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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Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 28 June 2018
Made by: Greg Clark (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Industrial Strategy

As part of the Industrial Strategy, the Government committed to making the most of the UK’s strengths, so we can develop the technologies that will transform existing industries and create better, higher-paying jobs in every part of the United Kingdom. The nuclear sector is an undoubted strength of our economy and one of the most advanced in the world, from research, fuel production, generation through to decommissioning, waste management, transport and our world class regulatory system – it is an industry which offers huge opportunity for the future.

Sector Deals, where industries are invited to come forward with plans for their future, embody the ethos of our collaborative approach. They show how industry and the Government, working together, can boost the productivity and earning power of specific sectors. We have already struck ambitious deals with the artificial intelligence, life sciences, automotive and creative industries sectors and we look forward to building on this in the months ahead.

The Government has worked closely with the sector champion Lord Hutton and industry leads from the Nuclear Industry Council to develop a number of proposals by 2030, which include:

  • 30 per cent cost reduction in the cost of new build projects
  • Savings of 20 per cent in the cost of decommissioning compared with current estimates
  • Women to make up 40 per cent of the nuclear sector by 2030
  • Win up to £2bn domestic and international contracts

The Deal contains mutual commitments to drive greater productivity, innovation and exports by: adopting innovative advanced manufacturing and construction techniques in new nuclear projects; supporting advanced nuclear technologies including small modular reactors (SMRs) and a range of research and development activities; a joint review of the decommissioning pipeline to achieve greater value for the taxpayer and to boost exports; a supply chain competitiveness programme to support UK business to build capabilities to win work domestically and internationally; and a range of proposals to support a future workforce including a new apprenticeship standard and a commitment to a more diverse workforce, including a target of women making up 40% of the nuclear sector by 2030.

The UK has consistently been a world leader in nuclear technology and has been at the forefront of many new developments in the industry. This Deal will continue that tradition through the establishment of a new framework to support the development and deployment of SMRs and the innovative technologies that support them. This support is designed to challenge the industry to bring forward technically and commercially viable propositions that would lead to the deployment of new reactors that would be investable and cost competitive in the energy system. This builds on the package announced in December 2017 of up to £44m for R&D funding (up to £4m in phase 1 and, subject to Government approval, up to £40m for phase 2) for ‘advanced’ modular reactors. I am pleased to announce the following companies have made credible propositions from a range of UK and international concepts and will receive grant funding to undertake detailed studies:

Advanced Reactor Concepts LLC; DBD Limited; LeadCold; Moltex Energy Limited; Tokamak Energy Ltd; U-Battery Developments Ltd; Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation; Westinghouse Electric Company UK Limited

The Government remains committed to fusion alongside fission and announced £86m, in December 2017, to create a new National Fusion Technology Platform at Culham in Oxfordshire. The Government is also working in partnership with the Welsh Government to develop a £40m thermal hydraulics facility in North Wales as part of the Nuclear Innovation Programme.

I have deposited a copy of the Nuclear Sector Deal in the Libraries of the House.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS782
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

NHS Pay Review Body Report 2018/19 and Agenda for Change Multi-Year pay deal

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

I am responding on behalf of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 31st Report of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm9641). I am grateful to the Chair and members of the NHSPRB for their report.

The Government welcomes the 31st report of the NHS Pay Review Body, which endorses the Agenda for Change multi-year pay and contract reform deal (2018/2019 to 2020/2021).

NHS staff do a fantastic job in delivering world-class care. Even with increasing pressures on the NHS due to, amongst other things, an ageing population and changing public expectations, they work incredibly hard, always putting patients first and keeping them safe whilst providing the high quality care we all expect.

We have already announced that, to secure the future of the health service as it approaches its 70th birthday, we have increased NHS funding by an average 3.4 per cent per year, which will see the NHS receive £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023.

The Government accepts the NHSRPB’s observations and is very pleased to confirm its acceptance of the Agenda for Change multi-year pay and contract reform deal.

The new deal will see nearly one million NHS workers benefit over three years and help deliver better value for money from the £36 billion Agenda for Change pay bill, with some of the most important changes to working practices in a decade.

The deal includes a range of pay and non pay proposals that will benefit staff and patients. Most NHS staff below the top of their pay band will benefit from pay increases through the re-structuring of the pay bands – higher starting pay, removal of overlapping pay points and shorter pay scales.

  • From this year the lowest NHS starting salary will increase year on year from £15,404 to £18,005 in 2020/2021.
  • The starting salary of a nurse will rise to £24,907 in 2020/21 which will have a significant impact on retention and recruitment issues.

The deal also guarantees fair basic pay awards for the next three years to staff who are at the top of pay bands—a cumulative 6.5% over three years.

The agreement will put learning and development right at the heart of local annual appraisals, helping to improve the experience for staff, ensuring they demonstrate the required standards for their role before moving to the next pay point. We know that getting appraisals right helps improve staff engagement and through that better outcomes for patients. The deal also commits NHS employers to support staff to improve their physical and mental health, helping to reduce sickness absence, increasing capacity for patient care.

This is a major step forward. The agreement reflects the Government’s public sector pay policy that pay flexibility should be in return for reforms that improve recruitment and retention and boost productivity.

During the NHS trades unions consultation on the AfC framework agreement, the Department of Health and Social Care received a number of representations from non-statutory non NHS organisations that provide NHS services seeking additional funding on the same basis as NHS bodies.

It is important to stress that the AfC reforms were those, based on the AfC employment contract (and all the terms and conditions) the NHS Staff Council agreed could help the NHS recruit, retain, motivate and boost the productivity/capacity of its workforce.

We know that there a small number of non statutory non NHS organisations that provide NHS services, employ existing and new staff on the AfC contract and will be required to implement the reforms.

I believe it is right that these organisations should receive a share of the additional funding made available for AfC staff employed by NHS bodies listed at Annex 1 of the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook; each employ existing and new staff on the AfC contract, are required to implement the deal and will need to meet the costs of doing so.

