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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Ministry of Defence routinely monitors the latest developments in rotorcraft technology, including the X3 and its capabilities. In the Strategic Defence and Security Review we set out our plans to deliver the helicopter capability to support Future Force 2020 through a mix of Apache, Chinook, Merlin, Wildcat and Puma helicopters. Any future helicopter procurement would consider the X3 during the assessment phase as a matter of course, but at present we have no outstanding requirement for a new type of helicopter, and no specific assessment is judged necessary for the Eurocopter X3.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are currently in discussion with the European Commission about artists resale rights; and whether they intend to press for an extension of the derogation which restricts artists resale rights to the sale of works by living artists.[HL10704]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The UK Government are in frequent contact with the European Commission, both at ministerial and official level, on a wide range of issues. The subject of artists' resale right has been discussed many times, and the UK Government recently submitted written evidence to the Commission for consideration during their current review of the directive.
Any further extensions of the derogation would require amendments to the relevant EU directive. The right of initiative on any such proposal lies with the Commission, and a sufficient number of member states, as well as the European Parliament, would need to agree to it before the law could be changed. To date, the Commission has given no indication of an intention to table any such proposal.
Baroness Wilcox: The UK Government are in frequent contact with the European Commission, both at ministerial and official level, on a wide range of issues. The subject of artists' resale right and the derogation has been discussed on a number of occasions.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in their policy on assisted dying, they will take into account Motion 305, passed by the British Medical Association in June, concerning the association's opposition to assisted suicide and euthanasia. [HL10711]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The Government are aware of the British Medical Association's position on assisted suicide and euthanasia. We believe that any change to the law in this emotive and contentious area is an issue of individual conscience. It is, rightly, a matter for Parliament to decide rather than government policy.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Financial Services Authority will be asked to publish its response to comments directed to it by the report of the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee.[HL10499]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has not been asked by the Financial Policy Committee (FPC)-which includes both the chairman and chief executive of the FSA among its members-to publish a response and currently has no plans to do so. We expect the next cycle of FPC meetings to consider how recommendations have been taken forward and information may be released at the next press conference. Where recommendations require the FSA to disclose information, this will be published as required. However, confidential, firm-specific information cannot be published.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how HM Treasury will initiate follow up action on lending commitments by banks under Project Merlin if these commitments are only expressed in aggregate terms rather than per each individual bank. [HL10504]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): On 9 February 2011, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a new commitment by the UK's biggest high street banks on lending expectations and capacity. As part of this commitment, the banks will make available appropriate capital and resources to support £190 billion of new credit to businesses in 2011, up from £179 billion in 2010. If demand exceeds this, the banks will lend more, including creating the balance sheet capacity necessary to do so. £76 billion of this lending capacity will be available to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This is a 15 per cent increase on 2010 lending of £66 billion.
The commitment to make available new lending to SMEs is part of the performance metrics of each bank's chief executive and those senior managers responsible for lending to SMEs. The Chancellor has made clear that the Government will use every tool available to hold the banks to the published lending commitments which they made.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the quarterly data tracked by the Bank of England on bank lending will be aggregated for the five banks agreeing to Project Merlin, or whether the Bank of England will have detailed information on each bank's individual compliance in reaching lending targets; and whether the banks will submit information directly to the Bank of England, or via or simultaneously to HM Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.[HL10677]
Lord Sassoon: The Bank of England will report the banks' aggregate performance under the Project Merlin lending commitments on a quarterly basis. The Merlin banks submit their respective lending data directly to the Bank of England.
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government's shareholdings in the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) are managed on a commercial and arm's-length basis by UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI).
UKFI engages with these banks as a shareholder to ensure that remuneration incentives are designed to promote long-term sustainable performance. UKFI also seeks to ensure that RBS and LBG are at the leading edge of implementing the updated Financial Services Authority remuneration code.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 20 June (WA 225), whether they will investigate further the reasons for 32 customers not reclaiming £167 million from Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Bank despite the Government's guarantee of such Icelandic bank deposits over £50,000; why they are maintaining this open-ended guarantee; and when they estimate those banks' legal liability to customers will end. [HL10689]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The outstanding balance of £167 million in my previous Answer was in respect of Lansdbanki and Heritable Wholesale. The unclaimed balance provided for Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Bank totalled around £250 million across 117 customers.
Contacting retail depositors is the role of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). At the time of the failures, FSCS wrote to all depositors with a claim form and instructions on how to apply for compensation. The FSCS website contained information about how to make a claim. Since sending the initial letters, FSCS has carried out numerous follow-up exercises.
