|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
10 Dec 2002 : Column 187Wcontinued
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the recent comments of the Chief Executive of British Trade International, regarding the effect on foreign investment of regulation. 
Ms Hewitt: Sir Stephen Brown's comments on regulation were seriously misrepresented by The Times. Sir Stephen stated that inward investors liked the UK's
10 Dec 2002 : Column 188W
light regulatory regime and low taxation compared with our continental neighbours. The UK is the number one location in Europe for inward investment. We aim to keep it there.
Andy King: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what plans she has to meet representatives of the building, construction and roofing industries to discuss the level of insurance premiums; 
(3) what her Department estimates will be the impact on employment in the construction industry as a result of changes in insurance premium tax. 
Mr. Wilson: Earlier this year my hon. Friend the Minister for Construction met my noble Friend Lord Pendry and a delegation from the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) to discuss rising insurance premiums and the impact on the demolition industry. There have also been a number of meetings between construction industry trade associations and my officials to discuss concerns about increased premiums in the Industry. We are keen to have the views of all affected industries, including building, construction and roofing, on the forthcoming review of the Employer Liability Insurance scheme being led by the Department of Work and Pensions. This review was announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his pre-budget report and further details will be announced shortly.
There is no simple answer to the impact of changes in insurance costs on construction and building profitability or levels of training.
The rise in insurance premiums is due to a number of factors, including the rise in the use of litigation, insurance companies clawing back losses from previous years (September 11 effect); a change in risk profiles within industries (effect of asbestos risk and other occupational injuries within construction); and better modelling of individual company risk. We do not yet know, however, which of these effects predominates.
The impact on profitability and training will depend on which of these effects predominates.
There has been no change to the current 5 per cent. rate of insurance premium tax (IPT) since July 1999. I am not aware of any impact on employment in the construction industry as a result of changes to the IPT rate before that date.
Dr. Strang: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what facilities exist for the promotion of trade between the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand; which Australian companies have over #10 million invested in the UK; and which UK companies have over #10 million invested in Australia. 
10 Dec 2002 : Column 189W
Nigel Griffiths: Trade Partners UK (TPUK) organises a wide range of activities designed to promote trade between the UK and Australia, Canada and New Zealand. These include assisting British companies through schemes like the Outward Mission Support Scheme, the Inward Mission Support Scheme, and the Support for Exhibitions and Seminars Abroad Scheme. Much of this assistance is aimed at helping companies to prepare for and enter these overseas markets for the first time.
An example of this is Export Canada. This is specifically aimed at SMEs that are new or inexperienced exporters; it is a mentoring programme which outlines the current state of the market for companies' products/services, and offers advice on marketing in North America and exhibiting at trade fairs.
The TPUK network delivers services coordinated by British Trade International, the organisation set up in May 1999 to take lead responsibility within Government for trade development and promotion.
The DTI has been notified of the following Australian companies that have indicated that they would invest #10 million or more over a three year period in the UK. These are AMP, Amcor Packaging (Europe) Ltd., Colonial Ltd., Hamilton Oil Company Ltd., Lend Lease Corporation Ltd., QBE Insurance Group Ltd., Medical Imaging Australia Ltd., Sims Mclntyre Metals Ltd., Sky Television Plc, Spotless Group Ltd., and Wine Planet.
Numerous British companies have significant investment in Australia. However the DTI does not collate such information and no comprehensive record of investment by UK companies in Australia is held centrally. According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, the book value of UK investment in Australia at the end of 2000 was #10 billion.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the installed capacity for combined heat and power in the UK is; and how many combined heat and power plants in the United Kingdom (a) currently operate and (b) are due to become operational before 2010. 
Mr. Morley: The DTI's UK Digest of Energy Statistics gives a figure of 4,801 MWe at the end of 2001 for good quality CHP capacity in 1,573 plants. The number of plants currently operational is largely unchanged. There is no Government estimate of the number of plants due to become operational before 2010.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will announce the funding for the Horticultural Research Institute for the next five years. 
Mr. Morley: We are now studying the results of a public consultation exercise on the Quinquennial Review of Horticulture Research International which was published on 23 September. We hope to be able to make an announcement shortly.
10 Dec 2002 : Column 190W
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has evaluated into the effect of the three-year-old cod recovery programme in the Irish Sea on cod stocks. 
