§ Mr. Bellingham
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate her Department has made of the annual cost to business of employers'514W liability compulsory insurance in the last five years; by how much it has increased since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Browne
I have been asked to reply.
It is possible to estimate the annual cost to business of employers' liability compulsory insurance by looking at the total premiums written by insurers.
Gross written premiums earned (£million) 1997 1,151 1998 993 1999 906 2000 821 2001 1,093
It is important to note that the amount raised in premiums will depend on a range of factors including number of staff employed and average earnings.
Figures are not yet available for 2002. However, it is clear that insurance premiums have risen significantly over the last two years.
I refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement that was given on 3 June 2003, Official Report, columns 1–2WS, announcing the publication of the report that looked at the issue.