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
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 13 July 2020
Made by: Baroness Barran (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

COVID - Update


My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden MP, has made the following Statement:

I would like to update the House on the next steps in delivering the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

These important steps forward have been made possible by the continued efforts of businesses and the public to comply with COVID-19 Secure guidelines and clinical advice on testing to protect against resurgences. While there remains a long way to go in tackling this virus, we continue to head in the right direction.

The Business Secretary and I have worked with industry and public health experts to help the remaining sectors and activities to become COVID-secure, and reopen as soon as possible.

Following this work, I can confirm that as of 11 July organised outdoor grassroots team sports and participation events are now able to restart, starting with cricket. Team sports will only be able to resume once the relevant sports’ bodies guidance has been reviewed by Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Outdoor performances with an audience are now able to take place, as of 11 July, subject to social distancing. We will also pilot a number of indoor performances to look at how we can confidently usher socially-distanced audiences indoors as soon as possible. Rehearsals and performances for broadcast are already permitted, and dance studios can already reopen for professional dancers and choreographers.

New regulations allow some additional businesses and venues to reopen. This includes outdoor swimming pools and water parks from 11 July; and salons, nail bars, spas, massage parlours, tattoo parlours, and body and skin piercing services from 13 July. Although these businesses and venues are permitted to open, treatments carried out in the highest risk zone, the area directly in front of the face, are advised against at this stage.

The changes outlined above will not apply in Leicester and businesses there will not reopen. This is in line with current easing of restrictions in the rest of the country.

From 25 July, we will allow the safe and COVID-Secure reopening of indoor swimming pools, gyms, fitness and dance studios, leisure centres, and other indoor sports venues and facilities (as long as the evidence continues to support our doing so). This will be enabled through a separate set of amendments to the regulations.

We must continue to proceed carefully to make sure that there is not a second peak. The changes set out above will be conditional on our ability to control the virus and respond effectively to outbreaks. The government will measure the effect of changes but will reapply restrictions if that is what the situation requires, as we have had to do in Leicester, and we will work with local councils which have a high prevalence of COVID-19 to create guidance reflecting where further business openings could be delayed.

Everybody must play their part in observing and complying with COVID-19 Secure and social contact guidelines to keep the virus under control and maintain our recovery. Publicly available government guidance is being published and updated on GOV.UK and by sector bodies.

WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 13 July 2020
Made by: Oliver Dowden (Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Commons

COVID - Update

I would like to update the House on the next steps in delivering the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy.

These important steps forward have been made possible by the continued efforts of businesses and the public to comply with COVID-19 Secure guidelines and clinical advice on testing to protect against resurgences. While there remains a long way to go in tackling this virus, we continue to head in the right direction.

The Business Secretary and I have worked with industry and public health experts to help the remaining sectors and activities to become COVID-secure, and reopen as soon as possible.

Following this work, I can confirm that as of 11 July organised outdoor grassroots team sports and participation events are now able to restart, starting with cricket. Team sports will only be able to resume once the relevant sports’ bodies guidance has been reviewed by Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Outdoor performances with an audience are now able to take place, as of 11 July, subject to social distancing. We will also pilot a number of indoor performances to look at how we can confidently usher socially-distanced audiences indoors as soon as possible. Rehearsals and performances for broadcast are already permitted, and dance studios can already reopen for professional dancers and choreographers.

New regulations allow some additional businesses and venues to reopen. This includes outdoor swimming pools and water parks from 11 July; and salons, nail bars, spas, massage parlours, tattoo parlours, and body and skin piercing services from 13 July. Although these businesses and venues are permitted to open, treatments carried out in the highest risk zone, the area directly in front of the face, are advised against at this stage.

The changes outlined above will not apply in Leicester and businesses there will not reopen. This is in line with current easing of restrictions in the rest of the country.

From 25 July, we will allow the safe and COVID-Secure reopening of indoor swimming pools, gyms, fitness and dance studios, leisure centres, and other indoor sports venues and facilities (as long as the evidence continues to support our doing so). This will be enabled through a separate set of amendments to the regulations.

