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Written Answers

Volume 718: debated on Monday 8 March 2010

Written Answers

Monday 8 March 2010

Agriculture: Maize

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the research data submitted in the Renessen dossiers for high lysine maize LY038xMON810 (EFSA-GMO-NL-2006-31 and 32) which were shown by other European Union national advisory committees in 2009 to have been defective. [HL2301]

These dossiers were submitted for the authorisation of two types of genetically modified maize (LY038 and MON810 x LY038) under Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003 on genetically modified food and feed. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the body that has responsibility for the pre-market assessments under this regulation. The dossiers were both withdrawn by the applicant in April 2009 before EFSA completed its assessments. As this is a European Union process, no assessments were made in the United Kingdom.

Airports: Body Scanners

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps will they take to ensure that the use of anti-terrorism security equipment does not have a negative impact on community cohesion. [HL2202]

The Department for Transport has produced an interim code of practice following discussions with industry and other government departments, including the Department for Communities and Local Government, for the initial deployment of body scanners. The interim Code of Practice is available in the Libraries of both Houses and on the Department for Transport's website.

The Department for Transport will be launching a full public consultation shortly on the interim code of practice and will consider all representations carefully before preparing a final code of practice later in the year

British Citizenship

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government why, having regard to section 4C of the British Nationality Act 1981, the note on page 18 of the guidance notes entitled “Applying for an identity card” (Home Office reference IDCG01) states that “You can't claim nationality through your mother”; and whether they will alter the guidance notes booklet to say that people born before 1983 to a British mother can register as a British citizen. [HL1990]

This reference in the guidance notes relates only to those born abroad before 1st January 1983 when the British Nationality Act 1948 was in force. Under this Act, a person born outside the UK could only claim an entitlement to British citizenship through their paternal line. It did not allow for children born abroad to make claims to British citizenship through their maternal line.

However, this section of the guidance notes and the equivalent reference in the passport guidance notes will be amended at the next reprint to make it clear that, although people born abroad before 1 January 1983 to British mothers do not have an automatic claim to British citizenship, they may register to become one under Section 4(c) of the British Nationality Act 1981.

Buying Solutions

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was paid by the Ministry of Justice, its predecessor and its agencies to (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) KPMG, (c) Deloitte, (d) Ernst & Young, (e) Grant Thornton, (f) BDO Stoy Hayward, (g) Baker Tilly, (h) Smith & Williamson, (i) Tenon Group, (j) PKF, (k) McKinsey and Company, and (l) Accenture, in each of the past five years for which information is available; how they monitor contracts with those firms; and how the department reports (1) during, and (2) at the end of, contracts to Buying Solutions. [HL2089]

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was formed in May 2007. Information prior to 2007/08 can only be collated at disproportionate cost.

Of the 12 suppliers listed in the question, MoJ has incurred expenditure with the following six:

Supplier2008/092007/08Total

£’000s

£’000s

£’000s

PriceWaterhouseCoopers**

4,229

3,290

7,519

KPMG

1,204

1,385

2,589

Ernst & Young

385

273

658

Grant Thornton

180

99

279

Accenture*

3,990

15,541

19,530

Deloitte

588

146

733

Total

10,576

20,732

31,308

Figures above cover the Ministry of Justice HQ, HM Courts Service, HM Courts Service Estates and Tribunals Service in both years. The 2008/09 figures include the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and the 2007/08 figures are for its predecessor agency, HM Prison Service. Both years’ figures exclude probation boards and trusts. Any expenditure incurred by headquarter functions transferred to MoJ from the Home Office are excluded up to November 2008 as expenditure is recorded on Home Office systems and can only be disaggregated at disproportionate cost. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has used none of the companies mentioned.

Consultants are employed by the department to provide expertise for a defined period of time that is not available in-house.

* The majority of payments to Accenture relate to the development of the Libra, an electronic case management system that enables courts across England and Wales to work in a standard way, using a consistent approach to manage their criminal, accounting and enforcement workload. It also provides a platform to enable further improvements and modernise money handling in magistrates' courts. Having one system has also improved information exchange between the courts and criminal justice partners such the Police, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and the Office of Criminal Justice Reform. This has led to a reduction in duplication of work and has enhanced services to court users, improving scheduling and monitoring of cases.

** The payments to PriceWaterhouseCoopers include £3.8 million in respect of rent and service charge payments for offices and car parks in the Midlands.

How we monitor contracts with these firms

In relation to engagement of external professional services, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) operates a robust “business case” approvals process based on Office of Government Commerce best practice principles. This process requires that a named Contract Manager be assigned by the business area concerned to each contract. Their role is to manage the day-to-day delivery and operation of the contract, for example by monitoring and ensuring the quality of all deliverables, monitoring spend against the pricing schedule and ensuring appropriate skills transfer (where applicable). The role of the Contract Manager is fully supported by the MoJ Procurement Directorate’s Professional Services category management team. Professionally qualified category managers are on hand to assist with and/or manage the resolution of any contractual issues throughout the life of the contract.

How the department reports (1) during, and (2) at the end of, contracts to Buying Solutions

MoJ works closely with the Office of Government Commerce (OGC), including its Buying Solutions agency, to ensure compliance with procurement best practice and to achieve best value for money outcomes. There is no specific requirement for departments to report to Buying Solutions during or at the end of contracts.

(1) In accordance with OGC best practice guidance, and taking into account the value and complexity of the specific contract, Contract Managers determine and implement the extent/frequency of their internal reporting process to their key stakeholders throughout the life of the contract.

