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The table below shows total GVA (in pounds million) for the financial and insurance activities industry (section K) of the Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC07). Data for the latest available year (2009) are provided for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, along with the contribution of industry K to the GVA of each country.
|Industry K||Contribution of industry K to total GVA|
Table 1.3 Headline Workplace based GVA by industry groups at current basic prices http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-223201.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Browning on 11 August (WA 465), what is the current membership and work programme of the Home Office Firearms Forms Working Group.[HL14014]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 7 February (WA 18-19) and 24 November (WA 275), (1) whether they share the concerns about dental fluorosis that led the Republic of Ireland to lower the concentration of added fluoride in mains water to 0.7 parts per million in 2007, and (2) what relevance the use of more fluoride supplements by the population in the United States has to the incidence of dental fluorosis in the United Kingdom.[HL14261]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We are not aware of any evidence from the Republic of Ireland to show that levels of dental fluorosis were unacceptable when water supplies were fluoridated at 1 part per million. We cannot see any relevance between the use of more fluoride supplements by the population in the United States and the incidence of dental fluorosis in the United Kingdom. We are awaiting publication of a research study into the prevalence and aesthetic acceptability of dental fluorosis before considering whether the use of a 1 part per million concentration here should be reviewed.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 17 October (WA 14), 1 November (WA 233-4) and 24 November (WA 275-6) concerning medicinal products, what is their authority for the view that fluoride when added to mains water with the intention of protecting teeth does not constitute a medical treatment. [HL14262]
Earl Howe: The authority for our judgment is the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's (MHRA) view that fluoride added to drinking water is not a medical product. We consider that, where there is no physical contact, surgical or otherwise, made with the patient, the critical factor in judging whether a medical treatment is occurring is whether a medical product as defined by the MHRA is involved.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 23 May (WA 378-9), whether they intend to commission a larger study, with power to detect small effects, to develop further the analyses from the first report of the Newcastle study into the bioavailability of fluoride in water in 2004, which found a difference in absorption in plasma fluoride between naturally and artificially fluoridated water.[HL14263]
Earl Howe: The department has no current plans to commission a further study on the bioavailability of fluoride in drinking water. The department's National Institute for Health Research welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including water fluoridation. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the scientific quality of the proposals made.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 7 December (WA 170), whether they expect gendercide issues to be raised by the United Kingdom permanent representative to the United Nations, the British High Commissioner in Delhi and the British Ambassador in Beijing during 2012. [HL14480]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Further to the Answer given on 7 December, our permanent representative to the United Nations, high commissioner in New Delhi and ambassador in Beijing will assess in 2012 suitable opportunities to raise concerns about sex-selective abortion and infanticide in a way that is most likely to be effective.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which departments (1) possess a historical section or staff, and (2) have commissioned official histories since 2000; and which of those histories have been published and when.[HL14372]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The Cabinet Office has an official histories team, which runs the Government's official history programme on behalf of the Prime Minister and is the only department to produce official histories. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is the only other major department of state that employs
10 Jan 2012 : Column WA35
There are other departments that contract historians to write specific departmental histories, for example the Security Service and the Secret Intelligence Service,
10 Jan 2012 : Column WA36
|Official History Title/Author||Commissioned||Date of Publication|
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many members of Home Office staff have been convicted of criminal offences in connection with their official activities in each of the past five years; and, in each case, what was the name of the offender, the date and nature of the offence, and the sentence received. [HL14312]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): In the past five years there have been 29 convictions of Home Office staff in connection with their official activities. All the officers listed were subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures and were ultimately dismissed as a result of their conviction. The following table shows the breakdown of convictions and dates.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the salary bands and the employer pension contribution percentages on 1 October 1997 for the third lowest grade of civil servant; and what are the figures now.[HL14379]
Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The salary bands and the employer pension contribution percentages for 1997 and 2011 are as set out below. The mechanism for calculating the contribution percentages changed on 1 April 1998 and moved from a grade-based approach to a salary-banded approach.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 8 December (WA 194), whether they will now ascertain how many civil servants are paid as departmental trade union side staff in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Ministry of Justice, and HM
10 Jan 2012 : Column WA39
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in each of the past five years, how many health and safety prosecutions were pursued by the Health and Safety Executive; in how many such cases convictions were secured; and what was the total amount of costs orders against defendants in such cases. [HL14444]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The numbers of prosecutions heard in court in the previous five years, and the number of convictions in each year, is presented below. These figures are based on the year in which the prosecution was completed.
