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TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Minimum Wage

Mr. Welsh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will estimate the impact on the cost of departmental salaries were the national minimum wage for all ages to be raised to (a) £4, (b) £4.20 and (c) £4.50 per hour. [119865]

Mr. Alan Johnson [holding answer 20 April 2000]: The impact on the cost of departmental salaries were the national minimum wage for all ages to be raised to:


(a) £4 per hour would be £258;
(b) £4.20 per hour would be £6,356 and
(c) £4.50 per hour would be £23,722.

10 May 2000 : Column: 397W

These figures relate to DTI Headquarters' Directorates only. I have asked the Chief Executives of the Department's agencies to respond to the hon. Member directly.

The information in respect of Non-Departmental Public Bodies could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Letter from J. S. Holden to Mr. Andrew Welsh, dated 9 May 2000:


I have been asked to reply to your recently tabled Parliamentary Question to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in respect of Companies House Executive Agency.
No one in Companies House is paid below the current minimum wage, but if it were increased the impact to our salaries would be as follows:
(a) Increase of £45,202 should the minimum wage be increased to £4 per hour
(b) Increase of £103,278 should the minimum wage be increased to £4.20 per hour
(c) Increase of £205,160 should the minimum wage be increased to £4.50 per hour.

Letter from David Hendon to Mr. Andrew Welsh, dated 9 May 2000:


I am replying to your question on behalf of the Radiocommunications Agency. Raising the minimum wage to £4, £4.20, or £4.50 an hour would have no impact on the Radiocommunications Agency's salary bill.

Letter from Peter Joyce to Mr. Andrew Welsh, dated 9 May 2000:


The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply to your question about the estimated impact on the cost of departmental salaries of The Insolvency Service were the national minimum wage for all ages to be raised to (a) £4, (b) £4.20) and (c) £4.50 per hour.
Based on the salaries of current staff in post, the estimated annual cost to The Insolvency Service would be (a) £26,028, (b) £52,994 and (c) £95,054.

Letter from T. M. Ridley to Mr. Andrew Welsh, dated 10 May 2000:


The Chairman has asked me to respond to Mr. Counsell's letter of 27thApril.
For the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS), increases in the National Minimum Wage of £4, £4.20, or £4.50 per hour would have no effect on salary costs.

Letter from Alison Brimelow to Mr. Andrew Welsh dated 9 May 2000:


Parliamentary Question: 1999/1835
The estimate of the impact on the cost of Patent Office Agency salaries were the national minimum wage for all ages to be raised to £4, £4.20 or £4.50 per hour, would be £8,000, £34,000 and £73,000 respectively.

Letter from Ian Jones to Mr. Andrew Welsh, dated 9 May 2000:


You tabled a Parliamentary Question on 18 April 2000 to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry concerning the impact on departmental salaries if the National Minimum Wage were raised to £4, £4.20 & £4.50. I have been asked to reply in respect of the Employment Tribunals Service (ETS) which is an executive agency of the DTI.

10 May 2000 : Column: 398W


The approximate cost to ETS if the national minimum wage for all ages were raised is as follows:

Hourly increaseAnnual basic rateTotal cost
£4 per hour£8,736 £669
£4.20 per hour£9,173£3,312
£4.50 per hour£9,828£11,212

If there is further information you would like to have, please let me know.


Letter from Seton Bennet to Mr. Andrew Welsh, dated 9 May 2000:


The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has asked me to reply on behalf of NWML to your question regarding the impact on the cost of Departmental salaries were the national minimum wage for all ages to be raised to (a) £4, (b) £4.20 and (c) £4.50 per hour.
This would have zero impact on the cost of salaries at the National Weights and Measures Laboratory as we have no staff paid at national minimum wage levels.

Miners' Pensions

Mr. Stevenson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the pension rights of miners dismissed following the 1984 dispute, with particular reference to (a) those dismissed who had their dismissal confirmed on appeal, (b) those dismissed who won their appeal against dismissal and (c) those dismissed who made no appeal. [120916]

Mrs. Liddell: The Coalfield Task Force, established by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, recommended that the DTI review the pension entitlements of men who were not reinstated following their dismissal during the 1984-85 miners' strike. I shall shortly be issuing a document which will put forward proposals for addressing these questions.

OECD Anti-bribery Convention

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to incorporate the OECD Anti-bribery Convention into UK law. [121026]

Mr. Caborn: The United Kingdom ratified the OECD Convention on Combating the Bribery of Foreign Public Officials on the basis of existing anti-corruption legislation, in particular, the 1906 Prevention of Corruption Act.

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary will shortly publish the Government's proposals for reform of the law of corruption, which are designed to update existing legislation, taking account of the UK's obligations under the OECD Convention and other international initiatives aimed at eradicating corruption.

Companies House

Ms Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to his answer of 2 May 2000, Official Report, column 25W, concerning Companies House, what the results were of the systematic evaluation carried out of Capita's performance in the years (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98 and (c) 1998-99; what percentage of their targets Capita reached; and in what areas. [121125]

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Dr. Howells: Capita's performance against the public target is to answer at least 90 per cent. of all incoming telephone calls to the Companies House inquiry unit within 20 seconds.

For the periods:


(a) January-June 1997 the result was 53.5 per cent.
(b) July 1997-June 1998 the result was 95 per cent.
(c) June 1998-July 1999 the result was 96.5 per cent.

No performance data are available from the commencement of the contract on 1 July 1996 to 31 December 1996, as during this period a new telephone system was being installed which precluded monitoring taking place.

Liquid Petroleum Gas

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what powers OFGEM has with regard to monitoring and regulating the supply of bottled liquid petroleum gas; and if he will make a statement. [121084]

Mrs. Liddell: The Gas Act 1986, as amended, which set up the gas regulatory bodies, exempts and excepts LPG from its provisions. Therefore, LPG does not fall within the remit of the gas regulator. However, LPG is subject to UK competition law. Responsibility for possible consideration of anti-competitive practices in the market lies with the Director General of Fair Trading.

Radio Frequencies (Mobile Phones)

Mrs. Dunwoody: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criteria are used by Her Majesty's Government to prioritise the use of radio frequencies for emergency transmissions. [121361]

Ms Hewitt: Radio frequencies are set aside specifically for emergency service use. The emergency services have priority within those frequency bands and no criterion other than being an emergency service is used.

Ex-directory Telephone Numbers

Mr. Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will take measures to ensure that ex-directory telephone numbers are not commercially available; and if he will make a statement. [121350]

Ms Hewitt: The formulation and enforcement of policy on the privacy of ex-directory telecoms customers are matters for the Data Protection Commissioner and Oftel. It is important to note that being an ex-directory customer does not guarantee that unsolicited calls will never be received. Ex-directory status means that a number will never be quoted or called up by BT's or any other telecoms company's directory inquiries operators nor will details of the customer be listed in the Phonebook.

However, telemarketing companies can use other sources of information to contact people. These sources may contain information given by customers completing coupons for special offers, magazine and catalogue tear-off slips and other promotional questionnaires and flyers where the customer has not specified that such information is not to be disclosed.

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