Skip to main content

Written Statements

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

Written Ministerial Statements

Thursday 6 December 2007

Treasury

Financial Inclusion

The Government are today publishing “Financial Inclusion: an Action Plan for 2008-11”, setting out commitments by the Government and key partners to achieve further progress in promoting financial inclusion. This document has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and is available on the Treasury's website (www.hm-treasury. gov.uk)

The Government has three goals for financial inclusion:

that everyone should be able to manage their money effectively and securely, through having access to a bank account, and the confidence and capability to get the most from it;

that everyone should be able to plan for the future with a reasonable degree of security. Therefore, affordable credit, saving accounts and simple insurance products should be available to all who need them; and

that everyone should have the information, support and confidence they need to prevent avoidable financial difficulty, and to know where to turn if they do find themselves in financial distress.

Financial inclusion: an action plan for 2008-11” affirms the Government’s commitment to promoting financial inclusion in the next spending period. As announced in the comprehensive spending review, from 2008-11, financial inclusion policy will be supported through a new £130 million financial inclusion fund. The fund will be augmented with significant contributions from other Government Departments.

Initiatives that will be supported in the next spending period include:

£76 million (including £2 million from BERR) to fund free face-to-face money advice to financially excluded people;

£38 million to increase consumer access to affordable credit through credit unions and other third sector lenders;

£12 million to fund dedicated staff to work to promote financial inclusion locally, with a focus on increasing the availability and awareness of home contents insurance for low-income people, in particular in areas affected by the recent flood events;

£2 million funding to the OFT to continue its “Save Xmas” campaign, promoting access to saving opportunities, particularly in credit unions;

£5 million (including £3 million from MoJ) to operate prison-focused outreach in every region of England and Wales; and

a continuation of projects to tackle illegal lending in every region of Great Britain, which will be funded by BERR.

Building on their successful work in partnership with Government to increase take-up of basic bank accounts, and their support for other financial inclusion initiatives including easier access to free ATMs in low-income areas, the banks have also committed to support third sector affordable credit, including actions to develop new provision in 25 high priority areas identified by the financial inclusion taskforce.

The taskforce, which has been extended until 2011, will continue to monitor these initiatives and advise the Government on financial inclusion developments.

The Treasury Committee conducted an inquiry into financial inclusion and savings in the spring of 2007, and published a report detailing its findings in October 2007. The Government have sent their response to the inquiry to the Treasury Committee today.

Pre-Budget Report (Consultation)

Following the Pre-Budget Report on 9 October, the Treasury has today published the following consultation documents:

Income shifting: a consultation on draft legislation

Securing a sustainable future: a consultation on the North Sea Fiscal Regime

Paying a Fairer Share: a consultation on residence and domicile

Principles-based approach to financial products avoidance: a consultation document

Copies of these documents have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and are available on the Treasury website.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill

My noble Friend the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Jones of Birmingham, has made the following statement:

Following my closing speech at Second Reading on the Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Bill on 28 November 2007, Official Report, column 1280, I would like to clarify to the House the Government’s understanding of the British Retail Consortium’s views on the inclusion of a cost recovery provision relating to the operation of the Primary Authority arrangements under part 2 of the Bill.

I understand that the position of the British Retail Consortium is that there should be no such charges on businesses in a Primary Authority partnership. In informal discussion during the consultation on the draft Bill with a number of businesses, however, it was put to us that the inclusion of a power for local authorities to recover the costs of the service provided from the business would not be unwelcome, provided that the service provided ensured a reliable level of consistency in the regulatory approach taken to the business across the country.

Children, Schools and Families

Guatemala (Adoptions)

I am today announcing a suspension of adoptions of Guatemalan children by UK residents in response to concerns about adoption practice in Guatemala. The suspension takes effect immediately.

We have had long-standing concerns about the adoption process in Guatemala, as evidenced by the imposition of additional procedural checks administered by the British embassy in Guatemala and the UK’s objection to Guatemala’s accession to the Hague convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption in 2003.

I am now introducing a suspension of adoptions in response to new evidence which demonstrates that: there are insufficient safeguards in the Guatemalan adoption system to prevent children being adopted without proper consents being given and improper financial gain being made by individuals in the adoption process. In particular it demonstrates that: there is a trade in babies being sold for overseas adoption; and mothers are being paid, or otherwise encouraged, to give up children for adoption. Such practices are, of course, contrary to the principles of the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

I have given careful consideration to the position of UK prospective adopters currently in the process of adopting from Guatemala. I have decided that the suspension will take effect at the point when a Certificate of Eligibility is sent to Guatemala by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (or in a Northern Ireland case by the Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety for Northern Ireland). This is the last point in the application process administered by the DCSF (or the DHSSPS).

Applications already sent to Guatemala will be not be prevented from proceeding in the usual way (subject, of course, to the usual checks), but only in exceptional circumstances will I consider that any other application may proceed. A decision about any application for an exception to the suspension will take account of the best interests of the child and all the facts of the particular case.

I understand that the Guatemala authorities intend to legislate so as to implement the Hague Convention in the coming months, but I consider that the nature of the information currently held means we must act now. I will, of course, consider the effect on the ground of any changes to adoption legislation and practice in Guatemala, in keeping the suspension under review.

Communities and Local Government

Supporting People

The Government are today publishing provisional individual grant allocations to administering authorities for the Supporting People programme in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11. The grant will fund housing-related support services for over 1 million vulnerable people—including victims of domestic violence, teenage parents, older people and those with mental health problems—enabling them to live independently in their accommodation.

Final allocations for 2008-09 will be confirmed by a further statement to this House in February 2008 and then for each subsequent year at the same time in that year.

The consultation on the Supporting People distribution formula completed in February 2006 and responses to this exercise have been assessed. Following consideration of the available options, a decision has been taken to use the updated formula to target the funding in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2010-11 to help address some of the inherited uneven distribution of grant between authorities.

We are today publishing our response to that consultation on the Department’s website and invite respondents to refresh their comments if appropriate before we confirm final allocations in the new year.

This three-year settlement, alongside a radically slimmed-down performance framework will provide authorities with stability for the future and greater flexibility to budget and plan realistic delivery of housing support services.

A table of indicative Supporting People programme grant allocations and a copy of the consultation response have today been placed in the Library of the House.

Greater London Authority

I have today announced the following three-year settlement for the general GLA grant, which is provided by the Government to support the core activities of the Mayor of London and Greater London Authority.

Year

2008-9

2009-10

2010-11

£ million

48.006

48.068

48.136

This settlement includes DCMS’ funding allocation over £9 million per annum for the Museum of London in anticipation of the transfer of its co-sponsorship of the museum to the GLA from April 2008, as well as an additional £0.5 million per annum for the GLA’s other new powers and responsibilities following the GLA Act 2007 and election costs. The settlement also reflects the general requirement on local government for at least a 3 per cent. per annum value for money saving over the Comprehensive Spending Review period.

The general GLA grant will continue to be determined by the Secretary of State annually, in accordance with section 100 of the GLA Act 1999.

Defence

UK Hydrographic Office

Earlier this year I commissioned a status review of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office in Taunton to establish the optimum future structural and ownership arrangements for the UKHO.

This review has now been completed. I can announce I have accepted the principal review recommendation that, given the current regulatory and market conditions, the UKHO should retain its current trading fund status, and ensure the potential benefits of this status are maximised as far as possible. The review considered carefully options to transfer some or all of UKHO functions to a Government-owned company and a range of structural and ownership arrangements which might assist UKHO to succeed in the challenges it faces. As the report contains commercially sensitive information, a copy of the executive summary only has been placed in the Library of the House.

As part of normal MOD business, this decision will be subject to regular review in the light of business needs, or as a result of any significant change in the regulatory or market environment.

We previously announced that UKHO will remain based in Taunton. As part of our commitment to UKHO’s future we will be investing in a new building and substantially improved working conditions for UKHO’s staff. We are currently looking at detailed options and expect to make a final decision early in the new year.

The status review and further studies have been carried out to ensure the UKHO has a sustainable future, focused on its core business and capabilities, providing best value for money for the taxpayer. In addition to meeting the core defence hydrographic needs of the Royal Navy and support digital navigation, the UKHO continues to operate in a competitive international commercial environment. Continuous efficiency gains and effective cost control are vital to remain competitive. In particular, UKHO management has identified those skills and capabilities they believe will be required to succeed in the developing and challenging market for digital navigation products.

As a result of this work, and subject to further detailed planning, I have approved the start of full consultation with the UKHO trade unions on the optimum future size and shape of the organisation. Study analysis indicates a total net headcount reduction in the UKHO of between 250 and 300 permanent posts over the next five years may be required in order to focus resources on the core business. It is hoped that this net reduction can be achieved through natural wastage and the full use of wider MOD restructuring arrangements. As far as possible we will avoid compulsory redundancies.

UKHO senior management are committed to taking forward the consultation process quickly in order to provide all staff with clarity regarding their futures. Wherever possible the new posts required to support future business needs will be filled by reskilling and retraining of existing staff.

