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4 July 2011 : Column WA1

Written Answers

Monday 4 July 2011

Abortion

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Verma: We fully support the UN Fourth World Conference for Women Platform for Action and its reaffirmation that the human rights of women and the girl child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of universal human rights. We are fully committed to the realisation of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all women and girls.

The UK strongly opposes sex-selective abortion. We recognise that there is no easy solution to addressing this practice. However, our work on girls' education and women's empowerment, skills, work and jobs aims to increase the value of girls and women in society and therefore tackle the pressures and incentives that drive preferences for male children.

In India, for example, evidence indicates that son preference is weakening, but at the same time access to technologies such as ultrasound are increasing, potentially off-setting this progress. Through our support to the National Reproductive and Child Health programme we are supporting the Government of India to limit inappropriate use of these technologies without reducing access to safe abortion services.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department does not currently fund or plan to fund any organisation promoting abortion as a method of family planning. We define family planning as services that supply contraceptive products and devices to prevent pregnancy. Abortion is not a method of contraception or family planning.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Earl Howe: Reducing the number of abortions is very important; this is why we have identified improving sexual health and reducing rates of unintended pregnancies as a priority area within our plans to improve public health. Healthy Lives, Healthy People: Our Strategy for Public Health in England stated the department's intention to publish a new sexual health policy document. This will be published in the autumn and will take a life-course approach to sexual health, which also addresses the needs of specific groups. This will support reducing inequalities including for those most at risk, including high rates of teenage pregnancy and unintended pregnancy in all ages.

Latest abortion statistics, released on 24 May show that in 2010, the age-standardised abortion rate for women resident in England and Wales was 17.5 per 1,000 resident women aged 15-44, the same as in 2009 and down from 18.2 in 2008. The abortion rate per 1,000 women resident in England aged under 18 was 16.6 compared to 17.7 in 2009. This represents a 6.2 per cent decrease in the rate.

Banking

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Project Merlin banks' statement represents a collective commitment on the part of the major UK banks (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group Royal Bank of Scotland and, in the context of lending, Santander).

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: Under the Merlin commitment it was agreed with the banks that they would make available the appropriate capital and resources to support gross new lending of £190 billion to UK businesses. This includes new committed lending capacity of £76 billion to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Asked by Lord Myners



4 July 2011 : Column WA3

Lord Sassoon: The UK Government are not a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The UK is represented on the Basel Committee by the Bank of England and Financial Services Authority. The UK Government fully support the work of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

Belfast Agreement

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Belfast agreement refers to the Irish Government taking steps to strengthen further the protection of human rights in their jurisdiction. These steps, which have included the formation of an Irish Human Rights Commission, benefit all those living in the Republic of Ireland, including British citizens.

Businesses: Pre-pack Administration

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): In March 2011 the Government announced proposals to tighten controls on pre-packs where the administrator intends to sell a significant proportion of the assets of a company or its business to a connected party, in circumstances where there has been no open marketing of the assets. The Government believe that the impact of the proposals on small and medium-sized enterprises will be beneficial. Discussions on the detail of draft legislation are currently taking place with stakeholders .

Businesses: Regulations

Question

Asked by Lord Harrison

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): All providers of primary dental care were required to register with the Care Quality Commission from 1 April 2011. An impact assessment

4 July 2011 : Column WA4

of regulation of primary medical and dental care providers under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 was published in October 2009 along with the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations. This impact assessment set out the range of options considered as part of the policy development process and considered their costs and benefits. A copy of the impact assessment has been placed in the Library: www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh-digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_115544.pdf.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Requirements for Social Work Training published in 2002 set out the outcome statements for what a student social worker must know, understand and be able to do to be awarded the degree in social work. This can be found at: www. dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_4007803. A copy has already been placed in the Library.

It is the responsibility of individual employers to ensure that their staff are appropriately trained for the work that they do.

Credit Default Swaps

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Minimum capital requirements in the European Union are set by the capital requirements directive (CRD) and at the international level by the Basel Committee on Banking Standards (BCBS).

In September 2010, the BCBS proposed new rules, known as Basel 3, which the Government support. These included the treatment of counterparty credit risk and would affect the capital relief provided by hedging risk, including through the purchase of credit default swaps.



