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Written Statements

Statements received between Thursday 31 July 2014 and Monday 4 August 2014

Correction to Lords Written Answer


The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Livingston of Parkhead) (Con): I wish to inform the House that the Answer I gave to the Countess of Mar on 22 July (Official Report: col. WA182), copied below, requires clarification.

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Livingston of Parkhead) (Con): Data showing the volume (kilograms) of UK imports of aspartame during 2000-2013 is given in Table 1 below. The figures are sourced from HMRC’s Overseas Trade Statistics database.

Table 1: UK imports of aspartame (HS code 21069092)
YearNet mass (kgs)































HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics database



HS 21069092 = Food preparations, n.e.s., not containing milkfats, sucrose, isoglucose starch or glucose or containing, by weight, < 1,5% milkfat, < 5% sucrose or isoglucose, < 5% glucose or < 5% starch“ only.

HMRC have confirmed that UK import figures for aspartame are contained within HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics database code HS 21069092, which (as noted in the footnote above) captures a range of food preparations; we are unable to split the data to show the volume (kilograms) of UK imports of aspartame during 2000-2013 separately. 

I am writing to the noble Countess and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

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Statements received between Tuesday 5 August 2014 and Monday 1 September 2014

Armed Forces Pay Review Body: Appointments


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Michael Fallon) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Professor Kenneth Mayhew and Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Jonathan Westbrook as members of the Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body. The appointments will last until 28 February 2018 and the process has been conducted in accordance with the guidance of the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Guardianship of Property and Affairs of Missing Persons


The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice and Minister of State for the Courts and Legal Aid has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 8 April 2014 I made a Written Ministerial Statement reporting the Statement of the same date made by my Noble Friend, the Minister of State for Civil Justice and Legal Policy (Lord Faulks QC), announcing that the Ministry of Justice was continuing to prepare a consultation paper on the possible creation of a status of guardian of the property and affairs of missing persons and that it intended to publish the paper as soon as possible and in any event by the end of August [Official Report 08 April 2014, Column WS126].

I am pleased to announce that the consultation paper Guardianship of the Property and Affairs of Missing Persons was published on 27 August and that the consultation period will close on 18 November. The consultation paper is aimed at anyone with an interest in the property and affairs of those who go missing and I should like to encourage anyone with such an interest to respond.

The Government will decide whether to create a status of guardian of the property and affairs of missing persons once it has considered the responses to the consultation. My Noble Friend, Lord Faulks QC, will make a further statement at that time.

Interoperability of UK Criminal Records


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My honourable friend the Minister for Security and Immigration (James Brokenshire) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

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Today we have completed work to connect Northern Ireland criminal records to those of the rest of the UK. For the first time, this will provide interoperability through an automated link between the Police Service Northern Ireland and all other UK police forces. This will allow the searching of all criminal records and associated fingerprints via a national system.

This will improve public protection, enhance counterterrorism capability, assist crime solving (including previously unsolved cases) and further strengthen the protection of the UK borders.

This work delivers against key recommendations made on criminality information management by Lord Bichard, Sir Ian Magee and Mrs Sunita Mason, CBE.

Transport Infrastructure: Network Rail


The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): My Right Honourable friend, the Secretary of State for Transport (Patrick McLoughlin), has made the following Ministerial Statement:

In December 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced that, due to a change in European reporting rules, Network Rail Limited with all of its subsidiaries would be reclassified as a central government body1. That decision takes effect today, and Network Rail is now a public sector arm’s-length body of the Department for Transport.

The Government has approached its response to the ONS decision in partnership with Network Rail, with an emphasis firmly on the preservation of Network Rail’s ability to continue to manage its business with appropriate commercial freedom, within effective regulatory and control frameworks appropriate for a company in the public sector.

Today, I am publishing a Framework Agreement between the Department for Transport and Network Rail which sets out how both bodies will interact in terms of corporate governance and financial management. By working closely with Network Rail, my department has delivered a framework that provides appropriate accountability to Parliament and the taxpayer while preserving Network Rail’s operational independence. This both keeps clear Network Rail’s accountability for its performance and maintains the regulatory process managed by ORR to give industry the confidence to plan for the long term.

Given that Network Rail is now part of the public sector and government’s accounts, I will fulfil an enhanced role in overseeing the company. The Framework Agreement sets out how I and my officials will take on new responsibilities:

I will appoint future Chairs of Network Rail and approve or be consulted on other key governance changes.

I will approve Network Rail’s remuneration policy and pay for Executive Directors.

These changes have been reflected in Network Rail’s Articles of Association and agreed by Network Rail Members on 29th August 2014.

