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Written Statements

Volume 718: debated on Tuesday 19 July 2022

Written Statements

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Advanced Research and Invention Agency

The Advanced Research and Invention Agency (ARIA) is the Government’s new science funding agency. Backed by £800 million out to 2025-26, ARIA will pursue the scientific and technological discoveries that have the potential to profoundly change our world for the better.

Today, I am delighted to update the House on ARIA’S leadership and confirm that I have appointed Ilan Gur as ARIA’S first CEO, and Matt Clifford MBE as ARIA’S Chair.

Ilan Gur is Founder and CEO of Activate, a non-profit organisation that empowers scientists and engineers to bring ground-breaking research to market.

Ilan Gur previously founded two science-based start-ups and served in the first cohort of Programme Directors at ARPA-E. He obtained his PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of California, Berkley. He will take post on 15 August for an initial fixed term of two years.

As ARIA’S founding CEO, Ilan Gur will play a pivotal role in setting the agency’s paradigm-shifting research agenda and establishing ARIA’s culture and organisational structure. He will be tasked with identifying, recruiting and inspiring a team of exceptional technical talent to tackle the world’s greatest challenges.

To support Ilan Gur, Matt Clifford MBE will take the helm as ARIA’s first Chair. Matt Clifford is co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First, an international investor in technical talent that has helped to build technological companies worth over $10 billion.

Matt Clifford is co-founder and non-executive director of Code First Girls, has served as a Council member at Innovate UK, and a Trustee of the Kennedy Memorial Trust. Before starting Entrepreneur First, Matt Clifford worked at McKinsey & Co and earned degrees from the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Matt Clifford will take post on 15 August for a fixed term of four years.

Both appointments have been made in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments following a fair and open competition overseen by an Advisory Assessment Panel.

These appointments mark an important milestone in ARIA’s creation, ahead of the agency becoming fully operational later this year.

[HCWS218]

Companies House: Public Targets 2022-23

My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Corporate Responsibility (Lord Callanan) has today made the following statement:

I have set Companies House the following targets for the year 2022-23:

Register of Overseas Entities

Introduce a Register of Overseas Entities: contributing towards the fight against economic crime.

Complete and up to date data

The 97% of companies on the register have filed a confirmation statement: high levels of compliance are essential to ensure the register holds timely and accurate data.

Digital service availability

Digital services are available for a minimum of 99.9% of the time: Very high service availability enables our customers to use our services when they need to, inspiring customer confidence and supporting high satisfaction levels.

Customer satisfaction

We will be in the top 20% of public sector organisations for customer satisfaction: high levels of customer satisfaction will demonstrate we are meeting customer expectations and will further build reputation as a centre of excellence.

Diversity

We will increase the number of staff recruited to Companies House from under-represented groups by 10%: increased diversity will help Companies House be more representative of its customer base and help it to be a more interesting and desirable employer, thus increasing the talent pools to which we have access.

Delivering value

We will manage expenditure set out within budgetary limits: delivering the priorities defined in corporate targets whilst keeping expenditure within delegated limits ensures public value is maintained.

[HCWS219]

Statutory Review of the Groceries Code Adjudicator

As part of the third statutory review of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA), the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will today publish a consultation seeking the views of stakeholders on the performance of the GCA.

The GCA was established by the Groceries Code Adjudicator Act 2013 (“the Act”). Its role is to monitor and enforce the Groceries Supply Code of Practice (“the Code”), which the UK’s designated large grocery retailers must comply with when dealing with their direct suppliers.

Section 15 of the Act requires the Government to review periodically the performance of the GCA. The first review covered the period from the creation of the GCA—in June 2013—to 31 March 2016 and the second review covered the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019.

The statutory review is not a review of the Code nor the remit of the GCA. The Code is a competition measure owned by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) as the UK’s independent competition authority.

The third review will look back over the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2022 and seek views and evidence which will allow the Secretary of State to make an assessment of the performance of the GCA against the measures set out in the Act. These measures are explained in the terms of reference.

The first statutory review also considered whether the functions of the GCA should be transferred to another public body or be abolished and the Government is again seeking views on these questions as part of the third review, in particular whether the GCA should be transferred to the CMA.

The Act requires us to consult with the following:

the GCA;

the Competition and Markets Authority;

the retailers subject to the Code;

one or more persons representing the interests of suppliers;

one or more persons representing the interests of consumers; and

any other appropriate person—we have not identified any specific person or persons here and welcome contributions from any interested person.

The invitation to submit comments and evidence can be accessed through gov.uk at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/groceries-code-adjudicator-statutory-review-2019-to-2022 and stakeholders have until 11 October 2022 to respond. Following this, BEIS will analyse the responses. A report on our findings will then be published and laid before Parliament.

The terms of reference for the GCA review have today been placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.

[HCWS217]

Cabinet Office

Cabinet Office Update

I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay for the Senior Civil Service.

The Government received the Senior Salary Review Body’s (SSRB) 2022 report on 28 June 2022. This will be presented to Parliament and published on www.gov.uk.

The Government value the independent expertise and insight of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) and take on board the advice and principles in relation to the Government’s recommendations. The Government partially accept the SSRB’s recommendations for 2022. In reaching this decision, the Government have carefully considered the need to maintain an effective senior civil service, affordability and fairness between senior pay and the delegated pay award of 3% set out in the pay remit guidance.

SSRB recommendations set a 3.5% pay award with money allocated in the following priority order:

An across-the-board increase for all senior civil servants of 3% from 1 April 2022.

Increasing the pay band minimums from:

SCS pay band 1: £71,000 to £73,000

SCS pay band 2: £93,000 to £95,000

SCS pay band 3: £120,000 to £125,000

A further 0.5% to address pay anomalies.

The Government’s responses to each of the SSRB’s recommendations are as follows:

The overall figure should be limited to an across the board 2% increase in line with the lower end figure contained in the delegated pay remit guidance.

The Government accept the recommendation to increase the pay band minimums.

The recommendation of the anomalies pot is partially accepted and will be increased from 0.5% to 1%.

Pay awards this year strike a careful balance between recognising the vital importance of public sector workers, while delivering value for the taxpayer, not increasing the country’s debt further, and being careful not to drive even higher prices in the future. Public sector workers benefit from some of the most generous pensions available. Sustained higher levels of inflation would have a far bigger impact on people’s real incomes in the long run than the proportionate and balanced pay increase set out.

[HCWS233]

Defence

Combat Air Strategy

The 2018 combat air strategy set out how the UK will deliver the military capability we need to operate in highly contested environments, boost our industrial capability and maximise our international influence. My Department actively maintains our Typhoon and F-35B Lightning fleets at the cutting edge. This enables them to project UK influence and uphold international security from the south Atlantic and north sea, where Typhoon is responsible for controlling the UK’s skies through sustainment of a quick reaction alert capability, to East Asia, where in 2021 our F-35s, on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, undertook their first embarked operational deployment. The Future Combat Air System programme is undergoing important progress as we collaborate with international partners to design next generation technologies.

The RAF’s combat aircraft have been key to our ability to deal with the most pressing security issues of our time, from degrading Daesh, to policing NATO airspace, to deterring Russia.

Indeed, the operational need for advanced, capable, agile combat air is as evident now as it ever has been. In east Asia, the carrier strike group took part last year in exercises with air and naval forces from the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Singapore and the Republic of Korea, building interoperability, demonstrating the reach of UK combat air, and putting into practice the integrated review’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific. As I submit this update to the House, RAF Typhoon aircraft are patrolling the skies above eastern Europe, at the vanguard of NATO’s collective security. There could be no clearer demonstration that we are steadfast in the defence of our shared values following Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

We must maintain the RAF’s ability to undertake these vital missions for decades to come and are working with close international partners to determine how FCAS could fulfil this role. The combat air strategy highlights the importance of air power in delivering our national security, but also the Government’s vision for a strong, prosperous and influential Global Britain, underpinned by a world-leading combat air sector. Combat air has a vital role to play in the UK’s national security, defence industrial capacity and international influence.

Military capability

The integrated review highlighted that there is a systemic competition under way to shape the international environment. From a combat air perspective, the key features of this competition will be efforts to dominate the operating environment and preserve or deny freedom of action, the rapid pace of technological change, and proliferation of advanced capabilities. This is the strategic context in which the integrated review said we would continue to develop FCAS and why the defence Command Paper reaffirmed that we will invest more than £2 billion in the programme out to 2025. This is part of a budget of more than £10 billion over the next 10 years, although the ultimate amount we invest will depend on key programme choices and the role that our international partners take in the programme.