4 July 2011 : Column WA5

The Government expect proposals from the European Commission on further amendments to the CRD, known as CRD 4, later this year. It is expected that these proposals will reflect the Basel 3 rules on counterparty credit risk.

Data Protection

Question

Asked by Lord Harris of Haringey

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Security policy officials and the national technical authorities keep all security threats under constant review and the Security Policy Framework guidelines are regularly updated. These guidelines include measures to reduce the risk that sensitive information could be overlooked, including from computer screens, laptops or other mobile devices.

Drugs

Question

Asked by Lord Moynihan

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The report published by the 2011 Global Commission on Drug Policy was not commissioned by the Government and we will not be making a formal response to it.

Drugs destroy lives and cause untold misery to families and communities. The Government have a duty to protect the public, not least vulnerable people. We are determined to participate fully in responding to global drug issues by meeting our obligations under the international conventions on reducing drug misuse and trafficking. Our priorities are clear: we want to reduce drug use, crack down on drug-related crime and disorder and help dependent users come off drugs for good and contribute to society.

Education: Overseas Funding

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

Baroness Verma: The figure of 700,000 girls is an estimate of the number of girls to be supported in their education at secondary level. Of the 9 million children to be supported at the primary level, half will be girls. The Girls Education Challenge initiative, currently under development, is a separate and additional initiative. The numbers of girls to be supported through this initiative will be announced later in the year.

EU: Financial Assistance to Member States

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Data on external claims of UK-owned monetary financial institutions, and on their branches and subsidiaries abroad, are available on the Bank of England website at: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/Bankstats/2011/Jun/TabC4.2.xls.

This sets out foreign claims on an ultimate risk basis of $14.65 billion, which, taken together with derivatives ($2.28 billion), guarantees ($0.90 billion), and other credit commitments ($1.41 billion), make up $19.24 billion in total. These data are as at the end of Q1 2011.

Exports

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Chesterton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox) on 22 June 2011 (Official Report, col. WA 304).



4 July 2011 : Column WA7

Finance: Mutuals

Question

Asked by Lord Redesdale

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government are committed to supporting the creation and expansion of mutuals, co-operatives, charities and social enterprises and to enabling these groups to have much greater involvement in the running of public services. We will also give public sector workers a new right to form employee-owned co-operatives and to bid to take over the services they deliver. A number of pathfinder mutuals have already been launched.

The Big Society Bank is being set up to enable organisations that invest in civil society to provide a greater range of financial services to social enterprises, charities and voluntary and community sector organisations. The Government are also considering options for mutualisation of Post Office Ltd and will be launching a public consultation later in the year.

Financial Services: Salaries

Question

Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): As set out in the coalition agreement, the Government are committed to tackling unacceptable bank bonuses. Significant steps have already been taken through a combination of measures that target remuneration and bonuses directly and through wider measures, which have the potential to reduce excessive risk-taking, improve governance, impose tougher capital requirements and increase competition over time.

In addition to the Project Merlin agreement between the Government and the four largest banks, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has revised the Remuneration Code of Practice, which sets out detailed rules for pay for firms in the financial services sector.

The FSA has also implemented a new remuneration disclosure regime. The Government have committed to consult on world-leading pay disclosure arrangements, which, when taken together with the FSA's sector-wide regime, will make the UK's disclosure arrangements the toughest of any major financial centre.

Alongside this, the Government have created the Independent Commission on Banking to investigate the issue of banks being too big to fail and have introduced a permanent levy on banks' borrowings that incentivises less risky operations and will raise £2.5 billion a year for the taxpayer.



4 July 2011 : Column WA8

Government Departments: Scientific Advisers

Question

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has had three scheduled meetings with Professor Bernard Silverman between 31 May 2010 and June 2011.

Greece: Political Intervention

Question

Asked by Viscount Waverley

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Greece is a long-standing member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, with appropriate constitutional and other provisions for civilian control over the Armed Forces.

Where a member state is in serious and persistent breach of the EU's fundamental values (for example, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights) the council has the power to suspend certain rights, including the voting rights, of the member state concerned.