We must continue to proceed carefully to make sure that there is not a second peak. The changes set out above will be conditional on our ability to control the virus and respond effectively to outbreaks. The government will measure the effect of changes but will reapply restrictions if that is what the situation requires, as we have had to do in Leicester, and we will work with local councils which have a high prevalence of COVID-19 to create guidance reflecting where further business openings could be delayed.

Everybody must play their part in observing and complying with COVID-19 Secure and social contact guidelines to keep the virus under control and maintain our recovery. Publicly available government guidance is being published and updated on GOV.UK and by sector bodies.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 13 July 2020
Made by: Jesse Norman (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Finance Bill 2020-21 L-day update

The Government will introduce the Finance Bill following the next Budget.

In line with the approach to tax policy making set out in the government’s documents ‘Tax Policy Making: a new approach’, published in 2010, and ‘The new Budget timetable and the tax policy making process’, published in 2017, the Government is committed, where possible, to publishing most tax legislation in draft for technical consultation before the legislation is laid before Parliament.

The Government will publish draft clauses for the next Finance Bill, which will largely cover pre-announced policy changes, on Tuesday 21 July 2020 along with accompanying explanatory notes, tax information and impact notes, responses to consultations and other supporting documents. All publications will be available on the gov.uk website.

WS
Home Office
Made on: 13 July 2020
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Immigration

My rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Priti Patel) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

In 2016, and again in 2019, the British people voted to take back control of our borders and introduce a new points-based system that will work for the whole of the UK. The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill delivers on these votes by ending the automatic right to live and work in the UK for EU migrants from 1st January 2021.

In February I set out the vision for a fairer, firmer, skills-led immigration system. The system will play a key part in our long-term approach to the labour market and in our response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At a time where an increased number of people across the UK are looking for work, the new points-based system will encourage employers to invest in the domestic UK workforce, rather than simply relying on labour from abroad.

But we are also making necessary changes, so it is simpler for employers to attract the best and brightest from around the world to come to the UK to complement the skills we already have.

We know this new immigration system and approach to the labour market will mean changes in the way businesses operate and recruit. Today I am laying before the House a command paper (CP 258) providing further detail on the points-based system, covering the main economic migration routes for those wishing to work or study or set up a business in the UK, to help both employers and applicants prepare and adapt for the changes ahead. Copies will be available from the Vote Office.

It will be simpler for businesses to access the talent they need as we have removed the Resident Labour Market Test, lowered the skills and salary threshold, and removed the cap on skilled workers.

The skilled worker route gives employers flexibility by allowing applicants to trade points if they have relevant qualifications or work in a shortage occupation. We have commissioned our independent migration experts to produce a shortage occupation list, so that the Government can work with sectors to fill roles quickly where shortages may occur.

We will be introducing a new-fast track Health and Care Visa. This will make it easier and quicker for talented global health professionals to work in our brilliant NHS and in eligible occupations in the social care sector. The visa fee will be reduced and health professionals applying can expect a decision on whether they can work in the UK within just three weeks, following biometric enrolment. We will exempt frontline workers in the health and social care sector and wider health workers from the requirement to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Our Global Talent route launched earlier in the year encourages highly skilled individuals to come to the UK and provides a fast track route for top scientists and researchers.

To ensure our world-leading education sector remains competitive in a changing global market, we are refining the student route and launching a Graduate route in Summer 2021. The student route will be streamlined for sponsoring institutions and applicants, and the graduate route will help retain the brightest and the best students to contribute to the UK post-study.

Our new system sends a message to the whole world that Britain is open for business, but on our terms.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS355
WS
Home Office
Made on: 13 July 2020
Made by: Priti Patel (The Secretary of State for the Home Department)
Commons

Immigration

In 2016, and again in 2019, the British people voted to take back control of our borders and introduce a new points-based system that will work for the whole of the UK. The Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill delivers on these votes by ending the automatic right to live and work in the UK for EU migrants from 1st January 2021.

In February I set out the vision for a fairer, firmer, skills-led immigration system. The system will play a key part in our long-term approach to the labour market and in our response to the coronavirus pandemic.

At a time where an increased number of people across the UK are looking for work, the new points-based system will encourage employers to invest in the domestic UK workforce, rather than simply relying on labour from abroad.

But we are also making necessary changes, so it is simpler for employers to attract the best and brightest from around the world to come to the UK to complement the skills we already have.