The previous Chancellor of the Exchequer made public statements, guaranteeing that depositors would be compensated for their deposits, including amounts over £50,000. The Treasury issued press notices on 9 October 2008 in respect of all three banks, stating that all UK depositors would be refunded in full for their deposits.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 26 April (WA 12) concerning £418 million unclaimed by the United Kingdom customers of failed Icelandic banks, in how many cases, and concerning what value of deposits, (a) has it not been possible to locate the depositor, (b) has no response been received, (c) has the depositor gone away without leaving a forwarding address, and (d) has the depositor wrongly understood that they are not eligible to claim under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.[HL10691]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 26 April (WA 12) concerning £418 million unclaimed by the United Kingdom customers of failed Icelandic banks, under what circumstances claims for compensation from United Kingdom depositors in failed Icelandic banks are deemed ineligible under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.[HL10692]
Lord Sassoon: Information on the eligibility rules can be found on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme website and in the Financial Services Authority Handbook under Redress, Compensation. This information is available at the following websites: www.fscs.org.uk/what-we-cover/eligibility-rules/http://fsahandbook.info/FSA/html/handbook/COMP.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in the light of the ruling from the Office of Fair Trading regarding charges for consumers using credit and debit cards, they have any powers to introduce an immediate ban on charges levied by banks or other institutions for the use of credit cards to purchase goods and services, given that those cards are promoted as being an alternative to cash. [HL10655]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Under the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the Courts can reduce the charges on credit cards if they consider that the relationship between the creditor (for example, a bank) and debtor (for example, a customer) is unfair.
As regards charges levied by retailers on customers who pay by credit card, the Payment Services Directive (2007/64/EC) provides that member states may forbid or limit the right of the payee (for example, a retailer) to impose charges for the use of any payment instrument (including credit cards), taking into account the need to encourage competition and promote efficient payment instruments.
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The latest information on expenditure on personal tax credits (child tax credit and working tax credit) is available in the National Statistics section of the HMRC website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax receipts/tax_receipts-and-taxpayers.xls.
The latest information on expenditure on company tax credits is available in table 2.8 of the Office for Budget Responsibility's March 2011 Economic and Fiscal Outlook Supplementary Fiscal Tables at http://86.54. 44.148/wordpress/docs/obr_fiscal_supplementary_ tablesl.xls.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the median amount of child benefit received by working families with children with median earnings; and what would be the impact on the number of households affected by the proposed benefit cap if the median income at which benefit is capped included this amount of child benefit.[HL10631]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): On its introduction we estimate that household benefit payments will be capped at around £500 per week for couple and lone parent households and around £350 per week for single adult households. We estimate that 50,000 households will be affected by the benefit cap.
The median level of child benefit received by couples with children and lone parents with median earnings is estimated to be £33.70 per week. This is equivalent to the amount of child benefit received by a household with two children.
If household benefit payments were capped £33.70 per week higher than outlined in the spending review 2010, at £533.70 per week for couple and lone parent households, the number of households affected by the benefit cap would fall by 30 to 40 per cent.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): We have been determined to ensure that the Act is implemented in a way which tackles bribery without imposing unnecessary cost and uncertainty on legitimate trade or business. An impact assessment was published by the then Secretary of State for Justice in 2009 for the introduction of the Bribery Bill. We obtained further representations on the subject in the course of the consultation process on the guidance about commercial organisations preventing bribery. The guidance and a response to the consultation were published on 30 March this year and can be found at: http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/making-and-reviewing-the-law/bribery.htm and http://www.justice.gov. uk/consultations/543.htm.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 20 June (WA 230), what are the responsibilities of landlords and banks to residents of Southern Cross care homes; how this has been communicated to landlords and banks; and whether they accepted their responsibilities.[HL10619]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In various meetings, the department has made clear to the landlords and banks that their primary responsibility must be to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents of care homes that might be affected. The department is being very clear with all parties that we expect them to maintain service continuity and quality of care for residents whilst the restructuring process is ongoing.
Discussions continue between Southern Cross and its landlords and lenders. All parties have given a clear commitment to focus on continuity and quality of care of residents, as set out in their announcement of 15 June. We welcome the fact that Southern Cross, landlords and lenders are working hard to come up with an agreed plan to stabilise the ownership and operation of the company's care homes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence of maltreatment of residents was uncovered during the Care Quality Commission's emergency review of all Castlebeck services following the Panorama programme about abuse and maltreatment at Winterbourne View; and whether the findings will be made public.[HL10660]
Under Section 61 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008, where the CQC carries out an inspection it is required to publish a report on the matters inspected. The CQC will therefore be publishing a report for each service reviewed in due course with its findings. These will be available on the CQC's website.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether super-complaints submitted by designated consumer bodies under the Enterprise Act 2002 will be investigated by the proposed Consumer Markets Authority from April 2013.[HL10708]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Government launched a consultation on Institutional Changes for the Provision of Consumer Information, Advice, Education, Advocacy and Enforcement on 21 June 2011 which included proposals for the ways that supercomplaints would be handled if the proposed Competition and Markets Authority is established.
