Tuesday 7 July 2009
There is evidence that elements of the Iranian regime provide arms and funding to the Taliban and other illegal armed groups in Afghanistan. This is contrary to the Iranian Government’s own claims to want security and stability in the region and we will continue to raise this with the Iranian Government at appropriate opportunities.
The estimated saving from implementation of the decision taken by the Food Standards Agency board on 12 May 2009 to move to more proportionate, risk-based supervision of official bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) controls for cattle aged over 30 months (OTM), is up to £3 million per annum once all measures have been implemented. The cost of all official BSE controls for OTM cattle is currently funded by the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.
The changes which will deliver the saving will be implemented and monitored on a phased basis to verify that food business operators are compliant, that there is no loss of control and that the current high level of consumer protection is maintained.
Alderney: Contribution to UK Defence
The Ministry of Defence no longer has responsibility for the Alderney breakwater. Responsibility including for maintenance matters for the area was transferred to the Home Office in 1950.
Armed Forces: Campaign Medals
The creation of medals is the prerogative of the Sovereign, taking advice from the inter-departmental, non-political, Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals (known as the HD Committee), on which the Armed Forces are represented. World War Two medals were instituted for periods of military service in specified geographic areas and did not relate to individual battles, operations or military commands. Those who served in Bomber Command during the Second World War could qualify for one of the stars instituted for campaign service, for example the 1939-45 Star, the much prized Aircrew Europe Star, or the France and Germany Star. The issue of awarding a medal specifically to those who served in Bomber Command was considered at the time by the senior military commanders and the HD Committee but it was concluded that this was not appropriate. The HD Committee has a policy not to revisit cases for service performed many years previously or where medals already exist for specified periods of service, both of which apply for service in Bomber Command.
Association of Chief Police Officers
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 2 June (WA 64), whether, in the context of the status of the Association of Chief Police Officers, its relationship to Parliament and the fact that it is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, they will consider nationalising it. [HL4239]
The Government have no plans to change the status of ACPO.
ACPO is an independent voluntary organisation whose members are chief officers from the forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It holds the status of a private company limited by guarantee, and as such, it is required to conform to the requirements of company law. Its affairs are governed by a Board of Directors, and are therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Home Office.
Asylum Seekers: Democratic Republic of Congo
The Home Office publishes statistics on the total number of removals and voluntary departures from the UK by country of nationality and destination on a quarterly and annual basis. Published information for 2008 can be found in table one of the supplementary tables to the quarterly Control of Immigration: Quarterly statistical summary United Kingdom Q4 2008 (http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pdfsO9/immig4O8supp.xls).
Published statistics on immigration and asylum are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate web site at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html.
Bank charges are a matter for the regulatory authorities. The treatment of charges is set out in the Banking Code, which is monitored by the Banking Code Standards Board.
The Financial Services Authority will introduce a new conduct of business regime, covering all retail banking services within its remit on 1 November 2009. It will introduce a new principles-based framework and conduct rules. The Financial Services Authority will consult on areas where additional rules or guidance may be needed.
The Office of Fair Trading is pursuing a test case against a group of banks on the fairness of unarranged overdraft charging terms. It is also working with stakeholders to address the concerns identified in its market study into the operation of the market for personal current accounts. This, together with the resolution of the bank charges test case, will open the way to introduce transparent price structures and simpler mechanisms for switching from one provider to another.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will require the Legal Services Commission to review the system of payment for junior counsel's services in magistrates' courts, to ensure that they are remunerated fairly in proportion to the cases in which they appear. [HL4574]
The Government have no plans to require the Legal Services Commission (LSC) to undertake such a review.
Counsel rarely appear in the magistrates' courts on criminal matters, apart from in London where there is a history of the work being sub-contracted to barristers by solicitor firms. Payments to junior counsel in magistrates' court cases are a matter for counsel to agree with the instructing solicitor, who is also responsible for making the payment. Neither the LSC nor the Government determines the level of payment in these cases.
In exceptional cases, such as those involving a novel point of law, the court will recognise the need for representation by counsel. In such cases where counsel is assigned, counsel is entitled to be paid by the LSC, and is paid at rates determined by the LSC. The Government consider that these rates are fair.
Criminal Justice Acts
We anticipate the information requested will be available towards the end of the year and I will arrange for it to be published in the Official Report by means of a Written Ministerial Statement.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 2 June (WA 70), what the procurement process was for the campaign by Deen International; and whether they will place a copy of the tender documents in the Library of the House. [HL4515]
I refer the noble Baroness to the Answer my noble friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Lord Malloch-Brown, gave on 14 May 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 237-8).
