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5 Dec 2011 : Column WA103



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Written Answers

Monday 5 December 2011

Agriculture: Single Farm Payment

Questions

Asked by Baroness Golding

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Under the single payment scheme (SPS), farmers applied to be allocated payment entitlements, based on the number of eligible hectares at their disposal, as a one-off exercise in 2005. In each year subsequently, farmers have been able to claim a payment against those entitlements to the extent that they have had at their disposal a matching number of eligible hectares and met the other SPS eligibility rules. The matching hectares do not need to be the same as those on which the entitlements were originally allocated. Payment entitlements may also be sold separately from land.

It follows that those selling land are free to decide whether or not to include entitlements as part of the terms of the sale. If the entitlements are retained when the land is sold, the annual payments may be claimed only if another matching number of eligible hectares are obtained. If the entitlements are not claimed against for two successive years, they are extinguished and the value returned to the national reserve.

Alcohol

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): A 1 per cent increase in all alcohol duties would increase those revenues by approximately £50 million per year.

Increased duties are passed through into higher retail prices. Higher duties are thus estimated to reduce alcohol consumption. For example, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) estimates that a 1 per cent increase in the price of beer results in a 0.77 per cent decrease

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in sales in the on trade (ie pubs, bars, clubs etc.) and a 1.11 per cent reduction in sales in the off trade (ie supermarkets, off-licences etc.).

Consumers' responsiveness to price changes varies by alcohol type and therefore a duty increase across the board would also result in consumers switching between different products. More information on these consumption effects can be found in Table 21 of the following HMRC technical paper available online at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/research/alcohol-consumption-uk.pdf.

The Government's assessment of the available evidence on the impact of increasing alcohol prices on social outcomes has been set out in the Home Office report available online at: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/alcohol-drugs/alcohol/impacts-alcohol-price-review?view=Binary.

On balance, the evidence suggests that increases in alcohol prices are linked to decreases in harms related to alcohol consumption. However, these relationships are not always straightforward and there is no automatic mechanism translating duty rates increases to savings in public expenditure.

Armed Forces: Aircraft

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Ministry of Defence's lessons identified process raised no concerns about Typhoon's performance during exercise Anatolian Eagle. Typhoon has proved itself an outstanding and highly capable aircraft both in exercises and during its recent deployment on operations over Libya.

Arts: Funding

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

Baroness Rawlings: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport does not collate information on local authority arts funding. Decisions on the funding of local authority arts are made at the discretion of local authorities, and central government cannot prescribe how these decisions might be made.

The Department for Communities and Local Government's (DCLG) final revenue outturn total local authorities expenditure for arts development and support, and final outturn capital total expenditure

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for culture and heritage (cannot be broken down for arts), in 2009-10 and 2010-11 can be found in the following table:

2009-102010-11

Revenue Outturn total expenditure

£156,360,000

£154,984,000

Outturn Capital total expenditure

£244,555,000

£271,892,000

Figures for 2011-12 are yet to be published.

Autumn Statement

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has a statutory right to full and timely access to all government information relevant to its analysis. The agreed memorandum of understanding between the OBR and HM Treasury states that the OBR will be provided with any such information it requests and the assistance to understand it. The memorandum was published on the OBR website in April 2011: http://budgetresponsibility.independent.gov.uk/memorandum-of-understanding/.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The Office for Budget Responsibility's November economic and fiscal outlook sets out on page 3 that: "[The OBR] were provided with details of all major policy decisions with a potential impact on the economy forecast on 21 November".

The OBR confirms on page 189 that "The economic and fiscal outlook incorporates the Government's costings for policy decisions in the Autumn Statement or announced since the March Budget".

Asked by Lord Steel of Aikwood



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Lord Sassoon: As part of the Autumn Statement announcement, the Scottish Government will receive additional capital DEL funding to support infrastructure investment over four years. The amount of this additional funding is set out in the table below:

£ million2011-122012-132013-142014-15

Additional Capital DEL funding

50

68

142

172

Aviation: Health and Safety

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): All airlines are subject to wide-ranging international legislation and standards in relation to aircraft and flight safety, as well as crew fitness and competence from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). They are also subject to relevant national legislation and standards in their country of origin. In the UK responsibility for standards of in-flight health and safety of flight and cabin crew and passenger health issues rests with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

Both British and overseas carriers are subject to the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 when on the ground in airports in Great Britain. HSE investigates accidents, incidents and complaints at British airports in line with published policy and carries out inspections where there is clear evidence of poor performance. In addition HSE may carry out intelligence driven inspection of a poorly performing dutyholder. Where breaches of health and safety legislation are identified enforcement action is taken in line with the HSE enforcement policy.

Banking

Questions

Asked by Lord Harrison

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government are clear that more competition is needed in the UK banking sector. The Independent Commission on Banking released its final report on 12 September 2011, including recommendations to improve competition. The commission's report can be found at http://bankingcommission.independent. gov.uk. The Government accept in principle the commission's recommendations to improve competition, and will now consider the proposals in more detail. It is the Government's intention to provide a response to the commission's proposals before the end of the year.



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In particular, the Government welcome the commission's recommendations which build on proposals put forward by the Payments Council in July this year to make it easier for personal customers, small businesses and charities to switch their bank account. The commission's recommendations set out key requirements for the industry to meet in this important area of work. The Government are clear that the new switching proposals need to be fully implemented by September 2013 and will monitor progress closely through quarterly interim reports.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The activities described by the term shadow banking are, by their nature, particularly likely to cross borders. Any risks posed by these activities therefore require global solutions. This is the approach that the Government are taking alongside international partners.

At the G20 leaders' summit in Seoul, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) was asked to undertake work looking at ways of strengthening regulation and supervision of shadow banking.

Following on from this, G20 leaders agreed in Cannes to endorse the FSB's initial 11 recommendations with a work plan to develop them further in the course of 2012, building on a balanced approach between indirect regulation of shadow banking through banks and direct regulation of shadow banking activities, including money markets funds, securitisation, securities lending and repo activities, and other shadow banking entities.

The Government support this approach and look forward to a discussion about policy conclusions at the G20 summit next year.

Banking: Lending

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The enterprise finance guarantee (EFG) was launched in January 2009. As of the end of September, 16,063 SMEs have been offered EFG loans with a total value of £1.62 billion. Of these, 14,016 SMEs have drawn down loans with a total value of £1.39 billion.



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Banking: Northern Rock

Questions

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government believe a strong state aid framework is important to the maintenance of the single market across the European Union (EU). The framework ensures that member states do not provide unnecessary or disproportionate aid to their banks.

To allow this would risk wasteful subsidy races across the EU and would distort competition across the sector, potentially allowing inefficient firms to gain or sustain their market share to the detriment of consumers.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The deal is structured so that the Government can benefit from any potential upside. The Government will receive the first £50 million to £80 million profit if the business is partially or wholly sold.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The deal is expected to complete on 1 January 2012, pending European Commission (EC) merger clearance and Financial Services Authority (FSA) approval.

The Government will consider what information regarding the Northern Rock sale process can be disclosed following the completion of the transaction.

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay



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Lord Sassoon: As reported in Northern Rock plc's half year results 2011, Northern Rock plc held tier 1 capital of £1.12 billion as at 30 June 2011.

Northern Rock plc had a tier 1 capital ratio of 34.5 per cent as at 30 June 2011.

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

Lord Sassoon: The deal is expected to complete on 1 January 2012, pending European Commission (EC) merger clearance and Financial Services Authority (FSA) approval.

The Government will consider what information regarding the Northern Rock sale process can be disclosed following the completion of the transaction.

Banking: Royal Bank of Scotland

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government have not made an assessment. However, we would expect the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to have undertaken the relevant assessment and to comply with its obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.

The Government's shareholding in RBS is managed on an arm's-length and commercial basis by UK Financial Investments. Operational and commercial decisions are for RBS itself.

BBC Trust

Question

Asked by Lord Laird



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Baroness Rawlings: The BBC's charter does not explicitly prohibit a member of the BBC Trust from taking up a party political appointment. The BBC Trust's code of practice, however, states that it is inappropriate for a member of the trust to hold office in a political party or be actively involved in partisan political activities of a significant and continuing nature. Members are entitled to be a member of a political party but must not engage in any overt political activity.

BBC: World Service

Questions

Asked by Viscount Waverley

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Under the terms of the Broadcasting Agreement between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the BBC World Service, the World Service has editorial, operational and managerial independence. The BBC is obliged to set the objectives, priorities and targets for the BBC World Service with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and to obtain the written approval of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for the opening or closure of any language service.

It is therefore the responsibility of the BBC World Service to focus its efforts in a way which enables it to best meet these priorities.

Asked by Viscount Waverley

Lord Howell of Guildford: I refer the noble Lord to the answer to his Question HL13744. It is for the BBC World Service, under its editorial independence, to decide news items it covers.

Benefits

Question

Asked by Lord Patel of Blackburn

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): People who are unemployed and receiving income-based jobseeker's allowance, or of qualifying pension age and in receipt of pension credit, may get help with certain service charges which relate to the fabric of the accommodation

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where a person is liable to meet them under the terms of a long lease of more than 21 years. These housing costs are included as part of their main benefit payment.

People who are entitled to an income related benefit (income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance, income related employment and support allowance for working age claimants, and pension credit for those of qualifying pension age) may also receive a full rebate towards their council tax bill through council tax benefit which is paid by their local authority.

Burma

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

Baroness Northover: During his visit to Burma from 15-17 November, the Secretary of State for International Development pressed President Thein Sein, the Vice President, the Speaker of the Lower House and several Ministers for the unconditional release of all political prisoners, including the monks detained in 2007. He made clear that releasing political prisoners would be a critical indicator of the Burmese Government's intentions. He received assurances that releases were under consideration, but no detail was given on timing. The Vice President indicated that prisoners may be moved nearer to their families, which has now taken place in some cases, including that of the leader of the All-Burma Monks Alliance, U Gambira, who has been moved to a prison in Rangoon.

Business Growth Fund

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): As of 28 November 2011, the bank-led Business Growth Fund has invested in two companies.

£4.2 million of growth capital in Benefex, an online provider of employee benefit schemes; and £4.25 million of growth capital in Statesman, a travel management company.

More information on both companies is available from the Business Growth Fund website: www. businessgrowthfund.co.uk.



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Court of the Bank of England

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

The Treasury publishes a list of ministerial meetings with external organisations, available at: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/minister_hospitality.htm.