The majority of supercomplaints are used to highlight structural market failings where further analysis is necessary and, as a result, the consultation proposes that they should be handled by the CMA. It may be appropriate also to have a process by which designated consumer bodies could simply request enforcement action.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they or the Bank of England or the Financial Services Authority have reliable current data on the gross exposure of British banks to sovereign debt default swaps written on Greek credits; and whether they will publish the aggregate value.[HL10500]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Data on exposures of British banks to the Greek sovereign for the first quarter of 2011, including
7 July 2011 : Column WA95
These data form the basis of exposures reported in Bank for International Settlements statistics. The definitions of derivatives and credit commitments, which include credit default swaps (CDS), are set out in the following guidance: http://www.bankofengland. co.uk/mfsd/iadb/notesiadb/consolidated_foreign_ claims.htm.
Additionally, the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation website publishes some data on CDS holdings: http://www.dtcc.com/.
A decision on whether or not an event should trigger credit default swap payments is made by a Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee and is governed by the Determinations Committees Rules. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) acts as a non-voting secretary to each Determinations Committee and co-ordinates the decision-making process.
Information on how the Determinations Committees and ISDA operate can be found at the ISDA website: http://www2.isda.org/. This website also provides a listing of the issues submitted to the Determinations Committees.
Press invited to the launch event included the Belfast Telegraph, Irish News, News Letter, Irish Times, Financial Times and Daily Mirror (Belfast). Television broadcasters invited included the BBC, UTV and RTE. Radio broadcasters included the BBC, DTR and Citybeat.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many IVF pregnancies ended in abortion for each year since 1992 categorised by reason for termination; and what was the total and average individual cost of IVF treatment and termination to the National Health Service for each year since the passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990. [HL10566]
To ask Her Majesty's Government which provisions of the Abortion Act 1967 govern the termination of a pregnancy which has been begun by IVF; and what steps they take to ensure that the same criteria are applied to both natural and IVF pregnancies when deciding whether the termination may proceed. [HL10567]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) publishes data about the outcome of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment cycles on its website.
Information about the total and average cost of the termination of IVF pregnancies to the National Health Service for each year since the passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 is not collected by either the department or the HFEA.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many small businesses have been helped under the national loan guarantee scheme; and whether they intend to publish figures relating to the operation of the scheme.[HL10728]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The enterprise finance guarantee is a loan guarantee scheme to facilitate additional bank lending to viable SMEs with insufficient or no security with which to secure a normal commercial loan. The Enterprise Finance Guarantee commenced in January 2009 and as at the end of May 2011, 14,823 small businesses had been offered a loan and 12,902 had drawn down the funds.
Details of the scheme are published quarterly and available on the BIS website at http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/enterprise-and-business-support/access-to-finance/enterprise-finance-guarantee/efg-statistics.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the extent of unused funds held by the European Union; and why they are not being returned to member states in proportion to their contribution to the European Union budget.[HL10603]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Any surplus from one year's European Union (EU) budget is returned to member states in the following year. This serves to reduce the amount required from a
7 July 2011 : Column WA97
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 16 June (WA 207), whether they took into account the added costs to the United Kingdom of Croatia's membership before agreeing to support that country's accession to the European Union.[HL10604]
The latest estimate of the UK's contribution to Croatia's accession over the forecast period (until 2015-16) was provided in the Office for Budget Responsibility's March 2011 Economic and Fiscal Outlook at paragraph 4.119, page 130.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will support the proposals made by the Government of France on 24 June to provide new finance to Greece via an extension of the Vienna Protocol, and simultaneously to recapitalise the French banking system; and whether they have entered into discussions with United Kingdom banks to seek their agreement to amend the terms of existing loan agreements to the Hellenic Republic.[HL10618]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government are aware that private sector financial institutions are considering a range of proposals that are designed to facilitate private sector involvement in a future package of financial assistance to Greece. It would not be appropriate for the Government to provide a running commentary on these. As members of the International Monetary Fund, we will consider any future package of assistance in the round, in the usual way.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of proposals by the European Union to impose European Union wide taxes; and whether such proposals would require unanimity to be adopted. [HL10654]
Under Article 311 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, a change to the way in which the EU is funded would have to be unanimously agreed by all member states and ratified by national parliaments. Upholding the member state veto on tax remains a key priority for the Government.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are seeking a Lisbon Treaty Title V citation in the European Union-India free trade agreement in relation to the mode 4 movement of workers to enable the United Kingdom to opt-out of future immigration obligations.[HL10507]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Negotiations on the terms of the EU-India agreement are still on-going and have yet to be finalised. The Government have taken the view that the mode 4 commitments in trade agreements attract the UK opt-in under Title V. However, the Title V opt-in, insofar as it might apply, would attach to the council decision on signature and/or conclusion of the FTA. This decision would only be brought forward once the negotiations have been finalised.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The European Agency for Fundamental Rights provides the EU organs, and the EU member states when implementing EU law, with assistance and expertise relating to fundamental rights. Examples of its functions include the production of data comparing the human rights situations in the EU member states, and the preparation of thematic conclusions and opinions at the request of the European Parliament, the Council or the Commission. EU-specific functions such as these are unique to the agency.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the needs of parents, grandparents and extended families predominantly or wholly separated from their children as a result of family breakdown.[HL10412]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The vast majority of families make their own arrangements for their children following parental separation, without the need for any kind of intervention by the state. Grandparents and extended family members are often an important part of those arrangements.