We know this new immigration system and approach to the labour market will mean changes in the way businesses operate and recruit. Today I am laying before the House a command paper (CP 258) providing further detail on the points-based system, covering the main economic migration routes for those wishing to work or study or set up a business in the UK, to help both employers and applicants prepare and adapt for the changes ahead. Copies will be available from the Vote Office.

It will be simpler for businesses to access the talent they need as we have removed the Resident Labour Market Test, lowered the skills and salary threshold, and removed the cap on skilled workers.

The skilled worker route gives employers flexibility by allowing applicants to trade points if they have relevant qualifications or work in a shortage occupation. We have commissioned our independent migration experts to produce a shortage occupation list, so that the Government can work with sectors to fill roles quickly where shortages may occur.

We will be introducing a new-fast track Health and Care Visa. This will make it easier and quicker for talented global health professionals to work in our brilliant NHS and in eligible occupations in the social care sector. The visa fee will be reduced and health professionals applying can expect a decision on whether they can work in the UK within just three weeks, following biometric enrolment. We will exempt frontline workers in the health and social care sector and wider health workers from the requirement to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.

Our Global Talent route launched earlier in the year encourages highly skilled individuals to come to the UK and provides a fast track route for top scientists and researchers.

To ensure our world-leading education sector remains competitive in a changing global market, we are refining the student route and launching a Graduate route in Summer 2021. The student route will be streamlined for sponsoring institutions and applicants, and the graduate route will help retain the brightest and the best students to contribute to the UK post-study.

Our new system sends a message to the whole world that Britain is open for business, but on our terms.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS348
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Lord Callanan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility))
Lords

Contingencies Fund Advance – Vaccines Programme

My Right Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Alok Sharma) has today made the following statement:

I hereby give notice of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s intention to seek an advance from the contingencies fund totalling £3,360,000 to enable expenditure on Covid-19 vaccines programme to be spent ahead of the passage of the Supply and Appropriation Act.

The funding is urgently required for HM Government to secure manufacturing capability for a possible antibody treatment.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £3,360,000 for this new expenditure will be sought in a Main Estimate for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £3,360,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

The cash advances will be repaid upon receiving Royal Assent on the Supply and Appropriation Bill.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS354
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Contingencies Fund Advance – Vaccines Programme

I hereby give notice of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s intention to seek an advance from the contingencies fund totalling £3,360,000 to enable expenditure on Covid-19 vaccines programme to be spent ahead of the passage of the Supply and Appropriation Act.

The funding is urgently required for HM Government to secure manufacturing capability for a possible antibody treatment.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £3,360,000 for this new expenditure will be sought in a Main Estimate for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £3,360,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

The cash advances will be repaid upon receiving Royal Assent on the Supply and Appropriation Bill.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS347
WS
Treasury
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (Minister of State)
Lords

Employer-provided COVID19 antigen tests: Exemption from Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions

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

The Government is introducing an income tax exemption and National Insurance (NICs) disregard to ensure that Coronavirus antigen testing provided to employees outside the Government’s national testing scheme will not attract tax and NICs liabilities.

The Government recognises the importance of Covid-19 testing. Currently, regular tests are available through the Government testing programme to a wide range of employees, including NHS workers. If an individual is tested through the Government testing programme, no tax liability will arise.

Under normal rules, the provision of a test by an employer to an employee, either directly or by purchasing tests that are carried out by a third party, would constitute a benefit in kind, and the cost of providing the test would be subject to income tax and Class 1A NICs as a result. However, the Government will introduce an exemption to ensure that no tax liabilities arise.

This exemption will ensure that Income Tax and NICs will not be due on employer-provided antigen tests carried out during the current tax year 2020-21.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS352
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Baroness Stedman-Scott (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Health Transformation Programme update

My honourable Friend the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work (Justin Tomlinson MP) has made the following Written Statement.

I would like to update the House on the Department’s plans and progress, under the Health Transformation Programme, to reform assessment services for Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Owing to Covid-19, we have had to review our commercial approach and our revised approach is set out below.

