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15 Feb 2011 : Column WA127



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA127

Written Answers

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Abortion

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: Within the disproportionate cost threshold set by Her Majesty's Treasury we can provide information on:

The Government's policy position: Set out in 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, which is available on the Department for International Development's (DfID's) website and in the Library of the House.DfID's support for reproductive health: DfID provided £43.2 million on reproductive health and £49.4 million on maternal and neonatal health in 2009-10.Avenues through which DfID's health assistance is provided: As has been provided in answer to the noble Lord's Question HL6457 today.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: The Guttmacher Institute report Abortion Worldwide: A Decade of Uneven Progress Annex Table 1 (page 50) provides a list of all countries and territories, by region, in which abortion is legally permitted as at 2008. I will arrange for this report to be placed in the Library of the House.

UK development spending is reported annually in Statistics on International Development which is available in the Library of the House and on the Department for International Development's (DfID's) website. Tables 14.1-14.4 show total DfID expenditure and UK gross public expenditure (GPEX) on aid by recipient country.

The Government's bilateral aid programme provides funding to improve healthcare through a number of channels, such as budgetary support, project and programme support, sector support and via grants to at least 150 civil society organisations, both internationally

15 Feb 2011 : Column WA128

and working in developing countries. DfID also provides unrestricted core funding to over 33 international organisations, including the European Commission, the World Bank and a number of UN agencies working in reproductive health (such as United Nations Population Fund, United Nations Children's Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Health Organisation), all of which provide support to improve healthcare in developing countries. Acquiring information from this many organisations would cost in excess of the disproportionate cost threshold.

Restrictions on the use of development funds are contained within the International Development Act 2002. DfID's policy is set out in 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, which is available on DfID's website and in the Library of the House.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development's (DfID's) policy is set out in 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 and Safe and Unsafe Abortion, which are available in the Library of the House and on the DfID website.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: The Coalition Government's position is that safe abortion reduces recourse to unsafe abortion and thus saves lives, and that women and adolescent girls must have the right to make their own decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and well-being.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: The Department for International Development (DfID) does not collect these data but relies on data collected by the World Health Organisation (WHO).



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA129

Africa: Health and AIDS

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Baroness Verma: Compiling details of all the charities in Africa that are supported by all UK government agencies would incur disproportionate cost.

Agriculture: Foot and Mouth Disease

Question

Asked by Lord Burnett

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Defra currently supports a significant programme of research on foot and mouth disease (FMD) including, to develop strategies for the most efficacious use of currently available vaccines. This is supplemented by further research to develop improved/novel vaccine candidates. A vaccination protocol has also been published on the Defra website: www.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimail/diseases/atoz/fmd/documents/vacprotocol.pdf.

In the event of an outbreak, the National Emergency Epidemiology Group (NEEG) leads on the surveillance and epidemiological investigations, working closely with animal health to co-ordinate activity in the field, using modelling capabilities when appropriate. The VLA have a model for FMD (Exodis-FMDT ) which has been designed to assess a range of disease control strategies, one of which is vaccination of cattle, taking into account all the factors that are required under the FMD directive. Defra also has call off contracts in place with Genus PLC, to establish operational vaccination centres within five days. We also work closely with industry representatives through the FMD Core Group to assist in the decision making process.

A decision to vaccinate can be made by the Secretary of State only once an outbreak has been confirmed using all the evidence available to her. The Secretary of State is obliged under Regulations 9 and 10 of the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Control of Vaccination) (England) Regulations 2006 (2006/183) to consider the case for vaccination for FMD from the outset of a confirmed outbreak, and to publish the decision once it has been made.

Animal Welfare: Pet Shops

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA130

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): I am satisfied that the Pet Animals Act 1951 (as amended in 1983) together with the Animal Welfare Act 2006 provide adequate protection for the welfare of animals sold as pets.

Armed Forces: Medals

Questions

Asked by Lord Touhig

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals decided that the Russian 40th Anniversary of Victory medal and the General Service Medal for Service in the Suez Canal Zone between 16 October 1951 and 19 October 1954 could be accepted and worn.

