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Electronic Databases

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Berwick- upon-Tweed (Mr. Beith), of 22 May 2002, Official Report, column 319W, on electronic databases, if he will list the categories under which information is held in the electronic databases, including the general information database. [61565]

The Prime Minister: The parliamentary section database contains the text of oral and written parliamentary questions tabled to the Prime Minister, the answers given, and the name of the MP, their party and constituency taken from the list of Members on the House of Commons website.

The general information database contains policy briefing, public material which includes the Prime Minister's answers to parliamentary questions, speeches, articles and No. 10 press notices and a virtual Library with links to publicly available electronic reference sources.

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Members of Parliament (Personal Data)

Mr. Forth: To ask the Prime Minister what information is held by his Office on each hon. Member in relation to (a) personal relationships, both current and past, (b) financial status and dealings, (c) connections with companies and interest groups, (d) connections with Governments and (e) published works; and what information was held in January. [61817]

The Prime Minister: My Office has access to published reference sources, as well as to the information about hon. Members made publicly available by the House authorities, for the purpose of parliamentary business.


Tony Cunningham: To ask the Prime Minister what changes have been made in the composition of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Assembly of the Western European Union. [63957]

The Prime Minister: My hon. Friend the Member for Reading, East (Jane Griffiths) has been appointed as a substitute Member in place of my hon. Friend the Member for Rossendale and Darwen (Janet Anderson).


Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Prime Minister on what day the hon. Member for Swindon, North offered his resignation as Parliamentary Secretary in the Lord Chancellor's Department; and on what day the hon. Member for Swindon, North was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Home Office. [62421]

The Prime Minister: The hon. Member for Swindon, North offered his resignation as Parliamentary Secretary in the Lord Chancellor's Department on 29 May. He was appointed as an unpaid Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Home Office on 31 May.

He will be responsible for driving forward progress on delivering efficient and effective IT across the civil and criminal justice systems and identifying and driving forward the reform to business processes and working practices required, alongside IT investment, to deliver a modern and joined-up criminal justice system.

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Trading Schemes Act

Miss Begg: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many prosecutions have been brought under the Trading Schemes Act 1996; and how many have been successful. [62431]

Miss Melanie Johnson: No prosecutions have been brought by the Department under the Trading Schemes Act 1996.

European Structural Funds

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent assessment she has made of the estimate of the draw down of European structural funds. [60341]

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Alan Johnson: The latest assessment for the core 2000–06 structural funds programmes is set out in the table.

The objective 1 regions are on course to avoid decommitment. As the first decommitment date for objective 2 regions is 31 December 2003, it is too early to say whether the n+2 targets will be met. However we have instigated a regular monitoring procedure to ensure that there is ample warning of any potential problem.

Objectives 1 and 2 in Scotland and Wales are matters respectively for the Scottish Executive and the National Assembly for Wales. However, I understand that the relevant figures have been provided by these Administrations.

£ million

AreaCommitted grantCommitted grant as percentage of total allocationGrant paidGrant paid as percentage of total allocation
Objective 1
South Yorkshire226.3531.9259.058.33
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly96.330.9526.098.39
West Wales and the Valleys320.
Objective 2
Yorkshire and Humberside63.2419.52.660.82
East England3.293.400
East Midlands20.698.80.540.23
West Midlands30.825.80.040.01
East Wales(3),(4)1.703.40.190.38
East of Scotland50.3132.95.673.71
South of Scotland(4)18.8342.0(5)2.545.66
Western Scotland42.1314.31.950.66

(3) The East Wales figures apply solely to the objective 2 programme and do not include figures from the associated transitional objective 2 and 5b programme.

(4) As at 31 March 2002

(5) To 31 December 2001

Minimum Wage

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people aged (a) between 18 and 21 and (b) over 21 years are receiving the national minimum wage; and if she will make a statement. [63369]

Alan Johnson: Around 1.5 million low paid workers were entitled to higher minimum rates of pay when the rates were increased to £4.10 an hour for workers aged 22 and over and £3.50 for those aged 18 to 21 on 1 October 2001. Around one in 15 of the beneficiaries are people aged 18 to 21.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many families are in receipt of the national minimum wage in the Portsmouth, South constituency; and if she will make a statement. [63372]

Alan Johnson: Estimates for beneficiaries of the national minimum wage by parliamentary constituency are not available.

Around 100,000 people in the south-east stood to benefit from the October 2001 increase in the national minimum wage.

Arms Exports

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions her Department has had with the Department for International Development about reviewing criterion 8 of the consolidated criteria against which the Government assesses licence applications to export arms and dual-use equipment. [62669]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 19 June 2002]: As announced by my noble Friend the Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 4 March 2002 in another place, Official Report, column 73, the Cabinet Office is currently leading a discussion on how criterion 8 of the consolidated criteria—the sustainable development criterion—can most effectively be applied in assessing relevant export licence applications.

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This discussion involves all Government Departments with an interest, not just the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for International Development, and addresses the need for clearer procedures for reaching decisions where sustainable development is an issue, rather than any change in policy with regard to criterion 8 of the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.

Privatised Utilities

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what responsibility she has for setting Government policy with regard to the independence of the economic regulators of the privatised utilities. [62303]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 17 June 2002]: The composition, role, duties and responsibilities of the sectoral regulators are set out in the relevant primary legislation. The legislation typically ascribes certain duties and functions to the Secretary of State including, for example, the making of appointments to the regulatory bodies. The Department deals with the regulators for the gas, electricity, telecommunications, and postal services sectors.

UK Online (Disabled People)

Mr. Lyons: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what checks are made to ensure organisations funded through UK online give access to people with a disability. [62307]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: I have been asked to reply.

People with disabilities were identified as one of main target groups for UK online centres and disabled access in centres was an important measure in the assessment process. This was carried through in the monitoring checks that the regional Government Offices (GOs) administer to ensure centres comply with contractual and legal obligations. The number of monitoring checks by the GOs will vary in relation to the individual centre.

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