22 Jan 2007 : Column 53WS

Written Ministerial Statements

Monday 22 January 2007

Treasury

Anti-money Laundering Measures

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury (Ed Balls): The Government are today publishing draft Money Laundering Regulations 2007 for consultation. The Regulations implement the Third EU Money Laundering Directive, which was agreed in October 2005 during the UK's presidency of the European Union. The Regulations have been developed in line with the three key principles of the Government's anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist finance strategy—effectiveness, proportionality and engagement both domestically and with international partners. Implementing these regulations will further strengthen the UK's defences against money laundering and terrorist finance, and ensure a targeted response to specific threats.

Effectiveness means setting and implementing national and international standards that tackle the global threat of money laundering and terrorist financing. Proportionality means taking a risk-based approach to controls—being tough on new risks that emerge, whilst reducing burdens where the threat lowers. Engagement within the UK means working closely with business, regulators and law enforcement agencies to ensure the system works. Internationally it requires co-operation with other Governments inside and outside the EU, including through the Financial Action Taskforce, the international standard setter.

The Regulations will introduce tough and targeted new measures to further strengthen our ability to tackle money laundering. In particular:


22 Jan 2007 : Column 54WS

In addition to taking tough action where the risks require it, we are also reducing regulatory burdens where possible. For example:

The draft Money Laundering Regulations have been developed through an extensive process of consultation with all interested parties, including representatives of law enforcement, regulators and the industry itself. In July 2006 the Government published a consultation document setting out proposals for implementing the EU Third Money Laundering Directive. This consultation closed in October 2006 and the responses received have informed the draft Regulations being published today. The Government will continue to work closely with all stakeholders as the Regulations are implemented.

The Government will set out in greater detail how we will apply the principles of effectiveness, proportionality and domestic and international engagement more widely to the continuing challenge of detecting, deterring and disrupting money laundering and terrorist financing in the coming weeks.

Copies of the consultation document published today are available in the Libraries of both Houses.


22 Jan 2007 : Column 55WS

Defence

UK Gulf Veterans (Mortality Data)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Derek Twigg): As part of the Government's continuing commitment to investigate Gulf veterans' illness, data on the mortality of veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf conflict are published regularly. The most recent figures for the period 1 April 1991 to 31 December 2006, are published today as a National Statistic on the Defence Analytical Services Agency website.

The data for Gulf veterans are compared to that of a control group known as the "Era cohort" consisting of armed forces personnel of a similar profile in terms of age, gender, service, regular/reservists status and rank, who were in service on 1 January 1991 but were not deployed to the Gulf. As in the previous release, the "Era" group has been adjusted for a small difference in the age-profile of those aged 40 years and over, to ensure appropriate comparisons.

Key points to note in the data are:

These statistics continue to confirm that UK veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf Conflict do not suffer an excess of overall mortality compared with service personnel who did not deploy.

The full notice can be viewed at http://www.dasa .mod.uk

Trade and Industry

New Build Decommissioning and Waste Management

The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. Alistair Darling): I have selected Dr. Tim Stone to be my senior adviser to lead the development of
22 Jan 2007 : Column 56WS
arrangements for the costs associated with potential new build decommissioning and waste management and make proposals to me and to the Chief Secretary of the Treasury, based on the principles set out in the Energy Review Report “The Energy Challenge”.

I am confident that Tim Stone, with his extensive background in investment and corporate banking, will play an important part in designing robust arrangements that ensure that for any new nuclear build that might come forward, the private sector meets the full decommissioning costs and their full share of long-term waste management costs

Dr. Stone is taking on this role on secondment from KPMG. The role will run for an initial period of one year from 22 January 2007.

Farepak

The Minister for Trade (Mr. Ian McCartney): When the House debated the collapse of Farepak on 7 November 2006, Official Report, column 206WH, I undertook to keep hon. Members fully up to date on the progress of the investigations into the events. Hon. Members will wish to be aware that on 18 January the administrators of Farepak Food and Gifts Ltd, BDO Stoy Hayward, sent out their statement to customers and agents of Farepak. The statement explains what has happened in the administration to date, what the administrators propose to do while they are still appointed and what will happen when the administration ends.

The main purpose of the statement is for agents and customers to have the opportunity to consider and vote on the proposals of the administrators. The administrators recommend that Farepak should be placed in liquidation. Liquidators have wider powers of investigation and action than administrators. Creditors will have until 9 February 2007 to return voting forms to Voting Registration Department, Farepak House, Westmead Drive, Westlea, Swindon SN5 7YZ.

I am placing a copy of the statement in the Libraries of both Houses.

The DTI's Companies Investigation Branch is continuing its wider investigation into the circumstances surrounding the collapse of Farepak.


    Index Home Page