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Written Statements

Volume 519: debated on Wednesday 24 November 2010

Written Ministerial Statements

Wednesday 24 November 2010

Business, Innovation and Skills

EU Competitiveness Council (Pre-Council Statement)

The EU Competitiveness Council will take place in Brussels. Andy Lebrecht, the UK’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the EU will represent the UK on industry issues on 25 November and I shall represent UK research issues on 26 November.

Industry agenda items will be Commission presentations and discussions on the Europe 2020 flagship initiatives “An Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era” and “Innovation Union”; a lunchtime ministerial discussion on the Small Business Act; and European space policy. Research items will comprise adoption of Council conclusions on “Innovation Union”, a progress report on the European research area, and the budgetary position of ITER.

There will be five items taken under any other business for which BIS will be responsible:

(a) Commission presentation of the strategy for clean and energy efficient vehicles;

(b) Joint declaration for electric mobility in Europe;

(c) Commission information concerning space policy from its communication “An Integrated Industrial Policy for the Globalisation Era”;

(d) Commission and presidency information on the European and developing countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP);

(e) Information on research conferences organised by the presidency.

The Government’s main aims will be:

To outline UK priorities for a new EU industrial policy, particularly the importance of open and competitive markets.

To show broad support for the approach adopted for the Innovation Union, but express caution over clarity of the initiative in areas such as political commitments to EU spending beyond 2014 and Commission proposals to develop a European knowledge market for patents and licensing.

To approve agenda for the Space Council and adopt the resolution entitled “Global challenges: taking full benefit of European space systems”.

To express strong support for the Small Business Act, and endorse SME enterprise and competitiveness as vital tools to a sustainable European recovery, economic growth and employment.

Regard European research area items as generally uncontentious for the UK, but express some concern about the Strategic Framework For International S and T co-operation as much of this lies within national competence and there is also limited commitment by most other member states.

To ensure UK views on project management and budget issues are made clear on budgetary issues relating to ITER.

Treasury

Financial Regulation (Consultation Responses)

The Government have today published a summary of responses to their consultation document, “A new approach to financial regulation: judgment, focus and stability”.

This document, published on 26 July 2010, set out the Government’s plans for fundamental reform of the UK’s financial regulatory framework, providing the Bank of England with control of macro-prudential regulation and oversight of micro-prudential regulation. The Government will legislate to create:

a Financial Policy Committee in the Bank of England;

a new Prudential Regulation Authority, as a subsidiary of the Bank; and

an independent consumer protection and markets authority (CPMA).

In addition to a summary of consultation responses, this document confirms the Government’s decisions, that:

the UK Listing Authority will remain within the CPMA’s markets division; and

the FSA’s criminal enforcement powers in relation to market conduct will be retained within the CPMA at this time.

The document also sets out the Government’s preliminary conclusions on key themes raised by respondents to the consultation.

The Government will present more detailed policy and legislative proposals, for further consultation early in 2011. The Government intend to introduce legislation to implement their proposals in mid-2011 and the passage of legislation is expected to take around a year. The new regulatory framework is anticipated to be in place by the end of 2012.

Copies of “A new approach to financial regulation: summary of consultation responses” have been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and published on the HM Treasury website.

Communities and Local Government

Business Rates

This Government are clear that helping small shops and businesses grow is a crucial part of rebalancing and rebuilding the economy. We are committed to providing businesses with the help they need to prosper by cutting red tape and giving local authorities the tools they need to promote economic growth.

Small shops and businesses are crucial to the country’s economy and they were hit hard by the financial legacy we were left. Discretionary discounts will give councils the ability to respond to local circumstances including supporting the local pub or post office if they are struggling or encouraging new start-up enterprises.

I am therefore pleased to announce that the Government intend to include in the forthcoming localism Bill the necessary provisions to:

allow for discretionary business rates discounts so that local authorities in England will be able to respond to local circumstances by reducing business rates bills;

simplify the process for claiming small business rate relief in England by removing the legal requirement for ratepayers to submit an application form.

The Government are already helping an estimated 500,000 ratepayers who are eligible for small business rate relief by doubling the normal discount for next year, worth £390 million. Approximately 345,000 of those could pay no rates at all. We want to see as many small business ratepayers as possible claim their tax cuts in the future and we are cutting the unnecessary red tape.

In addition we will amend secondary legislation to ensure that all eligible businesses in England automatically have their discounted bills calculated using the small business multiplier.

