|Previous Section||Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Ministry of Defence accounting systems do not hold financial data in a format which would provide the information requested. Expenditure is not captured by activity eg parachute training. The costs of such an activity would fall across a number of different accounting codes and cannot readily be separated out.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was raised, according to HM Revenue and Customs, by the bank payroll tax in 2009-10; and whether they forecast to raise more or less through the bank levy in 2010-11 and 2011-12.[HL5818]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The net yield raised by the bank payroll tax is estimated to be £2.3 billion, while gross receipts were £3.45 billion. An explanation of the methodology underlying the estimate of net yield can be found in the previous Written Answer on 24 November 2010 (WA 337). In line with guidance from the Office for National Statistics, the yield from the bank payroll tax was allocated to the 2010-11 tax year, as this is the point at which the tax was passed into legislation.
The bank levy, a permanent tax effective from the beginning of this year, ensures that banks make a contribution in respect of the risks they pose to the UK financial system and wider economy. The levy is set at a full rate of 0.05 per cent for 2011, and at a full rate of 0.075 per cent thereafter. The levy is forecast to yield £1.3 billion in 2010-11 and £2.3 billion in 2011-12. Once fully effective the levy is estimated to yield around £2.5 billion of revenues each year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Sassoon on 11 January (Official Report, col. 1333), whether they will place in the Library of the House the names of the 2,500 United Kingdom banks covered by the Remuneration Code. [HL5819]
Lord Sassoon: The Financial Services Authority's (FSA) recently published policy statement "PS10/20" (www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Library/Policy/Policy/2010/10 _20.shtml) sets out the application of the FSA's revised Remuneration Code to firms. In particular, pages 32 to 37 set out the nature of the code's proportionate application, and describes the manner and describes the kinds of firms that will be covered by the rules.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 13 December (WA 108-9), what is their assessment of the effect on bank solvency of linking the payment of bankers' bonuses to levels of lending.[HL5349]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Bank solvency is determined by a wide range of factors. Incentivising staff in relation to specific business objectives, such as lending level, could be structured in a number of different ways. The risks and returns associated with the objective will also vary considerably. Therefore the impact on solvency of linking payment of bonuses to levels of lending is difficult to assess, and may not be easy to isolate from other factors affecting solvency.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Statement by Lord Sassoon on 11 January on banking bonuses (Official Report, col. 1330), whether they intend to instruct UK Financial Investments to press for renegotiation or termination of the "thoroughly inadequate contracts" in place for certain key executives at the Royal Bank of Scotland. [HL5817]
This agreement, entered into by the previous Government, cannot be unilaterally amended, save in very limited respects, by this Government, or by UK Financial Investments on behalf of this Government.
Lord Sassoon: The Government have been clear that banks must act responsibly in setting their bonuses and continue to take robust action to tackle unacceptable bonuses. The Government are in discussion with the banks to see whether a new settlement can be reached whereby smaller bonuses are paid than would be paid otherwise and there is greater transparency in relation
20 Jan 2011 : Column WA59
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the terms of the contracts in place for the award of (a) bonus payments, and (b) incentive plan benefits, in each year of contract for (1) the chief executive officer, (2) chairman, (3) directors, (4) senior executives, and (5) senior managers of Lloyds, HBOS, RBS, and Northern Rock banking groups in each of the past three years; and which provisions of those contracts, if any, facilitate tax avoidance.[HL5849]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the terms contained in the contracts for the next six years for the award of (a) bonus payments, and (b) incentive plan benefits, for (1) the chief executive officer, (2) chairman, (3) directors, (4) senior executives, and (5) senior managers, of Lloyds, HBOS, RBS, and Northern Rock banking groups; and which provisions of those contracts, if any, facilitate tax avoidance.[HL5850]
Lord Sassoon: The terms and provisions of the remuneration contracts in place for individuals who were employed at Lloyds Banking Group, HBOS, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock are a matter for the individuals and the banks' management.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether UK Financial Investments (UKFI) will be discussing bonus proposals with the Remuneration Committees of Lloyds Bank Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland before those committees make their determinations; and whether UKFI will exercise its right to vote on remuneration reports.[HL5853]
Lord Sassoon: The banks in which the Government are a shareholder are managed on an arm's length commercial basis by UK Financial Investments (UKFI). Part of UKFI's role is to work with the investee banks to ensure that incentives are much more strongly linked to long-term value creation. UKFI will engage in discussions with Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) over their approach to remuneration.