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My department will also ensure that Network Rail complies with Parliamentary reporting requirements, Managing Public Money and other relevant public sector-wide rules.

I am also publishing a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department for Transport and the Scottish Ministers, setting out how they will be involved in future decisions on Network Rail’s governance and financial management, and a Loan Facility Agreement entered into between me and Network Rail Infrastructure Limited.

Copies of both documents have been placed in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament.


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/network-rail- reclassification-memorandum-of-understanding

Statements received between Tuesday 2 September and Monday 8 September 2014

Children: Sexual Abuse


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Further to my statement to the House on 7 July and my WMS of 9 July, I am pleased to announce that I have appointed Fiona Woolf CBE, JP to be the chairman of the independent inquiry panel of experts in the law and child protection, to consider whether public bodies – and other, non-state, institutions – have taken seriously their duty of care to protect children from sexual abuse.

Fiona Woolf has had a long and distinguished career holding high-profile and challenging positions, including President of the Law Society and Chairman of the Association of Women Solicitors (AWS), and is only the second woman since 1189 to hold the position of Lord Mayor of London. As a lawyer, and latterly partner, at CMS Cameron McKenna for over 20 years, Fiona Woolf has worked in over 40 jurisdictions. She has advised over 25 governments and multi-lateral agencies such as the World Bank. She has also served as a member of the Competition Commission for 8 years.

I am confident that Fiona Woolf has the skills and experience needed to set the strategic direction of the Inquiry, to lead the work of the Panel, and to challenge individuals and institutions without fear or favour to get to the bottom of this issue, and stop it happening again.

To help her in this role, and to ensure that the Inquiry delivers the thorough, robust and independent review that I have promised, she will be supported by a panel of distinguished experts, and will be able to call upon expert advisers as required.

It is vital that the panel has access to independent expert legal advice and I am pleased to be able to announce that Counsel to the Inquiry will be Ben Emmerson QC,

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founder of Matrix Chambers and one of the UK’s most distinguished lawyers in the field of national and international human rights law. I can also confirm two panel members: Graham Wilmer MBE, founder of the Lantern Project, which was established in 2003 to provide help and support for survivors of sexual abuse and Barbara Hearn OBE, former deputy Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau. Each of them has a track record of giving a voice to vulnerable people and will bring important expertise and experience to the Inquiry.

I can also announce that Professor Alexis Jay has agreed to act as an expert adviser to the panel. Her recent report ‘Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham (1997 – 2013)’ exposed a terrible example of child sexual abuse and exploitation; and her experience and insight will, I am sure, be of benefit to the Inquiry.

The other panel members will be announced in due course once they have been appointed by the chairman.

Fiona Woolf will agree the terms of reference with the full panel, once they are appointed, to ensure that they are sufficient to deliver the robust Inquiry which is required. I will report back to the House on this as soon as possible.

Crime Reduction


The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Policing, Criminal Justice and Victims (Mike Penning) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I will today publish the response to the Justice Committee’s First Report of Session 2014-15: Crime Reduction Policies – a co-ordinated approach?

The Government is proud of its strong record at reducing crime. The most recent figures from the Crime Survey for England and Wales show that overall crime has fallen by 62% since its peak in 1995, and is now at the lowest level since the survey began in 1981.

The Government has put robust measures in place to ensure that crime continues to fall; offenders receive robust punishments; and that the unacceptably high rates of reoffending are driven down. We are also placing high quality education at the centre of youth custody to prevent future offending.

The public and victims deserve a fair and transparent justice system that effectively deters and punishes offenders, and tackles the stubbornly high rates of reoffending and this is the primary focus of our Transforming Rehabilitation reforms.

We are opening up the market to a diverse range of providers to ensure that we get the best out of the public, voluntary and private sectors, at the local as well as national level. Bids to run the Community Rehabilitation Companies were received at the end of June and we look to have a healthy competition in all Contract Package Areas, having received over 80 bids, with an average of four bidders per area. The new payment incentives we will introduce for market providers

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will also ensure a relentless focus on reforming offenders, giving providers flexibility to do what works but only paying them in full for real reductions in reoffending.

Under our reforms for the first time in recent history virtually every offender released from custody will receive statutory supervision and rehabilitation in the community, to finally address the glaring gap that sees 50,000 short-term prisoners released onto the streets each year with little or no support, free to go back to their criminal ways.

We are also putting in place an unprecedented nationwide ‘through the prison gate’ resettlement service, meaning the majority of offenders will be given continuous support by one provider from custody into the community. We will support this by ensuring that most offenders are held in a prison designated to their area for at least three months prior to release.