“I am Muslim I am British” was an initiative brought to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) by a community-based organisation, which the FCO decided to fund after careful consideration. Implementation was carried out through Deen International because the company offered a combination of quick mobilisation, accounting transparency and operational effectiveness, which is difficult to achieve with community-led organisations. A tender process was not necessary or appropriate against this background but, as my previous answer made clear, the FCO established management arrangements including a steering committee to ensure transparent and effective delivery. The project delivered a series of events in Pakistan from January to May 2009, on which we are about to receive a full external assessment.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the current levels of cord blood donation and the donation of umbilical cord in the United Kingdom; how many people with how many diseases have been treated with stem cells derived from cord blood; and what percentage of cord blood is collected for research, cryopreservation or clinical treatment; and what assessment they have made of United Kingdom storage rates vis-à-vis those in Greece, Spain and Portugal. [HL4505]
The NHS Cord Blood Bank has 13,382 units of cord blood stored for clinical use, all of which were cryopreserved. As of December 2008, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) had collected a further 1,871 units for research. Of the units collected for research, 4.9 per cent. were cryopreserved for later use and 95.1 per cent were used fresh. The department has an agreed business plan with NHSBT to increase the number of cord blood units stored from the current level to 20,000 by 2013.
The NHS Cord Blood Bank has issued 260 units of cord blood for clinical transplantation. The following table shows the diseases these units have been used to treat by percentage of the total number issued:
Disease Percentage of total Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia 21.9 Acute Myeloid Leukaemia 21.5 Aplastic Anaemia 7.7 Myelodysplastic syndrome 7.3 Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma 5.8 Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia 5.0 Severe Combined Immunodeficiency 4.2 Hurler Syndrome 3.1 Hodgkins Lymphoma 1.9 Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia 0.8 Other diseases including both malignant and non-malignant disease, such as Multiple Myeloma, Plasma cell leukaemia, Fanconi's anaemia, and sickle cell disease 20.8
Percentage of total
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia
Other diseases including both malignant and non-malignant disease, such as Multiple Myeloma, Plasma cell leukaemia, Fanconi's anaemia, and sickle cell disease
All above figures were correct as of 23 June 2009.
In 2008, as part of a review of the collection and use of umbilical cord blood, the department commissioned a study of current practice in the United Kingdom compared to that found in Canada, China, France, Japan, Spain and the United States. The study produced a report entitled Cord Blood Banking in the UK—an international comparison of policy and practice. A copy was placed in the Library in January 2009. No such comparison has been made for Greece and Portugal.
Over the past 60 or so years, numerous successful treatments involving adult stem cells have been developed, including bone marrow and umbilical cord blood transplantation for blood and immune system disorders, corneal transplantation for the victims of acid splashes to the eye and skin grafting for burns victims.
The isolation of human embryonic stem cells first took place in 1998 and their use for the treatment of unmet medical needs, such as Parkinson's disease, is still an aspiration. Progress is being made, but there are still uncertainties about stem cell biology that will only be addressed by considerable amounts of further laboratory and clinical research.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answers by Lord Darzi of Denham on 22 July 2008 (WA 244–5), 20 January 2009 (WA196–7) and 23 June 2009 (WA 266–7), how the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) was previously aware that 35 stem cell lines have been derived under HFEA licences and that no embryonic stem cell lines have yet been derived from cytoplasmic hybrids under HFEA licensed projects if it does not hold data on the number of stem cell lines derived from licensed research projects; whether the authority has a statutory obligation to destroy previously held data; and, if so, under which circumstances. [HL4654]
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) is not statutorily obliged to hold data on the number of stem cell lines derived from HFEA licensed research projects and these data are not recorded on the authority's register. However, the HFEA has advised that centres licensed to derive stem cells from embryos may provide this information to the authority as part of their six-monthly progress reports or licence renewal applications.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 does not impose any specific obligation on the HFEA to destroy data. However, the HFEA has advised that, in common with many organisations, it operates a retention policy, which sets out the time periods for which it will continue to retain certain categories of information. This policy is based on best practice, including guidance issued by the National Archives. In relation to personal data, the HFEA is required to comply with the principles in the Data Protection Act 1998, as amended, and, in particular, with principle five which provides that personal data processed for any purpose shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised me that it does not, itself, determine whether embryos are dead. However, the HFEA has also informed me that embryologists are likely to class an embryo as dead if cell division and development has ceased for at least 24 hours.
Energy: Carbon Capture and Storage
Our consultation document, A Framework for the Development of Clean Coal, published on 17 June (www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/consultations/clean_coal/clean_coal.aspx) sets out our proposals for supporting the large-scale demonstration of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies.
It also sets out our rationale for prioritising the demonstration of CCS on coal-fired power stations and our proposals for a levy on electricity suppliers that will provide the necessary funds to support the demonstration of CCS.
Our current view is that because the funds will derive from a levy on electricity suppliers it seems reasonable that only projects that supply electricity to the public supply should benefit. This would not necessarily preclude industrial-based power projects being considered for support under these arrangements and we would welcome views on this point as part of the consultation that closes on 9 September.