There is no change to our ambition: the Government remains committed to developing a transformed service that will support those with disabilities and health conditions, through:

  • the creation of a single, integrated health assessment service;
  • a single digital platform developed by DWP;
  • developing this new service on a small scale in a defined part of the country, by creating a Transformation Area, which would be a safe environment to test, adapt and learn from new ideas and processes.

These measures will make a real difference to the millions of claimants who use our services.

We had previously announced that we would be undertaking a procurement exercise to establish contracts for conducting Work and Capability Assessments (WCA) and PIP health assessments from 1 August 2021. The impact of Covid-19 means it is not possible to launch that procurement at this time.

We recognise that it is vital for our claimants to have a safe and stable service. Consequently, my Department intends to explore options to extend the current contracts for up to two years, which will ensure continuity of services when the current contracts end on 31 July 2021. We will continue to review these extensions to ensure we only extend for the time we need to effectively respond to the consequences of Covid-19.

The extension period will provide time to fully understand and evaluate the impacts of Covid-19 on these critical services, ahead of future procurements.

We recognise that there are positive lessons to be learned from our experience of delivering our services during Covid-19, and the changes we introduced. We are reviewing these and they will inform future delivery, where appropriate. We expect these to be reflected in our wider transformation plans, including the forthcoming Green Paper and subsequent policy decisions regarding the delivery of health assessments.

A key objective of the Health Transformation Programme is to improve the trust and transparency in the assessment process. We remain focused on improving the claimant experience and we will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure their insights and experiences are incorporated into the development of the new single, integrated health assessment service and to ensure we are delivering the high quality service claimants rightly expect and deserve.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS353
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Lord Callanan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility))
Lords

Use of the Industrial Development Act 1982 for Coronavirus-related assistance

My Right Honourable friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Alok Sharma) has today made the following statement:

I am tabling this statement for the benefit of Honourable and Right Honourable Members to bring to their attention spend under the Industrial Development Act 1982. In addition to the obligation to report on spend under the Industrial Development Act annually, the Coronavirus Act 2020 created a new quarterly reporting requirement for spend which has been designated as addressing the effects of coronavirus. This statement is intended to fulfil that purpose.

This report reflects quarter 1 of 2020, covering the period from the introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020 on 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020.

Spend under the Coronavirus Act 2020

Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, there is a requirement to lay before Parliament details of the amount of Coronavirus related designated assistance provided in each relevant quarter.

In the period to 31 March 2020 (from the Act’s introduction on 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020) 983 loans worth £90.5 million were committed for COVID related purposes by lenders accredited to deliver the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Under this scheme, BEIS through the British Business Bank provides an 80% guarantee. The contingent liability incurred was therefore £72.4 million. The actual expenditure to 31 March 2020 was zero.

Actual expenditure of assistance provided by the Secretary of State from 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020

£0

All expenditure of assistance provided by the Secretary of State from 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020

£0

Contingent liability of assistance provided by the Secretary of State from 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020

£72.4m

All contingent liability of assistance provided by the Secretary of State from 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020

£72.4m

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS351
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Lord Callanan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility))
Lords

Energy Infrastructure Planning Projects

My Rt. honourable Friend, the Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, made the following Statement today:

This Statement concerns an application made by Norfolk Boreas Limited for development consent for the installation, operation and maintenance of the proposed Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Farm, their related offshore infrastructure off the coast of Norfolk and their related onshore electrical connections within this county.

Under section 98(1) of the Planning Act 2008, the Examining Authority must complete its examination of an application by the end of the period of 6 months beginning with the day after the start day of the examination unless the Secretary of State sets a new deadline under section 98(4) of that Act. Where a new deadline is set, the Secretary of State must make a Statement to Parliament to announce it.

A request has been made by the Planning Inspectorate to extend the examination period - for five months – for the proposed Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Farm development. The reasons given for this request were:

  • due to Government guidelines in relation to Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) several hearings needed to be cancelled, potentially resulting in Interested Parties not being given a fair opportunity to participate in the examination;
  • a number of Interested Parties no longer had the capacity to participate in the examination process as a result of COVID-19 resource prioritisation.

Taking these reasons into account and, after careful consideration, the Secretary of State has decided to reset the statutory timescale for the examination as requested. This means that the examination period is now extended to 12 October 2020.

