Wednesday 2 December 2009
Afghanistan and Pakistan
It has been the longstanding policy of successive Governments not to comment on operational matters.
Aviation Security Act 1982
The Government have no plans to undertake any significant review the provisions of the Aviation Security Act (ASA) 1982. However, the Policing and Crime Act 2009 will make amendment to the Aviation Security Act 1982 in respect of policing at airports.
Bank of England: Monetary Policy Committee
The Bank of England Act 1998 sets out the statutory framework for the Bank of England, including the role and composition of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), and provides that a representative of the Treasury may attend, and speak, at any meeting of the committee. Dave Ramsden, Chief Economic Advisor to the Treasury, attends as the Treasury representative. Monetary Policy Committee attendees are recorded in the minutes published by the Bank of England following each meeting.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 5 October (WA 435), what steps they are taking to ensure that lessons learnt from previous changes to the machinery of government are taken into account when making such changes in future. [HL192]
The Government carefully consider lessons learnt from past machinery of government changes when formulating machinery of government advice, and generally publish a written document describing significant machinery of government changes. The Cabinet Office has not recently prepared or commissioned reports into machinery of government changes, although a similar report was published in 2002 on the creation of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. A copy is available in the Libraries of the House.
OSCT spend on Publicity and Advertising since its inception has been:
2009/10 (as at 31 November)—£20,000.
This expenditure includes promoting a competition to encourage architects to incorporate counterterrorism-related safety measures into crowded places design, an open call to academia and industry for expressions of interest in taking forward work on Chemical Biological Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive subjects, and branding design work for the Olympic Security Directorate.
Some minor additional spend on external advertising for certain key posts within OSCT has occurred in 2008-09 and 2009-10 but the cost is incorporated into the attraction costs of the recruitment firms employed to manage the individual campaigns and not readily identifiable.
There have been no internal or external reports produced this year into the effectiveness of the Office for Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT).
However, from 2008-09, for the first time we had a dedicated public service agreement on counterterrorism. A number of indicator sets measure success against our overarching aim to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from international terrorism. These are subject to a biannual assessment by Her Majesty’s Treasury. By its nature, the PSA delivery agreement contains information about the UK counterterrorism effort that could be potentially useful to those who threaten the UK and its interests. Performance against the PSA is therefore classified.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the total cost of their counter-terrorism strategy in each year since its inception; and how much is forecast to be spent on it in future years. [HL303]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much has been spent under the “Protect” strand of their counter-terrorism strategy in each year since its inception on (a) protecting Government buildings, and (b) protecting public places, including crowded places; and how much is forecast to be spent in future years. [HL304]
The single security and intelligence budget, which includes government spending on counterterrorism and intelligence, was announced as part of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review. It is forecast to rise from £2.5 billion in 2008-09 to £3.5 billion in 2010-11. The new version of the United Kingdom's Strategy for Countering International Terrorism will be delivered within this envelope.
Breaking down this budget by specific counterterrorism and intelligence activities, beyond what is published already, would reveal our capabilities and details of the security and intelligence agencies’ spending. It has been the policy of successive Governments not to reveal these details.
The provision of counterterrorist protective security measures has long been based upon the principle that the “user pays”. However, there has been central government expenditure in respect of the “Protect” strand of the strategy and some information has been made publicly available. This includes:
£5 million for 2009-10 to support regional and local delivery of work in England and Wales to improve the protection of crowded places as set out in the Government’s consultation document “Working Together to Protect Crowded Places.”;
£2.7 million for the period 2007-08 to 2008-09 to increase the size of the National Barrier Asset; and
more than £1.5 million in 2008-09 to support additional Counter-Terrorist Security Advisers posts.
