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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Ministry of Defence
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State, Ministry of Defence)
Lords

National Memorial to British Victims of Overseas Terrorism

My right hon. Friend the Minister for Defence People and Veterans (Tobias Ellwood) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to inform Parliament that the National Memorial to British Victims of Overseas Terrorism has now been completed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, and is open to the public to visit.

The process to select the artist and design for the Memorial began with a public online consultation in 2016. This consultation identified strong public support and set out what was important to those with an interest in the Memorial.

I am grateful to Baroness Chalker of Wallasey and the other members of the independent Panel which took forward the selection of the artists and design for the Memorial. They based their decisions on the results of the consultation in 2016.

The overarching themes of the consultation were that the Memorial should be a place of remembrance, where people could pay their respects to those who had lost their lives. It was also clear that the Memorial should be a place of contemplation and reflection, with many respondents suggesting that the Memorial should be a place of tranquillity and quiet reflection, and a place for families to visit and sit.

I am pleased with the way that the artist, Alison Wilding, and maker and sculptor, Adam Kershaw have responded to these themes, through their work, Still Water.

I am grateful also to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whose officials have delivered this project on my behalf. Those Departments that have a direct responsibility for supporting the families of victims of overseas terrorism will now work together to ensure that the families of future victims of terrorism overseas are connected with the Memorial sensitively, and by the most appropriate part of Government at the time. The new, cross-Government Victims of Terrorism Unit is well-placed to consider this work.

On 17 May 2018, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, I will be hosting a Dedication Ceremony at the site of the Memorial for families that have successfully applied online to attend. Further information, including how to apply to attend the event, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-memorial-dedication-ceremony

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Mr Tobias Ellwood (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence)
Commons

National Memorial to British Victims of Overseas Terrorism

I am pleased to inform Parliament that the National Memorial to British Victims of Overseas Terrorism has now been completed at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, and is open to the public to visit.

The process to select the artist and design for the Memorial began with a public online consultation in 2016. This consultation identified strong public support and set out what was important to those with an interest in the Memorial.

I am grateful to Baroness Chalker of Wallasey and the other members of the independent Panel which took forward the selection of the artists and design for the Memorial. They based their decisions on the results of the consultation in 2016.

The overarching themes of the consultation were that the Memorial should be a place of remembrance, where people could pay their respects to those who had lost their lives. It was also clear that the Memorial should be a place of contemplation and reflection, with many respondents suggesting that the Memorial should be a place of tranquillity and quiet reflection, and a place for families to visit and sit.

I am pleased with the way that the artist, Alison Wilding, and maker and sculptor, Adam Kershaw have responded to these themes, through their work, Still Water.

I am grateful also to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whose officials have delivered this project on my behalf. Those Departments that have a direct responsibility for supporting the families of victims of overseas terrorism will now work together to ensure that the families of future victims of terrorism overseas are connected with the Memorial sensitively, and by the most appropriate part of Government at the time. The new, cross-Government Victims of Terrorism Unit is well-placed to consider this work.

On 17 May 2018, on behalf of Her Majesty’s Government, I will be hosting a Dedication Ceremony at the site of the Memorial for families that have successfully applied online to attend. Further information, including how to apply to attend the event, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-memorial-dedication-ceremony

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Social Work England update

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families (Nadhim Zahawi) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

My honourable friend the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care (Caroline Dinenage) and I are today launching a public consultation on the policy to establish regulations and the regulatory framework for Social Work England. The framework and the regulations within it are to be made under Part 2 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

Social work is a complex and challenging profession. The best social workers deliver truly excellent provision that has the power to transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

We want all social workers to be equipped to deliver outstanding services. Key to delivering on this vision is a highly skilled and expert workforce. We have developed a significant reform programme, across child and family and adult social work, to improve both the quality of social work practice, and the systems which support social workers.

A fundamental part of this reform programme is delivering on our commitment to establish Social Work England: a new, specialist regulator for social workers in England. Like the other health and social care regulators across the UK, Social Work England’s primary objective will be protection of the public. It will achieve its objective through setting professional, education and training standards for social workers, and providing assurance that those registered meet the standards, are qualified and remain fit to practise. By doing so, it will promote public confidence and trust in this vital profession.

