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10 Feb 2010 : Column WA153

Health: Vaccinations

Question

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

Baroness Thornton: The Government have provided funding for novel diagnostic and vaccine research for tuberculosis (TB) to academia and the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

The HPA has developed novel diagnostic assays to detect the TB bacterium and to identify drug resistant strains, particularly multi- and extensive drug resistant strains.

Through its specialist facilities for preclinical vaccine evaluation studies, the HPA is also conducting research on more effective vaccines against TB.

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has separately funded the HPA to evaluate the predictive value of interferon gamma (IGRA) tests for the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis infection, and to review the evidence for the duration of protection offered by current TB vaccine (BCG).

Internationally, the Government are funding the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) for £5 million between 2009-14 to support their work on diagnostics for a range of diseases, including TB. The Government are also funding Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation for £8 million between 2009-14 to support development of new TB vaccines.

In addition, the Government have provided £12 million for 2008-13 to the Tropical Disease Research (TDR) special research programme based at the World Health Organization. TDR is involved in a wide range of research including research on TB diagnostics.

Higher Education: Finance

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) last published its assessment of the financial health of the higher education sector in July 2009. The circular Single Conversation: Annual Accountability Returns can be found on the HEFCE website at www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2009/09_26. The next assessment is due to be published in July 2010.



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Higher Education: Overseas Students

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): Estimates of the financial benefit to the UK of overseas students attending publicly funded higher education institutions, for the 2007-08 academic year, include the following:

HEI income from non-EU students was £ l.88 billion;

personal off-campus expenditure of international students attending UK universities is estimated to be £2.3 billion;

international student expenditure generated almost £3.3 billion of output across the economy;

gross export earnings for the HE sector are estimated to be over £5.3 billion-this includes the international revenue earned directly by the universities together with the additional personal expenditure of international students and visitors.

This does not include income from international students studying below HE level, or those studying at HE level in further education institutions. Equivalent information on international students attending private HE institutions is not held centrally. There are a number of private universities based in the UK whose students will benefit the UK to an extent, although these are not included in the above figures.

Sources: "Resources of higher Education Institutions 2007/08", HESA (2009); "The Impact of Universities on the UK Economy", Universities UK (2009)

Housing

Questions

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The Government's planning policy for housing (PPS3) is clear on the need to achieve high quality new housing, including in terms of design and layout.

Local planning authorities take this national policy into account when making decisions on planning applications, including considering the suitability of the size and layout of the home.



10 Feb 2010 : Column WA155

Asked by Baroness Wilkins

Lord McKenzie of Luton: On the basis of completions in the given year, the following proportions of the National Affordable Housing Programme were built to Lifetime Homes Standards;

2006-07 - 10.2%

2007-08 - 12.9%

2008-09 - 13.8%

The Lifetime Homes Standard was also introduced in the Property and Regeneration Programme in 2005 and as such an increasing number of homes being delivered through this programme will attain the Lifetime Homes standard. We do not hold this information centrally and the figures could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Asked by Baroness Wilkins

Lord McKenzie of Luton: The information requested is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Asked by Baroness Wilkins

Lord McKenzie of Luton: The Homes and Communities Agency will shortly be consulting on which core standards should apply across all of their programmes from April 2011. Decisions on particular standards such as Lifetime Homes will be made following that consultation.

Housing: Mortgages

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The Mortgage Rescue Scheme has been

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operational across England since January 2009. As part of the monitoring arrangements for the scheme, headline data for January to September 2009, provided by local authorities operating the scheme and broken down by government office region, are available on the department's website. The figures can be accessed using the following link: http://www.communities. gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/mortgagerescuestatistics.

Figures reported by local authorities from January to September 2009 are provided in a table, which has been placed in the Library.

In the current economic conditions, we have acted rapidly to put in place help and support for households struggling with their mortgage at every stage: from free debt advice when problems start, to free support for cases that reach court. Advice is available to all households struggling with their mortgage, with targeted schemes for those in most need. Data for the October to December period will be published on 11 February 2010.

The Homes and Communities Agency will report spend through the Mortgage Rescue Scheme after the end of the current financial year.

Immigration: Repatriation

Question

Asked by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): During 2009/10 we funded two voluntary repatriation services delivered by the third sector-one in London at a cost of £120,000 and a national reconnection team at a cost of £150,000.

