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House of Commons Hansard
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Written Statements
24 July 2018
Volume 645

Written Statements

Tuesday 24 July 2018

Attorney General

Law Officers Department

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I am today announcing the appointment of Max Hill QC as the next Director of Public Prosecutions.

Under the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985, it is my duty to appoint a person to be the Director of Public Prosecutions, who shall discharge their functions under my superintendence. The Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary have been notified of this appointment.

This appointment was conducted in line with civil service guidance and the process was overseen by the First Civil Service Commissioner.

[HCWS913]

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Business Investment

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The Government are today publishing a White Paper: “National Security and Investment”.

It sets out the Government’s plans to upgrade their powers to scrutinise investments and other acquisitions on national security grounds. These proposals deliver on the commitment made by the Government in the 2017 Queen’s Speech to bring forward reforms to

“ensure that critical national infrastructure is protected to safeguard national security.”

This country has a proud and hard-won reputation as one of the most open economies in the world. Our economic success stems from our belief in international trade and our support for foreign direct investment. Of course, an open approach to international investment must include appropriate safeguards to protect our national security—particularly in a world where the threats we face are evolving.

This White Paper is the product of the Government’s consultative approach to reform in this area, following on from the Green Paper published in the autumn and subsequent public consultation. The Government have reflected carefully on the feedback provided by a wide variety of stakeholders, including businesses, investors and law firms.

The Government’s existing powers to screen certain mergers for public interest reasons, including national security, derive from the Enterprise Act 2002. We need to make sure they are kept up to date in the light of economic, technological and national security changes.

In June, Parliament enacted secondary legislation to amend the thresholds in the Enterprise Act 2002 for three specific areas of the economy, military/dual-use, computing hardware and quantum technology, enabling the Government to intervene in more mergers that may raise national security concerns.

The White Paper sets out how the Government will address the risks that can arise from hostile actors acquiring ownership of, or control over, businesses or other entities and assets that have national security implications.

The Government will encourage businesses and investors to notify them ahead of transactions and other events that might give rise to national security risks. The majority of transactions raise no national security concerns and the Government expect that they could quickly rule out national security risks in many cases, allowing parties to proceed with certainty.

The Government would be able to “call-in” transactions that may give rise to national security risks to assess them more fully. This “call-in” power would be economy-wide, reflecting the Government’s need for flexibility to address national security risks wherever they arise.

To provide maximum certainty and clarity to business and investors, the Government will publish a statement of policy intent, setting out how the “call-in” power is expected to be used. A draft of this document is published today.

It is important that the Government have a variety of tools available to address risks to national security where they are identified. The remedies proposed by the Government include:

confirmation to proceed, approval subject to conditions and—in the rare circumstances where it is the only available course of action—blocking or unwinding a deal, where this has already taken place.

The Government believe that the proposed package of reforms published today strikes the right balance between maintaining the openness and attractiveness of the UK as a destination for inward investment, while also providing the Government with modernised powers they need to protect the country.

Today’s publication marks the start of a 12-week consultation, during which time we will continue to work with those with an interest in these reforms and consider the feedback received.

I am laying the White Paper before Parliament in the form of a Command Paper.

[HCWS907]

Treasury

ECOFIN: 13 July

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A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) was held in Brussels on 13 July 2018. EU Finance Ministers discussed the following:

Early morning session

The Eurogroup President briefed the Council on the outcomes of the 12 July meeting of the Eurogroup, and the European Commission provided an update on the current economic situation in the EU.

VAT: generalised reverse charge mechanism and e-publications

The Council held an exchange of views on proposals to allow member states to temporarily apply a VAT generalised reverse charge mechanism, and proposals to allow member states to apply non-standard rates of VAT to e-publications.

Current financial services legislative proposals

The Austrian presidency provided an update on current legislative proposals in the field of financial services.

Presidency work programme

The Austrian presidency presented its work programme on economic and financial matters for July to December 2018. This was followed by an exchange of views.

June European Council follow-up

The Council held an exchange of views on the follow-up to the European Council of 28 and 29 June 2018.

G20 meeting

The Council approved the EU terms of reference for the G20 meeting of Finance Ministers in Buenos Aires on 21 and 22 July.

[HCWS923]

HM Government’s Guarantee

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In 2016, the Government guaranteed funding for UK organisations in receipt of EU funds where projects are agreed before the day the UK leaves the EU. The guarantee is designed to apply in the event that the EU does not meet its financial obligations after EU exit and provide assurance to current UK participants in EU programmes or those considering bids for EU funds prior to exit.

The Government are continuing to work towards a deal with the EU and under the terms of the implementation period the UK will continue to participate in the programmes financed by the current EU budget until their closure. As a consequence, the Treasury is extending the Government’s guarantee of EU funding to underwrite the UK’s allocation for structural and investment fund projects under this EU budget period to 2020. The Treasury is also guaranteeing funding in the event of a no deal for UK organisations which bid directly to the European Commission so that they can continue competing for, and securing, funding until the end of 2020. This ensures that UK organisations, such as charities, businesses and universities, will continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime if they successfully bid into EU-funded programmes before December 2020. In addition to this guarantee, the Government will establish a UK shared prosperity fund. The fund will tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of our country whose economies are furthest behind. A departmental minute providing full details of the liabilities associated with this announcement has been laid in the House of Commons.

[HCWS926]

Defence

A Better Defence Estate

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In November 2016, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) published its estate optimisation strategy “A Better Defence Estate” outlining how MOD will deliver an estate that is optimised to support defence capabilities, outputs and communities both now and in the future. This update provides progress against the strategy.

