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Members of the Better Regulation Task Force are appointed for their experience and expertise, not as representatives of a particular sector. At present, there is one member of the Task Force with experience in the manufacturing sector. Full details of all Task Force members can be found on their website at www.brtf.gov.uk.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what financial contribution her (a) Department, (b) non-departmental public bodies and (c) research councils made to civil space technology in 200405; and what financial provision has been made for the period 200506 to 200910. 
Ms Hewitt: My Department plans to spend £32.9 million in 200405 on civil space activities. With changes to DTI funding arrangements it is not possible separately to identify space technology funding. The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council will spend £68.8 million on civil space activities and the Natural Environment Research Council will spend £52.5 million. I am not aware of any other financial contributions by non-departmental public bodies. Financial provisions for subsequent years have not been settled, but are likely to be of the same order in 200506.
Mr. Laurence Robertson:
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has
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had with representatives of the coal generating industry about fitting clean-coal technology; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 30 November 2004]: Although Ministers have not recently had any formal discussions with the coal-fired power generation industry about cleaner coal technologies, DTI officials have been in frequent touch with the companies in this sector and Ministers have had broader meetings which included reference to FGD. In particular representatives from E.ON and RWE sit on the Advisory Committee for Carbon Abatement Technologies which meets about every two months.
We are currently developing a Carbon Abatement Technology Strategy for Fossil Fuel Power Generation which will include support for new cleaner coal technologies. We plan to publish this early next year.
Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 30 November 2004]: The Department continues to hold discussions with the Law Society of England and Wales on a regular basis regarding the coal health schemes. The last such discussion took place in October. We aim to meet with them again early in the new year.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what guidance the Department has issued on the practice of solicitors farming out work under the coalminers compensation scheme. 
David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many miners and widows have been paid less than £2,000 in settlements for (a) vibration white finger and (b) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Midlothian. 
|Number of claimants paid less than £2,000 in settlement|
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much it has cost to make the Consumer Direct telephone advice service available in (a) Scotland, (b) South West England, (c) Wales, (d) Yorkshire and the Humber and (e) total; and how many inquiries have been handled in each region. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The cost for making the new consumer advice and information service, Consumer Direct, available in Scotland, South West, Wales and Yorkshire and Humber cannot be broken down per region/nation. But the overall budget for developing the service and launching it in the first four regions/nations is £3 million for financial year 200304 and £12 million for financial year 200405. The figure for 20045 includes both one offset-up costs, the cost of running the service on an ongoing basis in all four regions, and also central overheads such as IT development, telephony and quality assurance.
The Consumer Direct Scotland was launched on 12 July 2004 and has answered 39,007 calls. Consumer Direct Yorkshire and the Humber was launched on 23 August 2004 and has answered 47,568 calls, Wales launched 8 September 2004 and has answered 31,687 calls and Consumer Direct South West launched on 15 September 2004 and has dealt with 37313 calls. These figures cover the period from launch up to 27 November 2004, not to the end of the financial year.
I am pleased to say that the early performance of the service has been most encouraging in all four regions. Initial feedback from the first customer satisfaction surveys indicates an overall satisfaction rate of 85 per cent.; 79 per cent. said that the advice received from Consumer Direct had helped resolve the matter they were calling about; and over 90 per cent. would recommend Consumer Direct to a friend.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry at what cost the Consumer Direct website was set up; how much it costs each year; and how many people have visited the site. 
Ms Hewitt: The Consumer Direct website (www.consumerdirect.gov.uk) cost £112,000 to set up and its annual running costs will not exceed £25,000. Since 1 September 2004 there have been 49,901 visitors to the website.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the likely effects of amending the law so that unpaid COT3 settlements accrue interest on the same basis as awards made by employment tribunals; and if she will make a statement. 
[holding answer 29 November 2004]: The terms of a COT3 settlement are for negotiation and agreement between the parties, with the active involvement of a conciliation officer. It is already open to an employee, as a condition of agreeing a COTS settlement, to require that provision be made for interest to accrue if any amount payable under that settlement is unpaid after a given period.
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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what role was played by her Department's special advisors in the drafting and production of the Five Year Programme published by her Department on 17 November. 
Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what plans she has to provide consumers with protection against fraudulent dial-up internet scams; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Department has asked the communications regulator the Office of Communications (Ofcom) to review the role and powers of ICSTIS in premium rate regulation in view of the consumer harm caused by fraudulent dial-up internet scams. Ofcom is due to report back shortly. The Department will consider Ofcom's recommendations, and will be involved in implementing them.
Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what estimate she has made of the number of people affected by dial-up internet scams in the last year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Premium Rate Services are regulated by the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS). ICSTIS received around 60,000 complaints between August 2003 and July 2004, of which approximately two thirds were related to internet diallers.
Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, what discussions she has had with the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) about the growth of dial-up internet scams and premium rate number diallers; and if she will make a statement. 
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