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 Defence
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Penny Mordaunt (Secretary of State for Defence)
Commons

Combat Air Strategy Update

The Combat Air Strategy was launched a year ago on the opening day of the Farnborough Airshow, the birth place of aviation. It re-affirmed the Government’s commitment to the Combat Air sector, laying out a clear vision for our nation to remain at the leading edge of this sector and providing a clear roadmap to achieve this.

On publication of the strategy, my right hon. Friend, the then Secretary of State for Defence, made a commitment to update the House annually on implementation of the strategy and the programmes it launched. Today I provide this update.

It is worth reflecting on the strategy and its key themes. First, it recognised the strength of our industry and its contribution to the well-being of our nation. This sector is economically, strategically important and is enables sovereign decision-making on where and how to deploy our military capability. Secondly, it makes clear that partnering with like-minded allies is the best means to deliver our collective objectives. The update will therefore cover both themes – domestic developments, as well as international.

Domestic Update

Alongside the launch of the strategy, the Department re-affirmed our commitment to the approximately £2 billion Future Combat Air System Technology Initiative (FCAS TI). This initiative will mature the technologies needed for our future combat air systems and crucially, develop key skills across both Government and industry. The central pillar of FCAS TI is ‘Team Tempest’, a co-funded partnership between Government and our industry partners. Over the last year this partnership has driven a step change in relationships and behaviours between Government and industry by aligning incentives, sharing costs and benefits and creating common interest in pace and agility. The team is on track to delivering 17 European-firsts and 7-world firsts. The first of these has already been achieved – the embedding of an electrical starter generator by Rolls-Royce within the main body of a powerful military aircraft engine. This increases the power density and reduces the complexity of future aircraft engines, resulting in more efficient engine designs and is fully exploitable to Rolls-Royce’s multi-billion pound civil business. This technology will continue to be matured in the coming years, leading to a fully integrated novel power and propulsion system.

This partnership, and the private and public funding underpinning it, already supports over 1,000 jobs, many of them in high-end design, across the breadth of the country, from BAE Systems in Lancashire, to Rolls-Royce in Bristol and to Leonardo in Edinburgh and Luton. This number is set to rise to 1,800 by the end of this year.

The strategy recognised that there is significant capability residing in UK companies of all sizes and therefore, we are engaging with companies beyond our ‘Team Tempest’ partners. My right hon. Friend, the Minister for Defence Procurement hosted an Industry Engagement Day on the 19 March at Farnborough where 180 companies representing a wide range of capabilities and sizes, received briefs on the technologies being matured by ‘Team Tempest’ and the opportunities that exist for further collaboration. I am pleased to announce that the ‘Team Tempest’ partners have subsequently engaged an additional 500 companies and so far, have let over 120 sub-contracts in support of Team Tempest activities.

The Combat Air Sector is likely to be a key driver in new technologies and skills in areas such as automation, machine learning, advanced manufacturing and big data which will have broader benefit to the economy. Crucial to the long-term sustainability of this sector is ensuring that the skills needed in the future are identified, the workforce trained and that ultimately these skills are transferred to the next generation. Team Tempest has therefore established a dedicated STEM engagement team to inspire young people to be involved in this sector. This approach, along with the assurance provided by the strategy has resulted in record numbers of young people joining the workforce. This year, Leonardo MW will recruit 104 graduates and 62 apprentices, with the majority planned to be involved in Team Tempest activities. Similarly, BAE Systems is planning to recruit approximately 700 apprentices and 300 graduates to grow the percentage (currently 10%) of their Team Tempest workforce that are graduates and apprentices.

Working closely with officials from the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department has launched a skills index to monitor the health of industrial and government skills critical to the delivery of our national objectives. Industry have provided their inputs and we are analysing the results and intend to present our findings in September. The skills index will be used to inform and measure the success of interventions such as FCAS TI, to ensure the health of the sector.


International Update

On F-35, in February, the avionic and aircraft component repair hub in North Wales was awarded a second major assignment of work worth some £500 million by the US Government. This will create hundreds of additional jobs in the UK and was the result of working closely with industry to deliver a national campaign approach.

On Typhoon, the strategy confirmed our commitment to continue to invest in this remarkable platform. In June, NETMA, on behalf of the UK and the other European Partner Nations, awarded a €54 million contract for the Typhoon Long Term Evolution study to industry which will explore how to maximise Typhoon’s capability for this decade and beyond.

The FCAS TI programme is maturing technologies for national usage, as well with our international partners. We are contracting our industry to work with their French counterparts on technologies that would maximise interoperability of our current and future platforms, recognising that, as currently envisioned, the Franco-German Système de Combat Aérien Futur (SCAF) acquisition programme does not meet the objectives laid out in our strategy. We are also investing in the development of the next generation Lift Fan for the F-35B, to reduce weight and improve the overall effectiveness of this world beating platform.

Our next generation acquisition programme will define and deliver the capabilities required when the backbone of the RAF, the Typhoon, leaves service. The team delivering this is working at pace, having within a few months of forming, delivered the Strategic Outline (Business) Case, which confirmed acquisition options to deliver our future combat air capability, which are now being explored and tested with potential international partners.

Despite challenging international dynamics, the Department has made great strides in our discussions with potential partners. With the support of wider Government (most notably officials from the FCO and DIT) and our industry, we have launched feasibility studies with potential partners.

We have discovered that there is a great appetite to collaborate with us. We offer a unique partnering approach, recognising the need to deliver ours and our partners’ benefits together, learning from our rich history of collaboration. This approach provides the firm leadership needed and appears to be an attractive alternative to the traditional, dominant-junior partner relationships.

Last week I signed a Memorandum of Understanding with my Swedish counterpart on this topic. This marks a significant step in aligning our nations, recognising both nations have highly capable Combat Air sectors. We will work together to mutually develop our understanding of the systems required to deliver our future requirements and how best to develop, deliver and ultimately support them. Beyond Sweden, we are furthering our engagement with other potential partners and I aim to sign similar arrangements over the next year.

From progress to date, we believe that Europe can afford two separate Combat Air programmes. We are investing in technologies, such as open systems architectures and advanced design and manufacturing techniques which offer significant reductions to the time and cost of design, manufacture, in-service upgrades and modifications. We are also ensuring that collaboration will be with partners whose strategic objectives align with our own, including the determination to reduce costs. We recognise that in an effective and efficient collaboration, there will be an optimum number of partners, which may include those outside of Europe.

