Written Parliamentary Questions: 9th November 2005
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which day in 2006 has been earmarked for the return of the football World Cup trophy to England in the event of victory in Germany.(John Hemming)A:
In the event of the England football team being victorious at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, suitable arrangements to celebrate this success and to welcome both the team and trophy home will be made with the relevant authorities. (Richard Caborn, Minister of State, Department of Culture, Media and Sport).Wholesale Gas Prices IQ:
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the likely variability of wholesale gas prices during winter 2005–06. (John Hemming)A:
Variability, or volatility, is a normal part of the working of a well-functioning commodity market. Current UK wholesale spot gas prices are determined by the price of oil and the day-to-day balance between demand and supply in the UK gas market.
When the market is tight small changes in demand and supply will have a bigger impact on price volatility than if the market were over-supplied. The balance of demand and supply, and thus the volatility of prices, will depend on many external factors, including the weather and the availability of storage facilities or import infrastructure on a day-to-day basis. In view of the unpredictability of many of these factors it is not possible to make accurate estimates of future price volatility. (Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry)Wholesale Gas Prices IIQ:
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the impact of the practice of straddling, whereby a domestic retail supplier sells gas at a fixed price and buys gas at a variable wholesale price.(John Hemming)A:
The Government have not undertaken an assessment of this practice. Pricing decisions in the retails gas market are a commercial matter for suppliers.(Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry)