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8 Dec 2010 : Column WA51

Written Answers

Wednesday 8 December 2010

Armed Forces: Childcare Facilities

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): There are currently 49 children of both military and civilian staff on the books of the Acorn Nursery in the Ministry of Defence Main Building; there is a limit of 38 full-time equivalent places, but the use of the facility is optimised through part-time arrangements. The facility is delivered through the Main Building redevelopment and office services private finance initiative (PFI) contract with Modus Services Limited at an annual cost of £327,000; annual income is £198,000 and is comprised of parental fees and the nursery education fund grant from the local authority. The current partial subsidy of the parental fees is being looked at as part of a wider review of this facility that will address the requirement for the service and the most effective means for its delivery. The nursery facility was created as part of the overall refurbishment of Main Building completed in 2004; it would not be possible to make a meaningful approximation of the capital costs specific to this area without disproportionate cost.

Banking: Bonuses

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government are familiar with Sir David Walker's recommendations and views as presented in his report issued in November 2009 and recent public statements.

Asked by Lord Myners



8 Dec 2010 : Column WA52

Lord Sassoon: The Government will take into account a broad base of measurements, including an assessment of the relationship between remuneration and risk taking, and the extent to which reforms prevent the incentivisation of behaviour that contributed to the recent financial crisis.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The Government are committed to a robust remuneration disclosure regime that increases transparency and facilitates effective oversight of the relationship between pay and risk taking.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The Government are committed to a robust remuneration disclosure regime. The Financial Services Authority is consulting on new disclosure rules that will cover significant risk-takers and other high earners at firms throughout the financial services sector. These new rules will come into force on 1 January 2011 and will cover all remuneration paid thereafter, including in respect of the 2010 financial year.

Diplomatic Service

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Britain's overseas network is crucial for delivering core Foreign and Commonwealth Office objectives.

Effective deployment and management of our resources is vital to support Britain's overseas diplomatic presence and activity. This will enable us to maintain a strong global network, contribute to building the UK's prosperity and strengthen the UK's security. We want to increase efficiencies and keep our staff safe and well equipped to lead the Government's distinctive and active foreign policy, working with other countries on the UK's behalf abroad.



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Disabled People: Employment

Question

Asked by Baroness Scott of Needham Market

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): It is for each council to decide what arrangements to make to assist councillors with disabilities and how these arrangements should be funded.

Local Government Leadership has published a guide for prospective councillors, which includes advice for those with disabilities: http://www.beacouncillor.org.uk/couldibe/disability.htm.

Discrimination

Question

Asked by Lord Watson of Invergowrie

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government were very disappointed that the reference to sexual orientation was removed from the UN General Assembly resolution on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Prior to the vote on this amendment, we made a statement objecting to the deletion of this reference: "To accept this amendment would be to accept that this particularly vulnerable group of people do not deserve specific mention, perhaps even to suggest that they do not warrant the same protection from killings. To us this suggestion is an affront to equality and respect for human dignity". We voted against the amendment.

We are currently discussing the outcome of the resolution with like-minded partners. While we remain disappointed that the explicit mention of sexual orientation has been removed from language on "killings committed for any discriminatory reason", we interpret the broad language that replaced it to include these types of killings and will support the text as a whole in the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly on that basis.

The Government continue to oppose violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in all circumstances. We will continue to work bilaterally and through international organisations, including the UN, to promote and protect the rights of LGBT people.



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Education: Standards and Bureaucracy

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Government are determined to create an education system that delivers high standards for all children. Our recent White Paper, The Importance of Teaching, set out our plans to reform initial teacher training and attract high-quality people into teaching; improve the quality of teachers' continuing professional development; introduce a phonics screening check in year 1; ensure that our qualifications match up to the best in the world and enable young people to progress to further study; and introduce a pupil premium to provide extra funding for those schools with the most challenging intakes.