The strategy’s next major steps are to continue the Concept Phase until December 2020, gathering evidence on the acquisition options presented and then submit the Outline Business Case. This will select the preferred acquisition route and concept to be taken forward into the assessment phase.

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Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Seema Kennedy (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Primary Care)
Commons

Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework

I am delighted to be able to announce a land mark 5-year settlement for the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework. This deal will transform the role of community pharmacy and embed them as the first port of call for minor illness and health advice in England.

Every day, in England there are around 1.6 million visits to community pharmacies. No appointment is necessary, and a person does not need to be registered with a pharmacy to benefit from their support or advice. The potential for community pharmacies to play a greater role across a wide range of health priorities is evident.

Over the last few months we have worked with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) to develop a future vison for community pharmacy and expand their role across three key areas: prevention, urgent care and medicines safety.

We have agreed a settlement that will now translate this vision into practice and begin to transform the role of community pharmacy. It will see community pharmacies better utilised and integrated within the primary medical and community services we are working to deliver.

This agreement will come into effect from October 2019 and will mark the start of a series of developments that will continue over the course of the settlement period, through to 2024.

We will continue to work with the PSNC, and NHS England and Improvement to further deliver this programme of work in partnership.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1739
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Ministry of Justice
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Government response to the Prison Service Pay Review Body recommendations 19/20

My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (David Gauke) has made the following Written Statement.

"I am today announcing the government’s decision on pay rises for prison staff.

The Prison Service Pay Review Body has made its recommendations for the 2019-20 pay award and we are accepting these recommendations in full.

Last year, the government announced the largest pay rise in nearly a decade for almost a million public sector workers. Today we are building on that with a pay award that is worth at least 2.2% for all prison staff and 3% for our Band 3 officers on the ‘Fair and Sustainable’ terms and conditions. This is the second year in a row we have put in place awards over 2% for our prison staff and this year’s settlement represents the highest consolidated increase for over 10 years.

In addition to the headline increases we will also implement the totality of the other Review Body recommendations. This represents a full package for staff that will support us to recruit and retain prison officers and managers, contributing to safer prisons and reduced reoffending. In addition to their pay, prison officers continue to benefit from defined benefit pensions, which are amongst the most generous available.

For a Band 3 officer on the modern terms and conditions the pay settlement is worth on average £1,277.

Alongside this investment in pay, prison officers are being trained to be more effective and gain experience in critical areas. The key worker role within the new offender management in custody model is currently being rolled-out across prisons. This has been enabled by the investment in additional Band 3 officers, and supports officers at this grade to build more effective relationships with prisoners in order to improve safety and help reduce reoffending.

Thanks to the government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low – we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our prisons.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

The report has been laid before Parliament today 22 July 2019 and a copy is attached. I am grateful to the Chair and members of the Review Body for their report."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1768
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Treasury
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Fiscal Risks Report 2019

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

In accordance with the Charter for Budget Responsibility, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has today published its second Fiscal Risks Report (FRR). The OBR published its first FRR in 2017, which the government responded to in 2018 through the Managing Fiscal Risks report (MFR). FRR 2019 fulfils the OBR’s legal obligation to publish a statement setting out the main risks to the public finances at least once every two years. The report features an updated risk assessment of the original issues the OBR raised in FRR 2017, in addition to highlighting new risks to the public finances. It was laid before Parliament earlier today and copies are available in the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office.

The UK is one of the few countries in the world to publish a standalone report on fiscal risks and the FRR is the only such report to be published by an independent agency rather than the government itself. The UK is a world leader in fiscal risk disclosure and management and is determined to set the global standard not only for the disclosure of fiscal risks but also for the active management of those risks. The IMF’s 2018 Article IV consultation noted that “The UK continues to set international standards with respect to fiscal transparency”. This report keeps the UK at the frontier of fiscal management internationally and demonstrates the government’s commitment to fiscal transparency and accountability. The publication of FRR 2019 further strengthens the cycle of accountability that the first report started. As required under the Charter for Budget Responsibility the government will respond formally to the FRR 2019 within the next year.

The government has helped to build a stronger, fairer economy – dealing with the deficit, helping people into work, and cutting taxes for people, families, and businesses. The economy has grown continuously for the past nine years, the employment level is currently at a record high, unemployment is currently at its lowest rate and level since 1975, inflation is at the Bank of England’s target and real wages are rising. We are tackling the productivity challenge head on because it is the only way to sustainably improve living standards in the long term.

The government has also made substantial progress in improving the health of the public finances since 2010, which have now reached a turning point. The deficit has been reduced by more than four‑fifths and debt has begun its first sustained fall in a generation. At Spring Statement 2019, the OBR confirmed that the government is forecast to meet both of the interim fiscal rules early, with the structural deficit now below 2% and debt falling in every year of the forecast. The government has achieved this through a balanced approach to fiscal policy; continuing to reduce debt, while also supporting vital public services, keeping taxes low and investing in Britain’s future.

Within this balanced approach, the government took the decision to make the NHS the number one spending priority, committing to an historic settlement that provides a cash increase of £33.9bn a year by 2023-24. This record level of additional funding for our public services has been delivered within a responsible fiscal framework, and has been accompanied by a clear and credible NHS Long-Term Plan, which includes measures to put the NHS back onto a sustainable financial path.

Furthermore, the government has taken concrete action to reduce a number of risks, which the OBR has acknowledged in FRR 2019. This includes better management of new contingent liabilities, reducing the issuance of index linked gilts and improvements in the management and reporting of legal risks in the welfare system. The government has also made significant improvements in monitoring and transparency of its fiscal risks, including introducing stricter disclosure requirements for asset sales and revised budgetary treatment for financial transactions.

While the government has acted, many of the risks discussed by the OBR in their first report remain. In the medium term, the largest potential risks come from the macroeconomy and financial sector in the form of financial crises and major economic downturns. The OBR have also modelled the fiscal implications of the UK leaving the EU without a deal in their fiscal stress test. The stress test is based on the IMF’s less disruptive no-deal scenario. The OBR note this scenario is not necessarily the most likely outcome and it is relatively benign compared to other possible scenarios (for example, assuming limited short-term border disruptions). The OBR report that this scenario would add around £30 billion a year to borrowing from 2020-21 onwards and around 12 per cent of GDP to net debt by 2023-24, compared with the OBR’s March forecast baseline.

