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Volume 281: debated on Wednesday 17 July 1996

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment he has made of the advantages of introducing the draft code of practice for fireworks being drawn up by trading standards officers. [36072]

The draft code of practice produced by the fireworks industry will be considered along with other comments I expect to receive in response to the forthcoming discussion document on firework controls.

I thank the Minister for that answer. As a former health and safety inspector and a mother of two young sons, I am horrified by the increase in firework accidents which has followed the Government's deregulation of import controls since 1994. What plans has the Minister to control specific dangerous fireworks, such as aerial shells, which have already claimed one life, before November this year?

I am concerned about fireworks, especially imported ones, and I am especially concerned about the safety of young people. I am considering the draft industry code of practice and I am anxious to support trading standards officers. I will issue a discussion document shortly and will take account of all the responses, especially from trading standards officers. We will run a strong fireworks safety campaign this year.

I urge my hon. Friend not to be seduced by the sparkle of the hon. Member for Dagenham (Ms Church). Will my hon. Friend consider what real fireworks would be ignited if we imposed a national minimum wage and the social chapter and if we increased taxation and public expenditure under new Labour?

Order. I am sorry, but this question concerns fireworks. The hon. Member for Colchester, North (Mr. Jenkin) was not ingenious enough and we will move on.