Credit Default Swaps

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Tax policy is not within the remit of the Financial Services Authority, it is the responsibility of HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs. For corporation tax purposes, provided the credit default swap in question falls within the definition of a derivative contract, as is normally the case, any profit or loss on it is taken into account for tax purposes in the same way as it is for any other kind of financial instrument.

e-Borders

Question

Asked by Lord Marlesford

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): In the period from 1 April 2007 to 31 October 2011 the cost of the e-Borders system was £356.9 million.

e-Borders currently covers 55 per cent of all passenger movements into and out of the UK. By December 2013 it is projected that e-Borders will cover 95 per cent of all air passenger movements and, by December 2014, 95 per cent of all movements.



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Economy: Growth

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.

The Government's macroeconomic framework includes a monetary policy framework that seeks to deliver low and stable inflation through a symmetric inflation target, not an exchange rate target. Under this regime the exchange rate is allowed to adjust flexibly, reflecting market forces.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) is responsible for producing independent economic and fiscal forecasts. In its latest economic and fiscal outlook (published 29 November) the OBR forecast growth in gross domestic product of 0.9 per cent in 2011, 0.7 per cent in 2012, 2.1 per cent in 2013, 2.7 per cent in 2014 and 3.0 per cent in both 2015 and 2016. The OBR forecast annual growth in potential output will rise from 1.2 per cent in 2012 to 2.3 per cent in 2014 and later years.

Education: Funding

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The current system for funding schools results in similar schools in different areas of the country receiving very different levels of funding and is therefore unfair to the pupils in some of those schools.

In July 2011, we consulted on how to reform the current system so that it is fairer and more transparent. The consultation closed on 11 October and we are

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considering carefully the responses to that consultation before making decisions on the shape of the new formula.

As the consultation said, we would apply transitional arrangements to any new formula we introduce.

We recognise that deprived pupils face greater barriers to achieving and so we have introduced the pupil premium. In 2011-12 the pupil premium will total £625 million. This will rise to £2.5 billion by 2014-15.

Egypt

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: We have not discussed these specific reports of torture in the Sinai area with the Egyptian authorities. However, we have previously raised our concerns about Eritreans being held hostage in the Sinai with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and have been in contact with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Cairo. We will continue to monitor this issue.

Embryology

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The proposed clinical trial at Moorfields Eye Hospital has been approved following the assessment of the safety and quality of the retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cell line to be used for the treatment of Stargardt's macular dystrophy.

The sponsor provided details of the manufacture and control of the RPE cell line. The tumorigenic risk associated with the use of the RPE cell line was recognised by the sponsor by the inclusion of nonclinical safety tests and tests to limit the number of potential tumorigenic cells in the cell suspension administered to the patient.

Following a review by an Expert Advisory Group of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (June 2011) and the Commission on Human Medicines (July and September 2011), the sponsor

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provided further information, including confirmation that the tests used are sufficiently sensitive to ensure the safety of the RPE cells used. The risk to benefit profile was considered favourable and the trial was granted a clinical trial authorisation.

Finance: Virgin Money

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): As part of the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) approval of the transaction, the FSA is undertaking its change in controller process, which includes appropriate assessment of persons who control 10 per cent or more of the Virgin consortium, the new proposed controller of Northern Rock.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

The capital requirements for Virgin Money and Northern Rock Plc are a matter for the Financial Services Authority.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The sale of Northern Rock plc to Virgin Money was announced on 17 November 2011.

This is a matter for Virgin Money.

Asked by Lord Myners



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Lord Sassoon: The sale of Northern Rock plc to Virgin Money was announced on 17 November 2011.

Virgin Money will be the new owners of Northern Rock plc. The ultimate ownership of Virgin Money is a question for Virgin Money. The transaction is subject to Financial Services Authority approval as regards the change in control.

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

Lord Sassoon: The Government are unable to comment on individual or company tax arrangements. Any information relating to UK tax liabilities is held by HM Revenue and Customs on a confidential basis.

HM Treasury has issued guidance to departments which emphasises that departments should base commercial decisions on the need to secure value for money, independent of any tax advantages which may arise from a bid.

Food: Hygiene Inspectors

Question

Asked by Baroness Byford

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The 2011-12 charge-out rate for a Food Standards Agency (FSA) meat hygiene inspector is £29.20. Of this amount 70 per cent consists of the salaries, employer's national insurance contributions and the costs of contract meat hygiene inspectors not directly employed by the FSA. The other 30 per cent relates to travel costs for operational staff, laundry, equipment, employer's pension contributions, front line support and other essential support costs, such as finance and human resources.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Question

Asked by Viscount Waverley

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The information requested is as follows:

Europe: Simon Manley;

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Prosperity (covers Climate Change and Energy and Commercial and Economic Diplomacy): Dominic Martin;Asia Pacific: Peter Wilson;Consular Services: Charles Hay;Migration: Susannah Simon;Africa: Tim Hitchens;National Security: Tom Drew;Cyber Policy: Tim Dowse;Defence and International Security (covers Security Policy and Counter Proliferation): Sarah Maclntosh;Overseas Territories (including Polar Regions and Fisheries): Colin Roberts;Americas: Angus Lapsley;Multilateral Policy (covers the UN, Council of Europe and other International; Organisations; human rights and democracy; and conflict prevention and peacekeeping): Vijay Rangarajan;Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Laurie Bristow;Middle East and North Africa: Christian Turner;South Asia and Afghanistan: Karen Pierce;Additional Director, South Asia: Andrew Patrick;Strategy (includes Communications): Alex Ellis;Economics: Gregor Irwin;Principal Private Secretary (covers Private Offices and Parliamentary Relations): Lindsay Appleby;Chief Information Officer: David Meyer;Corporate Services (includes Corporate Procurement): David Cairns;Human Resources: Menna Rawlings;Protocol: Simon Martin;Olympics and Paralympics: Andrew Mitchell Estates and Security: Alan Croney; andFinance: Alison Currie

Details of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's organisation for July 2011 with named directors and descriptions of their roles, have also been published at http://data.gov.uk/.

