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19 Jan 2004 : Column 1042Wcontinued
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what new (a) products, (b) services and (c) processes have been developed by firms benefiting from the introduction of research and development tax credits in each year since their introduction. 
This information is not available. Companies are not required to agree specific products or processes in advance with the Inland Revenue in order to claim research and development tax credits. So far there have been 8,000 claims and over 6,000 companies have benefited from research and development tax credits.
The available data on the cost of the research and development tax credits provided to SMEs, by quarter, are set out as follows. The costs are on a receipts basis, showing when the cost has been incurred by the Inland Revenue, we expect costs in the latest quarters to increase as further claims are received. Information on claims from large companies is not yet available.
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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many companies have benefited from research and development tax credits in each quarter since their introduction. 
We do not have figures for the number of companies that have claimed the research and development tax credit by quarter, although we had over 8,000 individual claims and over 6,000 individual companies have benefited since the tax credits were introduced. The available figures for the number of claims received from SME's so far for research and development tax credits, by quarter, are set out as follows. Information on claims from large companies is not yet available. Claims are made by companies retrospectively and therefore we expect the number of claims in later quarters to increase further as more claims as received.
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Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the progress of (a) the network reinvention programme and (b) the rural subsidy for sub-post offices. 
46 proposals had been withdrawn or delayed for reworking during the advance notification process agreed with the consumer body Postwatch;
a further 66 proposals had been withdrawn or amended as a result of the public consultation. POL had approved 388 applications totalling £1.3 million for investment grants to modernise remaining post offices.
Mr. Timms: There is no specific Government support for the setting up of call centres in rural areas. However there is a range of business support available in certain circumstances including regional selective assistance (RSA). RSA is available to support investment and the creation or safeguarding of jobs in the assisted areas for viable projects that benefit regional and national economies and which without RSA would not go ahead.
The DTI invests £l billion a year in support of business and of that sum £400500 million is spent on business support schemes. RSA with an annual budget of £110 million is one of the largest business support schemes. Our aim is to use this money in a way that ensures the best possible return on investment for the UK and makes a real difference to business performance.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will break down how funding allocated as other support for small business has been awarded in 200304; and what amounts were allocated in each year since 1997. 
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below incorporate those in Annex Bl on page 207 of the Report, including funding allocated as Other Support for Small Business.
|200102 Outturn||200203 Working Provision||200304 Plans||200405 Plans||200506 Plans|
|Small Business Service (and corresponding earlier activity)||274.8||423.4||404.8||367.0||387.0|
|Of which: Local Network(23)||141.2||143.4||144.0||144.0||144.0|
|Farm Business Advice Service (gross)||4.8||7.5||2.3||0||0|
|Business Link call handling and website||9.2||21.4||12.0||12.0||12.0|
|DTI spend on TCS and STEP||13.7||17.2||18.5||18.5||18.5|
|Enterprise Fund (including SFLGS net)||39.2||93.9||87.5||87.5||87.5|
|Business Incubation Fund||0||20.0||25.0||0||0|
(23) The Local Network includes Start-ups; Core Services funding; and Local Network Development.
Similar information on expenditure on small business and enterprise is contained within corresponding reports for earlier years (Cm 5416; Cm 5112; Cm 4611; Cm 4211), although direct comparisons may be inappropriate due to departmental reorganisation. The outturn for those years was as follows:
|199798Outturn||199899 Outturn||199900 Outturn||200001 Outturn|
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will break down how funding for the Spectrum Efficiency Scheme has been allocated since the scheme's inception; and what amounts have been allocated in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Timms: Arrangements for the Spectrum Efficiency Scheme were agreed between DTI and Treasury in 2002. Only one year of funding for 200304 was agreed at the time owing to the transfer of the Radiocommunications Agency's functions into Ofcom.
The Spectrum Efficiency Scheme had an annual budget of £5 million in 200304 as agreed in the 2000 Spending Review. There are two components to this budget; (1) compensation payments for spectrum replanning and (2) research.
A call for expressions of interest in the research element of the 200405 Spectrum Efficiency Scheme has just been announced by Ofcom. The budget of £5 million is expected to be shared between compensation payments for spectrum replanning, and research.
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