14 Mar 2013 : Column 13WS

14 Mar 2013 : Column 13WS

Written Ministerial Statements

Thursday 14 March 2013

Business, Innovation and Skills

“Employment Law 2013: Progress on Reform”

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (Jo Swinson): The Government want to ensure that the UK has the best framework of employment law to create a flexible and fair labour market, which is necessary to support economic growth. It enables employers to turn demand into jobs and enables individuals to find and keep jobs that suit them.

The UK labour market currently performs well. Over a million private sector jobs have been created in the last two years. With employment at 29.7 million there are now more people in employment than ever before. Businesses are creating jobs at a rapid rate and we believe that our “light and even” employment regulation regime has helped in this. But some businesses believe that UK employment laws are burdensome and have generated perverse incentives that encourage workers to seek out the courts rather than mediation.

Through the Employment Law Review we are looking at all aspects of regulation affecting the employment relationship and employment life-cycle with the aim of reducing unnecessary burdens and making the underpinning legislation as simple and effective as possible while protecting essential worker rights. Our aim is to ensure that regulation is targeted appropriately, keeping the state out of areas where the parties are best placed to manage the employment relationship themselves.

Today the Government are publishing “Employment Law 2013: Progress on Reform” which sets out our continuing vision of creating a flexible, effective and fair labour market. It outlines key achievements made to date and looks ahead to ongoing and future work streams to support this.

We are also publishing the Government response on the recommendations following the “Fundamental Review of Employment Tribunal Rules” by Mr Justice Underhill.

Mr Justice Underhill made a number of recommendations to simplify and streamline the employment tribunals system and has drafted new rules of procedure for employment tribunals, which the Government have consulted on. In addition. Government also took the opportunity to ask some questions about the non-payment of employment tribunal awards. The Government, alongside Mr Justice Underhill, have considered all the responses to the consultation, and where appropriate, have reflected these changes in the new rules of procedure. Other responses may be considered as part of the presidential guidance, which will be drafted by the presidents of the employment tribunal in England, Wales and Scotland to accompany the new rules.

The main changes include:

New procedures aimed at addressing potentially weak claims and more robust case management;

14 Mar 2013 : Column 14WS

Presidential guidance to help ensure that judges are dealing with hearings in a consistent manner which ensures parties know what to expect and what is expected of them;

A simplified procedure for withdrawing and dismissing claims;

A new procedure for preliminary hearings that combine separate pre-hearing reviews and case management discussions.

It is the Government’s intention that the new rules of procedure will be published to coincide with the introduction of employment tribunal fees, which will require additional changes to the rules of procedure. Government believe that while the original intention was to introduce the Underhill changes to the rules in April, it is preferable to make both sets of changes to the rules of procedure at the same time, rather than in a piecemeal way. This will allow users of the system to familiarise themselves with one new set of rules, rather than different versions. It is expected that the new rules of procedure will be laid before Parliament in due course, and in good time before they come into force this summer.

Copies of the documents being published today have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Apprenticeships in England: Next Steps

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Skills (Matthew Hancock): Today the Government have published “The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Next Steps from the Richard Review”, our response to Doug Richard’s independent “Review of Apprenticeships”. It sets out our long-term vision for apprenticeships, together with our proposals for achieving this.

The Richard “Review of Apprenticeships” was published in November 2012, and the report set out a compelling vision for the future of apprenticeships in England. Our response firmly agrees with the review’s assessment of the challenges and opportunities ahead, in particular to place employers at the heart of all aspects of apprenticeships and to ensure rigour, and endorses his vision and the key steps we will need to take to get there.

Apprenticeships are a success; the quantity has risen by a record amount, with half a million starts over the last year. We must ensure consistently good quality, too.

The reforms we are proposing are challenging and far-reaching. We want to work closely with employers, educators and others with an interest in apprenticeships, on how best to turn these principles into practice. That is why today we have launched a consultation to inform our next steps.

A copy of the response has been placed in the Libraries. The consultation will stay open until 22 May. We will carefully consider responses over the summer and will publish our detailed implementation plan in autumn 2013.


Armed Forces Pay Review Body 2013 Report

The Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Philip Hammond): The 2013 report of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has now been published. I wish to express my thanks to the chairman and members of the review body for their report.

14 Mar 2013 : Column 15WS

In line with the Government’s 2011 autumn statement, which announced that public sector pay awards will average 1% for the two years following the public sector pay freeze, the AFPRB has recommended an increase of 1% to base military salaries for 2013-14. In addition, the AFPRB has recommended an increase to X-factor of 0.5% and a 1% increase in specialist pay and compensatory allowances. The AFPRB has also recommended an increase to accommodation charges, but a reduction to food charges, together with a number of targeted measures, including a new commitment bonus for certain categories of personnel joining the Territorial Army.