Mr. Morley: The Government have reviewed the information collected for the annual assessment of stocks by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea and groundfish surveys conducted this year. There is some evidence that fishing mortality has reduced and that there has been a small increase in cod spawning stock biomassalthough the latter is still well outside safe biological limits. There is, however, no definitive evidence that these are due solely to the recovery plan nor that they can be sustained without further significant action.
Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will raise the coffee rescue plan at the forthcoming International Coffee Organisation meeting. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 December 2002]: Oxfam launched its report XMugged: poverty in your coffee cup", which included their coffee rescue plan, at the International Coffee Organisation on 18 September 2002 . The plan has, therefore, already been raised in that forum. The UK is currently engaged in dialogue with interested parties about the Oxfam report.
DEFRA will represent the UK at the meeting of the ICO on May 2003, as part of the EU delegation. The UK will use its input into the meeting to continue to press for greater sustainability in coffee production.
Mr. McLoughlin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the grants funded by her Department for which individual members of the public and organisations may apply; and if she will make a statement as to (a) the total of such funding in the last financial year, (b) the total number of awards and (c) their administrative costs. 
Alun Michael: Across the whole range of DEFRA's responsibilities there are a considerable number of grants available to individuals and groups and their size and scope varies enormously. For that reason the information requested is supplied by subject area as follows
The table gives the breakdown of DEFRA's direct expenditure by grant scheme. Because of disproportionate cost, these figures do not include grant schemes administered by our non-departmental public bodies and agencies in pursuance of their responsibilities carried out on DEFRA's behalf. These include the Countryside Agency, English Nature, National Parks, Broads Authority and the regional development agencies.
10 Dec 2002 : Column 191W
|Grant Scheme(1)||Funding 200102 (#000)||New awards in 200102|
|Farm waste grant scheme||23,000||5|
|Farm business advice service||7,000,000||4,411|
|Planning consultancy advice scheme||107,000||134|
|ERDP (10 schemes)||167,200,000||26,089|
|Rural stress action plan||300,000||3|
(1) The administration of grant programmes is carried out by a number of different units within the Department to which a range of staff make a contribution. It is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of these costs centrally.
10 Dec 2002 : Column 192W
|Grant scheme(2)||Funding 200102 (#)||Awards|
|Darwin Initiative for Biodiversity Projects||3,000,000||31 new projects 47 existing projects|
|Section 13 of the Industrial Development Act||112,000||6 awards|
|National Security in the Water Industry||2,900,000||15 projects|
|XEnvironmental Know-How" Fund (Funded jointly with DfID. DEFRA funded #2 million of the total grants in 200102)||6,975,000||42 projects|
|Environmental Action Fund||4,200,000||112 grants|
|Energy Saving Trust (funded jointly with DTI, DfT and the devolved Administrations, as well as by the private sector).||22,000,000(3)||About 10 per cent. of DEFRA's funding was used for grants.|
|Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (now marketed as the Warm Front Team)||Over 154,000,000||Installed heating and insulation measures in some 310,000 fuel poor homes|
(2) The administration of grant programmes is carried out by a number of different units within the Department to which a range of staff make a contribution. It is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of these costs centrally.
(3) About 10 per cent. of which was used for grants.
DEFRA administers the EU fisheries grants in the Objective 1 areas of Cornwall and Merseyside and in the areas of England outside Objective 1. Figures are held by calendar year, not financial year. The amounts of EU and national grant awarded in 2001, and the numbers of awards were as follows:
|EU fisheries grants(4)||EU and national grant (#) in 2001||Awards|
|Areas of England outside Objective(4)||6,802,764||46|
(4) The administration of grant programmes is carried out by a number of different units within the Department to which a range of staff make a contribution. It is not possible to provide an accurate estimate of these costs centrally.
|Grant Scheme||Funding 200102 (#)||Awards||Admin. costs|
|Pig Industry Restructuring Scheme||13,860,399||890||35,554|
|Agriculture Development Scheme(5),(6)||877,762||28|||
|Sector Challenge Scheme(6),(7)||104,085||8|||
(5) Grants awarded between 1999 and 200028 beneficiaries received payments totalling #877,762 in 200102.
(6) Changes in the organisation of work mean that a separate administration figure for these schemes could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
(7) Grants awarded in 1997eight beneficiaries received payments totalling #104,085 in 200102 (this scheme is now closed)
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|