Energy: Electricity Prices
DECC's analysis estimates that the benefits to the UK as a whole of measures to help avert climate change could outweigh the costs by more than 10 times. Where these measures lead to an international climate agreement consistent with delivering a 450 ppm stabilisation of GHG atmospheric concentrations, we estimate the total benefits at £241.9 billion. This compares with total costs of £20.6 billion. The impact assessment can be found at www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/lc_uk/carbon_budgets/carbon_budgets.aspx.
The Government are committed to ensuring that policies to avert climate change are cost-effective.
For household consumers, approximately 12 to 14 per cent of current average electricity bills for medium-sized consumers is attributable to climate change legislation (the renewables obligation, the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target). However the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target supports energy efficiency measures for households and so will deliver over time an overall saving greater than its total cost to consumers.
For industrial consumers, approximately 15 per cent of current average electricity bills for a medium-sized industrial consumer is attributable to climate change legislation (the renewables obligation and EU ETS). Actual proportions for individual industrial consumers will vary from this average according to actual prices paid and consumption sizes.
With reference to estimates for 2020, a DECC assessment on the impact of the renewables obligation and the EU Emissions Trading Scheme on electricity prices in 2020 was published in April as part of the impact assessment on the EU Climate and Energy Package. This information is available at http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/lc_uk/carbon_budgets/carbon_budgets.aspx.
An energy and climate change strategy setting out the proposals and policies for meeting carbon budgets will be laid before Parliament in the summer. This report will put the Government's carbon reduction strategy in the context of the overall programme for delivering secure and low-carbon energy, transport and housing, in a way which benefits the UK economy into the future. An estimate of the cost of the proposed financial mechanism for carbon capture and storage demonstration will also be published as part of the impact assessment alongside the consultation in the summer.
Energy: Nuclear Power
The policy of Her Majesty's Government was published in the White Paper, The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994) on 4 December 2006. It states that the UK's nuclear forces must remain fully operationally independent. This remains extant government policy.
Energy: Power Stations
To ask Her Majesty's Government what would be the likely cost of building new power stations to provide 25 gigawatts (25,000 megawatts) of electricity by (a) coal, (b) gas, and (c) nuclear power; and what would be the likely load factor of the new plants in each case. [HL4691]
The cost of building power stations depends on a number of factors which investors will take into account in deciding whether to build coal, gas or nuclear plants. These include the cost of raising finance, the length of construction as well as the materials. Load factors will depend on commercial decisions taken by companies when assessing how to run their power stations—these will be driven by fuel and other operational costs relative to electricity prices.
Energy: Wind Generation
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Statement by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 24 June (WS 115–6), whether the statement by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath that the installation of 25 gigawatts (25,000 megawatts) of wind turbine capacity by 2020 would meet more than a quarter of the United Kingdom's electricity needs took into account the unreliability of winds, outage through breakdown and routine maintenance at sea. [HL4689]
My Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament of 24 June (Official Report, col. WS 115-17) announced the Government's decision to proceed with a draft plan/programme for some 25 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind farm leasing, in addition to the 8GW already planned.
Under this draft plan offshore wind has the potential to meet more than a quarter of the UK's electricity needs. This assumes a load factor of 30 per cent for offshore wind power which takes into account the variability of wind power and the non-availability of turbines due to breakdown and routine maintenance.
The department has not undertaken any forecasting on the costs of the infrastructure needed for 25GW of additional offshore wind power. However, any such calculation would be dependent on a number of factors including the location of future offshore wind farms (distance from the shore and water depth), turbine, supply chain and installation costs, and planning costs.
The combined onshore and offshore cost of connecting the 25GW of Round 3 offshore wind generation projects is estimated by National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) to be £10.4 billion (http://www.thecrowne state.co.uk/round3_connection_study.pdf).
The Government's latest forecast of UK net contributions to the EC Budget in 2008-09 and 2009-10 were published in table C9 (page 238) of the 2009 Budget (HC 407). A more detailed breakdown of these contributions and an estimate of UK contributions in 2009 will be included in the 2009 European Community finances White Paper which will be published later this month.
The Government's policy on membership of the single currency remains unchanged. As stated by the previous Chancellor in October 1997, “Whenever this issue arises, under this Government there will be a referendum. Government, Parliament and the people must all agree”.
The Government are aware of President Carter's recent visit to Gaza but have not requested a briefing from President Carter.
Government Departments: Bottled Water
The department is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its official activities. The department's policy is not to supply bottled water unless it is essential for health and safety reasons.
Government Equalities Office
In common with Cabinet Office rules for the Senior Civil Service, senior civil servants in the Government Equalities Office are eligible for non-consolidated performance payments for delivery of priority business objectives.
Insufficient information is held to enable a reliable estimate to be made of the number of Gurkhas who retired from the Armed Forces before 1997 and who have now passed away. Many generations of Gurkhas have served with great distinction in the UK Armed Forces, since they were first permitted to volunteer for British military service in the 1815 peace treaty that ended the Anglo-Nepalese war of 1814-15. Between 1948, when the Brigade of Gurkhas was formed as part of the British Army and 1 July 1997, when the brigade became UK-based, it is estimated that some 37,100 Gurkhas served in and were discharged from the brigade. We also estimate that from those years there remain 34,700 Gurkhas and Gurkha widows, who are in receipt of a Gurkha pension.
