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 Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 04 July 2018
Made by: David Rutley (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment)
Commons

Ivory Bill: English Votes for English Laws - Analysis of Government Amendments for Report Stage

I have today published a written submission outlining the Government’s analysis of how the English Votes for English Laws principle relates to all Government amendments tabled for Report Stage of the Ivory Bill.

The Department’s assessment is that the amendments do not change the territorial application of the Bill.

The analysis holds if all the Government amendments be accepted. I have deposited a copy of the submission in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS799
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 04 July 2018
Made by: Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport )
Commons

HS2 Phase 2b Eastern Leg Rolling Stock Depot location announcement

I would like to update the house on plans for the HS2 Phase 2b Eastern Leg Rolling Stock Depot. I am today confirming the depot should be located at a site in the Aire Valley, adjacent to the M1, to the east of Leeds. This decision is laid out in today’s publication of the HS2 Phase 2b Eastern Leg Rolling Stock Depot Consultation Response.

It was originally proposed that the depot be sited near Crofton, east of Wakefield. Due to operational and community concerns after the M18/ Eastern Route decision was announced, I asked HS2 Ltd to review alternative options for the depot site. The east of Leeds site was identified and a consultation seeking views on this proposed location was launched on 17 July 2017 and ran until 12 October 2017. The consultation revealed broad support for the new location.

This decision has been made with local development plans on the wider site in mind. HS2 Ltd will continue to work with stakeholders to support local regeneration proposals on the wider site.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS798
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 03 July 2018
Made by: Lord Gardiner of Kimble (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, and Lords Minister)
Lords

June Agriculture and Fisheries Council

My Hon. Friend Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (George Eustice) has today made the following statement:

Agriculture and Fisheries Council took place in Luxembourg on 18 June. I represented the UK.

The main focus of the Council was fisheries items. The most substantive of these was a presentation by the European Commission on the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Commissioner Vella outlined the main aims for 2019: reaching maximum sustainable yield targets, fully meeting the Landing Obligation, and implementing the Baltic and North Sea Multi-annual Plans (MAPs). There was an exchange of views among member states. The UK reiterated its commitment to the Landing Obligation and spoke of the need for pragmatic solutions to prevent choke problems in 2019.

The Netherlands gave a presentation to highlight a recent report from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) about pulse beam trawling. Member states agreed that more research was needed. The UK drew attention to original research being carried out by Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), whose report is due in 2019.

There was a presentation by the Commission on a new proposal revising the Control Regulation. The presentation raised the possibility of increased electronic reporting and satellite control as well as greater oversight of the recreational fishing sector. Member states voiced concerns about the practicalities and costs of these changes, especially the introduction of CCTV.

The Commission also gave a presentation on a regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), covering the period 2021-2027, outlining its intention to give member states more flexibility in managing the fund. Member states welcomed the offer of greater flexibility but requested further discussion about the Fund’s budget and administration.

The most substantive item for agriculture was a presentation by the Commission on reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2020. Member states expressed a range of views, with some of them concerned about planned budgetary cuts. Member states agreed on the importance of achieving real simplification. The Commission signalled further discussion on this topic and welcomed further constructive recommendations from member states.

The Commission also gave an update on the agricultural market situation, giving a generally positive assessment of the health of EU markets.

Six further items were discussed under ‘any other business’:

- the Slovenian delegation gave a presentation on their UN initiative ‘World Bee Day’

- the Polish delegation presented on the situation in the pig meat market

- the French delegation presented on the disposal of skimmed milk powder stocks

- the Cyprus delegation gave information about the decreasing availability of water for agriculture in Cyprus

- the Spanish delegation provided information about anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties against Spanish table olives by the US authorities

- the Hungarian delegation delivered a joint Declaration of the Visegrad, Baltic, and Balkan member states about a shared initiative in agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture research, ‘BIOEAST’.

Until the UK leaves the European Union, the UK remains a full member of the EU and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. The outcome of our negotiations with the EU on the future partnership will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in future.

WS
Treasury
Made on: 03 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

ECOFIN: 22 June 2018

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

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Luxembourg on 22 June 2018.

ECOFIN was preceded by a morning meeting of the EIB Board of Governors.

Annual EIB Board of Governors meeting

The EIB Board of Governors meeting included a speech by EIB President Werner Hoyer, a Governors discussion on the future direction of the Bank, reappointment of the Board of Directors, and approval of the Audit Report.

At ECOFIN, EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 21 June meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU. Following this, the Council discussed the next Multiannual Financial Framework, and France and Germany reported on the outcomes of the Franco-German summit on 19 June.

VAT “Quick-Fixes”

The Council discussed the Presidency compromise text in regards to; the Directive on harmonising and simplifying certain rules in the VAT system and introducing the definitive system for the taxation of trade between Member States; the Regulation regarding certain exemptions for intra-Community transactions and the Regulation regarding certified taxable persons. The Council were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

European Deposit Insurance Scheme

The Council took note of the Presidency progress report on the European Deposit Insurance Scheme.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

Insolvency Directive

The Presidency provided an update on the Insolvency, Restructuring and Second-Chance Directive.

National Reform Programmes 2018

The Council approved the 2018 Country-Specific Recommendations as part of the European Semester process.

Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact

The Council adopted Council Decisions and Recommendations in the context of both the Excessive Deficit Procedure and the Significant Deviation Procedure, also part of the European Semester.

Convergence Reports

Also as part of the European Semester, the Commission and the European Central Bank presented the annual Convergence Reports.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS824
WS
Treasury
Made on: 03 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime to FCA solo-regulated firms

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

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) will come into force for financial services firms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority only (also known as solo-regulated firms) from 9 December 2019.

