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Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to ensure that new gas suppliers maintain the support the Government have established for the energy savings trust.
Mr. Eggar : I shall consider what obligations it is appropriate to impose upon suppliers to the new competitive gas market in the light of the response to the consultation which I shall be carrying out jointly with the Director General of Gas Supply.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what requirement he (a) imposes and (b) plans to impose on the director-general of Ofgas to take into account energy efficiency in her decisions.
Mr. Eggar : Section 4 of the Gas Act imposes upon the Director General of Gas Supply the duty to exercise her functions under the Act in the manner which she considers is best calculated, inter alia, to promote efficiency and economy on the part of gas suppliers and the efficient use of gas.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will set out the cost of employing consultants to advise on the future of (a) the Accounts Services Agency, (b) the industrial research establishment agencies, (c) the Insolvency Service Agency and (d) the Patent Office Agency.
Mr. Eggar : The fees paid to the consultants employed in each case are confidential for commercial reasons.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will place in the Library a copy of the relevant consultants' report dealing with the future of (a) the Accounts Services Agency, (b) the industrial research establishment agencies, (c) the Insolvency Service agency and (d) the United Kingdom Patent Office Agency.
Mr. Eggar : These reports may contain information which is managerially or commercially sensitive. Decisions on whether to place copies in the Library of the House will be taken when the findings of each report are considered.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade what are the terms on which (a) Francis Maude and (b) Ray Reardon are employed as advisers to his Department.
Mr. Neil Hamilton : Francis Maude has agreed to chair, in a voluntary capacity, the new deregulation task force.
Ray Reardon has been asked to consider how various corporate restructuring techniques could be applied to parts of the Department. He has also agreed to do this in a voluntary capacity.
They are not being paid to undertake these tasks although the Department has agreed to reimburse them their necessary travel expenses.
Mr. Fatchett : To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will reconsider his decision to end the iron and steel readaptation benefit scheme ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sainsbury : I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Mr. Milligan) on 27 January 1994, Official Report , columns 369-70 .