In the long term, the most significant fiscal risks come from structural economic and societal trends such as lower productivity growth, higher interest rates, changes in consumption and working practice, demographic pressures and technological change. Additionally, the report highlights new risks – such as climate change and the costs associated with measures designed to adapt and mitigate the effects. The risks the OBR has highlighted further reinforce the need for prudent management of the public finances and the reduction of debt to more sustainable levels.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1749
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Ministry of Justice
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Mr David Gauke (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Enforcement Update

Further to a Statement made by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, Lucy Frazer MP, on 26 November 2018, I wanted to update the House on the Ministry of Justice’s review of the implementation of the enforcement agent reforms contained in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. These reforms, which came into force in 2014, aimed to provide protection to debtors from the aggressive pursuit of their debt from enforcement agents, whilst balancing this against the need for effective enforcement.

Our review was launched with a call for evidence on 26 November 2018 that ran to 17 February 2019. This sought to provide further information on the operation of the reforms following the Government’s publication of the first post-implementation review on 2 April 2018. This review found that the reforms had led to many positive changes, including improved transparency and consistency, both in terms of the enforcement process and the fees charged by enforcement agents. The report noted, however, that some enforcement agents were still perceived to be acting aggressively and not complying with the new rules.

We received nearly 300 responses to the call for evidence from: individuals who have been visited by enforcement agents; enforcement agents, firms and trade associations; local authorities and other creditors; advice organisations and charities; MPs and members of the judiciary.

I am grateful to the Justice Committee for conducting an inquiry into this important issue. We are carefully considering its recommendations for further reform. We will provide a full response to the report and to our call for evidence, following further engagement with stakeholders over the summer.

Based on their data, civil enforcement agents now enforce around 3 million civil cases each year. Creditors need an effective, sustainable way to ensure that they receive the money owed to them. At the same time, the government must ensure that those in debt, especially the vulnerable, including those with mental health issues, are treated fairly and given the protections they deserve.

Enforcement agents carry out an important job in often very challenging circumstances.

Many firms have made considerable efforts to make sure that they are treating those in debt fairly, but complaints continue. All enforcement agents must operate to the same high standards. So, we will be pushing forward with a reform package to make sure that people do not face aggressive action from enforcement agents and to improve trust in the industry as a whole.

One area of our focus will be how people can make complaints against enforcement agents. Data submitted to our call for evidence has shown that the volume of complaints made about enforcement agents is much lower than would be expected relative to the volume of debts enforced, and compared to similar industries. Whilst this may in part be due to improvements in the sector, we believe that there are a number of barriers in the current complaints system that may deter people from making a complaint. We will look to address these with enforcement agents and others with a view to making the complaints system more effective, transparent and independent.

We are also considering what role independent regulation of enforcement agents could potentially play in ensuring that vulnerable debtors are treated fairly. We believe that regulation of this sector could be strengthened but we do not yet have a firm view on the form this should take. It is an issue that would benefit from further discussions with stakeholders. We are clear that any further regulation must be effective, proportionate and sustainable.

Alongside considering these reforms, we wish to bring quicker changes to the system to improve how enforcement agents operate. Our call for evidence and the Justice Committee’s inquiry found strong evidence that body-worn cameras are important in protecting both those in debt and enforcement agents, raising standards in the industry and enabling complaints to be properly investigated. We will be taking forward work to make use of body-worn cameras mandatory for all private enforcement agents and to produce best practice guidance.

Under the current system, all enforcement agents have to demonstrate knowledge of the law, customer care, dealing with conflict situations and identifying vulnerable situations. We believe that there is a good case, however, to look again at the guidance and requirements for how enforcement agents interact with those in debt, with a view to addressing any unfair treatment of vulnerable people, including those with mental health issues.

The Ministry of Justice proposes to engage with the enforcement industry, debt advice agencies, creditors and others on these and other issues over the summer before responding in full to its call for evidence and the Justice Committee report. The response will include a full analysis of the variety of evidence submitted to the review and set out proposals for reform to enhance the regulation of enforcement agents. We will consult on any proposals for legislative reform.

This work forms part of wider cross-government efforts to improve the treatment of those in debt. This includes work by HM Treasury to implement a ‘breathing space’ and statutory debt repayment plan for people in problem debt and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government review of how local authorities can improve the way they collect Council Tax debt.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1738
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Treasury
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Off-payroll Engagements

My right honourable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Elizabeth Truss) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement

In 2012, HM Treasury implemented a set of rules which required departments’ most senior staff to be on payroll, and to seek assurance in relation to the tax arrangements of their long-term, high-paid contractors who are off-payroll.

Reforms to IR35 off-payroll working rules in April 2017 require public bodies to deduct tax and NICs if the off-payroll worker works like an employee, compliance of which is monitored by HMRC.

Following a review of the rules, I have concluded that the off-payroll rules implemented in 2012 are now superseded by the IR35 reforms, and the requirement for departments to include set contractual provisions and conduct an assurance process are no longer necessary.

However, it remains essential that board-level appointments and/or those with significant financial responsibility should be on the payroll of the department or other employing body, unless there are genuine exceptional circumstances that do not exceed 6 months. The HMT off-payroll rules have been amended to reflect the outcome of this review, and updated guidance has been published on the government website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-tax-assurance-process-of-public-sector-appointees

This guidance includes increased transparency requirements, whereby the duration of off-payroll engagements of board members and/or senior officials with significant financial responsibility is to be reported in departments’ annual accounts in future reporting cycles. This will replace the need for annual reviews.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1774
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Prime Minister
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Mrs Theresa May (Prime Minister)
Commons

National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 - Third Annual Report

Today, I am pleased to announce the publication of the third annual report of the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). This also provides an annual update on the National Security Capability Review (NSCR). I will be placing a copy of the report in the Libraries of the House and publishing the report on gov.uk.

In the SDSR, we committed to giving Parliament an annual update on implementation of the strategy. This Annual Report sets out our progress in delivering on our SDSR and NSCR commitments and shows how the United Kingdom continues to meet the threats and challenges posed by a changing world, proving the merits of Fusion doctrine, as introduced in last year’s NSCR.

