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Written Statements

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Climate Change: Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Statement

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Caroline Spelman) has today made the following Statement.

Following the public consultation last year, I can announce today that the Government will introduce a regulation requiring reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by quoted companies in April 2013. Mandatory reporting of GHG emissions by all quoted companies will provide transparency, enabling investors to see how listed companies are managing their carbon liabilities. This is essential information for investors who wish to assess medium to long-term risks. Business groups have called for regulation to create a common standard on GHG reporting and a level playing field, and to create transparency for investors and wider stakeholders.

We will collect evidence from the first two years of reporting by quoted companies and take a further decision in 2016 on whether the reporting requirement should be extended to all large companies.

This decision meets the requirement in Section 85 of the Climate Change Act 2008 to make regulations under Section 416(4) of the Companies Act 2006 requiring the directors’ report of a company to contain such information as may be specified in the regulations about emissions of GHG for which a company is responsible. A report to Parliament was laid on 27 March 2012 to conform with the Climate Change Act.

Hillsborough

Statement

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Hillsborough Independent Panel has today announced that its disclosure to the Hillsborough bereaved families will be on Wednesday 12 September in Liverpool. The Government are fully supportive of the work of the independent panel chaired by the Bishop of Liverpool. The panel’s work has been detailed and complex, but the Government are pleased that it will complete its work by the autumn as it made clear earlier this year. The Government will ensure that further progress on the work of the panel is reported to Parliament as the panel brings its work to a conclusion.

Public Guardian Board: Annual Report

Statement

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Jonathan Djanogly) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

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The Public Guardian Board has provided me with a copy of its annual report on the Public Guardian for the year 2011-12. A copy of the report has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses. Copies of the report are also available online at: http://www.justice. gov.uk/about/opg/pgboard.

Taxation: Avoidance

Statement

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): My honourable friend the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (David Gauke) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government are committed to tackling tax avoidance to ensure the Exchequer is protected and fairness is maintained for the taxpayer.

Anti-avoidance provisions in Clause 208 of Finance Bill 2012 are being introduced to close tax avoidance schemes involving arrangements to acquire interests in offshore “excluded property” trusts, which are not subject to inheritance tax (IHT) charges. The schemes take advantage of this special treatment with the effect that UK domiciled individuals avoid IHT charges which would normally be due when they transfer assets into trusts.

Clause 208 may not be fully effective in deterring some variants of these schemes, particularly those involving arrangements using onshore vehicles. It may also inadvertently apply to some arrangements not made for tax avoidance purposes, especially those entered into prior to its introduction.

I am announcing today that amendments will be introduced on Report with the aim of ensuring that the new provisions: do not affect existing arrangements and are effective in stopping avoidance schemes involving the acquisition of interests in settled property; target the intended schemes correctly; and protect significant amounts of revenue. The amendment and provisions in Clause 208 will have effect from today.

Details of the amendment are being published on the HM Treasury website today.

Taxation: Double Taxation

Statement

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): My honourable friend the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (David Gauke) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

A new double taxation convention with the Principality of Liechtenstein was signed on 11 June 2012. The text of the convention has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and made available on HM Revenue and Customs’ website. The text will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.