From 2018/2019, the AfC pay deal will apply to existing and new staff on the AfC employment contract employed in both NHS bodies and non-statutory non NHS organisations that provide NHS services, the terms and conditions of which are set out in the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook.

I have asked my officials to write directly to all NHS commissioners and provide them with further detail of the eligibility criteria for additional funding during the three years of the pay deal, that will apply to those non statutory non NHS providers of NHS services.

In line with the Chancellor’s commitment at Budget 2017, the Government will release the £800m already set aside to support the pay deal for 2018/2019 in England. Barnett consequentials will flow to the devolved administrations in the usual way. Following the recent announcement on the NHS long term funding settlement, for the remaining two years of the deal (2019/2020 to 2020/2021) funding will be met from the settlement. The long term settlement will provide the NHS with increased funding of £20.5billion per year in real terms by the end of 5 years.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS803
WS
Home Office
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Williams of Trafford (The Minister of State, Home Office)
Lords

Drugs Policy

My rt hon Friend the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service (Nick Hurd) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

On 18 June, I announced the creation of an expert panel to advise Ministers on individual applications to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products. As of today (27 June), the panel is now accepting applications, and will meet for the first time later this week. The clinical panel will be chaired by the Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride. Further members of the panel will be announced this week.

Clinicians must be at the heart of the process. The panel will consider applications from GMC registered practitioners who are listed on the relevant specialist register and with an active licence to practice. These applications must be countersigned by a medical director or an equivalent. This will provide the reassurance that prescribing these currently unlicensed and potentially untested products is in the best interests of the patient. Applications will not be accepted from members of the public.

The panel will assess applications against several criteria. These include: -

- Evidence of exceptional clinical circumstances, in line with existing principles applied to individual funding requests within the NHS; or,

- Whether there is evidence from existing clinical trials or other clinical data which indicate that a patient will benefit from a cannabis-based medicinal product; or,

- Whether the clinician considers there is an otherwise unmet special clinical need that could be addressed through use of a cannabis-based medicinal product by the patient.

In considering these criteria, the panel will be assessing whether the attending clinician, who has the responsibility for the case, is making an evidence based and reasonable request for a specific case. The panel cannot make clinical decisions for a patient not under their care. The full terms of reference and criteria, along with details for clinicians on how to apply are available on gov.uk.

The panel will not be responsible for issuing licences: only the Home Secretary or the Department of Health in Northern Ireland can give the formal approval of a Schedule 1 licence – both, however, will have due regard to the Panel’s recommendations.

As I, and the Home Secretary made clear last week, we will be led by clinical decision making. To streamline the application process as much as possible, for applications made through the expert panel to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products, the Government will not require a site visit unless absolutely necessary. The Government will also not require a fresh DBS check from clinicians, or other individuals involved in the treatment of a patient involving a cannabis-based medicinal product, where they are practising under an existing DBS check. Waiving these requirements will ensure that any application for a licence submitted following consideration by the expert panel, where a visit and fresh DBS check are not required, can expect to receive a drug licensing decision within 2-4weeks. Should the panel be presented with an emergency case, the panel will consider cases as quickly as is necessary dependent on the medical circumstances.

The Government is also committed to reviewing the fees paid for licenses that are awarded as a result of the advice of the expert panel. That review will be take place urgently and will conclude before summer recess, with any legislation laid before the House at the first available date following its conclusion. In the meantime, for applications for a licence made by the NHS, neither individual patients nor their families will be asked to make any financial contribution towards the cost of any licence that may be issued.

On 19 June, the Home Secretary announced a two phase review looking at the scheduling of cannabis. Part one of the review will consider the available evidence of the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabis based products. Professor Dame Sally Davies will take this part forward. If Part one concludes that there is evidence of medicinal and therapeutic benefit, then part two will consider the appropriate schedule for cannabis-related products, based on the balance of harms and public health requirements. Part two will be led by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), with clinical input as required. The ACMD will not reassess the evidence issued by Professor Dame Sally Davies which I have received today.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS802
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Mr Jeremy Hunt (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care)
Commons

NHS Pay Review Body Report 2018/19 and Agenda for Change Multi-Year pay deal

I am responding on behalf of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 31st Report of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm9641). I am grateful to the Chair and members of the NHSPRB for their report.

The Government welcomes the 31st report of the NHS Pay Review Body, which endorses the Agenda for Change multi-year pay and contract reform deal (2018/2019 to 2020/2021).

NHS staff do a fantastic job in delivering world-class care. Even with increasing pressures on the NHS due to, amongst other things, an ageing population and changing public expectations, they work incredibly hard, always putting patients first and keeping them safe whilst providing the high quality care we all expect.

We have already announced that, to secure the future of the health service as it approaches its 70th birthday, we have increased NHS funding by an average 3.4 per cent per year, which will see the NHS receive £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023.

The Government accepts the NHSRPB’s observations and is very pleased to confirm its acceptance of the Agenda for Change multi-year pay and contract reform deal.

The new deal will see nearly one million NHS workers benefit over three years and help deliver better value for money from the £36 billion Agenda for Change pay bill, with some of the most important changes to working practices in a decade.

The deal includes a range of pay and non pay proposals that will benefit staff and patients. Most NHS staff below the top of their pay band will benefit from pay increases through the re-structuring of the pay bands – higher starting pay, removal of overlapping pay points and shorter pay scales.

  • From this year the lowest NHS starting salary will increase year on year from £15,404 to £18,005 in 2020/2021.
  • The starting salary of a nurse will rise to £24,907 in 2020/21 which will have a significant impact on retention and recruitment issues.

The deal also guarantees fair basic pay awards for the next three years to staff who are at the top of pay bands—a cumulative 6.5% over three years.

