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House of Commons Hansard
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Written Statements
23 October 2018
Volume 648

Written Statements

Tuesday 23 October 2018

Treasury

Mutual Deferred Shares

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The Government have decided not to lay the secondary legislation required to give effect to the provisions in the Mutuals’ Deferred Shares Act 2015, which enable mutual insurers to raise equity by issuing mutual deferred shares (MDS). The Government have consulted widely with industry representatives in reaching their decision. During that consultation, industry representatives informed the Government that mutual insurers would only issue MDS if they qualified as tier 1 regulatory capital and would not alter the tax status of any mutual that issued MDS. It has not been possible to design MDS which meet both these criteria. The Government have, therefore, decided not to lay the regulations. The Government would reconsider their position if any material factors changed in the future.

[HCWS1026]

Justice

Prison Service Pay Review Body: Interim Chair

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I am pleased to announce that the Prime Minister has appointed Mr Jerry Cope as interim chair of the Prison Service Pay Review Body for a period of one year which commenced on 10 September 2018 and which ends on 9 September 2019. The appointment has been made in accordance with the governance code on public appointments.

Mr Cope will ensure that the Pay Review Body has the necessary leadership while a recruitment campaign takes place to identify a permanent chair.

[HCWS1025]

Northern Ireland

Independent Reporting Commission

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I have received the first substantive report from the Independent Reporting Commission (IRC).

The IRC was established by the UK Government and the Irish Government by way of an international treaty to report on progress towards ending paramilitary activity connected with Northern Ireland. This emanated from the Fresh Start agreement of November 2015. The agreement set out the Northern Ireland Executive’s responsibility for tackling paramilitary activity and associated criminality. This work is being taken forward through a Northern Ireland Executive action plan which contains 43 recommendations.

This is a significant report which benchmarks the progress which has been achieved to date and reminds us of the challenging work still to be done to ensure that communities are freed from the threat of paramilitarism.

The absence of a functioning Executive has obviously had an impact on this important work. Despite intensive efforts it has not yet been possible for the parties in Northern Ireland to reach political agreement. I remain resolute in finding a way forward in relation to that. This is why I am taking legislation through this House to provide for a limited period in which the parties can engage in talks and form an Executive.

I have today presented this report, along with the IRC’s annual report and accounts for 2017-18, to Parliament.

I would like to thank the commissioners for all of their work to date.

[HCWS1027]