Table 1 gives the number of prosecution cases instituted by HSE in England and Wales together with the number of cases where there was a conviction on at least one charge brought over the period 2006-07 and 2010-11. It also gives the total costs awarded by the courts for prosecution cases brought by HSE heard in that year.
|Table 1: HSE prosecution cases in England and Wales (2006-07-2010-11p)1|
|Year 1||Number of cases for which legal proceedings have been instituted||Number of cases resulting in conviction for at least one offence||Total costs awarded|
In Scotland all prosecutions, including those for health and safety, are taken by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS). COPFS makes the final decision whether to institute legal proceedings and which offences are taken following a report submitted by HSE. Additionally, unlike England and Wales, no legal costs are awarded by the courts in Scotland.
|Table 2: Prosecution cases instituted by COPFS in Scotland (2006-07-2010-11p)1|
|Year1||Number of cases for which legal proceedings have been instituted||Number of cases resulting in conviction for at least one offence|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government are committed to fostering and embedding a culture of research and innovation in Public Health England (PHE). It is vital that PHE is able to conduct high quality research and that it is an organisation of the highest scientific quality.
It has always been the intention of the Government that PHE will be able to continue the income generating activities of those organisations coming into it-including the Health Protection Agency and through contract research.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): A stockpile of anthrax vaccine is maintained as part of the United Kingdom's national emergency preparedness strategy. Details about the quantities of stock held are not shared publicly owing to security considerations.
Those most at risk from a non-malicious release of anthrax are typically workers in the wool and hide industries and laboratory staff working with the live virus. A stock of anthrax vaccine is available to treat those infected due to accidental exposure. Infection is not typically transmissible person to person, and for this reason emergency workers are not routinely vaccinated against anthrax.
Earl Howe: Regular reviews are undertaken of the Porton Down anthrax manufacturing facility and works scheduled accordingly to ensure that it continues to comply with the relevant regulatory standards. Action taken to ensure compliance includes a planned ongoing capital improvements programme involving as part of this, the introduction of isolator barrier technology. Improvements to the manufacturing plant began in the 2009-10 financial year and are expected to be completed over a five-year period at a cost of £5.27 million.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the financial report presented to the Health Protection Agency Board on 25 May 2011, for how long the production of anthrax vaccines has been delayed; how many doses remain in the stockpile; how many doses are currently being produced; what is the shelf-life of those vaccines; and how many doses in the stockpile have exceeded their shelf-life. [HL14281]
Earl Howe: A stockpile of anthrax vaccine is maintained as part of the United Kingdom's national emergency preparedness strategy. Details about the quantity of stock held being produced and the remaining shelf-life of such items are not shared publicly owing to security considerations.
The delay in the production of anthrax vaccine mentioned in the Health Protection Agency Board's 25 May 2011 report lasted from October 2009 until March 2011, when production recommenced. The shortfall in supply planned for 2010-11 is expected to be made up in the 2011-12 financial year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to attend an international conference in May 2012 on preparedness and response to an outbreak of anthrax; and, if so, what preparations they are making.[HL14353]
Earl Howe: The Government are not aware of any conferences on preparedness and response to an outbreak of anthrax planned for May 2012, nor have any notices or invitations been received for such an event.
The United Kingdom participates in many major international conferences and provides significant input to international bodies such as NATO, the European Union and the Global Health Security Action Group.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how many unlicensed black cohosh products are currently for sale in the United Kingdom; and what plans they have to ensure that only licensed black cohosh products with appropriate quality and safety information will be available for sale in future.[HL14408]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has to ensure that unlicensed herbal medicines currently sold as herbal food supplements comply with the directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products.[HL14409]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The classification of products as medicines is made on a case-by-case basis by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The MHRA does not hold information on how many herbal medicines have been presented as food supplements but investigates all products referred to it. Fifteen black cohosh products are currently under investigation and any that are in breach of legislation will be subject to regulatory action. The MHRA is currently considering how effective, proportionate enforcement action can best ensure that the intended benefits of the legislation for consumers and for companies compliant with the legislation are achieved.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 14 November (WA 116), whether they will now publish the agreement on the introduction of a registration scheme for determining healthcare costs of United Kingdom
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): I refer the noble Lord to my Answer of 28 November 2011 (Official Report, col. WA 21), which sets out details of the Government's publication plans for a new agreement with Ireland.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 28 November (WA 21), why they agreed a reduction of 1.13 per cent year on year in their liability for pensioners' healthcare costs in the Republic of Ireland; why no account was taken of the survey results that 59.84 per cent of United Kingdom state pensioners resident in the Republic were also entitled to a qualifying pension there; and what was the relevance of the trend analysis of previous years.[HL14557]
Earl Howe: The Government agreed a 1.13 per cent year on year reduction in the number of pensioners that the United Kingdom is liable for until 2014 as this is in line with the trend analysis of previous years showing an average 1.13 per cent reduction in UK liability per year since 1974. Account was taken of all survey results. The Government are now working on a pensioner registration scheme that will provide a more robust and comprehensive basis for payments from 2014.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 15 December (WA 283-4), how the actual number of cases of the disease (1:1,000,000 of the population per annum) compares with estimates made during the Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease epidemic.[HL14411]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The estimate of 1:1,000,000 given in the previous answer refers to the observed world-wide incidence of all human prion diseases. Of these, the majority of cases are sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), which was first described in the 1920s and has no identifiable cause.