Health and social care professional regulation is undergoing change. While the regulators are generally effective in protecting the public from serious harm, there has been criticism, including from the regulators themselves, that the system can be slow, inefficient, overly adversarial and confusing to patients and the public. Government recognises that the regulation of all healthcare professionals needs to be faster, simpler, better and less costly and is reviewing the regulation of healthcare professionals through its consultation Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation. Social Work England is at the forefront of this reform.

Therefore, the regulatory framework for Social Work England, described in this consultation, aims to take account of the latest thinking, enabling the regulator to be more streamlined, proportionate and efficient. Social Work England will be able to operate systems and processes which adapt to emerging opportunities, challenges and best practice, ensuring professional regulation reflects the changing reality of delivering social work practice safely and effectively.

The consultation will run for six weeks and ends on 21 March. It seeks views on a range of key issues. A copy of the draft regulatory framework forms part of the consultation.

Copies of the consultation document will be placed in the House Library and available on the Government’s website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?keywords=&publication_filter_option=consultations&topics%5B%5D=all&departments%5B%5D=department-for-education&official_document_status=all&world_locations%5B%5D=all&from_date=&to_date=.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS463
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Infected Blood Inquiry

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am announcing today the appointment of Sir Brian Langstaff to head the public inquiry into the Infected Blood scandal. The inquiry will be established under the 2005 Inquiries Act, with full powers, including the power to compel the ​production of documents, and to summon witnesses to give evidence on oath.

In relation to the appointment of the Chair, the Lord Chief Justice was asked to recommend a judge who, in his view, would be best suited to the task. The Lord Chief Justice recommended Sir Brian Langstaff: a highly respected and hugely experienced High Court judge. I have accepted the Lord Chief Justice’s recommendation.

Sir Brian will be the full time Chair of the Inquiry from 1 May following his retirement from the High Court. However, in order that those who have been affected by this tragedy face no further undue delay, he will use the intervening period to conduct a further consultation on the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference

The infected blood scandal of the ’70s and ’80s was an appalling tragedy that should never have happened. The victims of this tragedy who have endured so much pain and hardship deserve answers. It is crucial that their views are properly reflected in the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. He will want to listen carefully to the voices of those that have suffered before making a recommendation to me on what the scope of the Inquiry should be. I will return to Parliament with the final terms of reference as soon as this process has been completed.

The Government will ensure that the inquiry has the resources that it needs to complete its work. The Inquiry will, of course, also be independent of the Government.

It is very important that the Inquiry can identify why and how this tragedy occurred and provide answers for the all victims who have suffered so terribly, and can identify lessons to be learned so that a tragedy of this scale can never happen again.

WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity)
Lords

January Agriculture and Fisheries Council

My Hon Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment (Thérèse Coffey) has today made the following statement.

I represented the United Kingdom at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 29 January in Brussels.

Council began with a presentation by the Bulgarian Presidency, outlining its work programme until the end of June. This set out that discussion on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be prioritised in Agriculture and Fisheries Council; regular updates on EU agricultural markets will continue, along with a discussion of proposals for strengthening the position of farmers in the food supply chain; and items on a Spirit Drink Regulation, forestry, animal health and veterinary medicines will also feature.

The focus of this Council was an exchange of views on the Common Agricultural Policy post 2020. Member states displayed a variety of positions regarding the future direction of the CAP. The UK committed to working closely with EU colleagues in tackling shared challenges in farming policy, and signalled future efforts by the UK Government to bring together agriculture and environment policy, such as the 25 year Environment Plan for England.

The Council moved on to EU agriculture markets, and Commissioner Hogan gave an update on the sugar, dairy and pigmeat markets. Alongside this update, the French and Belgian delegations prompted a further discussion with their ideas for releasing EU stocks of Skimmed Milk Powder. The Polish delegation requested further discussion on the EU pigmeat market. Commissioner Hogan then updated the Council on December’s WTO Ministerial Conference and trade negotiations with Mercosur.

There were four further items discussed under ‘Any other business’:

  • the German delegation presented the conclusions of the Agriculture Ministers Conference 2018 in the context of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (Berlin, 20 January 2018)

  • the French delegation presented the conclusions from the Ministerial Conference on Xylella fastidiosa (Paris, 1 December 2017)

  • the German delegation presented conclusions from the high-level meeting on African swine fever (ASF) at the International Green Week (Berlin, 19 January 2018)

  • the Czech delegation highlighted the involvement of European research in eradicating African swine fever in the EU.