Given the rate of technological advance, it is crucial that we have a system that can maintain its effectiveness against tomorrow’s threats. Our entire approach to military capability acquisition must respond to this reality. Consequently, we are designing a capability with truly 21st-century characteristics. These include an open systems architecture that will allow modularity and rapid upgrade, the exploitation of machine learning to augment and support human operators, and the use of digital networks and data to ensure operational advantage.

The next generation of combat air will be defined as much by the “how” as by the “what”. For example, we are exploring how our future capability could be more than a traditional combat air platform, but the vital connected heart and mind of an integrated combat air system. This will mean the ability to contribute to and utilise wide-ranging capabilities, from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to command and control and air defence. The core platform would be one vital element of a broader combat system that links seamlessly with other units in the air, on land and at sea, bringing these together to maximise effect. Central to the strides we are taking are advances in data processing, communication networks, sensor fusion and sophisticated effectors. We will continue to exploit technology in the way we train, using synthetic training for an expanding number of professions from aircrew to air traffic controllers and battlespace managers.

Last summer we awarded a national contract, initially worth £250 million, for concept and assessment work under the FCAS acquisition programme. This will define and begin design of FCAS and secure the infrastructure to underpin cutting-edge digital engineering, data and software-based systems, to enable major programme choices by 2024. The contract was awarded to BAE Systems, with flow-through to Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK and MBDA UK, collectively known as Team Tempest, and a wider supply chain of UK of small and medium-sized enterprises and academic institutions.

To drive forward further development, a series of demonstration and test activities are being planned throughout this decade. At the centre of this activity will be a next generation flying demonstrator, currently being developed by the MOD and Team Tempest industry partners. It will be a crewed core platform concept capable of supersonic flight and is expected to take to the skies for the first time within the next five years. This UK project is now being expanded to include involvement from Italy.

While we press ahead with work to develop concepts for FCAS, we are also enhancing the capability of our existing combat air fleet. The continued development and production of Radar 2, Typhoon’s new electronically scanned array, will deliver a step change in capability. It will enable Typhoon to keep ahead of versatile and proliferating threats well into the next decade and offer a pathway for incremental development that will prepare Typhoon to operate in heavily contested and complex electro-magnetic environments. Our F-35 fleet reached initial operating capability (maritime) in 2020 and put this into practice in the carrier strike group in 2021, giving the UK its first low-observable, carrier-based, fifth-generation combat air capability. We also continue to develop cutting-edge complex weapons, including the Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon and the SPEAR family of missiles.

Industrial capability and levelling up

The question of how is equally important to the design, development, and manufacturing processes for our future combat air capability. The UK must break the boom and bust acquisition cycles that have been a hallmark of previous combat air programmes and move the sector to a more stable footing. In line with the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy, this would help us to sustain the UK’s defence industry as a “strategic capability” and safeguard our operational independence, the ability “to conduct military operations as we choose without external political interference, and to protect the sensitive technologies that underpin those capabilities”.

Cutting-edge design and manufacturing capabilities will also be increasingly central to how UK combat air capability is delivered, maintained and upgraded. We have partnered with industry to develop advanced Industry 4.0 technologies, such as digital design and additive manufacturing.

BAE Systems’ new factory of the future in Lancashire is illustrative of this progress. It demonstrates integrated and agile manufacturing capabilities including advanced 3D printing and autonomous robotics. It is a team effort with more than 40 blue chip and SME companies and academic institutions collaborating, driving the best of UK innovation and highlighting what it can achieve.

A digital-first approach, whereby we maximise the extent to which we design and test in the digital world, will be central to fast and affordable delivery. For example, additive manufacturing is reducing the number of components needed to manufacture key parts, while digital testing means that aerodynamics can be trialled more quickly and to a greater level of fidelity before the need to produce models for testing in wind tunnels. These technologies are already delivering in weeks what previously took months, and in days what until recently took weeks.

This approach requires people throughout the enterprise who can truly understand, seize and exploit the benefits of digital working. The people designing FCAS today, whose careers in science and industry are being launched by the programme, represent our vision for a “generation tempest”. Our core industry partners employ 1,000 apprentices and graduates working on FCAS, and this figure is growing. The tempest early careers network gives opportunities to the next generation of leaders to work together across Government and industry to solve design and engineering challenges. To drive the skills agenda forward, Team Tempest partners are launching a national recruitment and skills initiative to attract the diverse talent and expertise needed across the country to support the programme. This will see a substantial expansion in the recruitment of apprentices and graduates.

More broadly, the FCAS Enterprise now employs around 2,500 personnel including engineers and programmers and recruitment is set to expand. This is part of a wider industrial eco-system focused on combat air, with hundreds of companies and academic institutions across the UK and key workforce clusters in the north-west and south-west of England and in Scotland. The defence Command Paper noted the many thousands directly employed by the sector and the tens of thousands more in the supply chain.

Indeed, combat air has a key role to play in supporting the Government’s levelling-up agenda. For example, as noted in the levelling-up White Paper itself, the FCAS technology initiative, a research and development programme in partnership with industry and SMEs, has already invested £1 billion in R&D across the UK and will invest a further £1 billion over the coming years. There have been impressive developments in many technology areas, including power and propulsion, airframes, sensors, open mission systems, communications, and weapons integration. This work is now fully embedded into the FCAS acquisition programme as we draw on those crucial technology areas. Vitally, a close link exists between FCAS and Typhoon, allowing future FCAS technologies to be considered for integration into Typhoon as part of Typhoon’s long-term evolution.

F-35 and Typhoon continue to play key roles in supporting defence industrial hubs across the UK and hundreds of companies in the broader supply chain. In north Wales, Sealand Support Services Ltd has declared a repair capability that will support F-35 for years to come. Key elements of the thousands of F-35 aircraft being manufactured for air forces across the globe continue to be made in the UK, such as the aircraft tails at BAE System’s site at Samlesbury. Meanwhile, the Typhoon long-term evolution study has entered its second phase and, alongside Radar 2, will secure hundreds of highly skilled jobs at Leonardo’s sites in Edinburgh and Luton, BAE Systems’ sites in Lancashire and with Meggitt in Stevenage. The Typhoon Total Availability Enterprise (TyTAN), an innovative agreement with UK industry, continues to see substantial reductions in Typhoon’s support costs while enhancing its availability for crucial operations, such as QRA. BAE Systems continues to provide essential sustainment support to both Typhoon and F-35B Lightning at RAF Lossiemouth, Coningsby and Marham.

International influence

The UK has extensive experience in delivering combat air programmes through global partnerships, from Tornado, to Typhoon and F-35, built on strong political, industrial, operational and training relationships. Continuing in this vein, and to maximise the synergies of working with close partners, we are exploring means to deliver FCAS under a UK-initiated international partnership, to achieve an affordable state-of-the-art capability and support the UK’s sovereignty, freedom of action and industrial base. This approach supports the DSIS international co-operation objectives of delivering effective capability based on common requirements, improving value, attracting international investment and bolstering UK influence. The UK is now conducting joint concept analysis with Italy and Japan to understand each other’s military requirements, areas of commonality, and to explore potential future combat air partnership options. We and our partners intend to make further decisions on this by the end of 2022. We will also continue to explore working with other allies and strategic partners on future combat air.

This will build upon the substantial work already undertaken. In line with the integrated review, we have continued to work with Italy and Sweden, as underpinned by our trilateral memorandum of understanding. Both countries have a strong record in the development of combat air and our industries have a history of close collaboration, as demonstrated by Italy’s central role in the Eurofighter programme and Sweden’s development of the Gripen aircraft. Building on our respective expertise, we have worked with both countries and learned from regular exchanges and collaboration between our engineers and technical experts.

Over the past year, we have also worked increasingly closely with Japan and have agreed to develop a joint engine demonstrator, supported by Rolls-Royce’s world-class capabilities, and to explore expanding the relationship. This partnership is underpinned by an overarching memorandum of co-operation signed in December 2021. In February, we followed this up by announcing an agreement to jointly conduct co-operative research on a world-leading fighter jet sensor, supported by Leonardo UK’s highly skilled engineers.

Our next step in the development of FCAS is to complete the concept and assessment phase of the programme by 2025. This means maturing technologies currently under development, such as the propulsion system, working with industry to grow our national digital design and testing capabilities, and increasing the recruitment of people with the right skills. At the same time, we will continue to invest in our Typhoon and F-35 fleets, ensuring that the UK’s combat air capability is always ready to undertake the missions required of it and meet the goals set out in the combat air strategy.