Whilst the Government have commissioned research to assess the needs of children following family breakdown (Mooney, 2010 Impacts of Family Breakdown on Children's Well-Being), the needs of parents, grandparents and extended family members separated from their children has been less well researched. This is why the Family Justice Review invited evidence on this issue. The panel received evidence from a wide range of organisations, groups and individuals which is helping to shape its recommendations. In addition, the Government published a consultation Child Maintenance Reform: Strengthening Families, Promoting Parental Responsibility in January this year. This consultation included questions on how support services can better support families experiencing relationship breakdown. Once the Family Justice Review Panel has issued its final report in the autumn, we shall give full consideration as to whether further assessment of the needs of parents, grandparents and extended family members who are separated from children is required.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 28 June (WA 396-7) concerning the First World War debt to the United States of $4,368 million, whether it is still a recoverable debt for today.[HL10640]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 16 June (WA 209-10), how many Pension Service healthcare costs survey questionnaires were sent to United
7 July 2011 : Column WA100
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): A total of 1,500 questionnaires were sent to United Kingdom pensioners in the Republic of Ireland. DWP no longer has records of the numbers returned, checked or the number of pensions stopped or suspended as a result.
To ask the Chairman of Committees whether, in view of the termination of daily deliveries of the Official Report and House of Lords Business to Members' homes, he has had discussions about delivering those documents on a daily basis either to Members' desks or to their pigeon hole along with their mail.[HL10558]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): No, I have not had any discussions regarding this. However, I understand that the Attendants have, in exceptional cases, arranged for Members who do not have papers sent to their homes to have their papers delivered to their desks. The proposal to stop daily deliveries to Members was originally agreed in principle by the House Committee, subsequently approved by the Administration and Works Committee in January 2011, and then implemented at the beginning of May. It is expected to yield an annual saving to the House of Lords of approximately £100,000.
Printed copies of the previous day's Official Report and House of Lords Business are available in the Printed Paper Office from 8 am during sitting periods, and electronic versions are published online by 6 am. Members are also entitled to have business papers sent to them via Royal Mail first class, although these are not posted until the morning of publication, so they will not be received by Members the same day.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): When Prime Ministers Singh and Gilani met on 30 March, they committed to increase contacts between their respective Governments in order to build confidence and progress their bilateral relationship. This has since resulted in a number of meetings that have covered trade relations as well as regional and security issues. India and Pakistan have
7 July 2011 : Column WA101
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 10 January (WA 399-400), why, in the light of their general support for the new International Labour Organization convention on domestic workers, they decided not to sign it.[HL10525]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Government take the protection of all vulnerable workers as a matter of the utmost importance. The UK provides comprehensive employment and social protections to domestic workers, and as a rule does not differentiate between domestic workers' rights and those of other workers.