The AFPRB’s recommendations are to be accepted in full, except for the recommendation to increase X-factor, which would result in costs for which the Department has not currently budgeted. This recommendation is therefore under consideration as part of a wider review of departmental expenditure and I will inform the House of the result in due course. All other recommendations will become effective from 1 April 2013, except where the AFPRB report indicates otherwise.

Copies of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body report are available in the Vote Office.



The Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr George Osborne): A meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council was held in Brussels on 5 March 2013. Ministers discussed the following items:

Revised capital requirements rules (CRD IV)

Ministers discussed a revised legislative package. I made clear that the UK would not support the proposals as they stand. The UK currently has one of the toughest remuneration regimes in the world and the current remuneration proposals in CRD IV would risk the perverse effect of driving up fixed pay, making banks less resilient. The proposals would also make it more difficult to claw back pay where appropriate, thus reducing accountability in the banking sector. The presidency noted that a majority of member states supported the revised package: however further work was required to negotiate outstanding technical issues before Council would formally approve the measures.

Current legislative proposals

The presidency updated Council on the state of play of the following legislative proposals currently under consideration: revised rules for markets in financial instruments, the single supervisory mechanism, the bank recovery and resolution directive, the mortgage credit directive and the market abuse directive and regulation.

VAT fraud: quick reaction mechanism (VAT QRM)

Ministers discussed political guidelines for an anti-fraud package including the QRM. The UK and others stressed the importance of decisions on tax matters being made by the Council and being subject to unanimity. The presidency will continue its work in this area.

Economic governance “two pack”

Council noted the agreement reached with the European Parliament.

14 Mar 2013 : Column 16WS

European semester: discussion of certain thematic issuesreport on quality of public expenditure

Ministers agreed Council conclusions on the report, which addresses fiscal adjustments and finds that fiscal consolidation and promoting growth are not alternatives and can go hand in hand.

Closer economic and monetary union: response to President of the European Council

Ministers held an exchange of views on closer economic and monetary union integration.

Follow-up to G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and governors in Moscow, 15-16 February 2013

The presidency and the Commission updated Ministers on the meeting.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr Owen Paterson): I attended the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 25 and 26 February in Brussels covering agricultural issues. I was accompanied by the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, responsible for the natural environment, water and rural affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Newbury (Richard Benyon), who spoke on fisheries issues. Alun Davies AM, Richard Lochhead MSP and Michelle O’Neil MLA also attended.

This statement updates Parliament on the outcome of discussions of all agenda items at the February Council with the exception of the AOB point on the mislabelling of beef products. I reported on this item in my written parliamentary statement of 27 February, Official Report, column 26WS.

Agriculture—CAP Reform—Basic Payment

Council began with a range of views on its revised text on the CAP basic payment. On the main issue of internal convergence, those member states who have long opposed the move to full convergence of payment levels within a member state or region (i.e. moving from a system based on historical payments to one using area payments), welcomed the revised text and its lower level of ambition. The UK along with some other member states supported strong Commission calls for a more ambitious proposal. I argued that full internal convergence was required, although I did welcome the extra flexibility the text granted to member states about how they reached that point.

Member states agreed with the proposal that they could scale back entitlements for some claimants if there would be a large increase in entitlements across the member state. The proposed redistributive payment also received support, although some queried its complexity. Most new member states continued to push for continuation of the single area payment scheme (SAPS).The presidency acknowledged this as an issue to which the Council would need to return.

CAP Reform—Transparency of CAP Beneficiaries Data

The Council confirmed broad support for the Commission’s proposals on publication of CAP beneficiaries’ data, above a set threshold. The UK and some other member states argued that we should go further by publishing names and receipts of all CAP

14 Mar 2013 : Column 17WS

beneficiaries, without exempting small farmers. Others opposed the Commission’s proposals on the grounds that they were not clearly in line with the recent ECJ ruling, or that publication of names was unnecessary to meet the objectives of public control and transparency. While views on whether a threshold was required and at what level it might be set differed the presidency felt able to conclude that there was sufficient political support for the Commission proposals.

AOB—European Protein Strategy

Austria presented a paper calling for co-ordinated support for EU protein crop producers. They called for a mechanism to support research and information sharing, but also for protein crops to be eligible for cultivation on environmental focus areas as part of CAP reform. This received support from a significant number of member states. The UK called for a WTO-compliant approach, noting that there was already a sophisticated market for protein crops; and that reform was meant to move away from coupled support. There was therefore no need for specific EU support.


Fisheries business at this Council consisted of an update on negotiations on the EU-Morocco fisheries partnership agreement and a substantive negotiation on outstanding elements of CFP reform.