(2) In relation to end of contract reporting, a key feature of the MoJ business case approvals process is a Post Contract Assessment phase. This requires that the person responsible for managing the contract (typically the Contract Manager) return a post contract assessment to the Professional Services category team within three weeks of the end of the contract. Aspects included are the extent to which key deliverables/expected benefits were met, the quality of the service, whether the contract was delivered to budget, whether and how skills transfer was achieved. A repository for the storing and analysis of post contract assessments is currently in the process of being devised and implemented.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was paid by the Department for International Development and its agencies to (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) KPMG, (c) Deloitte, (d) Ernst & Young, (e) Grant Thornton, (f) BDO Stoy Hayward, (g) Baker Tilly, (h) Smith & Williamson, (i) Tenon Group, (j) PKF, (k) McKinsey and Company, and (l) Accenture, in each of the past five years for which information is available; how they monitor contracts with those firms; and how the department reports (1) during, and (2) at the end of, contracts to Buying Solutions. [HL2090]

The table below details the amounts paid by the Department for International Development (DfID) to the suppliers requested in each of the last 5 years.

Supplier

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

2008/09

PricewaterhouseCoopers

£8679943

£6070628

£5308451

£4855785

£5375828

KPMG

£62361

£25712

£43271

£42806

£13077035

Deloitte

£1973460

£1374510

£8994567

£1918151

£3361372

Ernst and Young

£35425

£165849

£58039

£163850

£301259

Grant Thornton

0

£10177

£90270

0

0

BDO Stoy Hayward

0

0

0

0

0

Baker Tilly

£34738

Smith and Williamson,

0

0

0

0

0

Tenon Group

0

0

0

£49939

£162687

PKF

£3059987

£1330778

£2149151

£1923703

£1486418

McKinsey and Company

0

0

0

0

0

Accenture

£41374

£15510

£113750

£10999

£83215

All DfID projects are subject to ongoing performance monitoring, which includes ensuring that suppliers deliver within the agreed terms of the contract. The level of monitoring applied is adjusted to meet the requirements of the project, with high value and high risk contracts being subject to more detailed risk analysis and rigorous performance review processes.

Any contracted services through Office of Government Commerce Buying Solutions (OGCBS) are subject to the same monitoring processes as outlined above, with any significant areas of performance feedback provided to the relevant OGC category contact.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was paid by Communities and Local Government and its agencies to (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) KPMG, (c) Deloitte, (d) Ernst & Young, (e) Grant Thornton, (f) BDO Stoy Hayward, (g) Baker Tilly, (h) Smith & Williamson, (i) Tenon Group, (j) PKF, (k) McKinsey and Company, and (l) Accenture, in each of the past five years for which information is available; how they monitor contracts with those firms; and how the department reports (1) during, and (2) at the end of, contracts to Buying Solutions. [HL2094]

The department has paid the following amounts (excluding VAT) to the companies listed above:

Name

2006/2007

2007/2008

2008/2009

2009/2010

(a) Pricewaterhouse Cooper

£3,437,378

£3,140,746

£7,268,337

£5,903,636

(b) KPMG

£241,547

£548,813

£157,298

£43,988

(c) Deloitte

£482,836

£193,065

£86,819

£60,760

(d) Ernst & Young

£18,372

£0

£0

£0

(e) Grant Thornton

£0

£206,277

£109,462

£118,078

(f) BDO Stoy Hayward

£0

£0

£0

£0

(g) Baker Tilly

£0

£0

£0

£0

(h) Smith & Williamson

£0

£0

£0

£0

(i) Tenon Group

£0

£0

£0

£0

(j) PKF

£360,603

£205,354

£208,772

£1,584

(k) McKinsey and Co

£219,725

£407,000

£0

£0

(l) Accenture

£3,120

£12,500

£0

£0

The Planning Inspectorate has paid the following:

Name

2006/2007

2007/2008

2008/2009

2009/2010

(a) Pricewaterhouse Cooper

£154,854

£39,374

£42,503

£0

(b) KPMG

£12,114

£0

£0

£1,680

(c) Deloitte

£0

£0

£0

£0

(d) Ernst & Young

£0

£0

£0

£0

(e) Grant Thornton

£0

£0

£0

£0

(f) BDO Stoy Hayward

£0

£0

£0

£0

(g) Baker Tilly

£0

£0

£0

£0

(h) Smith & Williamson

£0

£0

£0

£0

(i) Tenon Group

£0

£0

£0

£0

(j) PKF

£0

£0

£0

£0

(k) McKinsey and Co

£0

£0

£0

£0

(l) Accenture

£0

£0

£0

£0

Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre: Throughout the past five years the only payment was in July 2008 to Deloitte—amounting to £74,838 including VAT.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how much was paid by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and its agencies to (a) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (b) KPMG, (c) Deloitte, (d) Ernst & Young, (e) Grant Thornton, (f) BDO Stoy Hayward, (g) Baker Tilly, (h) Smith & Williamson, (i) Tenon Group, (j) PKF, (k) McKinsey and Company, and (l) Accenture, in each of the past five years for which information is available; how they monitor contracts with those firms; and how the department reports (1) during, and (2) at the end of, contracts to Buying Solutions. [HL2097]

From information held centrally, the core department made payments to the following suppliers in the past five years. To obtain the data for all agencies would incur disproportionate cost.