We will also ensure through the localism Bill that all future business rates supplements for England and Wales, where they fund either more or less than a third of the overall project, will have to be put to the ballot so that liable businesses can decide whether to impose the business rate supplement upon themselves.

We have already announced that the localism Bill will also contain the necessary provisions to cancel certain significant and unexpected backdated business rates bills. This will allow affected businesses, in ports and others across England, to move forward confidently, unburdened by the crippling debt imposed by this liability.

The Government have also set out radical new proposals to look at ways for local authorities to keep the business rates they collect locally. We are determined to give councils a genuine financial stake in their local economy and let them target their support at local shops, pubs, post offices and start-up enterprises.

Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Count

The Government have on 24 November 2010 published the “Count of Gypsy and Traveller Caravans undertaken on 8 July 2010”.

Copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and can be accessed via the Department of Communities and Local Government website at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/caravancountjul2010

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy (England)

DEFRA and the Environment Agency are today publishing a consultation for a national flood and coastal erosion risk management strategy for England. This is a key step in the delivery of the Government’s commitment to

“take forward the findings of the Pitt review to improve our flood defences, and prevent unnecessary buildings in areas of high flood risk”.

The Flood and Water Management Act requires the Environment Agency to prepare a national strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management. The strategy will be prepared taking into account the responses to the consultation and will be submitted to Ministers for approval. Once approved, it will be laid in Parliament for 40 days before it comes into effect.

The strategy will consider risk from all sources of flooding and coastal erosion at the national level. It will help us make the difficult decisions about what Government funding is used for and how much is allocated between the different tasks and risk management authorities.

It is important that this national view is complemented by strong local leadership and accountability. The strategy will reflect the need for decisions to be made locally, by the communities at risk, and it will provide the framework to encourage and enable local action to take place. We remain committed to fully funding local authority new burdens under the Flood and Water Management Act. Up to £36 million a year will be provided directly to lead local flood authorities (£21 million in 2011-12 due to phasing-in).

The strategy proposes an overall aim for flood and coastal erosion risk management and high-level principles to guide activities at both national and local levels. One of these principles reflects Sir Michael Pitt’s suggestion, in his review of the summer 2007 floods, that additional local investment in flood risk management should be allowed and encouraged.

The system proposed includes a long-term investment framework so that we have the potential over time to support local needs, build our resilience as a society and give communities a bigger say in their own future. More detailed information about how this might be implemented is provided in a linked consultation available on DEFRA’s website. Accompanying consultations on draft guidance on the duty for local authorities to contribute to sustainable development and draft guidance on co-operation and the sharing of information are also being undertaken at the same time.

Links to the consultations are provided from the DEFRA and Environment Agency websites at http://ww2.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/ and http://consult. environment-agency.gov.uk/portal/. The consultations will run for 12 weeks and it will be important that responses are received from the full range of interests, including parliamentarians and Select Committees.

Home Department

Departmental Expenditure Limits

Subject to parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the Home Office’s departmental expenditure limits for 2010-11 will be reduced by £27,570,000 from £10,002,634,000 to £9,975,064,000 and the administration budget will be reduced by £12,300,000 from £404,810,000 to £392,510,000.

Within the DEL change, the impact on resources and capital are as set out in the following tables:

ChangeNew DEL£000

Voted

Non-voted

Voted

Non-voted

Total

Resource DEL

(26,496)

(1,074)

8,399,252

1,020,085

9,419,337

Of which

Administration budget

(12,191)

(109)

213,205

179,305

392,510

Capital DEL1

(4,000)

4,000

588,461

175,761

764,222

Less Depreciation2

6,900

(6,900)

(151,029)

(57,466)

(208,495)

Total DEL

(23,596)

(3,974)

8,836,684

1,138,380

9,975,064

1 Capital DEL includes items treated as resource in estimates and accounts but which are treated as Capital DEL in budgets.

2 Depreciation, which forms part of resource DEL, is excluded from total DEL since Capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

£000's

Total

o/w Non cash

o/w Admin

(a) The change in the resource element of the DEL arises from:

(27,570)

0

(12,300)

Transfers from other Government Departments:

5,000

0

0

Programme from the Security and Intelligence Agencies to the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (section C) for funding counter-terrorism activities.

5,000

Transfers to other Government Departments:

(32,570)

0

(12,300)

Programme from the UK Border Agency (section D) to the Ministry of Justice to help close the financial gap around asylum and immigration tribunals activity

(14,000)

Admin from Central Services (section F) to the Ministry of Justice for shared accommodation costs.