Health and Social Care Bill

Question

Asked by Baroness Wheeler

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Health and Social Care Bill sets out in considerable detail how we intend to reform, transfer or abolish a significant number of these functions, either because they would be carried out by a different body in the new system, or because they are now unnecessary.



4 July 2011 : Column WA9

Strategic health authorities (SHAs), primary care trusts (PCTs), special health authorities and health related arm's-length bodies collectively have a wide range of legal duties. Many of these are statutory functions of the Secretary of State that have been delegated through regulations and directions under the National Health Service Act 2006.

In the current system, PCTs are responsible for the commissioning of most NHS services, while SHAs act as regional headquarters of the NHS, providing management and direction to PCTs and NHS trusts. Special health authorities and arm's-length bodies have a range of specialist responsibilities and functions.

Under the system proposed by the Health and Social Care Bill, SHAs and PCTs would be abolished. They would be replaced by more autonomous NHS institutions, with transparent duties and responsibilities. We intend that, in future, clinical commissioning groups should be responsible for commissioning the majority of NHS services, supported by a national NHS Commissioning Board. PCTs' current responsibilities for public health improvement would transfer to local authorities.

A number of arm's-length bodies would also be abolished. Their functions would transfer either to new or existing organisations, would return to the Secretary of State, or would cease.

Health: Blood Donors

Question

Asked by Baroness Randerson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), as the special health authority responsible for the provision of blood to hospitals in England and north Wales, places great emphasis on raising awareness amongst young people of the importance of blood, organ and stem cell donation.

NHSBT works with schools, colleges and universities across England and north Wales to promote donation by: providing "Give and Let Live" educational resources designed for 14 to 16 year-olds; running blood donation sessions for students aged 17 and over; and working with the charity Anthony Nolan on the "Register and Be A Lifesaver" project, to train volunteers to give talks about donation to 16 to 18 year-olds.

To further engage with young people, NHSBT has recently launched a presence on social networking sites. In addition, an extensive awareness campaign by NHSBT during the first National Blood Week has resulted in around 7,000 people below the age of 30 years registering as new donors.

Health: Reciprocal Agreements

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The following tables one to three show the amounts, in pounds sterling, that the United Kingdom paid to and received from member states of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland in the financial years 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10, for citizens registered as resident in another member state. Payments made in any one year will typically relate to claims for a number of previous years.

Figures for Ireland are provided separately in table four and represent total amounts paid in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Table five shows the number of UK citizens registered as resident in each member state, and vice versa, for the calendar year 2010.

Table One
EEA Medical Costs
Payments to and by Member States in 2007-08 1
Payments for Article 94 and 95 Claims 2
Payments To Member States£ Equivalent 3Payments By Member States £

Austria

£2,463,000

£0

Belgium

£2,580,000

£501,000

Bulgaria 4

£0

£0

Cyprus

£3,183,000

£0

Czech Republic

£34,000

£0

Denmark (Waiver) 5

£0

£0

Estonia (Waiver) 6

£0

£0

Finland (Waiver) 7

£0

£0

France

£146,479,000

£0

Germany

£0

£1,107,000

Greece

£1,176,000

£32,000

Hungary (Waiver) 7

£0

£0

Iceland

£0

£0

Italy 7

£17,737,000

£1,709,000

Latvia

£0

£0

Liechtenstein

£0

£0

Lithuania

£0

£0

Luxembourg

£0

£0

Malta (Waiver) 7

£0

£0

Netherlands

£0

£0

Norway (Waiver) 6

£0

£0

Poland

£0

£0

Portugal

£6,342,000

£0

Romania 4

£0

£0

Slovakia

£2,000

£0

Slovenia

£10,000

£0

Spain

£195,727,000

£38,000

Sweden

£374,000

£13,000

Switzerland

£1,183,000

£9,000

Total

£377,300,000

£3,400,000



4 July 2011 : Column WA11

Table Two
EEA Medical Costs
Payments to and by Member States in 2008-09 1
Payments for Article 94 and 95 Claims 2
Payments To Member States£ Equivalent 3Payments By Member States £