The SM&CR is aimed at changing behaviours and culture in the financial services sector. It ensures that senior individuals in firms are approved by the relevant regulator, have a statement of responsibilities outlining what they are accountable for, and can be held personally responsible for misconduct. It also ensures that a code of conduct is set out for all financial services staff, and that employees in roles where they could do significant harm to consumers or to the UK’s financial stability are approved annually by their firm.

The SM&CR was first introduced for banks and building societies through the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 and has applied to banks, building societies, credit unions, investment firms and UK branches of foreign banks since March 2016. The Government also legislated in the Bank of England and Financial Services Act 2016 to extend the SM&CR to all financial services firms. The Government recently announced the SM&CR would apply to insurance firms from 10 December 2018. The application to solo-regulated firms is the final stage in the extension of the SM&CR.

HM Treasury will make commencement regulations to bring the Regime into force for solo-regulated firms.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS823
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 03 July 2018
Made by: Lord Young of Cookham (Lord in Waiting (Government Whip))
Lords

Handling Members' Correspondence in 2017

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

I am today publishing a report on the performance of Departments and Agencies on handling correspondence from Members and Peers during the calendar year 2017. Details are set out in the table below. Corresponding statistics for 2016 can be found on 11 July 2017, Volume 627 (HCWS35).

Departmental figures are based on substantive replies unless otherwise indicated. The footnotes to the table provide general background information on how the figures have been compiled.

Correspondence Table 2017 (Word Document, 106.5 KB)
WS
Treasury
Made on: 03 July 2018
Made by: Mr Philip Hammond (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

ECOFIN: 22 June 2018

A meeting of The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Luxembourg on 22 June 2018.

ECOFIN was preceded by a morning meeting of the EIB Board of Governors.

Annual EIB Board of Governors meeting

The EIB Board of Governors meeting included a speech by EIB President Werner Hoyer, a Governors discussion on the future direction of the Bank, reappointment of the Board of Directors, and approval of the Audit Report.

At ECOFIN, EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early Morning Session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 21 June meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU. Following this, the Council discussed the next Multiannual Financial Framework, and France and Germany reported on the outcomes of the Franco-German summit on 19 June.

VAT “Quick-Fixes”

The Council discussed the Presidency compromise text in regards to; the Directive on harmonising and simplifying certain rules in the VAT system and introducing the definitive system for the taxation of trade between Member States; the Regulation regarding certain exemptions for intra-Community transactions and the Regulation regarding certified taxable persons. The Council were unable to reach agreement on a General Approach.

European Deposit Insurance Scheme

The Council took note of the Presidency progress report on the European Deposit Insurance Scheme.

Current Financial Services Legislative Proposals

The Presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

Insolvency Directive

The Presidency provided an update on the Insolvency, Restructuring and Second-Chance Directive.

National Reform Programmes 2018

The Council approved the 2018 Country-Specific Recommendations as part of the European Semester process.

Implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact

The Council adopted Council Decisions and Recommendations in the context of both the Excessive Deficit Procedure and the Significant Deviation Procedure, also part of the European Semester.

Convergence Reports

Also as part of the European Semester, the Commission and the European Central Bank presented the annual Convergence Reports.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS795
WS
Treasury
Made on: 03 July 2018
Made by: John Glen (The Economic Secretary to the Treasury)
Commons

Extending the Senior Managers and Certification Regime to FCA solo-regulated firms

The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) will come into force for financial services firms regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority only (also known as solo-regulated firms) from 9 December 2019.

The SM&CR is aimed at changing behaviours and culture in the financial services sector. It ensures that senior individuals in firms are approved by the relevant regulator, have a statement of responsibilities outlining what they are accountable for, and can be held personally responsible for misconduct. It also ensures that a code of conduct is set out for all financial services staff, and that employees in roles where they could do significant harm to consumers or to the UK’s financial stability are approved annually by their firm.

The SM&CR was first introduced for banks and building societies through the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 and has applied to banks, building societies, credit unions, investment firms and UK branches of foreign banks since March 2016. The Government also legislated in the Bank of England and Financial Services Act 2016 to extend the SM&CR to all financial services firms. The Government recently announced the SM&CR would apply to insurance firms from 10 December 2018. The application to solo-regulated firms is the final stage in the extension of the SM&CR.

HM Treasury will make commencement regulations to bring the Regime into force for solo-regulated firms.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS794
WS
Women and Equalities
Made on: 03 July 2018
Made by: Penny Mordaunt (Minister for Women and Equalities)
Commons

LGBT Equality Government Publication

In July last year, the Government launched a national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) survey, which asked LGBT people about their experiences of living in the UK.

I am pleased to be publishing both the Gender Recognition Act consultation and the survey findings today. I am also publishing a LGBT Action Plan, which sets out the Government’s policy response to the survey results.

The national LGBT survey received over 108,000 responses, making it the largest national survey of LGBT people conducted in the world to date. Responses covered a range of issues, including safety, health, education and the experience of being LGBT in the UK. The findings will serve as a crucial additional to the evidence base. Whilst there were many positives to take from the findings, they also show that there is more to do before we achieved equality for LGBT people in the UK.

The LGBT Action Plan contains more than 70 actions that the Government will take in order to address the survey findings. These include the appointment of a National LGBT Health Advisor within the NHS to tackle the health inequalities that LGBT people face, the extension of the existing anti-homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying programme and a commitment to end the practice of conversion therapy in the UK. This plan will be supported by the provision of £4.5 million from within existing Government Equalities Office budgets in 2018-19 and 2019-20. I want this plan to be delivered by the end of this Parliament and funding beyond 2019-20 will be agreed through the Spending Review process.

