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Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform when he expects Ofcom to publish its analysis of responses to its consultation Applying Spectrum Pricing to the Maritime and Aeronautical Sectors; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: Ofcom's consultation on applying Administered Incentive Pricing to the Maritime and Aeronautical sectors runs from 30 July 2008 to 30 October 2008. The timing of any analysis of responses depends on the level of response Ofcom receives. Ofcom states in the consultation document that it is an initial consultation and that generally it aims to publish a summary of responses within two weeks of the consultation closing.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the proposed (a) functions and (b) objectives of the proposed new Chief Construction Officer are. 
Full details of the potential terms and scope of the role will be confirmed following engagement
with both industry and public sector bodies as part of the operational efficiency programme announced by my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury earlier this year.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what guidance his Department provides to UK businesses wishing to trade with or invest in Israel with regard to not supporting illegal Israeli settlements. 
Mr. Thomas: UK trade and investment provides a range of support services to companies wishing to trade with or invest in Israel. The Department is not involved in the negotiation or agreement of individual contracts following this support.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many and what proportion of (a) households and (b) individuals are in fuel poverty in each (i) county and (ii) region in England; what change this represents from the equivalent figures in 2002; what assistance his Department makes available to (A) families and (B) individuals to help with fuel costs; what the average amount paid by his Department is per (1) family and (2) individual experiencing fuel poverty; what plans he has to change this amount during the next six months; what conditions determine the amount received; what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on fuel poverty; and if he will make a statement. 
The most recently published data on households in fuel poverty relate to 2005 and show that, in England, there are around 1.5 million fuel poor households, approximately 7 per cent. of all households. The lowest level at which this data are broken down annually is by Government office region. Estimates of fuel poverty at this level are published online and shown below. The Government are planning to publish updated figures shortly.
|Government office region||Number of fuel poor households 2005 (Thousand)||Percentage of households that are fuel poor|
No regional figures exist for 2002, so comparisons have been made for 2001. The following table sets out differences between the figures for 2005 and corresponding numbers for 2001. Note that in the table, a positive number indicates a rise in numbers to 2005 and a negative value represents a reduction.
|Government office region||Number of fuel poor households (Thousand)||Percentage of households that are fuel poor|
Vulnerable households are helped by the Warm Front scheme in England which provides grants to low income households for energy efficiency measures to their homes. Just over £800 million has been allocated to this programme over the current three-year spending period. The Government announced recently an extra £74 million over the next two years for this scheme.
Other forms of assistance include the winter fuel payments introduced by the Government in 1997 to help pensioners. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spends around £2 billion a year on this programme. For this winter only, an extra investment of £575 million will be made to fund an additional payment of £50 to eligible households with someone aged 60-79 and £100 to eligible households with someone aged 80 or over. DWP also fund the cold weather payments, paying over £20 million in total over the last five years to eligible households experiencing sustained periods of cold weather. A further £1.5 billion will be provided over the next three years by the energy companies under their carbon emissions reduction target (CERT) obligations to fund energy efficiency improvements in a priority group of low income and elderly customers. In addition, in April my Department secured the individual agreement of the six largest energy suppliers to increase the level of their collective spend on social programmes, which include social tariffs and rebates, to £150 million a year by 2010-11.
On 11 September, the Government announced further help, with an extra £1 billion package to tackle fuel poverty. The proposed new package includes £910 million towards the National Home Energy Saving Programme. This £910 million is made up of a 20 per cent. increase in funding for the existing CERT programme, with the remainder coming from a new Community Energy Saving Programme to be funded by energy suppliers and electricity generators. Throughout the country, a partnership of local councils, voluntary organisations and energy companies will carry out house-to-house calls to offer energy efficiency help in some of the most deprived areas of the UK. In addition, the Government will be increasing the cold weather payments from £8.50 to £25 per week for winter 2008-09.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent steps have been taken by the Government to increase levels of manufacturing employment. 
Ian Pearson: The UK is the world's sixth largest manufacturerthe industry accounts for over half our exports, contributes £150 billion to the economy and around three million jobs. Manufacturing industries spent 75 per cent. of all business R and D in 2006 and the sector attracts more foreign direct investment than every other country in Europe and globally is second to the USA.
The Government are strongly committed to providing support to the manufacturing sector and its Manufacturing Strategy: New Challenges, New Opportunities, launched on 8 September 2008, sets out the combined views of Government and industry of what the sector needs for success in the long term.
Steve Webb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effect of enhanced UK domestic nuclear generating capacity on UK dependence on imported gas; and if he will make a statement. 
We believe that nuclear power should be part of a future low-carbon electricity-generating mix so that we can reduce our carbon emissions and secure our energy supplies as the UK becomes a net importer of energy. Our thinking is set out in our Nuclear White Paper, in particular paragraphs 2.26-2.42 and Annex A, which is available on our website at
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much in grants has been paid by the Government to trades unions in each year since 1997. 
Mr. McFadden: Annual breakdowns of the expenditure before 2004 are not available. The following tables therefore give (a) the commitments to unions under the Partnership at Work Fund and, (b) actual payments under the Strategic Partnership Fund and the Union Modernisation Fund.
|(a) Funds committed to unions 2000-03|
|Union||Year in which commitment made||Amount given (£)||Purpose|
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