Austria

£1,211,000

£0

Belgium

£2,838,000

£52,000

Bulgaria 4

£0

£0

Cyprus

£12,448,000

£0

Czech Republic

£12,000

£0

Denmark (Waiver) 5

£0

£0

Estonia (Waiver) 6

£0

£0

Finland (Waiver) 7

£0

£0

France

£124,314,000

£989,000

Germany

£14,192,000

£48,000

Greece

£5,591,000

£6,000

Hungary (Waiver) 7

£0

£0

Iceland

£0

£0

Italy'

£0

£0

Latvia

£19,000

£0

Liechtenstein

£0

£0

Lithuania

£2,000

£0

Luxembourg

£0

£0

Malta (Waiver) 7

£0

£0

Netherlands

£0

£0

Norway (Waiver) 6

£0

£0

Poland

£0

£0

Portugal

£202,000

£14,000

Romania 4

£0

£0

Slovakia

£5,000

£0

Slovenia

£44,000

£0

Spain

£100,992,000

£42,000

Sweden

£407,000

£262,000

Switzerland

£767,000

£0

Total

£263,000,000

£1,400,000



4 July 2011 : Column WA12

Table Three
EEA medical costs
Payments to and by Member States in 2009-10 1
Payments for Article 94 and 95 Claims 2
Payments To Member States£ Equivalent 3Payments By Member States

Austria

£0

£0

Belgium

£3,586,000

£639,000

Bulgaria 4

£0

£0

Cyprus

£97,000

£0

Czech Republic

£60,000

£0

Denmark (Waiver) 5

£0

£0

Estonia (Waiver) 6

£0

£0

Finland (Waiver) 7

£0

£0

France

£164,510,000

£367,000

Germany

£5,197,000

£477,000

Greece

£24,000

£0

Hungary (Waiver) 7

£0

£0

Iceland

£0

£0

Italy 7

£2,372,000

£0

Latvia

£13,000

£0

Liechtenstein

£0

£0

Lithuania

£7,000

£0

Luxembourg

£0

£0

Malta (Waiver) 7

£0

£0

Netherlands

£7,311,000

£3,431,000

Norway (Waiver) 6

£0

£0

Poland

£0

£0

Portugal

£1,832,000

£0

Romania 4

£0

£0

Slovakia

£0

£0

Slovenia

£42,000

£0

Spain

£198,959,000

£72,000

Sweden

£7,000

£783,000

Switzerland

£5,000

£38,000

Total

£384,000,000

£5,800,000

Table Four
EEA Medical Costs
Payments to and by Ireland 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10
Total Payments 1
Total Payments to Ireland 2Total Payments by Ireland

2007-08

£19,004,000

£335,833,000

2008-09

£19,560,000

£86,490,000

2009-10

£22,723,000

£315,868,000



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Table Five
Number of registered residents by EEA member state and Switzerland 1
Number of UK issued E109s or S1s registered in another member state in 2010 2Number of UK issued E121s or S1s registered in another member state in 2010 3Number of E109s or S1s issued by other member states and registered in the UK in 2010 2Number of E121s or S1s issued by other member states and registered in the UK in 2010 3

Austria

11

587

0

55

Belgium

14

609

0

135

Bulgaria

0

322

0

4

Cyprus

3

11,548

0

0

Czech Republic

24

88

0

3

Denmark

0

25

0

34

Estonia

0

17

0

2

Finland

0

33

0

0

France

440

45,019

0

104

Germany

70

3,001

6

426

Greece

6

3,046

0

4

Hungary

5

421

0

0

Iceland

0

13

0

1

Italy

2

3,134

0

6

Latvia

0

41

0

0

Liechtenstein

0

0

0

0

Lithuania

0

20

0

2

Luxembourg

0

53

0

5

Malta

0

2,409

0

4

Netherlands

3

295

0

776

Norway

0

54

0

98

Poland

1,680

482

0

41

Portugal

1

2,567

0

5

Romania

0

11

0

0

Slovakia

2

18

0

1

Slovenia

0

55

0

0

Spain

67

78,021

0

18

Sweden

0

149

0

94

Switzerland

1

348

0

17

Total

2,329

152,386

6

1,835

Health: Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar



4 July 2011 : Column WA14

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): A breakdown of spend in 2010-11 on research in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies is shown in the following table:

