Written statements

Government Ministers and a small number of other Members of the two Houses can make a written statement to one or both Houses.

From 17 November 2014, written statements are published below shortly after receipt in Parliament. On the day of publication, Commons statements are also available on the Today's Written Statements page.

Written statements are also reproduced in the next edition of the Daily Report and of Hansard in the relevant House.

Written statements made before 17 November 2014 were published only in Hansard:

Show
Find by:
Close

WSID

Written Statement Indentifying Number – Every written statement in the House of Commons and House of Lords has a WSID per parliamentary session.
Showing 81-100 out of 1002
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100
Expand all statements
Print selected
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 13 January 2016
Made by: Baroness Stowell of Beeston (The Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Appointment to the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

My Rt Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made the following statement to the House of Commons:

This written ministerial statement confirms that Lord Wright of Richmond has been appointed as a substitute member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in place of Baroness O’Loan.

WS
Prime Minister
Made on: 13 January 2016
Made by: Mr David Cameron (Prime Minister)
Commons

Appointment to the UK Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

This written ministerial statement confirms that Lord Wright of Richmond has been appointed as a substitute member of the United Kingdom Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in place of Baroness O’Loan.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 13 January 2016
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
Lords

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Trading Fund Review

My hon Friend the Minister of State for Defence Procurement (Mr Philip Dunne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am announcing today that following a review of its status, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) will continue to remain an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), but its Trading Fund status will be revoked from April 2017.

Since its creation in 2001, Dstl has been at the forefront of National Security, working with international partners and industry to deliver a range of high-impact science and technology solutions, such as developing life-saving armour and deploying scientists to contain the Ebola outbreak. I am pleased to report that the review has strongly reaffirmed the ongoing need for Dstl’s services for both Defence and wider National Security.

In order for Dstl to continue to fulfil this role, the Review has recommended that Dstl continues as an Executive Agency of the MOD. This will be the most effective and efficient option for the future of Dstl because it preserves the flexibility and agility Dstl has to work across the MOD, wider Government and internationally, but will also promote greater efficiency in the delivery of Science and Technology, and bring about a renewed focus on strategic partnerships with our allies, other laboratories, academia and industry. However, because Dstl’s income comes largely from customers within Government, it has been agreed that Dstl can no longer remain a Trading Fund and will come within the ambit of the Defence vote from 1 April 2017.

Dstl has a bright future within MOD, and will continue to play a key part in delivering the MOD’s Science and Technology Strategy as well as supporting the rest of Government on vital national security tasks and our international partners. The Strategic Defence and Security Review has re-iterated the importance of science, technology and innovation in meeting our national security needs into the future and the retention of Dstl as an MOD Agency fully supports the delivery of that strategy.

There is now more work to do in order to transition Dstl’s organisational status and I look forward to seeing the changes recommended by the Review becoming operational by April 2017.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 13 January 2016
Made by: Baroness Anelay of St Johns (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
Lords

North Korean Nuclear Test

My right Honourable Friend, the Secretary for State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Philip Hammond), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

At 0400 GMT on 6 January North Korean state media claimed that it had successfully conducted its first hydrogen bomb test at 0130 GMT. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation reported seismic signatures with a magnitude of 4.85, consistent with previous North Korean nuclear tests. We assess that the size of the seismic event caused by the nuclear test, while indicative of a nuclear explosion, is not indicative of the successful test of a thermonuclear weapon (also known as a hydrogen bomb); however this nuclear test is a serious violation of UN Security Council resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2094. North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme poses a significant threat to international security and regional stability. North Korea’s repeated provocations hinder the prospects for lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.

On 6 January I issued a statement strongly condemning the nuclear test as a grave breach of UN Security Council resolutions. While travelling in the region last week I spoke to my South Korean, Japanese and Chinese counterparts about the international response. I have also spoken to the US Secretary of State. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), summoned the North Korean Ambassador to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 7 January in order to underline, in the strongest terms, the UK’s firm condemnation of this nuclear test and to make clear to North Korea that it can either engage constructively with the international community, or face increasing isolation and further action by the international community.

