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.

Written statements are published below shortly after receipt in Parliament. They 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:

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WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 07 September 2017
Made by: Mr David Lidington (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Justice update

Earlier today, I notified the market via the London Stock Exchange group that I would today lay a Command Paper The Personal Injury Discount Rate How it should be set in future Draft Legislation (Cm 9500) before Parliament.

The paper invites comments on draft legislation to give effect to the Government’s proposals to change the way in which the personal injury discount rate is set in England and Wales. If enacted, the proposals will lead to the rate being:

  1. set by reference to expected rates of return on a low risk diversified portfolio of investments rather than very low risk investments as at present.
  2. reviewed promptly after the legislation comes into force and, thereafter, at least every three years.
  3. set by the Lord Chancellor following consultation with an expert panel (other than on the initial review which would be by the Lord Chancellor with advice from the Government Actuary) and, as at present, HM Treasury.

The proposals have been developed in the light of the responses to the consultation paper The Personal Injury Discount Rate: How it should be set in future, which was published on 30 March, and related research. It is not possible to predict accurately now what the rate will be when it is set under the proposals, as this will depend on decisions made in the light of the then current circumstances. Nonetheless, without restricting the future exercise of the proposed power, the Government might expect, based on the evidence currently available and using illustrative assumptions, that if a single rate were set today under the proposals the real rate might fall within the range of 0% to 1%.

I am also publishing today:

  • the Government’s response to the consultation;
  • an impact assessment in relation to the proposals prepared by the Ministry of Justice;
  • the Government Actuary’s Department’s report Ministry of Justice Personal Injury Discount Rate Analysis (dated 19 July 2017); and

the British Institute of International and Comparative Law Briefing Note on the Discount Rate applying to Quantum in Personal Injury Cases: Comparative Perspectives (dated 20 March 2017)).

I will place copies of all these documents in the Libraries of both Houses and will be available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/personal-injury-discount-rate-how-it-should-be-set-in-future and

https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/personal-injury-discount-rate/.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS121
WS
Department of Health
Made on: 07 September 2017
Made by: Mr Philip Dunne (Minister of State for Health)
Commons

Recruitment in the NHS

I am today updating the House on the future of NHS Professionals Limited (‘The Company’).

The Department of Health has today announced that NHS Professionals Limited – a company which supplies flexible staffing to the NHS – will remain in wholly public ownership, after offers to buy a majority stake in the company undervalued its growing potential.

In November 2016, the Government decided to instigate a sale of a majority share in NHS Professionals Limited as a potential path to providing it with the extra expertise, technology and investment it needed to work with more hospitals and drive greater savings for the NHS. However, after careful consideration, the Government has concluded that none of the offers received for the Company through the open, rigorous bidding process reflected the company’s growing potential and improved performance.

NHS Professionals was established as a limited liability company by the last Labour Government in 2010, with a specific intention to give it greater commercial freedoms and “prepare it for sale” (Department of Health, Explanatory Memorandum to The NHS Professionals Special Health Authority (Abolition) Order 2010, February 2010). It currently holds a bank of over 90,000 workers filling more than 2 million shifts, saving the NHS £70 million every year. However, it only works with around a quarter of trusts, meaning that many others rely heavily on more expensive agencies to supply additional staff. We would like more trusts to work together to fill shifts via collaborative banks, and there will be opportunities for NHS Professionals Limited and others to support this work.

Since the decision was taken to seek offers for the Company, NHSP has significantly increased its performance such that audited profit before tax for the year ended 31st March 2017 was 44% higher than in the previous year. This improvement in financial performance continues to be built upon in the first quarter of the current year. The company’s improved financial and operational performance means it can now invest in improved IT infrastructure, expand its services to the NHS and transform into a world-class provider of flexible staff whilst remaining under public ownership – generating further savings for the NHS, all of which will continue to be reinvested in frontline services.

The Government is fully committed to providing world-class NHS services that are free at the point of the use, now and in the future.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS118
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016

My honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Stephen Barclay) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to report to Parliament, quarterly, on its operation of the UK’s asset freezing regime mandated by UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1452.

This report covers the period from 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016.[1] This report also covers the UK implementation of the UN’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida asset freezing regime (ISIL-AQ) and the operation of the EU asset freezing regime in the UK under EU Regulation (EC) 2580/2001 which implements UNSCR 1373 against external terrorist threats to the EU.

Under the ISIL-AQ asset freezing regime, the UN has responsibility for designations and the Treasury, through its Office of Financial Sanctions implementation (OFSI), has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011.

Under EU Regulation 2580/2001, the EU has responsibility for designations and OFSI has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under Part 1 of TAFA 2010.

A new EU asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings. Once a designation is made under this regime it will appear in the table attached.

Annexes A and B to this statement provide a breakdown, by name, of all those designated by the UK and the EU in pursuance of UN Security Council Resolution 1373.

The table attached sets out the key asset-freezing activity in the UK during the quarter.

Legal Proceedings

  1. In November a Court of Appeal considered whether or not Begg met the minimum criteria for the grant of a Protective Costs Order and concluded that he did. The Court of Appeal thereafter remitted the matter back to the High Court for the Protective Costs Order to be granted.

