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46776
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
unstar this property answer text <p>The IMF Board is expected to consider Ukraine's application for a financial assistance programme in April. The agreement of a programme and subsequent disbursement of funds is also dependent on the Ukrainian authorities adopting a set of reforms as set out by the IMF.</p><p> </p><p>The latest IMF statement, following staff level agreement with the Ukrainian authorities on a potential programme, can be found at:</p><p><a href="http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2014/pr14131.htm" target="_blank">http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2014/pr14131.htm</a></p><p> </p> more like this
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less than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Zmore like thismore than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Z
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632
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Douglas Alexander more like this
46942
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
unstar this property answer text <p> </p><p>The majority of police officers serving in London and elsewhere do their jobs <br>well, serving their communities with dedication and professionalism. We are <br>building on this by:<br>• Delivering the first-ever Code of Ethics, which is due to be published <br>shortly by the College of Policing. The Code sets out clearly the high <br>standards of behaviour expected from all police officers and staff of all ranks;<br>• Establishing, through the College of Policing, a set of national registers of <br>chief officer reward packages, gifts and hospitality and business interests <br>including second jobs. The College is also producing a national register of <br>&quot;struck-off&quot; officers to record those dismissed for misconduct, ensuring that <br>those individuals are not re-employed by the police;<br>• Legislating for a new offence of police corruption, supplementing the <br>existing offence of misconduct in public office and focusing clearly on those <br>who hold police powers, as an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill <br>already before Parliament;<br>• Strengthening the Independent Police Complaints Commission so that it will <br>have responsibility for dealing with all serious and sensitive cases involving <br>the police. HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary has also been commissioned to <br>look specifically at the anti-corruption capability of police forces, including <br>professional standards departments;<br>• Advertising now for Direct Entry to the police this autumn at Superintendent <br>level, which will bring a fresh perspective and approach and will open up <br>policing culture; and<br>• Introducing a comprehensive package of reform to stop and search which will <br>contribute to a significant reduction in the overall use of the powers, better <br>and more intelligence-led stop-and-search, and improved stop-to-arrest ratios.</p><p> </p>
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less than 2014-05-12T12:00:00.00Zmore like thismore than 2014-05-12T12:00:00.00Z
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1447
unstar this property label Biography information for Andrew Rosindell more like this
46853
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
unstar this property answer text <p><strong>The Government Actuary's Department did not produce estimates for HM Treasury of additional monies received from extra contributions to the Teachers' Pension scheme before 19 March 2014. </strong></p> more like this
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less than 2014-05-14T12:00:00.00Zmore like thismore than 2014-05-14T12:00:00.00Z
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1587
unstar this property label Biography information for Mr Pat McFadden more like this
46856
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
unstar this property answer text <p> </p><p><em>[Holding Reply: Tuesday 8 April 2014]</em></p><p><em>Action on empty homes</em></p><p>The Coalition Government has a comprehensive package of policies to help get empty homes back into use. They include:</p><p>· A £235 million empty homes funding programme, which will deliver 12,000 homes from empty properties by March 2015 – with apprenticeships on offer to make this happen.</p><p>· Rewarding councils for bringing empty homes back into use through the New Homes Bonus – since April 2011, councils have received over £2.2 billion for bringing over 93,000 empty homes back into use, which they can then use to benefit the wider community.</p><p>· Giving councils new powers to remove council tax subsidies to empty homes, and use the funds to keep the overall rate of council tax down.</p><p>· Cancelling the last Administration's Pathfinder programme which sought to demolish homes, instead focusing on refurbishment and getting empty homes into use.</p><p><br> <em>The evidence base</em></p><p>This approach is working. The number of empty homes has fallen year-on-year since 2009, and at now at the lowest level since 2004. Similarly, the number of long-term vacant properties has fallen by around a third since 2009.</p><p>I note that Islington Borough Council's recent discussion paper on so-called “Buy to Leave” tried to use the electoral roll as a proxy for measurement – yet many UK residents of foreign nationality may not be legally eligible to be on the electoral roll, or it simply may not be a priority for such individuals to register.</p><p>Moreover, in relation to London, I have placed in the Library a table showing how the number of empty homes has fallen by 30 per cent since 2009 and by 18 per cent in the last year, including a breakdown by London borough, which broadly shows falls across both central, inner and outer London boroughs. Islington has seen a drop in the number of empty homes of 26 per cent since 2009.</p><p>In that context, the evidence that “Buy to Leave” is a widespread problem is weak. Fundamentally, even where property is purchased by someone of foreign nationality, it will generally be either occupied or rented out, generating an ongoing return for the investor. It is not particularly rational for any investor not to rent out an unused flat and lose rental income, given the strong demand for private rented accommodation, especially in London.</p><p><em>The small number of foreign buyers</em></p><p>Even then, the Bank of England recently estimated that foreign buyers represent just 3% of total residential property transactions in London (Bank of England, <em>Financial Stability Report</em>, November 2013). Knight Frank have estimated that between 85% and 90% of new-build sales in Greater London are sold to domestic buyers, and there is no indication of a shift towards higher non-resident purchases in the last two years (Knight Frank, <em>International Buyers in London</em>, October 2013). Savills have reported that the proportion of sales to overseas buyers in ‘prime' London markets is no higher than it was in 1990. But they also estimate that, in 2012, foreign investment helped to finance 3,000 new affordable homes and added a further 3,000 much needed new homes to the market-rented sector (Savills, <em>Spotlight: The World in London</em>, 2013).</p><p><em>How foreign investment helps build new housing</em></p><p>Both domestic and foreign investment in new housing has been helping to provide the finance needed to build it, particularly in a global city like London. Without upfront investment, financiers would not have released the cash needed for development to go ahead, and building would have stalled. These new developments not only provide homes for people to live and work, they also unlock associated affordable housing development. A good example is the Battersea Power Station redevelopment which, having laid derelict for thirty years, is now being taken forward thanks to the combination of private investment from Malaysia and public infrastructure support from the UK Government. Both were essential to move the project forward.