Finally, we have created a new public sector National Probation Service, working to protect the public and building upon the expertise and professionalism which are already in place.

Copies of the paper will be available in the Vote Office and in the Printed Paper Office. The document will also be online at:


Defence Procurement


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Michael Fallon) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to announce the successful contract award worth £3.5 billion (Ex VAT) to General Dynamics UK (GDUK) to deliver a minimum fleet of 589 Scout Specialist Vehicles (Scout SV) to the British Army. This will sustain a minimum of 1,300 jobs across the UK. Deliveries of the Scout SV are planned to commence in 2017. The training establishment and first squadron will be equipped by mid-2019 to allow conversion to begin with a brigade ready to deploy from the end of 2020.

Scout SV will transform the Army’s combat capabilities and will introduce new and very advanced intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities. These vehicles will be the eyes and ears of commanders on the battlefields of the future and will carry a revolutionary and highly effective cannon.

Vehicle development has drawn on the lessons of recent operations. Scout SV will be a modern, tough, well-protected, highly mobile and agile tracked vehicle, able to cope with the most difficult terrain anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day and able to hold its own against the threats we foresee. It will replace the Army’s existing force of Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) vehicles which have given exemplary service for the past 40 years all over the world, most recently in Afghanistan.

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Scout SV will fulfil nine different roles from six variants: a turreted variant mounting a 40-mm cannon fulfilling the Scout, Ground Based Surveillance and Joint Fire Control roles, a Protected Mobility Reconnaissance Support (PMRS) variant providing an armoured personnel carrier and Formation Reconnaissance Overwatch, Command and Control, Engineer Reconnaissance, Recovery and Repair variants.

Immigration Act 2014: Landlords


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My honourable friend the Immigration and Security Minister (James Brokenshire) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am announcing today the location in which the measures relating to landlords as prescribed by sections 20-37 of the Immigration Act 2014 will first be implemented. The Immigration Act 2014 contains a range of measures to reform and streamline the immigration system and address illegal immigration. It introduces restrictions on illegal immigrants accessing rented housing. When these provisions come into force, landlords will be prohibited from letting residential accommodation to people who have been disqualified by virtue of their immigration status.

The Government has committed to a phased implementation of these provisions with the measures initially coming into force in one location, followed by an evaluation to inform decisions on further roll-out. I wish to inform the House that after careful consideration, the scheme is to be implemented first in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall and Sandwell. The new measures will commence in this area from 1 December.

To assist and advise the implementation and evaluation of the measures, the Government is convening a Consultative Panel. The Panel consists of bodies that represent landlords, letting agents, housing and homeless charities and others with an informed interest in the matter, and will also include representatives from the local authorities in these areas. This will ensure that the first phase can be thoroughly evaluated and considered as part of the decision making process on further roll-out.



The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Michael Fallon) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I wish to provide an update to the House on military activity in Iraq.

The ambition to create an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and Syria is a direct threat to our own security in the UK. The Government is committed to using its aid, diplomatic, political and military expertise to focus on three objectives: alleviating the humanitarian

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suffering; to promoting an inclusive, sovereign and democratic Iraq; and working with the international community to tackle the broader threat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses to the region and countries around the world, including the UK.

As the House will be aware, following the advances of ISIL and the threat it posed to the civilian population, we received requests for assistance from the Iraqi government and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

Working with international partners and other departments in Government, the Ministry of Defence has assisted in alleviating the immediate humanitarian situation, and in providing help so the Iraqi authorities can contain and push back ISIL and protect the civilian population.

Between 9 and 14 August, the UK delivered a total of 75 tonnes of humanitarian aid (provided by the Department for International Development) (DfID) over Mount Sinjar through seven successful C-130 aircraft sorties. This aid was delivered to help thousands of Iraqis who had been displaced by ISIL. These flights were fully integrated with the US and included participation from the Royal Australian Air Force. UK operations ceased when the operation was concluded by US Central Command. RAF Akrotiri hosted the air transport used to drop humanitarian aid, as well as four CH-47 Chinook helicopters which prepared for a potential evacuation of displaced people from the mountain.

Overnight on 30/31 August, two UK C-130s dropped 13.8 tonnes of DfID aid to the town of Amerli, near Kirkuk, which had been under siege from ISIL for several weeks. This was part of a coalition effort of US, French and Australian aircraft which provided enough water for Amerli for two days and enough food for four days.