Annex A: Designated persons under TAFA 2010 by name[2]

INDIVIDUALS

1. Hamed ABDOLLAHI*

2. Imad Khalil AL-ALAMI

3. Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER*

4. Ibrahim Salih AL-YACOUB*

5. Manssor ARBABSIAR*

6. Usama HAMDAN

7. Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN*

8. Mohammed KHALED

9. Musa Abu MARZOUK

10. Khalid MISHAAL

11. Khalid Sheikh MOHAMMED*

12. Abdul Reza SHAHLAI*

13. Ali Gholam SHAKURI*

14. Qasem SOLEIMANI*

ENTITIES

1. BASQUE FATHERLAND AND LIBERTY (ETA)

2. EJERCITO DE LIBERACION NACIONAL (ELN)*

3. HIZBALLAH MILITARY WING, INCLUDING EXTERNAL SECURITY ORGANISATION*

4. POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE - GENERAL COMMAND (PFLP-GC)*

5. POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE (PFLP)*

6. SENDERO LUMINOSO (SL)*

Annex B: Persons designated by the EU under Council Regulation (EC) 2580/2001[3]

PERSONS

1. Hamed ABDOLLAHI*

2. Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER*

3. Ibrahim Salih AL-YACOUB*

4. Manssor ARBABSIAR*

5. Mohammed BOUYERI

6. Hassan Hassan EL HAJJ

7. Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN*

8. Farad MELIAD

9. Khalid Sheikh MOHAMMED*

10. Dalokay SANLI

11. Abdul Reza SHAHLAI*

12. Ali Gholam SHAKURI*

13. Qasem SOLEIMANI*

GROUPS AND ENTITIES

1. ABU NIDAL ORGANISATION (ANO)

2. AL-AQSA E.V.

3. AL-AQSA MARTYRS' BRIGADE

4. BABBAR KHALSA

5. COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES, INCLUDING NEW PEOPLE'S ARMY (NPA), PHILIPPINES

6. DEVRIMCI HALK KURTULU PARTISI-CEPHESI — DHKP/C (REVOLUTIONARY PEOPLE’S LIBERATION ARMY/FRONT/PARTY)

7. EJÉRCITO DE LIBERACIÓN NACIONAL (NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY)*

8. GAMA'A AL-ISLAMIYYA (A.K.A. AL-GAMA'A AL-ISLAMIYYA) (ISLAMIC GROUP — IG)

9. HAMAS, INCLUDING HAMAS-IZZ AL-DIN AL-QASSEM

10. HIZBALLAH MILITARY WING, INCLUDING EXTERNAL SECURITY ORGANISATION

11. HIZBUL MUJAHIDEEN (HM)

12. HOFSTADGROEP

13. ISLAMI BÜYÜK DOĞU AKINCILAR CEPHESI (IBDA-C) (GREAT ISLAMIC EASTERN WARRIORS

FRONT)

14. KHALISTAN ZINDABAD FORCE (KZF)

15. KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY (PKK) (A.K.A. KONGRA-GEL)

16. LIBERATION TIGERS OF TAMIL EELAM (LTTE)

17. PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD (PIJ)

18. POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE — GENERAL COMMAND (PFLP-GC)*

19. POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE (PFLP)*

20. SENDERO LUMINOSO (SL) (SHINING PATH)*

21. TEYRBAZEN AZADIYA KURDISTAN (TAK)

[1] Financial institutions update OFSI on individual account balances annually. The figures in the first row of the table are based on account balances which were last reported to HM Treasury on 30 September 2016. At the end of each quarter HM Treasury will adjust the figures to reflect any accounts that have been frozen or unfrozen in that quarter.

[2] For full listing details please refer to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-list-of-designated-persons-terrorism-and-terrorist-financing

[3] For full listing details please refer to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-list-of-designated-persons-terrorism-and-terrorist-financing

* EU listing rests on UK designation under TAFA 2010

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS115
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Lord Prior of Brampton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Sale of the Green Investment Bank: Employee Indemnity

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry (Claire Perry) has made the following written ministerial statement:

The Government completed the sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to Macquarie on 18 August 2017. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (SoS) has provided an indemnity for GIB employees in relation to a specific diligence and disclosure exercise conducted as part of the sale process. This indemnity created a notifiable contingent liability.

On 7 March 2017, Government notified the Chairs of the PAC and BEIS Committees of its intention to enter into this contingent liability in accordance with the non-standard notification procedure set out in Managing Public Money because the GIB sale process was subject to strict commercial confidentiality agreements that limited the information that could be disclosed publicly by either bidders or the Government. The indemnity was then entered into on the 19 April 2017, the date on which the Government signed an agreement to sell GIB to Macquarie.

The indemnity is for GIB employees who were involved in a specific diligence and disclosure exercise, in their personal capacity and not for GIB as an organisation, as it was never intended that any individual GIB employee would assume personal liability for claims made as a result of the support that they have provided the SoS, except where there has been fraud, wilful default or bad faith. The indemnity is uncapped and not time limited. The prospect of a claim is assessed as remote and that of a claim against the Government’s indemnity very remote. This indemnity cannot be called upon by any of the parties to the sale as they have waived the right to bring a claim against GIB employees. A claim can only be brought by a third party.

