some default text...

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA239

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA239

Written Answers

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Alcoholic Drinks: Children

Questions

Asked by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remarks by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 20 November (HL Deb, col GC 231), which and how many businesses lobbied them to repeal restrictions on the sale of liqueur confectionary to children under the age of 16, and when such discussions took place.[HL3068]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The Government was not lobbied for the repeal of age-restricted sales of liqueur confectionery to children. The proposal to repeal the offence of selling liqueur confectionery to those under 16 years of age was developed following the Red Tape Challenge consultation which was led jointly by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office. A simplification of age-restricted sales was identified as a strong theme amongst responses, however no responses specifically asked for this repeal. This repeal was developed as one of a number of proposals in the Deregulation Bill aimed at simplifying legislation related to age-restricted sales.

Asked by Lord Brooke of Alverthorpe

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the arguments advanced by industry interests for the repeal of restrictions on the sale of liqueur confectionary to children under the age of 16; and what benefits they foresee will accrue for children from taking such actions.[HL3069]

Lord Bates: The proposal to repeal the offence of selling liqueur confectionery to those under the age of 16 was developed following the Government’s consultation on the Red Tape Challenge.

Under the ‘Dangerous and restricted goods’ strand of the Retail Theme respondents were asked to comment on possible areas of deregulation in 24 separate acts, of which the Licensing Act 2003 was one. The desire for a simplification of age restricted sales was identified as a strong theme amongst responses, though the proposal to deregulate the sale of liqueur confectionery was not specifically referenced in the consultation. Retailers currently have to comply with a variety of regulations across a range of age-restricted products, and this proposal is one of a number of proposals in the Deregulation Bill aimed at simplifying legislation related to age-restricted sales.

The purpose of this repeal is to remove unnecessary burdens from businesses. There is no evidence to suggest that children consume liqueur confectionery for the purposes of intoxication and we do not expect this to change as a result of this repeal.

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA240

Children in Care: Travellers

Question

Asked by Baroness Whitaker

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps those responsible for Gypsy, Traveller or Roma children in care take to keep those children in touch with their culture and their community.[HL3195]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Local authorities must draw up a care plan for the children they look after.

The plan sets out how their needs will be met, including how they will maintain family and social relationships (where this is consistent with their welfare) and develop their sense of racial and cultural identity. Further details are set out in the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 and accompanying statutory guidance. [1]

[1]

www.gov.uk/government/publications/children-act-1989-care- planning-placement-and-case-review

Cyprus

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

To ask Her Majesty’s Government who carried out the annual wreath-laying at Wayne’s Keep on the Cyprus Green Line on Armistice Sunday this year; how many attended the event; whether there was any religious element to the event; and how many relatives were invited and attended.[HL3199]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The British High Commissioner laid a wreath on behalf of the British Government at the Armistice Sunday ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Wayne's Keep in Nicosia on 9 November 2014. Approximately 270 guests attended the service, which was led by three padres from the United Nations personnel based there. No relatives of the deceased were formally invited to the ceremony and we do not believe any attended the event.

Defence: Finance

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to ring-fence defence spending in future budget settlements.[HL2931]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Government has set departmental budgets for the remainder of this Parliament, however no departmental budgets are set beyond 2015-16. The Government is committed to ensuring we have properly funded Armed Forces. The UK continues to be the second biggest contributor to NATO, and is committed to growing the Defence equipment programme at 1 percent above inflation each year until 2020-21.

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA241

Electronic Surveillance

Question

Asked by Lord Strasburger

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which Acts of Parliament prohibit the use of international mobile subscriber identity catchers to monitor and jam mobile devices in a locality.[HL2680]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 makes it an offence for a person to interfere with wireless telegraphy or to use wireless telegraphy with intent to obtain information as to the contents, sender or addressee of a message of which neither he nor a person on whose behalf he is acting is an intended recipient. The lawfulness of any particular technology will depend on its nature and the context in which it is used.