(12,300)

(12,300)

Programme from the UK Border Agency (section D) to Communities and Local Government to fund the Migration Impact Fund.

(4,340)

Programme from the UK Border Agency (section D) to the Scottish Government to fund the Migration Impact Fund.

(1,180)

Programme from the Crime and Policing Group (section A) to the Ministry of Justice to meet the costs of the Victims’ Commissioner’s Office.

(400)

Programme from Central Services (section F) to the Cabinet Office for improving information strategy capability.

(300)

Programme from the UK Border Agency (section D) to the Ministry of Justice for funding the Ministerial Council on deaths in custody.

(50)

CAPITAL

Total

(b) There is no change in the capital element of the DEL.

0

Justice

Cross-Undertaking in Damages (Environmental Judicial Review Cases)

I am publishing the consultation paper “Consultation on Cross-Undertakings in Damages in Environmental Judicial Review Cases” on 24 November 2010.

This is a formal consultation exercise undertaken by the Ministry of Justice to seek views on whether:

the existing measure of judicial discretion on whether to require cross-undertakings in environmental judicial review cases strikes an appropriate balance between the interests of the claimant and defendant and, where appropriate, the general public interest in the circumstances of each particular case; and

such undertakings should be required when interim relief is sought.

Copies of the consultation paper have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and the document is also available online, at www.justice.gov.uk.

The consultation period will be from 24 November to 24 February 2011 and I will make a further statement regarding the response shortly after the consultation period ends.

Departmental Expenditure Limits

Subject to parliamentary approval of any necessary supplementary estimate, the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and The National Archives (TNA) total departmental expenditure limit (DEL) will be increased as follows:

Total DEL for MoJ (Request for Resource 1, 2 and 3) is increased by £110,348,000 from £8,989,358,000 to £9,099,706,000 and the administration budget has increased by £5,084,000 from £411,146,000 to £416,230,000.

Total DEL for the TNA has remained unchanged.

Within the Total DEL change for MoJ (Request for Resource 1, 2 & 3), the impact on resource and capital are as set out in the following table:

ChangeNew DEL

Voted

Non-voted

Voted

Non-voted

Total

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

£’000

Resource DEL

95,929

(28,581)

5,751,277

3,181,996

8,933,273

Of which:

Administration1

5,084

0

415,688

542

416,230

Capital DEL2

49,800

(6,800)

552,925

41,405

594,330

Depreciation3

0

0

414,979

12,918

(427,897)

Total DEL

145,729

(35,381)

5,889,223

3,210,483

9,099,706)

1The total of 'administration budget' and 'near-cash in Resource DEL' figures may well be greater than total Resource DEL, due to the definitions overlapping.

2Capital DEL includes items treated as resource in Estimates and accounts but which are treated as Capital DEL in budgets.

3Depreciation, which forms part of Resource DEL, is excluded from the total DEL since Capital DEL includes capital spending and to include depreciation of those assets would lead to double counting.

The change in the Resource and Capital DEL for MoJ arises from:

Resource Departmental Expenditure Limit

The change in the resource element of DEL arises from:

Movements in Voted Expenditure

Request for Resources 1

Increase

i. An increase in voted expenditure of £139,000,000 resource in relation to the prison capacity programme Carter reserve claim.

ii. An increase of £18,000,000 from the Department for Education (DfE) in relation to the transfer of the youth offender policy Machinery of Government transfer.

iii. An increase of £14,000,000 from the Home Office (HO) to the Tribunals Service in relation to work related to the Asylum Immigration Tribunals.

iv. An increase of £12,300,000 from the HO in relation to accommodation costs for 2 Marsham Street.

v. An increase of £170,000 from the DfE in relation to funding the Review of Restraint Machinery of Government transfer.

vi. An increase of £1,689,000 from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (DBIS) in relation to the delivery of offender learning and skills in the contracted prison estate.

vii. An increase of £400,000 from the HO in relation to the Victim Commissioners Office.

viii. An increase of £50,000 from the HO in relation to the advisory panel into Deaths in Custody.

ix. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £2,000,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

x. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £637,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xi. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £352,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xii. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £342,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xiii. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £199,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xiv. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £173,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xv. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £160,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xvi. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £62,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

Decrease

xvii. A decrease in voted expenditure offset by an increase in non-voted expenditure of £34,000,000 in relation to reclassification of spends.

