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17 Jun 2009 : Column 415W—continued

Manufacturing Industries: Competition

Mr. Bone: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the competitiveness of manufacturing industry. [279047]

Ian Lucas: According to official ONS data, the UK manufacturing sector while suffering a sharp decrease in production, has not been worse affected during the current global recession than manufacturing in some other advanced economies. In the year to March 2009, manufacturing output fell by 12.7 per cent. in the UK, compared to falls of 35.0 per cent. in Japan, 22.9 per cent. in Germany, 17.7 per cent. in France, and by 14.9 per cent. in the US. In March and April 2009, some
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countries have seen manufacturing output increase on the month, including increases in the UK of 0.2 per cent. in both months.

Motor Vehicles: Manufacturing Industries

Peter Luff: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications had been made for assistance under the automotive assistance programme on the latest date for which figures are available; how many payments had been made under the programme on the latest date for which figures are available; and how much had been paid under the scheme on that date. [278603]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 8 June 2009]: We are currently in detailed discussions with a number of businesses about their applications for funding under the Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP).

There have been more than 70 further requests for information on the scheme with the AAP team working with companies resulting in around 15 approaches being developed into detailed discussions with BIS for serious applications.

The details are commercially sensitive and subject to agreement. However, some details about the support provided under the AAP will become available in due course.

Mr. Kilfoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he plans to take to assist the automotive industries in the next 12 months. [278963]

Ian Lucas: The Automotive Assistance Package (AAP). The primary aim of this package of up to £2.3 billion is to support the continued delivery of investment that will create or sustain jobs, develop cutting-edge technology, bring special value to the UK, reduce CO2 emissions and maintain R&D in UK vehicle manufacturing.

In addition to the AAP, Government have taken a range of other actions to help secure the long-term future of the automotive sector in the UK. For instance, at the end of 2008, the UK Government helped secure €8 billion for the automotive industry from the European Investment Bank. Government have also provided considerable support for the development of skills and training in the automotive sector and continues to do so.

Automotive firms are also eligible for wider Government support for businesses such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, the Working Capital Scheme and other “Real Help for Business” Local Business Links also provide a range of free business advice and support services.

A scrappage scheme to help boost the automotive industry was announced in the Budget and operational from 18 May. The scheme will run until 28 February 2010 or until the Government funding runs out. £300 million of Government funding has been allocated, enough to provide up to 300,000 new vehicle sales.

The industry led New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT) published its report last month. Key recommendations, aimed at both industry and Government, included the establishment of a joint industry/Government Automotive Council to develop
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and implement a long term strategic framework for the industry; and proposals to focus the UK automotive R&D agenda around a new industry-consensus technology roadmap. The report also included more detailed subsidiary recommendations focussed around further improving the UK business environment and developing a stronger, more competitive supply chain. The Government's intention is to publish its formal response to the NAIGT report during the summer.

Motor Vehicles: West Midlands

Mr. Watson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the car scrappage scheme in the West Midlands. [279357]

Ian Lucas: It is really too early to expect to see an impact by region.

To date more than 60,000 new cars have been ordered via the car scrappage scheme. While we anticipate being able to give a breakdown of orders by region in due course, data are not yet available that would allow accurate regional figures to be provided.

Non-departmental Public Bodies

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the administration budget was for each non-departmental public body that receives funding from his Department in the last three years for which figures are available. [276160]

Kevin Brennan: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was formed in June 2007, following the Machinery of Government changes, as a result we are only able to provide information from 2007-08. The administration budget figures for NDPBs which receive funding from the Department are as follows:

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Admin budget 20 07-08 Admin budget 20 08-09

Copyright Tribunal



Council for Science and Technology



Design Council








9.099 million

11.360 million

Investors in People UK


2.385 million


1.782 million

1.621 million





211 million

(2)189 million

Office for Fair Access



Quality Improvement Agency

6 million


Research Councils

101.74 million

106.48 million

Sector Skills Development Agency

9.213 million


Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property Policy (SABIP)



Student Loans Company

58.541 million


Technology Strategy Board

(4)29.877 million

(5)29.889 million



8.444 million

(1) Includes all expenses incurred by the council
(2 )Unaudited/provisional figure until accounts published in July 2009
(3 )Ceased to exist from 2008-09
(4 )Includes 22.007 million relating to administrative support contracts
(5 )Includes 18.745 million relating to administrative support contracts
(6 )Set-up costs only

Overseas Students: Fees and Charges

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how much has been received by universities in fees from foreign students taught in higher education institutions in each year since 2006; [269161]

(2) when he plans to answer question 269161, tabled on 1 April 2009, on fees received from foreign students taught in higher education institutions. [278594]

Mr. Lammy: The latest published information on course fees paid by non-EU domiciled students is shown in the table. This is the only centrally-held information available regarding institutions’ income from foreign students. This is shown alongside the total income of higher education institutions in England.

