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Freedom of Information Act

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date her Department established a working group of officials to prepare her Department for the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and on what dates this committee has met since it was set up. [14765]

Ms Hewitt: My Department has not established a working group of officials to prepare for implementation of the FOI Act. However, the task of preparing the Department has been assigned to the Open Government and Data Protection Unit, with particular responsibilities assigned to relevant officials within the Department. We already have in place a network of Open Government Liaison Officers to support our preparations for and eventual administration of the Act. Arrangements we are setting in place are overseen by the Departmental Board.

Equal Pay

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its sponsored bodies have made with the production of equal pay action plans. [16139]

Ms Hewitt: The Department itself, its agencies and sponsored bodies are at various stages of reviewing their pay systems. Some have recently designed pay systems with equal pay issues in mind. In a number of cases equal pay action plans have already been developed and initial action has been taken. In others, action plans will be produced to address equal pay issues that emerge.

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many like work equal pay cases have been considered by employment tribunals in the period between 1995 and 2000; and what was the outcome of each case. [16138]

Alan Johnson: The table sets out the information requested.

Equal pay cases

YearNumber of cases registeredSettled by ACASWithdrawnSuccessful at hearingDismissed at hearing (out of scope)Dismissed at hearing (other)Disposed of (other)Total number disposed of

(6) Due to changes to the database system of the ETS in 1996, statistics for 1996–97 are not available.


The figures for 1997–2001 include a large proportion of part-time worker pension cases that are extant.


Employment Tribunals Service

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Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the Government carry any liability for potential damage in respect of investments they support in Ukraine. [16323]

Ms Hewitt: ECGD has not provided Overseas Investment Insurance cover for any investments in the Ukraine.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if Ukraine is off cover for official UK export credits. [16322]

Ms Hewitt: ECGDs website advertises the Ukraine as a country for which it is only able to consider export credit cover on a case-by-case basis.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the UK has indicated to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development that it is interested in the financing of a nuclear power station in Ukraine. [16325]

Ms Hewitt: Under the terms of the 1995 Memorandum of Understanding aimed at bringing about the closure of the Chernobyl Nuclear facility, the EU and G7 Governments agreed to work on the provision of loan finance to complete the Ukrainian nuclear plants known as K2/R4. The EBRD was nominated to lead in arranging a US$1.4 billion package of loans which, it was indicated, could include UK export credits for up to £20 million.

Mr. Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what applications have been received for export credit support in respect of the KZR4 nuclear power station in Ukraine; and if she will provide details. [16324]

Ms Hewitt: The Export Credits Guarantee Department has received an outline application in respect of the K2R4 project. For reasons of commercial confidentiality, under Exemption 13—Third Party's commercial confidences—of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, it is unable to disclose details of the application.

Renewable Energy

Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was the total level of Government financial support to the renewable energy sector in each

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year since 1990, broken down by (a) research grants, (b) renewables obligation, (c) non-fossil fuel levy and (d) other sources. [12790]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 7 November 2001]: The information is set out in the table.

The new Renewables Obligation, to be introduced next year, together with the exemption of renewables from the Climate Change Levy, will create a long-term market for renewables which will be worth over £1 billion per year by 2010.

The obligation will be underpinned by direct Government funding for renewables worth over £260 million between 2001 and 2004. This will include an extensive capital grants programme for the early development of offshore wind and energy crops, the initial stage of a major photovoltaics demonstration programme and a boost for research and development.

Support for the renewables sector
£ million

Research grants(7)Renewables obligation(8)Non fossil fuel levy(9)Other (capital grants)(10)

(7) Direct Government funding for research and development on renewable energy through the DTI's own Sustainable Energy Programme and through the Research Councils via the Science Budget.

(8) Estimated maximum payments available under the Renewables Obligation for England and Wales and the corresponding Renewables Obligation (Scotland). Actual payments will depend on how much renewable energy capacity comes forward at any time. The costs will be met by licensed electricity suppliers who are expected to pass them on to consumers. Proposals for introducing the Obligation are shortly to be placed before Parliament. There may be some payments under the Obligation in the last quarter of 2001–02 depending on the precise date of implementation of the Obligation.

(9) Expenditure through NFFO, SRO and NI-NFFO funded by the electricity consumer through the Fossil Fuel Levy in Great Britain and variant arrangements in Northern Ireland.

(10) Provisional commitment profile for capital grants for offshore wind, energy crops and other areas highlighted in the Prime Minister's announcement of 5 November 2001. Actual spend will depend on the rate at which capacity comes forward.

(11) Estimates.

(12) Expenditure through NFFO falls from 1999–2000 on because NFFO 1 and 2 contracts came to an end in December 1998.

(13) Actual to 30 September 2001.

(14) Up to date estimates not available. Non Fossil Fuel Levy spend in future years is highly dependent on the impact of the introduction of Renewables obligation and of proposed new NFFO flexibility provisions. We anticipate that the costs of the Fossil Fuel Levy following the introduction of the Renewables Obligation will decline substantially.


Renewable energy also benefits from exemption from the Climate Change Levy which came into force from April 2001.

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