The Government are also committed to a substantial programme of change to cut red tape and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy in schools. We have already outlined a number of measures to reduce the bureaucratic burden, including removing the time-consuming self-evaluation form (SEF), streamlining the inspection framework and scrapping the complex financial management standard in schools (FMSiS). These changes are just the start of a continuing programme of work to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy so that schools can concentrate on their core purpose of raising standards for all children and young people.

Embryology

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the noble Lord has examined the minutes of the Research Licence Committee that met on 14 September 2006. The HFEA has also advised that it has no further comment to offer on the conduct of that meeting.



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Energy: Carbon Reduction Commitment

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Marland): All government departments and their devolved Administration equivalents are mandated to participate in the CRC regardless of the energy use threshold that applies to other participants in order to show public sector leadership. The manner in which Northern Ireland departments occupy their accommodation does not allow for individual departments to be responsible for their own energy use under the current legislation because the energy supply is considered to have been made to the single department providing the accommodation for the rest of the Executive.

The Government propose to amend the scheme's landlord/tenant treatment in the specific case of Northern Ireland departments to enable the fulfilment of the Executive's commitment that all their departments should be individually responsible for their energy use. It does not alter the Government's view of the wider CRC relationship between other landlords and tenants.

Father James Chesney

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The various definitions of collusion used by the independent figures carrying out reviews and inquiries are already in the public domain-for example, the four Cory reports that are available in the House Library. As I set out in my Written Answer of 23 November (Official Report, col. WA 298), it is not for the Government to provide a single definition of the term "collusion". In relation to the Claudy atrocity, both the Secretary of State and the Deputy Prime Minister issued full apologies that Father Chesney was

8 Dec 2010 : Column WA56

not properly investigated for his suspected involvement in this hideous crime. Beyond this apology, it is not appropriate for the Government to interpret the ombudsman's report further. I have however placed a copy of the ombudsman's report in the Library of the House. In particular, I refer the noble Lord to paragraph 6.23 of this report, which details the ombudsman's findings about the Government's role.

Forestry Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Clark of Windermere

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Section 1(4) of the Forestry Act 1967 requires the forestry commissioners in exercising their functions under the Forestry Act and the Plant Health Act 1967 to comply with directions given to them by Ministers. There have been two directions given in the past 30 years and there is no record of the commissioners not complying when a direction has been given.

Health: Doctors

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The content and standard of medical training is the responsibility of the General Medical Council (GMC), which is the competent authority for medical training in the United Kingdom. The GMC registers doctors to practise medicine in the UK and acts as the custodian of quality standards in medical education and practice. It works with the profession through the medical royal colleges, which are responsible for curricula development, and postgraduate deans, who are responsible for quality management at a local level.

The department is responsible for overall medical education policy development and will shortly be publishing a consultation on proposals for education and training based on principles in the White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS. This will be set within the context of delivering appropriate investment in workforce education and training, while ensuring better outcomes for patients and value for money, underpinned by strong clinical leadership.

Medical Education England provides the department with independent expert advice on education and training. It is currently developing a set of quality indicators to be used in the commissioning of medical education and training in England and is looking at the future shape of postgraduate medical training.



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Health: Krebs Cycle

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): There are no tests that can directly assess the functional efficiency of the Krebs cycle. Routine laboratory tests can measure levels of substances that might indicate abnormal functioning of the cycle, and tests undertaken in specialist laboratories can measure substances that are necessary for the cycle to function. Measurement of enzyme activities that are part of the cycle, within cells, is undertaken in some research laboratories, but these indicate enzyme levels and do not show whether the functional efficiency of the cycle is normal or abnormal.

Israel

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): It is important for these discussions to take place in private. If the United Kingdom does not maintain this trust and confidence, its ability to protect and promote UK interests through international relations will be hampered. I can assure the noble Lord that we will, however, continue to raise this issue as and when necessary.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: We understand that Mr Mahmoud Ramhi has been held in administrative detention in Ofer prison in the West Bank since 10 November.

Our embassy in Tel Aviv discusses concerns regarding the treatment of Palestinian prisoners with the Government of Israel on a regular basis, underlining our view on the need for immediate action to ensure that all cases are reviewed by a court in accordance with fair procedures, and that rights, particularly the rights to a fair trial and family visits, are upheld. These

8 Dec 2010 : Column WA58

points were discussed most recently on 23 November. We will continue to raise these points with the Government of Israel as necessary.

