|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with representatives of the home computing industry about the consequences of the abolition of the Home Computing Initiative. 
Mr. Darling: I would like to apologise to the hon. Member for the delay in replying to the matter raised. In response to his query I can confirm that the DTI has regular discussions with the industry on all matters of concern relevant to their sector.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date the Home Computing Initiative was made available to staff in his Department; and how many staff had (a) applied for and (b) expressed interest in the scheme before the Budget. 
Mr. Darling: The Home Computing Initiative was made available to staff in DTI and Insolvency Service (an executive agency of DTI that is participating in the DTI scheme) on 15 March 2006 as part of a wider scheme incorporating computers, childcare and bikes.
Sixty-four people had registered for computers in the period 15 to 22 March (Budget day) and approximately 240 had registered by the computer closing date of 30 March. These figures include staff from DTI and Insolvency Service.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will place in the Library the communications from his officials to HM Treasury on the home computing initiatives relating to the abolition of the tax exemption in the Budget. 
Mr. Darling: I would like to apologise to the hon. Member for the delay in replying to the matter raised. In response to his query I can confirm that the DTI have regular discussion with the Treasury on budgetary initiatives.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost was of setting up his Department's Home Computing Initiative scheme, including consultancy and administrative costs. 
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he was first informed by the Treasury of the withdrawal of the tax exemption for loaned computer equipment under the Home Computing Initiative Scheme. 
Mr. Darling: [holding answer 18 April 2006]: I would like to apologise to the hon. Member for the delay in replying to the matter raised. In response to her query the DTI have regular discussions with the Treasury on budgetary issues.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people in his Department have been enabled to work from home in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: All members of staff with an appropriate job are allowed to work from home subject to their line manager's approval. Laptops have been provided to staff that allow access to the Departments IT Systems. Many of these were configured to allow staff to share them.
1,400 Laptops were in use for secure remote access. The shared facility enabled up to 2,200 staff to use these machines if approved to do so.
1,550 Laptops were in use for secure remote access. The shared facility enabled 2,550 staff to use these machines if approved to do so.
1,550 Laptops were in use at the start of the year but this reduced to 1,200 by end-March 2006, as a consequence of the efficiency programme and reduction in staff numbers. A corresponding reduction in shared usage was applicable.
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to paragraph 5.134 of the Energy Review, Cm 6887, whether the Environment Agency will be able to recover (a) in full and (b) in part from any company putting forward proposals to build new nuclear plants the costs of the pre-licensing work. 
We will need to recover the costs associated with pre-authorisation/licensing assessments. There are legal provisions in the EA 95 to enable our costs to be recovered.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether it is his policy to replace those nuclear stations that he identifies in the Energy Review as coming to the end of their operational lives. 
Malcolm Wicks: Any new power stations would be proposed, developed, constructed and operated by the private sector. It is for the private sector to make judgements on the future relative costs of different generating technologies, within the market framework established by Government. Developers will make their proposals for new generating capacity based on these judgments.
Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate his Department has made of the level of government subsidies likely to be required to stimulate the commissioning of new nuclear generating stations by energy companies. 
Malcolm Wicks: It will be for the private sector to initiate, fund, construct and operate any new nuclear power station, and also meet full decommissioning costs and their full share of long term waste management costs.
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 13 July 2006]: All shipments of civil nuclear material on a UK flagged vessel are carried out in accordance with the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations (NISR) 2003 which are administered and enforced by the Government's independent security regulator, the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS). Before any shipment can commence, OCNS must be satisfied that the overall security measures are adequately robust to prevent the theft or sabotage of the material being transported.
British flagged transport vessels carrying nuclear material are not routinely escorted by the Royal Navy, but, where appropriate, prior coordination with the Royal Navy will be an important factor in the assessment of a Transport Security Plan. The ships will carry an escort unit of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary's (CNC) Marine Escort Group, which provides armed security for nuclear materials in transit. The Marine Escort Group has been specially trained to a high standard by the Royal Navy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to paragraph 5.57 of the Energy Review, what the scope is of the work being
conducted on developing an offshore transmission regime; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 17 July 2006]: Following my announcement on 30 March 2006 that the Government had decided to extend the regulated price control model to offshore transmission, DTI and Ofgem are working with industry to develop that new regime.