Gaza

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

Baroness Northover: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) plans to build 100 schools in Gaza to provide education to the 40,000 Palestinian refugee children currently without a school place. UNRWA has formal approval from the Israeli Authorities to build 42 schools and has already completed five of these. UNRWA has completed 150 houses out of its housing programme and is waiting approval from the Israeli authorities on four new housing projects.



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UNRWA has experienced difficulties in getting the necessary materials for construction into Gaza. UNRWA has estimated that it needs around 15,000 truckloads of materials to complete approved projects; currently its quota of trucks to enter into Gaza stands at approximately 50 a day.

The UK is working closely with UNRWA on this issue. We continue to press the Israeli Government to ease restrictions on the import of construction materials for international projects, in close co-ordination with the Office of the Quartet Representative and our European partners. We are also supporting the UN Access Co-ordination Unit to work with the Israeli authorities, UN agencies and non-governmental agencies to facilitate the transfer of goods and materials into Gaza.

Gift Aid

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: Gift Aid applies only to gifts of money and not to the provision of material goods. The Charity Commission has no role in determining what is and is not classified as a charitable donation for Gift Aid purposes.

Gilts

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Debt Management Office's (DMO) revised financing remit for 2011-12 was set out in Annex B of HM Treasury's Autumn Statement 2011 document. Data on gilt issuance and redemptions in the financial year to date are available on the DMO's website at: http://www.dmo.gov.uk/index.aspx?page=Gilts/Data.

Data on gilt coupon payments are available in the DMO's Quarterly Review which is available on the DMO's website at: http://www.dmo.gov.uk/index.aspx? page=publications/Quarterly_Reviews.



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Data on gilts purchases by the Bank of England's asset purchase facility (APF) are available on the Bank of England's website at: http://www.bankofengland. co.uk/markets/apf/gilts/results.htm.

Gold

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The United Kingdom holds 310 tonnes of gold denominated assets in the official holdings of international reserves, valued in sterling at the end of October 2011 at £10,669 million.

Government Departments: Buildings

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Earl Attlee: The Department for Transport is currently exploring the feasibility of installing photovoltaic solar systems at a number of sites across the departmental estate. Subject to planning permission and an acceptable payback period these will be progressed as funding allows over the next three to four years.

The Department for Transport has already installed a number of photovoltaic solar systems at its driving test centres and vehicle testing stations.

The Department for Transport is committed to carrying forward its successful achievement of the sustainable operations on the government estate (SOGE) energy, business travel, water and waste targets, into achieving the Greening Government Commitments. The department is currently finalising an operations sustainability strategy which will deliver the greenhouse gas, water and waste targets set out in the Greening Government Commitments. This strategy will be published on the Department for Transport website, once finalised, early in the new year.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Northover: DfID has no firm plans to install photovoltaic solar systems on either of our two UK buildings. This technology was investigated in the past and found to have an uneconomic rate of return on the capital investment.



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A number of our overseas offices, such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Rwanda have implemented solar panels for either energy generation or water heating.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We currently have no immediate plans to install photovoltaic solar systems on buildings owned or occupied by the department. However, the position will be kept under review.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): There are no future plans to install photovoltaics on buildings owned or occupied by the department.

Government Departments: Staff

Question

Asked by Lord Tebbit

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The 2013 representation targets for the Senior Civil Service (SCS) were set out in Promoting Equality, Valuing Diversity-A Strategy for the Civil Service 2008-13, published by the previous Administration in 2008. They are as follows:

34 per cent of staff in top management posts to be women;39 per cent of the SCS to be women;5 per cent of the SCS to be staff from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds; and5 per cent of SCS to be disabled people.

The strategy is currently under review.

Gross Domestic Product

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie



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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The data required to calculate the contribution of financial and insurance services' to gross value added are currently available only back to 1997. The available data show that financial and insurance services contributed 9 per cent to gross value added in 2010 and 8 per cent over the past decade.

Health: Caesarean Sections

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): On 23 November the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published Caesarean Section (Update) Costing Report-Implementing Nice Guidance in which it set out its assumptions on the assessment activity and cost to the National Health Service of implementing the guidance in England. We have made no separate assessment of the likely impact of the updated guidance.

Independent Commission on Banking

Question

Asked by Lord Harrison

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government have committed to implement resulting measures from the Independent Commission on Banking recommendations by 2019, with any necessary

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primary legislation in place by 2015. A more detailed timetable will be outlined in the government response due to be published by the end of the year.

