Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. MPs met at 11.30am for questions to Business Secretary Sajid Javid and his team.
  2. The Finance Bill, which enacts the Budget, passed committee stage.
  3. There are no statements or urgent questions today.
  4. Peers held questions, followed by committee stage of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill.

Live Reporting

By Esther Webber and Sam Francis

All times stated are UK

Get involved

End of Lords business

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have concluded the debate on renewable energy, bringing the day's business in the Lords to a close. 

The House returns at 3pm tomorrow for questions on: 

  • HM Revenue and Customs call waiting times
  • Ensuring that care-leavers have the best life chances possible
  • Preventing the underlying causes of poverty in the UK 
  • Reassuring EU nationals resident in the UK their future in the UK will not be affected.

Minister pledges continuity on energy policy

Question for short debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Viscount Younger
BBC

Responding to Baroness Featherstone's earlier comments, government spokesman Viscount Younger of Leckie says "the nation is still digesting the results" of the EU referendum and there will be "no immediate changes".

He goes on to say the government will "continue to deliver on its agenda in this sector of making sure consumers have secure, affordable energy". 

He confirms the UK will, for the time being, remain part of the EU emissions trading scheme.

Government accused of 'mixed messages' on energy

Question for short debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour spokesman Lord Grantchester accuses the government of "horrible mixed-messages" by saying it is committed to renewable energy but choosing to back shale gas, CCS and other "unproven" energy sources. 

He's taking part in a debate tabled by Lib Dem Baroness Featherstone on moving the United Kingdom towards an energy infrastructure that is based on renewable energy.

Lib Dem seeks assurances on energy after Brexit vote

Question for short debate

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Featherstone
BBC

Opening her debate on renewable energy, Lib Dem Baroness Featherstone asks the government to "stand by its commitments" amid the "uncertainty and turmoil" in the wake of the UK's vote to leave the EU. 

She wants to know what will happen to environmental measures such as the Paris Agreement and the EU target of reducing carbon emissions 40% by 2030. 

"Climate change deniers in the House are already on manoeuvres," she warns. 

Renewable energy debate

Question for short debate

House of Lords

Parliament

The Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill has passed at committee stage, and Lib Dem Baroness Featherstone is opening a debate on moving the UK towards an energy infrastructure that is based on renewable energy. 

End of Commons business

House of Commons

Parliament

And with that business in the House of Commons comes to an end.

MPs will be back at 11.30am tomorrow, ahead of the weekly Prime Minister's questions.

Gummer: Bedford has been let down

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Health Minister Ben Gummer admits that Bedford "has been let down". 

"There's one thing worse than making a bad decision, and that's putting off making a bad decision and putting everything into chaos in the meantime - something we can reflect on at a larger scale at the moment," he says.

While the Department of Health cannot direct the review, "they are local, and that's the whole point of local reconfigurations", Mr Gummer says.

He adds he is "determined" to make sure reconfigurations take account of local feeling, clinical opinion and are "expeditious".

Health Minister Ben Gummer
BBC

Border Force equipped to deal with illicit imports, government insists

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Border Force officer
PA

Addressing concerns over the UK Border Force's role in preventing the import of protected cultural property, Culture Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe says officers already receive nationally published guidance and it will be updated once the bill is passed.

"The Border Force is already dealing with these sorts of responsibilities," she reminds peers.

Bedford Hospital reviews 'lacked local support'

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative Richard Fuller argues that the move to share services with Milton Keynes failed because it "never had any public support".

While Bedford residents are not averse to travelling for healthcare "very few people look for their healthcare to Milton Keynes", he says.

The "pushing-together" of services has also lacked clinicians' support, he adds.

Fuller: Expensive reviews have not delivered

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP Richard Fuller says while Bedford Hospital is "classed as requiring improvement", left to its own devices the hospital would have sorted out its own finances "very well indeed".

But instead Bedford Hospital, where Mr Fuller was born, has been subject to two consecutive reviews progressing "for a significant number of years, but with limited progress and at a great cost".