If the liability is called upon, provision for payment will be made through the normal supply procedure. The Treasury approved the proposal in principle prior to the then Chairs of the PAC and BEIS Committees being notified.

As a matter of record, I have today laid a copy of a Departmental Minute for both Houses explaining the procedure followed and containing a description of the liabilities undertaken.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS114
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Draft legislation for the Finance (No.2) Bill

My right honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mel Stride) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

As has been previously announced, the Government will introduce a Finance Bill following the autumn Budget.

In line with the approach to tax policy making, set out in the 2010 ‘Tax Consultation Framework’, the Government is committed, where possible, to publishing most tax legislation in draft for technical consultation before the relevant Finance Bill is laid before Parliament.

The Government will publish draft clauses for the Finance Bill on Wednesday 13 September 2017, along with accompanying explanatory notes, tax information and impact notes and other supporting documents.

The consultation on the draft clauses will be open until Wednesday 25 October 2017.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS113
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Stephen Barclay (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Operation of the UK’s Counter-Terrorist Asset Freezing Regime: 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016

Under the Terrorist Asset-Freezing etc. Act 2010 (TAFA 2010), the Treasury is required to report to Parliament, quarterly, on its operation of the UK’s asset freezing regime mandated by UN Security Council Resolutions 1373 and 1452.

This report covers the period from 1 October 2016 to 31 December 2016.[1] This report also covers the UK implementation of the UN’s ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida asset freezing regime (ISIL-AQ) and the operation of the EU asset freezing regime in the UK under EU Regulation (EC) 2580/2001 which implements UNSCR 1373 against external terrorist threats to the EU.

Under the ISIL-AQ asset freezing regime, the UN has responsibility for designations and the Treasury, through its Office of Financial Sanctions implementation (OFSI), has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under the ISIL (Da’esh) and Al-Qaida (Asset-Freezing) Regulations 2011.

Under EU Regulation 2580/2001, the EU has responsibility for designations and OFSI has responsibility for licensing and compliance with the regime in the UK under Part 1 of TAFA 2010.

A new EU asset freezing regime under EU Regulation (2016/1686) was implemented on 22 September 2016. This permits the EU to make autonomous Al-Qaida and ISIL (Da’esh) listings. Once a designation is made under this regime it will appear in the table attached.

Annexes A and B to this statement provide a breakdown, by name, of all those designated by the UK and the EU in pursuance of UN Security Council Resolution 1373.

The table attached sets out the key asset-freezing activity in the UK during the quarter.

Legal Proceedings

  1. In November a Court of Appeal considered whether or not Begg met the minimum criteria for the grant of a Protective Costs Order and concluded that he did. The Court of Appeal thereafter remitted the matter back to the High Court for the Protective Costs Order to be granted.

Annex A: Designated persons under TAFA 2010 by name[2]

INDIVIDUALS

1. Hamed ABDOLLAHI*

2. Imad Khalil AL-ALAMI

3. Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER*

4. Ibrahim Salih AL-YACOUB*

5. Manssor ARBABSIAR*

6. Usama HAMDAN

7. Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN*

8. Mohammed KHALED

9. Musa Abu MARZOUK

10. Khalid MISHAAL

11. Khalid Sheikh MOHAMMED*

12. Abdul Reza SHAHLAI*

13. Ali Gholam SHAKURI*

14. Qasem SOLEIMANI*

ENTITIES

1. BASQUE FATHERLAND AND LIBERTY (ETA)

2. EJERCITO DE LIBERACION NACIONAL (ELN)*

3. HIZBALLAH MILITARY WING, INCLUDING EXTERNAL SECURITY ORGANISATION*

4. POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE - GENERAL COMMAND (PFLP-GC)*

5. POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE (PFLP)*

6. SENDERO LUMINOSO (SL)*

Annex B: Persons designated by the EU under Council Regulation (EC) 2580/2001[3]