On 23 June 2016, the EU referendum took place and the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Until we leave the EU, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. During this period the Government will continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation. The outcome of these negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in future once the UK has left the EU.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS461
WS
Leader of the House of Lords
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Baroness Evans of Bowes Park (The Lord Privy Seal)
Lords

Working Group on an Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy

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

In November, my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister convened a cross-party Working Group to establish a new independent complaints and grievance procedure, in response to reports of sexual harassment and bullying in parliament.

As Chairman of the Working Group, I am pleased to confirm that all members of the Working Group and all Party Leaders have agreed a report which is being published today.

I attach a copy of the report of the Working Group to this statement for the convenience of members.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Local government improvement improvement in Suffolk

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Sajid Javid), has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 7 November and 30 November respectively I told the House that I was minded to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, locally-supported proposals I had received from the respective councils to merge district councils in East Suffolk and in West Suffolk, and I invited representations before I took my final decisions on these proposals.

Having carefully considered all the representations I have received and all the relevant information available to me, I am today announcing that I have decided to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, both proposals – that is to merge Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils to become a new single district council named East Suffolk, and to merge Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council to become a new single district council named West Suffolk.

I have reached my decisions having regard to the criteria for district council mergers I announced to the House on 7 November. I am satisfied that these criteria are met and that both new district councils are likely to improve local government and service delivery in their areas, command a good deal of local support, and that each council area is a credible geography.

I now intend to prepare and lay before Parliament drafts of the necessary secondary legislation to give effect to my decisions. My intention is that if Parliament approves this legislation the new councils will be established on 1 April 2019 with the first elections to the councils held on 2 May 2019.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS462
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office )
Commons

Infected Blood Inquiry

I am announcing today the appointment of Sir Brian Langstaff to head the public inquiry into the Infected Blood scandal. The inquiry will be established under the 2005 Inquiries Act, with full powers, including the power to compel the ​production of documents, and to summon witnesses to give evidence on oath.

In relation to the appointment of the Chair, the Lord Chief Justice was asked to recommend a judge who, in his view, would be best suited to the task. The Lord Chief Justice recommended Sir Brian Langstaff: a highly respected and hugely experienced High Court judge. I have accepted the Lord Chief Justice’s recommendation.

Sir Brian will be the full time Chair of the Inquiry from 1 May following his retirement from the High Court. However, in order that those who have been affected by this tragedy face no further undue delay, he will use the intervening period to conduct a further consultation on the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference

The infected blood scandal of the ’70s and ’80s was an appalling tragedy that should never have happened. The victims of this tragedy who have endured so much pain and hardship deserve answers. It is crucial that their views are properly reflected in the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. He will want to listen carefully to the voices of those that have suffered before making a recommendation to me on what the scope of the Inquiry should be. I will return to Parliament with the final terms of reference as soon as this process has been completed.

The Government will ensure that the inquiry has the resources that it needs to complete its work. The Inquiry will, of course, also be independent of the Government.

It is very important that the Inquiry can identify why and how this tragedy occurred and provide answers for the all victims who have suffered so terribly, and can identify lessons to be learned so that a tragedy of this scale can never happen again.

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Nadhim Zahawi (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families)
Commons

Social Work England update

My honourable friend the Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care (Caroline Dinenage) and I are today launching a public consultation on the policy to establish regulations and the regulatory framework for Social Work England. The framework and the regulations within it are to be made under Part 2 of the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

Social work is a complex and challenging profession. The best social workers deliver truly excellent provision that has the power to transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

We want all social workers to be equipped to deliver outstanding services. Key to delivering on this vision is a highly skilled and expert workforce. We have developed a significant reform programme, across child and family and adult social work, to improve both the quality of social work practice, and the systems which support social workers.

A fundamental part of this reform programme is delivering on our commitment to establish Social Work England: a new, specialist regulator for social workers in England. Like the other health and social care regulators across the UK, Social Work England’s primary objective will be protection of the public. It will achieve its objective through setting professional, education and training standards for social workers, and providing assurance that those registered meet the standards, are qualified and remain fit to practise. By doing so, it will promote public confidence and trust in this vital profession.