The Commission gave an update on discussions with Morocco over a new protocol to the EU-Morocco fisheries partnership agreement. Some member states were pressing for a swift agreement while others, including the UK, emphasised the importance of a good deal which safeguarded value for money and sufficiently addressed the needs of Western Sahara.

With regard to reform of the CFP, Council revisited the general approach agreed in June 2012 to finalise the outstanding details left undecided. The discussion focused primarily on measures to eliminate discards through landing obligations, or “discard bans” (in articles 15 and 16), although it also touched on integration of the CFP with environmental obligations (article 12).

The Irish presidency tabled a number of proposals, including amendments to the deadlines for the introduction of landing obligations, increased “de minimis” exemptions, new species-based exemptions, and proposals for mandatory swapping of quota between member states.

Firm deadlines for the introduction of landing obligations were agreed, although some deadlines were moved back one year from what had been proposed. Despite pressure from a significant bloc of member states to water down the detailed discards provisions and to expand the flexibilities available, the principles of progressively implemented landing obligations across all quota species remain intact.

The final package maintained de minimis provisions, but blanket species-based exemptions that risked damaging the credibility of the ban were ultimately rejected. Proposals that would have required member states to swap away a certain percentage of their quota were also removed from the package.

The Council position now incorporates these provisions on discards, alongside the other measures agreed in the general approach, for example on fishing at sustainable levels, and processes to deliver more regionalised decision making. The final package will be agreed between Council and the European Parliament, with a process of “trilogue” discussions expected to begin shortly.

14 Mar 2013 : Column 18WS

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

G8 UK Presidency: Foreign Ministers' Meeting

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr William Hague): The G8 Foreign Ministers’ meeting will be taking place on 10 and 11 April 2013 in London. I wish to inform the House about the Government’s objectives for this meeting, further to my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s written ministerial statement about the UK’s G8 presidency of 9 January 2013, Official Report, column 20WS.

The G8 represents a group of nations with a broad range of global interests and responsibilities. We have a collective responsibility and opportunity to use our influence to address some of the most pressing issues in the world.

We will be inviting G8 nations to provide leadership on the following issues:

First, we will seek a clear statement of intent and concrete commitments to begin to shatter the culture of impunity for those who use rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war, including support for a new international protocol on the investigation and documentation of sexual violence in conflict and practical assistance in countries affected by this problem. Tackling rape and sexual violence in conflict is a major challenge for our generation, and I am grateful for the expressions of support voiced during the debate in this House on this subject on 14 February.

Secondly, we will encourage the G8 to provide high-level political support for Somalia in advance of an international conference on Somalia in London in May, which will be co-chaired with the Somali Government. G8 Ministers will consider how best to support the re-engagement of the international financial institutions with Somalia.

Thirdly, I intend to propose ways we can build greater trust and security in cyberspace as a means of expanding the growth potential of the global digital economy. The G8 can show leadership on international capacity-building efforts, following up the UK initiative announced at the Budapest cyber conference last October.

Fourthly, support for Burma will also be a priority. Following a remarkable period of political reform we believe that the G8 should, in partnership with the Burmese leadership, support a framework for responsible international investment.

Fifthly, we will follow up on the Deauville partnership which represents G8 and partners’ support to countries undergoing transition following the Arab spring. Over the course of 2013 the G8 and its partners will oversee several Deauville partnership initiatives, centred on trade and investment, promoting small and medium-sized enterprises, and supporting women’s economic empowerment.

In addition to these issues, Foreign Ministers will also discuss urgent foreign policy issues. This agenda will be determined closer to the time, but will certainly include the situation in the middle east, including Syria and Iran, security and stability across north and west Africa, DPRK and climate change.

I will keep the House informed of progress.

14 Mar 2013 : Column 19WS


Informal Health Council

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Anna Soubry): EU Health Ministers met in Dublin, in Ireland, on 4 and 5 March. I represented the UK. The agenda included discussions on childhood obesity, the impact of the economic crisis on health systems, children with complex developmental needs, patient safety, and on moving towards a smoke-free environment.

The meeting began with a discussion on childhood obesity. There was broad agreement that it was beneficial to continue to develop voluntary collaboration between member states in this field. This discussion was followed by a debate on the impact of the economic situation on health systems, focusing on avoiding or mitigating a negative impact on the provision of health services. There was also a discussion of complex developmental needs in children, with a particular focus on autism.

The second day included discussions on smoke-free environments and patient safety. The discussion on patient safety focused on healthcare associated infections, and the experience of member states in preventing and combating these.

The Council also gave the opportunity to stress the UK position on the economic cost of not addressing the causes of non-communicable diseases and that prevention is vital to the health of UK patients and the UK economy. It is therefore important that the UK works with other member states in tackling issues such as tobacco misuse and obesity and the Council provided a forum to share best practice at the European level.

