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 Transport
Made on: 23 June 2020
Made by: Andrew Stephenson (Minister of State for Transport)
Commons

Safeguarding Directions for High Speed 2 Phase 2a

Motions to revive the High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill, known as the Phase 2a Bill, have now been passed in each House, and the Bill was re-introduced on 3 March. I look forward to the progression of the Bill as it nears its final stages.

I am today publishing revised Safeguarding Directions for the whole of the Phase 2a route. These Safeguarding Directions reflect the amendments (and therefore land requirements) which have been made to the hybrid Bill by the House of Commons as it passed through Select Committee.

Through these revised Safeguarding Directions, the Government has protected land that we anticipate at this stage will be needed to build Phase 2a of HS2 and where there may otherwise be a risk of conflicting development. Planning restrictions put in place following the issue of previous Safeguarding Directions have been removed where we no longer expect to need that land.

Crucially, issuing revised Safeguarding Directions gives people affected more clarity on the route and allows eligible property owners to access statutory blight compensation. Under the statutory blight regime, qualifying property owners are able to apply to sell their home or small business to the Government from the time that their property is subject to Safeguarding Directions.

In addition to statutory blight compensation, the Government has implemented a package of non-statutory property compensation schemes that go above and beyond what is required by law. The schemes are open to qualifying property owners across the three phases of the HS2 route including Phase 2a. They will be in place until one year after each phase of HS2 is operational.

I want to ensure that those living near the route receive the right support at all stages of the project and that those affected are properly compensated and treated with compassion, dignity and respect.

Copies of these Safeguarding Directions will be laid in the both Libraries of the House.

Information on HS2 property compensation schemes are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/claim-compensation-if-affected-by-hs2

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS304
WS
Treasury
Made on: 23 June 2020
Made by: Rishi Sunak (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

Financial Services Regulation

The Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Rates (RFRWG), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Bank of England published joint statements on the 25th March[1] and 29th April[2] relating to LIBOR transition. These statements underline the need for firms to continue to migrate away from LIBOR as a reference in their financial contracts and reiterate that firms cannot rely on the benchmark’s continued publication as the current voluntary agreement between the FCA and LIBOR panel banks will expire after end-2021 (as announced in 2017[3]). The Government has followed these and related global regulatory developments closely, including the Tough Legacy Taskforce report[4] published by the RFRWG.

The Government shares both the regulators’ pragmatism in recognising the interim timetable for transition has been slowed by Covid-19 and their urgency that the market must continue actively transitioning away from LIBOR. It is in the interests of financial markets and their customers that the pool of contracts referencing LIBOR is shrunk to an irreducible core ahead of LIBOR’s expected cessation, leaving behind only those contracts that genuinely have no or inappropriate alternatives and no realistic ability to be renegotiated or amended. The Government recognises, however, that legislative steps could help deal with this narrow pool of ‘tough legacy’ contracts that cannot transition from LIBOR.

Unlike many jurisdictions, the UK has an existing regulatory framework for critical benchmarks such as LIBOR. The Government therefore intends to legislate to amend and strengthen that existing regulatory framework, rather than directly to impose legal changes on LIBOR-referencing contracts that are governed by UK law. The legislation will ensure that, by end-2021, the FCA has the appropriate regulatory powers to manage and direct any wind-down period prior to eventual LIBOR cessation in a way that protects consumers and/or ensures market integrity. The Government therefore intends to:

  • Amend the UK’s existing regulatory framework for benchmarks to ensure it can be used to manage different scenarios prior to a critical benchmark’s eventual cessation. In particular, the Government will introduce amendments to the Benchmarks Regulation 2016/1011 as amended by the Benchmarks (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2018 (the ‘UK BMR’), to ensure that FCA powers are sufficient to manage an orderly transition from LIBOR.
  • Extend the circumstances in which the FCA may require an administrator to change the methodology of a critical benchmark and clarify the purpose for which the FCA may exercise this power. New regulatory powers would enable the FCA to direct a methodology change for a critical benchmark, in circumstances where the regulator has found that the benchmark’s representativeness will not be restored and where action is necessary to protect consumers and/or to ensure market integrity.
  • Strengthen existing law to prohibit use of an individual critical benchmark where its representativeness will not be restored, whilst giving the regulator the ability to specify limited continued use in legacy contracts.
  • Refine ancillary areas of the UK’s regulatory framework for benchmarks to ensure its effectiveness in managing the orderly wind down of a critical benchmark, including that administrators have adequate plans in place for such situations.

