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The following Bills extend to Northern Ireland, in whole or in part, and deal mainly with excepted or reserved matters. Discussions will continue between the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure that, where provisions that deal with devolved matters are included in any of these Bills, the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly will be sought for them:

Banking (HM Treasury) (introduced in the third Session);Political Parties and Elections (MoJ) (introduced in the third Session);Savings Gateway (HM Treasury);Borders, Immigration Citizenship (HO);Coroners and Justice (MoJ);Child Poverty (Child Poverty Unit); andPolicing and Crime (HO).

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It is intended that the following Bills will extend to Northern Ireland to varying degrees. They will require the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly in relation to those provisions in the devolved field:

Marine (Defra);Health (DoH); andChildren, Skills and Learning (DCSF).

Discussions will continue between the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive on Bills that might include provisions that require the consent of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The following Bills will have limited or no impact in Northern Ireland:

Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction (DCLG);Equality (GEO); andWelfare Reform (DWP).

Government: Legislative Programme for Scotland

Statement

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Davidson of Glen Clova): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The legislative programme for the fourth Session was unveiled in the Queen’s Speech on 3 December. All of the Bills announced in the Queen’s Speech contain provisions that apply to Scotland. This is a programme that will significantly benefit Scots from all walks of life.

In this Session the Government will take forward measures to ensure fair rules, fair chances and fair futures for people across Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

This Statement includes a summary of the legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech and its application to Scotland. This Statement includes both new Bills that will be introduced in the coming weeks and months and those Bills that are carrying over from the last Session. It does not include draft Bills. The Bills listed in section one are not likely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Scottish Parliament. Section two details Bills that are likely to contain provisions that require the legislative consent of the Scottish Parliament (LCM) in line with the Sewel convention. A brief description is provided of the provisions likely to require consent.

The list also identifies the lead government department:

UK Legislation unlikely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Scottish Parliament at introduction:

The Bills in this section deal largely with reserved matters. Discussions will continue between the Government and the Scottish Ministers to ensure that, if provisions relating to matters which trigger the Sewel convention are included in any of these Bills during their passage at Westminster, the consent of the Scottish Parliament will be sought for them:



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Banking (HMT) (introduced in the third Session);Borders, Immigration and Citizenship (HO);Child Poverty (Child Poverty Unit);Health (DoH)*;Political Parties and Elections (MoJ) (introduced in the third Session); andSavings Gateway (HMT).

Legislation likely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Scottish Parliament at introduction:

Discussions will continue between the Government and the Scottish Ministers on Bills that might include provisions that trigger the Sewel convention. The Bills identified within the Queen’s Speech in this section are as follows:

Children, Skills and Learning (DCFS)—the Bill allows for arrangements between UK and Scottish Ministers to be made in relation to the provision of education and training services which will require an LCM. The Bill will also include reserved measures on the right to request time off to train.

Coroners and Justice (MoJ)—The Bill will include devolved measures, that require an LCM, on criminal memoirs and the transposition of the services directive.

Equality Bill (GEO)—equal opportunities is a reserved matter. This Bill will require an LCM, as it will amend the Scottish Ministers functions by allowing them to impose specific public sector duties on Scottish public bodies for the three new strands.

Local Democracy, Economic Regeneration and Construction (DCLG)—The Bill requires an LCM for devolved measures that relate to the construction industry supply chain. Specifically, these will improve clarity on cash flow and encourage parties to resolve disputes by adjudication rather than by litigation. Additionally the Bill will repeal un-commenced provisions in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act that apply to Scotland which relate to the Boundary Committee.

Marine and Coastal Access (Defra)—This Bill will greatly improve the way the UK uses its vast natural marine resources and maximises the benefits it gets from them, balancing competing, economic, ecological and social interests. The Bill will enable a single UK-wide Marine Policy Statement to be drawn up by UK Ministers in conjunction with the devolved Administrations. An LCM will be required to make Scottish Ministers the marine planning authority and to give them powers to designate marine conservation zones for the Scottish offshore region. They will also have responsibility for marine licensing in relation to many activities in the Scottish offshore region.

Policing and Crime (HO)—This Bill will include a significant range of reserved provisions that will extend to Scotland. The Bill will also include measures that provide for the recognition and enforcement of English and Welsh football banning orders in Scotland, which will require an LCM.



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Welfare Reform and Birth Registration (DWP)—Social Security is a reserved matter and the Bill will include wider-ranging reserved provisions that will extend to Scotland. An LCM will be required to confer a regulation-making power upon the Scottish Ministers so that they may include devolved funding streams within the “right to control”.