Crime: Domestic Violence
The Government's national domestic violence delivery plan sets out our framework for tackling domestic violence. One of our objectives is to improve the justice system's response to domestic violence by supporting victims and managing perpetrators. Activities which support the delivery of this objective include:
updating domestic violence training for the police and Crown Prosecution Service to ensure a consistent and appropriate response to victims;
rolling out to all police forces the new risk assessment checklist which covers domestic violence, stalking and harassment and “honour”-based violence; and
increasing the number of the specialist domestic violence court systems to provide a multi-agency approach to supporting victims thereby bringing more offenders to justice.
We also recently published our government strategy Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls, which includes a section on the response of the criminal justice system. One of the priorities is to bring more offenders to justice by improving reporting and conviction rates. We are also currently considering a number of proposals submitted by Chief Constable Brian Moore which address perpetrators of violence towards women and girls and will provide a full response in the new year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made, or intend to make, to the Government of Cuba about the use of provisions in Cuban criminal law that permit the indefinite detention of individuals for dangerousness. [HL152]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of political prisoners detained in Cuba under provisions in Cuban law that prohibit conduct in manifest contradiction to the norms of socialist morality. [HL153]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made since 1997, or intend to make, to the Government of Cuba to allow the Red Cross access to its prisons. [HL154]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of political prisoners in Cuba. [HL155]
We are greatly concerned about the high numbers of political prisoners in Cuba and the conditions in which they are held. We are also troubled by the existence and use of pre-criminal social dangerousness charges to target behaviour that contradicts Cuba's socialist norms. These pre-emptive charges, often used against political dissidents and critics, allow the authorities to imprison individuals before they have committed any crime, on the suspicion that they are likely to commit an offence in the future. This has included prostitutes, unemployed people and alcoholics.
It is difficult to get accurate figures on the number of political prisoners in Cuba, as the Government of Cuba tightly control information about their prisons. Furthermore, there is inconsistency in reporting cases and many go unreported. We therefore have to rely on a range of sources to get estimates. A report published in August by the unofficial Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation documented 208 cases of political prisoners. Fifty-three of the 75 political prisoners arrested during the 2003 clampdown remain detained. Amnesty International recognises 57 prisoners of conscience in Cuba.
Based on a fact-finding mission to Cuba this year, Human Rights Watch documented more than 40 cases in which the Government have imprisoned individuals under the dangerousness provision. In April 2009 our embassy in Havana wrote to the Ministry of Justice in Cuba, asking how many people had been charged with social dangerousness in the past five years. We are still waiting for a response. The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation believe that there may be between 3,000 and 5,000 prisoners in Cuba convicted of pre-criminal dangerousness.
We continue to raise our concerns about political prisoners regularly with the Cuban authorities in London and Havana. Human rights also form an important part of the EU's political dialogue with Cuba, including monitoring a list of political prisoners in poor health. Although we have not specifically pressed for Red Cross access to Cuban prisons, during Cuba's universal periodic review at the UN Human Rights Council in February, the UK recommended that Cuba allow independent international observers including UN special rapporteurs to review the prisons. In addition to highlighting concerns about political prisoners, the UK also recommended that Cuba refrain from using such laws as those against dangerousness, enemy propaganda and contempt for authority to restrict the rights of freedom of expression and association.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Egypt about recent attacks on that country's Coptic minority and, in particular, the arson attacks of 21 November in Farshoot and the neighbouring villages of Kom Ahmar, Shakiki and Ezbet Waziri. [HL254]
Our embassy in Cairo is aware of demonstrations, riots and the burning down of buildings belonging to Coptic Christians in towns near Qena. The Egyptian police have arrested a number of people suspected of involvement in the riots, but the situation remains volatile.
The Egyptian Government have undertaken a number of initiatives to promote tolerance, interfaith harmony and prevent sectarian violence, but sectarian tensions and discrimination do still occur. We continue to press the Government of Egypt to ensure effective implementation of their initiatives at all levels.