The RAF have also carried out Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance missions to better understand the situation on the ground. Between 13 and 16 August, ten surveillance sorties were undertaken by UK Tornado GR4 aircraft. On 30/31 August, a further Tornado sortie flew a surveillance mission in support of the aid drops to Amerli. A UK Rivet Joint aircraft has also been deployed to improve our understanding. A Voyager aircraft has provided support to these operations through air-to-air refuelling.

In response to requests from the Iraqi government and the KRG we have also taken part in international efforts to help the Iraqi authorities contain and push back ISIL. UK C-17 and C-130 transport aircraft have delivered to the KRG ammunition and equipment from other nations, including small arms and rocket-propelled grenades with which the Kurdish security forces are already familiar. We are also gifting UK non-lethal equipment, including helmets and body armour, to the KRG. These flights transited through Baghdad for inspection and approval by the Iraqi government and the deliveries have been supported by a small Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team deployed to Erbil to support the move and transfer of the equipment. We have been joined in these supply flights by other countries, including the Canadians. The US is coordinating delivery of these supplies

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through military and State Department personnel in Iraq, and we will continue to liaise with them and the KRG’s Ministry of Peshmerga through our own military and Foreign and Commonwealth Office representatives in Erbil. Our support has not involved troops in a combat role on the ground.

Lt General Sir Simon Mayall, currently the Defence Senior Advisor for the Middle East, has also been appointed as the Government’s Security Envoy to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. His role will be to assess what other needs the Kurds have and where the UK can assist. He has spent the last week in Iraq, and has been coordinating closely with Iraqi authorities, holding meetings in Baghdad as well as Erbil.

As the situation develops I will continue to keep the House informed of Defence activities.

Office for Budget Responsibility: External Review


The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (George Osborne) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today the first external review of the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has been published and presented to Parliament. Formally reporting to the OBR non-executives, the review was led by Kevin Page, former Parliamentary Budget Officer in Canada. In commissioning this report, the OBR non-executives meet their legal requirement to ensure an external review is conducted at least every five years.

In its findings, this report overwhelmingly supports the high quality work and independent analysis produced by the OBR. The review therefore attests to the government’s creation of the OBR in 2010 which has placed the UK at the forefront of fiscal institutional reform internationally. In giving the OBR a duty to produce official economic and fiscal forecasts, this government has ensured that for the first time we have a truly independent assessment of the state of the nation’s finances.

The government welcomes the review’s overall findings and recommendations. These aim to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organisation and include the recommendation that ‘caution be exercised in considering any expansion to the OBR’s mandate (e.g. costing certification of opposition manifestos).’

Alongside the OBR, the Treasury will consider the full recommendations and conclusions of the report in more detail. Building on the analysis and conclusions of this independent report, the government has already announced its intention to conduct its own review of the OBR at the start of the next Parliament.

The external review report was presented before Parliament earlier today and copies are available in the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office. Copies will also be made available to members of the public online.

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Office of the Public Guardian


The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties (Simon Hughes):

On 21 August, the Government published the response to the consultation paper Transforming the Services of the Office of the Public Guardian: Enabling Digital by Default which sought the views on the next phase of our proposals to transform the services provided by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This reinforces our commitment to implementing the ‘digital by default’ approach in public services.

The response announced:

• The introduction of new simplified forms for Lasting Powers of Attorney which will make it easier for those customers wishing to use the paper- based service;• An expansion of the range of resubmitted LPA cases where a reduced application fee applies, to include those whose current LPA could only be registered after an application has been made to the Court of Protection;• Our thinking for the future supervision of deputies.

I would urge anyone with an interest in the Office of the Public Guardian to read the response.

I have deposited copies of the response paper in the Libraries of both Houses. Copies are also available in the Vote Office and Printed Paper Office. Copies are available on the internet at:




The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): My right honourable friend the Minister for Pensions (Steve Webb MP) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am pleased to announce the Government intends to remove the annual contribution limit and transfer restrictions on NEST, to ensure all businesses can be confident that this low cost and easy to use scheme is among the options they can choose to enrol their workforce.

NEST was set up to support automatic enrolment. It was designed to provide a quality, low-cost pension scheme focused on a target market of low to moderate earners and smaller employers.

NEST currently has over 1.5 million scheme members and is working with over 8,900 employers. The scheme has a public service obligation to accept any worker automatically enrolled by their employer and in recognition of this, NEST receives State aid. To balance

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any competitive advantage there are a number of constraints including an annual contribution limit and restrictions on transfers.