Health and social care professional regulation is undergoing change. While the regulators are generally effective in protecting the public from serious harm, there has been criticism, including from the regulators themselves, that the system can be slow, inefficient, overly adversarial and confusing to patients and the public. Government recognises that the regulation of all healthcare professionals needs to be faster, simpler, better and less costly and is reviewing the regulation of healthcare professionals through its consultation Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation. Social Work England is at the forefront of this reform.

Therefore, the regulatory framework for Social Work England, described in this consultation, aims to take account of the latest thinking, enabling the regulator to be more streamlined, proportionate and efficient. Social Work England will be able to operate systems and processes which adapt to emerging opportunities, challenges and best practice, ensuring professional regulation reflects the changing reality of delivering social work practice safely and effectively.

The consultation will run for six weeks and ends on 21 March. It seeks views on a range of key issues. A copy of the draft regulatory framework forms part of the consultation.

Copies of the consultation document will be placed in the House Library and available on the Government’s website here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?keywords=&publication_filter_option=consultations&topics%5B%5D=all&departments%5B%5D=department-for-education&official_document_status=all&world_locations%5B%5D=all&from_date=&to_date=.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS451
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Sajid Javid (Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Local Government improvement in Suffolk

On 7 November and 30 November respectively I told the House that I was minded to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, locally-supported proposals I had received from the respective councils to merge district councils in East Suffolk and in West Suffolk, and I invited representations before I took my final decisions on these proposals.

Having carefully considered all the representations I have received and all the relevant information available to me, I am today announcing that I have decided to implement, subject to Parliamentary approval, both proposals – that is to merge Suffolk Coastal and Waveney district councils to become a new single district council named East Suffolk, and to merge Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council to become a new single district council named West Suffolk.

I have reached my decisions having regard to the criteria for district council mergers I announced to the House on 7 November. I am satisfied that these criteria are met and that both new district councils are likely to improve local government and service delivery in their areas, command a good deal of local support, and that each council area is a credible geography.

I now intend to prepare and lay before Parliament drafts of the necessary secondary legislation to give effect to my decisions. My intention is that if Parliament approves this legislation the new councils will be established on 1 April 2019 with the first elections to the councils held on 2 May 2019.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS447
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Dr Thérèse Coffey (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment )
Commons

January Agriculture and Fisheries Council

I represented the United Kingdom at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 29 January in Brussels.

Council began with a presentation by the Bulgarian Presidency, outlining its work programme until the end of June. This set out that discussion on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will be prioritised in Agriculture and Fisheries Council; regular updates on EU agricultural markets will continue, along with a discussion of proposals for strengthening the position of farmers in the food supply chain; and items on a Spirit Drink Regulation, forestry, animal health and veterinary medicines will also feature.

The focus of this Council was an exchange of views on the Common Agricultural Policy post 2020. Member states displayed a variety of positions regarding the future direction of the CAP. The UK committed to working closely with EU colleagues in tackling shared challenges in farming policy, and signalled future efforts by the UK Government to bring together agriculture and environment policy, such as the 25 year Environment Plan for England.

The Council moved on to EU agriculture markets, and Commissioner Hogan gave an update on the sugar, dairy and pigmeat markets. Alongside this update, the French and Belgian delegations prompted a further discussion with their ideas for releasing EU stocks of Skimmed Milk Powder. The Polish delegation requested further discussion on the EU pigmeat market. Commissioner Hogan then updated the Council on December’s WTO Ministerial Conference and trade negotiations with Mercosur.

There were four further items discussed under ‘Any other business’:

  • the German delegation presented the conclusions of the Agriculture Ministers Conference 2018 in the context of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (Berlin, 20 January 2018)

  • the French delegation presented the conclusions from the Ministerial Conference on Xylella fastidiosa (Paris, 1 December 2017)

  • the German delegation presented conclusions from the high-level meeting on African swine fever (ASF) at the International Green Week (Berlin, 19 January 2018)

  • the Czech delegation highlighted the involvement of European research in eradicating African swine fever in the EU.