The wide range of estimates that have been made about the potential number of future cases of variant OD, the form first identified by the United Kingdom National Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Research and Surveillance Unit (NCJDRSU) in the mid-1990s and associated with consumption of BSE infected meat and meat products, are separate from the observed number of sporadic cases.
Monthly data on UK cases are available from the NCJDRSU at: www.cjd.ed.ac.uk/figures.htm.
International data can be found at the European CJD Surveillance Network site at: www.eurocjd.ed. ac.uk/surveillance%20data%202.htm.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ensure that changes in the National Health Service following the enactment of the Health and Social Care Bill will not divert resources currently required for the care of adults and children with severe skin diseases.[HL14545]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill, the National Health Service Commissioning Board will be responsible for supporting clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in their commissioning decisions. This will include publishing commissioning guidance to which CCGs must have regard. This will be based on the quality standards that the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has developed on the board's behalf. The board will also develop a commissioning outcomes framework to help hold CCGs to account for the quality of the healthcare services they commission.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ensure that any reorganisation of departments currently teaching and practising dermatology will not restrict the teaching and training of young specialists, and if so how.[HL14546]
Earl Howe: The organisation of departments teaching and practising medical specialties is the responsibility of service providers, supported by deaneries who are responsible for ensuring there is appropriate capacity to train the required numbers of specialists.
Under proposed reforms to the education and training system, healthcare providers will be able to shape the education and development of the people they employ, working together with those who provide education. Health Education England will be established to provide national leadership and oversight.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We have asked the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to assess the suitability of fractures
10 Jan 2012 : Column WA45
To ask Her Majesty's Government which health-related statutory bodies can be realigned or restructured without the need for public consultation or consultation with other health-related statutory bodies.[HL14211]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government are committed to effective consultation. National Health Service bodies, including strategic health authorities (SHAs) and primary care trusts (PCTs), have a legal obligation under Section 242 of the NHS Act 2006 to make arrangements to involve patients and public in the planning of services, the development of proposals for service change and the operation of services where there is an impact on the range of services or the manner in which those services are provided.
SHAs and PCTs are subject to the above legislation, but since their clustering has no impact on the range of services or manner in which services are provided, the need for statutory involvement and consultation with patients and public is not triggered.
To ask the Chairman of Committees what was the total cost of all works and other action taken in connection with the sittings of the Grand Committee on the Welfare Reform Bill in Committee Room 4A. [HL14232]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The following additional costs were incurred as a result of the Grand Committee on the Welfare Reform Bill in Committee Room 4A. They reflect the costs incurred on the 17 days on which the Welfare Reform Bill was considered in Committee Room 4A, as well as the costs from two other Grand Committee sittings that were held in Committee Room 4A as a result. These were in addition to the usual costs that are incurred when the Grand Committee meets in the Moses Room. All costs are inclusive of VAT.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): Twenty iPads have been purchased for use by Members and staff of the House of Lords to evaluate how handheld devices can facilitate core parliamentary work.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the current position whereby there are three unpaid Ministers in the House of Commons and the unpaid Ministers in the House of Lords, whether they have plans to amend legislation so that all Ministers are fairly remunerated.[HL14406]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, for each department, from January to June 2011, (1) on how many occasions the scrutiny reserve resolution in the House of Lords was overridden, (2) on how many occasions the scrutiny reserve resolution in the House of Commons was overridden, and (3) in respect of how many documents an override occurred in (a) both Houses or (b) either House.[HL14410]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government will always seek to avoid breaching the scrutiny reserve resolutions of either House of Parliament where this is possible. Where overrides are required the Government will continue to account for their actions in writing to the chairmen of the scrutiny committees in each House. The figures for January-June 2011 are higher when compared against corresponding periods in earlier years, but this can be attributed to the number of urgent measures needed particularly to address the evolving political situation in north Africa and the Middle East. Nineteen of the Foreign Office's 29 overrides in the House of Lords relate to restrictive measures on Tunisia, Libya and Syria. Ten of the 32 government overrides in the House of Lords occurred when Parliament was in recess. The figures requested are set out in the table below.
|Department||(1). House of Lords Override||(2). House of Commons override||(a). No. of overrides in both Houses||(b). Total no. of overrides|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): All secure tenants have a statutory right under the Housing Act 1985 to take in lodgers and, if their landlord consents, to sublet part of their home. This consent cannot be unreasonably withheld.