Faith Schools

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to encourage local authorities to assess the teaching of religion in faith schools. [HL3225]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Local authorities and their Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) are responsible for drawing up locally agreed syllabuses which all non-faith-based maintained schools, and some voluntary controlled and faith designated foundation schools, must follow. These syllabuses should be broadly Christian whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain.

Faith schools may develop their own syllabuses according to their trust deeds and/or the tenets of their faith.

SACREs should monitor the provision and quality of RE taught according to the agreed syllabus, and provide advice and support on the effective teaching of RE in those schools.

SACREs can draw on resources produced by experts when carrying out their work. For example, the Religious Education Council produced a curriculum framework for religious education in 2013.

Genetics

Question

Asked by Lord Walton of Detchant

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, in view of developments in genomic medicine and the case for communicating accurately and sensitively the significance of genomic data to patients, they will reconsider the possibility of mandatory registration of genomic counsellors.[HL2910]

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA242

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Government has emphasised the importance of developing a well-trained National Health Service work force to benefit from the advances in genomic medicine. The education and training requirements of genetic counsellors and their regulatory arrangements are currently being considered as part of the Health Education England’s Genomics Programme. NHS England is focused on ensuring it fulfils its contribution to meeting the objectives of the 100,000 Genomes Project and the elements for which it is accountable. This includes establishing NHS Genomic Medicine Centres through a robust procurement process, as part of which all potential NHS Genomic Medicine Centres will be required to demonstrate what arrangements they will put in place to ensure validated findings are fed back to patients in an appropriate and timely manner.

Health Services: Overseas Aid

Question

Asked by Baroness Suttie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Northover on 21 October (HL2052), what proportion of spending on HIV, tuberculosis and malaria can be qualified as supporting research and development for new drugs, diagnostics and vaccines.[HL2979]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover) (LD): The estimated proportion of spend in the 2012/13 financial year, which is the most recent year for which we have figures, is:

Research as a % of bilateral plus Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria spend

Malaria

8%

TB

4%

HIV

3%

Health: Weather

Questions

Asked by Baroness Greengross

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions have taken place internally within the Department of Health regarding the impact of cold homes on the health of older people.[HL2921]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The impact of cold homes on the health of older people has been discussed internally within the Department (DH) during the development of policy initiatives to prevent major avoidable effects on health during periods of cold weather. These initiatives include The Cold Weather Plan for England, Keep Warm Keep Well leaflet and the Get Ready For Winter campaign hosted by the Met Office.

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA243

Further discussions were held at the Annual Cold Weather Plan seminarthis stakeholder event brings together colleagues from the DH, Local Government Association, NHS England, Public Health England, academia and the voluntary and community sector to discuss issues around the cold weather plan and how to best support local action. In addition, discussions were held at the Health officials working group – this is a regular meeting attended by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, DH and Public Health England. The aim of this group is to share information on cold weather, fuel poverty and health impacts with a view to ensure the fuel poverty strategy is aligned with health policy.

Asked by Baroness Greengross

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the financial impact on the National Health Service of poor health caused by cold homes.[HL2922]

Earl Howe: The annual cost to the National Health Service in England of cold housing is reported to be between £850 million1 and £1.36 billion2.This does not include additional spending by social services, or economic losses through absences from work. Total costs to the NHS and the country are unknown3.

The Cold Weather Plan for England 3 is a framework intended to protect the population from harm to health from cold weather, including vulnerable older people. It aims to prevent the major avoidable effects on health during periods of cold weather in England by alerting people to the negative health effects of cold weather, and enabling them to prepare and respond appropriately.

Help is available through Cold Weather Payments which provide more targeted support for vulnerable low-income groups. The Government has permanently increased Cold Weather Payments from £8.50 to £25 for the duration of this Parliament for each qualifying period of cold weather.

This winter over 2 million low income households, including over 1.4 million poorer pensioners, will receive a discount of £140 off their electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount scheme.