There are around 5,000 veterans and veterans' widows who do not qualify for a service pension but who receive a welfare pension from the Gurkha Welfare Scheme, which is the field arm of the independent charity, the Gurkha Welfare Trust. The welfare pension is paid from donations made to the Gurkha Welfare Trust which allows them a sustainable lifestyle. The Ministry of Defence grants the Gurkha Welfare Trust more than £1 million per year, which covers most of its administrative costs in Nepal.
There are around 7,000 veterans who did not serve for long enough to qualify for a service pension and who are not yet old enough or needy enough to qualify for a welfare pension. On leaving the Brigade of Gurkhas, they would have received a gratuity but no pension. If these veterans fall on hard times they too become eligible for a welfare pension.
All veterans receive free primary healthcare and those without Gurkha Pension Scheme or AFPS payments receive free secondary healthcare, all through the Gurkha Welfare Scheme.
Provision in the Gurkha Pension Scheme is higher for the vast majority of British Gurkhas than that provided to Indian Gorkhas. The main area for change arising from the Indian 6th Central Pay Commission affects those pensioners aged 80 or over, the most vulnerable group, who are to receive an increase of at least 20 per cent.
Health: Contaminated Blood Products
Question HL4191 was answered on 29 June 2009 (Official Report, col. WA 14).
In April 2007, the department published Making Every Young Person with Diabetes Matter, the report of the children and young people with diabetes working group, which looked at ways to improve diabetes services for children and young people. This report includes guidance to commissioners on the planning, design and provision of diabetes services for children and young people. A copy of this document has already been placed in the Library.
The children and young people with diabetes working group's recommendations are now being taken forward by an implementation group led by the National Clinical Director for Children. The group's membership includes Diabetes UK, parents of children with diabetes, clinicians and other key partners with an interest in children and diabetes.
NHS Diabetes is currently working on a commissioning toolkit, which will assist in local commissioning of diabetes services, including services for children with diabetes. The toolkit will state the need for compliance with National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidelines, the Diabetes National Service Framework and the Children's National Service Framework. The toolkit will clearly specify commissioners' and providers' responsibilities for the whole patient episode.
Health: Former UK Residents
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Darzi of Denham on 20 May (WA 324), why the United Kingdom paid the Republic of Ireland €450 million for reimbursement of healthcare costs in 2007; what is the forecast figure for 2009; and how much is expected to be offset in 2009 for previous overpayments. [HL4553]
The payment of €450 million in 2007 was made as part of ongoing negotiations between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland on the terms for the reimbursement of healthcare costs. The payment was made on account, based on the amount that the Republic of Ireland had claimed. The department stated that as a result of the expected reduction in United Kingdom liabilities, it would likely represent an overpayment which would lead to financial adjustments in subsequent years. As negotiations between the UK and Ireland are ongoing and key issues are still to be resolved, it is not currently possible to calculate either the amount due by the UK or the income due to it, in respect of 2009.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the latest annual payments to the United Kingdom from non-waiver European economic area countries for reimbursement of health treatment costs for those countries' nationals under European Union Regulation 1408/71. [HL4554]
The following table shows the breakdown of actual cash payments received by the United Kingdom in the financial year 2008-09 from non-waiver European economic area (EEA) member states for the reimbursement of healthcare provided in the UK under EU Regulation (EC) 1408/71.
2008/09 Income received (1) £ Austria 29,602 Belgium 2,819,854 Bulgaria 0 Cyprus 0 Czech Republic 2,260 Estonia (waiver) (2) 0 Finland (waiver) (3) 0 France 5,224,201 Germany 93,980 Greece 864,284 Hungary (waiver) (3) 8,219 Iceland 0 Ireland 19,559,943 Italy 0 Latvia 0 Liechtenstein 0 Lithuania 0 Luxembourg (4) 0 Malta (waiver) (3) 0 Netherlands 0 Norway (waiver) (3) 0 Poland 0 Portugal 17,531 Romania 0 Slovakia 0 Slovenia 6,425 Spain 4,225,793 Sweden 280,410 Switzerland 0 Total Claim Payments (6) 33,132,501
2008/09 Income received (1)
Estonia (waiver) (2)
Finland (waiver) (3)
Hungary (waiver) (3)
Malta (waiver) (3)
Norway (waiver) (3)
Total Claim Payments (6)
1. Payments made in one year do not necessarily relate to claims for that year nor do they reflect the full value of claims for that year.
