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|UK imports of goods from the Maldives||UK exports of goods to the Maldives|
(ii) Data on trade in services are not available for the full 10 years requested. Table 9.13 of the UK Balance of Payments "Pink Book 2009" gives the following figures for UK trade in services with the Maldives
|UK imports of services from the Maldives||UK exports of services to the Maldives|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps he (a) has taken in the last 12 months and (b) plans to take in the next 12 months to increase trade between the United Kingdom and the Maldives; how much his Department has spent on the promotion of trade between the United Kingdom and the Maldives in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Lucas: The UK trade and investment team in Colombo which is responsible for trade and investment relations with the Maldives has undertaken a scoping mission to the Maldives and maintains regular contact with the Maldivian Ministry of Commerce. This scoping mission cost approximately £300. No other expenditure has been incurred in the last 12 months.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many officials in his Department of each grade worked on the promotion of trade between the United Kingdom and the Maldives (a) in each year between 1998 and 2008 and (b) on the most recent date for which figures are available. 
Ian Lucas: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) does not deliver official services in the Maldives, but lobbying on behalf of British companies may be carried out on a case by case basis by the high commission in Colombo. It is not therefore possible to give a precise breakdown of staff time spent on trade promotion in the Maldives.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much trade with the Maldives contributed to gross domestic product in each of the last two years; what recent discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Maldives on increasing trade between the UK and the Maldives; and if he will make a statement. 
Due to the difficulty of differentiating between the impact of trade and other factors on growth, it is not possible to quantify precisely the impact of trade with another country on GDP. The value of UK
exports of goods and services to the Maldives in each of 2007 and 2008 corresponded to about 0.001 per cent. of the value of UK GDP, and UK imports from the Maldives to about 0.01 per cent.
No formal discussions regarding increased bilateral trade have taken place. However my officials are in regular contact with the Maldives high commission and the UK trade and investment team in Colombo maintains regular contact with the Maldives Ministry of Commerce.
The UK is in discussion with its international partners to decide how to address Iran's failure, so far, to indicate a willingness to negotiate over its nuclear programme. Discussions on further measures, including trade sanctions, are in their early stages and form part of a confidential dialogue with close allies. It would not be appropriate to publicly disclose the precise details at this stage. Details will however be made available as soon as possible.
Mike Penning: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate has he made of the number of people in (a) Hemel Hempstead constituency, (b) Dacorum and (c) Hertfordshire who took (i) paternity and (ii) maternity leave in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. McFadden: The most recent estimates of take-up of maternity leave are based on Maternity Rights and Mother's Employment Decisions (published 2007). The survey is based on a random sample of mothers who had a baby between February and May 2006.
Up-to-date estimates of fathers taking paternity leave are from the Maternity and Paternity Rights and Benefits in Britain: Survey of Parents, conducted in 2005. 93 per cent. of fathers took some time off around the time of the birth. Of the 93 per cent. who took some time off, 79 per cent. took paternity leave (The survey is based on a random sample of mothers who had a baby in December 2003 and their partners).
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on how many occasions in the last 10 years a conflict has arisen between the Patent Office and the European Patent Office over the registration of individual patents. 
A number of applicants file similar patent applications at both the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and the European Patent Office (EPO). In cases where both applications result in granted patents valid in the UK, the IPO carries out a check to determine
whether there is a conflict, that is whether both applications relate to the same invention. It will revoke a GB patent if an EP patent for the same invention is granted designating the UK. Over the past nine years, 1,148 GB patents were considered by the IPO for revocation in these circumstances (the data for the tenth year are not available). Many applicants amend one or other to remove any conflict, therefore avoiding revocation. There are over 500 cases where an application has been granted by one office and not the other, which is well below 1 per cent. of the total number of patents granted by the two offices. In many cases these applications are still pending before the other office. Determining precisely the outcome of the remainder, many of which will have been withdrawn for the applicant's own reasons, would involve information which is not held centrally and which could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what payments the Economic and Social Research Council has made to Ms Polly Toynbee in the last five years; and for what purposes. 