We worked to secure, and strongly support, the UN Security Council’s swift condemnation of this nuclear test in its statement following its emergency meeting on 6 January. The Security Council agreed that this North Korean nuclear test was a clear violation of existing Security Council resolutions; and that there should be a robust response including immediate work on further significant measures in a new Security Council resolution.

The UK remains deeply concerned by North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. We continue to urge North Korea to return to credible and authentic multilateral talks on its nuclear programme, to abide by its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and to permit full access by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS464
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 13 January 2016
Made by: Mr Philip Dunne (Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) )
Commons

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Trading Fund Review

I am announcing today that following a review of its status, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) will continue to remain an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), but its Trading Fund status will be revoked from April 2017.

Since its creation in 2001, Dstl has been at the forefront of National Security, working with international partners and industry to deliver a range of high-impact science and technology solutions, such as developing life-saving armour and deploying scientists to contain the Ebola outbreak. I am pleased to report that the review has strongly reaffirmed the ongoing need for Dstl’s services for both Defence and wider National Security.

In order for Dstl to continue to fulfil this role, the Review has recommended that Dstl continues as an Executive Agency of the MOD. This will be the most effective and efficient option for the future of Dstl because it preserves the flexibility and agility Dstl has to work across the MOD, wider Government and internationally, but will also promote greater efficiency in the delivery of Science and Technology, and bring about a renewed focus on strategic partnerships with our allies, other laboratories, academia and industry. However, because Dstl’s income comes largely from customers within Government, it has been agreed that Dstl can no longer remain a Trading Fund and will come within the ambit of the Defence vote from 1 April 2017.

Dstl has a bright future within MOD, and will continue to play a key part in delivering the MOD’s Science and Technology Strategy as well as supporting the rest of Government on vital national security tasks and our international partners. The Strategic Defence and Security Review has re-iterated the importance of science, technology and innovation in meeting our national security needs into the future and the retention of Dstl as an MOD Agency fully supports the delivery of that strategy.

There is now more work to do in order to transition Dstl’s organisational status and I look forward to seeing the changes recommended by the Review becoming operational by April 2017.

WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 13 January 2016
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Secretary for State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

North Korean Nuclear Test

At 0400 GMT on 6 January North Korean state media claimed that it had successfully conducted its first hydrogen bomb test at 0130 GMT. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation reported seismic signatures with a magnitude of 4.85, consistent with previous North Korean nuclear tests. We assess that the size of the seismic event caused by the nuclear test, while indicative of a nuclear explosion, is not indicative of the successful test of a thermonuclear weapon (also known as a hydrogen bomb); however this nuclear test is a serious violation of UN Security Council resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087 and 2094. North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programme poses a significant threat to international security and regional stability. North Korea’s repeated provocations hinder the prospects for lasting peace on the Korean peninsula.

On 6 January I issued a statement strongly condemning the nuclear test as a grave breach of UN Security Council resolutions. While travelling in the region last week I spoke to my South Korean, Japanese and Chinese counterparts about the international response. I have also spoken to the US Secretary of State. The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for East Devon (Mr Swire), summoned the North Korean Ambassador to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on 7 January in order to underline, in the strongest terms, the UK’s firm condemnation of this nuclear test and to make clear to North Korea that it can either engage constructively with the international community, or face increasing isolation and further action by the international community.

We worked to secure, and strongly support, the UN Security Council’s swift condemnation of this nuclear test in its statement following its emergency meeting on 6 January. The Security Council agreed that this North Korean nuclear test was a clear violation of existing Security Council resolutions; and that there should be a robust response including immediate work on further significant measures in a new Security Council resolution.

The UK remains deeply concerned by North Korea’s continued development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. We continue to urge North Korea to return to credible and authentic multilateral talks on its nuclear programme, to abide by its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and to permit full access by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS455
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Gifting of equipment to the 4th Land Border Regiment of the Lebanese Armed Forces

It is the normal practice when a government department proposes to make a gift of a value exceeding £300,000 for the department concerned to present to the House of Commons a minute giving particulars of the gift and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from making the gift until fourteen parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the minute, except in cases of special urgency.