The Government intends to take these measures forward in the forthcoming Financial Services Bill. Following engagement with industry and global counterparts, the FCA will, where appropriate, issue a number of statements of policy relating to its approach to a range of new powers provided by the legislation before it exercises those new powers. The FCA may consider, among other factors, international impacts before exercising its new powers, given LIBOR’s global usage.

The Government agrees with the RFRWG’s Tough Legacy Taskforce that active transition of legacy contracts remains of key importance and provides the best route to certainty for parties to contracts referencing LIBOR. Parties who rely on regulatory action, enabled by the legislation the Government plans to bring forward, will not have control over the economic terms of that action. Moreover regulatory action may not be able to address all issues or be practicable in all circumstances, for example where a methodology change is not feasible, or would not protect consumers or market integrity. This reinforces the importance of parties who can transition away from LIBOR doing so on terms that they themselves agree with their counterparties. The Government, the FCA and the Bank of England will continue to work closely to encourage market-led transition from LIBOR and to monitor progress.

[1] https://www.fca.org.uk/news/statements/impact-coronavirus-firms-libor-transition-plans

[2] https://www.fca.org.uk/news/statements/further-statement-rfrwg-impact-coronavirus-timeline-firms-libor-transition-plans

[3] https://www.fca.org.uk/news/speeches/the-future-of-libor

[4] https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/markets/benchmarks/paper-on-the-identification-of-tough-legacy-issues.pdf?la=en&hash=0E8CA18F27F75352B0A0573DCBBC93D903077B6E

WS
Treasury
Made on: 22 June 2020
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (Minister of State)
Lords

Notification of Contingent Liability

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

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England decided at its meeting ending on 17 June to ask for an expansion in the maximum limit of purchases that may be undertaken by the Asset Purchase Facility (APF). This will encompass up to £100 billion of further purchases of gilts to support the economy.

In light of the latest economic conditions, the MPC judged further asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves should be undertaken to enable the MPC to meet its statutory objectives, and thereby support the economy. I have therefore authorised an increase in the total size of the APF of £100 billion. This will bring the maximum total size of the APF from £645 to £745 billion.

In line with the requirements in the MPC remit, the amendments to the APF that could affect the allocation of credit and pose risks to the Exchequer have been discussed with Treasury officials. The risk control framework previously agreed with the Treasury will remain in place, and HM Treasury will keep monitoring risks to public funds from the Facility through regular risk oversight meetings and enhanced information sharing with the Bank.

There will continue to be an opportunity for the Treasury to provide views to the MPC on the design of the schemes within the APF, as they affect the Government’s broader economic objectives and may pose risks to the Exchequer.

The Government will continue to indemnify the Bank and the APF from any losses arising out of, or in connection with, the facility. If the liability is called, provision for any payment will be sought through the normal supply procedure.

A full departmental Minute has been laid in the House of Commons providing more detail on this contingent liability.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS303
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 June 2020
Made by: Michael Gove (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office )
Commons

Procurement Update

I previously provided a Written Ministerial Statement on 29 April 2020 in relation to indemnities granted for IP infringement, in respect of the designs, and against product liability claims against the manufacturers of Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System (RMVS) products through the Ventilator Challenge. I also laid a Departmental Minute before Parliament setting out the detail of these indemnities.

The Ventilator Challenge has been a resounding success, with four designs in production and over 7,500 devices delivered to the NHS. The Cabinet Office intends to grant similar indemnities in letters with other parties involved in the BlueSky Ventilators consortium. The contents of these letters are still under negotiation in the majority of cases.

It is normal practice, when a government department proposes to undertake a contingent liability in excess of £300,000 for which there is no specific statutory authority, for the Department concerned to present to Parliament a Minute giving particulars of the liability created and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from incurring the liability until fourteen parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the Minute, except in cases of special urgency.

Due to the urgent need to finalise the letters and release payments due to designers and manufacturers, it is not possible to allow the required 14 days’ notice prior to the liabilities going live. Any delay would result in an unacceptable delay in payments due to designers and manufacturers who are supported by a largely SME supply chain.

The precise commercial terms which have been negotiated for each supplier are, and will remain, commercially confidential. While it is difficult to estimate the potential liability exposure, it could exceed £300,000. For this reason, I am informing Parliament of these arrangements.

On this basis, I have today laid before Parliament a Departmental Minute setting out what these indemnities are.

The Treasury has approved these liabilities. However, if any Member of Parliament has concerns they can contact the Cabinet Office who will be happy to provide a response.

