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Ministerial Accommodation

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what publicly owned accommodation is made available to her in her official role; how many nights she has been in residence at each of these properties in the last 12 months; and what the total cost was of maintaining each of these properties in the last 12 months. [55098]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 9 May 2002]: None. I refer the hon. Member to the replies given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 28 February 2002, Official Report, column 1443W, and my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister to the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale (Mr. Collins) on 21 January 2002, Official Report, column 599W and 28 January 2002, Official Report, column 91W.

Budget

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received from business groups regarding the effect of the 2002 Budget on the (a) competitiveness and (b) productivity of UK businesses. [55907]

Ms Hewitt: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 15 May 2002, Official Report, column 661W.

Businesses and their representatives have welcomed the cuts in corporation tax, the tax exemption for substantial shareholdings and the new regime for giving tax relief for intangible assets, all of which contribute to the competitiveness of UK companies. Increased innovation and workforce training are both important components in improving productivity. Businesses have therefore also welcomed the large company tax credits for research and development, the additional details on the skills pilot schemes and the targeted support for smaller organisations to reach the IIP standard.

Enterprise Bill

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received regarding the new powers to be given to the Office of Fair Trading in the Enterprise Bill; and if she will list them. [57459]

21 May 2002 : Column 249W

Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department received 72 written responses to the White Paper "Productivity and Enterprise—A World Class Competition Regime" (Cm 5233) published in July 2001. The White Paper included discussion of the OFT's duties and powers.

The Department also received 49 written responses to the consultation paper "Proposed New Structure for the Office of Fair Trading" published in September 2001.

The Department subsequently received one representation on OFT's new powers from the Federation of Electronics Industry on 18 February 2002.

Temporary Staff

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost to her Department was of employing staff in (a) London and (b) the south-east from employment agencies in each year since 1997. [56513]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 16 May 2002]: The information at the disaggregated level requested is not held and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The Department maintains records on the total expenditure on employment agency staff only from 1998–99 onwards. The table shows details of this expenditure, which represents between 3 and 4 per cent. of staff costs for each respective year.

Outturn£million
1998–997.2
1999–20007.7
2000–017.2
2001–02(2)8.2

(2) Provisional


Unpaid Advisers

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 10 April 2002, Official Report, column 399W, what the (a) names and (b) responsibilities are of unpaid advisers who have assisted the work of her Department since June 1997 but are not included in the Cabinet Office's annual report 'Task Forces, Ad Hoc Advisory Groups and Reviews 2000–01'. [57040]

Ms Hewitt: I refer the right hon. Member to my answer of 10 April 2002, Official Report, columns 398–99W. Ministers in this Department have not appointed any unpaid advisers other than those accounted for in the list of task forces, reviews and other ad hoc advisory groups.

Freight Movement (Channel Tunnel)

Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations her Department has made to the European Commission in connection with the free movement of freight through the channel tunnel; and if she will make a statement. [57600]

Alan Johnson: The Commission has invoked the Free Movement of Goods Regulation in this case. They have kept the Department fully informed about their actions. The Government remains in close contact with them and

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with the French Government about the action that is required to resolve the problems affecting rail freight traffic through the channel tunnel.

Online Services

Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the level of electronic access to the main basic public services; and if she will make a statement. [57552]

Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.

Over half of all central Government services are now e-enabled. The latest Office for National Statistics data show that 3.84 million citizens use the internet to use or access Government services.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Sick Leave

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many days of sick leave were taken in her Department last year; how many related to employees suffering (a) stress and (b) other mental health problems; and what the cost was to her Department. [56483]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 14 May 2002]: The Cabinet Office publishes an annual report "Analysis of Sickness absence in the Civil Service". In the 2000 report for the Department for Culture Media and Sport the working days absence per staff year figures were:

Absence
Certified sickness3.9
Self-certification2.2
Total6.0
Staff years404

Records are not maintained by DCMS which enable sick leave to be separately identified as work related. There is no known record of anyone having had a work- related injury.

DCMS is committed to meet targets arising from the Government's revitalising health and safety initiative, for reducing the number of working days lost due to sickness absence generally and due to work-related injuries and illness.

Work-related Illness

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many employees of her Department retired through work-related ill-health in the last year for which records are available; and what the cost was to the Department. [56101]

Mr. Caborn: Records are not maintained by DCMS which enable ill-health retirements to be separately identified as work related. For DCMS there was one member of staff retired with a medical retirement certificate issued by the civil service pension scheme medical adviser for the last year. Benefits provided on medical retirement are as set out in the rules of the principal civil service pension scheme and laid before Parliament, and provide for an immediate payment of an

21 May 2002 : Column 251W

enhanced pension and lump sum. Ill-health retirement expenditure is met centrally from the Civil Superannuation Vote. For the year ending March 2002, provisional expenditure met from the Vote was £310 million in respect of all civil services cases for which an ill-health pension has been awarded. These cases number approximately 67,000 and include those who have formerly been ill-health retired but who have now reached and exceeded the normal retirement age.

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many claims for work- related illness were settled by her Department in the last year for which records are available; and what the cost was in compensation. [56100]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 20 May 2002]: Records are not maintained by DCMS which enable sick leave to be separately identified as work related and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

DCMS has a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for employees. The Department is committed to meeting targets for reducing the number of working days lost generally due to sickness absence and due to work related injuries and illness arising from the Government's revitalising health and safety initiative.

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many days of sick leave were taken by employees in her Department in the last year for which records are available; what proportion of those were due to work-related illness or injury; and what the cost was to the Department. [56102]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 20 May 2002]: The Cabinet Office publishes an annual report "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service". The most recently published figures are for the calendar year 2000. For DCMS the working days absence per staff year figures were:

Absence
Certified sickness3.9
Self-certification2.2
Total6.0
Staff years404

Records are not maintained by DCMS which enable sick leave to be separately identified as work-related. There is no known record of anyone having had a work-related injury.

DCMS is committed to meet targets arising from the Government's revitalising health and safety initiative, for reducing the number of working days lost due to sickness absence generally and due to work-related injuries and illness.


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