|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
5 Jan 2004 : Column 123Wcontinued
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the (a) number and (b) cost of regulations imposed on business by her Department since 1997. 
5 Jan 2004 : Column 124W
Only a small proportion of SIs have a significant impact on business. For example, of the 109 SIs produced in 2002, 11 have produced cost savings for business and 77 have had negligible or no impact. A regulatory impact assessment is produced for all SIs that have a cost to or benefit for business, and copies are available from the Libraries of the House.
The Government are committed to regulating only where necessary and with as light a touch as possible. However, regulations are necessary for creating open, dynamic markets and introducing minimum standards. It is important not to confuse the costs of minimum standards with red tape: over 1 million workers have benefited from the national minimum wage and over 3 million people have gained an entitlement to four weeks paid annual leave.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what additional support will be provided to Royal Mail if Postcomm's proposals to change its universal service obligations are permitted. 
Mr. Timms: Universal service obligations are a matter for the Regulator, Postcomm. Postcomm are currently seeking views, via a consultation process that runs through to mid-February, on their proposals which aim to clarify precisely which services make up the universal service in the UK and how they should be provided by Royal Mail. It is Postcomm's primary responsibility to exercise its functions in a manner which it considers is best calculated to ensure the provision of a universal service, as set out in the Postal Services Act 2000.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many small business schemes have been (a) launched and (b) proposed by (i) her Department and (ii) other Government departments since November 2002. 
Extension of the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme
Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
Grant for Investigating an Innovative Idea
5 Jan 2004 : Column 125W
These four schemes are those which fall within the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. Schemes operated, or proposed, by other Government Departments are the responsibility of their respective ministers.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with the Treasury regarding (a) the decision to backdate payments under section 660A of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 and (b) the impact this will have on small businesses. 
Nigel Griffiths: Section 660A-660G of the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 is a long standing piece of anti-avoidance legislation which prevents avoidance of tax by, for example, a taxpayer with a higher rate of tax transferring income to someone who is liable at a lower rate.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the cost to small businesses of complying with new legislation introduced in each year since 1997. 
Ms Hewitt: Ministers and officials in my Department are in regular contact with universities to discuss a range of issues including funding. Although neither myself or my noble Friend the Minister for Science and Innovation has had any recent meetings with universities specifically to discuss venture capital, it has formed part of many of the discussions which my noble Friend has had with universities and venture capitalists in the last year. The OST has been supporting universities' access to venture capital through University Challenge and the Higher Education Innovation Fund.
5 Jan 2004 : Column 126W
Estelle Morris: The outstanding archaeological value of the Thornborough Henge site has been recognised by the statutory protection the site enjoys. Recent research commissioned by English Heritage has reinforced that view.
Tessa Jowell: My Department is working closely with Sport England to create 3,000 full and part-time Community Sports Coaches by 2006. Community Sports Coaches will work across a range of schools, clubs and local authorities to ensure that the maximum number of young people benefit. This will support delivery of the PSA target that I share with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Skills to increase the percentage of school children who spend a minimum of two hours each week on high quality physical education and school sport withinand beyondthe curriculum to 75 per cent. by 2006.
Estelle Morris: One of my Department's strategic priorities is to open up our cultural institutions to the wider community. This is reflected in our Public Service Agreement, which includes increasing arts attendance by under-represented groups. We are working with Arts Council England towards increasing diversity among audiences.
Estelle Morris: The Government have no direct role in the provision of local authority or independent museum services. However, through the Renaissance in the Regions programme we are providing significant support for major regional museums. As the programme develops, its benefits will spread throughout the museum sector in each region.
5 Jan 2004 : Column 127W
16. Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with the Office of Fair Trading with regard to their investigation into the control of British horse racing; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Caborn: There have been no discussions, and the Office of Fair Trading exercises an independent jurisdiction. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has, however, written to the Chairman to draw attention to the public interest in maintaining a full and diverse national programme of racing.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|