UKFI will vote all the Government's shares wherever they are eligible to do so. UKFI will inform the relevant bank in advance of their intentions and rationale, and they will disclose on their website how they have voted on each resolution for LBG and RBS.
20 Jan 2011 : Column WA60
Lord Sassoon: UK Financial Investments (UKFI) manages the Government's shareholding in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) on an arm's length and commercial basis. UKFI has worked with its investee banks, including RBS, to ensure that incentives are much more strongly linked to long-term value creation.
More generally the Government have been clear that banks must act responsibly in setting their bonuses. The Government are in discussion with the banks to see whether a new settlement can be reached whereby smaller bonuses are paid than would otherwise be paid, and there is greater transparency in relation to remuneration than previously. If the banks do not commit to such a settlement, the Government have made clear to them that "nothing is off the table". The Government will keep the House informed of all relevant policy developments.
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The bank levy, effective from the beginning of this year, ensures that banks make a contribution in respect of the risks they pose to the UK financial system and wider economy. The levy is a charge based upon the total chargeable equity and liabilities as reported in the relevant balance sheets of affected banks, banking and building society groups.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 10 January (WA 367), whether the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has now received the necessary permissions from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and others for the FSA to publish a report on the collapse of RBS.[HL5854]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government welcome the proposal by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to produce a
20 Jan 2011 : Column WA61
The FSA is aiming to deliver a publishable report to the Government and the Treasury Select Committee by the end of March. In order to publish such a report, the FSA considers that it would need permission from RBS and perhaps other individuals to use confidential information provided by them in the course of the supervisory investigations now concluded, as well as those to whom the information relates. The FSA is conducting the discussions with RBS and other parties about whether they will provide the necessary permissions.
Lord Sassoon: The previous administration acquired 39.6 billion of ordinary shares and 51.0 billion of B shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The Government currently hold 67.8 per cent of RBS's ordinary shares and has 82.8 per cent economic ownership.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 10 January (WA 368), whether HM Treasury or the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has made proposals to, or entered into discussions with, Lloyds Bank Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland in respect of lending after existing lending commitments expire in March 2010.[HL5855]
More information about these measures and the Green Paper is available at www.bis.gov.uk/businessfinance.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what savings are forecast from the restriction of child benefit for 16-19 year-olds in (a) the United Kingdom and, (b) England, to lower rate taxpayers in 2013-14 and 2014-15.[HL5370]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what forecast they have made of the savings to be made by HM Treasury by restricting child benefit for 16 to 19-year olds to lower rate taxpayers in 2013-14 and 2014-15. [HL5714]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): No forecast has been made of what savings would be made by HM Treasury if child benefit for 16 to 19 year-olds were to be restricted to lower rate taxpayers in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The information is not held in the format requested. However, there are currently 340 members of the Armed Forces who have recorded their nationality on their electronic service record as a British Overseas Territory citizen. Countries of origin for this specific group are not recorded centrally and could only be obtained through a manual search of records on many sites.
|Naval Service||Army||Royal Air Force|
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The Government have commissioned a review of the criminal records regime which is expected to report shortly. HMG will carefully consider and respond to the outcomes and recommendations of the review. The Government remain committed to reducing the barriers to volunteering.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what safeguards exist to ensure the accuracy and currency of data held by the Criminal Records Bureau; and what redress exists for individuals who consider such information to be incorrect.[HL5695]
Baroness Neville-Jones: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) operates a quality framework which is designed to evaluate and assure the accuracy of CRB checks using performance measures and quality indicators. The CRB Police National Computer (PNC) matching process is certificated to comply with ISO 9001:2008 standard.