Accenture (UK) Ltd

2006-07

246,547.91

2007-08

342,962.53

2008-09

114,891.63

2009-10 (To Jan)

151,763.20

Atos KPMG Consulting Ltd

2006-07

4,060.80

2008-09

107.00

2009-10 (To Jan)

107.00

Deloitte & Touche

2006-07

57,519.78

2007-08

129,271.14

2008-09

570,533.50

2009-10 (To Jan

232,932.18

Deloitte M C S Ltd

2005-06

1,906,556.87

2006-07

1,310,501.55

2007-08

5,529,708.17

2008-09

1,651,442.16

2009-10 (To Jan)

222,133.47

Ernst & Young

2005-06

60,376.20

2006-07

210,796.19

2007-08-

170,375.00

2008-09

317,621.13

2009-10 (To Jan)

514,165.97

Pricewaterhouse Coopers

2005-06

873,003.85

2006-07

2,429,598.26

2007-08

204,498.22

2008-09

149,342.53

2009-10 (To Jan)

216,926.89

The core department monitors contracts with these and other suppliers as they are delivered. Reporting (1) during, and (2) at the end of, contracts to Buying Solutions would only occur where the contract was part of the use of a Buying Solutions framework contract. To identify these would incur disproportionate cost.

Department for International Development: Spring Supplementary Estimates

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government with regard to the Department for International Development's spring Supplementary Estimates, what reduction in Official Development Assistance these changes represent. [HL2259]

The changes set out in the Spring Supplementary Estimates do not make any material difference to the original projections for overall UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) volumes set out in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review. The UK remains on track meet those projections.

Energy: Carbon Capture and Storage

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government where their four pilot carbon capture and storage plants are situated; what stage of development they have reached; and when they expect to produce measurable results to evaluate the cost and practicality of carbon capture and storage technology. [HL2330]

There are two projects bidding into the current CCS Demonstration Project competition that was launched in 2007. The proposed locations for the projects are Kingsnorth in Kent, by the E.on consortium, and Longannet in Fife, by the Scottish Power consortium.

Separately, we plan to commence a process for selecting a further three CCS demonstration projects later this year and for that process to complete in 2011. The location of these additional projects will not be known until much later in the process.

We expect to make an announcement shortly about which bidder or bidders will be taken forward to the Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) stage in the current competition.

Our ambition is to see CCS ready for wider deployment from 2020 and for any new coal plant constructed from then to be fully CCS from day one.

Energy: Gas Emissions

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what contribution they expect combined heat and power to make to their target for reducing the United Kingdom's greenhouse gas emissions. [DECC][HL2455]

The contribution that combined heat and power (CHP) will make to meeting targets for the United Kingdom's greenhouse gas emission targets depends heavily on how the market responds to mechanisms such as the third phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme.

The level of saving is also dependent on what is used to fuel the CHP plant. The degree to which CHP is fuelled by renewable energy sources is likely to be driven by the relative attractiveness of the Renewables Obligation (for electricity output) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (for heat output). The proposals for the Renewable Heat Incentive are currently out for consultation. Published at the same time as those proposals was a paper prepared by AEA for the Government on the interaction between different incentives to support renewable energy and their effect on CHP. This presents a number of scenarios which consider the contribution of CHP to carbon emissions reduction.

The CO2 savings per annum associated with all types of CHP in 2020 in this paper are estimated to be in the range of 20 to 29MtCO2 depending on future fuel prices, cost of capital, the operation of the third phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the attractiveness of the investment in renewable energy.

Finance: UK Contributions

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the United Kingdom's gross financial contribution for the calendar year 2009, in sterling, to (a) the European Union, (b) the Commonwealth, (d) the World Trade Organisation, (e) the United Nations, (f) the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, (g) the International Monetary Fund, and (h) the World Bank. [HL1722]

To ask Her Majesty's Government what the United Kingdom's gross financial contribution for calendar year 2009 was to (a) the European Union, (b) the Commonwealth, (c) the World Trade Organisation, (d) the United Nations, (e) the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, (f) the International Monetary Fund, and (g) the World Bank. [HL2331]

The United Kingdom's interests are represented through its membership in various international institutions and fora. Information regarding the UK's financial relationship with a particular institution is a matter for the relevant government department.

The Government's latest estimate of the UK's gross contribution to the EU in 2009, after taking account of the UK abatement, is £7,770 million. This information is available in Table 3, page 62, of the 2009 European Community Finances White Paper (Cm 7640), which is available in the Library of the House.

Quota subscriptions determine the amount a member country can be asked to lend to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The UK’s net contribution under its quota subscription was £1,134 million in 2008/09. The UK also provided £624,000 in grants in 2008/09 to support the IMF’s work in low-income countries. Further information on UK financial contributions to the IMF is available on a net basis for 2008/09 in the Government's latest report to Parliament on the UK and the IMF, published in June 2009.

Information for the Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are matters for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The most recent Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) annual report shows that for 2009/10 the FCO's budgeted provision the Commonwealth Secretariat was £4.6 million, for the UN regular budget was £75.6 million and for the OECD was £12.5 million.

Information on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is a matter for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. The WTO subscription for the 2009 calendar year was £6,061,004 (Swiss Francs 9,652,149), and was paid on 26 January 2009.

Information on the World Bank is a matter for the Department for International Development (DFID). In 2008/09 the UK contributed £524,806 to the International Development Association and made other contributions to the World Bank of £48,846.2009/2010 figures are not yet available but will be published on DfID’s website at the end of the financial year.

Gaza

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress is being made in the reconstruction of United Nation schools in Gaza following the destruction during “operation cast lead” a year ago. [HL2238]

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) reopened all of their 221 primary and secondary schools a week after the end of the conflict. With funding from the Department for International Development (DfID), the Mines Advisory Group inspected and cleared unexploded ordnance from the UNRWA schools, allowing 220,000 children to return to school. However, limited progress has been made in physically repairing or rebuilding UNRWA school buildings damaged during Operation Cast Lead, due to restrictions on the import of materials such as cement. The UK continues to press the Israeli Government for full, safe and unhindered access for aid, reconstruction material and aid workers.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees operation in Gaza. [HL2240]

The UK is a major donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Including our share of EU funding, the UK is UNRWA’s second largest bilateral donor. In 2009 we provided £31 million in funding to UNRWA; £20 million in core funding, of which one-third is spent in Gaza; £6 million to the 2009 Gaza emergency appeal; and £5 million specifically to improve education services in Gaza.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made in the restoration of sewage disposal in Gaza. [HL2241]

The first phase of the World Bank- funded North Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment project, to divert sewage away from the hazardous Beit Lahiya site, was completed in January following the Government of Israel's approval to import into Gaza the final tranche of required materials. The second phase, to address the long-term needs of wastewater treatment for northern Gaza, is due to start in April. However, this will depend on whether Israel permits the required construction materials to enter Gaza. The UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recently reported that 6 kilometres of sewers have been repaired since the end of the conflict, as well as some wastewater facilities.

