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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact of the level of transaction costs in the provision of equity finance to private business. 
Nigel Griffiths: Although this Department has made no assessment of the impact of these costs, the Government appreciate that they have the effect of encouraging private equity investors to focus on larger investments. This makes it more difficult for smaller enterprises to raise finance and is one of the reasons we have launched Regional Venture Capital Funds to provide smaller amounts of equity capital to growth businesses.
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received on helping the aerospace industry since the incidents of 11 September 2001; and if she will make a statement. 
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Mr. Wilson: Both Ministers and Officials have been in contact with the major trade associations, aerospace companies, hon. Members and other bodies. We remain in contact with the major companies to discuss how to best manage the situation.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) pursuant to the answer of 20 November 2001, Official Report, columns 16364W, for what reason the profit and loss figures of BNFL Inc. are commercially confidential; 
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps her Department is taking to ensure that people who lose their jobs at Smurfit Corrugated, Warrington, are helped to find alternative employment. 
Alan Johnson: Cheshire and Warrington Business Link is working with the company to see exactly what support Smurfit Corrugated employees need from the Small Business Service. This is likely to include benefits advice, careers guidance, training and help with identifying job vacancies. The North West Development Agency is also aware of the situation and is considering, with the Employment Service, whether Rapid Response Funds are required.
Alan Johnson: Estimates for the parliamentary constituency of Stafford are not available. According to the 2001 New Earnings Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics, average hourly pay for full-time employees excluding overtime in Staffordshire was £10.43 for men and £8.67 for women, a gap of £1.76.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average gap between men's and women's pay is in Milton Keynes, South-West at the latest date for which figures are available. 
Alan Johnson: Estimates for the parliamentary constituency of Milton Keynes, South-West are not available. According to the 2001 New Earnings Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics, average hourly pay for full-time employees excluding overtime in the Milton Keynes Unitary Authority, was £12.53 for men and £10.03 for women, a gap of £2.50.
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Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether her scheme to compensate British fishermen for the loss of fishing when Iceland extended her fishing limit to 200 miles applies to statutory or nautical miles. 
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many claims for compensation for the loss of Icelandic fishing jobs have been submitted from (a) Fleetwood, (b) Grimsby and (c) Hull; how many from each port have (i) been paid, (ii) gone to appeal and (iii) gone to arbitration; and how many for each port have been reported. 
|Port||Paid Compensation||Requests to review the decision||Appeals to the Independent Adjudicator|
Mr. Page: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what calculation has been made of the amount of carbon dioxide produced by the nuclear energy industry; and what estimate has been made of the annual cost to the nuclear industry of meeting the climate change levy. 
Mr. Wilson: As with any large project, the process of constructing a nuclear power station will lead to carbon dioxide emissions but these will be negligible in relation to the lifetime generation capacity of the plant. Generation of nuclear electricity does not produce any significant carbon dioxide emissions. It is estimated that in 2001 in the absence of nuclear generation, emissions of carbon dioxide would have been between 11 and 22 MtC higher, depending on the mix of generation used to replace it.
The climate change levy (CCL) falls on supplies of electricity to business users rather than on electricity generators. The amount attributable to nuclear generation will depend on the extent to which consumers of nuclear electricity are domestic consumers or are businesses which are eligible for reductions in the rate of levy. For each terawatt hour of electricity supplied to business customers the CCL at the full rate would amount to £4.3 million.
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Miss Melanie Johnson: I understand the depth of current concerns about fireworks, particularly in relation to neighbourhood safety, noise and nuisance. We are now actively considering with relevant government departments what action can be taken within existing legislation to address these growing problems. I am also having further talks with the industry.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the dates that Ministers in her Department have received hospitality in their ministerial capacities since 1 January 1999 from Global Crossing; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received about the activities of Paragon Finance following the judgment in the case of Paragon Finance plc v. Nash and Another, Sane v. Stanton and Another held before Lord Justices Thorpe, Dyson and Astill on 15 October 2001. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: I have received correspondence concerning this case and it was also raised in some of the responses to DTI's recent consultation on reform of our consumer credit legislation. I am aware that the case has important implications for our plans to make the extortionate credit provisions of the Consumer Credit Act more effective and we will be studying the judgment carefully as we develop our proposals.
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department is in the process of reviewing the Consumer Credit Act in order to improve consumer protection against unfair lending practices. I published the summary of responses to our consultation paper "Tackling loan sharksand more" on 18 February. The summary contains a provisional timetable for when DTI expects to publish further consultation papers on our plans to modify the Consumer Credit Act and improve consumer protection against unfair lending practices. The summary also sets out the following priorities for the review:
Making the extortionate credit provisions more effective;
Increasing consumer protection by changing the Consumer Credit Act's financial limit and categories of exempt agreements and simplifying the rules on multiple agreements;
Enabling consumers to conclude credit agreements on-line;
Simplifying the advertising regulations, including the regulations on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR);
Amending the rules on early settlement, and;
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