The meeting concluded with an AOB item on the importation of active pharmaceutical ingredients from third countries, following the coming into force of the falsified medicines directive. A number of member states, including the UK, called on the Commission to redouble their efforts to ensure that there were no shortages of active pharmaceutical ingredients following the implementation of the legislation.

NHS Pay Review Body

The Secretary of State for Health (Mr Jeremy Hunt): I am responding on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 27th report of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm 8555). Copies of the report are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office. I am grateful to the chair and members of the NHSPRB for their report.

We welcome the NHS Pay Review Body’s 27th report, note its observations and accept its recommendations in full.

I am pleased to confirm that:

all NHS staff on agenda for change pay, terms and conditions will receive a 1% rise in their basic pay effective from 1 April 2013: and

those NHS staff on agenda for change pay, terms and conditions who work in London will receive a 1% increase to the minima and maxima of their high cost area supplement.

14 Mar 2013 : Column 20WS

Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration

The Secretary of State for Health (Mr Jeremy Hunt): I am responding on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 41st report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm 8577). Copies of the report are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office. I am grateful to the chair and members of the DDRB for their report.

We welcome the 41st report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration and note its observations and:

accept its recommendations in respect of salaried doctors and dentists; and

accept the recommendation of a 1% increase in GP pay but abate the recommended allowance for GP practice staff costs from 3.4% to 1% to reflect public sector pay policy, giving an overall increase in general medical services payments of 1.32% rather than the 2.29% recommended by DDRB.

We will take forward DDRB’s suggested actions, which will help us continue to improve our support for the DDRB’s important work.

Home Department

Terrorism Acts (David Anderson Report)

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): I announce today the publication of the Government’s response to the report of Mr David Anderson QC on the operation in 2011 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and part 1 of the Terrorism Act 2006, which will be laid before the House today.

I thank David Anderson QC for his report and have carefully considered his recommendations after consultation with other relevant Departments and agencies.

The Government’s response is available in the Vote Office and online.

Justice and Home Affairs Council

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): The Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council was held on 7 and 8 March in Brussels. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice and I attended on behalf of the United Kingdom. Roseanna Cunningham MSP also attended on behalf of the Scottish Administration. The following items were discussed.

The Council began in mixed committee with Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland (non-EU Schengen states) where the Council agreed that the second generation Schengen information system (SIS II) would go live on 9 April 2013. The UK supports this date and has planned for integration into SIS II in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Next the presidency introduced a state of play on Bulgaria and Romania’s accession to the Schengen area. Although it was clear that the required unanimity to lift all internal borders did not exist, they considered that a two-step approach (lifting air and sea borders before

14 Mar 2013 : Column 21WS

land borders) could offer a way forward. The presidency concluded that the Council would address the issue again by the end of 2013 on this basis.

The Commission presented the new smart borders package aimed at enhancing EU border security and strengthening the Schengen area through an entry/exit system (EES) while facilitating travel through the proposed registered travellers programme (RTP). The Commission said that there had been extensive consultation and analysis in the preparation of the proposed package, and £949 million has been earmarked in the external borders element of the internal security fund for development costs. Despite some positive welcomes for the package, the high implementation cost dominated the exchange of views with calls for lessons to be learnt from other large scale IT projects. Many member states pressed for the inclusion of law enforcement access and biometrics from the start of the system in order to justify the cost and ensure added value in tackling illegal immigration. The presidency noted the exchange of views and looked forward to discussions at expert level. The UK will not be participating in either component of the smart borders package as they build on the part of the Schengen agreement in which the UK does not participate. However there is value in the successful introduction of an entry/exit system that would enable better measurement and control of illegal migration in the Schengen area.

Under AOB the presidency provided an update on several legislative proposals. They were continuing negotiations with the European Parliament and hoped to find a solution on the visa regulation (539), Eurosur (border surveillance) regulation and the Schengen governance package.

The main Council started with a joint presentation from Guilles de Kerchove (EU counter-terrorism co-ordinator), Pierre Vimont (Secretary-General of the EEEAS), Frontex, Europol and Eurojust on the situation in the Sahel and Maghreb and the associated threat to internal EU security. In recognising the success of the French-led military effort, member states acknowledged that much remained to be done to develop police and criminal justice capabilities in the region. The counter-terrorism co-ordinator, supported by the UK, stressed the importance of work to counter extremist narratives and the need to strengthen aviation security. The UK argued that terrorist groups in the region had benefited from ransom payments and restated the long-held position of the UK Government not to pay ransoms or grant other substantive concessions to hostage-takers. The UK also noted that data-sharing, in particular passenger name records, was vital for detecting individuals travelling to conflict zones. Finally, the UK highlighted the importance of sending a clear signal that terrorist attacks on EU soil would not be tolerated. If there was compelling evidence linking the military wing of Hezbollah to the Bourgas attack, the UK said that the EU had a responsibility to consider that evidence and take action.

