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3 Jun 2003 : Column 333W—continued

Fair Trade

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions her Department intends to have with her G8 counterparts regarding the dumping of subsidised goods upon developing countries. [111578]

Ms Hewitt: G8 members are discussing trade and development issues in the run up to the next G8 summit at Evian in June. As part of these discussions, the UK is pushing for G8 members to reiterate their commitment to deliver for developing countries in the current Round of WTO negotiations. The Round includes agriculture negotiations aimed at reductions of, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support.


Mr. Truswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with (a) the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and (b) other departments regarding the enforcement of (i) current and (ii) potential future fireworks regulations; and if she will make a statement. [115436]

Miss Melanie Johnson: We have not had direct discussions with ODPM on enforcement of the existing Fireworks (Safety) Regulations 1997. We have had discussions with DEFRA, Home Office and the Health and Safety Executive. Also, officials from the Department participate in a Fireworks Enforcement Liaison Group set up by HSE. This group looks particularly at issues relating to the importation and illegal storage and sale of fireworks. The Liaison Group has representatives from HSE, DTI, the Fire Service, trading standards and local authorities.

As to the Private Member's Bill currently before Parliament, the Department has had discussions with ODPM and other departments on issues relating to likely enforcement of future regulations, and generally on issues relating to noise, anti-social behaviour, public displays and licensing of firework sales.

Greenhouse Gases

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many tonnes of (a) greenhouse gas emissions and (b) carbon were created by (i) energy projects, (ii) manufacturing projects and (iii) other projects supported by the Export Credits Guarantee Department in each of the last five years. [115049]

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Ms Hewitt: The information is as follows:

(i) Carbon dioxide is the only greenhouse gas for which ECGD has any information. For energy generation projects supported in each of the last five financial years, it is estimated that upon completion total annual CO2 and carbon emissions will be as shown in the table.


Tonnesper year1998–991999–20002000–012001–022002–03
CO211.120.419.21 .21.2

It has been assumed the plants operate for 60 per cent. of the time (5,256 hours per year). CO2 emissions are calculated using the following conversion factors—Coal: 0.687 tonnes of CO2 per MW per hour, Oil 0.417, Gas: 0.309. These are taken from The Greenhouse Gas Protocol website,, and are the 1999 average values for power plants in "Economies In Transition". These are the markets where ECGD most commonly provide guarantees.

Carbon emissions are calculated by assuming that carbon makes up 27.3 per cent. of the atomic mass of CO2.

(ii) and (iii) ECGD does not have information on the greenhouse gas or carbon emissions for manufacturing or other projects supported in the last five years.

The Department only began systematically collecting this information for power generation projects in 2001 following the introduction of the Impact Questionnaire.


Mr. Mark Lazarowicz To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what discussions she has had with the European Commission regarding the future status of the Scottish hallmark; and if she will make a statement; [114327]

Miss Melanie Johnson: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has not received any representations requesting the abolition of the Scottish hallmark and the closure of the Edinburgh Assay Office nor has she had any discussions with the European Commission about the status of the Scottish hallmark.

Department officials attended a meeting in Brussels in November 2002 at the request of the Danish Presidency to discuss the possibility of reviving the Draft EU Directive on the marking of previous metals. The Government has significant concerns about the Hallmarking Directive as currently drafted. There is little support among UK stakeholders for such a Directive, and there are no clear benefits to consumers, therefore we will not be supporting the draft Directive.

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My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has received several representations about the importance of the Scottish hallmark to sales of items of precious metals in Scotland.

Hawk Contract

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has made to the Secretary of State for Defence concerning the contract to supply Hawk trainer jets to the Royal Air Force; and if she will make a statement. [115120]

Alan Johnson: The Department for Trade and Industry has consistently taken an interest in the industrial issues surrounding the supply of new Hawk 128 trainer jets to the Royal Air Force. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry wrote to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on 12 May 2003 setting out some of these industrial points. However, this letter is confidential between Government Departments.

Icelandic Water Trawlermen Scheme

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations she has received on the independent adjudication of the Compensation for Former Icelandic Water Trawlermen scheme; and what action she is taking on those representations. [116593]

Nigel Griffiths: I have been corresponding with Mr. Whybrew, the independent adjudicator for the scheme, on a number of issues he has raised regarding the classification of Icelandic water vessels for the purposes of the scheme. I also had a meeting with him on 20 May 2003 to discuss these issues and will be seeking independent legal advice from Counsel on the Department's view that independent contemporary document evidence of voyages to Icelandic waters is required in order to establish a vessel's status as an Icelandic water vessel. Mr. Whybrew will be consulted on the instructions to Counsel and will see his advice.

Industrial Injuries

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many medical examination appointments for vibration white finger special damages have been made in each of the next six months. [115889]

Mr. Wilson: Aon Health Solutions who provide the medical assessments for services claims are making approximately 120 appointments each week at present. Appointments are not made more than two months in advance.

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many claimants there are for vibration white finger special damages in Wales, broken down by Parliamentary constituency; and what the timetable is for examining claimants in Wales. [115890]

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Mr. Wilson: The number of Vibration White Finger (VWF) Services claims submitted in Wales is 1,858. The constituency figures are:

Amber Valley107
Blaeunau Gwent191
Brecon & Radnor46
Cardiff North2
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr83
Clwyd West1
Cynon Valley204
Merionnydd Nant Conwy1
Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney169
Newport East2
Newport West1
Swansea East9
Swansea West2
Vale of Clwyd6
Ynys Mon1


A Services claim is defined as all VWF claims where the Department's claim handlers, IRISC, have received a Services Claimant Questionnaire

Aon Health Solutions started the VWF Services medical assessments at the beginning of April 2003. They have already begun to examine claimants in Wales.

Insurance Premiums

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received from businesses about the effect on their competitiveness of increased insurance premiums. [110330]

Ms Hewitt: I have received a number of representations from businesses, both directly and via business organisations, expressing concern about recent rises in insurance premiums. Some of these representations indicated that increased costs of insurance were not necessarily uniform across a particular trade, and that some businesses were therefore placed at a competitive disadvantage. A number of businesses commenting on the subject of employers' liability insurance, which is compulsory, expressed concern that 'cowboy' firms trading illegally without insurance were unfairly undercutting their prices.

The Government takes these concerns very seriously, and will shortly be publishing its initial review of the employers' liability insurance system, which considers business concerns over this class of insurance in particular. We will also consider carefully the report of

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the Office of Fair Trading's fact-finding study of the liability insurance market, also due to be published shortly.

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