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John Thurso: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate has been made of expenditure incurred to date by (a) his Department and (b) its non-departmental public bodies in seeking to achieve public service agreement one as set out in the 2007 comprehensive spending review. 
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Reform how much his Department and its predecessors have spent on (a) focus groups and (b) opinion polls in each year since 1997-98; how much he estimates will be spent on each category in 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. 
Statistical surveys to businesses and local authorities conducted by the Department and its agencies are monitored centrally to facilitate control of compliance costs to business and departmental expenditure on survey activity. It is not possible, however, to determine with any degree of accuracy which surveys fall into the categories of focus groups or market and opinion research, or which contain an element of these. The answer would incur disproportionate cost because of the need to ask all directorates in BERR, plus agencies and associated non-departmental public bodies, to attempt to provide details of each survey and piece of research commissioned since 1997.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what proportion of the working week he expects the Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting to spend on his Department's business. 
Mr. McFadden: The Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting for the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (joint Minister with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) expects to spend approximately 50 per cent. of his working week on BERR business.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the likely effect of the transfer of his responsibilities for energy to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change on his science budget; and if he will make a statement. 
Following a Machinery of Government change announced in June 2007, the responsibility for science and the science budget transferred from the
Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.
Mr. Gibb: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many questions for written answer were tabled to his Department and its predecessor in Session (a) 2002-03, (b) 2003-04, (c) 2004-05, (d) 2005-06, (e) 2006-07 and (f) 2007-08 to date; and how many were (i) answered substantively and (ii) not answered on grounds of disproportionate cost. 
|Session||Number of written questions tabled||Of which: Received a Prorogation reply||Of which: Cited disproportionate cost|
|(1) Of which 2,100 DTI and 813 BERR|
Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what plans his Department has to encourage the purchase of television sets which support integrated digital television. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 10 September 2008]: By the end of March 2008(1), four out of five of the televisions sold were digital, up from 73 per cent. in December 2007. Major stores have committed to not stocking analogue-only television equipment. The digital switchover certification mark (the digital tick logo), owned by the Secretary of State, indicates products such as integrated digital television sets which are designed to work through switchover. By July 2008 85 per cent. of retailers (by volume of TV and set top box sales) were using the digital tick logo and 76 per cent. of people are aware of the digital tick and what it means. The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations which came into force on 26 May 2008 forbid retailers and manufacturers from misleading consumers, including by omitting information that the average consumer needs to make an informed transactional decision. This would include any retailer not telling a potential purchaser of an analogue-only TV that it would not be capable of handling broadcasts when the analogue transmissions were switched off without the addition of a digital adaptor box. This example is included by the OFT in their guidance on the application of the Consumer Protection Regulations. We will keep the developments in the market under review, but currently do not consider that further action to encourage the purchase of integrated digital television sets (as opposed to analogue-only televisions) is needed.
(1) The UK Communications Market 2008, Ofcom, published 14 August 2008 encourage the purchase of integrated digital television sets (as opposed to analogue-only televisions) is needed.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what representations he has received on the adequacy of the provisions of the waste electrical and electronic equipment directive in preventing electronic goods being discarded in developing nations under the guise of second-hand goods; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Pearson: Article 6(5) of the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive requires that any movement of WEEE from a member state or out of the Community for recycling be undertaken in line with the requirements of the Waste Shipments Regulation. The environment agencies are the competent authorities for the export of waste controls in the UK and take any necessary enforcement action against illegal exports of WEEE in accordance with its published enforcement and prosecution policy.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much his Department has spent on ensuring the UKs compliance with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive since it came into effect. 
Ian Pearson: The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive was implemented in the UK via the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Regulations. The Regulations came into force in January 2007 and since that date the Department has spent £4.7 million to cover the associated enforcement costs.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what consideration his Department has given to the collection of data under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive on the amount of material that goes to landfill. 
Ian Pearson: There are no requirements under the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive for the collection of data on the amount of material which goes to landfill. However the directive does require member states to maximise the collection of separately collected WEEE, which should result in reduced amounts being sent for landfill. The UK WEEE Regulations reflect this requirement.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make an assessment of the implications for the UK of the findings of the recent United Nations Environment Programme report on the economic benefits of investing in green jobs. 
