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Since British Sky Broadcasting plc's acquisition of a 17.9 per cent. stake in ITV plc, DTI officials have had a meeting with representatives of the
company to hear their views on matters relevant to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State's consideration of whether he should exercise his discretion under section 42 of the Enterprise Act 2002 to issue a public interest intervention notice in respect of this transaction. DTI officials have also had a meeting on this matter with representatives of NTL. Ministers have had no meetings with representatives of British Sky Broadcasting plc, ITV plc or any other third parties about this matter.
Mr. McCartney: Data on United Kingdom exports of services to Burma are not available. Initial estimates of UK exports of goods to Burma in 2006 will be available from mid-February 2007. HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics suggest that the UK exported about £3.2 million worth of goods to Burma in the period January to November 2006.
Overseas firms investment in the UK has grown rapidly since 1997. The value of the stock of overseas investment in the UK more than tripled from £153 billion at the end of 1997 to £483 billion at the end of 2005. There have been over 7,500 inward investment projects, which have created or safeguarded over 844,000 jobs between 1997-98 and 2005-06.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate his Department has made of the number of jobs created as a result of overseas firms relocating to the UK since 1997. 
Overseas firms investment in the UK has grown rapidly since 1997, creating or safeguarding many jobs. The value of the stock of overseas investment in the UK more than tripled from £153 billion at the end of 1997 to £483 billion at the end of 2005. There have been over 7,500 inward investment projects, which have created or safeguarded over 844,000 jobs between 1997-98 and 2005-06.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assistance his Department provides to companies planning to open new coal mines for training of miners with appropriate skills. 
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the impact of the proposed European Commission directive on specified quantities for pre-packaged goods on the UK coffee manufacturing sector; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: The Department has consulted extensively with stakeholders, including representatives of the UK soluble coffee industry, on European Commission proposals to deregulate specified quantities for the majority of pre-packaged products and also on the broader issue of specified quantities. Officials have also had discussions with representatives of specific industry sectors. The views of business sectors and consumer groups have been taken into account during the course of negotiation on the proposals.
Although no final decisions have yet been taken on the content of the new directive on nominal quantities we expect it to incorporate a large degree of deregulation. The Government support deregulation as they believe that it will give greater freedom to packers and increased choice to consumers. The removal of fixed pack sizes will not impose any direct costs on UK businesses as packers will continue to be able to pack in the sizes they now use.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the purpose was of the six payments to ACAS, referred to in the answer of 9 March 2006, Official Report, column 1727, on spending; and what items of stock were stolen. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The six payments refer to compensation payments made by ACAS to six employees in relation to the termination of their employment. Four of the payments were made to settle employment tribunal cases involving claims for unfair dismissal and other alleged breaches of employment law in advance of the tribunal determination. The fifth payment was made in respect of an early retirement case to compensate for untaken annual leave and pay in lieu of notice that exceeded the Approved Early Retirement Scheme terms. The remaining payment represented a severance payment to an individual who, as an alternative to dismissal, was allowed to resign with a settlement as part of a compromise agreement.
Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total costs were of (a) providing and (b) subsidising supplements which promote or detail the work of his Department in trade journals and other newspapers in each year since 1997-98, broken down by the title of the supplement funded. 
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to ensure that it and related bodies are in compliance with the gender equality duty in the Equality Act 2006 by the April 2007 deadline. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department of Trade and Industry is working on its equality scheme covering the gender duty with a view to publication before the 30 April deadline. This scheme will provide the framework by which DTI will seek to implement the duty into all its functions.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many items of furniture were (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in each year since 1997; and what the value was of those items in each year. 
I would like to refer the hon. Member to the measures the Government are taking forward to improve consumer protection in the doorstep selling market. This is further to the announcement I made on 7 September 2006 which stated that in response to the OFT's market study on doorstep selling and cold calling, and the subsequent public consultation, we would:
(a) extend cancellation rights and a cooling off period to consumers for sales concluded in their home following a solicited visit, similar to those they currently enjoy for unsolicited visits;
(b) require traders to include cancellation rights within contracts so consumers are more aware of their rights; and
(c) encourage greater transparency on prices and greater willingness to provide written quotes, through industry self-regulation, with traders operating under Codes of Practices approved by the Office of Fair Trading's Consumer Codes Approval Scheme.
As the hon. Member will know, the Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill is currently going through Parliament and the doorstep selling provisions will enable the Secretary of State to make regulations that provide cancellation rights for solicited sales visits to the consumer's home (and workplace). Later this year we intend to publicly consult on the draft regulations, which will extend cancellation rights to all sales concluded in a consumer's home and require cancellation rights to be incorporated within contracts. We expect these measures to come into force in April 2008.
I would also like to refer the hon. Member to the unfair commercial practices directive. This will be implemented this year. The new provisions will protect consumers against the physical or non-physical use of harassment, coercion or exploiting undue influence. This is also the first directive that recognizes that vulnerable consumers need a greater level of protection. Practices which would not be unfair to the average member of the shopping public can still be unfair if they are likely to adversely affect a group of vulnerable consumers in a way that a trader can reasonably foresee. For example, elderly consumers are much more likely to succumb to intimidating sales tactics than able-bodied consumers.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what guidance his Department has issued on encouraging full participation of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries at the EU-ACP negotiations. 
We have listened to ACP concerns regarding the negotiations and raise these concerns with the European Commission. Government Ministers and officials take every opportunity to meet with ACP Ministers and country representatives.
My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Trade and Industry and for International Development recently had meetings with ACP Ministers and negotiators; the Under-Secretary of State for International Development, my hon. Friend the Member for Harrow, West (Mr. Thomas) and I met with UK NGOs in order to listen to the concerns they
had with the way in which negotiations were progressing; officials met with the Caribbean Chief Negotiator and in October I attended the Pacific Islands Forum where I met with Ministers from the region. I am due to visit Africa for a number of meetings to discuss, amongst other things, Economic Partnership Agreements. I had further discussion with a number of my European Trade Minister Colleagues and EC Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson on 12 February 2007 on finding a way forward to concluding agreements within the agreed time scale.
DFID operate a number of projects aimed at increasing the ACP countries capacity to engage effectively in the negotiations. DFID is continuing to help fund the Caribbeans negotiators and is providing two technical assistants to ECOWAS (the West African negotiating group). That is in addition to funding spent on EPAs at a country level and the work that the international trade department commissions.
The Government have committed to putting the UK on a path to a 60 per cent. reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. Reducing carbon emissions from the use of electricity will make an important contribution to meeting this target.
|Change in GB( 3) domestic gas bill||Change in UK domestic electricity bill( 1)|
|(1) The bills for standard electricity do not include customers that are on economy 7 tariffs.|
(2) The data have not been adjusted for inflation.
(3) Gas is not yet widely available in Northern Ireland and so the region has been excluded from this table.
Mr. Hurd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was spent by each of his Departments executive agencies in each Government Office region in the most recent year for which figures are available. 
Margaret Hodge: The Department is responsible for the following five Executive Agencies: Small Business Service, Companies House, The Insolvency Service, Patent Office and National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML).
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