These services help migrants from the A8 and A2 accession states who are rough sleeping and destitute to return to accommodation in their home countries.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Government remain to be convinced of the added practical value to people in the United Kingdom of rights of individual petition to the United Nations. Ratification of the optional protocol to the convention for the elimination of discrimination

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against women and the optional protocol to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities have not yet provided sufficient evidence to decide either way on the value of individual complaint mechanisms.

We are not persuaded that comparative analysis of the experience of other member states of the European Union and the Council would be useful, given the different legal and judicial protections in place in different jurisdictions.

Islam and Citizenship Education Project

Question

Asked by Baroness Warsi

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The Islam and Citizenship Project has worked closely with the Muslim communities to develop 44 lessons (22 designed for 7-10 year olds and 22 for 11-14 year olds) for use in madrassahs (mosque schools). The lessons are available to download from the following website: www.theiceproject.com.

Mauritius

Questions

Asked by Lord Wallace of Saltaire

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): While the UK has no doubt about its sovereignty over the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT), my right honourable friend the Prime Minister agreed with the Mauritian Prime Minister, Dr Navinchandra Ramgoolam, to establish a dialogue between officials. A meeting between UK and Mauritian officials was held at the FCO on 14 January 2009, and a further one in Port Louis on 21 July.

The delegations discussed the latest legal and policy developments relating to BIOT. Both delegations set out their respective positions on sovereignty and the UK also set out how the UK needed to bear in mind its treaty obligations with the US and our ongoing need of the British Indian Ocean Territory for defence purposes. There was mutual discussion of fishing rights, the environment, continental shelf and future visits to the Territory by Chagossians.

Asked by Lord Wallace of Saltaire



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Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead: Discussions over the timing of the third round of bilateral talks on the British Indian Ocean Territory are still ongoing between the two Governments.

Mental Incapacity Act 2005

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Mr Jackson has raised concerns around the circumstances in which family members may be appointed as personal welfare deputies under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

It is important to make clear that any decision to appoint a deputy in a given case is entirely a matter for the Court of Protection and will be taken based on the individual circumstances of the case. If an applicant is unhappy with the court's decision then they are at liberty to appeal.

In making any such decision, the court's powers are subject to the provisions of the Act and, in particular, to the principles of the Act and the requirement that any decision is in the best interests of the person concerned. The court must also have regard to the Act's requirements that a decision by the court is to be preferred to the appointment of a deputy and, where the appointment of a deputy is necessary, their powers should be as limited in scope and duration as is reasonably practicable.

The code of practice issued under the Act specifically advises that deputies in personal welfare cases will only be required in the most difficult cases, such as those involving important and necessary actions that cannot be carried out without the court's authority, or in situations where there is no other way of settling the matter in the best interests of the person who lacks capacity. In many cases the existing provisions of Section 5 of the Act will generally provide sufficient authority to make decisions in the best interests of the person lacking capacity without the need for a deputy to be appointed.

It was never the intention of the Act that personal welfare deputies would be routinely appointed without establishing to the court's satisfaction why the appointment is necessary and in the best interests of the person concerned.

Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007

Question

Asked by Lord MacKenzie of Culkein



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The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): We have consulted on the implementing provisions for the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks 2007 contained within the draft Marine Navigation Bill on which pre-legislative parliamentary scrutiny was undertaken in 2008.

Subject to inclusion of the Bill in the parliamentary legislative programme, the Government intend to implement the convention as soon as possible.

National Insurance

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The available information is in the table. Data are not available prior to 2002.

The number of national insurance number registrations to adult overseas nationals entering the UK, by financial year
YearNumber of national insurance number registrations

Jan 02 to Mar 02

69,710

2002-03

346,230

2003-04

373,500

2004-05

435,350

2005-06

663,060

2006-07

705,840

2007-08

733,090

2008-09

686,110

2009-10 (Not complete)

117,750

Notes:1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.2. Some additional disclosure control has been applied. 3. 2009-10 financial year is up to Jun 2009.4. Registration date is derived from the date at which a national insurance number is maintained on the national insurance recording system. 5. Years are financial-based (1 Apr - 31 Mar).Source: 100% extract from national insurance recording system

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