The agreement will put learning and development right at the heart of local annual appraisals, helping to improve the experience for staff, ensuring they demonstrate the required standards for their role before moving to the next pay point. We know that getting appraisals right helps improve staff engagement and through that better outcomes for patients. The deal also commits NHS employers to support staff to improve their physical and mental health, helping to reduce sickness absence, increasing capacity for patient care.

This is a major step forward. The agreement reflects the Government’s public sector pay policy that pay flexibility should be in return for reforms that improve recruitment and retention and boost productivity.

During the NHS trades unions consultation on the AfC framework agreement, the Department of Health and Social Care received a number of representations from non-statutory non NHS organisations that provide NHS services seeking additional funding on the same basis as NHS bodies.

It is important to stress that the AfC reforms were those, based on the AfC employment contract (and all the terms and conditions) the NHS Staff Council agreed could help the NHS recruit, retain, motivate and boost the productivity/capacity of its workforce.

We know that there a small number of non statutory non NHS organisations that provide NHS services, employ existing and new staff on the AfC contract and will be required to implement the reforms.

I believe it is right that these organisations should receive a share of the additional funding made available for AfC staff employed by NHS bodies listed at Annex 1 of the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook; each employ existing and new staff on the AfC contract, are required to implement the deal and will need to meet the costs of doing so.

From 2018/2019, the AfC pay deal will apply to existing and new staff on the AfC employment contract employed in both NHS bodies and non-statutory non NHS organisations that provide NHS services, the terms and conditions of which are set out in the NHS terms and conditions of service handbook.

I have asked my officials to write directly to all NHS commissioners and provide them with further detail of the eligibility criteria for additional funding during the three years of the pay deal, that will apply to those non statutory non NHS providers of NHS services.

In line with the Chancellor’s commitment at Budget 2017, the Government will release the £800m already set aside to support the pay deal for 2018/2019 in England. Barnett consequentials will flow to the devolved administrations in the usual way. Following the recent announcement on the NHS long term funding settlement, for the remaining two years of the deal (2019/2020 to 2020/2021) funding will be met from the settlement. The long term settlement will provide the NHS with increased funding of £20.5billion per year in real terms by the end of 5 years.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS777
WS
Home Office
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Mr Nick Hurd (The Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service)
Commons

Drugs Policy

On 18 June, I announced the creation of an expert panel to advise Ministers on individual applications to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products. As of today (27 June), the panel is now accepting applications, and will meet for the first time later this week. The clinical panel will be chaired by the Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, Dr Michael McBride. Further members of the panel will be announced this week.

Clinicians must be at the heart of the process. The panel will consider applications from GMC registered practitioners who are listed on the relevant specialist register and with an active licence to practice. These applications must be countersigned by a medical director or an equivalent. This will provide the reassurance that prescribing these currently unlicensed and potentially untested products is in the best interests of the patient. Applications will not be accepted from members of the public.

The panel will assess applications against several criteria. These include: -

- Evidence of exceptional clinical circumstances, in line with existing principles applied to individual funding requests within the NHS; or,

- Whether there is evidence from existing clinical trials or other clinical data which indicate that a patient will benefit from a cannabis-based medicinal product; or,

- Whether the clinician considers there is an otherwise unmet special clinical need that could be addressed through use of a cannabis-based medicinal product by the patient.

In considering these criteria, the panel will be assessing whether the attending clinician, who has the responsibility for the case, is making an evidence based and reasonable request for a specific case. The panel cannot make clinical decisions for a patient not under their care. The full terms of reference and criteria, along with details for clinicians on how to apply are available on gov.uk.

The panel will not be responsible for issuing licences: only the Home Secretary or the Department of Health in Northern Ireland can give the formal approval of a Schedule 1 licence – both, however, will have due regard to the Panel’s recommendations.

As I, and the Home Secretary made clear last week, we will be led by clinical decision making. To streamline the application process as much as possible, for applications made through the expert panel to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products, the Government will not require a site visit unless absolutely necessary. The Government will also not require a fresh DBS check from clinicians, or other individuals involved in the treatment of a patient involving a cannabis-based medicinal product, where they are practising under an existing DBS check. Waiving these requirements will ensure that any application for a licence submitted following consideration by the expert panel, where a visit and fresh DBS check are not required, can expect to receive a drug licensing decision within 2-4weeks. Should the panel be presented with an emergency case, the panel will consider cases as quickly as is necessary dependent on the medical circumstances.

The Government is also committed to reviewing the fees paid for licenses that are awarded as a result of the advice of the expert panel. That review will be take place urgently and will conclude before summer recess, with any legislation laid before the House at the first available date following its conclusion. In the meantime, for applications for a licence made by the NHS, neither individual patients nor their families will be asked to make any financial contribution towards the cost of any licence that may be issued.

On 19 June, the Home Secretary announced a two phase review looking at the scheduling of cannabis. Part one of the review will consider the available evidence of the medicinal and therapeutic benefits of cannabis and cannabis based products. Professor Dame Sally Davies will take this part forward. If Part one concludes that there is evidence of medicinal and therapeutic benefit, then part two will consider the appropriate schedule for cannabis-related products, based on the balance of harms and public health requirements. Part two will be led by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), with clinical input as required. The ACMD will not reassess the evidence issued by Professor Dame Sally Davies which I have received today.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS776
WS
Department for International Development
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bates (Minister of State for International Development)
Lords

UK Support to UNRWA

My Rt Hon Friend, the Minister for the Middle East, has today made the following statement:

The UK remains firmly committed to supporting Palestinian refugees across the Near East. The UK recognises the UN Relief and Works Agency’s (UNRWA) important mandate from the UN General Assembly to support and protect Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA is a necessary humanitarian and stabilising force across the Near East, providing millions of Palestinian refugees with hope and opportunities every day. Its basic services, including food, education and healthcare, provide a life-line to the five million and more Palestinian men, women and child refugees across the region, and enable them to live in dignity until a negotiated peace agreement.

