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Immigration

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The current shortage occupation list is available on the UK Border Agency website at: http://www.ukba. homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/workingintheuk/shortageoccupationlist.pdf.

The list is part of tier two (general) of the points-based system. An employer wishing to sponsor a migrant under tier two must assign a certificate of sponsorship (CoS) which the migrant must use to make an application for a visa.

It is not possible to distinguish between the numbers of visas issued to those coming to undertake shortage occupations from those issued to fill other jobs. Additionally not everyone issued with a visa uses it to travel to the UK and not everyone issued with a CoS is eligible for a visa.

Between June 2009 and May 2010 3,611 CoS were issued by employers for shortage occupations where decisions were subsequently made on an application for a visa. The maximum number of visas issued will therefore be 3,611 or a number less than this.

Immigration: Reintegration

Question

Asked by Lord Dubs



29 Jun 2010 : Column WA266

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Reintegration assistance is provided in many countries through the UK Border Agency's assisted voluntary return scheme. Assistance has for some time been provided for adult enforced returnees in Afghanistan. We are looking to expand the assistance provided there to make it suitable for a limited number of males aged 16 or 17.

We keep under constant review the range of assistance available for returnees to a variety of countries. We do not rule out extending similar reintegration arrangements elsewhere. In respect of young people under 18, our preference is always to return them direct to their parents where this is possible. Only when that is not possible do we need to look to provide interim assistance on return while onward passage to parents or family is arranged.

Independent Networks Co-operative Association Ltd

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): I have nothing further to add to previous Answers on this subject, provided at Hansard 9 June (col. WA 46-47), 10 June (col. WA 55), 15 June (col. WA 104), 15 June (col. WA 104), 15 June (col. WA 103-04), 15 June (col. WA 105), 15 June (col. WA 105), 15 June (col. WA 104), 15 June (col. WA 103), 15 June (col. WA 103), and 16 June (col. WA 119).

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Wilcox: The procurement process undertaken by the Independent Networks Co-operative Association was not overseen by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.



29 Jun 2010 : Column WA267

I have nothing further to add to previous Answers on this subject, provided at Hansard 9 June (col. WA 46-47), 10 June (col. WA 55), 15 June (col. WA 104), 15 June (col. WA 104), 15 June (col. WA 103-04), 15 June (col. WA 105), 15 June (col. WA 105), 15 June (col. WA 104), 15 June (col. WA 103), 15 June (col. WA 103), and 16 June (col. WA 119), 24 Jun (col. WA 207).

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Wilcox: I have nothing further to add to previous Answers on this subject, provided at Hansard 9 June (col. WA46-47), 10 June (col. WA55), 15 June col. (WA104), 15 June (col. WA104), 15 June (col. WA103-04), 15 June (col. WA105), 15 June (col. WA105), 15 June (col. WA104), 15 June (col. WA103), 15 June (col. WA103), and16 June (col. WA119).

Internet: Broadband

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The grants provided by the department were for the development of the social enterprise, Alston Healthcare, in order that it can deliver innovative telehealthcare services to communities in rural Cumbria. The expenditure of these grants has been monitored to ensure that they were spent for the purpose they were given. There has also been an independent evaluation of the Department of Health Pathfinders, by Tribal Newchurch, which was published on September 2009 and is available at: www.tribalgroup.com/ServicesAndSectors/Pages/health.aspx.

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Government do not intend to ask the National Audit Office to investigate in either case.

Accelerate Nottingham was part of the DC-10 network granted £2 million by the Department for Communities and Local Government in 2007. It received funding from the East Midlands Development Agency of in the period 2004-2010 as follows:

2004-£25,000;

2005-nil;

2006-£25,000;

2007-£48,500;

2008-£95,975;

2009-£58,798; and

2010-£59,934;

MDDA has not received any funding from central government departments or agencies.

The Government have no information as to payments by either body to the Community Broadband Network.

IRA

Questions

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) does not have details about the number of people killed and injured by Semtex explosives provided by the Government of Libya to the IRA.

Asked by Lord Laird



29 Jun 2010 : Column WA269

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Government have no plans to hold a public inquiry to establish the identities of those who ordered, organised and financed the IRA attack on shopping areas of Belfast in July 1972.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Government have no plans to hold a public inquiry to establish the identities of those who ordered and financed the IRA killing of two Royal Ulster Constabulary officers in Londonderry shortly before Bloody Sunday. I understand that the Historical Enquires Team has completed an investigation into these cases.

Kyrgyzstan

Question

Asked by Viscount Waverley

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our ambassador to Astana met the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Chairman in Office's Special Envoy for Kyrgyzstan, Zhanybek Karibzhanov, as well as the UN Special Envoy Miroslav Jenca and EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Pierre Morel, in Bishkek. He was encouraged by the positive co-operation between the three envoys, who worked together to produce a joint action plan setting out a framework for among other things helping to strengthen security. They also prepared a declaration calling for a humanitarian air corridor in the south and for a just distribution of aid. In addition, while in Bishkek, the ambassador attended daily briefings on the situation at the OSCE office in Bishkek. The UK delegation to the OSCE is actively working with the Kazakh chairmanship in Vienna to enhance the current OSCE activities to address the situation in southern Kyrgyzstan.

Legal Aid

Questions

Asked by Lord Bach

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): On 23 June my department announced a fundamental look at the legal aid system. In light of this, it is currently not possible to provide a figure for the expected expenditure in social welfare law.



29 Jun 2010 : Column WA270

The most up-to-date figures available, for the financial year 2008-09, show that legal aid expenditure in social welfare law cases was £123 million in cash terms, which accounted for 6 per cent of the total cash expenditure for that year.

Asked by Lord Bach

Lord McNally: On 23 June my department announced a fundamental look at the legal aid system. In light of this, it is currently not possible to provide a figure for the expected expenditure on not-for-profit providers of legal services.

The most up-to-date figures available, for the financial year 2008-09, show that legal aid expenditure for not-for-profit providers in cash terms was £79 million, which accounted for 4 per cent of the total legal aid cash expenditure for that year.

Legal Services Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Bach

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government agree with the previous Administration's commitment to replace the Legal Services Commission with an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice believing that this will strengthen accountability for and control of the legal aid fund. We are considering how to take this forward in the context of the Government's wider programme of reform of public bodies.

Maxim Bakiyev

Questions

Asked by Lord Haworth

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Mr Bakiyev was not arrested by immigration officials at Farnborough airport on 13 June.

Asked by Lord Haworth

Baroness Neville-Jones: Mr Bakiyev is not in detention.



29 Jun 2010 : Column WA271

Asked by Lord Haworth

Baroness Neville-Jones: As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, the United Kingdom will neither confirm nor deny the existence of an extradition request made or received before an arrest has been made pursuant to the request.

Ministry of Defence: Female Staff

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): None.

Northern Ireland Office: Staff

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) does not intend to require senior staff to take a pay cut at present. However, as announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 22 June, all civil servants earning over £21,000 will be subject to a two-year pay freeze.


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