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Written Answers

Volume 459: debated on Monday 30 April 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 30 April 2007

International Development

Bolivia

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when a Minister from his Department last visited Bolivia. (134145)

The former Secretary of State for International Development, the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood (Clare Short) visited Bolivia in August 1999.

Colombia: Refugees

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contribution the UK Government has made to the UN High Commission for Refugees in response to its appeal for funds in connection with Colombia; and if he will make a statement. (134594)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Global Appeal 2007 is currently under review by donors. In 2006, the UK Government provided £27,536,000 to the UNHCR global appeal. DFID’s contribution was £25,863,000. There were also contributions from the Home Office (£1,214,000) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (£459,000). DFID’s contribution was split into £15,920,000 un-earmarked and £9,943,000 earmarked. It is not possible to say how much of the contributions went specifically to Colombia.

DFID contributes to the European Commission’s humanitarian assistance programme for victims of internal conflict in Colombia through its 18 per cent. contribution to the EC. The EC will be providing €12 million humanitarian aid in 2007, to support people who are displaced as a result of the longstanding internal conflict in Colombia. The funds will be distributed by humanitarian NGOs and the UNHCR.

Departments: Paper

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by his Department was from recycled sources in each of the last three years. (134059)

All of the A4 size photocopying paper used in the Department for International Development in the last three years was of 100 per cent. recycled content. In 2004-05 and until approximately midway into 2005-06 a very small proportion (less than 0.5 per cent. of our total paper) of virgin A3 size paper was used. In the later part of 2005-06 that too became 100 per cent. recycled.

DFID does not hold the data regarding paper for printed publications centrally, and due to disproportionate cost we cannot supply this information. However, DFID routinely requires that the designers and printers under contract to produce DFID publications source paper that has a minimum of 75 per cent. recycled content.

Departments: Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the cost was of establishing his Department. (134184)

When established, the Department for International Development took over the functions, staff and premises of the Overseas Development Administration. There was no cost to public funds associated with this transfer of functions. To establish detailed figures for other set up costs such as changes in stationery and additional ministerial offices would involve disproportionate costs but these would not have been significant. The running costs outturn for DFID in 1997-98 was 2.4 per cent. lower than the outturn for 1996-97.

Nigeria: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what additional aid he plans to make available for the Independent Electoral Commission in Nigeria to deal with the additional workload since the election in that country. (134523)

It is too early to make any significant decision on how DFID’s programme in Nigeria should be adjusted in response to the elections. Due to the problems encountered, additional elections were being held in many parts of the country on 28 April. Currently all sides are reflecting upon the electoral process and the results as these are returned.

However, we are also reviewing our support for the electoral process, including our support to Independent Nigeria Electoral Commission (INEC). DFID provided £2.5 million of support to a Joint Donor Basket Fund managed by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The other donors are the European Union and Canadian CIDA. The majority of the joint funding was notionally allocated to INEC. But INEC has consistently turned down donor offers of technical support, so spending has been lower than anticipated.

Given the events of the last three weeks, the UNDP are now doing a stock-take on our joint support to INEC. We are expecting proposals early this week on how we can best wrap-up our existing programme of support for INEC. After this, there will also be a review of lessons and a priority for the coming few months will be to reach a consensus in Nigeria on how best INEC can be supported in future. In addition, we will be undertaking joint analysis on the wider aspects of political governance which need to be addressed in order for the 2011 elections to be an improvement on those of 2007.

Palestinians: Sanctions

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of banking sanctions on conditions of life in the Palestinian territories; and if he will make a statement. (134526)

Since Hamas formed a Palestinian Government in March 2006, international banks dealing with the Palestinian Authority (PA) have risked litigation under US anti-terrorism laws. One result of this has been that the PA’s single treasury account has been frozen. This has undermined important progress made over recent years to improve public financial accountability and control.

Although this situation has made it harder to transfer money to the PA, the PA has been able to continue spending the limited funds it has available. DFID and other donors have also continued and increased aid to help meet the basic needs of Palestinians through other channels. For example, European Union (community and member states) aid is estimated to have increased by 27 per cent. in 2007, compared with 2006. This has partially offset the impact on Palestinian livelihoods of Israel's decision to withhold clearance revenues due to the PA.

DFID is providing technical assistance to the Palestinian Monetary Authority to help ensure that Palestinian banks are able to meet international standards for tackling terrorist financing and money laundering.

Sudan: Dams

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has made to the government of Sudan on the issue of the Hamdab Dam and what account is taken of its impact on the local Amri people. (134243)

The UK is concerned by the Government of Sudan’s plans to forcibly relocate local communities in the River Nile State by the end of 2007 because of the Hamdab Dam project. Strong protests from local tribes led to an agreement on 1 June 2006, for the state Government and local people to work together to resolve the issue. But the subsequent displacement of 2,200 families without prior warning suggests the Government are reneging on this commitment.

British embassy officials in Khartoum have met representatives of the local people affected by the project. The UN Mission in Sudan’s (UNMIS) Human Rights Unit, on behalf of the international community, is following the situation closely. We raised the plight of those affected by the Hamdab Dam project at a meeting of UNMIS and international partners on 26 April.

Sudan: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what humanitarian aid he expects to be provided to the Darfur region of Sudan and eastern Chad in the next six months; and if he will make a statement. (134143)

Total donor intentions are difficult to estimate. In 2006, the UN’s humanitarian appeal for Darfur was 79 per cent. funded, it is expected that similar levels will be forthcoming this year. DFID’s contribution is largely through the Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF), to which we contributed £40 million in 2007, accounting for approximately 60 per cent. of the total. This supports critical needs throughout Sudan. DFID also expect to spend around £15 million over the next year in Darfur through direct grants to humanitarian non-governmental organisations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

In the case of Chad, the UN’s current annual appeal of £89 million is 40 per cent. funded. The UN is about to supplement this with an additional appeal to support the recent increase in internal displacement. DFID is providing £5 million to humanitarian operations in Chad this year, a rise of £1 million from last year.

We will continue to monitor overall funding for Darfur and Chad and support the UN in lobbying other donors to make substantial and timely contributions.

House of Commons Commission

Departments: Paper

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by the House was from recycled sources in each of the last three years. (134041)

Sufficient data to provide the information in the form requested are not available. The House seeks to use the best environmental option for the paper it uses, compatible with the needs of each of its areas of business. I will write to the hon. Member about the specifications of paper provided to Members and used for photocopying and printed publications.

Treasury

Average Earnings

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average hourly pay was of the (a) (i) lowest and (ii) highest decile, (b) (i) lowest and (ii) highest quartile and (c) highest duo-decile of working age people in employment in each year since 1997. (135064)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 30 April 2007:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the average hourly pay was of the (a) (i) lowest and (ii) highest decile, (b) (i) lowest and (ii) highest quartile and (c) highest duo-decile of working age people in employment in each year since 1997. I am replying in her absence. (135064)

Average levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for all employees on adult rates of pay whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. This is the standard definition used for ASHE. The ASHE does not collect information on the self employed and people who do unpaid work.

I attach a table showing the 10th, 25th, 75th, 90th and 95th percentile of Gross Hourly Pay, corresponding to the lowest decile, lowest quartile, highest quartile, highest decile, and highest duo-decile respectively, for all employees, for the years 1997-2006.

The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom. It is a one per cent sample of all employees who are members of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) schemes.

Gross hourly earnings for all employee1 Jobs—UK

£

Percentile

10th

25th

75th

90th

95th

1997

3.81

4.96

10.64

15.29

18.98

1998

4.00

5.13

11.12

15.96

19.98

1999

4.18

5.36

11.55

16.69

20.96

2000

4.36

5.56

12.03

17.27

21.81

2001

4.53

5.79

12.62

18.27

23.51

2002

4.78

6.00

13.18

19.21

24.72

2003

5.01

6.30

13.68

19.93

25.66

2004 excl.

5.21

6.56

14.28

20.75

26.67

2004 inc.2

5.18

6.50

14.15

20.49

26.15

2005

5.36

6.71

14.71

21.42

27.38

2006

5.57

6.99

15.33

22.29

28.45

1 Employees on adult rates whose pay for the survey pay-period was not affected by absence.

2 In 2004 additional supplementary surveys were introduced to improve the coverage of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. Figures are presented both excluding and including the additional surveys for comparison purposes.

Source:

Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, Office for National Statistics

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the chief executive of the Tax Credit Office to reply to the hon. Member for Totnes’ letters of (a) 11 December 2006 and (b) 22 February 2007 on the case of Mr. and Mrs. Langford of Queen Elizabeth Drive, Paignton. (134387)

HMRC have sent a reply to the hon. Member and have apologised to him for the delay in replying.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 22 March 2007 (PO Ref: 1/48650/2007). (134607)

Olympic Games: Greater London

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what effect he expects the recent revisions of the Olympics budget to have on plans for Crossrail. (133713)

Crossrail funding and financing issues will be considered further in the context of Sir Michael Lyons’ recommendations and wider spending pressures and priorities. However, the affordability challenge represented by the scheme remains significant.

Revenue and Customs: Publicity

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many click throughs from HM Revenue and Customs online advertisements to the HM Revenue and Customs website have been recorded as part of the online aspect of the “Tax doesn't have to be taxing” campaign since its launch. (133323)

As at end of March 2007 1,151,339 click throughs from HM Revenue and Customs online advertisements to the HM Revenue and Customs website have been recorded as part of the online aspect of the ‘Tax doesn't have to be taxing’ campaign.