In its response to the call for evidence on the impact of the annual contribution limit and the transfer restrictions on NEST, (Cm 8668) published in July 2013, the Government confirmed its intention to lift these two constraints in April 2017. Since then, the European Commission has considered and approved the modifications to the State aid case for NEST. Full details of the Commission’s decision are available here: http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/cases/251386/251386_1567249_105_2.pdf

Accordingly, we will commence a short technical consultation on draft legislation, this autumn, to remove the annual contribution limit and the bulk transfer restrictions on 1 April 2017. We also retain the option to remove the individual transfer restrictions, from 1 October 2015.

Publication of the Annual Tri-Service Recruit Trainee Survey 2013


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): My honourable friend the Minister for Reserves (Mr Julian Brazier) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today I am publishing the 2013 Recruit Trainee Survey Annual Report. All recruits and trainees passing through Phase 1 and 2 training are offered the opportunity to participate in the survey which is anonymous and administered independently on behalf of the Services by an external provider.

The Annual Report contains the views of recruits and trainees about topics such as the preparation for joining, their treatment during Phase 1 and 2 training, food, accommodation, access to instructional and welfare staff and complaints procedures. Overall the results are positive and importantly the findings are used by Service training headquarters and units to monitor the training environment and make improvements.

A version of the full Recruit Trainee Survey 2013 Annual Report has been placed in the Library of the House.

Railways: Franchises


The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): My Honourable Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Claire Perry), has made the following Ministerial Statement:

The Department has concluded negotiations with South West Trains for a Deed of Amendment to their franchise which will deliver the additional capacity set out in the Government’s Rail Investment Strategy.

The project is being managed by Stagecoach South Western Trains. In accordance with usual procurement practice, there is a standstill period of 10 days before

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Stagecoach Southwest Trains will be in a position to enter into, and complete, the formal contractual documentation and make the award to the successful tenderers and enter into a Deed of Amendment to the current Franchise Agreement. The process is expected to be finalised in the coming week but we have jointly announced our intention to enter into a Deed of Amendment to their Franchise Agreement to deliver the additional capacity set out in the Rail Investment Strategy.

I am very aware of how crowded South West Trains’ Suburban services are, particularly in the morning peak. The result of the Department’s successful negotiation is 150 new vehicles – Thameslink variants – which will be used on the Windsor Lines, leading to an internal cascade which will deliver a full ten car suburban network, making use of platforms 1 to 4 at Waterloo which Network Rail are extending. The Windsor Line trains will use the platforms at Waterloo International, which are being brought back into full use in 2017. There are a number of additional works along the route and at stations which will deliver benefits for passengers.

In addition, this proposal will provide two more services on the Mainline, which will be the focus of our strategic planning for the next Control Period, which begins in 2019. The two additional services are expected to commence in May 2018 and would start from Woking and from Basingstoke. There would be four additional peak trains from Hounslow, also commencing in May 2018, providing additional capacity on the Suburban network.

Statements received between Tuesday 9 September and Monday 15 September 2014

Climate Change


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (Edward Davey MP) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Climate change is almost universally recognised as a serious threat to global prosperity, security and well-being. We are already experiencing the impacts of climate change within the UK. Extreme weather events at home and abroad already cause significant costs and disruption to UK businesses, and we are predicted to experience increasingly frequent and severe flooding and are vulnerable to predicted rise in heat waves, storms and gales, as well as rising sea levels which will cause increased encroachment on our coastal areas.

The world is not asking if we need to tackle climate change, but how. Over 90 countries, covering 80% of global emissions, have already pledged to cut their emissions by 2020 under the Copenhagen Accord. But this is not nearly enough to prevent global temperatures exceeding the globally agreed target of 2°C and, as a consequence, the world is increasingly experiencing the worst impacts of climate change. Action is needed on a coordinated global scale from every country in the world.

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All countries of the UNFCCC agreed in 2011 to negotiate a global legally binding agreement by 2015, to come into force by 2020. These negotiations are progressing, and will conclude at the 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Paris in December 2015. The UK is at the forefront of helping to shape and deliver this agreement. Paris will not be the end of the road in terms of tackling climate change, but an ambitious agreement would be a huge step forward which we can then build on in the future.

That is why today, I am publishing the UK Government’s view on why we need a global deal on climate change, why one is good for the UK and what such a deal needs to look like. ‘Paris 2015: Securing our prosperity through a Global Climate Change Agreement’ sets out:

• what the science says and what the direct and indirect climate impacts are for the UK and the world, some of which we are already seeing today;• the benefits of low carbon action for our prosperity, security and well-being, and how many leading British businesses, including SMEs, are already realising the commercial gains from climate action; • the scale of the challenge, the progress made so far and why we are better placed than we have been for a long time to reach a global agreement and;• our vision for what a successful global agreement needs to include and the UK’s role in helping to deliver that.

