22 Jan 2013 : Column WA189

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Written Answers

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Autumn Statement

Question

Asked by Lord Barnett

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much of the £5.5 billion of additional capital spending in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Pre-Budget Statement has been spent.[HL4456]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): The majority of the £5.5 billion of additional capital committed at the Autumn Statement was allocated for 2013-14 and 2014-15. £70 million was allocated to the capital package for the current financial year. Details of the capital spending package can be found in table 2.7 of the Autumn Statement document1. The Treasury does not hold data on how much of this £70 million has been spent in these specific areas to date.

Further information about the progress in infrastructure delivery can be found in the update to the National Infrastructure Plan2, which was published alongside the Autumn Statement.

1

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/autumn_statement_2012_ complete.pdf2

2

http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.ukiinfrastructuredelivery_update.pdf

Banking: LIBOR

Question

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether discussions have taken place regarding the manipulation of LIBOR rates with the United States authorities through official or diplomatic channels other than directly between the Financial Services Authority and United States regulators.[HL4552]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of authorities as part of the process of policy development and delivery. The Government do not provide details of all such meetings and discussions.

Banks: Metro Bank

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the appointment of Mr Vernon Hill as chairman of Metro Bank has received Financial Services Authority (FSA) approval; whether the FSA has previously rejected or discouraged the appointment of Mr Hill to that position; and if so, what were the reasons for doing so.[HL4373]

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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): This issue is a matter for the Financial Services Authority (FSA). This question has been passed on to the FSA, which will reply directly by letter. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have investigated, or have any plans to investigate, loans and transactions between Metro Bank and its directors and their associates.[HL4374]

Lord Deighton: This is a matter for the Financial Services Authority (FSA), whose day-to-day operations are independent from government control and influence. This question has been passed on to the FSA, which will reply directly by letter. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Benefits

Questions

Asked by Baroness Lister of Burtersett

To ask Her Majesty’s Government (1) how many, and (2) what proportion, of people in households where one partner earns above £50,000 a year have opted to cease receiving child benefit from 7 January; and what assumption they have made about the proportion of such households who will opt to cease receiving child benefit from that date.[HL4403]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): Approximately 270,000 individuals had elected to stop payment of child benefit by 7 January 2013, when the high income child benefit charge (HICBC) came into effect.

Approximately 25% of those affected by the high income child benefit charge have elected to cease payment.

HM Revenue and Customs made an initial assumption that around 10% of those affected by the HICBC would elect to cease receiving payment.

Asked by Baroness Lister of Burtersett

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate as to what the weekly rate of child benefit would have been in (1) 2011, and (2) 2012, and would be in 2013, had it risen in line with (a) the Retail Prices Index, and (b) the Consumer Prices Index, in each of those years.[HL4404]

Lord Newby: The table below details the weekly child benefit rates if rates had been increased by (a) RPI and (b) CPI in 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14.

Increase by RPIIncrease by CPI
First ChildSubsequent ChildFirst ChildSubsequent Child

2011-12

£21.25

£14.00

£20.95

£13.80

2012-13

£22.45

£14.80

£22.05

£14.50

2013-14

£23.05

£15.20

£22.55

£14.80

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA191

Asked by Baroness Lister of Burtersett

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of average gross earnings unemployment benefit or jobseeker’s allowance represented in (1) 1988–89, (2) 1998–99, and (3) 2008–09; and what it is forecast to be in 2012–13.[HL4405]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The information requested for average gross earnings for unemployment benefit and jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) is available from the Annual Abstract of Statistics for Benefits, National Insurance Contributions, and Indices of Prices and Earnings’ can be found at: http://statistics. dwp.qov.uk/asd/asd1/abstract/abstract2011.pdf.

For April 2012 the data are:

Rate of JSA £pwAverage Earnings (ASHE)

April 2012

71.00

607.1

Benefits: Over 60s Concessions

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much would be saved by withdrawing (1) winter fuel allowance, (2) free travel passes, and (3) free television licences, from all those higher and top-rate taxpayers who are currently eligible.[HL4419]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): The table below provides estimates of the expenditure associated with various forms of support for older people.

The estimates are based on Department for Work and Pensions expenditure forecasts, combined with information on the tax paid by older people from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Survey of Personal Incomes and information on the overall numbers of pensioners from the Office for National Statistics population projections.

