Wednesday 2 February 2022
Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2022-23
The Secretary of State for the Home Department, my right hon. Friend the Member for Witham (Priti Patel), has today laid before the House the Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2022-23 (HC 1084). The report sets out the Home Secretary’s determination for 2022-23 of the aggregate amount of grants that she proposes to pay under section 46(2) of the Police Act 1996. Copies of the report are available from the Vote Office.
The allocations that have been laid before the House today are as set out in my statement and provisional Police Grant Report of 16 December 2021.
In 2022-23 the overall funding settlement for the policing system will total up to £16.9 billion, a £1.1 billion increase on the 2021-22 funding settlement. Available funding to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) will increase next year by up to an additional £796 million, assuming full take-up of precept flexibility. This would represent an increase to PCC funding in cash terms of 5.8% on the 2021-22 police funding settlement. Council tax levels are a local decision and elected Police and Crime Commissioners will rightly want to consider what they are asking people to pay to fulfil their strong desire to keep our streets safe. The council tax referendum principles in England are not a cap, nor do they force local authorities to set taxes at the threshold level. Rather they are an additional local democratic check to prevent excessive increases, determined by the House of Commons.
The table available as an attachment online documents funding to PCCs for 2022-23, including precept.
Attachments can be view online at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2022-02-02/HCWS577/ .
Trade With Israel Policy Update
The call for input on a future trade agreement with Israel has launched today.
The UK is committed to our trade and investment relationship with Israel, one of the Middle East’s most dynamic and innovative economies and the world’s 30th largest economy in 2020.  This deal aims to secure more access for British goods and services, opening significant new opportunities for UK business which could boost trade with Israel, worth £4.8 billion in 2020. It aims to cement the UK’s position as a world leader in innovation, and digital and services trade.
The UK signed a trade continuity agreement with Israel in February 2019 which replicated the scope of the EU-Israel agreement. The UK-Israel Trade and Partnership Agreement includes provisions on tariff liberalisation, customs and trade facilitation and public procurement but does not include many key areas of a comprehensive FTA such as services, data, or intellectual property, which we hope to include in the new agreement.
The call for input will provide businesses, individuals, and other interested stakeholders with the opportunity to give valuable feedback and highlight their priorities for our future trading relationship with Israel.
The feedback received from stakeholders will be crucial when shaping our mandate, and will inform detailed negotiations preparation, and policy positions. The Department for International Trade is committed to ensuring future FTAs and their provisions are good for British businesses and the British economy.
The UK aims to begin negotiations for an upgraded trade deal with Israel this year, focused on creating even greater opportunities for UK businesses. These new negotiations would allow us to go further to boost trade with Israel, whose demand for global imports is forecast to grow almost twice as fast as the global average between 2019 and 2030. There is significant scope to expand our trade in services, including digital services—which grew a remarkable 73% between 2010 and 2020. This would complement our services-based economies and cement the United Kingdom as an international services hub.
Following the consultation, the UK and Israel share a desire to launch negotiations during 2022. The call for input will seek to support the goal of greater economic prosperity for businesses and will ensure that their needs are heard. The Government are committed to transparency and will ensure that Parliament, the devolved Administrations, UK citizens and businesses are kept regularly updated on negotiations.
 IMF World Economic Outlook, October 2021, 2020 data.
 Source GTO September 2021.
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Levelling up our Communities: Government Response to Danny Kruger MP’s Report
I wish to inform the House that the Government have today published their response to the report by my hon. Friend the Member for Devizes (Danny Kruger) on levelling up our communities. This response is published alongside the levelling up White Paper, which sets out the Government’s wider approach to levelling up.
The pandemic has shown the significant power of charities, social enterprises, community groups and volunteers in supporting people in their local communities, complementing the delivery of public services, and demonstrating the values of generosity, public spirit and neighbourliness. My hon. Friend’s report contains recommendations to the Government on how to sustain the community response to covid-19, and how to enable civil society’s contributions to levelling up.
The Government would like to thank my hon. Friend for his dedicated work on this issue, and welcome his well-considered and detailed report. We would also like to thank the volunteers, charities, social enterprises and community groups involved in the consultation process.
Our response has been carefully considered and outlines the Government’s position against each of my hon. Friend’s 20 recommendations. Work is already underway to implement many of the report’s recommendations, including the launch of the faith new deal pilot fund and the volunteering futures fund.
The response includes the Government’s commitments to:
Strengthen engagement between faith groups, national and local government through the £1 million faith new deal pilot fund;
Reduce barriers to community organisation and volunteering, including through the £7 million volunteering futures fund;
Promote community ownership and strengthen local institutions through the £150 million community ownership fund;
Strengthen social value commissioning within the public sector as set out in the national procurement policy statement in June 2021; and
Testing the community covenants model to ensure that communities have a greater say in decisions important to their local area, including how local services are delivered.
A copy of the Government response to my hon. Friend’s report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.