Energy: Power Stations
The Government will support a programme of up to four full chain commercial-scale carbon capture and storage demonstration projects in Britain, to be operational by 2020. In addition, there are likely to be a number of research and development and pilot projects that test capture technology only—for example the Environmental Transformation Fund's support for an oxy-fuel combustion project at Doosan Babcock in Renfrew.
EU: Foreign Affairs
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the presentation made to the French National Assembly's Foreign Affairs Committee by the French Europe Minister on 10 November, in which he stressed the need for French and German unity to drive the European External Action Service forward. [HL91]
The presentation on 10 November 2009 to the French National Assembly by French Europe Minister, Pierre Lellouche, on European issues was wide ranging. He mentioned not only working closely with Germany but also the key role of the UK.
On the European External Action Service (EEAS) it will be important that all of the EU member states work closely, together with the EU institutions, to ensure that the EEAS can fully support the High Representative in seeking to make the EU's external action more coherent and effective.
Finance Sector: Market Share
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the United Kingdom market share of the top five companies in (a) retail banking, (b) corporate banking, (c) mortgages, (d) insurance and re-insurance, (e) Government bond issuance, (f) foreign exchange, and (g) credit swaps and derivatives. [HL350]
The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Purchasing decisions are made at a local level, as National Health Service strategic health authorities and trusts are separate contracting authorities responsible for their own procurement. Under procurement regulations, buyers are unable to specify the purchase of local food as such, as this discriminates against non-local suppliers from the United Kingdom and European Union member states.
On 6 May 2009, the department published guidance entitled, Sustainable Food - a guide for hospitals. Advice to the NHS in this document included:
the use of local, in-season ingredients where possible, to minimise energy used in food production, transport and storage; and
specifying food from farming systems that minimise harm to the environment, such as certified organic produce.
A copy of this document has been placed in the Library and is available on the department's website, via the following link at www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/Publications PolicyAndGuidance/DH_098881.
The department does not routinely collect this information.
However, evidence from NHS Supply Chain (NHS SC), which has approximately 60 per cent of the spend on food by the National Health Service, shows that in the past 12 months, purchasing decisions by NHS trusts have favoured conventional products rather than organic. NHS SC's estimate for the purchase of organic food by the NHS trusts that it supplies is about 4 per cent.
No figures are available for local produce.
Government Equalities Office
The Government Equalities Office was established in 2007 to tackle discrimination and to help create a more equitable society for all the men, women and children who live within it.
However, the Government recognise that the nature of discrimination is that specific groups experience disadvantage based upon their innate characteristics. Despite comprising over half of the United Kingdom's population, women are one such group.
For example, the overall gender pay gap comparing all female employees' median pay with all male employees' median pay is 22.0 per cent, the part-time gender pay gap comparing part-time women with full-time men is 39.4 per cent. This is one of the reasons why there is a Minister for Women and Equalities within the Government Office for Equalities.
There is no proposal to introduce a Minister for Men and Equalities.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether monitoring takes place of unsterilised botulinum toxins offered for sale from overseas on the internet. [HL58]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what monitoring takes place to ensure that imports of unsterilised botulinum toxins are sterilised for cosmetic or other uses. [HL59]
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Thornton on 5 October (WA 440), what steps they are taking to ensure that imports into the United Kingdom of unsterilised botulinum toxins do not give rise to outbreaks of botulism. [HL60]
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) monitors the internet for medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients that are being offered for sale or supply. Where the agency determines that supply and advertising is illegal and where patient safety is compromised it will take appropriate action.
European Union manufacturers of licensed products containing botulinum toxin that are imported into the United Kingdom are inspected by the relevant regulatory authorities in the countries of origin. An aspect of inspection is to ensure that sterilisation processes are effective and fully validated. Third country manufacturers are inspected by the relevant supervisory authority, when arrangements for sterilisation are also reviewed. A condition applied to the importation of unlicensed products is that they are manufactured under appropriate standards of good manufacturing practice by the holder of an appropriate manufacturing licence.