Winter Fuel Payments also provide assurance to older people, who may suffer the worst impacts of a progressive condition, so that they can keep warm during the winter months. In addition, around 482,000 low income and vulnerable homes have received energy efficiency measures under Energy Companies Obligation.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change have commissioned work that will allow them to model the potential cost-savings to health and social care services from energy efficiency measures and other interventions.

Notes:

1. Department of Health (2010) ‘Winter kills’, in 2009 Annual Report of the Chief Medical Officer

2. The Cost of Cold: Why we need to protect the health of older people in winter

3. Public Health England (2014) The Cold Weather Plan for England. Making the case: why long-term strategic planning for cold weather is essential to health and wellbeing

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA244

Hearing Aids: Staffordshire

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will advise the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to prioritise the Quality Standard on hearing loss (adult onset), in the light of proposals from North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to decommission hearing aids for patients with mild to moderate adult onset hearing loss. [HL3150]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Hearing loss (adult onset) is included as a topic in the library of quality standards referred to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in March 2012. NICE has also been asked to develop a clinical guideline on hearing loss that will provide the underpinning evidence base for the quality standard.

NHS England is now responsible for commissioning quality standards and clinical guidelines relating to NHS Services from NICE and is responsible for liaising with NICE about the prioritisation of topics relating to NHS services.

Homophobia: Crime

Question

Asked by Lord Black of Brentwood

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what has been the number of recorded homophobic crimes in each of the last five years in England and Wales. [HL3211]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): The Home Office does not hold information specifically on homophobic crimes but does hold information on the number of hate crimes based on sexual orientation – which may also include crimes against heterosexuals (and perceived heterosexuals).

In 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14 there were 4,364, 4,261 and 4,622 sexual orientation hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police) respectively. The Home Office only holds data for the last three years.

Hospital Beds

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made any assessment of the extent of bed blocking in the National Health Service, its impact on the ability of hospitals to make essential admissions and the appropriate initiatives necessary to enable the discharge of patients from hospital.[HL2974]

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA245

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The numbers of delayed transfers from hospital is closely monitored. The impact of delays on wider hospital performance is assessed by System Resilience Groups in each local area and used in the development of their plans. The initiatives necessary to enable timely discharge and reduce admissions are included in the Operational Resilience and Capacity Planning Guidance and in the conditions for the Better Care Fund. For example both require the National Health Service and local government to implement seven day working to facilitate timely discharge.

The Government has provided £700 million this year to help the NHS cope with winter pressures, which will provide more bed space and pay for additional clinical staff, as well as measures to prevent delayed discharges of patients. This means the NHS can better plan for seasonal peaks and troughs in demand whilst recognising the need to balance its books and put in place sustainable services that deliver for patients year round. The Government has created the Better Care Fund, now worth £5.3 billion, to promote integration across health and care. Better Care Fund plans will also contribute to reduced admissions and delayed discharge.

Housing Benefit (Habitual Residence) Amendment Regulations 2014

Question

Asked by Baroness Suttie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made following the conclusions of the Social Security Advisory Committee that the Housing Benefit (Habitual Residence) Amendment Regulations 2014 will lead to an increase in homelessness and rough sleeping.[HL3200]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The Committee suggests there is a direct link between the policy change and an increase in rough sleeping which we do not agree the evidence supports. The causes of rough sleeping are multiple and difficult to disentangle. The Government wishes to deter EEA migrants from coming to the UK if they do not have a firm offer of or realistic chance of securing work and those who come to the UK to look for work should ensure that they have sufficient resources to pay for their accommodation needs, as well as other support that they or their family may need while here.

Immigration: Poland

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 20 November (HL2693), whether the Department for Work and Pensions has made an assessment of the contribution of Polish immigrants to the United Kingdom. [HL3119]

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA246

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): DWP has made no such assessment, nor would it be within the remit of the Department to do so.