Israel and Palestine

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We view any attempts to change the facts on the ground as a serious provocation likely to raise tensions and cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, as well as being harmful to the peace process and in contravention of international law. The UK has a good record of lobbying hard on these issues and has regularly discussed with the Quartet.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely.

Israel and Palestine: West Bank

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We regularly make clear that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are illegal under international law and deeply unhelpful to efforts to bring a lasting peace to the Middle East conflict.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt) and our ambassador in Tel Aviv have all raised the issue of settlements with the Israeli authorities. The Foreign Secretary most recently condemned settlement activity publicly in his statements of 2 and 9 November.

Asked by Lord Hylton



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Lord Howell of Guildford: We remain concerned about evictions and demolitions of Palestinian property in the West Bank. The UK has a good record of lobbying hard on issues relating to house demolitions, settlement building and plans to relocate residents of Area C in the Occupied Territories.

We view any attempts to change the facts on the ground as a serious provocation likely to raise tensions and cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, as well as being harmful to the peace process and in contravention of international law.

Our ambassador to Tel Aviv has recently registered the strength of the UK's concerns to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister's Office over pending demolition orders in the West Bank. He also discussed the safety and well-being of those displaced.

We are also actively discussing these issues within the European Union and with the Office of the Quartet Representative.

Legislation

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Ministry of Defence was responsible for one piece of primary legislation during the 2005-10 Parliament; namely, the Armed Forces Act 2006. This Act was fully brought into force by 31 October 2009.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The following table shows the provisions concerned. We have not included provisions that are partially in force, provisions that have been implemented in certain areas of the United Kingdom only or provisions that have since been repealed.



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ActProvisions not yet in force

Health Act 2006

Section 36(2)

NHS Redress Act 2006

Sections 1-16

Mental Health Act 2007

Section 38(3)(a) and (d), 38(6), 38(7)(a), 38(9)

Health and Social Care Act 2008

Sections 98(2), 99-106, 107(2)-(3), 107(5), 109, 118(2)(b) and (d), 128, 141;

Schedule 6 (paragraphs 15-16);

Schedule 7 (paragraphs 1-10, 12-45, 47-51);

Schedule 8 (paragraph 10);

Schedule 10 (paragraphs 7, 9, 14-15, 18, 27);

Schedule 14 (paragraphs 1, 8)

Health Act 2009

Sections 14, 26-32;

Schedule 4 (paragraphs 7(1), 7(3)-(4), 8, 9(1))

Personal Care at Home Act 2010

Sections 1-2

National Insurance

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): To date, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has received just over 10,000 applications for the regional national insurance contributions (NICs) holiday scheme.

Further information on successful applications for the NICs holiday will be made available in a factsheet which will shortly be deposited in the Libraries of the Houses of Parliament.

National School of Government

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: As at 30 October 2011 the National School of Government employed 174 civil servants which includes staff loaned in from other government departments, staff out on loan to other government departments, staff on secondment to non-Civil Service organisations and those on career breaks. Of the 174, 154 are based in Sunningdale with a small number based at our sites in Edinburgh and London.

NHS: Operating Framework

Question

Asked by Lord Willis of Knaresborough

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The NHS Operating Framework 2012-13 applies to the current delivery system of primary care trusts and strategic health authorities.



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Subject to parliamentary approval of the Health and Social Care Bill, the NHS Commissioning Board will take on its full statutory duties from April 2013.

NHS: Waiting Times

Question

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The information has been placed in the Library.

North Africa and the Middle East

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

Baroness Northover: There are no current plans to assist the Arab Financing Facility for Infrastructure and the Cross-border Trade Facilitation and Infrastructure programme.

The UK has established a dedicated Arab Partnership Fund to support political and economic reform and transition in the Middle East and North Africa over the next four years. This comprises a £40 million Arab Partnership Participation Fund to support political reform managed by the FCO and a £70 million Arab Partnership Economic Facility (APEF) managed by my department. The APEF will support job creation, economic growth and effective and accountable financial institutions. Programming of this funding is currently underway.

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint): United Kingdom trade relations are determined through the European Union, which has a common external trade policy across all member states.

With regard to countries in south-east Europe, the EU has since 2000 offered preferential access to practically all products originating from countries in the region which are not members of the EU. This includes access through the implementation of more recent stabilisation and association agreements (SAAs) with

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Albania, Croatia, Macedonia and Montenegro; and through interim SAAs with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. The EU is currently renewing its autonomous trade preferences for the western Balkans, which apply to Kosovo. A delay to this process has led to these preferences lapsing since the beginning of the year. However, we expect these to be back in place shortly, and for Kosovan traders to be able to reclaim any duties they have paid.

With regard to emerging democracies in the Middle East and North Africa, the UK has led the calls for an ambitious EU trade response, including a timely intervention by the Prime Minister at the European Council in March 2011. There are already association agreements in place with key emerging democracies in the region, which provide for a significant amount of free trade. The EU and its member states have signaled at the political level a willingness further to enter into negotiations on deep and comprehensive free trade agreements (DCFTAs) with Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, which promise even greater market access as long as the countries concerned continue on the path to democracy and good governance.

Nuclear Weapons

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

Baroness Northover: There is no recognised list of countries developing nuclear weapons, but to the best of our knowledge DfID does not operate bilateral aid programmes in any country developing nuclear weapons. The countries which the UK spends aid on are listed in the Statistics for International Development (SID) 2011, available at www.dfid.gov.uk.