Taxation: Members

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) hon. Members, (b) Members of the House of Lords and (c) Members of the European Parliament elected for United Kingdom constituencies are non-resident in the UK for tax purposes. (133346)

No Members of Parliament or Members of the European Parliament are non-resident in the UK for tax purposes. This information is available because the tax affairs of Members of Parliament and Members of the European Parliament are dealt with centrally by HMRC. No such information is collected for Members of the House of Lords whose tax affairs are not dealt with centrally but by local tax offices.

Taxation: Overseas Residence

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many people claimed non-domicile tax status in the UK in each of the last five years for which records are available; (133685)

(2) what estimate he has made of the tax forgone by the UK as a consequence of use of the remittance basis by those not domiciled in the UK;

(3) what estimate he has made of the average length of residence in the UK of those claiming non-domicile status;

(4) what methodology is used to estimate the economic benefits to the UK from the retention of the domicile laws on taxation;

(5) what estimates he has made of the economic benefits to the UK from the retention of the domicile laws on taxation;

(6) what investigations have been carried out looking into non-domicile status in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement;

(7) how many people qualified for non-domicile tax treatment in the UK in each of the last five years for which records are available.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on the economy of non-domiciled residence tax status; and if he will make a statement. (133972)

No overall figure for the number of individuals with non-domicile tax status is available.

Estimates of the tax foregone in the UK as a consequence of the use of the remittance basis by those not domiciled in the UK are not routinely made. Information is not held on overseas income and gains that do not give rise to a tax liability in the UK.

Information on the average length of residence is not routinely collected. A small sample survey in 2004 suggested that the majority of non-domiciled individuals who had already left the UK spent no more than five years here.

No estimates have been made of the economic benefits to the UK from the retention of the domicile laws on taxation.

HMRC carry out investigations into non-domiciled status where this may be relevant to a taxpayer's UK tax liability. Such investigations may occur to verify information given to HMRC by individuals completing self-assessment tax returns or making other claims for non-domicile status; as a result of third-party disclosure; or because of the outcome of other HMRC enquiries. No information is available on the number of investigations undertaken.

Information on how many individuals qualify for non-domicile tax treatment in the UK is not available. Some 112,000 individuals indicated non-domicile tax status through their SA returns in 2004-05.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people (a) employed by and (b) contracted to supply services to HM Treasury claim non-domicile tax treatment. (134096)

HM Revenue and Customs is statutorily debarred from disclosing to third parties information relating to the tax affairs of individuals or public and private sector bodies. Treasury Ministers do not have access to such information.

Taxation: Polygamy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people married abroad polygamously and settled in the UK transferred property free of (a) inheritance tax and (b) capital gains tax to their spouses in each year for which figures are available. (134938)

Written Questions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will answer question 131290, tabled by the right hon. Member for Birkenhead on 28 March 2007, on the abolition of the 10p tax rate. (135054)

The Treasury hopes to be in a position to answer the right hon. Gentleman’s question shortly.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council of England

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what the investment returns were for the Arts Council of England from National Lottery funding in August 2006; and what they were in the latest period for which figures are available; (134373)

(2) how much funding the Arts Council of England received from the National Lottery in August 2006; and how much it received in the latest period for which figures are available.

[holding answer 27 April 2007]: The following table shows the Arts Council England's income from the National Lottery Distribution Fund in August 2006, in March 2007 and in the entire financial year 2006-07.

Period

Operator -related income to nearest £1,000

Investment income to nearest £1,000

Total to nearest £1,000

August 2006

13,794,000

479,000

14,273,000

March 2007

12,566,000

589,000

13,154,000

Financial year 2006-07

142,861,000

6,396,000

149,257,000

Broadcasting Programmes: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will take steps to improve the provision of children’s programming by public service broadcasters. (134466)

[holding answer 27 April 2007]: In advance of their next scheduled PSB Review, Ofcom have announced they are looking at the future of children’s TV programming in the UK. We await the outcome of that review with interest.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the sustainability of the market for the commissioning of quality children's television programmes in the UK; and if she will make a statement. (134481)

The Government recognise that the changing broadcasting environment presents challenges to the ability of commercial public service broadcasters to sustain their programming for children.

We welcome Ofcom's review into children's television, due to be published this autumn, which will include the current state of the children's TV market and the sources of future funding for children's programming.

Broadcasting Programmes: Violence

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps the Government plan to take in response to the recent conclusions of Ofcom on violence in television soap operas. (134575)

Parliament has charged the independent regulator, Ofcom, with maintaining broadcasting standards, notably to protect children and to protect the general public from harmful and offensive material. Ofcom sets out the rules and guidance with which broadcasters must comply. Within this framework, it is the broadcasters' job to make judgments about what individual programmes should contain and the time at which they are broadcast. It is a long-standing principle that the Government do not interfere in programming matters. That applies to both scheduling and content. Where there are deliberate, serious or repeated breaches of Ofcom's rules, the regulator may impose statutory sanctions against the broadcaster.

Cultural Heritage: Essex

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps are being taken to ensure the preservation of Essex’s cultural heritage; and if she will make a statement. (134578)

English Heritage, the Government’s statutory adviser on heritage matters, is taking a number of steps to ensure the preservation of Essex’s cultural heritage. These include contributing funding towards buildings repairs—such as £400,000 towards repairs to St. Osyth’s Priory—and securing the future of a number of “buildings at risk”, enabling 44 buildings to be removed from their Register. English Heritage is in discussion with agencies involved in the Thames Gateway expansion, the Stansted airport proposed expansion and proposed wind farm off Maldon. English Heritage is responsible for the management of 11 historic sites in Essex, the largest being Audley End House. English Heritage is a member of the East of England Regional Cultural Consortium and chairs the East of England Heritage Environment Forum.

Since 1994 the Heritage Lottery Fund has made close to 500 awards to the county totalling some £33.5 million to preserve cultural heritage.

Departments: Bullying

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many complaints of bullying have been investigated in her Department in the last 12 months; and how many complaints have been upheld. (134833)

There have been no complaints of bullying investigated in the Department in the last 12 months.

Departments: Paper

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by her Department was from recycled sources in each of the last three years. (134057)

The photocopying paper used by the Department is made from 100 per cent. recycled paper.

All publications have been produced on recycled stock in the last three years.

Digital Switchover Help Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much her Department spent assisting older and disabled people with the switch to digital television in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006; how much it has spent in 2007; and how much it plans to spend in (i) 2008, (ii) 2009 and (iii) 2010. (134583)

To the present date, a total of £211,000 has been spent on helping vulnerable groups with switchover, this being solely for the Bolton Digital Television Trial in 2005-06. This funding was equally split with the BBC.

All future assistance, which is to be delivered by the Digital Switchover Help Scheme (DSHS), will be provided by the BBC and paid for through the licence fee. We estimate the cost of the scheme at £600 million and this will include assistance provided for the Whitehaven project.

National Lottery: Charities

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the eligibility criteria are for registered charitable organisations to receive Lottery funding; and which charitable institutions are ineligible. (134492)

Almost any organisation in the United Kingdom, including registered charities, can apply for lottery funding for projects which are not intended primarily for private gain and for which funds would be unlikely to be made available by Government or the devolved administrations.

Under the National Lottery Act 2006, “charitable expenditure”, in relation to expenditure under the charitable, health, education and environment good causes, means expenditure for a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic purpose. Such expenditure is not restricted to registered charities, which are able to benefit from all the lottery good causes.

However, each of the lottery distributing bodies publishes specific eligibility criteria for each of its funding programmes, and applicant organisations must comply with these.

Office of Communications

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how she plans the Ofcom Public Service Publisher service to be funded. (134465)

[holding answer 27 April 2007]: Ofcom published its discussion document into the potential role of the Public Service Publisher (PSP) in January and asked for comments by the end of March. At present they are reviewing those responses with a view to publishing a summary later in 2007.

While we believe the proposal for the PSP has stimulated a healthy debate it remains too early to make a wider Government response to the PSP proposal.

Olympic Games: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much of the planned World Class Pathway funding for the Beijing Cycle was spent in the 2006-07 financial year, broken down by Olympic sport. (134070)

Between 2006 and 2009, a total of £250.2 million has been budgeted to be invested in the World Class Performance Pathway (WCPP) for Olympic and Paralympic sport, of which a total of £72.5 million was ring fenced to be spent in 2006-07.

The total amount actually invested in Olympic sports for 2006-07 is primarily dependent on the extent to which their World Class Pathway programmes and governance are fit for purpose to receive public funding. The final figures will be available once UK Sport has signed off the audited 2006-07 year-end accounts in June.

Olympic Games: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how she expects Essex to participate in the Cultural Olympiad initiative. (134577)

The Cultural Olympiad has been designed in such a way that creative and cultural organisations at all levels, from the largest national bodies to the smallest community groups, can participate. We are working with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to deliver this.

The Nations and Regions are developing plans to maximise the benefit of the London Games to all parts of the UK. In addition, I have recently announced that a network of Regional Creative Programmers in eight of the English Regions is to be established. Their role will contribute to the delivery of cultural events in all the regions in the run-up to and during the 2012 Games.

The Greater London Authority is also developing proposals on how to co-ordinate and deliver a pan-London cultural programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what measures are being taken by her Department to ensure that the 2012 Olympic Games is a drug-free event. (134586)

The Department sponsors UK Sport, the UK’s national anti-doping organisation, which is responsible for delivering the UK's national anti-doping programme. In the run-up to the 2012 Games, UK Sport will continue to deliver its anti-doping programme for all Olympic and Paralympic sports.