In the Manufacturing Strategy published in September 2008 the Government committed itself to produce a Low Carbon Industrial Strategy in 2009. The strategy will look at the scale and scope of the low carbon economy, future scenarios and how companies can take advantage of the growing market opportunities.
Adam Price: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what changes have been proposed by other EU member states in EU discussions to the budgets and co-financing rules of the European Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund as a result of the global economic downturn. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 25 November 2008]: The European Commission intend to publish on the 26 November 2008 a comprehensive EU recovery plan to help address the global economic downturn. An element of this plan will cover proposals for the European Structural Funds and Cohesion Fund which may have implications for budgets and co-financing rules. Member states will subsequently discuss these proposals in the relevant Working Groups before any Council decisions are agreed.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will bring forward legislative proposals to require all energy suppliers to offer social tariffs based on minimum standards; and if he will make a statement. 
All suppliers now offer programmes of assistance to vulnerable customers. Allowing companies to act voluntarily has encouraged innovation and competition between them to offer the most attractive social programmes to consumers. Mandating a social tariff would stifle this innovation and could increase energy prices for the remaining majority of consumers, including those on low and modest incomes and therefore would need to be considered carefully.
David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent assessment he has made of the effects of the rise in the price of domestic energy during 2008 on the effectiveness and operation of the Fuel Poverty Strategy; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 17 September 2008]: Our latest official figures are for 2006 and although they show a fall in the number of households in fuel poverty by 3 million in the UK since 1996, numbers are now increasing primarily due to energy price rises. The 2006 figures show that across the UK, approximately 3.5 million households were in fuel poverty (of which around 2.75 million were vulnerable households), an
increase of around 1 million on 2005. In England in 2006, there were around 2.4 million fuel poor households, of which around 1.9 million were vulnerable. The full report can be found at:
The statistical annex to this report gives indicative projections for fuel poverty in England. These show an estimated further 1.2 million households moving into fuel poverty between 2006 and 2008, largely due to fuel price increases.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many laptops that were leased to employees under the home computing initiative had been upgraded by employers; and what the average cost of upgrading the laptops was. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department did not require this level of detail on how many laptops leased to employees had been upgraded under the home computing initiative scheme. This information would only be held by employers who ran home computing initiative schemes.
That said, very few employers had the chance to run multiple schemes. As the programme was launched in 2004, most schemes had not ended by the time the 1999 tax exemption was removed in March 2006 (as they ran typically for three years). It is very unlikely that many were upgraded following the removal of the tax exemption.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will take steps to ensure that broadband customers receive the level of service advertised by their broadband provider. 
Ian Pearson: The matter raised is the responsibility of the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the chief executives letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Greg Clark: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what role Ministers in his Department had in shortlisting companies bidding to provide electric and low carbon vehicles to public bodies under the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform. 
Ian Pearson: Ministers were not involved in decisions on the shortlisting of companies bidding to provide lower carbon and all-electric vans to the public sector under the Department for Transports Low Carbon Vehicle Public Procurement Programme.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many complaints his Department has received on the quality of work undertaken by gas fitters in each of the last 10 years; how many prosecutions have been brought concerning illegal installations by gas fitters in that time; and how many of those prosecutions have been successful. 
Table 1 shows the number of gas related complaints received by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) since 1999-2000 (the earliest year for which figures are available). These figures include, but do not solely relate to, complaints in relation to poor installation work because HSE has a single recording system for gas safety complaints. Therefore, the figures include:
1. Complaints or concerns received directly from tenants, or indirectly from local authority (LA) housing sector inspectors, Energywatch (the Gas and Electricity Consumers Council) or the gas installer registration body CORGI, about landlords failing to comply with their gas safety duties under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998;
2. Complaints received directly from members of the public about the standards of workmanship of gas fitters (registered or not) who have installed appliances; or indirectly referred by consumer bodies such as Energywatch acting on their behalf;
3. Information and/or complaints from CORGI about the activities of unregistered installers;
4. Complaints or reports that manufacturers of commercial catering equipment or industrial space heaters do not meet the requirements of the Gas Appliances (Safety) Regulations 1995.
|Number of gas complaints|
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