The crisis in Syria is having a direct effect on its neighbours, particularly in areas adjacent to Lebanon’s eastern border. The UK remains firmly committed to Lebanon’s stability, and in supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to minimise contagion from the Syrian conflict, and to combat the spread of Daesh. As part of this commitment, since 2012, the UK has been assisting the LAF, through the Rapid Land Border Security Assistance Project, to establish and mentor the LAF Land Border Regiments (LBRs). The mission of the LBRs is to observe, identify, deter and deny activities by illegal armed actors in the near border areas, in line with agreed international human rights standards. Between 2012 and 2015 around £26m of Conflict Pool and Conflict Security Stability funds were allocated to provide observation, protection, mobility and communications equipment to 1, 2, and 3LBRs, and to establish the lead elements of a 4th LBR, as well as a programme of training and mentoring.

The command element of 4LBR has been established, and 4LBR is preparing its deployment plan to cover the remaining 25% of the borders with Syria from Arsal to Masnaa. Recent actions in the Arsal area, and the threat that Daesh poses to UK interests, make it imperative that the LAF completes the expansion of the LBRs southwards, as part of an overall strategy to bring the entire eastern border with Syria back under the authority of the State.

Subject to assessment under the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, we intend to gift a package of £967,450.00 of Personal protection equipment to start the establishment of the 4th Land Border Regiment of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The proposed gift will be funded by the Government’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund and will consist of the following UK sourced equipment:

  • Personal Protective Equipment. £967,450.00

The proposed gift is being scrutinised to ensure that it is consistent with export controls and complies with our international obligations. The proposed gift has been scrutinised and approved by a senior, cross-Whitehall Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) Approval Board, which has confirmed that it fits with the Government’s strategic and delivery objectives. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials also assessed the project for human rights risks, using the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance guidelines established by the Foreign Secretary in 2011.

The Treasury has approved the proposal in principle. If, during the period of 14 parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which this minute was laid before the House of Commons, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a Parliamentary Question or a Motion relating to the minute, or by otherwise raising the matter in the House, final approval of the gift will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS454
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Baroness Anelay of St Johns (The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
Lords

Gifting of equipment to the 4th Land Border Regiment of the Lebanese Armed Forces

My right Honourable Friend, the Secretary for State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Philip Hammond), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

It is the normal practice when a government department proposes to make a gift of a value exceeding £300,000 for the department concerned to present to the House of Commons a minute giving particulars of the gift and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from making the gift until fourteen parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the minute, except in cases of special urgency.

The crisis in Syria is having a direct effect on its neighbours, particularly in areas adjacent to Lebanon’s eastern border. The UK remains firmly committed to Lebanon’s stability, and in supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) to minimise contagion from the Syrian conflict, and to combat the spread of Daesh. As part of this commitment, since 2012, the UK has been assisting the LAF, through the Rapid Land Border Security Assistance Project, to establish and mentor the LAF Land Border Regiments (LBRs). The mission of the LBRs is to observe, identify, deter and deny activities by illegal armed actors in the near border areas, in line with agreed international human rights standards. Between 2012 and 2015 around £26m of Conflict Pool and Conflict Security Stability funds were allocated to provide observation, protection, mobility and communications equipment to 1, 2, and 3LBRs, and to establish the lead elements of a 4th LBR, as well as a programme of training and mentoring.

The command element of 4LBR has been established, and 4LBR is preparing its deployment plan to cover the remaining 25% of the borders with Syria from Arsal to Masnaa. Recent actions in the Arsal area, and the threat that Daesh poses to UK interests, make it imperative that the LAF completes the expansion of the LBRs southwards, as part of an overall strategy to bring the entire eastern border with Syria back under the authority of the State.

Subject to assessment under the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, we intend to gift a package of £967,450.00 of Personal protection equipment to start the establishment of the 4th Land Border Regiment of the Lebanese Armed Forces. The proposed gift will be funded by the Government’s Conflict, Security and Stability Fund and will consist of the following UK sourced equipment:

  • Personal Protective Equipment. £967,450.00

The proposed gift is being scrutinised to ensure that it is consistent with export controls and complies with our international obligations. The proposed gift has been scrutinised and approved by a senior, cross-Whitehall Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) Approval Board, which has confirmed that it fits with the Government’s strategic and delivery objectives. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials also assessed the project for human rights risks, using the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance guidelines established by the Foreign Secretary in 2011.