While we fully support the principles in the new convention, the final text would not provide sufficient flexibility to meet the UK's needs in a few areas, including health and safety law where the UK differentiates for good reason between domestic workers and other workers. For example, the Government do not consider it proportionate or practical to extend criminal health and safety law, including inspections, to private households employing domestic workers. This would place a huge regulatory and administrative burden on individuals, and could have detrimental social consequences: for example, if increased burdens were to prevent elderly or disabled individuals from employing nurses or carers in their own homes. Given these difficulties, the UK would be unable to ratify the convention and consequently the decision was taken to abstain in the vote.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the economic and social benefits of using wireless broadband as an alternative for those businesses and residents situated in rural areas to whom it would be uneconomic to deploy superfast broadband by 2015.[HL10610]
Baroness Rawlings: We expect wireless broadband to deliver the same benefits as any other method of deployment and that a mixture of technologies including fixed, wireless and satellite will be required to achieve the Government's aim of 90 per cent of the population having access to superfast broadband and the rest having access to a connection capable of delivering at least 2 Mbps. Broadband Delivery UK's work conducted with the industry in summer 2010 to assess the costs of
7 July 2011 : Column WA102
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to absorb the Association of Chief Police Officers vehicle crime intelligence service into the National Crime Agency; and, if so, what financial support will be given to the National Crime Agency in the event of any such transfer.[HL10544]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The focus of the National Crime Agency (NCA) will be on fighting organised criminality, on strengthening border security, and on tackling other serious and complex crimes, including economic crime, cybercrime and child exploitation.
The NCA may lead the national response to other criminality and house other functions provided that funding is available; the criminality has the potential for significant harm, crosses a number of geographical areas and/or requires specialist capability that would be too costly or inefficient if held in every force; the functions or activity required fit the operational, crime-fighting focus of the agency; and it is more efficient and effective in operational and financial terms for the function to be undertaken nationally.
The publication of the NCA Plan on 8 June this year represented the start of a new phase in the NCA programme. The planning and implementation phase for the agency has now begun and will include consideration of the functions of the new agency.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 14 June (WA 181), how many Polish nationals in total were issued with national insurance numbers from 2002; and how many of that overall total were economically active last year by way of national insurance contributions paid.[HL10596]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The information requested on national insurance numbers registered since 2002 is in detail in the table below. In total, approximately 945,000 national insurance numbers have been registered to Polish nationals since January 2002.
|NINo Registrations to Polish Adult Nationals entering the UK (Thousands)|
|Time Series-Financial Year Of Registration Date.|
|Poland NINo Registrations (Thousands)|
5. Data is published at http://18.104.22.168/mgw/live/tabtool.html
Information on Polish nationals issued with a national insurance number since 2002 and who subsequently paid national insurance contributions in the last year is not available as it could only be achieved at disproportionate cost.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people in the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London have been paid the minimum wage in each year since its introduction up until the last year for which figures are available.[HL10673]
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people in the 32 London Boroughs and the City of London have been paid the minimum wage in each year since its introduction up until the last year for which figures are available. (HL10673)
I am afraid that estimates for the number of jobs paid at the national minimum wage are not available below regional level. Accordingly, I attach a table showing the number of employee jobs earning less than the national minimum wage for London and the UK from April 1999 to April 2010, the latest period for which figures are available.
A guide to measuring low pay and associated articles can be found on the National Statistics website at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp? vink=5837.
1. Estimates for the number of employee jobs paid below the national minimum wage are provided from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE). Estimates of numbers of employees' jobs paid at the national minimum wage are not released since the hourly rate used in the national minimum wage calculation is derived by dividing weekly earnings for employees by the number of hours worked. Since the rate is a ratio between hours and earnings the estimate of those working at a specific rate would be underestimated due to rounding issues in the calculation of the ratio.
3. The estimates for 1999-2003 are produced using the average of estimates produced using the Labour Force Survey and the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings to which the methodology developed in 2004 has been applied. Because these estimates are partly based on LFS data, the standard LFS policy for suppression of earnings estimates has been used. LFS earnings estimates of less than 30,000 people are not published because they have a 95% confidence interval of roughly +1- 12,000, i.e. 40% of the size of the estimate. This threshold should be borne in mind when using and interpreting the data in the table. For 2004 and later years estimates are based on ASHE data only. The ASHE methodology allows publication of smaller estimates than the old low-pay methodology. Estimates are published as long as the coefficient of variation (the ratio of the standard error of an estimate to the estimate) is 20% or less. The quality of estimates is also indicated by their coefficient of variation, as summarised in the key. Exact coefficients of variation for the estimates for 2004 and subsequent years are shown in Table 1b.
|Estimates of jobs paid below the National Minimum Wage for London and the UK from April 1999 to April 2010|
|Thousands||Per cent||Thousands||Per cent|
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the net change in the number of NHS management posts between May 2010 and May 2011 in (a) strategic health authorities, (b) primary care trusts, and (c) NHS trusts.[HL10480]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): It is not possible to give the number of management posts in strategic health authorities, primary care trusts and National Health Service trusts, as the number of vacancies is not held centrally. The following table gives the net change in the number of managers employed in the organisations requested between May 2010 and May 2011.
