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100107
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>This Government is committed to a competitive tax regime and has introduced a range of measures to reduce the burden of National Insurance Contributions (NICs), as part of our long term economic plan to back business and create jobs.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>The Employment Allowance, introduced in April this year, means that around 450,000 employers– one third of all employers – are expected to be taken out of paying employer NICs altogether in 2014-15 and from April 2015, employer NICs for under 21 year olds will be abolished, helping to support jobs for almost 1.5 million young people currently in employment.</p><p> </p> more like this
100141
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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unstar this property answer text <p>It is for local authorities to determine the support they arrange, including any specialist education services for children and young people with low incidence needs. The importance of making appropriate provision for children with low incidence needs and local authorities including information about specialist support in their local offer is set out in the new 0-25 special educational needs and disability code of practice. Under Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014, local authorities have a duty to keep under review the educational provision, training provision and social care provision made in their area for children and young people who have special educational needs.</p> more like this
100210
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>The Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre is responsible for assessing a range of terrorist threats facing the UK, including terrorist use of cyber space, and keeps such threats under regular review. The threat from international terrorism, regardless of the methodology employed, is currently assessed as SEVERE, meaning that an attack is highly likely.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p> more like this
93318
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>People may be refused a British passport or may have their existing passport withdrawn on a number of grounds, including that their grant or continued enjoyment of a passport is contrary to the public interest. Public interest grounds include seeking to harm the UK or her allies by travelling on a British passport to, for example, engage in terrorism-related activity.<br><br>From 1 January to 30 September 2014, the Royal Prerogative power to withdraw or refuse a British Passport has been exercised 21 times on public interest grounds.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p> more like this
100168
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>We have been monitoring events in Hong Kong closely over recent weeks including, in particular, through regular reports from our posts in Hong Kong and Beijing. We also continue to meet regularly at senior level with both the Chinese authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government to discuss the situation. I met Hong Kong Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen on 14 October. <br><br>We have consistently called on all sides to ensure that the demonstrations are peaceful and in accordance with the law, including in my response to a Westminister Hall Debate on 22 October, in my Written Ministerial Statement of 13 October, and in a Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement on 2 October on the question of constitutional reform. We encourage all parties to engage in dialogue and work towards a consensus that allows a significant step forward for democracy.</p> more like this
100169
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>The UK and Taiwan enjoy a strong trading relationship. In 2013 total bilateral goods trade between the UK and Taiwan was £4.59bn. UK exports of goods to Taiwan increased 7.8% year-on-year to £1.16bn, the second highest level in history. Trade in services have been increasing over the last decade reaching £958m in 2012 (figures for 2013 will be available in November).</p><p>The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO) in Taipei promote the trading relationship through engagement with industry, trade missions and trade visits, for example, the visit of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in January to promote financial services collaboration, and the bilateral trade talks in July.</p> more like this
100172
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>Whilst the UK does not take a position on underlying sovereignty claims to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, we have a clear interest in maintaining regional peace and stability. We regularly discuss East Asian regional security issues with our international partners.</p> more like this
99862
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>This information is not held centrally. All newborn babies are screened currently for four serious but rare conditions, including Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD). This is part of the postnatal pathway and is paid for as part of the Maternity Pathway Payment (MPP). The cost for screening MCADD is not identified separately within the MPP.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>The NHS Newborn Bloodspot Screening Programme in England routinely offers newborn screening for phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis and MCADD. Newborn screening in England is offered between 5 and 8 days after the baby is born. The midwife takes a small sample of blood droplets from the baby’s heel for testing on a blood spot card.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>With early detection further diagnostic testing and early treatment can then be provided and avoid any unnecessary wait and help improve and prevent severe disability.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p> </p><p>The UK National Screening Committee have recommended extending the newborn bloodspot screening programme in 2015 to include screening for maple syrup urine disease, homocystinuria, glutaric acidaemia type 1 and isovaleric acidaemia.</p><p> </p>
99821
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>The Drinking Water Inspectorate, Environment Agency and Ofwat (Water Services Regulation Authority) are responsible for ensuring that contraventions of the Water Industry Act 1991 are detected. In discharging their functions they undertake inspections, check compliance, review plans and reports, investigate incidents and act upon their findings. Each organisation publishes details annually of the action they have taken.</p><p>Further to their powers within the Water Industry Act 1991 the Environment Agency and Ofwat are Prescribed Persons on The Public Interest Disclosure (Prescribed Persons) Order 2014 (SI No. 2418) with regard to whistle blowing.</p> more like this
89501
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property answer text <p>My Department receives correspondence on a wide range of issues about Parish Councils. <br><br></p><p>Complaints or concerns regarding a parish council’s behaviour can be made in a number of ways; by utilising the parish council’s complaints procedure, raising the matter at a parish meeting, pointing out concerns during the public inspection period of accounts for the audit, or by joining with a group of local electors to call for a parish poll on the issue. It is for the parish council concerned to consider the evidence raised in any of the above public representation and to take action inline with statute and their standing orders/complaints procedures.</p><p> </p><p>In addition, parish councils, like all tiers of government, must act within the law at all times, if a decision is considered unlawful, it may be challenged by the courts. Ultimately, if a council fails to carry out its statutory duties it will be accountable for its actions and decisions through the ballot box.<br><br>Our proposed Transparency Code for parish councils and smaller authorities seeks to increase the openness and accessibility of council papers and minutes by making them accessible online.</p>