With these proposed changes, I believe the UKHO’s future will be secure, and it will remain a significant employer in the South West, with over 800 staff. I am clear that, these are the right decisions we need to take now if we are to deliver a viable and sustainable future for the UKHO and its staff, and value for money for the UK taxpayer.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Women's Land Army/Women's Timber Corps

I am delighted to announce that the Government has decided to acknowledge the contribution made by the Women’s Land Army and the Women’s Timber Corps by means of a badge which will be presented to veterans next year. This is in recognition of the important role these women played, not only in feeding the nation, but also in providing timber for vital industries, such as mining and aircraft manufacture. It is important that we never forget the sacrifices that were made both at home and abroad during the war. The badge will be a fitting commemoration of the work of the WLA in supporting the war effort.

Originally formed during World War I, the Women’s Land Army was re-formed shortly after the outbreak of World War II to work on the land, so releasing male workers to go to war. By 1943 there were 80,000 women working in every aspect of agriculture, and also in the timber industry. The work was often physically demanding and for long hours. The WLA remained in existence until 1950, when it was disbanded. Members were granted a certificate signed by HM Queen Elizabeth in recognition of their service. Over the last 60 years, the women have campaigned strenuously for more formal recognition of their efforts.

Details of how to apply for a badge will be announced early in the new year.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

General Affairs and External Relations Council

The General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) will be held on 10 December in Brussels. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs will represent the UK.

The agenda items are as follows:

General Affairs

Preparation of the European Council on 14 December

The Council will discuss preparation of the European Council on 14 December in Brussels. The Government expect the European Council to focus on discussions of the mandate for a “Reflection Group” (“Group of the Wise”), and the adoption by the Council of a Declaration on Globalisation. The presidency will seek, with the Government’s strong support, a signal from the European Council that, with the signing of the Lisbon treaty on 13 December, the EU now has a stable institutional framework for the foreseeable future and should focus on delivering concrete results for its citizens.

Discussion at the European Council is also expected to cover Justice and Home Affairs; a renewed commitment to the Lisbon Strategy for Jobs and Growth; energy and climate: change; and external relations where the Government’s priorities will be Kosovo and Iran.

2007 Enlargement Package

The Council is expected to take stock of progress on EU enlargement following the publication of the Commission’s enlargement strategy and progress reports on 6 November. The Government hope the Council will adopt conclusions reaffirming its commitment to enlargement on the basis of the conclusions of the European Council in December 2006, while welcoming the Commission’s reports and recommendations for further progress. This will encourage continuation of reform efforts by all the candidates and potential candidates.

External Relations

European Neighbourhood Policy

The Commission is expected to brief the Council on its latest communication on the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) which is likely to take stock of the progress made on ENP since last year’s communication, and to make proposals for how to take the policy forward. The Government endorses ENP as a vital framework for supporting our EU neighbours in implementing their political and economic reforms, and as a means of tackling common challenges such as economic integration, energy and climate change, terrorism and extremism, migration, and good governance, to the benefit of all member states.

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)

The Council will discuss the regulation implementing Economic Partnership Agreements in signatory African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACPs) from 1 January 2008. The Commission will also present a paper recommending options compatible with the World Trade Organisation for those non-least developed countries who are unable to conclude negotiations by the end of the year. The Government wants duty-free quota-free access for all ACP exports to the EU market and will work to ensure that countries who have showed willingness to engage in the negotiations are not worse off in January 2008.

Western Balkans

Discussion of the Western Balkans is expected to focus on Kosovo and will coincide with the end of the period of talks facilitated by the EU-US-Russia Troika. All indications are that Belgrade and Pristina will not have reached agreement on Kosovo’s status. The Government will be pushing for the EU to take a leading role in charting the way ahead after the talks, acting decisively to ensure that Kosovo’s status is rapidly resolved so that the whole region can move forward.

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on enlargement and the Western Balkans. The Government support the EU perspective for the Western Balkans—it has driven key reforms and helped the region move forward from the conflicts of the 1990s.

Iran

The Council is expected to discuss steps the EU can take to support the agreed twin-track international approach to the Iranian nuclear issue. The High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, is expected to brief the Council on his recent meeting with Saeed Jalili, Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, on 30 November.

Middle East

The Council is expected to welcome the progress made at the Annapolis Conference and to discuss the forthcoming Paris donors’ conference. The Council is also expected to adopt conclusions focusing on the Annapolis Conference and EU action in support, including work to strengthen Palestinian security capacity through expansion of the EU mission to support the Palestinian civilian police, and the Paris donors’ conference in December. The Government are committed to supporting the shared goal at Annapolis,

“to immediately launch good faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.”

The Council is also expected to discuss Lebanon, following the departure of President Lahoud on 23 November. The Government remain concerned about the divisions between the Lebanese Government and the opposition over the election of a successor, which has been a major cause of tension in Lebanon. There now appear to be encouraging signs of progress.

The Council is expected to adopt conclusions urging a swift, peaceful and democratic outcome to the process. The Government welcome the EU’s sustained engagement on Lebanon and continues to support French efforts to facilitate a compromise between the Lebanese political parties.

Burma

Burma has been added to the agenda at the Government’s request in order to maintain EU focus on Burma and to support the work of the UN Special Envoy Ibrahim Gambari and the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Sergio Pinheiro. The Government also want the Council to take stock of the continuing detailed, follow-on work on EU sanctions being undertaken following decisions at the October and November Councils.

Sudan

The Government want the Council to send a strong statement on Sudan-Darfur and Chad through conclusions reiterating the EU’s support for the ongoing UN-African Union (AU) led efforts to achieve a sustainable peace settlement in Darfur. The Government also expect the Council to call on all parties to do all they can to ensure prompt deployment of an effective AU-UN peacekeeping force, UNAMID, which will assume authority from the current AU Mission in Sudan (AMIS) by 31 December 2007, and to call for the early deployment of the planned EU mission to Chad and the Central African Republic.

Home Department

Police Funding (2008-09 to 2010-11)

I have today placed in the Library my proposals for allocation of police grant for England and Wales from 2008-09 to 2010-11. I intend to implement the proposals on police grant subject to consideration of any representations and to the approval of the House.

Policing and reducing crime remain top priorities for this Government. The 2006-07 British Crime Survey shows that since peaking in 1995, crime has fallen by 42 per cent. representing over 8 million fewer crimes. The Government have worked very hard to maintain the police grant at a good level for the next three years as well as to provide secure and stable funding across policing, crime and drugs. Police authorities will receive a realistic and affordable increase in grant, backed up by a programme of reform and modernisation and a continuing drive to increase efficiency and productivity and cut bureaucracy. chief constables and police authorities will have maximum flexibility to make the best possible use of resources to maintain the historically high number of police officers and have the right workforce balance they need to deliver local priorities.

I have placed in the Library of the House today copies of the “National Community Safety Plan for England 2008-11”. The plan supports greater partnership working on community safety at national, regional and local level, and is intended to support practitioners in planning and delivering community safety objectives. The plan also includes our strategic policing priorities and key actions for the police service for 2008-09. The “National Community Safety Plan” follows on from, and supports, the objectives in the Government’s crime strategy, published in July this year “Cutting Crime: A New Partnership 2008-11”. The crime strategy sets out how we will continue to build on the achievements of the past ten years, refreshing our approach to meet new challenges. The new “Make Communities Safer” PSA supports the crime strategy and helps to establish a more mature relationship between central Government and local delivery partners for driving improvement priorities.

The settlement builds on considerable investment in the police service over the past decade. On a like for like basis Government grant for the police will have increased by over 60 per cent. or over £3.7 billion between 1997-98 and 2010-11. Our investment in policing, as well as significant extra investment from local taxpayers and the delivery by police forces and authorities of substantial increases in efficiency, has helped to expand local policing successfully, reduce crime and make our communities safer

The police service has responded well to the demands placed on it but we must make sure the service is in the best possible shape to meet them. We are committed to consolidating and building on the significant reforms and achievements to date, to support the police service in meeting these new challenges. In support of these aims, Sir Ronnie Flanagan is currently undertaking an independent review of policing. We also intend to publish a Green Paper in spring 2008 to consult on wider proposals for change.

Excellent progress is being made in the delivery of neighbourhood policing. By April 2008 there will be a neighbourhood policing team in every area and we are ahead of schedule with more than 75 per cent. of England and Wales already covered by neighbourhood policing teams. Some 16,000 police community support officers are now supporting police officers in delivering real changes on the ground, fighting crime and making communities feel safer. Together with CLG, community safety partners and other agencies, the Home Office is working to integrate neighbourhood policing with local neighbourhood management to ensure that we have the greatest number of services working together to tackle the issues identified by our communities.

The Government remain committed to building on the significant progress that have been made to date in increasing efficiency and productivity and reducing unnecessary bureaucracy, to ensure that officers are most effectively focused on their front line duties. We want to empower and equip officers so they can provide the most visible and accessible police presence in the community possible. We intend to support this through a new efficiency and productivity strategy on which we are working with the service. In addition, this will be supported by further improvements to working practices and processes, greater flexibility and streamlining of local performance management requirements and wider access to innovative crime fighting technology that will be supported by a new £50 million capital fund.

