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House of Commons Hansard
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Written Statements
09 September 2019
Volume 664

Written Statements

Monday 9 September 2019

Treasury

Asset Sale Disclosure: Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander

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I am informing the House of the sale of the remainder of a claim against Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Limited (in administration) (“KSF”) acquired by the Government during the 2007-08 financial crisis. The Government’s claim was held by the financial services compensation scheme (“FSCS”) which compensated KSF depositors at the time of the financial crisis. This sale to Tavira Securities Limited generates proceeds of £17.8 million for the Exchequer.

Rationale

The Government acquired their claim in KSF to preserve financial stability. The administration of KSF has now been running for over nine years and there is comparatively little value remaining in the residual assets. The Exchequer has received £421 million of dividends prior to this sale. In addition, FSCS has repaid to the Exchequer £2.6 billion (plus interest of £146 million) which it borrowed at the time of the financial crisis to enable it to pay compensation for covered deposits in KSF.

Continuing to hold the claim until the administration of KSF concluded was considered, but this option was discounted as the analysis suggested a sale could achieve value for money and would free up FSCS and HM Treasury capacity previously used to manage the claim to pursue other work.

FSCS discussed the sale with a number of potential counterparties, having previously examined the market for selling claims. The counterparty selected offered the highest price.

The proceeds from this sale will reduce public sector net debt. This marks the conclusion of the Government’s and FSCS’s involvement in KSF.

Format and timing

The Government and FSCS concluded that this sale achieves value for money for the taxpayer having (i) conducted an analysis of whether market conditions were conducive for the sale of this asset; and (ii) conducted an assessment of the fair market value for the asset. The sale made use of a third party broker experienced in selling claims against insolvent companies, which was done to create competitive tension among potential ultimate buyers of the asset.

Fiscal impacts

I can confirm that the sale proceeds of £17.8 million are within the hold valuation range. In 2019-20 the sale reduces public sector net debt (PSND) by £17.8 million and public sector net liabilities (PSNL) and public sector net financial liabilities (PSNFL) by £2.3 million.

The impacts on the fiscal aggregates, in line with fiscal forecasting convention, are not discounted to present value. The net impacts of the sale on a selection of fiscal metrics are summarised as follows:

Metric

Impact

Sale proceeds

£17.8 million

Hold valuation

Net present value of the assets if held to maturity using Green Book assumptions

£9.9 million - £24.1 million

Public sector net borrowing

No impact

Public sector net debt

Improved by £17.8 million in 2019-20

Public sector net liabilities

Improved by £2.3 million in 2019-20

Public sector net financial liabilities

Improved by £2.3 million in 2019-20

I will update the House of any further changes to the FSCS as necessary.

[HCWS1827]

Education

School Funding

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On 6 September 2019 I announced a review into special educational needs and disability (SEND) and the support available to children and young people. This will be a cross-Government review and is part of Government’s commitment to ensure that every child receives the best start in life, including those who need additional support because they have a special educational need or disability.

In 2014, the Government introduced significant, widely supported, reforms to improve and join up the support that children and young people with SEND receive. It is now time to review how that is working, make sure that we are supporting children and young people to reach their potential, and to take account of the lived experience of children and young people with SEND and of their parents. The review is about understanding what is happening across England for children, young people and their families and making sure money is being spent fairly, efficiently and effectively, and that the support available to children and young people is sustainable in future.

The review will look at:

the evidence on how the system can provide the highest quality support that enables children and young people with SEND to thrive and prepare for adulthood, including employment:

better helping parents to make decisions about what kind of support will be best for their child;

making sure support in different local areas is consistent, and that high-quality support is available across the country:

how we strike the right balance of state-funded provision across inclusive mainstream and specialist places;

aligning incentives and accountability for schools, colleges and local authorities to make sure they provide the best possible support for children and young people with SEND;

understanding what is causing the demand for education, health and care plans and;

ensuring that public money is spent in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner, placing a premium on securing high quality outcomes for those children and young people who need additional support.

The review will inform and support the Government commitment to revise and update the SEND Code of Practice before the end of 2020.

