Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Apr 2004 : Column 68W—continued

Departmental Policies (Ilford, North)

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency of Ilford, North, the effect of her Department's policies on Ilford since 1997. [164883]

Ms Hewitt: The Parliamentary Constituency Area (PCA) of Ilford, North falls entirely within the London borough of Redbridge. DTI has no area-based initiatives targeted directly on this PCA or the borough of Redbridge.

General economic and labour market information covering the borough of Redbridge can be found at
19 Apr 2004 : Column 69W

Downloaded Music

Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures she proposes to take to combat the illegal downloading of music from the internet. [164840]

Ms Hewitt: The UK music industry makes a substantial contribution to our economy. The UK is the third largest market in the world for sales of music and the National Music Council estimates that the music industry generates value added in excess of £3.6 billion (2000).

Illegal downloading of music from the internet has a serious impact on our creative industries and the artist they represent. BPI research estimates that 7.4 million people in the UK have downloaded material from illegal sites.

UK copyright law does provide strong protections for those who own rights in music so that they are able to take action against any illegal use of their material. However, we believe that increasing the provision of legal downloads is the best approach to combating illegal downloading and welcome the positive steps recently taken by the music industry to promote the availability of legitimate music tracks on the internet.

Electricity Supply

Mr. Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what role Ofgem has in ensuring security of supply when regulating the electricity industry. [165166]

Mr. Timms: Ofgem's principal objective is to protect the interests of consumers. In carrying out its functions in a manner which it considers is best calculated to further the principal objective Ofgem must have regard to the need to secure that all reasonable demands for electricity are met.

Hazardous Waste

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer by the Minister for the Environment of 11 March 2004, Official Report, column 1620W, on hazardous waste, how many of the (a) 100,000 special waste producers and (b) 750,000 future hazardous waste producers her Department has contacted to inform them of the requirements of the Landfill Directive relating to hazardous waste. [165323]

Mr. Timms: Defra lead on hazardous waste and the Landfill Directive, but the DTI is assisting in the development of a communications strategy which will raise awareness of these issues among businesses through a variety of mechanisms and media. I understand that my colleague the Minister of State at Defra will be providing the hon. Member with further details of the activities being planned over the coming months.


Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of potential business and commercial opportunities for UK firms consequent on improved relations with Libya; and if she will make a statement. [164730]

19 Apr 2004 : Column 70W

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The positive developments in the bilaterial relationship have led to a significant increase in the level of interest from UK companies wishing to do business in Libya. We believe that opportunities exist for UK firms in a number of sectors, including oil and gas, airports, education and training, ports and logistics and tourism.

Minimum Wage

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made, for each year since the introduction of the national minimum wage, of (a) the number of employers not complying with the national minimum wage provisions and (b) the level of underpayment of the national minimum wage. [165500]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The information is as follows.

(a) Data on the number of employers not complying with the minimum wage is not available. However, from April 2003 to February 2004 the Inland Revenue have investigated nearly 5,000 cases of suspected underpayment and found nearly 2,000 cases where employers were non-compliant, identifying £2,250 million in arrears of pay.

(b) Given that the Government does not produce estimates of the number of workers not complying with the legislation the level of underpayment cannot be estimated. However, the Office for National Statistics, do however publish the number of jobs paying below the NMW (see following table), but these are not an estimate of non-compliance because they include employees who are legitimately being paid below the NMW levels (for example, those who are receiving accredited training or where the employer provides accommodation).
Number and proportion of jobs paying below the national minimum wage

Amount £Percentage
Spring 2000(44)240,0001.0
Spring 2001(45)250,0001.0
Spring 2002(46)330,0001.3
Spring 2003(47)260,0001.0

(44) Rate was £3.00 per hour (aged 18 to 21 years) or £3.60 per hour (aged 22 years and over).
(45) Rate was £3.20 per hour (aged 18 to 21 years) or £3.70 per hour (aged 22 years and over).
(46) Rate was £3.50 per hour (aged 18 to 21 years) or £4.10 per hour (aged 22 years and over).
(47) Rate was £3.60 per hour (aged 18 to 21 years) or £4.20 per hour (aged 22 years and over).
Office for National Statistics central estimates of low pay.


Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 25 March 2004, Official Report, columns 965–66, on Nirex, what the last date was on which the Department discussed the budget for Nirex prior to the Nirex board meeting of 4 March with (a) BNFL and (b) British Energy; and what the Department's input was to the discussion. [165297]

Mr. Timms: Discussions with BNFL took place on 27 February on how best to secure value for money for the shareholders from the Nirex budget.
19 Apr 2004 : Column 71W

No such discussions were held with British Energy.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority will be responsible for the long-term disposal of (a) intermediate level, (b) high level and (c) other types of nuclear waste. [165325]

Mr. Timms: The Energy Bill includes provisions that will enable the proposed Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) to treat, store and dispose of hazardous material, including Low Level Waste (LLW), Intermediate Level Waste (ILW) and High Level Waste (HLW), at designated sites for which it is responsible and also in designated circumstances. In carrying out its functions, the NDA will be required to have particular regard for Government policy. Radioactive waste management policy is the responsibility of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the devolved Administrations. The Government's independent body, the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), is receiving policy options for the long-term management of higher-level radioactive wastes. CoRWM will report its recommendations to Ministers, who will decide the long-term policy and the arrangements for its implementation. The NDA could be given responsibilities in this regard. Clause 3 of the Energy Bill provides that, should Ministers so decide.

Nuclear Safeguards

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the implementation to date of Commission Regulation 3227/76 on the application of nuclear safeguards to mixed facilities. [165155]

Nigel Griffiths: Commission Regulation (Euratom) 3227/76 sets out Euratom safeguards reporting requirements. Application of the Regulation at installations that handle 'both civil nuclear material and nuclear materials assigned or liable to be assigned to meet defence requirements' (so-called 'mixed facilities') is as described in its Article 35. Accountancy reports and associated information are therefore provided for all the safeguarded nuclear material at such facilities in the UK.

Next Section Index Home Page