Delivering the strategy remains a priority for the MOD, and the commitment to invest £4 billion to create a smaller, more modern and capability-focused estate between now and 2040 remains. A major defence-level initiative, the “Defence Estate Optimisation” programme, has been mobilised to deliver this strategy, combining military and infrastructure expertise to transform the places where our armed forces live, work and train. The programme has already delivered nine disposals: Hullavington airfield, Chalgrove airfield, Somerset barracks, MOD facilities at Swansea airport, Moat House, Rylston Road ARC (London), Newtownards airfield, Copthorne barracks and Lodge Hill. The MOD continues to develop integrated plans for sites intended for disposal and redevelopment for those sites that will see an increase in military units. Good progress has been made with a significant amount of work on the myriad studies required to enable a programme of this size and complexity. The first half of 2018 saw the major tranche of capacity studies and reviews of re-provision site constraints being completed. Feasibility and assessment studies have been completed for over 40 sites in which the MOD will be investing.

The MOD can also confirm the intention to cease RAF use of RAF Linton-on-Ouse (North Yorkshire) in 2020. RAF Linton-on-Ouse is the base of the Tucano training aircraft, as the RAF plans to retire this aircraft, the site will no longer be needed. Instead, we will be able to concentrate basic and advanced fast-jet training at RAF Valley from 2019.

The MOD will close RAF Scampton (Lincolnshire) in 2022, relocating the RAF aerobatics team (RAFAT) and others to locations more fit for purpose. The disposal of the site would offer better value for money and, crucially, better military capability by relocating the units based there.

Given the scale of the strategy and the fact that it will be delivered over 25 years, plans continue to be refined to best support operational capability and Parliament will continue to be updated regularly on our plans.

The Department continues to engage with relevant stakeholders, including devolved Administrations and local planning authorities, to ensure sites released under the strategy are redeveloped in a way that benefits both defence and surrounding communities. The MOD remains committed to making the right decisions to provide effective support to defence capabilities and best value for money for the taxpayer.

[HCWS922]

Education Support Fund

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The education support fund (ESF) was introduced in 2011 as a Ministry of Defence (MOD) fund to supplement the provisions made by the relevant educational authorities across the UK to mitigate the adverse effects of family mobility and parental absence on the children of service personnel. This supplement was considered necessary given the increased operational tempo at the time and the planned drawdown from Germany. The ESF was due to conclude at the end of the 2017-18 financial year.

The armed forces covenant is a promise by the nation that those who serve and have served and their families are not disadvantaged as a result of their service. The provision of educational support for the children of service personnel is primarily the responsibility of the relevant educational authorities and I am grateful to colleagues in the Department for Education for their continued support for the covenant through both the service pupil premium and individual projects, including the £2.8 million recently announced to support the expansion of the Army in the Salisbury plain area. I am also grateful to colleagues in the Welsh Government for creating a £200,000 fund, which I hope can be extended, this year to support service children in Wales.

In the light of the ongoing drawdown from Germany and to provide time for the educational authorities across the UK to bring in longer-term provision for service children as necessary, I am pleased to announce that I have asked the MOD to extend the ESF, on a limited basis, for two years. The fund will consist of £3 million this year and £2 million in 2019-20.

[HCWS908]

Departmental Update

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I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay rises for the armed forces.

The Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has made its recommendation for the 2018-19 pay award of 2.9%. We are accepting the spirit of this recommendation with a 2% increase to pay (implemented in September salaries, backdated to 1 April 2018) and, in addition, a 0.9% nonconsolidated one-off payment (implemented later in the year, also backdated to 1 April 2018).

Today’s pay award will deliver an annual increase to starting salaries of £520 for an officer and £370 for a newly trained solider, sailor or airman or woman. This is in addition to the non-contributory pension and access to incremental pay progression.

The AFPRB has also made recommendations on rises and changes to other targeted forms of remuneration, and on increases to food and accommodation charges, which have been accepted. Where applicable, these rate changes will also be backdated to 1 April 2018.

The Government are committed to world-class public services and ensuring that public sector workers are fairly paid for the vitally important work that they do. It is thanks to our balanced approach to public finances—getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low—that we are today able to announce a fair and deserved pay rise for the armed forces, their biggest increase since 2010.

We ended the 1% average pay policy in September 2017, because we recognised more flexibility is now required to deliver world-class public services including in return for improvements to public sector productivity.

We value the role of the independent pay review bodies and thank them for their work in considering pay awards. In reaching a final position for 2018-19 public sector pay awards, we have balanced a need to recognise the value and dedication of our hard-working public servants while ensuring that our public services remain affordable in the long term, to contribute to our objective of reducing public sector debt. We have also sought to ensure that pay awards are fair and consistent across public sector workforces, reflect existing pay and benefit packages, in addition to recruitment and retention levels.

It is vital that we consider all pay awards in the light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world-class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

[HCWS909]

Jordanian Armed Forces: Provision of Equipment

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I have today laid before the House a departmental minute describing the provision of equipment and infrastructure worth £13.3 million to the Jordanian armed forces over the period 2015-17 that was not previously notified to Parliament.

The provision of equipment was treated as a grant in kind. Following correspondence from the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee in 2016, Departments which previously treated these payments as gifts undertook to notify the House of Commons of any such grant in kind of a value exceeding £300,000 and explaining the circumstances; and to refrain from making the grant until 14 parliamentary sitting days after the issue of the minute, except in cases of special urgency.