|Provisional, Experimental Statistics|
|May 2010||March 2011||Change|
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Shutt of Greetland on 6 June (WA 51) concerning staff numbers in the Northern Ireland Office, when they expect the reduction in staff numbers will take place.[HL10727]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Northern Ireland Office is committed to reducing its baseline budget by 25 per cent during the current spending review period to March 2015. This will include reductions in staff costs and related costs.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the annual leave entitlement of staff of the Northern Ireland Office; and what, if any, is the maximum number of days' sick leave for which full pay can be claimed.[HL10758]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take to ensure that young people from all parts of the United Kingdom are able to enter the ballot for free London 2012 tickets on the same basis as that offered to children in England through the Places People Play's Sportivate scheme. [HL10416]
Baroness Garden of Frognal: Through its Ticketshare scheme, the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) is charging a levy on high-end prestige ticket packages to fund donated tickets. LOCOG will provide 5,000 of these tickets to Sport England and the sports councils in the devolved administrations. Sport England has announced their plans to use some of their share of these tickets to support their Sportivate initiative; numbers remain to be determined. Sports councils in the devolved Administrations are now aware of this offer and we expect to hear back from them once they have been able to give it full consideration.
In addition, LOCOG will provide 50,000 Ticketshare tickets for schools outside London-across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These will be distributed to schools that have applied to join the London 2012 Get Set Network, so the distribution of tickets between the nations will be on the basis of the take-up of the scheme by schools.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Olympic tickets are being allocated to (a) Government Olympic Executive Officials and (b) Department for Culture, Media and Sport officials, in addition to the tickets allocated via the system used to allocate tickets to the public.[HL10782]
Baroness Garden of Frognal: Government have been allocated a total of 8,815 tickets. Around 3,000 of these will be bought by staff under the staff ticket ballot and we expect the process to be completed later this year. Of these, around 300 have been allocated to Department for Culture, Media and Sport/Government Olympic Executive officials. Government intend to publish the number of staff who bought tickets after the Games.
A further 2,065 tickets have been purchased on behalf of a number of host venue towns and cities outside of London. The remaining 3,750 tickets will be used by Government for guests and business leaders and to use as prizes for young people competing in the new School Games.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent reports they have received regarding the freedom of each religious community in Pakistan to (a) exercise their faith, (b) observe their holidays and weekly day of rest, and (c) administer their internal affairs; what recent representations they have made to the Government of Pakistan on these issues; and with what results.[HL10513]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): There are many civil society groups who report on the rights of religious minority groups. We engage regularly with them on these issues, and their reports are assessed along with other information to influence how we address our efforts in this area. Reports continue to suggest that minority groups in some areas in Pakistan suffer discrimination in the practice of their religion.
We are concerned about the human rights situation in Pakistan, including treatment of minority religious groups. We call on the Government of Pakistan to uphold the fundamental rights of all Pakistanis, regardless of their faith or ethnicity. We engage regularly with both the Ministry for Interfaith Harmony and Minority Affairs, and with the Ministry of Human rights.
During his recent visit to Pakistan, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Burt, met members of the Government sponsored Interfaith Council in Pakistan. He also recently met with Paul Bhatti-Pakistan's Special Advisor for Religious Minorities-at a seminar at Wilton Park on religious freedom. Engagement at both the bilateral and the multilateral (EU) level helps to ensure that the Government of Pakistan are aware of the importance with which we hold these issues.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the administrative cost of paying people normally resident abroad in a country where the basic state pension is frozen, a fully up-rated basic state pension whilst
7 July 2011 : Column WA108
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): We are not able to answer the question posed as we do not have a breakdown between countries where basic state pensions are frozen or are up-rated because our management information does not provide this level of detail.
We are able to tell you that for 2010-11 the cost of administering an international pension centre (ipc) state pension claim is £165.76. This data is at Pensions Disability Carers Service (PDCS) product level which shows full costs to PDCS excluding Investment costs and PDCS share of DWP Corporate and Shared Services Recharge for 2010-11.
2. From April 2010, the age at which women reach state pension age started to gradually increase from 60. This will introduce a small increase to the number of working age benefit recipients and a small reduction to the number of pension age recipients. Figures from May 2010 onwards reflect this change. For more information see http://statistics.dwp.cov.uk/asd/espa.pdf.
3. State pension figures provided are the total state pension caseload. Around 1 per cent of state pension recipients are not in receipt of the basic state pension, but are receiving additional pension only or graduated retirement benefit only.
