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Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what research his Department has commissioned on (a) nuclear energy and (b) combined heat and power in the last two years for which information is available; and what the budget was for each piece of research. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 21 July 2008]: This year the Department commissioned research from Ernst and Young into the UKs competitive global position as a site for new nuclear investment. The budget for this project was £50,000. This Department has not commissioned any research on combined heat and power, where the policy lead rests with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the costs of providing additional electricity to make up for the loss from nuclear power stations closed for repairs since January 2007. 
BERR does not seek to estimate the costs of generating electricity under hypothetical scenarios, to compare with actual costs. This would require speculation
as to the sources of generation that would not have been used under different scenarios, whereas many factors govern individual companies decisions as to which plant should be used for generation at any given time.
BERR publishes a table of fuel used in electricity generation by major producers, which shows the contribution to overall generation from all sources including nuclear plant on an annual basis going back to 1995. This is available on the BERR website at
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the refuelling dates were of each nuclear reactor in the United Kingdom in the last 20 years. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the time needed to decommission graphite cores of redundant nuclear reactors. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and British Energy estimate that, following an extensive period during which radioactivity levels in the core have been allowed to decay away, it will take between two and three years to remove the graphite cores of redundant nuclear reactors.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what mechanisms exist to retain those trained in the National Nuclear Skills Academy within the nuclear decommissioning, clean-up and waste management sector. 
Malcolm Wicks: There are no specific mechanisms in place to retain staff, although individual employers and employees might negotiate their own arrangements. A blanket mechanism to restrict the movement of workers, once qualified, would be difficult to set up and open to legal challenge. The labour supply across energy will be tight and employers will have to be competitive to recruit and retain skills.
Nuclear-trained workers have a core set of technical skills that are transferable to other industries. The Academy and Cogent expect some leakage and have factored this into their planning. This is most likely to benefit related activities, such as new nuclear build, renewable energy and manufacturing. Thus there are positive benefits to the wider economy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will place in the Library a copy of the speech he made to
the annual dinner of the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce; who drafted the speech; which Government Departments provided advice; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps (a) he has taken since January 2008 and (b) plans to take during the next 12 months to increase trade between the United Kingdom and Israel; how much his Department (i) has spent since January 2008 and (ii) plans to spend during the next 12 months on the promotion of trade between the United Kingdom and Israel; what recent representations he has received on increasing trade between the United Kingdom and Israel; what response he gave; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) provides a range of support services to British companies wishing to trade with or invest in Israel, through UKTI officials based in London and the British embassy in Tel Aviv. UKTI officials in Tel Aviv also work to encourage increased Israeli investment in the UK. Examples of UKTI-funded activity since January 2008 include the publication of a newsletter, highlighting the UK's strengths as a business partner, to coincide with the Lord Mayor's visit to Israel, from 21 to 24 January 2008; financial support for Israeli participation in the NanoForum 2008 conference and exhibition in the UK in October 2008; and continued support for the Israel-Britain Business Council (IBBC), most recently through hosting the IBBC's Full Council meeting in the UK on 8 July 2008.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories from 19 to 21 July 2008, accompanied by my hon. Friend the Minister for Trade & Investment; the Chief Executive of UK Trade and Investment; and a delegation of 19 senior British businessmen. During the visit, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister spoke at a UKTI sponsored UK-Israel Business Conference on 20 July; signed a new co-production treaty aimed at promoting more joint ventures between the Israeli and British film industries; and announced ambitious new targets both to secure 25 more inward investment projects from Israel by 2010, and to increase bilateral trade between Israel and the UK to at least £3 billion by 2012.
UK Trade and Investment spent £69,682 on the promotion of trade between Israel and the UK over the period January to July 2008, and is currently committed to spending a further £31,676 over the remainder of this financial year.
I have received no recent representations on expanding trade between the UK and Israel. However, Lord Jones set out his views on the importance of commercial and wider bilateral links between the UK and Israel in a speech at the British-Israel Chamber of Commerce's Gala Dinner on 30 June 2008. A copy of this speech has been deposited in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his Departments policy is on offering support to UK companies to gain or maintain contracts with illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. 
Mr. Thomas: UK Trade and Investment provides a range of support services to companies wishing to trade with or invest in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The Department is not involved in the negotiation or agreement of individual contracts following this support.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his Department's estimate is of the number of (a) mothers and (b) fathers who were eligible for parental leave in each year since 1999. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department does not have all the requested information for each year since 1999. However, there are four different sources that give information on eligibility, take-up and/or average length of parental leave for particular years.
estimated that there would be 2.7 million employees eligible for parental leave. Of those eligible, 60 per cent. were estimated to be fathers, because women with younger children are less likely to be in work.
which focuses on employees' responses, found that 12 per cent. of working parents who said that parental leave was available in their workplace had taken parental leave in the last year and with their current employer. This translates as 4 per cent. of all parents (regardless of whether parental leave was available in their workplace or not) with dependent children taking parental leave in the previous year. Sample sizes were too small for further analysis of take-up of parental leave by employee characteristics and for analysis of the average numbers of days parents took off.
which draws on employers' rather than employees' responses, indicates that around 14 per cent. of employers had at least one employee who had taken parental leave in the 12 months prior to taking part in the survey. This was comparable to the incidence of parental leave in 2003 (also 14 per cent.).
which looked at the first 17 months of a child's life, indicates that 11 per cent. of mothers had taken some parental leave since the end of maternity leave, an increase from 8 per cent. in 2002. Two-thirds of these had taken a week or less.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many photovoltaic panels he estimates will be installed in the UK in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010. 
Malcolm Wicks: As part of a consortium of organisations including the microgeneration industry and energy NGOs, we commissioned research on the growth potential for microgeneration in England, Wales and Scotland, which included current levels of uptake. It found that there were an estimated 2900 microgeneration PV installations at the end of 2007, the majority of them being installed during 2007. Although the research did not estimate how many installations there would be each year it provides information on potential uptake given various potential incentives.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many (a) domestic and (b) non-domestic photovoltaic installations to buildings there were in each year since 2004; and what percentage of all buildings this represents. 
Malcolm Wicks: As part of a consortium of organisations including the microgeneration industry and energy NGOs, we commissioned research on the growth potential for microgeneration in England, Wales and Scotland, which included current levels of uptake. It found that there were an estimated 2,900 solar PV installations at the end of 2007. It did not estimate how many were domestic or non-domestic installations.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much profit (a) Post Office Ltd and (b) the Royal Mail made in each year since 1997; and how many companies were authorised to provide services previously reserved to the Post Office Corporation in each such year. 
|Financial year||Post Office Limited||Royal Mail Group|
|(1) When the additional impact of the social network payment is taken into account POL losses are £184 million for 2007-08 and £183 million for 2006-07.|
|Year (up to 31December)||Newly licensed operators||Total number of licensees|
The two columns do not tally because licensed operators exiting the market are not shown.
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