The UK is concerned about the possibility of service suspension as a result of the exceptional funding deficit that UNRWA is facing this year. The Syrian conflict has caused more than 50,000 Palestinian refugees to be on the move again, and increasing numbers of refugees are food insecure and vulnerable to shocks. Recent violence in Gaza has added to the burden on UNRWA’s health services. UNRWA’s work has never been more critical.

In the face of these pressures, the UK has committed to deliver its next round of financial support earlier than originally planned to help meet the growing needs of Palestinian refugees across the region. We will disburse £38.5m to the agency in recognition of the severity of the deficit and the importance of service delivery. This includes £28.5m that I committed at the UNRWA Rome Pledging Conference earlier this year, and £10m of funding that the UK is bringing forward from next year’s budget in response to the exceptional cash flow challenges UNRWA are facing.

The UK will continue to work closely with UNRWA to reach a secure and sustainable financial footing. We have welcomed UNRWA’s efforts to become ever more efficient and cost-effective, and are committed to working closely with them, host authorities, and fellow donors to maintain a realistic and achievable pace of reform.

We communicated the UK’s ongoing support to the UN Secretary General at an UNRWA Pledging Conference in New York on 25th June. We were pleased that twenty donors announced contributions, or their intention to contribute, to the 2018 budget of UNRWA. I will continue to urge the international community to come together to ensure that UNRWA can maintain its essential work and find ways to ensure continuity of essential services to Palestinian refugees.

All of us who care about stability in the region and about the rights and needs of this vulnerable group of people need to do our part to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian refugees. The UK has welcomed UNRWA’s efforts to broaden its donor base and encouraged partners to step up with more funding and more predictable disbursements. The UK has highlighted our concern about the impact on the activities of UNRWA that any unexpected reductions or delays in predicted donor disbursements might have. While we acknowledge the greater burden shouldered by some, we urge all donors to honour their commitments.

While the support and services provided by UNRWA are essential, ultimately there needs to be a just, fair, agreed, and realistic solution to the Palestinian refugee question as part of a negotiated peace agreement. The UK is firmly committed to a two-state solution to provide the long term answer for Palestinian refugees.

Peace will come only through fresh negotiations between the parties, supported by the international community. It is critical that both Israelis and Palestinians return to direct negotiations and urgently prioritise steps to resolve the situation in Gaza. The UK remains firmly committed to this process.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS801
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Female Offender Strategy

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

Today, I am launching the Government’s female offender strategy following our commitment in the November 2016 Prison Safety and Reform White Paper.

If we are to make any significant difference for victims, families and wider society, we must break the cycle of reoffending by taking the necessary steps to understand and address the underlying causes of offending.

The evidence tells us that vulnerability is not just a consequence of crime, it is also a driver of offending behaviour, preventing many from breaking out of a cycle of reoffending.

There is also growing evidence that short custodial sentences do not work in terms of rehabilitation and reducing reoffending. Short sentences generate churn which is a major driver of instability in our prisons and they do not provide sufficient time for rehabilitative activity, especially when we also know that many of these offenders have complex needs and vulnerabilities. In most cases, we know that the best way to meet those needs is to help people get access to the services they need in the community.

Female offenders can be amongst the most vulnerable of all, in both the prevalence and complexity of their needs. Many experience chaotic lifestyles involving substance misuse, mental health problems, homelessness and offending behaviour, which are often the product of a life of abuse and trauma. Of those female offenders who are in custody, many are sentenced for non-violent, low level but persistent offences, often for short periods of time.

If we take the right approach to female offenders – one that addresses vulnerability, follows the evidence about what works in supporting them to turn their lives around, and treats them as individuals of value – it could have substantial benefits for victims, families, and offenders themselves.

This strategy sets out the Government’s commitment to a new programme of work for female offenders, driven by our vision to see:

  • fewer women coming into the criminal justice system
  • fewer women in custody, especially on short-term sentences, and a greater proportion of women managed in the community successfully; and
  • better conditions for those in custody.

To achieve this, we are shifting our focus from custody to the community. Across Government, we are investing £5m funding over two years in community provision for women. We are committing to working with partners to assess options for delivering a ‘residential women’s centres’ pilot in at least five sites across England and Wales. We want to build the evidence base about what are effective, sustainable and scalable options in the community for diverting women from entering and re-entering custody on short custodial sentences. We will not be proceeding with plans to build five new Community Prisons for Women.

Given that a higher proportion of women have dependent children living with them prior to imprisonment, incarceration of women may have a disproportionate impact on families and children and increase the risk of intergenerational offending. That is why we are commissioning Lord Farmer to continue his work on the importance of family ties in improving outcomes for offenders, by conducting a further review into female offenders.

It is only through effective partnerships, at both a national and local level, which take a holistic approach to tackling the causes underlying the behaviour of female offenders, can progress really happen. That is why the strategy outlines a framework for taking this forward with partners, one which is locally-led, partnership-focused and evidence-based.

As part of this, we will work across government and with other national and local partners to develop a National Concordat on Female Offenders, which will set out how services should be working together in partnership to identify and respond to the often multiple and complex needs of women involved in the criminal justice system.

We must ensure we are accountable for the priorities set out in this strategy. Therefore, we will publish an annual update on the progress of the work of the strategy and reform the Advisory Board on Female Offenders to give it a greater role in monitoring the delivery of commitments in this strategy.

The female offender strategy is available in full at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/female-offender-strategy

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS800
WS
Department for International Development
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Alistair Burt (Minister of State for International Development)
Commons

UK Support to UNRWA

The UK remains firmly committed to supporting Palestinian refugees across the Near East. The UK recognises the UN Relief and Works Agency’s (UNRWA) important mandate from the UN General Assembly to support and protect Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA is a necessary humanitarian and stabilising force across the Near East, providing millions of Palestinian refugees with hope and opportunities every day. Its basic services, including food, education and healthcare, provide a life-line to the five million and more Palestinian men, women and child refugees across the region, and enable them to live in dignity until a negotiated peace agreement.