The chief medical officer at the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), who was appointed in February, is responsible for the anti-doping programme during the 2012 Games, under delegation from the International Olympic Committee.

In light of this appointment, LOCOG has begun work on arrangements for the testing programme, and will continue to do so in collaboration with UK Sport and DCMS.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether Olympic regional creative programmers will be assigned to (a) London, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland. (134588)

We are planning cultural events in the run-up to and during the 2012 Games to span the UK. The "Nations and Regions Group" of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games is developing plans to maximise the benefits of and engagement in the 2012 Games for their respective nations and regions. Participation in the Cultural Olympiad will be included within these plans.

The network of Creative Programmers being established will cover the eight English regions outside London. Colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are considering what arrangements would fit their plans to participate in the cultural programme. The Greater London Authority is also developing proposals on how to co-ordinate and deliver a pan-London cultural programme.

Public Libraries: Kent

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with Kent county council on redundancies in its library service. (134468)

[holding answer 27 April 2007]: None. Staffing of libraries and library authorities is a matter for local authorities to decide, after considering available resources and local priorities, providing it does not affect the authority’s ability to deliver a “comprehensive and efficient” library service to the public as required under the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964.

Public Service Broadcasting

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether she plans to bring forward the review of public sector broadcasting in view of the effect of Web 2.0. (134467)

[holding answer 27 April 2007]: Under the Communications Act 2003 Ofcom has the responsibility of periodically reviewing public service television broadcasting. The timing of such reviews is a matter for Ofcom, subject to a requirement that they take place at least once every five years. I understand that Ofcom intends to begin the next review in 2008.

For their part, the Government intend to conduct a review of the case for distributing public funding more widely beyond the BBC before the end of the current licence fee settlement.

Public Service Broadcasting: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the regulatory requirements are for each public service broadcaster in relation to children's television; and if she will make a statement. (134169)

Section 264 of the Communications Act 2003 requires Ofcom to regularly review and report on the extent to which public service broadcasters fulfil the purposes of public service television, including the provision (when the services are taken together) of a

“suitable quantity and range of high quality and original programmes for children and young people”.

Public service broadcasters are required to consult Ofcom on proposals for significant changes in their statements of programme policy.

Television: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many complaints her Department has received in 2007 on premium-rate telephone competitions. (134582)

To date the Department has received 21 queries regarding the operation of premium rate telephone competitions in 2007. However, complaints about premium rate telephone competitions are a matter for the independent regulators, Ofcom and ICSTIS.

Prime Minister

Berlin Declaration

To ask the Prime Minister what representations he made to his European counterparts during consultations on the Berlin Declaration; if he will place in the Library a copy of such representations; and if he will make a statement. (134301)

I made no formal representations to EU counterparts on the Berlin Declaration. However the normal contacts took place at official level, and I discussed the declaration informally with Chancellor Merkel in the course of normal diplomatic contacts.

The document was written by the German presidency of the EU and presented to leaders shortly before the summit to mark the 50th anniversary of the EU on 25-26 March 2007.

Departments: Paper

To ask the Prime Minister what percentage of paper used (a) for photocopying and (b) in printed publications by his Office was from recycled sources in each of the last three years. (134062)

For these purposes my Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office (Hilary Armstrong) on 27 April 2007, Official Report, column 1330W.

Policy Review

To ask the Prime Minister for what reason reference to Trident or its successor was not made in the policy review report “Building on Progress: Britain in the World” published on 17 April. (134205)

“Building on Progress: Britain in the World” draws on the conclusions and discussions of the Ministerial Working Group on Britain in the World, and seminars for junior Ministers conducted as part of the policy review process. It sets out a high-level overview of the broad UK approach to foreign policy since 1997, what the UK has achieved, and what the UK should seek to achieve in the decades to come. It does not aim to cover every issue in detail.

My statement of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 21-24, set out in detail the Government’s position on maintaining the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent. The reasons for that decision were further explained in the White Paper “The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cm 6994), published on the same day. The House voted in favour of the Government’s decision on 14 March 2007.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Arms Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the recommendations of the United Nations Panel of Experts on the strengthening of the current arms embargo set out in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1591; and what steps she has taken in response to the recommendations. (134945)

We supported the report by the Panel of Experts and its recommendations at the UN Sanctions Committee. It has not yet been transmitted to the UN Security Council (UNSC) nor has it been made public.

At a meeting of the UNSC on 16 April chaired by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, she made the case for further sanctions to impose on the Government of Sudan and rebel movements if they fail to abide by their agreements. We are working on a draft UNSC Resolution with other Security Council members to extend the UN arms embargo to the whole of Sudan, in line with the EU arms embargo.

Departments: Oral Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many questions tabled by hon. and right hon. Members to her Department for oral answer have been transferred to other departments since May 2005. (133796)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has incomplete records of transfers of oral questions prior to November 2005. Subject to this caveat, our researches show that since May 2005 the FCO has transferred two oral questions.

Saudi Arabia: European Fighter Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will place in the Library a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Saudi Arabia on the sale of Eurofighter aircraft, signed in December 2005. (132423)

I have been asked to reply.

No. This document is confidential between the two Governments. I am withholding the information as it would, or would be likely to prejudice international relations and harm the interests of the United Kingdom.

Sudan

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions she has had with her counterparts at the EU Council of Ministers on pressing the Government of Sudan (a) to accept and implement the full deployment of a strengthened international force with UN elements in Darfur and along the border with Chad, (b) to monitor the EU arms embargo to Sudan, (c) to help implement the Tripoli Agreement of February 2006 and (d) to extend the Sudan sanctions regime against key individuals. (133489)

At the EU’s General Affairs and External Relations Council on 23 April, which my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary attended, European Foreign Ministers:

recalled that transition to a full African Union/UN hybrid force for Darfur was urgently required;

underlined the urgency of deploying a UN operation in Eastern Chad and the North-East of the Central African Republic;

called on both Sudan and Chad to refrain from further escalation and fully respect their commitments under the 2006 Tripoli Agreement; and

reiterated their readiness to consider further measures against any party which obstructs implementation of the peace agreements for Darfur.

The meeting did not address the EU arms embargo for Sudan, nor are there any plans to amend it.

Sudan: Arms Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the evidence presented to the UN Security Council of the transportation of arms and heavy weaponry into Darfur; and what reports on the matter she has received from the British Ambassador to the United Nations. (133877)

We supported the report by the Panel of Experts and its recommendations at the UN Sanctions Committee. It has not yet been transmitted to the UN Security Council nor has it been made public. Our Ambassador to the UN, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, reports developments regularly to my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary. We continue to discuss the case for further sanctions in the UN.

Sudan: International Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment the Government have made of the impact on humanitarian operations of a no-fly zone over Darfur. (133582)

The situation in Darfur is totally unacceptable. We are pressing our international partners at the UN Security Council (UNSC) to impose further measures on those responsible for the humanitarian crisis through their violations of UNSC Resolutions. Those measures include targeted sanctions against individuals engaged in violence or responsible for authorising it, an extension of the arms embargo to cover the whole of Sudan and measures to allow better monitoring of the illegal use of aircraft in Darfur. Further options remain under consideration, including a UNSC imposition of a no-fly zone. The humanitarian and security implications of such measures will be important considerations.

Sudan: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps she is taking to tackle the harassment of humanitarian aid workers by the Sudanese authorities in the Darfur region; and if she will make a statement. (134140)

The UK played a prominent role with the UN and other partners in securing a joint communiqué on 28 March between the UN and the Government of Sudan on humanitarian operations in Darfur. This committed the Government of Sudan to remove bureaucratic impediments and respect the neutrality and independence of agencies involved in the relief effort.

We are pressing the Government of Sudan to implement their commitments in full, including in a letter that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development sent with five other foreign and development Ministers to the Sudanese Foreign Minister, Lam Akol. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary repeated this point when she chaired an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on 16 April.

Sudan: Overseas Investment

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if she will make representations to the business community to divest from Sudan on ethical and prudential grounds. (131835)

The restrictive measures adopted by the United Kingdom against Sudan are targeted to apply maximum pressure on those who engage in violence or who are responsible for authorising it. They include a travel ban and assets freeze on individuals who impede the peace process or constitute a threat to stability in the Darfur region. Members of the European Union also decided to go further than the arms embargo imposed by the UN and extend the embargo to the whole of Sudan.

We are now pressing our international partners at the UN Security Council to impose further measures on those responsible for the humanitarian crisis through their violations of UN Security Council Resolutions. Those measures include targeted sanctions against individuals engaged in violence or responsible for authorising it, an asset freeze of commercial entities owned by sanctioned individuals, an extension of the arms embargo to cover the whole of Sudan and measures to allow better monitoring of the illegal use of aircraft in Darfur.

We have not yet considered taking steps to encourage disinvestment from Sudan by British companies. However, if the situation in Darfur does not improve then we will have to consider taking further measures.

Sudan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps her Department is taking to reach agreement on the proposed deployment of 20,000 UN peacekeeping troops in the Darfur region of Sudan; and if she will make a statement; (134141)

(2) what steps she is taking to facilitate Stage 3 of the agreement between the government of Sudan and the United Nations; and if she will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary chaired an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on 16 April which welcomed the Sudanese Government’s agreement to the UN’s Heavy Support Package (the second stage of the agreement between the UN and the Government of Sudan). We are pressing them to agree to a joint African Union (AU)/UN Hybrid Force (the third stage). If the Sudanese Government and rebels do not co-operate, we will move to tougher sanctions.

