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North Sea Oil

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on North Sea oil and how long it is estimated the reserves will last; what percentage of the UK's oil requirement comes from the North Sea; and how many jobs in Scotland depend on the North Sea oil industry. [26610]

Mr. Wilson: North Sea oil has been a success story for the UK and the Government are determined, in partnership with industry through PILOT, to ensure its continued success. Detailed estimates of oil reserves on the UK Continental Shelf are given in the Brown Book (Development of UK Oil and Gas Resources 2001). The extent to which these reserves might be produced depends on a number of factors, including prices and costs relative to other oil producing areas. It is therefore difficult to make accurate predictions, but if all the discovered oil reserves given in the Brown Book were to be developed they represent some 11 years of production at rates in 2000. If in addition, estimates of as yet undiscovered reserves are also considered, UK oil reserves represent between 13 and 29 years production, although the upper estimate is unlikely. In practice, production levels will fall and reserves will last longer. Indeed, a PILOT target is to produce 3 Mboed (million barrels of oil equivalent per day) in 2010 against about 4.5 Mboed in 2000.

About 70 per cent. of UK oil production is exported and different grades of oil imported, so that UK crude accounted for some 46 per cent. of refinery throughput in 2000.

UKOOA, the offshore operators association, have estimated that some 118,800 jobs in Scotland depend directly and indirectly on the oil industry.

Economic Regeneration

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many organisations in the SEEDA region dealt with economic regeneration in (a) 1997–98, (b) 1998–99, (c) 1999–2000 and (d) 2000–01; and what was the annual cost to public funds of each organisation, [26290]

Alan Johnson: Many organisations, both in the public and the private sector, contribute to economic regeneration. These bodies do not always specify what part of their budget is intended for regeneration, and where they do so there is no common definition of what is covered. Other previously existing organisations such as English Partnership and the Commission for New Towns covered a much wider area than the SEEDA boundaries, making it difficult at this late stage to disaggregate figures for the SEEDA area. For all these reasons it is not possible to provide figures in the form requested.

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While numerous partnership and organisations are currently involved in economic regeneration at a local level within the region, SEEDA is the main region-wide organisation which actively promotes economic regeneration in the south-east.

Its budget for 1999–2000 was £63,586,000 and for 2000–01 was £74,901,000. Strictly speaking not all of this expenditure would be classed as "economic regeneration" as SEEDA's work among other things also involves skills, rural and community regeneration and social inclusion, however, all SEEDA's activities underpin economic regeneration within the south-east region.

Manufacturing Industry

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what changes have occurred in each of the last 10 years in (a) the numbers employed in the manufacturing industry and (b) the percentage of British GDP represented by manufacturing industry. [26034]

Ruth Kelly: I have been asked to reply.

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

Letter from John Kidgell to Paul Flynn, dated 15 January 2002:

UK employee jobs in manufacturing (seasonally adjusted)

JuneEmployee jobs

These estimates are based on the results of regular sample surveys of employers which count the number of employee jobs. The data are published in Statbase on the National Statistics website under series identifier YEJL.

The contribution of manufacturing industry to the United Kingdom whole economy gross value added over the most recent 10 years for which data are available is shown below. The difference between GVA at basic prices and GDP is the addition of taxes on products and the deduction of subsidies on products.

Current price gross value added at basic prices (current prices)

Manufacturing (£ million)Whole economy (£ million)Manufacturing as percentage of whole economy

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Energy Review

6. Anne Picking: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement on Scotland Office involvement in the performance and innovation unit energy review. [25075]

Mr. Foulkes: I represent the Scotland Office on the PIU Energy Review Advisory Group. Over the past months, I have met with a wide variety of individuals and organisations with an interest in energy issues in Scotland to discuss their views on the matters covered by the review.

National Minimum Wage

7. Mr. Tom Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people in Scotland are benefiting from the recent uprating of the national minimum wage. [25076]

Mr. Foulkes: Some 135,000 people across Scotland have benefited from increased rates of pay as a result of the uprating on 1 October 2001.

24. Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps are being taken to ensure the enforcement of the national minimum wage in Scotland. [25094]

Mr. Foulkes: The Inland Revenue has two specialist teams, one based in Aberdeen, the other in East Kilbride, who are responsible for enforcing the national minimum wage in Scotland. Since April 1999 the two teams have completed nearly 1,500 investigations in Scotland, recovering over £500,000 in wage arrears. The Government have also run national publicity campaigns to raise awareness and the Inland Revenue recently held information seminars on its work for Scottish MPs.

Working Families Tax Credit

10. David Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many people in Scotland are benefiting from the working families tax credit. [25079]

Mr. Foulkes: At August 2001, 119,063 families in Scotland were receiving the working families tax credit. This includes 1,893 families in the Greenock and Inverclyde constituency.

Disability Rights Commission

11. Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what action she is taking to make the work of the Disability Rights Commission more widely known in Scotland. [25080]

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Mr. Foulkes: Last June I launched the DRC's survey on awareness of disability in Scotland and more recently took part in the Commission's countrywide roadshow to help promote their work. I assisted also in the launch of the DRC Scotland's first Annual Review, and held a seminar for MPs on the work of the DRC. Next month I am planning to host a reception to celebrate and publicise the work of the Commission.

MSP Numbers

12. Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent progress she has made with her consultation on MSP numbers. [25081]

Mrs. Liddell: The consultation paper on the size of the Scottish Parliament was issued on 18 December 2001. Responses are required by 29 March 2002. The issue affects everyone in Scotland and all concerned have a full opportunity to have their say.

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps she is taking to encourage participation by the general public in Scotland in the review of MSP numbers. [27141]

Mrs. Liddell: Copies of the consultation document have been issued to a wide range of organisations and individuals representing civic Scotland. The document is also available on the Scotland Office website. The issue is one which affects everyone in Scotland, and I would welcome their views.

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