The NSCR reinforced our vision and values set out in the National Security Strategy and SDSR of a secure and prosperous United Kingdom with global reach and influence. Our overarching National Security Objectives: Protect Our People; Project Our Global Influence; and Promote Our Prosperity, continues to be the foundation of our National Security approach. In support of each of these objectives, we have made significant progress on a cross-government programme of activity, overseen by a sub-Committee of the National Security Council (NSC).

Much has changed since the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review was published in November 2015 – not least the United Kingdom’s historic decision to leave the European Union. Whilst the principal threats to our national security remain the same, we face a challenge from a resurgence of state based threats. These threats are more complex and are testing the norms of the rules-based international system on which we have come to rely for our prosperity and security. Nevertheless, NATO remains the bedrock of the UK’s defence and the leading instrument of our national security.

Our outlook remains outward facing and the UK will not shy away from defending democratic principles across the globe whilst ensuring British values are safeguarded at home. We value that outreach, and our partnerships and relationships across the world which are the envy of friend and foe alike. They have proven time and again to be a critical factor in our successes on the global stage.

In the SDSR, we made 89 principal commitments. As at March 2019, we have completed 32, with the rest being progressed. The SDSR pledged to deliver a number of complex major projects and programmes, some with a delivery timescale of a decade or more; progress on these is as we would expect at this stage. The NSCR provided 27 further significant commitments of which 3 have already been completed.

We remain the only country in the G20 to meet both the expenditure targets of 2% of GDP on Defence and 0.7% of gross national income on overseas development, driving forward the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Foreign Affairs Council – 15 July 2019

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

I attended the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 15 July. It was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Brussels.

Current Affairs

The High Representative and Foreign Ministers discussed the most pressing issues on the international agenda. This included Turkey's current drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Foreign Ministers also discussed the recent developments in Sudan. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto reported on his visit to the region on behalf of the EU. Ministers noted that the agreement reached between the Transitional Military Council and Forces for Freedom and Change on 11 July was an important breakthrough, and underlined the importance of supporting the civilian transition, including through additional financial support.

Ministers also touched on Venezuela, following the visit of Special Adviser Enrique Iglesias to Caracas on 7-10 July. They reiterated the EU's support for a political solution through the Oslo process, while underlining strong concerns over the human rights situation following the report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

The High Representative also covered the EU-Ukraine Summit, the 5th anniversary of the downing of MH17, her recent visit to the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) and the outcome of the fifth EU-G5 Sahel Ministerial meeting in Ouagadougou (9 July).

Iran

I briefed the Council on my recent engagement on Iran. The Council discussed the tense situation in the Gulf region and recent announcements and steps by Tehran to reduce its implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). Ministers referred to ways of reducing the ongoing risk of military escalation and reiterated the EU's regret at the decision by the US to re-impose sanctions on Iran.

Ministers also took stock of ongoing EU efforts to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran, including through the special purpose vehicle "INSTEX" which is now operational. They also urged Iran to reverse the steps taken and reaffirmed that the EU's commitment to the nuclear deal depended on full compliance by Iran.

Iraq

The High Representative spoke to Ministers about her visit to Bagdad on 13-14 July. Foreign Ministers took stock of developments in Iraq and discussed how the EU could provide further support.

Central African Republic

Ministers reflected on how the EU could strengthen its support to encourage further implementation of the peace agreement signed in Bangui on 6 February 2019. They agreed to start working on plans for a possible civilian Common Security and Defence Policy mission.

External Aspects of Migration

Ministers agreed that efforts to address migration should be stepped up. They noted that greater financial resources were needed, especially for the EU Trust Fund for Africa. Ministers also discussed the importance of accelerating resettlement of persons needing international protection and making progress on the disembarkation of migrants rescued at sea.

Lunch with the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Moldova Nicolae Popescu

Foreign Ministers conveyed their support, as well as their expectations, on the implementation of reforms related to the Association Agreement, and their willingness to resume conditional EU financial support.

Council Conclusions

The Council agreed a number of measures:

  • The Council adopted conclusions on Iraq.
  • The Council adopted conclusions on Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • The Council adopted conclusions on the EU's priorities at the 74th UN General Assembly.
  • A decision was adopted by the Council on sanctions against North Korea following the annual review.
  • The Council authorised the opening of negotiations on a joint political declaration of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Union on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation.
  • The Council adopted the EU's position in view of the second EU-Cuba Joint Council that will take place on 9 September in Havana.
  • The Council approved the update of the military requirements for military mobility within and beyond the EU.
  • The Council approved the adoption of an ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) statement on aviation partnership.
  • The Council approved the adoption of an ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) statement on "Promoting women, peace and security at the ASEAN Regional Forum".
  • The Council transposed an amendment adopted by the UN concerning one person listed under the South Sudan sanctions framework.
  • The Council adopted the position to be taken on behalf of the EU in the Joint Committee established by the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the EU and the Philippines.
  • The Council adopted the position to be taken by the EU in the Cote d'Ivoire-EU EPA Committee regarding adoption of Protocol 1 concerning the definition of the concept of 'originating products' and methods for administrative cooperation (rules of origin).
  • The Council endorsed the text of six Working Papers and one Information paper to be submitted by Finland on behalf of the European Union and its Member States to the 40th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
  • The Council adopted a decision authorising the Commission to enter into negotiations on the modernisation of the Charter Treaty (10738/19). The Council also adopted negotiating directives (10745/19 ADD 1). In parallel, the representatives of the governments of the member states that are parties to the Energy Charter Treaty adopted a decision authorising the Commission to enter into negotiations for the elements falling under the competence of the Member States.
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1773
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Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Senior Civil Service and Senior Military Pay Awards

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay for the senior civil service and senior military.

The Government received the Senior Salary Review Body’s (SSRB) report on 2019 pay for the senior civil service, senior military and police and crime commissioners on 7 June 2019. This will be presented to Parliament and published on Gov.uk.

Thanks to the government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low, we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our Civil Service and Senior Military.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

The Government values the independent expertise and insight of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) and takes on board the valuable advice, principles outlined, and constructive challenge to the Government’s recommendations outlined in the report. The Government will follow the SSRB’s recommendations, subject to a small number of differences which are set out below.

Within the current context there remains a need to take into account workforce requirements and affordability when making decisions on senior pay, as well as fairness in the approach for senior and junior grades.