Finally, I am publishing a report that sets out the progress that the Government has made on delivering commitments made in two prior LGBT Action Plans that were published in 2011. The publication of this update meets a commitment that was made to the Women and Equalities Select Committee in 2016, following their landmark Transgender Equality Inquiry.

Taken together, the documents that I am publishing today represent a significant milestone in this Government’s commitment to building a country that works for everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

I will also be publishing, later today, the consultation on the Gender Recognition Act and supporting documents.

I have arranged for copies of the documents to be placed in both libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS797
WS
Department for Exiting the European Union
Made on: 03 July 2018
Made by: Mr Steve Baker (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union)
Commons

Method of publication for certain statements under the EU (Withdrawal) Act

The Withdrawal Act requires statements of the “good reasons” for creation of and penalties for any criminal offences under the key powers in the Act. On 25 April the Baroness-in-waiting, Baroness Goldie, committed that these statements would be made available to Parliament before any SI which creates a criminal offence is laid before Parliament. The mechanism for ensuring this has been agreed and, in line with that commitment, I am making this statement to inform members that those statements will be deposited, before the SI is laid, in the Libraries of both houses where they will form a document series deposited under the commitment in this statement.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS803
WS
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Made on: 03 July 2018
Made by: George Eustice (The Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food)
Commons

June Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Agriculture and Fisheries Council took place in Luxembourg on 18 June. I represented the UK.

The main focus of the Council was fisheries items. The most substantive of these was a presentation by the European Commission on the implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Commissioner Vella outlined the main aims for 2019: reaching maximum sustainable yield targets, fully meeting the Landing Obligation, and implementing the Baltic and North Sea Multi-annual Plans (MAPs). There was an exchange of views among member states. The UK reiterated its commitment to the Landing Obligation and spoke of the need for pragmatic solutions to prevent choke problems in 2019.

The Netherlands gave a presentation to highlight a recent report from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) about pulse beam trawling. Member states agreed that more research was needed. The UK drew attention to original research being carried out by Centre for Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS), whose report is due in 2019.

There was a presentation by the Commission on a new proposal revising the Control Regulation. The presentation raised the possibility of increased electronic reporting and satellite control as well as greater oversight of the recreational fishing sector. Member states voiced concerns about the practicalities and costs of these changes, especially the introduction of CCTV.

The Commission also gave a presentation on a regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF), covering the period 2021-2027, outlining its intention to give member states more flexibility in managing the fund. Member states welcomed the offer of greater flexibility but requested further discussion about the Fund’s budget and administration.

The most substantive item for agriculture was a presentation by the Commission on reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy after 2020. Member states expressed a range of views, with some of them concerned about planned budgetary cuts. Member states agreed on the importance of achieving real simplification. The Commission signalled further discussion on this topic and welcomed further constructive recommendations from member states.

The Commission also gave an update on the agricultural market situation, giving a generally positive assessment of the health of EU markets.

Six further items were discussed under ‘any other business’:

- the Slovenian delegation gave a presentation on their UN initiative ‘World Bee Day’

- the Polish delegation presented on the situation in the pig meat market

- the French delegation presented on the disposal of skimmed milk powder stocks

- the Cyprus delegation gave information about the decreasing availability of water for agriculture in Cyprus

- the Spanish delegation provided information about anti-subsidy and anti-dumping duties against Spanish table olives by the US authorities

- the Hungarian delegation delivered a joint Declaration of the Visegrad, Baltic, and Balkan member states about a shared initiative in agriculture, forestry, and aquaculture research, ‘BIOEAST’.

Until the UK leaves the European Union, the UK remains a full member of the EU and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force. The outcome of our negotiations with the EU on the future partnership will determine what arrangements apply in relation to EU legislation in future.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Housing Policy Update

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing,Communities and Local Government ( James Brokenshire), has today made the following Written Ministerial Satement.

Since we published our Housing White Paper last year, we have been making significant progress in fixing the broken housing market, reforming our planning system and increasing housing supply to start to improve affordability, as well as taking steps to ensure that communities have the safe and high quality homes they need to thrive.

Our new National Planning Policy Framework – coming into force this Summer following our consultation – will transform the planning system, and at Autumn Budget we set out £15 billion new financial support for housing, taking our total investment to £44 billion over the next five years. Since 2010 we have delivered over a million new homes, and in 2016/17 we saw 217,350 new homes delivered – the highest number in all but one of the last 30 years.

Our new national housing agency, Homes England, is taking a more assertive approach to getting homes built. This has already started - for example in Burgess Hill, a site that is desperately needed for affordable housing but which sat undeveloped. Homes England have now stepped in, bought the land and is delivering the infrastructure. Today I am announcing a plan to build over 3,000 homes on the site.

But we need to go further, and in particular we recognise the housing market needs an injection of innovation and competition. Getting new players into the market and embracing Modern Methods of Construction will allow us to build faster and drive up choice and quality for consumers.

To help do this, today I am announcing that the Local Authority Accelerated Construction programme is moving into its delivery phase. Through this fund, we are releasing £450 million to speed up delivery of homes on surplus local authority land and encouraging the use of Modern Methods of Construction and SME builders. Homes England has started the process of funding negotiations with a number of local authorities to ensure their sites can deliver greater pace and innovation in house building.

But this is not just about the number of homes, it is also about ensuring we deliver the right homes in the right places, and building communities that people are happy to call home.

Today I am announcing that we have launched a new Homes England programme to deliver the Community Housing Fund. Community groups and local authorities in all parts of England outside London are now able to apply for capital and revenue funding to bring community-led housing schemes forward. Homes England have published a prospectus on their website at www.gov.uk/topic/housing/funding-programmes.

