Previous Section Index Home Page

24 July 2006 : Column 1029W—continued

EU Directives

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the cost was to his Department of implementing and administering EU directives, regulations and policies decided in 2005-06. [86751]

Mr. McCartney: The Department hold no records centrally relating to the origin of regulations and policies. The length of development, negotiation and implementation varies enormously from policy to policy and it would be hard to obtain a meaningful figure. Deriving such figures would incur a disproportionate cost. All proposals, which impact on business, charities or the voluntary sector, require a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) which includes details of the costs, benefits and risks of the proposal. Costs to Government including enforcement costs are included in the RIA. Copies of final RIAs are placed in the Libraries of the House.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many full-time equivalent staff are employed in his Department to implement and administer EU directives, regulations and policies. [86753]

Mr. McCartney: The Department does not record the cost or the number of staff required for negotiating and implementing regulatory directives, regulations and policies emanating from Europe.

Food Trading Relationships

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many representations his Department has received on the trading relationships through the food supply chain from primary producers to supermarkets in each of the last three years. [87517]

Mr. McCartney: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, myself, our predecessors and DTI officials have received a significant number of representations,
24 July 2006 : Column 1030W
including from the Association of Convenience Stores, the British Retail Consortium, supplier representatives, the Independent Retailers Association, the National Consumer Council, individual members of the public, interested MPs and the major supermarkets.

Figures for the number of representations are not held centrally.

Fuel Bills

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much on average domestic gas and electricity bills have increased in real terms between the first quarter of 2003 and the most recent quarter for which information is available. [87435]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information is as follows:

Domestic gas prices have risen by 31 per cent. in real terms in the first quarter of 2006 compared to the first quarter of 2003. This increase has resulted in domestic gas prices being at their highest level since the third quarter of 1988.

Domestic electricity prices have risen by 20 per cent. in real terms in the first quarter of 2006 compared to the first quarter of 2003. Despite this increase, prices are still 12 per cent. below 1990 levels in real terms.

Fuel Supply Mix Options

Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment his Department has made of the fuel supply mix options for the power generation sector that would be available should a policy decision be taken not to enable new nuclear plants to be built. [82095]

Malcolm Wicks: In its Energy Review Report, published on 11 July, the Government concluded that, over the next few years, new investment in power generation is likely to be in renewables and gas-fired power stations. Longer term there are other low carbon forms of generation that can contribute to meeting our goals. In particular, the Government concluded that new nuclear power stations could make a significant contribution to meeting our energy policy goals. It will be for the power sector to initiate, fund, construct and operate new power generation and to meet all associated costs.

Furniture Imports

Mr. Baron: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will reply to the letter of 18 April 2006 from the hon. Member for Billericay about sofas imported from eastern Europe. [70339]

Mr. Darling [holding answer 12 May 2006]: A response to this letter was sent on 24 May.

Grant Schemes

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much he expects will be distributed to companies under grant schemes administered by the Department in 2006-07. [86752]

24 July 2006 : Column 1031W

Margaret Hodge: The Department of Trade and Industry expects to distribute £314 million to companies under the grant schemes for 2006-07.

Heat Delivery Networks

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what work his Department sponsors into the development of local distributed networks for heat delivery. [87634]

Malcolm Wicks: The DTI co-chairs with Ofgem the Electricity Networks Strategy Group. This is a body made up of industry representatives who advise on how the networks can help deliver energy goals. Work programmes, largely funded by the DTI, research a variety of issues. Previous work has addressed barriers which prevented distributed generation connecting to the network. This has helped remove barriers to the development of combined heat and power.

24 July 2006 : Column 1032W

High Energy-Using Industries

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the change in the number of jobs in (a) ceramics, (b) glass, (c) paper and (d) other high energy using industries was in the last year for which figures are available. [86756]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Changes in the average yearly employment between 2003 and 2004 for the 15 highest energy using production industry groups (3-digit Standard Industrial Classification level, except for construction) in terms of consumption of tonnes of oil equivalents are shown in the table. Information is included for the ceramics production industry groups, which are not high energy using industries applying this definition.

UK energy consumption Average yearly employment, UK
2003 (Thousand) 2003 (Thousand) 2004 (Thousand) Thousand Percentage

Manufacture of refined petroleum products(1)






Manufacture of basic chemicals






Manufacture of coke oven products(1)






Manufacture of plastic products






Manufacture of basic iron and steel and of ferro-alloys






Manufacture of other food products






Manufacture of articles of paper and paperboard






Printing and service activities related to printing






Manufacture of cement, lime and plaster






Manufacture of basic precious and non-ferrous metals






Manufacture of beverages






Manufacture of pharmaceuticals, medicinal chemicals and botanical products






Manufacture of rubber products












Manufacture of glass and glass products






Manufacture of non-refractory ceramic goods other than for construction purposes; refractory ceramic products






Manufacture of ceramic tiles and flags






(1) Employment information provided for these industries is for the 2-digit manufacture of coke, refined petroleum products and nuclear fuel, as information at the 3-digit industry group level has been suppressed to avoid disclosure.
1. DTI UK energy industrial consumption tables.
2. ONS Annual Business Inquiry.

Home Computer Initiative Scheme

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date his most recent assessment of the Home Computer Initiative scheme was passed to the Treasury; and if he will place a copy in the Library. [64380]

Mr. Darling: [holding answer 19 April 2006]: I would like to apologise to the hon. Member for the delay in replying to the matter raised. In response to his query I can confirm that the DTI have regular discussions with the Treasury on budgetary initiatives. We do not publish details of these for reasons of confidentiality.

Hydro Power

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the potential for development of low-head hydro power in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Wales in the Energy Review. [87632]

Malcolm Wicks: In 1987 the then Department of Energy commissioned the University of Salford to
24 July 2006 : Column 1033W
undertake a comprehensive assessment of the economic potential for small-scale hydro-electric generation throughout the UK.

The scope of the study extended to sites with installed capacities in the range 25kW to 5MW. Further limiting conditions were to disregard sites with hydraulic heads of less than 2 metres, with existing civil works, or less than 3 metres with no existing civil works.

The comprehensive results of the study were published in report, "Small Scale Hydroelectricity Generation Potential in the UK" ETSU-SSH-4063 (Parts 1-3), a copy of which is available in the Libraries of the House.

Information Tribunal

John Penrose: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what dates communication between his Department and Treasury Counsel took place on the subject of Appeal No. EA/2005/0023 to the Information Tribunal, broken down by type of communication. [72393]

Jim Fitzpatrick: I can neither confirm nor deny whether communication of any type took place between the Department and Treasury Counsel in relation to the Appeal No. EA/2005/0023 to the Information Tribunal. There is a public interest that decisions taken by government are taken in a fully informed legal context, to ensure good decision-making. Disclosure of whether the Department has sought legal advice has a significant potential to prejudice the government's ability to defend its legal interests.

The decision neither to confirm nor deny the existence of information in this case should not be taken as an indication that the information does, in fact, exist. The concern is to protect the public interest by ensuring that the Department is at all times able to seek legal advice in an uninhibited fashion where it is appropriate to do so.

IT Contracts

Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the value was of each IT contract awarded by his Department in each of the last five years; and who the contractor was in each case. [88977]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department has a main information technology contract which is a private finance initiative (PFI) agreement with Fujitsu Services and has been in place for more than five years. The Department has also recently awarded a competed services framework arrangement to six other suppliers and this will enable an element of additional competition for future IT projects. To-date no significant contracts have been awarded to these suppliers.

For the Department’s PFI agreement with Fujitsu, covering desktop services and application development and support, spend in the last five years has been:

Next Section Index Home Page