[HCWS228]

Armed Forces Pay Award

I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay for the armed forces for 2022-23.

The Government are taking the opportunity to support our aim to reshape defence and grow 21st-century skills, as outlined in the integrated review’s “Defence in a competitive age” Command Paper, and they also look forward to the recommendations of the Haythornthwaite review of armed forces incentivisation next year. This pay award supports wider recruitment and retention and addresses the requirements of smaller but highly skilled armed forces while recognising affordability.

The Government received the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body report on 2022 pay for service personnel up to and including 1-star rank on 13 June 2022. This has been laid before the House today and published on gov.uk. The Senior Salaries Review Body’s 2022 report, which includes recommendations for the senior military, has been laid today by my colleagues in the Cabinet Office.

The Government value the independent expertise and insight of the AFPRB and SSRB and take on board the useful advice and principles set out in response to the Government’s recommendations outlined in the report.

The Government are accepting the AFPRB’s and SSRB’s recommendations in full for the 2022 pay round. This award will benefit the whole of the armed forces and is the biggest percentage uplift in 20 years, recognising their vital contributions and the cost of living pressures facing households.

Pay awards this year strike a careful balance between recognising the vital importance of public sector workers, while delivering value for the taxpayer, not increasing the country’s debt further, and being careful not to drive even higher prices in the future. Sustained higher levels of inflation would have a far bigger impact on people’s real incomes in the long run than the proportionate and balanced pay increases recommended by the independent pay review bodies now. Pay awards should be viewed in parallel with the Government’s £37 billion support package for the cost of living, which is targeted to those most in need.

In addition to this package, the MOD has frozen the daily food charge for our personnel. We are also limiting the increase in accommodation charges to 1%, ensuring the council tax rebate reaches those in military accommodation, and we are increasing the availability of free wraparound childcare from the start of the new academic year. Any service families facing hardships of any kind should approach their welfare officer so that further support can be discussed.

This year the AFPRB have recommended:

a headline increase in base pay for all members of their remit group (including medical and dental officers) of 3.75%;

that all accommodation charges are capped at 1%; and

rises and changes to other targeted forms of remuneration, and some increases to compensatory allowances. Where specified, these recommended changes are to be backdated to 1 April 2022.

The SSRB have recommended:

all members of the senior military, including medical officers and dental officers (MODOs), should receive a 3.5% consolidated increase to base pay;

no change to the current pay arrangements for MODOs:

2-star MODOs should continue to be paid 10% above the base pay at the top of the MODO 1- star scale, plus X-factor:

3-star MODOs should continue to be paid 5% above the base pay at the top of the MODO 2-star scale, plus X-factor.

that the minimum guaranteed increase to base pay (excluding X-factor) on promotion from

1-star to 2-star does not fall below 10%;

that the minimum guaranteed increase to base pay (excluding X-Factor) on promotion from 2-star to 3-star does not fall below 10%.

In the last five years the armed forces have received a cumulative pay award of 11%. This, combined with the 1% cap on accommodation charges, no rise in food charges, and 33% of service personnel also benefiting from an incremental rise in pay and an increase in the starting salary, after training, to £21,424, demonstrates how much the Government value the armed forces and their families.

Most overall pay awards in the public sector are similar to those in the private sector. Survey data suggests that median private sector pay settlement, which is the metric most comparable to these pay review body decisions, was 4% in the three months to May. Median full-time salaries are higher in the public sector, and public sector workers also benefit from some of the most generous pensions available.

Attachments can be viewed online at:

http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2022-07-19/HCWS237/

[HCWS237]

Defence Committee Report on Women in the Armed Forces: Government Response

I am delighted to provide an update on developments one year on from the publication of the comprehensive report of the Commons Defence Committee’s inquiry “Protecting Those Who Protect Us: Women in the Armed Forces from Recruitment to Civilian Life”. We would like to put on record our thanks for those who have enabled us to build on existing initiatives, develop new and innovative interventions and increase the pace of change. This includes the Defence Committee, the Ministry of Defence’s Diversity and Inclusion Team, the servicewomen’s networks and, in particular, Air Chief Marshal Wigston for his review on inappropriate behaviours in July 2019.

An extensive programme of further work has been delivered across Defence as part of the Government’s response to the inquiry. This includes training developments around the concept of consent, the transformation of the service complaints system, the stand-up of the Defence Serious Crime Unit HQ, the delivery of improvements to uniform and equipment for women, and the Servicewomen’s Health Improvement Sprint, all of which reinforce the commitment of our armed forces to being a truly inclusive employer.

In addition, two new policies and a strategy have been published today on www.gov.uk as part of Defence’s commitment to deal with unacceptable sexual behaviour. These are the:

Zero Tolerance to Unacceptable Sexual Behaviour policy: a victim/survivor focused approach;

Zero Tolerance approach to Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) policy; and

Strategy for Tackling Sexual Offending in Defence.

They build on measures that Defence introduced in March 2022, which provided for mandatory discharge for anyone convicted of a sexual offence, and which also prohibited sexual relationships between instructors and trainees.

We recognise the need to tackle unacceptable sexual behaviour robustly at the earliest opportunity before it reaches criminal behaviour, and we have addressed this in the Zero Tolerance to Unacceptable Sexual Behaviour policy. The policy applies to all UK armed forces personnel and makes it clear that there is no place in Defence for unacceptable sexual behaviour. The policy places an emphasis on the support of victims/survivors, with a presumption of discharge from the armed forces for any person who has behaved in a sexually unacceptable way. Additionally, as set out in a previously published policy, any person in authority having a sexual relationship with a trainee or recruit will be discharged, and a new service offence is being developed which will reinforce this policy.

When personnel are working on behalf of Defence outside of the UK, the new SEA policy prohibits all sexual activity which involves the abuse of power, including the use of transactional sex workers. It ensures that every allegation will be acted upon and that administrative, disciplinary, or criminal proceedings will be pursued if there are grounds.

The strategy for tackling sexual offending in Defence also prioritises the victim/survivor and aims to reduce the prevalence and impact of sexual offending in the armed forces through increased reporting, engagement and successful prosecutions in the service justice system.

The armed forces offer a fantastic career opportunity for men and women, but, as the Committee’s report highlighted, their experiences are not always equal and in some cases are unacceptable. I am proud we have been able to deliver such important progress over this past year and am confident that the Ministry of Defence will continue to deliver further change at pace.

[HCWS230]

Education

Department for Education Update

The 32nd report of the School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB) is being published today. Its recommendations cover the remit issued in December 2021, regarding the pay awards for teachers for each of the next two academic years, 2022-23 and 2023-24. The report will be presented to Parliament and published on gov.uk.

The Government values the independent expertise and insight of the STRB. We know that pay and the pay system has a crucial role to play in ensuring teacher quality, and therefore improving pupil outcomes. As set out at the 2021 spending review, public sector workers will see pay rises as a result of the return to a normal pay setting process. However, it remains important that public sector pay awards are appropriate and affordable to safeguard wider investment in continued improvements in public services. Teachers’ pay awards therefore need to be appropriate in the context of the wider economy.

In line with our proposals, the STRB has recommended an 8.9% uplift to starting salaries outside London in 2022-23. This keeps us on track for delivering our manifesto commitment of a £30,000 starting salary. It then recommends uplifts of between 5% and 8% along the rest of the main pay range, including advisory points. The STRB has also recommended a 5% pay award for experienced teachers and leaders in 2022-23, as well as for other pay and allowance ranges.

I am accepting the STRB's recommendations for 2022-23 in full. These recommendations rightly target the highest uplifts—up to 8.9%—at early career teachers, where we know pay has most impact and where cost of living pressures are felt most acutely, whilst still providing a significant uplift to experienced teachers and leaders. This is the highest pay award for teachers in the last 30 years. Together these awards recognise the importance of investing in teachers and delivering a motivating career path for the whole profession, whilst also considering what is an appropriate award in the context of the wider economy and public sector finances, and the cost of living pressures facing households. These pay awards should be viewed in parallel with the Government’s £37 billion package of support for the cost of living, which is targeted to those most in need. I am grateful to the STRB for showing consideration of this need to balance these challenging issues.

Pay awards this year strike a careful balance between recognising the vital importance of teachers, whilst delivering value for the taxpayer, not increasing the country’s debt further, and being careful not to drive even higher prices in the future. Sustained higher levels of inflation would have a far bigger impact on people's real incomes in the long run than the proportionate and balanced pay increases recommended by the independent pay review bodies now.