Pakistan

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Northover: Pakistan is facing an education emergency; in response the UK Government will get 4 million more children into school by 2015. To help ensure that UK aid is not being used to support the teaching of hate in Pakistani schools, the Department for International Development (DfID) is working with the Pakistani authorities to: support a curriculum audit and a textbooks development process to ensure all textbooks promote peace and co-existence; improve

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teachers' recruitment and training processes; and strengthen the education system so that poor children have access to mainstream schooling.

All of DfID's education programmes in Pakistan are carefully monitored, including through third party verification as necessary, to make sure that aid is reaching its intended recipients and delivers results.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Northover: Pakistan is facing an education emergency; in response the UK Government will get 4 million more children into school by 2015. To help ensure that UK aid is being used cost effectively for educational purposes, the Department for International Development's (DfID's) education programmes in Pakistan are carefully monitored, including through third party verification as necessary, to make sure that aid is reaching its intended recipients and delivers results, and is not funding any madrassas promoting intolerance or fanaticism.

Palestine

Questions

Asked by Lord Turnberg

Baroness Northover: The UK Government do not directly fund the textbooks used in Palestinian schools. We provide financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to provide essential services, including education. UK aid will support 35,000 children through primary school over the next four years.

The content of all PA textbooks is approved by the United Nations. Textbooks used in Palestinian Authority schools have also been approved by the Israeli Ministry of Education for use in Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem. Given that these textbooks are issued under Israeli supervision, it is difficult to see how they could contain anti-Semitic material. Recent independent studies have found no evidence of anti-Semitism or incitement in textbooks issued by the Palestinian Authority. However, at least one study has shown that both Israeli and Palestinian textbooks could include more positive and balanced messages on these issues. We support that message.

Asked by Lord Turnberg

Baroness Northover: The UK Government are cautious about accepting the findings of the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE) report on school textbooks in the Palestinian Territories without a rigorous demonstration of their objectivity and accuracy. For example, IMPACT-SE was unable to provide the original publication dates for the quoted references to demonstrate that they were current publications, and not old books inherited from Egyptian and Jordanian sponsored education programs. Credible studies from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the Congressional Research Service and the United States State Department, which have all investigated the issue, show no evidence of incitement or hatred against Israel. However, at least one study has shown that both Israeli and Palestinian textbooks could include more positive and balanced messages on these issues. We support that approach.

The content of all Palestinian Authority textbooks is approved by the United Nations. Textbooks used in Palestinian Authority schools have also been approved by the Israeli Ministry of Education for use in Palestinian schools in East Jerusalem. Given that these textbooks are issued under Israeli supervision, it is difficult to see how they could contain anti-Semitic material.

Asked by Lord Turnberg

Baroness Northover: The UK supports the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to provide education to Palestinian children in the West Bank and Gaza. All UK financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority is provided through a World Bank trust fund, which carries out close monitoring of PA expenditure across all sectors to ensure that the budget is being spent according to Palestinian annual budget law and international standards. The World Bank plays no role in the scrutiny of funding to UNRWA.

Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Laird



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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Cm 8127 is the Whole of Government Accounts Unaudited Summary Report for the year ended 31 March 2010. This included an analysis of the net public services pension liability, including those in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

The pension liability of all employers participating in the major unfunded public service pension schemes, such as the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme or Teachers' Pension Scheme, are included within the net public service pension liability reported in the Whole of Government Accounts, even for private sector employers participating in the scheme. So, for example, the pension liabilities in respect of independent schools participating in the Teachers' Pension Scheme are included within the net pension liability.

The pension liability of employers participating in other funded and unfunded pension schemes are included within the net public service pension liability reported in the Whole of Government Accounts only if that employer is within the Whole of Government Accounts. So, for example, the pension liability of private sector employers participating in the Local Government Pension Scheme through admitted body status are not included within the net pension liability in the Whole of Government Accounts.

Note 8.2 to the summary account provided an analysis of the liability by type of scheme, including "other unfunded" pension schemes with a total unaudited liability of £21.6 billion. 145 bodies reported balances which made up this liability figure. The most significant amounts were accounted for by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority Pension Scheme (£6.0 billion), the Research Councils Pension Scheme (£3.5 billion), the Judicial Pension Scheme (£2.4 billion), and the Department for International Development Overseas Superannuation (£1.3 billion). Other balances were reported by the bodies listed below. Note that many of these bodies contributed to both funded and unfunded schemes. Of these, some £7.3 billion was reported by local authorities that were not specifically police or fire authorities but that had staff in the Police and Fire Pension Schemes and recognised their proportion of the scheme liabilities in the other unfunded category.