Manufacturers are required to show beyond that specified in the marketing authorisation for therapeutic effects. These controls aim to ensure that imports of unsterilised botulinum toxin are not imported and give rise to outbreaks of botulism
The recording of discussions between a doctor and patient is a matter of professional practice. Guidance issued by the General Medical Council says:
“You must ensure that decisions are properly documented, including the relevant clinical findings; details of discussions with the patient, health care team, or others involved in decision making; details of treatment given with any agreed review dates; and outcomes of treatment or other significant factors which may affect future care. You should record the decision at the time of, or soon after, the events described. The record should be legible, clear, accurate and unambiguous, for example avoiding abbreviations or other terminology that may cause confusion to those providing care. You must ensure that the records are appropriately accessible to the patient, team members and others involved in providing care to patients”.
Source: Withholding and withdrawing life-prolonging treatments—guidance for doctors (2002), paragraph 63.
The majority of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections are due to healthcare-associated strains. However, given experience in the Netherlands and elsewhere, the Health Protection Agency asks diagnostic laboratories to send it unusual isolates from people with a farming association for further investigation. No cases of the pig-related strain ST398 have been reported in England. The Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infections continue to keep developments in relation to human and animal strains of MRSA under review.
Health: Myasthenia Gravis
Disability living allowance provides an important contribution towards the extra costs faced by severely disabled people who claim before the age of 65 years. Once awarded, disability living allowance may continue in payment after the age of 65, if the entitlement conditions continue to be met.
People who become disabled after the age of 65 can claim attendance allowance. Unlike disability living allowance, attendance allowance does not contain a mobility component. However, recipients of attendance allowance are able to use their benefit in whatever way that best suits their needs and priorities, including helping to meet any mobility costs.
The Government believe that the benefit arrangements in place for disabled people are both fair and sensible. Disability living allowance aims to focus additional help on people who are severely disabled early, or relatively early, in life and as a result face limited opportunities to work, earn, and save compared with non-disabled people.
There are no plans to extend entitlement to disability living allowance to those who claim for help at age 65 and over.
Higher Education: Funding
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding they have provided to (a) the Institute for Learning, (b) the United Kingdom Commission for Employment and Skills, (c) Foundation Degree Forward, (d) the National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education, (e) the 157 Group, and (f) BECTA, in each of the last four years for which figures are available. [HL42]
Government funding for each of the organisations over the past four financial years is set out in the table below.
2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 (a) Institute for Learning 589 932 2,864 5,048 (b) UK Commission for Employment and Skills - - - 66,635(b) (c) Foundation Degree forward 4,662 2,036 5,748 4,589 (d) National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education 2,548 2,574 9,579(b) 5,353(c) (f) BECTA 30,400 30,274 38,394 61,550
(a) Institute for Learning
(b) UK Commission for Employment and Skills
(c) Foundation Degree forward
(d) National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education
(a) These figures cover known funding from BIS/DCSF or predecessor bodies. It is possible that other parts of the public sector have contracted for specific activity with the organisations in the table, such information is not held centrally.
(b) Excludes £1 million from the devolved administrations and £10.9 million from the National Occupational Standards Levy.
(c) Includes £6 million for the merger with the Basic Skills Agency.
(d) Includes £2 million for the merger with the Basic Skills Agency.
We are not aware of any direct funding to the 157 Group.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 7 July (WA 137), what is the current immigration status of the people who were convicted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004. [HL171]
The immigration status of those foreign nationals convicted of human trafficking is varied. However, should a non-British citizen be convicted of a criminal offence carrying a sentence of 12 months or more, they are liable to automatic deportation from the UK.
A deportation order invalidates any leave that such a person has been granted.
Over the next two months the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will undertake a consultation on the future of the public library service in England. We published our consultation paper on 1 December and I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The department will consider the findings of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Libraries, Literacy and Information Management Report as part of that process and publish a policy statement in the spring.