[HCWS1829]

School Funding

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Today I am confirming detailed aspects of schools and high needs funding arrangements for 2020-21. This follows a statement by the Secretary of State for Education on 3 September, which confirmed to Parliament that the funding for schools and high needs will, compared to 2019-20, rise by £2.6 billion for 2020-21, £4.8 billion for 2021-22, and £7.1 billion for 2022-23.

In 2020-21, this funding will be distributed using the schools and high needs national funding formulae (NFF). We will be publishing provisional NFF allocations at local authority and school level in October, including local authorities’ final primary and secondary units of funding for the schools block. Alongside this, in the usual way, we will publish technical documents setting out the detail underpinning the formulae. We will then publish final schools and high needs allocations for local authorities in the dedicated schools grant (DSG) in December.

The schools NFF for 2020-21 will continue to have the same factors as at present, and we will continue to implement the formula to address historic underfunding and move to a system where funding is based on need. The key aspects of the formula for 2020-21 are:

The minimum per pupil funding levels will be set at £3,750 for primary schools and £5,000 for secondary schools. The following year, in 2021-22, the primary minimum level will rise to £4,000.

The funding floor will be set at 1.84% per pupil, in line with the forecast GDP deflator, to protect per pupil allocations for all schools in real terms. This minimum increase in 2020-21 allocations will be based on the individual school’s NFF allocation in 2019-20.

Schools that are attracting their core NFF allocations will benefit from an increase of 4% to the formula’s core factors.

There will be no gains cap in the NFF, unlike the previous two years, so that all schools attract their full core allocations under the formula.

As previously set out, we will make a technical change to the mobility factor so that it allocates this funding using a formulaic approach, rather than on the basis of historic spend.

Growth funding will be based on the same methodology as this year, with the same transitional protection ensuring that no authority whose growth funding is unwinding will lose more than 0.5% of its 2019-20 schools block allocation.

The Secretary of State confirmed on 3 September the Government’s intention to move to a “hard” NFF for schools—where budgets will be set on the basis of a single, national formula. We recognise that this will represent a significant change and we will work closely with local authorities, schools and others to make this transition as smoothly as possible.

In 2020-21 local authorities will continue to have discretion over their schools funding formulae and, in consultation with schools, will ultimately determine allocations in their area. However, as a first step towards hardening the formula, from 2020-21 the Government will make the use of the national minimum per pupil funding levels, at the values in the school NFF, compulsory for local authorities to use in their own funding formulae.

In addition, two important restrictions will continue:

Local authorities will continue to set a minimum funding guarantee in local formulae, which in 2020-21 must be between +0.5% and +1.84%. This allows them to mirror the real terms protection in the NFF, which is the Government’s expectation.

Local authorities can only transfer up to 0.5% of their school block to other blocks of the DSG, with schools forum approval. To transfer more than this, or any amount without schools forum approval, they will have to make a request to the Department for Education, even if the same amount was agreed in the past two years.

The high needs NFF for 2020-21 will also have the same factors as at present. With over £700 million of additional funding, the formula will:

Ensure that every local authority will receive an increase of at least 8% per head of 2 to 18 population through the funding floor. This minimum increase in 2020-21 allocations will be based on local authorities’ high needs allocations in 2019-20, including the additional £125 million announced in December 2018.

Above this minimum increase, the formula will allow local authorities to see increases of up to 17%, again calculated on the basis of per head of population.

The teachers’ pay grant and teachers’ pension employer contributions grant will both continue to be paid separately from the NFF in 2020-21. We will publish the rates that determine the 2020-21 allocations in due course.

[HCWS1828]

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas

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In the wake of Hurricane Dorian, my thoughts are with all those who have lost their lives, their homes or have been injured in the Bahamas and elsewhere. Hurricane Dorian has caused untold damage to the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama in particular. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) estimates that 15,000 people remain in need of urgent humanitarian assistance—a number which is less than was initially feared. The Government of the Bahamas have officially confirmed 43 deaths.

To help the people and the Government of the Bahamas, the UK Government have initially committed up to £1.5 million towards the immediate humanitarian response. This funding has been provided by the conflict, stability and security fund (CSSF), for the delivery of critical aid supplies by the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Mounts Bay, and to support CDEMA in its work to co-ordinate the international response. RFA Mounts Bay was pre-positioned in the region ahead of hurricane season and is carrying specialist equipment and vital aid supplies, including hygiene kits, emergency shelter kits and water. The Royal Navy Wildcat helicopter on board is airlifting supplies, conducting reconnaissance flights and assessing damage. The UK was amongst the first to provide support and we are now glad to see that the international response is ramping up.