The granting of this equipment and infrastructure supported the Jordanian defence and borders programme and is fundamental to the aims of the UK Government’s strategy for Jordan. Delivery of targeted areas of equipment and infrastructure support is an integral part of the approach in order to assist Jordan in developing the capability to protect its borders. In this case, the equipment and infrastructure provided ranged from armoured 4x4 vehicles, IT, personal equipment (including protective clothing) to administration, accommodation, training and logistics buildings.

The activity was in support of the National Security Council objectives and was funded through the conflict, security and stability fund administered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Defence.

The Ministry of Defence has conducted a detailed examination of the errors made and has taken robust measures to ensure than an oversight such as this does not occur again.

[HCWS910]

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Full-time Social Action Review

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In March 2017, DCMS commissioned Steve Holliday to chair an independent review of full-time social action. Steve Holliday and the panel worked with a wide range of stakeholders including young people to consider what the voluntary sector, industry and the Government can do to support full-time volunteering. In January 2018, they published their report. I am very grateful to Steve Holliday and the panel for their work.

Today I am pleased to announce the publication of the Government response to the full-time social action review. The full report and the Government response can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-full-time-social-action-review.

[HCWS921]

Education

Schools

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Today I am announcing details of school revenue funding for 2019-20, through three of the four blocks of the dedicated schools grant: the schools block, the high needs block, and the central school services block. Funding allocations for the early years block will be published later in the year, as usual.

School funding is at a record high, and schools have already benefited from the introduction of the national funding formula in April 2018. This is an historic reform, which means that, for the first time, resources are being distributed based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country. The formula allocates every local authority more money for every pupil, in every school, in both 2018-19 and 2019-20, compared to their 2017-18 baselines.

The additional investment of £1.3 billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20 announced last year, on top of the schools budget set at spending review 2015, means that per-pupil funding is being maintained in real terms between 2017-18 and 2019-20. In 2020 per-pupil funding will be more than 50% higher than it was in 2000, in real terms.

I can confirm that we will deliver our planned updates to the formula in 2019-20. This includes:

increasing the minimum per-pupil funding level to £4,800 for secondary schools, and to £3,500 for primary schools;

increasing the funding floor so that all schools will attract at least a 1% per pupil gain against their 2017-18 baselines;

and enabling underfunded schools to gain a further 3% per pupil, on top of the 3% they gained in 2018-19—this means that next year, underfunded schools will be attracting up to 6% more, per pupil, compared to 2017-18.

I am also confirming some small, technical changes to the schools block formula, which are set out in the accompanying policy document. In particular, we have introduced a new approach for allocating funding to local authorities to support schools with significant in-year growth in pupil numbers. This means that local authorities will be funded according to actual levels of pupil number growth, rather than on the basis of historic spending.

In the high needs formula, the funding floor will also increase to 1% per head and the gains cap will allow increases of up to 6% per head compared to 2017-18, up from 3% in 2018-19. The accompanying policy document sets out some further small changes to the way high needs funding is allocated, including changes to the arrangements for funding places at special free schools.

The primary and secondary units of funding for local authorities that we are publishing today will be used to set schools’ final allocations on the basis of updated pupil numbers data in the autumn. As we did alongside the launch of the national funding formula last year, in the interests of transparency and to help authorities and schools plan ahead, we are also publishing the notional school-level allocations which have been used to calculate those units of funding. Details of these arrangements have been published on gov.uk.

We recognise that the introduction of the national funding formula has represented a significant change to the way schools are funded. To provide stability for authorities and schools through the transition, we have previously confirmed that in 2018-19 and 2019-20 each local authority will continue to set a local formula, in consultation with local schools. These local formulae determine individual schools’ budgets in their areas.

We recognise that some areas use this local flexibility to tailor their local formula, for instance because of local changes in characteristics, rapid growth in pupil numbers or to invest more in pupils with additional needs. This year, however, we have seen considerable movement in local formulae towards the national funding formula: 73 local authorities have moved every one of their factor values in their local formulae closer to the national funding formula, with 41 already—in the formula’s first year of introduction—mirroring it almost exactly, and 112 local authorities have brought in a minimum per-pupil funding factor, following its introduction in the national funding formula.

We are pleased to see this significant progress across the system in moving towards the national funding formula in its first year. In the light of this progress, and in order to continue to support a smooth transition, I am confirming that local authorities will continue to determine local formulae in 2020-21.

After too many years in which the funding system has placed our schools on an unfair playing field, this Government have finally made the historic move towards fair funding. Alongside the increased investment we are making in schools, this will underpin further improvements in standards and help create a world-class education system, and build a system that allows every child to achieve their potential, no matter their background.

Today the Secretary of State has also confirmed the 2018 teachers’ pay award. To ensure that this is fully affordable to schools, we will be providing a teachers’ pay grant of £187 million in 2018-19 and £321 million to all schools in England in 2019-20. This will cover, in full, the difference between this award and the cost of the 1% award that schools would have anticipated under the previous public sector pay cap. The grant will provide additional support to all maintained schools and academies, over and above the core funding that they receive through the national funding formula.

[HCWS911]

Teachers

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We want to ensure that we can recruit and retain brilliant teachers. To ensure that teaching remains an attractive and fulfilling profession, we are delivering a fully funded pay rise for classroom teachers and those in leadership positions.