The Police Grant Settlement 2008-09 2010-11

Total provision for policing revenue grants in 2008-09 will be £9,227 million, an overall increase of 2.9 per cent. Provision is also made for 2.9 per cent. in 2009-10 and 2.7 per cent. in 2010-11. I propose to distribute the settlement as set out below.

Table 1: Police revenue funding settlement 2008-09 to 2010-11 compared with 2007-08

2007/08

£m

2008/09

£m

2009/10

£m

2010/11

£m

Home Office general grant

4,428

4,543

4,666

4,792

DCLG/WAG general grant

3,397

3,488

3,583

3,680

Welsh Top-Up

13

15

16

16

Total general Formula Grant

7,838

8,046

8,265

8,488

% increase in general grant

2.7%

2.7%

2.7%

Total Specific Grants

1,130

1,181

1,227*

1,263*

Total Government funding for police authorities

8,968

9,227

9,492*

9,751*

% increase in total Government revenue funding

2.9%

2.9%*

2.7%*

*Consultation will take place on how best to use BCU funds to support local delivery of PSA targets and crime strategy.

Police funding proposals within the local government finance system are being announced by my hon. Friend the Member for Wentworth (John Healey) today. On 5 November, the Welsh Assembly Government announced its proposals for Revenue Support Grant.

Provisional general policing grants (that is, Home Office Police Grant, Revenue Support Grant and National Non Domestic Rates) for English and Welsh police authorities in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 are set out at tables 2 to 4.

General grant

Within the general grant provision of 2.7 per cent. I have set a funding floor at 2.5 per cent. in each of the CSR years. This means that each police authority in England and Wales is guaranteed an increase of at least this level in each year. This provides for stability while enabling us to move towards fuller implementation of the needs-based funding formula.

The employer pension contribution rate payable by police authorities for police officers will be reduced from 24.6 per cent. of pensionable pay to 24.2 per cent. with effect for three years starting from April 2008. This revaluation does not affect employee contribution rates. We expect that the reduced employer contribution rate will result in a saving to police authorities of approximately £15 million per year.

The settlement recognises the importance of efficiency and productivity increases for police authorities. Compared to 2007-08, police authorities will be expected to deliver 9.3 per cent. cashable increases in efficiency and productivity by the end of 2010-11.

Keeping council tax under control remains a priority for the Government. And my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer made clear in his statement on the comprehensive spending review that the Government expects the average council tax increase in England in 2008-09 to be substantially below 5 per cent. No decisions have been taken on capping principles in 2008-09 but we have made clear that we will not hesitate to use our capping powers as necessary to protect council tax payers from excessive increases.

Formula Grant Distribution

During the summer we consulted on whether to update the resource base of the formula and whether “rule 2 grants” (former specific grants now allocated with general grant) and the crime fighting fund (CFF) should continue as separate entities or be incorporated into general grant. I have carefully considered all the representations received in response to the consultation.

I have decided to update the resource base of the formula to reflect better the pressures facing the police. I have also decided, in the interest of stability, not to incorporate “rule 2 grants” into general grant. Likewise, the CFF will remain in its present, unhypothecated, form to give maximum flexibility to police authorities and chief constables.

I have decided to move funding for the Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) from ring fenced status to a “rule 2 grant”. It will no longer be ring-fenced and will be distributed on the basis of each force’s allocations in the last two years.

Welsh Police Authorities

In line with previous years I have ensured that Welsh police authorities are treated in line with English police authorities. I have provided additional support of £15.4 million in 2008-09, £15.5 million in 2009-10 and £15.7 million in 2010-11 to ensure that Dyfed-Powys, Gwent and North Wales police authorities receive at least a minimum grant increase of 2.5 per cent. This additional support is also partly funded by reducing police grant to South Wales police authority, so that it too will receive the level of grant it would if it were in England.

Metropolitan Police funding

The settlement provides for the Metropolitan police authority to receive £197 million in 2008-09 (+£5 million over 2007-08) in formula provision to reflect their unique national and international role as well as the functions that fall to them by virtue of London being a capital city. This has been uprated in line with inflation for each year.

Specific Grants for Police Authorities

Police authorities will continue to receive extra funding through a number of specific grants for particular schemes. Details are set out in table 5.

Crime Fighting Fund: £277 million will again be made available to forces in 2008-09.

Neighbourhood Policing: To ensure that neighbourhood policing is fully embedded across England and Wales, I have accepted the recommendation made by Sir Ronnie Flanagan to maintain the ring-fence on this funding in 2008-09. A total of £324 million will be made available in 2008-09. Funding will increase by an average of 2.7 per cent. in each of the CSR years.

Basic Command Units: The basic command unit fund was introduced in 2003-04 for a two-year period, subsequently extended. I will be continuing this funding at the level of £40 million in 2008-09. I will be providing £50 million a year in 2009-10 and 2010-11. During 2008, we will be consulting with the police and other key delivery partners on how this £50 million fund for years after 2008-09 can best be used, and by which partners, to support successful delivery of the new PSA targets and crime strategy.

Counter-Terrorism

Funding for police counter terrorism will be increased from £472 million in 2007-08 to £524 million in 2008-09, £552 million in 2009-10 and £579 million in 2010-11.

Capital

In 2007-08 we were able to make two in-year capital payments of £25 million each to police authorities. That additional funding has been continued for the CSR years and £220 million in capital and supported capital expenditure will be allocated to police authorities in each of the next three years, with each authority receiving the same allocation as in 2007-08.

Other issues

I will shortly be making further announcements about funding for the Olympics and Protective Services.

Table 2: Police Grant Allocations by English and Welsh Police Authority 2007-08 to 2008-09

Police Authority

Adjusted 2007-08

2008-09

Change on 2007-08

Formula Allocation1

Allocation1

Formula Allocation

£m

£m

%

English Shire Forces

Avon & Somerset

167.8

173.7

3.5%

Bedfordshire

66.3

68.5

3.3%

Cambridgeshire

76.4

78.7

3.0%

Cheshire

114.7

117.6

2.5%

Cleveland

93.0

95.3

2.5%

Cumbria

64.0

65.6

2.5%

Derbyshire

105.8

109.2

3.2%

Devon & Cornwall

177.4

181.9

2.5%

Dorset

62.2

63.7

2.5%

Durham

87.0

89.2

2.5%

Essex

168.4

173.0

2.8%

Gloucestershire

56.4

57.8

2.5%

Hampshire

197.2

202.2

2.6%

Hertfordshire

114.4

117.7

2.9%

Humberside

122.0

125.1

2.6%

Kent

182.5

187.2

2.6%

Lancashire

193.6

198.8

2.7%

Leicestershire

111.4

114.7

2.9%

Lincolnshire

60.4

62.3

3.1%

Norfolk

83.4

85.4

2.5%

North Yorkshire

73.0

74.8

2.5%

Northamptonshire

71.7

73.5

2.6%

Nottinghamshire

132.4

136.9

3.4%

Staffordshire

114.2

117.4

2.8%

Suffolk

67.5

69.2

2.5%

Surrey

96.9

99.3

2.5%

Sussex

161.6

165.7

2.5%

Thames Valley

225.8

231.9

2.7%

Warwickshire

51.5

52.8

2.6%

West Mercia

116.0

118.9

2.5%

Wiltshire

62.0

63.6

2.5%

Shires Total

3476.7

3571.3

2.7%

English Metropolitan Forces

Greater Manchester

432.5

445.6

3.0%

Merseyside

253.7

260.6

2.7%

Northumbria

237.9

243.8

2.5%

South Yorkshire

194.2

199.1

2.6%

West Midlands

450.0

468.0

4.0%

West Yorkshire

317.4

328.2

3.4%

Mets Total

1885.6

1945.4

3.2%

London Forces

GLA-Police

1883.0

1930.0

2.5%

City of London

2

22.8

20.2

N/A

 

 

 

 

English Total

7268.0

7466.9

2.7%

 

 

 

 

Welsh forces

Dyfed-Powys

3

51.8

53.1

2.5%

Gwent

3

78.6

80.6

2.5%

North Wales

3

76.3

78.2

2.5%

South Wales

3

172.1

176.7

2.7%

Welsh total

378.8

388.6

2.6%

TOTAL

 