The Treasury has approved the proposal in principle. If, during the period of 14 parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which this minute was laid before the House of Commons, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a Parliamentary Question or a Motion relating to the minute, or by otherwise raising the matter in the House, final approval of the gift will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS463
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Lords Spokesman, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
Lords

December Environment Council

My Hon Friend the Parliamentary under Secretary of State (Rory Stewart) has today made the following statement.

I attended the EU Environment Council in Brussels on 16 December. I would like to update the House on the matters discussed.

Draft Council Conclusions on the Mid-Term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

The Conclusions were adopted, and were welcomed by Ministers and the Commission who also underlined that further work was still needed to meet the Strategy’s objectives by 2020. Member States also noted the importance of the EU Nature Directives and the need to retain them in their current form to provide certainty and avoid any diminishing of standards. The UK raised concerns over the implementation of the Nature Directives. It concluded that the best way to address these would not be through reopening the Directives themselves, but instead through looking at much better approaches to implementation.

National Emission Ceilings Directive

The Council adopted a general approach on the National Emission Ceilings Directive. Following negotiations in the Council, the Presidency secured a comfortable qualified majority for its compromise text. Denmark, Poland, and Austria voted against and Germany abstained. Although the Commission emphasised that it would prefer a higher level of ambition, it supported the Presidency’s push to move to the next stage of negotiations. Notwithstanding their national position, the Netherlands reassured Member States that, as Presidency, they would defend the position reached by the Council in forthcoming negotiations with the European Parliament. The UK welcomed the agreement whilst indicating the very limited room for manoeuvre during the future negotiations with the European Parliament.

Any Other Business: Circular Economy

Under any other business, the Council took note of information provided by the Commission on the recently published Circular Economy package. Member States welcomed the package, although a number of concerns were raised. The UK regretted that insufficient attention was shown to potential benefits the circular economy could bring on jobs and growth, and raised concerns about the target-based approach. Negotiations will begin in earnest in January 2016.

Any Other Business: Paris Climate Change Summit

All Ministers signed a congratulatory letter to the French Presidency of the Paris Summit, and Ministers were thanked for their support and unity during the negotiations. The Commission described the outcome as a triumph for EU cooperation and for multilateralism more generally, while noting the EU’s role in building the influential High Ambition Coalition. The Commission set out its next steps: to draft a Council Decision for signing of the Paris agreement; progress the negotiations of revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS); produce legislative proposals for ‘effort sharing’ of reductions outside the EU ETS including land use considerations; and make proposals on the decarbonisation of transport.

Any Other Business: Further Points

Council noted information provided by the Presidency, supported by seven Member States, on the challenges and options for improving implementation of legislation on chemical products in scope of Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation.

Council also noted information provided by Sweden on sustainable methods of producing and consuming medicines and managing the resulting waste. The Commission was about to launch a study on the environmental impacts of such substances.

Council further noted information provided by Greece on the forthcoming meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP10) to the Barcelona Convention.

Council noted information provided by Belgium on reducing pollution caused by consumption on the move, a so-called European deposit scheme. The Commission did not intend to introduce such a scheme, after a feasibility study had suggested there would be disproportionate costs, but noted that Member States were free to set up their own schemes.

The Commission briefly presented the State of the Energy Union report, as had been done in other Council formations. Four political messages were emphasised: firstly, that energy union was closely aligned with the UN climate process, and that the EU must remain a global leader on implementing low carbon transition; secondly that energy union was something the Commission needed to lead, but that this needed action and engagement from all Member States; thirdly, that the geopolitical challenges on this issue are unlikely to reduce; and finally, that governance was a key issue.

The Netherlands presented information on the work programme for their Presidency.

Lunchtime Discussion

Over lunch, Ministers exchanged views on the latest developments concerning the automobile sector and emissions testing.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS462
WS
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills)
Lords

Labour Market Enforcement

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Sajid Javid) has today made the following statement.

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May) and I will today publish the Government’s response to the consultation “Tackling Exploitation in the Labour Market”. The consultation paper was published on 13 October 2015 and the consultation closed on 7 December 2015.

