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Written Answers

Thursday 3 July 2014

Accommodation Agencies


Asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will identify the redress schemes approved to accept complaints against letting agents, under the Redress Schemes for Letting Agency Work and Property Management Work (Approval and Designation of Schemes) (England) Order 2013; and what were their reasons for the selection of such schemes. [HL716]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): In April 2014 the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government approved 3 redress schemes, these are: The Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services Property and The Property Redress Scheme. The schemes were selected as they have met all the conditions for approval including demonstrating that they are independent, fair, effective, transparent and accountable.

Detention Centres


Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they gave to (1) the death of detainee Christine Case, and (2) allegations of sexual assault, at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre in permitting Serco to retender to run that facility; and whether they will disclose the tender documents submitted by all applicants who entered bids to run (1) Harmondsworth, and (2) Colnbrook, Immigration Removal Centres.[HL235]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): I apologise it has not been possible to answer this question within the usual ten day deadline. I will write to the Noble Lord, Lord Roberts of Llandudno, before the summer recess and will place a copy of that letter in the House library.

Former Prime Ministers: Allowances


Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 18 June (WA 63), 14 May (WA 512), 6 May (WA 359), 7 April (WA 234) and 20 March (WA 52), on what each former Prime Minister, in each year that the Public Duty Costs Allowance was awarded to them, spent their allowances, in terms of comprehensive, unambiguous and catalogued expenses.[HL480]

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Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): The Public Duty Costs Allowance is to reimburse former Prime Ministers of necessary office and secretariat costs.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, further details are not normally disclosed.

Free Schools


Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total budget each year for free schools in academic years 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, and so far in 2013–14; what plans, if any, they have to alter that budget; and, if so, where in the country the highest increases or decreases will occur.[HL565]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Capital and revenue spending in 2010-13 are published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/dfe-annual-reports. The Department for Education is preparing the 2013-14 annual report and accounts, which will be laid before Parliament at the end of this calendar year before being published.

We have no current plans to amend the budget in future years.

Higher Education: Appeals


Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to establish a nationwide appeals system for higher education students in the United Kingdom who wish to appeal on the basis of awarded grades or complain about alleged unfair treatment by university staff.[HL567]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): The Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA) operates a national complaints handling scheme for England and Wales, under provisions in the 2004 Higher Education Act. The OIA can review complaints made by students against Higher Education Institutions if they remain unresolved, once a student has completed the institution’s own complaints procedures. This may include, for example, complaints from students about unfair treatment by university staff. The service is free of charge to students.

Separate arrangements are in place in Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are, however, some complaints that OIA cannot consider. These relate to concerns about admission to a university and to academic judgement. In the latter case, OIA can look at whether an institution has followed its rules and regulations in making an award to a student.

Horse Racing: Betting


Asked by Lord Lipsey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government on what grounds they consider that the Horseracing Betting Levy is compatible with articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.[HL612]

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Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): The Horserace Betting Levy is an existing state aid which predates the UK’s accession to the EU. It is on that ground that the Government considers the Levy to be compatible with the UK’s obligations under European Union law and state aid rules.



Asked by Lord Ashcroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 30 June 2014 (WA 218), whether civilian awards, not for gallantry, can be awarded posthumously. [HL800]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): Honours made in the Orders of Knighthood may not be awarded posthumously.

Mortgages: Government Assistance


Asked by The Earl of Courtown

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people have bought a house with the assistance of the Help to Buy scheme.[HL559]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): This Government is committed to supporting people’s aspirations to own their own home. That is why we have introduced schemes like Help to Buy: Equity Loan, Help to Buy: Newbuy and Help to Buy: Mortgage Guarantee. The latest figures show that so far 35,317 families have bought a house with the assistance of the Help to Buy schemes.

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NHS: Expenditure


Asked by Lord Christopher

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the annual cost of the National Health Service.[HL484]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the sources of National Health Service revenue; and in the last financial year how much was contributed by each.[HL485]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Total spending on the National Health Service in England (against the Department’s Departmental Expenditure Limit) was around £105.2 billion in 2012-13. 2013-14 accounts figures will be available later this year.

Through the Department, the NHS is funded predominantly through general taxation.

