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16 Dec 2002 : Column 537Wcontinued
Mr. Pickthall: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements are made for citizens who have applied to serve as lay members of employment tribunals and have been turned down to be briefed about the reasons for their rejection. 
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 12 December 2002]: Feedback for candidates on their application for these posts is available on request from the consultants organising this recruitment competition, Capita Ras, and has been given to those who have asked for it. It was not automatically offered to candidates because of the large numbers involvednearly 4,500 candidates applied for some 250 posts. My Department will publish an evaluation report on this exercise in due course, which will include an assessment of feedback arrangements.
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much (a) direct and (b) indirect Government financial support has been made available to the energy sector in each year since 1990, excluding the nuclear and renewables industries. 
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 27 November 2002]: The table shows how much direct Government financial support has been made available to the energy sector in each year since 1990, excluding the nuclear and renewables industries.
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There was no indirect Government financial support.
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 27 November 2002]: I refer the hon. Member to the replies I gave him on 16 November 2001, Official Report, columns 91819W and 17 December 2001, Official Report, column 102W. Since those figures were compiled, an error has been corrected in the 199091 figure for indirect Government support. In addition, there are minor increases in figures for direct Government support for years 199899 to 200001 to reflect the Research Council's more detailed investigation of their investments in sustainable energy.
1. The figures for direct support include:
(a) Direct Government funding for research and development on renewable energy through the DTI's Sustainable Energy Programme and through Research Councils via the Science Budget
(b) Support for the coal industry but excluding the impact of debt-write-offs and proceeds at the privatisation of British Coal and payments made in respect of historic liabilities retained in the public sector, such as health claims
(c) Support for nuclear based on the funding to the UKAEA details of which were included in the reply to a parliamentary question from the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr. Stunell) on 14 November 2001, Official Report, columns 75657W.
(d) Support for oil and gas production through Sustained Hydrocarbons Additional Recovery Programme (SHARP) and predecessor programmes, and development of new products and services and competitiveness improvement within the UK oil and gas supplies sector.
2. The figures for indirect support include:
(a) expenditure through the Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO), the Scottish Renewables Obligation and the Northern Ireland NFFO funded by the electricity consumer through the Fossil Fuel Levy in Great Britain and the variant arrangements in Northern Ireland.
(b) The premium received by Nuclear Electric plc over and above the market price for electricity in the period 199096 details of which were provided in the reply to the hon. Member for Hazel Grove (Mr. Stunell) on 14 November 2001, Official Report, columns 75657W.
Since 1998 the Government have also worked with the oil and gas industry through the Oil and Gas Industry Task Force, now PILOT, to identify and deliver the measures necessary to ensure continued profitable activity on the UK Continental Shelf.
The Government are currently providing British Energy with a credit facility of up to #650 million in respect of the period up to 9 March 2003 and has taken security for the loan over the company's assets. The facility has been provided in respect of the company's working capital requirements and cash collateral for trading in the UK and North America. As of 28 November the company has drawn down #382 million of the facility available to them.
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Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what analysis she has made of the merits of the programmes run by energy companies with the aim of helping to end fuel poverty. 
2. to what extent the households have benefited;
3. the extent to which they are schemes which operate under the energy supplier's mandatory Energy Efficiency Commitment (EECformerly EESoP); and
4. whether these schemes are an important contribution to fuel poverty alleviation and whether they harness company creativity.
Mr. Timms: I understand from Post Office Ltd that the Horizon computer system will be used for payment of benefits at the post office counter using plastic bank cards including the plastic card for accessing the card account at the Post Office.
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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research her Department has undertaken into public attitudes towards the UK meeting its Kyoto obligations on renewable energy and the potential change in electricity prices to the consumer; and how the cost of electricity for consumers will affect the Government's policy of promoting renewable energy sources. 
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 5 December 2002]: The Department are carrying out a public attitude survey on renewable energy through the COI and this should be completed in the spring of next year. We also recently undertook a public consultation exercise as part of the preparatory work for the forthcoming Energy White Paper. This examined the public's priorities for energy policy, including the role of renewables and attitudes towards changes in gas and electricity prices. The finding from this exercise are published on the DTI website http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/developep/pub con rep.shtml.
Most recently, the full results of the Xsurvey of public attitudes to quality of life and to the environment2001" were published in October on the DEFRA website www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/pubatt/index.htm.
The target under the Renewables Obligation of 10 per cent. of electricity being generated from renewable sources by 2010 will make an important contribution towards the UK meeting its Kyoto targets. Achievement of the 10 per cent. target by 2010 would represent an annual saving of 2.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions. Achieving this renewables target is expected to cost an additional 4.4 per cent. on average electricity prices in 2010 over actual 1999 prices.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the Government's role in encouraging the manufacture of renewable energy equipment in the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Wilson: The Renewables Obligation, which the Government introduced on 1 April 2002, is being backed by nearly #250 million of direct support measures to bring forward newer renewable energy technologies. In addition, in order to foster innovative research and development activity, the Government have increased provision for the New and Renewable Energy R&D programme to #19 million per year.
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energy sector, including equipment manufacturers and service providers, to take advantage of the opportunities created by the Renewables Obligation.
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