We have deployed a team to the Bahamas to help co-ordinate the emergency response and ensure aid gets where it is needed. We have also deployed additional consular staff to Nassau. They, alongside Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) staff in London, are working with the Bahamian authorities and international partners to provide support to British nationals, and to scope what, if any, further assistance may be needed.

The number of British nationals in need of support is anticipated to be low. It is low season for tourists and we estimate there were 200-400 British nationals in the worst affected areas. As the only European mission in the Bahamas, the British High Commission in Nassau has legal responsibility to provide consular support for EU nationals. The FCO has been regularly updating its travel advice.

The British High Commission in Nassau is working closely with the United Nations, the United States, Canada, NGOs and other partners in the region to support the Bahamian Government. Early support was also provided by the Governor’s Office in Turks and Caicos, which is a British overseas territory. The Cayman Islands have also sent a helicopter (jointly funded with the FCO).

The FCO, Department for International Development, Ministry of Defence, and other Departments and agencies have worked closely to prepare for the hurricane season. Since 2017, the Met Office has developed improved advisory arrangements for the Caribbean, and we have been working closely to gain a better understanding of the technical data as tropical storms develop. A team of experts from across Government was tracking this storm from its development as a tropical depression over the August bank holiday. This meant the UK Government were well prepared to respond quickly in support of local authorities with our resources pre-deployed in the region. We will continue to assess the situation.

Any MPs who may be concerned about the welfare of particular UK nationals in the Bahamas can contact the MPs’ hotline, details of which have been emailed to all MPs’ offices.

[HCWS1822]

Health and Social Care

Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) Risk Reduction Measures: Revised Advice

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I would like to inform the House that the Government, along with the Scottish Government and the Welsh Government, will be updating some specific variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) precautionary measures in England, Scotland and Wales.

In 2004, the Government were advised to establish precautionary vCJD risk reduction measures in the UK, acknowledging the unknown risks of vCJD to recipients of UK plasma and platelets. A number of measures were introduced, such as the introduction of leucodepletion of all blood components and the deferral of previously transfused donors. These specific risk reduction measures are highly effective and will remain in place to maintain the safety of the UK blood supply.

An additional risk reduction measure adopted involved the treatment of patients born on or after 1 January 1996 with imported plasma and/or apheresis platelets. This was to reduce the risk of exposure to components that were thought to have potentially increased their risk of developing vCJD.

Over the last 15 years, accrued scientific evidence has indicated that the risk of vCJD through the transfusion of UK plasma or platelets is much lower than initially thought; there have been no known transfusion transmissions of vCJD from any blood components since the leucodepletion process was introduced. In March 2019, the independent advisory committee for the safety of blood, tissues and organs (SaBTO) reviewed the scientific evidence and operational practices, engaged with stakeholders, and recommended that some specific risk reduction measures, requiring the use of imported plasma and apheresis platelets for individuals born on or after 1 January 1996 and/or with TTP, be withdrawn.

SaBTO’s final advice has been published on the gov.uk website, providing a comprehensive analysis of the risk attributed with updating these vCJD risk reduction measures. This advice is available online at: https://www. gov.uk/government/collections/sabto-reports-and-guidance-documents.

Upon receiving this expert advice, the Minister of Care has approved the use of domestic plasma and pooled platelets for patients born on or after 1 January 1996 or with TTP. Other risk reduction measures will remain in place, including leucodepletion, deferral of previously transfused donors and a ban on the manufacture of plasma derived medicinal products from plasma sourced in the UK.

NHS Blood and Transplant already sources 94% of plasma from UK donors and increasing domestic plasma use will provide further benefits relating to equitable provision of blood components, reduced operational complexity for hospitals and increased accessibility at the point of use. Clinicians who wish to prescribe and source commercial imported plasma products for patients, based on patient need and clinical preference, will continue to be able to do so in accordance with local and national guidelines.