PERSONS

1. Hamed ABDOLLAHI*

2. Abdelkarim Hussein AL-NASSER*

3. Ibrahim Salih AL-YACOUB*

4. Manssor ARBABSIAR*

5. Mohammed BOUYERI

6. Hassan Hassan EL HAJJ

7. Hasan IZZ-AL-DIN*

8. Farad MELIAD

9. Khalid Sheikh MOHAMMED*

10. Dalokay SANLI

11. Abdul Reza SHAHLAI*

12. Ali Gholam SHAKURI*

13. Qasem SOLEIMANI*

GROUPS AND ENTITIES

1. ABU NIDAL ORGANISATION (ANO)

2. AL-AQSA E.V.

3. AL-AQSA MARTYRS' BRIGADE

4. BABBAR KHALSA

5. COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE PHILIPPINES, INCLUDING NEW PEOPLE'S ARMY (NPA), PHILIPPINES

6. DEVRIMCI HALK KURTULU PARTISI-CEPHESI — DHKP/C (REVOLUTIONARY PEOPLE’S LIBERATION ARMY/FRONT/PARTY)

7. EJÉRCITO DE LIBERACIÓN NACIONAL (NATIONAL LIBERATION ARMY)*

8. GAMA'A AL-ISLAMIYYA (A.K.A. AL-GAMA'A AL-ISLAMIYYA) (ISLAMIC GROUP — IG)

9. HAMAS, INCLUDING HAMAS-IZZ AL-DIN AL-QASSEM

10. HIZBALLAH MILITARY WING, INCLUDING EXTERNAL SECURITY ORGANISATION

11. HIZBUL MUJAHIDEEN (HM)

12. HOFSTADGROEP

13. ISLAMI BÜYÜK DOĞU AKINCILAR CEPHESI (IBDA-C) (GREAT ISLAMIC EASTERN WARRIORS

FRONT)

14. KHALISTAN ZINDABAD FORCE (KZF)

15. KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY (PKK) (A.K.A. KONGRA-GEL)

16. LIBERATION TIGERS OF TAMIL EELAM (LTTE)

17. PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD (PIJ)

18. POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE — GENERAL COMMAND (PFLP-GC)*

19. POPULAR FRONT FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE (PFLP)*

20. SENDERO LUMINOSO (SL) (SHINING PATH)*

21. TEYRBAZEN AZADIYA KURDISTAN (TAK)

[1] Financial institutions update OFSI on individual account balances annually. The figures in the first row of the table are based on account balances which were last reported to HM Treasury on 30 September 2016. At the end of each quarter HM Treasury will adjust the figures to reflect any accounts that have been frozen or unfrozen in that quarter.

[2] For full listing details please refer to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-list-of-designated-persons-terrorism-and-terrorist-financing

[3] For full listing details please refer to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/current-list-of-designated-persons-terrorism-and-terrorist-financing

* EU listing rests on UK designation under TAFA 2010

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS117
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Claire Perry (Minister of State for Climate Change and Industry)
Commons

Sale of the Green Investment Bank: Employee Indemnity

The Government completed the sale of the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to Macquarie on 18 August 2017. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (SoS) has provided an indemnity for GIB employees in relation to a specific diligence and disclosure exercise conducted as part of the sale process. This indemnity created a notifiable contingent liability.

On 7 March 2017, Government notified the Chairs of the PAC and BEIS Committees of its intention to enter into this contingent liability in accordance with the non-standard notification procedure set out in Managing Public Money because the GIB sale process was subject to strict commercial confidentiality agreements that limited the information that could be disclosed publicly by either bidders or the Government. The indemnity was then entered into on the 19 April 2017, the date on which the Government signed an agreement to sell GIB to Macquarie.

The indemnity is for GIB employees who were involved in a specific diligence and disclosure exercise, in their personal capacity and not for GIB as an organisation, as it was never intended that any individual GIB employee would assume personal liability for claims made as a result of the support that they have provided the SoS, except where there has been fraud, wilful default or bad faith. The indemnity is uncapped and not time limited. The prospect of a claim is assessed as remote and that of a claim against the Government’s indemnity very remote. This indemnity cannot be called upon by any of the parties to the sale as they have waived the right to bring a claim against GIB employees. A claim can only be brought by a third party.

If the liability is called upon, provision for payment will be made through the normal supply procedure. The Treasury approved the proposal in principle prior to the then Chairs of the PAC and BEIS Committees being notified.

As a matter of record, I have today laid a copy of a Departmental Minute for both Houses explaining the procedure followed and containing a description of the liabilities undertaken.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS116
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Mel Stride (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury )
Commons

Draft legislation for the Finance (No.2) Bill

As has been previously announced, the Government will introduce a Finance Bill following the autumn Budget.

In line with the approach to tax policy making, set out in the 2010 ‘Tax Consultation Framework’, the Government is committed, where possible, to publishing most tax legislation in draft for technical consultation before the relevant Finance Bill is laid before Parliament.

The Government will publish draft clauses for the Finance Bill on Wednesday 13 September 2017, along with accompanying explanatory notes, tax information and impact notes and other supporting documents.

The consultation on the draft clauses will be open until Wednesday 25 October 2017.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS115
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy )
Commons

The Government’s response to consultation on the Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper

One of the UK’s biggest assets in competing in the global economy is its reputation for being a dependable and confident place in which to do business. This has been maintained by keeping the corporate governance framework up to date.

The Government published the Green Paper on corporate governance reform last November. It focused on three specific aspects of corporate governance where the Government saw particular scope to strengthen the current framework – executive pay, corporate governance in large privately-held businesses, and the steps that company boards take to engage and listen to employees, suppliers and other groups with an interest in corporate performance.

The Green Paper attracted 375 responses from a wide cross-section of business and society and has provided Government with a solid basis on which to take decisions. It has also benefited from the work of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee which published recommendations for corporate governance reform in April.

Three key themes emerged from responses to the consultation.

First, in relation to executive pay, there were widely held concerns that a small minority of companies are not responding adequately when they encounter significant shareholder opposition to levels of executive pay and that remuneration committees need to do more to demonstrate that they are sensitive to pay and conditions across the wider workforce.