The Government are testing the Thoresen review's blueprint for a generic financial advice or ‘money guidance’ service through a large-scale pilot or pathfinder in the north-west and north-east of England. Launched in April, it is on track to meet its target to reach over 500,000 people by March 2010, through the Moneymadeclear website, helpline and face-to-face services provided by a wide range of local partners.
Interim evaluation findings from the pathfinder indicate that the money guidance service can be effective. The money guidance service will therefore be rolled out nationally from spring 2010.
The Moneymadeclear website and helpline are already available to people anywhere in the UK. Promotion of the service across the UK is expected to begin from spring 2010. The introduction of face-to-face money guidance sessions across the UK is likely to be phased over a number of years.
The Bank of England collects and publishes statistics on both narrow and broad money. The full Bank of England dataset runs to many pages and can be found at:
National DNA Database
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the possibility that (a) foreign intelligence agencies or (b) foreign law enforcement agencies might gain unauthorised access to the United Kingdom's DNA and fingerprint databases; and whether they have made an assessment of whether such agencies have the capabilities and intent to gain unauthorised access now or in the future. [HL136]
Direct access to information on the National DNA database is restricted to around 35 designated personnel working for the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). Police forces do not have access to the information on the NDNAD, but receive reports from the NDNAD Delivery Unit of matches between DNA taken from crime scenes and that taken from individuals.
Security measures are applied to the NDNAD to prevent unauthorised access, whether by a foreign intelligence agency or anyone else. These measures are in accordance with HM Government policy and guidance.
Assessments with regard to the intent and capability of foreign intelligence services to access the fingerprint database are a standard part of the risk assessment and security accreditation process conducted in accordance with HM Government information assurance policy. This assessment is reviewed on an annual basis.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average cost of the police taking and testing a DNA sample. [HL282]
To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the capital expenditure plans for the next five years for taking, testing and storing DNA tests by the police. [HL284]
A DNA sample is biological material containing cells with a person's DNA, whereas a DNA profile is a numerical sequence stored on the National DNA database (NDNAD), which is an IT system. DNA samples can be split into two categories. Subject samples are taken from an arrested person (or in some cases from a volunteer), usually by means of a swab which picks up cells from the inside of the cheek. Crime scene samples are retrieved from material at crime scenes, for example blood, semen or saliva. Both types of sample are collected by the police and sent to an accredited forensic supplier for analysis to produce a DNA profile. The profile is then loaded onto the NDNAD where it can be compared with the other profiles held on the database. The original physical sample is retained by the forensic supplier in a secure environment. When a match occurs between profiles held on the NDNAD the relevant police force is informed.
The costs of obtaining, analysing and storing DNA samples fall to individual police forces. They vary depending on the contractual relationship between the police force and the forensic supplier, which is commercially confidential.
The NDNAD is operated by the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA). Capital investment plans for the NDNAD can be broadly separated into maintenance and development. Maintenance costs equate to approximately £200,000 per annum and relate to the in year costs of replacing equipment that has either failed or reached the end of its lifespan. Development costs are determined firstly by the prioritised development requirements of the NDNAD strategy board, and secondly by the available capital funds within the NPIA and their relative prioritisation across the development requirements of the police service as a whole. The NPIA is currently in the process of business planning around budget requirements over the next one to three years. Until this process is complete, precise capital expenditure plans for NDNAD development are not available.
The costs of the NDNAD in 2008-09 were £4,290,500 (this includes both capital and running costs; it is not possible to separate the two).
The figures in the table below show the number of subject profiles added to the National DNA database (NDNAD) from DNA samples taken by UK police for the years 2007-08 and 2008-09, a projected figure for the year 2009-10 and an estimated figure for the year 2010-11.
The number of subject profiles added to the NDNAD is not the same as the number of DNA samples (tests) taken. Some subject samples taken by the police may not result in a subject profile being loaded onto the NDNAD produce due to the sample being damaged or to a processing failure or the police confirming that the individual already has a profile on the database. Data on the number of DNA samples taken by the police are not available.