Departmental Minute (PDF Document, 75.18 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS300
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 22 June 2020
Made by: Alok Sharma (Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
Commons

Business Update

Today, the Government will lay two separate pieces of secondary legislation to amend the Enterprise Act 2002. The first will allow the Government to intervene in qualifying mergers, including acquisitions, to maintain UK capability to combat and mitigate the impact of public health emergencies.

The second will lower the thresholds for intervention in mergers on public interest grounds for three sensitive sectors of the economy, intended to address any national security risks that may arise related to these sectors.

The Enterprise Act 2002 (Specification of Additional Section 58 Consideration) Order 2020

The Enterprise Act 2002 (Specification of Additional Section 58 Consideration) Order 2020 introduces a new public interest consideration for Government intervention in mergers and acquisitions. This new public interest consideration allows the Government to intervene in mergers involving businesses with a role in combatting or mitigating the impacts of public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The economic disruption caused by the pandemic may mean that some businesses with critical capabilities are more susceptible to takeovers – either from outwardly hostile approaches, or financially distressed companies being sold to malicious parties.

These new powers will enable the Government to intervene if a business that is directly involved in a pandemic response, for example, a vaccine research company or personal protective equipment manufacturer, finds itself the target of a takeover.

As this instrument is subject to the made affirmative procedure it has been made today and will come into effect tomorrow.

The draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Share of Supply Test) (Amendment) Order 2020

The draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Share of Supply Test) (Amendment) Order 2020 will amend the Secretary of State’s powers to scrutinise mergers in three sensitive sectors of the economy on public interest grounds: artificial intelligence, cryptographic authentication technology and advanced materials. These changes are intended to address any national security risks that may arise relating to these sectors. The Government made similar changes in 2018 for three other critical sectors: military/dual-use technologies, computing hardware and quantum technology.

Separately, the Government will lay an accompanying instrument, the Enterprise Act 2002 (Turnover Test) (Amendment) Order 2020, which will be subject to the negative resolution procedure. Together, these two instruments will add the enterprise categories to a list of ‘relevant enterprises’ which are subject to lower intervention thresholds. The turnover test for intervention in these sectors will be lowered to £1 million; and the ‘share of supply’ will be met where an enterprise supplies at least one quarter of all goods of a particular description and there is no longer a requirement for a merger to increase the share of supply.

These Orders will therefore allow the Government to intervene on public interest grounds when smaller companies in these critical sectors might be vulnerable as a consequence of a merger or takeover. They will send an important signal to those seeking to take advantage of those struggling as a result of the pandemic that the UK government is prepared to act where necessary to protect our national security.

I will also be placing copies of the non-statutory guidance relating to these amendments in the House libraries.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS301
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 22 June 2020
Made by: Gavin Williamson (The Secretary of State for Education)
Commons

Education Update

Every pupil in the country has experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be amongst those hardest hit. The aggregate impact of lost time in education will be substantial: the scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge. Returning to normal educational routines as quickly as possible will be critical to our national recovery, which is why the government is working towards all pupils returning to school in September.

To further support pupils to catch up, the government has announced a package worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the resources they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time, with extra support for those who need it most.

£650 million will be spent on ensuring all pupils have the chance to catch up and supporting schools to rise to the challenge. Whilst headteachers will decide how the money is spent, the Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance on effective interventions to support schools to make the best use of resources.

Alongside this universal offer, we will roll out a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, which will deliver proven and successful interventions to the most disadvantaged young people, accelerating their academic progress and preventing the gap between them and their more affluent peers widening. The evidence shows that tutoring is an effective way to accelerate learning, and we therefore believe a targeted tutoring offer is the best way to narrow the gaps that risk opening up due to school closures.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS299
WS
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Made on: 22 June 2020
Made by: Lord Callanan (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Climate Change and Corporate Responsibility))
Lords

Business Update

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

Today, the Government will lay two separate pieces of secondary legislation to amend the Enterprise Act 2002. The first will allow the Government to intervene in qualifying mergers, including acquisitions, to maintain UK capability to combat and mitigate the impact of public health emergencies.

The second will lower the thresholds for intervention in mergers on public interest grounds for three sensitive sectors of the economy, intended to address any national security risks that may arise related to these sectors.

The Enterprise Act 2002 (Specification of Additional Section 58 Consideration) Order 2020

The Enterprise Act 2002 (Specification of Additional Section 58 Consideration) Order 2020 introduces a new public interest consideration for Government intervention in mergers and acquisitions. This new public interest consideration allows the Government to intervene in mergers involving businesses with a role in combatting or mitigating the impacts of public health emergencies, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The economic disruption caused by the pandemic may mean that some businesses with critical capabilities are more susceptible to takeovers – either from outwardly hostile approaches, or financially distressed companies being sold to malicious parties.