Second, a widely held view that large companies could do more to strengthen the employee, customer, supplier and wider stakeholder voice at boardroom level as a key factor in improving boardroom decision-making, delivering more sustainable business performance and building wider public confidence in the way businesses are run.

Third, there was a widely held view that there should be more transparency and accountability for corporate governance in large privately-held businesses, reflecting their economic and social significance.

The Government has now published its response to the consultation setting out the proposals that it now intends to take forward to address these and other corporate governance issues. They involve a combination of secondary legislation, enhancements to the UK Corporate Governance Code (which is overseen by the Financial Reporting Council) and voluntary, business-led action.

The Government intends to introduce secondary legislation to:

  • Require quoted companies to report annually the ratio of chief executive total remuneration to the average pay of the company's UK employees, and to set out more clearly in remuneration policies the impact of share price growth on long-term executive pay outcomes;
  • Require all companies of significant size to explain how their directors comply with their requirements under Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 to have regard to employee and other interests;
  • Require the UK's largest companies, including privately-held businesses, to disclose their corporate governance arrangements, including whether they follow any formal code, except where they are already subject to an equivalent reporting requirement.

The Government has also invited the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), as part of its consultation on a revised UK Corporate Governance Code later this year, to consider a number of new provisions including:

  • Giving company remuneration committees a broader responsibility for overseeing pay and incentives across the company and explaining how these relate to executive pay incentives;
  • Requiring companies to be more specific about the steps they should take to address significant shareholder dissent on executive pay (and other matters);
  • Requiring companies, on a comply or explain basis, to adopt one of three employee engagement mechanisms: a designated non-executive director, an employee advisory council or a director from the workforce.

The Government has asked business and professional bodies to take forward related business-led initiatives, including:

  • Inviting the CBl, the Institute of Directors, the British Venture Capital Association and the lnstitute of Family Businesses to work with the FRC to develop a voluntary set of corporate governance principles for large, privately-held businesses; and
  • Asking the lnvestment Association to implement its proposal to establish and maintain a public register of companies receiving significant shareholder votes against resolutions, including on executive pay.

In addition, the Government has asked the FRC, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Insolvency Service to conclude new or, in some cases, revised letters of understanding with each other before the end of this year to ensure the most effective use of their existing powers to sanction directors and ensure the integrity of corporate governance reporting. The Government will consider, in the light of this work, whether further action is required.

Implementation of these measures will improve shareholder scrutiny of executive remuneration, strengthen the employee voice in board-rooms and build confidence in the way companies, both listed and private are run. They will build on the UK’s corporate governance strengths and help ensure that we are equipped for the economic opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

The Government’s full response to the Green Paper consultation is available on the gov.uk website and copies have been placed in the Library of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS114
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Lord Prior of Brampton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

The Government’s response to consultation on the Corporate Governance Reform Green Paper

My right Honourable Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (Greg Clark), has made the following written ministerial statement:

One of the UK’s biggest assets in competing in the global economy is its reputation for being a dependable and confident place in which to do business. This has been maintained by keeping the corporate governance framework up to date.

The Government published the Green Paper on corporate governance reform last November. It focused on three specific aspects of corporate governance where the Government saw particular scope to strengthen the current framework – executive pay, corporate governance in large privately-held businesses, and the steps that company boards take to engage and listen to employees, suppliers and other groups with an interest in corporate performance.

The Green Paper attracted 375 responses from a wide cross-section of business and society and has provided Government with a solid basis on which to take decisions. It has also benefited from the work of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee which published recommendations for corporate governance reform in April.

Three key themes emerged from responses to the consultation.

First, in relation to executive pay, there were widely held concerns that a small minority of companies are not responding adequately when they encounter significant shareholder opposition to levels of executive pay and that remuneration committees need to do more to demonstrate that they are sensitive to pay and conditions across the wider workforce.

Second, a widely held view that large companies could do more to strengthen the employee, customer, supplier and wider stakeholder voice at boardroom level as a key factor in improving boardroom decision-making, delivering more sustainable business performance and building wider public confidence in the way businesses are run.

Third, there was a widely held view that there should be more transparency and accountability for corporate governance in large privately-held businesses, reflecting their economic and social significance.

The Government has now published its response to the consultation setting out the proposals that it now intends to take forward to address these and other corporate governance issues. They involve a combination of secondary legislation, enhancements to the UK Corporate Governance Code (which is overseen by the Financial Reporting Council) and voluntary, business-led action.

The Government intends to introduce secondary legislation to:

  • Require quoted companies to report annually the ratio of chief executive total remuneration to the average pay of the company's UK employees, and to set out more clearly in remuneration policies the impact of share price growth on long-term executive pay outcomes;
  • Require all companies of significant size to explain how their directors comply with their requirements under Section 172 of the Companies Act 2006 to have regard to employee and other interests;
  • Require the UK's largest companies, including privately-held businesses, to disclose their corporate governance arrangements, including whether they follow any formal code, except where they are already subject to an equivalent reporting requirement.