Non-EU domiciled students HE course fees and total income English higher education institutions, academic year 2006/07 and 2007/08
£ 000

Non-EU domiciled course fees Total income







Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student finance record.

Press: Competition

Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will make an assessment of the contracts (a) awarded in the newspaper and magazine wholesale distribution market in the last six months and (b) likely to be awarded in that market in the next six months for the purposes of monitoring levels of competitiveness in that market. [274235]

Kevin Brennan: It is for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), as the UK’s independent competition authority, to consider such matters. I understand the OFT is aware of, and is actively monitoring recent developments in this market. It will carefully consider representations from interested parties about the potential for these to impact on competition. It will also take any such representations into account in the context of taking its final decision on whether to refer the newspaper and magazine supply sector to the Competition Commission for a market investigation. The public consultation on its draft decision not to make such a reference closed on 19 May.

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Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on how many occasions in the last month (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had discussions with representatives of the Office of Fair Trading on the newspaper and magazine distribution market. [274398]

Kevin Brennan: Ministers have had no discussions with the OFT about this matter during the last month. Officials have similarly had no substantive discussions with the OFT on this issue though they have spoken with colleagues at the OFT about practical matters relating to my Noble Friend the Secretary of State's decision on the future of the statutory undertakings from newspaper wholesalers which was announced on 20 April. Officials have also sought input as necessary from the OFT in order to provide accurate responses to certain recent Parliamentary questions relating to the OFT's work on newspaper and magazine distribution issues.

Regulation: Public Consultation

John Penrose: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what percentage of suggestions received on the Better Regulation website identified a regulatory conflict in the last 12 months. [274370]

Ian Lucas: In the last financial year (2008-09), the Better Regulation Executive's website

received 270 ideas.

Of these, 106 (39 per cent.) submitted indicated a ‘Conflict in Regulations’.


Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what recent discussions he has had with (a) Tescos, (b) Asda, (c) Sainsbury’s, (d) Morrisons, (e) Waitrose and (f) The Co-op on the introduction of (i) a revised Groceries Supply Code of Practice and (ii) a supermarket ombudsman. [275079]

Kevin Brennan [holding answer 12 May 2009]: Ministers and BIS officials hold regular meetings with businesses to discuss a range of issues as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings. There have not been any recent meetings with the named grocery retailers specifically held to discuss the Competition Commission’s (CC) proposals to strengthen the groceries supply code of practice (GSCOP), or to set up a GSCOP ombudsman.

Trading Schemes

Natascha Engel: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what definition his Department uses for a participant in a trading scheme in its publication The Trading Scheme Guide; what the basis in legislation is for (a) the description of a participant contained in the guide, (b) the key test as to who is not a participant applied in the
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guide and (c) the test of independence of a participant applied in the guide; and if he will make a statement. [278138]

Kevin Brennan [holding answer 4 June 2009]: In issuing guidance the Department is not providing a definitive interpretation of the legislation as that is a matter for the courts. The Department provides guidance on statues in order to help business and consumers to understand whether a particular law applies to them or to their circumstances. This guidance is not a statement of the law, but is simply the Department’s view of its meaning.

The section of the Trading Schemes Guide referred to attempts to describe the nature of the organiser and participant relationship in trading schemes which are subject to the regime as set out in part XI of the Fair Trading Act 1973, section 118 (1) (3) and (4). In this context, the relevant definition of “participant” is that in the Fair Trading Act 1973, section 118(8). The legislation regulating trading schemes include Part XI of the Fair Trading Act 1973 amended by the Trading Schemes Act 1996, the Trading Schemes Regulations 1997, Trading Scheme (Exclusion) Regulations 1997, Trading Schemes (Exclusion) (Amendment) Regulations 1997. The guide covers this legislation.


Mr. Willetts: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what percentage of (a) males aged 16 to 18, (b) females aged 16 to 18, (c) males aged 19 to 24 and (d) females aged 19 to 24 years were not in education, employment or training in the first quarter of each year since 1997. [275869]

Kevin Brennan: The following tables show estimates of people aged(1) 16 to 18 and 19 to 24 not in employment, education or training (NEET) in England. These estimates are from the quarter 1 Labour Force Survey (LFS) in all years that the required data are available.

We are unable to provide NEET estimates back to 1997 from the LFS as all the data necessary to produce them are not available on datasets prior to quarter 2 2000. However for 16-18 year olds data are available from 1997 using the definitive source for this age group and are published annually in a DCSF Statistical First Release. The most recent release is due to be updated on 16 June 2009 and will be available at

Data from the LFS for more recent periods up to quarter 4 2008 are available from official statistics last published by DCSF in February 2009 (see following link). These are due to be updated to include quarter 1 2009 on 23 June 2009.

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