The Government is not alone in advocating action. Featuring support from businesses, NGOs and organisations, the publication demonstrates that we are united in our call for global action.

Copies of the publication will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Correction to Lords Written Answer


An error has been identified in the written answer (HL1757) given on 08 Sep 2014. The correct answer should have been:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): Energy suppliers provide direct bill support for low income households through the Government’s Warm Home Discount scheme. The Warm Homes Discount will increase to give eligible low-income bill payers £140 money off their energy bills, helping over 2 million people including 1.4 million of Britain’s most vulnerable pensioners.

There has been consideration of the role of differentiated tariffs as part of the Hills Review of Fuel Poverty, and in the development of Fuel Poverty: Framework for future action and Cutting the cost of keeping warm, the consultation to prepare for a new fuel poverty strategy.

We continue to monitor the impacts of the Ofgem’s Retail Market Review and wider Government action to ensure consumers are treated fairly in the energy market and are better able to the choose a deal that suits them. We expect to keep the case for further action under review as part of this.

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Defence: Iraq


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Michael Fallon) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am laying a departmental minute today concerning the gifting of military equipment to the Government of Iraq (GoI), including the Kurdish Regional Government. This is at the request of the GoI.

The UK is committed to assisting the GoI by: alleviating the humanitarian suffering of those Iraqis targeted by ISIL terrorists; promoting an inclusive, sovereign and democratic Iraq that can push back on ISIL advances and restore stability and security across the country; and working with the international community to tackle the broader threat that ISIL poses to the region and other countries around the world, including the UK. The Kurdish forces remain significantly less well equipped than ISIL and we are responding to help them defend themselves, protect citizens and push back ISIL advances

The initial gifting package is scheduled to arrive in Iraq on Wednesday 10 September and will consist of heavy machine guns and ammunition. The total cost is approximately £1.6 million plus an estimated £475,000 in transport costs.



The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): My right honourable friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer (George Osborne) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

An Informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council will take place in Milan on 12-13 September 2014. This follows immediately after the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) of Finance Ministers, which will prepare input into the ASEM Summit in mid-October.

At ECOFIN the following working sessions will take place:

Working Session 1:

Ministers will discuss a strategy for the Finance for Growth agenda. The Government looks forward to an exchange of views on measures to improve the financing of the real economy.

Working Session 2:

There will be the usual discussion on the economic outlook and financial stability issue, which will likely consider the euro area’s outlook, developments on inflation and growth and potentially issues relating to the ongoing situation in Ukraine.

In preparation of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting and the IMF-WB Annual Meetings, Council will be asked to endorse Terms of Reference.

The Commission will present to Council a note for discussion on international cooperation in financial services.

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Working Session 3:

There will be an update on the Asset Quality Review and Stress Tests as part of the ECB's comprehensive assessment prior to its assumption of responsibility for banking supervision under the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) in November 2014.

In addition the Commission will update on national arrangements and communication issues on backstops flowing from the comprehensive assessment.

Subsequently, a discussion will take place on the appointment, by Countries signed up the SSM, of members of the Mediation Panel of the ECB.

Finally, Council will be updated on work on the implementing legislation that will determine the contributions to be paid by banks to resolution funds established under the Directive on Bank Recovery and Resolution and the Regulation on the Single Resolution Mechanism.

Working Lunch:

Following discussions by Employment Ministers in July, Finance Ministers will hold an exchange of views on measures to enhance the resilience of the EU and stabilise the euro area economy, including the potential for a common unemployment insurance scheme.

Higher Education: Student Support


Baroness Williams of Trafford (Con): My Rt Hon Friend the Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities (Greg Clark) has today made the following statement.

In a Written Ministerial Statement on 7 April 2014 the then Minister for Universities and Science announced proposed changes to Disabled Students’ Allowances which are available to Higher Education students from England.

Disabled Students’ Allowances are non-repayable grants that assist with the additional costs incurred by disabled students in relation to their study in higher education. Disabled Students’ Allowances finance a range of support, including the purchase of computers and specialised equipment, assistance with travel costs and the provision of support workers where necessary. In 2011/12 Disabled Students’ Allowances provided support of over £144 million to 61,000 students, funded from the Higher Education Budget. Disabled Students’ Allowance continues to be available to support disabled students studying in higher education.

During the Summer I and the Minister of State for Disabled People have listened carefully to suggestions from representatives of disabled students. I have also listened to the views and concerns of representatives across the higher education and disability sectors, as well as receiving representations from Honourable Members.