My Department originally sought a two-year remit for this year’s pay round. However, after careful consideration, I believe it is not appropriate to determine pay awards for 2023-24 at present. The Government intends to remit the STRB for the 2023-24 pay year in line with other public sector workforces.

This means that, whilst I thank the STRB and all statutory consultees for the work that went into considering pay awards for 2023-24,1 will not be making a pay award for that year at this time.

I am pleased to confirm that the uplift to starting salaries that I have accepted for 2022-23 will deliver the progress we set out towards delivering our commitment to a £30,000 starting salary—with all new teachers outside of London earning a salary of at least £28,000 from September.

This is a £2,286 uplift. Those in inner London will earn at least £34,502 from September. We remain firmly committed to uplifting starting salaries to a minimum of £30,000, with these uplifts making good progress to delivering this commitment. This competitive graduate starting salary will attract the best and brightest graduates to consider a career in teaching. We will put forward out proposal for how we intend to reach this through the pay round next year, as per the usual process.

Funding for this pay award will come from the core schools budget settlement that was agreed at the 2021 spending review, which will deliver a £7 billion cash increase to core schools funding by 2024-25. Increases in funding have been frontloaded to get money rapidly to schools, meaning that in 2022-23 core schools funding is increasing by £4 billion compared to 2021-22.

Most overall pay awards in the public sector are similar to those in the private sector. Survey data suggests the median private sector pay settlement, which is the metric most comparable to these pay review body decisions, was 4% in the 3 months to May. Median full-time salaries are higher in the public sector, and public sector workers also benefit from some of the most generous pensions available.

A full list of the recommendations and my proposed approach for implementation can be found at: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2022-07-19/HCWS235

Academies have the freedom to set their own pay policies. Many teachers will be eligible for performance related pay progression and pay rises from promotion; typically around 40% of experienced teachers below the maximum of their pay range receive a pay rise over and above the pay award as a result.

My officials will write to all of the statutory consultees of the STRB to invite them to contribute to a consultation on the Government response to these recommendations and on a revised school teachers’ pay and conditions document and pay order. The consultation will last for 10 weeks.

[HCWS235]

Schools, High Needs and Central School Services: Provisional Funding Allocations 2023-24

Today I am confirming provisional funding allocations for 2023-24 through the schools, high needs and central school services national funding formulae (NFF). Overall, core schools funding (including funding for mainstream schools and high needs) is increasing by £1.5 billion in 2023-24 compared to the previous year, on top of the £4 billion increase in 2022-23.

High needs funding is increasing by a further £570 million, or 6.3%, in 2023-24—following the £2.6 billion increase over the last three years. This brings the total high needs budget to over £9.7 billion. All local authorities will receive at least a 5% increase per head of their 2-18 population, compared to their 2022-23 allocations, with some authorities seeing gains of up to 7%. Alongside our continued investment in high needs, the Government remain committed to ensuring a financially sustainable system where resources are effectively targeted to need. The consultation on the SEND and alternative provision Green Paper closes on 22 July, and the Government will confirm the next steps in implementing our reform programme later this year.

Funding for mainstream schools through the schools NFF is increasing by 1.9% per pupil compared to 2022-23. Taken together with the funding increases seen in 2022-23, this means that funding through the schools NFF will be 7.9% higher per pupil in 2023-24, compared to 2021-22.

The NFF will distribute this funding based on schools’ and pupils’ needs and characteristics. The main features in 2023-24 are:

The core factors in the schools NFF (such as basic per-pupil funding, and the lump sum that all schools attract) will increase by 2.4%.

Funding for disadvantaged pupils will see greater increases—with funding for two deprivation factors in the NFF increasing by a greater amount than other factors. These two factors (relating to pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point over the last six years, and the IDACI factor which relates to relative deprivation between local areas) will increase by 4.3% compared to their 2022-23 values.

The funding floor will ensure that every school attracts at least 0.5% more pupil-led funding per pupil compared to its 2022-23 NFF allocation.

The minimum per-pupil funding levels (MPPLs) will increase by 0.5% compared to 2022-23. This will mean that, next year, every primary school will receive at least £4,405 per pupil, and every secondary school at least £5,715. Academy trusts continue to have flexibilities over how they allocate funding across academies in their trust. This means, in some cases, an academy could receive a lower per-pupil funding amount than the MPPL value. This may reflect, for example, activities that are paid for by the trust centrally, rather than by individual academies.

The 2022-23 schools supplementary grant has been rolled into the schools NFF. Adding the grant funding to the NFF ensures that this additional funding forms part of schools’ core budgets and will continue to be provided.

We are targeting a greater proportion of schools NFF funding towards deprived pupils than ever before—with 9.8% of the schools NFF allocated to deprivation in 2023-24. This will help schools in their vital work to close attainment gaps and level up educational opportunities. In 2023-24, schools in the highest quartile of deprivation (measured by the percentage of pupils who have been eligible for free school meals over the past six years) will, on average, attract larger per-pupil funding increases than less deprived schools.

As previously confirmed in the Government’s response to the consultation on completing our reforms to the NFF, 2023-24 will also be our first year of transition to the “direct” schools NFF—with our end point being a system in which, to ensure full fairness and consistency in funding, every mainstream school in England is funded through the same national formula without adjustment through local funding formulae. In 2023-24 local authorities will only be allowed to use NFF factors in their local formulae, and must use all NFF factors, except the locally determined premises factors. Local authorities will also be required to move their local formulae factors 10% closer to the NFF values, compared to where they were in 2022-23, unless their local formulae are already so close to the NFF that they are classed as “mirroring” the NFF. This follows the positive response to these proposals in the consultation last year. Alongside the NFF publications, today we have published an analysis of the impact of this initial move towards the direct NFF in the national funding formula for schools and high needs 2023-24 policy document.

Central school services funding is provided to local authorities for the ongoing responsibilities they have for all schools. The total provisional funding for ongoing responsibilities is £292 million in 2023-24. In line with the process introduced for 2020-21, to withdraw funding over time for the historic commitments local authorities entered into before 2013-14, funding for historic commitments will decrease by a further 20% in 2023-24.

Confirmed allocations of schools, high needs and central schools services funding for 2023-24 will be published in December. These will be based on the latest pupil data at that point.

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National Tutoring Programme: Performance Data

This update presents the latest performance data for the National Tutoring Programme the Government are publishing today. On 26 May, the Secretary of State for Education (James Cleverly) announced an estimated 1.2 million courses had been started through the programme since the start of this academic year. I am now pleased to advise the House our latest estimates show that, up to 26 June, 1.78 million courses have started this year, and just over two million since the programme’s launch. This increase of more than half a million represents good progress towards the Government’s ambitious target of delivering up to six million courses by the end of the academic year 2023-24. My Department estimates that more than 80% of schools are now participating, and more than three quarters of the courses started this year are being delivered through the “School-Led” option, by schools using grant funding directly allocated to them. I will update the House on the complete year’s performance by the end of 2022.

The Secretary of State for Education also advised the House on 26 May that we had launched procurement activity to appoint delivery partners for the ’22-23 and ’23-24 academic years to support schools to develop and deliver a high-quality tutoring offer. I am pleased to report that, following the open competitive exercise, we are today announcing the successful applicants. To quality assure Tuition Partners, we are appointing Tribal, with whom the Department currently has various contracts, including for moderating NPQ awards, and the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. To train new tutors, we are appointing the Education Development Trust, which currently delivers NTP tutor training to staff already employed in schools who want to become SLT tutors, ECF/NPQs and the Behaviour Hubs programme. To recruit and deploy academic mentors, we are appointing Cognition Education, with which the Department currently contracts for the Career Change Programme, and which provides subject matter expertise to T Level providers.

Following our 26 May announcement of the methodology for allocating tutoring funding to schools next year, this week we will publish academic year ’22-23 National Tutoring Programme funding allocations for each school.

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Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

GNI / ODA Target 2021

In November 2020, my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister, then the Foreign Secretary, delivered a statement outlining that, due to the impact of the covid-19 pandemic on the economy and as a result the public finances, the UK would temporarily reduce the official development assistance (ODA) budget from 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) to 0.5% from 2021, returning to 0.7% when the fiscal situation allows. With the UK having experienced the worst economic contraction in almost 300 years, it is with regret that we have had to take this temporary measure.