The UK is concerned about the possibility of service suspension as a result of the exceptional funding deficit that UNRWA is facing this year. The Syrian conflict has caused more than 50,000 Palestinian refugees to be on the move again, and increasing numbers of refugees are food insecure and vulnerable to shocks. Recent violence in Gaza has added to the burden on UNRWA’s health services. UNRWA’s work has never been more critical.

In the face of these pressures, the UK has committed to deliver its next round of financial support earlier than originally planned to help meet the growing needs of Palestinian refugees across the region. We will disburse £38.5m to the agency in recognition of the severity of the deficit and the importance of service delivery. This includes £28.5m that I committed at the UNRWA Rome Pledging Conference earlier this year, and £10m of funding that the UK is bringing forward from next year’s budget in response to the exceptional cash flow challenges UNRWA are facing.

The UK will continue to work closely with UNRWA to reach a secure and sustainable financial footing. We have welcomed UNRWA’s efforts to become ever more efficient and cost-effective, and are committed to working closely with them, host authorities, and fellow donors to maintain a realistic and achievable pace of reform.

We communicated the UK’s ongoing support to the UN Secretary General at an UNRWA Pledging Conference in New York on 25th June. We were pleased that twenty donors announced contributions, or their intention to contribute, to the 2018 budget of UNRWA. I will continue to urge the international community to come together to ensure that UNRWA can maintain its essential work and find ways to ensure continuity of essential services to Palestinian refugees.

All of us who care about stability in the region and about the rights and needs of this vulnerable group of people need to do our part to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian refugees. The UK has welcomed UNRWA’s efforts to broaden its donor base and encouraged partners to step up with more funding and more predictable disbursements. The UK has highlighted our concern about the impact on the activities of UNRWA that any unexpected reductions or delays in predicted donor disbursements might have. While we acknowledge the greater burden shouldered by some, we urge all donors to honour their commitments.

While the support and services provided by UNRWA are essential, ultimately there needs to be a just, fair, agreed, and realistic solution to the Palestinian refugee question as part of a negotiated peace agreement. The UK is firmly committed to a two-state solution to provide the long term answer for Palestinian refugees.

Peace will come only through fresh negotiations between the parties, supported by the international community. It is critical that both Israelis and Palestinians return to direct negotiations and urgently prioritise steps to resolve the situation in Gaza. The UK remains firmly committed to this process.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS775
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Lords

Arms Export Policy to Argentina

My Right Honourable Friend, the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Sir Alan Duncan), has made the following written Ministerial statement:

I would like to inform the House of a change of the Government’s arms exports policy in relation to Argentina. This change will lift additional restrictions which were imposed in 2012, at a time when the Argentine Government was escalating actions aimed at harming the economic interests of the Falkland Islanders.

Since the election of President Macri in December 2015, the UK’s relationship with Argentina has been improving. I visited Buenos Aires in September 2016 - the first visit by a Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister since 2009. During the visit an historic UK-Argentina Joint Communiqué was agreed that established closer co-operation across our bilateral relationship (including in defence) and secured important benefits for the Falkland Islanders. The Foreign Secretary also visited Buenos Aires in May 2018, the first Foreign Secretary visit to Argentina since 1993, in a further demonstration of the improving bilateral relationship between the UK and Argentina.

Following these positive developments the Government believes it is appropriate to now lift the additional 2012 restrictions.

Under those restrictions it has been the British Government's policy not to grant an export licence for any military or dual-use goods and technology being supplied to military end-users in Argentina, except in exceptional circumstances.

Our general position now will be to continue to refuse licences for export and trade of goods judged to enhance Argentine military capability. However, where like-for-like equipment is no longer available, we may grant licences where we judge they are not detrimental to the UK’s defence and security interests.

Licence applications for equipment and defence technology which meet the above criteria will still be assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”).

The United Kingdom takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust export control regimes in the world. We rigorously examine every application on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, and remain prepared to suspend or revoke licences should the level of risk increase.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS799
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Mr David Gauke (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Female Offender Strategy

Today, I am launching the Government’s female offender strategy following our commitment in the November 2016 Prison Safety and Reform White Paper.

If we are to make any significant difference for victims, families and wider society, we must break the cycle of reoffending by taking the necessary steps to understand and address the underlying causes of offending.

The evidence tells us that vulnerability is not just a consequence of crime, it is also a driver of offending behaviour, preventing many from breaking out of a cycle of reoffending.

There is also growing evidence that short custodial sentences do not work in terms of rehabilitation and reducing reoffending. Short sentences generate churn which is a major driver of instability in our prisons and they do not provide sufficient time for rehabilitative activity, especially when we also know that many of these offenders have complex needs and vulnerabilities. In most cases, we know that the best way to meet those needs is to help people get access to the services they need in the community.

Female offenders can be amongst the most vulnerable of all, in both the prevalence and complexity of their needs. Many experience chaotic lifestyles involving substance misuse, mental health problems, homelessness and offending behaviour, which are often the product of a life of abuse and trauma. Of those female offenders who are in custody, many are sentenced for non-violent, low level but persistent offences, often for short periods of time.

If we take the right approach to female offenders – one that addresses vulnerability, follows the evidence about what works in supporting them to turn their lives around, and treats them as individuals of value – it could have substantial benefits for victims, families, and offenders themselves.

This strategy sets out the Government’s commitment to a new programme of work for female offenders, driven by our vision to see:

  • fewer women coming into the criminal justice system
  • fewer women in custody, especially on short-term sentences, and a greater proportion of women managed in the community successfully; and
  • better conditions for those in custody.

To achieve this, we are shifting our focus from custody to the community. Across Government, we are investing £5m funding over two years in community provision for women. We are committing to working with partners to assess options for delivering a ‘residential women’s centres’ pilot in at least five sites across England and Wales. We want to build the evidence base about what are effective, sustainable and scalable options in the community for diverting women from entering and re-entering custody on short custodial sentences. We will not be proceeding with plans to build five new Community Prisons for Women.

