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Mr. Cox: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent developments have taken place in the United Kingdom to reduce child poverty. 
Mr. Andrew Smith: The Government are committed to abolishing child poverty within a generation and halving it by 2010. In support of this, it recently published a strategy document on child poverty, "Tackling Child Povertygiving every child the best possible start in life", which will inform the Budget and Spending Review 2002.
The Government's strategy involves:
delivering excellent public services for all neighbourhoods and targeted interventions for those with additional needs;
supporting parents so that they can provide better support for their children; and
harnessing the power and expertise of the voluntary and community sectors, providing support for innovation and good practice and building strategic partnerships with these sectors to fight child poverty.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations will apply in Northern Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the application of this directive to England, Scotland and Wales. 
Alan Johnson: In Northern Ireland, implementation of employment legislation is a matter for the Northern Ireland Assembly. Responsibility for regulations on part-time workers rests with the Minister for Employment and Learning. I understand that the Part-time Workers
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(Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000 came into operation on 1 July 2000.
The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 came into force in England, Scotland and Wales on 1 July 2000 and ensure that part-timers are treated no less favourably than comparable full-timers in their terms and conditions unless this is objectively justified.
The measure ensures that Britain's six million part-timers can no longer be treated as second class citizens.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what mechanism was used for measuring the uptake of parental leave in the last three years; and what was the (a) uptake of parental leave and (b) proportion of those eligible who took parental leave in the same period. 
Alan Johnson: The Department commissioned a survey of working parents to inform the Government's review of maternity and parental leave. Initial results were published in the Green Paper "Work and Parents competitiveness and choice", published in December 2000, and in the accompanying document "Work and Parents competitiveness and choiceResearch and Analysis". The survey found that, by autumn 2000, at least 3 per cent. of working parents had taken parental leave since December 1999.
Questions on take-up of parental leave have recently been introduced in the Labour Force Survey. Results are expected later this year.
Roger Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her Department's definition is of the term sustainable development. 
Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 9 January 2002]: The DTI's definitions of sustainable developments and the Department's strategy was published in October 2000 and is also available on the DTI's website www.dti.gov.uk/sustainbly.
Geraint Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact on productivity of the increased proportion of graduates in the work force. 
Mr. Alexander [holding answer 9 January 2002]: Levels of educational attainment, including attainment at a tertiary level, are one of a range of factors which impact on productivity and competitiveness that are identified in the DTI's UK Competitiveness Indicators (Second Edition, February 2001). A copy is available in the Libraries of the House. The economic benefits of increased participation in higher education are widely recognised. For example a recent report from the OECD states that:
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to investigate nuisance faxes; and what charges can be made against those who continue to send unprompted material. 
Mr. Alexander: Unsolicited direct marketing by fax is regulated under the Telecoms Data Protection and Privacy Directive, implemented in the UK by the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999. Under these regulations, unsolicited direct marketing faxes to individual subscribers are banned unless they have given their prior consent. Corporate subscribers, including limited companies, are entitled to register with the Fax Preference Service or instruct particular senders not to send them any further faxes. (Individuals may also reinforce their protection by registering). Any faxes which advertise premium rate services are in addition subject to self-regulatory control by the industry regulator, ICSTIS, and must comply with the ICSTIS code of conduct.
The Information Commissioner enforces the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations. The Commissioner may send an enforcement notice to anyone who sends faxes to individuals who have not given their consent, or to subscribers who have registered on the Fax Preference Service; ultimately, failure to comply with enforcement notices is a criminal offence punishable by a fine.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what were the latest annual bonuses paid to managers of Consignia in each business unit of Consignia, broken down by (a) gender and (b) ethnic origin. 
Mr. Alexander: Since the company was given the commercial freedom it had long sought, operational issues like bonus payments are a matter for the company.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the size of the Consignia work force is. 
Mr. Alexander: I am advised by Consignia that the average number of staff, calculated on a full-time equivalent basis, including part-time employees, employed by the company in the year ended 31 March 2001 was 217,964.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average rate of pay is for (a) the work force, (b) managers and (c) non-managers of Consignia, broken down by business unit, and in each business unit by (i) gender and (ii) ethnic origin. 
Mr. Alexander: Rates of pay are an operational issue for Consignia.
I am advised by the company that this information is not available in the format requested.
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Mr. Simon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what criteria need to be met by British manufacturers if they wish to obtain preferential status. 
Nigel Griffiths: The Government do not give preferential status to particular exporters.
Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement about the (a) status of and (b) future of the postal archive and the property of what was formerly the Postal Museum. 
Mr. Alexander: This is an issue for Consignia plc. I am advised by the company that the archives of the Post Office from 17th to 20th century, including historical documents, maps and posters, are open to the public at Freeling House at Mount Pleasant in London on weekdays with no need of an appointment.
The artefacts of the national Postal Museum are stored at Freeling House and most of the philatelic material may be viewed by appointment. Various options are currently being considered for enhanced philatelic study facilities and improved public access to the museum collections.
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