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Written Statements

Volume 606: debated on Tuesday 23 February 2016

Written Statements

Tuesday 23 February 2016

Cabinet Office

Single Departmental Plans

On 19 February, 17 Government Departments published their single departmental plans. All plans can now be accessed on departmental pages, as well as on: departmental-plans-for-2015-to-2020.

The plans set out how Departments will deliver the Government’s programme for this Parliament. They include each Department’s priority objectives, the key programmes and policies that will deliver these, together with a number of performance indicators. They also set out the common efficiency measures that Departments will be undertaking in order to deliver the Government’s commitments in full within the resources available.

Single departmental plans are owned by Departments and have been designed by Cabinet Office and HM Treasury working in partnership.

Statistical information published in the plans will be updated as new data becomes available.



ECOFIN; 12 February 2016

A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council was held in Brussels on 12 February 2016. Ministers discussed the following items:

Anti-tax avoidance package

The Commission presented its proposals for tackling corporate tax avoidance, including implementing the UK Government’s country by country reporting template for multinationals. This was followed by an exchange of views. The UK intervened to welcome the package and to urge EU Ministers to go further, including seeking a multilateral agreement on making details of the tax paid by companies publicly available on a country by country basis.

Current legislative proposals

The presidency updated the Council on the state of play of financial services dossiers.

Implementation of the banking union

The Commission provided a brief update on several dossiers linked to the banking union: the single resolution fund, the bank recovery and resolution directive and the deposit guarantee scheme directive.

Fight against the financing of terrorism

The Commission presented its action plan to reinforce the European framework in the fight against the financing of terrorism. Following an exchange of views, the Council adopted conclusions on the new measures.

Preparation of the G20 meeting in Shanghai on 25-27 February 2016

The Council adopted the EU’s terms of reference ahead of the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and central bank governors in Shanghai.

Discharge to be given to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the budget for 2014

On the basis of a report from the Court of Auditors, the Council voted on the discharge to be given to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the EU’s general budget for the financial year 2014. The UK voted against, alongside Sweden and the Netherlands.

Budget guidelines for 2017

Council conclusions were adopted on the EU budget guidelines for 2017. These will inform the Commission of high-level priorities in preparation of the draft budget.

High-level group on own resources

Mario Monti, the chair of the high-level group on own resources, provided a state of play update on the EU’s financing system, followed by a short exchange of views.


International Monetary Fund: UK Subscription

On 23 February, the UK will increase its quota subscription to the IMF by 9,416.6 million special drawing rights (SDRs), equivalent to £9,270.2 million using exchange rates on 22 February 2016. This raises the UK’s total quota subscription from 10,738.5 million SDRs to 20,155.1 million SDRs.

On 20 January 2016, a sufficiency of IMF members notified the IMF of the completion of relevant legislative procedures to implement resolution 66-2 of the Board of Governors of the IMF (DEP2011-0977), thereby bringing increases to IMF members’ quota subscriptions envisaged by that resolution into effect. Parliamentary approval in the UK for implementation of resolution 66-2 was secured via the International Monetary Fund (Increase in Subscription) Order 2011, which came into force on 19 July 2011.

On the same day as the UK increases its quota subscription, two temporary loan facilities with the IMF will change. These facilities act as a second line of defence behind quotas. The UK’s commitment to the new arrangements to borrow will roll back by 9,178.2 million SDRs—equivalent to £9,035.5 million—and a bilateral loan commitment of the same value will become effective.

Worldwide quota increases form part of a wider reform package which makes the IMF stronger and more legitimate. It is vital at this time that we have an IMF equipped to strengthen the resilience of the global economy against risks and spillovers.

An SDR is the unit of account used by the IMF. Its value is calculated daily as a weighted average of the US dollar, euro, yen and pound sterling.