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Written Question
Housing: Carbon Emissions
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support local authorities to help deliver the net zero transition and implement decarbonisation plans for housing within their areas.

Answered by Greg Hands

The Net Zero Strategy sets out the Government’s commitments to enable local areas to deliver net zero. This includes establishing a Local Net Zero Forum to bring together national and local government senior officials to discuss policy and delivery options on net zero, and continuing the Local Net Zero Programme to support all local areas with their capability and capacity to meet net zero.

The Local Authority Delivery Scheme (LAD), which supports projects to install energy efficiency measures such as various types of insulation and low-carbon heating systems for low-income households, has already provided £500million to Local Authorities for upgrades to low-income households across England, and is being delivered up to June 2022 through a managed closure.


Written Question
Iran: Guided Weapons
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

Answered by James Cleverly

Iran is continuing the development of its ballistic missile programme, including conducting missile tests on 24 and 30 December. UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which was unanimously adopted in the Security Council and underpins the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), calls on Iran not to undertake activities related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering a nuclear weapon, including launches using such ballistic missile technology. These UN ballistic missile restrictions remain in place until 2023. Iran's ballistic missile programme is destabilising for the region and poses a threat to European security.

Alongside France and Germany (as E3), we have written regularly to the UN Secretary-General, most recently on 11 August, to draw attention to Iranian missile activity inconsistent with UNSCR 2231. We urge Iran to fully abide by UNSCR 2231 and all other relevant resolutions.


Written Question
Buildings: Energy
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Heat and Buildings Strategy, what assessment he has made of the role of building standards and certifications in improving energy efficiency standards of the built environment.

Answered by Greg Hands

The Heat and Building Strategy sets out how Government is taking a ‘fabric first’ approach to improving the energy efficiency of buildings; this ensures transition to low-carbon heating is cost effective.

The Strategy sets out measures including:

  • Upgrading fuel-poor homes to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2030 where reasonably practicable to do so.
  • Additional funding to the Home Upgrade Grant and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund – investing a further £950m and £800m respectively over 2022/23 to 2024/25. Both schemes use Trustmark standards to ensure quality installations and both use an improvement in EPC to measure increased energy efficiency.
  • Consulting on phasing in higher minimum performance standards to ensure all homes meet EPC Band C by 2035, where cost-effective, practical and affordable.
  • Setting long-term regulatory standards to upgrade private-rented homes to EPC C by 2028.
  • Requiring mortgage lenders to disclose energy efficiency standards of their portfolios in order to incentivise them to provide attractive finance offers so their customers can retrofit their homes.
  • Considering setting a long-term regulatory standard for all homes, subject to consultation.

Written Question
Housing: Repairs and Maintenance
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support the Government plans to provide to industry to train and retrain the workers required to retrofit the UK’s ageing housing stock.

Answered by Greg Hands

Upskilling and growth of the supply chain is essential to deliver against Net Zero targets for the decarbonisation of buildings. In September 2020, the Government launched a £6.9m Skills Training Competition to provide 8,000 training opportunities for the energy efficiency and low carbon heating supply chains. Training delivery for this scheme finished at the end of October 2021.

The Government is also supporting growth of the supply chain by investing £2.5 billion in a National Skills Fund and continues to work closely with the market to support training in key skills shortage areas as well as opportunities for increasing capacity.


Written Question
Housing: Energy
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to improve the energy efficiency of owner occupier homes.

Answered by Greg Hands

The Government has committed to spend £6.6 billion in this Parliament on improving the energy efficiency of buildings. The Government has already allocated more than £900m to improving the energy efficiency of privately owned homes through the Local Authority Delivery scheme and the Home Upgrade Grant. In Spring 2022, the Government will launch the new Boiler Upgrade Scheme, worth £450 million, to support householders with the cost of installing of a heat pump. Moreover, the Government has already installed 3.3 million energy-efficiency measures in 2.3 million homes via the Energy Company Obligation scheme. Once this scheme ends in March 2022, a successor scheme, with a value of £1billion, is planned to provide support until 2026.


Written Question
Iran: Terrorism
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with international partners on Iran’s support for regional terror groups.

Answered by James Cleverly

The Government regularly engages with partners, both in the region and internationally, on Iran, including Iranian political, financial and military support to several militant and proscribed groups. Most recently on 20 December 2021 the Foreign Secretary hosted representatives from the Gulf Co-operation Council at Chevening, where Iran's destabilising regional activity was discussed. The Foreign Secretary also discussed such activity with the Israeli Foreign Minister Lapid on his visit to the UK on 29 November 2021.


