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Adam Afriyie: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on how many occasions the Secretary of State has met (a) the Government Chief Scientific Adviser and (b) his Department's Chief Scientific Adviser in the course of his official duties in the last 12 months. 
Mr. McFadden: My noble Friend the Secretary of State met the Government chief scientific adviser on 30 July and has met his Department's chief scientific adviser in the course of various departmental policy discussions over the last 12 months.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department has taken to protect telecommunications customers from unsolicited telephone calls from companies claiming to be processing a refund and seeking to obtain bank account details for fraudulent purposes. 
Mr. Timms: The Department for Trade and Industry introduced the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) scheme in 1999 under the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations, which were updated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations in 2003. The TPS scheme currently has 15.4 million registered numbers and reports an 85 per cent. success rate in preventing unsolicited calls. The TPS scheme provides protection from unsolicited marketing calls after subscribers have been registered for 28 days or have previously notified the caller that they do not wish to receive such calls, which under Regulation 21 also applies to those who are not TPS registered. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has responsibility for the enforcement of the TPS scheme and considers complaints about breaches. Recipients of these types of calls are advised to be cautious about disclosing personal details without first checking to ensure that the call is genuine. Suspected fraudulent activity should be reported to the police.
Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department (a) has spent and (b) has committed to spend on external advice on the Asset Protection Scheme in respect of (i) Royal Bank of Scotland and (ii) Lloyds Banking Group; and if he will list the sources of that advice. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry [holding answer 2 December 2009]: Lloyds and RBS have agreed to refund HM Treasury the costs it incurs in establishing and operating the Asset Protection Scheme, including those of external advisers.
When it decided not to participate in the scheme on 3 November, Lloyds agreed to pay HM Treasury £26 million, its share of the costs to that date of HM Treasury's own staff working on the APS, the costs of external advisers and the costs of establishing the Asset Protection Agency.
HM Treasury has received legal advice from Slaughters and May and financial advice from Ernst and Young, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and Blackrock. The cost to the Treasury of these advisers has been fully met by Lloyds and RBS.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of people who paid overdraft charges between July 2007 and the date of the Supreme Court's ruling on the powers of the Office of Fair Trading to determine the fairness of such changes. 
Mr. Bone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will place in the Library a copy of each signed share subscription agreement between his Department and each bank in respect of public funds. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry [holding answer 30 November 2009]: The placing and open offer agreements, and preference share subscription agreements, for the recapitalisation of RBS, HBOS and Lloyds were deposited in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament on 18 November 2008.
I have today placed copies of the placing and open offer agreements relating to the redemption of the Government's preference share holdings in RBS and Lloyds, dated 19 January 2009 (RBS) and 7 March 2009 (Lloyds), in the Libraries.
In addition I have today placed copies of the documents relating to the Government's upcoming subscription to Lloyds' rights issue, and to Lloyds' withdrawal from the Asset Protection Scheme (APS), in the Libraries. These are dated 2 and 3 November 2009.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the auditors of the accounts of the Bank of England for 2008-09 were informed of the loan to (a) RBS and (b) HBOS made in October 2008. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Bank's auditors were made aware of the emergency liquidity assistance to RBS and HBOS prior to the commencement of their audit of the Bank's accounts for the year to 28 February 2009.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what requirements there are on the Bank of England in respect of disclosure of information on loans made in each financial year, with particular reference to the bank's annual report and accounts. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The Bank's financial statements for the year ended 28 February 2009 (and in earlier years) state that where the Bank acts as a lender of last resort, the financial effects of such operations will be included in the financial statements in the year in which they occur although these financial statements may not explicitly identify the existence of such support. This was the case for the year ending 28 February 2009. The Bank's auditors confirmed that the financial statements for the year were properly prepared in accordance with the stated basis of preparation set out in the notes to the accounts.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer the then Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury gave to the hon. Member for St. Albans (Anne Main) on 11 March 2008, Official Report, column 364W.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) statutory instruments and (b) other regulations his Department has brought forward in the 2005 Parliament to meet obligations arising from EU law. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: On 19 October the Financial Inclusion Taskforce published its fourth annual report on access to banking. The taskforce used data from the Family Resources Survey to estimate that around 890,000 adults living in 690,000 households do not have access to either a banking or a saving account. Of these, 590,000 adults have a Post Office card account, which enables them to receive benefits directly.
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: As disclosed in UKFI's Annual Report, the Government currently hold 39,645 million ordinary shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland, equivalent to 70 per cent. of voting share capital. The total price at purchase of this investment was a net £20 billion. In connection with the asset protection scheme, the Government shareholding is due to increase by up to an additional 51,000 million non-voting B shares at a price of 50p per share.
The Government currently hold 11,799 million ordinary shares in the Lloyds Banking Group, equivalent to 43 per cent. of voting share capital. The total price at purchase of this investment was a net £14.5 billion. The Government have announced that they will take up their share of the forthcoming Rights Issue, increasing their shareholding by an additional 15,810 million ordinary shares at a price of 37p per share.
Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether (a) employee and (b) employer national insurance contributions are payable in respect of intra-company transferees under Tier Two of the points-based immigration system with work permits which state that the transferees intend to spend less than two years in the UK. 
1. The employee is entitled to exception from national insurance under European Community Regulations 1408/71 that operate
within the European economic area and Switzerland, or under a bi-lateral social security agreement with another country; or
2. The employee comes from outside the European economic area, Switzerland, or a bi-lateral social security agreement country and falls within the 52 week exception in Regulation 145(2) Social Security Contributions Regulations 2001, that applies to certain seconded workers who are not ordinarily resident in the UK.
Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what improvement programmes were in operation at HM Revenue and Customs in (a) 2006, (b) 2007, (c) 2008 and (d) 2009; how much each has cost; how much each programme has spent on external consultants; and which official of HM Revenue and Customs had oversight of each programme. 
Mr. Timms: Since 2006, HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) major change and improvement programmes have been delivered through the Department's investment portfolio known as the 'Departmental Transformation Programme'. Total expenditure, including consultancy, on these programmes is set out in the table.
The successful delivery of a change portfolio of the scale and complexity of HMRC's Departmental Transformation Programme depends critically on suitably skilled project management personnel as well as specialists in niche areas, e.g. data security and commercial banking. Where HMRC staff with the necessary skills and experience are not available, the Department will employ, through its commercial frameworks, external contractors and consultants to ensure successful programme delivery.
|2006-07||2007-08||2008-09||2009-10 (forecast at November 2009)|
|(1) These items represent expenditure commitments funded though the DTP and are not formal delivery programmes.|
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