4. Information is published on our tabulation tool at: http://22.214.171.124/100pc/tabtool.html.
|Average weekly amount of State Pension paid to claimants resident in Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand as at November 2010|
2. From April 2010, the age at which women reach state pension age started to gradually increase from 60. This will introduce a small increase to the number of working age benefit recipients and a small reduction to the number of pension age recipients. Figures from May 2010 onwards reflect this change. For more information see http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/espa.pdf.
4. Average weekly amount of benefit-The amount of state pension is affected by the introduction in April 2003 of child tax credit. From that date there were no new child dependency increases (CDIs) awarded to SP claimants, although existing CDls were transitionally protected.
5. Information is published on our tabulation tool at http://126.96.36.199/100pc/tabtool.html.
6. The rate of state pension which a person is entitled to is not increased by the annual uprating of benefit rates if that person is not ordinarily resident in GB, or another EEA member state or Switzerland, or a country with which the UK has a reciprocal agreement. This is referred to as frozen rate.
To ask Her Majesty's Government on how many days since 12 May 2010 the Home Office has had more Questions for Written Answer unanswered after 10 working days than any other department; and what percentage of days that represents. [HL10557]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): Reliable data from which a consistent statistic can be drawn, indicates that the Home Office had more unanswered Questions for Written Answer than any other department on 32 days out of 134 (4 October 2010-30 June 2011). This equates to 25 per cent of the time.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Holy See does not accept cross-accreditation of ambassadors or other diplomatic staff to the Holy See and Italy. Amalgamating the two embassies is therefore not an option and we have made no estimation of the financial implications of doing so.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the criteria to be used to select high performance athletes from the Inter-Schools Level Three competitions to qualify for the Level Four Finals in 2012; and in which sports Level Four Competitions will take place for both primary and secondary school children. [HL10649]
Baroness Garden of Frognal: Many of the young people participating in this year's School Games Level Three pilot events will be available for selection to compete in next year's School Games Level Four finals event. The National Governing Bodies of the sports participating in the finals will be responsible for selecting which young people compete. The Youth Sport Trust and Sport England are also exploring whether it is possible to showcase at next year's finals some of the best teams taking part in this year's pilots. Sports formats for next year's finals are still being agreed but are likely to mirror those of the 2011 Sheffield UK School Games.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Department for Education estimates that around 15 per cent of households with children currently lack access to the internet. This figure is based on data from the Ipsos Mori technology tracker which indicates that internet access amongst UK households with children (aged 0-15) increased from about 77 per cent in January 2010 to 85 per cent in January 2011. Take up of internet access remains strongly correlated with household income with only 68 per cent of households with children eligible for free school meals having access to the internet at home.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, following responses from stakeholders, they will withdraw their modernisation proposals for the Coastguard Services and consult on revised plans that address safety concerns.[HL10470]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what equality impact assessment they have undertaken of the effect of the Comprehensive Spending Review settlement on social care; and whether they have identified any risks to physical health and wellbeing outcomes for older people arising from the settlement.[HL10488]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The spending review recognised the importance of social care in protecting the most vulnerable in society. In recognition of the pressures on the social care system in a challenging local government settlement, the coalition Government have allocated an additional £2 billion by 2014-15 to support the delivery of social care. This means, with an ambitious programme of efficiency, that there is enough funding available both to protect people's access to services and deliver new approaches to improve quality and outcomes.
Local authorities are responsible for decisions on how to allocate their resources. They are therefore responsible for assessing the impact of their spending decisions, which may include an equality analysis if appropriate. The department will continue to monitor outcomes for social care users, as set out in our publication Transparency in Outcomes: A Framework for Adult Social Care.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Garden of Frognal on 20 June (WA 260) that "neither the Department for Culture, Media and Sport nor their sporting bodies, UK Sport and Sport England, provided any funding towards the staging of the first test match between England and Sri Lanka", whether any other non-departmental public body provided any funding towards the staging of the first test match between England and Sri Lanka.[HL10662]
Baroness Garden of Frognal: None of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's (DCMS) arm's-length bodies (ALBs) provided any funding towards the staging of the first test match between England and Sri Lanka. DCMS does not hold this information for the ALBs of other government departments.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 28 June (WA 416-7) concerning the Tamil Tigers
7 July 2011 : Column WA112
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My honourable friend Alistair Burt, Minister for South Asia, spoke with the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister on 14 June. He repeated the call the UK has continued to make since the end of the military conflict: to urge the Sri Lankan Government to have an independent, thorough and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by both sides. Mr Burt also issued a statement on 15 June following the airing of a documentary shown on Channel 4 entitled "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" reaffirming this message.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are aware that a number of countries are interested in joining the Commonwealth including, on independence, South Sudan.
