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Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many full-time posts were filled on a temporary basis for a period in excess of six months in his Department in each of the last three years. 
The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform does not hold this information centrally. As this would involve manually investigating
individual records of temporary staff, the cost of doing this would be disproportionate.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of immigration on the wages of low-skilled workers; and what steps he is taking to mitigate any negative effects; 
Mr. McFadden: Research conducted by the Department for Work and Pensions in 2006 (DWP Working paper No. 29) found no discernable statistical evidence to suggest that A8 migration has been a contributor to the rise in claimant unemployment in the UK.
With respect to wages, research commissioned by the Low Pay Commission in 2007 (Dustmann et al. 2007) found that immigration had a positive effect on wage growth across the earnings distribution. On average, the research found a slightly positive effect on overall wage growth, but with very modest negative effects on wage growth at the lower end of the distribution. The research also noted that the national minimum wage has played an important role in insulating the wages of low-paid workers from a larger impact.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will visit a controls manufacturing plant Lot 1 of the Energy-using Products Directive before its implementation. 
Malcolm Wicks: I have no plans for a specific visit for this purpose at the moment, however I am aware that officials from my Department and DEFRA made a visit to the Worcester-Bosch boilers and water heaters manufacturing plant in February this year.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what his policy is on a smart meters mandate, with particular reference to provision at a regional level; 
Malcolm Wicks: The Government will seek a power under the Energy Bill that would enable it to make arrangements to roll out smart meters to all households. It intends to use these powers to provide advanced meters to larger business customers, and will take final decisions on wider smart metering thereafter. Ofgem has been closely involved in the work my Department has undertaken on smart meters, including whether and how their provision might be required.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what timetable he has set for the review of the statutory obligations, policies and operations of the Export Credits Guarantee Department in line with the Government's priorities for (a) sustainable development and (b) climate stability. 
Malcolm Wicks: There is no current plan to review ECGD's statutory obligations, operations or policies insofar as these relate to sustainable development and climate stability. Through its business principles, ECGD has a continuing obligation to take into account Government policies, including those relating to sustainable development and the environment, in processing applications for ECGD support.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when the reviews of the Export Credits Guarantee Departments Case Impact Analysis Process and Business Principles will take place; and what form the public consultation on the procedures will take. 
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether his Department has carried out an impact assessment of the Energy-using Products Directive on the UK heating controls industry and on employment in the industry. 
Malcolm Wicks: An impact assessment was made by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for the Ecodesign for Energy-Using Products Regulations 2007, which transpose the framework Directive on Energy-using Products (EuP) in the UK. The Commission has yet to table a draft implementing measure and impact assessment for boilers and water heaters, although they have issued a first draft of a working document for discussion. As the initial implementing measures, including that on boilers and water heaters, under the EuP Directive are focused on energy efficiency, it will be for DEFRA to produce any impact assessment as necessary.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent steps his Department has taken to increase the rate of compliance by employers with national minimum wage legislation. 
Mr. McFadden: Ensuring workers and employers are aware of their rights and responsibilities is key to ensuring workers get the minimum wage due to them. In his pre-Budget report 2006, the Chancellor announced an additional £2.9 million for monitoring and enforcing the minimum wage each year for the next four years. We carried out an extensive awareness campaign this year, including radio, posters and online activity as well as an outreach bus. The focus of our campaigns to raise awareness of national minimum wage and the current rates and ensure workers and employers know where to go for advice or to make a complaint.
We are also taking steps to strengthen the national minimum wage enforcement regime in a Bill which is currently in the House of Lords. Subject to parliamentary approval, the changes proposed in this Bill will provide a clear deterrent to non-compliance: there is a new automatic penalty for employers who fail to pay their workers the national minimum wage and in addition, where workers have been underpaid, employers will have to reimburse them at current, rather than historic rates. The Bill also gives HMRC compliance officers new inspection powers and strengthens the criminal regime that applies where an employer has committed an offence.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what mechanism he plans to put in place to fund the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board; and for what time period board members will be appointed. 
Malcolm Wicks: The terms of reference for the Nuclear Liabilities Financing Assurance Board are currently in development, but will contain information on both funding arrangements and the time period board members will be appointed for. As stated in the "Consultation on Funded Decommissioning Programme Guidance for New Nuclear Power Stations" document, published on 22 February, we expect to publish the terms of reference in Q2 2008.
Mr. McFadden: Following closure of a post office under Post Office Ltd.s Network Change programme, a former sub-postmaster may opt to offer postal and other former post office services through another service provider. But if the option is exercised to offer such services within 12 months of the closure of the post office, the compensation payable is reduced to reflect the potential to retain that income in line with the terms of the agreement between Post Office Ltd. and the National Federation of SubPostmasters.
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