2. Waiver, excepting Article 22.1c (patient referral) and Article 55.1c (industrial injury) claims.
3. Waiver, excepting Article 22.1c (patient referral) claims.
4. Previously waiver, regulations apply from 30 June 2008.
5. Totals for individual countries are rounded to the nearest £1.
6. Sub-totals may not add up to rounded overall totals due to rounding.
7. Denmark is excluded from the list, as there is a total waiver.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published final guidance on the diagnosis and management of glaucoma on 22 April 2009 and the Government expect National Health Service organisations to work towards implementation over time within available resources.
NICE has produced a range of tools to support the implementation of the NICE clinical guideline (CG85) on glaucoma. This includes a cost report and template that aims to help organisations plan for the financial implications of implementation, and a slide set that provides an overview of the guideline. NICE is also currently in the process of producing a commissioning guide which we are expecting to be published in the autumn.
Higher Education: Overseas Students
Guidance to higher education establishments was originally issued in June 2008. Updates were issued in September and November 2008. A final version of the guidance was published in February 2009 and is available on the UKBA website at https://www.points.homeoffice .gov.uk/gui-sponsorisf/SponsorHome.faces.
Prior to issue, the guidance was sent to the Joint Education taskforce, UKBA's main stakeholder group in the sector.
On the 23 March 2009 the Government published a Green Paper, Rights and Responsibilities: Developing our Constitutional Framework which commences a debate about whether all parts of the United Kingdom, including England, would benefit from a UK Bill of Rights and Responsibilities containing rights additional to those in the European Convention.
The Government are separately committed to publishing a consultation paper on a potential Bill of Rights for Northern Ireland. The question of whether there is a need for additional rights to reflect the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland will be explored during that consultation.
All students applying to extend their stay in the UK are now required to enrol their biometrics before UKBA can process their application. This requires an applicant to book an appointment, receive confirmation from UKBA and attend to enrol their biometrics. This can take around 20 days from receipt of their initial application by UKBA. The average waiting time for a single biometric appointment is currently eight days so many are seen and enrolled within 14 days of their application being received.
Prior to the implementation of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006, legislation to prevent illegal migrant working was in place in the form of Section 8 of the Asylum and Nationality Act 1996. This placed a requirement on employers to check and record certain specified documents before a potential employee is employed, if the employer wanted to establish a statutory defence from prosecution for employing an illegal migrant worker.
The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 has, since it came into force on 29 February 2008, allowed the UK Border Agency to instead issue civil penalties of up to £10,000 per worker to employers who are found to be liable for employing illegal migrant workers.
This is combined with the introduction of a new criminal offence of knowingly employing an illegal migrant worker (under Section 21 of the 2006 Act). This will help in the more serious cases where rogue employers knowingly and deliberately use illegal migrant workers, often for personal financial gain. This will carry a maximum two-year custodial sentence and/or an unlimited fine.
The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 does not apply retrospectively; therefore, any employer who is found to have been employing a person illegally prior to 29 February 2008 (when the 2006 Act came into force) may still risk prosecution under Section 8 of the 1996 Act. To comply with the requirements of the 2006 Act, which would apply to employees who started work since 29 February 2008, an employer would have to satisfy themselves of the entitlement of prospective employees to work in the UK to ensure they are not employing an illegal migrant worker before the employment begins.
Offences of human trafficking are prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants Act, etc.) 2004.
Figures from the UK Human Trafficking Centre's interrogation of the police national computer show as of 24 May, the number of arrests and convictions as below:
Arrests Convictions 2006 111 35 2007 135 22 2008 177 30 2009 76 2
In each year since 2006, the following number of foreign nationals have been excluded from the UK on grounds of (a) national security, and (b) unacceptable behaviour:
In 2006 (a) 40 (b) 32 In 2007 (a) 80 (b) 21 In 2008 (a) 26 (b) 12 To date 2009 (a) 7 (b) 18
To date 2009
The attached table sets out the total number of arrests for suspected illegal entry and Section 10 offences. Due to changes in the nature of the system used to record details of arrests made by the UK Border Agency, complete and reliable data are only available from October 2006.
Section 10 offences include overstaying, working in breach of conditions, claiming public funds in breach of conditions, and obtaining leave to remain by deception.
These figures do not constitute part of national statistics as they are based on internal management information. The information has not been quality assured under national statistics protocols, should be treated as provisional and is subject to change.
Period Illegal Entry Arrests Section 10 Arrests Oct 2006-Mar 2007 2,546 1,337 2007-08 4,626 3,924 2008-09 4,362 3,739
Illegal Entry Arrests
Section 10 Arrests
Oct 2006-Mar 2007
Applicants whose application and any associated appeal is finally rejected are expected to leave the country. If they do not do so action will be taken to enforce their removal. In 2008, case ownership was introduced for all in-country cases.