These new powers will enable the Government to intervene if a business that is directly involved in a pandemic response, for example, a vaccine research company or personal protective equipment manufacturer, finds itself the target of a takeover.

As this instrument is subject to the made affirmative procedure it has been made today and will come into effect tomorrow.

The draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Share of Supply Test) (Amendment) Order 2020

The draft Enterprise Act 2002 (Share of Supply Test) (Amendment) Order 2020 will amend the Secretary of State’s powers to scrutinise mergers in three sensitive sectors of the economy on public interest grounds: artificial intelligence, cryptographic authentication technology and advanced materials. These changes are intended to address any national security risks that may arise relating to these sectors. The Government made similar changes in 2018 for three other critical sectors: military/dual-use technologies, computing hardware and quantum technology.

Separately, the Government will lay an accompanying instrument, the Enterprise Act 2002 (Turnover Test) (Amendment) Order 2020, which will be subject to the negative resolution procedure. Together, these two instruments will add the enterprise categories to a list of ‘relevant enterprises’ which are subject to lower intervention thresholds. The turnover test for intervention in these sectors will be lowered to £1 million; and the ‘share of supply’ will be met where an enterprise supplies at least one quarter of all goods of a particular description and there is no longer a requirement for a merger to increase the share of supply.

These Orders will therefore allow the Government to intervene on public interest grounds when smaller companies in these critical sectors might be vulnerable as a consequence of a merger or takeover. They will send an important signal to those seeking to take advantage of those struggling as a result of the pandemic that the UK government is prepared to act where necessary to protect our national security.

I will also be placing copies of the non-statutory guidance relating to these amendments in the House libraries.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS305
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 22 June 2020
Made by: Lord Agnew of Oulton (Minister of State)
Lords

Procurement Update

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Rt Hon Michael Gove MP) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

I previously provided a Written Ministerial Statement on 29 April 2020 in relation to indemnities granted for IP infringement, in respect of the designs, and against product liability claims against the manufacturers of Rapidly Manufactured Ventilator System (RMVS) products through the Ventilator Challenge. I also laid a Departmental Minute before Parliament setting out the detail of these indemnities.

The Ventilator Challenge has been a resounding success, with four designs in production and over 7,500 devices delivered to the NHS. The Cabinet Office intends to grant similar indemnities in letters with other parties involved in the BlueSky Ventilators consortium. The contents of these letters is still under negotiation in the majority of cases.

It is normal practice, when a government department proposes to undertake a contingent liability in excess of £300,000 for which there is no specific statutory authority, for the Department concerned to present to Parliament a Minute giving particulars of the liability created and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from incurring the liability until fourteen parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the Minute, except in cases of special urgency.

Due to the urgent need to finalise the letters and release payments due to designers and manufacturers, it is not possible to allow the required 14 days’ notice prior to the liabilities going live. Any delay would result in an unacceptable delay in payments due to designers and manufacturers who are supported by a largely SME supply chain.

The precise commercial terms which have been negotiated for each supplier are, and will remain, commercially confidential. While it is difficult to estimate the potential liability exposure, it could exceed £300,000. For this reason, I am informing Parliament of these arrangements.

On this basis, I have today laid before Parliament a Departmental Minute setting out what these indemnities are.

The Treasury have approved these liabilities. However, any concerned Member of Parliament can contact the Cabinet Office who will be happy to provide a response.

Departmental Minute (PDF Document, 75.18 KB)
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS306
WS
Department for Education
Made on: 22 June 2020
Made by: Baroness Berridge (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the School System)
Lords

Education Update

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education (Gavin Williamson) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Every pupil in the country has experienced unprecedented disruption to their education as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged backgrounds will be amongst those hardest hit. The aggregate impact of lost time in education will be substantial: the scale of our response must match the scale of the challenge. Returning to normal educational routines as quickly as possible will be critical to our national recovery, which is why the government is working towards all pupils returning to school in September.

To further support pupils to catch up, the government has announced a package worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the resources they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time, with extra support for those who need it most.

£650 million will be spent on ensuring all pupils have the chance to catch up and supporting schools to rise to the challenge. Whilst headteachers will decide how the money is spent, the Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance on effective interventions to support schools to make the best use of resources.

