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13 Dec 2004 : Column 878W—continued


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much has been spent by his Department in each year since 1997 on taskforces and similar bodies. [204714]

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Mr. Hain: The Wales Office was established on 1 July 1999.

Since then no taskforces or similar bodies have been set up by my Department.

Departmental Mobile Phones

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many departmental mobile telephones were used by Ministers and officials in his Department in each year since 1997; what the cost to his Department of such
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telephones has been in each year since 1997; how many such telephones were lost or stolen in each year since 1997; and what the replacement costs were in each case. [202167]

Mr. Touhig [holding answer 6 December 2004]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 17 November 2004, Official Report, column 0295W to the hon. Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr. Prisk).

Currently, the Wales Office provides two mobile phones for Ministers and Special Advisers, and 17 for officials.
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John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the value of British imports from Burma was in each year since 1995. [202805]

Mr. Alexander: According to figures published by HM Customs and Excise, the UK's imports of goods from Burma were as follows:
UK imports of goods from Burma 1995–2003

£ million

H M Customs and Excise Overseas Trade Statistics (OTS A)

Business Support

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support is planned from her Department for small and medium-sized enterprises over the next five years for developing international export markets. [201317]

Mr. Alexander: Details of the future activity planned to support small and medium-sized enterprises developing their international business is set out in UK Trade and Investment's Corporate Plan available at The strategy is currently being revised to take account of the outcome of the 2004 Spending Review, including an increased emphasis on new to export firms.

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support from her Department is available to small and medium-sized enterprises who wish to attend international trade shows in other countries. [201319]

Mr. Alexander: Small and medium-sized enterprises can currently apply for financial support when they join UK groups at overseas trade fairs as part of a programme that UK Trade and Investment agrees annually with accredited trade associations and chambers of commerce. Grant assistance is also made available to individual SMEs wishing to attend trade fairs that are not part of the annual programme. SMEs on the Passport to Export Success process are entitled to matched funding in the form of Business Development Credits (BDCs), which may include 50 per cent. of the costs for the first participation in a fair or exhibition.
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A range of factors is taken into account when determining both the eligibility of individual firms, and the amount of financial support that UK Trade and Investment will provide up to a pre-determined limit.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total (a) allocation to and (b) expenditure on (i) Small Firms Loan Guarantee, (ii) Grant for Research and Development, (iii) Grant for Investigating an Innovative Idea and (iv) Knowledge Transfer Partnerships has been since April 2003. [202521]

Nigel Griffiths: The information requested is as follows:

The amount spent in promoting and managing and delivering these KTP projects in this period was £586,000.

Cancer Patients

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to change the employment rights of cancer patients. [203650]

Maria Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

Subject to parliamentary approval of the Disability Discrimination Bill, a person who has cancer will be treated as a disabled person, for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, from the point at which they are diagnosed with this condition. We are proposing that this additional protection will only extend to people who have cancer which requires substantial treatment, in line with the recommendations of the Disability Rights Task Force. This will be the subject of consultation in the near future. This extends protection from the current arrangements where a cancer must already have or have had an adverse effect and be likely to progress to have a substantial adverse effect before protection against discrimination is available.

Child Labour

Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps her Department is taking to ensure the responsible behaviour of UK companies investing in the developing world; and what action she is taking in respect of those companies that use child labour. [201821]

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Mr. Alexander: Across Government we are undertaking a range of activities to encourage UK companies to maximise the positive contribution they make and minimise their adverse impacts on economic, environmental and social objectives throughout their operations across the world, including action to tackle the use of child labour. This encompasses the approaches set out in the recent Trade and Environment White Paper as well as encouraging the highest standards of corporate behaviour through adherence to the values and behaviours set out in internationally agreed initiatives such as the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and the ILO Tripartite Declaration of Principles concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy. We also encourage participation in initiatives such as the Ethical Trading Initiative, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Kimberley Certification Process, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the UN Global Compact. Further details can be found on

Civil Partnership Bill (Northern Ireland)

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many letters have been received by her Department since 5 March opposing the implementation of the Civil Partnership Bill in Northern Ireland. [202748]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 6 December 2004]: Since 5 March 2004, the Department of Trade and Industry has received 260 letters opposing the implementation of the Civil Partnership Act in Northern Ireland.

Over the same period the Department has received 405 letters in support of the implementation of civil partnerships in Northern Ireland.

Coalminers' Compensation Scheme

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average full and final settlement is for cases submitted by (a) Beresfords solicitors, (b) AMS Law solicitors, (c) the Union of Democratic Mineworkers, (d) Mark Gilbert Morse solicitors, (e) Towells solicitors, (f) Irwin Mitchell solicitors, (g) Thompsons solicitors, (h) Richmonds solicitors and (i) Frank Allen Pennington solicitors for vibration white finger and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease under the coalminers' compensation scheme; and what the average full and final settlement under the scheme is. [202698]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 6 December 2004]: As of 21 November 2004 the figures are:
SolicitorAverage settlementAverage settlement
Beresfords Solicitors2,4257,352
AMS Law3,7808,342
Union of Democratic Mineworkers4,3758,391
Mark Gilbert Morse6,2426,549
Towells Solicitors8,7828,632
Irwin Mitchell10,4729,202
Richmonds Solicitors4,77611,352
Frank Allen Pennington NB5,3018,001

Average settlement is total damages paid on claims settled by payment and excludes denied/withdrawn claims.

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John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she has taken to recover costs from solicitors under the Coalminers' Compensation Scheme where conditional fee agreements have been invalidated. [203838]

Nigel Griffiths: The respiratory disease Claims Handling Agreement (CHA), in accordance with the High Court judgment, makes detailed provision for the payment of costs to claimants' solicitors. The Department believes that the CHA provides for adequate remuneration for solicitors and that no additional payments are therefore justified.

The CHA does not allow for the payment of a success fee under a conditional fee agreement by the Department and as such we do not and have not made any such payments.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases have been submitted by Donne Mileham and Haddock solicitors under the Coalminers' Compensation Scheme. [203839]

Nigel Griffiths: The Department's claim handlers, IRISC, have not received any claims under the British Coal health schemes from Donne Mileham and Haddock solicitors.

David Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she will take to assist former miners who worked with private mining companies as well as British Coal to have their compensation cases settled. [200198]

Nigel Griffiths: We have now made compensation payment to miners who spend all or part of their working lives in private mines. The DTI continues to press the owners of small mines to make payments as quickly as possible.

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the average transaction cost is for a settled chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and vibration white finger claim, broken down by (a) legal, (b) medical, (c) insurance and (d) other costs. [202841]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 8 December 2004]: The average cost for settling a respiratory disease claim is approximately £1,300 and for a vibration white finger (VWF) general damage claim approximately £1,040.

For a respiratory disease claim over half is accounted for by medical assessments and around a third to contractors. For a VWF claims around three quarters is accounted for by contractors/legal costs and around a sixth for medical assessments.
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