The Government has also invited the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), as part of its consultation on a revised UK Corporate Governance Code later this year, to consider a number of new provisions including:

  • Giving company remuneration committees a broader responsibility for overseeing pay and incentives across the company and explaining how these relate to executive pay incentives;
  • Requiring companies to be more specific about the steps they should take to address significant shareholder dissent on executive pay (and other matters);
  • Requiring companies, on a comply or explain basis, to adopt one of three employee engagement mechanisms: a designated non-executive director, an employee advisory council or a director from the workforce.

The Government has asked business and professional bodies to take forward related business-led initiatives, including:

  • Inviting the CBl, the Institute of Directors, the British Venture Capital Association and the lnstitute of Family Businesses to work with the FRC to develop a voluntary set of corporate governance principles for large, privately-held businesses; and
  • Asking the lnvestment Association to implement its proposal to establish and maintain a public register of companies receiving significant shareholder votes against resolutions, including on executive pay.

In addition, the Government has asked the FRC, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Insolvency Service to conclude new or, in some cases, revised letters of understanding with each other before the end of this year to ensure the most effective use of their existing powers to sanction directors and ensure the integrity of corporate governance reporting. The Government will consider, in the light of this work, whether further action is required.

Implementation of these measures will improve shareholder scrutiny of executive remuneration, strengthen the employee voice in board-rooms and build confidence in the way companies, both listed and private are run. They will build on the UK’s corporate governance strengths and help ensure that we are equipped for the economic opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

The Government’s full response to the Green Paper consultation is available on the gov.uk website and copies have been placed in the Library of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS112
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Baroness Anelay of St Johns (Minister of State for Exiting the European Union)
Lords

Publications on the UK’s future partnership with the EU

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Mr David Davis, has made the following statement:

Over the summer, the Government has published a series of papers setting out key issues that form part of the Government’s vision for the future deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU.

Each paper reflects the engagement the Government has sought from external parties with expertise in these policy areas, drawing on the very extensive work undertaken across government since last year’s referendum. Taken together, these papers are an essential step towards building a new partnership to promote our shared interests and values.

These future partnership papers published to date are:

  • Future customs arrangements (15 August);

  • Providing a cross-border civil judicial cooperation framework (22 August);

  • Enforcement and dispute resolution (23 August); and

  • The exchange and protection of personal data (24 August).

Today we are publishing the next paper in this series: Collaboration on Science and innovation.

Since the start of summer recess, the Government has also published position papers in advance of formal negotiation rounds with the EU, and technical notes to support the negotiations.

The position papers are:

  • Northern Ireland and Ireland (16 August);

  • Confidentiality and access to documents (21 August); and

  • Continuity in the availability of goods for the EU and the UK (21 August).

The technical notes are:

  • Spent fuel and radioactive waste (28 August);

  • Existing contracts for the supply of nuclear material (28 August);

  • Functionality and Protocol 7 (28 August); and

  • The comparison of EU-UK positions on citizens' rights (joint technical note) (first published 20 July; updated 31 August).

Copies of all these papers, and any further position and future partnership papers, will be deposited in the libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS111
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Lord Nash (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System )
Lords

Childcare Update

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Children and Families (Robert Goodwill) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 1 September 2017, 30 hours of free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds went live nationally in England, saving families up to £5,000 per year per child. Alongside the childcare support the Government provides through Tax-Free Childcare and Universal Credit, this additional free childcare is easing working families’ budgets, helping them to balance the cost of childcare with work.

The Government investment programme will deliver a record £6 billion per year in childcare by 2020, which includes an extra £1 billion per year to deliver the free entitlements. In addition, a further £100 million in capital funding has been committed to help providers create additional 30 hours places.

More than 200,000 30 hours codes have been issued to eligible parents wishing to take up a place this autumn, which exceeds our target for this term. These families join the existing 15,000 families who are already benefitting from 30 hours free childcare in the twelve early delivery areas.

An independent evaluation of four of these early delivery areas, published on 31 August, found that 30 hours incentivised many parents to increase their working hours or move into work, and parents were overwhelmingly positive about the offer. The report can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-rollout-of-30-hours-free-childcare-evaluation. These findings build on the evaluation of the first eight delivery areas, which found that 23% of mothers and around one in ten fathers are working more as a result. The evaluation also shows that more than three quarters of parents reported greater flexibility in their working life as a result of 30 hours, enabling them to spend more time together at home with their children, reducing stress and improving family finances. Importantly, the report found that more than eight out of ten childcare providers who are offering the existing 15 hours entitlements also went on to offer 30 hours. This demonstrates that the sector has responded very positively to the additional demand for childcare places from working families.

During the autumn, I will be closely monitoring delivery to ensure continued improvements to the offer for parents and providers. The Childcare Choices website has now received over 1 million visits since launching in March, and the Department for Education will continue to work with local authorities to ensure parents have high quality information about accessing the offer.

I will continue to work closely with Her Majesty’s Treasury Ministers to ensure that parents are able to access the HMRC-run childcare service smoothly. The majority of parents have successfully applied using the childcare service. Some parents experienced difficulties accessing the service through the system by the 31 August application deadline but those parents who are eligible, and applied before the deadline, will have a code to allow them to access our 30 hours free childcare.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS110
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Mr David Davis (Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

Publications on the UK’s future partnership with the EU

Over the summer, the Government has published a series of papers setting out key issues that form part of the Government’s vision for the future deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU.