Alongside this universal offer, we will roll out a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million, which will deliver proven and successful interventions to the most disadvantaged young people, accelerating their academic progress and preventing the gap between them and their more affluent peers widening. The evidence shows that tutoring is an effective way to accelerate learning, and we therefore believe a targeted tutoring offer is the best way to narrow the gaps that risk opening up due to school closures.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS304
WS
Treasury
Made on: 22 June 2020
Made by: Rishi Sunak (The Chancellor of the Exchequer)
Commons

Notification of Contingent Liability

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England decided at its meeting ending on 17 June to ask for an expansion in the maximum limit of purchases that may be undertaken by the Asset Purchase Facility (APF). This will encompass up to £100 billion of further purchases of gilts to support the economy.

In light of the latest economic conditions, the MPC judged further asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves should be undertaken to enable the MPC to meet its statutory objectives, and thereby support the economy. I have therefore authorised an increase in the total size of the APF of £100 billion. This will bring the maximum total size of the APF from £645 to £745 billion.

In line with the requirements in the MPC remit, the amendments to the APF that could affect the allocation of credit and pose risks to the Exchequer have been discussed with Treasury officials. The risk control framework previously agreed with the Treasury will remain in place, and HM Treasury will keep monitoring risks to public funds from the Facility through regular risk oversight meetings and enhanced information sharing with the Bank.

There will continue to be an opportunity for the Treasury to provide views to the MPC on the design of the schemes within the APF, as they affect the Government’s broader economic objectives and may pose risks to the Exchequer.

The Government will continue to indemnify the Bank and the APF from any losses arising out of, or in connection with, the facility. If the liability is called, provision for any payment will be sought through the normal supply procedure.

A full departmental Minute has been laid in the House of Commons providing more detail on this contingent liability.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS302
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Baroness Vere of Norbiton (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport)
Lords

Contingency Fund

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

I hereby give notice of the Department for Transport having drawn advances from the Contingencies Fund totalling £7,000,000,000 to enable expenditure on COVID-19 support packages for transport to be spent ahead of the passage of the Supply and Appropriation Act. The schemes include:

Emergency Measures Agreements with the Train Operating Companies; the COVID-19 Bus Services Support Grant; safeguarding critical ferry freight routes; and supporting regional transport networks such as Transport for London and light rail networks. Furthermore, the Department brought-forward the payment of local authority road maintenance grants announced in the Budget. Barnett Consequentials have already been applied in the usual way to any funding on top of the Department for Transport’s current budgets.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £5,253,000,000 and additional capital of £603,000,000 and £ 1,144,000,000 of cash will be sought in a Main Estimate for the Department for Transport. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £7,000,000,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

The cash advance will be repaid upon receiving Royal assent of the Supply and Appropriation Bill.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS299
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Lord Keen of Elie (The Lords Spokesperson)
Lords

Youth Custody

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

"Youth offending has fallen – to 38.4% in the latest youth justice statistics – thanks to successive governments’ efforts to improve education, social care and mental health support. Clear guidance to the judiciary that custody should be an absolute last resort for children has also seen numbers fall by 78% between 2008 and 2019. There are now fewer than 700 children currently held in Young Offender Institutions, Secure Training Centres and Secure Children’s Homes. This is an unprecedented low, and down from a peak of 3,200 in October 2002.

This is a success that as a society we should be incredibly proud of. These early interventions have meant that thousands of children each year avoid heading into adulthood as criminals, into a life of crime that is much harder to break once ingrained. This Government’s efforts to support children and upgrade their life chances continue at pace – whether that be the additional funding being put into our schools or the extra support now available to children’s mental health services.

But we know there is far more still to do, particularly for those who still enter custody – a much more concentrated mix of children with complex issues, over 50% of whom have convictions for serious violence. We are spending £5 million putting each prison officer who works in the youth custody estate through a specialist degree programme, giving them a greater understanding of child and adolescent development. We have also increased the number of staff in young offender institutions by a third in the last four years.

We are investing in the development of Enhanced Support Units (ESUs) to provide specialist psychological support and services for children with the most complex needs, with ESUs now at Feltham and Wetherby YOIs. We are also working with NHS England on a new integrated approach to strengthen the provision of health care and support (‘SECURE STAIRS’) which is rolling out across the youth secure estate.

But there are elements of practice in youth custody which, frankly, have not been good enough. Today I have published two reports on the use of restraint and separation in the secure youth justice estate.

Staff in the youth estate are trained to use behaviour management and de-escalation techniques and only resort to physical restraint when there is no alternative and either their safety or that of children is at further risk.