For assured tenants, if there are terms in the tenancy agreement regarding lodgers and subtenants then these terms will apply. If the tenancy agreement is silent on the matter, an assured tenant does not need the landlord's consent to take in a lodger, but the Housing Act 1988 implies into a periodic tenancy agreement that the tenant does need consent to sublet. Where a need for the landlord's consent is implied into the tenancy by the Act in this way, there is no need for the landlord's refusal to be reasonable.
Baroness Hanham: Details of DCLG Ministers' meetings with external organisations are published on a quarterly basis and are available at: www.communities. gov.uk/corporate/transparencyingovernment/ministerialdata/.
Landscaping of new developments is a local matter. The draft national planning policy framework asks local authorities, through local plans and any neighbourhood plans, to develop comprehensive policies that set out the quality of development that will be expected for the area. The consultation on the draft framework has closed now and we are considering all the responses.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have held, or intend to hold, discussions with the house building industry concerning the effects of lighting levels in new developments on the night sky. [HL14462]
Baroness Hanham: Details of DCLG Ministers' meetings with external organisations are published on a quarterly basis and are available at: www.communities. gov.uk/corporate/transpareneyingovernment/ministerialdata/.
Lighting levels in new developments are a matter for local decision. The draft national planning policy framework asks local authorities, through local plans and any neighbourhood plans, to develop comprehensive policies that set out the quality of development that will be expected for the area. The draft framework states that, by encouraging good design, planning policies and decisions should limit the impact of light pollution from artificial light on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation. The consultation on the draft framework has now closed and we are considering all the responses.
Baroness Hanham: The draft national planning policy framework states that sustainable development means development that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, as set out in the Brundtland Commission report. When taken as a whole, the policies of the draft framework set out the Government's view of what constitutes sustainable development in practice and how the planning system is expected to deliver it. The consultation on the draft framework has now closed and we are considering all the responses.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what medication is provided for immigrants being removed to their countries of origin (1) voluntarily, and (2) compulsorily, to protect them against (a) malaria, where the country of origin is one where malaria prophylaxis and bed nets are recommended, (b) yellow fever, where the country of origin is one where it is a legal requirement for entrants to hold a valid yellow fever certificate, and (c) measles and meningitis.[HL14319]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The UK Border Agency does not provide medical care and treatment directly but does liaise regularly with other expert agencies such as the Department of
10 Jan 2012 : Column WA49
Individuals who are liable to enforced removal or who are proposing to leave voluntarily are generally expected to make their own health protection arrangements. All known medical issues and travel health are discussed with individuals leaving the UK under an assisted voluntary returns scheme and with families as part of the new family returns process. Parents are advised that it is their responsibility to take reasonable steps to cater for their and their family's health needs as they plan to leave the UK.
Individuals leaving the UK under an assisted voluntary returns scheme would discuss protection against malaria, yellow fever, measles and meningitis with Refugee Action and arrange inoculation in the UK where required. In addition, the UK Border Agency provides mosquito nets, free of charge, to at-risk groups of immigrants being removed to malaria risk countries. At-risk groups are defined as all individuals being removed to malaria risk countries who are pregnant, under the age of 18, or whose immune system is compromised.
Individuals in detention returning to malaria risk countries who are not in the at-risk groups may purchase a mosquito net from the immigration removal centre's shop. In addition, those in detention who may be particularly vulnerable to infection (e.g. pregnant women) will be prescribed malaria prophylaxis by healthcare staff in line with Health Protection Agency guidance. Immigration removal centres are not specialist centres for yellow fever vaccination. The possibility of requiring vaccination is reduced for families entering the pre-departure accommodation as it is specifically considered as part of the family returns process before they enter the accommodation. A child entering the pre-departure accommodation would receive immunisations for measles and meningitis if he/she was scheduled to receive one in the community from their GP.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why passengers from Northern Ireland are required to supply photographic identification to the UK Border Agency at Gatwick Airport; when this was introduced; and by whom.[HL14505]
Passengers arriving from the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the Common Travel Area (CTA), are currently, as a limited risk-testing measure, being asked to present a form of photographic identification to ensure that only eligible passengers are using the CTA channel.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether any firm commitments have been made for the United Kingdom to contribute a bilateral loan to the International Monetary Fund to ensure that the fund has adequate resources to deal with the eurozone crisis.[HL14314]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): As set out at the Cannes G20 summit, the UK is ready to look positively at strengthening the International Monetary Fund's (IMF's) capacity to help countries in difficulty across the world alongside non-European G20 countries.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are concerned at recent political developments in Iraq, including an unwelcome increase in sectarian tensions. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), discussed the political situation with the Iraqi Foreign Minister on 20 December and urged all sides to engage in political dialogue to resolve their differences. We are also urging Iraqi political leaders to refrain from inflammatory rhetoric, and to ensure that, where necessary, due legal process is followed in a full and transparent manner, consistent with the Iraqi constitution. We have condemned the appalling attacks that took place in Baghdad on 22 December.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they are making to the Government of Israel about their approval (a) of a new permanent neighbourhood and a farm near the West Bank colony of Efrat, and (b) for 40 houses at Givat Hadagan. [HL14423]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), the Parliamentary Under-Secretary
10 Jan 2012 : Column WA51
We have repeatedly made clear, publicly and privately to the Israeli Government, that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are illegal under international law and deeply counterproductive to efforts to bring a lasting peace to the Middle East conflict.
