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6 July 2010 : Column WA31



6 July 2010 : Column WA31

Written Answers

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Abortion

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The answer we can provide is shown in the following table. The data cannot be broken down by further gestation or health authority for confidentiality reasons. This approach is in line with the Office for National Statistics guidance on the disclosure of abortion statistics (2005).

Abortions performed under Section 1(1)(d) of the Abortion Act 1967, with a principal medical condition of cleft lip and/or palate by gestation, residents of England and Wales, 1995-2009.

Total cleft lip and/or palate
All gestations24+ weeks

1995

6

0

1996

5

0

1997

5

0

1998

5

0

1999

3

0

2000

9

0

2001

2

1

2002

1

0

2003

111

-

2004

111

-

2005

111

-

2006

-

-

2007

-

-

2008

-

-

2009

-

-

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



6 July 2010 : Column WA32

Earl Howe: The information we can provide is shown in the following table.

Abortions for England and Wales, by purchaser, 2007-09
NHS Funded: NHS HospitalNHS Funded: Independent SectorPrivately FundedTotal

2009

England

66,054

103,391

10,814

180,259

Wales

5,423

2,770

648

8,841

2008

England

68,726

101,284

16,208

186,218

Wales

5,707

2,621

750

9,078

2007

England

70,283

97,488

21,963

189,734

Wales

5,235

2,707

823

8,765

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The cost to the National Health Service of abortions performed in NHS hospitals in 2008-09 was £82.1 million. The NHS funds abortions undertaken by approved independent sector places under contract to individual primary care trusts. Information on these contracts is commercially sensitive and is not collected centrally.

Names of approved independent sector places can be found at the following link at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100304031504/http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publichealth/Healthimprovement/Sexualhealth/Sexualhealthgeneralinformation/DH_4063859.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: Reducing the number of abortions is very important. In 2009, the number of abortions fell by 3 per cent from 195,296 in 2008 to 189,100. The Government want to build on this progress by giving women the information and advice they need to make responsible choices.

Contraception is free for everyone on the National Health Service and is supplied by general practitioners and family planning clinics. There are a number of different contraceptive methods, with a method to suit everyone's individual needs. Methods available include long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) the contraceptive implant, which can provide effective contraception for three years, and the intrauterine system, which provides effective contraception for up to five years. Since 1 April 2009, any woman having an

6 July 2010 : Column WA33

abortion funded by the NHS must be given advice about, and supplies of, contraception before they leave the clinic, as set out in the national specification for abortion services.

Access to reliable contraceptive methods should be readily available to reduce teenage conception, abortion and repeat abortion rates, particularly in areas where teenage pregnancy rates are high. Reducing unintended conceptions is an important issue and we shall be considering further how best to tackle it.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: The number of abortions performed in England and Wales on residents of England and Wales in the years 1968 to 2009, is 6.1 million. Of these, 24,100 (0.4 per cent) were performed under Section 1(1)(c) and Section 1(4) of the Abortion Act 1967. These are cases where the continuance of the pregnancy would involve risk to the life of the pregnant woman, greater than if the pregnancy were terminated, or where the termination is immediately necessary to save the life or to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman.

Academies Bill [HL]

Question

Asked by Baroness Goudie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The equalities impact assessment has been published on the department's website at: http://www.education.gov.uk/~/media/Files/lacuna/academiesbillequia.ashx.

This assessment will be updated annually to take account of our developing knowledge and experience of the academies programme.

Alcohol

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno



6 July 2010 : Column WA34

Earl Attlee: The information requested is available in table 3a of Article 3 (page 30) of Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2008. Copies are available in the Libraries of the House.

Provisional estimates for 2009 will be published in August 2010.

Aviation: Passenger Duty

Question

Asked by Lord Monson

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Budget announced that the Government will explore changes to the aviation tax system, including switching from a per-passenger to a per-plane duty, which could encourage fuller planes. Major changes will be subject to consultation.

Bank of England

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government will set out more detail on the Financial Policy Committee (FPC), including its interaction with the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), in a consultation document to be published before the Summer Recess. The Government have no plans to change the composition of the MPC, and it will continue to be chaired by the Governor of the Bank of England. The Governor of the Bank of England will also chair the FPC.

