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Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of regulations introduced by the Department have been subject to a consultation period of less than 12 weeks since the introduction of the Code of Practice on Consultations. 
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Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the comparative costs of (a) each renewable form of electricity generation and (b) energy efficiency measures in reducing carbon dioxide emissions; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms: The Department has published estimates of the cost of electricity generation from a variety of forms of renewables and the comparative cost of energy efficiency measures in reducing carbon dioxide emissions. These are contained in a report published in February 2002 available at: www.dti.gov.uk/energy/greenhousegas/index.shtml.
The energy White Paper published in February 2003 committed the Government to putting the UK on a path to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent. by 2050. Improvements in energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewables in generation will both be important in achieving this objective. The White Paper sets an objective to double the recent rate of improvement in energy efficiency and an aspiration to achieve a 20 per cent. share for renewables in 2020, double the level of the Renewables Obligation set for 2010.
Ms Hewitt: To date, the Government have committed £117 million to support early offshore windfarm development. No estimate has been made of the level of funding that may be needed to support future development in this area, but we expect industry to respond to the market for wind turbines created by the Renewables Obligation.
Ms Hewitt: The Government have set a target that 10 per cent. of electricity in the UK should come from renewable sources by 2010. However, no targets have been set for individual technologies, such as wind power. Decisions on which technologies to bring forward are left to the industry, consistent with the
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Government's policy of an open and competitive energy market. We expect the industry to respond to the market for renewables (including wind) created by the Renewables Obligation.
However, it is acknowledged that electricity generated from wind turbines both onshore and offshorewill make the largest contribution to the overall target. While we do not publish technology forecasts, it is estimated that to supply 7 to 8 per cent. of our electricity generation by wind turbines by 2010, which is what is likely to be required to achieve our 10 per cent. target, would require in the range of 3,000 to 5,000 turbines, assuming a mix of onshore and offshore devices. There are currently just over a thousand turbines within the UK.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the overall productivity of small and medium enterprises since 1997; what the gross value added per employee was in (a) SMEs and (b) large firms in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Nigel Griffiths: A measure of productivity is gross value added per employee. Data on gross value added per employee are only available on a comparable basis from 1999 onwards. The latest data available are for 2001 (see Figure 1).
(5) GVA is calculated at basic prices only. Public administration, education, health, financial intermediation and real estate have been excluded. There have been slight changes to the ABFs coverage over the period.
SBS, based on a special analysis from the ONS Annual Business Inquiry.
Between 1999 and 2001, the productivity of SMEs has increased at a faster rate than the productivity of large firms, and the gap in productivity has therefore narrowed. In 1999, SME productivity was 93 per cent. of large firms productivity. In 2000, it had risen to 94 per cent. By 2001, SMEs were 96 per cent. as productive as large firms.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been paid in fees to (a) solicitors and (b) handling agents in respect of compensation for (i) chronic bronchitis and emphysema and (ii) vibration white finger. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 4 December 2003]: As of 23 November 2003 the total 217 million has been paid in solicitors' costs for respiratory disease claims and 80 million for Vibration White Finger claims.
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Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her Answer of 2 December 2003, Official Report, column 24W, if she will make a statement on the goods trade deficit with the European Union for (a) the last year for which figures are available and (b) the previous six years. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics, the UK goods trade deficit with the European Union in 2002 amounted to £20.2 billion. Figures for the previous six years were as follows:
|£ billion, current prices|
To some extent the deficit reflects the relative strength of the UK economy
Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics, ONS
|Year||Average Household Debt (£) during year(6)||Average Household Income per month(7)|
(6) Rounded to nearest £500
(7) Rounded to nearest £50
ONS does not produce monthly or quarterly data for income by region. The most recent annual estimates for total household income and gross disposable household income for the countries and regions of the UK are available for 19951999. Figures at regional, sub-regional and local area levels (NUTS 1, 2 and 3 respectively) were published in a news release on 26 March 2002, available on the National Statistics website at: http://www. statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/reg0302.pdf
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