7646.8

7855.5

2.7%

Table 3: Police Grant Allocations by English and Welsh Police Authority 2008-09

Police Authority

2008-09

2009-10

Change on 2008-09

Formula Allocation1

Allocation1

Formula Allocation

£m

£m

%

English Shire forces

Avon & Somerset

173.7

179.7

3.5%

Bedfordshire

68.5

70.8

3.3%

Cambridgeshire

78.7

81.0

3.0%

Cheshire

117.6

120.5

2.5%

Cleveland

95.3

97.7

2.5%

Cumbria

65.6

67.2

2.5%

Derbyshire

109.2

112.6

3.2%

Devon & Cornwall

181.9

186.4

2.5%

Dorset

63.7

65.3

2.5%

Durham

89.2

91.4

2.5%

Essex

173.0

177.9

2.8%

Gloucestershire

57.8

59.3

2.5%

Hampshire

202.2

207.5

2.6%

Hertfordshire

117.7

121.2

2.9%

Humberside

125.1

128.4

2.6%

Kent

187.2

192.1

2.7%

Lancashire

198.8

204.1

2.7%

Leicestershire

114.7

118.0

2.9%

Lincolnshire

62.3

64.3

3.1%

Norfolk

85.4

87.6

2.5%

North Yorkshire

74.8

76.7

2.5%

Northamptonshire

73.5

75.5

2.6%

Nottinghamshire

136.9

141.4

3.3%

Staffordshire

117.4

120.6

2.7%

Suffolk

69.2

71.0

2.5%

Surrey

99.3

101.8

2.5%

Sussex

165.7

169.8

2.5%

Thames Valley

231.9

238.2

2.7%

Warwickshire

52.8

54.1

2.6%

West Mercia

118.9

121.8

2.5%

Wiltshire

63.6

65.2

2.5%

Shires Total

3571.3

3669.0

2.7%

English Metropolitan forces

Greater Manchester

445.6

458.9

3.0%

Merseyside

260.6

267.4

2.6%

Northumbria

243.8

249.9

2.5%

South Yorkshire

199.1

204.1

2.5%

West Midlands

468.0

486.1

3.9%

West Yorkshire

328.2

339.2

3.3%

Mets Total

1945.4

2005.7

3.1%

London Forces

GLA - Police

1930.0

1978.3

2.5%

City of London

2

20.2

21.0

N/A

 

 

 

 

English Total

7466.9

7674.0

2.8%

 

 

 

 

Welsh forces

Dyfed-Powys

3

53.1

54.4

2.5%

Gwent

3

80.6

82.6

2.5%

North Wales

3

78.2

80.1

2.5%

South Wales

3

176.7

181.5

2.7%

Welsh total

388.6

398.6

2.6%

TOTAL

 

7855.5

8072.6

2.8%

Table 4: Police Grant Allocations by English and Welsh Police Authority 2009-10

Police Authority

2009/10

2010/11

Change on 2009-10

Formula Allocation1

Allocation1

Formula Allocation

£m

£m

%

English Shire forces

Avon & Somerset

179.7

186.1

3.5%

Bedfordshire

70.8

73.1

3.3%

Cambridgeshire

81.0

83.5

3.0%

Cheshire

120.5

123.5

2.5%

Cleveland

97.7

100.1

2.5%

Cumbria

67.2

68.9

2.5%

Derbyshire

112.6

116.2

3.1%

Devon & Cornwall

186.4

191.1

2.5%

Dorset

65.3

66.9

2.5%

Durham

91.4

93.7

2.5%

Essex

177.9

183.1

2.9%

Gloucestershire

59.3

60.8

2.5%

Hampshire

207.5

213.0

2.7%

Hertfordshire

121.2

124.9

3.0%

Humberside

128.4

131.8

2.6%

Kent

192.1

197.4

2.7%

Lancashire

204.1

209.7

2.7%

Leicestershire

118.0

121.4

2.9%

Lincolnshire

64.3

66.3

3.2%

Norfolk

87.6

89.8

2.5%

North Yorkshire

76.7

78.6

2.5%

Northamptonshire

75.5

77.5

2.7%

Nottinghamshire

141.4

146.0

3.3%

Staffordshire

120.6

123.8

2.7%

Suffolk

71.0

72.7

2.5%

Surrey

101.8

104.4

2.5%

Sussex

169.8

174.1

2.5%

Thames Valley

238.2

244.7

2.8%

Warwickshire

54.1

55.6

2.7%

West Mercia

121.8

124.9

2.5%

Wiltshire

65.2

66.8

2.5%

Shires Total

3669.0

3770.0

2.8%

English Metropolitan forces

Greater Manchester

458.9

472.5

3.0%

Merseyside

267.4

274.3

2.6%

Northumbria

249.9

256.2

2.5%

South Yorkshire

204.1

209.2

2.5%

West Midlands

486.1

504.3

3.8%

West Yorkshire

339.2

350.5

3.3%

Mets Total

2005.7

2067.1

3.1%

London Forces

GLA - Police

1978.3

2027.7

2.5%

City of London

2

21.0

21.8

N/A

 

 

 

 

English Total

7674.0

7886.6

2.8%

 

 

 

 

Welsh forces

Dyfed-Powys

3

54.4

55.8

2.5%

Gwent

3

82.6

84.7

2.5%

North Wales

3

80.1

82.1

2.5%

South Wales

3

181.5

186.4

2.7%

Welsh total

398.6

409.0

2.6%

TOTAL

 

8072.6

8295.7

2.8%

Notes to tables 2-4

1. Rounded to the nearest £100,000. Grant as calculated under the Local Government Finance Report (England) and Local Government Finance (No.2 – Provisional Settlement Police Authorities) Report (Wales). Table includes the effects of floors and scaling.

2. Figures for the City of London relate to Home Office Grant only as calculated in the Police Grant Report (England and Wales). Revenue Support Grant is allocated to the Common Council of the City of London as a whole in respect of all its functions. The City is grouped with education authorities for the purposes of floors.

3. Welsh figures include Home Office floor funding.

Table 5: Specific Grant Allocation 2008-09 to 2010-11

2007-08

£m

2008-09

£m

2009-10

£m

2010-11

£m

Crime Fighting Fund

277

277

277

277

Neighbourhood Policing Fund & Community Support Officers

315

324

332

341

Police Counter Terrorism

472

524

552

579

Basic Command Units

50

40

50*

50*

Initial Police Learning & Development Programme

16

16

16

16

Grand Total

1,130

1,181

1,227*

1,263*

+4.5%

+3.9%*

+2.9%*

* Consultation will take place on how best to use these funds to support local delivery of PSA targets and crime strategy

Police Officer Pay

On 16 November 2006, my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Security, Counter-terrorism, Crime and Policing announced a review of police pay arrangements led by Sir Clive Booth. The first part of Sir Clive Booth’s review looked at the arrangements for determining police officer pay in 2007. The second part considered the effectiveness of the current police pay machinery.

On 21 February this year my right hon. Friend published Sir Clive Booth’s report on part one of his review. His report “Fair Pay for Police Officers” contained recommendations for determining police officer pay for 2007, including that the police officer pay award for 2007 should be based on a new public sector-facing index. My right hon. Friend made clear in publishing Sir Clive Booth’s report that the method for determining police officer pay for 2007 would then be progressed through the Police Negotiating Board, before the Home Secretary took the final decision.

The Police Negotiating Board have considered the recommendations in Sir Clive Booth’s report and the police officer pay award for 2007. Unfortunately the board was not able to reach agreement and the matter was therefore considered by the Police Arbitration Tribunal (PAT). I received the Police Arbitration Tribunal’s recommendation for the police officer 2007 pay award on 29 November 2007.

The PAT recommendation was:

To increase the pay of all ranks of police officers covered by the three Standing Committees of the PNB by 2.5 per cent. with effect from 1 September 2007.

I have considered this recommendation very carefully. In doing so I have taken account of the tribunal’s findings and reasoning, the need to ensure value for money and the best use of resources, affordability and Government policy on public sector pay.

The tribunal’s recommendation for a 2.5 per cent. increase is based on a new index expanding that proposed by Sir Clive Booth. Having fully considered the PAT findings I accept the recommendation of the tribunal for an award of 2.5 per cent. However I have given very serious consideration to the implementation of this award and concluded that in the interests of affordability, and Government policy on public sector pay, the implementation of this award should be staged. This year’s police officer pay award will therefore be 2.5 per cent. with effect from 1 December 2007. Staging will mean that around £40 million extra will be available in 2007-08 to invest in the provision of policing services to the public.

The index suggested by the PAT for the 2007 award could inform discussion and negotiation of the police officer pay award for next year. However, I will continue to give careful consideration to any proposals from the police pay machinery on next year’s pay award. This consideration will include how any such award can make the best use of resources, affordability, the need to ensure consistency with Government policy on public sector pay and that the needs of the service and of the taxpayer and public are best served.

Sir Clive Booth has now provided his report on part two of his review “Determining Pay in the Police Service”.

I am grateful to Sir Clive Booth for undertaking the review. He has undertaken a wide-ranging consultation with interested parties including the Police Federation, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Association of Police Authorities, the Superintendents’ Association, the Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association, Unison and others. In his report on part two of his review, Sir Clive Booth recommends that: (i) a pay review body for police officers should be created; (ii) the pay of police officers and police staff should continue to be determined by separate mechanisms; (iii) the existing Police Staff Council machinery should be retained for the time being; and (iv) that chief officers are covered by the proposed pay review body for police officers, but if that is not created chief officers should become one of the groups covered by the Senior Salaries Review Body.

