Tuesday 5 December 2017
Double Taxation Convention: UK and Swiss Federal Council
A protocol to the 1977 Double Taxation Convention with Switzerland was signed on 30 November 2017. The text of the protocol has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and has been made available on HM Revenue and Customs’ pages of the www.gov.uk website. The text will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
I am today publishing a Heritage statement, setting out the direction and priorities for the heritage sector in the coming years.
The statement builds on the commitments we made in last year’s Culture White Paper. It links the heritage agenda to our wider agendas and strategies for industry, for regeneration and place-making, for skills, for the environment, and for an internationalist, outward-looking Britain. It applies to England only, except where it relates to international issues and UK-wide policies and programmes.
The statement is structured around four key themes: places, people, international, and sustainability and resilience. It focuses on areas where the Government can help to support and develop the heritage sector and add value to the work of heritage organisations and the many thousands of specialists, professionals and volunteers who care for and manage our heritage.
The Heritage statement is available at: https://www.gov. uk/government/publications/the-heritage-statement-2017.
Macur Review Report
On 17 March 2016 my predecessor, my right hon. Friend the Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Stephen Crabb), announced the publication of the report of Lady Justice Macur’s Independent Review of the Tribunal of Inquiry into the abuse of children in care in the former county council areas of Gwynedd and Clwyd in North Wales since 1974.
Among other reasons, the report was redacted to avoid prejudicing ongoing and upcoming criminal prosecutions and trials. Most of the redactions in this category concerned the former North Wales Police superintendent, Gordon Anglesea. Following his criminal trial at Mold Crown Court, on 4 October Gordon Anglesea was sentenced at Mold Crown Court to 12 years’ custody for an indecent assault against one boy and three indecent assaults against another boy. On 15 December 2016 Gordon Anglesea died in HMP Rye Hill.
In light of Gordon Anglesea’s death there is no reason for his name to continue to be redacted, except where there is any risk that victims, witness or other individuals might be identified. I have today therefore laid a revised version of the Macur Review Report with references to Gordon Anglesea reinstated except where an ongoing risk has been identified. The other redactions in the report remain.
Work and Pensions
Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council
The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will take place on 7 December 2017 in Brussels. As Minister of State for Employment, I will represent the UK.
The Council will be invited to agree a partial general approach on the revision of regulations on co-ordination of social security systems—Long-Term Care and Family Benefits (883/04 and 987/09).
The Council will be invited to agree a general approach on the European Accessibility Act.
The Council will receive a progress report on the draft directive on equal treatment (Art. 19) and the draft directive on work-life balance.
The Council will be invited to give political agreement to the directive on Maritime Labour Convention (implementing a Social Partner agreement).
As part of the semester process the European Commission will present the annual growth survey 2018, the draft joint employment report, the alert mechanism report and the draft recommendation on the economic policy of the euro area. They will also seek the views and approval of member states on the employment and social aspects of the recommendation on the euro area.
The Council will be invited to adopt Council conclusions on the following three topics: the future of work: making it e-easy; enhancing community-based support and care for independent living; and on enhanced measures to reduce horizontal gender segregation in education and employment.
Under any other business, the Commission will present information on the EU action plan 2017-2019 on tackling the gender pay gap and on concluding the year of focused actions to eliminate gender-based violence. The Swedish delegation and the Commission will present information on the Social summit (Gothenburg, 17 November 2017) and the Bulgarian delegation will present the work programme of its incoming presidency.