Written Question
Red Diesel: Rebates
11 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of (a) a phased withdrawal of the red diesel subsidy over a longer time period and (b) Governmental financial support to facilitate the transition away from diesel for companies.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Chancellor confirmed at Spring Budget 2021 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel from most sectors from April 2022. This will more fairly reflect the negative environmental impact of the emissions they produce, and help to ensure that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternatives.

The Government recognised that this would be a significant change for some businesses, and ran a consultation to gather information from affected users on the expected impact of these tax changes and to make sure it had not overlooked any exceptional reasons why affected sectors should be allowed to continue to use red diesel beyond April 2022.

The Government continues to take its world-leading environmental commitments seriously and remains dedicated to meeting its climate change and wider environmental targets, including improving the UK’s air quality. This is why the Government decided that April 2022 is the right time to implement these reforms, as it also gave affected businesses a year to prepare for the changes since they were confirmed at Spring Budget 2021.

To support the development of alternatives that affected businesses can switch to, the Government is at least doubling the funding provided for energy innovation through the new £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. From that portfolio, the Government announced the £40 million Red Diesel Replacement Competition, which will provide grant funding for projects that develop and demonstrate lower carbon, lower cost alternatives to red diesel for the construction, and mining and quarrying sectors.

As announced at Spring Budget 2021, from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies can also claim 130% first-year capital allowances on qualifying plant and machinery investments.


Written Question
Red Diesel: Excise Duties
11 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of delaying reforms to the tax treatment of red diesel until inflation abates and the effects of the covid-19 outbreak have passed.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Chancellor confirmed at Spring Budget 2021 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel from most sectors from April 2022. This will more fairly reflect the negative environmental impact of the emissions they produce, and help to ensure that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternatives.

The Government recognised that this would be a significant change for some businesses, and ran a consultation to gather information from affected users on the expected impact of these tax changes and to make sure it had not overlooked any exceptional reasons why affected sectors should be allowed to continue to use red diesel beyond April 2022.

The Government continues to take its world-leading environmental commitments seriously and remains dedicated to meeting its climate change and wider environmental targets, including improving the UK’s air quality. This is why the Government decided that April 2022 is the right time to implement these reforms, as it also gave affected businesses a year to prepare for the changes since they were confirmed at Spring Budget 2021.

To support the development of alternatives that affected businesses can switch to, the Government is at least doubling the funding provided for energy innovation through the new £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. From that portfolio, the Government announced the £40 million Red Diesel Replacement Competition, which will provide grant funding for projects that develop and demonstrate lower carbon, lower cost alternatives to red diesel for the construction, and mining and quarrying sectors.

As announced at Spring Budget 2021, from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies can also claim 130% first-year capital allowances on qualifying plant and machinery investments.


Written Question
Red Diesel: Excise Duties
11 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what measures he will take to protect critical businesses in the supply chain which are affected by the reforms to the tax treatment of red diesel.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Chancellor confirmed at Spring Budget 2021 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel from most sectors from April 2022. This will more fairly reflect the negative environmental impact of the emissions they produce, and help to ensure that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternatives.

The Government recognised that this would be a significant change for some businesses, and ran a consultation to gather information from affected users on the expected impact of these tax changes and to make sure it had not overlooked any exceptional reasons why affected sectors should be allowed to continue to use red diesel beyond April 2022.

The Government continues to take its world-leading environmental commitments seriously and remains dedicated to meeting its climate change and wider environmental targets, including improving the UK’s air quality. This is why the Government decided that April 2022 is the right time to implement these reforms, as it also gave affected businesses a year to prepare for the changes since they were confirmed at Spring Budget 2021.

To support the development of alternatives that affected businesses can switch to, the Government is at least doubling the funding provided for energy innovation through the new £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. From that portfolio, the Government announced the £40 million Red Diesel Replacement Competition, which will provide grant funding for projects that develop and demonstrate lower carbon, lower cost alternatives to red diesel for the construction, and mining and quarrying sectors.

As announced at Spring Budget 2021, from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies can also claim 130% first-year capital allowances on qualifying plant and machinery investments.


Written Question
Red Diesel: Excise Duties
11 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of reforms to the tax treatment of red diesel on businesses.

Answered by Helen Whately

The Chancellor confirmed at Spring Budget 2021 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel from most sectors from April 2022. This will more fairly reflect the negative environmental impact of the emissions they produce, and help to ensure that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternatives.