The number of subject profiles added to the NDNAD is not the same as the number of individuals added. A proportion of DNA profiles added to the NDNAD will be replicates, that is, a profile for a person has already been loaded (this may be because the person gave different names, or different versions of their name, on separate arrests, or because of upgrading of profiles). It is currently estimated that 13.8 per cent of subject profiles held on the NDNAD are replicates. The presence of these replicate profiles on the NDNAD does not impact on the effectiveness and integrity of the database.
National Identity Register
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the capabilities and intent of (a) foreign intelligence agencies, and (b) foreign law enforcement agencies to gain unauthorised access to the National Identity Register; and whether they have assessed whether such agencies will have the capabilities and intent to gain unauthorised access to it in the future. [HL198]
We are constantly assessing the security of the National Identity Service, taking advice from a number of services, including CESG, and acting accordingly to mitigate any assessed risk.
This information is not held centrally. I would suggest the noble Lord contact the National Trust which may have such information on its land recorded.
Northern Ireland Office: Political Directorate
There are no proposals at present to reduce the number of posts in the political directorate. However, headcount is kept under review across the department.
Northern Ireland Office: Strategy
Following extensive consultation with Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) and the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit (PMDU) the Northern Ireland Office’s three-year CSR07 Departmental Strategic Objectives (DSOs) were set by the Northern Ireland Office’s departmental board and approved by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
DSOs are monitored quarterly by the departmental board and at least every six months by the department’s HMT spending team. Performance against the DSOs is reported in the department’s autumn performance report and the annual departmental report.
Northern Ireland Office: Taxis
Much of the information requested constitutes personal data which if released would breach the first principle of the Data Protection Act 1998, namely the fair and lawful processing of personal data. As none of the conditions in Schedule 2 to the Data Protection Act are met to authorise fair and lawful disclosure, the information requested is not available for release.
Northern Ireland: Atlantic Philanthropies
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Baroness Royall of Blaisdon on 12 November (WA 225–6) concerning funding from Atlantic Philanthropies, who carried out the research referred to which established background information on the organisation; and whether they will place copies of the research in the Library of the House. [HL12]
As stated in my answer of 12 November (Official Report, cols. WA 225-6) background information was gathered to inform the Secretary of State’s decision. This information covered Atlantic Philanthropies’ purpose and aims, criteria for funding, corporate governance arrangements, financial information and existing funding relationships. All of this information is publicly available on the Atlantic Philanthropies website: www.atlanticphilanthropies.org.
Northern Ireland: Human Rights Commission
All ministerial and official letters between the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) in the second two weeks of September 2009 will be placed in the Library of the House.
letter dated 14 September 2009 from Paul Goggins to the Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) regarding the draft legislative programme; and
letter dated 21 September 2009 from the NIO to the NIHRC at official level, in relation to external funding and the issue of pension provision for commissioners. Copies of this letter have already been placed in the Library of the House.
Northern Ireland: Racism
To ask Her Majesty's Government how the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland has proceeded with the cases of those who allegedly broke windows in the houses of Romanians and the City Church in University Avenue, south Belfast; and whether the decisions on how to proceed were assessed against standards of equality. [HL215]
The current legislation on the conduct of elections permits the use of passports to meet identification requirements at elections in Northern Ireland.
The Government have not issued any instructions about the use of passports to the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland within the past five years.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord McKenzie of Luton on 2 November 2009 (WA 23), what will be the proportion of men and women pensioners entitled to a full basic state pension to the nearest five per cent for all of the proportions requested. [HL145]
Table showing the estimated proportion of men and women pensioners entitled to a full basic state pension in years 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050.
