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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 4 February 2002


Women's Unit

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Minister for Women what budgetary provision has been made for the cost of the Women's Unit in the first financial year of its existence. [33057]

Ms Hewitt: The Women's Unit was created in 1998. Its budget for the first financial year of its existence (1998–99) was £1,111,897. The unit was renamed the Women and Equality Unit following last year's general election in order to recognise its new policy responsibilities across the United Kingdom for gender equality, co-ordination of sexual orientation policy and its sponsorship of the Equal Opportunities commission.

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Minister for Women if she will make a statement on how the responsibilities of the Women's Unit differ from the responsibilities of the departmental Ministers for Women. [33122]

Ms Hewitt: In my role as Minister for Women and supported by the Women and Equality Unit, I work closely with Cabinet colleagues, other Government Departments and Number 10 in order to ensure that the Government can bring about practical improvements to women's lives that benefit society as a whole. There are no Ministers for Women assigned to individual Government Departments.


Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Minister for Women what plans she has to make representations to the Department for Work and Pensions to secure improved arrangements for carers. [30870]

Ms Hewitt: In autumn 2000 the Government announced a package of measures to enhance the current social security provision for carers, worth more than £500 million over a three year period. Two of the measures were implemented in April last year. The invalid care allowance (ICA) earnings limit was increased from £50 to £72 per week and the carer premium paid through the income related benefits was increased from £14.15 to £24.40.

On 17 December 2001, the Department for Work and Pensions laid a draft regulatory reform order before Parliament. If accepted, this will give those aged over 65 the right to claim invalid care allowance for the first time; will provide for the extension of entitlement to ICA for up to eight weeks after the death of the person being cared for; and will change the name of the benefit to carer's allowance.

I have no plans to make any representations for further change.

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Devolved Responsibilities

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Minister for Women which matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament her office has involvement in. [33119]

Ms Hewitt: The Women and Equality Unit supports the Ministers for Women in helping to deliver the Government's key priorities. Its aim is to bring about measurable improvements in the position of women which benefit society across the United Kingdom. It works on specific issues on a project basis alongside Number 10 and central Government Departments. Current priorities include helping women to balance their lives at home and work, closing the pay gap, developing policies which help women who want to return to work and the delivery of high quality health and education public services for women. It also has responsibility across the UK for policy and legislation on gender equality and sexual orientation and sponsors the Equal Opportunities Commission as well as ensuring the United Kingdom fulfils its international obligations and raises the profile of women's issues in the EU.


Empty Properties

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of the (a) annual cost and (b) total value of the empty properties owned by (i) her Department, (ii) her agencies and (iii) other public bodies for which she has had responsibility in each of the last four years. [30079]

Ms Hewitt: The Department of Trade and Industry and its agencies have not had any empty freehold properties in any of the last four years. However, the estimated annual costs and total value of empty freehold properties owned by DTI non-departmental public bodies and public corporations for the same period are shown in the tables:

Status/yearEmpty freehold properties Running costs (£)Estimated market value (£)
Other public bodies
Consignia plc(2)
BNFL plc

(1) Regional development agencies (RDAs) are included under NDPBs. RDAs own significant property estates as part of its role as a regeneration agency. The land will be released and sold over a period of many years. RDAs do not own any other non-operational land and buildings.

(2) Consignia do not maintain central records of the number and costs of empty properties for the last four years. To provide the information requested would be at disproportionate cost. However, as of September 2000 there was a total estate of 2,775 properties of which 3.38 per cent. was vacant by number, and 1.5 per cent. vacant by value. In December 2001 there was a total estate of 2,741 of which 2.44 per cent. was vacant by number, and 1.62 per cent. vacant by value.

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Departmental Expenditure (Publications)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her estimate is of the expenditure of her Department on newspapers, magazines and periodicals in each of the last four years. [30092]

Ms Hewitt: My Department's expenditure on newspapers, magazines and periodicals for the years requested was as follows:


This includes expenditure on national daily and Sunday newspapers, regional newspapers, mass circulation magazines and journals, and academic periodicals. It also

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includes expenditure on annual publications, in particular reference works that would not normally be considered as periodicals. It is not possible to exclude such annual publications from the figures, except at disproportionate cost.

MSP Exhibitions

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support has been provided by Trade Partners UK, or its predecessors, to assist military, security and police companies (a) to attend and (b) to exhibit at MSP exhibitions since 1 May 1997; and if she will list the (i) companies, (ii) exhibitions attended and (iii) sums of money involved. [32273]

Ms Hewitt: TPUK provided support to UK companies to attend and exhibit at police, fire and security exhibitions under the terms of the Support for Exhibitions and Seminars Abroad scheme (and its predecessor Trade Fair Support Scheme) at the following exhibitions during this period:

DateEventTownNumber of firmsSupport (£)
September 1997ASISSt. Louis721,310
September 1997IDEFAnkara867,850
September 1997Sitech BerlinBerlin816,110
November 1997A+ADusseldorf1733,078
March 1998Securex South AfricaJohannesburg1223,973
April 1998MIPSMoscow1448,049
April 1998DSAKuala Lumpur34214,682
May 1998CBW ProtectionStockholm1433,862
June 1998EurosatoryParis2092,246
October 1998Security EssenEssen3846,926
November 1998Fire AsiaHong Kong3098,728
February 1999Shot ShowAtlanta1638,325
March 1999Securex South AfricaJohannesburg1017,627
March 1999ISC Expo/Las VegasLas Vegas831,650
March 1999IDEX UAEAbu Dhabi35240,792
March 1999Securex PolandPoznan121,000
April 1999LAD—Latin America DefentechRio de Janeiro2473,442
October 1999Security AsiaSingapore1657,679
October 1999Sitech BerlinBerlin814,574
November 1999ExposecSa~o Paulo730,648
November 1999Milipol—FranceParis1531,935
January 2000IntersecDubai2853,914
February 2000Securex PolandPoznan1025,651
March 2000ISC Expo/Las VegasLas Vegas718,400
June 2000Securitex—Hong KongHong Kong1239,084
June 2000EurosatoryParis2545,189
June 2000InterschutzAugsburg3675,798
July 2000Copex—AsiaSingapore1021,578
July 2000ASEMiami717,294
October 2000Security EssenEssen3764,052
October 2000EuronavalParis2654,870
November 2000ExpoprotectionParis3252,347
November 2000ExposecSa~o Paulo730,167
January 2001IntersecDubai2562,100
February 2001Securex South AfricaJohannesburg932,486
March 2001IWANuremberg1823,208
April 2001MIPSMoscow617,751
April 2001LAD—Latin America DefentechRio de Janeiro1861,466
May 2001Imdex AsiaSingapore3878,896
June 2001CBW ProtectionStockholm1436,684
July 2001ASEMiami1027,087
November 2001ExposecSa~o Paulo937,300
November 2001Milipol—FranceParis1639,541
November 2001Security AsiaSingapore1232,200
January 2002IntersecDubai2562,100

The provisions of the Data Protection Act preclude the release of information about individual firms.

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