Jim Fitzpatrick: I understand that the directly managed office in Shrewsbury is to be relocated to premises 50 yards away under a franchising agreement and customers will benefit from extended opening hours and have access to the same full range of services. Decisions on individual offices are an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. The 500 directly managed post offices made combined annual losses of some £50 million in 2005-06 and Post Office Ltd are seeking more cost-effective ways of providing main post office services to the public.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on recruitment, search and selection agencies in each of the last five years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Expenditure on recruitment for the past three financial years has been extracted from the Departments finance system. Information for the other years requested is not readily available on a consistent basis and would be available only at disproportionate cost.
|Financial year||Expenditure on recruitment, search and selection agencies (£000)|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made when benchmarking UK performance of the proportion of (a) energy and (b) electricity in other EU countries which is supplied from renewable sources. 
Malcolm Wicks: According to data published by Eurostat in 2004 the United Kingdom ranked 17(th) of the 25 member states of the EU in terms of the share of electricity from renewable energy to gross electricity consumption. In 1995 the UK ranked 19(th) and if all countries meet their 2010 targets the UK will move up to 15(th). It should be noted that the countries that rank highest (Austria, Latvia and Sweden) have significant and well developed hydro resources and plentiful supplies of biomass (mainly wood).
The International Energy Agency (IEA) produces statistics that exclude hydro generation from the renewables share of electricity production, but this is available for only 19 of the 25 EU member states that are also IEA members. On this basis the UK ranked 13(th) out of 19 in the latest available year (2003) with Denmark the highest ranking because of its well-developed wind power sector.
The spring 2006 edition of the Ernst and Young Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Indices, which provide scores for national renewable energy markets, support mechanisms, renewable energy infrastructures and their suitability for individual technologies, placed the UK fifth most attractive in the world (third in Europe) of all countries http://www.ey.com/global/content.nsif/International/ECU_Library
The UK has a target that by 2010, 10 per cent. of all UK electricity produced will come from renewable sources. It was recently announced in the Energy Review (2006) that, in order to further boost investors confidence, the Renewables Obligation would be extended to 20 per cent.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances regulations from small business and sole traders; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The DTI consulted on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive on three separate occasions before the regulations were laid before Parliament. On each occasion we received representations from a wide range of stakeholders including small businesses, sole traders and trade bodies representing these interests.
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how much gas his Department
estimates the UK will import from Russia in (a) 2006, (b) 2010 and (c) 2020, (i) as a percentage of total consumption and (ii) in cubic metres; and what percentage of that gas his Department estimates will be (A) produced by Gazprom and (B) transported through Gazprom's pipeline network; 
(4) what his assessment is of the impact on security of energy supplies to the UK of the Russian Federation's (a) level of compliance with the provisions of the Energy Charter Treaty and (b) policy on the Transit Protocol to the Energy Charter Treaty; 
Malcolm Wicks: The UK's gas import dependence is set to rise to 80-90 per cent. by 2020, of which a significant proportion is expected to be imported from the European mainland through existing and planned interconnection capacity. The International Energy Agency forecast that the EU will import 25 per cent. of its gas needs from Russia by 2030. It is, therefore, possible that some Russian gas will be imported into the UK, albeit indirectly and commingled with gas from other sources (such as Norway, the Netherlands and LNG from outside Europe) as part of the European gas system.
The contractual origin of imports into the UK is a decision for companies operating in the UK's liberalised gas market, taking into account elements such as cost, reliability, availability and the need for a diverse range of sources to provide security of supply. Given that there is no direct physical interconnection capacity with Russia and contractual flows do not necessarily follow physical flows, estimates of the type requested are not made.
Given that the UK does not import directly from Russia, any impact on the UK from Russia's legislation or compliance with international agreements such as the Energy Charter Treaty will be felt most directly through its effect on European markets. As such, the UK will continue to press for open, competitive and liberalised European energy markets.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|