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15 Dec 2003 : Column 641W—continued

Financial Advisers

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the development of an international kitemark for financial advisers by the International Standards Organisation. [142846]

Ms Hewitt: The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is developing voluntary standards in the field of personal financial planning. The aim of the standards is to provide an international benchmark for financial planners to work towards and to increase recognition of the financial planning process to ultimately benefit the consumer. The UK member of ISO is the British Standards Institution (BSI) which is independent of Government. The current draft standards are available from BSI for public comment until 4 January 2004.

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Financial Journalism

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on her assessment of the probable consequences of the proposed EU legislation regarding investment services for financial journalism. [142844]

Ruth Kelly: I have been asked to reply.

Article 6 (5) of the EU's Market Abuse Directive requires member states to adopt appropriate regulation governing the production and dissemination of investment recommendations. The regulation has to ensure that those making investment recommendations or disseminating such recommendations take reasonable care to present the information fairly and disclose any interests or conflicts of interest they have relating to the relevant financial instruments. Recital 22 to the Market Abuse Directive indicates that appropriate regulation in relation to Article 6 (5) can include appropriate mechanisms for self regulation. The technical arrangements for compliance with Article 6 (5) were set out in an implementing measure agreed by the European Securities Committee on 29 October.

The Treasury will issue a consultation document next year on proposals to transpose the Market Abuse Directive and its implementing measures into UK legislation. At this stage it is expected that the consultation document will outline proposals that journalists either producing or disseminating investment recommendations will be subject to self-regulatory mechanisms. This approach should enable traditional media freedoms in the UK to be maintained while supporting market integrity.

Food Supplements

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the EU meetings held in 2003 which (a) Ministers and (b) officials from the Department have attended where the maximum permitted level of nutrients in food supplements was discussed; and if she will make a statement. [141412]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by the Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Health on 3 December 2003, Official Report, columns 76–77.


Linda Gilroy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will estimate the number of people over 60 years of age who are connected to the internet. [143524]

Mr. Timms: According to the July 2003 ONS Omnibus Survey, 22 per cent. of people over the age of 60, an estimated 2.7 million, use the internet.

ISO 9001:2000

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how she will ensure that more than the estimated 20 per cent. of United Kingdom companies comply with ISO 9001:2000 before 15 December. [140664]

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Ms Hewitt: My Department does not collect information on companies certified to the ISO 9000 standards. However figures produced by the International Standards Organisation indicate that, in December 2002, there were 60,960 ISO 9000 certifications in the UK. Companies have had three years notice that the transition period for the migration of accredited certification, from the 1994 editions of the standard to ISO 9001:2000, would end on 14 December 2003. My Department has provided information about the new edition on its website. From the information my officials have received from representatives of certification bodies, about 90 per cent. of their UK customers are expected to make the transition successfully by the due date.

Job Creation

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many jobs her Department (a) created and (b) safeguarded in each year since 1997, broken down by (i) local authority region and (ii) region; and what the cost per job was in each instance. [143138]

Jacqui Smith: Information on the Department's principal scheme (Regional Selective Assistance) for job creation and safeguarding is given as follows, by region. Similar information by local authority region is not available.

Regional Selective Assistance—offers accepted

Expected jobs
RegionNewSafeguardedAverage cost per job (£)
East Midlands1,7828433,138
North East4,8591,0003,073
North West6,5879,3744,945
South East1,694753,098
South West1,5492223,623
West Midlands2,4452,7776,576
East Midlands1,3863214,138
North East4,4911,2254,444
North West4,7753,0663,515
South East845795,222
South West1,1301,4965,284
West Midlands2,2831,7018,475
East Midlands1,1511,4983,052
North East5,2711,4134,428
North West6,2424,1242,925
South East9544393,251
South West2,6266411,964
West Midlands3,4577033,954
East Midlands1,9705144,680
North East3,8574,35510,528
North West3,2672,0563,753
South East8223422,466
South West2,8935943,214
West Midlands4,8951,0866,865
East Midlands3428054,623
North East2,3291,1964,691
North West2,6082,1753,364
South East1,0942145,780
South West6281896,674
West Midlands1,0396187,780
East Midlands1,6654143,515
North East1,7822,0546,543
North West2,8662,7046,496
South East3163462,689
South West3725216,562
West Midlands8051,6184,229

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Joined-up Government

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list (a) joint targets and (b) areas of joint responsibility between her Department and each other Government Department. [143141]

Ms Hewitt: The information requested is as follows:

(a) Joint Targets

The Department's Public Service Agreement targets from the 2002 Spending Review include the following joint targets:

PSA Target 1

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