Genetically Modified Crops

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many safety tests of genetically modified crops and foods, to the highest international standards, they have commissioned in the last 10 years. [HL2302]

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they seek safety testing and other research relating to genetically modified crops from organisations other than corporations that seek commercial approval. [HL2303]

Applications for consent to market a genetically modified (GM) crop or food have to include an appropriate dossier of risk assessment information, including data from relevant tests or trials. The European Food Safety Authority plays a central role in evaluating the dossiers, and in the UK the environmental implications are considered by the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment. The independent scientists who undertake this scrutiny will draw on their knowledge of the wider scientific literature that is relevant to a given application, and further data or clarification will be requested from an applicant where a dossier is thought to be insufficient. A marketing consent will only be granted if it is clear that the GM product poses no unacceptable risks to human health, animal health and the environment.

In this context of independent scrutiny of evidence, Defra and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) do not as a rule commission safety tests on specific GM crops or foods, although both commission research into generic aspects of risk assessment in this area. In addition, from 2000-2003 Defra funded a special programme of farm-scale research trials of several GM herbicide-tolerant crops, to assess the environmental implications of the novel herbicide use associated with the GM varieties. Details of Defra and FSA research are on their respective websites.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have evidence of scientific malpractice in the application dossiers for genetically modified crops and food submitted over the last ten years by the six largest biotechnology corporations. [HL2304]

The scientific information provided in applications to release genetically modified crops and foods is subject to independent scrutiny as part of a transparent assessment process. We are not aware of any scientific malpractice by applicants in this respect.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their approach to genetically modified crops and food is guided by the application of the precautionary principle. [HL2373]

The application of the precautionary principle is inherent in the European Union controls on the release of genetically modified crops and foods, which the Government fully support. In addition, both Defra and the Food Standards Agency take due account of the principle in their approach to these matters.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what measures they have taken to eliminate any health and environmental damage associated with Roundup Ready and other herbicide-tolerant genetically modified crops. [HL2374]

Under the European Union (EU) control regime, a genetically modified (GM) crop, including Roundup Ready or other herbicide-tolerant varieties, will only be approved for commercial cultivation if the evidence indicates that human health, animal health and the environment will not be compromised. The Government fully support the EU regime which provides a robust and transparent mechanism for ensuring safety.

In considering any applications to cultivate GM herbicide-tolerant crops, the Government will take account of the evidence obtained from the farm-scale research trials of such varieties that it sponsored from 2000 to 2003.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what has been their voting record in the last 10 years in the Council of Ministers of the European Union in respect of (a) consenting to, (b) rejecting, and (c) abstaining on, applications for genetically modified products. [HL2375]

Over the last 10 years there has been one instance where the UK abstained in an EU Council vote on a proposal to authorise the commercial marketing of a genetically modified product. The UK has voted in favour of other proposed authorisations, in line with the scientific evidence.

Government Departments: Ministerial Code

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many written instructions have been provided by ministers to accounting officers for Departments in accordance with paragraph 5.5 of the ministerial code in the last five years; and for what reasons. [HL2248]

Government: Office Equipment

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the average purchase price, excluding value added tax, of a 500-sheet ream of white A4 80 gsm photocopier paper paid by (a) the British Potato Council, (b) the Forestry Commission, (c) the National Forest Company, (d) Natural England, and (e) the Advisory Committee on Packaging in the latest period for which figures are available; and how much each spent in total on photocopier paper in the last year for which figures are available. [HL2297]

The British Potato Council was dissolved on 31 March 2008 when five of the UK levy boards were merged into a single levy board, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) to generate cost and efficiency savings.

The Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) is an advisory non-departmental public body (NDPB) which does not employ staff and is provided with support by Defra. The ACP does not hold records on the price or usage of photocopier paper.

Details for AHDB and the other bodies requested are set out in the table below. All figures are for the financial year 2008-09.

AHDB

Forestry Commission(1)

National Forest Company

Natural England

Paper brand

Office Team

Evolve

Evolve

Evolve Business, Evolve Office, 9 Lives Office

Recycled content

Fibres from FSC certified forests

100%

100%

100%

Paper type

A4 80 gsm

A4 white 80 gsm

Other

Copier A4 80 gsm

Business A4 80 gsm

A4 80 gsm

Volume

3,250

20,000 (total)

160

35

13,920

Average cost per ream (excl. VAT)

£2.40

£1.90

£2.28

£2.99

£3.99

£2.03

Total approx. cost (excl. VAT)

£7,800

£45,616

£618

£28,302

(1) Figures are for all of Great Britain. There are multiple choices of paper available on the current central supply contract. Some photocopier paper was purchased outside the central supply contract and details of this are not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Health: Contaminated Blood Products

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress has been made on the prion filtered red cells in surgery and multi-transfused patients (PRISM) study trial. [HL2324]

Pursuant to the answer of 8 February 2010, Official Report, column WA88, as of 31 January 2010, 123 patients in England and Scotland have received 361 units of prion filtered red cells as part of the prion filtered red cells in surgery and multi-transfused patients (PRISM) study.