Support for older people, £millions (cash)
2012-132013-142014-152015-162016-17

(1) Winter Fuel Payments for higher and additional rate taxpayers

90

100

100

110

110

(3) TV licences for higher and additional rate taxpayers

20

20

20

20

30

The Department for Transport does not hold the required information to present the savings that would result from withdrawing eligibility for a free travel pass from all those higher and top-rate taxpayers who are currently eligible.

Local authorities must reimburse bus operators so that the operator is left no better and no worse off for taking part in the concessionary travel scheme. The calculation of the reimbursement amount due does not consider the household income of each concessionary

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passholder who boards a bus. It is, therefore, not possible to breakdown spend on concessionary travel into those who pay different income tax rates. In 2011-12 the average reimbursement cost per concessionary journey was 84p.

Building Regulations: Electrical Safety

Question

Asked by Lord Harrison

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the remit of the challenge panel on house-building with regard to simplifying the building regulations, particularly with regard to electrical safety.[HL4596]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The review to rationalise the framework of building regulations, standards and guidance, to which the challenge panel is contributing, is designed to remove unnecessary cost and complexity from the house-building process. The review will not compromise essential safety and accessibility protections.

The terms of reference for the review are available in this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/independent -panel-to-help-government-cut-housebuilding-red-tape-and-boost-growth.

Courts: Closures

Questions

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have reviewed the outcome of recent magistrates’ court and county court closures, with particular reference to the impact in each category on the attendance of parties and witnesses and on the need to adjourn cases.[HL4546]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): In December 2010 Ministers announced the decision to close 142 courts; 93 magistrates’ courts and 49 county courts. This followed a full 12-week public consultation from June 2010 until September 2010.

To date 130 courts have closed: 84 magistrates’ courts and 46 county courts. The remaining 12 will all be close by September 2014. The total cumulative gross benefits are expected to be £99.2 million over the SR10 period, consisting of resource savings from court closures of £60.6 million and gross capital proceeds of £38.6 million from the sale of buildings.

From April 2011 to March 2012, 17.5% of magistrates’ court trials were ineffective, of which 6.1% relate to non-attendance of parties. From April 2012 to September 2012, 16.8% of magistrates’ court trials were ineffective, of which 5.8% relate to the non-attendance of parties.

HMCTS does not collect statistics on the non-attendance of parties in county court cases.

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Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what current proposals they have for further closures of magistrates’ courts; and what responses have been received by the Ministry of Justice or HM Courts and Tribunals Service on any such proposals.[HL4547]

Lord McNally: HM Courts and Tribunals Service continues to keep the use of its estate under review to ensure it meets operational requirements. Any new proposals to close courts or tribunals beyond those already announced will be subject to consultation.

Crime: Torture

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many convictions for the crime of torture committed (1) in the United Kingdom, and (2) elsewhere, have been obtained in United Kingdom courts; what amount of compensation was awarded to victims of torture; and what proportion of that amount has so far been paid.[HL4427]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Information held centrally by the Ministry of Justice on the Court Proceedings Database does not contain any record of a conviction for the crime of torture in any court in England and Wales. Information from the Crown Prosecution Service shows that one individual has been convicted of “conspiracy to commit torture” outside the UK.

HMCTS systems do not identify how much has been imposed or collected for specific offences and this information could only be provided at disproportionate cost as it would require a manual search of all financial penalty accounts.

Data for Scotland and Northern Ireland are matter-, for the Scottish Government and the Department of Justice Northern Ireland.

Cyprus

Questions

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Warsi on 13 November 2012 (WA 274) and 6 December 2012 (WA 173–4) and Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 29 November 2012 (WA 74), whether their refusal to conduct an independent assessment of United Nations policy towards Cyprus is consistent with their statement that the United Kingdom plays an “active role” in reviewing the effectiveness of all current operations mandated by the Security Council.[HL4521]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The Government do not consider that there is any inconsistency in the UK’s approach to UN policy towards Cyprus. As the Written Answers quoted set out, the UK will not make an independent

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA194

assessment of the effectiveness of the UN process—that is, the good offices mission—while the two Cypriot communities continue to support it. This is not at odds with UK policy, in its role as a permanent member of the Security Council, to play an active role in encouraging the UN to review the effectiveness and efficiency of all current peacekeeping operations mandated by the Security Council, including the UN peacekeeping operation in Cyprus.