Through this fund, housing will be delivered where the mainstream market is unable to deliver. The housing it helps provide will be tailored to meet specific local needs and will remain locally affordable in perpetuity. It will help sustain local communities and local economies and help raise the bar in design and construction standards. Now that it is launched, it will unlock a pipeline of thousands of new homes and help this innovative sector grow to make a substantial additional contribution to housing supply. A similar programme is being developed for London – delivered by the GLA – and an announcement on that will be made shortly.

We also want to protect the rights of tenants in the private rented sector and give them more security. That is why I am publishing today an eight week consultation on overcoming the barriers to landlords offering longer tenancies to tenants in the private rented sector.

Longer tenancies will help tenants, particularly those with children, who are currently on short term contracts and who are unable to plan for the future. Longer tenancies can benefit landlords too by helping to avoid the costs of finding new tenants. The aim is to collect views on what could be done to provide tenants with greater security while providing flexibility for landlords to regain their properties if their circumstances change. In the consultation, we propose a new model tenancy agreement of 3 years with a 6 month break clause and options on how to implement the model which include legislation, financial incentives for landlords, and voluntary measures to encourage its use. Copies of the consultation will be placed in the libraries of both Houses and are available online.

Finally, for too long, the leasehold market has been left to evolve without much attention to who actually benefits. We are determined to reform the leasehold market to make it work for consumers. We have announced a programme of leasehold reform including a ban on new leasehold houses, restricting ground rents to a peppercorn and making enfranchisement easier, quicker and cheaper. We will bring forward legislation at the earliest opportunity, but we want the industry to change in advance of legislation and have written to developers setting out our expectations.

Today I can also confirm that Government funding schemes for housing supply will no longer support the unjustified use of leasehold for new houses, wherever possible, and that we will hardwire this as a condition into any new schemes. In future, ground rents on new long leases in flats will be limited to a peppercorn.

consultation (Word Document, 154.71 KB)
prospectus (Word Document, 113.69 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS818
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Housing Policy Update

Since we published our Housing White Paper last year, we have been making significant progress in fixing the broken housing market, reforming our planning system and increasing housing supply to start to improve affordability, as well as taking steps to ensure that communities have the safe and high quality homes they need to thrive.

Our new National Planning Policy Framework – coming into force this Summer following our consultation – will transform the planning system, and at Autumn Budget we set out £15 billion new financial support for housing, taking our total investment to £44 billion over the next five years. Since 2010 we have delivered over a million new homes, and in 2016/17 we saw 217,350 new homes delivered – the highest number in all but one of the last 30 years.

Our new national housing agency, Homes England, is taking a more assertive approach to getting homes built. This has already started - for example in Burgess Hill, a site that is desperately needed for affordable housing but which sat undeveloped. Homes England have now stepped in, bought the land and is delivering the infrastructure. Today I am announcing a plan to build over 3,000 homes on the site.

But we need to go further, and in particular we recognise the housing market needs an injection of innovation and competition. Getting new players into the market and embracing Modern Methods of Construction will allow us to build faster and drive up choice and quality for consumers.

To help do this, today I am announcing that the Local Authority Accelerated Construction programme is moving into its delivery phase. Through this fund, we are releasing £450 million to speed up delivery of homes on surplus local authority land and encouraging the use of Modern Methods of Construction and SME builders. Homes England has started the process of funding negotiations with a number of local authorities to ensure their sites can deliver greater pace and innovation in house building.

But this is not just about the number of homes, it is also about ensuring we deliver the right homes in the right places, and building communities that people are happy to call home.

Today I am announcing that we have launched a new Homes England programme to deliver the Community Housing Fund. Community groups and local authorities in all parts of England outside London are now able to apply for capital and revenue funding to bring community-led housing schemes forward. Homes England have published a prospectus on their website at www.gov.uk/topic/housing/funding-programmes.

Through this fund, housing will be delivered where the mainstream market is unable to deliver. The housing it helps provide will be tailored to meet specific local needs and will remain locally affordable in perpetuity. It will help sustain local communities and local economies and help raise the bar in design and construction standards. Now that it is launched, it will unlock a pipeline of thousands of new homes and help this innovative sector grow to make a substantial additional contribution to housing supply. A similar programme is being developed for London – delivered by the GLA – and an announcement on that will be made shortly.

We also want to protect the rights of tenants in the private rented sector and give them more security. That is why I am publishing today an eight week consultation on overcoming the barriers to landlords offering longer tenancies to tenants in the private rented sector.

Longer tenancies will help tenants, particularly those with children, who are currently on short term contracts and who are unable to plan for the future. Longer tenancies can benefit landlords too by helping to avoid the costs of finding new tenants. The aim is to collect views on what could be done to provide tenants with greater security while providing flexibility for landlords to regain their properties if their circumstances change. In the consultation, we propose a new model tenancy agreement of 3 years with a 6 month break clause and options on how to implement the model which include legislation, financial incentives for landlords, and voluntary measures to encourage its use. Copies of the consultation will be placed in the libraries of both Houses and are available online.

Finally, for too long, the leasehold market has been left to evolve without much attention to who actually benefits. We are determined to reform the leasehold market to make it work for consumers. We have announced a programme of leasehold reform including a ban on new leasehold houses, restricting ground rents to a peppercorn and making enfranchisement easier, quicker and cheaper. We will bring forward legislation at the earliest opportunity, but we want the industry to change in advance of legislation and have written to developers setting out our expectations.