5 Dec 2011 : Column WA130



5 Dec 2011 : Column WA131

Aberdeen City Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council

Birmingham City Council

Blackpool Borough Council

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

Bournemouth Council

Bradford City Council

Braintree District Council

Brecon Beacons National Park Authority

Brent London Borough Council

Bridgend County Borough Council

British Broadcasting Corporation

Bristol City Council

Bury Metropolitan Borough Council

Caerphilly County Borough Council

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council

Cardiff City and County Council

Cherwell District Council

Cheshire East Unitary Authority

Cheshire West and Chester Unitary Authority

Christchurch Borough Council

City of York Council

Clackmannanshire Council

Common Council of the City of London

Consumer Focus (BIS)

Conwy County Borough Council

Cornwall Unitary Authority

County Durham Unitary Authority

Coventry City Council

Craven District Council

Cumbria County Council

Darlington Borough Council

Denbighshire County Council

Derby City Council

Derbyshire County Council

Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council

Dumfries and Galloway Council

East Dunbartonshire Council

East Midlands Regional Development Agency

East of England Development Agency

Enfield London Borough Council

Environment Agency

Equality and Human Rights Commission (GEO)

Fareham Borough Council

Fife Council

Flintshire County Council

Gateshead Council

Gloucestershire County Council

Gosport Borough Council

Hampshire County Council

Harborough District Council

Hart District Council

Havering London Borough Council

Herefordshire Council

Hertfordshire County Council

Homes and Communities Agency (CLG)

Isle of Wight Council

Islington London Borough Council

Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Lancashire County Council

Leeds City Council

Lincolnshire County Council

Liverpool City Council

London Thames Gateway UDC

Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Monmouthshire County Council

Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council

Newcastle upon Tyne City Council

Newham London Borough Council

Newport City Council

Norfolk County Council

North London Waste Authority

North Somerset Council

North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council

North West Regional Development Agency

North Yorkshire County Council

Northamptonshire County Council

Northern Ireland Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment

Northern Ireland Housing Executive

Northern Ireland Office

Northumberland Unitary Authority

Nottingham City Council

Nottinghamshire County Council

OFCOM

Office of Fair Trading

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets

Office of Rail Regulation

Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council

One North East

Oxfordshire County Council

Pembrokeshire County Council

Portsmouth City Council

Powys County Council

Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Council

Royal Hospital, Chelsea

Salford City Council

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Scottish Legal Aid Board

Sedgemoor District Council

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council

Serious Organised Crime Agency

Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council

South Cambridgeshire District Council

South Gloucestershire Council

South Lakeland District Council

South Oxfordshire District Council

South Tyneside Council

South West England Development Agency

St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council

Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Stoke-on-Trent City Council

Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Suffolk County Council

Sunderland City Metropolitan Borough Council

Surrey County Council

Swansea City and County Council

Tenant Services Authority (CLG)

The Valuation Tribunal Service

Torbay Council

Torfaen County Borough Council

Torridge District Council

Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council

Transport for London

Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority

Vale of Glamorgan County Council

Vale of White Horse District Council

Wakefield City Council

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

Warwickshire County Council

Water Services Regulation Authority

West Dunbartonshire Council

West Oxfordshire District Council

West Sussex County Council

Westminster City Council

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council

Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Wolverhampton City Council

Worcestershire County Council

Wrexham County Borough Council



5 Dec 2011 : Column WA132

Planning

Question

Asked by Lord Christopher

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The general approach of my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is not to interfere with the jurisdiction of local planning authorities unless it is necessary to do so and his policy is to be very selective about calling in planning applications. In light of the established call-in criteria, as laid out in 16 June 1999 (Official Report, col. 138W), the Secretary of State has no current intention to call in the planning applications currently before Westminster City Council in respect of Burlington Arcade. It will be for locally elected councillors to decide.

Post Office Ltd

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The arrangements under which products and services are offered by Post Office Ltd are determined by the commercial and operational requirements of its clients and the commercial and operational capability of Post Office Ltd. These are part of the commercial arrangements agreed between the two and will vary on a case by case basis.

Questions for Written Answer

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): The number of Questions for Written Answer remaining unanswered after 10 working days by each government department are published every

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sitting day in House of Lords Business. We have no plans to place additional statistics in the Library of the House.

Railways: Franchises

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: Information on subsidy and premium payments in respect of all passenger rail franchises is published annually by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) in National Rail Trends. This is available on the ORR's website at www.rail-reg.gov.uk. Copies are also available in the Libraries of the House.

Schools: Value-based Education

Question

Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The department does not, as a rule, assess different approaches to education. All state schools are required to provide a balanced and broadly based curriculum which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.

Schools are free to adopt a values-based education, such as the one used by Chantry Primary School, to develop an ethos of care and respect for themselves and others.

Chantry school is to be congratulated on its latest Ofsted report.

Shipping: Single-hulled Ships

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The remaining single-hulled tankers will be replaced by the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability (MARS) tankers as soon as practicable. Final bids have been requested from the bidders in the MARS tanker competition and we expect to announce the winning bidder next year.



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I am withholding information on the planned delivery schedule as its disclosure would prejudice the department's commercial interests.

Standards for England

Question

Asked by Lord Greaves

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): It is expected that the Standards Board for England will cease its regulatory functions on 31 January 2012; any complaints being dealt with by the board on that date will be transferred back to the authority that originated the complaint; and the board will be abolished no later than 31 March.

Surveillance: Telecommunications

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: (1) Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) discussed the technical specifications of Creativity Software's products;

(2) CESG's role is to advise BIS as to whether a product meets the criteria for control as set out under category 5 of the UK Strategic Export Control Lists;

(3) As the product was not subject to export control no Ministers were informed;

(4) The product is not subject to export control. There was therefore nothing to review; and

(5) CESG discusses potential exports with those seeking export control licences when appropriate for their area of technical expertise;

Surveillance technology is not controlled under our current export licensing system as there are many legitimate uses for this technology.



