Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

The costs and benefits of reducing administration costs were published in the impact assessment of the Health and Social Care Bill in January this year. A revised impact assessment will be published when the revised Bill enters the House of Lords. The timetable for the reduction is currently being considered in the light of the changes to the Bill, but the total reduction will be achieved by the end of the spending review.

NHS: Restructuring

Question

Asked by Baroness Wheeler

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): A national human resources transition framework which provides generic guidance, covering the employment and human resources processes throughout the transition will be published during the week commencing 4 July 2011. This framework is intended to help provide consistency during the transition as well as encouraging best human resources practice throughout.

NHS: Service Quality

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): It is the responsibility of local National Health Service organisations to plan and deliver a workforce appropriate to the needs of their local population, based on clinical need and sound evidence.



6 July 2011 : Column WA82

The department has been working with strategic health authorities (SHAs) workforce colleagues to develop an assurance process and a mechanism to give local NHS organisations, SHAs, the department, Ministers and the public reassurance that workforce plans are safe, affordable and do not compromise quality.

Local safety and quality assurance processes for workforce plans should reflect clinically led service redesign and ensure there is sign-off by the provider medical directors and nursing directors.

Northern Ireland: Recognition Payments

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Payments to Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) officers were taxed in line with normal employment income tax rules. Income tax law provides that an employee is liable to tax in respect of the earnings from his/her employment, which are defined as all salaries, fees, wages, perks and profits whatsoever. The principal legislation is the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003.

Payments made on the termination of employment are different. A genuine ex gratia redundancy payment is not a reward for an employee's services-it is compensation for the premature loss of his/her job. Nevertheless, the excess of payments above £30,000 are treated as employment income by the law. This applies to civil servants in the same way as any other group of employees.

Peru

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Peruvian Government commission set up to investigate the programme concluded in 2002 that the responsible parties should be brought to justice and the victims be compensated. Investigations carried out by the commission and independent human rights groups suggest at least 20 women died as a direct result of the programme.



6 July 2011 : Column WA83

Former President Alberto Fujimori's programme of mass sterilisation was carried out in Peru from 1996 to 1998. We have received no new reports and have made no new representations on the subject to the Government of Peru during the period in question.

Playing Fields

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not hold records on the number of playing fields that have been lost over the past 36 months and has made no assessment of any such loss. However, Sport England records the number of applications for new playing fields received and approved by local planning authorities. The most recent data available can be found in the following table:

2006-072007-082008-09
Total%Total%Total%

Total number of applications

1267

1287

1322

Number of approved applications by the Local Planning Authority

985

78

991

77

1048

79

Rejected or withdrawn by LPA

201

16

216

17

191

14

Applications yet to be decided by LPA

81

6

80

6

83

6

Sport England is a statutory consultee on planning applications that affect playing fields. This means that any planning application that affects a playing field has to be referred to Sport England for comment by the local authority. As part of Sport England's £135 million mass participation initiative Places, People, Play, the Minister for Sport and the Olympics and Sport England recently launched Protecting Playing Fields, the £10 million fund to protect and improve sports fields across the country. The programme will fund projects that create, develop and improve playing fields for sporting and community use and offer long-term protection of the site for sport.

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre: Performance Targets

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Performance against targets for the financial year ending March 2011 were as follows:

Contribution to the Exchequer:

Target:

£1 .20 million

Outturn:

£1 .20 million

Capacity utilisation:

Target:

65.0%

Outturn

54.3%

Score for value for money:

Target:

90.0%

Outturn:

97.6%

Complaints per 100 events:

Target

less than 2.0

Outturn

0.32

Response time for complaints:

Target

less than 4 days

Outturn

1.0 day

The drop in occupancy percentage for the year was directly related to fewer meetings taking place, particularly those from government departments.

Republic of Ireland: Deportation

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): In his Statement of 19 February 2007 which set out revised criteria for considering Irish nationals for deportation, the right honourable Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill (the then Immigration Minister) stated that "in reviewing our approach in this area we have taken into account the close historical, community and political ties between the United Kingdom and Ireland, along with the existence of the common travel area". There are currently no plans to review this policy. Most of the 18 Irish nationals included in the figures provided for 2007 were deported before the announcement of 19 February. Only small numbers of Irish nationals have been deported from the UK since that date.



6 July 2011 : Column WA85

Retail: Mary Portas Review

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): This review covers a subject that is of great interest to all citizens. Whilst it has been commissioned-and is supported by-the Government, it remains independent. Mary Portas is listening to a wide range of stakeholders.

Sexual Assault Referral Centres

Question

Asked by Baroness Gould of Potternewton

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): Sexual assault referral centres (SARCs) are locally commissioned on a collaborative basis by police forces and NHS primary care trusts and it is for local areas to determine what level of funding and service provision is required. The Home Secretary has committed to providing £1.72 million of funding per annum from the department's crime prevention budget over the next four years to part-fund independent sexual violence adviser (ISVA) posts. This includes 29 ISVAs working in SARCs. Local partners are responsible for ensuring that the service provided by their SARC meets the standards set in the joint Home Office and Department of Health guidance. In addition, the NHS provision in SARCs is subject to the regulatory regime of the Care Quality Standards Commission.

Sport and Leisure: Funding

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham):

6 July 2011 : Column WA86

Local authorities that choose to lease or transfer assets to the voluntary or social enterprise sector will want to ensure that such a transfer is financially sustainable over the long term. Handled well, such transfers can generate savings and protect the continued local community use of such facilities.

Policies such as the community right to buy and the community right to challenge will strengthen the ability of local communities to improve and protect community facilities, including leisure and recreational assets.

Sport: Investment

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is not aware of any such studies.

Tourism: Taxation

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has not received any representations from Cornwall County Council about the introduction of a daily tourist tax. Taxation is a matter for Her Majesty's Treasury.

Visas

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The policy set out in the Immigration Rules and in tier two guidance is the same. Accommodation allowances relating to the employee's main place of residence in the UK can be included up to the limits set out in the rules and guidance. Allowances to cover business expenses, such as overnight accommodation away from the employee's main residence, or travel and subsistence, are categorically excluded.


Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page