Health: Gastric Bands

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase the provision of bariatric surgery where there is a cost-effective treatment option for eligible patients in England to the levels recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; and what impact they expect the removal of gastric band devices from the Payment by Results device exclusions list will have on the provision of this procedure within the National Health Service in England. [HL2157]

The guidance by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence stipulates a number of criteria that need to be fulfilled for bariatric surgery to be considered as a suitable treatment option. Bariatric surgery may not be appropriate for all patients clinically assessed as obese. The Government expect that primary care trusts, as local commissioners and providers of services, will determine the most appropriate treatments for their populations. In line with this, the local care and treatment of patients will be based on clinical assessment.

On the advice of the high cost devices steering group, gastric band devices have been removed from the exclusions list in 2010-11. Their costs will be met in the national tariff rather than local payment. Commissioners and providers will also have the flexibility to use innovation payments, previously known as pass through payments, to support funding.

Health: Isle of Man

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the new healthcare arrangements for United Kingdom citizens resident on the Isle of Man for (a) all, and (b) part, of the year. [HL2115]

Under the National Heath Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, as amended, NHS trusts have a legal duty to identify and charge those overseas visitors to the United Kingdom, who are not exempt from charges, and to make and recover from them charges for their treatment.

As the UK’s reciprocal healthcare agreement with the Isle of Man will be ending on 31 March 2010, from 1 April 2010 visitors from the Isle of Man will be classed as overseas visitors and therefore may be liable to charges. In the case of a UK citizen resident in the Isle of Man, if no exemption applies, they too will be charged, as the NHS is a residency-based healthcare system. The full list of exemptions is contained on: www.dh.gov.uk/overseasvisitors

Health: Vaccinations

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will conduct randomised tests on the cost-effectiveness of providing influenza vaccinations to those over 65; and what epidemiological advice they have received regarding such vaccinations. [HL2249]

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the department recently asked the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the United Kingdom seasonal influenza programme over the past 10 years. This will include the cost-effectiveness of the programme as a whole and influenza vaccinations to those aged 65 years and older. This is a major piece of work and will be reported by the HPA in about 18 months’ time.

The HPA study will include consideration of data on influenza epidemiology, estimates of the effect of influenza on the population, and data on the performance characteristics of vaccines over the past 10 years.

The department seeks expert advice from JCVI and its influenza sub-committee on seasonal influenza vaccinations. Provision of this advice includes consideration of influenza epidemiology. Minutes of JCVI and influenza sub-committee meetings that include the advice given are placed on the JCVI website: www.dh.gov.uk/ab/jcvi/index.htm

Hill Farm Allowance Regulations 2010

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Hill Farm Allowance Regulations 2010 (SI 2010/167) refer to both the “Moorland Map of England 2009” and the “Moorland Map of England 2007”, and the Common Agricultural Policy Single Payment and Support Schemes Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/3102) refer to the “Moorland Map of England 2006”. [HL2272]

The Common Agricultural Policy Single Payment and Support Scheme Regulations 2009 and the Hill Farm Allowance Regulations 2010 both refer to the moorland map dated 7 October 2007. The Hill Farm Allowance Regulations 2010 should refer to this map as the “Moorland Map of England 2006”. The department is considering appropriate corrective action.

The Hill Farm Allowance Regulations have recently been updated to also refer to the latest version of the moorland map (the “Moorland Map of England 2009”). The Common Agricultural Policy Single Payment and Support Scheme Regulations are in the process of similarly being updated to refer to this map.

Hillsborough Castle Agreement

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Agreement at Hillsborough Castle of 2010 reflects the concept of parity of esteem concerning the languages and cultures of Irish and Ulster Scots in the Belfast Agreement of 1998. [HL2114]

Housing: Construction

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by the Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Joan Ruddock, on 12 November 2009 (HC Deb, 668W), whether the suppliers of A-rated appliances are obliged to record details of replacement parts and length of life for each one installed as part of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target; and, if so, whether the Homes and Communities Agency will collect these details and publish them annually. [HL2185]

Energy suppliers do not supply replacement parts for energy consuming products as a means of reaching their Carbon Emissions Reduction Target. Where suppliers have schemes approved by Ofgem, the lifetime carbon saving score awarded is based on standards set by the Market Transformation Programme and set out in the CERT illustrative mix of measures published alongside the enabling legislation, following public consultation.

Human Rights

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they consider that any amendments to the European Convention of Human Rights are required in the light of recent judgments made by the European Court of Human Rights against the United Kingdom; and whether they will bring these to the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers during the period before June 2012 when specific proposals for measures requiring amendment of the Convention are to be sought. [HL2117]

The Government have no plans to propose amendment of any substantive Convention right, nor does the current process to which Lord Laird refers provide an opportunity to propose such an amendment. On 19 February 2010, a high-level conference in Interlaken adopted a declaration on the reform of the European Court of Human Rights. Among other actions, the declaration invites the Committee of Ministers to issue terms of reference to bodies of the Council of Europe to prepare by June 2012 proposals for the reform of the Court that would require amendment of the Convention. This process is not intended to consider amendments to the substantive rights contained in the Convention.

Immigration

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many migrants from outside the European Economic Area entered the United Kingdom in each of the last three years. [HL2196]

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Stephen Penneck, National Statistician, to Baroness Warsi, dated March 2010.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to respond to your recent parliamentary question concerning how many migrants from outside the European Economic Area entered the United Kingdom in each of the last three years (HL2196).

Official estimates of long-term immigration of non-EEA citizens into the UK for 2006 to 2008 are given in the table below.

