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19 May 2004 : Column 984W—continued

Tobacco Exports

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to which countries EU-grown tobacco is exported. [173189]

Alun Michael: The main destinations for EU grown tobacco in its raw state are Russia, the United States, Egypt, Poland, Algeria, the Ukraine and Switzerland. A table showing the quantities exported to these and other important destinations is as follows:
EU 15 Exports of raw tobacco and tobacco refuse in 2002

Tonnes
Russia44,190
USA18,690
Egypt12,948
Poland11,149
Algeria10,710
Ukraine9,465
Switzerland7,178
Turkey5,091
Romania5,025
Japan4,830
Singapore3,243
Uruguay3,139
Serbia Montenegro2,791
Tunisia2,772
Ivory Coast2,408
Other destinations45,482
Total189,111




Source:
Eurostat Comext database 12/2002




TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Miners' Compensation Scheme

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many miners have been compensated and how much has been paid in compensation under the miners' compensation scheme, broken down by constituency, listed in descending order by region. [172951]

Nigel Griffiths: I refer the hon. Member to the Department's website www.dti.gov.uk/coalhealth/ for constituency figures.

The constituencies are listed alphabetically and the information is compiled in the middle of the month and shows the figures for the end of the previous month.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many medical assessments and offers have been disputed by Raleys solicitors under the Coalminers Compensation claim for chronic pulmonary obstructive disease and vibration white
 
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finger which have required additional expenditure outwith the costs covered by the Department under the claims handling agreement. [172984]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 13 May 2004]: None.

Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether DMH (a) has been removed at any time and (b) is currently removed from the list of approved solicitors dealing with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease compensation claims. [173027]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 13 May 2004]: I can confirm that I wrote to DMH solicitors requesting they confirm that they had not double charged and, if they had, that they repay any deductions. According to the Department's records. I did not receive a reply to this correspondence and subsequently DMH were removed from the list of solicitors on the Department's website.

Combined Heat and Power

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to meet the Energy White Paper target of 10GWe of combined heat and power by 2010; and what progress has been made towards the target. [171033]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 5 May 2004]: I have been asked to reply.

The package of support for CHP is set out in the Government's Strategy for CHP to 2010, which we published on 26 April. This support will significantly help the industry. At the end of 2002, installed CHP capacity stood at 4,742MWe. More up to date data will become available when the annual Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) is published in the summer by DTI.

Company Liquidations

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether administrators who take over a company following its liquidation are subject to the same redundancy regulations as other companies. [173851]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Yes. The provisions in the Employment Rights Act 1996 apply to all redundancies. The provisions in the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 apply in all cases where there are proposals to dismiss 20 or more employees at one establishment within a 90-day period.

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will take steps to ensure that employees made redundant by administrators following a company's liquidation have the same rights as those made redundant by companies. [173852]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Under the current redundancy provisions, employees have redress against an employer's failure to comply with any of the requirements by making a complaint to an employment tribunal. This applies irrespective of the solvency of the employer.
 
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Product Safety

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 5 May 2004, Official Report, column 1645W, on product recalls/safety, when she intends to implement the General Product Safety Directive. [173958]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 18 May 2004]: We expect to carry out a formal public consultation on the draft regulations implementing the General Product Safety Directive in the summer and to lay the regulations at the turn of the year.

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 5 May 2004, Official Report, column 1645W, on product recalls/safety, if she will place in the Library correspondence between the Government and the European Commission on the General Product Safety Directive. [173959]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 18 May 2004]: It is not the practice under exemption 2 Internal Advice and Discussion of the Code of Practice on Access to Government information to release details of correspondence between Her Majesty's Government and the European Commission.

Small Businesses (Blackpool, South)

Mr. Gordon Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government has taken to help small businesses in Blackpool, South since 1997. [173063]

Nigel Griffiths: The Business Link Operator for North and West Lancashire has provided assistance to 1,647 enterprises in the Blackpool constituencies since 2001. (Statistics are not available specifically for Blackpool South). The Small Business Service was set up as an agency of the Department of Trade and Industry in April 2000. Contracts were exchanged with a national network of 45 Business Link Operators (seven in the North West) to provide Business Support to small and medium sized enterprises from April 2001. Before this date Government Support to business was provided through training and Enterprise Councils and the SBS does not have access to this data.

243 of the 1,647 companies who received assistance were pre start-ups. The type of assistance provided include IT support, Investors in People, International, and Business support.

Under the Research and Development Scheme (R&D) six companies have received offers of grant with a total value of £335,128 since 1997.

Under the Enterprise Grant Scheme (EGS) eight companies have received offers of grant with a total value of £261,950.

Small Mines Claims

Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the operational arrangements to allow full and final payments to be made in respect of the 23 February agreement on small mines claims will come into effect. [172738]


 
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Nigel Griffiths: Agreement in principle on the accession of the small mines to the respiratory disease Claims Handling Agreement was reached on 23 February. The Department is in the process of finalising a Memorandum on Heads of Agreement with the claimants' solicitors and the small mines, and agreeing with them the necessary amendments to the dust model to enable final compensation payments to be calculated. It is hoped that the testing of the computer models will be completed and operational arrangements for the bulk of cases finalised by the end of July.

UK Trade and Investment

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact of UK Trade and Investment in the last financial year. [169739]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 4 May 2004]: UK Trade and Investment has played a key role in helping to deliver the Government's agenda of increasing competitiveness, innovation and prosperity for all. Details, in quantifiable terms, of what UK Trade and Investment has achieved are contained in its 2003 Autumn Performance Report, and in its latest Departmental Report. Copies of both reports are laid in the Libraries of the House.


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