Senior Civil Servants

SSRB recommendations set a 2.2% pay award with money allocated in the following priority order:

  • 0.9% targeted at pay progression and anomalies
  • 0.2% set aside for minima increases
  • 1% increase for all SCS not benefiting from the minima increases, and those benefiting by less than 1% from the minima increases should be ‘topped up’ to a 1% increase (estimated cost of 0.9% of the paybill)
  • 0.2% set aside to implement any specialist pay proposals.

The SSRB also recommended reductions to the maxima and commented on priority work to be undertaken for the 2020-21 pay award.

The Government accepts the SSRB’s recommendations in full with the following exceptions:

  • The overall figure should be limited to an average 2% increase in line with the figure contained in the delegated pay remit guidance. The reduction of 0.2% will be taken from the money set aside for specialist pay which we will not be implementing this pay year.
  • The Government accepts the recommendation to decrease the maxima for all pay bands, but to delay implementation of this to next year whilst further work is undertaken on capability-based pay progression to ensure the levels set are robust and there is a clear and positive narrative for reduction.

In addition to the above action for this year’s pay award, the Government commits to:

  • To develop and evaluate a credible robust capability based pay progression system
  • continuing to review the SCS performance management system as a priority; and
  • keeping under review the impact of the interaction between Civil Service pensions and the current tax rules on recruitment and retention.

The Government will continue to engage closely with the SSRB to help develop our proposals further and invites the review body to contribute towards the further review of the Senior Civil Service pay framework including the commitments made above.

Senior Military Officers

The Government has rejected the SSRB’s headline pay award recommendation, and instead will implement a 2% consolidated pay award with effect from 1 April 2019. The Government has accepted the SSRB’s recommendations on senior military salaries to maintain the 10% increase to base pay on promotion from 1-star rank and to not change the current pay differentials for senior medical and dental officers.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1771
WS
Home Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Police Remuneration Review Body 2019 Government Response

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

The fifth annual report of the Police Remuneration Review Body was published today. In line with our letter setting the Body’s remit it has made recommendations on pay and allowances for police officers at all ranks in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The government has considered the recommendations of the report insofar as they relate to police officers in England and Wales, which the Home Office is responsible for. We wish to express thanks to the Chair and members of the Review Body for their work on the report and pay recommendations.

Last year, the government announced the largest pay rise in nearly a decade for almost a million public sector workers. Building on this, this year the government has accepted in full the recommendations of the PRRB that a consolidated increase of 2.5% should be awarded to all ranks at all pay points. It has also accepted a corresponding increase to London Weighting and the Dog Handlers' Allowance and an increase in the on-call allowance for officers in the federated ranks from £15 to £20 for each 24-hour period on-call. These will be implemented with effect from 1 September 2019.

We asked the PRRB to review the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s proposals for progression pay for police apprentices. The PRRB recommended that subject to further review in the next pay round, no change is made to the current arrangements for apprentice progression. The government has accepted this recommendation.

Thanks to the government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low – we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our police forces.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future. In addition to their pay, police officers continue to benefit from defined benefit pensions, which are amongst the most generous available.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

The Police Remuneration Review Body Report (CP 139) has been laid before Parliament and copies are available in the Vote Office and on GOV.UK

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1769
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lords))
Lords

Government response to the 47th report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Matthew Hancock) has made the following written statement:

I am responding on behalf of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 47th Report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm148) and a copy is attached. I am grateful to the Chair and members of the DDRB for their report.

The government is today announcing pay rises for Doctors and Dentists working across the NHS.

Building on our ambition to make the NHS the Best Place to Work, as set out in the NHS Interim People Plan, this is a pay rise that recognises the hard work and dedication of Doctors and Dentists and puts forward an approach for a potential multi-year deal with contract reform for specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors to enhance recruitment, retention, morale and productivity for this group.

We have recently agreed multi-year deals for both non-medical Agenda for Change staff and Doctors and Dentists in training and this is part of our approach to make the NHS the best employer in the world whilst supporting the NHS workforce to deliver excellent patient care.

Thanks to the government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low, we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our hospitals.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

This pay rise represents one of the biggest uplifts in pay for medical staff for over a decade. In addition to their pay, medical staff continue to benefit from defined benefit pensions, which are amongst the most generous available.

Today’s pay award is worth:

  • Between £1,940 and £2,630 for consultants
  • Between £970 and £1,820 for Specialty Doctors
  • Between £1,360 and £2,250 for Associate Specialists

The DDRB were asked not to make a pay recommendation for General Medical Practitioners as this is the first year of the recently announced five-year contract deal. As part of this agreement, core general practice funding will increase by £978 million per year by 2023/24 providing greater certainty for GMPs to plan ahead.

The Government’s response to the DDRB recommendations takes account of affordability in the context of the NHS Long Term Plan and the 2019 Spending Review. Given the NHS budget is now set for the next five years, there is a direct trade-off between pay and staff numbers and our response takes account of this trade-off.

The Government’s response is as follows:

Consultants

  • A 2.5% general uplift in pay backdated to April 2019.
  • the value of both national and old style local clinical excellence awards (CEAs) to be frozen

Specialty Doctors (new grade 2008) and Associate Specialist (closed grade) (SAS doctors)

The government takes note of the DDRB’s comments on the particular issues of morale and motivation in relation to this group that led to their pay recommendation. We agree that investment in raising the profile and attractiveness of SAS doctor roles is important and we are committing to negotiations on a multi-year pay agreement, incorporating contract reform for SAS doctors. SAS doctors will receive

  • A 2.5% general uplift in pay backdated to April 2019.
  • The potential for an additional 1%, on top of the 2.5% already paid to be added to pay in 2020/21 conditional on contract reform, through a multi-year agreement.

Doctors and dentists in training

On 27 June the government announced that Junior Doctors had overwhelmingly backed a four year deal incorporating pay increases and improved flexibility and working conditions. This brings to an end the junior doctors dispute and the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS Employers have now collectively agreed the amended Junior Doctor Contract.

The four year deal guarantees pay increases of 2% per annum for the next four years and there will in addition be around £90m of investment into the contract including a new pay point for the most senior doctors in training, an allowance for those working less than full time to support flexible working and increased pay for those working the most weekends or whose shifts end in the early hours of the morning. Taken alongside an 8.2% four year pay rise, this will give junior doctors and current medical students the support they fully deserve.