On 20 December, the Foreign Secretary issued the following statement condemning the announcement by the Israeli Government to publish tenders for 1,028 additional housing units in the settlements of Har Homa, Beitar Illit and Givat Ze'ev and of their plans to expand the settlement of Efrat:
"I condemn the latest Israeli announcements of plans to expand its settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. These are only the most recent in a steady drip of announcements of new or expanded settlements-all of which are illegal under international law and which make it ever harder to achieve the common goal of international efforts: a contiguous Palestinian state living side-by-side in security with Israel with Jerusalem as a shared capital. I strongly urge the Israeli Government to revoke these decisions which are wrong and deeply counterproductive."
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the quartet has made an assessment of the extent to which Israel complies with its obligations under the 1951 United Nations convention relating to the status of refugees, in respect of Africans entering Israel and claiming asylum; and if not, whether they will encourage it to do so.[HL14424]
Lord Howell of Guildford: We are not aware of the quartet making such an assessment. The objective of the quartet is to promote an end to the Israel-Palestine conflict and bring stability to the Middle East.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will discuss with the Government of Israel the fire at an Israeli plastics factory in the West Bank near Tulkarm, and the location of potentially dangerous factories in the West Bank, together with the means of disposal for toxic effluents.[HL14425]
Lord Howell of Guildford: Officials at our embassy in Tel Aviv and our consulate-general in Jerusalem are aware of the fire that broke out at an industrial factory on 9 December near the West Bank village of Tulkarm, and of reports that this was caused when explosives were thrown in the area. They are also aware of concerns raised over the environmental impact of the
10 Jan 2012 : Column WA52
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel concerning the comments by Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister that Israel may discontinue infrastructure support in the Gaza Strip if Hamas and Fatah form a unity Government.[HL14434]
Lord Howell of Guildford: We have not raised these specific comments with the Israeli Government. However, our officials in our embassy in Tel Aviv have discussed Palestinian reconciliation and Gaza with Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon on a number of occasions, most recently on 28 November.
The UK will judge any future Palestinian unity Government by their actions and their readiness to work for peace. We have been clear that the Palestinian Authority should be composed of independent figures, uphold the principle of non-violence, be committed to a negotiated two-state solution, and accept previous agreements of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the internal report sent to the European External Action Service by the deputy heads of European Union embassies in Tel Aviv, which concluded, "We should see Israel's treatment of its minorities as a core issue, not second tier to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict".[HL14438]
The rights of minority citizens in any country are fundamental. We are concerned that Israel's minority Arab population, including Bedouin Arab minorities, are suffering institutional, legal and societal inequality and discrimination.
We continue to monitor legislation that could have negative repercussions on Israel's minorities. We have lobbied the Israeli Government at a senior level on the potential discriminatory repercussions of these Bills.
The UK attaches the highest importance to the values set out in Israel's Declaration of Independence and basic laws guaranteeing equal treatment to all its citizens, regardless of religion or background. We are concerned by anything that detracts from these. Nothing should be done to prejudice Israel's non-Jewish citizens or to discriminate against people on the basis of their race or religion
Our ambassador in Tel Aviv has repeatedly raised our concerns about the treatment of the Arab minority in Israel and the signals that various measures including
10 Jan 2012 : Column WA53
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We regularly raise our concerns over access issues in and around East Jerusalem with the Israeli authorities. Officials from our embassy in Tel Aviv discussed the Shu'fat checkpoint with the Israeli authorities in December.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the statement by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, occupied Palestinian territory, that the weekly average of settler attacks against Palestinians has increased by 40 per cent in 2011, whether they will ask the Government of Israel what steps they are taking to deal with this issue in the West Bank.[HL14436]
Lord Howell of Guildford: Officials in our Embassy Tel Aviv have raised our concerns regarding settler violence with the Israeli authorities. We have called on all sides to do all that they can to prevent loss of innocent life, to bring the perpetrators of crimes to justice and to reduce current tensions.
"I condemn the burning of the Nebi Akasha mosque in West Jerusalem and the Burqa mosque in the West Bank. These are deliberately provocative attacks on places of worship, designed to aggravate tensions.
"We welcome the clear condemnation of the attacks by Israeli leaders, and the stated intention of the Israeli government to bring the perpetrators to justice. The package of measures announced by Prime Minister Netanyahu in response to settler violence is a welcome step forward. We look forward to seeing the results of these measures, and to seeing those behind the violence punished under law".