Given that a higher proportion of women have dependent children living with them prior to imprisonment, incarceration of women may have a disproportionate impact on families and children and increase the risk of intergenerational offending. That is why we are commissioning Lord Farmer to continue his work on the importance of family ties in improving outcomes for offenders, by conducting a further review into female offenders.

It is only through effective partnerships, at both a national and local level, which take a holistic approach to tackling the causes underlying the behaviour of female offenders, can progress really happen. That is why the strategy outlines a framework for taking this forward with partners, one which is locally-led, partnership-focused and evidence-based.

As part of this, we will work across government and with other national and local partners to develop a National Concordat on Female Offenders, which will set out how services should be working together in partnership to identify and respond to the often multiple and complex needs of women involved in the criminal justice system.

We must ensure we are accountable for the priorities set out in this strategy. Therefore, we will publish an annual update on the progress of the work of the strategy and reform the Advisory Board on Female Offenders to give it a greater role in monitoring the delivery of commitments in this strategy.

The female offender strategy is available in full at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/female-offender-strategy

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS774
WS
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Made on: 27 June 2018
Made by: Sir Alan Duncan (Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)
Commons

Arms Export Policy to Argentina

I would like to inform the House of a change of the Government’s arms exports policy in relation to Argentina. This change will lift additional restrictions which were imposed in 2012, at a time when the Argentine Government was escalating actions aimed at harming the economic interests of the Falkland Islanders.

Since the election of President Macri in December 2015, the UK’s relationship with Argentina has been improving. I visited Buenos Aires in September 2016 - the first visit by a Foreign and Commonwealth Office minister since 2009. During the visit an historic UK-Argentina Joint Communiqué was agreed that established closer co-operation across our bilateral relationship (including in defence) and secured important benefits for the Falkland Islanders. The Foreign Secretary also visited Buenos Aires in May 2018, the first Foreign Secretary visit to Argentina since 1993, in a further demonstration of the improving bilateral relationship between the UK and Argentina.

Following these positive developments the Government believes it is appropriate to now lift the additional 2012 restrictions.

Under those restrictions it has been the British Government's policy not to grant an export licence for any military or dual-use goods and technology being supplied to military end-users in Argentina, except in exceptional circumstances.

Our general position now will be to continue to refuse licences for export and trade of goods judged to enhance Argentine military capability. However, where like-for-like equipment is no longer available, we may grant licences where we judge they are not detrimental to the UK’s defence and security interests.

Licence applications for equipment and defence technology which meet the above criteria will still be assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”).

The United Kingdom takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust export control regimes in the world. We rigorously examine every application on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, and remain prepared to suspend or revoke licences should the level of risk increase.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS773
WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 26 June 2018
Made by: Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Lords

Affordable Housing

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 Statement.

Our record on the provision of social housing is a strong one with over 378,000 affordable homes delivered since 2010. This included 273,000 homes for rent, and over 10,400 council homes built between 2010-11 and 2016-17, up from 2,920 over the previous 13 years.

The Government is committed to increasing support for more social housing. I am delighted to announce the launch of bidding for two flagship social housing programmes - additional funding for the Affordable Homes Programme and an increase in Housing Revenue Account borrowing. Together these will release over £2.6 billion of additional investment in those parts of the country where the need is greatest to help local authorities and housing associations build the homes that their communities need. Eligibility for this funding will be determined by the difference between private and social rents in local areas.

Today’s announcement confirms that £1.67 billion will be spent on delivering 23,000 additional affordable homes outside of London and could lever in total investment by housing associations and councils of up to £3.5 billion. This investment will help those who are struggling most, by delivering at least 12,500 homes for social rent in areas of the country where the difference between private and social rents are above average.

This announcement completes the allocation of the £9 billion Affordable Homes Programme which will deliver at least 250,000 affordable homes by March 2022. At the Spring Statement we confirmed an additional £1.67 billion for London.

The Government is also committed to a step change in council house building. I am today launching bidding for the £1 billion Housing Revenue Account borrowing programme, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Autumn Budget. We need a stronger, more diverse housing market, and this additional borrowing programme recognises the vital role that local authorities can play in building new homes to meet local needs. The additional borrowing will be split equally between London and the rest of the country, and at least £500 million will be available to London boroughs with London boroughs also eligible to bid for further funding from the remaining £500m.

By opening-up bidding, local authorities in areas where private sector rents are higher will be able to borrow more for new housing development between 2019/20 and 2021/22. Local authorities will have flexibility to consider the bidding routes most suited to their needs: additional borrowing only, or additional borrowing to be used alongside either unspent Right to Buy receipts or Affordable Homes Programme grant.

I want to see eligible local authorities bidding into the programme, demonstrating their ambition and appetite to build new council homes, and showing how the sector can contribute to tackling the country’s housing needs. The additional borrowing programme will help to support the delivery of a new generation of council houses to fix our broken housing market.

