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Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many insolvencies by (a) creditors voluntary liquidation, (b) receivership, (c) compulsory liquidation, (d) administration and (e) company voluntary
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arrangement there were in (i) 1997, (ii) 1998, (iii) 1999, (iv) 2000 and (v) 2001 in (A) St. Helens, South, (B) St. Helens, MBC area, (C) Merseyside, (D) Manchester, (E) the north-west regional development area, (F) other regional development areas and (G) England. 
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Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 21 March 2002]: Information on the regional basis requested is not available. The table shows the different types of insolvency for each year from 1997 to 2001 for England and Wales.
|(a) Creditors voluntary liquidations||7,875||7,987||9,071||9,392||10,297|
|(c) Compulsory liquidation||4,735||5,216||5,209||4,925||4,675|
|(e) Company voluntary arrangements||629||470||475||557||597|
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her Department's policy is regarding bankruptcy; and what her policy is on measures to deter individuals and companies from seeking bankruptcy terms. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Department's policy on bankruptcy is set out in the White Paper "Insolvency A Second Chance" (Cm 5234), which is available in the Libraries of the House. There are no plans to deter individuals or companies from entering into insolvency proceedings, which still have an important role to play in the resolution of financial difficulties.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with the takeover panel in respect of the merger between P&O Princess and Royal Caribbean Cruises. 
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on (a) the decision by the US Government to impose tariffs on steel imports and (b) the impact on the UK steel industry of the decision; and what assistance she will provide to the UK steel industry. 
The direct impact on the UK steel industry of the additional US tariffs on their steel imports is likely to be a marked reduction in the approximately 300,000 tonnes of UK steel exports to the United States. The indirect impact of US imports being deflected to the EU is of potentially greater significance.
The Department works closely with the UK steel industry to provide support to improve the sector's competitiveness, for example through the Metals Industry Competitiveness Enterprise and the National Metals Technology Centre.
Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact of US tariffs on the import of steel on the steel industry in south-east Wales; and what action she intends to take. 
Mr. Wilson: The direct impact on the UK steel industry of the additional US tariffs on their steel imports is likely to be a marked reduction in the approximately 300,000 tonnes of UK steel exports to the United States. The indirect impact of US imports being deflected to the EU is of potentially greater significance.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will ensure that the bioenergy capital grants scheme is sufficiently flexible to support small and medium sized enterprises, 
Mr. Wilson: After considerable consultation with the industry conducted by my Department and the New Opportunities Fund (NOF), we have recently put forward the initial details of the bioenergy capital grants scheme on our website. The initial design takes into account the policy directions which accompany the NOF funding and the recommendations of the Performance and Innovation Unit which accompany the DTI funding. There is no limit to the size of organisation which can be involved, but we envisage setting minimum project sizes to ensure appropriate economies of scale, appropriate electrical efficiency and sufficient supply chain development.
There may also be scope for support for smaller-scale biomass projects within our forthcoming community and household grants scheme which we are currently developing under the Sustainable Energy Research and Development Programme.
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Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what estimate she has made of the cost to the British economy of the waste electrical and electronic equipment directive using the methodology set out in the draft document; 
Mr. Wilson [holding answer 12 March 2002]: An updated partial regulatory impact assessment (RIA) will be placed in the Libraries of the House this month. Based on the latest draft of the directive, the RIA suggests the annual compliance costs of implementing the directive will lie in the range £191 million to £391 million.
Industry estimates suggest that, by weight, around half of the total UK electrical goods waste arisings currently enter a recycling/recovery process on an economic basis. There will be a cost associated with disposal of the remainder. This will primarily relate to landfilling costs.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received from greetings card manufacturers and retailers about the inclusion of musical greeting cards within the scope of the proposed waste electrical and electronic equipment directive. 
Mr. Wilson: The Government will continue with actions to put downward pressure on prices. The Government's Fuel Poverty Strategy also sets out a range of programmes to improve the energy efficiency of homes of the fuel poor. This will help households in fuel poverty and minimise the impact of any possible increases in energy prices. The Government are committed to monitor and report on progress in tackling fuel poverty.
|Sustainable energy research:|
|DTI programme||Research councils||Fusion research|
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Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 14 February 2002, Official Report, column 520W, on the single tier exemption, what representations were made to her Department for an additional exemption from the relevant provisions of the trading schemes legislation for trading schemes with more than a single master franchise in the UK during (a) the consultation in 1996 and (b) lobbying for the amending SI 1997 No. 1887; and if she will place in the Library the description of Government policy on multi-level trading provided to those requesting additional exemptions during the lobbying for SI No. 1887; and if she will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 11 March 2002]: At the time of the Trading Schemes Act 1996 and the introduction of supporting subordinate legislation in 1997, parts of the franchise industry proposed exclusion of schemes with more than one master franchiser in the UK.
In response to some of the representations made, the subordinate legislation was amended to reflect more accurately the policy of excluding from regulatory control master franchise operations in which only the UK master franchiser would benefit from the recruitment of others to the scheme. However, it was decided that schemes with more than one master franchiser could leave a loophole allowing illegitimate schemes to avoid regulatory controls.
not to burden legitimate business, particularly the franchise sector, with unnecessary regulation.
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