The International Development (Official Development Assistance Target) Act 2015 (“the 2015 Act”) envisages situations in which a departure from meeting the target of spending 0.7% of GNI on ODA may be necessary: for example, in response to

“fiscal circumstances and, in particular, the likely impact of meeting the target on taxation, public spending and public borrowing”.

The FCDO’s annual report and accounts 2021-2022, published today, report that the 0.7% target was not met in 2021, on a provisional basis, and a statement was laid before Parliament, as required by section 2 of the 2015 Act. This statement is in the same terms as that statement, which is published as an unnumbered Act Paper.

In a written ministerial statement on 12 July 2021, my right hon. Friend the then Chancellor of the Exchequer reaffirmed that the decision to reduce the ODA budget to 0.5% is temporary, and that the Government are committed to the 2015 Act and to return to spending 0.7% of GNI on ODA once the fiscal situation allows. Consistent with the Government’s fiscal rules, the Government commit to spending 0.7% of GNI on ODA when the independent Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) fiscal forecast confirms that, on a sustainable basis, we are not borrowing for day-to-day spending and underlying debt is falling, as set out in July 2021.

Each year during this spending review period SR21 from 2022-23 to 2024-25, the Government will review, in accordance with the 2015 Act, whether a return to spending 0.7% of GNI on ODA is possible against the latest fiscal forecast provided by the OBR.

The House of Commons voted to approve this approach to returning to 0.7% on 13 July 2021.

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Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan

My noble Friend the Minister for South and Central Asia, North Africa, United Nations and the Commonwealth (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon), has made the following written ministerial statement:

The UK has committed £286 million in financial year 2022-23 for Afghanistan. This aid will provide life-saving support to the most vulnerable, especially women and girls. We are working with aid agencies to ensure that marginalised groups have equal, safe and dignified access to assistance and services. Our funding has included support for access to sustainable clean water and sanitation, nutrition treatment and primary healthcare services, as well as support in response to gender-based violence.

The earthquake in Paktika and Khost provinces in eastern Afghanistan on 22 June exacerbated the humanitarian situation and killed over 1,000 people and injured over 2,900. The Government offered support only hours after the earthquake struck. UK aid was already being delivered to the affected areas prior to the earthquake via the UN, non-Government organisations and the Red Cross. The Government rapidly allocated £3 million for immediate life-saving support to people affected. £2 million has been disbursed to the International Federation of the Red Cross, £500,000 to the Norwegian Refugee Council and £500,000 to the International Rescue Committee to provide shelter, healthcare, water, sanitation and hygiene support.

The Government’s response to the earthquake is part of our concerted ongoing humanitarian support. Afghanistan’s humanitarian crisis is affecting just under half of the population, with 18.9 million facing acute food insecurity. Afghanistan remains one of the world’s most severe food security crises. People continue to turn to drastic measures to feed their families. Over 6 million people have been internally displaced and millions of children are out of school, in part because the Taliban still prevent girls from attending secondary school.

The UK has disbursed £140 million in humanitarian aid since April 2022 including £50 million to the Afghanistan Humanitarian Fund, £70 million to the World Food Programme and £12 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund. Through the World Food Programme, the UK aims to support over 4 million people with food assistance. All our funding is provided directly to humanitarian organisations working in Afghanistan. All UK aid is subject to strict monitoring and verification to ensure it is only used to help the vulnerable people it is intended for.

Humanitarian partners report they are increasingly facing interference attempts by the Taliban and other armed groups in the delivery of independent, equitable and safe humanitarian assistance. There have been instances of periodic disruption in aid delivery in specific locations, however to date, UK funded agencies continue to deliver. The UK regularly emphasises to the Taliban the need for humanitarian organisations to operate independently in the delivery of assistance and to respect the rights of women and girls.

The UK continues to engage closely with donors and played an instrumental role in supporting the World Bank Board’s decision to make the remaining $1 billion in the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund available. $793 million of programming is currently in the process of being mobilised, focusing on community projects and livelihoods, health and food security.

The Foreign Secretary and Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon are in regular contact with their international counterparts on Afghanistan. At the G7 Foreign Ministers meeting in May, the Foreign Secretary discussed the current security, humanitarian, and human rights situation as well as longer term prospects for the country and region with her counterparts. Ministers have regular discussions with humanitarian actors working in Afghanistan, most recently during Lord Ahmad’s trip to Geneva in June 2022, where he met the Red Cross and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

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Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan: Annual Report to Parliament 2021

I wish to inform the House that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, together with the Ministry of Defence, is today publishing the 2021 annual report on progress against the UK’s fourth national action plan on women, peace and security.

Published on 18 January 2018, the national action plan sets out the Government’s objectives on the women, peace and security agenda for the period 2018 to 2022. This is the UK Government strategy for how we will meet our women, peace and security commitments, under UN Security Council resolution 1325, to reduce the impact of conflict on women and girls and to promote their inclusion in conflict resolution and in building peace and security.

The report published today outlines our progress against the national action plan over the last 12 months, including our work in the nine focus countries of Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Syria, and Yemen as a priority country. It is centred around seven strategic outcomes where we expect to see progress over the five-year duration of the NAP.

The progress report will be published on www.gov.uk. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

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Health and Social Care

Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration

The 50th report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB), the 35th report of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) and the 44th report of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB) are being published today. The reports will be presented to Parliament and published on gov.uk.

I am grateful to all the chairs and members of the review bodies for their reports, and I welcome their robust, independent recommendations and observations. I am accepting the pay bodies’ recommendations in full, recognising the vital contributions NHS workers make to our country.

This pay award comes on top of the 3% last year for staff under the remits of NHSPRB and DDRB, when pay uplifts were paused in the wider public sector. This year, most overall pay awards in the public sector are similar to those in the private sector. Survey data suggests median private sector pay settlement, which is the metric most comparable to these pay review body decisions, was 4% in the 3 months to May.

The NHSPRB has recommended a £1,400 consolidated uplift to the full-time equivalent salary for all Agenda for Change (AfC) staff. This will be enhanced for pay points at the top of band 6 and all pay points in band 7 so it is equal to a 4% uplift.

The DDRB has recommended a 4.5% increase to national salary pay scales, pay ranges or the pay elements of contracts for all groups included in their remit this year (consultants, speciality and associate specialist (SAS) doctors on the closed 2008 contracts, salaried general medical practitioners (GMPs) and general dental practitioners).

The SSRB has recommended a 3% increase for all very senior managers (VSMs) and executive senior managers (ESMs), with a further 0.5% to ameliorate the erosion of differentials and facilitate the introduction of the new VSM pay framework.

After careful consideration of the pay review body reports, we have decided to accept the pay review bodies’ recommendations in full. In doing so, we have committed to:

uplifting the full-time equivalent salaries of staff on Agenda for Change contracts—over 1 million NHS staff—by £1,400 on a consolidated basis, and enhanced for staff in bands 6 and 7, those with full-time equivalent basic pay up to £45,839, so it is equal to a 4% pay uplift. This means the lowest paid will receive a 9.3% increase compared to 2021-22;

uplifting the salaries of consultants (c.55,000 doctors) by 4.5% on a consolidated basis;

uplifting the minimum and maximum pay range for Salaried GMPs (c.15,000 doctors) by 4.5% on a consolidated basis;

uplifting the GMP trainers grant and GMP appraisers grant by 4.5%;

uplifting the pay element of the general dental practitioners contract (c.24,000 dentists) by 4.5% on a consolidated basis;

increasing the overall investment in the SAS workforce (c.12,000 doctors) on average, by 4.5%. The detailed arrangements for implementing this increase alongside the reformed 2021 SAS contract will be set out in due course; and

uplifting the salaries of all very senior managers and executive senior managers (c.2,500 staff) by 3% and providing NHS organisations with additional flexibility to provide a further 0.5% to ameliorate the erosion of differentials and facilitate the introduction of the new VSM pay framework. Further information will be shared with NHS employers in due course.

All pay awards will be backdated to 1 April 2022. This pay award is only applicable to NHS staff in England. The 2022-23 pay uplift for NHS staff directly employed by NHS providers will be funded by NHSE through system allocations.

The DDRB was not asked to make recommendations for staff groups in multi-year deals (contractor GMPs, doctors and dentists in training or SAS doctors on the 2021 contracts). However, we note the wider comments made by the DDRB regarding these groups.

This is an annual process and as is always the case, decisions are considered in light of the fiscal and economic context and ensuring awards recognise the value of NHS staff whilst delivering value for the taxpayer.

