some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page


Ministerial Visits

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list, with dates, the engineering companies (a) she and (b) her Ministers have visited since June. [21503]

Mr. Wilson: My colleagues and I regularly meet representatives from engineering companies and engineering trade bodies, both in visits and at other times. I list the visits made by myself and my ministerial colleagues to engineering companies since June 2001.












19 Dec 2001 : Column: 471W





Business Receiverships (Buckingham)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many businesses have gone into receivership in the Buckingham constituency in each year since 1997. [22647]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Statistics of business receiverships are not available by year of receivership at the constituency level.

Public Service Agreements

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on progress with the public service agreement target on levels of energy, security, diversity, sustainability and competitive energy prices. [23168]

Mr. Wilson: The public service agreement target to maintain or improve levels of energy security, diversity, sustainability and competitive prices has been updated for 2001–04:


The energy targets relating to this objective and the progress towards these targets are as follows:

Targets 1. Ensure competitive gas and electricity prices in the lower half of the EU/G7 basket, while achieving security of supply and social and environmental objectives.

2. Improve the environment and sustainable use of natural resources, including by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 per cent. from 1990 levels over the period 2008–12 and moving towards a 20 per cent. reduction in CO2 emissions by 2010 (Joint target with DEFRA).

Progress

Competitive energy prices: Overall, in 2000, based on the data available from the International Energy Agency, UK industrial and domestic gas prices, both including and excluding taxes, were in the lower half of the EU/G7 basket. UK domestic electricity prices, including taxes, were also in the lower half of the EU/G7 basket during 2000. However, industrial electricity and domestic, excluding taxes, electricity prices were not in the lower half of the EU/G7 basket. But figures for the UK show that electricity prices have fallen in 2001.

Security: The Department monitors electricity supply through supply interruptions and lost time. Between 1996–97 and 1999–2000 both the number of interruptions and average time lost have declined. Oil stocks are also monitored, with a target to maintain national emergency oil stocks at, or above, levels required by international obligations. At

19 Dec 2001 : Column: 472W

the end of the third quarter of 2001 the UK held stocks equal to 70 days of consumption, compared with an obligation of 67.5 days.

Diversity: The Department has a target to achieve 10 per cent. of electricity generated from renewable resources by 2010, subject to the costs to consumers being acceptable. In 2000, renewables accounted for 2.8 per cent. of electricity generated in the UK.

Social: The Department has introduced a social target of fuel expenditure as a percentage of income (including housing benefit and income support for mortgage interest) for the lowest three income deciles to be reducing and below 5 per cent. by 2003–04. Over the last three years fuel expenditure as a percentage of income has been reducing and in 1999–2000 was 7 per cent.

Sustainability/environment: Projections suggest that the UK is on course to meet its Kyoto commitment to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 12.5 per cent. by 2008–2012 from 1990 level. The Department is also on course to meet the sulphur dioxide emissions target of 80 per cent. below 1980 levels by 2010.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on progress with the target on the unit cost of investigating bankruptcy and compulsory liquidation cases between 1999 and 2002. [23163]

Miss Melanie Johnson: At the end of the last financial year, 31 March 2001, the unit cost of case investigation by the Insolvency Service had been reduced by 10.6 per cent.

Citizens Advice Line

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on funding for the Citizens Advice Line for London beyond March 2002. [22880]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department does not provide funding for the Citizens Advice Line for London (CALL) general advice line. It has however provided time-limited funding support for a consumer helpline pilot run by CALL as one of three such pilots across England, each using different approaches. The pilot funding has always been time limited to March 2002.

Sellafield

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations were made to her by (a) her Irish counterpart and (b) the Irish Energy Minister, in respect of Sellafield, at the recent EU Energy Council; and what response was given. [23191]

Mr. Wilson: None.

Departmental Expenditure

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessments she has made of the reasons for the difference between the final voted departmental expenditure limit and provisional outturn for financial year 2000–01 as listed in the Treasury document, Public Expenditure 2000–01: Provisional Outturn, for Vote IX Trade

19 Dec 2001 : Column: 473W

and Industry and Export Credit Guarantees Department subcategories (a) 1 Department of Trade and Industry: programmes and administration and (b) 2 Department of Trade and Industry: science; and if she will make a statement. [24105]

Ms Hewitt: The difference between the provisional and final voted outturn for financial year 2000–01 for Vote IX is within a reasonable margin of estimating error allowing for the uncertainties of export credit business.

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the reasons for the difference between the initial voted annually managed expenditure and provisional outturn for financial year 2000–01, as listed in the Treasury document, Public Expenditure 2000–01: Provisional Outturn, for the Export Credit Guarantees Department and the self-financing public corporations categories; and if she will make a statement. [24108]

Ms Hewitt: Annually managed expenditure mainly comprises the refinancing of bank export finance loans made by commercial banks under ECGD's guarantee. Such refinancing produces worthwhile savings to the taxpayer. The refinancing programme has been significantly increased during 2000–01. Some of the rise in AME is due to costs associated with refinancing, but these are more than offset by the savings.

Vibration White Finger

Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) interim and (b) final payments were made between (i) 1 January and 1 July and (ii) 2 July and 1 December to vibration white finger claimants in St. Helens, South. [22956]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 18 December 2001]: IRISC, the Department's claims handlers, made 31 interim payments and 20 full and final payments amounting to £278,674 between 1 January and 1 July 2001 in the constituency of St. Helens, South for vibration white finger (VWF). Between 2 July and 1 December 2001, 34 interim payments and 28 full and final settlements were made, amounting to £342,762. There are 431 VWF claimants in total in this constituency.

Consumer Credit Act

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Government plans to publish the summary of responses to its consultation document "Modernising the Consumer Credit Act 1974"; and what plans it has to take the review of the Act forward. [22785]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 13 December 2001]: DTI is currently analysing the many responses we received to our consultation paper "Tackling loan sharks—and more!"


Next Section Index Home Page