Policy Statements and Initiatives

DWP: Following a public consultation last year, an order has been laid in Parliament to bring the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) back under direct Ministerial control as a business unit of the Department for Work and Pensions.
Press release & links
 
FSA: The Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland has launched Caloriewise, a 6-month pilot scheme in which local food businesses will display calorie information on menus for the first time.  Caloriewise will help consumers make more informed choices when eating out.
Press release & links
 
BIS: Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has announced a landmark investment in green infrastructure by the Government.  A total of £80m has been committed to two specialist fund managers - who will make and manage investments in the small scale waste infrastructure sector - by a specialist team within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
 
All BIS investments made by the fund managers will be match-funded, leveraging in at least £80m more to the projects. The Government is investing directly, on fully commercial terms, ahead of obtaining state aid approval for the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB).
Press release & links
 
CO: A ‘dynamic new group of digital experts from industry, business and academia will support the Government to deliver its commitment to provide high-quality public services online by default’, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude said last week. 

The Digital Advisory Board will advise & support the Government Digital Service (the team in the Cabinet Office tasked with transforming government digital services, departments & agencies.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: Communities and rural businesses all over Scotland can now apply to a £23.5m government loan scheme to help them get community energy renewable projects up to the planning stage.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: War heroes could benefit from £ms being invested in 2 schemes to help first time buyers get on the property ladder, Housing Minister Keith Brown announced recently. The Scottish Government is pumping an extra £13m into its shared equity schemes to allow people who would not otherwise be able to afford to buy their own home get on the housing ladder.
 
Priority groups eligible to apply include people who rent a property from either a council or housing association, members of the armed forces & veterans. Widows, widowers and other partners of service personnel killed in action can also apply.
Press release & links
 
MoD: The way in which UK forces will achieve a reduction of 500 Service personnel in Afghanistan by the end of 2012 has been announced by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.
Press release & links
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