While it is right that we reward our hard-working NHS staff with a pay rise, this needs to be proportionate and balanced with the need to deliver NHS services and manage the country’s long term economic health and public sector finances, along with inflationary pressures. Sustained higher levels of inflation would have a worse impact on people’s real incomes in the long run, which is why we need proportionate and balanced pay increases recommended by the independent pay review bodies.

In written and oral evidence to the pay review bodies, the Government set out what was affordable within the NHS’s spending review settlement. The pay review bodies have recommended pay awards above this level. This Government are committed to living within its means and delivering value for the taxpayer, and therefore we are reprioritising within existing departmental funding whilst minimising the impact on frontline services.

The pay awards should be viewed in parallel with the £37 billion package of support the Government have provided for the cost of living, targeted to those most in need.

Salaried general medical practitioners

For salaried GMPs the minimum and maximum pay range set out in the model terms and conditions will be uplifted. As independent contractors to the NHS, it is for GMP practices to determine uplifts in pay for their employees.

Clinical excellence awards and clinical impact awards

The Government have recently reformed the national awards in England, now named national clinical impact awards. The reforms aim to address issues with inequality previously raised by the DDRB.

Government acknowledges the DDRB’s comments on local clinical excellence awards and their reasons for not recommending an increase in their value this year.

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Access to NHS Dentistry

Access to dentistry was severely impacted by the pandemic. The Government provided unprecedented financial support to the sector during the covid-19 pandemic to ensure that practices remained viable and able to offer treatment during the pandemic and to continue now, as we learn to live with covid-19.

Taking into account the evolving guidance on infection and prevention control NHS England has worked, throughout the pandemic, with the sector to increase levels of dental activity, while keeping dentists, patients and their teams safe. From the beginning of July this year, NHS England has set the expectation that practices will return to delivering treatment at pre-pandemic levels.

With NHS dentists operating at below 100% capacity for over two years, many people have not been able to regularly access a dental professional. We are taking action to address this, in a way which is fair for patients, dentists and the taxpayer.

In April 2021, the Government set out that any changes to NHS dentistry must meet six tests:

Be designed with and enjoy the support of the profession

Improve oral health outcomes (or, where sufficient data are not yet available, credibly be on track to do so)

Reduce perverse incentives for dental care that is not clinically necessary

Demonstrably prevent the loss of NHS commissioned dental activity to private pay

Improve patient access to NHS care, with a specific focus on addressing disparities, particularly those linked to deprivation and ethnicity

Be affordable within available NHS resources made available by Government, including taking account of dental charges

NHSE fully engaged the profession and patient representatives through an advisory board, technical groups and engagement events from May to September 2021 to fully understand the issues and potential solutions. The improvements set out here result from that engagement and have been refined through consultation with the British Dental Association and wider dental sector representatives.

These initial changes are aimed at improving information for patients; improving the incentives in the contract to deliver more complex care; and enabling the NHS to better work with the sector to ensure that dental care is delivered.

Improve care for high-needs patients

We have responded to the call from dentists to improve the remuneration system to incentivise complex preventive and restorative treatment. We will make changes to the way dentists are remunerated for the range of treatments that are currently covered in band 2 treatments. Dentists will be paid more when they need to do three or more fillings or extractions and provide endodontic care.

To provide the capacity to deliver the additional care required by higher-needs patients, we will support practices to adhere more closely to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence guidance on recall intervals which indicate that a healthy adult with good oral health need only see a dentist every two years and a child every one year. We want to decrease the volume of any low-value clinical care provided through NHS dentistry, for the NHS and patients themselves.

These changes will support dentists and patients in getting the care they need as we start to tackle the pandemic backlogs in care.

Promote more effective use of skill mix

Dental care can be provided by a wide range of dental professionals including dental nurses, dental hygienists, and dental therapists. We will make clear that there is no legal barrier to the increased use of these professionals in the provision of NHS care and seek to increase their use in the provision of NHS care, as is already the case in private practice. NHS England will issue clear guidance on how to utilise these team members to provide NHS care that is within their scope of practice and which they have the skills, competence and experience to deliver safely and effectively in the best interests of patients. We will also work with the NHS Business Services Authority to make sure there are no administrative barriers to more effective use of this skill mix in practices providing NHS care.

This will help improve access to NHS care and make dental care professional roles including dentists more fulfilling and rewarding, and help to tackle workforce challenges in underserved areas.

Maximise patient access from available dental resources

NHS England will work with local commissioners to help ensure that dentists are able to deliver high-quality care to patients. Most dental practices consistently deliver their contracted amount of dental activity, but there are some that do not, and some that want to deliver more NHS dentistry.

We want to enable high-performing practices to expand to deliver more NHS care, particularly in those areas where NHS dentistry is less prevalent. To incentivise this, we will enable, subject to commissioner agreement, practices to deliver up to 110% contracted activity.

Where contractors are unable to deliver their contracted activity in-year or persistently across years, commissioners are currently limited in their ability to recommission that activity to contractors better able to do so. In 2019-20,13% of contractors had consistently failed to deliver. This lost activity represents around 4.6 million units of dental activity per annum.

As an initial step NHSE will encourage commissioners and contractors to work together so that where a practice has not delivered 30% of contracted activity by mid-year, 10% of annual activity will be rebased with agreement of the contractor. For contractors that consistently do not meet their targets over a number of years, we will enable NHSE to rebase contracts to achievable levels and release unused funding to commission care from other providers.

Improve communication with patients

Patients told us that they have difficulty finding an NHS dentist, in part because of the limited information on the NHS website. We will make the updating of the NHS website and directory of services a contractual requirement for dental practices. This will make it easier for patients to find a dentist who can deliver the care they need and for the system to refer patients to practices with capacity.

Recruitment of dentists

International professionals form a large proportion of joiners to the General Dental Council (GDC) register—indeed, in 2020, 35% of new GDC dentist registrants qualified outside the UK. They are a vital part of the UK’s dentistry workforce, ensuring that there is more capacity for dental treatment than UK graduates can provide alone

As part of the ongoing reforms to healthcare professional regulation, officials have identified prescriptive detail which restricts the GDC from modernising its international registration processes. This may in turn deter safe and competent professionals from seeking registration to practise in the UK. The Department is therefore taking forward a legislative change which will:

support flexibility for the GDC to ensure that international processes are proportionate and streamlined, while continuing to robustly protect patient safety;

enable the GDC to increase the number of overseas registration exam (ORE) seats it offers by charging a fee which covers the cost of the exam, explore alternative ORE providers, and make changes to the structure of exam and applicant information which will support an increased pass rate; and

allow the GDC to explore alternative pathways to international registration, such as recognition of programmes of education delivered outside the UK, or registration based on recognition of the qualification held by an applicant, as it considers appropriate.

Current arrangements ensure that UK regulators continue to automatically recognise relevant European economic area (EEA) qualifications of healthcare professionals, including dentists. This enables qualified dentists from other EEA countries to continue to practise in the UK and we want to continue to facilitate their vital contribution to the dentistry workforce. EU exit legislation places a duty on the Secretary of State to carry out a review of the operation of these provisions at the start of 2023. The system of automatic recognition will not terminate unless further legislation is made to bring the current system to an end.

Next steps

These changes are the first steps in our work to support NHS dentistry and patients in areas where they continue to struggle with access. We are committed to working with the sector to consider any further changes which meet the six tests set out above, in particular regarding improved access to urgent care and further workforce and payment reform.

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Draft Down Syndrome Act Guidance: National Call for Evidence

Today, I am delighted to announce the launch of a national call for evidence to inform the development of the draft Down Syndrome Act Guidance.

There are around 47,000 people with Down’s syndrome in the UK and we know that people with Down’s syndrome often face significant challenges and can struggle to access appropriate services and support.

I am grateful to the right hon. Dr Liam Fox MP for bringing forward the private Member’s Bill which is now the Down Syndrome Act. This important legislation aims to improve access to services and life outcomes for people with Down’s syndrome. It does this by requiring that relevant authorities when providing certain health, social care, education and housing services take account of guidance issued by the Government—the guidance. The guidance will set out the steps it would be appropriate to take to meet the specific needs of people with Down’s syndrome.

Since the Act received Royal Assent on 28 April 2022, we have been engaging with stakeholders and developing the national call for evidence which will inform the guidance.

This call for evidence is an important stage in the process leading to the publication of the guidance in 2023. It will allow us to collect invaluable information over the next few months, which will then be used to inform and support the production of draft guidance. The draft guidance will in turn be published for full public consultation before final guidance is published next year.