The consultation sought views on four proposals:

  • Creating the role of Director of Labour Market Enforcement to set the strategic priorities for labour market enforcement bodies (the Employment Agencies Standard Inspectorate, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ National Minimum Wage team and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority) in an annual labour market enforcement strategy;
  • Allowing data sharing between the Director, the Intelligence Hub, labour market enforcement bodies and other bodies with intelligence that inform the preparation of the labour market enforcement strategy;
  • Creating a new labour market undertaking and enforcement order regime, backed up by a criminal offence and custodial sentence – to allow us to tackle repeat labour market offenders and rogue businesses; and
  • Reforming the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to become the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority with stronger powers to tackle labour exploitation across the economy.

The consultation responses gave broad support for the Government’s proposals. Therefore we will introduce these measures to tackle labour market exploitation, secure decent, lawful working conditions and make sure that people receive the rights and wages to which they are entitled. My hon Friend the Home Office Lords Minister will today table amendments to the Immigration Bill to bring these measures in to law.

The Government response document, which sets out further detail, can be found on the GOV.UK website.


This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS459
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Lord O'Neill of Gatley (The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury)
Lords

Capital payment to International Financial Institution - Contingencies Fund and Contingent Liability

My right honourable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Greg Hands) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Treasury has agreed to be a founder contributor of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). As set out in the Summer Budget 2015, HM Treasury will soon be making the initial instalment of US$122,180,000 (approximately £80 million). Subsequent payments of the same amount will be made over the next four years. The UK’s overall capital contribution will total approximately £2 billion (US$3,054,700,000), with these five payments together making the 20% “paid-in” capital contribution requiring a cash transfer. The other 80% is “callable capital” – the AIIB can call on it if needed. As the paid-in capital is an investment, in return for which we get an asset of a new Bank, the Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast this payment as a financial transaction. Financial transactions do not add to Public Sector Net Borrowing.

As the cash for this payment will form part of HM Treasury’s Supplementary Estimate 2015-16, which is expected to achieve Royal Assent in the associated Supply and Appropriation Bill in mid- to late March, HM Treasury will use the Contingencies Fund to make the payment.

This payment is in line with the authority provided by this House under the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (Initial Capital Contribution) Order 2015. Parliamentary approval for additional capital of £83 million for this new expenditure will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for HM Treasury. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure of £83 million (to allow for exchange rate movements) will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

Further, the payment of the first instalment of the capital contribution incurs with it a contingent liability. In line with the Articles of Agreement, the contingent liability rises in line with the amount of callable capital paid. As such, the UK will incur a proportionate contingent liability of US$488,752,000. A Departmental Minute to this effect was laid before Parliament on 30 November 2015 to give at least 14 sitting days’ notice of the intent to incur a contingent liability. The notice period was completed on 5 January 2016.

Although the AIIB has the right to call for payment of this callable capital if there is a crisis affecting the bank’s assets or loans, no such instance has occurred in any major multilateral development bank (MDB) in the past. If the liability were to be called, provision for any payment would be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

In joining the AIIB the UK is demonstrating its support for China’s initiative to establish the AIIB to address the historic shortage of infrastructure investment in Asia. The AIIB will support economic growth in the region and drive up living standards. The UK’s membership will deepen economic ties with Asia and create opportunities for British businesses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS461
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Baroness Altmann (The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme Levy 2015/16

My honourable Friend The Minister for Disabled People (Justin Tomlinson MP) has made the following Written Statement.

The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (Levy) Regulations 2014 require active insurers to pay an annual levy based on their relative market share for the purpose of meeting the costs of the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS). This is in line with the commitment by the insurance industry to fund a scheme of last resort for sufferers of diffuse mesothelioma who have been unable to trace their employer or their employer’s insurer.

I can announce today that the total amount of the levy to be charged for 2015/16, the second year of the DMPS, is £23.2m. It is estimated that the full cost of the scheme in 2015/16 will be £31m, but, as the amount levied in 2014/15 was greater than the final cost of the scheme for that year, £7.8m has been carried forward into 2015/16. The £23.2m will be payable by active insurers by the end of March 2016.