The CRB has achieved consistently high performance levels on its checks with 99.996 per cent of checks issued accurately. A very small number of people do unfortunately receive details of criminal convictions attributed to them which are found subsequently not to apply to them. There is a disputes process through which challenges may be made.
Where mistakes have been made, the CRB will put things right as quickly as possible and the CRB operates a scheme in line with HM Treasury guidelines through which customers may seek financial redress where there is evidence that the CRB did not follow its procedures correctly.
Baroness Neville-Jones: The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has access to police records and those belonging to its other data sources for the purposes of processing CRB checks. The CRB is not responsible for the retention of those records because the CRB does not own them; information held on the CRB's processing system shows only applicant data included on a CRB certificate at the date of issue.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Illegal trapping of songbirds occurs elsewhere in Cyprus and is not confined to the sovereign base areas (SBAs). Combating it is one of the key priorities for the SBA police who have a dedicated team specifically tasked with policing this activity. They conduct daily patrols through the recognised season targeting both known offenders and concentrating on known areas for this activity. Their objective is to prevent this criminal activity by both arresting the perpetrators and disrupting their operations by seizing and removing their equipment. They work in partnership with the Game Fund of the Republic of Cyprus (RoC), the Republic of Cyprus police and non-government organisations, such as Birdlife Cyprus.
With a view to longer term prevention, the SBA police, in association with the RoC Game Fund and Birdlife Cyprus, also invest significant time on wider educational programmes designed to change attitudes so as to reduce demand for songbirds in restaurants and educate communities about the effects of illegal bird trapping and wildlife trapping in general. The police deliver lectures to local schools and interest groups and distribute thousands of leaflets and banners to local communities, hunting clubs, schools and community councils to reduce the commercial attractiveness and social acceptance of this criminal activity.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 20 December (WA 251), whether, to assist those without internet access, they will provide the information about how much the Government of the United States has spent on research into Gulf War illnesses in the Official Report.[HL5505]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Final 2010 Report of the US Department of Veterans Affairs Gulf War Illnesses Task Force to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs publishes a figure of $402,172,122 for the total spent on research through US Federal funding on Gulf veterans' illnesses.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS describes the Government's vision to create a more autonomous and accountable National Health Service. Within this new commissioning architecture, responsibility for most
20 Jan 2011 : Column WA65
Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer, published on 12 January and a copy of which has already been placed in the Library, states that commissioning for cancer is particularly complex, and discusses how cancer services may be commissioned in the reformed NHS. Where the diagnosis and treatment of cancers are rare, they require specialised commissioning, which is not appropriate for GP consortia. Commissioning for these cancers will be the responsibility of the NHS Commissioning Board.
A significant amount of cancer care is best commissioned for populations covering one and a half to two million. Where population size requirements mean that a single GP consortium is too small to commission a particular service, then GP consortia will wish to work collaboratively. GP consortia will be able to decide whether they wish to identify a lead consortium for commissioning more specialised cancer services or to do so through commissioning support organisations.
In addition, health and wellbeing boards in every upper-tier local authority will provide a mechanism for bringing together local NHS, public health and social care commissioners. This could provide a forum for the development of cross-cutting commissioning approaches to improve cancer services.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 21 December (WA 291), whether they will increase expenditure on all types of diabetes in real terms; how much they spent in each of the past five years; and how much they will spend in each of the next five years.[HL5605]
The department's National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes applications for support into any aspect of human health. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the scientific quality of the proposals made. In all disease areas, the amount of NIHR funding depends on the volume and quality of scientific activity.
However, details on a representative sample of GPs earnings and expenses are available within the GP Earnings and Expenses 2008-09 Final Report. The latest information was published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre on 12 January 2011.
