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Written Statements

Volume 592: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2015

Written Statements

Wednesday 4 February 2015

Cabinet Office

Government Files

I welcome the Home Secretary’s announcement today regarding the inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales.

The Cabinet Office will support the inquiry and will work with the Home Office to ensure that Departments provide the inquiry with all relevant information.

As the House is aware, the Cabinet Office last week released to The National Archives a file containing information about a former United Kingdom High Commissioner to Canada, Sir Peter Hayman. This file is now public. This file should have been submitted to the review by Peter Wanless and Richard Whittam QC. I regret that the file was missed in error and was not submitted at the time. However, a similar set of papers was held in the Home Office and seen by Wanless and Whittam. The complete and unredacted Cabinet Office file will be made available to Wanless and Whittam if they wish to see it, and the inquiry. However Wanless has already confirmed that the file would not have changed the conclusions of his review.

As a result of the discovery of the Sir Peter Hayman file, the Cabinet Office has conducted additional searches of its extensive papers and files. Officials have identified four additional relevant files, one of which was marked for destruction pending further checks by the Cabinet Office and The National Archives. The Cabinet Office already has in place a process for reviewing its files scheduled for destruction. I am ensuring that relevant departments have a similar process in place. These files are being shared with the inquiry, the Hart inquiry, the relevant departments, and the Metropolitan Police Service. All the complete and unredacted files will be made available to Wanless and Whittam if they wish to see them.

The files were found in a separate Cabinet Office archive of sensitive, historic papers. This archive, colloquially known as the Cabinet Secretaries’ file, was closed in 2007. It is largely uncatalogued and unregistered; a programme to review it has been underway since last year but remains in progress. Officials assure me that the available titles have now been searched and more detailed searches are ongoing. My officials will work with the inquiry to ensure it has the assurance it requires that all papers held by the Cabinet Office have been fully examined and that relevant papers are correctly identified and disclosed.

[HCWS251]

Health

Care and Support Appeals System

Today I am publishing a consultation on draft regulations and statutory guidance to introduce the cap on care costs system that will complete the historic reforms set out in the Care Act. For the first time ever, the cap will protect people from the risk of catastrophic care costs and offer more people means tested financial support towards the costs of their care. Also included in this consultation are policy proposals for a new system of appeals that will enable people to challenge certain decisions made by local authorities under the Care Act.

This consultation continues the collaborative approach we have taken throughout the care and support reform programme and seeks views on the elements of the reforms that are due to come into force in April 2016.

Part one of the consultation focuses on funding reform and seeks views on draft regulations and guidance that will introduce the cap on care costs and extend access to means-tested financial support. The draft regulations and guidance set out the detail of how we propose to implement these reforms enabling local authorities to plan and prepare for implementation. Alongside this, the consultation sets out a small number of areas that we wish to further explore.

The introduction of a cap on care costs will provide people with greater clarity about what they will be expected to contribute towards the cost of their care and what help they can expect from the state. This will not only bring people much needed protection and peace of mind, but also certainty that will enable them to better plan and prepare. The extended access to means tested financial support will mean that more people will be eligible to receive financial support from their local authority towards their care costs.

Part two of the consultation seeks views on policy proposals for a new system of appeals for care and support under the Care Act and the need for a new system. These policy proposals flow from the broad consensus of support for a right of appeal that emerged as the Act progressed through Parliament. The policy proposals set the framework for a cost effective system for people to appeal against certain decisions made by local authorities under the Act which focuses on achieving early resolution.

I am placing a copy of the documents relating to this consultation in the Library of the House. These are also available on the Government’s website at: http://careact2016.dh.gov.uk. These comprise a consultation document, draft statutory guidance and regulations on the cap, policy proposals for an appeals system and an impact assessment.

[HCWS250]

Home Department

Police Grant Report England and Wales

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has today laid before the House, the “Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2015-16” (HC 930). The report sets out my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary’s determination for 2015-16 of the aggregate amount of grant that she proposes to pay under section 46(2) of the Police Act 1996, and the amount to be paid to the Greater London Authority for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. Copies of the report are available from the Vote Office.

At the time the provisional police grant report was published on 17 December 2014, I said that I was also considering whether a limited amount of police capital grant would be reallocated to support the communications capabilities development (CCD) programme and emergency services mobile communications programmes (ESMCP). After careful consideration I have decided that £20 million will be reallocated to support the CCD programme. This will reduce overall infrastructure costs, maintain capabilities to comply with current legislation, and develop future communications capability. More time is needed to fully define the capital requirements for ESMCP in the future and so I have decided that it is not appropriate to reallocate funding for this programme in 2015-16.

