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In relation to MCC and some 300 of its subsidiaries, as at 31 May 2007 the administrators legal and other professional fees amounted to some £59 million. In
addition, a further £33 million of fees were incurred in relation to litigation actions. Total realisations, including recovery actions, amount to more than £1,200 million.
Further fees were borne by various MCC subsidiary companies that are not included in the above. In addition, the figures do not include fees incurred in relation to the various private companies and pension scheme related companies, information which is not readily available to the Insolvency Service without incurring disproportionate cost.
John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he will reply to the hon. Member for Edinburgh West's letters of 10 October 2007 and 23 November 2007, with regard to Mr. Iain Hay of Edinburgh. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what plans his Department has to make use of data on the national identity register when they are established; and what the estimated annual cost to his Department of that use is. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform will be working with the Home Office prior to the introduction of the national identity scheme to establish how identity information held on the proposed national identity register might be used to provide easier access to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform's services for our customers. It is too early in the process to establish the detailed costs and benefits.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) with reference to the answer of 8 July 2006, Official Report, columns 779-80W, on nuclear power stations, whether the full costs of funding research into Generation IV reactor designs will be met by private investors should a new generation of nuclear reactors be built in the UK; and if he will make a statement; 
Malcolm Wicks: In line with the reactor designs currently being assessed by the regulators through the Generic Design Assessment (GDA) process, any new nuclear reactors built over the next 10 to 15 years will be Generation III designs. These designs are already available commercially and any research necessary for their deployment in the UK will be a matter for industry.
Generation IV reactor designs are not expected to be built commercially until 2030 or beyond. Basic research into aspects of their development, for example on new materials that would be reliable at higher temperatures, is generally too far from potential exploitation in the market place to attract private sector funding. Basic
research of this type is likely to continue to rely on public funding through the UK Research Councils and the European Union Euratom Framework programme, with the level of support dependent upon both the quality of the scientific proposals and the strategic priority given to that research area by the organisations concerned.
BERR does not fund research into Generation IV advanced reactors systems and the UK has now stood down as an active member of the Generation IV International Forum (GIF). The decision to stand down reflected the need to match financial and other resources with the Departments strategic priorities. While valuable in some respects, further involvement in the forum was not considered to be as relevant to the Departments mission as other competing priorities.
Since 2005 the UK Research Councils, which are funded from the science budget through the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, have provided some £1.63 million to support research relevant to Generation IV advance reactor systems.
UK research organisations also participate in European research collaborations relevant to Generation IV advance reactor systems that are funded by the European Commission. Details of collaborations from 2002-06 (including a small number on advanced reactor systems) can be found in Euratom FP6 Research Projects and Training Activities Vols 1-3, which are available from the following website:
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received from energy companies interested in building new nuclear power stations on guarantees for the funding of radioactive waste arisings and final decommissioning of any new plants constructed. 
Malcolm Wicks: Government are clear that any energy company that operates a new nuclear power station must pay its full costs of decommissioning and its full share of waste management and disposal costs. The Energy Bill, introduced to Parliament on 10 January 2008, will impose new legal duties on operators in this regard and will create new powers for Ministers to ensure that operators meet those duties.
In the course of his official engagements, the Secretary of State regularly meets representatives from energy companies as well as other stakeholders. Representations by energy companies interested in building new nuclear power were received in response to the Government consultation on The Future of Nuclear Power which closed on 10 October 2007 and are available on the BERR website.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 1073W, on the political levy, what guidance has been produced or offered by (a) his Department and (b) the Certification Officer, on the (i) legality and (ii) appropriateness of the practice of trade unions
charging the same overall subscription fee for members who opt-out and re-diverting the political levy revenue into their general fund. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department has produced guidance on contracting out of a political fund in a publication entitled Trade union political funds: a guide for trade unions, their members and others. The Certification Officer has also produced guidance on contracting out of a political fund in a publication entitled Guidance for trade unions and employers associations wishing to establish a political fund. These guidance materials describe the statutory requirements relating to the manner of giving effect to exemptions.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the answer of 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 1073W, on the political levy, according to records held by the Certification Officer, how many union members each union has who do not contribute to the general fund. 
Mr. McFadden: The following table shows the number of members not contributing to the general fund of the trade unions concerned. As before, the figures are based on the latest returns made to the Certification Officer by the relevant trade unions.
|Name||Total number of union members declared on unions annual return to Certification Officer (a)||Total number of members contributing to the general fund declared on unions annual return to Certification Officer (b)||Number of members not contributing to the general fund (a) - (b)|
|(1) Final return for period up to 26 April 2007.|
Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what Crown post offices there are, broken down by Government Region; and in each case whether the premises are (a) owned outright, (b) jointly owned and (c) leased by the Government; and if he will make a statement; 
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, (1) what discussions he has had with representatives of other Governments on whaling since the IWC59 meeting; and if he will make a statement; 
The UK forms part of a core anti-whaling grouping within the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and supports the IWCs moratorium on commercial whaling. The UK remains strongly opposed to any attempt to lift or weaken the moratorium and, in the longer term, wishes to see it strengthened. We will be meeting with the core anti-whaling group in the run up to IWC60. Posts abroad will also lobby a wide range of Governments prior to the meeting to ensure support for the moratorium.
The UK has led efforts to recruit more conservation-minded countries to the IWC through our publication Protecting WhalesA Global Responsibility. This publication has recently been updated and was re-released on 21 December 2007. In the coming weeks, posts will deliver the updated version to host Governments, and will continue to engage in discussion with their counterparts on whaling at every appropriate opportunity.
The UK Government have consistently voiced their opposition to Japanese scientific whaling. Most recently, on 8 January, I called in the deputy ambassador from the Japanese embassy in London to express the UKs outrage and urge Japan to end its slaughter of whales.
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