The School Teachers Review Body (STRB) has recommended a 3.5% uplift to the minima and maxima of all pay ranges and allowances in the national pay framework for the pay award due to be implemented from September 2018. I have decided to accept in full the STRB’s recommendation for a 3.5% uplift to the minima and maxima of the main pay range, building on last year’s 2% uplift to the main pay range. This will both raise starting salaries significantly and increase the competitiveness of the early career pay framework. We are also announcing a substantial uplift to pay ranges for leaders and higher-paid teachers: the minima and maxima of the upper pay range will be uplifted by 2% and on the leadership pay range by 1.5%.

As a result, classroom teachers will see the biggest benefit with starting salaries increasing between £803 and £1,004, and those at the top of the main pay range will be eligible for increases between £1,184 and £1,366. Schools will continue to determine how their staff are paid and thanks to the flexible performance-based pay system we have introduced schools are still able to choose to give teachers or leaders a higher pay rise where this is appropriate to their particular local context and budget.

We will be supporting schools in England to implement the award with an investment of £508 million through a new teachers’ pay grant of £187 million in 2018-19 and £321 million in 2019-20 from the existing Department for Education budget. This will cover, in full, the difference between this award and the cost of the 1% award that schools would have anticipated under the previous public sector pay cap. The grant will provide additional support to all maintained schools and academies, over and above the core funding that they receive through the national funding formula. We will publish further details on the distribution of this grant when the pay award is confirmed.

The Government are committed to world class public services and ensuring that public sector workers are fairly paid for the vitally important work that they do. It is thanks to our balanced approach to public finances—getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low—that we are today able to announce this fair and deserved pay rise for teachers, their biggest increase since 2010-11.

We ended the 1% average pay policy in September 2017, because we recognised more flexibility is now required to deliver world-class public services including in return for improvements to public sector productivity.

We value the role of the independent pay review bodies and thank them for their work in considering pay awards. In reaching a final position for 2018-19 public sector pay awards, we have balanced a need to recognise the value and dedication of our hard-working public servants while ensuring that our public services remain affordable in the long term, to contribute to our objective of reducing public sector debt. We have also sought to ensure that pay awards are fair and consistent across public sector workforces, and reflect existing pay and benefit packages, in addition to recruitment and retention levels.

It is vital that we consider all pay awards in the light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world-class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

I will deposit in the Libraries of both Houses a full list of the recommendations and my proposed approach for all pay and allowance ranges.

My officials will write to all of the statutory consultees of the STRB to invite them to contribute to a consultation on the Government’s response to these recommendations and on a revised school teachers’ pay and conditions document and pay order. The consultation will last for six weeks.

My detailed response contains further information on these matters.

[HCWS912]

Health and Social Care

Departmental Update

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I am responding on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 46th report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm 9670) and a copy is available online. I am grateful to the chair and members of the DDRB for their report.

I am today announcing pay rises for doctors and dentists working across the NHS.

This is a pay rise that recognises the value and dedication of hard-working doctors and dentists, targeting pay as recommended by the DDRB, and taking into account affordability and the prioritising of patient care.

Supporting the NHS workforce to deliver excellent care is a top priority. Following this one-year pay rise, we want to open up a wider conversation on pay and improvements. This is the start of a process whereby we will seek to agree multi-year deals in return for contract reforms for consultant and GPs. We want to make the NHS the best employer in the world.

In June this year nurses were awarded a multi-year award as part of a pay and contract reform deal and it is only right that pay rises are targeted at the lowest paid workers.

Including the announcement of today’s pay award, from October 2018 a consultant who started in 2013 will have seen a 16.5% increase in their basic pay, rising to a salary of £87,665 from £75,249. Today’s pay award is worth:

Between £1,150 and £1,550 for consultants

Between £1,140 and £2,120 for specialty doctors

Between £1,600 and £2,630 for associate specialists

Between £532 and £924 for junior doctors

Around £1,052 for a salaried GP with a median taxable income of £52,600.

GPs face a significant challenge in numbers and we need to recruit large numbers over a short period, meaning any pay rise needs to be balanced against our aim for a growing number of practitioners. The 2018-19 pay award is worth £2,000 per year to a GP contractor with a median taxable income of £100,000.

The Government’s response to the DDRB’s recommendations takes account of:

Affordability in 2018-19 in the context of a spending review that budgeted for 1% average basic pay awards

The importance of prioritising patient care, and the long-term funding settlement which increases NHS funding by an average 3.4% per year from 2019-20, and which will see the NHS receive £20.5 billion a year in real terms by 2023

The three-year contract reform agreement on the Agenda for Change pay contract for 1 million non-medical staff, which delivered significant reforms as part of 3% pay investment per year, including progression pay reforms that end automatic annual increments; and

the case for contract reform for some of the DDRB’s remit groups, in particular for consultants and GPs.

The Government’s response is as follows:

Consultants

I am committing to negotiations on a multi-year agreement incorporating contract reform for consultants to begin from 2019-20.

From 1 October 2018:

A 1.5% increase to basic pay

The value of both national and local clinical excellence awards (CEAs) to be frozen

0.5% of pay bill to be targeted on the new system of performance pay to increase the amount available for performance pay awards from 2019-20. Employers will be able to choose to use the 0.25% of funding available in 2018-19 as transitional funding to manage the costs of running the required CEA round this year or to invest it additionally should they choose to do so.

Doctors and dentists in training

As agreed in the May 2016 ACAS agreement, we will discuss changes to the pay structure as part of the 2018 review of the contract, re-investing any existing funding freed up as transition costs reduce.