Morocco

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My honourable friend the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa has recently visited Morocco, where he discussed the issue of Western Sahara with his Moroccan interlocutors. During his visit he repeated our wish to see the establishment of an independent human rights monitoring mechanism in the territory. Officials have recently presented a non-paper of ideas on human rights monitoring options to the parties to the conflict.

We are committed to the United Nations Security Council position, calling for a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which provides for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Belfast agreement refers to supplementary rights in Westminster legislation to reflect the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland. The Government will consider the appropriate legislative vehicle to give effect to any supplementary rights if consensus can be reached on what these should be.

Post Office

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Under the provisions of the Postal Services Bill currently before Parliament, Post Office Ltd may only be 100 per cent owned by the Government, as now, or by a mutual

8 Dec 2010 : Column WA59

established to act for the public benefit by promoting the use of Post Office services by the public. The Bill also includes protections to prevent disposals of property or rights by the Post Office that are inconsistent with that purpose.

Questions for Written Answer

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): As of 7 December, 86 per cent (507 of 587), compared with 71 per cent (173 of 242) for the 2009-10 session and 68 per cent (289 of 428) for the 2008-09 session.

Railways: High Speed 2

Question

Asked by Lord Stevenson of Balmacara

Earl Attlee: The forthcoming consultation will cover both the strategic case for high speed rail and the preferred route for a line between London and the West Midlands.

Republic of Ireland: Financial Support

Questions

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The scoring in the public sector accounts of financial assistance to the Republic of Ireland is a matter for the Office for National Statistics.

A loan should not affect public sector net borrowing.

Asked by Lord Laird



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Lord Sassoon: The main elements of policy conditionality will be formally agreed by the Eurogroup, European Council and the International Monetary Fund. The UK has been involved in these discussions, which will inform the conditions attached to any bilateral loan from the UK to the Republic of Ireland.

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Sassoon: The main elements of policy conditionality will be formally agreed by the Eurogroup, European Council and the International Monetary Fund. The UK has been involved in these discussions, which will inform the conditions attached to any bilateral loan from the UK to the Republic of Ireland.

Roads: Traffic Signs

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: These research projects will enable the completion of the ongoing traffic signs policy review. The review aims to ensure that future policy on traffic regulation and signing is based on strong evidence and provides wide-ranging benefits and cost savings through more efficient and better understood road networks.

Safety: Standards

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The British standards that provide safety objectives relating to electric ovens and other cooking appliances are BS EN 60335-1:2002 (with Amendments to 2010), specifying the general requirements for the safety of household and similar electrical appliances, and BS EN 60335-2-6:2003 (with Amendments to 2008), specifying particular requirements for stationary cooking ranges, hobs, ovens and similar appliances.



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Clause 7.9 of BS EN 60335-1:2002 requires that switches that may give rise to a hazard when operated shall be marked or placed so as to indicate clearly which part of the appliance they control. Backlighting would be one way of complying with this requirement.

Schools: Continence Issues

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We expect schools to work together with voluntary, business and statutory agencies to create an environment where school buildings and support in schools contribute to building strong families and communities. To assist this process we will work nationally to ensure that schools have access to high-quality, evidence-based information and will expect them to take into account the relevance of campaigns such as Bog Standard and Water is Cool in School when planning and maintaining their facilities.



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The Department for Education is currently reviewing the Education (School Premises) Regulations. Within that review, it is considering possible requirements about school pupils' access both to toilets and to drinking water.

Schools: Meals

Question

Asked by Baroness Morris of Yardley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Information on pupils known to be eligible for free school meals broken down by ethnic background is shown in the table. Ethnic origin is collected for pupils of compulsory school age and above only. The information contained in this Answer therefore differs from published free school meal eligibility data, which normally include full-time pupils aged nought to 15 and part-time pupils aged five to 15.