We are determined to ensure that disabled students should be able to make use of and develop their talents through higher education and that there should be no cap on their aspirations.

There was widespread agreement that universities should discharge their duties under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate disabled

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students, as other organisations do. However, concern was conveyed that some universities may not be able to meet their obligations in full by the beginning of the 2015/16 academic year, given their need to invest in additional support for their students.

With students applying now for places at the beginning of that year it is important that any disabled student should be confident that an institution to which they are considering applying will be able to meet their needs satisfactorily.

Accordingly we have agreed to give Higher Education Institutions until the beginning of the 2016/17 academic year to develop appropriate mechanisms to fully deliver their statutory duty to provide reasonable adjustments, in particular non-medical help, and to improve the processes by which disabled students can appeal against a Higher Education Institution’s decision that an adjustment would not be reasonable. We will explore how this might be supported in institutions’ Access Agreements with the Office for Fair Access for 2016/17.

For the academic year 2015/16, we will continue to provide Disabled Students’ Allowance funding to help with the additional cost of a computer and assistive software if needed solely because of the student’s impairment. This will be subject to the student contributing the first £200 of the computer’s cost – broadly equivalent to the cost of a basic computer. For future academic years we will explore a bulk purchasing scheme for such computers to keep costs down.

Additional items such as printers and consumables will not be automatically provided, with alternative provision in the form of university provided services such as printing services and books and journals in electronic format to be considered as alternatives.

Funding will remain available towards the additional costs of specialised accommodation for disabled students, other than where the accommodation is provided by the institution or an agent of the institution.

A number of commentators made proposals to streamline the assessment process for Disabled Students’ Allowance to reduce the burden for students, universities and the taxpayer. The Minister of State for Disabled People and I will invite representatives to consider how that might be achieved.

The changes summarised in this Statement other than non-medical help changes will apply to all full-time, full-time distance learning, part-time and postgraduate students applying for Disabled Students’ Allowances for the first time in respect of an academic year beginning on or after 1 September 2015. This provides sufficient time for us to work with institutions and stakeholders to ensure the changes are introduced effectively. All changes are subject to the ongoing Equality Analysis.

Continuing students already claiming Disabled Students’ Allowances and students claiming for 2014/15 entry will remain on the current system of support for 2015/16.

We are grateful to universities, students and their representative bodies for their assistance in informing these changes.

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Immigration Act 2014: Fees


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My honourable friend the Immigration and Security Minister (James Brokenshire) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing some changes to fees for immigration and nationality applications made to the Home Office. The government reviews these fees on a regular basis and makes appropriate changes as necessary. The amended regulations are for fees set at or below the cost of processing the relevant applications.

We are making some targeted amendments to support the implementation of provisions in the Immigration Act 2014, including expanding the list of application routes required to pay a fee for the enrolment of biometrics. We are also taking the opportunity to amend one other fee to support economic growth.

Further details of the changes are provided in the Explanatory Memorandum for the regulations. The government intends to bring most of these amendments into force from 1 October, though some of the new fees will come into effect later in the year to align with changes to processes. An updated fees table can be found on the Home Office website:


Full details on how to apply for all of the Home Office’s products and services will be provided on the Home Office website:


Infrastructure: UK Guarantees Scheme


The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): My right honourable friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Danny Alexander) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Act 2012 requires the government to report any financial assistance given under the UK Guarantees scheme. The scheme provides a sovereign-backed guarantee to help infrastructure projects raise debt finance. A commercial fee is charged to the borrower for the guarantee, determined by the nature of the guarantee and the risk inherent in the project.

The Government can confirm it has approved guarantees under the UK Guarantees Scheme for Ineos Grangemouth Ethane Import and Storage Facilities (£230/€285million) and Speyside CHP Plant (£48.2million).

Ineos Grangemouth will be constructing new port facilities, a new ethane tank and associated modifications to the KG ethylene cracker. This will reduce dependency on feedstock from the North Sea through the import and storage of ethane from the US. The guarantee issued to Speyside will be used for the construction of a combined heat and power plant which will generate both electricity and heat.

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Legislation: Recall of MPs Bill


Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): My right honourable friend the Deputy Prime Minister (Nick Clegg) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today the Government is introducing the Recall of MPs Bill to the House of Commons, with explanatory notes and an impact assessment.

The Bill puts in place a recall mechanism for MPs which is transparent, robust and fair. It strikes a fair balance between holding to account those who do not maintain certain standards of conduct, while giving MPs the freedom to do their job and make difficult decisions where necessary.

