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21 Jul 2005 : Column 1924W—continued

Carbon Capture Technology

19. Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assistance his Department has given to the development of carbon capture technology in the oil and gas industries.

Malcolm Wicks: Carbon capture is a technology which is currently in the early stages of development rather than the deployment phase. I recently published a Carbon Abatement Technologies Strategy for Fossil Fuel Use". The new strategy is available in the House of Commons Library.

At the same time I also announced some £25 million in capital grants from next year for demonstrating these technologies. This is in addition to £20 million we have allocated for R&D into carbon abatement technologies over the period 2005–06 to 2007–08. Companies in the oil and gas industries will be eligible to apply for such support.
 
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Advertising Expenditure

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much the (a) Department and (b) non-departmental bodies for which the Department is responsible has spent on advertising, broken down by media type in the last three years. [9503]

Alan Johnson: Expenditure on advertising by my Department through COI for 2002–03, 2003–04 and 2004–05 was £11,533,364, £4,173,758 and £2,009,800 respectively. Figures include advertising by the Small Business Service and exclude VAT.

Records of expenditure on advertising by non-departmental bodies are not held centrally and could be produced only at disproportionate cost.

Clear Skies Programme

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will extend the Clear Skies Programme beyond March 2006. [13821]

Malcolm Wicks: In September 2004 the Clear Skies Programme was extended to March 2006 with an increase in budget from £10 million to £12.5 million. There are no plans to extend the Programme beyond this deadline. We are currently developing a new low carbon buildings programme, (as recommended in the Renewable Innovation Review—February 2004) to supersede both the Clear Skies and the Major Photovoltaics Programmes. A consultation on the framework of the new Programme was launched on June 23 and a copy of the consultation document can be found on the DTI website at the following link: http://www.dti.gov.uk/energy/consultations/index.shtml.

Copyright

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the Government's plans to extend the period covered by copyright from 50 to 100 years. [12712]

Alan Johnson: I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the question from the hon. Member for Maldon and East Chelmsford (Mr. Whittingdale) on 27 June 2005, Official Report, column 1228W.
 
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Correspondence

Sir Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will reply to the letter of 24 May from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire about the use of hydrogen gas for transport modes. [12095]

Malcolm Wicks: The letter, which was originally sent to my noble Friend, Lord Whitty and was subsequently transferred to this Department for response, was misplaced. It has now been relocated and I will ensure that you receive a response shortly. I apologise for the delay in dealing with your constituent's concerns.

Development Funding (North-East)

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of future European enterprise and other economic development funding for the North East region of the UK. [13436]

Alun Michael: The principal sources of EU funding for enterprise and economic development are the European Structural Funds. As the European Council of 16–17 June did not reach agreement on the EC budget for the next Financial Perspective from 2007 to 2013, the overall level of future EU spending on the Structural Funds has still to be decided. The UK argues that future EU spending in this area should be focused on the poorest member states. It is not possible, at this stage, to estimate the level of any future UK receipts for an individual region.

Disabled Staff

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many staff are registered with his Department as being disabled, broken down by grade; and what the equivalent figures were for each of the last five years for which figures are available. [10527]

Alan Johnson: The Department collects disability data on a voluntary basis. The information tabulated as follows is extracted from our personnel records database and gives the number and percentages of staff with disabilities by bands in DTI headquarters (including small business services) for each of the last five years.
Number at
April 2001
Percentage at April 2001Number at
April 2002
Percentage at April 2002Number at
April 2003
Percentage at April 2003
Band A927.61169.21069.4
BandB814.51075.81075.8
BandC443.5624.4714.8
SCS72.9114.6124.4
Fast Stream22.122.021.7
Unknown1
Total2264.92986.02996.0

Number at
April 2004
Percentage at
April 2004
Number at
April 2005
Percentage at
April 2005
Band A9710.88511.2
BandB1196.81197.4
BandC876.1815.6
SCS114.793.9
Fast Stream00.022.0
Unknown1
Total3156.22967.1

 
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Electricity Generation

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list (a) the sites, (b) the level of subsidy and (c) the electricity generation output of each application that has been supported under the Clear Skies scheme. [13381]

Malcolm Wicks: The Clear Skies scheme is split into two grant streams, one for householders and one for community groups. Under stream one for householders approximately 5,500 installations have been given financial support and it would be inappropriate to give individual site details due to the data protection act. Under stream two there have been 304 community applications supported and a detailed list of these can be found on the Clear Skies website at:

http://www.clear-skies.org/communities/ApplicationGuidelines.aspx.

The grant level for each eligible technology on the household side is as follows:

Employment Act

Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effects of the introduction of the Employment Act 2002 on the (a) working patterns and (b) employment opportunities for parents with disabled children; and if he will make a statement. [14074]


 
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Mr. Sutcliffe: The Government have introduced a number of measures to help working parents and parents with disabled children participate within the labour force.

The Employment Act 2002 gave parents more choice and flexibility in balancing work and family life; extending the period of maternity leave and pay, introducing paid paternity and adoption leave for the first time, and providing the right to request flexible working. The scope of the flexible working law is wider for parents of disabled children, enabling requests to be made up until the child's 18th birthday. This recognises the particular challenges these parents face in balancing work and caring responsibilities.

The flexible working law has been a success. Almost a quarter (22 per cent.) of those employees eligible to make a request have done so in the last two years, and over this period the proportion of requests being refused has declined by half. Due to the small proportion of employees with disabled children it is difficult to assess the specific impact on this group.

The Government have provided support and guidance to a number of organisations, including those who have an interest in parents of disabled children, such as Contact a Family. This is to ensure that these families are able to fully benefit from the opportunities that the measures provide, and help them find the right working patterns and employment to suit their needs.


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