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Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the (a) cost to the Department, (b) title and (c) location was of each training course organised by her Department for its staff in each financial year since 199798. 
Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what financial penalties were paid in each financial year since 199798 to training providers by the Department for training courses prepared for its staff which were subsequently cancelled at the Department's request. 
Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether her Department's .gov.uk websites comply with the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines adopted by the Government in 2001; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: All of my Department's websites aim to comply with the Guidelines for UK Government websites, which are based on the W3C Guidelines. It is very important that all citizens should have access to Government information and services online, regardless of disability or level of competence and equipment. My Department strives to have a high level of accessibility in all its communications.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Initial estimates suggest that, for domestic customers, prices at the end of 2004 are likely to be 18 per cent. higher for gas and 13 per cent. higher for electricity than they were at the start of the year. The impacts of these increases will be greatest for lower income customers. They can be minimised by taking a range of actions. Switching from "home" gas and electricity suppliers can save an average of £50 a year; switching payment method to direct debit can save a further £25. Taking energy efficiency measures can provide significant annual savings, and taking advantage of social programmes offered by energy suppliers including benefits health checks and fixed tariffs, can respectively increase household income and provide greater certainty on payments.
Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she expects to announce how she intends to implement the large combustion plant directive; and if she will make a statement. 
We are seeking to implement the revised EU large combustion plants directive in a way that will meet its environmental objectives and be as cost-effective as possible for business. As we announced on 22 July, we have therefore decided to explore with the European Commission a modified approach to implementation of the directive that would combine the National Emissions Reduction Plan (NERP) and Emissions Limit Values (ELV) approaches. The UK's reasoned arguments in support of this approach were sent to the Commission on 26 November.
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 29 November 2004]: The Department of Trade and Industry undertakes an international benchmarking study to assess the impact and success of UK research against a comparator group of 26 countries, including the G8 and leading EU nations. The 2004 study shows the continued strong performance of UK science across a number of key scientific indicators including papers published, citations received, number of high impact papers and productivity per unit spend of GDP. A copy of the study "PSA target metrics for the UK research base" is available in the Libraries of the House.
The Department will continue to track progress towards meeting the Government's overall targets outlined in the "Science and Innovation investment framework 200414". In particular, progress will be measured against a basket of performance indicators for
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each of the broad attributes of the UK science and innovation system, as set out in Annex B of the Investment Framework.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to how many written questions tabled in the last parliamentary Session her Department had been unable to provide a substantive answer before the end of the Session. 
Ms Hewitt: 121. At all times Ministers make every effort to answer questions substantively before Prorogation. However this is not always possible and where right hon. and hon. Members did not receive a substantive response it is open to them to re-table their question this Session.
9. Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many incidents of (a) punishment beatings, (b) expulsions and (c) criminal extortion from the owners of commercial enterprises have been committed by Republican sympathisers over the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Pearson: In the period 1 November 2003 to 31 October this year there have been a total of 40 casualties as a result of paramilitary style assaults attributed to Republican groups. No official figures on the number of people exiled from Northern Ireland as a result of paramilitary intimidation are available as not all incidents are reported. The most recent report by the Independent Monitoring Commission on paramilitary activity, published on 4 November, clearly states that Republicans are engaged in criminal extortion.
10. Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what reasons determined the length of the consultation period in relation to Belfast City Airport's application to increase the number of seats for sale. 
Angela Smith: There is no statutory period for this type of procedure. However, we recognise that it is important to be consistent in our approach and we therefore chose to align it with the new Development Plans Regulations, which provide for an eight-week consultation period. This period was recently extended from six weeks to eight weeks and it accords with the Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) consultation process.
Mr. Gardiner: Since 19992000 total Department of Education spending has increased by 48 per cent. per pupil. By the end of the Draft Budget period, that figure will rise to an increase of 76 per cent. per pupil by the addition of £1.86 billion.
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