Under AOB the presidency updated the Council on the progress of the asylum procedures directive, seasonal workers and intra-corporate transferees proposals. On the multi-annual financial framework, the presidency noted that trilogue negotiations had started in February on the asylum and migration fund and internal security

14 Mar 2013 : Column 22WS

fund. Figures were still being examined, and work was expected to continue on these matters in the coming months.

The Spanish delegation informed Ministers of its intention to establish a platform in Bogota for the exchange of information on transatlantic cocaine trafficking. This would follow the example of similar platforms in Accra and Dakar and bring together operational staff from EU member states in Colombia.

The Commission gave a brief overview of the radicalisation awareness network high-level symposium that took place in January. Both the presidency and the Commission saw a need to revise the current EU radicalisation and recruitment strategy; input to this would be provided through Council conclusions in June and a Commission communication in the autumn.

The Commission updated the Council on the Morocco mobility partnership negotiations following Commissioner Malmström and President Barroso’s visit to Rabat, during which broad agreement on the political declaration of the mobility partnership was reached. It was made clear that visa facilitation and a readmission agreement would be negotiated together. The Commission thanked the countries that had agreed to take part in this partnership, including the UK (which has offered to share best practice on border management with Morocco), and invited Ministers to sign the declaration upon completion of negotiations.

Over lunch the Council received presentations from Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office on the recent trends at the external borders and resulting pressures on member states’ asylum systems, with particular focus on developments in Syria and Mali, and the continuing volatile situation in north Africa. A number of member states stressed the need for an EU-wide response to migratory pressures on the external borders and some member states, including the UK, expressed their concern at the deteriorating situation in Syria. Ministers agreed to continue discussing this issue with the assistance of statistics and data from Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

The justice day began with the presidency presenting its progress report on the data protection regulation. They noted that they had made significant progress, in completing a first read through of the text and proposing changes to the text on the rights of data subjects and the obligations on controllers and processors. The majority of member states welcomed the presidency paper and the risk-based approach. There was broad consensus from member states on the need for legislation that provided flexibility and respected national laws and structures.

The presidency agreed to task the expert working group to consider the risk-based approach and flexibility for the public sector in greater detail.

The Commission presented the draft directive on protection of the euro and other currencies against counterfeiting by criminal law. The Commission stressed the importance of this instrument in protecting the Union’s financial interests and the eurozone generally. Member states were broadly in agreement about the scale and impact of the problem, and supportive of the central objective, although the majority of delegations opposed a key feature of this directive, the introduction of minimum penalties. The UK argued that the proposal

14 Mar 2013 : Column 23WS

was in danger of breaching the principle of subsidiarity, as well as constraining judicial discretion which is a fundamental principle of the criminal law in the UK. The UK was also unconvinced by the need to establish extra-territorial jurisdiction over its own nationals. The presidency summarised that a vast majority opposed minimum penalties, and this would provide the basis for expert discussions on the matter in due course.

Political agreement was reached on the first reading deal on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters. The presidency indicated that the EP plenary vote would take place in the next few weeks and it was expected the proposal would return for formal adoption at the June JHA Council. The Commission welcomed this final element of the victims’ package.

The presidency outlined the state of play on other current negotiations. They were optimistic about reaching a conclusion on the access to a lawyer directive in June. It might also be possible to conclude the European investigation order during the Irish presidency. The European Parliament vote on the confiscation directive had been delayed until the end of March; but agreement with the Parliament on the justice funding programme and the rights, equality and citizenship programme was within reach.

The Council concluded with a lunch discussion on the EU justice scoreboard. The presidency said that most had recognised there was a relationship between efficient justice systems and growth and suggested the discussion could move to senior officials for further discussion.

Immigration Rules

The Minister for Immigration (Mr Mark Harper): My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary is today laying before the House a statement of changes in immigration rules as set out below.

Minor changes will be made to the general visitor rules to guard against abuse by those whose repeat visits amount to de facto residence.

New provisions are being made in the tier 1 (graduate entrepreneur) route, which we introduced last year. The category is being expanded to include additional places for talented MBA graduates from UK higher education institutions (HEIs) and to accommodate UK Trade and Investment’s elite global graduate entrepreneur scheme, which was announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor in his autumn statement and will target the brightest and best entrepreneurs from overseas HEIs.

