Wednesday 18 January 2017
In the autumn statement, the Chancellor announced that additional funding would be made available to the Department for Exiting the European Union for the 2016-17 financial year. However, as is normal in machinery of government moves, full legal and financial responsibility does not transfer between Departments until the legislation related to the relevant Supply estimates receives Royal Assent. Until then the main exporting Department for the function, the Cabinet Office, must seek an advance on behalf of the new Department.
Parliamentary approval for additional resources of £42,700,000 for this new expenditure will be sought in a supplementary estimate. Pending that approval, expenditure estimated at £42,700,000 will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.
In April 2016, at the conclusion of the fresh inquests into the deaths which resulted from the Hillsborough stadium disaster on 15 April 1989, Bishop James Jones was commissioned by my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May), to produce a report on the Hillsborough families’ experiences.
Since then Bishop James has met many of the Hillsborough families and discussed his review. Those discussions have helped shape the terms of reference for the review, which I am publishing today.
It is envisaged that Bishop James Jones will complete his review and produce his report in spring 2017. This report will then be published.
The Terms of Reference can be viewed online at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2017-01-18/HCWS419/.
Work and Pensions
Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme
The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (Levy) regulations 2014 require active employers’ liability insurers to pay an annual levy based on their relative market share for the purpose of meeting the costs of the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS). This is in line with the commitment by the insurance industry to fund a scheme of last resort for sufferers of diffuse mesothelioma who have been unable to trace their employer or their employer’s insurer.
I can announce today that the total amount of the levy to be charged for 2016-17, the third year of the DMPS, is £40.4 million. This includes £5.2 million to accommodate a levy shortfall last year. The amount will be payable by active insurers by the end of March 2017.
Individual active insurers will be notified in writing of their payment amount (i.e. their share of the levy), together with how the amount was calculated and payment arrangements. Insurers should be aware that it is a legal requirement to pay the levy within the set timescales.
I am pleased that the DMPS has seen two successful years of operation, assisting many sufferers of diffuse mesothelioma. The second annual report for the scheme was published on 29 November 2016 and is available on the gov.uk website. I hope that members of both Houses will welcome this announcement and give the DMPS their continued support.