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2 Jun 2008 : Column 798W—continued


Resolving Disputes in the Workplace

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many written representations were received in the Resolving Disputes in the Workplace consultation; and if he will place copies of them in the Library. [207093]

Mr. McFadden [holding answer 22 May 2008]: The Department received 443 written representations to the consultation. The Government response to the consultation, which was published on 19 May 2008, summarises the range of representations received. Copies of the formal Government response are being placed in the Libraries of the House.

Royal Mail: Finance

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the budgeted financial balance of the Royal Mail is for the financial year 2008-09. [206814]

Mr. McFadden: This is a commercial matter for Royal Mail. I have therefore asked Adam Crozier, chief executive of Royal Mail, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Royal Mail: Lost Property

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many
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and what percentage of items posted by the public were lost by Royal Mail in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [207658]

Mr. McFadden: This is an operational matter for which Royal Mail has direct responsibility. I have therefore asked the chief executive of Royal Mail, Adam Crozier, to provide a direct reply to the hon. Member.

A copy of the response will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Royal Mail: Manpower

Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the staff headcount of the Royal Mail was on 30 April 2008. [206815]

Mr. McFadden: This is an operational matter for Royal Mail. I have therefore asked Adam Crozier, chief executive of Royal Mail, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme: Wales

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for how long the increase in the Small Firms Loan Guarantee scheme, announced in the Budget 2008, will last in Wales. [196158]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government announced that it will increase Small Firms Loan Guarantee (SFLG) lending limit allocations by 20 per cent. for one year, as part of its Enterprise Strategy, published alongside the Budget 2008.

More than 29 lenders UK wide make use of SFLG.

Textiles: Imports

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what quantity of (a) clothing and (b) other textiles was imported from India in each year since 1997. [205688]

Mr. Thomas: The following table shows data for UK imports of clothing and textiles from India.


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Apparel, clothing and accessories Textiles, yarn, made up articles, fibre and waste
Value (£ million) Weight (Thousand tonnes) Value (£ million) Weight (Thousand tonnes)

1997

272

24.8

311

122.9

1998

230

22.2

284

117.5

1999

260

26.4

254

113.3

2000

321

31.2

266

122.8

2001

349

35.9

286

117.8

2002

373

37.7

254

107.8

2003

393

39.4

253

107.2

2004

430

45.9

274

109.0

2005

606

63.7

251

96.2

2006

644

58.5

269

100.4

2007

751

70.8

289

108.6

Source: BERR using HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics.

Tidal Power: River Severn

John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the reasons were for not considering tidal stream as one of the options to be evaluated by the Severn Tidal Power Feasibility Study. [207455]

Malcolm Wicks: The feasibility study focuses on tidal range power generation because the key resource of the Severn estuary is its tidal range—it has the second highest tides in the world (up to 14 metres) and around 90 per cent. of total UK practical tidal range resource. Whereas, as the Sustainable Development Commission's recent study confirms (Turning the Tide, published October 2007) the tidal stream resource of the Severn estuary is much smaller and represents a minor part of the total potential of UK waters.

The feasibility study is however considering proposals for tidal stream development where this is in combination with tidal range development.

Trade: Israel

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much trade with Israel contributed to the United Kingdom's gross domestic product in each of the last five years for which information is available. [206124]

Mr. Thomas: The benefits of international trade to gross domestic product (GDP) result from greater economic efficiency due to a combination of increased competition in markets, relative comparative advantages, economies of scale, increased opportunities for learning, and greater incentives for innovation. Due to the difficulty of differentiating between the impact of trade and other factors on growth, it is not possible to quantify precisely the impact of trade with another country on GDP.

The following table indicates the scale of UK trade in goods and services to Israel for the years 2002-06 as a proportion of GDP:

Percentage
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

UK exports to Israel: percentage of UK GDP at market prices

0.18

0.15

0.15

0.15

0.13

UK imports from Israel: percentage of UK GDP at market prices

0.10

0.10

0.10

0.10

0.10


Geographical data for trade in 2007 are due to be published at the end of October.


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UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Group

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the total cost of rebranding the Defence Exports Services Organisation as the UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Group. [201654]

Mr. Thomas [holding answer 28 April 2008]: The estimated direct cost for the creation of the UKTI-DSO identity was approximately £15,000.

Utilities

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent assessment his Department has made of the (a) accountability and (b) effectiveness of regulators of utilities. [205215]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government recently responded to the report on UK economic regulators by the House of Lords Committee on Regulators (November 2007, HL 189-II) which among other issues covered the accountability of regulators to Parliament as well as their accountability through the Competition Commission, impact assessments and consumer representation. In its response (February 2008, URN 08/648), the Government stated that:

With regard to effectiveness, Government maintains an active interest in looking at the regulatory regime as a whole, and has tasked the Better Regulation Executive with this role. However, as bodies independent from government, regulators assess their effectiveness through their own corporate governance structures. Further assessment beyond this is primarily a matter for Parliament.


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Ministerial Visits

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which locations abroad the Minister of State for Trade and Investment has visited since his appointment. [204860]

Mr. Thomas [holding answer 12 May 2008]: Since his appointment on 1 July 2007, the Minister for Trade and Investment has (as of 19 May 2008) visited the following overseas locations:

World War II: Medals

Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many Bevin Boys badges have been awarded to people in Hemsworth constituency. [207763]

Malcolm Wicks: To date, the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, who are processing applications for the Bevin Boys Veterans Badge on behalf of the Department, have received 10 applications from people in the Hemsworth constituency.


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