Individual active insurers will be notified in writing of their payment amount (i.e. their share of the levy), together with how the amount was calculated and payment arrangements. Insurers should be aware that it is a legal requirement to pay the levy within the set timescales.

I am pleased that the DMPS has seen a successful first year of operation, the first Annual Report for the scheme was published in November 2015 and is available on the gov.uk website. I hope that members of both Houses will welcome this announcement and give the DMPS their continued support.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS460
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Rory Stewart (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs )
Commons

December Environment Council

I attended the EU Environment Council in Brussels on 16 December. I would like to update the House on the matters discussed.

Draft Council Conclusions on the Mid-Term Review of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

The Conclusions were adopted, and were welcomed by Ministers and the Commission who also underlined that further work was still needed to meet the Strategy’s objectives by 2020. Member States also noted the importance of the EU Nature Directives and the need to retain them in their current form to provide certainty and avoid any diminishing of standards. The UK raised concerns over the implementation of the Nature Directives. It concluded that the best way to address these would not be through reopening the Directives themselves, but instead through looking at much better approaches to implementation.

National Emission Ceilings Directive

The Council adopted a general approach on the National Emission Ceilings Directive. Following negotiations in the Council, the Presidency secured a comfortable qualified majority for its compromise text. Denmark, Poland, and Austria voted against and Germany abstained. Although the Commission emphasised that it would prefer a higher level of ambition, it supported the Presidency’s push to move to the next stage of negotiations. Notwithstanding their national position, the Netherlands reassured Member States that, as Presidency, they would defend the position reached by the Council in forthcoming negotiations with the European Parliament. The UK welcomed the agreement whilst indicating the very limited room for manoeuvre during the future negotiations with the European Parliament.

Any Other Business: Circular Economy

Under any other business, the Council took note of information provided by the Commission on the recently published Circular Economy package. Member States welcomed the package, although a number of concerns were raised. The UK regretted that insufficient attention was shown to potential benefits the circular economy could bring on jobs and growth, and raised concerns about the target-based approach. Negotiations will begin in earnest in January 2016.

Any Other Business: Paris Climate Change Summit

All Ministers signed a congratulatory letter to the French Presidency of the Paris Summit, and Ministers were thanked for their support and unity during the negotiations. The Commission described the outcome as a triumph for EU cooperation and for multilateralism more generally, while noting the EU’s role in building the influential High Ambition Coalition. The Commission set out its next steps: to draft a Council Decision for signing of the Paris agreement; progress the negotiations of revision of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS); produce legislative proposals for ‘effort sharing’ of reductions outside the EU ETS including land use considerations; and make proposals on the decarbonisation of transport.

Any Other Business: Further Points

Council noted information provided by the Presidency, supported by seven Member States, on the challenges and options for improving implementation of legislation on chemical products in scope of Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation.

Council also noted information provided by Sweden on sustainable methods of producing and consuming medicines and managing the resulting waste. The Commission was about to launch a study on the environmental impacts of such substances.

Council further noted information provided by Greece on the forthcoming meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP10) to the Barcelona Convention.

Council noted information provided by Belgium on reducing pollution caused by consumption on the move, a so-called European deposit scheme. The Commission did not intend to introduce such a scheme, after a feasibility study had suggested there would be disproportionate costs, but noted that Member States were free to set up their own schemes.

The Commission briefly presented the State of the Energy Union report, as had been done in other Council formations. Four political messages were emphasised: firstly, that energy union was closely aligned with the UN climate process, and that the EU must remain a global leader on implementing low carbon transition; secondly that energy union was something the Commission needed to lead, but that this needed action and engagement from all Member States; thirdly, that the geopolitical challenges on this issue are unlikely to reduce; and finally, that governance was a key issue.

The Netherlands presented information on the work programme for their Presidency.