Asked by Lord Touhig

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not received any formal representations from the Government of Malaysia about the decision of the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (HD Committee) that veterans of the Malaysian campaign may accept but not wear the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal. The decision of the HD Committee, and the reasons for this decision, were communicated to the relevant Malaysian authorities by our high commission in Kuala Lumpur.

Aviation: Passenger Duty

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Air passenger duty (APD) was introduced in 1994 and has been revised several times since. The Government's assessment is that APD is compatible with World Trade Organisation rules.



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Banking: Bonuses

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): UK Financial Investments (UKFI) manages the Government's investments in financial institutions on an arm's-length and commercial basis.

As an active and engaged shareholder, UKFI has engaged in discussions with Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland on their approach to remuneration.

Banks: Green Investment Bank

Question

Asked by Baroness Kramer

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The commitment agreed by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Santander on 9 February 2011 does not include any specific funding for the Green Investment Bank.

Bi-zonal, Bi-communal Federations

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government have not made any such assessments. The two Cypriot communities are working towards a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation but the full details are yet to be fleshed out.

We want to see a settlement agreed and peacefully implemented by Cypriots for Cypriots to deliver a stable, prosperous and united Cyprus, operating as a valued partner within the EU. We will support whichever form of governance the Cypriots themselves agree.



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA132

Census

Question

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, Director General for Office for National Statistics, to Lord Kilclooney, dated February 2011.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS) I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what is the date of the proposed census across the United Kingdom. (HL 6809)

The date of the next census across the United Kingdom is 27 March 2011. This was approved by Parliament for England and Wales in the Census (England and Wales) Order (SI 3210) in December 2009.

In Scotland and Northern Ireland where the census is a devolved matter, the date was approved by similar legislation.

Consumer Protection and Markets Authority

Question

Asked by Lord Teverson

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The board of the Consumer Protection and Markets Authority (CPMA) will be appointed in time for the CPMA's establishment, currently planned for the end of 2012.

The chief executive designate of the CPMA has been named as Martin Wheatley. He will start work as a managing director of the Financial Services Authority in September 2011, and will become chief executive of the new body once it is formally established.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA133

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK closely monitors reports of intimidation and harassment of opposition figures. We work with our EU partners to follow up cases of concern, and liaise regularly with the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Joint Human Rights Office and local non-governmental organisations to assess the situation. We continue to press the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the highest levels to ensure that the upcoming elections are free and fair.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: The UK will spend some £130 million in aid to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2010-11. Of this, some £65.9 million was channelled through the United Nations and £34.8 million through international non-governmental organisations (NGO). The UK does not currently channel aid through Congolese civil society but is providing £10 million over five years to a new civil society support programme that will soon begin to provide grants to Congolese groups focusing on good governance.

Disabled People

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

Baroness Verma: My right honourable friend the Minister for Women and Equalities and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Equalities have regular discussions with the chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission on a range of issues. However, the commission is an independent public body and it would not be appropriate for Ministers to comment on the views of the commission's chair.

Dogs: Microchipping

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA134

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): A proposal for all dogs to be compulsorily microchipped was included in Defra's consultation on dangerous dog legislation. Defra received 1,875 responses on this issue, of which 84 per cent were in favour and 16 per cent opposed. We are currently working with groups such as the RSPCA to look at a range of issues raised in the consultation, including microchipping.

EU: Overseas Aid

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

Baroness Verma: At present there are two EU channels for delivering aid to which the UK contributes. The EU Budget finances aid to Asia, Latin America, the EU Neighbourhood and pre-accession countries. It also provides funds for cross-cutting assistance, such as humanitarian support or support for non-government organisations (NGOs). Our contributions to the EU Budget are non-discretionary and imposed by the EU treaties. Section 2 of the European Communities Act 1972 gives effect to EU law within the UK. The UK also contributes to the European Development Fund (EDF), a member states' voluntary fund that provides support to 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states.