£ million

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council

3.6

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

5.8

Department of Health

9.6

Food Standards Agency

0.9

Medical Research Council

5.0

Total

24.9

Housing

Question

Asked by Baroness King of Bow

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Based on analysis of the local housing allowance caseload in March 2010, it is estimated that:

(a) 4,010 claimants in the City of Westminster, and(b) 1,650 claimants in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

will have their housing benefit reduced due to the local housing allowance caps and the removal of the 5-bedroom rate introduced in April 2011.

Customers who were receiving housing benefit according to local housing allowance rules before 1 April 2011 will receive up to nine months transitional protection from the date their claim is reviewed by the local authority, allowing them more time to adjust to the reduction in entitlement.

Immigration: Heathrow Airport

Question

Asked by Baroness Valentine



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The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): We will be publishing passenger clearance data for Heathrow Airport although not covering the dates specified in the question.

As part of the UK Border Agency commitments under the Government's transparency framework we will be publishing national performance data against the published passenger clearance standards in our annual report and accounts and the first quarter's performance (April-June 2011) is due to be published in July 2011. The current clearance standards are:

95 per cent of passengers to wait no longer than the published standard of 25 minutes for EEA and 45 minutes for non EEA passengers.

The national data that underpins this indicator; the number of passengers sampled and, of those, the number cleared within service standards will be made available on the UK Border Agency web site in August 2011.

Independent Commission on Banking

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Independent Commission on Banking is chaired by Sir John Vickers. Sir John is paid £60,000 per annum over the duration of the commission's deliberations to work an average of two days per week. Other commission members are not paid and work an average of one day per week on commission business.

The commissioners are supported by a full-time secretariat of 14 officials drawn from HM Treasury, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, the Financial Services Authority, the Bank of England and the Office of Fair Trading. The pay costs of staff seconded to the secretariat are being met by their parent organisations.

The commission has been provided by HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with such other resources as are necessary to perform its task. All costs are being met by reprioritisation from within existing budgets and there has been no consequent increase in public spending.

International Planned Parenthood Federation

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool



4 July 2011 : Column WA16

Baroness Verma: For details of the Department for International Development's (DfID's) funding to the International Planned Parenthood Federation and monitoring mechanism in place, I refer the noble Lord to my answer of 21 March 2011, (Official Report, col. WA 117). This information and DfID's policy paper on safe and unsafe abortion is available in the Library of the House. DfID does not directly, or indirectly, support coercive population policies or sex selective abortion.

Justice: Legal Fees

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): In 2010-11 the Ministry of Justice paid out a total of £283,509 in compensation to prisoners as a result of unlawful detention civil litigation claims against the Prison Service. A claimant's legal fees may take several months to finalise and some are not paid in the same financial year as the compensation. The Ministry of Justice's legal fees are swept up in monthly bills covering all types of litigation and the total cost of each case could only be identified at disproportionate cost.

Lebanon

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): A new Lebanese cabinet has been proposed by Prime Minister designate Najib Mikati and approved by the President of the Republic. Prime Minister designate Mikati's Government will now submit a government programme to be approved by Parliament. We urge the new Government to abide by their international obligations.

It is important that the new Government are committed to restraint and the principle of non-violence as well as a sovereign and independent future for Lebanon.

Local Authorities: Expenditure

Question

Asked by Lord Lucas



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The estimate of savings up to £450 per household was drawn from a document independently published by a private sector consultancy. The report suggested councils could secure better value-up to 20 per cent savings-for the £50 billion of public money they spend on procurement every year. The £450 per household every year figure is equal to a £10 billion sum calculated from a 20 per cent saving of £50 billion.

The department is already aware, from work done by the Local Government Group, of examples of improved procurement practices which claim to have delivered savings, typically up to 20 per cent. Some of these equate to considerable financial savings for local authorities. The department supports the work of the Local Government Group and individual local authorities in highlighting the gains to be made from successful innovative procurement practice.