The Government welcomes Sir Clive Booth’s report and accepts that a pay review body for police officers, including chief officers, should be created, the pay of police officers and police staff should continue to be determined separately and that the Police Staff Council should be retained. We note that in due course unified officer and staff pay machinery may be considered, in particular as police workforce developments are progressed, but do not think that this is a practical proposition for the time being.

The Government will consult, in the near future, on proposals for implementing the necessary changes to the police pay machinery.

I have today placed a copy of Sir Clive Booth’s report in the Library of the House.

Counter-terrorism

We are today publishing further documents in relation to the forthcoming counter-terrorism Bill. We are publishing a letter I have sent today to the Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee setting out how the Government intend to legislate on pre-charge detention of terrorist suspects; a report by Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, on the proposals for the counter-terrorism Bill and a paper summarising the results of the public consultation on the proposals for the counter-terrorism Bill. Copies of all three documents are available in the Libraries of both Houses.

Justice

Corston Report

I am today publishing a Command Paper—“The Government’s Response to the Report by Baroness Corston of a Review of Women with Particular Vulnerabilities in the Criminal Justice System” (Cm 7261). Copies are available on the official documents website at:

www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm72/7261/7261.asp

First, the paper indicates how the Government are responding to the 43 recommendations made by my right hon. and noble Friend Baroness Corston in her report. I am delighted that it has been possible to accept almost all of the recommendations.

Secondly, it gives a commitment to produce a detailed delivery plan within the next six months that will provide the mechanism by which all of the commitments identified in the response will be implemented. This will be driven forward by establishing a new cross-departmental Criminal Justice Women’s Unit based in the Ministry of Justice.

I am very grateful to my right hon. and noble Friend for the report which provides a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the many and complex issues affecting women offenders and women at risk of offending. The Government agree that more needs to be done to address these issues and to tackle problems at an earlier stage—in the community in particular. The duty of Government is to protect the public but it is right that we continue to look at how the penal system treats women, and importantly to look at what is most effective in preventing reoffending.

My right hon. and noble Friend considered that the key to success was the need for high level governance and better mechanisms for cross-departmental working. I am therefore very pleased that we are able to set out in the Government response the action that will be taken to improve governance arrangements. The inter-ministerial group on reducing reoffending will provide the governance for this work, we will establish a cross-departmental Criminal Justice Women’s Unit within the Ministry of Justice, and we have identified a ministerial champion—the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice, my hon. Friend the Member for Liverpool, Garston (Maria Eagle)—who will have responsibility for taking forward this work.

The response also sets out a number of ways in which services for women in the criminal justice system will be developed.

I would like to thank my ministerial colleagues and officials in their departments who have contributed to the development of this response. I look forward to working with them, and our non-Government stakeholders, in taking forward these commitments together. I am determined to make sure that more is done to ensure that we have in the 21st century a system that is properly responsive to the needs and characteristics of women.

Transport

A303 Stonehenge

Making best use of taxpayers’ money is essential in the allocation of funding to transport schemes. With that in mind the Government announced in 2005 that it planned to commission a review of options for the A303 Stonehenge improvement after a substantial increase in the estimated cost of the proposed 2.1 km bored tunnel scheme. The approved budget for the scheme when it was taken to public inquiry in 2004 was £223 million. The latest reported cost estimate is £540 million which reflects a number of factors including unexpectedly poor ground conditions, more stringent requirements for tunnelling work and rapid inflation in construction costs.

The review identified a shortlist of possible options, including routes to the north and south of Stonehenge. After careful consideration we have now concluded that due to significant environmental constraints across the whole of the world heritage site, there are no acceptable alternatives to the 2.1 km bored tunnel scheme. However, when set against our wider objectives and priorities, we have concluded that allocating more than £500 million for the implementation of this scheme cannot be justified and would not represent best use of taxpayers’ money. I am today placing the final report of the review on the Department’s website.

I am therefore today withdrawing all the draft Orders which were considered at the public inquiry and I have instructed the Highways Agency to withdraw route protection for the complete scheme including the proposed bypass of Winterbourne Stoke.

The Government recognise the importance of the A303 Stonehenge improvement scheme and that today’s announcement will come as a considerable disappointment for the scheme’s supporters. The Highways Agency will investigate possible small-scale improvements to the A303 as part of their overall stewardship of route. The Department also plans to discuss with the south-west region the implications of this decision for the wider strategy for improving the A303-A358 corridor to the M5 at Taunton.

In addition, the Department will work with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and English Heritage on their plans to take forward in consultation with other stakeholders a review of the world heritage site management plan and to consider alternative options for the development of new visitor facilities at Stonehenge in the light of our decision on the A303 improvement. This further work will include examination of the case for closing the junction of the A344 with the A303 as part of the investigation of options for improving the setting of Stonehenge, taking into account the wider heritage and environmental needs, to which the Government remain committed, for this iconic world heritage site. The decision will be subject to a detailed assessment and public consultation, but we recognise the importance of this issue to the sustainability of the world heritage site.

The Government remain committed to working with stakeholders in investigating options for improving the environment of Stonehenge, including new visitor facilities, and exploring possible small-scale measures to improve traffic flows and safety along this section of the A303.

EU Transport Council

The Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council took place in Brussels on 29 November-3 December, I attended the first two days, as Europe Minister in the Department for Transport. The Portuguese Minister for Public Works, Transport, and Communications, Mr Mario Lino, was in the chair.

The Council agreed conclusions on the Galileo satellite navigation programme. The conclusions define the general principles covering governance and public sector procurement for the programme. The Transport Council conclusions place a €3.4 billion cap on costs in this financial perspective. The European Commission is identified as the overall programme manager, to be advised by member states. An independent project management team will also review progress and advise the Commission. The conclusions also emphasise the importance of competition in the supply chain, including multiple simultaneous procurement streams. The UK minutes statement, supported by Sweden, stresses the need for review by independent experts at key decision points, including when finalising the contract between the Commission and the European Space Agency for the procurement of the system, at the end of the current In-Orbit Validation phase (in 2010), and once quotes have been received from industry for the deployment phase, as well as regular review of costs, risks and likely revenues from the services to be offered by Galileo.

The Council agreed conclusions on the Commission’s action plan on Freight Transport Logistics. The action plan, published in October as part of a non-legislative “freight package”, identifies 35 short and medium-term actions for the promotion of a more efficient freight sector. In general, we support the Commission’s objective of an efficient freight transport logistics industry which will promote long-term growth and at the same time address issues such as congestion, noise, pollution and CO2 emissions. We support the Commission’s approach in facilitating discussions with industry to provide benchmarking and best practice information for logistics providers.

There was a policy debate on progress made on the renewed EU sustainable development strategy adopted by the European Council in June 2006. On the basis of this debate and another conducted in the Environment Council on 30 October, the presidency will prepare input to the conclusions of the December European Council. In the field of transport, the Commission concentrated on its initiatives on the internalisation of external costs, intelligent transport systems and the freight logistics action plan. A communication drawing lessons from these is planned for June 2008. I drew the Council’s attention to the UK’s new sustainable transport strategy, emphasising that transport has to be at the heart of economic planning and social policy, and make a contribution to public health and social inclusion.

The Council reached a political agreement on three legislative proposals in maritime transport. The first is a regulation on the liability of carriers of passengers by sea and inland waterways in the event of accidents, incorporating the main provisions of the Athens Convention 2002 into EC law. (The Athens Convention provides for compensation for death or injury or loss due to an accident at sea.) The agreed text of the regulation is acceptable to the UK. Shortly before the Council, the draft recast directive amending existing directives governing the activities of ship inspection and survey organisations (classification societies), was divided into a directive and a regulation, as had been requested by a number of member states, including the UK. The new directive contains the provisions directed at member states, and the regulation contains the provisions directly applicable to recognized organisations (“ROs”, the classification societies approved to work in the EU). The regulation will give the Commission the power to levy fines on ROs for non-compliance, after consulting member states. The Commission and the Council issued a joint statement on their intention to see similar rules applied at international level. The agreed texts of the directive and the regulation are acceptable to the UK.

Under other business, the Commission presented its recent communication on ports policy. The Commission also proposed that the current Commission observer to the International Maritime Organisation be replaced by a community observer. The Commission would like the Council to take a decision on this in April. I was among Ministers who stated their preference for a decision to be made in the light of a more general review of the community’s role in international organisations, planned for 2009.

The Council reached a general approach on a directive on airport charges, which aims to set common principles for the levying of charges for aircraft landing and take-off and the handling of passengers at community airports. The threshold for application of the directive in the compromise text is 5 million passengers per year or the largest airport in a member state which has none reaching that figure. The agreed text was acceptable to the UK. It is more proportionate than the initial proposal and enables current UK economic regulation practices to continue.

The Council reached a political agreement on a recast regulation on common rules for the operation of air transport services in the community (the “third package review”) This regulation consolidates three existing regulations of 1992, which established the aviation single market. The proposal seeks to update the 1992 regulations in the light of experience of the single market. It closes certain loopholes and ensures clarity and consistent application of the common rules across all member states. The agreed text is acceptable to the UK.