In Vitro Fertilisation

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 17 November (HL2643), whether the records held by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on foetal reductions carried out in the first trimester and early in the second trimester following in vitro fertilisation or donor insemination indicate that it has any significant impact on “the single biggest risk to the health and welfare of children born following fertility treatment”; if so, what is the effect and how it is represented numerically; and to what extent the recommendation that prevention of multiple pregnancies through single embryo transfer should be preferred to multi-foetal pregnancy reduction reflects a lack of efficacy of foetal reductions in reducing risks or emotional trauma associated with such a procedure.[HL2905]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has advised that it has not undertaken such an analysis but that it plans to do so.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 17 November (HL2642), whether they consider that any of the mitochondrial diseases listed in Annex D of the “Mitochondrial Donation” consultation document could ever arise from a nuclear gene defect; and if so, what is their assessment of the frequency with which it occurs and how that has been reflected when discussing mitochondrial diseases that may be candidates for pronuclear transfer or spindle-chromosomal complex transfer.[HL2906]

Earl Howe: As stated in my Written Answer of 17 November 2014 (Official Report, col. WA59) the mitochondrial diseases listed in Annex D of the mitochondrial donation consultation document are diseases caused by an inherited mutation in mitochondrial DNA. As such, none of these diseases are caused by a nuclear gene defect. Mitochondrial disorders caused by a nuclear gene defect are distinct from those listed in Annex D.

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many nurses the James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has employed in each of the last five years.[HL3095]

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA247

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The information requested is shown in the following table.

National Health Service Hospital and Community Health Services: qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff in James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as at 30 September for each specified year (full-time equivalent)
20092010201120122013

734

741

742

741

756

Source:

Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) Non-Medical Workforce Census.

Notes:

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

2. These statistics relate to 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.

3. From 2011 the bank staff return was suspended (and formally ceased in 2013). All data (for all years) in this table exclude bank staff.

4. Data Quality: HSCIC seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data but responsibility for data accuracy lies with the organisations providing the data. Methods are continually being updated to improve data quality where changes impact on figures already published. This is assessed but unless it is significant at national level figures are not changed. Impact at detailed or local level is footnoted in relevant analyses.

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the average waiting time in the accident and emergency department at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was in each of the last five years.[HL3096]

Earl Howe: Weekly situation reports collected by NHS England are the official source of information about accident and emergency (A&E) waiting times. These measure the number of patients admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours of arrival at an A&E department, but do not provide information on average waiting times.

Information is available in hospital episode statistics (HES) on average waiting times to assessment, treatment and departure in A&E departments. Information for James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the relevant years is shown in the following table. The duration to departure times are most closely aligned to the official information.

Mean and median duration (minutes) to assessment, treatment and departure in A&E at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust from 2008-09 to 2012-13.
YearMean duration to assessmentMedian duration to assessmentMean duration to treatmentMedian duration to treatmentMean duration to departureMedian duration to departure

2008-09

50

36

53

39

124

112

2009-10

50

36

52

38

127

115

2010-11

45

30

45

31

131

114

2011-12

43

26

50

35

140

124

2012-13

41

21

56

42

142

135

Source

: HES, Health and Social Care Information Centre.

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA248

Notes

:

1. The table shows the mean (average) and median (middle in ranking when all values are sorted in order) duration in minutes to assessment, treatment or departure.

2. Planned attendances are excluded.

3. The recording of duration in HES A&E is not mandatory, and this may have affected in particular the quality of recorded durations to assessment and treatment.

4. Duration to assessment is the time in minutes between the patients’ arrival and their initial assessment in the A&E department. This is calculated as the difference in time from arrival at A&E to the time when the patient is initially assessed.

5. Duration to treatment is the time in minutes between the patients’ arrival and the start of their treatment. This is calculated as the difference in time from arrival at A&E to the time when the patient began treatment.

6. Duration to departure is time spent in minutes in an A&E department. This is calculated as the difference in time from arrival at A&E to the time when the patient is discharged from A&E care. This includes being admitted to hospital, dying in the department, discharged with no follow up or discharged and referred to another specialist department.

7. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality and coverage and changes in National Health Service practice.

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people have been prosecuted for attacks on staff at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in each of the last five years.[HL3097]

Earl Howe: The information requested is shown in the following table.