All UK aid channelled through the EU is currently being assessed under the Multilateral Aid Review to ensure it is as effective as possible and brings real benefits to the world's poor. The UK considers the EDF to be the most effective, flexible and poverty-focused of the EU's external instruments which shares many of the UK's strategic development priorities, and enables UK aid to reach countries and regions with no UK presence. My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for International Development has, however, made clear that the European Commission needs to step up its efforts to demonstrate results and the impact of its aid. He has urged the Commission to adopt a Europe-wide aid transparency guarantee, similar to the recent commitment made by Britain.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Travel Advice

Questions

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA135

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): As of 8 February at 1200 GMT, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises:

against all travel to: Ivory Coast and Somalia;against all but essential travel to: Guinea, Haiti, Mauritania, Niger;against all and all but essential travel to parts of: Afghanistan, Albania, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Georgia, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Sudan, Thailand and Yemen;against all travel to parts of: Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Djibouti, Ecuador, Eritrea, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Uganda and Venezuela; andagainst all but essential travel to parts of: Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Bangladesh, Burundi, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Egypt, Iraq, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Mexico, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

Lord Howell of Guildford: There is no formal process for consultation with other government departments when drafting amendments to Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice. Consultation is sought if considered necessary, depending on the type of amendment to our travel advice. We know that our travel advice can have an impact on travel, trade and political considerations, but we do not let this influence the advice we give. All advice is based on objective assessments of the risks to British nationals-their safety is our main concern.

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

Lord Howell of Guildford: The first warning against travel since 2001 was on 31 December 2007, when the Foreign and Commonwealth Office began to advise against all but essential travel to specific areas of Kenya. This continued until 2 January 2008, during Kenya's post-election violence, when we advised against all but essential travel to the whole country. On 19 January 2008, this advice was downgraded to advice against all but essential travel to specific areas of Kenya and,

15 Feb 2011 : Column WA136

with variation to those areas, this has remained the case. We do not have access to any information on how these changes in travel advice have affected Kenya's tourist receipts from the United Kingdom.

Forests

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Defra and the Forestry Commission are currently conducting a public consultation about future ownership and management of the public forest estate in England. As a part of this process, views are being sought from a wide range of potential private and civil society partners on a number of new ownership and management options.

Gaza

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Baroness Verma: Electricity shortages in Gaza have been more common and prolonged in recent weeks, harming the delivery of essential services. Until recently the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company (GEDCO), which runs the Gaza power plant, had an arrangement with the Palestinian Authority (PA) whereby the PA purchased fuel from Israel that was imported into Gaza, and GEDCO reimbursed the PA through utility revenues. At the beginning of 2011, GEDCO stopped this arrangement and began importing cheaper diesel fuel through the tunnels with Egypt at Rafah. However, tunnel supplies have been severely disrupted due to the recent instability in Egypt, and GEDCO has re-approached the PA to resume fuel transfers from Israel. We call on both parties to come to a swift agreement that allows full resumption of fuel supplies to Gaza.

We have therefore not made any specific representations to Israel on this matter as we do not see restrictions on imports of Israeli fuel into Gaza as being the cause of the latest electricity shortages. However, we continue to work closely with the office of the quartet representative, UN agencies and other partners to support broader improvements in access to Gaza. We welcome Israel's recent announcement to revive discussions with the Palestinian Authority on exploiting the Gaza Marine gas field, and the approval in principle to both the supply of Palestinian offshore gas to Gaza power

15 Feb 2011 : Column WA137

plants, and for a new power station. It is important that these commitments are implemented in a timely manner.

Gaza: Airport

Question

Asked by Lord Cope of Berkeley

Baroness Verma: Gaza International Airport was primarily funded by contributions from a number of individual EU member states which did not include the UK, rather than through EU funds. The EU had agreed to provide €25 million (approximately £21.5 million) for the construction of a cargo terminal of which €1.374 million (approximately £1.18 million) was disbursed before the Israeli attack in 2001 which put the airport out of use. The UK share of this EU funding was approximately 16 per cent.

Government Departments: Staff

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The Government are currently consulting on a new statutory code of recommended practice for local authorities on the publication of data. The draft code makes clear the Government's preference for a threshold of £58,200 to apply to disclosure of senior salaries in local authorities. The code will be issued in exercise of the Secretary of State's powers under Section 2 of the Local Government, Land and Planning Act 1980. This section permits the Secretary of State to issue a code of recommended practice as to the publication of information by local authorities about the discharge of their functions and other related matters.