Two issues of aviation external relations were on the agenda. The Council adopted decisions giving the Commission mandates to negotiate with Jordan on a comprehensive aviation agreement, and with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) on an agreement regarding aviation security audits and inspections and related matters. The principal aim of the latter is to reduce duplication of audits. Both mandates are acceptable to the UK.

In road transport, there were progress reports on two proposals: a recast regulation on common rules for access to the international road haulage market; and a regulation on common rules concerning the conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator. Some key issues remain to be resolved: on the former proposal, the rules for access to domestic haulage markets (“cabotage”), and on the latter, the establishment of, and access to, national registers of operators.

The Council reached political agreement on two rail transport proposals. These are: a directive amending the 2004 directive on rail safety; and a directive amending the 2004 directive which established the European Rail Agency. The two texts are acceptable to the UK.

The directive on interoperability of the Community rail system was withdrawn from the Council agenda, as the presidency and the European Parliament are likely to move towards a First Reading agreement on adoption of the proposal. This is acceptable to the UK. The EP vote on the Directive has been postponed until the December plenary.

National Bus Concessionary Fares

I have today made details available of our proposed distribution of special grant funding to local authorities to meet the additional costs of the new statutory minimum bus concession.

Around 11 million older and disabled people will gain better access to vital services and leisure opportunities from 1 April 2008 when the statutory bus concession is extended to free off-peak local bus travel anywhere in England. By removing the issue of local authority boundaries as a barrier to free bus travel no older or disabled person in England need be prevented from bus travel by cost alone and this represents a major step forward in tackling in social inclusion for some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Additional funding of £212 million will be provided by special grant for the period 2008-09 followed by £217 million for 2009-10 and £223 million for 2010-11. This is in addition to the funding that Government provides each year, through the formula grant process, for the existing statutory minimum concession of free off-peak local bus travel. Government are confident this additional funding is sufficient to meet the total cost to local authorities.

A full breakdown of the amounts for each authority will be available on the DfT and CLG websites shortly. The distribution reflects responses received to our consultation on the special grant which closed on 23 November. We will publish a summary of responses shortly. The grant will be paid under section 88B of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and a full report will therefore be laid before the House in due course.

Work and Pensions

Benefit Uprating

The proposed rates of benefit for 2008 are set out in the table attached. The annual up-rating of benefits will take place for State Pension and most other benefits in the first full week of the tax year. In 2008, this will be the week beginning 7 April. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland proposes to introduce similar changes for Northern Ireland.

RATESRATES

(Weekly rates unless otherwise shown)

2007

2008

 

 

 

ATTENDANCE ALLOWANCE

higher rate

64.50

67.00

lower rate

43.15

44.85

CARER'S ALLOWANCE

48.65

50.55

COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT

Personal allowances

single

- 18 to 24

46.85

47.95

- 25 or over

59.15

60.50

lone parent - 18 or over

59.15

60.50

couple - one or both 18 or over

92.80

94.95

dependent children

47.45

52.59

pensioner

- single / lone parent - 60 - 64

119.05

124.05

- couple - one or both 60 - 64

181.70

189.35

- single / lone parent - 65 and over

138.10

143.80

- couple - one or both 65 and over

207.00

215.50

Premiums

family

16.43

16.75

family (lone parent rate)

22.20

22.20

child under 1

10.50

10.50

pensioner

- single

59.90

63.55

- couple

88.90

94.40

(all pensioner premiums (including ‘higher’ and ‘enhanced’) were equalised from April 2001)

disability

- single

25.25

25.85

- couple

36.00

36.85

- enhanced disability premium - single rate

12.30

12.60

- disabled child rate

18.76

19.60

- couple rate

17.75

18.15

severe disability

- single

48.45

50.35

- couple (lower rate)

48.45

50.35

- couple (higher rate)

96.90

100.70

disabled child

46.69

48.72

carer

27.15

27.75

Non-dependant deductions

aged 18 or over and in remunerative work

- gross income: £369.00 or more

6.95

6.95

- gross income: £296 - £368.99

5.80

5.80

- gross income: £172 - £295.99

4.60

4.60

- gross income less than £172.00

2.30

2.30

others aged 18 or over

2.30

2.30

Alternative maximum Council Tax Benefit

- second adult on IS, JSA(IB) or Pension Credit

25% of Council Tax

25% of Council Tax

- first adult(s) student(s)

100% of Council Tax

100% of Council Tax

- second adult's gross income :

- under £169.00

15% of Council Tax

15% of Council Tax

- £169.00 to £219.99

7.5% of Council Tax

7.5% of Council Tax

Capital

upper limit

16000.00

16000.00

amount disregarded

6000.00

6000.00

upper limit (claimant/partner 60 or over)

16000.00

16000.00

upper limit (entitled to Pension Credit guarantee credit)

No limit

No limit

child disregard

3000.00

3000.00

upper limit (living in a care home)

16000.00

16000.00

amount disregarded (living in a care home)

10000.00

10000.00

Tariff income - £1 for each £250 (or part of) between amount of capital disregarded and capital upper limit

Tariff income (claimant/partner 60 or over) - £1 for each £500 (or part of) between amount of capital disregard and capital upper limit

Earnings disregards

where disability premium awarded

20.00

20.00

various specified employments

20.00

20.00

lone parent

25.00

25.00

where the claimant has a partner

10.00

10.00

single claimant

5.00

5.00

where carer premium awarded

20.00

20.00

childcare charges

175.00

175.00

childcare charges (2 or more children)

300.00

300.00

Other income disregards

maintenance disregard

15.00

15.00

war disablement pension and war widow’s pension

10.00

10.00

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

10.00

10.00

student loan

10.00

10.00

student's covenanted income

5.00

5.00

income from boarders : fixed amount (£20) plus 50% of the balance of that income

20.00

20.00

additional earnings disregard

15.45

16.05

Expenses for subtenants (£20 fixed from April 08)

furnished or unfurnished

4.00

20.00

where heating is included, additional

15.45

DEPENDENCY INCREASES

Adult Dependency Increases for spouse or person looking after children with;

state pension on own insurance,

52.30

54.35

long term incapacity benefit; unemployability supplement

48.65

50.55

severe disablement allowance

29.25

30.40

carers allowance

29.05

30.20

short-term incapacity benefit (over state pension age)

46.80

48.65

maternity allowance/short-term incapacity benefit

37.90

39.40

Child Dependency Increases payable with;

state pension, widowed mothers/parents allowance,

short-term incapacity benefit (higher rate); long term incapacity benefit; carers allowance; severe disablement allowance; higher rate industrial death benefit; unemployability supplement; short-term incapacity benefit (over state pension age)

11.35

11.35

Note - The rate of child dependency increase is adjusted where it is payable for the eldest child for whom child benefit (ChB) is also paid. The weekly rate in such cases is reduced by the difference (less £3.65) between the ChB rates for the eldest and subsequent children.

DISABILITY LIVING ALLOWANCE

Care Component

Highest

64.50

67.00

Middle

43.15

44.85

Lowest

17.10

17.75

Mobility Component

Higher

45.00

46.75

Lower

17.10

17.75

EARNINGS RULES

Carers Allowance

87.00

95.00

Limit of earnings from councillor's allowance

86.00

88.50

Permitted work earnings limit - higher

86.00

88.50

- lower

20.00

20.00

Industrial injuries unemployability supplement permitted earnings level (annual amount)

4472.00

4602.00

Adult dependency increases with;

short-term incapacity benefit where claimant is

- under state pension age

37.90

39.40

- over state pension age

46.80

48.65

maternity allowance

37.90

39.40

state pension; long-term incapacity benefit; severe disablement allowance; unemployability supplement where dependant

- is living with claimant

59.15

60.50

- still qualifies for the tapered earnings rule

45.09

45.09

state pension,

52.30

54.35

long-term incapacity benefit and unemployability supplement where dependant not living with claimant

48.65

50.55

severe disablement allowance where dependant not living with claimant

29.25

30.40

carers allowance

29.05

30.20

Child dependency increases - level at which increase is affected by earnings of the spouse or civil partner

- for first child

180.00

185.00

- additional amount for each subsequent child

24.00

25.00

Pension income threshold for incapacity benefit

85.00

85.00

HOUSING BENEFIT

Personal allowances

single

16 to 24

46.85

47.95

25 or over

59.15

60.50

lone parent

under 18

46.85

47.95

18 or over

59.15

60.50

couple

both under 18

70.70

72.35

one or both 18 or over

92.80

94.95

dependent children

47.45

52.59

pensioner

- single / lone parent - 60 - 64

119.05

124.05

- couple - one or both 60 - 64

181.70

189.35

- single / lone parent - 65 and over

138.10

143.80

- couple - one or both 65 and over

207.00

215.50

Premiums

family

16.43

16.75

family (lone parent rate)