On 23 June 2016, the EU referendum took place and the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Until we leave the EU, the UK remains a full member of the European Union and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. During this period the Government will continue to negotiate, implement and apply EU legislation. The outcome of these negotiations will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in future once the UK has left the EU.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS449
WS
Leader of the House
Made on: 08 February 2018
Made by: Andrea Leadsom (The Leader of the House of Commons)
Commons

Working Group on an Independent Complaints and Grievance Policy

In November, my Rt Hon Friend the Prime Minister convened a cross-party Working Group to establish a new independent complaints and grievance procedure, in response to reports of sexual harassment and bullying in parliament.

As Chairman of the Working Group, I am pleased to confirm that all members of the Working Group and all Party Leaders have agreed a report which is being published today.

I attach a copy of the report of the Working Group to this statement for the convenience of members.

Working Group Report (PDF Document, 428.64 KB)
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 07 February 2018
Made by: Nadhim Zahawi (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families)
Commons

Schools and Early Years Update

Following the two public consultations my Department ran recently, I am pleased to announce my intention to lay regulations in the House later today that will introduce net earned income thresholds under Universal Credit for free school meals, the early years pupil premium, and the early education entitlement for disadvantaged two-year-olds.

This approach is consistent with how other government departments have set criteria for other ‘passported’ benefits.

The changes will come into force on 1 April 2018 for the start of the school summer term. Under our proposals, we estimate that by 2022 around 50,000 more children will benefit from a free school meal compared to the previous benefits system. In addition, we will apply transitional protection to anyone currently receiving free school meals.

These changes do not affect the criteria for universal infant free school meals, which will continue to be available to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 regardless of parental income.

For free school meals and the early years pupil premium we are introducing a net earnings threshold of £7,400 per annum. A typical family earning around £7,400 per annum would, depending on their exact circumstances, have a total household income of between £18,000 and £24,000 once benefits are taken into account.

For the early education entitlement for disadvantaged two-year-olds, we are introducing a net earnings threshold of £15,400 per annum. Under this new threshold, we estimate that by 2023 around 7,000 more children will benefit from the two-year-old entitlement compared to the previous benefits system.

The Government’s responses to these consultations have been published on the Department for Education’s website, and copies of the Regulations will be laid shortly.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS446
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 07 February 2018
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Schools and Early Years Update

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families (Nadhim Zahawi) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Following the two public consultations my Department ran recently, I am pleased to announce my intention to lay regulations in the House later today that will introduce net earned income thresholds under Universal Credit for free school meals, the early years pupil premium, and the early education entitlement for disadvantaged two-year-olds.

This approach is consistent with how other government departments have set criteria for other ‘passported’ benefits.

The changes will come into force on 1 April 2018 for the start of the school summer term. Under our proposals, we estimate that by 2022 around 50,000 more children will benefit from a free school meal compared to the previous benefits system. In addition, we will apply transitional protection to anyone currently receiving free school meals.

These changes do not affect the criteria for universal infant free school meals, which will continue to be available to all pupils in reception, year 1 and year 2 regardless of parental income.

For free school meals and the early years pupil premium we are introducing a net earnings threshold of £7,400 per annum. A typical family earning around £7,400 per annum would, depending on their exact circumstances, have a total household income of between £18,000 and £24,000 once benefits are taken into account.

For the early education entitlement for disadvantaged two-year-olds, we are introducing a net earnings threshold of £15,400 per annum. Under this new threshold, we estimate that by 2023 around 7,000 more children will benefit from the two-year-old entitlement compared to the previous benefits system.

The Government’s responses to these consultations have been published on the Department for Education’s website, and copies of the Regulations will be laid shortly.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS459
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 07 February 2018
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

ECOFIN: 23 January 2018

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 23 January 2018. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President provided briefing to Ministers on the outcomes of the 22 January meeting of the Eurogroup, and the Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

The Council held a policy debate on the deepening of the EMU.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Presidency presented information on the current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

VAT: Simplification of Rates and Simplification for SME’s

The Commission presented proposals to reform the rules on VAT rates and structures, and to simplify VAT obligations for SMEs.

Presidency Work Programme

The Bulgarian Presidency presented its work programme for January to June 2018.

European Semester 2018

The Council adopted the Council conclusions on the Annual Growth Survey 2018 and the Council conclusions on the Alert Mechanism Report 2018. The Council also approved a Council recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area.