From 1 October 2018:

A 2% increase in basic pay and the value of the flexible pay premia

Introduction of a flexible pay premium for doctors on training programmes in histopathology of the same value as that currently provided for doctors on training programmes in emergency medicine and psychiatry.

Specialty doctors (new grade 2008) and associate specialists (closed grade)

I take note of the DDRB comments about the particular issues of morale in relation to this group that led to its pay recommendation and its observation on the need for a review of the salary structure for these grades as part of a wider review of their role, their career structure and the developmental support available to them. It is intended that this will follow the agreement of reformed arrangements for consultants.

From 1 October 2018:

Increase basic pay by 3%

General dental practitioners

From 1 April 2018 (backdated):

Increase expenses by 3%

From 1 October 2018:

Increase dental income and staff costs by 2%

General medical practitioners

I intend to ask NHS England to take a multi-year approach to the GP contract negotiations with investment in primary care linked to improvements in primary care services.

From 1 April 2018 (backdated):

Add a further 1% to the value of the GP remuneration and practice staff expenses through the GP contract, supplementing the 1% already paid from April 2018 and making a 2% uplift in all. This will enable practices to increase the pay of practice staff.

From 1 October 2018:

The recommended minimum and maximum pay scales for salaried GPs will be uplifted by 2%

The GP trainer grant and GP appraiser fees will be increased by 3% and we will apply the same approach to clinical educators’ pay; GP and dental educators.

From 1 April 2019:

The potential for up to an additional 1%, on top of the 2% already paid to be added to the baseline, to be paid from 2019-20 conditional on contract reform, through a multi-year agreement from 2019-20. This would be in addition to the funding envelope for the contract negotiation for 2019-20 onwards. This would be reflected in respect of GP remuneration, practice staff expenses and the recommended minimum and maximum pay scales for salaried GPs.

Attachments can be viewed online at: http://www.parliament. uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2018-07-24/HCWS917/

[HCWS917]

Home Department

Departmental Update

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The Government have carefully considered the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) recommendations for police pay 2018-19. These recommendations are not being accepted in full.

The Government are announcing today that the 2018-19 pay award for the police will award police officers an increase of 2% consolidated from 1 September 2018. This also includes the recommended 2% increase in London weighting and 2% increase in dog handlers’ allowance.

Officers who have not reached the top of their pay band will also receive incremental progression pay worth at least 2%, depending on satisfactory performance.

The PRRB issued early recommendations on police apprentice pay ahead of its main report. The Government are accepting PRRB recommendations on this issue, in that forces should appoint apprentice constables on a starting salary of between £18,000 and pay point 1, with understandings that:

individual forces are able to choose to use a starting salary between £18,000 and pay point 1;

the pay expectations of apprentices will not be undermined by later changes to the arrangements; and

the NPCC will develop further proposals for apprentice pay and career progression beyond the first year.

The Government are committed to world-class public services and ensuring that public sector workers are fairly paid for the vitally important work that they do. It is thanks to our balanced approach to public finances—getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low. We ended the 1% average pay policy in September 2017, because we recognised more flexibility is now required to deliver world-class public services, including in return for improvements to public sector productivity.

We value the role of the independent pay review bodies and thank them for their work in considering pay awards. In reaching a final position for 2018-19 public sector pay awards, we have balanced a need to recognise the value and dedication of our hard-working public servants while ensuring that our public services remain affordable in the long term, to contribute to our objective of reducing public sector debt. We have also sought to ensure that pay awards are fair and consistent across public sector workforces, and reflect existing pay and benefit packages, in addition to recruitment and retention levels.

It is vital that we consider all pay awards in the light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world-class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

The Police Remuneration Review Body report has been laid before Parliament and copies are available in the Vote Office and on gov.uk.

[HCWS914]

Proceeds of Crime Act 2002

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My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before Parliament the 2016-17 annual report of the appointed person under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The appointed person is an independent person who scrutinises the use of the search and seizure powers that support the measures in the Act to seize and forfeit cash used for criminal purposes and to seize and sell property in settlement of confiscation orders.

The report gives the appointed person’s opinion as to the circumstances and manner in which the search and seizure powers conferred by the Act are being exercised. I am pleased that the appointed person, Mr Douglas Bain, has expressed satisfaction with the operation of the powers and has found that there is nothing to suggest that the procedures are not being followed in accordance with the Act. Mr Bain has made two recommendations this year. The Government will give due consideration to Mr Bain’s recommendations.

From 1 April 2016 to the end of March 2017, over £134 million in cash was seized by law enforcement agencies in England and Wales under powers in the Act. The seizures are subject to further investigation, and the cash is subject to further judicially approved detention, before forfeiture in the magistrates court. These powers are a valuable tool in the fight against crime and the report shows that the way they are used has been, and will continue to be, monitored closely.

Copies of the report will be available in the Vote Office.

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Housing, Communities and Local Government

Housing

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Fixing our broken housing market is one of the Government’s top domestic priorities. The number of new homes built increased to 217,350—a 15% increase on the previous year—but we know there is much more to do. As one step towards this the Government are publishing today the new national planning policy framework, the Government response to the draft revised national planning policy framework and associated supplementary material. Consultation on the draft framework ran from 5 March to 10 May and the Government are grateful to all who responded—and in the light of comments received the Government have made important changes to this framework.

The new framework is fundamental to strengthening communities and to delivering the homes communities need. It sets out a comprehensive approach to ensuring the right homes are built in the right places and of the right quality, at the same time as protecting our precious natural environment.

