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31 Jan 2006 : Column 329W—continued

Miners Compensation

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which (a) law firms and (b) other organisations have received payments from his Department for work undertaken in relation to miners' compensation; and how much was paid in each case, listed in descending order. [45598]

Malcolm Wicks: On (a) , a table detailing the sums paid to individual law firms for handling miners' compensation claims has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

On (b) , other sums the Department has paid in relation to the coal health schemes since 2000 are set out in the following table:
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Sum paid
(£ million)
SEMA/ATOSMedical assessment process198.6
IRISC/CapitaClaims handling125.4
HealthcallMedical assessment process117.2
Hays/Iron MountainRecords management24.9
Nabarro NathansonLegal advice21.4
Irwin MitchellLegal costs4.2
Hugh JamesLegal costs2.8
Thompson (Edinburgh)Legal costs2.5
Capita Health SolutionsMedical assessment process2.3
Ernst and YoungAudit/Consultancy1.9
McClure NaismithLegal advice1.7
Business HealthcareRecords management1.5
AONMedical assessment process1.1
Thompson and Co.Legal costs0.6

John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much compensation has been paid to ex-miners in the Easington constituency in respect of (a) vibration white finger and (b) chronic bronchitis and emphysema in each year since 2002. [47007]

Malcolm Wicks: The level of compensation paid to claimants in Easington since 2002 is as follows:
£ million

The COPD scheme includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

National Debtline

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many additional staff are planned to be recruited by National Debtline; how long the training process takes before these staff will be able to take calls; and if he will make a statement. [45498]

Mr. Sutcliffe: National Debtline is planning to increase staff numbers from a total of 67 at present to 99 by January 2007 and 119 by January 2008. Typically, newly recruited advisers spend their first three months in classroom training and do not take calls during this period. They are then able to take calls but continue to be closely supervised for the next six months, until they are fully trained.

Non-Fossil Fuel

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he decided to transfer funds out of the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation Fund to the Treasury on 20 September; and for what reasons. [38362]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 19 December 2005]: Funds in the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation Fund were transferred into the Consolidated Fund on 20 September 2005 after the Treasury concluded, in the
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light of legal advice, that the funds were hereditary revenues and so were required by law to be paid into the Consolidated Fund. DTI concurred with this view.

HM Treasury notified Ofgem on 16 August 2005.

Small Business Service

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the national targets are for the Small Business Service; and what the performance of offices covering south Devon are in relation to those targets. [46614]

Alun Michael: The Small Business Service (SBS) is responsible for delivering results against the DTI public service agreement (PSA) target 6 as follows:
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National performance against these targets is shown in the DTI Autumn Performance Report published in December 2005, a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House, and also at

For PSA 6 (iii) from the 2002 spending review, enterprise in disadvantaged areas is measured by the gap in VAT registrations per 10,000 resident adults in the 20 per cent. most and 20 per cent. least deprived areas of England. The area of south Devon is served by Business Link Devon and Cornwall. The latest figures are as follows:
VAT Registrations per 10,000 resident adults

Rate per 10,000 adults—most deprived areas25.425.526.228.627.7
Rate per 10,000 adults—least deprived areas42.439.942.545.342.4
Devon and Cornwall Business Link area
Rate per 10,000 adults—most deprived areas34.832.137.044.838.4
Rate per 10,000 adults—least deprived areas22.623.724.130.224.1

The results for Devon and Cornwall show that there are more registrations per head of population in the most deprived areas than in the least deprived areas.

Data for Devon and Cornwall relating to all other targets are not available and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Sunday Trading

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which company has been appointed to undertake the independent economic cost-benefit analysis changes in Sunday trading law; what his estimate is of the total cost of this review; and if he will publish the analysis once completed. [45509]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Loughborough (Mr. Reed) on 24 January 2006, Official Report, columns 2001–02W. Indepen Consulting Ltd. have been chosen to conduct an independent cost-benefit analysis of the impact of further liberalisation of Sunday Trading. The cost of the study is commercially confidential. It is our intention to publish the cost benefit analysis after its completion in the spring.


African Nations (Avian Flu)

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance his Department is giving to African nations to help them prevent an avian influenza pandemic. [46528]

Hilary Benn: The threats of avian and human pandemic influenza are of global significance and require a co-ordinated global response. On 18 January, at the International Pledging Conference on Avian and Human Pandemic Influenza in Beijing, the UK committed to providing £20 million of DFID funds through multilateral channels to help achieve this.

In addition, through our on-going involvement in Africa, DFID is keeping abreast of the country's own plans and the activities of donors relating to avian flu. We are discussing, with individual African countries the use of our bilateral aid programmes to help develop and implement integrated influenza strategies. For example, DFID have committed £1 million to prevention and control of the disease in Ethiopia. £700,000 will be used for early detection, prevention and control. An additional £300,000 will be used to establish a national focal point to address the threat posed by a human influenza pandemic.

DFID also continues to help African countries to build comprehensive, sustainable health services which will address human influenza in addition to other diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

Aid Criteria/Conditionality

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the difference between his Department's definitions of aid criteria and aid conditionality. [46524]

Hilary Benn: DFID's aid allocation to particular countries is guided by a formula which takes into account the country's level of poverty and consequent need for aid, and its institutional capacity to make effective use of aid. We also take account of how much aid countries receive from other donors. Once allocated, the aid is spent through a range of channels as appropriate in the country context. These can include support through Governments to deliver their poverty
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reduction plans, support through civil society organisations or through international organisations such as the UN.

DFID believes that effective aid partnerships with developing country Governments depend on shared commitments to reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG)s; respecting human rights and other international obligations; and strengthening public financial management to reduce the risk of corruption. DFID uses these commitments both as our criteria for deciding whether to provide aid through Government, and as conditions for our aid. Once aid has been committed to a partner Government, DFID will only reduce it if the Government moves away from one of these three partnership commitments.

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