Today I can also confirm that Government funding schemes for housing supply will no longer support the unjustified use of leasehold for new houses, wherever possible, and that we will hardwire this as a condition into any new schemes. In future, ground rents on new long leases in flats will be limited to a peppercorn.

consultation document (Word Document, 154.71 KB)
prospectus (Word Document, 113.69 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS792
WS
Treasury
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Proposed Directive on credit servicers, credit purchasers and the recovery of collateral – JHA opt-in decision

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

The proposed EU Directive on credit purchasers, credit servicers and the recovery of collateral contains, among other things, provisions on a new EU mechanism for out-of-court collateral enforcement. The Directive is part of a broader package of EU measures designed to reduce the levels of non-performing loans (NPLs) in the EU, as NPLs decrease profitability of banks, often leaving them in a weak position from which to provide finance to the wider economy in support of growth and jobs.

The government has decided that it is in the UK’s interest not to opt in to the Justice and Home Affairs obligations within this Directive as the provisions introduce an unnecessary level of administration to the UK’s existing collateral enforcement mechanisms, which are sufficiently robust and fit for purpose.

The Directive states that where Member States establish collateral enforcement mechanisms “by means of appropriation”, the rights of creditors “shall be governed by the applicable laws in each Member State”. The government’s view is that this provision addresses situations in which conflicts of laws points arise, in which case it is an applicable law provision and therefore includes JHA content.

The Directive similarly governs applicable law if a borrower and lender from two different EU Member States cannot agree on the appointment of a valuer— with the appointment of the valuer falling on the court within one of those Member States.

The government remains supportive of the European Commission’s broader efforts to reduce levels of NPLs in the EU, supporting solutions that are proportionate and targeted.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS814
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Lord Ashton of Hyde (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
Lords

Society Lotteries Consultation

I wish to inform the House that on Friday, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published a consultation on proposals for changes to the sales and prize limits for society lotteries to help charities raise more money.

The consultation follows the DCMS Select Committee recommendation in March 2015 that the Department look at whether limits on sales and prizes should be raised. Society lotteries are now a fundamental part of the giving landscape, and alongside The National Lottery, play an important role in supporting good causes across Great Britain. We have taken expert advice from the Gambling Commission and we believe that the proposed package of reforms maintains the balance between allowing charities and others to increase their fundraising through lotteries while protecting the unique position of the National Lottery.

We have considered options and the case for change carefully. A vital concern in developing proposals has been to ensure there is no risk to National Lottery’s ability to raise funds for good causes. The Gambling Commission has advised that to date there is no evidence that society lotteries have had a detrimental effect on the National Lottery. The two currently offer distinct propositions to players, with the National Lottery raising large sums across the UK, characterised by life-changing prizes. Society lotteries offer smaller prizes, generally with their proceeds being returned to a specified good cause.

We are consulting on a range of options which seek to maintain the distinct nature of the two sectors but allow a degree of growth for society lotteries, the impact of which will be measured by the Gambling Commission.

Society lotteries have to return at least 20% of their sales to good causes. Currently they have a cap of £4m of sales per draw and a maximum prize a society lottery can offer of £400,000. We are consulting on the following options;

  • Individual per draw sales limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £4 million;

    • Raising the limit to £5 million (Government’s preferred option);

    • Raising the limit to £10 million;

    • Reducing the limit to £2.5m

  • Individual per draw prize limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £400,000;

    • Raising the limit to £500,000 (Government’s preferred option);

    • Raising the limit to £1 million;

    • Reducing the limit to £250,000

In addition we are consulting on annual sales;

  • Annual sales limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £10 million;

    • Raising the limit to £50 million;

    • Raising the limit to £100 million (Government’s preferred option)

The preferred set of proposals in the consultation document would raise the per draw limit to £5m and the annual limit to £100m. This would increase the amount of fundraising that can be done through society lotteries in a year ten fold. It would also increase the maximum prize to £500,000.

The consultation also considers increasing the limits for small society lotteries, which do not require a Gambling Commission licence to operate and are instead registered with local authorities. Currently per draw proceeds are capped at £20,000 and annual proceeds are capped at £250,000. I am looking at options to increase the per draw limit to £30,000 or £40,000 and the annual limit to £400,000 or £500,000.

The consultation will run for ten weeks and close on September 7th. Relevant documents have been published on https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-society-lottery-reform

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Viscount Younger of Leckie (The Lords Spokesperson (Department for Education) (Higher Education))
Lords

Student Finance

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation (Sam Gyimah) has made the following written ministerial statement.

EU Students

I am today confirming that eligibility rules for students from the European Union, and their family members, who commence courses in England in the Academic Year starting in August 2019 will remain unchanged. EU nationals will remain eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course under the current eligibility rules. This will provide certainty to providers and their prospective EU students.

EU students, staff and researchers make an important contribution to our universities. I want that contribution to continue and am confident – given the quality of our HE sector – that it will.

Tuition Fees

I am also confirming that maximum tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year in England will be maintained at the levels that apply in the 2018/19 academic year, the second year in succession that fees have been frozen. Freezing maximum fees at 2018/19 levels will save students up to £255 in 2019/20.

The Government considers each year what the maximum level of tuition fees should be, and sets a cap. I have listened to the views we have heard from young people, parents, and in Parliament and, on that that basis, have decided not to increase maximum tuition fees by inflation for the 2019/20 academic year. If the Regulations setting maximum fees were not approved, providers would not be subject to maximum fees and would be free legally to charge higher fees.

The Government is committed to improving the terms on which it provides financial support to students. In addition to a freeze in fees for the second year running, the Government has increased the repayment threshold above which graduates are required to make repayments on their loans from £21,000 to £25,000 from tax year 2018-19, and rising by average earnings thereafter. This puts more money in the pockets of graduates, lowering monthly repayments for all borrowers earning above £21,000.