</p><p><em>Marketing new build to local residents</em></p><p>I would add that the Government has actively encouraged the property industry to ensure that homes for sale are marketed in the United Kingdom, and not solely overseas. In response, the Home Builders Federation announced in December 2013 a new industry initiative which commits signatories to ensure that housing developments in London are marketed in the UK either at the same time as, or in advance of, any overseas launch.</p><p>The Mayor of London has also recently launched a Mayoral Concordat on new homes in the capital, writing to key developers across the UK, asking them to sign up to commit to selling new homes on every development to Londoners before, or at the same time as they are available to overseas buyers. The Concordat is already supported by the Major Developer Group, London First, the London Chamber of Commerce and the Home Builders Federation and signed by fifty developers in London.</p><p><em>Tackling tax avoidance</em></p><p>Of course, it is important that overseas owners of property pay their way. That is why this Government has taken action to tackle tax avoidance by reforming taxation of higher-value UK residential property held by non-natural persons, and also levelling the playing field by introducing capital gains tax on future gains made by non-residents disposing of UK residential property. Last month's Budget took further steps to discourage the use of corporate envelopes to invest in high value housing to avoid paying tax.</p><p><em>More new housing to buy and rent</em></p><p>As well as tackling empty homes, the Government's long-term economic plan is increasing investment and building more homes. According to the NHBC, in 2013, new housing registrations rose by 30 per cent in England on the year before and registrations are the highest since 2007; in London, new registrations rose 60 per cent, the highest annual total since their records began 26 years ago.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p><strong> </strong></p><p> </p><p><strong> </strong></p><p> </p>
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less than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Zmore like thismore than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Z
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4124
unstar this property label Biography information for Chi Onwurah more like this
46859
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
unstar this property answer text <p>I refer the hon. Member to my answer given today to PQ 195177.</p> more like this
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less than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Zmore like thismore than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Z
star this property tabling member
4124
unstar this property label Biography information for Chi Onwurah more like this
46982
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
unstar this property answer text <p>This question is a matter for Ofsted. Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw, has written to the noble Lord and a copy of his response has been placed in the House Library.</p><p> </p> more like this
star this property question first answered
less than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Zmore like thismore than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Z
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457
unstar this property label Biography information for Lord Pendry more like this
46725
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
unstar this property answer text <p>The Government takes the enforcement of National Minimum Wage (NMW) very seriously and HMRC enforce the national minimum wage legislation on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and has done so since the introduction of NMW in April 1999. It does that by investigating all complaints made about employers suspected of not paying the minimum wage, in addition carrying out targeted enforcement where it identifies a high risk of non-payment of NMW across the whole of the UK.</p><p> </p><p>HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have a legal duty of confidentiality towards their customers. For NMW, this includes employers and their workers. This means that HMRC cannot supply all the information requested as this would breach HMRC's statutory duty of confidentiality under s18(1) of the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005.</p><p> </p><p>Fines are associated with criminal offences. Where minimum wage arrears are identified for any pay reference periods starting on or after 6 April 2009, the employer will be charged an automatic penalty. The rate of the penalty charge was 50% of the arrears falling in pay periods after 6 April 2009 (minimum penalty charge was £100 and the maximum was £5,000).</p><p> </p><p>The Government has increased the financial penalty percentage from 50 per cent to 100 per cent of the unpaid wages owed to workers, and the maximum penalty from £5,000 to £20,000. These new limits are now in force where arrears are identified in pay reference periods on or after 7 March 2014. The Government will also bring in primary legislation as soon as possible so that the maximum £20,000 penalty can apply to each underpaid worker.</p><p> </p><p>To ensure that underpaid workers receive the arrears of national minimum wage due to them, HMRC contacts every employer for confirmation that they have paid the arrears to workers. In cases where 5 or fewer workers are owed arrears HMRC also contacts all those workers for confirmation of payment. In cases where more than 5 workers are identified as being owed arrears HMRC contacts an additional sample of workers for confirmation of payment.</p><p> </p><p>HMRC records information by Standard Industry Codes. The table below shows the number of employers in the Social Care sector found to be non-compliant with NMW legislation in the last year. Also shown are the value of arrears, the number of underpaid workers identified and the value of penalties issued to employers as a result of those investigations.</p><p> </p><p> </p><table><tbody><tr><td><p>Financial Year</p></td><td><p>Number of employers recorded as Social Care Sector and found to be non-compliant</p></td><td><p>Arrears identified during those investigations</p></td><td><p>Underpaid workers identified during those investigations</p></td><td><p>Penalties issued during those investigations</p></td></tr><tr><td><p>2013-14</p></td><td><p>30</p></td><td><p>£800,883</p></td><td><p>3,620</p></td><td><p>£46,020</p></td></tr></tbody></table><p> </p>
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less than 2014-05-13T12:00:00.00Zmore like thismore than 2014-05-13T12:00:00.00Z
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4026
unstar this property label Biography information for Liz Kendall more like this
46712
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WrittenParliamentaryQuestion
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answer
unstar this property is ministerial correction false more like this
unstar this property answer text <p>All 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) submitted their Strategic Economic Plans to Government by 31 March 2014. Given the highly competitive nature of the Local Growth Fund (LGF), it will be over-subscribed and therefore there will be successful and unsuccessful bids to the fund. The assessment process is underway, but it is too early to say how many bids will and will not be successful.</p> more like this
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less than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Zmore like thismore than 2014-05-06T12:00:00.00Z
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1171
unstar this property label Biography information for Liam Byrne more like this