some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page

23 Jun 2004 : Column 1453W—continued

Bernie Creham v. Inntrepreneur

Donald Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the implications of the Appeal Court decision in the case of Bernie Creham against Inntrepreneur for (a) the licensed trade, (b) competition policy and (c) protection of consumers. [178953]

Mr. Sutcliffe: It is for parties involved in the beer industry to consider how this decision may affect their commercial relationships and for the UK competition authorities to consider any wider matters it may raise relating to competition law and consumer protection.

Business Fraud

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many Stop Now Orders have been issued since their introduction; and how many were issued by each type of enforcer. [179265]

Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 17 June 2004]: Since the introduction, 15 Stop Now Orders have been obtained. In addition, three interim Orders have been obtained. 13 of these, including the three interim Orders have been obtained by local authority trading standards departments. The Office of Fair Trading has obtained the remaining five Orders.

Business Support Schemes

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much money her Department has saved as a result of the recent rationalisation of its business support schemes. [179247]

Nigel Griffiths: The level of support provided to business is expected to remain unchanged at around £500 million per annum.

The primary purposes of the Business Support review is to increase value created through the investment of taxpayers' funds and to improve the customer experience in dealing with DTI. Cost savings of £740,000 have already been achieved from administrative efficiency improvements in delivering Business Support in 2003–04 against the 2002–03 baseline. Further administrative cost savings are projected for 2004–05 and 2005–06.

Businesses (Tamworth)

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new businesses have started up in the parliamentary constituency of Tamworth since 1997. [179962]

Nigel Griffiths: Barclays Bank's latest survey of business creation includes non-VAT registered firms and shows that there were 115,000 business start-ups in England and Wales in the last quarter of 2003, including 1,300 business start-ups in the county of Staffordshire (which includes Tamworth parliamentary constituency). The latest yearly figures show 465,000 business start-ups in England and Wales in 2003. This represents a 19 per cent. increase on the year before. In 2003 there were 5,500 business start-ups in the county of Staffordshire.
 
23 Jun 2004 : Column 1454W
 

Barclays data for the county of Staffordshire are not available before 2003 and data are not available for Tamworth parliamentary constituency separately.

DTI figures based solely on VAT registrations for Tamworth local authority and Lichfield local authority (which both contain parts of Tamworth parliamentary constituency) are shown in the following table for the period 1997 to 2002. Data for 2003 will be available in autumn 2004.
VAT registrations: 1997–2002

TamworthLichfield
1997155335
1998185340
1999190340
2000170345
2001200325
2002215330




Source:
Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994–2002, Small Business Service www.sbs.gov.uk/statistics/analytical/vatstats.php



VAT registrations do not capture all start-up activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which has risen in each year since 1997. Similarly, businesses that de-register will not necessarily have closed. Only 1.8 million out of 3.8 million enterprises were registered for VAT at the start of 2002.

Carers' Rights

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing a right for the carers of older or disabled adults (a) to have paid leave from work and (b) to request flexible working; and if she will make a statement. [179246]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The DTI is taking forward a programme of work to explore what additional support could be provided to people balancing work and caring responsibilities, in ways that meet both individual and business needs. The work includes a series of roundtables in each region across the country, and in Scotland and Wales. Carers UK and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers have each hosted a roundtable to hear directly from carers and employers about their experiences and needs. In addition, a Citizens' Jury has also taken place to further identify priorities and potential options for the future.

This will help shape future policy and the review of the flexible working and other family friendly laws, planned for 2006. An issue which my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has indicated should be a priority is, subject to that review, extending the flexible working law to wider groups of carers, such as carers of elderly or sick relatives.

Coal Claims Handling Agreement

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what dates this year Ministers and officials have met the Law Society to discuss the coal claims handling agreement. [180062]


 
23 Jun 2004 : Column 1455W
 

Nigel Griffiths: Members of the Department's Coal Liabilities Unit last met with the Law Society on 29 April and they are due to meet next on 7 July. They have also previously met with the Law Society on 15 January.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her assessment is of the likely impact of additional rationalisation of staff in her Department on its ability to deliver its priorities and its statutory responsibilities. [179402]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 18 June 2004]: My Department has developed plans that will enable it to deliver more efficiently DTI's priorities and responsibilities, as set out in the DTI Strategy published in September 2003. These plans will be reflected in the public spending settlements for 2006–08 when they are announced.

Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many complaints against (a) employment agencies and (b) businesses required investigation by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate in 2002–03. [180041]

Mr. Sutcliffe: In the period 2002–03, the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate received and investigated 716 complaints. The figure for 2003–04 was 1,057. Data broken down between employment agencies and employment business are not available.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many convictions there were of (a) employment agencies and (b) businesses by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate in 2002–03; and how many resulted in fines. [180042]

Mr. Sutcliffe: In the period 2002–03, the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) obtained eight convictions against persons who operated as employment agencies. In total £5,735 was awarded in compensation for the workers who gave evidence in these cases. One employment agent was fined £500. There were no convictions against employment business.

In the same period EAS recovered over £14,000 in workers wages from employment agencies and employment businesses without the need to go to court.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) entertainment and (b) model agencies were investigated by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate in 2002–03; how many convictions resulted; and in how many cases fines were imposed. [180043]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate investigated 716 complaints during this period. The data available are not broken down by sector of the recruitment industry.

In 2002–03 the EAS obtained eight convictions against persons who operated as entertainment agencies, i.e. finding work for entertainers or background extras on film and television productions. In total, £5,735 was
 
23 Jun 2004 : Column 1456W
 
awarded in compensation for the witnesses in these cases. One entertainment agent was fined £500. In the same period there were no convictions against model agencies.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many applications to prevent (a) employment agencies and (b) businesses trading were made by the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate in 2003. [180044]

Mr. Sutcliffe: In 2003, the Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate made two applications under section 3(a) of the Employment Agencies Act 1973 to prohibit persons from being concerned with the running of an employment agency or employment business. Both applications were successful and the persons were prohibited for the maximum term of 10 years.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what targets she has set for the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate in relation to visiting (a) employment agencies and (b) businesses; [180045]

(2) what performance targets have been set for the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate; and whether she plans to publish an annual report on the Inspectorate's activities. [180046]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Employment Agency Standards (EAS) Inspectorate will be publishing an annual report this summer, which will give full details on the Inspectorate's activities and objectives. As soon as it is published, a copy of the report will be placed in the Libraries of the House.


Next Section Index Home Page