Information on pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is shown in the table.



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8 Dec 2010 : Column WA64

Maintained nursery, maintained primary(1), state-funded secondary(1)(2) and special schools(3): school meal arrangements by ethnic group(4)(5)
As at January 2010 in England
Nursery and Primary Schools(1)State-funded Secondary Schools(1)(2)Special Schools(3)
Number on roll(4)(5)Number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals(4)(5)Percentage known to be eligible for free school meals(6)Number on roll(4)(5)Number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals(4)(5)Percentage known to be eligibleNumber on roll(4)(5)Number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals(4)(5)Percentage known to be eligible for free school meals(6)

White

2,537,770

415,800

16.4

2,335,860

304,550

13.0

60,730

20,830

34.3

White British

2.386,990

389.190

16.3

2,223,970

285.660

12.8

58,260

20,030

34.4

Irish

10,320

1.920

18.6

9,830

1,620

16.4

220

80

36.3

Traveller of Irish heritage

2,920

1.750

60.1

1,090

670

61.7

70

50

65.7

Gypsy/Roma

7.330

2.670

36.4

3,570

1,440

40.3

180

100

54.2

Any other White background

130,220

20,270

15.6

97,400

15,160

15.6

2000

580

29.1

Mixed

140,410

37,820

26.9

101,030

23,080

22.8

2,980

1,190

39.9

White and Black Caribbean

42,790

14,770

34.5

35,220

9.640

27.4

1,110

510

45.4

White and Black African

16,070

4,720

29.3

10,300

2,570

24.9

310

130

42.1

White and Asian

30,510

5,840

19.2

20.610

3,590

17.4

490

150

31.5

Any other Mixed background

51.050

12,490

24.5

34,900

7,290

20.9

1,070

400

37.4

Asian

311,060

62,910

20.2

219,440

52,780

24.1

5,560

1,780

32.1

Indian

81,600

7,130

8.7

65.250

6,850

10.5

1,100

210

18.9

Pakistani

131,540

32,180

24.5

84,620

25.300

29.9

2,830

1,000

35.4

Bangladeshi

53,950

17,440

32.3

36.160

15,140

41.9

800

370

46.7

Any other Asian background

43,980

6,160

14.0

33,420

5,490

16.4

830

200

24.5

Black

163,880

62,800

38.3

126,450

42,160

33.3

4,100

1,960

47.8

Black Caribbean

45,280

14,970

33.1

40,090

10,110

25.2

1,280

550

42.7

Black African

99.110

40,990

41.4

72,310

27,670

38.3

2,180

1,120

51.1

Any other Black background

19.490

6,840

35.1

14,040

4,380

31.2

650

300

46.5

Chinese

11,040

1,070

9.7

10,450

920

8.8

180

40

21.0

Any other ethnic group

46,860

14,470

30.9

33,560

10,880

32.4

740

330

44.1

Classified

3,211,020

594,860

18.5

2,826,790

434,370

15.4

74,280

26,130

35.2

Unclassified(7)

21,480

4,070

18.9

35,630

6,240

17.5

870

300

34.9

Minority Ethnic Pupils(8)

824,030

205,670

25.0

602,820

148,700

24.7

16,020

6,100

38.1

All pupils

3,232,500

598,920

18.5

2,862,410

440,600

15.4

75,150

26,430

35.2

(1) Includes middle schools as deemed.

(2) Includes city technology colleges and academies.

(3) Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools, excludes general hospital schools.

(4) Includes sole and dual (main) registrations.

(5) Includes all pupils aged between five and 15.

(6) Number of pupils eligible for free school meals expressed as a percentage of the total number of pupils of the same ethnic origin.

(7) Information refused or not obtained.

(8) Includes all pupils classified as belonging to an ethnic group other than White British.

Pupil number have been rounded to the nearest 10

Information on pupils known to be eligible for free school meals is shown in the table.

