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24 Feb 2004 : Column 412Wcontinued
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people in London have access to (a) broadband internet via satellite service and (b) average variable cost broadband; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Timms [holding answer 23 February 2004]: Broadband internet access via satellite is available to the vast majority of households across the UK, including in London. Terrestrial broadband internet access services, such as ADSL and cable modem, which are generally available at less than £30 per month, are available to 85 per cent. of households in the UK including the vast majority of households in the London area.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 2 February 2004, Official Report, column 642W, on Business Link, when her Department will publish the gross value-added measure for Business Link operators. 
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 2 February 2004, Official Report, column 642W, on Business Link, how many studies have been commissioned; what their titles are; and when they were published. 
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Member for Totnes of 9 December 2003 concerning Mr.Trevor Sams of Totnes and business practices on the Internet. 
Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list outstanding European Union issues due to come to the High Level Group under the International Accountancy Standards Board; what the United Kingdom position on each issue is; and what the membership of the High Level Group is. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The high level European consultative group set up to advise the International Accounting Standards Board will be made up of senior officials from European banking, securities and insurance regulators and from the accounting, banking and insurance industries. The European Commission will be an observer on the group. The group will focus specifically on certain basic issues related to the application of accounting standards to financial institutions. Copies of the press notice announcing the group have been deposited and are available for reference in the Libraries of the House.
The Government take no position on the individual technical issues but do believe that it is important for a complete package of accounting standards to be available to companies as soon as possible in view of the move to International Accounting Standards from 2005.
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 23 February 2004]: The question is taken to refer to three areas where fireworks could be illegal, those are: (a) fireworks seized that do not comply with the British Standards (BS 7114); (b) those seized at port by Customs and Excise; and, (c) those found to be illegally stored (in unregistered premises).
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|Individual fireworks||Boxes of fireworks|
|April 2000 to March 2001||2,681||8|
|April 2001 to March 2002||142||5|
|April 2002 to March 2003||702||27|
|March 2003 to December 2003||17,872||24|
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment the Office of Fair Trading has made of the potential impact of encroachment by multiple stores into the convenience sector of the grocery market on (a) sustainability of the industry and (b) the independent retailers and small groups within it. 
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research her Department has commissioned since 199899 to assess the impact of the National Minimum Wage on 16 to 17-year-olds participating in Government-supported training; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 23 February 2004]: Work on the position of 16 to 17-year-old workers, including those on Government-supported training, is taking place in two strands. First, the Government asked the independent Low Pay Commission in spring 2003 to consider the case for introducing a minimum wage rate for 16 to 17-year-old workers. I understand that the Commission have commissioned research and consulted widely on this issue. A copy of the Government's evidence to the Commission can be found at www.dti.gov.uk/er/nmw. We expect to receive the Commission's report by the end of this month and then to publish it, with the Government's response, around the middle of March.
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The Government have also been conducting a wider review which is looking at the financial incentives for young people to participate in education and training and the system of financial support for young people. We expect this review to report in the spring.
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