Prior to the publication of this draft code, my department had already taken a number of steps to increase transparency. Individual salary information for senior civil servants in pay bands 2-4 is published on departments' websites. In addition, departments have also published online the total numbers and grades of non-Senior Civil Service staff reporting to each Senior Civil Service pay band 1 and 1A post, a description of the role of the team and the total salary cost of that team. The same guidance applies to staff of non-departmental public bodies and arm's-length

15 Feb 2011 : Column WA138

bodies. The level of disclosure for senior civil servants is going to be reviewed prior to the next exercise, in April 2011, with a view to increasing transparency further.

The names of the special advisers in post, including each special adviser's pay band, actual salary where this is £58,200 or higher, together with details of the special advisers' pay ranges for 2010-11, were most recently published in the Prime Minister's Statement to Parliament on 28 October 2010. (Official Report, col. 18WS).

Health: Pathfinders

Questions

Asked by Lord Dubs

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Any costs associated with establishing pathfinders will come from primary care trust (PCT) budgets. PCT clusters will provide a development fund of £2 per head, in addition to, and alongside existing practice-based commissioning funding, to support the development of general practitioner consortia. The department is not monitoring spend on the pathfinder programme.

Asked by Lord Dubs

Earl Howe: General practitioner consortia will have the freedom to decide which commissioning activities they will undertake themselves, and for which activities they may choose to buy in support from external organisations, including local authorities, private and voluntary sector bodies. They will receive a maximum management allowance to reflect the costs associated with commissioning. It is not known how many consortia will choose to buy in support from commercial companies.

Health: Prescriptions

Question

Asked by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): I refer the noble Lord to the Written Answer I gave to Lord Campbell-Savours on 5 July 2010 (Official Report, col. WA24).



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Housing Benefit

Question

Asked by Lord German

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): We are providing an additional £50 million over the next four years to support customers affected by the changes to local housing allowance rates. We are still considering how this can be targeted and used most effectively.

This £50 million is in addition to the Government's contribution towards local authorities' discretionary housing payment budgets which we are increasing by £130 million over the same period. We announced the 2011-12 discretionary housing payment allocations on 2 February 2011 (www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/s2-2011.pdf). It is for each local authority to decide how it can best use its allocation to support its customers. We are issuing further good practice guidance to local authorities to assist them in making these decisions.

Human Trafficking

Question

Asked by Baroness Goudie

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government have not made a detailed assessment of the scale of human trafficking from Iran to the West via Nagorno Karabakh and the seven surrounding regions. We do not have information by which to identify this as a route of concern and are informed that neither the UN High Commissioner for Refugees nor the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe has reported this as a known route for trafficking in human beings.

Iraq

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: In line with long standing convention, current Ministers are not accountable for decisions of their predecessors.



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Israel

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are concerned by reports that Israel is considering cutting off the Gaza Strip from Israel's water and electricity infrastructure. Officials at our embassy in Tel Aviv raised this issue with Israeli officials who denied reports that Israel intended to cut off water and electricity supplies to Gaza. They added that it was Israel's intention to see Gaza's water and electricity infrastructure improve, which had been raised on many occasions with those members of the international community who have existing infrastructure projects in Gaza. We consider Israel to have primary responsibility as an occupying power for Gaza's humanitarian needs, including fuel and water.

Israel and Palestine

Questions

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are aware of reports of mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and continue to monitor the human rights situation in the West Bank, including the issue of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.

Where we have concerns, the UK, along with EU partners, raises them. As previously mentioned to the noble Lord, we regularly raise our concerns with the Israeli Government about the application of due process and the treatment of Palestinian detainees.

Asked by Lord Dykes

Lord Howell of Guildford: Full figures for 2010 are not yet available. However, we expect the Israeli Bureau of Statistics to inform us as soon as they are.

According to the comprehensive closure survey completed by the UN at the end of March 2010, Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) field teams documented and mapped 505 obstacles throughout the West Bank.

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These include 65 permanently staffed checkpoints, 22 partial checkpoints (staffed on an ad-hoc basis) and 418 unstaffed obstacles, including roadblocks, earth mounds, earth walls, road gates, road barriers, and trenches.