However, keen to ensure those prison officers working with children were receiving adequate training and were using such techniques appropriately, the Government commissioned Charlie Taylor, then the Chair of the Youth Justice Board, to carry out an independent review into the use of pain-inducing restraint.

In his report, Charlie Taylor references a number of incidents in which he believes the use of a pain-inducing restraint potentially saved a child’s life. He is therefore clear that staff must retain the ability to intervene safely when there is a clear and imminent risk of serious harm to a child, themselves or another member of staff. However, he also found instances where it was used inappropriately and, now, I want to ensure the use of such restraint is proportionate and reasonable and only used when there is no other alternative.

That is why the Government has accepted all fifteen recommendations in Charlie Taylor’s report, and the Youth Custody Service has developed a programme of work which will implement them. Techniques that cause pain, albeit in order to prevent further serious harm, will no longer be taught alongside other methods to manage behaviour, to make it even clearer that these are a last resort designed only to protect children or staff from further injury. This will ensure that such techniques are only used when there is no alternative in order to prevent serious harm and therefore protect children and staff from trauma wherever possible. A panel will also be established to carefully scrutinise incidents in which a pain-inducing restraint has been used to ensure they are being used appropriately and that the welfare of children and staff is a key consideration.

The second report I have published today builds on our initial response to the thematic report on separation in Young Offender Institutions, which HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) published in January.

The findings in the report made for some challenging reading at the time and I was pleased with the exceptional effort from the Youth Custody Service in acting so swiftly to address the regime provided for separated children.

It is extremely unfortunate that at the point at which we were starting to see improvements for separated children we went into a period, that because of coronavirus, has forced us into a situation where all children in custody have unfortunately had to spend more time behind their doors than we would wish.

I accepted the overarching recommendation for a new system of separation to be implemented, which was called for by HMIP in their thematic report. As we look to restart aspects of daily life for children in custody I am determined that we do not return to the practices of old. This new, child-centred policy will draw on best practice from other establishments to ensure consistency across the youth estate.

Inappropriate use of these techniques must not happen again. Our response to these findings will help to ensure all children in custody have all the support they need to turn their lives around.

I will place a copy of both reports in the library of both Houses."

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS302
WS
Ministry of Justice
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Robert Buckland (The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice)
Commons

Youth Custody

Youth offending has fallen – to 38.4% in the latest youth justice statistics – thanks to successive governments’ efforts to improve education, social care and mental health support. Clear guidance to the judiciary that custody should be an absolute last resort for children has also seen numbers fall by 78% between 2008 and 2019. There are now fewer than 700 children currently held in Young Offender Institutions, Secure Training Centres and Secure Children’s Homes. This is an unprecedented low, and down from a peak of 3,200 in October 2002.

This is a success that as a society we should be incredibly proud of. These early interventions have meant that thousands of children each year avoid heading into adulthood as criminals, into a life of crime that is much harder to break once ingrained. This Government’s efforts to support children and upgrade their life chances continue at pace – whether that be the additional funding being put into our schools or the extra support now available to children’s mental health services.

But we know there is far more still to do, particularly for those who still enter custody – a much more concentrated mix of children with complex issues, over 50% of whom have convictions for serious violence. We are spending £5 million putting each prison officer who works in the youth custody estate through a specialist degree programme, giving them a greater understanding of child and adolescent development. We have also increased the number of staff in young offender institutions by a third in the last four years.

We are investing in the development of Enhanced Support Units (ESUs) to provide specialist psychological support and services for children with the most complex needs, with ESUs now at Feltham and Wetherby YOIs. We are also working with NHS England on a new integrated approach to strengthen the provision of health care and support (‘SECURE STAIRS’) which is rolling out across the youth secure estate.

But there are elements of practice in youth custody which, frankly, have not been good enough. Today I have published two reports on the use of restraint and separation in the secure youth justice estate.

Staff in the youth estate are trained to use behaviour management and de-escalation techniques and only resort to physical restraint when there is no alternative and either their safety or that of children is at further risk.

However, keen to ensure those prison officers working with children were receiving adequate training and were using such techniques appropriately, the Government commissioned Charlie Taylor, then the Chair of the Youth Justice Board, to carry out an independent review into the use of pain-inducing restraint.

In his report, Charlie Taylor references a number of incidents in which he believes the use of a pain-inducing restraint potentially saved a child’s life. He is therefore clear that staff must retain the ability to intervene safely when there is a clear and imminent risk of serious harm to a child, themselves or another member of staff. However, he also found instances where it was used inappropriately and, now, I want to ensure the use of such restraint is proportionate and reasonable and only used when there is no other alternative.