I am placing a copy of the Affordable Homes Programme addendum and the Additional Housing Revenue Account Borrowing Programme: Prospectus for local authorities outside London in the House library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS797
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 26 June 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 from MP/Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives 2017 (1)

Department or Agency

Target set for reply (working days)

Number of letters received

% of replies within target

Attorney General’s Office

20

202

98%

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

15

4032

65%

- Insolvency Service

15

33

100%

- Land Registry

15

87

93%

- Companies House

10

44

98%

Cabinet Office

15

682

93%

Charity Commission

15

181

71%

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

15

8060

46%

- Planning Inspectorate

10

127

25%

Crown Prosecution Service

20

270

70%

Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport

20

4112

89%

- National Archives

20

21

100%

Ministry of Defence

20

2588

96%

Department for Education

15

7671

57%

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

15

5563

71%

- Animal and Plant Health Agency

15

38

98%

- Rural Payments Agency

15

157

70%

Department for Exiting the European Union

20

2884

73%

Food Standards Agency (*)

(*) FSA Ministers replies

20

35

91%

(*) FSA Chair/CE replies

20

43

58%

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

20

6420

87%

Government Legal Department

10

10

100%

Department of Health and Social Care

18

12627

91%

- Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

20

35

97%

- Public Health England

18

80

98%

Home Office

15

5977

54%

- UK Visas & Immigration/Immigration Enforcement/Border Force

20

39369

83%

- Her Majesty's Passport Office

20

2235

91%

Department for International Development

15

1423

93%

Department for International Trade

15

913

77%

Ministry of Justice

15

2539

88%

- HM Courts Service and Tribunals Service (*)

(*) Where Ministers replied

15

656

94%

(*) Where CEO replied

15

348

96%

- Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (*)

(*) Where Ministers replied

15

888

81%

(*) Where CEO replied

10

297

92%

- Office of the Public Guardian (*)

(*) Where Ministers replied

15

45

93%

(*) Where CEO replied

10

44

93%

Northern Ireland Office

15

527

83%

Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

15

229

80%

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets

15

209

97%

Office of the Leader of the House of Commons

15

192

94%

Office of the Leader of the House of Lords

15

15

100%

Office of Rail and Road

20

45

76%

OFWAT (Water Services Regulation Authority)

15

29

72%

Scotland Office

15

70

73%

Serious Fraud Office

20

45

93%

Department for Transport

20

6294

80%

- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

7

1877

99%

- Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

10

190

100%

- Maritime and Coastguard Agency

10

15

100%

HM Treasury

15

6489

77%

- H M Revenue and Customs (*)

(*) Where Ministers replied

15

1068

60%

(*) Where CEO replied

15

5775

84%

- Valuation Office Agency (2)

15

686

49%

Wales Office

15

87

86%

Department for Work and Pensions

20

11168

88%

- Health and Safety Executive

15

87

100%

- Human Resources

15

50

100%

- Director General

15

2140

83%

(1) Departments and Agencies which received 10 MPs/Peers letters or fewer are not shown in this table. Holding or interim replies are not included unless otherwise indicated. The report does not include correspondence considered as Freedom of Information requests. (2) The Valuation Office Agency is an executive agency, sponsored by HM Revenue & Customs.

WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 26 June 2018
Made by: Mr David Lidington (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office)
Commons

Handling Members' Correspondence in 2017

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. Correspondence 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 from MP/Peers to Ministers and Agency Chief Executives 2017 (1)

Department or Agency

Target set for reply (working days)

Number of letters received

% of replies within target

Attorney General’s Office

20

202

98%

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

15

4032

65%

- Insolvency Service

15

33

100%

- Land Registry

15

87

93%

- Companies House

10

44

98%

Cabinet Office

15

682

93%

Charity Commission

15

181

71%

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

15

8060

46%

- Planning Inspectorate

10

127

25%

Crown Prosecution Service

20

270

70%

Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport

20

4112

89%

- National Archives

20

21

100%

Ministry of Defence

20

2588

96%

Department for Education

15

7671

57%

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

15

5563

71%

- Animal and Plant Health Agency

15

38

98%

- Rural Payments Agency

15

157

70%

Department for Exiting the European Union

20

2884

73%

Food Standards Agency (*)

(*) FSA Ministers replies

20

35

91%

(*) FSA Chair/CE replies

20

43

58%

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

20

6420

87%

Government Legal Department

10

10

100%

Department of Health and Social Care

18

12627

91%

- Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

20

35

97%

- Public Health England

18

80

98%

Home Office

15

5977

54%

- UK Visas & Immigration/Immigration Enforcement/Border Force

20

39369

83%

- Her Majesty's Passport Office

20

2235

91%

Department for International Development

15

1423

93%

Department for International Trade

15

913

77%

Ministry of Justice

15

2539

88%

- HM Courts Service and Tribunals Service (*)

(*) Where Ministers replied

15

656

94%

(*) Where CEO replied

15

348

96%

- Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (*)

(*) Where Ministers replied

15

888

81%

(*) Where CEO replied

10

297

92%

- Office of the Public Guardian (*)

(*) Where Ministers replied

15

45

93%

(*) Where CEO replied

10

44

93%

Northern Ireland Office

15

527

83%

Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills

15

229

80%

Office of Gas and Electricity Markets

15

209

97%

Office of the Leader of the House of Commons

15

192

94%

Office of the Leader of the House of Lords

15

15

100%

Office of Rail and Road

20

45

76%

OFWAT (Water Services Regulation Authority)

15

29

72%

Scotland Office

15

70

73%

Serious Fraud Office

20

45

93%

Department for Transport

20

6294

80%

- Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency

7

1877

99%

- Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency

10

190

100%

- Maritime and Coastguard Agency

10

15

100%

HM Treasury

15

6489

77%

- H M Revenue and Customs (*)

(*) Where Ministers replied

15

1068

60%

(*) Where CEO replied

15

5775

84%

- Valuation Office Agency (2)

15

686

49%

Wales Office

15

87

86%

Department for Work and Pensions

20

11168

88%

- Health and Safety Executive

15

87

100%

- Human Resources

15

50

100%

- Director General

15

2140

83%

(1) Departments and Agencies which received 10 MPs/Peers letters or fewer are not shown in this table. Holding or interim replies are not included unless otherwise indicated. The report does not include correspondence considered as Freedom of Information requests. (2) The Valuation Office Agency is an executive agency, sponsored by HM Revenue & Customs.

WS
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
Made on: 26 June 2018
Made by: James Brokenshire (Secretary of State for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government)
Commons

Affordable Housing

Our record on the provision of social housing is a strong one with over 378,000 affordable homes delivered since 2010. This included 273,000 homes for rent, and over 10,400 council homes built between 2010-11 and 2016-17, up from 2,920 over the previous 13 years.

