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13 Jun 2007 : Column 1060W—continued

Details of any other expenditure by the DTI and its agencies are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departments: Travel Agents

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much his Department and its agencies paid in travel agencies’ fees in each year since 1997. [139917]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: The amount paid by the Department on travel agent fees was:


















From 1 October 2006, DTI moved to an arrangement where it pays a travel agent a set fee per transaction. The set fees are part of an OGC centrally negotiated contract available to government departments. Prior to 1 October 2006 DTI paid the operating costs of a team employed by the travel agent to work on DTI business travel arrangements.

Travel agent fees for 1998-99 and 1997-98 are not available due to change of travel agent and it would entail disproportionate costs to provide the data.

EC Trade: China

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions has he had with his (a) French and (b) Italian counterparts on EU/China trade quotas in the period up to the end of 2008. [139544]

Mr. McCartney [holding answer 4 June 2007]: I have regular discussions with my French and Italian counterparts on a range of trade issues although this issue has not yet been raised this year.

Electricity: Consumption

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many organisations in (a) the private sector and (b) the public sector have half hourly metered electricity consumption of (a) greater than 6000 megawatt hours a year, (b) between 5000 and 6000 mwh a year, (c) between 4000 and 5000 mwh a year, (d) between 3000 and 4000 mwh a year and (e) between 2000 and 3000 mwh a year. [142197]

Malcolm Wicks: Data are only readily available for counts of meters rather than organisations and can not be spilt between public and private sectors. Many half hourly metered organisations have more than one site.

The table shows the number of half hourly meters in Great Britain by consumption band in 2005.

Consumption band (megawatt hours a year) Number of meters









6000 +


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Electronic Equipment: Waste Disposal

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the costs to small and medium sized businesses of implementing the waste electrical and electronic equipment directive; and what steps he has taken to minimise the cost to small businesses. [141072]

Malcolm Wicks: A full regulatory impact assessment was published alongside the UK WEEE regulations. While there are no derogations for SMEs in the WEEE directive and hence the UK WEEE regulations, the Government have been keen to work with small businesses and their representative organisations to ensure they are not disproportionately affected. For example, we have introduced a tiered fee structure for producer registrations—a move widely welcomed and supported by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consideration he has given to exempting small and medium sized businesses from the requirements of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. [141073]

Malcolm Wicks: The WEEE directive does not allow member states a “de-minimis” approach which would exclude small businesses from its scope. The UK Regulations ensure that small businesses are not disproportionately affected and both the registration fees for producers and distributors are scaled according to company size.

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what producer compliance schemes are available for the waste electrical and electronic equipment directive which are specifically targeted at small and medium sized businesses. [141074]

Malcolm Wicks: There are 37 approved producer compliance schemes details of which are available on both the DTI website

and the Environment Agency website

Under the WEEE regulations producer compliance schemes are required to take into account the different sizes of their members and structure their fees and services accordingly.

Employment: Science

Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what monitoring he undertakes of the numbers of science based jobs in the UK; what assessment he has made of recent trends in such numbers; and if he will make a statement. [141764]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 11 June 2007]: The Government welcomed the Leitch review, published in December 2006, and its analysis of the growing importance of skills in a modern economy. A significant part of the Government's role, as set out in more detail in the Science and Innovation Investment
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Framework 2004:2014, is to ensure that the UK produces a healthy supply of people with science, engineering and technology (SET) skills. These skills are vital in helping to achieve the ambition of making Britain the most attractive location in the world for science and innovation. The Government accept there must be a shared responsibility for delivering this ambition; employers, individuals and the Government must all improve their efforts and investment.

DTI Economics Paper Number 16, Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) Skills in the UK provides 2004 baseline and 2014 projected figures for employment in SET occupations. The table is as follows:

Projected employment in SET occupations in 2014
Occupation 2004 (baseline) 2014 (forecast) Percentage change

Science and technology professionals




Health professionals




Science and technology associate professionals




Health associate professionals




All other occupations




Energy: Coal

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to encourage the use of clean coal technology in future energy policy. [141097]

Malcolm Wicks: The DTI has supported research and development for clean coal technologies and carbon capture and storage through calls under the Technology Programme. The focus has been on cleaner combustion technologies, fuel switching to lower carbon alternatives and carbon capture and storage. This funding will continue through 2007 at which stage the new arrangements for the Technology Strategy Board and Energy Technologies Institute will be introduced.