Critically, progress must not be at the expense of quality or design. Houses must be right for communities. So the planning reforms in the new framework should result in homes that are locally led, well designed, and of a consistent and high-quality standard. Visual tools and design guides and codes promoted by the new framework will help create distinctive places. The framework makes clear that developments should be visually attractive and add to the overall quality of the area. To reinforce the message on design, it also states that planning permission should be refused for development of poor design that fails to take the opportunities available for improving the character and quality of an area.

Equally, building more homes should not be at the expense of the natural environment—there is a balance to be struck between enabling development while also protecting the natural environment. Therefore the new framework also increases protections to ensure we leave our environment in a better condition than we inherited it. Specifically, it increases protection for irreplaceable habitats such as ancient woodland, and ancient and veteran trees so that any development that impacts these habitats would have to be “wholly exceptional”. It also gives greater clarity to the strong protections for the green belt. It makes clear areas should examine fully all other reasonable options before green belt boundaries can be changed. It also makes clear that authorities should plan for improvements to the environmental quality and accessibility of remaining green belt land. The framework goes further to clarify the importance of local wildlife sites in plan making and enhancing the existing environment.

The framework also provides local areas with more flexibility to make the most effective use of the land they have. This includes providing communities with a clear understanding of their local housing need through a new standard methodology. It supports first-time buyers and people in the private rented sector by introducing a new exception site policy and provides greater certainty for local authorities in the decision making and planning appeals processes. It introduces new protections for churches, community pubs and music venues that play such a vital role in communities and can support the local economy. And to ensure communities get the homes they have been promised, the framework provides greater clarity on the contributions that developers are expected to make, because they have a key role in delivery. A new housing delivery test will also measure delivery of homes, with consequences for under-delivery.

These are just some of the 85 reforms from the housing White Paper and the Budget, implemented in the new national planning policy framework. Together with other reforms and support the Government now look to developers, working with local planning authorities, communities and their representatives, and central Government, to meet the challenges of fixing our broken housing market.

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Local Government Finance

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Today, my Department has published the “2019-20 Local Government Finance Settlement: technical consultation” as well as an “Invitation to Local Authorities in England to pilot 75% Business Rates Retention in 2019-20”.

The technical consultation reiterates this Government’s intention for the 2019-20 settlement to confirm the final year of the 2016-17 multi-year settlement accepted by 97% of authorities, and to implement council tax referendum principles as announced at the final 2018-19 settlement last year.

Looking to the longer term, the 2019 spending review will confirm funding from 2020-21. The Government are working towards significant reform in the local government finance system in 2020-21, including an updated, more robust and transparent distribution methodology to set baseline funding levels, and resetting business rates baselines.

This Government are committed to rewarding councils for supporting local firms and local jobs. The business rate retention system ensures that local authorities directly benefit from the proceeds of economic growth—with more funding to support local frontline services. All councils, including those which are currently less prosperous, have the opportunity to gain from this system.

The current 50% business rates retention scheme and piloting programme is yielding strong results. Local authorities estimate that in 2018-19 they will keep around £2.4 billion in business rates growth. Our continued reforms to this system will continue to give local authorities even greater control of their finances, but, to ensure a successful implementation, this Government are committed to testing aspects of the proposed new system.

This 2019-20 prospectus invites all local authorities (except for those with ongoing pilots in devolution deal areas and London) to apply to pilot 75% business rates retention in 2019-20.

From 2020-21 we are aiming to roll in additional grants, with a target of reaching 75% retention based on the current 2019-20 values of these grants. These pilots will help us test the retention system at this level. Given the limited time before 2020-21, when we aim to roll out increased business rates retention to all local authorities, there are fewer issues we can usefully test in pilots. It is therefore likely that this pilot programme will be smaller than in 2018-19.

Separately, the Government can confirm that local authorities in areas with a previously agreed devolution deal will continue to pilot 100% business rates retention in 2019-20. Separate conversations will happen with London authorities to decide arrangements following their 100% pilot this year.

Finally, I have noted the strength of feeling in local government around the issue of ‘negative reserve support grant’ and this technical consultation sets out the Government’s preferred approach to resolving the issue in 2019-20.

This preferred approach recognises the commitment made by the Government during the implementation of the business rate retention scheme in 2013-14, that tariff and top-ups would be fixed until the system was reset.

This commitment was made so that local authorities would benefit directly from supporting local business growth and the Government’s preferred approach does not reverse this commitment. In practice this will mean that the Government meet the cost of negative reserve support grant through forgone business rates.

I am placing a copy of the “2019-20 Local Government Finance Settlement: technical consultation” and the “Invitation to Local Authorities in England to pilot 75% Business Rates Retention in 2019-20” in the House Library.

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Local Growth

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Today the Government are announcing a package of reforms to help all places throughout the UK to prepare for the opportunities leaving the European Union will bring. The Business Secretary and I are publishing a policy paper on strengthened local enterprise partnerships (LEPs). This publication sets out how we will work with LEPs on their role and responsibilities, leadership and organisational capacity, accountability and performance. A copy of the local enterprise partnership policy paper can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/strengthened-local-enterprise-partnerships

We have also confirmed that Government will be working with all mayoral combined authorities and local enterprise partnerships to develop local industrial strategies. We will take a phased approach, and the next wave of places we will work closely with are the North East, Tees Valley, West of England, Leicester and Leicestershire, Cheshire and Warrington and Heart of the South West. Government will aim to agree local industrial strategies across England by early 2020. We will be publishing a further statement on local industrial strategies to guide locally-led work. This will be published over the summer. We will also discuss with devolved administrations and other stakeholders how local industrial strategies could work in the devolved Administrations.