On 19 February, the Prime Minister launched a major review of post-18 education and funding to ensure we have a joined up education system that is accessible to all, provides value for money for both students and taxpayers, and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.

Regulations

I am laying Regulations setting maximum fees for the 2019/20 academic year before Parliament today.

Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, these Regulations set maximum fee limits for those registered providers who must abide by a fee limit condition as part of their registration with the new independent regulator, the Office for Students (OfS). These providers are known as ‘Approved (Fee Cap) Providers’.

The Act requires the OfS to impose a fee limit condition and without these Regulations the new regulatory framework cannot be fully implemented. Providers can also register with the OfS in the Approved category which will not be subject to maximum fees in Regulations.

Both Houses will have the opportunity to debate these Regulations under the affirmative procedure. These Regulations do not set separate maximum fees for accelerated degrees, which are still under consideration. I expect to confirm further details on accelerated degrees in due course.

I also expect to lay Regulations setting student support arrangements for 2019/20 early in 2019 which will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

Maximum tuition fees and fee loans for Approved (Fee Cap) Providers in 2019/20

The maximum tuition fee for full-time courses will be £9,250 in 2019/20 for providers that are registered with the OfS in the Approved (Fee Cap) category and have a current Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) award and an access and participation plan in place with the OfS. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for Approved (Fee Cap) providers that do not have a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.

New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan to meet the full costs of their tuition up to a maximum of £9,250 in 2019/20 for full-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers.

The maximum tuition fee for students undertaking part-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers that have a TEF award and have an OfS access and participation plan, will be £6,935 in 2019/20. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for Approved (Fee Cap) providers without a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.

New students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan of up to a maximum of £6,935 to meet the full costs of their tuition in 2019/20 for part-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers.

Maximum fee loans for Approved Providers in 2019/20

New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 and are undertaking courses at Approved providers in 2019/20 will not be subject to maximum fees in Regulations. They will however be able to apply for fee loans towards the costs of their tuition.

The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £6,165 in 2019/20 for those undertaking full-time courses at Approved providers that have a current TEF award or £6,000 without a TEF award.

The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £4,625 in 2019/20 for part-time courses at Approved providers that have a current TEF award or £4,500 without a TEF award.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS816
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Childcare update

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families (Nadhim Zahawi) has made the following written ministerial statement.

I wish to update the House on two important changes the Government is making to childcare.

I have today laid a new Statutory Instrument, The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations and Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018. This SI, which will come into force on 31 August 2018, makes important changes to improve the fairness of the childcare disqualification arrangements and extend 30 hours free childcare to children in foster care.

The childcare disqualification arrangements are an important part of the strong set of safeguards we have in place to ensure the safety and welfare of our children and young people. These arrangements apply exclusively to individuals working in childcare in schools and the private and voluntary sectors, up to and including reception classes, and in wraparound care for children up to the age of 8. These arrangements build on the safeguards provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) regime, which all schools and early years childcare providers must operate.

Under the arrangements, any individual who has committed an offence, or who is in breach of other criteria set out in legislation, is prohibited from working in these settings. The arrangements also include provision that disqualifies an individual from working in childcare because of an offence committed by someone who lives or works in their household, known as disqualification by association. This means that a member of staff is unable to work in childcare even though they themselves have not committed a relevant offence.

Disqualified individuals can obtain a waiver from Ofsted against their disqualification. Employers must suspend or redeploy the individual until a waiver is granted, as individuals who are disqualified cannot work in childcare without an Ofsted waiver. This provision has unfortunately been widely misunderstood and a number of individuals have been redeployed or suspended unnecessarily. Consequently, the disqualification by association provision is having a detrimental impact on employers and employees, as well as family life. It is also having a negative impact on the rehabilitation of offenders.

In response to widespread concerns about the disqualification by association provision, the Department for Education undertook a public consultation on options for its reform. We were most grateful for the near 450 responses received. The responses to the consultation largely reiterated the earlier concerns. The consultation strongly favoured reform, and the majority of respondents advocated the removal of disqualification by association in non-domestic settings.

Making new regulations enables us to address these concerns, by removing the disqualification by association where childcare is provided in non-domestic settings, where other safeguarding measures are well observed and followed. The disqualification by association provision will however continue to apply where childcare is provided in domestic settings, where it provides an important safeguard.

We are supporting the changes we are making with new statutory guidance. This will reinforce existing messages about the importance of employers undertaking safer recruitment checks and provide them with advice on how they can manage their workforce in the absence of the disqualification by association component of the arrangements. The Department for Education will also continue to provide a helpline and mailbox to employers and employees to help them with the arrangements.

The Government is also extending 30 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds to children in foster care. This is a key government early years policy, and foster families should have access to the same support and opportunities that all families have.

This government’s ambitions for children during and after being looked after are the same as for any other child: that they have access to good health and wellbeing, fulfil their educational potential, build and maintain lasting relationships and participate positively in society. The role of the foster parent is central to achieving those high ambitions for the children in their care. Fostering provides stability, a home and an alternative family. Children in foster care want to feel part of a family and have a normal family life. We need to support foster parents and local authorities in a way that achieves that. That includes foster parents being able to work outside their caring responsibilities, where it is right for the child.

The SI I have laid today enables us to realise those ambitions, by allowing children in foster care to receive 30 hours free childcare where the following criteria are met:

i. That accessing the extended hours is consistent with the child’s care plan, placing the child at the centre of the process and decision making, and

ii. That, in single parent families, the foster parent holds additional employment outside of their role as a foster parent; or

iii. That in two parent families, both parents hold additional employment outside of their role as a foster parent.

