaining consent from bereaved families.

Two coroners have, however, agreed on an individual basis to take part in a pilot study for this project, and the Health Protection Agency is liaising with them about their costs.

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Housing: Move-on


Asked by Lord Hylton

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Facilitating "move-on" is the responsibility of local authorities. However, we are currently funding Crisis to support local authorities to expand and extend the availability of schemes that provide access to private rented accommodation for non-priority single homeless people, and ensure that they are delivered to the highest standards, through the provision of a national advisory service. Since 2000, the department has grant funded a tenancy sustainment service for former rough sleepers who occupy RSL properties.

Licensing: Live Music


Asked by Lord Clement-Jones

Lord Davies of Oldham: On the subject of the proposed consultation on an entertainment licensing exemption for live music, the consultation will be conducted in accordance with procedures set out in the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006. We hope to publish the consultation this year and will consult for the usual 12-week period. This will be publicised on the department's website.

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The consultation will seek views on a proposal to exempt live music performed before not more than 100 people from the Licensing Act. However, if the consultation overwhelmingly shows that stakeholders would prefer this to be extended to venues with a capacity of up to 200 people, then the Government would consider this.

This is the first time the Government have held a public consultation on a live music exemption in relation to entertainment licensing requirements. One reason the Government are considering an exemption is that other legislation exists to tackle noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour. In addition, we propose to create a power to revoke exemptions if there are problems at specific premises.

Local Government: London Boroughs


Asked by Lord Smith of Finsbury

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 requires London borough councils, other than those currently operating a mayor and cabinet executive model, to resolve by 31 December 2009 to adopt following the 2010 local elections either the new-style leader and cabinet executive model provided for by the 2007 Act, or a mayor and cabinet executive model. Before making such a resolution, councils must draw up proposals for their new governance model, and before doing so must take reasonable steps to consult the local government electors for, and other interested persons in, their area.

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971


Asked by Baroness Cumberlege

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): It has not proved possible to answer the Question tabled in the time before Prorogation, but I will write to the noble Baroness separately.

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