Through the call for evidence, we want to hear about the specific support needs of people with Down’s syndrome and examples of best practice in service delivery from across the country. We want to hear views on other areas that guidance could cover such as employment support and potential linkages with other genetic conditions that we committed to explore during the Act’s passage through Parliament.

We want to hear from all relevant stakeholders including people with Down’s syndrome, their families and carers, organisations that represent them, and professionals such as those working in health, social care, education and housing.

The process must be as accessible as possible and therefore the call for evidence will run for the maximum duration of 16 weeks. Alongside the online questionnaire and an easy read version, we will work with voluntary sector organisations to undertake workshops and focus groups to input into the call for evidence. We want to make sure we gain the views of everyone, including children and young people with Down’s syndrome, their families and carers.

Following this national call for evidence, we will continue to engage with people with Down’s syndrome and other stakeholders to develop the guidance. The draft guidance will also be subject, in due course, to a full public consultation.

The guidance represents a real opportunity to improve the way that services are arranged and delivered but it is essential that it is based on the views and expertise of those it will affect. I therefore strongly encourage everyone to complete the call for evidence and share widely.

I am determined that people with Down’s syndrome should have the opportunity to be fully included in our society and to have access to the services and support that enable that, throughout their lifetime.

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Home Department

Police Remuneration Review Body Eighth Report: Police Officer Pay and Allowances

The eighth report of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) was published today. The body considered the pay and allowances for police officers up to and including the chief officer ranks in England and Wales. The Government value the independent and expert advice of the PRRB. We thank the Chair and members for their thoughtful commentary and observations.

Our police officers play a vital role in this country, fighting crime and keeping us safe. They do an extraordinary job under increasingly extraordinary circumstances, and it is right that they are fairly rewarded.

The review body recommends a consolidated increase of £1,900 to all police officer pay points for all ranks from 1 September 2022, equivalent to 5% overall. It is targeted at those on the lowest pay points to provide an uplift of up to 8.8%, and between 0.6% and 1.8% for those on the highest pay points. The Government recognise that increases in the cost of living are having a significant impact on the lower paid. It is within this context and after careful consideration that we have chosen to accept this recommendation in full. As at March 2022 there are 142,526 police officers who will receive this consolidated increase.

The PRRB also recommends that the Police Constable Degree Apprentice minimum starting salary—currently £19,164—should be raised to pay point 0—£23,556 with effect from 1 September 2022. This recommendation is accepted in full.

The review body further recommends an increase to London weighting and the dog handlers’ allowance of 5%; and that parties should review the requirement and appropriate level for the dog handlers’ allowance. These recommendations are also accepted in full.

To support this, the Home Office will, from within its existing budgets, provide forces with additional funding for pay over the spending review period of at least £70 million in 2022-23, £140 million in 2023-24 and £140 million in 2024-25.

Pay awards this year strike a careful balance between recognising the vital importance of public sector workers, while delivering value for the taxpayer, not increasing the country’s debt further, and being careful not to drive even higher prices in the future. Sustained higher levels of inflation would have a far bigger impact on people’s real incomes in the long run than the proportionate and balanced pay increases recommended by the independent pay review bodies now. These awards should be viewed in parallel with the Government’s £37 billion package of wider support for the cost of living, which is targeted towards those most in need.

Most overall pay awards in the public sector are similar to those in the private sector. Survey data suggests the median private sector pay settlement, which is the metric most comparable to these pay review body decisions, was 4% in the three months to May. Median full-time salaries are higher in the public sector, and public sector workers also benefit from some of the most generous pensions available.

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PCCs and PFCCs: Pay and Allowances

The Senior Salaries Review Body published its report today. The SSRB considered the pay and allowances for Police and Crime Commissioners and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales. The Government value the independent and expert advice of the SSRB. We thank the Chair and members for their thoughtful commentary and observations.

The SSRB’s report recommends:

PCCs should move to three pay groups, in line with the proposals for chief constables.

With effect from 1 May 2022, PCC pay should be increased to:

Group 1: £108,800

Group 2: £94,300

Group 3: £83,200

PCC pay increases in future years in line with the SSRB-recommended annual pay increase for chief police officers between formal SSRB reviews in line with the electoral cycle.

A pay supplement of 7.5% for PCCs taking on the additional responsibility for fire and rescue governance.

A loss-of-office payment for PCCs in line with that available to Members of Parliament.

That home security for PCCs is treated as a business expense and not a personal benefit.

PCCs and PFCCs play an important role in reducing crime and protecting the public, providing their communities with the opportunity to have a direct say in policing in their area through their locally elected and accountable PCC or PFCC.

It would be inappropriate for me to make significant or structural changes to PCC remuneration. I believe these issues should be considered when the future structure of chief police officer pay is settled. Therefore, we have chosen not to accept in full the SSRB’s recommendations.

The Government have decided that with effect from 1 May 2022, the current PCC salary pay bands will be increased by £1,900, in line with the award for all police officers.

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International Trade

Canada Trade Negotiations: Update

The second round of UK-Canada Free Trade Agreement negotiations began on 20 June and concluded on 24 June. Owing to concurrent negotiations with India and CPTPP, a limited number of sessions will be held outside of this week, including goods market access, scheduled for mid-July.

The negotiations were hosted by Canada and conducted in a hybrid fashion; 40 UK officials travelled to Ottawa for in-person discussions and a further 145 attended virtually from the United Kingdom. Technical discussions were held across 34 policy areas over 52 separate sessions.

During this round, the UK set out its policy positions, having tabled text for the majority of chapters. Discussions were constructive, reflecting a determination from both sides to make progress, although we are only in the early stages of negotiations.

The negotiations continue to reflect our shared ambition to secure a progressive deal which looks to build on the UK-Canada Trade Continuity Agreement, and strengthens our existing trading relationship, already worth over £21 billion in 2021.

The third round of negotiations is due to take place in September 2022.

We remain clear that any deal the Government strike must be in the best interests of the British people and the economy.

The Government will keep Parliament updated as these negotiations progress.

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Justice

Judiciary Pay Award

I am today announcing the Government’s decision on pay for the judiciary.

The Government received the Senior Salary Review Body’s (SSRB) report on 28 June 2022. This will be presented to Parliament and published on www.gov.uk.

The Government value the independent expertise and insight of the SSRB and have considered the advice in the report.

The recommendation made by the SSRB for the judiciary is for a pay award of 3.5% for all judicial office holders within the remit group for 2022-23, applied equally to all salary groups.

I intend to reject the SSRB’s recommendation and propose a 3% pay award for all judicial office holders within the remit group for 2022-23. This ensures that the judiciary are not receiving a pay award in excess of what is on offer to court staff and senior civil servants.

This increase, together with the Government delivering on their commitment to introduce a new judicial pension scheme, demonstrates the value the Government place on our independent judiciary.

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Prisons Update

I am today confirming the Government’s decision on pay awards for prison staff. Throughout the pandemic and beyond, our officers (alongside all Prison Service staff) have gone above and beyond to protect the public and give prisoners the best possible chance at a new start. Their efforts are hugely appreciated.

We have carefully considered the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s (PSPRB) recommendations on the 2022-23 pay award, given the economic context, and I am announcing that we are accepting in full the recommendations made by the review body for all prison staff between operational support grade and governing governor for implementation in this financial year. For clarity, this means accepting all recommendations from the Prison Service Pay Review Body, excluding recommendation 4.

This will deliver a pay rise of at least a 4% base pay increase for all prison staff between operational support grade and governors (bands 2-11). This pay award will be paid this autumn and will be backdated to 1 April 2022.

In addition, a number of targeted pay rises will be made for our lowest paid staff.

Band 2 operational support grades on modernised terms and conditions will receive an increase of £1,500 (recommendation 3). This fully replaces the market supplements for those band 2 staff who currently receive them.

Band 3 prison officers will receive a base pay increase of £2,500 (£3,000 for operational staff when the linked unsocial hours payment is included) from September 2022 (recommendation 5), offset against market supplement payments for those that receive them.

This reflects my commitment to supporting the recruitment and retention of prison staff and recognises the essential contribution they make every day.

Pay awards this year strike a careful balance between recognising the vital importance of public sector workers, while delivering value for the taxpayer, not increasing the country’s debt further, and being careful not to drive even higher prices in the future. Sustained higher levels of inflation would have a far bigger impact on people’s real incomes in the long run than the proportionate and balanced pay increases recommended by the independent pay review bodies now. These pay awards should be viewed in parallel with the £37 billion package of support the Government have provided for the cost of living, targeted at those most in need.

