|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
5 Dec 2002 : Column 991Wcontinued
Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer given on 27 November (Ref. 83035), whether an export licence was granted in respect of spare parts for Hawk aircraft for export to a country other than Zimbabwe which have subsequently been exported to Zimbabwe, contrary to the conditions of the export licence. 
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received concerning (a) the Working Conditions of Temporary (Agency) Workers Directive, (b) the Employment Status in Relation to Statutory Employment Rights Review and (c) the Employment Agencies Consultation on New Regulations; and if she will make a statement. 
5 Dec 2002 : Column 992W
Alan Johnson: The Department of Trade and Industry's public consultation on the proposed European Union Directive on the Working Conditions of Temporary (Agency) Workers has ended and written responses will be made available upon request. The Department is analysing the responses, which will help to inform assessment of the potential impact of the proposed Directive on UK workers and businesses.
On the proposed new regulations on the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations, the Department has received representations from the trade associations representing the private recruitment industry, workers' organisations, employers' bodies, employment agencies, individual work-seekers and other interested organisations. The responses are being considered and will be made available upon request.
Alan Johnson: We are currently engaged in a wide-ranging consultation on the issue of employment status, and have had, and are continuing to hold discussions with representatives of the clergy, and different faith communities and religious organisations, on the issue of extending employment rights to the clergy.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the (a) schemes and (b) organisations which address climate change to which her Department contributes funding to. 
It contributes to the work of the Research Councils on climate change, by funding through the Science Budget, particular programmes and activities run by the National Environment Research Council (NERC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The Department also assists the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia which supports the work in nine research institutions to promote the understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change. The Tyndall Centre is funded by the National Environment Research Council (NERC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); and the
5 Dec 2002 : Column 993W
Department contributes £210,000 over three years for the development of assistance to business on climate change causes and its consequences.
In addition, the Department contributes funding to support the development of renewable energy and cleaner coal technology, which make a valuable contribution to addressing climate change. Such programmes and organisations include the Renewable Energy and Cleaner Coal R&D programmes, the Renewable Energy Capital Grants Programme, Renewables UK, the Community Renewables Initiative and the Renewable Energy Advice Centres (REACS) through the Energy Saving Trust (EST).
Mr. Ivan Henderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to promote and support the right of developing countries to provide targeted protection for their local producers to benefit from international trade. 
Nigel Griffiths: The Government recognise that developing countries are at different stages of development. Within the WTO, we support the further development of Special and Differential Treatment provisions which will help all developing countries integrate into the world trading system. In addition, the Government believe that new WTO rules should reflect the implementation capacity of all WTO Members, particularly the developing and Least Developed Countries.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made towards the target set in 1998 for achievement in 1999 to 2002, to make the UK the best place in the world to trade electronically. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 26 November 2002]: The results of the joint DTI/Office of the e-Envoy independent International Benchmarking Study 2002 has shown that the UK is now one of the world's leading environments for electronic tradingindeed the study ranks the UK as the second best environment in the world for e-commerce, behind only the US.
This is a great achievement which the report attributes to the UK's low internet access cost, light touch regulatory environment, strong use of ICT in the education system, advanced venture capital markets and strong leadership of the agenda. UK broadband prices have reduced from among the most expensive in the G7 to among the cheapest.
Around 73 per cent. of UK business, with 10 or more employees, are now connected to the internet, an overall increase of 16 per cent. year on year since the target was set. At present 46 per cent. of internet users are buying online, up from 28 per cent. two years ago. B2B (Business to Business) sales remain significantly higher than B2C (Business to Consumer) amounting to £10.9 billion in 2001, which amounts to a 36 per cent. year on year growth.
5 Dec 2002 : Column 994W
To date there are over 1.1 million broadband subscribers. There were only 180,000 subscribers this time last year and there has been an increase in the number of companies using broadband. 18 per cent. businesses with 10+ employees have a broadband connection, compared to 8 per cent. at the end of 2000.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact of (a) the Working Conditions of Temporary (Agency) Workers Directive, (b) the Employment Status in Relation to Statutory Employment Rights Review and (c) the Employment Agencies Consultation on New Regulations, on people engaged in interim management consultancy. 
Alan Johnson: The Department published regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) on the proposed European Union Directive on the Working Conditions of Temporary (Agency) Workers and the draft Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.
In developing policy on the proposed Directive and regulations on the conduct of employment agencies, the Department will take into account representations received during the public consultations about interim managers.
A discussion document on employment status in relation to statutory employment rights was published on 11 July 2002. This document is not a proposal to legislate. It is seeking views on the justification for, and effects of, extending statutory employment rights to categories of working people currently excluded from them. The public consultation on employment status in relation to employment rights will finish on 11 December. If an outcome of the review was to propose new regulations, a regulatory impact assessment would be undertaken and there would be further consultation.
Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made towards the target set in 1998 for achievement in 1999 to 2002 to maintain or improve (a) levels of energy security, diversity and sustainability and (b) competitive energy prices. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 26 November 2002]: The UK has access to a wide range of fuels and generally has a more varied and balanced supply than many other countries. The mix of fuels has become increasingly diverse, including through increasing use of renewable energy. The UK remains self-sufficient in energy, but is likely to become increasingly dependent on imports of gas. Competition in UK electricity and gas markets has contributed to lower prices. Data for 2001 suggests that UK industrial gas and electricity prices were the second and fourth lowest in the EU respectively. UK domestic gas prices in 2001 were the second lowest in the EU, while domestic electricity prices were the fourth lowest, based upon available data. By 2000, UK greenhouse gas emissions were 13 per cent. below their 1990 level. More
5 Dec 2002 : Column 995W
detailed performance information is available in the Department's publication XEnergy: its impact on the environment and society" published in July, and will also become available in the Department's forthcoming publication on energy sector indicators.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|