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Baroness Warsi on 13 November 2012 (WA 274) and 6 December 2012 (WA 173–4) and Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 29 November 2012 (WA 74), to what extent they assess that both sides in the 38-year Cyprus talks process have been accorded equal status and legitimacy. [HL4522]

Baroness Warsi: The UK recognises the Republic of Cyprus. No state, other than Turkey, recognises the self-proclaimed quote unquote “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”. However, within the context of the settlement negotiations supported by the UN good offices mission, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities have equal status.

Embryology

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 8 January (WA 22-3), how the “Headline Success Rates per Cycle” published by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on its website under “choose a fertility clinic” reliably reflect (1) differences in the ovarian stimulation protocol (such as the identity and dosage of drugs used), (2) differences in the median, minimum and maximum number of eggs collected per treatment cycle, (3) differences in the median, minimum and maximum number of embryos transferred per cycle, (4) clinical factors affecting success (apart from age), and (5) the incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or any other complications to women.[HL4390]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 8 January (WA 22-3), what information the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) provides to prospective patients in choosing a clinic, apart from headline clinical pregnancy and live birth rate per cycle; whether the HFEA publishes complications and cost per treatment cycle per clinic; and how the HFEA ensures that their publication of success rates is not unfairly exploited by competing clinics. [HL4391]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA195

headline success rates published on the Choose a Fertility Clinic website are clearly defined on the website. The HFEA also advised that its analysis does not differentiate between cycles on the basis of the factors listed by the noble Lord in his question.

The HFEA has advised that the information that it provides prospective patients is shown on its website. This is designed to give patients information to enable them to decide on the best clinic for them, taking into account a number of factors including success rates. The HFEA does not publish information on complications. The HFEA is not an economic regulator and, accordingly, does not publish information on costs at a clinic level.

The HFEA has advised that the person responsible for each clinic is required to confirm in writing that the data to be published are correct. In addition, the HFEA examines the presentation of data on each clinic’s website at renewal inspection.

Employment: Night Shift Work

Question

Asked by Lord Lea of Crondall

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the number of people in the United Kingdom whose usual working hours are between midnight and 8.00am.[HL4479]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, Director General for ONS, to Lord Lea, dated January 2013.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for the estimate of the number of people in the United Kingdom whose usual working hours are between midnight and 8.00 am. (HL4479)

Estimates of people working specific hours are not available. However, the Labour Force Survey (LFS) provides estimates of people working particular shifts. Of the reported working patterns available the most appropriate for this question is night shift workers. Night shift workers are people working permanent night shifts, typically between the hours of 18:00 to 06:00, thus working past midnight into early morning. This does not include people who occasionally work night shifts.

For the period April-June 2012, which is the only quarter that asks this question annually, it is estimated that 361,000 people in the UK worked permanent night shifts.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. It is estimated that the true value is likely to lie between 326,000 and 397,000.

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Energy: Electricity

Question

Asked by Lord Donoughue

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the new licensing regime for bringing electricity from offshore wind farms on to the national grid will result in charges passed on to electricity suppliers being recouped from consumers; and, if so, what is their estimate of the cost to consumers.[HL4648]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma): The costs of all electricity networks, whether onshore or offshore, are borne in the first instance by generators and suppliers and, ultimately, by electricity bill payers. In 2012 offshore transmission accounted for less than £1 of the average household electricity bill, and we estimate it could account for about £6 in 2020 on the basis of the future offshore generation projections.

The interests of the consumer lie at the heart of the offshore transmission regime, which was specifically designed to introduce competition and drive down costs. Ofgem estimates these new competitive drivers could save electricity bill payers around £290 million on the first £1.1 billion of transmission assets.

Extradition

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government on how many occasions since June 2010 they have sanctioned the extradition of (1) a British, and (2) a non-British, national, charged with a capital offence to a country that still retains the death penalty; and what were the names of those extradited.[HL4520]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Since June 2010 there have been five individuals charged with a capital offence (murder) who have been extradited to a country or US state that still retains the death penalty. Of these five, two individuals were British Citizens and three were foreign nationals.

The five individuals are Ralston Wellington, Marcus Bebb-Jones, Janjira Smith, Joshua Edwards and Lee Aldhouse.

In accordance with Section 94 of the Extradition Act 2003, in each of these cases the Secretary of State obtained written assurances that the death penalty would not be imposed, or if imposed, not carried out.

The information for this answer applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland only. Scotland deals with its own extradition cases.

