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Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on the humanitarian situation in Guinea; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander:
The UK Government are appalled by the atrocities committed against peaceful demonstrators during the opposition rally of 28 September.
The UK has been actively engaged with EU counterparts in Brussels, New York and via ambassadors in the region. Our ambassador in Guinea is also a member of the International Contact Group on Guinea and has maintained a constant dialogue with EU partners on the ground.
Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his most recent assessment is of the effects of the volume of available food supplies on the humanitarian situation in Kenya; and if he will make a statement. 
From a humanitarian perspective, the most important issue is whether the very poorest in society are able to access food. Increasing numbers of poor people face the double burden of low production, because of the poor rains in 2009 and the disrupted farming from post-election violence in 2008, and high prices that exclude them from the market.
Food aid is being co-ordinated by the World Food Programme (WFP), whose appeal of May 2009 has nearly been met. The Department for International Development is encouraging WFP to improve its targeting so that those most in need are assisted first. We will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation closely.
Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent progress has been made on reaching a decision regarding the construction of an airport on St. Helena; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development has recently carried out a public consultation on the most appropriate option for access to St. Helena. The consultation report will be published shortly.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will consider the merits of securing accreditation of his Department's helplines to the Helplines Association's quality standard; and if he will make a statement. 
Anne Main: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects Sir John Chadwick to report to him his advice on an Equitable Life ex-gratia payment scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects Sir John Chadwick to issue his advice to Ministers on an ex-gratia compensation scheme for Equitable Life policyholders; and what estimate he has made of the time to be taken in dealing with compensation claims following the determination of the structure of the compensation scheme. 
John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on compensating all Equitable Life policyholders for losses attributable to the manner in which Equitable Life was regulated. 
Mr. Byrne: As the Government set out in their response to the parliamentary ombudsman 15 January 2009, it will establish an ex-gratia payment scheme for Equitable Life policyholders who have suffered maladministration resulting in injustice. The Government have asked Sir John Chadwick to look at the data and advise on a number of issues relating to the extent of relative loses and their impact. The Government will introduce the payment scheme with the benefit of his advice and taking into account other considerations, including the state of the public purse.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will require UK Financial Investments to oblige any financial institutions in receipt of public money which have a policy of paying end of year bonuses to publish the payments and their recipients at the time the payment is made. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Government's policy is that state-controlled companies' (including UKFI investee banks') approach to disclosure should follow the requirements for companies listed on the Stock Exchange, including the Combined Code on Corporate Governance and Directors' Remuneration Report Regulations.
Mr. Ingram: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received from the Scottish Executive on the drawdown and utilisation of the Scottish Fossil Fuel Levy Fund for the promotion of use from renewable sources. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 26 October 2009]: Treasury Ministers and officials receive representations from a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what progress the Financial Services Authority has made in its investigation into the practice of third party capture in the insurance industry; 
(2) whether the Financial Services Authority plans to take regulatory steps to ensure that insurance claimants involved in accidents have adequate opportunity to receive medical or legal advice before settling any claim. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The FSA has carried out exploratory work on the issue of third party capture in the insurance industry in order to assess the nature of the practice and the level of risk to consumers. The FSA has recently concluded this risk assessment work and is currently liaising with the relevant trade bodies to agree what action can be taken by the industry to mitigate the risks to consumers. Once these discussions are concluded, the FSA will consider what further actions, if any, are required to address any residual consumer risk attached to the practice of third party capture by the insurance industry.
Mr. Byrne: From the years 1989-90 to 2008-09, according to the Office for National Statistics, the net value of assets purchased by local authorities was on average £4 billion a year (net of asset sales and depreciation). This figure excludes capital grants.
Hilary Armstrong: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of households with an annual income of below £50,000 (a) in total and (b) with children under the age of 16 whose income is expected to exceed this level in each year from 2010-11 to 2014-15. 
Mr. Timms: No such estimates have been made. Related information, covering analysis of the income distribution in 2007-08, can be found in "Households Below Average Income", published by the Department for Work and Pensions and available at the following link.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Ministerial Working Group on the Presbyterian Mutual Society is chaired by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. The other members are: the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, the First Minister for Northern Ireland, the Deputy First Minister for Northern Ireland, the Minister for Finance and Personnel Northern Ireland and the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Northern Ireland.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Working Group is examining a number of options, all of which raise complex issues. The Group wants to ensure that it has explored all issues carefully before reporting to the Prime Minister.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps his Department took to examine the financial activities of the Presbyterian Mutual Society (a) prior to and (b) following devolution in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has obtained advice from the Equality Commission of Northern Ireland to assist in ensuring that the various religious communities are more accurately represented among those commencing employment in HMRC in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 26 October 2009]: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is aware that its staff in post figures do not reflect the economically active population of Northern Ireland in regard to community background. These figures show that the Protestant community is under-represented within HMRC's work force. In light of this, the Department has sought both the advice and agreement of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (the Commission) in the drafting of the Department's 2009 Northern Ireland Affirmative Action Plan.
The plan, recently agreed by the Commission, aims to ensure fair participation of all sections of the community in HMRC's work force through fair and transparent employment practices and a range of outreach measures, including:
All vacancies for employment are advertised widely, ensuring that newspapers read mainly by the Protestant community are included.
Job advertisements for all posts will continue to include a statement welcoming applications from the Protestant community.
Where jobs and benefits offices are used, advertisements include a welcoming statement for members of the Protestant community and are circulated to other offices in the catchment area. The response to each such request is monitored.
We have links with schools from the Protestant community in an effort to attract applicants from that community and to offer work experience to trainees.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the monetary value of tax losses being carried forward by banks from financial years (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Historical figures for Corporation Tax paid by the financial sector are published in table 11.1, on the HMRC website. However, it is not possible to publish HMRC estimates of the loss position of UK banks due to rules protecting taxpayer confidentiality.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people whose addresses registered with HM Revenue and Customs contained a BT postcode and who were required to complete a self-assessment tax return did not submit the return by the statutory deadline of 31 January in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Timms: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given on 20 March 2009, Official Report, column 1416w and 20 May 2008, Official Report column 209W which provided figures for 2007-08 and 2006-07 respectively. The detail for 2005-06 is not known.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the pay band is of the officials in HM Revenue and Customs responsible for the language used in letters sent in pursuance of outstanding tax payments under the self-assessment system. 
HM Revenue and Customs send a number of letters to customers in pursuit of late self assessment tax payments. Many of these are sent automatically by our self assessment and debt management systems while some are specific to individual customers and written
by our case workers. The grade of the officers responsible for drafting the letters varies from Administrative Officer to Senior Civil Servant.
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