General Dental Practitioners

  • A 2.5% general uplift in the pay element of their contract backdated to April 2019.

General Medical Practitioner Trainers and Appraisers

  • A 2.5% increase in full to the value of the GMP trainers grant and the GMP appraisers’ grant.
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1765
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lords))
Lords

Government response to the 32nd report of the NHS Pay Review Body

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care (Matthew Hancock) has made the following written statement:

I am responding on behalf of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 32nd Report of the NHS Pay review Body (NHSPRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm 147). Copies of the report are available to hon Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.

This is the second year of the three-year Agenda for Change pay and contract reform deal (2018/2019 to 2020/2021), the NHSPRB was asked therefore not to make any pay recommendations for 2019/2020.

The Government welcomes the 32nd report of the NHSPRB and is grateful to the Chair and members for all their work and helpful observations, on effective workforce planning and how best to support the development of the NHS workforce.

We are pleased that their observations broadly reflect the themes published in the Interim People Plan and will help inform the upcoming final People Plan.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1764
WS
Treasury
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Elizabeth Truss (The Chief Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Off-payroll Engagements

In 2012, HM Treasury implemented a set of rules which required departments’ most senior staff to be on payroll, and to seek assurance in relation to the tax arrangements of their long-term, high-paid contractors who are off-payroll.

Reforms to IR35 off-payroll working rules in April 2017 require public bodies to deduct tax and NICs if the off-payroll worker works like an employee, compliance of which is monitored by HMRC.

Following a review of the rules, I have concluded that the off-payroll rules implemented in 2012 are now superseded by the IR35 reforms, and the requirement for departments to include set contractual provisions and conduct an assurance process are no longer necessary.

However, it remains essential that board-level appointments and/or those with significant financial responsibility should be on the payroll of the department or other employing body, unless there are genuine exceptional circumstances that do not exceed 6 months. The HMT off-payroll rules have been amended to reflect the outcome of this review, and updated guidance has been published on the government website. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-tax-assurance-process-of-public-sector-appointees

This guidance includes increased transparency requirements, whereby the duration of off-payroll engagements of board members and/or senior officials with significant financial responsibility is to be reported in departments’ annual accounts in future reporting cycles. This will replace the need for annual reviews.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1733
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Electoral Integrity Update

My honourable friend the Minister for the Constitution (Mr Kevin Foster) has today made the following written Ministerial Statement:

Today, the Cabinet Office published its evaluation of the 2019 voter ID pilots. The evaluation shows that a diverse range of local authorities delivered successful pilots. We know this because for the second successive year, the overwhelming majority of people who came to polling stations were able to cast their vote without difficulty.

When surveyed, people in areas testing the poll card model, and the mixed photographic and non-photographic model were significantly more confident in - and satisfied with - the process of casting their vote after polling day. Perceptions that there were sufficient safeguards in place to prevent voter fraud at polling stations increased in areas trialing photographic ID and mixed ID models.

Locally issued ID was made available, free of charge, whenever an elector was unsure that they were able to produce the required ID. In Pendle and Woking, 100 such voters made use of the provision. Woking, who were piloting voter ID for a second year, found the number of people who did not return after being asked to present ID had decreased from 2018. Electoral administrators from Woking have inferred this may be due to local electors viewing the ID requirements as the new standard.

Alongside the Government’s evaluation, the Electoral Commission will publish their evaluation on the voter ID pilots today.

Electoral fraud is an unacceptable crime that strikes at a core principle of our democracy - that everyone’s vote matters. In our current system, there is undeniable potential for electoral fraud and the perception of this undermines public confidence in our democracy.

The success of both rounds of voter ID pilots shows voter ID is a reasonable and proportionate measure to prevent this. Ensuring your vote is yours, and yours alone. The introduction of this measure across Great Britain will strengthen the integrity of our electoral system and give the public confidence our elections are secure and fit for the 21st century.

Both last year’s pilots and decades of experience of Northern Ireland - including at the most recent local elections - show voter ID does not have an adverse effect on election turnout or participation. We remain committed to rolling out this effective anti-fraud measure and bringing the whole of the United Kingdom into line with Northern Ireland, which has required ID to vote in elections since 1985.

Running pilots again in 2019 allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of how voter ID will work on a wider scale - and what works best for voters before national roll out. We will continue to look carefully at the evaluations from both the 2018 and 2019 pilots to help inform our next steps and shape how the final policy will look when it is introduced.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1767
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Mr Jeremy Hunt (The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Foreign Affairs Council – 15 July 2019

I attended the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) on 15 July. It was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (HRVP), Federica Mogherini. The meeting was held in Brussels.

Current Affairs

The High Representative and Foreign Ministers discussed the most pressing issues on the international agenda. This included Turkey's current drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Foreign Ministers also discussed the recent developments in Sudan. Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto reported on his visit to the region on behalf of the EU. Ministers noted that the agreement reached between the Transitional Military Council and Forces for Freedom and Change on 11 July was an important breakthrough, and underlined the importance of supporting the civilian transition, including through additional financial support.

Ministers also touched on Venezuela, following the visit of Special Adviser Enrique Iglesias to Caracas on 7-10 July. They reiterated the EU's support for a political solution through the Oslo process, while underlining strong concerns over the human rights situation following the report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet.

The High Representative also covered the EU-Ukraine Summit, the 5th anniversary of the downing of MH17, her recent visit to the Sahel region (Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger) and the outcome of the fifth EU-G5 Sahel Ministerial meeting in Ouagadougou (9 July).

Iran

I briefed the Council on my recent engagement on Iran. The Council discussed the tense situation in the Gulf region and recent announcements and steps by Tehran to reduce its implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). Ministers referred to ways of reducing the ongoing risk of military escalation and reiterated the EU's regret at the decision by the US to re-impose sanctions on Iran.

Ministers also took stock of ongoing EU efforts to enable the continuation of legitimate trade with Iran, including through the special purpose vehicle "INSTEX" which is now operational. They also urged Iran to reverse the steps taken and reaffirmed that the EU's commitment to the nuclear deal depended on full compliance by Iran.

Iraq

The High Representative spoke to Ministers about her visit to Bagdad on 13-14 July. Foreign Ministers took stock of developments in Iraq and discussed how the EU could provide further support.