In September 2006 the Department launched a Carbon Abatement Technologies Demonstration Programme, worth some £35 million. This programme will focus on the pre-commercial demonstration of key components and systems to support carbon abatement technologies.

In the 2007 Budget Government announced that we would launch a competition to develop the UK’s first commercial scale demonstration of CCS. The recent Energy White Paper confirms that the competition is planned to be launched in November 2007.

Energy: Conservation

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to paragraphs 2.69 and 2.70 of the Energy White Paper, what estimate he has made of the number of free visual real-time displays of energy consumption to be given to consumers in each year from 2008. [141385]

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Malcolm Wicks: Around 1.25 million electricity meters are replaced each year. Each household whose meter was replaced would be eligible to receive a display device, subject to its being technically possible to fit one. Additionally, the Government estimate that up to 5,000,000 customers might request a display device from their supplier over the two-year period to 2010. The proposals in the Energy White Paper will be subject to consultation including testing these assumptions in the coming months.

EU Emissions Trading Scheme

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the additional income received by power generating companies as a consequence of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in each year since its commencement; and if he will make a statement. [141654]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 11 June 2007]: Analysis by IPA Energy Consulting Ltd., carried out for DTI, estimates the potential for an increase in wholesale generator profit of £800 million a year as a result of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. This is based on the assumptions that electricity generators pass on the full costs of carbon allowances through to higher electricity prices, a carbon price of €15 and the current Phase I annual allocation to the sector of 130MtCO2. However, this figure is dependent on modelling assumptions and is subject to considerable uncertainty. In particular, the current price of Phase I ETS allowances is significantly lower than €15, so the potential for increased profits will be less than £800 million.

Export Credit Guarantees: Coal Fired Power Stations

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many export credit guarantees were granted to British firms involved in constructing coal-fired power stations in each of the last five years. [140901]

Mr. McCartney [holding answer 6 June 2007]: None.


Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to publish the Government’s response to the Office of Fair Trading’s report The Commercial Use of Public Information. [141325]

Mr. McCartney: The OFT’s report contains some challenging recommendations. Given the importance and potential impact of the recommendations, and the wider constituency of interested parties both within and outside Government, more time was required to properly frame the response. The Government expect to publish their response to the report before the end of June.

We will communicate further when the report is published.

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National Institute for Medical Research

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the future of the National Institute for Medical Research. [141663]

Malcolm Wicks: The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) is a wholly owned Institute of the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC has stated that it wishes NIMR in future to work with leading university research and clinical partners so as to improve the translation of research into improved health outcomes.

The MRC is currently preparing a business case that will address the options for taking this forward and assesses opportunities to develop a wider vision for enhanced collaboration with other funding bodies and industrial partners.

Political Levy

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will place in the Library figures held by the Certification Office on (a) the percentage of union members paying into a political fund, (b) the proportion of political fund expenditure spent on affiliation fees, (c) the contribution per union member to the political fund and (d) the percentage of union members paying into a political fund included in the calculation of the affiliation fee for each trade union in the most recent year for which figures are available. [142182]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I am placing in the Libraries of the House the latest annual returns to the certification officer of the 28 unions with political funds. These returns contain the data provided to the certification officer on the income and expenditure of each political fund.

Seals: Animal Products

Mark Hunter: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had with the Canadian Government on the annual Canadian commercial seal hunt; and if he will make a statement. [141583]

Mr. McCartney: Canada is aware of the UK’s opposition to its commercial seal hunt and the matter was last discussed at Government level when I met Canada’s Ambassador for Fisheries and others on 28 March. The Canadians also raised the issue at the EU-Canada Summit on 4 June 2007.

Working Hours: Parents

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of (i) mothers and (ii) fathers who work hours outside the typical 8.30 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday working week (A) at least once a week, (B) at least twice a week, (C) at least three times a week and (D) at least four times a week. [141690]

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Jim Fitzpatrick: The Labour Force Survey (LFS) does not collect data on working 8:30 am to 5:30 pm but collects data on shift patterns. The following estimates are derived from the LFS spring 2006 survey of all UK employees and cover employees with dependent children under 19.

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