I will not be accepting the PSPRB’s recommendation for a 5% pay increase for prison group directors (band 12), recommendation 4. Such an increase would be inconsistent with the approach taken for other senior roles across the public sector. However, I am pleased to announce that prison group directors will still receive a 3% pay rise, to ensure parity and fairness with their contemporaries in the civil service.

Most overall pay awards in the public sector are similar to those in the private sector. Survey data suggests median private sector pay settlement, which is the metric most comparable to these pay review body decisions, was 4% in the three months to May. Median full-time salaries are higher in the public sector, and public sector workers also benefit from some of the most generous pensions available.

I would like to thank the Prison Service Pay Review Body for its valuable advice and response to the Government’s evidence.

The report has been laid before Parliament today, and a copy can be found as an attachment online. I am grateful to the chair and members of the review body for its report.

Attachments can be viewed online at: http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2022-07-19/HCWS232/

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[HCWS232]

Transport

Jet Zero Strategy

Today I am launching the jet zero strategy—setting out this Government’s approach for achieving net zero aviation by 2050.

It builds on the Government’s net zero strategy, as well as the transport decarbonisation plan, which outlines the commitments and actions needed to decarbonise the entire transport system.

The jet zero strategy sets a trajectory for the sector to reach net zero by 2050—or jet zero, as we define it. Its delivery will see UK aviation emissions reduce even further than the levels called for by our climate advisors, with a pathway that should see emissions never again reach the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

To deliver this outcome, alongside our jet zero target we aim for domestic aviation and airports to be net zero and zero emission respectively by 2040.

It is a strategy that will both decarbonise the sector and allow people to keep flying. Pre pandemic, aviation contributed at least £22 billion to our economy and 230,000 direct jobs across the country. It is crucial that we support the rapid development of technologies that maintain the benefits of air travel while maximising the opportunities that decarbonisation brings to the UK.

Those opportunities include the domestic production of sustainable aviation fuels, which could support up to 5,200 jobs by 2035 and help regenerate industrial sites across the country, notably in areas outside London, such as the north-east, contributing to levelling up the UK and improving our fuel security. We have today set out a new commitment of having at least five commercial SAF plants under construction by 2025, and we have also confirmed that the Government will mandate at least 10% SAF to be blended into conventional aviation fuels by the end of the decade—one of the most ambitious targets globally.

Bolstering that effort means investing in pioneering projects. This is why today we are also launching the advanced fuels fund with a £165 million competition, building on previous funding such as the £15 million green fuels, green skies competition, to stimulate the start-up of commercial SAF production facilities in the UK. Alongside this, we have also announced that we are progressing to the next phase of our £1 million competition to deliver the first ever net zero transatlantic flight powered by 100% SAF.

The goal of reaching net zero aviation emissions by 2050 sets a clear objective, but meeting our ambition requires us to drive forward the multiple solutions necessary for its delivery. Therefore, our approach to implementing this strategy is founded on three key principles:

International Leadership—this strategy restates our commitment to taking a leading role in tackling international aviation emissions through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Delivered in Partnership—the Government will need to work collaboratively with all partners, from the aviation industry to the public, through our pioneering jet zero council, as well as other initiatives.

Maximising Opportunities—the jet zero transition presents unique opportunities to create new jobs, industries and technologies across the entire UK sector, decarbonise air travel, and level up the economy.

These principles will influence our activity to make sure we pursue the right options and will guide our progress on six clear policy measures launched in the strategy today.

We intend to improve the efficiency of our existing aviation system, from aircraft to airports and airspace. For example, we will improve fuel efficiency by 2% every year, providing a further £3.7 million in 2022-23 to support airports to modernise their airspace.

There will be increased support for sustainable aviation fuels, by creating secure and growing UK SAF demand through a SAF mandate that will require at least 10% of jet fuel to be made from sustainable sources by 2030.

This strategy outlines our ambition to expedite the development of zero-emission aircraft, with the aspiration of having zero-emission routes connecting places across the UK by 2030.

We will invest in greenhouse gas removal technologies to drive decarbonisation and offset any residual emissions, and enhance the UK emissions trading scheme.

And lastly, we will increase our understanding of the non-CO2 impacts of aviation, the effects of which remain uncertain.

As we act in each of these areas, we will give ourselves the headroom to evolve. The Government are committed to reviewing the strategy every five years, and, if necessary, adapting our approach based on the progress we make.

The UK is setting an example of the ambition needed to tackle climate change, and the launch of today’s plan provides a clear path to building a sustainable aviation sector for generations to come.

The jet zero strategy will future-proof the aviation industry, securing the economic benefits of new green jobs and industries, and delivering the technologies and fuels that will keep passengers flying in a decarbonised world.

[HCWS229]

Contingent Liability: Space Industry Act 2018

The Government have bold spaceflight ambitions that we outlined in the national space strategy that we published last September. The UK has a thriving satellite manufacturing industry and we excel at providing satellite-based communications and high-end navigation services. The space sector directly employs 45,000 people in the UK and satellites support at least £360 billion of UK GDP.

However, the UK is currently reliant on other launch countries to put UK-built and UK-operated satellites into space—including those critical to our defence and security. Through the Space Industry Act 2018 (the 2018 Act) and the Space Industry Regulations 2021 (the 2021 Regulations), we have established the regulatory framework and appointed the Civil Aviation Authority as the spaceflight regulator, to enable the licensing of spaceflight activities from UK spaceports.

Space-based technologies provide fundamental services to the daily lives of everyone in this country—from supporting defence and security, enabling faster and more efficient travel, enabling our smart phones and providing television services to receiving better weather forecasts. Having a UK launch capability will generate and support many additional high-skilled jobs up and down the country—and give the UK greater control and increased options for getting our satellites into space, which can provide benefits for all.

I have therefore today laid a departmental minute describing a new contingent liability that the Department for Transport plans to undertake in respect of future launch operator licences granted under the 2018 Act.

The liability arises from a combination of the UK being a party to the United Nations convention on international liability for damage caused by space objects 1972, powers and obligations under the 2018 Act to indemnify operators and those who sustain injury or damage in the United Kingdom as a result of spaceflight activities, and limits placed on a launch operator’s liability by or under the 2018 Act and the 2021 regulations. The circumstances giving rise to the contingent liability are fully explained in the departmental minute.

A potential contingent liability will be created each time a launch activity is conducted under the 2018 Act. The liability is unquantifiable—but we anticipate the likelihood of any liability arising above an operator’s liability limit to be very low.

The Department for Transport will keep Parliament informed of the specific indemnities entered into under this notification by reporting on them in our annual report and accounts, which are laid before Parliament.

HM Treasury has approved the contingent liability in principle. If, during the period of 14 parliamentary sitting days beginning on the date on which this minute was laid before Parliament, a Member signifies an objection by giving notice of a parliamentary question or by otherwise raising the matter in Parliament, final approval to proceed with incurring the liability will be withheld pending an examination of the objection.

The action I have taken today is another step towards achieving the first small satellite launch from Europe this year—and re-affirms this Government’s bold commitment to establishing the UK as one of the most attractive and innovative space economies in the world—and the leading provider of commercial small satellite launch in Europe.

[HCWS221]

Transpennine Route Upgrade

Today, 19 July 2022, the Government have made available £959 million of additional funding to continue to progress the delivery of the ambitious Transpennine Route Upgrade.

This funding is a significant milestone, and another step towards upgrading the key East-West rail artery across the North of England to further this Government’s levelling up and decarbonisation objectives.

In addition to progressing the design of aspects of the upgrade, this funding will enable further on-the-ground delivery of electrification and journey time improvement works, mostly west of Leeds. One of the first tangible benefits will be enabling electric trains to run between Manchester and Stalybridge by the middle of the decade. We are also developing scope that will enable the Transpennine Route Upgrade to become the first phase of Northern Powerhouse Rail, including plans to unlock freight flows and take thousands of lorries off our roads.

We are also more than trebling the investment in the Transpennine Route Upgrade from £2.9 billion to between £9.0 billion and £11.5 billion. This additional investment will enable the roll out of digital signalling technology, electrification of the full route and the provision of additional tracks for commercial and freight services, giving rail users more reliable, more punctual, more comfortable and greener rail journeys.

To date, the Government have approved over £2 billion of funding for the upgrade. The further £959 million of funding reiterates this Government’s commitment to transforming rail connectivity across the north, as part of the Integrated Rail Plan.

[HCWS24]