Monday 20 September 2021
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Draft Revised Energy National Policy Statements
Today I am laying before Parliament the draft revised energy national policy statements.
The energy national policy statements were first designated in 2011. They set out the Government’s policy for the delivery of energy infrastructure and provide the legal framework for planning decisions, in key energy policy areas: fossil fuels (EN-2); renewables (EN-3); gas supply and gas and oil pipelines (EN-4); electricity networks (EN-5); and nuclear (EN-6). They each sit below an overarching energy NPS (EN-1) which sets out the need for new energy infrastructure.
The Government announced a review of the current suite of energy national policy statements (NPS) in the energy White Paper: “Powering our net zero future” in December 2020.
The energy White Paper builds on the Prime Minister’s 10-point plan to set a long-term strategic vision for our energy system, consistent with net zero emissions by 2050. It establishes our goal of a decisive shift from fossil fuels to clean energy, in power, buildings and industry, while creating jobs and growing the economy and keeping energy bills affordable. It addresses how and why our energy system needs to evolve to deliver this goal whilst retaining a secure and operable energy system.
We have reviewed all the national policy statements for energy infrastructure and determined that the existing EN-1 to EN-5 documents should be amended to reflect the policies set out in the White Paper and support the investment required to build the infrastructure needed for transition to net zero.
A review of EN-6 has concluded that it will not be amended and therefore it is not part of this consultation. A new technology specific NPS for nuclear electricity generation deployable after 2025 is proposed and will be developed to reflect the changing policy and technology landscape for nuclear and support the transition to net zero.
On 6 September 2021 I launched a public consultation on the draft revised energy national policy statements, supporting habitats and sustainability reports and associated appendices. These are subject to a 12-week public consultation and are all available on gov.uk.
I will place copies of the public consultation “Planning for new energy infrastructure: review of energy national policy statements”, the “Appraisal of sustainability and its appendices: Appendices supporting evidence volumes I and II”, and the “Habitats regulation assessment” in the Libraries of both Houses. The public consultation will close on 29 November 2021. The relevant period for parliamentary scrutiny will be from 20 September 2021 to 28 February 2022.
Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payments
I would like to update the House on the Department’s implementation of the Supreme Court judgment from July 2019 in the case of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v. MM, known as MM. The judgment concerned the way we assess the help that someone might need to engage with other people face to face and whether that help is considered “prompting” or “social support” under the PIP assessment.
The Department set out to the House on 17 September 2020 that, following this judgment, the Department had made changes to the way PIP is assessed for all new claims, award reviews and mandatory reconsiderations.
We have now started an administrative exercise, looking at PIP claims since 6 April 2016 to check whether claimants may be eligible for more support under PIP.
This is a complex exercise that will take some time to complete. We will be contacting claimants who may be affected by this change and will be writing to those we review. If claimants are eligible for more PIP, we will make backdated payments.
It is important to stress that not everyone we contact will be eligible for more PIP, however, I hope this reassures the House that we are committed to treating people fairly and ensuring that they are fully supported.