Local Government: Consent Regimes

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): I refer to my previous Written Answer on 14 June (Official Report, col. WA 179) that the last departmental audit of consent regimes was published in May 2007. In relation to the Review of Statutory Duties, I also refer the noble Lord to the Written Ministerial Statement of 30 June (Official Report, col. WS 163).

There is no complete, by department, list of consent regimes which apply to local authority decision making.

Magna Carta

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor, the Master of the Rolls and I launched the five-year programme of celebrations for the 800th anniversary at an internationally televised event at Runnymede on 12 November 2010. I am working closely with Sir Robert Worcester at the Magna Carta Trust in collaboration with the National Trust, English Heritage and other organisations including the History of Parliament Trust, and the newly formed All Party Parliamentary group on Magna Carta, to plan and organise a series of high profile events leading up to the anniversary on 15 June

4 July 2011 : Column WA18

2015. Plans for 2015 include major exhibitions at the British Library and the National Archive (and at the Library of Congress in Washington); exhibitions in many British public libraries; radio and television dramas and documentaries; academic symposia, a number of new books relating to Magna Carta; commemorative coins and stamps; Magna Carta concerts including at the Albert Hall; the creation of a new memorial at Runnymede; special commemorative national events on the anniversary itself; and a wide variety of local events in the Magna Carta towns and elsewhere in the UK.

NHS Commissioning Board

Question

Asked by Baroness Wheeler

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The broad functions of the NHS Commissioning Board are outlined in the Health and Social Care Bill. Sir David Nicholson will shortly publish a document setting out further details about the design and operating model.

NHS: Commissioning

Questions

Asked by Baroness Ford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The recent listening events, organised as part of the National Health Service review, have involved representations from individuals and stakeholders representing those living with long-term complex conditions. In particular, concerns were raised over the commissioning of services for those with complex needs.

The NHS Future Forum has addressed these concerns by recommending that:

general practitioners must be required to obtain all relevant multi-professional advice to inform commissioning decisions;the declaration of "no decision about me, without me" must be hard-wired into every part of the system; andthere must be transparency about how public money is spent.

4 July 2011 : Column WA19

NHS: Hospital Beds

Question

Asked by Baroness Meacher

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The most recent information collected by the department shows that the average percentage rate of bed occupancy of adult mental health inpatient units for the period 2009-10 was 85.6 per cent and that for adult acute wards it was 85.5 per cent.

NHS: Productivity

Questions

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): National Health Service productivity growth is measured as the ratio of growth in the volume of outputs to growth in the volume of inputs. NHS output includes the sum of all patient treatments carried out each year. Cost weighting patient treatments enables a single output value to be constructed from all healthcare activities carried out each year. Healthcare activities are varied, weighting makes different activities comparable in terms of their value so for example a procedure that costs five times more than another receives five times more weight in the measure.

The cost weight for each type of activity is the relative cost of that activity compared to all others. The Office for National Statistics calculates average costs for each Healthcare Resource Group from cost information recorded in the annual reference costs collection by the department.

Multiplying the quantity of each activity type by its cost weight and summing these values generates the cost-weighted output value. The measurement of growth requires comparable data over time periods. To ensure the volume of outputs is comparable over time, the same cost weights are applied to data for year 1 and year 2 such that the effects of price increases are stripped out.

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

Earl Howe: Quality adjustments are made to the quantity of output produced by the National Health Service, not the quantity of input used.

NHS productivity growth is measured as the ratio of the growth in the volume of outputs to the growth in the volume of inputs. Where the quality of the output changes (for example improved health outcomes following medical interventions), an adjustment is made to reflect that this is desirable, even if the count of the activity (for example number of hip operations) is unchanged. This approach was adopted following a review undertaken by Sir Tony Atkinson at the request of the National Statistician, which set out a principled framework for measuring government output in the National Accounts within international guidelines.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) adjust output for two dimensions of quality: the extent to which the service succeeds in delivering its intended outcomes; and the extent to which the service is responsive to users' needs. The first of these includes adjustments for survival rates, health gain following treatment in hospital, changes in waiting times and outcomes from intervention in primary care. The second dimension encapsulates changes to patient experience.