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA197

Food: Halloumi

Question

Asked by Lord Harrison

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of a new application to register halloumi as a protected designation of origin product under European Union law on relations between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.[HL4467]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): We understand that a group of Greek Cypriot producers of Halloumi have recently begun the application process to register Halloumi/Hellim as a protected designation of origin product under EU law. It is too early to assess at this stage the impact of the discussions and the final decision on relations between the Cypriot communities, but the UK has lobbied the Commission to ask it to ensure that its decision takes due account of inter-community relations.

Gibraltar

Questions

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have received any representations from the Government of Spain regarding the suspension of the application to Gibraltar Airport of forthcoming European Union aviation measures, in particular in relation to the obligations and commitments entered into by the Government of Spain in the Cordoba agreement of 2006 that from 18 September 2006 Spain would “cease to seek suspension of Gibraltar airport from any EU aviation measure not yet adopted”.[HL4535]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The UK has received representations from the Government of Spain in relation to EU aviation measures. We have also raised this issue bilaterally with the Government of Spain at a high level. The Government recognise the importance of ensuring that Gibraltar is included in all EU aviation legislation. We will continue to do all we can to hold Spain to its commitments under the Cordoba agreement, working closely with the Government of Gibraltar.

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the costs to the United Kingdom, under the United Kingdom obligations and commitments under the Cordoba agreement of 2006, of pension payments to Spanish citizens who had worked in Gibraltar. [HL4536]

Baroness Warsi: Under the Cordoba agreement the UK has made payments totalling £63,607,954.35 between April 2007 and December 2012. During this period pensioner numbers have fallen from 5,175 to 3,592. The figure covers both quarterly pension payments and one-off lump-sum payments that were made to

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA198

Spanish citizens in connection with their withdrawal from the Gibraltar social insurance fund. The one-off payments made in April 2007 and April 2008 totalled approximately £24 million.

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the cost to the Government of Gibraltar under the Cordoba agreement of 2006 in respect of airport reconstruction.[HL4537]

Baroness Warsi: The cost of works undertaken by the Government of Gibraltar to implement Gibraltar’s commitments under the Cordoba agreement are a matter for the Government of Gibraltar, which are responsible for their own financial affairs under Gibraltar’s 2006 constitution.

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have discussed European Union aviation measures and their application to Gibraltar Airport with the Government of Spain and the Spanish ambassador to the United Kingdom; if so, when was the most recent discussion; and what was the outcome. [HL4538]

Baroness Warsi: The Minister for Europe, my right honourable friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington), raised this issue with the Government of Spain at a high level on 27 October 2012. We continue to urge the Spanish Government to comply with Spain’s commitments under the 2006 Cordoba agreement as part of regular diplomatic engagement.

Government Departments: Archives

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many files dating from and before 1982 are still to be reviewed and transferred by the Northern Ireland Office to the National Archives at Kew; what are the reasons for any file transfer backlog; and when any backlog will be resolved.[HL4483]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson): The Northern Ireland Office has no pre-1982 files awaiting review; all have been transferred to the National Archives (TNA). The 1982 files have been reviewed and are awaiting collection by TNA.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether HM Courts and Tribunals Service has a business plan. [HL4550]

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA199

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): HM Courts and Tribunals Service has an annual business plan focusing on the agency’s business priorities for the financial year 2012-13. Our annual priorities are informed by our four-year plan covering the 2010 Spending Review period. Both of these documents have been published online at: http://www. justice.gov.uk/publications/corporate-reports/hmcts.

Housing

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much affordable housing is included in the Section 106 agreement covering the planning application for the Circus West development in Battersea, London. [HL4578]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Whilst the Section 106 agreement is a matter between the local planning authority and the developer, it is understood in this case the affordable housing requirement is set at 15%. This information is publicly available and has been obtained from the decision notice referenced 2009/3575 (dated 23 August 2011).

Human Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many findings of breaches of Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights have been made so far by the European Court of Human Rights (1) for such crimes within Council of Europe states, and (2) elsewhere; what amount of compensation the court awarded to victims; and what proportion of that amount has so far been paid.[HL4428]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): Information from the European Court of Human Right’s website indicates the court has delivered 1,163 judgments finding violation of Article 3.

It would not be possible to determine whether these violations took place within Council of Europe states or elsewhere without examining each of the judgments. This could only be done at disproportionate cost.