The total of 505 obstacles represents a net reduction of 121 obstacles (19 per cent), compared to the previous reporting period in March 2009 (626).

The noble Lord may be aware of reports that Israel plans to transfer overall responsibility for the operation of checkpoints to the Crossing Points Administration (CPA). It is too early to judge what effect this will have on the daily lives of Palestinians needing to pass through checkpoints, but early indications are not positive. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and raise with Israel the importance of easing restrictions on movement and access for ordinary Palestinians.

Israel and Palestine: Middle East Quartet

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We do not hold information on spend by the Middle East quartet.

The noble Lord may wish to contact the Office for the Quartet Representative directly.

Kosovo

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government have made no such assessment. However, as noted by the European Commission's 2010 Progress Report on Kosovo, "sustained efforts, supported by clear political will, are needed in the fight against organised crime which remains a matter of very serious concern and affects the rule of law".

The EU's Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) has an indispensable role to play in this regard. It is a vital contribution to enabling Kosovo to meet EU standards in rule of law.

Tackling organised crime and corruption is essential for Kosovo's long-term stability and that of the Western Balkans as a whole. It is also essential for Kosovo to make progress along its path to EU membership.



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Low Value Consignment Relief

Questions

Asked by Lord Lucas

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): No such assessment has been made. However, the Government are actively reviewing the operation of the low value consignment relief on imports from outside the EU.

Asked by Lord Lucas

Lord Sassoon: No such assessment has been made. However, the Government are actively reviewing the operation of the low value consignment relief on imports from outside the EU.

Maternal Health

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: It is not possible to disaggregate how much was spent on antenatal care, safe birth, emergency obstetric care, postnatal and newborn care in each country without incurring disproportionate cost.

The Department for International Development (DfID) has been reviewing all major spending areas to determine how we can achieve better value for money for the taxpayer and accelerate progress towards the millennium development goals. The reviews will consider how UK aid can help expand access to basic health services, including healthcare. Allocations of future funding will be determined as part of these reviews.

NHS: Budget

Question

Asked by Lord Burnett



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The information is shown in the following table.

2009-101996-97
PercentagePercentage

Managers and Senior Managers

2.0

2.7

Administrative and Clerical

4.0

5.6

The figures represent expenditure on managers and senior managers, and administrative and clerical staff, as percentages of total National Health Service revenue expenditure.

In respect of 1996-97, the staff expenditure values used in the calculation relate to NHS trusts only. In 2009-10, NHS secondary care is split between NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts. The department does not collect data from NHS foundation trusts. Consequently, the staff expenditure values used to calculate the relevant percentage for 2009-10 relate to the amount spent by NHS trusts only. As a result, the figures for the two years are not directly comparable.

NHS: Funding

Question

Asked by Baroness Jolly

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): From 2013-14, the NHS Commissioning Board will take over responsibility for commissioning guidelines and the allocation of resources from the department. It will be for the board to decide how best to allocate resources to general practitioner (GP) consortia in a way that supports the principle of securing equivalent access to National Health Service services relative to the prospective burden of disease and disability.



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During the transition to the board, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health has asked the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA), an independent committee comprising of GPs, academics and NHS managers, to continue to oversee the formulae for the distribution of NHS resources. ACRA's work programme will include the allocation of funds to GP consortia. This work programme does not pre-empt any decisions to be made by the NHS Board.

Shadow allocations for GP consortia will be published in late 2011 for 2012-13. Actual allocations for GP consortia will be made in late 2012 for 2013-14.

NHS: Staff

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The information is shown in the following table.



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15 Feb 2011 : Column WA146

England Headcount and percentages
19961997199819992000200120022003

All doctors

86,584

89,619

91,837

94,953

97,436

100,319

104,460

109,964

Consultants (including Directors of public health)

20,402

21,474

22,324

23,321

24,401

25,782

27,070

28,750

Registrars

11,385

11,909

12,131

12,682

12,730

13,220

13,770

14,619

Other doctors in training

17,483

18,404

18,717

18,845

19,192

19,572

21,145

22,701

Hospital practitioners and clinical assistants (non-dental specialties) 1

6,745

6,606

6,318

6,006

5,621

5,362

4,863

4,451

Other medical and dental staff

8,198

8,443

8,968

9,146

9,744

9,910

10,183

10,330

GPs total 2

29,116

29,389

29,697

30,959

31,369

31,835

32,292

33,564

GP Providers 3

26,970

27,200

27,489

27,681

27,791

27,938

28,117

28,646

Other GPs

841

846

762

786

802

864

1,085

1,712

GP registrars 4

1,305

1,343

1,446

1,520

1,659

1,883

1,980

2,235

GP retainers 5

.