As a consequence, the date for receipt of the Examining Authority’s report to BEIS is extended to 12 January 2021 and the statutory deadline for the Secretary of State’s decision is extended to 12 April 2021.

However, mindful of the need to avoid unnecessary delays to the development consent process, the Secretary of State requests the Examining Authority to make best efforts to complete the examination process as soon as is reasonably practicable within the extended period. He has requested that a new timetable for the examination should be published which demonstrates the actions to be taken to complete the examination as quickly as possible in this period. He also expects the Examination Authority to provide his Department with regular updates on progress.

The decision to set the new deadlines for this application is without prejudice to the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS349
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Lord Callanan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility))
Lords

Companies House targets

I have set Companies House the following targets for the year 2020/21:

Public Targets

Digital services will be available for a minimum of 99.9% of the time.

97% of companies on the register will have an up to date confirmation statement.

We will manage expenditure set out within budgetary limits.

We will be in the top quartile of public service organisations for customer satisfaction.

We will maintain the proportion of external applications from underrepresented groups.

We will withdraw the paper channel for reminders by the end of March 2021.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS350
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Justin Tomlinson (Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work)
Commons

Health Transformation Programme update

I would like to update the House on the Department’s plans and progress, under the Health Transformation Programme, to reform assessment services for Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Owing to Covid-19, we have had to review our commercial approach and our revised approach is set out below.

There is no change to our ambition: the Government remains committed to developing a transformed service that will support those with disabilities and health conditions, through:

  • the creation of a single, integrated health assessment service;
  • a single digital platform developed by DWP;
  • developing this new service on a small scale in a defined part of the country, by creating a Transformation Area, which would be a safe environment to test, adapt and learn from new ideas and processes.

These measures will make a real difference to the millions of claimants who use our services.

We had previously announced that we would be undertaking a procurement exercise to establish contracts for conducting Work and Capability Assessments (WCA) and PIP health assessments from 1 August 2021. The impact of Covid-19 means it is not possible to launch that procurement at this time.

We recognise that it is vital for our claimants to have a safe and stable service. Consequently, my Department intends to explore options to extend the current contracts for up to two years, which will ensure continuity of services when the current contracts end on 31 July 2021. We will continue to review these extensions to ensure we only extend for the time we need to effectively respond to the consequences of Covid-19.

The extension period will provide time to fully understand and evaluate the impacts of Covid-19 on these critical services, ahead of future procurements.

We recognise that there are positive lessons to be learned from our experience of delivering our services during Covid-19, and the changes we introduced. We are reviewing these and they will inform future delivery, where appropriate. We expect these to be reflected in our wider transformation plans, including the forthcoming Green Paper and subsequent policy decisions regarding the delivery of health assessments.

A key objective of the Health Transformation Programme is to improve the trust and transparency in the assessment process. We remain focused on improving the claimant experience and we will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure their insights and experiences are incorporated into the development of the new single, integrated health assessment service and to ensure we are delivering the high quality service claimants rightly expect and deserve.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS345
WS
Treasury
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Jesse Norman (The Financial Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Employer-provided COVID19 antigen tests: Exemption from Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions

The Government is introducing an income tax exemption and National Insurance (NICs) disregard to ensure that Coronavirus antigen testing provided to employees outside the Government’s national testing scheme will not attract tax and NICs liabilities.

The Government recognises the importance of Covid-19 testing. Currently, regular tests are available through the Government testing programme to a wide range of employees, including NHS workers. If an individual is tested through the Government testing programme, no tax liability will arise.

Under normal rules, the provision of a test by an employer to an employee, either directly or by purchasing tests that are carried out by a third party, would constitute a benefit in kind, and the cost of providing the test would be subject to income tax and Class 1A NICs as a result. However, the Government will introduce an exemption to ensure that no tax liabilities arise.

This exemption will ensure that Income Tax and NICs will not be due on employer-provided antigen tests carried out during the current tax year 2020-21.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS346
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Use of the Industrial Development Act 1982 for Coronavirus-related assistance

I am tabling this statement for the benefit of Honourable and Right Honourable Members to bring to their attention spend under the Industrial Development Act 1982. In addition to the obligation to report on spend under the Industrial Development Act annually, the Coronavirus Act 2020 created a new quarterly reporting requirement for spend which has been designated as addressing the effects of coronavirus. This statement is intended to fulfil that purpose.