Immigrants into the UK who were non-EEA citizens, 2006 to 2008

Year

Non-EEACitizens1

2006

315,000

2007

281,000

2008

277,000

1 For 2006 non-EEA includes Bulgaria and Romania Figures for 2007 and 2008 exclude Bulgaria and Romania

An international migrant is defined as someone who changes their country of usual residence for at least a year so that the country of destination effectively becomes the country of usual residence.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government (a) how many businesses were fined for employing an illegal immigrant in each of the last three years, and (b) how much was each fine. [HL2197]

The accompanying table sets out the number of civil penalties issued and the average and maximum fine (it is not practical to list the amount of each fine because of the numbers involved) imposed by the UK Border Agency for the period 1 March 2008 to 24 February 2010 and the number of fines issued in criminal courts for 2006 to 2008.

These data are derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and liable to change. Employers against whom civil penalties have been issued by the UK Border Agency for the last three months including the amount of civil penalty imposed can be found on the UK Border Agency website at: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/employersandsponsors/listemployers penalties/

This is updated quarterly.

Data on the number of defendants proceeded against and found guilty in 2007 and 2008, of offences relating to employing a person subject to immigration control, are published by the Home Office in table 3.4 of the Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom 2008, which is available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics Directorate website at: www.home office.gov.uk/rds/immigration-asylum-stats.html

Data for 2008 remain provisional and subject to change. Data for 2009 will be published in summer 2010.

Civil penalties Issued for employing illegal worker(1), 1 March 2008-24 February 2010*

2008

2009

2010

Average civil penalty

9,652

10,073

9,246

Maximum civil penalty(2)

95,000

165,000

61,250

Number of civil penalties issued

1,168

2,271

428

(1) Civil penalties issued under Section 15 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006

(2) Civil penalties can be up to £10,000 per illegal worker

* These figures have been drawn from a UK Border Agency management information system.

Figures provided from this source do not constitute part of National Statistics and should be treated as provisional.

Fines issued in criminal courts for employing an Illegal worker(3) by amount of fine(3), 2006-20084(4)**

2006

2007

2008

£l -£500

3

13

9

£501-£1000

1

6

12

£1001-£2500

2

3

13

£2501-£5000

1

1

0

Over £5000

0

0

1

(3) Offences under S.8 Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 or S.21 Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006

(4) Data for 2009 will become available once 'Sentencing Statistics 2009' is published in the autumn

(5) The statutory maximum fine for an offender sentenced at the magistrates' court is £5,000. There is no statutory maximum fine for an offender sentenced at the Crown court

**These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system

This data is presented on the principal offence basis. Where an offender has been sentenced for more than one offence the principal offence is the one for which the heaviest sentence was imposed. Where the same sentence has been imposed for two or more offences the principal offence is the one for which the statutory maximum is most severe.

Source: Justice Statistics—Analytical Services, Ministry of Justice

Ref: SENT(JSAS)055-10 (26/02/2010)

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many United States citizens have been refused entry to the United Kingdom in each of the last five years; and on what grounds. [HL2337]

The table below provides information regarding a) the number of United States citizens refused entry to the United Kingdom in each of the last five years and b) the grounds for refusal.

Refusal Code

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Total

Reason Not Specified

142

150

133

141

106

672

Insufficient Means for Proposed Visit

9

9

12

15

30

75

Not Satisfied Genuine Visitor

1,070

1,298

1,419

1,953

2,126

7,866

Seeking free medical treatment/insufficient funds to meet cost of treatment

0

2

4

0

1

7

Unsatisfactory or unacceptable arrangements for Proposed Study

13

25

20

14

8

80

Intention to Study not Genuine and Realistic

11

8

6

7

6

38

Transit Passenger

24

26

21

54

58

183

For Employment without a Work permit

131

146

189

168

135

769

Work Permit Holder Refused

5

5

6

10

1

27

Medically Undesirable

0

1

1

8

0

10

Convicted of a Criminal Offence in the UK/Abroad

6

0

3

5

3

17

Subject to Deportation Order

2

2

4

4

0

12

Exclusion Conducive to the Public Good

9

10

6

19

11

55

No Passport or Acceptable ID Document

13

16

6

10

18

63

Spurious passport and not qualified for entry

1

0

0

0

0

1

Lack of returnability

1

1

0

2

1

5

Lack of required non-settlement entry clearance

201

237

259

342

380

1,419

Lack of required settlement entry clearance

72

66

51

13

14

216

Returning Resident but not Qualified

0

3

1

2

1

7

Cancellation of entry clearance

6

2

7

7

8

30

Cancellation of Continuing Leave

1

3

5

9

16

34

Refused under Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2000

1

0

0

0

0

1

Other reasons

20

20

28

73

81

222

Grand Total

1,738

2,030

2,181

2,856

3,004

11,809

The information used to answer this question is taken from a live database and is suitable for management information purposes. It has therefore not been subject to the detailed checks required to qualify as National Statistics.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many illegal immigrants have been found to be working for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and its agencies in each of the last five years. [HL2345]

People employed to work in government departments and their agencies, either directly or through a contractor, are required to satisfy requirements on identity, nationality and immigration status prior to the offer of employment.

My department has no record of having employed an illegal immigrant in the last five years.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many illegal immigrants have been found to be working for HM Treasury and its agencies in each of the last five years. [HL2346]

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many illegal immigrants have been found to be working for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, its predecessors and its agencies in each of the last five years. [HL2349]

People employed to work in government departments and their agencies, either directly or through a contractor, are required to satisfy requirements on identity, nationality and immigration status prior to the offer of employment.

My department has no record of having employed an illegal immigrant in the last five years.

I have asked the chief executives of the Executive agencies to respond directly to the noble Baroness.

Letter from Stephen Speed, The Insolvency Service, to Baroness Warsi, dated March 2010.

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), has asked me to reply to your question regarding the number of staff appointed in the Insolvency Service since 2005 who were later found to be illegal immigrants.