Lunchtime Discussion

Over lunch, Ministers exchanged views on the latest developments concerning the automobile sector and emissions testing.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS453
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Greg Hands (The Chief Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Capital payment to International Financial Institution - Contingencies Fund and Contingent Liability

The Treasury has agreed to be a founder contributor of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). As set out in the Summer Budget 2015, HM Treasury will soon be making the initial instalment of US$122,180,000 (approximately £80 million). Subsequent payments of the same amount will be made over the next four years. The UK’s overall capital contribution will total approximately £2 billion (US$3,054,700,000), with these five payments together making the 20% “paid-in” capital contribution requiring a cash transfer. The other 80% is “callable capital” – the AIIB can call on it if needed. As the paid-in capital is an investment, in return for which we get an asset of a new Bank, the Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast this payment as a financial transaction. Financial transactions do not add to Public Sector Net Borrowing.

As the cash for this payment will form part of HM Treasury’s Supplementary Estimate 2015-16, which is expected to achieve Royal Assent in the associated Supply and Appropriation Bill in mid- to late March, HM Treasury will use the Contingencies Fund to make the payment.

This payment is in line with the authority provided by this House under the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (Initial Capital Contribution) Order 2015. Parliamentary approval for additional capital of £83 million for this new expenditure will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for HM Treasury. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure of £83 million (to allow for exchange rate movements) will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

Further, the payment of the first instalment of the capital contribution incurs with it a contingent liability. In line with the Articles of Agreement, the contingent liability rises in line with the amount of callable capital paid. As such, the UK will incur a proportionate contingent liability of US$488,752,000. A Departmental Minute to this effect was laid before Parliament on 30 November 2015 to give at least 14 sitting days’ notice of the intent to incur a contingent liability. The notice period was completed on 5 January 2016.

Although the AIIB has the right to call for payment of this callable capital if there is a crisis affecting the bank’s assets or loans, no such instance has occurred in any major multilateral development bank (MDB) in the past. If the liability were to be called, provision for any payment would be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

In joining the AIIB the UK is demonstrating its support for China’s initiative to establish the AIIB to address the historic shortage of infrastructure investment in Asia. The AIIB will support economic growth in the region and drive up living standards. The UK’s membership will deepen economic ties with Asia and create opportunities for British businesses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS451
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Justin Tomlinson (The Minister for Disabled People)
Commons

Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme Levy 2015/16

The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (Levy) Regulations 2014 require active insurers to pay an annual levy based on their relative market share for the purpose of meeting the costs of the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS). This is in line with the commitment by the insurance industry to fund a scheme of last resort for sufferers of diffuse mesothelioma who have been unable to trace their employer or their employer’s insurer.

I can announce today that the total amount of the levy to be charged for 2015/16, the second year of the DMPS, is £23.2m. It is estimated that the full cost of the scheme in 2015/16 will be £31m, but, as the amount levied in 2014/15 was greater than the final cost of the scheme for that year, £7.8m has been carried forward into 2015/16. The £23.2m will be payable by active insurers by the end of March 2016.

Individual active insurers will be notified in writing of their payment amount (i.e. their share of the levy), together with how the amount was calculated and payment arrangements. Insurers should be aware that it is a legal requirement to pay the levy within the set timescales.

I am pleased that the DMPS has seen a successful first year of operation, the first Annual Report for the scheme was published in November 2015 and is available on the gov.uk website. I hope that members of both Houses will welcome this announcement and give the DMPS their continued support.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS450
WS
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Made on: 12 January 2016
Made by: Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Department of Business, Innovation and Skills)
Commons

Labour Market Enforcement

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May) and I will today publish the Government’s response to the consultation “Tackling Exploitation in the Labour Market”. The consultation paper was published on 13 October 2015 and the consultation closed on 7 December 2015.

The consultation sought views on four proposals:

  • Creating the role of Director of Labour Market Enforcement to set the strategic priorities for labour market enforcement bodies (the Employment Agencies Standard Inspectorate, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ National Minimum Wage team and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority) in an annual labour market enforcement strategy;
  • Allowing data sharing between the Director, the Intelligence Hub, labour market enforcement bodies and other bodies with intelligence that inform the preparation of the labour market enforcement strategy;
  • Creating a new labour market undertaking and enforcement order regime, backed up by a criminal offence and custodial sentence – to allow us to tackle repeat labour market offenders and rogue businesses; and
  • Reforming the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to become the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority with stronger powers to tackle labour exploitation across the economy.