Prosecutions following physical assaults on staff at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for the last five years.
2009-102010-112011-122012-132013-14

0

0

1

0

0

Source:

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Criminal sanctions imposed following physical assaults on National Health Service staff include cautions and conditional cautions, community rehabilitation or punishment orders, conditional discharges, fines, fixed penalty notices and imprisonment (including suspended sentences).

Information on the numbers of reported physical assaults on NHS staff in England in 2013-14 and on the numbers of criminal sanctions imposed following assaults on NHS staff is in the document ‘Tables Showing the number of reported physical assaults on NHS staff in 2013-14’, which has been placed in the Library. The documents ‘Tables showing number of reported physical assaults on NHS staff in 2009-10, broken down by NHS trust/PCT’, ‘Tables showing the number of reported physical assaults on NHS staff in 2010-11, broken down by NHS trust/PCT’, ‘Tables showing the number of reported physical assaults on NHS staff in 2011-12, broken down by NHS trust/PCT' and ‘Tables showing the number of reported physical assaults on NHS staff in 2012-13, broken down by health body' have already been placed in the Library.

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA249

Local Government Finance

Question

Asked by Lord Tyler

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of their income local authorities in England raised themselves in each of the last three years for which figures are available.[HL2927]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon) (Con): The income raised by local authorities through council tax, locally retained business rates and sales fees and charges, as a proportion of their total non-ringfenced income, was 53% in 2012-13, 67% in 2013-14 and is budgeted to be 70% in 2014-15. This is a consequence of our programme of decentralisation, increasing local control of public funding.

Malaria

Questions

Asked by Baroness Corston

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and the Advisory Committee for Malaria Prevention have made of the United States Food and Drug Administration's Safety Communication of 29 July 2013 warning of the risk of psychiatric and nerve side effects from taking Lariam (mefloquine) as a malaria prophylactic.[HL2899]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Mefloquine (brand name Lariam) is one of several drugs licensed for the prevention (chemoprophylaxis) or treatment of malaria. As with any medicine, mefloquine may cause side effects in some people and the potential risks should be balanced against the expected benefits of therapy. Information on possible side effects is available to the medical profession via the Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC), and to patients via the Patient Information Leaflet.

In 2013, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) strengthened the warnings in the mefloquine SmPC, particularly regarding the well-established risk of neuropsychiatric side effects. The licence holder (Roche) also issued a letter to healthcare professionals at the end of October 2013 to increase awareness of these possible risks, alongside a prescriber checklist and patient alert card to aid compliance with the warnings. In November 2013, the MHRA issued a further communication to healthcare professionals on the risks of mefloquine via its Drug Safety Update bulletin:

www.mhra.gov.uk/Safetyinformation/DrugSafetyUpdate/CON336723

As with all medicines, the MHRA will keep the safety of mefloquine under continual review.

The Advisory Committee for Malaria Prevention (ACMP) carefully considered all available data following the Food and Drug Administration’s safety communication

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA250

and subsequent modification of the SmPC by Roche in September 2013. SmPC recommendations for monitoring of liver function and eye assessment in long term use have also been added to the guidelines. The ACMP continues to believe that mefloquine is a valuable option for prophylaxis against malaria when appropriate risk assessments are undertaken.

Asked by Baroness Corston

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what the unit cost is of (1) Lariam (mefloquine), and (2) malarone.[HL2902]

Earl Howe: The current edition of the British National Formulary lists the price of Lariam (mefloquine) as £14.53 for a pack of 8 tablets and the price of Malarone (proguanil hydrochloride with atovaquone) as £25.21 for a pack of 12 tablets.

Asked by Baroness Corston

To ask Her Majesty’s Government on how many occasions the Advisory Committee for Malaria Prevention has met in the last two years.[HL2903]

Earl Howe: Full meetings of the Advisory Committee for Malaria Prevention occurred in March and August of 2012 and January and December of 2013. The next full meeting is planned for January 2015. There was a sub-group meeting in 2014 to approve the 2014 version of the Guidelines for malaria prevention in travellers from the UK.

