Previous Section Index Home Page

Unemployment (Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) total unemployed, (b) long-term unemployed and (c) young unemployed there were in each ward of Shrewsbury and Atcham in each year since 1979; and if he will make a statement. [154712]

Miss Melanie Johnson: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Paul Marsden, dated 20 March 2001:

Parliamentary Questions

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he will give a substantive reply to the question tabled by the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire for answer on 26 February. [154726]

Mr. Timms: Shortly.


Gas and Electricity Bills

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what were the average annual domestic bills for (a) electricity and (b) gas in the UK for the year 2000 broken down by (i) direct debit, (ii) standard quarterly credit and (iii) pre-payment meter payment methods. [154506]

Mr. Hain: Average annual domestic bills 1 for (a) electricity and (b) gas in cash terms for the year 2000 are as follows:


Payment methodElectricity(30)Gas(31)
Quarterly Credit256295
Direct Debit244265
Prepayment meter274311

(30) An annual consumption level of 3,300 kWh has been assumed. Customers with electric central heating are likely to consume considerably more electricity.

(31) An annual consumption level of 18,000 kWh has been assumed.

20 Mar 2001 : Column: 179W

Annual figures for previous years are published in the Department's annual "Digest of UK Energy Statistics" and in the "Energy Report".

Newspaper Industry

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of self-regulation in the newspaper wholesaling and retailing sectors; and if he will make a statement. [154464]

Dr. Howells: DTI works closely with those involved across the newspaper sector and, although no formal assessment of the effectiveness of self regulation in the sector has recently been carried out, I believe that in general self regulation is working reasonably well. In particular, I am aware of the recent agreement by those involved in both newspapers and magazines to enter into a process to re-examine distribution issues and we shall be following developments in those discussions.

Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions he has had with the National Federation of Retail Newsagents about problems facing independent retailers; and if he will make a statement. [154463]

Ms Hewitt: Small independent retailers are a vitally important part of the economic life of the country, creating wealth, satisfying customer demands, providing employment and playing an important social role within communities. Although there has been no recent contact with the National Federation of Retail Newsagents (NFRN) we do recognise the difficulties their members face. For example, the Better Regulation Task Force will this year be investigating the regulatory burden faced by small retailers and will be reporting on this in due course.

Renewable Energy

Mr. Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the outcome is of the consultation on the renewables obligation. [154901]

Mr. Hain: I am pleased to announce today the publication of the analysis of responses to the Renewables Obligation Preliminary Consultation. Key issues were the cost of the Obligation to the consumer, whether or not to include energy from waste in the Obligation, the proposed level of capital grants, the treatment of imports, support for the longer term technologies and the profile of the Obligation up to 2010.

With more than 200 responses received, it is encouraging that our proposed policy has met with broad support from the industry and the public.

All the comments received have been given careful consideration and we shall be making our final proposals in the statutory consultation in May, prior to laying the necessary Order before the House.

Ms Dari Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what Government funding has been allocated for (a) the market stimulation and (b) research into the development of renewable fuels; [151123]

20 Mar 2001 : Column: 180W

Mr. Hain: The Government have announced substantial initiatives towards achieving the target of obtaining 10 per cent. of our electricity from renewable energy by 2010.

The main mechanisms for the market stimulation of renewable energy are the proposed Renewables Obligation and the earlier Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO). Funds provided by the NFFO programme and its Scottish equivalent are estimated to peak at around £150 million per annum in years between 2003-04 and 2009-10. The Renewables Obligation is estimated to provide up to £600 million per annum by 2010.

Over the next three years, the Government have allocated over £250 million for the development of renewable energy. This includes:

The Enterprise, Skills and Innovation White Paper published on 13 February proposes a major initiative to achieve a UK solar photovoltaic demonstration programme in line with those of our major competitors. An initial £10 million has been made available for the first three years.

Exemption of renewables electricity from the Climate Change Levy is also an important driver.

DTI directly supports research, development, demonstration, technology transfer and export promotion activities relating to a range of renewable energy sources through its New and Renewable Energy Programme. The breakdown of expenditure on specific renewable energy sources in the years since 1991-92, including programme management costs, is as shown. This Government have set rising budgets for the programme to begin to reverse the trend set under the previous Administration, and to bring forward new technologies. A budget of £14 million was allocated to the programme for this year. Proposed provision for the programme over the three year period 2001-04 is £55.5 million.

In addition, through the Science Budget, DTI supports relevant research being undertaken by the Research Councils. Expenditure for the full period between 1992 and 1997 is not readily available. Between 1997 and 2000, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the main Research Council funding work on renewables, spent £22.8 million on projects on renewable and clean electricity generation. The total value of current EPSRC projects in this field is £13.4 million.

Under the European Commission's 5th Framework Programme (1998-2002), funding for renewable energy projects co-ordinated by UK companies amounts to some 23 million euros to date.

20 Mar 2001 : Column: 181W

Taking into account the cost of obtaining the information provided in this answer, a list of all the organisations involved in over 2000 projects supported

20 Mar 2001 : Column: 182W

under the DTI's New and Renewable Energy programme since 1991-92 could not be provided without disproportionate cost.

20 Mar 2001 : Column: 181W

£ million

Fuel Cells0.400.541.141.331.561.221.20
Geo-Hot Dry Rocks1.981.331.240.350.000.000.00
General Studies/Strategic Studies/Strategy and Evaluation0.941.000.790.430.320.310.39
Marketing and Evaluation0.

20 Mar 2001 : Column: 181W

£ million

Fuel Cells1.591.552.41------
Geo-Hot Dry Rocks0.000.000.00------
General Studies/Strategic Studies/Strategy and Evaluation0.000.000.00------
Marketing and Evaluation0.660.640.61------

(32) Total spend

(33) Allocation

(34) Plans


Detailed allocation of provision for 2001-04 remains to be decided

20 Mar 2001 : Column: 181W

Next Section Index Home Page