Finance (Budget) Bill:
Following the Budget, Nigel spoke during the Second Reading of the Finance Bill to analyse some of the measures within it. The Finance Bill follows the Chancellor’s Budget and sets out taxes, exemptions, duties, tax reliefs and the administration of the tax system.
Nigel’s speech addressed the additional tax avoidance measures within the Bill, the soft drinks levy and digital tax returns as well as considering the welcome corporation tax changes he called for. Nigel also welcomed the Bill’s measures to encourage social investment, and used this as an opportunity to congratulate the Holbrook Community Society on their successful campaign to purchase and preserve the Spotted Cow in Holbrook.
You can read Nigel’s full speech and the rest of the debate here.
Housing Benefits for 18-21 year olds:
From 1 April, automatic entitlement to housing costs will be removed for some 18 to 21-year-olds to bring parity between young people who are in work but who may not be able to leave the family home and unemployed young people who are able to work; but, housing support will continue for the most vulnerable.During apprenticeship week, Nigel asked the Minister how the new policy will apply to young people on apprenticeships, who may be earning below the national living wage. The Minister confirmed apprentices will be exempt from this policy, and you can read the full debate here.
Personal Independence Payments:
As the Government improves the Personal Independence Payments system, and following concerns raised by constituents, Nigel asked the Secretary of State to ensure those who need assessments in their own homes can get them (find my question here).
Criminal Finances Bill:
As part of Nigel’s continuing campaign to increase transparency and reduce corruption, he’s been speaking in the House on amendments to the new Criminal Finances Bill, which will significantly improve our ability to tackle money laundering, corruption, tax evasion and terrorist financing.
You can read the full debate, and all Nigel’s contributions, here.
Pension Schemes Bill:
As auto-enrolment is rolled out across the country, Nigel spoke on amendments to the Pension Schemes Bill, which is currently progressing through the Houses. In particular, Nigel focused on his amendment on how we deal with self-employed people who may end up in a master trust and, more broadly, on how the Government sees master trusts being used. You can read the full proceedings of the Bill Committee here.
Takeovers & Mergers:
Following the news of a proposed takeover of Vauxhall and Opel, Nigel asked the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about a new, robust and enforceable government policy on takeovers and mergers. This would clearly set out how we will handle takeovers when we leave the European Union and how we can intervene in deals that we do not want to go ahead.
The Secretary of State confirmed that the Government will be bringing forward these proposals, along with new regulations on corporate governance, whilst also ensuring this policy balances with ensuring we continue to attract overseas investment.
Nigel followed up on his campaign to ensure police funding is fairly distributed as Derbyshire’s police force is disadvantaged under the current formula by asking the Minister when the funding will be balanced out. He welcomed the Government’s reply that Derbyshire will get an increase in funding this year, and a fairer formula for the future is being calculated. You can read the full debate on police funding here.
Alfreton Train Station – Access for All programme:
Nigel kept up the pressure on the Government to start the step-free access works at Alfreton Train Station as soon as possible through further questions in the House to the Transport Minister over January, which you can follow here.
In 2016, Nigel visited Tajikistan to advance UK-Tajik relations by meeting parliamentarians and government officials, and review the effectiveness of Department for International Development’s strategy in the country. To follow up on this visit, he asked the Secretary of State for International Development about the progress of UK projects to reduce poverty and promote stability in the country. You can find all the questions and answers, and the full debate, here.
Following issues raised by Leonard Cheshire Disability, who have a base in Alfreton, Nigel asked the Minister to reassure the charity that the welcome start of the Work and Health Programme (helping more people back into work) won’t have a large effect on their funding for the fantastic work they do. Penny Mordaunt MP, the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, confirmed the programme will not result in a large reduction in funding to help disabled people get back into work and that this Government remains committed to closing the disability employment gap.
European Council 2016:
Following up on his campaign for further measures to tackle tax avoidance, Nigel asked the Prime Minister whether she discussed EU progress on tackling multinational tax avoidance during the European Council. You can read his full question and the full debate here.