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10 Apr 2002 : Column 373W
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the total cost to business of the Social Chapter since it was implemented; and if she will make a statement. 
Alan Johnson: European directives adopted as a result of the Social Chapter for which my Department is responsible are parental leave, part-time work, the European works councils, the fixed term contract, information and consultation of employees and the working time (excluded sectors) directives. The directive on the burden of proof in sex discrimination is the responsibility of the Women and Equality Unit at Cabinet Office.
I refer the hon. Member to answer given on 26 March 2002, Official Report, columns 807809, which gave the costs of the regulations implementing the parental leave, part-time work and the European works councils directives.
The fixed term contract, information and consultation of employees and the working time (excluded sectors) directives have not yet been implemented. Estimated costs for the fixed term contract directive are to be found in the consultation document URN 02/547 published in January 2002 and estimated costs for the Information and Consultation of Employees were attached to the Explanatory Memorandum 1309998 of 15 January 1999. Both documents are in the Library of the House. A regulatory impact assessment for the working time directive (excluded sectors) will be prepared prior to going out to consultation on the implementing regulations next year.
Mr. Mullin: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has made to European Commissioner Byrne regarding his proposed ban on the import into the EU of domestic dog and cat fur; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: The Commission, like the UK Government are aware of some concerns on animal welfare grounds of the import into the EU of domestic cat and dog fur. We understand there are presently no Commission proposals to ban these products. The UK Government, as my noble Friend the Minister for Trade said in a statement to the Lords and in a letter to all Members of Parliament last November, has undertaken to explore the current situation in the UK before considering the issue on the grounds of what is practical, proportionate and enforceable.
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many letters her Department received (a) in favour of and (b) opposing the decision on developing a wind farm site at Cefn Croes in Wales. 
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Petitions against586 signatures
Letters of support106
Petitions for215 signatures.
Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations have been made to the EU on the implications for UK jobs of dumping of polyester film products by Indian manufacturers. 
Ms Hewitt: My Department has received no recent representations from UK industry on this matter, and have made no recent representations to the European Commission. European Community definitive anti- dumping measures were imposed on imports of polyester film from India on 24 August 2001.
Mr. Wilson: I am advised by BNFL that closure of the Chapelcross nuclear power station is currently projected to take place between 2008 and 2010. It is anticipated that decommissioning will begin immediately thereafter.
The next reform of the Structural Funds must ensure that they contribute better to the Lisbon agenda of improving Europe's competitiveness and modernising its economies. I believe that improvements are needed in both the effectiveness of the funds and the means to evaluate their impact and added value. Also, greater efforts must be made to simplify the funds and remove unnecessary bureaucracy, while maintaining proper financial control.
While my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has not attended any formal discussions with the European Commission on this issue, officials in the Department of Trade and Industry have participated in a number of relevant meetings and events including the Cohesion Forum organised by the
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Commission in Brussels in May 2001. In addition, I attended the Namur Informal Council on Regional Policy in July of last year. In May of this year officials in the Department will participate in the Commission's seminars on the 10 priorities highlighted in the "Second Cohesion Report" in May.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the extent of competition between accounting companies; and if she will refer to the competition authorities the five largest firms which operate in the United Kingdom. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: Under UK competition legislation, the Director General of Fair Trading is responsible for monitoring markets and considering allegations of anti competitive behaviour. The Director General is best placed to consider these issues.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the average figures for European unleaded petrol in each country of the EU in price per litre, with the amount of tax paid and the percentage of tax this represents. 
|Pump price||Amount of tax||Tax component per cent.|
(103) Prices converted to pounds sterling using mid-December exchange rates.
European Commission Oil Bulletin
Ms Hewitt: The scoping study took account of developments in the IT market and recommended some interim steps to be taken as part of developing a way forward on e-procurement within the Department. The Department is now involved in an e-procurement pilot with OGC which is due to conclude at the end of June.
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