To ask Her Majesty's Government what amount was paid out of court central funds for each of the past five years relating to defence costs orders, distinguishing between legal costs, VAT and disbursements.[HL14386]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the amount paid out of court central funds for each of the past five years relating to defence costs orders relate to cases that have been listed for trial on more than one occasion.[HL14387]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the overall amount paid out of court central funds in each of the past five years relating to defence costs orders was paid to defendants who are either public limited companies, limited companies or individuals.[HL14388]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the overall amount paid out of court central funds in each of the past five years relating to defence costs orders relates to extradition cases; and how many such cases there were.[HL14389]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the amount paid out of court central funds for each of the past five years relating to defence costs orders relates to cases which were dismissed on a half-time submission of no case to answer, or discontinued on the trial date.[HL14391]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): No central records are kept on the information requested and an answer could only be provided at disproportionate cost. To obtain the information requested would involve the manual examination of thousands of case files.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the amount paid out of court central funds for each of the past five years relating to defence costs orders relates to cases where the amount paid was (1) less than £2,000, (2) more than £2,000 and less than £5,000, (3) more than £5,000 and less than £10,000, or (4) more than £10,000 and less than £15,000.[HL14442]
Lord McNally: Prior to the financial year 2009-10 central records were not kept on payments from central funds in the magistrates' courts. However, for the last two complete financial years the distribution of total expenditure in all courts was as follows:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the amount paid out of court central funds for each of the past five years relating to defence costs orders relates to cases tried in (1) the Magistrates' Court, (2) the Crown Court, or (3) the High Court. [HL14443]
Lord McNally: Prior to the financial year 2009-10 central records were not kept on payments from central funds in the magistrates' courts. However, for the past two complete financial years, the distribution of total cash expenditure was as follows:
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The amount paid for this particular defendant was £426,000. The defendant was one of a number of individuals and companies prosecuted in the case known as Operation Holbein. The total cost of Operation Holbein from the central funds budget was £17.8 million.
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We were very concerned to hear of the recent unrest in western Kazakhstan. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. The source of the unrest is at present unclear. We have urged Kazakh authorities to undertake a thorough and transparent investigation of the events and welcome their commitment to do so.
Reports and information continue to emerge, including a video posted on the internet on 20 December. The continued lack of clarity reinforces the need for a full and open investigation. We await the results of this investigation.
Lord Howell of Guildford: There have been conflicting reports as to what has triggered the recent unrest in western Kazakhstan and to date the source of the unrest remains unclear. We have urged Kazakh authorities to undertake a thorough and transparent investigation of the events and welcome their commitment to do so.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the current state of the Kimberley Process, in particular with regard to (1) the authorisation of exports from two companies operating in the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe, and (2) the withdrawal of Global Witness from the Kimberley Process.[HL14547]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Kimberley Process, established in 2003, is an important conflict prevention mechanism that brings increased transparency, regulation and accountability to the global rough diamond trade and reduces the role of rough diamonds in financing conflict. The Kimberley Process now has 50 members representing 76 countries and accounts for over 99 per cent of the global production and trade of rough diamonds. Kimberley Process experts estimate that conflict diamonds have fallen from around 15 per cent of the global rough diamond trade in the 1990s to less than 1 per cent today. The UK is committed to ensuring that the Kimberley Process remains an important and credible mechanism for the prevention of conflict. We are therefore working with international partners to reform the Kimberley Process to help it better address the challenges facing the global diamond trade, in particular in relation to human rights abuses, which the Kimberley Process does not explicitly address.
I am pleased that agreement was reached on Zimbabwe diamonds at the Kimberley Process Plenary in Kinshasa in November. The agreement is robust but fair. It allows Zimbabwe only to export diamonds from the Marange region that comply with Kimberley Process standards, whilst establishing a credible independent monitoring mechanism to ensure those standards are respected, including a role for civil society. The agreement commits Zimbabwe to take action to bring all mining in Marange into compliance with Kimberley Process minimum standards. The agreement also increases the likelihood that revenues from the export of Kimberley Process-compliant diamonds will benefit the Zimbabwean people. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and respond appropriately to any future developments. We urge all Kimberley Process partners, including Zimbabwe, to firmly uphold Kimberley Process principles and standards in the future.
