4 Feb 2002 : Column 639W
Ms Hewitt: The Women's Unit was created in 1998. Its budget for the first financial year of its existence (199899) 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. 
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.
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.
4 Feb 2002 : Column 640W
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.
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. 
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/year||Empty freehold properties||Running costs (£)||Estimated market value (£)|
|Other public bodies|
(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.
4 Feb 2002 : Column 641W
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. 
4 Feb 2002 : Column 642W
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.
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. 
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:
|Date||Event||Town||Number of firms||Support (£)|
|September 1997||ASIS||St. Louis||7||21,310|
|September 1997||Sitech Berlin||Berlin||8||16,110|
|March 1998||Securex South Africa||Johannesburg||12||23,973|
|April 1998||DSA||Kuala Lumpur||34||214,682|
|May 1998||CBW Protection||Stockholm||14||33,862|
|October 1998||Security Essen||Essen||38||46,926|
|November 1998||Fire Asia||Hong Kong||30||98,728|
|February 1999||Shot Show||Atlanta||16||38,325|
|March 1999||Securex South Africa||Johannesburg||10||17,627|
|March 1999||ISC Expo/Las Vegas||Las Vegas||8||31,650|
|March 1999||IDEX UAE||Abu Dhabi||35||240,792|
|March 1999||Securex Poland||Poznan||12||1,000|
|April 1999||LADLatin America Defentech||Rio de Janeiro||24||73,442|
|October 1999||Security Asia||Singapore||16||57,679|
|October 1999||Sitech Berlin||Berlin||8||14,574|
|November 1999||Exposec||Sa~o Paulo||7||30,648|
|February 2000||Securex Poland||Poznan||10||25,651|
|March 2000||ISC Expo/Las Vegas||Las Vegas||7||18,400|
|June 2000||SecuritexHong Kong||Hong Kong||12||39,084|
|October 2000||Security Essen||Essen||37||64,052|
|November 2000||Exposec||Sa~o Paulo||7||30,167|
|February 2001||Securex South Africa||Johannesburg||9||32,486|
|April 2001||LADLatin America Defentech||Rio de Janeiro||18||61,466|
|May 2001||Imdex Asia||Singapore||38||78,896|
|June 2001||CBW Protection||Stockholm||14||36,684|
|November 2001||Exposec||Sa~o Paulo||9||37,300|
|November 2001||Security Asia||Singapore||12||32,200|
The provisions of the Data Protection Act preclude the release of information about individual firms.
4 Feb 2002 : Column 643W
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|