We have seconded staff into the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations and are supporting their work through political lobbying. We are also a major contributor to the AU Mission in Sudan to keep it going until a joint AU/UN Hybrid Force can be deployed.

Sudan: Peace Negotiations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has (a) made to and (b) received from the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan on the implementation of the revenue sharing commitments made in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. (134944)

We continue to urge the joint North-South Government of National Unity to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in full. This was a key message for our intervention at the Sudan Consortium in Khartoum (19-21 March). The UK is also a member of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission (AEC). The AEC is tasked with monitoring CPA implementation and has four sub groups including one focused on wealth sharing. It is the main mechanism for dialogue between the international community and the CPA parties, and meets every month. We also engage both parties regularly on all elements of CPA implementation, including wealth sharing, through our bilateral representation in Khartoum and Juba.

On wealth sharing, I note that over US$1.8 billion of national oil revenue has been transferred to the Government of Southern Sudan. The Fiscal and Financial Monitoring and Allocation Commission has also begun work on determining the division of revenues between the different tiers of government. But much more needs to be done.

Turkey: Ethnic Groups

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports she has received on persecution of the Christian minority in Turkey. (134218)

Our Embassy in Ankara reports regularly on human rights, including freedom of religion. We also receive reports from the European Commission and other international organisations. We are aware of attacks affecting Christian minority groups, including the murder of Father Andrea Santoro, a Catholic priest, in February 2006 and the attack on 18 April on three Christians at a publishing house in Malatya.

The Turkish Government have strongly condemned this recent attack and we continue to urge them to keep up momentum in human rights reforms and encourage them to ensure implementation of EU standards is full and consistent. This of course includes freedom of religion.

Uganda: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Ugandan authorities on the declaration by President Museveni and his Security Minister Amama Mbabazi that the People’s Redemption Army suspects will only be released if they apply for amnesty; and if she will make a statement. (134235)

We continue to raise our wider concerns about the continued detention of the People’s Redemption Army suspects with the Government of Uganda. Most recently, our High Commissioner in Kampala, with other EU Heads of Mission, made representations about this issue to Foreign Minister Kutesa on 13 April.

We will continue to make representations until the Government of Uganda abides by the constitution and respects the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.

Uganda: Peace Negotiations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps her Department plans to take to help achieve a successful outcome to the peace talks between the Lord’s Resistance Army and Ugandan Government representatives due to commence in the week beginning 30 April; and if she will make a statement. (134139)

Following interventions by UN Special Envoy Joaquim Chissano, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the Ugandan Government have agreed to resume peace talks in Juba on 26 April. This is encouraging, as is the extension of the cessation of hostilities agreement until the end of June.

We believe that the peace talks in Juba between the LRA and the Government of Uganda offer the best chance for many years to achieve peace. Through the Africa Conflict Prevention Pool the UK has provided £250,000 to a UN fund set up to support the talks process and we have made it clear that we will consider any further requests for assistance very carefully.

Work and Pensions

Departments: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how often databases within his Department are updated with records of the deaths of individuals; and if he will make a statement. (133003)

The Department for Work and Pensions updated its databases with dates of death approximately 575,000 times in 2006. We have processes in place where we receive death notifications from Registrars on a weekly basis in order to update records. However, many notifications are received from the next of kin in advance of the notification from the Registrars.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations his Department has received from data suppression industry experts regarding data suppression technologies; and if he will make a statement. (133004)

The Department's IT group has had no direct engagement with the data suppression industry regarding data suppression technologies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on database suppression technology in (a) 2003, (b) 2004, (c) 2005 and (d) 2006; and if he will make a statement. (133005)

Departments: Planning

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are taken by his Department to include (a) older people and (b) people with disabilities in strategic planning, policy making and the delivery of the services they use. (132908)

The Government's strategy on older people and ageing, “Opportunity Age” was first published in March 2005. A series of consultation events at which the views and ideas of older people were sought has been invaluable in shaping that strategy.

DWP is piloting a “LinkAge Plus” programme, to test ways of building fully integrated services from health and benefits to leisure and learning. Eight pilots (led by local authorities) have been looking at ways of joining up government for older people. LinkAge Plus puts older people at the heart of the process in identifying effective models that meet their needs and aspirations and involves them in their design.

DWP also sponsors “Better Government for Older People”, comprising approximately 200 voluntary elected members from older people's forums and groups across the UK, which works to reflect the views of older people in policy making.

DWP engages in a range of ongoing involvement activities with disabled people to ensure that their needs and views are reflected in both policy making and service delivery. These are outlined in our disability equality schemes published on 1 December 2006.

The Department sponsored the creation of Equality 2025, a new non-departmental public body providing a mechanism through which disabled people can have direct communication with central Government to influence, at an early stage, Government policies and service delivery that affect disabled people's lives.

We also consult with disabled people to obtain their feedback on new policy proposals or changes as part of our diversity impact assessment process. The findings from such consultation help to influence the final decision on those proposals or changes.

Disability Living Allowance: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals claimed disability living allowance in each London borough for each of the last five years. (133788)

The available information is in the following table.

Disability living allowance cases in payment in London boroughs as at each August, 2002-06

Thousand

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Camden

7.88

8.38

8.67

8.93

9.05

City of London

0.13

0.14

0.14

0.15

0.15

Hackney

9.19

9.49

9.75

9.94

10.04

Hammersmith and Fulham

5.5

5.85

6.11

6.3

6.44

Haringey

8.24

8.63

8.97

9.22

9.41

Islington

8.42

8.92

9.23

9.54

9.72

Kensington and Chelsea

3.79

4.08

4.25

4.42

4.54

Lambeth

8.52

8.96

9.59

10.05

10.39

Lewisham

8.95

9.51

10.05

10.5

10.91

Newham

11.73

12.17

12.34

12.51

12.63

Southwark

9.03

9.62

10.17

10.57

10.94

Tower Hamlets

8.32

8.72

8.99

9.23

9.26

Wandsworth

7.62

8.02

8.35

8.59

8.72

Westminster

6.24

6.83

7.27

7.48

7.75

Barking and Dagenham

8.42

8.82

8.95

8.93

8.84

Barnet

8.21

8.67

9.11

9.43

9.75

Bexley

6.31

6.75

7.14

7.5

7.79

Brent

8.51

9.07

9.5

9.7

9.87

Bromley

7.04

7.47

7.85

8.26

8.54

Croydon

9.12

9.93

10.53

11.11

11.47

Ealing

10.01

10.43

10.72

10.85

11.07

Enfield

8.62

9.11

9.54

9.86

10.13

Greenwich

9.06

9.59

10.2

10.59

10.73

Harrow

5.86

6.24

6.52

6.73

6.92

Havering

7.41

7.85

8.18

8.32

8.47

Hillingdon

7.25

7.6

7.91

8.12

8.32

Hounslow

7.27

7.67

8.01

8.27

8.46

Kingston upon Thames

2.56

2.76

2.95

3.16

3.23

Merton

4.05

4.38

4.62

4.81

4.93

Redbridge

7.82

8.38

8.75

8.97

9.19

Richmond upon Thames

3.2

3.36

3.53

3.63

3.71

Sutton

4.55

4.83

5.16

5.43

5.57

Waltham Forest

8.37

8.76

9

9.19

9.33

Note:

Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10; some additional disclosure control has also been applied. Caseload figures are for the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

Financial Assistance Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made towards securing the unclaimed assets of (a) Legal and General and (b) the Prudential for the financial assistance scheme. (132609)

[holding answer on 19 April 2007]: On 28 March John Hutton announced a review to examine whether an alternative treatment of the residual funds in affected pension schemes and other non-public expenditure funding that have not already been allocated, could be used to increase levels of assistance above the 80 per cent. provided by the financial assistance scheme.

The review has started and is being led by Andrew Young, Directing Actuary at the Government Actuary's Department. The review team has already met some key stakeholders and will be contacting others shortly to tell them about the review and to invite their contributions. The review will provide an initial view in the summer and will then report by the end of the year.

Incapacity Benefit: Jobseeker's Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much he estimates will be spent on providing jobseeker’s allowance incapacity benefits for 2007-08. (133563)

Planned expenditure in 2007-08, is £2,546 million for jobseeker’s allowance, £6,428 million for incapacity benefit, and £887 million for severe disablement allowance.

Income Support: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will give consideration to the Social Security Advisory Committee's Sixth, Seventh and Eighth reports, with particular reference to the recommendation that the full rate of income support should be restored for young people under 25 years of age living away from home; and if he will make a statement. (132838)

Since income support was introduced in 1988, a single person aged 18 to 24 has been paid at a lower rate than single people aged 25 and over. It would be a new initiative rather than a restoration, to pay single customers aged 18 to 24 at the same rate as single customers aged 25 and over. There are no plans to change these rules.

Jobseeker's Allowance: Gloucester

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in (a) Cheltenham and (b) all Gloucestershire constituencies in each month since March (i) without seasonal adjustment and (ii) seasonally adjusted. (133351)

The available information is in the following table; March 2007 is the most recent available information. Seasonally adjusted figures are not available at constituency level.

Jobseeker’s allowance claimants in Gloucestershire parliamentary constituencies, without seasonal adjustment: March 2007

Constituency

Claimants

Cheltenham

1,443

Cotswold

523

Forest of Dean

937

Gloucester

1,594

Stroud

731

Tewkesbury

684

Notes:

1. Figures are unrounded.

2. Figures include clerically held cases.

Source:

100 per cent. count of claimants of unemployment-related benefits, Jobcentre Plus Computer Systems.