Central African Republic

Ministers reflected on how the EU could strengthen its support to encourage further implementation of the peace agreement signed in Bangui on 6 February 2019. They agreed to start working on plans for a possible civilian Common Security and Defence Policy mission.

External Aspects of Migration

Ministers agreed that efforts to address migration should be stepped up. They noted that greater financial resources were needed, especially for the EU Trust Fund for Africa. Ministers also discussed the importance of accelerating resettlement of persons needing international protection and making progress on the disembarkation of migrants rescued at sea.

Lunch with the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Moldova Nicolae Popescu

Foreign Ministers conveyed their support, as well as their expectations, on the implementation of reforms related to the Association Agreement, and their willingness to resume conditional EU financial support.

Council Conclusions

The Council agreed a number of measures:

  • The Council adopted conclusions on Iraq.
  • The Council adopted conclusions on Turkish drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • The Council adopted conclusions on the EU's priorities at the 74th UN General Assembly.
  • A decision was adopted by the Council on sanctions against North Korea following the annual review.
  • The Council authorised the opening of negotiations on a joint political declaration of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Union on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation.
  • The Council adopted the EU's position in view of the second EU-Cuba Joint Council that will take place on 9 September in Havana.
  • The Council approved the update of the military requirements for military mobility within and beyond the EU.
  • The Council approved the adoption of an ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) statement on aviation partnership.
  • The Council approved the adoption of an ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) statement on "Promoting women, peace and security at the ASEAN Regional Forum".
  • The Council transposed an amendment adopted by the UN concerning one person listed under the South Sudan sanctions framework.
  • The Council adopted the position to be taken on behalf of the EU in the Joint Committee established by the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the EU and the Philippines.
  • The Council adopted the position to be taken by the EU in the Cote d'Ivoire-EU EPA Committee regarding adoption of Protocol 1 concerning the definition of the concept of 'originating products' and methods for administrative cooperation (rules of origin).
  • The Council endorsed the text of six Working Papers and one Information paper to be submitted by Finland on behalf of the European Union and its Member States to the 40th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
  • The Council adopted a decision authorising the Commission to enter into negotiations on the modernisation of the Charter Treaty (10738/19). The Council also adopted negotiating directives (10745/19 ADD 1). In parallel, the representatives of the governments of the member states that are parties to the Energy Charter Treaty adopted a decision authorising the Commission to enter into negotiations for the elements falling under the competence of the Member States.
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1732
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Lord Henley (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Lords

Industrial Strategy Update

My hon Friend the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (Chris Skidmore) has today made the following statement:

Our modern Industrial Strategy is a long-term plan to boost productivity and earning power for people throughout the country.

We set out to work in partnership with places to develop Local Industrial Strategies. These strategies are central to our aim of creating prosperous communities across the country. They are being developed locally and agreed with government, establishing a strong collaborative approach. They are long-term, based on clear evidence and aligned to the modern Industrial Strategy.

On 16 May we launched the first of these strategies – the West Midlands Local Industrial Strategy. We followed this with the Greater Manchester Local Industrial Strategy on 13 June. Now, alongside local partners, we are launching the next Local Industrial Strategies for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc (Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Oxfordshire and the South East Midlands) and the West of England.

The Oxford-Cambridge Arc Local Industrial Strategies mark a major contribution to the government's wider work on the Arc with their focus on driving productivity by outlining shared priorities across the region as a whole.

The four strategies set out how partners across the Arc will work to: harness the collective strength of the Arc’s research base, driving greater collaboration in science and research; provide the skills needed for the future economy; maximise the benefits of new transport, energy and digital infrastructure; improve business support and finance for high growth companies and encourage foreign direct investment; and take a Natural Capital planning approach to development, contributing to the Clean Growth grand challenge mission.

  • Buckinghamshire aims to grow the county’s creative, space, advanced manufacturing and digital health sectors, building on the world-leading assets it already has such as the Westcott Space Cluster and Pinewood Studios;

  • Cambridgeshire and Peterborough aims to build an industrial ecosystem that is globally known for tackling the biggest challenges facing society, with interventions tailored to the needs of each of its sub-economies: Greater Cambridge, Greater Peterborough and The Fens;

  • Oxfordshire plans to build on the county’s world leading science and tech clusters to be a pioneer for transformative technologies and sectors, with its overarching ambition for the county to be a top three global innovation ecosystem by 2040;

  • The South East Midlands’ overarching ambition is to position the area as the ‘Connected Core’ of the Arc, a place with the right R&D assets, business environment and networks to foster, test and commercialise new innovations.

The West of England Local Industrial Strategy focuses on four key priorities:

  • Strengthening innovation and driving productivity by: Connecting researchers, businesses and residents through a Global Centre of Innovation Excellence, and testing new products and services through a new West of England Network of Living Labs;

  • Supporting all residents to contribute to and benefit from economic success by: targeting support to communities facing challenges, tailoring employment and skills support and linking everyone to jobs, training and services through better physical and digital infrastructure, that is accessible, sustainable and low carbon;

  • Providing businesses with the space, networks and skills they need to boost productivity, grow and thrive by: encouraging uptake of modern technology, management and leadership practices; including more regional providers in businesses’ supply chains and widening access to public procurement for small businesses; and supporting low carbon business models;

  • Investing in infrastructure that reduces energy demand, lowers carbon emissions and is resilient to the impacts of climate change, supporting businesses to adopt new clean technology and energy efficiency measures.

Copies of these five Local Industrial Strategies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1762
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Cabinet Office Update

My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

The UK has worked tirelessly to build our democratic system and values. In recent years, events across the world have demonstrated that sustaining and defending a flourishing democracy is increasingly important.

Therefore, the Cabinet Office is coordinating work and expertise across Government under a new Defending Democracy programme, which has been set up to:

  • protect and secure UK democratic processes, systems and institutions from interference, including from cyber, personnel and physical threats;

  • strengthen the integrity of UK elections;

  • encourage respect for open, fair and safe democratic participation; and

  • promote fact-based and open discourse, including online.

The Government has already started to roll out measures as part of this. On 5 May 2019 we announced a range of measures to crack down on intimidation, malign influence, interference and disinformation.

Following the Committee on Standards in Public Life report, the Government has published the Online Harms White Paper, committed to a new electoral offence, and will legislate to clarifying ‘undue influence’ which includes acts or threats of violence to manipulate someone’s vote. The Government recognises that rising levels of intimidation in public life can stop talented people, particularly women and those from minority backgrounds, from standing for public office. That is why we are taking action to confront it.

