Ian Pearson: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Employment Relations and Postal Affairs to the hon. Member for Croydon, Central (Mr. Pelling) earlier today.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent assessment he has made of the effects on businesses of the availability of credit to them. 
10. Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what criteria apply to the making of grants from the transition loan fund through regional development agencies. 
Loans from the fund will normally only be made where the existing financiers (including bankers) are, at the time of application to the fund, willing to maintain some borrowing facilities on agreed terms.
Loans from the fund may not be used to pay down existing borrowings. Applicants, through their business plans, should be able to demonstrate a positive impact on jobs, either through job creation or job retention.
11. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent assessment he has made of the reasons for the UK's balance of payments deficit. 
Mr. Thomas: The UKs current account deficit was equivalent to 3 per cent. of GDP in the second quarter of 2008. As the pre-budget report made clear we expect the current account deficit to narrow in 2009 due to changes in relative levels of demand in the UK and overseas and changes in the value of sterling.
13. Sir Alan Beith: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the consultation programme carried out by the Post Office as part of the Network Change programme. 
Mr. McFadden: The Network Change Programme is drawing to a close. Around 15 per cent. of proposals were changed during the pre-consultation phase and 87 closures and four outreach proposals were withdrawn during the public consultation period.
14. Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the effect on businesses of utility companies' charges. 
Mr. Thomas: The Government make various assessments of cost pressures on industry, including utility costs, and maintains dialogue with industry on such issues through a number of channels, notably the Small Business Forum.
16. Tony Lloyd: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent representations he has received from representatives of the manufacturing sector on the global financial situation. 
Ian Pearson: We continue to receive representations and views from all across the manufacturing sector employers, trade unions and others on a regular basis to discuss the global financial situation, as well as other issues that are of immediate concern.
18. Simon Hughes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent representations his Department has received on provision of assistance for businesses; and if he will make a statement. 
Alun Michael: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department is taking to promote engagement in the work of the Internet Governance Forum. 
Mr. Thomas: The Government are committed to ensuring the success of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The UK Government are a leading donor supporting the IGF Secretariat this year, and will continue to seek to ensure that the benefits of this multi-stakeholder dialogue are maximised for both the UK and the international community, much of whose success is due to the efforts of my right hon. Friend.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what funding his Department is providing to assist small and medium-sized enterprises in 2008-09. 
This year, over £140 million has been channelled through Business Link to offer direct support services to over 850,000 businesses, £360 million of lending has taken place through the Small Firms Loan Guarantee and £50 million has been committed through Enterprise Capital Funds.
Mr. Meacher: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the proportion of UK-based industry in foreign ownership in (a) 2008 and (b) 2003 in each of the 30 largest industrial sectors. 
|Percentage of output (gross value added (GVA)) generated by UK and foreign-owned companies: 2003-05
|(1 )The Annual Business Inquiry does not cover all parts of the Services and Other categories.
National Statistics (derived from Annual Business Inquiry regional data, published in Regional Competitiveness and State of the Regions, 2008 (BERR)
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when his Department's officials last discussed the UK's prospective membership of the euro with the European Commission; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 19 November 2008, Official Report, column 655W, on Gulf of Aden: piracy, if he will provide a breakdown of the UK's (a) current and (b) planned contribution to the (i) EU and (ii) NATO and Combined Force 150 counter-piracy missions in the Horn of Africa. 
In response to the increase in piracy in the Gulf of Aden, we are providing the operation commander and the operation headquarters to the European Security and Defence Policy operation. HMS Northumberland will be deployed for the first period of the operation.
Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 has been providing deterrence in support of the World Food Programme in the Gulf of Aden since October. HMS Cumberland was attached to Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 and is now leaving the region as the NATO mission comes to an end. NATO is considering further options for countering piracy in the region.
The UK will continue to provide a frigate to the Coalition Task Force 150 which contributes to a broad range of maritime security operations in the region including counter piracy. Our contribution to this Task Force will remain unaffected by contributions to NATO and/or EU counter-piracy operations.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many British citizens have been refused entry into Israel at Ben Gurion Airport in each of the last three years; what records his Department holds on the reasons for refusal in each case; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications of the recent vote by the European Parliament postponing a decision on involving Israel in the European Union's Community Programmes; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The European Parliament's programme is a matter for that body. The UK supports the European Council decisions on developing the EU's relationship with Israel alongside work to advance peace in the middle east. Officials from the UK Representation to the EU will continue to monitor and engage with the European Parliament on this and other issues of interest.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with the British Ambassador to Indonesia about the ongoing search for a missing British citizen, Jeremy Hoyland; and if he will make a statement; 
Bill Rammell: Jeremy Hoyland went missing at sea on 24 October in Indonesian waters. The search and rescue operation is the responsibility of the Indonesian authorities, namely the Indonesian police, the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency and the Indonesian Navy. However, officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth office have been closely involved in the case from the first day of Mr. Hoylands disappearance, liaising with the Indonesian authorities and providing consular assistance to the family, in Indonesia and on their return to the United Kingdom.
To support the honorary consul and the British consulate in Bali, the deputy head of mission and consul from the our embassy in Jakarta travelled to Bali to meet Mr. Hoylands family on their arrival, and to assist them in meeting senior representatives of the search teams involved.
Our ambassador to Indonesia has taken action to ensure that Mr. Hoylands disappearance is well publicised around the area where he went missing, including recording an appeal message to be distributed to around 50 local radio stations in the area. Consular officials in London have provided updates to the family, and acted on requests for information by approaching the appropriate authorities in Indonesia.