Maternity Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was underpaid in maternity allowances due to (a) customer error and (b) official error in each of the last five years; and how many people were affected. (133911)

New Deal Schemes: Unemployment

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the impact of the new deal on unemployment; and if he will make a statement. (133457)

[holding answer 23 April 2007]: Since 1997, claimant unemployment has fallen by 708,000 and the number of people on lone parent benefits has fallen by 230,000. We are also spending £5 billion less on unemployment than we did in 1997.

The new deal, which has helped more than 1.7 million people into work since January 1998, has contributed to this success. It has helped reduce long-term claimant unemployment to close to its lowest for 30 years and to significantly reduce long-term youth claimant unemployment.

Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the size of savings needed to buy an annuity for (a) a single worker and (b) a married couple to ensure a pension income that takes them above pension credit eligibility. (135061)

The size of annuity required to take an individual above pension credit eligibility depends on a wide range of factors. This includes the type of annuity an individual purchases, their entitlement to basic and addition state pension, and any additional needs they may have which affect pension credit entitlement. It also depends on whether their pension will take them above pension credit eligibility at the point of retirement or over their expected lifetime and whether their pension will take them above guarantee credit only or savings credit.

Under our proposed pension reforms someone retiring in 2053 with a good contribution record (through working or caring) could expect to receive around £135 per week from the state pension on retirement (in 2005-06 earnings terms). This is—for a single person—above the end point of pension credit. Couples with good contribution records will be substantially above the end point for pension credit.

Only those on the guarantee credit alone will face pound for pound withdrawal on private saving. Someone with around 25 years of working or caring retiring in 2050 will have accrued enough state pension to bring them above the guarantee credit only. Our analysis suggests that in 2050 around 6 per cent. of all pensioners will be eligible for guarantee credit only, and only around one in 50 pensioners will retire directly onto guarantee credit only. In addition, those with small amounts of savings will be able to take them as a lump sum under the trivial commutation rules.

Remploy: Business Interests

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what outside business interests directors at Remploy are permitted to pursue; and if he will make a statement. (133534)

Remploy’s Executive Directors are permitted to pursue outside business interests, providing this does not impact on their role at Remploy and they have the permission of the Company. Non-Executive Directors are free to pursue outside business interests.

Remploy: Management

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many layers of management operate at the St. Helens Remploy site. (133537)

There are three layers of management at the St. Helens Remploy site. These are the General Manager, Operations Manager and Local Remploy Manager.

Incapacity Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of incapacity benefit claimants returned to work within (a) two weeks, (b) one month, (c) three months and (d) six months in the most recent period for which figures are available. (132831)

The information is not available in the format requested.

The latest Destination of Benefit Leavers Survey (2004) suggests 50 per cent. of incapacity benefit leavers returned to work of 16 hours or more in that year, higher than reported in the previous year.

The Destination of Benefit Leavers Survey also provides the following breakdown for those leaving incapacity benefits for work, by benefit duration.

IB claim duration (weeks)

Percentage returned to/starting work of 16 hours or more

0-13

67

13-26

61

26-52

46

52+

40

Notes:

1. Incapacity benefits include, contributory incapacity benefit and income support for the sick and disabled.

2. ‘Leavers’ excludes those leaving as a result of death.

Source:

DWP Destination of Benefit Leavers 2004. Research Report no. 244

Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the name of each benefit administered by his Department was in each year since 1996-97; what the level of each benefit was in each year; what the total amount paid in each benefit was in each year; what proportion of the total paid in each year was means-tested; and what the cost of administering each payment was in each year. (132839)

The name of each benefit administered by the Department, and the total amount paid in each benefit in each year, since 1996-97, can be found in benefit expenditure tables on the Department for Work and Pensions website at the following address:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/medium_term.asp.

The benefit names are listed in column A of table 3. Annual amounts paid in each benefit are listed from 1996-97 (column H) to 2007-08 (column S). All figures are outturn, apart from 2006-07, which are estimated outturn, and 2007-08, which are planned expenditure. The figures in table 3 are in cash terms and are rounded to the nearest million pounds. Expenditure at 2007-08 prices can be found in table 4, which is laid out exactly the same as table 3.

There are notes attached to each internet table, but the following particular points should be noted:

1. Responsibility for child benefit, guardians allowance and child's special allowance transferred to Inland Revenue, now HM Revenue and Customs, in April 2003.

2. Responsibility for war pensions transferred to the Veterans Agency in 2002-03.

The amount paid for each benefit in each year, in other words weekly benefit rates, are published each year in Statutory Instruments, as Social Security Benefits Up-rating Orders, which will be in the House of Commons Library and can be found on the Office for Public Sector Information website at the following addresses:

1996: SI 559 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1996/Uksi_19960599_en_l.htm

1997: SI 543 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1997/19970543.htm

1998: SI 470 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1998/19980470.htm

1999: SI 341 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1999/19990341.htm

2000: SI 440 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2000/20000440.htm

2001: SI 207 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2001/20010207.htm

2002: SI 668 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2002/20020668.htm

2003: SI 526 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2003/20030526.htm

2004: SI 552 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2004/20040552.htm

2005: SI 522 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20050522.htm

2006: SI 645 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2006/20060645.htm

2007: SI 688 http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2007/20070688.htm

Some other useful information about weekly benefit rates can be found on pages 50 to 74 of the 2005 edition of the Abstract of Statistics for Benefits, National Insurance Contributions, and Indices of Prices and Earnings, and on pages 101 to 191 of the 2004 edition of Work and Pensions Statistics (now discontinued) which can be located at the following internet addresses:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/abstract/Abstract2005.pdf

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/workandpens/2004/lndividual_Benefit_Statistics.pdf

The proportion of the total paid in each year that was means-tested is shown in the following table:

Means tested proportion of total benefit paid in each year (percentage)

1996-97

35.2

1997-98

33.9

1998-99

32.7

1999-2000

31.0

2000-01

29.3

2001-02

29.0

2002-03

29.3

2003-04

31.5

2004-05

31.5

2005-06

30.8

2006-07

31.1

2007-08

30.7

These percentages have been calculated using information in benefit expenditure table 3.

Full information about the cost of administering each payment in each year is not available.

From 1999-2000 the cost of administration is accounted for separately within the departmental expenditure limit (DEL) and the information requested on administration costs at benefit level is not available.

Information on administrative costs prior to the creation of DWP in 2001 is not comparable with administrative costs now due to considerable organisational change.

The available information, which is at benefit level, is in the following tables:

£ million

Cash (i)

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

Contributory benefits (paid from the National Insurance Fund)

Retirement Pension

303

312

314

Widow's benefits

15

12

8

Unemployment Benefit (ii)

95

Incapacity Benefit

365

294

375

Jobseeker's Allowance (contribution based)

57

63

51

Non-contributory benefits (paid from voted money)

War Pensions

42

39

32

Attendance Allowance

82

76

75

Disability Living Allowance

147

164

119

Severe Disablement Allowance

36

42

43

Income Support

717

581

excluding the unemployed—12 months

877

unemployed only—6 months

209

Jobseeker's Allowance (income based)

315

452

330

Child Benefit and One Parent Benefit

133

133

125

Family Credit

66

59

72

Social Fund

180

161

215

Invalid Care Allowance

30

27

34

Housing Benefit (iii)

312

328

350

Council Tax Benefit (iii)

182

180

175

£ million

2007-08 prices (i)

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

Contributory benefits (paid from the National Insurance Fund)

Retirement Pension

396

396

389

Widow's benefits

20

15

10

Unemployment Benefit (ii)

124

Incapacity Benefit

477

373

464

Jobseeker's Allowance (contribution based)

74

80

63

Non-contributory benefits (paid from voted money)

War Pensions

55

50

40

Attendance Allowance

107

97

93

Disability Living Allowance

192

208

147

Severe Disablement Allowance

47

53

53

Income Support

911

720

excluding the unemployed—12 months

1,146

unemployed only—6 months

273

Jobseeker's Allowance (income based)

412

574

409

Child Benefit and One Parent Benefit

174

169

155

Family Credit

86

75

89

Social Fund

235

204

266

Invalid Care Allowance

39

34

42

Housing Benefit (iii)

408

417

433

Council Tax Benefit (iii)

238

229

217

Notes:

1. Costs shown represent the total estimated costs to Government, Department of Social Security and other Departments of administering Social Security benefits.

2. Includes the cost of administering national insurance credits for clients who do not receive any social security benefit.

3. Costs quoted are local authority costs. Central Government costs are allocated to income support.

4. Figures have been rounded to the nearest million pounds.

5. The information has been taken from the 1998, 1999 and 2000 Department for Social Security departmental reports. The information requested is only available to 1998-99.

6. Figures have been converted to 2007-08 prices using GDP deflators issued by HM Treasury following the Budget report 2007.

Social Security Benefits: Disabled

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of lone parents whose youngest child is over the age of 11 years are receiving (a) income support and (b) incapacity benefit; and how many and what proportion of each group are (i) carers for a disabled child and (ii) have a disability themselves. (130380)

The available information is in the following table.

Lone parents with youngest child over 11: Great Britain

Claiming

Number

Proportion of all LPs with youngest child over 11 (Percentage)

Number

Proportion (Percentage)

Income support

108,950

19.1

Caring for a child with a disability

38,000

35.1

Report disability themselves

65,000

60.2

Incapacity benefits

24,370

4.3

Caring for a child with a disability

1

1

Report disability themselves

24,370

100

1 Family and Children's Study sample size too small to identify. Notes:1. Reporting a disability and caring for a disabled child are not mutually exclusive categories—those who are both caring for a disabled child and report a disability themselves (21.6 per cent. of those with youngest child over 11 claiming income support) will appear in both categories. 2. The income support figures do not include any claimants on incapacity benefit. However, some of those included in the incapacity benefit may also receive income support. Source: DWP administrative data; Family and Children's study 2004, Labour Force Survey 2006 Q2.

