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Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what level of Government financial assistance is paid to manufacturing industries in (a) Worcestershire and (b) Herefordshire. 
Alan Johnson: Businesses in Worcestershire and Herefordshire can be eligible for assistance under the smart scheme as follows:
All SMEs (fewer than 250 employees)
Development Projects30 per cent. of eligible project costs to a maximum of £150,000.
Technology Reviewsup to a maximum of £2,500.
Technology Studiesup to a maximum of £5,000. Small Enterprises (fewer than 50 employees)
Feasibility Studies75 per cent. of eligible project costs to a maximum of £45,000. Small Enterprises (fewer than 10 employees)
Micro Projects50 per cent. of eligible project costs up to a maximum of £10,000.
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Bayton and Mamble; Cofton Hackett; Kyre Vale; Lindridge; Martley; Temeside; Tenbury Town; Uffdown; Vale of the Teme.
Since 1 April 2000 to date grant has been paid to businesses in Herefordshire and Worcestershire as follows:
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the implications for trade with (a) the United States of America and (b) other non-European Union countries of the forthcoming EU food supplements directive. 
Nigel Griffiths: Officials have looked into the trade implications of the forthcoming EU food supplements directive. In negotiations the Government argued for a safety based approach to regulation of these products that ensured any adverse impact on trade was kept to a minimum. We have received no adverse comments from the US or other non-EU countries about the trade implications of the directive.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the rates of VAT are in each EU member state on mobile phone (a) handsets and (b) services. 
Mr. Alexander: Information on the topic is published by the European Commission in a document entitled "VAT Rates Applied in the Member States of the European Community" (DOC/2905/2001), a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House.
12 Dec 2001 : Column: 865W
Mr. Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she has responded to the Ethnic Minority Business Forum's report to her of 18 September. 
Nigel Griffiths: I have today put a copy of my response to the Ethnic Minority Business Forum's report in the Library of the House.
The Government welcome the report and look forward to working with the Ethnic Minority Business Forum to ensure that our policies and business support address the needs of ethnic minority businesses.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many person days per annum safeguards inspectors from (a) Euratom and (b) the International Atomic Energy Agency have spent at Sellafield since December 1993; if she will list the facilities inspected; and if she will list the reports arising from the application of safeguards at Sellafield over this time 
Mr. Wilson: The safeguards provisions of the Euratom Treaty apply to all civil material in the UK and the Euratom Safeguards Office therefore inspects all parts of the BNFL Sellafield facility where such material is located. Since 1994 these inspections have involved between 1,400 and 1,750 person days of inspection each year. Reports on Euratom Safeguards Office activities are published periodically by the European Commission, most recently in July of this year (report reference COM(2001)436 final, accessible at the website of the European ParliamentDepartment of Trade and Industry Explanatory Memorandum 1166901 refers).
In addition to ongoing Euratom Safeguards Office inspections, civil material at UK nuclear facilities is subject to the terms of the tripartite safeguards agreement between the UK, Euratom and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), under which the IAEA designates certain civil UK nuclear facilities, or parts of them, for inspection. In the period in question, the IAEA has chosen to inspect the following parts of the BNFL Sellafield facility: the THORP Fuel Receipt and Storage area, the Special Nuclear Materials Store 9, the Oxide Fuel Storage Ponds, and the THORP Plutonium Store. The number of person days of inspection effort involved in these inspections has reduced from some 290 per year in 1994 to about 190 in 2000reflecting moves by the IAEA to focus its efforts on the facility's major plutonium storage areas. Reporting on IAEA safeguards activities is included in the IAEA's Annual Reports (accessible at the IAEA's website).
Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 29 November 2000, Official Report, column 103940W, on venture capital funds (RDAs), which companies SEEDA has invested in using the regional venture capital funds. 
Alan Johnson: Regional Venture Capital Funds (RVCFs) are being established to ensure that appropriate small businesses in each of the English regions are able to access equity based finance in amounts below £500,000
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and to demonstrate to institutional investors that robust returns can be made in this sector. All RVCFs will be commercially focused and experienced private sector fund managers will make all investment decisions.
Following a competitive bidding process a SEEDA sponsored proposal to establish a fund in the south-east region received a conditional offer of support from the Small Business Service (SBS). The fund in the SEEDA region is expected to begin investing in spring 2002.
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment she has made of the gender pay gap in the private sector for women in (a) full-time and (b) part-time employment; 
Ruth Kelly: I have been asked to reply.
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.
Letter from Len Cook to Vernon Coaker, dated 12 December 2001:
|Men (£)||Women (£)||Proportion|
|Managers and administrators||17.80||12.83||0.72|
|Associate professional and technical occupations||13.78||10.96||0.80|
|Clerical and secretarial occupations||7.47||7.28||0.97|
|Craft and related occupations||8.41||6.13||0.73|
|Personal and protective service occupations||8.60||6.19||0.72|
|Plant and machine operatives||7.43||5.83||0.78|
(3) Earnings are for employees on adult rates, whose pay for the survey period was unaffected by absence and exclude overtime.
(4) Great Britain, April 2000, not seasonally adjusted.
(5) The earnings data by occupation is for full-time employees only.
New Earnings Survey.
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