That is why the Government has accepted all fifteen recommendations in Charlie Taylor’s report, and the Youth Custody Service has developed a programme of work which will implement them. Techniques that cause pain, albeit in order to prevent further serious harm, will no longer be taught alongside other methods to manage behaviour, to make it even clearer that these are a last resort designed only to protect children or staff from further injury. This will ensure that such techniques are only used when there is no alternative in order to prevent serious harm and therefore protect children and staff from trauma wherever possible. A panel will also be established to carefully scrutinise incidents in which a pain-inducing restraint has been used to ensure they are being used appropriately and that the welfare of children and staff is a key consideration.

The second report I have published today builds on our initial response to the thematic report on separation in Young Offender Institutions, which HM Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) published in January.

The findings in the report made for some challenging reading at the time and I was pleased with the exceptional effort from the Youth Custody Service in acting so swiftly to address the regime provided for separated children.

It is extremely unfortunate that at the point at which we were starting to see improvements for separated children we went into a period, that because of coronavirus, has forced us into a situation where all children in custody have unfortunately had to spend more time behind their doors than we would wish.

I accepted the overarching recommendation for a new system of separation to be implemented, which was called for by HMIP in their thematic report. As we look to restart aspects of daily life for children in custody I am determined that we do not return to the practices of old. This new, child-centred policy will draw on best practice from other establishments to ensure consistency across the youth estate.

Inappropriate use of these techniques must not happen again. Our response to these findings will help to ensure all children in custody have all the support they need to turn their lives around.

I will place a copy of both reports in the library of both Houses.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS297
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Lord Bethell (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Innovation))
Lords

Contingencies Fund Advance

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

The Department of Health and Social Care’s Vote on Account cash limit has been used in full between April 2020 and June 2020 to support the running costs of the department, NHS and Arm’s Length Bodies, including expenditure on the Covid-19 pandemic. This application from the Contingencies Fund is to access the budgetary cover already included in the 2020/21 Main Supply Estimate, as set out below.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £24,250,000,000 and additional capital of £750,000,000 will be sought in a Main Estimate for Department of Health and Social Care. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £25,000,000,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS300
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Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Baroness Stedman-Scott (The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions)
Lords

Pensions: Interim Guidance for “Superfunds”

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

The Pensions Regulator has today published an interim regulatory regime for Defined Benefit Pension “superfunds”.

A superfund is a privately funded “for profit” consolidation vehicle, which takes over responsibility for Defined Benefit Pension Schemes liabilities from the sponsoring employer. To enter a superfund, sponsoring employers are required to pay a significant, upfront sum to improve the funding level of their scheme, in exchange for discharging their pensions liabilities.

This is an interim regime. The government will continue to develop the permanent regime before legislating, with full and proper parliamentary scrutiny in the usual way.

Operation of the interim regime will be kept under review by the government to ensure that it is properly protecting and advancing the interests of pension scheme members and the Pension Protection Fund.

The government will continue to develop a permanent regime for superfunds. This is an innovative area and market participants should not assume that the permanent regime will automatically replicate the interim regime. Alongside responses to the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme Consolidation Consultation, the government will be informed by experience gained during the interim regime when considering the features of the permanent regime, including those relating to capital adequacy. The permanent regime may include an alternative set of requirements, including more prudent requirements, compared to the interim regime, but we cannot pre-empt the parliamentary process.

The permanent regime will be designed to protect pension scheme members and the Pension Protection Fund, including by ensuring that superfunds have the necessary flexibility to continue contributing to a strong pensions ecosystem in which sponsoring companies and scheme trustees have a range of options open to them.

The government believes that superfunds have the potential to improve the likelihood of members getting their benefits in full whilst providing employers with a new, affordable option to manage their legacy pension liabilities. However, if at any point it appears that changes to the interim regime are required in order to protect and advance the interests of scheme members, the government and The Pensions Regulator will take prompt, robust action.

Today’s publication will mean that The Pensions Regulator will have a much firmer basis to take action against a superfund should they deem it a necessary and proportionate step.

The guidance can be accessed at the following address:

https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/document-library/regulatory-guidance/db-superfunds

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS301
WS
Department for Work and Pensions
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Guy Opperman (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions & Financial Inclusion.)
Commons

Pensions: Interim Guidance for “Superfunds”

The Pensions Regulator has today published an interim regulatory regime for Defined Benefit Pension “superfunds”.