Social Security Benefits: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claimed (a) income support, (b) job seeker’s allowance, (c) housing benefit, (d) council tax benefit, (e) carer’s allowance and (f) incapacity benefit in each London borough in each of the last five years. (132112)

State Retirement Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the total volume of deficit repair contributions made in each of the last five years. (132502)

The PPF collects information on deficit reduction payments made by schemes in order to reduce the amount of risk-based levy they are liable to pay. As the PPF has only been in operation since April 2005, information on such deficit reduction payments is not available for each of the last five years.

Such information as is available was published in the Purple Book (http://www.ppf.gov.uk/the_purple_book _ppf-tpr.pdf)

"Schemes in the sample had certified approximately £9.8bn of special contributions to reduce deficits by 7 April 2006. These contributions were certified to the Pension Protection Fund for the purpose of enabling a more up-to-date assessment to be made of the scheme funding position, with the extra contributions increasing the scheme assets and so reducing the risk-based levy."

Figures for deficit reduction payments in 2006-07 are not yet available.

Home Department

Ministry of Defence Police

10. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the effect of the reduction in Ministry of Defence Police numbers on civilian police forces. (134282)

I have had no representations from any police force about the impact of reductions in the number of MOD police officers.

It is a matter for discussion between the local force, police authority and the MOD police.

I have regular meetings with ministerial colleagues at the Ministry of Defence and will discuss this issue at my next meeting.

Police: Street Patrols

11. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of time police officers spend patrolling the streets. (134283)

63 per cent. of officer time was spent on frontline activities in 2005-06. 14 per cent. of officer time was spent on patrol.

Other frontline activities not captured by the definition of “patrol” include arrests, dealing with incidents, gathering intelligence, responding to 999 calls, carrying out searches, dealing with informants, and interviewing suspects, victims and witnesses.

Licensing Laws

12. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the new licensing laws on reducing crime in (a) West Lancashire and (b) England and Wales. (134284)

We are conducting a full evaluation of the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 on crime and disorder. This is ongoing and is due to be published towards the end of 2007. A separate monitoring exercise is looking at the impact of the Act on police recorded violent crime and criminal damage. Interim results from this exercise were published in July 2006. They show that there had been no change in the overall volume or timing of offences following the introduction of the Act. No separate arrangements have been made to monitor the impact of the Act in West Lancashire.

Police Training Days

13. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent estimate he has made of the cost of training days in the police work force owing to the introduction of new legislation. (134285)

The consequences of any new legislation in terms of training is generally a matter for police forces to determine, although some police training is delivered nationally through what is now the National Policing Improvement Agency.

In terms of force costs, these will vary dependent upon the local impact of legislation, and each force making an assessment of its own training needs and requirements. It is also important to note that law based or legislative police training (except when an officer joins the police service) remains a relatively small proportion of their training needs.

Accordingly, policing costs for new training as a result of legislation will vary from police area to area. There are therefore no estimates of the cost of police training specifically as a consequence of new legislation.

Immigration: Public Services

15. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact of levels of immigration on public services in the last 12 months; and what forecast he has made of the likely effects in the next 12 months. (134287)

17. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of (a) the impact of levels of immigration on public services in the past 12 months and (b) the likely effect in the next 12 months. (134289)

To date there has not been a formal system for assessing the impact of immigration on public services but individual Government Departments have mechanisms to receive information about overall pressures on such services. Last summer we conducted a cross-Government review of the impacts of migration. On 28 March we announced the establishment of a new forum to provide an opportunity for regular and organised dialogue with interested parties focusing on the impacts of migration. This will be chaired by Home Office and Local Government Ministers.

Rural Policing: North Yorkshire

19. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on rural policing in north Yorkshire. (134291)

The Government are committed to ensuring that all communities have access to, and are served by a responsive, locally accountable and citizen focused police service. The deployment of that resource is an operational matter for the chief constable.

I am aware that the acting deputy chief constable in north Yorkshire is consulting with all chief constables and commissioners to investigate variations in working practices relating to isolated and rural communities. The hon. Member may therefore wish to speak to the force about this matter directly.

Anti-terrorism Strategy

20. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with officials and other Ministers on the co-ordination of anti-terrorism strategy. (134292)

I regularly discuss the co-ordination of the Government's strategy on counter terrorism with officials and ministerial colleagues, including at a weekly security meeting which I chair.

Correspondence

21. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what average length of time the director general of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate took to reply to hon. Members' letters in the past 12 months. (134293)

For the 12-month period up to and including December 2006 the average waiting time for responses to letters from hon. Members to the Border and Immigration Agency was 24 days in respect of correspondence on immigration matters.

Departmental Restructuring

22. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on departmental restructuring. (134294)

The decision to refocus the Home Office so that it is better able to respond to the changes in the world at both a global and local level, where we have moved from static communities and a static world to a highly mobile world was one that was taken by the Prime Minister and discussed at Cabinet.

Identity Cards

23. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the potential contribution of identity cards to the tackling of identity fraud. (134295)

Our plans for a National Identity Scheme, including the introduction of identity cards, will not only enable people to prove their identity easily, quickly and simply but will also provide a highly secure means of protecting their identity. This will have a significant impact upon identity fraud, which costs the United Kingdom economy at least £1.7 billion each year.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost has been of the identity card scheme. (134288)

Some £58 million has been spent on the identity cards scheme since the start of the 2003-04 financial year and up to the end of September 2006.

DNA Database

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the national DNA database. (134364)

24. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the national DNA database; and if he will make a statement. (134296)

The National DNA database is a key police intelligence tool which contributes to the efficiency of crime detection. It has a key role to play in contributing to detection outcomes, eliminating the innocent from inquiries, focusing the direction of inquiries resulting in savings in police time and in building public confidence that elusive offenders may be detected and brought to justice.

Violent Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of measures to combat violent crime. (134297)

The Government are taking forward a full range of work to tackle violent crime. This has included: introducing new legislation; providing intensive support to practitioners in those areas which face the biggest challenges in terms of violent crime; and developing a range of measures to reduce sexual and domestic violence re-offending.

We consider that a 34 per cent. fall in BCS violent crime since 1997 is testament to the effectiveness of these measures, and we will continue to focus our efforts to bring down the level of these serious crimes even further.

Antisocial Behaviour

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans his Department has to hold another Antisocial Behaviour Day Count. (134937)

There are no current plans to hold another national Antisocial Behaviour Day Count.

Since the 2003 day count, a number of new ways of measuring performance have been introduced. The focus is now on the perception of antisocial behaviour rather than specific incident counting, which is subject to severe under-reporting. As such these measures supersede the need for a specific “one day” antisocial behaviour incident count.

The perception of antisocial behaviour is monitored nationally through the British Crime Survey (BCS) and at a local level through the Local Government User Satisfaction Survey (LGUSS). In addition a survey of Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) is conducted on a quarterly basis to monitor, at a local level, the uptake and use of a number of tools and powers used to tackle antisocial behaviour, such as acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs), demotion orders and housing injunctions.

Crime: Macclesfield

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the recorded crime figures for the Macclesfield borough in the Cheshire Constabulary East Division were in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07 according to the classifications (i) all crime, (ii) burglary of a dwelling, (iii) violent crime, (iv) vehicle crime and (v) criminal damage; and what assessment he has made of the trends in these statistics. (134403)

The statistics are not available in the form requested as data for 2006-07 will not be available until 19 July 2007. Statistics for 2005-06 are in the following table together with the percentage change from the previous year.

Offences recorded in the Macclesfield crime and disorder reduction partnership area

2005-06

Percentage change from previous year

Total crime

11,719

1.4

Burglary in a dwelling

679

-6.7

Violent crime

2,319

16.6

Vehicle crime

1,750

14.5

Criminal damage

2,692

-8.2

Electronic Tags

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offenders reoffended whilst wearing electronic tags in each year since their introduction; and if he will make a statement. (110531)

The following table sets out the number of offenders, who have been cautioned, convicted or are awaiting prosecution for offences while they were subject to the home detention curfew scheme, as currently notified to the National Offender Management Service.

The totals for 2005-06 have been updated following a cross-checking of reoffending data from the Police National Computer for the third and fourth quarters of 2005 and the first quarter of 2006.

Some of those awaiting prosecution will be found not guilty or charges will be dropped.

Information is not collected on further convictions for offenders subject to other electronic monitoring schemes apart from home detention curfew.

Number of offenders cautioned, convicted or awaiting prosecution for an offence committed while they were subject to the home detention curfew scheme

Number

1999

71

1999-2000

294

2000-01

244

2001-02

208

2002-03

584

2003-04

1,298

2004-05

1,311

2005-06

1,214

Extradition

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria his Department uses in assessing extradition requests from other countries. (132660)

[holding answer 18 April 2007]: The requirements for extradition requests are set out in the Extradition Act 2003. Extradition requests from EU member states are assessed wholly by the courts using criteria set out in Part one of the Act.

Extradition requests from other parts of the world are considered in part by the courts using criteria set out in Part two of the Act. The Secretary of State’s role in considering extradition requests is limited to requests made under Part two of the Act; and in those requests, he must decide whether he is prohibited from ordering a person’s extradition under criteria set out at sections 94-96 of the Act. These relate to the death penalty, speciality and possible earlier extradition from a third country.