The Insolvency Service has not appointed any staff since 2005 who were later found to be illegal immigrants.

Letter from John Alty, Intellectual Property Office, to Baroness Warsi, dated 1 March 2010.

I am responding in respect of the Intellectual Property Office to your Parliamentary Question above, tabled 24 February 2010.

The Intellectual Property Office has not employed any illegal immigrants over the past five years. Our recruitment process enables the office to identify applicants who are subject to immigration controls through the various questions we ask and the documentation we check.

Letter from Gareth Jones, Companies House, to Baroness Warsi.

I am replying on behalf of Companies House to your Parliamentary Question tabled 24 February 2010, HL 2349, to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

No illegal immigrants have been found to be working for Companies House in the last five years.

Letter from Peter Mason, National Measurement Office, to Baroness Warsi, dated 3 March 2010.

I am responding in respect of the National Measurement Office (NMO) to your Parliamentary Question asking Her Majesty's Government how many illegal immigrants have been found to be working for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, its predecessors and its agencies in each of the last five years.

NMO has not had any illegal immigrants working for the agency in the last five years.

National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 10 March 2009 (WA 235), who the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit regards as its “stakeholders”. [HL2340]

The National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit's stakeholders include all those who have an interest in the policing of protest, and those impacted by criminality in furtherance of a single issue campaign.

Olympic Games 2012

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government further to the Written Answer by Lord West of Spithead on 8 February (WA 96), what they mean by “an appropriate level of assurance” in respect of screening for chemical materials that might be brought into the venues of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. [HL2255]

The Olympic Security Programme is developing, in conjunction with LOCOG and ODA, comprehensive operational requirements for venue security. These will be subject to a range of assurance mechanisms including a testing and exercise programme approved and monitored by the governance arrangements put in place as part of the programme.

It would not be appropriate to disclose further details in order to protect the integrity of the operational security regime for venues.

Palestine

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the practice by the Palestinian Authority of demanding a “Husn al-Suluk” or certificate of good conduct from civil servants, teachers and other state employees; and whether this contravenes the terms on which aid is provided to the Palestinian Authority and contravenes international labour standards. [HL2180]

Husn al-Suluk is an expression meaning good conduct, and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories refers to a certificate providing proof that the holder does not have a criminal record. The requirement by the Palestinian Authority (PA) that all their employees have this certificate would not contravene the terms on which the UK provides aid to the Palestinian Authority. Nor do we believe that it contravenes international labour standards, but we plan to discuss this with the International Labour Organisation.

Police: Community Support Officers

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many Police Community Support Officers are employed in England and Wales. [HL2421]

There were 16,814 (full-time equivalent) Police Community Support Officers in the 43 forces of England and Wales as at 30 September 2009.

This and other related data are published in the Police Service Strength Home Office Statistical Bulletins. The latest bulletins can be found at: www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/policeorg1.html and bulletins for this and previous years are deposited in the Library of the House.

Pre-Budget Report

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what new business investment activity they anticipate in the second half of 2010, following recent economic figures. [HL2405]

The latest forecast for business investment was made in the 2009 Pre-Budget Report. Business investment is forecast to grow in the second half of 2010 as credit conditions ease and uncertainty over demand continues to fall. An updated forecast will be presented in the Budget, taking account of all relevant information since the Pre-Budget Report.

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many injunctions have been granted under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 where the aim of the injunction was to prevent a protest or demonstration in each police force area in each of the last five years. [HL2338]

Rwanda

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the admission of Rwanda to the Commonwealth was discussed in the Cabinet. [HL2102]

The discussion, advice and the proceedings of Cabinet and Cabinet committees are generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

Taxation: Inheritance Tax

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their most recent estimate of (a) the costs, (b) the number of tax-paying estates that would benefit, and (c) the distributional impact of the benefit, of increasing the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million for each of the next five years. [HL2264]

The cost of increasing the inheritance tax threshold to £1 million with effect from April 2010 is estimated at £500 million in 2010-11, £1.2 billion in 2011-12, £1.4 billion in 2012-13 and £1.5 billion in 2013-14. Current forecasts do not go beyond 2013-14.

The latest estimates of numbers of estates for deaths in 2010/11, which would be taxpaying under the current regime, and the amount of tax saved under the increased threshold, are shown in the table below.

Number of estates benefiting from £1 million threshold by estate size (year of death 2010/11)

Estate size

Number of estates

Total tax saved (£bn)

0-£0.5m

3,000

0.1

£0.5-1m

5,000

0.5

Over £1m

3,000

0.7

Taxation: Personal Allowance

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their most recent estimate of (a) the cost, and (b) the total financial effects by income decile, of raising pensioners' personal allowances by £2,000 for each of the next five years. [HL2265]

The approximate cost of increasing age-related personal allowances for people aged 65 and over by £2,000 for 2010-11 and applying statutory uprating in subsequent years can be extrapolated from Table 1.6 “Direct effects of illustrative tax changes”, available at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/tax_expenditures/table1-6.xls

The estimates in Table 1.6 are based on the 2009 Pre- Budget Report forecast and the relevant section is shown below.

Extract from Table 1.6 Direct effects of illustrative tax changes

£ million cost/yield

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

Income tax Allowances and reliefs Change age-related personal allowances by £100

65

75

80

Information on the income tax effect for 2010-11 by income decile of all people aged 65 and over is shown in the table below. No one aged 65 and over with income below the levels of age-related personal allowances, or above the income level at which the age-related allowances are reduced to the basic personal allowance for those aged below 65, would benefit.

