|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
1 Nov 2001 : Column: 779W
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she has taken to ensure that pharmaceutical companies in the United Kingdom are not engaged in the production of biological weapons. 
Ms Hewitt: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced on 15 October 2001, Official Report, column 923, the legislative measures that he intends to introduce in the very near future to counter international terrorism threats. The legislation will include clauses to cover the intention to use, produce, possess or participate in unauthorised transfers of chemical and biological as well as nuclear and radiological materials.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what recent representations she has received on restrictive agreements in the newspaper distribution industry; and if she will make a statement; 
Ms Hewitt: Under UK competition legislation, the Director General of Fair Trading is responsible for monitoring markets and considering allegations of anti- competitive behaviour. The Director General has considered complaints about anti-competitive behaviour in the newspaper distribution industry but has so far taken the view that the industry is highly competitive overall. Representations received about restrictive agreements in the newspaper distribution industry have been passed to the Director General.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with her EU counterparts regarding the mandatory use of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development guidelines for multinational companies. 
1 Nov 2001 : Column: 780W
Nigel Griffiths: The latest estimates of trend produced by the Office for National Statistics (based on data to August), show both the value of exports and imports falling in recent months. This follows record levels of trade in 2001 quarter 1.
Ms Hewitt: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment, on 30 October 2001, Official Report, column 592W. My Department is fully committed to supporting energy efficiency, achieving an improvement of some 50 per cent. in energy efficiency at standard prices in 199798 compared with 199091. An energy audit is currently under way with a view to making further improvements.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if she will propose an amendment to the law to provide a definition of "Royal Family" for the purposes of Section 1(1)(c) of Schedule A1 of the Registered Designs Regulations 2001; 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Registered Designs Regulations accord with the views taken by Parliament when concluding the Trade Marks Act 1994, which implemented equivalent provisions of another directive. In particular, this provision is exactly equivalent to section 4(1)(c) of that Act, which specifies a public interest exception to trade mark protection.
Dr. Desmond Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make an announcement on the Government's response to Ofgem's reports, 'The New Electricity Trading Arrangements-Review of the First Three Months' and 'Report to the DTI on the Review of the Initial Impact of NETA on Smaller Generators' of 31 August. 
Mr. Wilson: The Government believe that NETA has been a success in its own terms. The introduction of a more efficient regime into a more transparent, inclusive and efficient pricing system has meant that wholesale electricity prices are up to 25 per cent. lower than the artificially high prices that existed under the Pool arrangements. In addition, Ofgem's findings show rapid emergence of a strong and liquid forward curvethis will contribute to UK's longer-term security of energy supply by providing reliable longer-term price signals for investors to use in planning new generation.
1 Nov 2001 : Column: 781W
The Government recognise the issues faced by smaller generators under NETA. The Government remain strongly committed to renewable and combined heat and power generation. At the same time, we are committed to the regulatory framework set out in the Utilities Act 2000, the principles and structure of NETA, which has already delivered a good deal of real benefit to consumers, and promises to do so in future as well.
The Government have reviewed and considered Ofgem's reports, as well as views put forward by industry, both in the course of Ofgem's review, and to DTI. In light of these, I have issued a consultation document today, seeking views on the issues raised by Ofgem's reports and specific proposals. The Government's key proposals are, broadly:
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the number of cases dismissed by employment tribunals on the grounds that they were scandalous, frivolous or vexatious in each of the past 10 years. 
Alan Johnson [holding answer 24 October 2001]: It would not be possible to measure the number of cases dismissed by employment tribunals on the grounds that they were scandalous, frivolous or vexatious in each of the past 10 years.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many claims under the Icelandic Trawlerman's Compensation Scheme have not been processed due to claimants sailing on Icelandic water vessels after 1979; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: There were 1,115 claims on hold from trawlermen who continued fishing after 1979 on vessels that formerly fished in Icelandic waters. I have decided to amend the rules of the scheme so that such fishing no longer disqualifies men from receiving compensation.
1 Nov 2001 : Column: 782W
The environmental benefits of the aggregates levy will be more efficient use of virgin aggregate and a greater use of recycled alternative. This will reduce the environmental impacts of virgin aggregate extractionsuch as damage to biodiversity and visual intrusion. In addition, all revenues raised will be recycled to business through a 0.1 percentage point cut in employers' national insurance contributions and a new £35 million sustainability fund aimed at delivering local environmental benefits to areas subject to the environmental costs of aggregates extraction.
A full regulatory impact assessment was published at the time of Budget 2000. The impact on the actual costs to the end user will be dependent on the commercial decisions of those in the supply chain.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|