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The Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has asked me to reply to you directly in respect of your question (2007/3630) asking what contracts (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have with EDF; and how much (i) his Department and (ii) his agencies paid to EDF in each of the last 10 years, broken down by the purpose of the payment.
The Insolvency Service started making payments to EDF, for electricity payments only from 2005. The table below shows the breakdown of the payments.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many officials in his Department are wholly or mainly tasked with the negotiation, implementation or the administration of EU legislation and consequent policies. 
Mr. Thomas: This Government are firmly committed to the importance of the EU in delivering on 21st century challenges. The EU is of central importance to the work of HM Government across all Departments. It is relevant to a wide range of policy areas, and to the work of many Government officials.
Within BERR, officials working specifically on EU business total around 180. In addition, there are a number of seconded national experts working on priority policy areas in the European Institutions in Brussels and on occasion other EU member states, usually around a dozen individuals. A fuller breakdown of the figures as requested would incur disproportionate cost.
Mr. McFadden: The Government's plan to reduce regulatory burdens apply to all businesses including family businesses. Administrative burdens arising as a result of regulation can disproportionately impact on smaller firms.
On 12 March 2008, the Government published a new Enterprise Strategy. In the 2008 Enterprise Strategy, the Government committed to a new approach to the way that new and existing regulation applies to firms that employ fewer than 20 people; this includes considering whether small firms can be exempt from requirements without affecting essential protectionsor if there is scope for simplified inspection, enforcement and guidance. A risk based approach to regulation will help minimise costs for small businesses.
Within the Enterprise Strategy, Government also announced that it would consult on the introduction of a system of regulatory budgets. At present there are limited controls on new regulatory proposals and there is no overall method for the Government to directly manage regulatory costs. A regulatory budget would provide such a mechanism. The Government is currently carrying out its consultation on this proposal.
In June 2008 The Small Firms Impact Test (SFIT) became a mandatory part of the Impact Assessment (IA) process when a Government proposal imposes or reduces costs on business. The Government's manifesto commitment in 2001 ensured the 'Think Small First' principle was followed as part of UK policy development. The SFIT is intended to establish impact on small businesses and how it is possible to minimise the impact of the requirements on small firms through flexibilities such as exemptions, simplified inspection, less frequent reporting for businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
More generally, Government undertook an exercise, supported by industry, to measure the administrative burdens that impact businesses of all sizes as a result of complying with regulations. Upon the completion of this exercise, 25 per cent. net targets by 2010 were set to reduce this burden.
In December 2007, 19 Simplification Plans were published, showing more than 700 measures to reduce the burdens of complying with regulations. Over 280 of these measures have already been delivered saving businesses £800 million per year.
Simpler law for smaller businesses (BERR): Smaller businesses stand to benefit from substantial rewrite of Company Law. Coupled with better guidance, new provisions are expected to lower third party costs and make compliance easier. Conservative estimate of £2 million annual savings delivered.
Changes to Small Business Rate Relief (Communities): Small firms eligible for Small Business Rate Relief no longer have to register for relief annually. £3 million annual savings delivered, and expected to rise to £11 million by 2010.
Small Firms audit requirements (Financial Services Authority): Removed the need for 3,400 small firms to have a statutory audit, saving £12.9 million per year
Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
Department for Children, Schools and Families (PDF)
Department for Communities and Local Government
Department for Culture Media and Sport
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Department of Health
Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (PDF)
Department for Transport (PDF)
Department for Work and Pensions
Food Standards Agency (PDF)
Forestry Commission (PDF)
Government Equality Office (Word Document.)
Health and Safety Executive
HM Treasury (PDF)
Ministry of Justice
Office for National Statistics
Financial Services Authority (PDF)
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (PDF)
(1) Small Businesses in Rural Areas: An analysis of the Annual Small Business Survey 2004. Business Service Analytical Unit 2006 http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file38269.pdf
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment the Better Regulation Executive has made of the impact of the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive on (a) manufacturers, (b) retailers and (c) consumers of specialist herbal remedies; what estimate he has made of the effect of the Directive on the number of herbal remedies on the market; and if he will make a statement. 
In October 2005, a detailed impact assessment (IA) was conducted by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to determine the impact of the directive on various stakeholders and sectors, including manufacturers, retailers and consumers. This is available on
Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether the Better Regulation Executive was consulted by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency about the consistency with the principles of good regulation of the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive; and what assessment he has made of whether those principles are met by the Directive. 
Mr. McFadden: In introducing the new legislation, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency consulted publicly and across government, including with the Better Regulation Executive (then in Cabinet Office) and the Better Regulation Task Force (BRTF). At the time, officials from both organisations would have considered whether proposals were in line with better regulation principles.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many working days were lost as a result of strikes in (a) each parliamentary constituency in Cornwall, (b) the South West region and (c) England in each year since 1979. 
Mr. McFadden: Data on days lost to industrial action are collected by the Office for National Statistics only at Government office region level. Therefore information on days lost relating to parliamentary constituencies is outside of the scope of data collected.
|South West||England||UK total||UK strikes which could not be disaggregated to GOR level( 1)|
|(1) The figures are not included in either of the first two columns.|
1. Between 1979 and 1996 figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.
2. From 1997 onwards, figures are rounded to the nearest 100.
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