The SI makes it clear that the eligibility of children in foster care will be determined by the responsible local authority.

We are supporting the changes with new statutory guidance and operational guidance. These will provide local authorities with detailed guidance on how they can discharge their duty to secure 30 hours free childcare for children in foster care, and ensure that the additional eligibility criteria are met.

Copies of the SI, our statutory and operational guidance documents, and the Government’s response to the consultation on changes to the childcare disqualification arrangements will be placed in the House Library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS815
WS
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Tracey Crouch (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society)
Commons

Society Lotteries Consultation

I wish to inform the House that on Friday, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport published a consultation on proposals for changes to the sales and prize limits for society lotteries to help charities raise more money.

The consultation follows the DCMS Select Committee recommendation in March 2015 that the Department look at whether limits on sales and prizes should be raised. Society lotteries are now a fundamental part of the giving landscape, and alongside The National Lottery, play an important role in supporting good causes across Great Britain. We have taken expert advice from the Gambling Commission and we believe that the proposed package of reforms maintains the balance between allowing charities and others to increase their fundraising through lotteries while protecting the unique position of the National Lottery.

We have considered options and the case for change carefully. A vital concern in developing proposals has been to ensure there is no risk to National Lottery’s ability to raise funds for good causes. The Gambling Commission has advised that to date there is no evidence that society lotteries have had a detrimental effect on the National Lottery. The two currently offer distinct propositions to players, with the National Lottery raising large sums across the UK, characterised by life-changing prizes. Society lotteries offer smaller prizes, generally with their proceeds being returned to a specified good cause.

We are consulting on a range of options which seek to maintain the distinct nature of the two sectors but allow a degree of growth for society lotteries, the impact of which will be measured by the Gambling Commission.

Society lotteries have to return at least 20% of their sales to good causes. Currently they have a cap of £4m of sales per draw and a maximum prize a society lottery can offer of £400,000. We are consulting on the following options;

  • Individual per draw sales limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £4 million;

    • Raising the limit to £5 million (Government’s preferred option);

    • Raising the limit to £10 million;

    • Reducing the limit to £2.5m

  • Individual per draw prize limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £400,000;

    • Raising the limit to £500,000 (Government’s preferred option);

    • Raising the limit to £1 million;

    • Reducing the limit to £250,000

In addition we are consulting on annual sales;

  • Annual sales limits

    • Retaining the current limit of £10 million;

    • Raising the limit to £50 million;

    • Raising the limit to £100 million (Government’s preferred option)

The preferred set of proposals in the consultation document would raise the per draw limit to £5m and the annual limit to £100m. This would increase the amount of fundraising that can be done through society lotteries in a year ten fold. It would also increase the maximum prize to £500,000.

The consultation also considers increasing the limits for small society lotteries, which do not require a Gambling Commission licence to operate and are instead registered with local authorities. Currently per draw proceeds are capped at £20,000 and annual proceeds are capped at £250,000. I am looking at options to increase the per draw limit to £30,000 or £40,000 and the annual limit to £400,000 or £500,000.

The consultation will run for ten weeks and close on September 7th. Relevant documents have been published on https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-society-lottery-reform

WS
Department for Education
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Mr Sam Gyimah (The Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation )
Commons

Student Finance

EU Students

I am today confirming that eligibility rules for students from the European Union, and their family members, who commence courses in England in the Academic Year starting in August 2019 will remain unchanged. EU nationals will remain eligible for home fee status, undergraduate, postgraduate and advanced learner financial support from Student Finance England for the duration of their course under the current eligibility rules. This will provide certainty to providers and their prospective EU students.

EU students, staff and researchers make an important contribution to our universities. I want that contribution to continue and am confident – given the quality of our HE sector – that it will.

Tuition Fees

I am also confirming that maximum tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year in England will be maintained at the levels that apply in the 2018/19 academic year, the second year in succession that fees have been frozen. Freezing maximum fees at 2018/19 levels will save students up to £255 in 2019/20.

The Government considers each year what the maximum level of tuition fees should be, and sets a cap. I have listened to the views we have heard from young people, parents, and in Parliament and, on that that basis, have decided not to increase maximum tuition fees by inflation for the 2019/20 academic year. If the Regulations setting maximum fees were not approved, providers would not be subject to maximum fees and would be free legally to charge higher fees.

The Government is committed to improving the terms on which it provides financial support to students. In addition to a freeze in fees for the second year running, the Government has increased the repayment threshold above which graduates are required to make repayments on their loans from £21,000 to £25,000 from tax year 2018-19, and rising by average earnings thereafter. This puts more money in the pockets of graduates, lowering monthly repayments for all borrowers earning above £21,000.

On 19 February, the Prime Minister launched a major review of post-18 education and funding to ensure we have a joined up education system that is accessible to all, provides value for money for both students and taxpayers, and encourages the development of the skills we need as a country.

Regulations

I am laying Regulations setting maximum fees for the 2019/20 academic year before Parliament today.

Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, these Regulations set maximum fee limits for those registered providers who must abide by a fee limit condition as part of their registration with the new independent regulator, the Office for Students (OfS). These providers are known as ‘Approved (Fee Cap) Providers’.

The Act requires the OfS to impose a fee limit condition and without these Regulations the new regulatory framework cannot be fully implemented. Providers can also register with the OfS in the Approved category which will not be subject to maximum fees in Regulations.

Both Houses will have the opportunity to debate these Regulations under the affirmative procedure. These Regulations do not set separate maximum fees for accelerated degrees, which are still under consideration. I expect to confirm further details on accelerated degrees in due course.