22.20

22.20

child under 1

10.50

10.50

pensioner

single

59.90

63.55

couple

88.90

94.40

(all pensioner premiums (including ‘higher’ and ‘enhanced’) were equalised from April 2001)

disability

- single

25.25

25.85

- couple

36.00

36.85

- enhanced disability premium - single rate

12.30

12.60

- disabled child rate

18.76

19.60

- couple rate

17.75

18.15

severe disability

- single

48.45

50.35

- couple (lower rate)

48.45

50.35

- couple (higher rate)

96.90

100.70

disabled child

46.69

48.72

carer

27.15

27.75

Non-dependant deductions from rent rebates and allowances;

aged 25 and over in receipt of Income Support or income based Jobseeker’s Allowance; aged 18 or over, not in remunerative work

7.40

7.40

aged 18 or over and in remunerative work

- gross income: less than £116.00

7.40

7.40

- gross income: £116 to £171.99

17.00

17.00

- gross income: £172 to £222.99

23.35

23.35

- gross income: £223 to £295.99

38.20

38.20

- gross income: £296 to £368.99

43.50

43.50

- gross income: £369.00 and above

47.75

47.75

Service charges for fuel

heating

15.45

15.45

hot water

1.80

1.80

lighting

1.25

1.25

cooking

1.80

1.80

Amount ineligible for meals;

three or more meals a day

- single claimant

21.10

21.60

- each person in family aged 16 or over

21.10

21.60

- each child under 16

10.65

10.90

less than three meals a day

- single claimant

14.05

14.35

- each person in family aged 16 or over

14.05

14.35

- each child under 16

7.05

7.20

breakfast only - claimant and each member of family

2.60

2.65

Capital

upper limit

16000.00

16000.00

amount disregarded

6000.00

6000.00

upper limit (claimant/partner 60 or over)

16000.00

16000.00

upper limit (entitled to Pension Credit guarantee credit)

No limit

No limit

child disregard

3000.00

3000.00

upper limit (living in a care home)

16000.00

16000.00

amount disregarded (living in a care home)

10000.00

10000.00

Tariff income - £1 for each £250 (or part of) between amount of capital disregarded and capital upper limit

Tariff income (claimant/partner 60 or over) - £1 for each £500 (or part of) between amount of capital disregard and capital upper limit

Earnings disregards

where disability premium awarded

20.00

20.00

various specified employments

20.00

20.00

lone parent

25.00

25.00

where the claimant has a partner

10.00

10.00

single claimant

5.00

5.00

Where carer premium awarded

20.00

20.00

childcare charges

175.00

175.00

childcare charges (2 or more children)

300.00

300.00

Other income disregards

maintenance disregard

15.00

15.00

war disablement pension and war widow's pension

10.00

10.00

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

10.00

10.00

student loan

10.00

10.00

student's covenanted income

5.00

5.00

income from boarders : fixed amount (£20) plus 50% of the balance of that income

20.00

20.00

additional earnings disregard

15.45

16.05

Expenses for subtenants (£20 fixed from April 08)

furnished or unfurnished

4.00

20.00

where heating is included, additional

15.45

Maximum rates for recovery of overpayments

ordinary overpayments

9.00

9.15

where claimant convicted of fraud

12.00

12.00

INCAPACITY BENEFIT

Long-term Incapacity Benefit

81.35

84.50

Short-term Incapacity Benefit (under state pension age)

lower rate

61.35

63.75

higher rate

72.55

75.40

Short-term Incapacity Benefit (over state pension age)

lower rate

78.05

81.10

higher rate

81.35

84.50

Increase of long-term Incapacity Benefit for age

higher rate

17.10

17.75

lower rate

8.55

8.90

Invalidity Allowance (Transitional)

higher rate

17.10

17.75

middle rate

11.00

11.40

lower rate

5.50

5.70

INCOME SUPPORT

Personal Allowances

single

under 18 - usual rate

35.65

47.95

under 18 - higher rate payable in specific circumstances

46.85

47.95

18 to 24

46.85

47.95

25 or over

59.15

60.50

lone parent

under 18 - usual rate

35.65

47.95

under 18 - higher rate payable in specific circumstances

46.85

47.95

18 or over

59.15

60.50

couple

both under 18

35.65

47.95

both under 18 - one disabled

46.85

47.95

both under 18 - with responsibility for a child

70.70

72.35

one under 18, one 18-24

46.85

47.95

one under 18, one 25+

59.15

60.50

both 18 or over

92.80

94.95

dependent children

47.45

52.59

Premiums

family

16.43

16.75

family (lone parent rate)

16.43

16.75

pensioner

couple

88.90

94.40

(all pensioner premiums (including ‘higher’ and ‘enhanced’) were equalised from April 2001)

disability

- single

25.25

25.85

- couple

36.00

36.85

- enhanced disability premium - single rate

12.30

12.60

- disabled child rate

18.76

19.60

- couple rate

17.75

18.15

severe disability

- single

48.45

50.35

- couple (lower rate)

48.45

50.35

- couple (higher rate)

96.90

100.70

disabled child

46.69

48.72

carer

27.15

27.75

Housing cost deductions for non-dependants

aged 25 and over in receipt of Income Support or income based Jobseeker’s Allowance; aged 18 or over not in work.

7.40

7.40

aged 18 or over and in remunerative work

- gross income: less than £116.00

7.40

7.40

- gross income: £116 to £171.99

17.00

17.00

- gross income: £172 to £222.99

23.35

23.35

- gross income: £223 to £295.99

38.20

38.20

- gross income: £296 to £368.99

43.50

43.50

- gross income: £369.00 and above

47.75

47.75

Deduction for third party payments – arrears of housing, fuel, water charges, council tax etc. and deductions for the Eligible Loan Deduction Scheme and Integration Loan Scheme.

3.00

3.05

Deduction for child support, contribution towards maintenance (CTM)

standard deduction

6.00

6.10

lower deduction

3.00

3.05

Arrears of Community Charge

court order against claimant

3.00

3.05

court order against couple

4.65

4.75

Third party deductions – amount for personal expenses.

20.45

21.15

Third party deduction for fine or compensation order

standard rate

5.00

5.00

lower rate

3.00

3.05

Maximum rates for recovery of overpayments

ordinary overpayments

9.00

9.15

where claimant convicted of fraud

12.00

12.00

Relevant sum for strikers

32.00

32.50

Capital

upper limit

16000.00

16000.00

amount disregarded

6000.00

6000.00

amount disregarded (living in a care home)

10000.00

10000.00

child's disregard limit

3000.00

3000.00

Tariff income - £1 for each £250 (or part of) between amount of capital disregarded and capital upper limit.

Disregards

standard earnings

5.00

5.00

couples earnings

10.00

10.00

higher earnings

20.00

20.00

war disablement pension and war widow's pension

10.00

10.00

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

10.00

10.00

student loan

10.00

10.00

student's covenanted income

5.00

5.00

income from boarders : fixed amount (£20) plus 50% of the balance of that income

20.00

20.00

Expenses for subtenants (£20 fixed from April 08)

furnished or unfurnished

4.00

20.00

where heating is included, additional

15.45

INDUSTRIAL DEATH BENEFIT

Widows pension

higher rate

87.30

90.70

lower rate

26.19

27.21

Widowers pension

87.30

90.70

INDUSTRIAL INJURIES DISABLEMENT BENEFIT

18 and over, or under 18 with dependants

100%

131.70

136.80

90%

118.53

123.12

80%

105.36

109.44

70%

92.19

95.76

60%

79.02

82.08

50%

65.85

68.40

40%

52.68

54.72

30%

39.51

41.04

20%

26.34

27.36

Under 18

100%

80.70

83.85

90%

72.63

75.47

80%

64.56

67.08

70%

56.49

58.70

60%

48.42

50.31

50%

40.35

41.93

40%

32.28

33.54

30%

24.21

25.16

20%

16.14

16.77

Maximum life gratuity (lump sum)

8750.00

9090.00

Unemployability Supplement

81.35

84.50

increase for early incapacity

- higher rate

17.10

17.75

- middle rate

11.00

11.40

- lower rate

5.50

5.70

Maximum reduced earnings allowance

52.68

54.72

Maximum retirement allowance

13.17

13.68

Constant attendance allowance

exceptional rate

105.40

109.60

intermediate rate

79.05

82.20

normal maximum rate

52.70

54.80

part-time rate

26.35

27.40

Exceptionally severe disablement allowance

52.70

54.80

JOBSEEKER'S ALLOWANCE

Contribution based Jobseeker’s Allowance - personal rates

under 18

35.65

47.95

18 to 24

46.85

47.95

25 or over

59.15

60.50

Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance - personal allowances

under 18

35.65

47.95

18 to 24

46.85

47.95

25 or over

59.15

60.50

lone parent

under 18 - usual rate

35.65

47.95

under 18 - where higher rate payable

46.85

47.95

18 or over

59.15

60.50

couple

both under 18

35.65

47.95

both under 18 - one disabled

46.85

47.95

both under 18 - where higher rate payable

70.70

72.35

one under 18 and other 18-24

46.85

47.95

one under 18 and other 25 +

59.15

60.50

both 18 or over

92.80

94.95

dependent children

47.45

52.59

Premiums

family

16.43

16.75

family (lone parent rate)

16.43

16.75

pensioner

single

59.90

63.55

couple

88.90

94.40

(all pensioner premiums (including ‘higher’ and ‘enhanced’) were equalised from April 2001)

disability

- single

25.25

25.85

- couple

36.00

36.85

- enhanced disability premium - single rate

12.30

12.60

- disabled child rate

18.76

19.60

- couple rate

17.75

18.15

severe disability

- single

48.45

50.35

- couple (lower rate)

48.45

50.35

- couple (higher rate)

96.90

100.70

disabled child

46.69

48.72

carer

27.15

27.75

Housing cost deductions for non-dependants

aged 25 and over, in receipt of Income Support or income based Jobseeker’s Allowance; aged 18 or over, not in remunerative work.