Further information on the UK Border Agency's enforcement strategy is available to view at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/managingborders/enforcement/.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 1 June (WA 41), whether they will place in the Library of the House a copy of the List of Unacceptable Behaviours published by the then Home Secretary, Charles Clarke, in August 2005. [HL4479]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what emphasis they give in their asylum and immigration policies to family reunion; whether they will increase that emphasis; and whether they encourage European Union, European Economic Area and Middle-Eastern states to promote family reunion. [HL4529]
The UK's family reunification policy is laid out in Part 8 of the Immigration Rules (HC 395), covering family members. The Immigration Rules state that sponsors must be present and settled in the UK, in order for an application under one of the family reunification routes to be successful. The only exception to this is where the sponsor, following an asylum claim, has been granted five years, limited leave as a refugee or five years, temporary protection (ie humanitarian protection). In both circumstances, where only limited leave has been granted to the sponsor, an application for family reunification will be considered under Part 11 of the Immigration Rules.
There are differences between family reunification rights under Community law for EEA nationals (directive 2004/38/EC) and UK immigration provisions, mainly that the definitions of family members are different and the concept of extended family members is present in the directive only.
The UK is not a signatory to the Council directive 2003/86/EC on family reunification and as such does not actively encourage/discourage family reunion from other member states. EU nationals are entitled to exercise their free movement rights under the free movement directive 2004/38/EC accordingly.
The UK has no immediate plans to change policy with reference to family reunification.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made on the introduction of the points-based system of immigration for entry into the United Kingdom of overseas students to higher education institutions; and what changes have been made since 30 March. [HL4533]
Educational institutions have been able to apply for a sponsor licence under tier 4 since 28 July 2008. Tier 4 itself was implemented on 31 March 2009. Since then, all non-EEA students applying to enter or remain in the UK have done so under the new tier 4 arrangements. On 1 June 2009 there was a further update to the application form and guidance. This is available on the UK Border Agency website with a summary of the recent key changes to tier 4 at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsarticles/pbs-new-forms-for-students.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what regulations govern investment products of insurance companies to ensure they represent good value for investors at the time of purchase and throughout the life of the investment; and who enforces those regulations. [HL4575]
The Financial Services Authority has an extensive set of requirements that apply to the marketing and selling of these products and to the way that the companies that offer them manage their business. These requirements have a number of purposes. They aim to ensure that the investor receives appropriate information about the product, including on the costs and risks of investing, so as to be able to make decisions on an informed basis. Where advice is given, any product recommended must be suitable for the needs of the investor. Other parts of the regulatory regime are concerned with the maintenance of firms' financial soundness and with the fair treatment of customers including responding to any complaints. The Financial Services Authority monitors the operation of this regulatory regime through a risk-based supervisory system.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was their response to the European Commission following the infraction proceedings commenced in April 2009 by the Commission for non-implementation of the European Community laws protecting internet users under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2426) with regard to the interceptions which occurred during the BT Phorm trials of web traffic of United Kingdom citizens; and whether they will publish their response. [HL4494]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Home Office was the lead department responding to the European Commission's infraction proceedings for non-implementation of the European Community laws protecting internet users under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2426) with regard to the interceptions which occurred during the BT Phorm trials of web traffic of United Kingdom citizens; and which other departments contributed to the response.[HL4495]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what reply they have received from the European Commission following their response to the Commission's infraction proceedings for non-implementation of the European Community laws protecting internet users under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2426) with regard to the interceptions which occurred during the BT Phorm trials of web traffic of United Kingdom citizens.[HL4496]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they had communications with the European Commission prior to the Commission's infraction proceedings for non-implementation of the European Community laws protecting internet users under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2426) with regard to the interceptions which occurred during the BT Phorm trials of web traffic of United Kingdom citizens; and, if so, whether the content of those communications has been published.[HL4497]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the principal issues involved in the European Commission's infraction proceedings for non-implementation of the European Community laws protecting internet users under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2426) with regard to the interceptions which occurred during the BT Phorm trials of web traffic of United Kingdom citizens; what resolution was proposed; and what action was taken thereon. [HL4498]
In July 2008 the European Commission commenced an exchange of letters with the UK Government on the issue of targeted online advertising in the UK. Those letters have not been published, although I understand one letter is in the public domain.
The Commission's interest was triggered by the response to the British Telecom announcement (April 2008) that it had conducted two secret trials (in 2006 and again in 2007) of targeted online advertising using technology provided by a company known as Phorm. Neither the Home Office nor any other government department had knowledge of those trials.
In April 2009 the European Commission sent a formal notice of infringement to the UK Government in relation to the Commission's concerns about the UK's implementation of European electronic privacy and personal data protection directives. The Government's response to the Commission was lead by the Home Office following consultation with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Ministry of Justice and the Cabinet Office. It would not be appropriate to disclose the contents of that response while the Commission is still considering it and related matters.