Changes are being made to the tier 1 (exceptional talent) route, for world leaders in science, engineering, humanities and the arts. These changes split the application process so that applicants will no longer have to pay the full fee up front, or have their passports held by the UK Border Agency while a designated competent body is considering whether to endorse them.

Changes are being made to tier 2, the route for skilled migrant workers with a job offer from a licensed employer. These changes further improve flexibility for intra-company transferees and for employers carrying out the resident labour market test. They also update the shortage occupation list, codes of practice for employers, overall salary thresholds and minimum appropriate salary rates for individual occupations, following reviews by the

14 Mar 2013 : Column 24WS

Migration Advisory Committee. I have also made changes that will remove the need to continually lay further rules changes to renew the tier 2 (general) limit. This means that the limit will continue to be set at 20,700 places per year unless further rule changes are made to amend it. We have previously confirmed that the current limit will remain in place until April 2014.

Changes are being made to tier 4, recently announced by the Home Secretary, that will extend the opportunities for talented graduates to stay and work after their studies. All completing PhD students will be allowed to stay in the UK for one year beyond the end of the course to find skilled work or to set up as an entrepreneur.

The provisions in tier 5 for temporary workers coming to the UK under the relevant commitments in certain international trade agreements to which the UK is a party are being updated.

The changes will delete temporary immigration rules which facilitated the entry and stay of certain Olympic and Paralympic participants and personnel during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. The rules ceased to have effect on 9 November 2012.

Minor changes are being made to the immigration rules on long residence and on work-related settlement, including clarifying the treatment of time spent working; in business or self-employment; or other economic activity in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Minor changes and clarifications are being made to the immigration rules relating to family and private life, mainly reflecting feedback from legal practitioners and UK Border Agency caseworkers on the operation of the new rules.

The changes also include the removal of the now obsolete provision in the immigration rules for parents and siblings of EEA national children who exercise free movement rights in the UK as self-sufficient persons, following the amendment of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 to create provision for such persons which is compliant with European and domestic case law. This provision gave effect to the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the case of Chen (C200/02).

In the subsequent case of M (Chen parents: source of rights) Ivory Coast [2010], the upper tribunal found that “Chen” carers persons have a right of residence under European law. This determination effectively prevented the UK Border Agency continuing to require Chen carers to apply for leave under the immigration rules, because section 7 of the Immigration Act 1988 says that a person who has “an enforceable Community right” shall not require leave to enter or remain in the UK.

Amendments were made to the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (“the regulations”) on 16 July 2012 to recognise a right of residence for persons with a derivative right of residence on the basis of Chen and to create provision for such persons to be issued with documentation confirming this right under the regulations. This provision rendered paragraphs 257C-E of the immigration rules obsolete, as all applications for a document confirming a right of residence on the basis of Chen are now assessed under the regulations.

Changes will be made to safeguard against an offender returning to the UK lawfully but in breach of a conditional caution. It replicates the effect of paragraph 320(7B)(vii) of the general grounds for refusal.

14 Mar 2013 : Column 25WS

A new protection route is being introduced recognising stateless persons who are unable to leave the UK. According to article 1(1) of the 1954 UN convention an individual is stateless if they are not considered to be a national of any state under the operation of its law.

This new route has been formulated in line with the 1954 convention relating to the status of stateless persons in co-operation with UNHCR and Asylum Aid. It is limited in its scope and requires applicants to demonstrate that they are stateless and cannot leave the UK.

Changes are being made to ensure the requirements necessary for granting discretionary leave to unaccompanied asylum seeking children are within the immigration rules.

Finally, there are also a number of minor technical changes, corrections and updates to lists contained in the immigration rules. Details of these are set out in the explanatory memorandum laid today to accompany the changes.

Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mrs Theresa May): Section 19(1) of the Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act 2011 (the Act) requires the Secretary of State to report to Parliament as soon as reasonably practicable after the end of every relevant three-month period on the exercise of her TPIM powers under the Act during that period.

The level of information provided will always be subject to slight variations based on operational advice.

TPIM notices in force (as of 28 February 2013)


TPIM notices in respect of British citizens (as of 28 February 2013)


TPIM notices extended


TPIM notice revoked


TPIM notices expired


TPIM notice revived


Variations made to measures specified in TPIM notices


Applications to vary measures specified in TPIM notices refused


During the reporting period: one TPIM notice was revoked as the subject was remanded in custody; one TPIM notice expired as the subject was remanded in custody and was later revived upon his release. As Parliament is aware, one individual subject to a TPIM notice (Ibrahim Magag) absconded on 26 December 2012; the TPIM notice against him subsequently expired during the reporting period.

A TPIM review group (TRG) keeps every TPIM notice under regular and formal review. The TPIM review group met four times during this reporting period.