An initial review looking at healthcare in five boroughs cost £2.2m, but was dropped. The subsequent review looking at sharing services between Milton Keynes and Bedford cost "£3.2m in first phase and in this year is expected to cost a further £1.3m" he tells MPs.

"In the context of a hospital trying to reduce its money, these are considerable amounts of money spent on reviews that have not delivered," he argues.

Conservative MP Richard Fuller
BBC

Border Force 'under immense pressure'

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Labour spokesman Lord Rosser asks for assurance that the new offence in the bill of dealing in protected cultural property will not put a strain on the UK Border Force, before his party colleague Lord Howarth of Newport claims the force is "already under immense pressure". 

Bedford hospital debate

Adjournment debate

House of Commons

Parliament

Conservative MP for Bedford Richard Fuller is now opening today's final business, am adjournment debate on the future of Bedford Hospital.

Bedford Hospital has been subject to a continuous NHS service review since 2011.

A final decision on the future of Bedford and nearby Milton Keynes hospitals was due in July 2014 following a multi-million pound consultation, but has yet to report.

Ways and Means passed

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs quickly pass a series of Ways and Means resolutions attached to the bill. 

Ways and Means resolutions give consent to parts of a bill that will involve taxes or other charges being made on the public.

And with that the committee stage of the Finance Bill is brought to a close. The bill will now move to report stage.

Fund manager amendment rejected

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs vote to reject the SNPs amendment by 315 votes to 259, a government majority of 56.

Fund manger pay amendment

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs divide to vote on an SNP amendment calling on the government to investigate how to prevent investment fund managers from converting their income into capital gains for tax purposes.

SNP Treasury spokesman Roger Mullin says “equity fund managers are able to shrink their bills by paying only 28% capital gains rather than 45% income tax simply for managing other people’s money”.

UK authorised investment funds are exempt from tax on gains and investors would be taxable on the gains made on the sale of units in the funds.  

Under the amendment no element of the remuneration paid to an investment fund manager may be treated as capital gains and will be treated for tax purposes as income.

Fund managers should be “taxed at the rate other people are taxed”, Mr Mullin adds.

Labour said they will support amendment, meaning it could pass.

SNP Treasury spokesman Roger Mullin
BBC

Baby of the House

House of Commons

Parliament

Labour MP Karl Turner and daughter
BBC
Labour MP Karl Turner is spotted round the back of the Speaker's Chair holding his two month old daughter Stella-Mae

MPs approve cuts to capital gains tax

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have approved the government's plans to cut Capital Gains Tax by 308 votes to 264.

Minister offers reassurance to museums over protected cultural property

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
BBC

Responding to Earl Kinnoull's concerns about the difficulty of ensuring artefacts were not looted, Culture, Media and Sport Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe says the Collections Trust and other organisations "provide extensive information on due diligence".

"These organisations are best placed to provide advice," she goes on to say, and assessing the origins of artefacts is "already an established part of what museums do". 

The bill creates a new offence of dealing in protected cultural property, and provides powers of search and seizure if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting unlawfully exported cultural objects.

MPs divide over Capital Gains Tax

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs divide to vote on the government's plans to cut to Capital Gains Tax from 28% to 20%, and from 18% to 10% for basic-rate taxpayers.

Results are expected shortly.

Bill could create extra work for museums, peer warns

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Kinnoull
BBC

Crossbencher Earl Kinnoull, whose background is in art insurance, tells peers that "international exhibitions can only take place when museums lend, shippers ship and insurers insure". 

He is concerned the bill, which creates a new offence of dealing in protected cultural property, could create "additional work" for these sectors, saying smaller museums will not always have a dedicated compliance officer and that in his experience "'hookie' material will always come with reassuring bogus evidence". 

What is Capital Gains Tax?

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Capital gains is charged on the annual profit made from the sale of assets - such as a business, a second home or shares - if that total profit is greater than an individual's current CGT allowance.

That allowance currently stands at £11,100, and the tax as a whole brought in £5.6bn to the government in the 2014-15 tax year.

