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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment has been made by her Department of (a) the retail and (b) wholesale cost of beer and cider not served to consumers owing to short measures in the last 12 months. 
Ms Hewitt: I have today announced proposals to strengthen consumer protection against short-measure draught beer and cider. Under the proposals bar staff would have to serve a minimum of 95 per cent. liquid per pint. If consumers are dissatisfied with 95 per cent. they can request a top-up. The Government will work closely with the beer trade to ensure that consumers are fully aware of their rights, including pubs displaying signs that consumers can ask for a top-up at no extra cost if they are dissatisfied with their pint.
The Department estimates that the total wholesale cost of draft beer and cider not served to consumers owing to short measures amounts to some £130 million a year at 2001 wholesale prices. This is based on sales of 6.6 billion pints a year, taken together with the results of surveys by local authority trading standards departments which show that 20 per cent. of pints were 100 per cent. liquid or more, 60 per cent. were between 95 per cent. and 99 per cent. liquid and 20 per cent. of pints were below 95 per cent. liquid. The retail value of this under-supply will depend on retail prices in particular establishments but will exceed the wholesale value.
Ms Hewitt: Most standards are developed under a voluntary process facilitated by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the content of such standards are determined by business, consumers and other stakeholders. BSI itself is independent of Government, and questions about standards for particular products need to be taken up with BSI rather than my Department.
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions took place between her Department and other Government Departments on the British connections of LNM Holdings. 
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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if sub-postmasters/mistresses or staff employed to operate the universal bank in sub-post offices who give advice on services or accounts will be required to register under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. 
Mr. Alexander: This is essentially a commercial matter for Post Office Ltd. However, my understanding is that sub-postmasters will not be giving financial advice and will not therefore be required to register under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she had with the Post Office on the Universal Bank during the final year that her Department was responsible for the scheme. 
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment her Department has made of the preparations manufacturers have made to include appropriate labelling for blind people on their packaging by 2004, in order to comply with the requirements of the Disabilities Discrimination Act 1999; and if she will make a statement; 
Ms Hewitt: The 2004 access duties in Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 refer to the physical features of premises. The manufacture and design of goods and product labelling are not covered by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if she will list meetings held between her Department and HM Treasury concerning the preparations for the World Economic Forum; 
(3) what representations she received from British businesses prior to the World Economic Forum conference; and if she will make a statement; 
(4) if she will list meetings she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on preparation for the World Economic Forum; and if she will publish the minutes of these meetings. 
Ms Hewitt: I am in regular contact with representatives from British business to discuss a variety of trade related issues. I am not aware of any specific representations received from British businesses prior to the World Economic Forum. I did however receive invitations from
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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 county of Hertfordshire, was £13.41 for men and £10.96 for women, a pay gap of £2.45.
Ms Hewitt: Estimates for the Parliamentary Constituency of Heywood and Middleton 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 Greater Manchester Metropolitan County, was £11.08 for men and £9.19 for women, a pay gap of £1.89 per hour.
According to the New Earnings Survey (NES), conducted by the Office for National Statistics, average hourly earnings for full-time employees, excluding overtime, in the Leeds local authority in 1996 was £8.94 for men and £7.18 for women, a pay gap of £1.76.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases (a) her Department and (b) its agencies have defended in (i) industrial tribunals and (ii) the courts in each year since 1997; how many were concluded in their favour; and what the total cost to his Department of litigation was in each year. 
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Ref. 37817, on the London congestion charge, for what reason she has not made an assessment of the effect that the proposed change would have on Consignia. 
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she will publish the conclusion of the Measures of Draught Beer and Cider: Consultation Paper on proposed legislative changes under the Weights and Measures Act 1985. 
Ms Hewitt: Currently, one pint of draught beer in five contains less than 95 per cent. liquid. The licensed trade's own voluntary guidelines recommend that a pint should not be less than 95 per cent. liquid, and that top-ups should be given if requested. But under existing laws trading standards officers can only act if beer drinkers are short-measured by at least 10 per cent.
Under proposals published today by my Department, bar staff will have to serve beer drinkers a minimum of 95 per cent. liquid in a pint, which is equivalent to an extra 60 million pints a year. Landlords who ignore the new regulations would be liable to prosecution for short-measure and would face £1,000 fines. Persistent offenders would run the risk of losing their licence.
The Department has consulted widely with all the relevant bodies. It will now work closely with the beer trade to ensure that consumers are fully informed of their new rights. This will include pubs clearly displaying signs that consumers can ask for a top-up at no extra cost if they are not satisfied with their pint.
These proposals strike the right balance between delivering a better deal for consumers without damaging the brewing industry and hitting beer and cider drinkers with higher prices. The cost to the industry of serving 100 per cent. liquid would be £95 million, which would have severe cost implications for smaller pubs with low profit margins.
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