It would also be necessary to examine each judgment to establish what amount of compensation had been awarded to the applicant in each case and again this could only be done at disproportionate cost.

The Government do not hold information on the proportion of the compensation that has been paid so far in the 1,163 judgments. Supervision of the execution of judgments, including the payment of any compensation awarded by the court, is the responsibility of the Committee of Ministers. The Committee of Ministers publishes information on the state of execution of the judgments under its supervision on its website. It

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA200

would be possible to check whether that information indicated compensation had been paid in each case. However, this could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Justice: Sentencing

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have examined whether there is a difference in sentencing patterns between lay justices and district judges; and, if so, what were their findings.[HL4548]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): In February 2012, the Ministry of Justice published research which assessed the strengths and skills of magistrates and district judges, to inform better deployment of the judiciary in magistrates’ courts.

The research can be found here: http://www.justice. gov.uk/publications/research-and-analysis/moj/2011/strengths-skills judiciary.

The research findings suggested some differences in the sentencing patterns between magistrates and district judges. In particular, there was evidence to suggest that district judges were more likely to impose custodial sentences, disqualify defendants from driving or remand the defendant on-either conditional or unconditional bail.

Marriage: Same-sex Civil Marriage

Question

Asked by Lord Higgins

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether it is their intention that same-sex marriages should replace same-sex civil partnerships or be an alternative to them.[HL4278]

Baroness Stowell of Beeston: We have no intention of changing the civil partnership regime. The Government have been clear that their priority is to enable same-sex couples to marry. We will be offering a mechanism for those in a civil partnership to convert their civil partnership into a marriage. However, we recognise that not all couples in civil partnerships will wish to do this.

Mexico: Money Laundering

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Government of Mexico has provided them with an estimate of the number of Mexican citizens who lost their lives as a result of HSBC facilitating money laundering for drug dealers and other criminal elements between 2006 and 2010.[HL4432]

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA201

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): Her Majesty’s Government are unaware of any such estimate having been provided by the Government of Mexico.

NHS: Death at Home

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what changes to primary or secondary legislation would be required to provide citizens with a statutory right to die at home within the care of the National Health Service.[HL4416]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government believe that, where possible, people should be given the opportunity to die in a place of their choice. We have therefore committed to moving towards a national choice offer to support people’s preferences about where they are cared for at the end of life including dying at home, or in a care home. We plan to undertake an evaluation of the progress of implementation of the end of life care strategy during 2013 to inform us when the introduction of such a choice offer might be feasible. From there we will able to assess what, if any, legislation might be needed.

NHS: Liverpool Care Pathway

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 8 January (WA 70), whether there are any circumstances in which the healthcare team are not obliged to respect the choice of an individual who does not wish to have the Liverpool Care Pathway used.[HL4452]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): As the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is not a treatment but a framework for managing treatment, the issue of formal consent does not arise. However, the LCP itself is extremely clear about the importance of communication with patients and families. If, in discussions, it becomes apparent someone did not wish the LCP to be used in their case, as a matter of good practice health professionals would not do so. Refusal rules for consent to treatment apply regardless of whether or not care is being managed on the LCP.

Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Randerson on 19 December 2012 (WA 320), who assesses whether the chief commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA202

Rights Commission works such hours as are reasonably necessary to fulfil his role within the requirement of his terms and conditions of appointment; and whether they would expect that the amount of remuneration received for all other work undertaken by him during his term of office is included on the commission’s register of interests. [HL4610]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Wales Office (Baroness Randerson): The noble Lord will be aware of the circumstances surrounding this appointment and that the chief commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission was appointed on terms and conditions approved by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. The chief commissioner does not have conditioned hours of work; however, he is required to work such hours as are reasonably necessary to fulfil the duties outlined in his terms and conditions of appointment, his statutory functions as defined in the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and his duties as a commissioner as set out in the commission’s code of governance. Maintaining the register of interests is a matter for the commission and the noble Lord may wish to write directly.

Questions for Written Answer

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Hanham on 28 November 2012 (WA 68), why the Department for Communities and Local Government was unable to provide data on the date each unanswered question on 11 October 2012 was (1) sent by the parliamentary branch to the policy official, (2) returned by the policy official to the parliamentary branch, (3) sent by the parliamentary branch to the policy Minister, (4) approved by the policy Minister, and (5) sent to the Lords Minister for signature; in each case who the policy Minister was; and whether they will now answer the unanswered parts of the question. [HL4420]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): In line with established practice, details of the internal process of advice to Ministers, and Ministers’ consideration of that advice, are not normally disclosed.

