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Written Ministerial Statements

Monday 20 June 2011

Communities and Local Government

Burdens on Local Government

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Robert Neill): Between 1997 and 2010, council tax bills doubled. One of the reasons for this was central Government imposed unfunded or under-funded burdens on local authorities.

The coalition Government are committed to ensuring that the net additional costs of all such new burdens from central Government policy or initiatives are fully funded to help keep council tax down.

The new burdens doctrine sets out the factors that Departments should take into account when considering the costs and savings to local authorities arising from changes to policies and programmes. It applies to all Departments and covers all local authorities, including police authorities, fire and rescue authorities and local precepting authorities.

As part of the Government’s commitment to this principle, and in the spirit of greater transparency in Government, today I am publishing a copy of the Whitehall internal guidance on this issue: “The New Burdens Doctrine, Guidance for Government Departments”. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House and it is also available on the Communities and Local Government website at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/newburdens2011.


Government Response to NHS Future Forum

The Secretary of State for Health (Mr Andrew Lansley): As I informed the House on 14 June 2011, the Government have accepted the core recommendations of the NHS Future Forum’s report. A list of the key changes the Government intend to make as a result has already been placed in the Library.

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I have today laid before Parliament “Government Response to the NHS Future Forum”, Cm 8113, a detailed explanation of how the Government plan to implement improvements to their plans for NHS modernisation. Some, but not all, of these changes require amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill.

On 16 June the Government tabled a motion to recommit the relevant parts of the Health and Social Care Bill to a Public Bill Committee. The House will debate this motion tomorrow.

I am also laying before Parliament later today “Government Response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee Fifth Report of Session 2010-11: Commissioning”, Cm 8100.

“Government Response to the NHS Future Forum”, Cm 8113 is in the Library. Copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office. Copies of “Government Response to the House of Commons Health Select Committee Fifth Report of Session 2010-11: Commissioning”, Cm 8100, will be available later today.

Work and Pensions

Appointment of National Employment Savings Trust Corporation Trustee Members

The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Steve Webb): I am pleased to announce the appointment of the following trustee members of NEST Corporation:

Mr Iraj Amiri

Mrs Sharon Darcy

Mr Nigel Stanley

These appointments will take effect from 20 June.

The appointments will bring a wide breadth of knowledge and skills to NEST Corporation, particularly in the areas of representing the interests of consumers and financial management.

The new trustee members will join the current chair and six trustee members who were appointed last year. Together, they are the trustee of NEST and as such they have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of scheme beneficiaries. Trustee members are also responsible for setting the strategic direction and objectives for NEST.

NEST Corporation is the trustee body responsible for running the NEST scheme. It was set up under the Pensions Act 2008 as a non-departmental public body (NDPB) that operates at arm’s length from Government and is accountable to Parliament through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).