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Departmental Staff

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many staff in his Department are paid on a performance-related basis. [50485]

Alan Johnson: All DTI staff are paid on a performance related basis. Those employed as consultants or as agency staff may or may not be paid on a performance related basis, dependent on their
 
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individual contractual arrangements. As at 1 February 2006 there were 3,177.5 full time equivalent members of staff in DTI, excluding contractors and agency staff.

Directors (Voting Rights)

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will seek to introduce legislation under which directors of large companies as defined in the Companies Act 1985 would not be able to cast any vote on any annual general meeting resolution relating to their remuneration. [51512]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Government have no plans to do so. Directors' remuneration is a matter for companies and their shareholders.

The Directors' Remuneration Report Regulations 2002 have improved transparency, accountability and the quality of shareholder engagement.

The Government look to boards and shareholders to exercise their responsibilities in this area fully and constructively both at the annual general meeting and at other times.

Education and Enterprise Campus (Burnley)

Kitty Ussher: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on his plans for an education and enterprise campus in Burnley; what work has been done by the North West Regional Development Agency in relation to the project; and if he will make a statement. [51933]

Alun Michael: The Department of Trade and Industry has no plans for an education and enterprise campus in Burnley. However, over the past few months, the North West Regional Development Agency has met partners in Burnley to discuss the concept in the context of the revised Regional Economic Strategy. Proposals are at the earliest stage of development and are based on a relocation of Burnley College from its existing site to a new town centre site that will provide a new FE/HE campus and Enterprise Park.

Energy Costs

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was spent by his Department on (a) gas and (b) electricity in 2004–05. [51771]

Alan Johnson: The Departmental expenditure in the year 2004 to 2005 on the Headquarters estate was:

Iron and Steel Employees Re-adaptation Benefits Scheme

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the implementation of the Iron and Steel Employees Re-adaptation Benefits Scheme. [53264]

Alun Michael: The Iron and Steel Employees Re-adaptation Benefit Scheme (ISERBS) announced in May 2001 was part of a package of measures implemented to alleviate the impact of large-scale redundancies in the steel industry. The scheme was
 
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derived from the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty which made specific provision for social aid to workers affected by restructuring in the steel industry. ISERBS provided a single lump sum payment of £2,480 to workers who lost their jobs in the period 1 January 2000 to 23 July 2002 (when the ECSC Treaty terminated) or as a result of a restructuring announcement made in that period. 13,156 individuals have benefited from the scheme.

New Technology (Investment)

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures are in place to support small business investment in new technology; and if he will make a statement. [51361]

Alun Michael: The Grant for Research and Development was introduced in England on 1 June 2003, replacing the earlier Smart scheme. It provides grants to help individuals and small and medium-sized businesses research and develop new, technologically innovative products and processes and is delivered, by the Regional Development Agencies on behalf of the DTI. In 2004–05 grants worth just over £30 million were offered to 357 new projects.

The Government have also introduced R&D tax credits to help companies of all sizes carry out research and development (R&D) projects. R&D tax credits are part of the range of government support made available for innovative UK companies embarking on R&D. The tax credits are expected to provide support for companies worth around £600 million a year.

In addition, Enhanced capital allowances were first introduced in 2001 and now allow businesses of any size to claim 100 per cent. first year allowances on capital expenditure on a range of energy saving technologies, allowing them to write off the whole of the capital cost of these investments. The first year allowances allow small and medium sized firms to claim 40 per cent. on all types of expenditure on plant and machinery in the period the expenditure is incurred, to accelerate the normal rate of relief. PBR 2005 announced introduction of increase to 50 per cent. for one year for small companies.

Newspapers/Magazines (Distribution)

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects the final opinion from the Office of Fair Trading on newspaper and magazine distribution. [52307]

Mr. Sutcliffe: I understand that OFT intend to outline the next steps in this case in the near future.

Non-executive Directors

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce legislation under which company employees would be able to vote on the election of all non-executive directors. [51505]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Government have no plans to do so. The election of company directors is a matter for shareholders.
 
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It is a main principle of the Financial Reporting Council's Combined Code on Corporate Governance that there should be a formal, rigorous and transparent procedure for the appointment of new directors to the board.

It is also a provision of the Combined Code that non-executive directors should be appointed for specified terms subject to re-election and to Companies Acts provisions relating to the removal of a director.

Non-fossil fuel obligation

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what (a) the proceeds of the non-fossil fuel obligation and (b) the expenditure on supporting renewables were in each year since 1999. [52523]

Malcolm Wicks: When the Renewables Obligation (RO) was introduced in 2002 projects under the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO), the previous support mechanism, were included to ensure that from the outset there was liquidity in the ROC market. An indirect consequence of including in the RO those sites that received funding through the NFFO is that the income received from suppliers for the electricity exceeds payments made to generators. The surplus is paid to the levy fund on a monthly basis.

The size of the fund administered by Ofgem, resulting from surplus revenue collected by the Non Fossil Fuel Purchasing Agency (NFPA), in each year since 2001 is as follows:
Year ending March£ million
200163.8
200228.6
200387.1
2004146.5
2005169.1

With regard to expenditure on supporting renewables in each year since 1999 I refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Leominster (Bill Wiggin) on 12 September 2005, Official Report, column 2262W.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has received from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) on (a) the matters discussed and (b) decisions taken in the NDA MOX Commission. [48829]

Malcolm Wicks: None. The MOX Commission was a group chaired by BNFL which they stood down upon the formation of the NDA in April 2005.

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what information he has received from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) on its plans for publishing the full Life-Cycle Baselines for NDA-owned sites. [48831]

Malcolm Wicks: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority expects to publish the Life Cycle Baseline 2005–06 in respect of its sites by end March subject to the completion of internal review and the approval of its Board.
 
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