Two individuals were charged in relation to an offence under section 23 of the Act (contravening a measure specified in a TPIM notice without reasonable excuse) during the period.

Section 16 of the 2011 Act provides rights of appeal in relation to decisions taken by the Secretary of State under the Act. Two appeals were lodged under section 16 during the reporting period.

14 Mar 2013 : Column 26WS


Legal Services on the International Stage

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mrs Helen Grant): The Ministry of Justice, in conjunction with UK Trade and Investment, later today launches “Legal Services on the international stage: underpinning growth and stability”, an action plan which outlines the next steps in the promotion of UK legal services abroad.

This follows the publication of the “Plan for Growth: Promoting the UK’s Legal Services Sector”, published in May 2011, which outlined 11 action points to promote the UK’s legal offer. It is now important that we maintain the momentum and explore new ways in which we can promote our legal services internationally.

The new action plan focuses upon three main themes: the inclusion of all UK jurisdictions when promoting our legal offer, the promotion of the UK legal education sector and promoting legal services alongside other sectors. In addition we will be continuing the work begun under the plan for growth, namely lobbying for market liberalisation of those states that have restricted legal markets.

Copies of “Legal Services on the international stage: underpinning growth and stability”, have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Review Body on Prison Service Pay

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Jeremy Wright): The 12th report of the Prison Service Pay Review Body (PSPRB) (Cm 8574) has been laid before Parliament today. The report makes recommendations on the pay for governing governors and other operational managers, prison officers and related support grades in England and Wales in 2013-14. Copies are available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. I am grateful to the chair and members of the PSPRB for their hard work in producing these recommendations.

The PSPRB key recommendations for 2013 are as follows:

endorsement of the introduction of the new bands 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 pay ranges as the final stage of the wide-scale reforms to pay systems being introduced across NOMS

endorsement of adjustments to the pay ranges for the previously endorsed bands 2 and 3

pay progression increases of one pay point for staff in bands 2 to 5 and of 1.5% for staff in bands 7 to 11

non-consolidated payments of 1% of base pay for staff in bands 7 to 11 who have achieved an “outstanding” performance assessment

non-consolidated awards of £250 for prison officers, senior officers and remit group manager G staff on the maximum of their closed pay scales at 31 March.

The PSPRB makes a number of other recommendations that do not affect pay for remit group staff this year but highlight issues which it wishes parties to address as part of the next pay round.

The recommendations for 2013-14 will be implemented in full. The cost of the award will be met from within the delegated budget allocation for the National Offender Management Service and are in accordance with public sector pay policy.

Note: PSPRB makes no recommendations for band 6 as there are no operational staff in it.

14 Mar 2013 : Column 27WS

Trusts (Capital and Income) Act 2013

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Mrs Helen Grant): The Trusts (Capital and Income) Act 2013 (c.1) received Royal Assent on 31 January. The Act provides that the provisions of sections 1 to 4 (inclusive) of the Act are to be brought into force on such date as the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument appoint. The remaining provisions of the Act are already in force.

I am pleased to announce that a commencement order is to be made bringing sections 1 to 3 (inclusive), which deal with the apportionment and classification of capital and income in trusts, in to force on 1 October 2013.

In relation to the provisions of section 4 of the Act, the commencement order will bring the new section 104B of the Charities Act 2011 in to force on 6 April 2013. This section empowers the Charity Commission to make regulations relating to total return investment by charities.

The remaining provisions of section 4 relate to the new section 104A of the Charities Act 2011. Section 104A specifies when charities may adopt total return investment. I will make a further announcement about the commencement of these provisions in due course following the completion of the proposed consultation by the Charity Commission on the content of the regulations to be made under section 104B. The Charity Commission expects to issue a consultation paper in the relatively near future.

Prime Minister

Review Body on Senior Salaries

The Prime Minister (Mr David Cameron): The 35th report of the Review Body on Senior Salaries (SSRB) is being published today. This makes recommendations about the pay of the senior civil service (SCS), senior military officers, the judiciary and very senior NHS managers. Copies have been laid in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office and the Libraries of both Houses. I am grateful to the chairman and members of the review body for their work on this year’s report.

While we are mindful of the need to ensure that we are able to recruit, retain and motivate staff with the right skills and experience, it is important in the current economic climate that senior public servants continue to show leadership in the exercise of pay restraint.

Senior Civil Service

The Government have accepted the recommendation to consider which elements of the Northern Ireland senior civil service (SCS) pay model may be appropriate for the home SCS, but cannot give any commitments about implementation at this time.

The Government have accepted the recommendations on minimum salaries for SCS pay bands 2 and 3 but has not accepted the recommendations for pay bands 1 and 1A.