xviii. A decrease in voted expenditure of £11,794,000 from the MoJ to the Cabinet Office (CO) in relation to the transfer of policy for the constitutional and electoral reform Machinery of Government transfer.

xix. A decrease in voted expenditure of £ 10,513,000 from MoJ to the Department of Health (DoH) in relation to additional prisoner healthcare costs.

xx. A decrease in voted expenditure of £9,809,000 from MoJ to DBIS in relation to additional operating costs in respect of libraries and careers information and advice service.

xxi. A decrease in voted expenditure of £4,300,000 from MoJ to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in relation to Compass Case Management Funding.

xxii. A decrease in voted expenditure of £2,600,000 from MoJ to CPS in relation to witness centres.

xxiii. A decrease in voted expenditure of £1,401,000 from MoJ to DBIS in relation to Castington and Huntercombe re-role from juvenile to adult prisons.

xxiv. A decrease in voted expenditure of £500,000 from MoJ to CPS in relation to Corporate Manslaughter funding.

xxv. A decrease in voted expenditure of £785,000 from MoJ to CPS in relation to Local Criminal Boards.

xxvi. A decrease in voted expenditure offset by an increase in non-voted expenditure of £16,500,000 in relation to increase in grant funding for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

xxvii. A decrease in voted expenditure offset by an increase in non-voted expenditure of £1,200,000 in relation to increase in grant funding for the Legal Services Commission.

xxviii. A decrease in voted expenditure offset by an increase in non-voted expenditure of £173,000 in relation to increase in grant funding for the Parole Board.

xxix. A decrease in voted expenditure offset by an increase in non-voted expenditure of £30,000 in relation to increase in grant funding for the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Movements in Non-Voted Expenditure

Request for Resources 1

Increase

i. An increase in non-voted expenditure offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £34,000,000 in relation to reclassification of spends.

ii. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £13,560,000 from the DfE in relation to funding the LASCHS Programme Machinery of Government transfer.

iii. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £6,081,000 from the DfE in relation to the transfer of the youth offender policy Machinery of Government transfer.

iv. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £3,000,000 from the DfE in relation to funding the Intensive Fostering Programme Machinery of Government transfer.

v. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £3,000,000 from the DfE in relation to funding the Review of Restraint Machinery of Government transfer.

vi. An increase in non-voted expenditure offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £16,500,000 in relation to increase in grant funding for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

vii. An increase in non-voted expenditure offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £1,200,000 in relation to increase in grant funding for the Legal Services Commission.

viii. An increase in non-voted expenditure offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £173,000 in relation to increase in grant funding for the Parole Board.

ix. An increase in non-voted expenditure offset by a decrease in voted expenditure of £30,000 in relation to increase in grant funding for the Criminal Cases Review Commission.

Decrease

x. A decrease in non-voted expenditure of £102,200,000 (Election Funding) from the MoJ to the CO in relation to the transfer of policy for the constitutional and electoral reform Machinery of Government transfer.

xi. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £2,000,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xii. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £637,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xiii. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £352,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xiv. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £342,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xv. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £199,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xvi. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £173,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xvii. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £160,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

xviii. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £62,000 in relation to internal funding movement.

Request for Resources 2

Increase

i. An increase in non-voted expenditure of £539,572,000 in relation to Grant to the Scottish Consolidated Fund.

Capital Departmental Expenditure Limit

The change in the capital element of the Departmental Expenditure Limit arises from:

Movements in Voted Expenditure

Request for Resources 1

Increase

i. An increase of £43,000,000 in relation to the carter prisons capacity programme capital Carter reserve claim.

ii. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £6,000,000 in relation to an internal movement in funding.

iii. An increase in voted expenditure offset by a decrease in non-voted expenditure of £800,000 in relation to an internal movement in funding.

Movements in Non-Voted Expenditure

Request for Resources 1

Decrease

i. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £6,000,000 in relation to an internal movement in funding.

ii. A decrease in non-voted expenditure offset by an increase in voted expenditure of £800,000 in relation to an internal movement in funding.

Administration Costs

The movement in the administration cost limit is as a result of the following changes:

Request for Resources 1

Increase

i. An increase in voted expenditure of £12,300,000 from the HO in relation to accommodation costs for 2 Marsham Street.

Decrease

ii. A decrease in voted expenditure of £7,216,000 from the MoJ to the CO in relation to the transfer of policy for the constitutional and electoral reform Machinery of Government transfer.

2) The National Archives are not submitting a Winter Supplementary Estimate.