Once the Government of South Sudan have formally expressed an interest in membership to the Commonwealth Secretariat, the secretariat will assess eligibility against criteria which include compliance with the Commonwealth core values of democracy, good governance and human rights.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what forecast they have made of the change in the proportion of household income paid out in direct and indirect taxation for each quintile in the income distribution between financial years 2010-11 and 2014-2015. [HL10498]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): At Budget 2011, the Government published their distributional analysis of the expected impact of announced government measures on household incomes, split by direct taxes, indirect taxes and tax credits and benefits. This can be found in annex A of the main Budget publication.
Analysis further into the future than this is more uncertain. However, by making an additional number of assumptions, chart A.6 shows quintile analysis for 2014-15 of the percentage change in household income from changes in taxes, tax credits and benefits, as well as in benefits in kind from public services.
The Government have recently begun a consultation on reliefs for income tax losses. The consultation will explore ways of ensuring that genuine business losses and employment losses are relieved, while effectively deterring individuals from entering into tax avoidance arrangements that are intended to exploit these loss reliefs.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the United Kingdom total tax revenue is contributed by each of the five largest sectors of the United Kingdom economy; and what proportion of the United Kingdom total tax revenue is contributed by the financial sector.[HL10635]
Lord Sassoon: HM Revenue and Customs produces a breakdown by broad industrial sector for corporation tax, pay as you earn (PAYE) income tax and class 1 national insurance contributions (NICs) and value added tax (VAT).
Figures for corporation tax receipts paid by several broadly-defined business sectors are regularly updated and published in Table 11.1 on the HMRC National Statistics website. The sectors are defined by HMRC's Summary Trade Classifications. The latest update is available at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/corporate_tax/ tablel1_1.pdf
|Sector (£ billion)||99-00||00-01||01-02||02-03||03-04||04-05|
|Sector (£ billion)||05-06||06-07||07-08||08-09||09-10||10-11|
The sectors are defined by the Office for National Statistics' Standard Industrial Classification 2003. The occupational pensions figures include all income tax on occupational pensions, regardless of the sector in which the person was previously employed.
Declared VAT is published by trade group in the VAT factsheet, table 2.3 available at: https://www. uktradeinfo.com/index.cfm?task=factvat
Given that sectors for corporation tax, VAT, PAYE income tax and class 1 NICs are defined differently, these sets of figures are not directly comparable. For this reason, and also because sectoral breakdowns are not available for all taxes, it is not possible to say what proportion of total tax revenue is raised from different sectors, such as the financial sector, nor to say which of the sectors are the five largest contributing sectors.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the amount of corporation tax that will not be paid in 2011-12 by banks taxable in the United Kingdom as a result of prior year losses brought forward.[HL10571]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) does not publish a sectoral breakdown for trading losses brought forward, due to concerns about the robustness of projections at such a level.
The latest OBR Economic and Fiscal Outlook is available at: http://budgetresponsibility.independent. gov.uk/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-march-2011/.
Table 2.5 in the spreadsheet available at this link, "March 2011 economic and fiscal outlook supplementary fiscal tables" gives a forecast for trading losses brought forward and used by all companies. Tax receipts are reduced by the amount of losses brought forward and used, multiplied by the prevailing tax rate.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The talks concluded with the announcement of a final constitution package. Decisions were made on key areas including the electoral system; constituencies; term limits; the governor's powers; the term "belonger"; the position of deputy governor; trial by jury; a new pre-amble to the constitution.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was their annual contribution to the funding of the United Nations Population Fund in each of the past five years; how they monitor the use to which those funds are put; and what steps they have taken to ensure that activities that are funded by them through the United Nations Population Fund do not, directly or indirectly, support coercive population policies or gender-based abortion.[HL10462]
Baroness Verma: The UK's annual core contribution to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) over the past five years was £20 million for 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010 and £22,060,000 in 2009. The UK monitors the use of its annual contribution through its membership of the United Nations Population Fund's Executive Board.
The UK's policy and the United Nations Population Funds' work is stipulated by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and its Programme of Work. This programme specifically prohibits coercive population policies and gender-based
7 July 2011 : Column WA117
To ask Her Majesty's Government what have been the annual United Kingdom contributions to funding the activities of the United Nations Population Fund in China since they began; and what evidence
7 July 2011 : Column WA118
Baroness Verma: Between 2003 and 2005 the Department for International Development provided £99,000 to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for a Reproductive Health and Family Planning project in China. This contribution paid for technical assistance to carry out surveys in support of UNFPA's work to improve policy on enabling informed choice of contraception.
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