I also expect to lay Regulations setting student support arrangements for 2019/20 early in 2019 which will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny.

Maximum tuition fees and fee loans for Approved (Fee Cap) Providers in 2019/20

The maximum tuition fee for full-time courses will be £9,250 in 2019/20 for providers that are registered with the OfS in the Approved (Fee Cap) category and have a current Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) award and an access and participation plan in place with the OfS. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for Approved (Fee Cap) providers that do not have a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.

New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan to meet the full costs of their tuition up to a maximum of £9,250 in 2019/20 for full-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers.

The maximum tuition fee for students undertaking part-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers that have a TEF award and have an OfS access and participation plan, will be £6,935 in 2019/20. Lower maximum fee limits will apply for Approved (Fee Cap) providers without a TEF award or an OfS access and participation plan.

New students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be able to apply for a fee loan of up to a maximum of £6,935 to meet the full costs of their tuition in 2019/20 for part-time courses at Approved (Fee Cap) providers.

Maximum fee loans for Approved Providers in 2019/20

New students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 and are undertaking courses at Approved providers in 2019/20 will not be subject to maximum fees in Regulations. They will however be able to apply for fee loans towards the costs of their tuition.

The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their full-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £6,165 in 2019/20 for those undertaking full-time courses at Approved providers that have a current TEF award or £6,000 without a TEF award.

The maximum fee loan for new students and eligible continuing students who started their part-time courses on or after 1 September 2012 will be £4,625 in 2019/20 for part-time courses at Approved providers that have a current TEF award or £4,500 without a TEF award.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS789
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 02 July 2018
Made by: Nadhim Zahawi (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families)
Commons

Childcare update

I wish to update the House on two important changes the Government is making to childcare.

I have today laid a new Statutory Instrument, The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations and Childcare (Early Years Provision Free of Charge) (Extended Entitlement) (Amendment) Regulations 2018. This SI, which will come into force on 31 August 2018, makes important changes to improve the fairness of the childcare disqualification arrangements and extend 30 hours free childcare to children in foster care.

The childcare disqualification arrangements are an important part of the strong set of safeguards we have in place to ensure the safety and welfare of our children and young people. These arrangements apply exclusively to individuals working in childcare in schools and the private and voluntary sectors, up to and including reception classes, and in wraparound care for children up to the age of 8. These arrangements build on the safeguards provided by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) regime, which all schools and early years childcare providers must operate.

Under the arrangements, any individual who has committed an offence, or who is in breach of other criteria set out in legislation, is prohibited from working in these settings. The arrangements also include provision that disqualifies an individual from working in childcare because of an offence committed by someone who lives or works in their household, known as disqualification by association. This means that a member of staff is unable to work in childcare even though they themselves have not committed a relevant offence.

Disqualified individuals can obtain a waiver from Ofsted against their disqualification. Employers must suspend or redeploy the individual until a waiver is granted, as individuals who are disqualified cannot work in childcare without an Ofsted waiver. This provision has unfortunately been widely misunderstood and a number of individuals have been redeployed or suspended unnecessarily. Consequently, the disqualification by association provision is having a detrimental impact on employers and employees, as well as family life. It is also having a negative impact on the rehabilitation of offenders.

In response to widespread concerns about the disqualification by association provision, the Department for Education undertook a public consultation on options for its reform. We were most grateful for the near 450 responses received. The responses to the consultation largely reiterated the earlier concerns. The consultation strongly favoured reform, and the majority of respondents advocated the removal of disqualification by association in non-domestic settings.

Making new regulations enables us to address these concerns, by removing the disqualification by association where childcare is provided in non-domestic settings, where other safeguarding measures are well observed and followed. The disqualification by association provision will however continue to apply where childcare is provided in domestic settings, where it provides an important safeguard.

We are supporting the changes we are making with new statutory guidance. This will reinforce existing messages about the importance of employers undertaking safer recruitment checks and provide them with advice on how they can manage their workforce in the absence of the disqualification by association component of the arrangements. The Department for Education will also continue to provide a helpline and mailbox to employers and employees to help them with the arrangements.

The Government is also extending 30 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds to children in foster care. This is a key government early years policy, and foster families should have access to the same support and opportunities that all families have.

This government’s ambitions for children during and after being looked after are the same as for any other child: that they have access to good health and wellbeing, fulfil their educational potential, build and maintain lasting relationships and participate positively in society. The role of the foster parent is central to achieving those high ambitions for the children in their care. Fostering provides stability, a home and an alternative family. Children in foster care want to feel part of a family and have a normal family life. We need to support foster parents and local authorities in a way that achieves that. That includes foster parents being able to work outside their caring responsibilities, where it is right for the child.

The SI I have laid today enables us to realise those ambitions, by allowing children in foster care to receive 30 hours free childcare where the following criteria are met:

i. That accessing the extended hours is consistent with the child’s care plan, placing the child at the centre of the process and decision making, and

ii. That, in single parent families, the foster parent holds additional employment outside of their role as a foster parent; or

iii. That in two parent families, both parents hold additional employment outside of their role as a foster parent.

The SI makes it clear that the eligibility of children in foster care will be determined by the responsible local authority.

We are supporting the changes with new statutory guidance and operational guidance. These will provide local authorities with detailed guidance on how they can discharge their duty to secure 30 hours free childcare for children in foster care, and ensure that the additional eligibility criteria are met.

Copies of the SI, our statutory and operational guidance documents, and the Government’s response to the consultation on changes to the childcare disqualification arrangements will be placed in the House Library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS788
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