Malawi

Question

Asked by Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the end-of-year spending totals by programme for Official Development Assistance to Malawi in the financial years 2010–11, 2011–12, 2012–13, and 2013–14. [HL2941]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for International Development (Baroness Northover) (LD): The table below shows total amounts for each year:

Year£ Thousands

2009

£71, 512

2010

£95,848

2011

£64,915

2012

£124,253

2013

£113,375

National Income: South West

Question

Asked by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much revenue (1) the South West of England, and (2) Bristol, has been responsible for in real terms as a percentage of the United Kingdom’s gross national product since May 2010.[HL3008]

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA251

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

Letter from Nick Vaughan, Director, National Accounts & Economic Statistics, Office for National Statistics to Baroness Royall of Blaisdon dated November 2014.

In the absence of the Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking Her Majesty’s Government how much revenue (1) the South West of England, and (2) Bristol, has been responsible for in real terms as a percentage of the United Kingdom’s gross national product since May 2010. (HL3008)

ONS does not produce regional estimates of Gross National Product (GNP), which is now more commonly referred to as Gross National Income (GNI), but does produce annual regional estimates of Gross Value Added (GVA) for geographical areas according to the European classification Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS). GNI includes the balance of employment, property and entrepreneurial income with the rest of the world, whereas GVA measured using the income approach includes only the income earned by resident individuals and corporations in the production of goods and services.

GVA measured using the income approach – GVA(I) – is available at current basic prices for regions, sub-regions and local areas. Note that in these estimates income is allocated to the area where people work and not where they live. Current basic prices exclude taxes and subsidies on products that would be included in estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current market prices. The table below shows GVA(I) for the South West of England region and City of Bristol local area and their share in the UK total for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Only current price estimates of GVA(I) are available because changes in income cannot readily be split between changes in prices and changes in volume.

201020112012

South West

GVA(I) (£million)

100,372

100,392

101,576

GVA(I) as a percentage of UK GVA(I)

7.6%

7.4%

7.3%

Index of real GVA(P) (2010 = 100)

100

99.4

n/a

Bristol, City of

GVA(I) (£million)

11924

11550

11740

GVA(I) as a percentage of UK GVA(I)

0.9%

0.8%

0.8%

These figures are taken from:

Regional GVA (Income Approach) statistical bulletin published in July 2014

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/regional-accounts/regional-gross-value-added--income-approach-/december-2013/stb-regional-gva-2012.html

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA252

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 3 December 2010 (WA 492–3) and 17 November (HL2641), to what extent the collection of eggs only at licensed fertility clinics in line with the guidance outlined in the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) Code of Practice is already proven to eliminate the incidence of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS); how many clinics they are aware of that had not been licensed by the HFEA, whether in the United Kingdom or anywhere else worldwide, at which the incidence of OHSS was as a direct consequence significantly higher than that previously reported in the journal Human Fertility (volume 10, issue 3, pages 183–7); and how they have assessed the impact of HFEA regulation on OHSS incidence in the absence of an evidence base to predict the cohort of patients that may develop OHSS.[HL2907]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that it has not carried out an analysis of the extent to which the collection of eggs at licensed fertility clinics in line with the guidance outlined in the Authority’s Code of Practice is proven to eliminate the incidence of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).

The HFEA is not aware of any unlicensed clinics in the United Kingdom which carry out egg collection, intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilisation. Clinics which administer fertility drugs but do not carry out egg collection, intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilisation in the United Kingdom are not under the HFEA’s regulatory remit and therefore are not licensed by the HFEA.

The HFEA has also advised that it has not assessed the impact of its policies on the incidence of OHSS.

Public Expenditure

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Scottish Government, Welsh Government or Northern Ireland Executive have been permitted to convert financial resources allocated to them for Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit to Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit and if so, when. [HL3035]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): Switching provision from Capital budgets to Resource budgets requires the approval of Treasury Ministers, as set out in the Consolidated Budgeting Guidance.

Over the course of this Parliament, no switches from Capital to Resource budgets have yet been made within devolved administration allocations.