This statement also includes details of other funding streams that the Home Office, the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Welsh Government intend to provide to the police in 2015-16.

The police grant settlement 2015-16

Table 1: Police revenue funding 2015-16

2015-16

Total General Funding:

£m

Comprising….

Police Core Settlement

4,309*

of which Home Office Police Main Grant

4,136

of which National and International, Capital City Grant (MOPAC only)

174

Former DCLG funding

2,851

of which formula funding

2,818

of which Ordnance Survey

2

of which Legacy Council Tax Freeze

31

Welsh Government

135

Total Home Office Specific Grants:

822**

Comprising….

Welsh Top-up

13

Counter Terrorism Police Grant

564

Police Innovation Fund

70

Police Knowledge Fund

5

Independent Police Complaints Commission (for the transfer of integrity functions)

30

College of Policing (for direct entry schemes)

5

City of London National and International Capital City Grant

3

HMIC (for PEEL inspection regime)

9

Police Special Grant

15

Major Programmes

40

Legacy Council Tax Freeze Grants

of which Council Tax 2011-12 freeze grant

59

of which Council Tax 2013-14 freeze grant

7

of which Council Tax 2014-15 freeze grant

3

Police Private Finance Initiatives

73

Total Government Funding***

8,190

% cash change in Total Government Funding****

-3.5%

% real change in total Government funding

-4.9%

* **Rounded to the nearest £m

***The police will also separately receive £434.4 million in local council tax support grant. This will be paid by the Home Office.

****This is the difference in total central Government funding to the police compared to 2014-15. The reduction in core Government funding (i.e. funding that is subject to damping) is 5.1%.

Table 2: Division of police capital between funding streams

2015-16 Police Capital

£m

Police Capital Grant

89.5

Police Special Capital

1

Communications Capabilities Development (CCD)

20

NPAS

10.4

Total

120.9

Table 3: Revenue allocations for England and Wales 2015-16

Local Policing Body

HO core (including Rule 1)

Welsh Top-up

Welsh Government

Ex-DCLG

Formula Funding

Legacy Council

Tax Grants (total from HO)