.

.

972

1,117

1,150

1,110

971

Total qualified nursing staff 6

319,151

318,856

323,457

329,637

335,952

350,381

367,520

386,359

Qualified nursing, midwifery & health visiting staff

301,253

300,467

304,563

310,142

316,752

330,535

346,537

364,692

GP practice nurses 7

17,898

18,389

18,894

19,495

19,200

19,846

20,983

21,667

Total qualified scientific, therapeutic & technical staff 8

94,320

96,298

99,656

102,391

105,910

110,241

116,598

122,066

Qualified Allied Health Professions

43,906

45,022

46,448

53,105

54,788

57,001

59,415

62,189

Other qualified scientific, therapeutic & technical staff

50,414

51,276

53,208

49,286

51,122

53,240

57,183

59,877

Qualified ambulance staff 9

14,720

14,941

14,781

14,783

14,755

14,855

15,609

15,957

Support to clinical staff

281,897

283,871

289,363

296,619

307,225

325,890

344,524

360,666

Support to doctors & nursing staff

237,846

240,040

243,960

249,216

257,136

271,978

287,098

298,752

Support to scientific, therapeutic & technical staff

38,009

38,074

39,162

40,465

41,800

44,602

48,030

52,230

Support to ambulance staff

6,042

5,757

6,241

6,938

8,289

9,310

9,396

9,684

NHS infrastructure support

174,165

170,623

168,448

171,205

173,733

179,783

189,274

199,808

Central functions

70,621

70,647

71,079

73,996

77,628

81,439

85,706

92,257

Hotel, property & estates

82,280

77,803

74,676

72,922

70,849

70,920

71,274

72,230

Manager & senior manager

21,264

22,173

22,693

24,287

25,256

27,424

32,294

35,321

Other non-medical staff or those with unknown classification

6,183

2,820

1,939

2,427

877

1,224

657

657

Other GP practice staff 2

79,481

81,658

82,081

86,333

83,070

84,473

86,292

88,424



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15 Feb 2011 : Column WA148

England headcount and percentages
200420052006200720082009Change 1996-2009Percentage change 1996-2009

All doctors

117,806

122,987

126,251

128,210

133,662

140,897

54,313

62.7%

Consultants (including Directors of public health)

30,650

31,993

32,874

33,674

34,910

36,950

16,548

81.1%

Registrars

16,823

18,006

18,808

30,759

35,042

37,108

25,723

225.9%

Other doctors in training

24,874

26,305

27,461

16,024

14,136

14,394

-3,089

-17.7%

Hospital practitioners and clinical assistants (non-dental specialties) 1

4,045

3,587

3,077

2,848

2,761

2,333

-4,412

-65.4%

Other medical and dental staff

10,604

10,739

11,100

11,333

11,854

12,176

3,978

48.5%

GPs total 2

34,855

35,944

36,008

36,420

37,720

40,269

11,153

38.3%

GP Providers 3

28,781

29,340

27,691

27,342

27,347

27,613

643

2.4%

Other GPs

2,742

3,398

5,400

6,022

6,663

8,304

7,463

887.4%

GP registrars 4

2,562

2,564

2,278

2,491

3,203

3,881

2,576

197.4%

GP retainers 5

770

642

639

565

507

471

.

.