Banking

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The rate of the UK bank levy has been set taking account of current circumstances and the competitive position of the UK. The Government are encouraging wider adoption of levies, reflected in the joint statement on a bank balance sheet levy by the UK, German and French Governments on 22 June.



6 July 2010 : Column WA35

The new Independent Commission on Banking will consider the structure of banking in the UK, the state of competition in the industry and how customers and taxpayers can be sure of the best deal.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The UK will consider the appropriate double taxation treatment with the relevant authorities of any foreign jurisdiction that introduces a comparable levy on banks or banking groups, which are subject to the bank levy announced by the Chancellor in the Budget on 22 June.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: Appointments to the banking commission fall outside of the scope of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA). The OCPA guidelines therefore do not apply.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The UK is represented by the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The committee put out proposals for consultation last December which included a proposed net stable funding ratio as a regulatory standard for liquidity risk. The G20 leaders summit in Toronto reaffirmed the need to strengthen liquidity standards. Given the ongoing nature of negotiations, however, it is not appropriate to comment on specific measures at this stage.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Conwy

Lord Sassoon: The special liquidity scheme (SLS) is a Bank of England scheme. In its 2009-10 annual report the Bank of England reported that, as at

6 July 2010 : Column WA36

28 February 2010, the outstanding market value of Treasury bills lent and assets received under the SLS was £165 billion and £229 billion, respectively. The Bank does not disclose information detailing individual bank use of the SLS. For further details of the scheme please see the Bank's website at: http://www.bank ofengland.co.uk/markets/marketnotice090203c.pdf.

HM Treasury does not disclose any information detailing the use of the credit guarantee scheme by individual institutions. As at 24 March 2010, total outstanding issuance under the scheme stood at £125 billion. Further information relating to the scheme can be found on the Debt Management Office's website at: http://www.dmo.gov.uk/index.aspx?page=CGS/CGSIntro.

Banking: Iceland

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Set out below is an extract from table 13a (page 207) of HM Treasury's resource accounts for 2008-09 (HC611) that shows the amounts loaned to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in order to pay compensation to Icesave retail depositors. All figures are in £000

As at 1 April 2008

0

Additions

3,109,741

Transfers

260,183

Loan Repayments

0

Fair Value Adjustment

0

Amortisation

0

Impairments

0

At 31 March 2009

3,369,924

As set out in note 36.1 of the accounts (page 248), of the £3.4 billion loan provided by the Treasury about £2.3 billion is the liability of the Icelandic authorities (in accordance with the EU deposit guarantee scheme directive) for payouts up to €20,887 (£16,500) per depositor. The remaining £1.1 billion is the liability of the FSCS for amounts between €20,887 (£16,500) and £50,000. As shown in the table above, no provision for impairments was made in the 2008-09 accounting period for either the loan to the Icelandic authorities or that to the FSCS. Details for the financial year 2009-10 will be published in HM Treasury's resource accounts for 2009-10.

BBC: Crimewatch

Question

Asked by Lord Myners



6 July 2010 : Column WA37

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Home Office is not consulted about who should be included on the BBC's Crimewatch programme's wanted list. This is an operational matter for the police. The BBC has confirmed that the list is compiled from information received from police forces across the UK. The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) of England, Wales and Northern Ireland has advised that there are strict processes in place to ensure that the correct information is broadcast and that last-minute amendments can be made where necessary.

Benefits: Disability

Question

Asked by Baroness Thomas of Winchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Disability living allowance is payable both in and out of work, although only around 17 per cent of disability living allowance claimants of working age are in work compared to around 47 per cent of the working age disabled population. Disability living allowance is consequently paid to a significant number of people who are out of work. The Chancellor announced in the Budget that from 2013-14 we will introduce a new objective assessment of people's needs to ensure that the support provided through DLA is targeted at those most in need.

Bloody Sunday Inquiry

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Government do not hold the information requested by the noble Lord.