We are disappointed that Global Witness has decided to leave the Kimberley Process. As one of the founder members of the Kimberley Process, Global Witness has been a key partner in raising standards in the global diamond supply chain. Despite leaving the Kimberley Process, we hope that Global Witness will continue to engage with international efforts to strengthen and reform the Kimberley Process, as well as efforts to raise standards in the diamond supply chain.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Shutt of Greetland on 15 December (WA 285), what total amount of damages they have now paid with regard to the case of Kelly and others v the United Kingdom (30054/96) at the European Court of Human Rights; when and to whom; and what they have proposed to the Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg or effected by way of implementation of the judgment. [HL14429]
The judgment in the case of Kelly and others v the United Kingdom and related cases did not prescribe the action to be taken by the Government but did require an overall effective investigation into killings by State agents. The previous Government proposed a package of measures designed to ensure this in March 2002. Regular updates have been provided to the Committee of Ministers on the implementation of this package. In the specific case of Kelly and others, an investigation by the Historical Enquiries Team has been the principal remedy which responds to the concerns set out by the Court.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many drugs the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has not recommended for use in each year since its formation up until the latest year for which records are available.[HL14524]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The information requested is shown in the table. Further information is published on the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) website at: www.nice.org.uk/media/64A/EE/NICETADecisionSummary November2011.pdf.
|Year||Number of drugs and other technologies appraised1,2||Number not recommended1|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will assess the amount of revenue lost because non-European Union workers are allowed a 52-week exclusion from national insurance contributions; and whether this concession includes employer contributions, and, if so, at what estimated cost. [HL14554]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): I refer the noble Lord to the answers I gave on 13 July 2011 (col. WA 189), 2 December 2010 (col. WA 484) and 16 November 2010 (col. WA 196), which explained why non-EEA workers are allowed a 52-week exemption from national insurance contributions (which includes employer contributions). Information on the amount of NICs foregone due to this exemption is not available.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The bodies that constitute the National Health Service create clinical databases in response to local needs, and no information
10 Jan 2012 : Column WA59
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average daily cost per patient of the food provided in each of the National Health Service Trust and Foundation Trust Hospitals, excluding the cost of preparing and delivering such food and other similar overhead expenses.[HL14492]
In 2010-11, the department collected data from National Health Service trusts for the average total daily cost for the provision of all meals and beverages fed to one patient per day. The average cost for all trusts in England for 2010-11 was £8.58, inclusive of all pay and non-pay costs, including provisions, ward issues, disposables, equipment and its maintenance. It is not possible to exclude the cost of preparing and delivering such food because only a total cost is collected.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the average cost of making an application for foundation trust status and the completion of the assessment of that application to (1) the applicant trust, (2) the strategic health authority and the Department of Health, and (3) Monitor.[HL14246]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The department does not hold information in relation to the average cost of establishing a National Health Service foundation trust.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, for each financial year since 2006-07, how many applications by hospital trusts for foundation trust status were (1) made, (2) withdrawn, and (3) rejected by Monitor. [HL14247]
|Outcome of applications by NHS trusts for foundation trust status|
(a) Withdrawn = An applicant trust has withdrawn its application to Monitor for foundation status. The trust will revert to the department and will need to be referred back to Monitor by Secretary of State before a new assessment can be made.
(c) Postponed = An applicant trust has requested (and Monitor has agreed) that Monitor's decision on it its application for foundation trust status is delayed, usually for a period of not longer than 12 months
(d) Rejected = Monitor's Board has rejected a trust's application for foundation trust status. The trust will revert to the department and will need to be referred back to Monitor by Secretary of State before a new assessment can be made.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the budget of Peterborough Primary Care Trust was assigned to persons assessed as eligible for continuing healthcare in financial years 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and in 2011-12. [HL14305]
To ask HerMajesty's Government how many people were assessed as eligible for continuing healthcare by Peterborough Primary Care Trust in 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, 2010-11 and in 2011-12 to date.[HL14306]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Peterborough Primary Care Trust (PCT) spent 2.5 per cent of its revenue resource limit on continuing healthcare in 2009-10, and 3.3 per cent in 2010-11.
In providing these figures, the NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care has interpreted "budget" to mean the PCT revenue resource limit. This represents the total allocation for the financial year and is the control that measures the statutory duty imposed on PCTs to maintain revenue expenditure (on an accruals basis) within approved amounts.
|People in receipt of continuing healthcare in Peterborough PCT|
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Shutt of Greetland on 15 December (WA 287-8), and 21 July 2010 (WA 224), how many staff in the Northern Ireland Office are seconded from the Northern Ireland Department of Justice; when such secondments commenced; what assessment has been made of whether the revised environmental allowance should continue to be paid following the devolution of policing and justice powers; and whether such staff in receipt of the allowance are still required and available to work in Northern Ireland prison establishments or operational police stations. [HL14430]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: The Northern Ireland Office currently has 75 staff on secondment from the Department of Justice (NI). Each individual secondment has a separate start and end date, so it is not possible to provide information on each secondment without incurring disproportionate cost.
The revised environmental allowance is part of the terms and conditions of staff working for the Department of Justice (NI), and these terms and conditions continue to apply during secondment. Any assessment of whether or not this should continue is a matter for that department.