The Bill takes account of a number of helpful recommendations from the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s pre-legislative scrutiny report on the draft Bill which was published in 2011.

Under the Bill, there are two conditions for the opening of a recall petition; firstly that an MP is convicted in the UK of an offence and receives a custodial sentence of 12 months or less, or secondly that the House of Commons orders the suspension of the MP for at least 21 sitting days (or at least 28 calendar days if the motion is not expressed in terms of sitting days).

Where one of these triggers is met, an MP’s constituents will have an opportunity to sign a recall petition, calling for a by-election. If 10% of parliamentary electors in the constituency sign the petition, the MP’s seat will become vacant and a by-election will be held. The recall petition process does not prevent the unseated MP from standing in the by-election.

The Bill also sets out the framework for the regulation of campaign expenditure and donations at recall petitions.

A copy of the Bill and explanatory notes can be found on the website:


Local Authorities: Public Health Funding


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Department of Health (Jane Ellison) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today I am announcing public health allocations for local authorities in England for 2015-16 and details of a new health premium incentive pilot scheme.

After the significant increases in 2013-14 and 2014-15, in real terms funding for local authorities will remain at £2.79 billion for 2015-16. This funding will remain ring-fenced for use exclusively on public health measures, and we are confident of local authorities’ continuing ability to sustain and improve the quality of their services in the coming financial year.

Taken together over the period 2013-14 to 2015-16 we have increased public health spending by 4.7 per cent in real terms and over 10 per cent in cash terms. This represents a major investment in health and the prevention of illness.

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We will also allocate an additional £5 million towards a new health premium incentive pilot scheme in 2014-15, meeting our commitment to introducing a health premium that will encourage local authorities to improve the health of their populations and will reduce health inequalities. Local authorities are invited to give us their views on this scheme.

Health Premium incentive scheme 2014-15 and public health allocations – a technical consultation, which contains details of the allocations and the incentive scheme, has been placed in the Library. Copies are available to hon Members from the Vote Office and to noble Lords from the Printed Paper Office.

Railways: Franchises


The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): My Honourable Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport (Claire Perry), has made the following Ministerial Statement:

I can announce today (11th September 2014) the successful conclusion of negotiations for a new directly awarded franchise agreement with London & South Eastern Railway Limited (LSER, trading as Southeastern), a subsidiary of Govia. This agreement will see LSER continue to run passenger rail services on the South Eastern franchise for 3 years and 9 months until the start of the services on the next competed franchise, which is expected in the summer of 2018.

LSER will provide continuity of management and experience of the complexities of the routes during the major works at London Bridge, taking place as part of the Thameslink Programme between January 2015 and January 2018, which will affect services throughout the franchise period.

I recognise that LSER has not always met the expectations of passengers and so this agreement contains rigorous satisfaction and performance targets, with financial penalties if they are not met. I am determined that this contract will ensure an improvement for passengers on the franchise. To support this more customer facing staff, including over 100 new staff members, will be provided across the network that will be able to provide advice and assistance for passengers at stations where their presence will be much appreciated.

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This agreement sees over £70 million invested by the operator in increased and improved staffing and other improvements for passengers across the franchise. This includes £5.7 million spent on a deep cleaning programme and general improvement works at stations. LSER will increase passenger capacity on the franchise with 95,000 new seats introduced on services, including 1,050 on High Speed trains. They will also strengthen train services and improve performance and reliability through the reduction in splitting and joining of services.

This new contract includes improvements for passengers and better train performance at a reduced subsidy to Government. I am confident that this will secure the long term value of the franchise and deliver real value for passengers and taxpayers.

Statutory Register of Lobbyists


Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): My honourable friend the Minister for the Constitution (Sam Gyimah MP) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 provides for a statutory register of consultant lobbyists, which the Government is committed to introducing in good time before the end of the Parliament. The statutory register of consultant lobbyists will increase transparency by requiring those who lobby on behalf of a third party to disclose the names of their clients on a publicly available register.

Today the Cabinet Office is publishing a consultation document on the draft regulations which will provide for certain practical aspects of the register.

The consultation seeks views on draft regulations on: limitations on the duty to supply information to the Registrar; the charging structure; the supply of VAT-registration information to the Registrar by HMRC; and the detail of the information that lobbyists will be required to submit in information returns. The Cabinet Office is also seeking information from lobbyists that will allow the level of the charge in the draft regulation to be set at an appropriate level in the first year.

I have placed copies of the consultation document in the Libraries of both Houses and online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/statutory-register-of-consultant-lobbyists.