2004-05-£587.50 for an Evaluation Review of an ESRC Research Centre, involving three days work;
2005-06-£881.25 for an article for ESRC Society Today, the ESRC website. The article was 1,800 words long and involved two days work;
2009-10-£400 for chairing an ESRC lecture on Recession and the Green Economy.
Mr. Newmark: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has received reports of errors in the Post Office Horizon system which have led to Postmasters or Postmistresses being falsely accused of fraud; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department has received no such reports. Any issues relating to the Horizon system are operational matters for Post Office Ltd. I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director of Post Office Ltd., to respond directly to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Libraries.
Mr. McFadden: The Government are keen for Post Office Ltd. to develop its range of products and services and the shareholder executive in this Department is working with the company to examine the scope and opportunities for this. However, it is for the company to determine a business and commercial strategy to increase its profitability.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department has made an assessment of the length of time for which the Network Subsidy Payment or a successor arrangement will be required to subsidise Post Office Limited. 
Mr. McFadden: The Government recognise that there will be a continuing need for subsidy payments to support the non-commercial part of the post office network beyond March 2011 when the present funding package comes to an end.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will bring forward proposals to increase the availability and clarity of information on the revenue received from Post Office Limited by the Royal Mail Group. 
Mr. McFadden: Post Office Ltd. prepares a statutory report and accounts annually and these are publicly available through Companies House. As these indicate, Post Office Ltd. meets the full costs of employment of its staff who are all seconded from Royal Mail Group. In 2008-09 these costs totalled £293 million. In addition, Post Office Ltd. pays its share of the Royal Mail Group's central costs to its parent company.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on the re-opening of Post Office branches in areas in which such branches had closed. 
Mr. McFadden: Government policy is to maintain a sustainable nationwide network of around 11,500 post offices and in 2007 committed funding to 2011 in support of this policy. Decisions on the opening or re-opening of individual post office branches are an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. The company has an established framework for dialogue with local authorities and community groups interested in funding continued service provision where a branch has closed. In such circumstances, Post Office Ltd will need to ensure that this does not adversely affect the viability of the local network of post offices.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many Post Office branches are required to meet his Department's access criteria for Post Office branches. 
Mr. McFadden: Post Office Ltd. estimates that the minimum size of network necessary to meet the access criteria is around 7,500 offices but it is Government policy to maintain a sustainable network of around 11,500 post offices. The £1.7 billion funding package announced in May 2007 supports the network at that level to 2011 and the Government recognise that there will be a continuing need for network subsidy payments beyond 2011.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the Government has had recent discussions with Post Office Limited on future numbers of Post Office branches. 
Mr. McFadden: Ministers have regular discussions with Post Office Ltd. about a wide range of issues including network size. Government policy is to maintain a sustainable nationwide network of around 11,500 post offices and the Government have stated that they will not support a future programme of closures.
Mr. McFadden: The Government are keen for the Post Office to develop their Government Services work and have an established mechanism for aiding this through a cross-Whitehall committee chaired by the Secretary of State for Business. The Government have shown their commitment to using the Post Office to provide services for Government through the award of the Post Office Card Account contract in November 2008, as well as the deal in March 2009 with the DVLA to allow the capture of biometric data (photographs and signatures) for the 10-year renewal of driving licences at 750 Post Offices around the country.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many (a) Crown post offices, (b) full branches, (c) mobile outreach services, (d) hosted outreach services, (e) partner services and (f) home services branches there are in the Post Office branch network. 
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many Post Office branches that have closed temporarily since the end of the Network Change Programme have (a) re-opened with the same hours, (b) re-opened with reduced hours, (c) re-opened with increased hours, (d) not yet re-opened, (e) been replaced by an outreach service and (f) been closed permanently. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department does not hold the information requested. I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director of Post Office Ltd., to respond directly to the right hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Libraries.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in which postcode districts the Post Office branch network does not meet the access criteria adopted under the Network Change Programme. 
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