Details of the numbers of GPs earning in excess of the Prime Minister's salary are however, available within the latest GP Earnings and Expenses 2008-09 Final Report that was published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre on 12 January 2011.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Additional work to assess the feasibility and scope for a quality standard for fractures, excluding those which occur at the head and the hip, is required before it can be referred to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
20 Jan 2011 : Column WA67
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the full submissions which were submitted to the Department for International Development for all those quoted by their publication "Consultation report for DfID's Framework for Results for Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health". [HL5702]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many copies of "Consultation report for DfID's Framework for Results for Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health" were (a) published and (b) distributed; to whom copies were distributed; on what basis those who submitted comments were selected for publication in the report; and what steps they are taking to ensure an even-handed approach in (1) selecting and (2) publishing comments submitted to them in future reports.[HL5703]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House the sources of each quotation used in the "Consultation report for DfID's Framework for Results for Reproductive, Maternal and Newborn Health"; and whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of this consultation report.[HL5706]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many copies of Choices for Women: Planned Pregnancies, Safe Births and Healthy Newborns were (a) published, and (b) distributed; to whom copies were distributed; and whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the report and the distribution list, indicating in each case whether copies were (1) requested, or (2) sent unsolicited by the department which produced the report.[HL5848]
Baroness Verma: In line with the Government's intention to reduce unnecessary costs, no copies of Choices for Women: Planned Pregnancies, Safe Births and Healthy Newborns: the UK's Framework for Results for improving reproductive, maternal and newborn health in the developing world" have been printed or distributed, apart from electronic copies that have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.
Both the Choices for Women document and the consultation report have been made available via the department's website. Emails, with links to the reports on the department's website, were sent to around 21,000 stakeholders, made up largely of subscribers to DfID's e-bulletin (a regular e-mail update of DfID's development activities), as well as to those who signed up to receive updates through the Choice for Women
20 Jan 2011 : Column WA68
The consultation report presents a summary of the feedback submitted to the Choice for Women consultation. The department was conscious to take an even handed approach to ensure that the quotes included in the report related to a range of key issues and captured the views expressed by both the majority and the minority. With so many responses it would not have been possible to include all the views expressed in the summary report.
The department is currently obtaining permission from the individuals or organisations which made submissions to the consultation and, if obtained, will place copies of the submissions in the Libraries of both Houses as soon as possible.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Earl Howe on 26 October (Official Report, col. 1126), what timescale they have set to explore options for creating a fairer system of prescription charges and exemptions.[HL5604]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We are continuing to explore options for reforming the current prescription charging arrangements, taking into account the financial context. In particular, we are examining the implications of the introduction of universal credit in relation to those current benefits that entitle the recipient of that benefit to free prescriptions. We are also looking at the implications of state pension age changes. We will make announcements about how these changes will be implemented in due course.
Guidance for NHS organisations on all land and property transactions, including the disposal of surplus land and buildings, is contained in Health Building Note 00-08: Estatecode, which has already been placed in the Library.
Baroness Verma: The UK Government have not conducted an independent assessment of the level of malnutrition and winter food shortages in North Korea. In November a joint assessment by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations found that North Korea needs to import around 867,000 tonnes of cereals between November 2010 and October 2011 to feed its population adequately. The Government of North Korea plan to import about 325,000 tonnes, leaving a deficit of 542,000 tonnes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what costs were incurred by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission in support of application no. 28326/09 against the United Kingdom by P. F. and E. F. on the Holy Cross dispute which was declared inadmissible at the European Court of Human Rights on 23 November 2010, and in earlier court hearings in the United Kingdom; and what guidance they provide to the commission to ensure that it is rigorous in its choice of legal cases to support. [HL5743]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: As set out under Sections 69 and 70 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) may provide assistance to individuals and bring proceedings involving law or practice relating to the protection of human rights. The commission is independent of Government and is entitled to determine what level of assistance it may grant in respect of legal proceedings, consistent with its statutory functions. The noble Lord may wish to write to the commission directly should he wish to pursue this matter further.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games
20 Jan 2011 : Column WA70
Baroness Garden of Frognal: The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has always been clear that it could not provide central funding for accommodation and transport expenses for the up to 70,000 Games Maker volunteers that will help to stage the Games.