The Government recognised that this would be a significant change for some businesses, and ran a consultation to gather information from affected users on the expected impact of these tax changes and to make sure it had not overlooked any exceptional reasons why affected sectors should be allowed to continue to use red diesel beyond April 2022.

The Government continues to take its world-leading environmental commitments seriously and remains dedicated to meeting its climate change and wider environmental targets, including improving the UK’s air quality. This is why the Government decided that April 2022 is the right time to implement these reforms, as it also gave affected businesses a year to prepare for the changes since they were confirmed at Spring Budget 2021.

To support the development of alternatives that affected businesses can switch to, the Government is at least doubling the funding provided for energy innovation through the new £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. From that portfolio, the Government announced the £40 million Red Diesel Replacement Competition, which will provide grant funding for projects that develop and demonstrate lower carbon, lower cost alternatives to red diesel for the construction, and mining and quarrying sectors.

As announced at Spring Budget 2021, from 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies can also claim 130% first-year capital allowances on qualifying plant and machinery investments.


Written Question
Tobacco: Sales
5 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Office for Health Improvements and Disparities’ investigation into possible breaches of the prohibition of characterising flavours in tobacco products, if the Government will make it its policy to remove from the market products found to be in breach of regulations; and what penalties companies found to be in breach of regulations will face.

Answered by Maggie Throup

King’s College London and Roswell Park were jointly appointed to undertake testing of a range of products to support the investigation into potential breaches of the prohibition of characterising flavours in tobacco products. Unfortunately, issues have arisen with the export of cigarettes to Roswell Park. The Department is working, including with the Food and Drug Administration, to resolve the issues and we hope to start testing in early 2022.


Written Question
Tobacco: Regulation
5 Jan 2022

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Office for Health Improvements and Disparities’ investigation into possible breaches of the prohibition of characterising flavours in tobacco products, for what reason the timetable for testing of selected tobacco products continues into early 2022; and which external organisations have been appointed to undertake that testing.

Answered by Maggie Throup

King’s College London and Roswell Park were jointly appointed to undertake testing of a range of products to support the investigation into potential breaches of the prohibition of characterising flavours in tobacco products. Unfortunately, issues have arisen with the export of cigarettes to Roswell Park. The Department is working, including with the Food and Drug Administration, to resolve the issues and we hope to start testing in early 2022.


Written Question
Housing: Carbon Emissions and Energy
17 Dec 2021

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the Government’s long-term strategy is for incentivising owner-occupiers, that have means and access to finance, to make their properties low carbon and more energy-efficient.

Answered by Greg Hands

In order to incentivise owner-occupiers to improve the energy performance of their homes, the Government will:

a) provide some financial support where needed over the next three years, especially to fuel poor and lower income households, in order to grow the market, including £950 million for the Home Upgrade Grant, £450 million for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, and £1 billion per year for the Energy Company Obligation scheme.

b) offer tailored advice and information to homeowners through the Simple Energy Advice service, and support green finance product innovation.

c) Set higher minimum standards to improve energy performance across all housing tenures, seeking primary powers to enable regulatory measures when time allows. The Government also recently published its energy related products framework which will encourage manufacturers to produce more energy efficient appliances and products.


Written Question
Housing: Energy
15 Dec 2021

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to (a) increase investment in the retrofit market and (b) create a sustainable supply chain, jobs, and skills in that sector.

Answered by Greg Hands

In the Heat and Buildings Strategy, the Government set out a clear long-term framework to enable industry to invest. The Government set out the actions it will take to reduce emissions from buildings in the near term and deliver the transition to low-carbon heating. The Government has also put in place minimum energy performance standards in the private rented sector. In the Energy White Paper, the Government committed to seek primary powers to enable regulatory measures to improve the energy performance of owner-occupied homes. The Government wants landlords and homeowners to invest in retrofitting.

The Government recognises the need for a skilled, competent and robust supply chain to deliver the necessary improvements to buildings to meet our net zero targets. In September 2020 the Government launched a £6.9million Skills Training Competition to provide up to 8,000 training opportunities for the energy efficiency and low carbon heating supply chains. Government is exploring further options to work with the industry to encourage training in key skills shortage areas and new routes of entry to increase capacity.


Written Question
Housing: Energy
15 Dec 2021

Questioner: Alexander Stafford (CON - Rother Valley)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what lessons his Department has learned from the Green Homes Grant for the development of future retrofit incentive schemes.

Answered by Greg Hands

The Government is considering the National Audit Office report on the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme and its recommendations. This will inform approach to existing and future schemes, as part of the UK’s £9 billion commitment to improving energy efficiency.