Action Plan to Tackle Non-Performing Loans in Europe

The Council exchanged views on a factual report by the Commission regarding the implementation of the action plan to tackle non-performing loans in Europe.

AOB: EU List of Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions for Tax Purposes

The Council approved a report by the EU Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation) to de-list 8 jurisdictions from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes that was agreed at December 2017 ECOFIN.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS445
WS
HM Treasury
Made on: 07 February 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

ECOFIN: 23 January 2018

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

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 23 January 2018. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President provided briefing to Ministers on the outcomes of the 22 January meeting of the Eurogroup, and the Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)

The Council held a policy debate on the deepening of the EMU.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Presidency presented information on the current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

VAT: Simplification of Rates and Simplification for SME’s

The Commission presented proposals to reform the rules on VAT rates and structures, and to simplify VAT obligations for SMEs.

Presidency Work Programme

The Bulgarian Presidency presented its work programme for January to June 2018.

European Semester 2018

The Council adopted the Council conclusions on the Annual Growth Survey 2018 and the Council conclusions on the Alert Mechanism Report 2018. The Council also approved a Council recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area.

Action Plan to Tackle Non-Performing Loans in Europe

The Council exchanged views on a factual report by the Commission regarding the implementation of the action plan to tackle non-performing loans in Europe.

AOB: EU List of Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions for Tax Purposes

The Council approved a report by the EU Code of Conduct Group (Business Taxation) to de-list 8 jurisdictions from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes that was agreed at December 2017 ECOFIN.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS458
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 07 February 2018
Made by: Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Ministry of Defence Votes A Annual Estimate 2018-19

The Ministry of Defence Votes A Estimate 2018-19, has been laid before the House today as HC730. This outlines the maximum numbers of personnel to be maintained for each Service in the Armed Forces during Financial Year 2018-19.

WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 07 February 2018
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State for Defence, (Ministry of Defence), Lords))
Lords

Ministry of Defence Votes A Annual Estimate 2018-19

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Gavin Williamson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Ministry of Defence Votes A Estimate 2018-19, has been laid before the House today as HC730. This outlines the maximum numbers of personnel to be maintained for each Service in the Armed Forces during Financial Year 2018-19.

WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 07 February 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Financial Guidance and Claims Bill (Contingencies Fund Advance)

My honourable Friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions & Financial Inclusion (Guy Opperman MP) has made the following Written Statement

The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill currently before Parliament provides for an arms-length non-departmental public body, known as the Single Finance Guidance Body, to take on the functions currently delivered by the Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise.

Our intention, subject to Parliamentary approval, is to launch the new body in autumn 2018. In order to avoid delay in the launch, expenditure is required in advance of the Bill receiving Royal Assent to cover the costs associated with the commencement of the recruitment of the Chair and Chief Executive of the body, including the staffing costs of the DWP Public Appointments Team, any media advertising, and miscellaneous administration costs. Advertising for the posts will be clear that the roles are dependent on the successful passage of the Bill through Parliament.

Parliamentary approval for resources of £ 30,000 for this new service will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for the Department of Work and Pensions. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £ 30,000 will be met by repayable cash advance from the Contingencies Fund.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS456
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 07 February 2018
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) )
Lords

Modern Working Practices

My hon Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Andrew Griffiths) has today made the following statement:

On 11 July 2017 the Government published The Review of Modern Working Practices, which was led by Matthew Taylor (Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Arts) at the request of my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister.

The Government set out in the Industrial Strategy, published in November, a long-term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of people throughout the UK by focusing on the five foundations of productivity: Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places. Good work and developing better jobs for everyone in the British economy is at the centre of our Industrial Strategy vision.

Building on the Industrial Strategy, today the Government is publishing a full response to the Taylor Review, setting out how we intend to develop further the strength of the UK labour market and ensure it meets the challenges and opportunities presented by new ways of working and innovative business models. Alongside the full response, we are publishing four public consultations, which seek views on how to implement a series of proposals to enhance workers’ rights and ensure that the labour market is working for everybody.

The four consultations cover proposed changes on agency workers, employment status, enforcement and increasing transparency.

We are taking forward work on the vast majority of the Review recommendations, and the plans we are outlining build on our pledge to not only protect, but enhance, workers’ rights. Copies of the Government Response and consultations will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS455
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