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However, the Government take their export control responsibilities very seriously and do not license the export of controlled equipment where there is a clear risk that it could be used for internal repression or human rights abuses. We take any reports of exports being misused overseas very seriously, and the extent to which export controls should apply to surveillance equipment is something that the Government are actively considering.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): Yes. The controls on dual-use items are contained in Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. These controls are based on the technical agreements reached in the non-proliferation regimes and the Wassenaar Arrangement. Under this regulation, there is no requirement for licensing of the goods to which I referred in my Answer on 28 November.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: Yes. The controls on dual-use items are contained in Council Regulation (EC) No 428/ 2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items that derive from the Wassenaar Arrangement and the other non-proliferation regimes.

As explained in my Answer on 28 November, the term "surveillance technology" is problematic. The export of any dual-use equipment or software would, however, be considered against the control lists within Council Regulation (EC) No 428/2009.

On the wider question, of how best to control equipment and software for executing signals collection from mobile phone systems, this is an issue that has been discussed in the Expert Group Meetings of the Wassenaar Arrangement this year. In view of the complex nature of these discussions, further work will be required before a suitable control can be established.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Wilcox: The controls in Munitions List ML11 (ML11) would only be relevant in those circumstances where the equipment to be exported is "specially designed" for military use. Licence applications would be considered against the Consolidated EU and UK Export Licensing Criteria, in the light of prevailing circumstances, and paying particular attention to allegations of human rights abuses and internal repression.

In the context of the concern expressed by the noble Lord in his supplementary question on 28 November about the exports of this equipment by Creativity Software, this equipment is not "specially designed" for military use and not therefore subject to the controls of ML11.

Taxation

Question

Asked by Lord Christopher

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Special rules apply where securities (such as shares), interests in securities or securities options are acquired in connection with employment.

The grant or exercise of share options and the acquisition of securities in connection with employment are not normally subject to income tax or NICs where they take place under one of the Government's tax-advantaged share schemes. In other cases, income tax and NICs may be due where certain chargeable events occur, such as the exercise of the option by an employee. The taxable amount due is calculated in accordance with a formula that takes into account the market value of the shares and any consideration paid for the shares by the employee.

The rules for share-based long-term incentive plans depend on the detail of the plan-including any restrictions attached to shares or other securities, the detail of any forfeiture conditions that apply and the point at which the shares or securities are allocated to an employee. In general there is a chargeable event for tax purposes where an employee acquires value from the securities, for example through the lifting of restrictions.

When income tax and NICs are due in respect of employment-related securities, these will usually be collected under PAYE when the relevant chargeable event occurs.

There are no special rules for the taxation of deferred pay and bonuses and the normal rules for taxing earnings from an employment apply. Payments of deferred pay and bonuses are generally subject to tax

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under pay as you earn (PAYE) at the time of receipt, which means the earlier of actual payment or entitlement to payment. For company directors, there are some additional events to take into account in establishing when the earnings have been received.

Following attempts by employers and employees to avoid, defer or reduce PAYE and NICs liabilities by structuring arrangements and using third parties to disguise the true entitlement of the employee, legislation was introduced in Finance Act 2011 to deal with disguised remuneration arrangements.

The new law does not affect employment income provided directly by an employer or normal remuneration structures involving another company in the same group. Establishing an individual's overall liability for any given tax year will depend on the year, or years, in which the given payment is attributed and will ultimately be a question to be determined on the facts in each case.

Transport: MoT Scheme

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: An MoT test inevitably involves a cost to the motorist in the MOT fee. The review will help identify what motorists consider a burden in this area.

Unemployment: Under 25s

Question

Asked by Lord Harrison

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): On 25 November, the Government announced an ambitious programme for tackling youth unemployment. Starting in 2012, the youth contract will deliver:

an additional 250,000 work experience or sector based work academy places for every unemployed 18-24 year-old;more Jobcentre Plus support for 18-24 year-olds, including extra adviser time and a careers interview from the National Careers Service and weekly, rather than fortnightly, signing;a total of 160,000 wage incentive places (at £2,275 each) to make it easier for employers to take on young people;

5 Dec 2011 : Column WA138

additional funding to support the growth of 16-24 apprenticeships, ensuring the funding for at least 40,000 incentive payments (at £1,500 each) for employers next year to raise demand for 16-24 apprenticeships; anda new £50 million a year programme for those 16 and 17 year-olds not in employment, education or training to get them learning, on an apprenticeship or in a job with training.

War Memorials

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Wiltshire police report that inquiries continue in relation to the reported theft of a statue on 17 October 2011. No charges have yet been brought.

Young People: Creative Industries

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The Government want the creative industries to be able to draw on the highly skilled workforce they need to be dynamic and achieve sustainable growth. The Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport frequently discuss issues of common interest including those relating to the creative industries.

We want young people to raise their aspirations, understand the full range of education and career opportunities open to them and achieve their potential. From September 2012, schools will be placed under a duty to secure access to independent, impartial careers guidance for their pupils. The guidance should include information on the full range of academic and vocational options, including in areas where pupils might have an aptitude and interest such as the creative arts.

The National Skills Academy-Creative and Cultural has been successful in increasing career opportunities for young people in the creative sector. Skillset, the Sector Skills Council for the creative industries, offers a package of support for young people considering careers in the creative industries.


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