The Commission has not yet replied to the UK's response. It remains unclear whether the BT trials amounted to interception and indeed whether any such interception would be unlawful. It would be for the relevant prosecuting authorities and ultimately a court to make that determination.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Malloch-Brown on 18 May (WA 265), whether the Government of Iran have given assurances that the seven Baha'i leaders will receive fair trials, in accordance with article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; and whether they have made representations about the status of a further 24 Baha'is imprisoned in Iran. [HL4456]
We continue to express our concerns to the Iranian Government regarding the treatment and continued detention of the seven Baha'i leaders. Alongside our EU partners we have repeatedly urged the Iranian Government to ensure that these individuals are protected and given a fair trial in accordance with international standards. In an EU declaration dated 25 May 2009, we raised concerns about the treatment of the wider Baha'i community and other religious minorities in Iran.
The Iranian Government refuse to engage constructively with the international community on human rights issues. In this context, we believe the most significant impact we can have at present is by ensuring that international attention remains focused on the human rights environment in Iran by raising individual cases of concern.
My right honourable friends the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary have expressed their serious concerns about the arrest of protesters and journalists and the expulsion of foreign correspondents. EU statements have also reinforced this point.
To ask Her Majesty's Government for how long members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces will remain in Iraq in their present status; and when they expect to reach a diplomatic agreement with the Government of Iraq over the status of those forces. [HL4614]
Our existing Government-to-Government Memorandum of Understanding with Iraq, which took effect on 1 January 2009, authorises the presence and activities of UK troops in Iraq until 31 July 2009. A new agreement for our future defence presence in Iraq, focused on training and maritime support, was signed on 6 June 2009. This agreement is currently being considered by the Iraqi Parliament. Copies of the signed text are available in the Library of the House.
NHS: Primary Care Trusts
To ask Her Majesty's Government how strategic health authorities will assess the commissioning competency of primary care trusts. [HL4647]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to introduce a system of publicly available performance measurement, with metrics rather than a list of competencies, to demonstrate progress by primary care trusts towards the Government's objective of World Class Commissioning in the National Health Service. [HL4648]
Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) hold primary care trusts (PCTs) to account on their commissioning performance through an annual assurance system. The system includes an assessment of both outcomes and processes, evaluating PCTs' commissioning progress against three elements: commissioning skill sets (or competencies), organisational governance and health outcomes. These elements are assessed using a combination of approaches including self- assessment, self-certification, feedback from partners, evidence-gathering, data analysis and panel review days. Progress against outcomes is measured using metrics.
SHAs are responsible for running the assurance process locally, ensuring each PCT has gathered the appropriate evidence, co-ordinating the panel review day, and providing follow-up, including both rating PCTs and supporting their ongoing development.
In the first year of assurance each PCT's ratings, calibrated nationally, were published locally and can be accessed on each PCT's website. The results from year two of assurance will be published nationally.
UNSCR 1874 does not authorise use of force to compel a ship's Master to submit to an inspection either with or without flag state permission. A warship can conduct a hail and query interception—to ask questions or even make assertions. However we do not currently intend to use British naval assets to conduct interdiction on the high seas in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874 and although we will continue to keep the situation under review we have made no assessment of availability at this stage.
Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 15 June (WA 184), why one commissioner on the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission declared no Protestant or Catholic community background; and how many of the seven commissioners who have declared political activity were active in each party. [HL4550]
It is a matter for the individuals what information they wish to declare in relation to their community background. Of the seven commissioners who declared political activity, one was on behalf of the UUP, two the Northern Ireland Women's Coalition, one Alliance Party, two SDLP and one DUP.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will respond to the recent report, Stepping down the nuclear ladder, by Nick Ritchie of the University of Bradford Department of Peace Studies, in respect of alternatives to the renewal of the United Kingdom's nuclear arsenal. [HL4543]
Dr Ritchie sent the First Sea Lord a copy of his paper. The First Sea Lord acknowledged the paper and took the opportunity to reiterate that the Government's policy as set out by the 2006 defence White Paper (Cm 6994) remains extant.
There are no plans to issue a more substantive reply to Dr Ritchie's paper.
Offshore Financial Centres
In accordance with the communiqué agreed at the G20 London Summit, the Government are prepared to consider sanctions against jurisdictions that have not substantially implemented the international standard on exchange of information in tax matters. A number of British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies have already met the required standard, notably, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Bermuda. We would expect others to do so as rapidly as possible.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what system is in place to alert medical practitioners and pharmacists to the effects of prescribing drugs that act on the acetylcholine system to individuals whose health has been affected by exposure to organophosphates. [HL4559]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many adverse reactions to drugs that act on the acetylcholine system have been reported to affect patients who have suffered ill health after exposure to organophosphates. [HL4560]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what research has been conducted into the effects of drugs that affect the acetylcholine system on patients who have reported illness following exposure to organophosphates. [HL4561]
Many drugs in different areas of medicine act on the acetylcholine system. The safety of all medicines is continually monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Potential new safety issues are evaluated and new prescribing advice is issued to health professionals and patients as necessary. Information on the safe use of licensed medicines is available to health professionals and patients in the Summary of Product Characteristics and Patient Information Leaflet which are produced by the manufacturer and approved by the MHRA. Another important source of information on safe use of medicines is the British National Formulary.