The Government is committed to increasing support for more social housing. I am delighted to announce the launch of bidding for two flagship social housing programmes - additional funding for the Affordable Homes Programme and an increase in Housing Revenue Account borrowing. Together these will release over £2.6 billion of additional investment in those parts of the country where the need is greatest to help local authorities and housing associations build the homes that their communities need. Eligibility for this funding will be determined by the difference between private and social rents in local areas.

Today’s announcement confirms that £1.67 billion will be spent on delivering 23,000 additional affordable homes outside of London and could lever in total investment by housing associations and councils of up to £3.5 billion. This investment will help those who are struggling most, by delivering at least 12,500 homes for social rent in areas of the country where the difference between private and social rents are above average.

This announcement completes the allocation of the £9 billion Affordable Homes Programme which will deliver at least 250,000 affordable homes by March 2022. At the Spring Statement we confirmed an additional £1.67 billion for London.

The Government is also committed to a step change in council house building. I am today launching bidding for the £1 billion Housing Revenue Account borrowing programme, announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Autumn Budget. We need a stronger, more diverse housing market, and this additional borrowing programme recognises the vital role that local authorities can play in building new homes to meet local needs. The additional borrowing will be split equally between London and the rest of the country, and at least £500 million will be available to London boroughs with London boroughs also eligible to bid for further funding from the remaining £500m.

By opening-up bidding, local authorities in areas where private sector rents are higher will be able to borrow more for new housing development between 2019/20 and 2021/22. Local authorities will have flexibility to consider the bidding routes most suited to their needs: additional borrowing only, or additional borrowing to be used alongside either unspent Right to Buy receipts or Affordable Homes Programme grant.

I want to see eligible local authorities bidding into the programme, demonstrating their ambition and appetite to build new council homes, and showing how the sector can contribute to tackling the country’s housing needs. The additional borrowing programme will help to support the delivery of a new generation of council houses to fix our broken housing market.

I am placing a copy of the Affordable Homes Programme addendum and the Additional Housing Revenue Account Borrowing Programme: Prospectus for local authorities outside London in the House library.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS772
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 26 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Sugg (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport )
Lords

Airports National Policy Statement

My Right Honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Transport (Chris Grayling), has made the following Ministerial Statement.

On Monday the House of Commons debated the proposed Airports National Policy Statement which I laid before Parliament on 5 June. Following the approval of the Statement by the House, I am pleased to inform the House that I am today 26June 2018 designating it as a national policy statement under the provisions of section 5(1) of the Planning Act 2008, and have arranged for publication as required by section 5(9)(a) of that Act.

The designation of the Airports National Policy Statement marks a significant step forward. It provides the primary basis for decision making on development consent applications for a Northwest Runway at Heathrow Airport, clarifying what is required to enable the development of much needed additional airport capacity that is essential for trade and economic growth, whilst setting clear requirements to mitigate the impacts on local communities and the environment.

The next step is for applicants to develop their plans, and then carry out further public consultation as required under the Act. Any application for development consent will of course be considered carefully and with an open mind based on the evidence provided, including through a public examination by the independent Planning Inspectorate, before a final decision is made.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS796
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 26 June 2018
Made by: Baroness Buscombe (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Private Pensions

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

Further to the Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes White Paper published in March this year, the Government is today announcing the publication of a consultation to gather views on enhancing TPR’s powers. Proposals include higher fines and criminal offences for wilful and/or reckless behaviour that puts pension schemes at risk, as well as new powers to enable the Regulator to intervene. The package aims to balance protection for pensions while not imposing unnecessary regulations on business.

We are seeking views on our proposals before we move to implement them at https://getinvolved.dwp.gov.uk . The consultation will be online from today and will run until 21 August 2018.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS795
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 26 June 2018
Made by: Chris Grayling (Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Airports National Policy Statement

On Monday the House of Commons debated the proposed Airports National Policy Statement which I laid before Parliament on 5 June. Following the approval of the Statement by the House, I am pleased to inform the House that I am today 26June 2018 designating it as a national policy statement under the provisions of section 5(1) of the Planning Act 2008, and have arranged for publication as required by section 5(9)(a) of that Act.

The designation of the Airports National Policy Statement marks a significant step forward. It provides the primary basis for decision making on development consent applications for a Northwest Runway at Heathrow Airport, clarifying what is required to enable the development of much needed additional airport capacity that is essential for trade and economic growth, whilst setting clear requirements to mitigate the impacts on local communities and the environment.

The next step is for applicants to develop their plans, and then carry out further public consultation as required under the Act. Any application for development consent will of course be considered carefully and with an open mind based on the evidence provided, including through a public examination by the independent Planning Inspectorate, before a final decision is made.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS770
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 26 June 2018
Made by: Guy Opperman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions & Financial Inclusion)
Commons

Private Pensions

Further to the Protecting Defined Benefit Pension Schemes White Paper published in March this year, the Government is today announcing the publication of a consultation to gather views on enhancing TPR’s powers. Proposals include higher fines and criminal offences for wilful and/or reckless behaviour that puts pension schemes at risk, as well as new powers to enable the Regulator to intervene. The package aims to balance protection for pensions while not imposing unnecessary regulations on business.

We are seeking views on our proposals before we move to implement them at https://getinvolved.dwp.gov.uk . The consultation will be online from today and will run until 21 August 2018.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS769
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 25 June 2018
Made by: Lord O'Shaughnessy (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health)
Lords

Childhood Obesity: a plan for action, Chapter 2

My hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Steve Brine) has made the following written statement:

Today, Government has published the second Chapter to the Childhood Obesity Plan. This Plan is informed by the latest evidence and sets a new national ambition to halve childhood obesity and significantly reduce the gap in obesity between children from the most and least deprived areas by 2030.

A copy of the plan can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childhood-obesity-a-plan-for-action-chapter-2

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS794
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