To ask Her Majesty's Government who are the members of the Treasury working party on the rebalancing of the Northern Ireland economy announced in October; and when they are expected to complete their discussions.[HL14400]
The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The joint Ministerial Working Group on rebalancing the Northern Ireland economy met for the first time in Belfast on 15 December. The group is chaired by the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke. The other members are the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Owen Paterson; the Northern Ireland Minister of State, Hugo Swire; First Minister, Peter Robinson; Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness; the Northern Ireland Minister for Finance and Personnel, Sammy Wilson; and the Northern Ireland Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster. The group is expected to conclude its discussions by summer 2012.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will place in the Library of the House all exchanges they have had with the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission concerning its business plan for 2011-12.[HL14508]
Lord Shutt of Greetland: One piece of correspondence concerning the NIHRC business plan for 2011-12 will be placed in the Library of the House: the letter dated 18 May 2011 from the NIO to NIHRC Director. The noble Lord may wish to note that the Commission's business plan for 2011-12 and strategic plan for 2011-2013 was placed in the Library of the House on 7 June 2011.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the rejection by the European institutions of over 95 per cent of health claims submitted for approval in accordance with the provisions of the Nutrition and Health Claims (England) Regulations 2007 is consistent with the conclusion of the regulatory impact assessment of the regulations that "most claims are expected to be authorised under the Article 13 process" and that "the Commission and European industry representatives foresee most claims on the market as eligible for this list".[HL14371]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The conclusions drawn in the 2007 regulatory impact assessment were informed by data from the United Kingdom food industry. So far around 20 per cent of article 13 health claims have received a positive opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), but many claims are pending further consideration (e.g. probiotics and botanicals) and so the final number of claims to be authorised is unknown. EFSA has undertaken rigorous scientific assessments of the highest possible standards in accordance with the requirements of the European Community regulation on nutrition and health claims.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what advice they give to British companies requesting guidance to ensure that they are in compliance with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's due diligence standards.[HL14258]
To ask Her Majesty's Government, with regard to the United Kingdom's obligations and commitments under United Nations Security Council resolutions and to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to ensure that British companies within their jurisdiction implement the OECD's due diligence guidance, what steps they have taken to monitor and report on due diligence by such companies making purchases from or doing business in conflict-affected and high-risk areas. [HL14259]
To ask Her Majesty's Government which British companies are operating in conflict-affected or high-risk areas including the Democratic Republic of Congo; and what actions they are taking to ensure that Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development due diligence standards are being met by these companies.[HL14260]
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint): The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines for multinational enterprises provide voluntary principles and standards that the UK Government encourage UK businesses to comply with wherever they are trading and operating. This includes OECD due diligence guidance for responsible supply chains of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.
Awareness-raising initiatives, staff training and guidance literature are used to highlight this guidance to businesses. However, government staff in-market are not qualified or resourced to carry out due diligence services on behalf of businesses; it is for those businesses to understand the guidelines and to ensure they operate in accordance with them, undertaking due diligence checks as required. Accordingly, if a business requests due diligence services it will be sign-posted to suitably qualified local legal firms. No records are kept on compliance with these guidelines, as compliance should be a matter for the local administration.
The Export Control Organisation (ECO) provides advisory services in a number of areas. ECO is responsible for legislating, assessing and issuing export licences for controlled goods such as certain military and dual use goods, software and technology. The ECO operates an End-User Advice Service that enables exporters to request advice on whether ECO has weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or military end-use concerns related to the organisations or individuals they propose to ship goods to.
The UK Government are committed to securing a transparent and well-managed business environment for British companies overseas, including in regions of weak governance. Revenue generated by the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remains a source of finance for armed groups and is a significant contributing factor to conflict. The UK, alongside other international partners, is working to ensure that the DRC's mineral wealth is under legitimate authority, as a source of revenue for the state and the local population, and to cut-off financial support to armed groups.
The FCO publishes information on its website about the various laws and mechanisms that may apply to businesses trading in conflict minerals, along with advice on where to obtain further information. The Government strongly urge all such businesses to seek independent legal advice and develop their due diligence accordingly.
Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Government have made no estimate of the costs of the firework displays in London planned for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Such displays will be the responsibility of either the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) or the Greater London Authority.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, in relation to their policies seeking to sustain shopping in town centres, they have made any representations to South Somerset District Council concerning the advantages or disadvantages of introducing on-street parking charges in its market towns.[HL14460]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): There have been no specific discussions with South Somerset District Council about on-street parking charges.
This Government have already taken steps to support local high streets. Our plans for the local retention of business rates will mean that councils have a direct financial incentive in supporting business and retail growth in town centres.
The draft national planning policy framework follows through on these changes by removing restrictions which impose maximum numbers of parking spaces in new non residential developments. This will relieve pressure on on-street parking.
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