Adjustments to output are made for the fact that there are negative welfare effects of having to wait for hospital treatment. The adjustment is calculated by observing changes in the 80th percentile of waiting time distribution for each category of inpatient activity and assigning a benefit (disbenefit) to a reduction (increase) in the time waited.

An adjustment is then made for any differences in health outcomes. Since changes in health outcomes are not observed directly for every procedure, an indirect method is used. This combines changes in short-term (30 day) survival rates following treatment, and a post treatment health gain following survival, based on inferred data from 30 different treatments, all allowing for changes in healthy life expectancy.

The effects of changes in waiting times and health outcomes are then applied multiplicatively to the change in the quantity of activity undertaken.

Separate adjustments are then made for changes in patient experience, which are estimated by observing changes in patient satisfaction expressed by patients in national patient surveys for inpatients and outpatients. A 1 per cent improvement in patient experience would increase the output index by 1 per cent, weighted by the relative costs of the survey settings. The overall effect of this adjustment has been negligible over the past eight years given the very small movements in patient survey responses.

The final adjustment looks at the change in outcomes from primary medical care interventions and measures the quality of general practices by observing the change in the proportion of patients who have achieved a desired clinical target after being diagnosed with hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke or chronic

4 July 2011 : Column WA21

kidney disease. Consultations which give rise to improved condition management are assumed to have 30 per cent more value than those which do not.

Between 2001 and 2009, quality adjustments added an average of 0.9 percentage points a year to output growth. The effect of the quality adjustments on total output is shown in the following table.

Table B1: Contribution of the quality adjustment to output growth
YearQuantity GrowthQuality AdjustmentOutput Growth

2001

6.1%

-0.2%

5.9%

2002

4.0%

1.0%

5.1%

2003

4.6%

0.9%

5.5%

2004

3.6%

1.0 %

4.7%

2005

3.7 %

1.0 %

4.7%

2006

3.1%

0.5%

3.6%

2007

2.9 %

0.3%

3.3%

2008

5.5%

0.8%

6.4%

2009

5.0%

2.0%

7.1%

Average (2001-09)

4.3%

0.8%

5.1%

NHS: Restructuring

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Where amendments to primary legislation are needed to give effect to the Government's proposed changes to the National Health Service, they are set out in the Health and Social Care Bill currently going through Parliament. Any organisational changes being implemented in the meantime, such as grouping primary care trusts into clusters for management purposes, and establishing pathfinder clinical commissioning groups, are being made under existing powers in the National Health Service Act 2006. The department has acted with the benefit of legal advice, but in accordance with usual practice it does not disclose the nature or content of that advice.

Northern Ireland: Bill of Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Government remain of the view that it is difficult to make progress on a Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland in the absence of political consensus. However, the Government want to see this issue resolved and will be taking the views of the new Executive, political parties and others in Northern Ireland on how best to move matters forward.



4 July 2011 : Column WA22

Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Government will use their ticket allocation to support Games time objectives which will include the hosting of relevant non-accredited international and domestic political and business leaders, as well as guests and others with a close connection to the Games and its legacy.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Garden of Frognal: After the Games, the Government intend to publish a list of those dignitaries to whom it allocated tickets, the cost to Government of those tickets, and the number of staff who purchased tickets.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Garden of Frognal: Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Trade and Investment Ministers will agree the principles of Government's ticket allocation, but time will not allow them to decide personally the allocation of each ticket.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The information requested can be found in the following table:



4 July 2011 : Column WA23

Sport/EventNumber of Tickets

Ceremonies

Opening

212

Closing

137

Events

Archery

159

Athletics

256

Athletics-Marathon

64

Athletics-Race Walk

36

Badminton

172

Basketball

501

Beach Volleyball

410

Boxing

277

Canoe Slalom

255

Canoe Sprint

133

Cycling-BMX

78

Cycling-Mountain Bike

920

Cycling-Road

92

Cycling-Track

224

Diving

350

Equestrian-Dressage

49

Equestrian-Eventing

70

Equestrian-Jumping

49

Fencing

141

Football

749

Gymnastic-Artistic

194

Gymnastics-Rhythmic

37

Gymnastics-Trampoline

24

Handball

269

Hockey

288

Judo

151

Modern Pentathlon

48

Rowing

236

Sailing

108

Shooting

126

Swimming

395

Swimming-Marathon

72

Synchronised Swimming

36

Table Tennis

211

Taekwondo

112

Tennis

249

Triathlon

72

Volleyball

325

Water Polo

193

Weightlifting

219

Wrestling-Freestyle

83

Wrestling-Greco Roman

33

Total

8815

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Question

Asked by Lord Bowness

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Since May 2010 there have been two Organisation for Security and Co-operation