2020 2030 2040 2050 Men with entitlement to a full basic State Pension 90% 95% 95% 95% Women with entitlement to a full basic State Pension 65% 85% 95% 95%
Men with entitlement to a full basic State Pension
Women with entitlement to a full basic State Pension
Source: Projections from DWP Forecasting Division using the Government Actuary's Department's Retirement Pension Model; Great Britain only.
1. This table shows the proportion and number of people over SPA entitled to BSP ie around 85 per cent of females over SPA in 2030 are projected to be entitled to full BSP.
2. Women's entitlement is based on their own contributions and on their husband's contributions where the inheritance and substitution provisions apply for widows and divorced women.
3. Includes deferrers. Figures refer to percentage entitlement not to percentage of those in receipt of full BSP. Some people may be entitled but not be in receipt of a pension because they have chosen to defer their entitlement.
4. Proportions have been rounded to the nearest 5 per cent.
5. Estimates take into account the 2007 Pension Act reforms and apply to all people over state pension age in the given years.
The UK has continued to monitor the progress of criminal justice proceedings in Kenya relating to the eight pirates captured by HMS “Cumberland” in November 2008. The office of the Kenyan Director of Public Prosecutions has recently informed UK representatives in Nairobi that their prosecution case is drawing to a close, and the eight defendants will then have the opportunity of presenting their defence case to the single charge against them relating to their alleged piratical attack on the merchant ship MV “Powerful”.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 6 November (WA 101), whether they accept that port estate owners have limited ability to positively influence erratic electricity usage of port tenants in absolute terms for (a) flour mills, (b) cement batching plants, (c) pipe coating companies, and (d) other high electricity users.[HL23]
The Government do not accept this suggestion. The introduction of the CRC energy efficiency scheme on 1 April 2010 will clearly assign responsibility for reporting energy usage to one party and will encourage all landlords to work with their tenants, to influence use of energy on their property and to explore how a tenant’s energy consumption can be reduced. Any energy use emissions from the processes mentioned that are covered by a climate change agreement will be exempt from CRC.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 6 November (WA 101), why they have offered no advice on the reputational liability caused by erratic tenant electricity use which may alter carbon reduction commitment league table positions; and whether they will do so. [HL24]
There are no plans to issue advice on this matter. The carbon reduction commitment energy efficiency scheme will incentivise participants to take up cost-effective energy efficiency measures which are currently not being implemented. Following extensive consultation, the Government have chosen a regulatory mechanism which gives choice to participants rather than setting out a single solution mandated by the Government. It will therefore be for scheme participants, rather than the Government, to identify how to meet the opportunities of the CRC scheme. Where landlords choose to remain responsible for the electricity supplies to tenants, they will also be responsible for the associated emissions under the CRC energy efficiency scheme. They will therefore need to consider, together with their tenants, what steps they can take to improve their performance.
To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath on 6 November (WA 101), whether they will delay or amend the carbon reduction commitment energy efficiency scheme until the United Kingdom port operators' comments on the scheme are addressed. [HL25]
The CRC energy efficiency scheme will begin on 1 April 2010, on the basis of the final policy as set out in the government response to the consultation on the draft order to implement the carbon reduction commitment published on 7 October 2009. This was the third consultation on the scheme. The Government have taken all representations received fully into account including those from port operators.
The UK Government are supporting the efforts of the Brazilian Government to reduce deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.
The Government have a high-level dialogue on sustainable development with the Brazilian Government and national stakeholders to promote action on commonly identified sustainable development challenges including deforestation.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs supports projects through its international sustainable development fund. These include projects to strengthen environmental law enforcement; to contribute to a fair and sustainable landholding regularisation in the Brazilian Amazon; and support to strengthen technical and legal expertise at state level. Further work is supported to develop solutions which reduce deforestation due to cattle raising expansion and for developing a methodology for assessing the financial contribution of the Brazilian system of protected areas for the national economy.