Fixed Penalties

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many penalty notices for disorder were issued for (a) theft, (b) criminal damage, (c) being drunk and disorderly and (d) dropping litter in each month since November 2004. (130816)

Penalty notices for disorder (PNDs) rolled-out to all police forces in England and Wales under the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001. Under the scheme, the police can issue a fixed penalty of £50 or £80 for a specified range of disorder offences including shop theft (under £200) and criminal damage (under £500).

Data on the number of PNDs (penalty notice for disorder) issued for the specified offence for each month since November 2004 are provided in the following tables. The data for 2006 are provisional. Finalised data for 2006 will be available this summer.

The figures show that the PND has been an increasingly useful disposal option for the police in tackling low-level antisocial behaviour, providing them with a simple, non-bureaucratic financial punishment for first-time offenders.

Number of penalty notices for disorder issued to persons aged 16 and over for selected offences by month, November 2004 to December 20061,2

Offence

Total

January

February

March

April

May

June

Drunk and disorderly

2004

6,154

2005

37,038

2,842

2,732

2,779

2,860

2,927

2,551

20061

42,308

3,101

3,090

3,073

3,696

3,515

3,503

Criminal Damage (under £500)

2004

1,103

2005

12,168

813

754

786

906

982

990

20061

19,654

1,505

1,377

1,312

1,562

1,584

1,710

Theft (retail under £200)

2004

2,018

2005

21,997

1,286

1,309

1,603

1,806

1,822

1,728

20061

37,463

2,608

2,655

2,983

2,843

2,957

2,999

Depositing and leaving litter

2004

49

2005

737

32

47

56

54

75

73

20061

1,125

77

89

69

109

118

124

Offence

July

August

September

October

November

December

Drunk and disorderly

2004

2,504

3,650

2005

3,092

2,969

2,822

3,400

3,296

4,768

20061

3,481

3,441

3,545

3,753

3,304

4,806

Criminal Damage (under £500)

2004

452

651

2005

1,158

1,158

1,052

1,193

1,093

1,283

20061

1,746

1,919

1,806

1,778

1,579

1,776

Theft (retail under £200)

2004

872

1,146

2005

1,700

1,746

2,005

2,048

2,432

2,512

20061

2,722

3,148

3,346

3,498

3,873

3,831

Depositing and leaving litter

2004

19

30

2005

60

53

63

71

66

87

20061

87

77

108

104

87

76

1 Data on PNDs issued in 2006 are unpublished and provisional

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Homicide: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many recorded murders there were in each London borough in each of the last 10 years; and what percentage of those recorded murders led to a conviction in each year, broken down by borough. (133512)

The statistics are not available in the form requested. The recorded crime statistics relate to homicide offences and convictions data relates to offenders. In addition, recorded crime data are published on a financial year basis and conviction data are published on a calendar year basis. For these reasons, the two data sources are therefore not directly comparable.

Figures for the number of offences recorded and the number of convictions are in the following tables. Recorded crime data at borough level are only available from 2000-01.

Table 1: Recorded offences of homicide by London borough—2000-01 to 2005-06

Borough

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Barking and Dagenham

4

2

3

4

8

4

Barnet

8

4

5

2

5

4

Bexley

3

2

2

0

2

3

Brent

6

12

6

10

18

10

Bromley

7

3

4

2

3

2

Camden

7

10

16

1

8

22

City of Westminster

8

8

9

6

5

8

Croydon

3

7

6

12

10

10

Ealing

8

9

9

6

8

8

Enfield

2

6

6

6

12

6

Greenwich

4

5

4

12

8

5

Hackney

14

14

6

20

9

7

Hammersmith and Fulham

6

10

6

4

4

2

Haringey

9

7

17

12

10

5

Harrow

3

3

0

3

0

2

Havering

5

3

1

6

0

2

Hillingdon

2

2

5

6

2

3

Hounslow

5

6

2

7

6

5

Islington

11

9

3

5

7

2

Kensington and Chelsea

4

3

3

1

9

4

Kingston upon Thames

1

3

0

1

2

2

Lambeth

13

17

15

12

10

7

Lewisham

6

7

5

9

5

9

Merton

3

2

3

2

0

3

Newham

11

7

14

15

10

13

Redbridge

5

3

5

8

4

6

Richmond upon Thames

2

0

2

3

3

2

Southwark

15

11

11

13

9

7

Sutton

3

2

3

1

1

0

Tower Hamlets

4

9

11

11

8

0

Waltham Forest

4

5

7

9

5

7

Wandsworth

3

11

6

2

4

5

Total

189

202

195

211

195

175

Number of defendants found guilty at all courts of homicide, broken down by London court area, 1996 to 20051,2,3

London court Area

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

City of London

Guildhall Justice Rooms

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

Inner London Courts

Bow Street

2

1

4

3

5

8

3

3

3

5

4

Camberwell Green/Tower Bridge

8

14

5

10

7

10

12

15

13

16

16

Greenwich and Woolwich

2

4

10

14

5

7

3

9

8

6

11

Highbury Corner

15

16

14

22

13

7

13

8

7

9

6

Horseferry Road

2

3

3

3

2

4

1

6

2

6

9

Marylebone

4

3

4

1

3

5

South Western

2

2

1

8

6

3

4

4

4

Thames

2

1

1

5

11

12

7

7

15

13

West London

2

2

6

4

4

4

2

6

8

2

10

Inner London Juvenile Courts

1

6

1

Total - Inner London

38

51

50

59

52

62

49

58

52

59

73

Outer London Boroughs

Barking and Dagenham

6

1

6

3

4

1

1

Barnet

1

1

3

4

1

2

6

7

3

4

Bexley

1

1

1

2

1

4

Brent

6

4

4

4

1

15

7

6

7

11

8

Bromley

2

2

1

3

1

4

1

2

Croydon

3

1

1

1

1

2

8

4

9

6

Ealing

3

3

3

4

2

8

5

3

4

5

6

Enfield

3

4

1

5

4

3

7

4

9

9

Haringey

5

3

3

4

3

2

11

5

7

7

4

Harrow

1

2

1

2

1

2

Havering

1

2

1

2

3

4

Hillingdon

3

2

5

2

1

1

1

2

8

2

Hounslow

2

3

7

6

7

1

1

3

1

7

Kingston-upon-Thames

4

1

2

1

4

4

1

Merton

4

2

2

1

1

2

6

1

4

1

Newham

2

3

2

5

6

4

4

8

3

11

12

Redbridge

2

1

-

1

2

-

1

-

3

3

9

Richmond upon Thames

1

2

3

1

1

1

1

Sutton

1

1

1

2

3

Waltham Forest

3

3

1

5

1

7

3

4

4

3

Total - Outer London

45

26

33

52

41

52

63

62

58

91

77

Total

83

77

83

111

93

114

112

120

110

151

150

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 The data covers: murder, manslaughter and infanticide—provided to be consistent with recorded crime data provided for this PQ.

Source:

Office for Criminal Justice Reform – Ref IOS 210-07.

Ministerial Meetings

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when Ministers or officials from his Department last met the chairs of local police committees. (116681)

My right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary (John Reid) and I met with chairs of police authorities and with chief constables most recently at a seminar on police reform on 2 November 2006. I also attended the conference of the Association of Police Authorities, at which many chairs of police authorities were present, on 30 November 2006. I meet the APA on regular occasions and meet the chairs of local committees throughout the year in line with my duties as Police Minister.

Norwich Prison

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the health and safety of prisoners being held in A wing at HMP Norwich; what assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing levels at HMP Norwich; and if he will make a statement. (134245)

HMP/YOI Norwich has risk assessments and safe systems of work in place for all areas of the prison and for all activities. Part of A wing reopened in late January 2007 following up-to-date Health and Safety risk assessments and safe systems of work been put in place. Prior to occupation having the cells were inspected personally by the Governor and confirmed as being appropriate and suitable cellular accommodation by the Eastern Area Manager. The remaining poor repair cellular accommodation in A wing is not occupied. Safe staffing levels have been agreed for the operation of the prison and for the daily operation of the reopened A wing facility four additional staff have been added to the complement.

Passports: Lost Property

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of passports dispatched by courier did not arrive at their destination in the last period for which the figures are available; what those figures were in the last comparable period prior to the contract being awarded to couriers; if he will ensure that security of delivery is the paramount consideration in re-awarding the contract; and if he will make a statement. (133141)

For the 12 month period ending January 2007, 728 passports have been confirmed as lost while in the delivery process. This equates to 0.011 per cent. of passports delivered. Secure Delivery commenced in February 2004, and the last period of data available for the previous Royal Mail arrangements is for 2003. In that year, 3,593 passports were recorded as lost in the delivery process, which equates to 0.065 per cent.

Secure Delivery has therefore seen a reduction of over 80 per cent. in the number of passports lost in this way.

Security of delivery is the paramount consideration in the current arrangements, and all deliveries can be tracked from collection to the point of delivery. The new contract will balance the need to provide a secure delivery service with the need to provide value for money and high levels of customer service.

Police Custody

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 20 February 2007, Official Report, column 1227W, on police custody, on how many occasions Operation Safeguard was used in England and Wales between 1 January 2006 and 1 April 2007. (134069)

Operation Safeguard was reactivated on 22 January 2007. Between 22 January and 30 March 2007, Operation Safeguard was used on 9,380 occasions. This does not correspond precisely to a number of prisoners: one occasion means one prisoner night in a police cell.