This report reflects quarter 1 of 2020, covering the period from the introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020 on 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020.

Spend under the Coronavirus Act 2020

Under the Coronavirus Act 2020, there is a requirement to lay before Parliament details of the amount of Coronavirus related designated assistance provided in each relevant quarter.

In the period to 31 March 2020 (from the Act’s introduction on 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020) 983 loans worth £90.5 million were committed for COVID related purposes by lenders accredited to deliver the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Under this scheme, BEIS through the British Business Bank provides an 80% guarantee. The contingent liability incurred was therefore £72.4 million. The actual expenditure to 31 March 2020 was zero.

Actual expenditure of assistance provided by the Secretary of State from 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020

£0

All expenditure of assistance provided by the Secretary of State from 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020

£0

Contingent liability of assistance provided by the Secretary of State from 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020

£72.4m

All contingent liability of assistance provided by the Secretary of State from 25 March 2020 to 31 March 2020

£72.4m

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS344
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Paul Scully (Minister for London and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets))
Commons

Companies House targets

My Right Honourable friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility) Lord Callanan has today made the following statement:

I have set Companies House the following targets for the year 2020/21:

Public Targets

Digital services will be available for a minimum of 99.9% of the time.

97% of companies on the register will have an up to date confirmation statement.

We will manage expenditure set out within budgetary limits.

We will be in the top quartile of public service organisations for customer satisfaction.

We will maintain the proportion of external applications from underrepresented groups.

We will withdraw the paper channel for reminders by the end of March 2021.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS342
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 09 July 2020
Made by: Kwasi Kwarteng (Minister of State (Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth))
Commons

Energy Infrastructure Planning Projects

This Statement concerns an application made by Norfolk Boreas Limited for development consent for the installation, operation and maintenance of the proposed Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Farm, their related offshore infrastructure off the coast of Norfolk and their related onshore electrical connections within this county.

Under section 98(1) of the Planning Act 2008, the Examining Authority must complete its examination of an application by the end of the period of 6 months beginning with the day after the start day of the examination unless the Secretary of State sets a new deadline under section 98(4) of that Act. Where a new deadline is set, the Secretary of State must make a Statement to Parliament to announce it.

A request has been made by the Planning Inspectorate to extend the examination period - for five months – for the proposed Norfolk Boreas Offshore Wind Farm development. The reasons given for this request were:

  • due to Government guidelines in relation to Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) several hearings needed to be cancelled, potentially resulting in Interested Parties not being given a fair opportunity to participate in the examination;
  • a number of Interested Parties no longer had the capacity to participate in the examination process as a result of COVID-19 resource prioritisation.

Taking these reasons into account and, after careful consideration, the Secretary of State has decided to reset the statutory timescale for the examination as requested. This means that the examination period is now extended to 12 October 2020.

As a consequence, the date for receipt of the Examining Authority’s report to BEIS is extended to 12 January 2021 and the statutory deadline for the Secretary of State’s decision is extended to 12 April 2021.

However, mindful of the need to avoid unnecessary delays to the development consent process, the Secretary of State requests the Examining Authority to make best efforts to complete the examination process as soon as is reasonably practicable within the extended period. He has requested that a new timetable for the examination should be published which demonstrates the actions to be taken to complete the examination as quickly as possible in this period. He also expects the Examination Authority to provide his Department with regular updates on progress.

The decision to set the new deadlines for this application is without prejudice to the decision on whether to grant or refuse development consent.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS343
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 08 July 2020
Made by: Lord Greenhalgh (Minister of State for Building Safety and Communities)
Lords

Park Homes

My Hon. Friend, the Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing (Luke Hall) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I am today publishing the Government response to our consultation “Mobile Homes –a fit and proper person test for park home sites”. I am placing copies of the response in the libraries of the House, and it will also be available on gov.uk.

As part of our ongoing commitment to improving protections for park home residents, the Government undertook a two-part review of park homes legislation in 2017. In the response published on 22 October 2018, we committed to introduce the fit and proper person test, subject to a technical consultation. This consultation was undertaken between 25 July and 17 September 2019 and received 370 responses, the majority of which were highly supportive.