Table 3a
Maintained nursery, maintained primary, state-funded secondary and special schools(1)(2)(3): number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals(4)
January in each year: 2006 to 2010 (Final) England
Pupils attending
Maintained nursery and primary schools(1)
All pupils(5)Pupils, excluding those aged post 16(6)
Number on rollNumber of pupils known to be eligible for free mealsPercentage of pupils known to be eligible for free mealsNumber on rollNumber of pupils known to be eligible for free school mealsPercentage known to be eligible for free schools meals

2006

4,187,630

670,340

16.0

3,899,450

664,980

17.1

2007

4,148,390

658,910

15.9

3,860,420

654,290

16.9

2008

4,127,840

641,490

15.5

3,837,680

637,170

16.6

2009

4,114,630

656,570

16.0

3,825,480

652,310

17.1

2010

4,134,160

717,060

17.3

3,838,680

711,410

18.5



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Table 3a (cont.)
Maintained nursery, maintained primary, state-funded secondary and special schools(1)(2)(3): number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals(4)
January in each year: 2006 to 2010 (Final) England
Pupils attending
State-funded secondary schools(1)(2)
All pupils(5)Pupils, excluding those aged post 16(6)
Number on rollNumber of pupils known to be eligible for free mealsPercentage of pupils known to be eligible for free mealsNumber on rollNumber of pupils known to be eligible for free school mealsPercentage known to be eligible for free schools meals

2006

3,347,500

458,690

13.7

2,985,900

439,120

14.7

2007

3,325,620

445,070

13.4

2,955,210

425,110

14.4

2008

3,294,580

433,140

13.1

2,913,730

413,360

14.2

2009

3,278,130

438,860

13.4

2,883,250

417,970

14.5

2010

3,278,490

464,660

14.2

2,864,350

441,140

15.4

Table 3a (cont.)
Maintained nursery, maintained primary, state-funded secondary and special schools(1)(2)(3): number of pupils known to be eligible for free school meals(4)
January in each year: 2006 to 2010 (Final) England
Pupils attending
Special schools(3)
All pupils(5)Pupils, excluding those aged post 16(6)
Number on rollNumber of pupils known to be eligible for free mealsPercentage of pupils known to be eligible for free mealsNumber on rollNumber of pupils known to be eligible for free school mealsPercentage known to be eligible for free schools meals

2006

90,450

29,410

32.5

79,310

26,690

33.7

2007

90,600

29,110

32.1

78,760

26,290

33.4

2008

90,690

28,680

31.6

79,380

25,710

32.4

2009

91,160

29,290

32.1

78,030

26,250

33.6

2010

91,820

30,600

33.3

78,330

27,330

34.9

Source: School Census

1. Includes middle schools as deemed.

2. Includes city technology colleges and academies.

3. Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools, excludes general hospital schools.

4. See Technical Notes 2, 3, 4 and 5.

5. Includes all full-time and part-time pupils who are sole or dual main registrations. Includes boarders.

6. Pupils eligible for free school meals who have full-time attendance and are aged 15 or under, or pupils who have part-time attendance and are aged between five and 15.

Pupil numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Schools: Nursery Education

Question

Asked by Lord Northbourne

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Government announced, as part of the spending review on 20 October, that the free entitlement to 15 hours of nursery education each week for three and four year-olds will also be gradually extended to every disadvantaged two year-old and will be funded by additional investment of around £300 million by the end of the spending period-2014-15. This is a key part of the new fairness premium, which will give the poorest children a better start in life and increase the number of places available from 20,000 to around 130,000 over the next four years.

The extension of free early education for two year-olds will take account of the existing pilot in all 152 local authorities in England. This currently provides free early education for around 20,000 two year-olds drawn from the most disadvantaged families. We are currently funding research into the pilot, which includes an in-depth exploration of how local authorities are ensuring that they identify and reach the most disadvantaged children. The research report will be used to inform the expansion of the programme.

Spending Review 2010

Questions

Asked by Lord Touhig

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Department for Work and Pensions produces statistics on poverty in the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) survey, which includes statistics for disabled people living in poverty. HBAI is published annually, usually in late spring. The latest survey (released in May 2010) refers to the financial year 2008-09.