Alongside these announcements, I can today set out our progress on designing the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). Our manifesto committed to establishing a UK shared prosperity fund to reduce inequalities between communities across our four nations, once we have left the European Union and EU structural funds. This progress statement provides an update on our proposals to develop a UK shared prosperity fund:

The objective of the UKSPF. The UKSPF will tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of our country whose economies are furthest behind. The UKSPF will achieve this objective by strengthening the foundations of productivity as set out in our modern industrial strategy to support people to benefit from economic prosperity.

A simplified, integrated fund. EU structural funds have been difficult to access, and EU regulations have stopped places co-ordinating investments across the foundations of productivity. Simplified administration for the fund will ensure that investments are targeted effectively to align with the challenges faced by places across the country and supported by strong evidence about what works at the local level.

UKSPF in the devolved nations. The UKSPF will operate across the UK. The Government will of course respect the devolution settlements in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will engage the devolved administrations to ensure the fund works for places across the UK.

A national framework in England that works for local priorities. Local areas in England are being asked to prepare local industrial strategies to prioritise long-term opportunities and challenges to increasing local productivity. This prioritisation will help local areas decide on their approach to maximising the long-term impact of the UKSPF once details of its operation and priorities are announced following the spending review.

Consulting the public. We intend to consult on the UKSPF this year, as we committed to do in our industrial strategy.

Furthermore, in 2016 the Government guaranteed funding for UK organisations in receipt of EU funds where projects are agreed before the day the UK leaves the EU. The Government have today announced an extension to this guarantee, which will underwrite the UK’s allocation for structural and investment fund projects under this EU budget period to 2020 in the event of no deal. This ensures that UK organisations, such as charities, businesses and universities, will continue to receive funding over a project’s lifetime if they successfully bid into EU-funded programmes before December 2020.

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Justice

HM Courts & Tribunals Service

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I am today announcing the outcome of five separate consultations published on 18 January 2018 relating to the future of eight courts within HM courts and tribunals estate [HCWS412].

More than 700 responses to these consultations were received and each was considered carefully against the overarching principles governing estates reform as set out in the 2015 consultation document, “Proposal on the provision of court and tribunal estate in England and Wales”. These principles are arranged in three themes: ensuring access to justice; delivering value for money; and enabling efficiency in the longer term.

As a result, I have decided that the following courts should close:

Banbury magistrates and county court and Maidenhead magistrates court

Chorley magistrates court and Fleetwood magistrates court

Northallerton magistrates court, and

Wandsworth county court, and Blackfriars Crown court.

I have concluded that the proposal to close Cambridge magistrates court should be withdrawn. This proposal received the largest number of responses to the consultation and the decision to consult was a finely balanced one, not least because this is a court in a strategic centre serving a large surrounding area. There is excess court capacity in the area but, following new information regarding the likely proceeds of disposal and consideration of the cost of re-provision, I have concluded the value-for-money case for closure has not been made. HMCTS will continue to explore further ways to manage under-utilisation of existing buildings in the region and across the country as part of its wider estates strategy.

In January, we also published for consultation “Fit for the future: transforming the Court and Tribunal Estate”, setting out our proposed approach to the future management of the HMCTS estate in the context of the wider modernisation programme. We have received many detailed responses to these proposals and these are still under consideration.

A response to this consultation will be published in due course. But, given the local interest in the eight courts and the need for certainty for those who use them, I felt it would not be right to delay our response to these proposals until we were ready to respond to the strategy consultation.

All savings and money raised through disposals as a result of these closures will be in invested to support the HMCTS reform programme backed by both the Government and the senior judiciary. This programme will help to provide a more accessible and efficient justice for all those who use it.

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Departmental Update

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I am today announcing pay rises for prison officers. The Prison Service Pay Review Body has made its recommendation for the 2018-19 pay award and we are accepting the spirit of its recommendation.

Today’s pay award is worth 2.75% for all prison officers, of which 2% is consolidated and 0.75% non-consolidated. Some staff on modernised fair and sustainable contracts will also receive performance-related progression pay. The pay award is worth on average £1,220 for staff on fair and sustainable contracts.

The Government are committed to world-class public services and ensuring that public sector workers are fairly paid for the vitally important work that they do. It is thanks to our balanced approach to public finances—getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low—that we are today able to announce a fair and deserved pay rise for prison officers.

We ended the 1% average pay policy in September 2017, because we recognised more flexibility is now required to deliver world-class public services, including in return for improvements to public sector productivity.

We value the role of the independent pay review bodies and thank them for their work in considering pay awards. In reaching a final position for 2018-19 public sector pay awards, we have balanced a need to recognise the value and dedication of our hard-working public servants while ensuring that our public services remain affordable in the long term, to contribute to our objective of reducing public sector debt. We have also sought to ensure that pay awards are fair and consistent across public sector workforces, and reflect existing pay and benefit packages, in addition to recruitment and retention levels.

It is vital that we consider all pay awards in the light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world-class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

The report has been laid before Parliament today. I am grateful to the chair and members of the PRB for their report.

[HCWS915]

Prime Minister

Machinery of Government

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I am making this statement to bring to the attention of the House a machinery of government change.

It is essential that in navigating the UK’s exit from the European Union, the Government are organised in the most effective way. To that end I am making some changes to the division of functions between the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) and the Cabinet Office.