Police: Broadcasting Programmes

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether police forces in England and Wales charge television companies for video footage used in television programmes. (133920)

Charging the media for police-held video material is a matter for decision by individual chief officers. The Association of Chief Police Officers have produced guidance notes on this subject entitled “Media Advisory Group Guidelines Parts 1-11”.

Police: Cheshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) police community support officers were recruited in Cheshire in each year since 1997. (134033)

The available data, for 2002-03 onwards, is in the following tables.

Police officer recruits1 to Cheshire police from 2002-03 to 2005-062 (FTE)3

Cheshire

2002-03

141

2003-04

153

2004-05

105

2005-06

121

1 Recruits included those officers joining as standard direct recruits and those who were previously special constables. This excludes police officers on transfers from other forces and those rejoining.

2 Financial year runs 1 April to 31 March inclusive. Data are not available prior to 2002-03.

3 Full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of the constituent items.

Police community support officer recruits1 to Cheshire police from 2002-03 to 2005-062 (FTE)3Cheshire2002-0322003-04262004-05122005-0614 1 Recruits included those officers joining as standard direct recruits and those who were previously special constables. This excludes police community support officers on transfers from other forces and those rejoining.2 Financial year runs 1 April to 31 March inclusive. Data are not available prior to 2002-03.3 Full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of the constituent items.

Police: County Durham

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers were transferred from non-operational duties to front line operations in the community in County Durham in each year since 2002; and how many civilian staff filled these non-operational posts. (134439)

The information requested is not collected centrally. The deployment of police officers and police staff is an operational matter for individual chief constables.

Police: Bullying

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reported incidents of bullying there were in police forces in England and Wales in each of the last 10 years, broken down by police force area. (133271)

Police: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many former police officers rejoined the police force in England and Wales in each year since 1997, broken down by police force area. (133273)

The available data are from 2002-03 onwards and are in the following table.

Police officer retainers (FTE)1 by force from 2002-03 to 2005-062

2002-03

2003-043

2004-05

2005-06

Avon and Somerset

1

0

0

0

Bedfordshire

5

2

0

3

Cambridgeshire

8

9

8

5

Cheshire

2

1

2

0

Cleveland

1

0

1

2

Cumbria

4

1

0

1

Derbyshire

19

0

13

20

Devon and Cornwall

6

0

1

11

Dorset

0

1

1

7

Durham

0

2

0

0

Dyfed-Powys

0

n/a

0

3

Essex

9

30

4

7

Gloucestershire

4

0

0

5

Greater Manchester

0

17

35

29

Gwent

0

1

13

17

Hampshire

6

3

19

14

Hertfordshire

5

4

2

1

Humberside

6

3

3

32

Kent

1

10

7

15

Lancashire

5

1

1

0

Leicestershire

5

2

10

11

Lincolnshire

5

1

2

4

London, City of

1

2

2

1

Merseyside

0

0

1

0

Metropolitan Police

46

69

113

100

Norfolk

8

0

0

5

Northamptonshire

1

0

0

1

Northumbria

0

8

1

10

North Wales

0

0

1

8

North Yorkshire

1

n/a

0

0

Nottinghamshire

0

1

1

20

South Wales

22

4

0

32

South Yorkshire

0

6

11

18

Staffordshire

7

13

15

2

Suffolk

1

0

0

10

Surrey

9

4

4

8

Sussex

4

8

2

11

Thames Valley

8

7

18

18

Warwickshire

1

4

1

3

West Mercia

2

3

14

11

West Midlands

23

15

13

9

West Yorkshire

4

3

9

17

Wiltshire

2

5

1

3

1 This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of the constituent items.

2 Financial year runs 1 April to 31 March inclusive.

3 Data are not available for Dyfed-Powys and North Yorkshire.

Police: Parental Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers took (a) maternity leave, (b) paternity leave and (c) a career break in each year since 1997. (133272)

The available data is in the table; they are from the 2002-03 financial year onwards and relate to long-term absences as at the end of each financial year.

Police officers (FTE)1 on long-term absence as at 31 March 2003 to 31 March 20062

As at 31 March each year

Maternity leave

Paternity leave

Career break

20033

291

7

626

2004

642

27

750

20054

617

41

867

2006

713

31

1,124

1 Full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding these figures may not match published totals.

2 Data are available from 2002-03 onwards.

3 Data are not available for Dyfed-Powys, Nottinghamshire, Sussex and West Midlands.

4 Data are not available for North Wales.

Police: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police authorities did not meet the target time for handling calls from the public under the National Call Handling Standards for (a) urgent and (b) non-urgent calls in the most recent year for which figures are available. (121205)

[holding answer 12 February 2007]: The target times for answering emergency and non-emergency calls under the National Call Handling Standards is not yet collated nationally, as NCHS has not been fully implemented in all forces.

The HMIC Baseline Assessment in 2006 examined implementation of NCHS and its relationship with the Quality of Service Agreement under 1C Customer Service and Accessibility. The HMIC’s 2007-08 assessment regime will also address this area of work.

Prisoners Release: Acquittals

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what financial and other assistance is available to those who are released from prison having been on remand and are found to be innocent. (133870)

Remand prisoners are eligible for all induction and resettlement programmes within the prisons and are able to access practical support to effectively help them re-integrate back into the community.

Currently there is no financial scheme that covers such prisoners. However, remand prisoners are entitled to travel warrants and in some cases to housing benefit and council tax benefit and mortgage interest for a limited time.

Prisoners: Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many claims for compensation were made by prisoners at each of Her Majesty’s Prisons and Young Offender Institutions in each year between 1997 and 2007; on what basis each claim was made; how many of these claims were settled out of court; how many were otherwise successful; what the total sum was of compensation paid; and what action was taken by the prison authorities in each case to prevent similar claims in the future. (134450)

Prisoners: Foreigners

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign prisoners there were in prisons in England and Wales on 31 March, broken down by country of origin. (132929)

Information as at the end of February 2007 on the numbers of prisoners by recorded nationality in all prison establishments in England and Wales is given in the following table. This is the latest date for which the information is currently available.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

<
Prison population in prison establishments in England and Wales showing all nationalities, February 2007

Number

Total Prison population

79,581

Unrecorded

879

Total other

less than 50

Aruba

less than 50

United Arab Emirates

less than 50

Afghanistan

96

Anguilla

less than 50

Albania

135

Armenia

less than 50

Netherlands Antilles

less than 50

Angola

90

Argentina

less than 50

Austria

less than 50

Australia

less than 50

Azerbaijan

less than 50

Bosnia-Herzegovina

less than 50

Barbados

less than 50

Bangladesh

171

Belgium

less than 50

Bulgaria

less than 50

Bahrain

less than 50

Burundi

less than 50

Dahomey (Benin)

less than 50

Bermuda

less than 50

Bolivia

less than 50

Brazil

83

Bahamas

less than 50

Burma

less than 50

Botswana

less than 50

Belize

less than 50

Canada

less than 50

Croatia

less than 50

Ivory Coast

less than 50

Central African Republic

less than 50

Congo

112

Switzerland

less than 50

Chile

less than 50

Cameroon, United Republic

less than 50

China

279

Columbia

119

Costa Rica

less than 50

Czech Republic

less than 50

Cuba

less than 50

Cape Verde

less than 50

Cyprus

57

Germany

143

Denmark

less than 50

Dominica

less than 50

Dominican Republic

less than 50

Algeria

198

Estonia

less than 50

Ecuador

less than 50

Egypt

less than 50

Spain

74

Ethiopia

53

French Guyana

less than 50

Finland

less than 50

Fiji

less than 50

France

162

French Southern Territories

less than 50

Grenada

less than 50

Georgia

less than 50

Ghana

211

Gibraltar

less than 50

Gambia

less than 50

Guinea

less than 50

Equatorial Guinea

less than 50

Greece

less than 50

Guatemala

less than 50

Guinea/Bissau

less than 50

Guyana

less than 50

Hong Kong

less than 50

Honduras

less than 50

Haiti

less than 50

Hungary

less than 50

Iran

205

Indonesia

less than 50

Israel

less than 50

India

306

Iraq

288

Irish Republic

666

Italy

113

Jamaica

1,490

Jordan

less than 50

Kazakhstan

less than 50

Kenya

60

Kiribati

less than 50

Kyrgystan

less than 50

Korea Republic of (Sth)

less than 50

Kuwait

less than 50

Lebanon

less than 50

St. Lucia

less than 50

Sri Lanka

167

Lithuania

188

Liberia

less than 50

Latvia

less than 50

Libya

less than 50

Morocco

less than 50

Moldova

less than 50

Macedonia

less than 50

Serbia and Montenegro

92

Mali

less than 50

Mongolia

less than 50

Mauritania

less than 50

Montserrat

less than 50

Malta

less than 50

Mauritius

less than 50

Malawi

less than 50

Mexico

less than 50

Malaysia

less than 50

Mozambique

less than 50

Namibia

less than 50

Niger

less than 50

Nigeria

1,070

Netherlands

147

Norway

less than 50

New Zealand

less than 50

Oman

less than 50

Panama

less than 50

Peru

less than 50

Papua New Guinea

less than 50

Philippines

less than 50

Pakistan

444

Poland

290

Portugal

193

Paraguay

less than 50

Qatar

less than 50

Romania

144

Rwanda

less than 50

Saudi Arabia

less than 50

Seychelles

less than 50

Sudan

less than 50

Sweden

less than 50