The Department for International Development is contributing through multilateral organisations in the region to promote environmental sustainability in Brazil and is providing support to civil society organisations involved in forest management.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently supported the Amazon Deforestation-Soya Certification Project aimed at the creation of a scheme to certify sustainably grown soybeans. This project developed forest-friendly criteria to ensure that soya does not come from illegally logged areas. Additionally, the FCO is supporting a capacity-building project to enable small farmers to benefit from carbon markets and recover degraded Atlantic Forest areas through reforestation. In total, the FCO has spent approximately £1.8 million between 2005 and 2009 in forest activities through its programme funding.
Regional Development Agencies
The number of individuals directly paid and employed by each regional development agency as of 31 October 2009 is shown in the table below. This does not include agency or temporary workers.
RDA Employees AWM 338 EEDA 226 Emda 264 LDA 388 NWDA 403 ONE 415 SEEDA 296 SWRDA 337 YF 437.5
Each regional development agency has a unique structure, designed to meet the specific needs of the region. This makes it difficult to draw comparisons between numbers of RDA staff working on particular issues as each agency will have different directorates, teams and job titles for roles relating to work on education, employment and skills. Often, staff activity will overlap on many issues in a way not conducive to disaggregation. For example, the primary role of RDAs is to facilitate economic growth. Therefore to some extent, all RDA staff will have some involvement in these drivers of productivity. In view of this, the table below only gives details of RDA staff who work specifically on these issues.
RDA FTEs working specifically on education and/or employment and/or skills issues AWM 7.0 EEDA 6.5 Emda 6.2 LDA 30.0 NWDA 16.0 ONE 10.8 SEEDA 7.5 SWRDA 9.1 YF 25.0
FTEs working specifically on education and/or employment and/or skills issues
To ask Her Majesty's Government by how much the working tax credit for couples with children would have to increase to remove any couple penalty in tax credits; what would be the cost of that measure; and what would be the distributional impact by income decile of it. [HL74]
I refer the noble Lord to my Answer to his Question of 27 October 2009, at col. WA143.
The UK supports legislation to restrict the flow of illegal timber on the EU market—the due diligence regulation—and continues to discuss it with EU partners in arguing that it should be strengthened by including a prohibition on the first placing of any illegal timber on the market in the EU. We are working to secure agreement at Agriculture Council in December, so that the proposal can be moved quickly to the European Parliament.
We want strong legislation that will be effective in the fight against illegal logging and its associated trade.
On 1 April, the UK Government's policy to procure timber and timber-derived products from independently verified legal and sustainable sources, or those licensed under a Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) agreement, was made mandatory for central government departments. We have also actively encouraged local authorities to adopt the UK timber procurement policy voluntarily. We are working closely with the UK Timber Trade Federation and WWF and are seeing that the policy is having positive repercussions throughout UK timber supply chains.
The UK Government are committed to better reporting on their timber purchases and in July Defra published a study looking at this aspect. The report is available on the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) website.
The Treasury uses an assumption for the level of the UK claimant count. This assumption is based on an average of independent external forecasts and is audited by the National Audit Office.
Details of the latest assumed level of claimant count unemployment can be found in Box C1, in Chapter C on the public finances, in Financial Statement and Budget Report 2009 (HC 407).
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take to ensure that future assessments of research in universities are based on the work of schools, departments and faculties as a whole, and not only on an aggregate of research by some staff directly or indirectly related to those schools, departments or faculties. [HL93]
Assessment of research in higher education should aim to identify research of the highest quality as well as recognising the impact of that research. The detailed approach to assessment is rightly a matter for the higher education funding bodies. The Higher Education Funding Council for England is currently consulting on proposals for a new research excellence framework on behalf of the four UK higher education funding bodies. The consultation proposals are available on their website (http://www.hefce.ac.uk/research/ref/) and HEFCE is seeking responses from research community and research users by a closing date of 16 December.
World War I: Debts to US
I refer the noble Lord to the Answer provided on 25 March 2009 (col. WA 137).