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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): We are introducing a cap on the total amount of benefit that working-age people can receive so households on out-of-work benefits will no longer receive more in benefit than the average weekly wage earned by working families.
However, we have announced that there will be exemptions for war widows and widowers and households that include a member who is entitled to disability living allowance, constant attendance allowance or working tax credit.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people living outside the United Kingdom are currently claiming jobseeker's allowance; and how many of these there are in each European Union country. [HL8920]
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people living outside the United Kingdom are currently claiming jobseeker's allowance; and how many of these there are in each European Union country. (DWP) HL8920
Statistics regarding the number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance (JSA) are taken from the Jobcentre Plus administrative system. However, statistics regarding the number of non-resident claimants of JSA are only available from the GB part of the administrative system. Statistics are not available for the number of claimants in individual European Union countries, but only for a collective category covering claimants who are either resident outside GB or whose residence status is unknown. The number of people claiming JSA who were either resident outside GB or whose resident status was unknown was 230 in August 2010, the most recent period for which figures are available.
National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at http://www.nomisweb.co.uk.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for Work and Pensions medical practitioners' and Atos Healthcare medical assessors' training programmes for classified neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease are identical to those for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) which is also classified as a neurological disease by the World Health Organisation ICD10 G93.3.[HL8815]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The training material for Atos Healthcare professionals on neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis is not identical to that for chronic fatigue syndrome. This is because the clinical features of these conditions are different, irrespective of how they are classified.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will now publish the new HM Treasury rules relating to year-end flexibility for cash stocks held on behalf of the devolved Administration in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.[HL8709]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Chancellor announced in the Budget that a new budget exchange system will be introduced in 2011-12. Full details will be available shortly.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much money was reclaimed from the devolved Administrations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the financial year 2010-11, arising from changes to the rules relating to year-end flexibility. [HL8710]
Lord Sassoon: No money was reclaimed from the devolved Administrations in 2010-11 as a result of changes to the end-year flexibility (EYF) system. The devolved Administrations were able to draw down EYF sums in 2010-11 that were previously agreed with
9 May 2011 : Column WA175
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Thornton on 27 January 2010 (WA 338-9) and by Earl Howe on 22 December 2010 (WA 331) and 26 April 2011 (HL8391, HL8392, HL8393 and HL8394), how the volume and complexity of material submitted to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) Core Panel for the evaluation of "expert understanding on the safety and efficacy of methods to avoid mitochondrial disease through assisted conception" compares to the volume and complexity of material in the report pertaining to the HFEA's internal governance review.[HL8617]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that the two reviews are markedly different in character and that any comparison along the lines described by the noble Lord would not be appropriate.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the workforce of UK Financial Investments is based outside London; what are their principal locations; and what are the principal functions performed there.[HL8092]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The UK Financial Investments (UKFI) workforce is based in London on the government estate in a Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) building.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of United Kingdom and European anti-terrorist legislation upon non-governmental organisations operating in Gaza and their ability to provide key services.[HL8678]
Baroness Verma: We recognise that non-governmental organisations (NGOs) operating in Gaza do important
9 May 2011 : Column WA176
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations the Secretary of State for Health has received from Mrs Sue Threakall about contaminated NHS blood and blood products; what reply he is making; and whether any action will be taken.[HL8773]
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will announce their favoured reconfiguration option for children's heart surgery units; and what processes will be gone through before they make that decision. [HL8749]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Safe and Sustainable review of children's heart services in England is being conducted by the NHS Specialised Commissioning Team. We have, however, been following its progress.
The Joint Committee of Primary Care Trusts (JCPCT) has been established as the formal body to undertake the consultation on the Safe and Sustainable review and to take the decision on the best reconfiguration option after analysis of the review responses.
No decision has yet been made on the number and locations of children's heart surgery units. The proposed options for children's heart surgery units are currently being consulted on. The consultation concludes on 1 July 2011 and includes a number of public consultation events across England and Wales as well as focused events with relevant professional associations.
The JCPCT will consider an independent analysis of the consultation responses, reports from overview and scrutiny committees, and a health impact assessment.
9 May 2011 : Column WA177
Earl Howe: Our records indicate we have received 282 representations in relation to the review into children's heart surgery units in England. These consist of letters from honourable Members as well as letters and e-mails from the public, freedom of information requests, Parliamentary Questions, debates and meetings with Ministers.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Students in England who choose to study at higher education institutions outside the UK are not eligible to receive student support, including loans, from Student Finance England. We have no plans to change this.
Loans will continue to be available to students undertaking a period of study abroad provided that period of study forms a part of the course that they are taking at a higher education institution within the UK.
Baroness Rawlings: Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) is a team within the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and is subject to the department's governance procedures and oversight by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what response they have made to the Advice Bureau joint submission made in February by Birmingham Against Legal Aid Cuts and Chelmsley Wood Citizens on the impact of legal aid cuts.[HL8624]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): We are grateful to all those who responded to the consultation. All comments and views received will of course be factored into the decision-making process. However, we intend to reply to specific submissions on an individual basis.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of legal aid cuts in Birmingham on the ability of those on low incomes to get legal advice on housing, debt and welfare issues.[HL8625]
Lord McNally: The Government published impact assessments (IAs) alongside the consultation paper, which details the potential impacts of the reforms. However, these do not detail impacts in specific geographic areas and we do not anticipate making any such assessment.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Shutt of Greetland on 6 April (WA 403), what factors are taken into consideration when deciding whether to allow the use of taxis by Northern Ireland office staff. [HL8700]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether public expenditure on the London Olympics is included in the analysis of identifiable public expenditure shown in tables 9.15 and 9.16 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2011.[HL8711]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The 2012 Olympics are considered to benefit the entire country. As a result of this, and following
9 May 2011 : Column WA179
Guidance on identifiable and non-identifiable expenditure is contained in PESA 2011, chapter 9, paragraph 9.15: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/pesa2011 _chapter9.pdf.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Attlee on 5 July 2010 (WA 26), whether the public financial subsidy to the First ScotRail Caledonian railway sleeper service is funded from HM Treasury or from the Scottish Government.[HL8676]
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