The Minister of Care has now directed NHS Blood and Transplant (BT) to begin increasing domestic plasma acquisition in England through a managed, incremental transition. The Scottish Government and the Welsh Government have also asked their respective blood services to begin implementing SaBTO’s recommendation. In Northern Ireland, any decision on SaBTO’s recommendation to update vCJD risk reduction measures will be deferred until a Minister is in post.

[HCWS1821]

Home Department

Immigration Rules: Statement of Changes

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My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a statement of changes to the immigration rules (HC 2631). Copies will be made available in the Vote Office and on gov.uk.

I have made a change to the immigration rules which will reduce costs and bureaucracy for doctors, dentists, nurses and midwives looking to come and work in the UK and support our NHS. This change will ensure that these medical professionals, who have passed a robust English language test, which includes identity checks, and are required to register with their regulatory body, do not have to sit a separate, lower level immigration English language test. This will support the Government’s desire to continue to attract the best and brightest global talent to the UK and to encourage migrants to integrate into society, without compromising the safety of those using our health services.

The United Kingdom is committed to providing protection to those who need it, in accordance with its international obligations. Those who fear persecution should however claim asylum in the first safe country they reach and not put their lives at risk by making unnecessary and dangerous journeys to the UK. Illegal migration from safe countries undermines our efforts to help those most in need.

To support these principles, the immigration rules already provide for inadmissibility processes, under which we can decline to substantively consider the asylum claim of a claimant in the UK and remove them to a safe third country, provided the claimant has, or could have claimed asylum there, has refugee status there, or has some other relevant connection to the third country such that it would be reasonable for them to return there. This process requires the co-operation of the safe third country.

Some of these rules are drafted in the context of the UK’s membership of the EU. As such, we are making minor amendments to the rules, to allow us to use inadmissibility processes for broadly the same range of case types once we leave the EU.

Finally, we are also introducing wider changes through these immigration rules to appendix EU which sets out the rules governing the EU settlement scheme (EUSS). This provides the basis for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, and their family members, to apply for UK immigration status which they will require to remain here permanently after the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

The changes make revised provision for access to the EUSS for the family members of UK nationals returning with them from an EEA member state or Switzerland, having lived there together while the UK national exercised their free movement rights, in line with the announcement on such access made on 4 April 2019.

We expect the vast majority of EUSS applicants to be genuine, and for there to be little need for status granted under the EUSS to be cancelled at the border or curtailed in-country. However, it is appropriate that, to safeguard the integrity of the EUSS, its status should be covered by some of the same powers as other forms of immigration leave, so that appropriate action can be taken where necessary. The changes therefore amend part 9 of the immigration rules to provide additional grounds for the cancellation and curtailment of EUSS status and leave acquired having travelled to the UK with an EUSS family permit, e.g. on grounds this was obtained by deception (such as where the person had claimed to be the family member of an EEA citizen when they were not). The changes also amend part 9 to provide discretionary grounds for EUSS status and leave acquired having travelled to the UK with an EUSS family permit, to be cancelled at the border, in a “no-deal” scenario, on the grounds that cancellation is conducive to the public good, as a result of the person’s post-exit conduct.

The changes provide a right of administrative review where status granted under EUSS is cancelled at the border because the person no longer meets the requirements for that status, e.g. where, as a non-EEA citizen granted pre-settled status under the EUSS, they have ceased to be the family member of an EEA citizen. Such cancellation could only occur where the person no longer met any of the bases for eligibility for status under the EUSS. The changes also bring the time frame for applying for an administrative review under the EUSS in line with all other administrative reviews in cases where the applicant is detained pending their removal from the UK, which will help ensure detention is kept to a minimum.

[HCWS1823]

Housing, Communities and Local Government

Towns Fund

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On 27 July 2019 the Prime Minister announced that the £3.6 billion towns fund would support an initial 100 town deals across England.

The fund is part of the Government plan to level up our regions and create a more united country, one where people throughout the UK can benefit from our shared prosperity.

This Government are committed to decentralise funding and decisions away from Whitehall. We have invested in the growth of local economies and devolving powers through agreeing ambitious city and growth deals, devolving more than £9 billion of funding to local enterprise partnerships and introducing eight metro mayors in England.

However, many towns have not benefited from city-focused investment and we know that for the country to succeed, every place must play its part.

