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Greg Hands - HM Treasury

The Treasury has agreed to be a founder contributor of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). As set out in the Summer Budget 2015, HM Treasury will soon be making the initial instalment of US$122,180,000 (approximately 80 million). Subsequent payments of the same amount will be made over the next four years. The UKs overall capital contribution will total approximately 2 billion (US$3,054,700,000), with these five payments together making the 20% paid-in capital contribution requiring a cash transfer. The other 80% is callable capital the AIIB can call on it if needed. As the paid-in capital is an investment, in return for which we get an asset of a new Bank, the Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast this payment as a financial transaction. Financial transactions do not add to Public Sector Net Borrowing.

As the cash for this payment will form part of HM Treasurys Supplementary Estimate 2015-16, which is expected to achieve Royal Assent in the associated Supply and Appropriation Bill in mid- to late March, HM Treasury will use the Contingencies Fund to make the payment.

This payment is in line with the authority provided by this House under the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (Initial Capital Contribution) Order 2015. Parliamentary approval for additional capital of 83 million for this new expenditure will be sought in a Supplementary Estimate for HM Treasury. Pending that approval, urgent expenditure of 83 million (to allow for exchange rate movements) will be met by repayable cash advances from the Contingencies Fund.

Further, the payment of the first instalment of the capital contribution incurs with it a contingent liability. In line with the Articles of Agreement, the contingent liability rises in line with the amount of callable capital paid. As such, the UK will incur a proportionate contingent liability of US$488,752,000. A Departmental Minute to this effect was laid before Parliament on 30 November 2015 to give at least 14 sitting days notice of the intent to incur a contingent liability. The notice period was completed on 5 January 2016.

Although the AIIB has the right to call for payment of this callable capital if there is a crisis affecting the banks assets or loans, no such instance has occurred in any major multilateral development bank (MDB) in the past. If the liability were to be called, provision for any payment would be sought through the normal Supply procedure.

In joining the AIIB the UK is demonstrating its support for Chinas initiative to establish the AIIB to address the historic shortage of infrastructure investment in Asia. The AIIB will support economic growth in the region and drive up living standards. The UKs membership will deepen economic ties with Asia and create opportunities for British businesses.

Justin Tomlinson - Department for Work and Pensions

The Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (Levy) Regulations 2014 require active insurers to pay an annual levy based on their relative market share for the purpose of meeting the costs of the Diffuse Mesothelioma Payment Scheme (DMPS). This is in line with the commitment by the insurance industry to fund a scheme of last resort for sufferers of diffuse mesothelioma who have been unable to trace their employer or their employers insurer.

I can announce today that the total amount of the levy to be charged for 2015/16, the second year of the DMPS, is 23.2m. It is estimated that the full cost of the scheme in 2015/16 will be 31m, but, as the amount levied in 2014/15 was greater than the final cost of the scheme for that year, 7.8m has been carried forward into 2015/16. The 23.2m will be payable by active insurers by the end of March 2016.

Individual active insurers will be notified in writing of their payment amount (i.e. their share of the levy), together with how the amount was calculated and payment arrangements. Insurers should be aware that it is a legal requirement to pay the levy within the set timescales.

I am pleased that the DMPS has seen a successful first year of operation, the first Annual Report for the scheme was published in November 2015 and is available on the website. I hope that members of both Houses will welcome this announcement and give the DMPS their continued support.

Sajid Javid - Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Theresa May) and I will today publish the Governments response to the consultation Tackling Exploitation in the Labour Market. The consultation paper was published on 13 October 2015 and the consultation closed on 7 December 2015.

The consultation sought views on four proposals:

  • Creating the role of Director of Labour Market Enforcement to set the strategic priorities for labour market enforcement bodies (the Employment Agencies Standard Inspectorate, Her Majestys Revenue and Customs National Minimum Wage team and the Gangmasters Licensing Authority) in an annual labour market enforcement strategy;
  • Allowing data sharing between the Director, the Intelligence Hub, labour market enforcement bodies and other bodies with intelligence that inform the preparation of the labour market enforcement strategy;
  • Creating a new labour market undertaking and enforcement order regime, backed up by a criminal offence and custodial sentence to allow us to tackle repeat labour market offenders and rogue businesses; and
  • Reforming the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to become the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority with stronger powers to tackle labour exploitation across the economy.

The consultation responses gave broad support for the Governments proposals. Therefore we will introduce these measures to tackle labour market exploitation, secure decent, lawful working conditions and make sure that people receive the rights and wages to which they are entitled. My hon Friend the Home Office Lords Minister will today table amendments to the Immigration Bill to bring these measures in to law.

The Government response document, which sets out further detail, can be found on the GOV.UK website.


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