Over a quarter of a million people from communities right across the UK have applied to LOCOG to be Games Makers on the clear understanding that they are required to provide their own accommodation and transport to the Games. These applicants are now going through the recruitment process and centres across the UK will be interviewing applicants from 1 February. LOCOG will provide successful Games Makers with refreshments during their shifts, a uniform and-for those volunteering within London-a zone 1-6 travel card. LOCOG's Diversity and Inclusion Strategy ensures that Games Makers and its broader workforce reflect the diversity of London and the UK across six strands, including gender and ethnicity.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what provision is being made for Secretaries of State and other Ministers to be available in London during the 2012 Olympic Games to meet incoming foreign government representatives.[HL5831]
Baroness Garden of Frognal: Foreign government representatives attending the London 2012 Games come at the invitation of their National Olympic and Paralympic Committees, and so will not be here on official visits. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on arrangements and we will consider any specific proposals for bilateral meetings as part of this work.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the gross public expenditure on aid to each foreign country in 2009-10, in descending order of magnitude; and, in each case, what was the percentage of the total United Kingdom aid budget expended. [HL5840]
Baroness Verma: Details of the UK's gross public expenditure on development (GPEX) to each foreign country are published annually in "Statistics on International Development", which is available in the Library of the House and on DfID's website. Details for 2009-10 are available in tables 14.1 to 14.5 of the 2010 edition.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The information requested is not held centrally and should be sought from the individual police authority in question. Although the main source of funding to police authorities is from central government, they also receive funding from other sources such as council tax precept. It is up to the police authority and the chief constable how this funding is spent.
Baroness Neville-Jones: As the Government set out in the impact assessment for the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, we forecast the running and operational costs of police and crime commissioners to be no more than that of current police authorities. Cumbria Police Authority cost £1.1 million in 2009-10 according to their annual report.
Baroness Neville-Jones: As the Government set out in the impact assessment for the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, we forecast the cost of police and crime commissioners elections to around £50 million in 2012 across England and Wales. Estimates have been done on a national basis and figures are not available for each force area.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): Persons working regularly with children and young people in either a paid or volunteer capacity are
20 Jan 2011 : Column WA72
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Baroness Verma on 16 December (Official Report, col. 721), why the Women's Budget Group report on the impact of Spending Review 2010 does not accurately reflect what the Government is doing in respect of the impact of Spending Review 2010 on women.[HL5881]
Baroness Verma: The methodology used in the report allocates all of public spending, which we do not believe it is appropriate to do. Any analysis of this kind will not present the full picture because the analysis of public service spending has significant analytical limitations. It values services at input costs and does not consider the value the end user places on the service, or how effective those services are. It cannot account for efficiencies and reforms that allow the same service to be delivered for less money. It presents a static picture of spend and cannot factor in changes to people's circumstances over time. And it captures which services and income groups receive money, but not the long term impact of those services on people's lives.
It therefore does not fully reflect Spending Review measures that shift the focus of support away from welfare and towards supporting greater social mobility. Indeed, the Women's Budget Group itself welcomes the emphasis that the coalition Government have given in the Spending Review to fairness and social mobility.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the event that the Sudanese referendum on 9 January results in the formation of North and South Sudan as two separate countries, what assessment they have made of the funding commitments required to support both countries.[HL5876]
Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development (DfID) currently provides £140 million of bilateral support a year across north and south Sudan. Our future support will be determined by the bilateral aid review which is currently underway. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, there will continue to be significant humanitarian and development needs in both North and South Sudan during 2011-12.
You may be interested to read the Hansard record of the oral question answered by my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for International Development on Sudan on 12 January 2011 (Official Report, col. 269).
|Back to Table of Contents||Lords Hansard Home Page|