Systems in place to inform health professionals of new information on the safety of medicines and new prescribing advice include the monthly bulletin from the MHRA, Drug Safety Update and, for urgent messages, the Central Alerting System, which cascades information to health professionals.
The yellow card scheme is the United Kingdom system for collecting and monitoring information on suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs). A search of the MHRA Sentinel database of ADR reports has not identified any reports of ADRs in individuals whose health has been affected by exposure to organophosphates. Reports submitted through the yellow card scheme would not necessarily contain information such as occupational exposure to organophosphates.
The MHRA is not aware of research into the effects of drugs that affect the acetylcholine system on patients who have reported illness following exposure to organophosphates. If, however, any new information emerges the MHRA will review it carefully and seek expert advice as necessary.
Estimates for the United Kingdom are not available.
The latest estimates for England, based on the Office for National Statistics Labour Force Survey, is that there were 6,154,000 single-person households in 2008. Annual estimates from 2000 to 2008 are as follows:
Year Estimated number of one-person households in England 2000 5,701,000 2001 5,737,000 2002 5,953,000 2003 5,953,000 2004 5,931,000 2005 5,931,000 2006 6,009,000 2007 6,073,000 2008 6,154,000
Estimated number of one-person households in England
Source: Office for National Statistics, Labour Force Survey.
In 2008, we deported or removed a record 5,395 foreign national prisoners.
The chief executive of the UK Border Agency indicated to the PAC at the beginning of March 2009 the numbers of foreign national prisoners who have been detained pending deportation. Action fluctuated in 2008 from a low of around 1,600 to a high of around 1,750, reflecting the increased numbers of individuals that are going through the deportation system. At any time, approximately one quarter of those detained pending deportation action are in the prison estate.
Schools: Specialist Services
In the autumn, we will publish a consultation document setting out how we plan to improve early intervention by local services for children and families who need extra help. Our intention is to develop a national framework for early intervention which sets out clear systems, roles and responsibilities together with evidence-based approaches for supporting children and families in difficult circumstances. This will ensure clarity over when and how specialist or targeted services can be accessed through schools.
Shipping: Ferry Operators
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 29 June (WA 23), what action the Maritime and Coastguard Agency took when it became aware that the MV “CANNA” did not have a valid passenger certificate between 1 September and 11 September 2008. [HL4698]
Further to my Answer of 29 June (Official Report, col. WA 23) the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) investigated why the MV “CANNA” did not hold a valid passenger certificate between 1 and 11 September 2008. In this case, prosecution action was not considered necessary. The vessel had been satisfactorily surveyed within the previous year and the MCA accepted that there had been reasonable cause for misunderstanding about the period of validity of the previous passenger certificate. The MCA instructed the vessel owners to review their company safety management system to incorporate procedures and safeguards to ensure that all future statutory survey range dates are checked and that the related paperwork issued to them is correct.
If the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is made aware of vessels trading without a valid passenger certificate, it will investigate and take the appropriate action. Of those cases referred to the MCA's enforcement unit since 2003 only one involved a passenger sea ferry and resulted in prosecution. Prior to 2003 the MCA did not record this information centrally.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 29 June (WA 23) indicating that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency became aware on 3 October 2008 that the MV “CANNA” did not hold a valid passenger certificate between 1 September 2008 and 11 September 2008, why the Agency issued a short-term passenger certificate to the ferry on 12 September 2008, as indicated in the Written Answer by Lord Adonis on 17 June (WA 216–17). [HL4773]
Further to my Answers of 17 June (Official Report, cols. WA 216-17) and 29 June (Official Report, cols. WA 23) after a satisfactory in-water survey the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a short-term passenger certificate on 12 September because the operator of the MV “CANNA” was unable to arrange the passenger vessel's annual survey before 18 September. This was the date that the operator and the MCA both incorrectly believed was the end of the annual survey range date for the MV “CANNA”.
The Children's Plan sets out our ambition to make teaching a masters-level profession by introducing a new qualification—the Masters in Teaching and Learning (MTL). The MTL will be rolled out during the 2009-10 academic year to newly qualified teachers (NQTs) in the north-west region and NQTs in National Challenge schools and schools in challenging circumstances taking up post from September 2009. It is intended that all teachers should have an opportunity to achieve the MTL and we are currently working with the Training Development Agency on future rollout plans. Participation in the MTL qualification is voluntary.
The Jersey Field Squadron (Militia) attached to the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) have deployed 29 individuals on operations in support of British Forces since August 1999.
They served in Bosnia during August 1999; May 2000 and July 2001; Iraq in Operation TELIC from 2003 to 2007; and in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 6 from 2007-08 for up to six months at a time with some individuals deploying twice.
Tourism: Holiday Lettings
The Treasury has received a number of representations on this subject. In addition, there was a debate in the Finance Bill Committee on Thursday 25 June.