Decile

Proportion of cost (%)

Mean (£)

Bottom

0

0

2nd

0

0

3rd

0

0

4th

0

0

5th

0

0

6th

1

10

7th

23

285

8th

30

380

9th

31

400

Top

15

190

UK: Unemployment

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether more British firms have experienced job losses than their overseas counterparts; and, if so, why. [HL2332]

There is information available on the number of redundancies for the UK but not on the number of firms that have made workers redundant. Also, there is no internationally comparable information on redundancies.

In the three months to December 2009, 168,000 people had become redundant in the three months before the Labour Force Survey interviews. The level was down 36,000 from the previous quarter and compares to a peak level of 302,000 in the three months to April 2009.

Unemployment rates can provide some information on job losses but refer to individuals rather than firms. Unemployment rates are an aggregate measure of the proportion of individuals who are out of work but actively seeking employment. As such they refer to individuals within a country and do not therefore provide a measure of the extent to which firms in a country have made redundancies.

Unemployment rates are also a proxy measure of net job losses as individuals can enter unemployment from economic inactivity, such as retirement, rather than just from employment. However a rise in the unemployment rate over a relatively short period gives an impression of the number of job losses net of recruitment in that period.

A comparison of OECD harmonised unemployment rates is shown in Table 1. Data refer to the United Kingdom rather than Britain.

Table 1—OECD harmonised ILO unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted quarterly data)

2009Q4 (unless stated) %

Change on Quarter (% pt. change)

Change on Year (% pt. change)

Change on past two years (% pt. change)

Canada (Jan)

8.4

-0.1

1.9

2.5

Denmark

7.1

0.9

3.4

3.7

France

10.0

0.4

1.7

2.1

Germany

7.5

-0.1

0.4

-0.5

Italy

8.3

0.5

1.3

2.0

Japan

5.2

-0.2

1.1

1.3

Netherlands

4.0

0.3

1.3

1.1

Spain

18.9

0.2

4.9

10.3

UK (Oct/Q3)

7.8

0.1

2.0

2.5

US (Jan)

10.0

0.3

3.1

5.2

EU

9.4

0.2

1.9

2.5

G7

8.5

0.2

2.0

3.0

OECD

8.8

0.2

2.1

3.1

Source: OECD

Table 1 suggests that the UK has experienced a rise in its unemployment rate over the past quarter of similar but of a slightly lower magnitude than many other developed nations. Similarly the change in the unemployment rate over the past year is in line with the OECD and EU averages. Over the past two years the UK has had a rise in its unemployment rate lower than that for OECD countries on average and of the same magnitude as the EU average.

The reasons for differences in the changes in unemployment rates during the global recession between countries are likely to be numerous. These include but are not limited to: the national unemployment rate before recession; the change in gross domestic product; the efficacy of the welfare system; wage and price flexibility; the industrial composition of the economy; and the size of fiscal stimulus including targeted labour market policies. A combination of these and other factors has contributed to the changes in unemployment rates in Table 1. However the relative contribution of each is uncertain.

Visas

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether students in north India, Bangladesh and Nepal who have already made applications for Tier 4 student visas to study at private colleges under the currently suspended previous rules will be asked to resubmit their applications; and, if not, how many applications are pending decision under the old rules. [HL2252]

The suspension of Tier 4 student visa applications in north India, Bangladesh and Nepal on 1 February means that no new Tier 4 applications are being accepted from that date. Applications submitted before 1 February are being processed as normal against the rules in force at the time of their application.

The suspension was lifted in north India on 1 March for Tier 4 students intending to undertake higher education courses (foundation degree, undergraduate, postgraduate).

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications have been made under the previous rules in the last eight quarters to United Kingdom visa application centres in Pakistan and south India for Tier 4 student visas to study at private colleges. [HL2253]

Tier 4 was introduced in April 2009. It is therefore not possible to answer the question.

However, the total number of student visa applications lodged at our visa application centres in south India and Pakistan in each quarter in 2008 and 2009 are shown in the tables below:

SOUTH INDIA 2008Q1Q2Q3Q4

2008

2008

2008

2008

Bangalore

175

76

1,012

180

Chennai

606

198

2,133

552

Chennai (DHC)

106

56

17

1

Cochin

589

416

1,322

1,046

Hyderabad

1,821

257

4,612

1,538

3,297

1,003

9,096

3,317

PAKISTAN 2008

Islamabad

2,685

2,101

3,567

1,601

Islamabad (DHC)

37

14

85

34

Karachi

879

617

1,980

896

Lahore

2,257

1,545

3,572

2,444

Mirpur

756

542

924

1

6,614

4,819

10,128

4,976

9,911

5,822

19,224

8,293

SOUTH INDIA 2009Q1Q2Q3Q4

2009

2009

2009

2009

Bangalore

219

62

1,348

260

Chennai

885

227

3,158

983

Chennai (DHC)

2

2

Cochin

1,641

415

2,280

1,454

Hyderabad

3,472

594

4,148

1,800

6,217

1,298

10,936

4,499

PAKISTAN 2009

Islamabad

3,404

833

2,639

2,146

Islamabad (DHC)

32

3

36

24

Karachi

887

395

1,617

869

Lahore

3,096

603

2,605

2,309

Mirpur

5

106

615

566

7,424

1,940

7,512

5,914

13,641

3,238

18,448

10,413

DHC = Deputy High Commission

The data are based on Management Information. They are provisional and subject to change.

Waste: Recycling

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what response they will give to representations from local authorities such as Portsmouth City Council to ensure maximum flexibility in the definitions used for landfill recycling statistics. [HL2469]

The definition of recycling for local authorities is currently set out in National Indicator 192 (NI192). The National Indicator set runs for three years from April 2008, so no changes are anticipated before April 2011.

Defra intends to review the definition of recycling in NI192 to ensure that it is consistent with the definition set out in the revised Waste Framework Directive, and will consult on any proposed amendments.