The HBAI results are national statistics and are produced and released in accordance with the UK Statistics Authority's code of practice.

The Treasury published the document Overview of Equalities Impacts of the Spending Review on 20 October alongside the announcement. This included a qualitative assessment of the effect of the spending review on disabled people.

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

Earl Attlee: The Government will be making an announcement about the local sustainable transport fund shortly. Guidance on the fund will be published and will include details of the level of funding available for each of the years of the spending review 2010. The overall fund totals £560 million, with £210 million allocated for capital and £350 million allocated to revenue.

Asked by Lord Barnett

Lord Sassoon: In its pre-Budget forecast, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that public sector net borrowing would be 10.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010-11. In its autumn forecast, the OBR forecast that public sector net borrowing will be 10.0 per cent of GDP in 2010-11.

St Helena

Question

Asked by Lord Jones of Cheltenham

Baroness Verma: NICare was incorporated into NI-CO in 2006. We have no plans to review the services provided by NI-CO. This is a matter for the

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St Helena Government, who have contracted NI-CO to provide assistance with the recruitment of health and social services staff.

Taxation: Income Tax

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): From 2012, the bank levy will generate around £2.5 billion of annual revenues. The levy will apply to:

the global consolidated balance sheet of UK banking groups and building societies;the aggregated subsidiary and branch balance sheets of foreign banks and banking groups operating in the UK; andthe balance sheets of UK banks in non-banking groups.

It will not apply to other forms of financial institution and there are no plans at present to extend its scope.

Asked by Baroness Valentine

Lord Sassoon: The revenue-maximising top rate of income tax is dependent on the prevailing policy, tax planning opportunities and economic climate of the time, as well as social attitudes towards paying tax. These factors can influence the degree of behavioural response to tax changes and the incentives for individuals to reduce their reported taxable income.

Given the changing nature of these factors, the Government do not produce continuous updates of the revenue-maximising top rate of income tax.

Taxation: VAT

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): At the June Budget, for the first time, the Government published distributional analysis of

8 Dec 2010 : Column WA69

the impact of measures being announced. This included analysis by income and expenditure deciles of changes being made to indirect taxation.

Charts A3 and A4 of the Budget publication show that, both in cash terms and as a proportion of their income, higher-spending households will pay more of the tax increase than lower-spending households.

Transport: London Buses

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Earl Attlee: The Secretary of State has regular discussions with the mayor on a variety of London transport issues, including bus services.

Water Supply

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): In England, it is a statutory requirement for water companies to prepare and maintain water resources management plans. The plans look ahead 25 years and include projections of current and future demands for water and how the companies aim to meet this demand. Each plan should include proposed measures to reduce demand, including more efficient use of water and leakage control.

As part of the public consultation on the plans, consumers and statutory consultees (including local authorities, the Environment Agency and the Consumer Council for Water) have an opportunity to give their views on the content. In the 2008 planning round, the water companies were required to assess the responses

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received during the public consultation and to publish a statement of response. The Secretary of State considered the water companies' plans, together with responses received during the public consultation.

By 2015, the plans propose to reduce leakage by around 10 per cent compared to 2009-10. By 2014-15, water companies will have saved 281 million litres a day by promoting water efficiency, by reducing leakage and through their planned meter installation programmes.

Waterways: Inland Waterways Advisory Council

Question

Asked by Lord Rowlands

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Inland Waterways Advisory Council (IWAC) receives its income from Defra and the Scottish Government. In 2009-10, Defra provided £181,713 and the Scottish Government £33,000, which is a total of £214,7131.

1 Source-IWAC's annual report for 2009-10.

Women: Peace and Security

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Shutt of Greetland: UN Security Council Resolution 1325 makes provision for the protection of women in armed conflicts and to encourage their participation in conflict resolution and political and public life.

The situation in Northern Ireland has never been considered to be an armed conflict, as defined in international law. Nevertheless, some aspects of UNSCR 1325 such as participation in peace/political processes are relevant to all states and the Government will continue to work towards increasing the representation of women in Northern Ireland in public and political life.


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