However, there are two important exemptions to the chancellor's reforms.

The old higher rates will still apply to gains on the sale of a residential property that is not your main home (such as a second home or a buy-to-let property), and "carried interest" - the jargon name for profits made by executives in private equity investment firms.

Tax changes debated

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now move to the final part of the Finance Bill, which covers the government's plans to cut Capital Gains Tax from 28% to 20% -  from 18% to 10% for basic-rate taxpayers - and change National Insurance Contributions.

From 2018, the self-employed will no longer have to pay what are known as Class 2 National Insurance Contributions.

Currently about 3.4 million people pay this at a rate of £2.80 a week, which contributes to their state pension entitlement and other benefits.

The Budget documents show that the government estimates the changes to Capital Gains Tax will cost it more than £600m a year from 2017-18 onwards. 

Doing away with Class 2 NICs, an important piece of tax simplification, will cost the government about £360m a year.  

Money in a wallet
PA

MPs back cuts to corporation tax

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have voted to back the government's plans to cut corporation tax from 20% to 17%.

Why IS militants destroy ancient sites

Palmyra images
BBC

The destruction of the grandest, most important temple in the ancient Syrian town of Palmyra by so-called Islamic State's (IS) shocked historians and observers.

But why would anyone so actively seek to raze historical and cultural marvels that have lasted millennia?

For the IS bulldozers, the rationale is straightforward and fulfils several readily identifiable goals.

Dr David Roberts of King's College, London explains.

MPs call vote on corporation tax

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have divided to vote over plans to cut corporation tax from 20% to 17%. 

Proceedings pause briefly while MPs file out of the chamber to register their votes in the lobbies either side of the House of Commons.

MPs file out of the chamber to register their votes in the lobbies either side of the House of Commons.
BBC

What's in the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill?

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Palmyra
BBC

The bill has four main parts, which are designed to: 

  • incorporate into domestic law the offence created by the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict ("the Convention")
  • prohibit the unauthorised use of the cultural emblem created by the Convention to identify cultural property which is protected
  • create a new offence of dealing in protected cultural property 
  • provide immunity from seizure or forfeiture of cultural property if it is being transported to the UK for safekeeping.

Read more about the bill.

Armed Forces 'supportive' of cultural property protection

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
BBC

Culture, Media and Sport Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe tells the House the Armed Forces "are fully supportive of this bill" and already uphold its rules on respecting and preserving cultural property.  

She says Labour's amendment requiring military guidance to reflect the responsibilities spelled out in the bill is not necessary since the joint service manual of armed conflict is regularly updated. 

Specifying that it needs to be updated only in relation to this bill "could set an unhelpful precedent", she argues, and Labour later withdraws its amendment without a vote.  

Labour calls for Army guidance on cultural property

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Palmyra
Getty Images
The ancient site of Palmyra in Syria has been extensively damaged by Islamic State militants

Labour spokesman Lord Touhig introduces a series of amendments which would place a duty on the secretary of state to update military guidance so that there is "no ambiguity over the responsibility and duty of commanding officers".

The bill extends criminal liability to commanders and superiors who fail to prevent the commission of offences such as damaging or removing cultural property in conflict zones.

The main effect of the bill is to ratify the Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which was adopted at The Hague in 1954 in the wake of destruction of cultural heritage during World War II. It was the first international treaty with a world-wide vocation focusing exclusively on the protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict.

Labour oppose corporation tax cut

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

Shadow treasury minister Rob Marris
BBC

Labour call for MPs to oppose the government's proposes corporation tax cut.

Shadow treasury minister Rob Marris says Labour reject the proposal as they want a "fair tax system".

Quoting from a Institute of Fiscal Studies report Mr Marris tells MPs that "the government's cut to corporation tax will cost £10.8bn a year". 

Addressing a claim made by David Gauke that overall tax receipts are up Mr Marris argues this is "not the only yardstick" for working tax system, and says receipts would have been higher "had the rate not been slashed to the lowest in G7 and joint lowest in the G8".