The consultation responses gave broad support for the Government’s proposals. Therefore we will introduce these measures to tackle labour market exploitation, secure decent, lawful working conditions and make sure that people receive the rights and wages to which they are entitled. My hon Friend the Home Office Lords Minister will today table amendments to the Immigration Bill to bring these measures in to law.

The Government response document, which sets out further detail, can be found on the GOV.UK website.


This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS452
WS
Scotland Office
Made on: 11 January 2016
Made by: David Mundell (Secretary of State for Scotland)
Commons

Smith Commission Agreement: Non-legislative and additional issues for consideration

On 27 November 2014 the Smith Commission published its Heads of Agreement on the devolution of further powers to the Scottish Parliament. The Smith Commission Agreement was the first time that all five of Scotland’s major political parties came together to agree the constitutional future of Scotland and was an historic achievement.

In addition to the provisions requiring legislation which are being taken forward in the Scotland Bill, the Smith Commission Agreement identified a number of areas for further consideration between the UK and Scottish Governments. In the period since the Smith Commission, the UK and Scottish Governments have held discussions on these matters. The attached table provides information on work in these areas.

The Agreement also identified a number of areas where non-legislative action was required. Discussions on the agreement of a new fiscal framework for Scotland and work to strengthen intergovernmental working are on-going. The attached table provides an update on other such areas, including the agreement of Memorandums of Understanding in relation to the BBC and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

WMS - Smith Commission Agreement (Word Document, 33.36 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS449
WS
Scotland Office
Made on: 11 January 2016
Made by: Lord Dunlop (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland)
Lords

Smith Commission Agreement: Non-legislative and additional issues for consideration

My right hon Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland (David Mundell) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement: On 27 November 2014 the Smith Commission published its Heads of Agreement on the devolution of further powers to the Scottish Parliament. The Smith Commission Agreement was the first time that all five of Scotland’s major political parties came together to agree the constitutional future of Scotland and was an historic achievement.

In addition to the provisions requiring legislation which are being taken forward in the Scotland Bill, the Smith Commission Agreement identified a number of areas for further consideration between the UK and Scottish Governments. In the period since the Smith Commission, the UK and Scottish Governments have held discussions on these matters. The attached table provides information on work in these areas.

The Agreement also identified a number of areas where non-legislative action was required. Discussions on the agreement of a new fiscal framework for Scotland and work to strengthen intergovernmental working are on-going. The attached table provides an update on other such areas, including the agreement of Memorandums of Understanding in relation to the BBC and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

WMS - Smith Commission Agreement (Word Document, 33.36 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS458
WS
Attorney General
Made on: 11 January 2016
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (Advocate General for Scotland)
Lords

Serious Fraud Office (Contingencies Fund Advance)

My Hon Friend the Solicitor General has made the following written ministerial statement:

The Solicitor General (Robert Buckland). I would like to inform the House that a cash advance from the Contingencies Fund has been sought for the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).

In line with the current arrangement for SFO funding agreed with HM Treasury, the SFO will be submitting a Reserve claim as part of the Supplementary Estimate process for 2015-16.

The advance is required to meet an urgent cash requirement on existing services pending Parliamentary approval of the 2015-16 Supplementary Estimate. The Supplementary Estimate will seek an increase in both the Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit and the Net Cash Requirement in order to cover the cost of significant investigations and the settlement of material liabilities.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £21,137,000 (twenty one million, one hundred and thirty seven thousand pounds) will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the Serious Fraud Office. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £15,500,000 (fifteen million, five hundred thousand pounds) will be met by a repayable cash advance from the Contingencies Fund.

The advance will be repaid upon Royal Assent of the Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Bill.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS449
WS
Department for Communities and Local Government
Made on: 11 January 2016
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Neighbourhood Planning

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Housing and Planning has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.


On 9 July 2015, I extended for a period of 6 months the criteria for consideration of the recovery of planning appeals to include proposals for residential development over 10 units in areas where a qualifying body has submitted a neighbourhood plan proposal to the local planning authority or where a neighbourhood plan has been made (Hansard HCWS90); and I am now extending that period for a further 6 months from today.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS457
Expand all statements
Print selected
Showing 81-100 out of 1002
Results per page
Results per page 20 | 50 | 100