Each paper reflects the engagement the Government has sought from external parties with expertise in these policy areas, drawing on the very extensive work undertaken across government since last year’s referendum. Taken together, these papers are an essential step towards building a new partnership to promote our shared interests and values.

These future partnership papers published to date are:

  • Future customs arrangements (15 August);

  • Providing a cross-border civil judicial cooperation framework (22 August);

  • Enforcement and dispute resolution (23 August); and

  • The exchange and protection of personal data (24 August).

Today we are publishing the next paper in this series: Collaboration on Science and innovation.

Since the start of summer recess, the Government has also published position papers in advance of formal negotiation rounds with the EU, and technical notes to support the negotiations.

The position papers are:

  • Northern Ireland and Ireland (16 August);

  • Confidentiality and access to documents (21 August); and

  • Continuity in the availability of goods for the EU and the UK (21 August).

The technical notes are:

  • Spent fuel and radioactive waste (28 August);

  • Existing contracts for the supply of nuclear material (28 August);

  • Functionality and Protocol 7 (28 August); and

  • The comparison of EU-UK positions on citizens' rights (joint technical note) (first published 20 July; updated 31 August).

Copies of all these papers, and any further position and future partnership papers, will be deposited in the libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS113
WS
Department of Health
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Update on Infected Blood Inquiry

My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Jackie Doyle-Price) has made the following written statement:

Following the announcement of the Government’s intention to hold an inquiry into infected blood on 11th July, I am writing to update the House on progress.

Bishop James Jones, former Chair of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and Chair of the Gosport Independent Panel, had a telephone meeting with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood and a number of the campaign groups on 27th July. Following this meeting, the Bishop informed the Department of Health of the request to remove the 18th August deadline for views on the format and scope of the upcoming independent inquiry. The Government also heard this view from the correspondence we have received. It is important that the inquiry is informed by the views of the people who have been affected by contaminated blood.

The Government has therefore decided to extend the deadline to 18th October 2017, to ensure that we hear as many opinions as possible. The government has written to the beneficiaries of the payment schemes directly to inform them of this change. We are grateful to those who have already sent their views; these will be taken into consideration.

We are also aware of the requests from some stakeholders to move the sponsorship of the inquiry to another Government department. We can confirm that this is being considered as part of the consultation and that no decision has yet been taken on sponsorship.

The Government will provide a further update to the House after the consultation closes on 18th October.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS109
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Mr Robert Goodwill (The Minister of State for Children and Families)
Commons

Childcare Update

On 1 September 2017, 30 hours of free childcare for working parents of three and four year olds went live nationally in England, saving families up to £5,000 per year per child. Alongside the childcare support the Government provides through Tax-Free Childcare and Universal Credit, this additional free childcare is easing working families’ budgets, helping them to balance the cost of childcare with work.

The Government investment programme will deliver a record £6 billion per year in childcare by 2020, which includes an extra £1 billion per year to deliver the free entitlements. In addition, a further £100 million in capital funding has been committed to help providers create additional 30 hours places.

More than 200,000 30 hours codes have been issued to eligible parents wishing to take up a place this autumn, which exceeds our target for this term. These families join the existing 15,000 families who are already benefitting from 30 hours free childcare in the twelve early delivery areas.

An independent evaluation of four of these early delivery areas, published on 31 August, found that 30 hours incentivised many parents to increase their working hours or move into work, and parents were overwhelmingly positive about the offer. The report can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-rollout-of-30-hours-free-childcare-evaluation. These findings build on the evaluation of the first eight delivery areas, which found that 23% of mothers and around one in ten fathers are working more as a result. The evaluation also shows that more than three quarters of parents reported greater flexibility in their working life as a result of 30 hours, enabling them to spend more time together at home with their children, reducing stress and improving family finances. Importantly, the report found that more than eight out of ten childcare providers who are offering the existing 15 hours entitlements also went on to offer 30 hours. This demonstrates that the sector has responded very positively to the additional demand for childcare places from working families.

During the autumn, I will be closely monitoring delivery to ensure continued improvements to the offer for parents and providers. The Childcare Choices website has now received over 1 million visits since launching in March, and the Department for Education will continue to work with local authorities to ensure parents have high quality information about accessing the offer.

I will continue to work closely with Her Majesty’s Treasury Ministers to ensure that parents are able to access the HMRC-run childcare service smoothly. The majority of parents have successfully applied using the childcare service. Some parents experienced difficulties accessing the service through the system by the 31 August application deadline but those parents who are eligible, and applied before the deadline, will have a code to allow them to access our 30 hours free childcare.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS112
WS
Department of Health
Made on: 06 September 2017
Made by: Jackie Doyle-Price (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Commons

Update on Infected Blood Inquiry

Following the announcement of the Government’s intention to hold an inquiry into infected blood on 11th July, I am writing to update the House on progress.