7.40

7.40

aged 18 or over and in remunerative work

- gross income: less than £116.00

7.40

7.40

- gross income: £116 to £171.99

17.00

17.00

- gross income: £172 to £222.99

23.35

23.35

- gross income: £223 to £295.99

38.20

38.20

- gross income: £296 to £368.99

43.50

43.50

- gross income: £369.00 and above

47.75

47.75

Deduction for third party payments

from income based Jobseeker’s Allowance for

- arrears of housing, fuel, water charges, council tax etc. and deductions for the Eligible Loan Deduction Scheme and Integration Loan Scheme.

3.00

3.05

- child support, contribution towards maintenance (CTM)

standard deduction

6.00

6.10

lower deduction

3.00

3.05

- arrears of Community Charge

court order against claimant

3.00

3.05

court order against couple

4.65

4.75

- third party deduction amount for personal expenses

20.45

21.15

from contribution based Jobseeker’s Allowance for

- arrears of Community Charge, Council Tax, fines and overpayment recovery

Age 16 - 17

11.88

15.98

Age 18 - 24

15.61

15.98

Age 25 +

19.71

20.16

- maximum deduction for arrears of Child Maintenance (CTM)

Age 16 - 17

11.88

15.98

Age 18 - 24

15.61

15.98

Age 25 +

19.71

20.16

- third party deduction for fine or compensation order

standard rate

5.00

5.00

lower rate

3.00

3.05

Maximum rates for recovery of overpayments in income based Jobseeker’s Allowance

ordinary overpayments

9.00

9.15

where claimant convicted of fraud

12.00

12.00

Prescribed sum for strikers

32.00

32.50

Capital

upper limit

16000.00

16000.00

amount disregarded

6000.00

6000.00

Amount disregarded (living in a care home)

10000.00

10000.00

child's limit

3000.00

3000.00

Tariff income - £1 for each £250 (or part of) between amount of capital disregarded and capital upper limit.

Disregards

standard earnings

5.00

5.00

couples earnings

10.00

10.00

higher earnings

20.00

20.00

war disablement pension and war widow's pension

10.00

10.00

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

10.00

10.00

student loan

10.00

10.00

student's covenanted income

5.00

5.00

income from boarders : fixed amount (£20)

plus 50% of the balance of that income.

20.00

20.00

Expenses for subtenants (£20 fixed from April 08)

furnished or unfurnished

4.00

20.00

where heating is included, additional

15.45

MATERNITY ALLOWANCE

Standard rate

112.75

117.18

MA threshold

30.00

30.00

PENSION CREDIT

Standard minimum guarantee

single

119.05

124.05

couple

181.70

189.35

Additional amount for severe disability

single

48.45

50.35

couple (one qualifies)

48.45

50.35

couple (both qualify)

96.90

100.70

Additional amount for carers

27.15

27.75

Savings credit

threshold - single

87.30

91.20

threshold - couple

139.60

145.80

maximum - single

19.05

19.71

maximum - couple

25.26

26.13

Capital

Amount disregard

6000.00

6000.00

Amount disregard - care homes

10000.00

10000.00

Deemed income - £1 for each £500 (or part of) in excess of the amount disregarded

Housing cost deductions for non-dependants

aged 25 and over in receipt of Income Support or income based Jobseeker’s Allowance; aged 18 or over not in work.

7.40

7.40

aged 18 or over and in remunerative work

- gross income: less than £116.00

7.40

7.40

- gross income: £116 to £171.99

17.00

17.00

- gross income: £172 to £222.99

23.35

23.35

- gross income: £223 to £295.99

38.20

38.20

- gross income: £296 to £368.99

43.50

43.50

- gross income: £369.00 and above

47.75

47.75

Amount for claimant and first spouse in polygamous marriage

181.70

189.35

amount for additional spouse

62.65

65.30

Disregards

standard earnings

5.00

5.00

couples earnings

10.00

10.00

higher earnings

20.00

20.00

War disablement pension and War widows pension

10.00

10.00

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

10.00

10.00

Widowed Parent's Allowance

10.00

10.00

Income from subtenants

20.00

20.00

income from boarders : fixed amount (£20) plus 50% of the balance of that income

20.00

20.00

Deduction for third party payments – arrears of housing, fuel, water charges, council tax etc. and deductions for the Eligible Loan Deduction Scheme and Integration Loan Scheme.

3.00

3.05

Deduction for child support, contribution towards maintenance (CTM)

standard deduction

6.00

6.10

lower deduction

3.00

3.05

Arrears of Community Charge

court order against claimant

3.00

3.05

court order against couple

4.65

4.75

Third party deductions – amount for personal expenses.

20.45

21.15

Third party deduction for fine or compensation order

standard rate

5.00

5.00

lower rate

3.00

3.05

Maximum rates for recovery of overpayments

ordinary overpayments

9.00

9.15

where claimant convicted of fraud

12.00

12.00

PNEUMOCONIOSIS, BYSSINOSIS, AND MISCELLANEOUS DISEASES SCHEME AND THE WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION (SUPPLEMENTATION) . Total disablement allowance and major incapacity allowance (maximum)

131.70

136.80

Partial disablement allowance

48.65

50.55

Unemployability supplement

81.35

84.50

appropriate increases for early incapacity

- higher rate

17.10

17.75

- middle rate

11.00

11.40

- lower rate

5.50

5.70

Constant attendance allowance

exceptional rate

105.40

109.60

intermediate rate

79.05

82.20

normal maximum rate

52.70

54.80

part-time rate

26.35

27.40

Exceptionally severe disablement allowance

52.70

54.80

Lesser incapacity allowance

maximum rate of allowance

48.65

50.55

based on loss of earnings over

64.50

67.00

STATE PENSION

Category A or B

87.30

90.70

Category B(lower) - husband's insurance

52.30

54.35

Category C or D - non-contributory

52.30

54.35

Category C(lower) - non-contributory

31.30

32.50

Additional pension

Increase by 3.9%

Increments to:-

Increase by:

- Basic pension

3.9%

- Additional pension

3.9%

- Graduated Retirement Benefit (GRB)

3.9%

- Inheritable lump sum

3.9%

Contracted-out deduction from Additional Pension in respect of pre-April 1988 contracted-out earnings

Nil

Contracted-out Deduction from Additional Pension in respect of contracted-out earnings from April 1988 to 1997

3.0%

Graduated Retirement Benefit (unit)

0.1057

0.1098

Graduated Retirement Benefit (Inherited)

Increase by 3.9%

Addition at age 80

0.25

0.25

SEVERE DISABLEMENT ALLOWANCE

Basic rate

49.15

51.05

Age-related addition (from Dec 90)

Higher rate

17.10

17.75

Middle rate

11.00

11.40

Lower rate

5.50

5.70

STATUTORY ADOPTION PAY

Earnings threshold

87.00

90.00

Standard Rate

112.75

117.18

STATUTORY MATERNITY PAY

Earnings threshold

87.00

90.00

Standard rate

112.75

117.18

STATUTORY PATERNITY PAY

Earnings threshold

87.00

90.00

Standard Rate

112.75

117.18

STATUTORY SICK PAY

Earnings threshold

87.00

90.00

Standard rate

72.55

75.40

WIDOW'S BENEFIT

Widowed mother's allowance

87.30

90.70

Widow's pension

standard rate

87.30

90.70

age-related

age 54 (49)

81.19

84.35

53 (48)

75.08

78.00

52 (47)

68.97

71.65

51 (46)

62.86

65.30

50 (45)

56.75

58.96

49 (44)

50.63

52.61

48 (43)

44.52

46.26

47 (42)

38.41

39.91

46 (41)

32.30

33.56

45 (40)

26.19

27.21

Note: For deaths occurring before 11 April 1988 refer to age-points shown in brackets

BEREAVEMENT BENEFIT

Bereavement payment (lump sum)

2000.00

2000.00

Widowed parent's allowance

87.30

90.70

Bereavement Allowance

standard rate

87.30

90.70

age-related

age 54

81.19

84.35

53

75.08

78.00

52

68.97

71.65

51

62.86

65.30

50

56.75

58.96

49

50.63

52.61

48

44.52

46.26

47

38.41

39.91

46

32.30

33.56

45

26.19

27.21