Government: Legislative Programme for Wales

Statement

Lord Davies of Oldham: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Wales has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government's fourth Session legislative programme will contain 14 Bills. Almost every one will affect Wales in some way.

The programme builds on the Pre-Budget Report with a focus on helping equip people to meet the economic challenges they are facing, particularly in this current climate. The Government will take forward measures to ensure fairness in our society, with fair rules, a fair say and a fair chance for all.

There will be two Bills with framework provisions:

the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Bill Marine; andthe Coastal Access Bill.

Further information on these provisions will be made available after the Bills’ introductions.

A further six Bills, at least, will contain specific provisions for Wales, which will generally be provisions to confer the same powers on Welsh Ministers, in devolved areas of responsibility, as are being conferred on UK Ministers in those areas in relation to England. These are:

Business Rates Supplements;Children, Skills and Learning; Coroners and Justice; Equality;Policing and Crime; and Welfare Reform.

Further Welsh provisions may be included as Bills continue to be developed.

The Government continue to remain committed to delivering devolution through provisions in Westminster Bills and by using the legislative competence order process.

Legal Aid

Statement

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Legal aid is one of the fundamental elements underpinning the justice system and an important way of helping poorer members of the community. It enables access to justice for those who cannot afford to pay for legal advice and representation. The Government

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aim to get the best value for money from the provision of these services, so that as many people as possible can be helped using the available resources.

The value of legal aid contracts that have been awarded to the not-for-profit sector by the Legal Services Commission has increased from almost £48 million in 2002-03 to £80 million last year. This has enabled the sector to provide legal aid to an increasing number of people, and last year over 250,000 of the 800,000 acts of advice and assistance were delivered by not-for-profit agencies.

The need for legal advice in areas such as housing and debt will inevitably increase in these difficult economic times and the Government want to be sure that the best use of existing resources is being made.

We need to bring together the evidence about the issues facing the advice sector on the ground. I have asked my officials, therefore, to lead a short study which will gather evidence about the following:

the impact of the recession and the demand for civil legal advice; the impact of civil legal advice fixed fees on local providers—financially and in terms of the type of work they are taking on;the initial experience of community legal advice centres, including the impact on other providers in the area; andtrends in funding from sources other than the community legal service, including local authority funding, National Lottery funding, charities, central government departments, and others.

Our study will complement other work that is taking place; for example, the Legal Services Commission’s review of civil fixed fees, which is due to report early next year, and the Legal Services Research Centre’s ongoing research and evaluation of CLACs. The aim of our study will be to identify, bring together and analyse the available evidence across England and Wales. This will improve our understanding of how legal advice is delivered and funded at the local level and establish what further information we may need to inform future decisions.

The study team will work closely with advice providers, local authorities and other funders of advice to establish the evidence. I intend to set up a steering group for the project, which will include representatives from outside government, which I will chair.

The initial study will report in March, and copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Local Democracy, Community Empowerment and Construction Bill and Marine and Coastal Access Bill

Statement

Lord Davies of Oldham: I am pleased to inform the House that Explanatory Memorandum setting out proposals for the framework powers in the Local Democracy, Community Empowerment and Construction Bill and the Marine and Coastal Access Bill are available in the Library, the Printed Paper Office and on the Wales Office website at www.walesoffice.gov.uk.



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Minimum Wage

Statement

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Employment Relations and Postal Services (Pat McFadden) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to announce that the Government have submitted their economic evidence on the national minimum wage to the Low Pay Commission. The commission will take this and all the other evidence received into account when preparing its next report on the minimum wage, which will be submitted to the Government by the end of February 2009.

The economic evidence addresses recent trends in economic and labour market performance, as well as the impact of the national minimum wage on pay, employment and younger workers.

Copies of the Government’s economic evidence have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses and will be posted on the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform website at: www.berr.gov.uk.

The Government submitted their evidence on non-economic issues to the Commission in October.

Revenue and Customs: Reorganisation

Statement

The Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Myners): My right honourable friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury (Stephen Timms) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is publishing the last in a series of decisions about its future office structure. These latest decisions affect HMRC staff in offices outside its urban centres in the east, north-west, south-west, Yorkshire and the Humber, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

HMRC's regional review programme, which began in 2006, has been a massive and complex task. When HMRC was created in April 2005 from the Inland Revenue and Customs and Excise it had 105,000 staff and two separate office networks, with a total of 590 office buildings in well over 300 locations.

Throughout the review programme HMRC has consulted on its proposals with staff, trade unions and key external stakeholders, including MPs, to ensure that no relevant factors were overlooked during the decision-making process.