The purpose of the test is to improve the management of park home and other residential caravan sites. By introducing an assessment that the person responsible for managing the site is suitable to do so and of good character, this will help target and remove the worst offenders from the sector. The test will be an important tool for Local Authority enforcement and marks an important milestone in my department’s work to protect residents of park homes and other residential caravan sites, who are often elderly and vulnerable, from unscrupulous site owners.

I am today laying the required regulations bringing the test into effect. They will mandate that:

  • each local authority must set up and maintain a register of people who are fit and proper to manage a park home site in their area. A site owner, or an appointed manager, must appear on the local authority register in order to manage a site;
  • when an applicant applies for registration, a local authority must consider, among other details, the applicant’s criminal record and details of all sites in which the applicant has an equitable interest; and
  • if convicted of any offences under the Regulations the site owner would face an unlimited fine. Offences include operating a site without being on the local authority register, breaching the conditions attached to an entry on the register, and providing false information in an application.

The regulations will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure so will require the approval of both Houses.

The Government is dedicated to improving protections for park home residents and these regulations are an important step towards delivering on that commitment.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS348
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 08 July 2020
Made by: Luke Hall (Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing )
Commons

Park Homes

I am today publishing the Government response to our consultation “Mobile Homes –a fit and proper person test for park home sites”. I am placing copies of the response in the libraries of the House, and it will also be available on gov.uk.

As part of our ongoing commitment to improving protections for park home residents, the Government undertook a two-part review of park homes legislation in 2017. In the response published on 22 October 2018, we committed to introduce the fit and proper person test, subject to a technical consultation. This consultation was undertaken between 25 July and 17 September 2019 and received 370 responses, the majority of which were highly supportive.

The purpose of the test is to improve the management of park home and other residential caravan sites. By introducing an assessment that the person responsible for managing the site is suitable to do so and of good character, this will help target and remove the worst offenders from the sector. The test will be an important tool for Local Authority enforcement and marks an important milestone in my department’s work to protect residents of park homes and other residential caravan sites, who are often elderly and vulnerable, from unscrupulous site owners.

I am today laying the required regulations bringing the test into effect. They will mandate that:

  • each local authority must set up and maintain a register of people who are fit and proper to manage a park home site in their area. A site owner, or an appointed manager, must appear on the local authority register in order to manage a site;
  • when an applicant applies for registration, a local authority must consider, among other details, the applicant’s criminal record and details of all sites in which the applicant has an equitable interest; and
  • if convicted of any offences under the Regulations the site owner would face an unlimited fine. Offences include operating a site without being on the local authority register, breaching the conditions attached to an entry on the register, and providing false information in an application.

The regulations will be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure so will require the approval of both Houses.

The Government is dedicated to improving protections for park home residents and these regulations are an important step towards delivering on that commitment.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS341
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 08 July 2020
Made by: Lord Bethell (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Innovation))
Lords

Publication of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review (Cumberlege Review)

My Hon Friend the Minister of State (Minister for Patient Safety, Suicide Prevention and Mental Health) (Nadine Dorries) has made the following written statement:

I am today informing the House of the publication of the report of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, chaired by Baroness Cumberlege.

I would like to thank Baroness Cumberlege for her dedication to listening to the experiences of patients and their families. She has acted with compassion and thoroughness and gone to great lengths to ensure that those who have felt unheard have had a voice. She has also been diligent in looking across the system at possible improvements.

The Government also thanks those very same patients and their families who have contributed their time and energy to the Review. We know that in some cases it has been a physical and psychological challenge to attend the meetings that the review set up.

The Review was commissioned by the Government in February 2018 and its terms of reference required it to explore how the health system responds when patients and their families raise concerns about the safety of treatments.

While the Review has progressed, the Government and the NHS has already taken a number of steps that are relevant to the issues the Review raises. However, there is always more we can do to make the NHS systems more responsive to peoples’ concerns when they are first raised.

It is imperative for the sake of patients that we now give the recommendations from this independent review the full consideration they deserve.

I can assure you that patient safety remains a key priority for the government and we are committed to the NHS being the safest healthcare system in the world.

I will give an Oral Statement in Parliament.

A copy of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS347
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