Last week I announced the 100 places I will be inviting to develop proposals for town deals. These include towns that are birthplaces of industry, that have been centres of commerce for centuries and that are bastions of the maritime economy along our coastline.

These are famous towns with great histories that unfortunately do not feel they have received benefits from the growth we are seeing elsewhere in the UK economy.

That is why we will work with these places to develop proposals for transformative investments in infrastructure, skills and culture through the towns fund. These deals will include the new homes, improved transport and broadband connectivity that towns need, as well as social and cultural infrastructure, from libraries and art centres to parks and vital public services. These investments will boost productivity and sustainably raise living standards, bringing communities together and giving places new energy and life.

We know that every place is different. That is why we will work with towns across the country to listen and give greater power to communities when developing innovative proposals for their area. I want Government to better understand the local assets towns have and the challenges they face. It will be through the towns fund that we can support these places to harness their unique strengths for future growth and community resilience.

We want to make sure that all parts of the UK can benefit from resources to boost productivity and living standards. We are in ongoing discussions with colleagues across Her Majesty’s Government about how we can better support our towns in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and make sure areas throughout the UK share in the opportunities of Brexit.

I will publish a towns fund prospectus shortly in order to provide greater detail on how the fund will operate. This document will set out eligibility criteria for funding and the rigorous process by which proposals will be considered, including our expectations for community involvement and maximising the impact of spending. We will then begin working with places across the country to support them in developing their proposals for the future. Their best years lie ahead of them.

The list of places I announced last week can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/ 5d722667e5274a09881c0c58/list-of-100-places.pdf

[HCWS1830]

International Development

Ebola Outbreak

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Since the House was last updated on the response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in July, sadly the situation on the ground has become even more grave—despite the brave and tireless dedication of frontline responders.

I therefore want to assure the House that the UK—in partnership with communities, local authorities and trusted international partners—is doing everything it can to save lives.

Sadly, we have recently seen new cases in areas previously unaffected by the outbreak. In August, we saw cases emerge for the first time in the province of South Kivu. And in July, a number of cases were detected in Goma, a city of 2 million people on the border with Rwanda, prompting the World Health Organisation to declare a public health emergency of international concern.

On Thursday 29 August, a nine-year-old Congolese girl was screened as a suspected case as she and her mother crossed the border from DRC. Tragically, she was confirmed as positive with Ebola and passed away. This is the seventh Ebola outbreak in Uganda since the year 2000 and the Ugandan authorities once again deserve praise for their swift response.

When I visited Uganda last month, I saw first-hand how UK aid is helping guard against the spread of Ebola. The border screening point and treatment centre, constructed with UK support, identified the above case.

The vital importance and effectiveness of health workers and communities—and of UK aid support for them—was shown again in rapidly identifying and confirming the case of the nine-year- old girl and appropriately moving her for isolation and care. Trained frontline workers and community awareness are crucial to mapping, monitoring and vaccinating potential cases. Thankfully, no further suspect cases in Uganda have yet been identified; although follow-up monitoring and surveillance continues.

Despite successes, hard work and dedication, the outbreak is still not under control. The death toll recently passed 2,000. We will not succeed in getting Ebola under control unless the international community as a whole steps up and supports the response. The world cannot afford to ignore Ebola, as it could spread further, making it a threat to us all.

That is why, in August, I announced an additional £8 million for neighbouring countries most at risk of the spread of Ebola, namely Uganda, South Sudan, Burundi and Rwanda. This funding will deliver more temperature checks at border crossings—which have been so crucial in Uganda. It will also support Ebola treatment units and provide clean water and sanitation. This is in addition to the £45 million that UK aid has already provided for tackling the outbreak in the DRC and a previous £15 million for regional preparedness.

The British people can be proud of the UK’s leading role in the response. We are the leading supporter of regional preparedness, and one of the largest donors to the overall response, alongside the US, ECHO and the World Bank. We are saving lives and bringing this outbreak to a close.

Despite the gravity of the situation, there is some cause for optimism. More than 200,000 people have now been vaccinated against the disease, which is a truly remarkable effort. This highly effective vaccine was developed with UK support during the latter stages of the west Africa outbreak, in 2013-16.