A superfund is a privately funded “for profit” consolidation vehicle, which takes over responsibility for Defined Benefit Pension Schemes liabilities from the sponsoring employer. To enter a superfund, sponsoring employers are required to pay a significant, upfront sum to improve the funding level of their scheme, in exchange for discharging their pensions liabilities.

This is an interim regime. The government will continue to develop the permanent regime before legislating, with full and proper parliamentary scrutiny in the usual way.

Operation of the interim regime will be kept under review by the government to ensure that it is properly protecting and advancing the interests of pension scheme members and the Pension Protection Fund.

The government will continue to develop a permanent regime for superfunds. This is an innovative area and market participants should not assume that the permanent regime will automatically replicate the interim regime. Alongside responses to the Defined Benefit Pension Scheme Consolidation Consultation, the government will be informed by experience gained during the interim regime when considering the features of the permanent regime, including those relating to capital adequacy. The permanent regime may include an alternative set of requirements, including more prudent requirements, compared to the interim regime, but we cannot pre-empt the parliamentary process.

The permanent regime will be designed to protect pension scheme members and the Pension Protection Fund, including by ensuring that superfunds have the necessary flexibility to continue contributing to a strong pensions ecosystem in which sponsoring companies and scheme trustees have a range of options open to them.

The government believes that superfunds have the potential to improve the likelihood of members getting their benefits in full whilst providing employers with a new, affordable option to manage their legacy pension liabilities. However, if at any point it appears that changes to the interim regime are required in order to protect and advance the interests of scheme members, the government and The Pensions Regulator will take prompt, robust action.

Today’s publication will mean that The Pensions Regulator will have a much firmer basis to take action against a superfund should they deem it a necessary and proportionate step.

The guidance can be accessed at the following address:

https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/document-library/regulatory-guidance/db-superfunds

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS295
WS
Department of Health and Social Care
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Matt Hancock (Secretary of State for Health and Social Care)
Commons

Contingencies Fund Advance

The Department of Health and Social Care’s Vote on Account cash limit has been used in full between April 2020 and June 2020 to support the running costs of the department, NHS and Arm’s Length Bodies, including expenditure on the Covid-19 pandemic. This application from the Contingencies Fund is to access the budgetary cover already included in the 2020/21 Main Supply Estimate, as set out below.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £24,250,000,000 and additional capital of £750,000,000 will be sought in a Main Estimate for Department of Health and Social Care. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £25,000,000,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS296
WS
Department for Transport
Made on: 18 June 2020
Made by: Grant Shapps (Secretary of State for Transport)
Commons

Contingency Fund

I hereby give notice of the Department for Transport having drawn advances from the Contingencies Fund totalling £7,000,000,000 to enable expenditure on COVID-19 support packages for transport to be spent ahead of the passage of the Supply and Appropriation Act. The schemes include:

Emergency Measures Agreements with the Train Operating Companies; the COVID-19 Bus Services Support Grant; safeguarding critical ferry freight routes; and supporting regional transport networks such as Transport for London and light rail networks. Furthermore, the Department brought-forward the payment of local authority road maintenance grants announced in the Budget. Barnett Consequentials have already been applied in the usual way to any funding on top of the Department for Transport’s current budgets.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £5,253,000,000 and additional capital of £603,000,000 and £ 1,144,000,000 of cash will be sought in a Main Estimate for the Department for Transport. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £7,000,000,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

The cash advance will be repaid upon receiving Royal assent of the Supply and Appropriation Bill.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS298
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 17 June 2020
Made by: Michael Gove (Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office )
Commons

Advance from the Contingencies Fund

The Cabinet Office has sought a repayable cash advance from the Contingencies Fund of £270,100,000.

The requirement has arisen due to increased costs relating to urgent expenditure, including that relating to the COVID-19 response.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £107,100,000 and £163,000,000 of capital has been sought in a Main Estimate for the Cabinet Office. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £270,100,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords: HLWS294
WS
Cabinet Office
Made on: 17 June 2020
Made by: Lord True (Minister of State)
Lords

Advance from the Contingencies Fund

My Rt Hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Michael Gove) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement:

The Cabinet Office has sought a repayable cash advance from the Contingencies Fund of £270,100,000.

The requirement has arisen due to increased costs relating to urgent expenditure, including that relating to the COVID-19 response.

Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £107,100,000 and £163,000,000 of capital has been sought in a Main Estimate for the Cabinet Office. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure estimated at £270,100,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

This statement has also been made in the House of Commons: HCWS298
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