NHS providers of health care - NHS trusts and foundation trusts (FTs) - are semi-autonomous organisations whose income derives predominantly from the provision of healthcare services.

NHS trusts and FTs also receive smaller levels of income from other sources, such as local authorities, private and overseas patients, education and training and injury costs recovery.

To illustrate the levels of income received from varying sources, the following table summarises the final income received in NHS trusts and FTs in 2012-13.

NHS trusts £millionFTs £millionTotal £millionTotal %Provider Income as a % of Total DEL

Revenue from Patient Care activities -







Local authorities






Private patients






Overseas patients






Injury costs recovery












Other Non Trading Income

Education, training and research






Non-patient care services to other bodies






Charitable Contributions




















1. “Other” category includes income from subleasing property, bank interest and other small amounts from patients including transport services, parking income, etc.

2. Patient income from prescription, ophthalmic and dental charges are routed through primary care trusts (NHS England in 2013-14) and not included in the numbers reported in this table.

NHS: Staff


Asked by The Earl of Courtown

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many non-clinical or managerial staff were working in the National Health Service on (1) 1 April 2010, and (2) 1 April 2014.[HL633]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): In the provisional monthly National Health Service hospital and community health service (HCHS) workforce statistics, published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre, the category of NHS Infrastructure Support Staff records the numbers of non-clinical staff working in the NHS in England. This includes administrative and clerical staff working in central functions; hotel, property and estates; as well as managers and senior managers.

The numbers of NHS Infrastructure Support staff as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2014 are shown in the following table. The statistics for March 2014 are the latest available and therefore March 2010 data is also used to ease comparability. The April 2014 statistics will be published on 22 July 2014.

NHS hospital and community health services provisional monthly statistics: NHS Infrastructure Support staff in England by main staff group as at 31 March 2010 and 31 March 2014
Full-time equivalent
Mar-10Mar-14Change Mar 10 - Mar 14% Change Mar 10 - Mar 14

NHS infrastructure support





Central functions





Hotel, property & estates





Managers & senior managers







March 2014 is the most recent available data.

Full time equivalent figures are rounded to the nearest whole number.

These statistics relate to the contracted positions within English NHS organisations and may include those where the person assigned to the position is temporarily absent, for example on maternity leave.


:Health and Social Care Information Centre Provisional Monthly Workforce Statistics

Sri Lanka


Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what funding they are providing to Sri Lanka in 2014 and what funding they will provide in the next five years; and from which sources.[HL477]

Baroness Northover (LD): DFID does not have a bilateral aid programme to Sri Lanka. In 2012 the UK spent just over £5 million for activities in Sri Lanka. This included work on demining, police training, language rights, and human rights; and was allocated mostly

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through the Foreign Office, central departments in the Department for International Development, and the Conflict Pool. Information on allocations for work in Sri Lanka for the next 5 years is not available.

Vocational Training


Asked by Lord Smith of Clifton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government (1) what is the latest estimate of employer spending on training in England, and (2) how much employers spent on (a) trainee wages in general, and (b) apprenticeships in particular, in each of the last five years.[HL526]

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): Estimates of employer spend on training and apprenticeship wages are in the public domain and can be accessed via the following links:

Employer Skills Survey 2013, UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES ) Jan 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/304403/ukcess2013_england_ slide_pack.pdf

Apprenticeship Pay Survey 2012, BIS Oct 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-pay-survey-2012

World War II: Anniversaries


Asked by Baroness Taylor of Bolton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to recognise women who worked in munitions factories during the Second World War as part of the 70th anniversary commemorations marking the end of conflict.[HL304]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): The Government fully appreciates the efforts and the often very dangerous conditions experienced by those who worked in factories producing vital equipment for the armed forces that helped contribute to winning the Second World War. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has been working with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Recognition for Munitions Workers, which was set up in 2011 to explore ways to ensure that the valiant collective efforts of all those who worked in munitions factories are not forgotten.

Following the very successful commemorations to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day we will now be focussing in more detail across government on how the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 2015 might be marked in an appropriate manner. No decisions have yet been made on how the anniversary will be marked, but we expect an announcement on the commemorations to be made by the Government later in the year.