These have not been easy decisions. However, the overriding consideration has to be the department's need to address new and challenging customer demands by restructuring its business and estate in the most effective and efficient way possible.

Inquiry centre services, where customers can get face-to-face advice, will continue to be provided at or near their current location.



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HMRC plans to withdraw from locations between now and 2011-12 as circumstances allow and at a pace which enables it to maintain and improve customer services.

Details of the decisions, impact assessments and equality impact assessments will be published on the HMRC website today and MPs will receive e-mail confirmation of decisions relevant to their constituency, along with copies of related assessments.

Schools: Admissions

Statement

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Ed Balls) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today I have presented to Parliament the revised school admissions code and school admission appeals code. Subject to the parliamentary procedure, these codes will come into force in February 2009.

This Statement follows on from previous Statements I have made to the House on improvements I have made to strengthen the statutory school admissions framework and place children and families at the heart of the process.

Through the Education and Skills Act 2008 we have strengthened the statutory admissions framework to ensure that all schools adopt fair and lawful admissions practices. Local authorities have an important role to monitor compliance with the code and are now required to report annually to the schools adjudicator on the fairness and legality of the admission arrangements for all schools in their area. As the independent enforcer of fair access to schools, schools adjudicators now have a wider remit to consider any admission arrangements that come to their attention in addition to any complaints received through an objection. The schools adjudicator will report annually to the Secretary of State on how fair access is being achieved locally.

Following extensive consultation throughout the summer on a number of proposals to improve the application and allocation process for parents and to further strengthen the admission system so that it works for all children, I have revised both codes to achieve a better, fairer system for all families. The revised codes:

place a duty on admission authorities to engage with parents and the wider community when setting their admission arrangements, in order to meet the needs of their local area;improve the application and allocation process so that parents will only ever need to apply for a school place to the local authority in which they live;prescribe national closing dates for primary and secondary applications, helping parents by creating a simpler, more uniform system;

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improve the information parents receive on the admissions process, so they are fully engaged and informed; andmake improvements to admission forums so they are representative of parents and the local area, and consider the fairness of admission policies for that area.

The new provisions in the Education and Skills Act 2008 and the revised codes I have laid before Parliament today will help ensure that every parent has a fair chance of getting their child a place at a school of their choice, and that no parent or child will be disadvantaged by unfair admission arrangements.

In addition to presenting the revised codes to the House, I am pleased to announce today the appointment of a new chief schools adjudicator, following the retirement of Sir Philip Hunter at the end of the year. Ian Craig will take up post from April 2009, with Dr Elizabeth Passmore acting as interim chief schools adjudicator until this time. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sir Philip Hunter for all his hard work in ensuring that schools and local authorities comply with the mandatory provisions set out in the school admissions code, to help achieve fair access for all families.

I have placed a copy of the revised school admissions code and the school admission appeals code in the Libraries of both Houses.

Sport: Funding

Statement

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting (Lord Carter of Barnes): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (Andy Burnham) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I wish to update the House on a revised funding package to prepare our Olympic and Paralympic athletes for London 2012.

In the 2006 Budget Statement the Government announced a £600 million package for the remaining three years of the Beijing cycle and for the London cycle, comprising £200 million of Exchequer funding matched by £100 million of private sector investment, and supported by £300 million of lottery investment.

This represents a record level of investment for the UK’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes, and helped secure the best British Olympic performance in 100 years.

Today we are announcing an enhanced public sector commitment for the London cycle that will allow us to build on this momentum.

Public funding allocation for the London cycle

A total of £550 million of public funds—an additional £50 million—has been allocated to UK Sport to fund its elite programme. This consists of additional Exchequer funding of £29 million to UK Sport over the four years to 2012; plus a projected uplift in lottery income of £21 million.



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This means that for the London cycle the elite sport system will receive the highest level of public funding ever made available over a four-year Olympic/Paralympic cycle—an increase over the Beijing cycle and an unprecedented package of support for elite athletes.

Private sector funding: Medal Hopes Scheme

Alongside the Exchequer and Lottery investment, the 2006 Budget also set a challenge to British business to support our athletes. Funding for elite sport has moved from Lottery money for Sydney and Athens, to Exchequer and Lottery money for Beijing, and now Exchequer, Lottery and private money for London. I believe this mixed-economy funding for elite sport is the right long-term approach—and similar to the way excellence in arts is funded by my department. Alongside Exchequer and lottery funding, the Government wish to see the establishment of a third fundraising stream from the private sector as a permanent legacy of the London Games, using the wave of interest that comes with our home Games to establish this.


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