DExEU will continue to lead on all of the Government’s preparations for Brexit: domestic preparations in both a deal and a no deal scenario, all of the necessary legislation, and preparations for the negotiations to implement the detail of the future framework. To support this, DExEU will recruit some new staff, and a number of Cabinet Office officials co-ordinating work on preparedness will move to DExEU while maintaining close ties with both Departments.

I will lead the negotiations with the European Union, with the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union deputising on my behalf. Both of us will be supported by the Cabinet Office Europe Unit and with this in mind the Europe Unit will have overall responsibility for the preparation and conduct of the negotiations, drawing upon support from DExEU and other Departments as required. A number of staff will transfer from DExEU to the Cabinet Office to deliver that.

There will be no net reduction in staff numbers at DExEU given the recruitment exercise described above.

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Transport

Crossrail

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It has been another productive year for the Crossrail project with a number of key milestones achieved and progress made across all areas. The programme is now 93% complete and is entering the critical testing and commissioning stage.

In May as part of the second stage of the Crossrail opening strategy, TfL Rail took over operation of the former Heathrow Connect service to Heathrow airport as well as some local services between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington. This builds on the introduction of new Class 345 trains on the Liverpool Street to Shenfield route in June 2017. Fifteen of the new trains are now in regular service.

All core track work was completed last summer, which enabled the first Elizabeth line train to make its maiden voyage through the central tunnels in February this year. The new Abbey Wood station opened to existing rail passengers, and the construction and fit-out of the other new Elizabeth line stations continues to progress with the installation of lifts and escalators and completion of architectural finishes. The Department for Transport and Transport for London (TfL)—the joint sponsors of the project—continue to work with Crossrail Ltd to ensure operational readiness in advance of the opening of the Elizabeth Line.

As reported in the update to Parliament last year, cost pressures have increased across the project. Both the Department and TfL remain committed to the successful delivery of this project and have agreed an overall funding envelope for delivery of the project of £15.4 billion. This will enable the completion of the project at a cost lower than planned under the last Labour Government. The anticipated cost of the project was previously estimated at £15.9 billion in 2007 and increased to £17.8 billion in 2009, before the coalition Government took steps to bring down the costs following the June 2010 comprehensive spending review.

The additional funding is being provided to both Crossrail Ltd and Network Rail.

Some £300 million is being made available to Crossrail Ltd, with the Department for Transport and TfL contributing £150 million each.

Around £290 million is being provided for completion of the programme of works on the national rail network, and is being funded by the Department for Transport and Network Rail.

It remains the case that over 60% of the project’s funding has been provided by Londoners and London businesses.

Further details on Crossrail Ltd’s funding and finances in the period to 29 May 2018 are set out in the table below.

This year, the Crossrail project’s health and safety indicators have remained industry leading, with a strong performance demonstrated throughout the year with all the key indicators exceeding the corporate objectives for the year 2017-18.

Network Rail have also delivered a significant programme of Crossrail related surface works, successfully connecting the existing rail network with the Elizabeth line tunnels at Pudding Mill Lane, Plumstead and Westbourne Park. They have also completed the largest and most complex signalling upgrade ever undertaken by Network Rail on the approach into Paddington on one of the busiest stretches of railway in the country.

There have been planned changes in the leadership and governance of the project as we approach the final stages of delivery. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew Wolstenholme for his work in progressing the programme and acting as a champion for Crossrail during his time as chief executive. He has been succeeded by Simon Wright as chief executive and programme director. Crossrail Ltd’s board has been restructured to keep the management of the programme efficient and cost effective while maintaining the people and structure necessary to deliver the railway through to full opening. As part of this, both the Department and TfL have appointed new non-executive directors to the Crossrail board to provide increased scrutiny and assist in the transition of the project as it enters its final stages.

As with all projects of this nature, there have been a number of engineering and technical challenges that have already been surmounted in order to build the first new railway for a generation, and there will continue to be challenges right up until the final completion of the project.

The new railway will transform travel in, to, and across London, with the positive economic benefits being felt across the country. Its legacy will continue to support many thousands of jobs, over 1,000 apprenticeships and a supply chain that is spread across the length and breadth of the UK.

During the passage of the Crossrail Bill through Parliament, a commitment was given that an annual statement would be published until the completion of the construction of Crossrail, setting out information about the project’s funding and finances.

The relevant information is as follows:

Total funding amounts provided to Crossrail Limited by the Department for Transport and TfL in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period (22 July 2008 to 29 May 2018).

£11,713,723,131

Expenditure incurred (including committed land and property spend not yet paid out) by Crossrail Ltd in relation to the construction of Crossrail in the period (30 May 2017 to 29 May 2018) (excluding recoverable VAT on Land and Property purchases).

£1,619,238,000

Total expenditure incurred (including committed land and property spend not yet paid out) by Crossrail Ltd in relation to the construction of Crossrail to the end of the period (22 July 2008 to 29 May 2018) (excluding recoverable VAT on Land and Property purchases).

£12,506,215,837

The amounts realised by the disposal of any land or property for the purposes of the construction of Crossrail by the Secretary of State, TfL or Crossrail Ltd in the period covered by the statement.

£18,462,238

The numbers above are drawn from Crossrail Ltd’s books of account and have been prepared on a consistent basis with the update provided last year. The figure for expenditure incurred includes moneys already paid out in relevant period, including committed land and property expenditure where this has not yet been paid. It does not include future expenditure on construction contracts that have been awarded.

[HCWS918]