£m

£m

Avon and Somerset

105.6

-

-

56.8

14.7

Bedfordshire

40.6

-

-

23.5

4.6

Cambridgeshire

48.8

-

-

24.5

6.0

Cheshire

61.8

-

-

45.0

8.3

City of London

18.5

-

-

33.8

0.1

Cleveland

46.4

-

-

38.8

7.7

Cumbria

28.9

-

-

31.0

4.8

Derbyshire

62.5

-

-

37.9

8.7

Devon and Cornwall

103.3

-

-

63.5

15.5

Dorset

41.5

-

-

17.4

7.3

Durham

43.0

-

-

37.2

6.1

Dyfed-Powys

31.4

6.1

12.8

0.0

-

Essex

103.4

-

-

56.3

13.1

Gloucestershire

34.6

-

-

19.6

5.6

Greater London Authority

1,040.1

-

-

754.1

119.7

Greater Manchester

227.9

-

-

182.4

24.5

Gwent

43.2

-

29.7

0.0

-

Hampshire

120.7

-

-

63.5

12.9

Hertfordshire

71.8

-

-

36.6

9.5

Humberside

67.6

-

-

46.8

10.0

Kent

106.9

-

-

67.0

13.3

Lancashire

101.1

-

-

79.6

12.8

Leicestershire

65.7

-

-

39.9

8.9

Lincolnshire

38.6

-

-

20.4

6.8

Merseyside

123.2

-

-

113.5

15.6

Norfolk

50.5

-

-

28.9

9.3

North Wales

45.4

6.5

21.3

0.0

-

North Yorkshire

41.9

-

-

27.2

7.9

Northamptonshire

43.4

-

-

24.3

6.6

Northumbria

110.8

-

-

108.0

8.2

Nottinghamshire

78.4

-

-

48.4

9.7

South Wales

89.3

-

71.2

0.0

-

South Yorkshire

101.2

-

-

77.9

10.9

Staffordshire

66.9

-

-

40.2

11.3

Suffolk

41.0

-

-

23.0

6.8

Surrey

62.5

-

-

29.4

9.2

Sussex

98.4

-

-

54.2

13.2

Thames Valley

142.0

-

-

74.3

15.3

Warwickshire

31.2

-

-

17.5

5.2

West Mercia

66.7

-

-

43.6

12.0

West Midlands

252.3

-

-

181.3

19.0

West Yorkshire

172.5

-

-

130.1

16.7

Wiltshire

37.7

-

-

20.8

5.2

Total England & Wales

4,309.2

12.5

135.0

2,818.3

503.2

Table 4: Capital allocations for England and Wales 2015-16

Local Policing Body

£m

Avon and Somerset

2.0

Bedfordshire

0.8

Cambridgeshire

1.0

Cheshire

1.3

City of London

0.7

Cleveland

1.0

Cumbria

0.7

Derbyshire

1.2

Devon and Cornwall

2.2

Dorset

0.8

Durham

1.0

Dyfed-Powys

0.6

Essex

1.8

Gloucestershire

0.7

Greater Manchester

4.5

Gwent

0.9

Hampshire

2.3

Hertfordshire

1.1

Humberside

1.4

Kent

2.1

Lancashire

2.1

Leicestershire

1.3

Lincolnshire

0.8

Merseyside

2.6

Metropolitan

23.7

Norfolk

1.0

North Wales

0.9

North Yorkshire

0.8

Northamptonshire

0.8

Northumbria

2.5

Nottinghamshire

1.4

South Wales

1.9

South Yorkshire

2.1

Staffordshire

1.3

Suffolk

0.9

Surrey

1.2

Sussex

1.8

Thames Valley

2.9

Warwickshire

0.8

West Mercia

1.4

West Midlands

4.8

West Yorkshire

3.5

Wiltshire

0.8

Total England & Wales

89.5

[HCWS248]

EU Justice and Home Affairs Matters

The Home Office and the Ministry of Justice have prepared the fifth annual report to Parliament on the application of protocols 19 and 21 to the treaty on European Union (TEU) and the treaty on the functioning of the European Union (TFEU)—“the treaties”—in relation to EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) matters. The report, which is today being laid before the House, is submitted on behalf of both my own Department and that of the Secretary of State for Justice.

On 9 June 2008 the then Leader of the House of Lords committed to table a report in Parliament each year setting out the decisions taken by the Government in accordance with protocol 21—“the Justice and Home Affairs opt-in protocol”—and to make that report available for debate. These commitments were designed to ensure that the views of the Scrutiny Committees should inform the Government’s decision-making process.

The Minister for Europe confirmed this commitment on behalf of the coalition Government in 2011, and this is the fifth such report. It covers the period 1 December 2013 to 30 November 2014. For completeness, the report also covers the application of protocol 19 to the treaties on the Schengen acquis integrated into the framework of the EU—“the Schengen opt-out protocol”.

Over the period covered in the report, the Government took 33 decisions on UK participation in EU Justice and Home Affairs legislative proposals. Of these, the UK opted in to 21 proposals and did not opt in to 10 proposals. The Government have also taken two decisions to opt out of proposals under the Schengen opt-out protocol during the period covered by this report. At the point of publication, two EU legislative proposals are subject to ministerial and parliamentary consideration with regard to an opt-in decision. The report also provides an indicative list of legislative proposals which are expected to be brought forward over the next 12 months that are likely to require a decision on UK participation under the Justice and Home Affairs opt-in or Schengen opt-out protocols.

[HCWS249]

Work and Pensions

Better Workplace Pensions

I am pleased to announce that today I intend to lay before Parliament draft regulations to ensure value for money in relevant occupational pension schemes, which provide money purchase benefits, through improved governance and measures to safeguard savers in qualifying schemes against high and unfair charges. I am also publishing the accompanying Government response to the October consultation on these measures, “Better workplace pensions: putting savers’ interests first”.

We are committed to building a pensions system that people can save into with confidence and that will help ensure financial independence in retirement. Over 5 million people have now been automatically enrolled into workplace pension schemes. By 2018, 8 to 9 million people will be saving for the first time, or saving more towards their pension.

It is vital, therefore, that workplace pension schemes are run in the interests of members, whose savings will not be diminished by excessive charges.

Since these proposals were announced last March, we have been working closely with industry stakeholders, consumer representatives and regulators to develop the detailed regulations. Today’s Command Paper is therefore the culmination of an extensive and rigorous process of analysis and consultation. It provides a response to our recent consultation on the draft regulations to implement our proposed governance and charges measures for qualifying schemes. It also announces the next stage of our work to ensure full disclosure of costs and charges throughout the value chain in workplace pension schemes, as we plan to publish a joint call for evidence with the Financial Conduct Authority in spring 2015.

For relevant workplace personal pension schemes, the Financial Conduct Authority will be introducing corresponding rules to control charges and to establish Independent Governance Committees from April 2015. Their rules, together with our regulations, will ensure that savers are protected regardless of the type of workplace pension they are saving into.

Subject to parliamentary approval, these draft regulations will be a major step towards ensuring a positive outcome for millions of people in retirement.

[HCWS247]