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA253

Public Expenditure: Northern Ireland

Questions

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will agree the final financial allocations to the Northern Ireland Executive for 2015–16; and when access will be granted to the Departmental Expenditure Limit reserve of up to £100 million.[HL2933]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what will be the final financial allocations to the Northern Ireland Executive for 2015–16 for both Resource and Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit in circumstances where access is given for up to £100 million of loans to the Northern Ireland Executive.[HL2934]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Treasury has already set out Northern Ireland Executive allocations for 2015-16, as determined at Spending Round 2013 and amended at subsequent Budgets and Autumn Statements. Final revisions to Northern Ireland Executive allocations for 2015-16 will be set out at the Supplementary Estimates round in January 2016.

The Northern Ireland Executive has been granted exceptional access to the DEL Reserve of up to £100m in 2014-15. In granting this access, the Chancellor of the Exchequer specified that an equivalent amount would be deducted from the Executive’s 2015-16 allocations.

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will allow the Northern Ireland Executive to use financial resources, allocated to it for Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit purposes, as financial allocations for Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit purposes in either financial years 2014–15 or 2015–16.[HL3034]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have received a request from or had discussions with the Northern Ireland Executive on the reclassification of Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit as Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit. [HL3036]

Lord Deighton: Switching provision from Capital budgets to Resource budgets requires the approval of Treasury Ministers, as set out in the Consolidated Budgeting Guidance.

In reaching agreement on a draft budget for 2015-16, the Northern Ireland Finance Minister requested that the Treasury consider flexibilities in relation to specific Capital to Resource switches within the Northern Ireland Executive’s allocations. This request will be considered as the Northern Ireland Executive moves towards setting final 2015-16 budgets.

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA254

Social Security Benefits

Question

Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what impact assessment they have made of further planned benefit freezes, including the impact on in-work poverty. [HL3232]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): This Government has no plans to further freeze benefits, so there are currently no plans to provide estimates of the potential effects or the impacts on in-work poverty.

Taxation

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Deighton on 17 November (HL2586), whether they will make available the customer research into the way data on public expenditure statistics were presented in the letters to taxpayers intending to show how income taxes are spent; and why no reference was made in those statements to indirect taxation such as VAT. [HL3005]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Government introduced tax summaries to make personal taxes more transparent and easier to understand. Tax summaries do not include VAT and other indirect taxes as the Government does not keep records of these in relation to individuals. To do so would require costly and intrusive monitoring of an individual’s spending patterns.

HMRC undertook extensive customer research of a range of tax summary prototypes to test whether taxpayers found the information clear and comprehensive. The research is available on the Gov.uk website[1].

[1]

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-tax- transparency-customer-research-and-testing

This Answer included the following attachment:

Personal tax transparency (report269a.pdf)

Personal tax summaries (report269b.pdf)

Personal tax summaries 2 (report269c.pdf)

UK Trade with EU

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total trade deficit or surplus with the European Union in goods and services between 2010 and 2013; and what is their estimate of any deficit in 2014 to date.[HL3165]

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Livingston of Parkhead) (Con): UK’s trade deficit with the European Union was £28.5bn in 2010, £21.7bn in 2011, £39.5bn in 2012 and £56.2bn in 2013.

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA255

Currently, UK trade balance figures cover the period up to the second quarter of 2014. In the first half of 2014, UK’s trade deficit with the European Union was £25.5bn.

Source

: ONS UK Economic Accounts 2014Q2

Unmanned Air Vehicles

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have incorporated a policy regarding use of lethal drones in British Defence Doctrine.[HL3118]

2 Dec 2014 : Column WA256

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): Armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) are operated by the UK's Armed Forces in accordance with the same domestic and international legal framework and Departmental policy that regulates conventional manned aircraft. The Doctrine and Rules of Engagement that govern and underpin the use of armed RPAS are aligned to both current UK policy and International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

The UK constantly reviews and updates both its policy and doctrine to ensure it remains both operationally effective and fully compliant with IHL.