Total qualified nursing staff 6

397,515

404,161

398,335

399,597

408,160

417,164

98,013

30.7%

Qualified nursing, midwifery & health visiting staff

375,371

381,257

374,538

376,737

386,112

395,229

93,976

31.2%

GP practice nurses 7

22,144

22,904

23,797

22,860

22,048

21,935

4,037

22.6%

Total qualified scientific, therapeutic & technical staff 8

128,883

134,534

134,498

136,976

142,558

149,596

55,276

58.6%

Qualified Allied Health Professions

65,515

67,841

67,483

68,687

71,301

73,953

30,047

68.4%

Other qualified scientific, therapeutic & technical staff

63,368

66,693

67,015

68,289

71,257

75,643

25,229

50.0%

Qualified ambulance staff 9

17,272

18,117

16,176

17,028

17,451

17,922

3,202

21.8%

Support to clinical staff

368,285

376,219

357,877

346,596

355,010

377,617

95,720

34.0%

Support to doctors & nursing staff

303,630

310,441

291,098

281,894

286,254

303,424

65,578

27.6%

Support to scientific, therapeutic & technical staff

55,025

55,715

54,307

53,259

55,689

59,831

21,822

57.4%

Support to ambulance staff

9,630

10,063

12,472

11,443

13,067

14,362

8,320

137.7%

NHS infrastructure support

211,489

220,387

209,387

207,778

219,064

236,103

61,938

35.6%

Central functions

99,831

105,565

101,860

100,177

105,354

115,818

45,197

64.0%

Hotel, property & estates

73,932

75,431

70,776

71,102

73,797

75,624

-6,656

-8.1%

Manager & senior manager

37,726

39,391

36,751

36,499

39,913

44,661

23,397

110.0%

Other non-medical staff or those with unknown classification

497

435

410

409

353

364

-5,819

-94.1%

Other GP practice staff 2

90,110

89,190

95,845

94,515

92,436

92,333

12,852

16.2%



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA149

Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Question

Asked by Baroness Blood

Lord Shutt of Greetland: A wide range of views were expressed in the consultation and any categorisation of responses into support of either a wide-ranging Bill of Rights, or a more limited set of rights, or other statistical analysis, would be difficult to achieve. As indicated in the Minister of State's statement of

15 Feb 2011 : Column WA150

14 December 2010, the responses to the consultation have been published on the Northern Ireland Office website.

The consultation did demonstrate that there was support for a wide-ranging Bill of Rights among human rights and community groups, but also that there was opposition to this and support instead for a more limited set of rights. This was referred to in the Minister of State's statement.

Overseas Aid

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Baroness Verma: Details of the amount of UK official development assistance spent in each recipient country in each year to 2009 are available to download from the online database of the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development at http://stats.oecd.org/gwids/. Provisional figures for 2010 will be published in April.

Pakistan

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): A number of organisations have highlighted allegations of violence against Baloch people, including the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in October 2009 and Amnesty International in October 2010. We share the concerns of these organisations and closely monitor the human rights situation in Balochistan.

The Government of Pakistan face a difficult law and order situation in Balochistan in tackling militant and criminal activity. The conflict is complex and multi-layered. Figures released by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies in 2010 estimated that 483 civilians and 117 security forces personnel were killed in 737 separate military, insurgent and sectarian-related terrorist attacks in Balochistan.



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA151

Our high commission in Islamabad and our deputy high commission in Karachi engage regularly with the Government of Pakistan and the provincial government in Balochistan on matters of security, rule of law and human rights. Officials also meet representatives of the Baloch community and political parties. We urge that action to counter militant or insurgent activity is conducted in line with Pakistan's obligations under national and international law. It is our long-standing practice not to condone extra-judicial killing or torture.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: We continue to monitor the situation in Sistan Baluchistan province of Iran, including activities by the Iranian authorities to counter terrorist activity. We strongly condemn all terrorist attacks in Sistan Baluchistan, including the horrific bombings in Chahabar and Zahedan. However, we are concerned that measures adopted by the Iranian authorities to counter terrorism are not always proportionate or in line with Iran's domestic and international obligations. We are also alarmed by the rapid pace of executions in Iran in the past two months, including in Zahedan, and have called on the Iranian authorities to cease immediately all executions.

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill

Question

Asked by Lord Howarth of Newport

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): A UK parliamentary by-election could still take place on 5 May but would not be combined with the referendum on the voting system and the other planned polls taking place on this date. In effect, this would mean that separate polling stations would be used for the poll and that other aspects of the poll, for example the issuing and receipt of postal ballot packs, would not be combined.