The Government have not accepted the recommendation to give all staff a 1% increase and to increase the maximum of each pay band by 1%. We have also not accepted the recommendation to retain the existing caps on the size of individual non-consolidated performance awards.

14 Mar 2013 : Column 28WS

Senior Military Officers

The Government have accepted the recommendation of an increase of 1% to base military salaries for all 2, 3 and 4-star officers.


The Government have accepted the recommendation that the salaries of the judiciary should be increased by 1%.

As a result of the current fiscal challenge and public sector pay policy it is not possible at present to respond to the SSRB’s latest recommendations about the major review. The Government note the proposals but will not be able to respond at this time.

Very Senior NHS Managers

The Government have accepted the recommendation to increase the pay of those NHS very senior managers within the remit of the SSRB by 1%.

The Government have not accepted the recommendation that all very senior managers should be migrated to the terms of the pay framework published in May 2012 as we do not think this is the best use of scarce resources. The new pay framework is clear that it must apply to all new appointments and that where very senior managers are employed in the same organisation on different frameworks, employers should undertake an equal pay review and remedy any inequalities identified. This satisfies all of the requirements of employment law and good practice.

The Government therefore have also rejected the recommendation to suspend performance-related pay in 2013-14 as we believe this plays a useful role in the recruitment, retention and motivation of very senior managers and should continue as a feature of the pay system.

Other Review Body reports for 2013-14

Separate statements from the Secretaries of State for Justice, Health and Defence will also be laid today on the reports of the Prison Service Pay Review Body, the Doctors and Dentists Review Body, the NHS Pay Review Body and the Armed Forces Pay Review Body in respect of pay for the relevant workforces for 2013-14. The Government’s response to those reports is consistent with the need for senior public servants to show leadership in the exercise of pay restraint.


Door to Door Strategy

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Norman Baker): I am today publishing a door to door strategy that will help create growth and cut carbon by making it easier and more convenient for people to make their whole journey by sustainable transport—public transport supported by cycling and walking. By improving the whole journey, how each part connects and how to better integrate those parts, more people will be encouraged to use sustainable transport to get from their front door to the door at their destination.

Currently for journeys of less than five miles, 54% of people use the car. For longer journeys this increases to 80%.

The door to door strategy brings together for the first time the key work the Department is undertaking with all the key players in the transport sector. I am very

14 Mar 2013 : Column 29WS

grateful for the support from the rail and bus sectors, and those promoting cycling and walking, for their help in producing this strategy and their endorsement of it. It focuses on the key areas of reliable information, convenient ticketing, better connectivity, and safe, comfortable transport facilities.

The benefits of improving the door-to-door journey will be felt in a number of ways:

by increasing use of sustainable transport we can help protect the environment by reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality;

by improving connectivity and interchange we can help to support economic growth as we better link our businesses and markets and ensure public transport journeys are fast and reliable;

by providing a well-connected and accessible transport system that is safe and secure we can help improve public health, quality of life and wider well-being; and

by integrating the door-to-door journey as a whole we are delivering a good deal for the traveller by helping to make travel more reliable and affordable.

The door to door strategy sets out our vision for using new information technologies, improving ticketing choices, increasing choice and enhancing interchange, all of which will make the door-to-door journey more seamless. We will be working with transport providers, local authorities and representative organisations to challenge them further and help to make our vision a reality.

I will be placing a copy of the door to door strategy in the Library of the House. It will also be published on the Department’s website at:


To support the door to door strategy I have also today published the multi-operator ticketing guidance for local transport authorities. The guidance helps them

14 Mar 2013 : Column 30WS

to identify the type of scheme and approach that might be most suitable in their area, and clarifies the legal issues surrounding introduction of these tickets.

Publication of the guidance is the first of the Competition Commission’s suggested remedies to the local bus market that has been fully addressed by DFT, and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to improving bus services for passengers.

Light Dues

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Stephen Hammond): The three general lighthouse authorities for the United Kingdom and Ireland ensure the navigability of the seas around our islands, preserving the lives of mariners and the integrity of our marine environment. We entrust this vital task to these historic organisations, each of which protects ships visiting and trading within our shores.

Our collaboration with the Irish Government in the provision of marine aids to navigation around the whole of Ireland is also symbolic of the friendship that exists between our two nations, and what we can achieve through working together.

Over many years, the general lighthouse authorities have built up great expertise and capabilities in maritime operations. This has enabled each authority to market their skills to earn commercial income and reduce the call on light dues payers, but only where it does not interfere with their core statutory activities.

I remain committed to the efficient and effective provision of marine aids to navigation. I have therefore decided that light dues will be frozen at the current levels for 2013-14. This Government have delivered a 12% reduction in real-term light dues levels since 2010, and confirmation of this further freeze will give certainty over the coming year to those asked to pay for this vital service.