Shipping: General Lighthouse Authorities

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what funding was contributed by the Ministry of Defence to the Research and Radionavigation Directorate of the General Lighthouse Authorities in (1) 2010, (2) 2011, and (3) 2012; and what funding it will contribute in 2013.[HL4383]

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA203

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): No funding has been made centrally by the Ministry of Defence, or by the department’s trading funds, to the Research and Radionavigation Directorate of the Central Lighthouse Authorities in 2010, 2011 or 2012. There are no plans to provide funding in 2013.

Social Fund Budgeting Loans

Question

Asked by Baroness Lister of Burtersett

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the average social fund budgeting loan paid in the last financial year to (1) childless single people, (2) childless couples, and (3) lone parents and couples with children.[HL4679]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Table 1 shows the average Social Fund Budgeting Loan awards paid to (1) single people without children, (2) couples without children, and (3) lone parents and couples with children during the 2011-12 financial year.

Table 1: Average Budgeting Loan Awards in 2011-12 by family circumstance
Average Budgeting Loan Award

Single people without children

£281

Couples without children

£362

Lone parents and couples with children

£486

Notes:

1. The information provided is Management Information. Our preference is to answer all Parliamentary Questions using Official/National Statistics, but in this case we only have Management Information available. It is not quality assured to the same extent as Official/National statistics and there are some issues with the data: for example, these amounts do not include expenditure on applications which were processed clerically and have not yet been entered on to the Social Fund Computer System.

2. In particular, this information has been taken from a scan of the computer system used to administer Budgeting Loans. There may be instances of the partner or child information differing between the date the scan was taken and the time the claim was made, due to either changes in circumstances or the information being mis-recorded on the system in a small number of cases.

3. Budgeting Loan applications are made by and awarded to individual claimants. Couples in the above table have been identified as awards made to an individual who was recorded as having a partner on our systems.

Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013

Question

Asked by Baroness Campbell of Surbiton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will place in the Library of the House the papers relating to the decision to reduce from 50 to 20 metres the threshold which will determine the number of points allocated to the moving around descriptor in the draft Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013.[HL4385]

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA204

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The changes we have made to the moving around activity in the personal independence payment assessment are a direct result of the consultations we carried out and the concerns people raised about the previous activity being unclear.

Within this activity we have always intended to differentiate within the group of people who can move less than 50 metres, ensuring that support is focused on those whose mobility is most limited.

Our previous approach was to differentiate by the types of aids and appliances an individual used. In the final version we have differentiated by distance, which we feel is clearer. We have not tightened the activity, and the policy intent remains the same. Our analysis shows that the number of individuals who are likely to score 12 points in this activity will remain broadly the same after this change.

The government response to the consultation on the PIP assessment criteria was published on 13 December 2012 and is in the House Library.

Taxation: Corporation Tax

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether banks will be required to resubmit corporation tax returns with adjustments for the effects on profits of the manipulation of LIBOR; and whether they intend to estimate the amount of tax that will be payable. [HL4433]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): The Government do not comment on the tax affairs of specific companies.

Guidance for amending company tax returns is set out on the HM Revenue and Customs website1

1

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ct/managing/company-tax-retum/ amend.htm#2

Ukraine

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the rise of the Svoboda party in Ukraine; and what representations they have made to the Government of Ukraine about anti-Semitism and the constitutional rights of the Jewish citizens of Ukraine.[HL4386]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): Our embassy in Kyiv continues to monitor closely the political situation in Kyiv, including the results of the recent parliamentary elections in which the Svoboda party secured more than 10% of the votes. During the build up to the elections our embassy met leaders of the main opposition parties.

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA205

Our embassy regularly raises our concerns about human rights in Ukraine, including all forms of discrimination, with senior Ukrainian officials, and has done this recently with the Ukrainian President and the parliamentary commissioner for human rights. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), and the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my

22 Jan 2013 : Column WA206

right honourable friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington) also raise our concerns in meetings with Ukrainian Ministers; Mr Lidington, as Minister for Europe, did so when he met the previous Foreign Minister in July 2012. Through publication of the report,

Third Joint Report of the Joint Committee on the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda. Implementation of the Association Agenda

, the EU has raised the need for further steps to respect human rights.