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Conflict Expenditure

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money has been spent on the conflicts that the UK has been involved in as combatants since 1972. [52481]

Mr. Hoon: This information is not readily available. I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Missile Defence System

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate has been made of the possible cost of a UK missile defence system; and if he will make a statement. [52281]

Mr. Hoon: As we have not reached the stage of developing specific proposals regarding missile defence, a firm estimate of cost has not been made.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Post Office

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the post offices which are expected to be closed in the restructuring of Post Office Counters networks stating in each case (a) the number of redundancies expected in each case, (b) the cost to her Department of redundancy payments and (c) the expected savings to her Department from the closures broken down by (i) region and (ii) constituency; and if she will make a statement. [48797]

Mr. Alexander [holding answer 15 April 2002]: The detailed implementation of the programme to restructure the urban post office network is an operational matter for Post Office Limited. The programme has not yet begun, but Government support of up to £210 million has been allocated to advance our aims for the urban network as set out in the PIU report.

Pubs (Guest Beers)

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the numbers of pubs hosting guest beers (a) voluntarily and (b) as a result of the Beer Orders. [51513]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The 1989 Orders applied only to the then six large brewers owning tied estates of 2000 or more pubs. No such brewers exist any longer so the number of pubs selling guest beers as defined in the Beer Orders is now zero. So-called guest beers are sold on a voluntary basis and so cannot be estimated.

Micro-renewable Technologies

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what policy measures, in addition to her Department's capital funding, have been introduced since 1997 to support the development of micro-renewable technologies in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [51510]

Mr. Wilson [pursuant to the answer, 23 April 2002, Official Report, columns 214–15W]: Unfortunately an incomplete answer was given and herewith is the full text.

26 Apr 2002 : Column 488W

In addition to the general support for renewables provided by the Renewables Obligation and Climate Change Levy exemption, there have been a number of initiatives aimed specifically to encourage smaller projects.

In February, I launched the Community Renewables Initiative to encourage community-based renewable energy projects, many of which are likely to be small.

The 1998 Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) Order included a small-scale wind energy band for projects up to 0.995 MW declared net capacity under which 36 contracts were approved.

Small hydro stations up to 1.25 MW declared net capacity will be eligible for the Renewables Obligation without being required to refurbish.

The £20 million photovoltaics (PV) programme which I announced on 26 March is entirely directed at projects no greater than 100 kWp, and includes a band for very small projects. Applications for individual systems of 0.5–5 kWp will be accepted from householders, schools, community groups and SMEs on a rolling basis and 50 per cent capital grants will be automatic provided that the basic programme criteria are met.

Simplified connection guidelines for small PV generation have been made available as Engineering Recommendation G77 published by the Electricity Association.

The Distributed Generation Co-ordination Group is addressing grid connection and related issues to ensure that smaller generators have fair access to the electricity market. One of its workstreams is specifically addressing microgeneration solutions.

Ministerial Visits (Business Contracts)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when Ministers in her Department have visited other countries in support of firms seeking contracts in those countries, stating (a) each company, (b) each contract and (c) whether each bid was successful in each of the last three years. [52127]

Ms Hewitt: Ministers take every opportunity on visits overseas to lobby in support of UK commercial interests generally and, where appropriate, in respect of specific contracts. Information is not, however, recorded centrally in the form requested and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

EU Powers (Pay and Benefits)

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the European Union has the power to set the (a) pay and (b) benefit entitlements that must be offered by (i) public and (ii) private enterprises to their workforces. [52300]

Alan Johnson: Whether the European Union has the power to set these entitlements will depend on the nature of particular proposals that could have the effect of setting pay and benefits for certain individuals. Where the aim of EU legislation is to prevent discrimination on the grounds of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, age or

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disability, this may affect the minimum levels of pay and other benefits that public and private sector enterprises must offer to some members of their workforces.

Temporary Workers

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the likely impact that the proposed European Directive on working conditions for temporary workers will have on the creation of new employment opportunities in the UK. [52303]

Alan Johnson: The Department's officials are preparing a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) which will look at the possible costs and benefits of the Directive to workers, agencies and user companies in the UK. The RIA will be placed in the Libraries of House in due course.

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what amendments she will be seeking to make to the proposed European Directive on working conditions for temporary workers. [52299]

Alan Johnson: The European Commission published a proposal for a directive on temporary agency workers in March 2002. We are currently studying the proposal to establish whether it protects agency workers without damaging the important contribution agency workers and agencies make to the labour market and to maintaining high levels of employment.

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many temporary workers were, at the most recent date for which figures are available, fulfilling assignments in the public sector. [52306]

Alan Johnson: According to the Labour Force Survey, in Autumn 2001 there were 600,000 temporary employees in the public sector.

The Labour Force Survey defines temporary employees as including individuals engaged on: employment business assignments, seasonal work, fixed term contracts, casual work and other non-permanent work.

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research she has undertaken to assess the impact that the proposed European Directive on working conditions for temporary workers will have on the competitiveness of SMEs in the UK. [52302]

Alan Johnson: The Department's officials are preparing a Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) which will look at the possible costs and benefits of the Directive to workers, agencies and user companies in the UK including the impact on small businesses. The RIA will be placed in Libraries of the Houses in due course.

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people were employed in temporary work in the UK in (a) February 1992 and (b) February 2002. [52304]

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Alan Johnson: (a) According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 1,150,000 temporary employees in the three months March–May 1992.

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The Labour Force Survey defines temporary employees as including individuals engaged on: employment business assignments, seasonal work, fixed term contracts, casual work and other non-permanent work.

(b) According to the Labour Force Survey, there were 1,650,000 temporary employees in the three months December 2001–February 2002 (the latest data available).

Business Regulation

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cost compliance assessments had been carried out by her Department before the introduction of additional regulations affecting businesses in each of the last three years. [52110]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 25 April 2002]: The Department is required to publish final Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) for all regulations which have either imposed or reduced costs for business. The number of final RIAs the DTI has published in the last three years are as follows:

1999 = 41

2000 = 40

2001 = 30


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