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7 Nov 2002 : Column 751Wcontinued
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average pension paid to members of the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme is in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) England; and what the average pension paid to widows and widowers is in the same scheme. 
Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average pension paid to members of the miners pension fund is in (a) Wales, (b) Scotland and (c) England; and what the average pension paid to widows or widowers is in the same scheme. 
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Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress she has made on introducing new pay scales for the Insolvency Service; and what recent discussions she has had with the Treasury about their introduction. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The outline of the new Pay and Grading system for The Insolvency Service was contained in a pay remit which has been formally submitted to the Treasury and discussions are continuing.
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 5 November 2002]: No British civil servant accompanied the Ghanaian delegation to the Doha talks. At the specific request of the Government of Ghana, a consultant working in the Ghanaian Ministry of Trade and Industry on a two-year long DFID funded Trade Policy Project accompanied the Ghanaian delegation. The consultant's role, as set out in an official statement by the Ghana Ministry of Trade & Industry in December 2001, was to observe the WTO process and analyse the issues for the Ghanaian Government. The consultant did not participate in any of the negotiations.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how the staff of the World Trade Organisation are selected; and what the process was by which the deputy director generals were recently appointed; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 6 November 2002]: WTO staff at all grades below Deputy Director General are selected on merit after open advertisement. Interviews are conducted by WTO management on the basis of staff rules agreed by WTO members.
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Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce banding of renewable obligation certificates under the Renewables Obligation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Wilson: There are no plans to introduce banding of the Renewables Obligation. The Renewables Obligation is a market led measure and will remain so. The Obligation is helping the UK renewable industry to take forward those renewable technologies that are close to becoming commercially competitive. Government grants continue to support the development of technologies still some way from commercial viability.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which of her Department's Public Service Agreements relate to fuel poverty reduction; and what progress has been made to date in achieving them. 
Ms Hewitt: My Department has recently agreed a PSA target for 20032006 to ensure the UK ranks in the top 3 most competitive energy markets in the EU and G7 in each year, whilst on course to maintain energy security and to achieve fuel poverty objectives. We also have a joint target with DEFRA to improve the environment and the sustainable use of natural resources, including through the use of energy saving technologies, to help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 per cent. from 1990 levels and move towards a 20 per cent. reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010.
The number of households in fuel poverty has been reducing since 1996 as has the number of vulnerable fuel poor. In broad terms it is estimated that the number of fuel poor households in England has fallen from about 4.3 million in 1996 to about 2.8 million in 2000 (when housing costs and ISMI are included as income), with the number of vulnerable fuel poor estimated to have fallen from about 3.0 million to about 2.3 million in the same time.
The 2001 English House Condition Survey will update the information on the extent of fuel poverty in England. Results from this will be published in the annual update of the UK Fuel Poverty Strategy which should be published early in 2003.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the proposals put forward by the European Commissioner de Palacio to the Commission on 6 November concerning the harmonisation of nuclear reactor safety and radioactive waste management across the EU. 
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Mr. Wilson: Officials in my Department and DEFRA are taking preliminary steps to assess the implications for the UK. It is important to remember that the proposals currently under discussion within the Commission could be changed significantly before any proposal is made to the Council.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what additional resources have been made available to her Office of Civil Nuclear Security following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. 
Mr. Wilson: It has been agreed with the Treasury that the budget for the Office for Civil Nuclear Security will be increased by #200,000 for the financial year 20022003 and by #300,000 for the financial year 20032004
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the public consultation on the proposed revisions to civil nuclear security arrangements; how many responses were received; and if she will place copies of them in the Library. 
Mr. Wilson: The Department has drawn up proposals for the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations which will provide a clarified and updated legislative basis for security regulation in the UK's civil nuclear industry.
The Department will publish a document summarising the responses received, and its responses to the points raised. As explained in the consultation document for the regulations, this will not identify individual responses. This is for security reasons. Nor will the summary document refer to issues with potential implications for operational security.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost of creating and operating the Liabilities Management Unit has been to date; and what the projected cost of the LMU until its dissolution is. 
Ms Hewitt: Between 1 April and 30 September 2002, my Department spent #4.26m on setting up and running the Liabilities Management Unit. I expect the full cost for the 0203 financial year to be around #10.9m. Similar annual expenditure is expected in the run up to the establishment of the Liabilities Management Authority.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Minister for Women what assessment her Department has made of the recent Economic and Social Research Council Report on disparities in salaries between men and women. 
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The report confirms that the pay gap has many complex causes. The government is tackling these underlying problems by encouraging equal pay reviews; introducing the annual Castle Awards and Fair Pay Champions and providing additional funding of #151,867 (on top of the initial #145,000) to trade unions, for training representatives in equal pay issues in the workplace. Work-Life Balance initiatives, the right to request reduced hours, improved and extended maternity rights and the National Childcare Strategy will also help to tackle both the full-time and part-time pay gap.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on (a) the work of the UN Commission on the Status of Women and (b) her Department's financial support for the Commission. 
The UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) plays an important role in promoting women's rights, developing follow up to the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women and has a catalytic role in mainstreaming a gender perspective into policies and programmes of the UN system. It was established by the Economic and Social Council, which elects CSW's 45 members for four-year terms.
The UK is an active member of the Commission and takes a leading role in the development of its policy and work programme, reflecting the UK's commitment to promote gender equality. The UK sends a strong delegation to the annual session of the Commission in New York, including officials from the DTI, FCO and DfID, plus members of the Women's National Commission.
The Commission's operating costs are funded through the UN Regular Budget to which the UK contributes 5.6 per cent. (the total Regular Budget is $2,625 million per year). Additional voluntary UK funding is provided to support the work of the UN Secretariat to prepare for CSW. In 2002, this included #10,000 from DfID for development-related expert group meetings held in advance of CSW to facilitate discussion and help the Secretariat produce reports on the Commission's priority themes. In preparation for CSW's 2003 session DfID will provide similar funding for expert group meetings.
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