Corporation tax is becoming an increasingly small percentage of tax receipts which leaves the burden for public finances on workers and other forms of taxation, he argues.

Update on the EU referendum petition

Petitions Committee tweets

Government vows no immediate changes for Britons abroad

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Baroness Anelay
BBC

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay of St Johns earlier told peers there would be "no immediate changes" to the situation of Britons living in other EU countries", and the government would work to secure "the best possible outcome for British citizens after Brexit". 

Lib Dem Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer objected that "two years is no time to relocate your family or business and buy a new home". 

Lady Anelay assured her that in negotiations on leaving the EU government would take a "firm view of preserving the rights of British citizens, first and foremost". 

Corporation Tax cuts

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs now move to the bill's business measures.

The Budget announced the headline rate of corporation tax - currently 20% - will fall to 17% by 2020.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke announces that the cut "backs Britain's economy".

Annual threshold for 100% relief on business rates for small firms will also rise from £6,000 to £12,000 and the higher rate from £18,000 to £51,000, exempting 600,000 firms.

Debt interest payments used by larger firms to cut corporation tax bills will be capped at 30% of earnings.  

No review into beneficial ownership register for British Overseas Territories

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have voted to reject an amendment calling for the government to produce a report on the impact extending the government's plans to introduce a public register of beneficial ownership to British Overseas Territories.

Several British Overseas Territories, including Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, were implicated in the recent Panama Papers leak as being tax havens. Supporters of the amendment believe the move would help tackle tax avoidance. 

MPs voted against the motion by 305 votes to 268.

Earlier during questions

Labour peer tweets

Peers move on to Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill

House of Lords

Parliament

Peers have begun committee stage of the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill - which enshrines the 1954 Hague Convention on the protection of cultural property in war zones into UK law. 

BBC parliamentary correspondent Mark D'Arcy says: "This is a bill with huge implications for the art trade in London.

"There are a number of amendments down to require auctioneers and traders to assume that an item originating from a war zone has been unlawfully exported, and to provide buyers of cultural property - including antiques - with the information they need to make a decision as to whether the item has been unlawfully exported."

Voting at the moment

Labour MP tweets

Business register amendment rejected

Finance Bill

House of Commons

Parliament

MPs have voted to reject Meg Hillier's amendment calling for an official register requiring multinationals to disclose where they do business, by 295 votes to 273.

The Tax Gap

Finance Bill

A chart showing the amount lost to the tax gap since 2005
HMRC
Tax gap and percentage of liabilities

The amount of tax that went uncollected fell slightly to £34bn for 2013/14 - the latest year were figures are available - HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.

The estimates of the so called tax gap showed a small fall on the year before, while HMRC estimate that the gap, as measured as a % of total tax liabilities, has been falling consistently over the last ten years (see graph).

HMRC also give a breakdown of the gap by reference to the type of behaviour which suggests that the annual cost of tax avoidance in 2013/14 was in the region of £2.7bn, while non-payment cost £4.1bn.

Memorial to slavery 'long overdue'

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

Lord Oates
BBC

Lib Dem Lord Oates says a memorial for enslaved Africans in Hyde Park is "long overdue", other similar memorials have received public funding, and not giving it financial support is a "shameful failure".

Communities and Local Government Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford tells him she will work with him to try to identify funding for the project. 

Memorial 2007, a group of volunteers, has been campaigning and raising money to erect a memorial to the slaves.

A design has been drawn up by Australian sculptor Les Johnson and, in 2006, the Royal Parks offered a site in the rose gardens of Hyde Park. Earlier this year, Memorial 2007 approached the government to request financial assistance but were turned down.

Access to court proceedings

Oral questions

House of Lords

Parliament

And the Lords are off, with the first question from Conservative Baroness Berridge on what steps the government is taking to ensure that there is open justice, and in particular open access to transcripts of proceedings in open court, in the light of the availability of digital technology. 

Justice Minister Lord Faulks responds for the government.