Moreover, recent results from the trials of therapeutic treatments have also shown positive results, showing that we can treat this disease if it is detected early enough. Around 900 people have recovered from the virus and more could stand to benefit.

Investment in research and development is a crucial part of the Department’s work. I am extremely proud of the world-leading and innovative efforts we are supporting in this area. But if we are to tackle the spread of the disease, then more must be done. We must help support the longer-term strengthening of health systems around the world. However, more immediately, the international community needs to step up to support the response in the DRC. There is absolutely no room for complacency.

In recent months the response has been underfunded by the international community. This has had a detrimental impact on response activities on the ground: without funding, frontline responders are unable to deliver life-saving support such as treating patients, tracing and vaccinating their contacts, and burying the dead safely.

The UK has consistently pushed for other countries to step up their financial support. Although more commitments have now been given, we will continue to press our friends and partners for stronger action, including in New York later this month during the United Nations General Assembly. We must also make sure that funds are made available quickly and go where they are most needed, as set out in the recently published fourth strategic response plan, which is the joint UN and Government of DRC plan to tackle the disease.

As I saw so clearly during my visit to Uganda, we must break down the barriers between the international response and local communities. Dispelling the myths surrounding the virus is critical in ensuring that patients are both able and willing to seek treatment.

UK support is therefore funding a wide range of activities, from employing Ebola survivors to talk to communities about treatment, to engaging with local religious leaders to foster trust. UK aid has funded safe and dignified burials, allowing families to have their loved ones buried in line with traditional practices, while protecting themselves from the virus.

But mistrust remains, complicated by the fact that the outbreak is found in a region afflicted by decades of conflict and violence. The scale of the challenge cannot be underestimated.

Finally, I want to pay tribute to the health workers who risk their lives daily to combat the spread of this terrible disease. We have seen health workers attacked and even killed for doing their job, and I am sure that the whole House will agree that we must condemn these deplorable acts of violence.

At its heart, this must be a community-led and owned response, but with strong financial and technical support from the international community. Although the risk of Ebola to the UK population remains very low, we all know that diseases do not respect borders. I can therefore assure the House that Britain remains committed to supporting the effort to combat Ebola for as long as it takes to end the outbreak.

[HCWS1826]

Prime Minister

Government Structures for Brexit

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I am making this statement to confirm ministerial responsibilities for delivering Brexit.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is responsible for practical preparations within the UK for leaving the European Union on 31 October, whether that is without a deal or with the new deal the Government are seeking. The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union is responsible for direct negotiations with the European Union. This includes both the new deal the Government are seeking, and our future relationship with the European Union beyond 31 October, if we leave without a deal.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union will be supported by officials in the Cabinet Office and the Department for Exiting the European Union equally across the Brexit agenda. Officials will retain their existing reporting lines with no transfers between departments. For the purpose of delivering Brexit they will operate in a single collective group under the Department for Exiting the European Union permanent secretary. As a result, it has not been necessary for any staff to have formally transferred between departments.

[HCWS1825]

Work and Pensions

Universal Credit: Reporting Childcare Costs

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Today the Universal Credit (Childcare Costs and Minimum Income Floor) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 will be laid, as well as the equivalent Northern Ireland regulations.

Universal credit is the biggest change of the welfare system since it was created. It is a modern, flexible, personalised benefit reflecting the rapidly changing world of work.

Up to 85% of childcare costs can be reimbursed through universal credit. However, previously those reporting costs generally had to do so in the same month-long universal credit assessment period in which they were incurred for these costs to be reimbursed.

In order to ensure that busy parents have the maximum opportunity to recover childcare costs, we are laying legislation today to give extra time for working parents to claim back childcare costs. We are doubling the period during which those who claim support for childcare costs in universal credit can report their costs—they will now have an additional month to do so.

This extension for reporting costs provides parents with more flexibility and could help claimants with two or more children avoid losing out on more than £1,100 per month. Costs can be submitted online, and those in work while in receipt of universal credit can apply for up to £646.35 per month if they have one child and up to £1,108.40 for two or more children.

In addition to the childcare support provided in universal credit, the Government also provide a wide range of childcare support for families, including 30 free hours for three and four-year-olds of working parents, 15 free hours for disadvantaged two-year-olds and for all three and four-year-olds, and tax-free childcare.

[HCWS1824]