As part of the programme, we have also announced a plan for a consultation on electoral integrity, which will seek to address concerns around strengthen provisions which prevent UK democracy from foreign interference. This is something we would certainly invite Parliamentarians and others to engage with as it goes forward and will publish in due course.

Though this is a Government programme, we want to work with people from a broad range of perspectives to inform our work. That is why we are inviting the views of Parliamentarians, political parties, third party organisations, academics, regulators and others on the programme and its outcomes. At the same time, we will continue to consider all the recommendations already made to the Government.

By taking a broad and inclusive approach, this programme can build a consensus on the way forward to continue to defend our democracy in the future.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS1772
WS
Ministry of Defence
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Earl Howe (Minister of State, Ministry of Defence)
Lords

Armed Forces' Pay Review Body Report 2019

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (The Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay rises for the Armed Forces.

The Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has made its recommendation for the 2019-20 pay award of 2.9%. We are accepting this recommendation in full (to be implemented in September salaries, backdated to 1 April 2019), and I am today laying their 2019 report.

Last year, the Government announced the largest pay rise in nearly a decade for almost a million public sector workers. This year’s award builds on this and focuses attention on increasing pay for the most junior sailors, soldiers, and airmen and women, to ensure that they continue to receive a living wage. Consequently, the basic pay for other ranks on completion of their initial training will now be £20,000. This pay rise of over 6% represents an increase of £1,140 for over 7,200 newly trained sailors, soldiers, and airmen and women.

The pay award also represents an annual increase of £995 in the nominal ‘average’ salary in the Armed Forces (which is at the Corporal level), as well as an annual increase of £769 in starting salary for an officer.

For all cohorts, this is in addition to the non-contributory defined benefit pension and access to incremental pay progression.

The AFPRB has also made recommendations on rises and changes to other targeted forms of remuneration and on increases to food and accommodation charges which have been accepted. Where applicable, these rate changes will also be backdated to 1 April 2019.

Thanks to the Government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low, we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our Armed Forces.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Cabinet Office Update

The UK has worked tirelessly to build our democratic system and values. In recent years, events across the world have demonstrated that sustaining and defending a flourishing democracy is increasingly important.

Therefore, the Cabinet Office is coordinating work and expertise across Government under a new Defending Democracy programme, which has been set up to:

  • protect and secure UK democratic processes, systems and institutions from interference, including from cyber, personnel and physical threats;

  • strengthen the integrity of UK elections;

  • encourage respect for open, fair and safe democratic participation; and

  • promote fact-based and open discourse, including online.

The Government has already started to roll out measures as part of this. On 5 May 2019 we announced a range of measures to crack down on intimidation, malign influence, interference and disinformation.

Following the Committee on Standards in Public Life report, the Government has published the Online Harms White Paper, committed to a new electoral offence, and will legislate to clarifying ‘undue influence’ which includes acts or threats of violence to manipulate someone’s vote. The Government recognises that rising levels of intimidation in public life can stop talented people, particularly women and those from minority backgrounds, from standing for public office. That is why we are taking action to confront it.

As part of the programme, we have also announced a plan for a consultation on electoral integrity, which will seek to address concerns around strengthen provisions which prevent UK democracy from foreign interference. This is something we would certainly invite Parliamentarians and others to engage with as it goes forward and will publish in due course.

Though this is a Government programme, we want to work with people from a broad range of perspectives to inform our work. That is why we are inviting the views of Parliamentarians, political parties, third party organisations, academics, regulators and others on the programme and its outcomes. At the same time, we will continue to consider all the recommendations already made to the Government.

By taking a broad and inclusive approach, this programme can build a consensus on the way forward to continue to defend our democracy in the future.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1725
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 July 2019
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Senior Civil Service and Senior Military Pay Awards

I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay for the senior civil service and senior military.

The Government received the Senior Salary Review Body’s (SSRB) report on 2019 pay for the senior civil service and senior military on 7 June 2019. This will be presented to Parliament and published on Gov.uk.

Thanks to the government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low, we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our Civil Service and Senior Military.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

The Government values the independent expertise and insight of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) and takes on board the valuable advice, principles outlined, and constructive challenge to the Government’s recommendations outlined in the report. The Government will follow the SSRB’s recommendations, subject to a small number of differences which are set out below.

Within the current context there remains a need to take into account workforce requirements and affordability when making decisions on senior pay, as well as fairness in the approach for senior and junior grades.

Senior Civil Servants

SSRB recommendations set a 2.2% pay award with money allocated in the following priority order:

  • 0.9% targeted at pay progression and anomalies
  • 0.2% set aside for minima increases
  • 1% increase for all SCS not benefiting from the minima increases, and those benefiting by less than 1% from the minima increases should be ‘topped up’ to a 1% increase (estimated cost of 0.9% of the paybill)
  • 0.2% set aside to implement any specialist pay proposals.

The SSRB also recommended reductions to the maxima and commented on priority work to be undertaken for the 2020-21 pay award.

The Government accepts the SSRB’s recommendations in full with the following exceptions:

  • The overall figure should be limited to an average 2% increase in line with the figure contained in the delegated pay remit guidance. The reduction of 0.2% will be taken from the money set aside for specialist pay which we will not be implementing this pay year.
  • The Government accepts the recommendation to decrease the maxima for all pay bands, but to delay implementation of this to next year whilst further work is undertaken on capability-based pay progression to ensure the levels set are robust and there is a clear and positive narrative for reduction.

In addition to the above action for this year’s pay award, the Government commits to:

  • To develop and evaluate a credible robust capability based pay progression system
  • continuing to review the SCS performance management system as a priority; and
  • keeping under review the impact of the interaction between Civil Service pensions and the current tax rules on recruitment and retention.

The Government will continue to engage closely with the SSRB to help develop our proposals further and invites the review body to contribute towards the further review of the Senior Civil Service pay framework including the commitments made above.

Senior Military Officers

The Government has rejected the SSRB’s headline pay award recommendation, and instead will implement a 2% consolidated pay award with effect from 1 April 2019. The Government has accepted the SSRB’s recommendations on senior military salaries to maintain the 10% increase to base pay on promotion from 1-star rank and to not change the current pay differentials for senior medical and dental officers.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS1731
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