4 July 2011 : Column WA24

in Europe (OSCE) ministerial level meetings. These were the Informal Ministerial in Almaty on 16 and 17 July 2010, and the OSCE summit in Astana on 1 and 2 December 2010. A Written Ministerial Statement was tabled following the Informal Ministerial in Almaty (Official Report, 21 July 2010, cols. WS 74-75).

Overseas Aid

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

Baroness Verma: The coalition Government recently reviewed the overall approach to providing budget support, with emphasis on reducing waste and inefficiency. The Secretary of State has announced that over the next four years, general budget support provided by the UK Government will decline by nearly half. We are implementing a shift towards targeted funding to important sectors (sector support), such as health and education.

In 2010-11 financial year, the UK provided budget support to the following 10 countries. Ghana; Malawi; Mozambique; Pakistan; Rwanda; Sierra Leone; Tanzania; Uganda; Vietnam; and Zambia.

Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

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 ONS, to Lord Laird, dated July 2011.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what are the average weekly earnings in (a) the public sector, and (b) the private sector; and what are the respective average percentages paid towards occupational retirement pensions in each sector. (HL10508)

Average levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for all employees on adult rates of pay whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom and is based on a one per cent sample of employee jobs taken from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) PAYE records. The ASHE also collects data on occupational pension schemes and pension contributions.



4 July 2011 : Column WA25

In April 2010, the latest period for which figures are available, the median gross weekly earnings for all employees in the public sector was £446 and for the private sector the comparable estimate was £386. For those employees in the public sector that made pension contributions, the median contribution was 6.4 per cent and for the private sector the comparable estimate was 5.0 per cent. For employers in the public sector that made pension contributions for their employees, the median contribution was 14.9 per cent and for employers in the private sector the comparable estimate was 8.4 per cent.

Police Act 1997

Question

Asked by Baroness Hamwee

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): Section 112 of Part V of the Police Act 1997 provides for the introduction of a criminal conviction certificate at basic level.

The Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) has always planned to offer this service and it committed to research how this could be implemented in its 2009-10 business plan. A feasibility study was carried out but the planned implementation was placed on hold as part of the Government Spending Review in May 2010.

In addition, a criminal conviction certificate at basic level is currently available to all UK citizens via Disclosure Scotland.

In October 2010, we commissioned Mrs Sunita Mason, the Independent Advisor for Criminality Information Management to review the Criminal Records Regime.

The first phase of Sunita Mason's report was published on 11 February and made 10 recommendations, including the introduction of basic certificates, which we are carefully considering. The CRB has undertaken a business case analysis to consider the introduction of criminal records certificates at basic level. This is being evaluated in connection with a formal response to Mrs Mason's recommendations.

Polygraph Tests

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): In accordance with the Offender Management Act 2007 (the 2007 Act), a pilot of mandatory polygraph testing of relevant sexual offenders under licensed supervision is taking place in Probation Trusts in the East and West Midlands Regions. The independent evaluation of this pilot has not changed in scope since the pilot began in April 2009.



4 July 2011 : Column WA26

Testing was originally expected to run until March 2012 to allow sufficient numbers of offenders to be tested to support robust evaluation. A sufficient sample has been achieved ahead of schedule so we have brought forward delivery of the evaluation report from spring 2013 to summer 2012 by planning to end testing in October 2011.

In accordance with provisions of the 2007 Act, a decision on whether testing of relevant sexual offenders on licence should be extended to every probation area in England and Wales will require an affirmative resolution from each House of Parliament. The evaluation report will be a key piece of evidence to inform the decision of each House.

Public Sector: Terms and Conditions


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