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Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what financial support the Government have offered to the construction industry during the current economic downturn; and if he will make a statement; 
Ian Lucas: The Government recognise the importance of the Construction Industry to the economy. In 2007 the construction industry, including contracting, products and services, accounted for 9 per cent. of GVA. Construction contracting by itself contributed 6 per cent. of GVA. These figures are based on the Annual Business inquiry published by ONS in June 2009, which are the latest data source the Department has at hand. The public sector is especially important to the construction industry. Some 30 per cent. of all construction work is procured by the public sector, rising to 40 per cent. if PFI projects are included.
In order to help preserve jobs and skills, at the time of the 2008 pre-Budget report the Government announced that it was bringing forward £3 billion of capital expenditure from financial year 2010-11 to financial years 2008-09 and 2009-10, to be spent on motorways, schools, GPs' surgeries, flood defences and improving the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock.
In addition, in the Budget the Chancellor announced a £600 million cash injection for the housing market to help kick-start stalled projects and to build more energy efficient homes, including £50 million to modernise armed forces' accommodation.
The Construction Industry like other sectors has benefited from the Government's recapitalisation of the banks and the restoration of stability to the financial sector. The UK is the first country in the world to have negotiated legally binding lending commitments with banks receiving state support, and both RBS and the Lloyd's Banking Group have committed to additional net lending over the next 12 months.
The Construction Industry is dominated by Small and Medium Sized Enterprises. Like other sectors of
the economy, the industry has benefited from the Government's "Real Help for Business Now" initiative, including:
The Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme: enabling banks to lend an extra £1.3 billion to small and medium-sized businesses with viable business plans that can not access normal commercial lending;
Extra lending capacity: made available through the European Investment Bank;
The Working Capital Scheme: provides guarantees to banks for existing business lending, so freeing up more capital for new loans;
Up to six months' Trade Credit Insurance Top-Up, backed by the Government and available for businesses where cover has been reduced due to the recession.
The Government would shortly appoint a Chief Construction Adviser to lead the low carbon review of the Construction Industry to ensure the industry is "fit for purpose" for delivering a low carbon future. The Chief Construction Adviser will also chair a new Construction Category Board, which will build on the work of the existing Public Sector Construction Clients Forum, to oversee the implementation and further the development of best value in Government construction procurement.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with which organisations his Department and its predecessors have had exclusivity agreements relating to information technology (a) hardware and (b) software in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Timms: While the Department's main IT infrastructure services are provided through agreements with Fujitsu Services, covering desktop services, web infrastructure services, and document management, these agreements are not exclusive. The Department also has in place alternative framework contracts with a number of other IT suppliers (following competitive tendering) and also has access to a number of OGC framework contracts should specific and specialised services be required.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 26 October 2009, Official Report, column 116W, on departmental internet, what Twitter accounts are maintained by his Department; and what estimate he has made of the cost of maintaining and updating each such account in 2009-10. 
The estimated cost of staff time in maintaining and updating all three accounts is £3,175 a year. The task is the shared responsibility of the Department's Digital Communications team as part of their overall range of duties and the total effort is estimated as half an hour per day. No staff are assigned to Twitter work specifically.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 650W, on ministerial responsibility, how many hours per week and what proportion of his working time the Minister for Digital Britain spent discharging his ministerial duties as Minister for Digital Britain. 
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to the answer of 1 May 2008, Official Report, column 574W, on the East of England Development Agency: Fishburn Hedges, how much the East of England Development Agency has paid to external
public relations, public affairs and marketing agencies in each year since its establishment; to which firms such payments were made; for what services each such payment was made; and what the value was of each such payment. 
EEDA has an in-house team that manage the corporate communications of EEDA. However, we do use agencies to provide support across EEDA's wide range of activities and services on a project basis. This is to help publicise EEDA's full range of support services to businesses in the region, support major campaigns to promote services and products and assist in production of key publications including the Regional Economic Strategy (RES). The majority of the agencies used provide marketing support.
(1) 2002 is the earliest we are able to provide a fall breakdown from. Please note, these figures have been extracted from financial records and are excluding VAT.
|Supplier name||2002 / 03 (£)||2003 / 04 (£)||2004 / 05 (£)||2005 / 06 (£)||2006 / 07 (£)||2007 / 08 (£)||2008 / 09 (£)||Service|
Marketing support for development of major business campaigns including TakeITon - an IT support campaign, Business finance products including Grants for Research and Development and other business support products
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