Bishop James Jones, former Chair of the Hillsborough Independent Panel and Chair of the Gosport Independent Panel, had a telephone meeting with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Haemophilia and Contaminated Blood and a number of the campaign groups on 27th July. Following this meeting, the Bishop informed the Department of Health of the request to remove the 18th August deadline for views on the format and scope of the upcoming independent inquiry. The Government also heard this view from the correspondence we have received. It is important that the inquiry is informed by the views of the people who have been affected by contaminated blood.

The Government has therefore decided to extend the deadline to 18th October 2017, to ensure that we hear as many opinions as possible. The government has written to the beneficiaries of the payment schemes directly to inform them of this change. We are grateful to those who have already sent their views; these will be taken into consideration.

We are also aware of the requests from some stakeholders to move the sponsorship of the inquiry to another Government department. We can confirm that this is being considered as part of the consultation and that no decision has yet been taken on sponsorship.

The Government will provide a further update to the House after the consultation closes on 18th October.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS111
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 05 September 2017
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Notification of contingent liability

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (Philip Hammond) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Governor of the Bank of England requested on 3 August 2017 to raise the limit on purchases that may be undertaken by the Asset Purchase Facility (APF). This will ensure that the Term Funding Scheme (TFS) can continue to lend central bank reserves to banks and building societies during a defined drawdown window at rates close to Bank Rate, to ensure that the very low level of Bank Rate is passed through to households and businesses.

When the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) first introduced the scheme in August 2016, I agreed with the Governor of the Bank of England that total TFS drawings would be determined by usage of the scheme. I have therefore authorised an increase in the total size of the APF used to finance the TFS from £100 billion to £115 billion, in line with the current profile of TFS drawings and based on a drawdown window that will close at the end of February 2018. This will bring the maximum size of the APF to £560 billion.

In line with the requirements in the MPC remit, the amendments to the APF that could affect the allocation of credit and pose risks to the Exchequer have been discussed with Treasury officials. The risk control framework previously agreed with the Treasury will remain in place.

The Government will continue to indemnify the Bank and the APF from any losses arising out of, or in connection with, the Facility. If the liability is called, provision for any payment will be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

On 3 August 2017 I wrote to the Chairs of the Public Accounts Committee and Treasury Committee and invited them to raise any objections to my decision. A full departmental Minute is laid in the House of Commons providing more detail on this contingent liability.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS108
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 05 September 2017
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

Notification of contingent liability

The Governor of the Bank of England requested on 3 August 2017 to raise the limit on purchases that may be undertaken by the Asset Purchase Facility (APF). This will ensure that the Term Funding Scheme (TFS) can continue to lend central bank reserves to banks and building societies during a defined drawdown window at rates close to Bank Rate, to ensure that the very low level of Bank Rate is passed through to households and businesses.

When the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) first introduced the scheme in August 2016, I agreed with the Governor of the Bank of England that total TFS drawings would be determined by usage of the scheme. I have therefore authorised an increase in the total size of the APF used to finance the TFS from £100 billion to £115 billion, in line with the current profile of TFS drawings and based on a drawdown window that will close at the end of February 2018. This will bring the maximum size of the APF to £560 billion.

In line with the requirements in the MPC remit, the amendments to the APF that could affect the allocation of credit and pose risks to the Exchequer have been discussed with Treasury officials. The risk control framework previously agreed with the Treasury will remain in place.

The Government will continue to indemnify the Bank and the APF from any losses arising out of, or in connection with, the Facility. If the liability is called, provision for any payment will be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

On 3 August 2017 I wrote to the Chairs of the Public Accounts Committee and Treasury Committee and invited them to raise any objections to my decision. A full departmental Minute is laid in the House of Commons providing more detail on this contingent liability.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS110
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 05 September 2017
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Finance Bill

My right honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Mel Stride) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Finance Bill will be published on Friday 8 September.

Explanatory notes on the Bill will be available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office and placed in the Libraries of both Houses on 12 September.

Copies of the explanatory notes will also be available on GOV.UK.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS107
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 05 September 2017
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) )
Lords

Iraq- Update

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Sir Michael Fallon) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Since my quarterly Counter Daesh statement on 13 July (Official Report, column 445), after a period of reset and recovery, the Iraqi Security Forces have delivered a swift victory over Daesh in Tal Afar. On 20 August, with Coalition support, they began the operation to retake the town. On 31 August, Prime Minister Abadi announced the liberation of Tal Afar and all of Ninewah Province. I congratulate Prime Minister Abadi, and all of the Iraqi Security Forces for their success. There is however, still more work to be done and the UK will continue to support the ISF in their efforts to finally clear Daesh from Iraq.

As part of the next phase of the Coalition plan to defeat Daesh, the Coalition asked the UK to provide additional support in constructing supplementary accommodation and office space at Al Asad Air Base in Iraq to enable operations in the Euphrates River Valley. A team of Royal Engineers Infrastructure specialists has therefore deployed for a period of around five months, to undertake this vital work. The soldiers had been held at readiness in the UK for such a task. These troops will remain inside the secure air base. This deployment will temporarily raise the number of UK troops based in Iraq as part of Operation SHADER to just over 600.

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