Prisoners: Voting

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Prisoners held on remand are able to vote by post or by proxy, if they are registered. Under Section 4(1)(b) and 4(3)(b) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 one of the requirements for registration is that the person is not subject to any legal incapacity to vote. Hence, a prisoner who is incapable of voting by virtue of Section 3 of the 1983 Act is also a person who is not entitled to be registered. There is no duty on a person who is on the register to notify a registration officer that he is no longer entitled to be registered.

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

Question

Asked by Baroness Howe of Idlicote

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Home Office, the Crown Prosecution Service and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) have been leading work to understand how the response to stalking and harassment, including enforcement of the existing offences in the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, can be improved. If, as part of this work, potential gaps in the law are identified, we will give them careful consideration.

Republic of Ireland: Celebrations

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have made no formal representations to the Irish Government on this issue.

Shipping: General Lighthouse Authorities

Questions

Asked by Lord Berkeley



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA153

Earl Attlee: No.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: This is an operational matter for the Research and Radionavigation Directorate of the General Lighthouse Authorities.

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: Five in 2009-10 and, due to staff changes during the year, six in 2010-11. In each year, only the General Lighthouse Fund accountant was wholly funded from the fund itself.

The department is currently undergoing administrative reorganisation and remains committed to providing best value to those who pay for the services it provides.

Shipping: Navigation Aids

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: The Joint Strategic Board of the General Lighthouse Authorities, and the Department for Transport have actioned 35 Atkins recommendations so far, including the consideration of seven which related to a new charging mechanism; and will continue to implement the remainder as appropriate, over the coming months.

Sport: Football Transfer Fees

Questions

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): VAT is charged on football transfer fees at the standard rate of 20 per cent.



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA154

Asked by Lord Beecham

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Government have no plans to introduce a levy on football transfers.

Sport: Women

Question

Asked by Lord Pendry

Baroness Garden of Frognal: In working with the sport national governing bodies (NGBs) on their whole sport plans, Sport England emphasises the need to encourage women and girls to participate in all sports.

While Sport England has not set specific targets for NGBs on increasing participation among particular groups of people, current funding levels for sports were in part assessed on the strength of their strategic plans to deliver on increased participation among women, black and minority ethnic groups, and disabled people. For the NGBs, developing sports opportunities for girls and women is not an optional extra but a vital part of what they are required to do.

Sport England also provides funding to the Women's Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), which works with the NGBs on participation among girls and women. The WSFF is funded to work with all sports, including those that are perceived as being traditionally male, to help them tailor their sport and shape it in the most attractive way for women and girls.

The WSFF is bringing together the major team sports at Twickenham this week to discuss the unique set of issues team sports face in their attempts to raise participation among women and girls. Part of the discussions will be discussing the steps they can take to ensure a positive media profile.

In addition to core NGB and National Partner funding, Sport England is investing £10 million in an active women initiative. This funding is aimed at helping women in disadvantaged communities and women caring for children under 16.

Taxation: Income Tax

Questions

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay



15 Feb 2011 : Column WA155

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Increasing the personal allowance for those aged under 65 from £7,475 to £10,000 in 2011-12 is estimated to cost £13 billion. Increasing the allowance by £185 is estimated to cost around £1 billion.

Estimated Exchequer costs are on an accruals basis. The estimates assume that the basic rate limit (the band of taxable income facing the basic rate) is fixed. This means that the higher rate threshold (the point of income above which individuals pay higher rate tax) would increase by the same amount as the personal allowance. This occurs because the higher rate threshold is not set in its own right, but is the sum of the personal allowance and basic rate limit.

The estimates take account of changes in national insurance contributions (NICs) assuming continued alignment of the upper earnings and profits limits with the higher rate threshold for income tax.

The estimates exclude possible behavioural responses which are likely to be small relative to the estimates provided.

These estimates are based on the 2007-08 Survey of Personal Incomes data projected using economic assumptions consistent with the Office for Budget Responsibility's Autumn forecast 2010.

Turkey

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government have not made representations to the Government of Turkey about these arrests. We expect the Turkish Government to follow the highest standards of human rights and justice at all stages of police and judicial processes. Our embassy in Ankara will be monitoring the situation closely.


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