Crime: Disadvantaged Areas

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley



6 July 2010 : Column WA38

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Action to tackle the dire state of the public finances is the most urgent priority for the new Government and the Budget will be followed by the spending review in October in setting out how this will be achieved. Empowering the police and local communities to tackle crime is a key priority for the coalition Government and we will set out our approach in due course, including our plans to introduce directly elected individuals to enable the public to hold the police to account.

Energy: Gas Storage

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Conwy

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): National Grid's most recent Ten Year Statement identifies 22 commercial projects for increased gas storage capacity:

http://www.nationalgrid.com/NR/rdonlyres/E60C7955-5495-4A8A-8E80-8BB4002F602F/38866/TenYearStatement2009.pdf.

The most important way in which the Government can help these to progress is by maintaining an effective and fully fit-for-purpose market-based framework for ensuring security of gas supply, including investment in gas supply infrastructure. As foreshadowed in the coalition agreement, the Government are considering what further measures they should take towards this end. The Government's commitment to a rapid, predictable and accountable planning system for major infrastructure is demonstrated by the Written Ministerial Statement about planning reform by my right honourable friend the Minister of State for Communities and Local Government (Official Report, 29 June, col. 34WS-36WS).

EU: Finance Regulation

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Commission's communication of 30 June sets out its proposals for sanctions to be applied for non-compliance with the stability and growth pact. These proposals will be discussed on 11 July at the meeting of the EU Economic Task Force and on 12 July at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council.



6 July 2010 : Column WA39

As the UK has an opt-out from euro membership, and by virtue of the provisions relating to the stability and growth pact in our protocol to the treaty. no sanctions can be applied to the UK under the current treaty framework.

EU: Legislation

Question

Asked by Lord Inglewood

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government will apply the principle of proportionality in the transposition of European Union legislation by ending the so-called "gold-plating" of EU rules, so that British businesses are not disadvantaged relative to their European competitors.

The Government will also ensure that the principle of proportionality is applied in the enforcement of legislation by ending the culture of tick-box regulation, and instead target inspections on high-risk organisations through co-regulation and improving professional standards.

EU: Migrant Workers

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): There are no plans to produce any information packs for prospective migrant workers from the European Union.

EU: UK Budget

Question

Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Prime Minister and the Chancellor have made it very clear at meetings of the European Council and the EU Economic Task Force that the UK will not submit its budget to the EU before it has been approved by Parliament, as is the established policy.

6 July 2010 : Column WA40

The President of the European Council acknowledged in the press conference after the second meeting of the EU Economic Task Force that decisions on national budgets should remain the prerogative of member states' Parliaments, rather than EU institutions.

Euro Preparations Unit

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The total cost of the Euro Preparations Unit is difficult to ascertain, since much of the expenditure has been grouped within other departmental costs in the past. However, it is estimated that since 2002 the Treasury had spent over £4.8 million on EMU policy and euro preparations.

The Chancellor announced at the recent emergency Budget that all work on euro preparations within government will cease with immediate effect, and the staff member working on euro preparations within Treasury is being redeployed to other policy areas.

Financial Services Authority

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The information requested falls within the responsibility of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), which is independent from Government. The noble Lord's inquiry has been passed to the FSA, which will write directly to him on this subject.

EU: Scrutiny Reserve

Question

Asked by Lord Roper

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): This Government attach great importance to allowing Parliament to be able to scrutinise EU business. Getting the scrutiny system right is a top priority for us.



6 July 2010 : Column WA41

There were a total of five instruments which Ministers supported before one or both of our parliamentary EU committees had completed their scrutiny. The table below provides information on how many of these 35 instruments were scrutiny overrides in each House with the departments shown as leading on these instruments.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Total no. of instruments overridden-13

Overrides in House of Lords-13

Overrides in House of Commons-9

Both Houses-9

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Total no. of instruments overridden-11

Overrides in House of Lords-9

Overrides in House of Commons-10

Both Houses-8

HM Treasury

Total no. of instruments overridden-8

Overrides in House of Lords-8

Overrides in House of Commons-l

Both Houses-1

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Total no. of instruments overridden-1

Overrides in House of Lords-1

Overrides in House of Commons-0

Both Houses-0

The Department for Transport

Total no. of instruments overridden-1

Overrides in House of Lords-0

Overrides in House of Commons-1

Both Houses-0

The Financial Services Authority

Total no. of instruments overridden-1

Overrides in House of Lords-1

Overrides in House of Commons-0

Both Houses-0

Total

Total no. of instruments overridden-35

Overrides in House of Lords-32

Overrides in House of Commons-21

Both Houses-18

Independent Commission on Banking

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The commission will have its own secretariat and such resources as are necessary to complete its task. Contracts are in the process of being finalised.



6 July 2010 : Column WA42

Independent Networks Co-operative Association Ltd

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has not requested, nor been provided with, this information.

International Trade Agreement

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Concluding the World Trade Organisation's Doha round is a high priority for the UK Government. At the G20 summit in Toronto, my right honourable friend the Prime Minister led a discussion on the importance of concluding the round. G20 leaders directed their representatives, using all negotiating avenues, to pursue this objective, and to report on progress at the G20 summit in Seoul in November, where leaders will discuss the status of the negotiations and the way forward. We will continue to work with the G20, the EU and other international partners to secure an ambitious deal as soon as possible.

Libel

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Home Office does not allocate funding to the police for this purpose.



6 July 2010 : Column WA43

Marine Environment: British Indian Ocean Territory

Question

Asked by Lord Ramsbotham

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Chagossian communities were consulted during the public consultation into whether to establish a marine protected area in British Indian Ocean Territory; and we also spoke to the Government of Mauritius about the proposal in advance.

We remain happy to talk to both the Chagossians and to the Mauritian Government about the implementation of the marine protected area in the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Schools: Academies

Question

Asked by Baroness Morris of Yardley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): We believe in trusting professionals and will therefore give academies the freedom to deliver an excellent education in the way they see fit, within a broad framework where they are clearly accountable for the outcomes they deliver.

Generally, since 2007, the approach adopted towards academies has been more prescriptive. The Government are keen to adopt an approach more in line with that adopted by the previous Government until 2007.

Taxation: Corporation Taxation

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government's aim is to create the most competitive corporate tax system in the G20. The Chancellor announced in the emergency Budget on

6 July 2010 : Column WA44

22 June a roadmap for the reform of the corporate tax system over the next five years. As part of this, the headline rate of corporation tax will be reduced to 24 per cent over the next four years. This will give the UK the lowest rate of corporation tax in the G7 and the fifth lowest rate in the G20.

The roadmap also includes reforms to the Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rules, a key priority for UK multinationals. New CFC rules will be legislated in spring 2012 allowing time to consider carefully how to make the rules more competitive, to enhance long-term stability and to provide adequate protection of the UK tax base. Consultation will take place over the summer on interim improvements, to be legislated in spring 2011, to make the current rules easier to operate and where possible increase competitiveness.

Taxation: Non-domiciled Residents

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government will make a detailed announcement about the timing and scope of the review in due course.

Taxation: VAT

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): No assessment has been made of the impact of the VAT rise on individuals earning under £6,475. As individuals within households can pool their incomes together, any analysis at individual level can be misleading. Analysis published in the June Budget shows the impact of indirect tax measures to be in place in 2012-13 compared with those in place today across the household income distribution. This shows that households in the bottom income decile will face an increase in indirect tax of around £190 per year on average (an increase of around 1.5 per cent of household net income).

Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Patten



6 July 2010 : Column WA45

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK continues to call on Turkey to abide by its obligations under the EU accession process, including on respect for human rights. The EU report on Turkey published in October 2009 highlighted this issue and called for concrete measures to be taken. We support the EU position.

UK Listing Authority

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government will set out more detail on their proposals for reforming financial regulatory institutions, in a consultation document to be published before the Summer Recess.

Visas

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Chesterton

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The coalition'sprogramme for Government included a commitment to prevent abuse of the student route and the Home Secretary has said that she will be reviewing non-economic immigration routes and will be bringing forward further proposals for parliamentary consideration. This will include detailed consideration of the student routes; the Government intend to bring forward proposals on these routes before the end of 2010.

Voluntary Sector

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Budget did not contain any new tax measures related to the community-led voluntary sector.


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