Angela Eagle Portrait

Angela Eagle

Labour - Wallasey

European Statutory Instruments
18th Jul 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
European Statutory Instruments Committee
18th Jul 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow First Secretary of State, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
14th Sep 2015 - 27th Jun 2016
Palace of Westminster (Joint Committee)
16th Jul 2015 - 16th Sep 2015
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
7th Oct 2011 - 14th Sep 2015
House of Commons Commission
13th Jul 2015 - 14th Sep 2015
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
7th Dec 2011 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011
Shadow Minister (Treasury)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jun 2009 - 6th May 2010
Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee
1st Aug 2005 - 6th May 2010
Public Accounts Committee
19th Nov 2007 - 26th Oct 2009
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2007 - 9th Jun 2009
Treasury Committee
27th Jan 2003 - 6th Nov 2007
Treasury Sub-committee
27th Jan 2003 - 11th Jul 2005
Public Accounts Committee
16th Oct 2002 - 3rd Mar 2003
Parliamentary Secretary (Home office)
11th Jun 2001 - 28th May 2002
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Social Security)
28th Jul 1998 - 7th Jun 2001
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions)
6th May 1997 - 29th Jul 1998
Opposition Whip (Commons)
1st Jun 1996 - 1st May 1997
Public Accounts Committee
28th Nov 1995 - 11th Nov 1996
Employment
25th Apr 1994 - 17th Oct 1996
Members' Interests
27th Apr 1992 - 8th Nov 1995


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 18th October 2021
15:00
Treasury Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Future of Financial Services
18 Oct 2021, 3 p.m.
At 3.15pm: Oral evidence
Anne Boden - Chief Executive Officer at Starling Bank
John Collins - Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer at Santander UK
Mr Matthew Conway - Director for Strategy and Policy at UK Finance
David Livingstone - Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Middle East and Africa at Citigroup
Nigel Terrington - Chief Executive Officer at Paragon Banking Group
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th October 2021
14:00
Treasury Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Jobs, growth, and productivity after coronavirus
20 Oct 2021, 2 p.m.
At 2.15pm: Oral evidence
George Dibb - Head of the Centre for Economic Justice at Institute for Public Policy Research
Sir Geoffrey Owen - Head of Industrial Policy at Policy Exchange
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Working People’s Finances: Government Policy
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 160 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 222 Noes - 300
Speeches
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Project Gigabit

Before we begin, I encourage Members to wear masks when they are not speaking, in line with current Government guidance …

Written Answers
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Passport Office: Correspondence
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of …
Early Day Motions
Monday 8th June 2020
Chester Zoo
That this House is concerned that Chester Zoo, and other zoos will not be able to reopen alongside ticketed gardens …
Bills
Wednesday 8th May 2019
Pension Charges Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 23rd August 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Payment of £200 expected from Grazia, Academic House. 24/28 Oval Road, London NW1 7 DJ, for speaking at an event …
EDM signed
Monday 20th September 2021
Giving every child the best start in life
That this House notes the work of WAVE Trust and its 70/30 campaign to reduce levels of child abuse, neglect …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Public Advocate (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to establish a public advocate to provide advice to, and act as data controller for, representatives of the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Angela Eagle has voted in 258 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Angela Eagle Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(33 debate interactions)
Guy Opperman (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(23 debate interactions)
John Glen (Conservative)
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
(23 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(94 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(35 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(30 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(27 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Angela Eagle's debates

Wallasey Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

I would like the Government to:
• make running conversion therapy in the UK a criminal offence
• forcing people to attend said conversion therapies a criminal offence
• sending people abroad in order to try to convert them a criminal offence
• protect individuals from conversion therapy

In the event of a spike we would like you not to close gyms as a measure to stop any spread of Covid. Also for gyms to not be put in the same group as pubs in terms of risk or importance. Gyms are following strict guidelines and most members are following rules in a sober manner.

Isolation essential to the Government’s strategy for fighting coronavirus, and UK citizens must remain healthy and exercise whilst keeping adequate distance between people. The Government should allow golf courses to open so families or individuals can play golf in order to exercise safely.


Latest EDMs signed by Angela Eagle

12th May 2021
Angela Eagle signed this EDM on Monday 20th September 2021

Giving every child the best start in life

Tabled by: Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrat - Bath)
That this House notes the work of WAVE Trust and its 70/30 campaign to reduce levels of child abuse, neglect and domestic abuse by 70 per cent by 2030; further notes that over two-thirds of this House have endorsed that campaign, including a majority from all parties; recognises the role …
78 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 25
Scottish National Party: 24
Liberal Democrat: 11
Conservative: 7
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Independent: 2
21st July 2021
Angela Eagle signed this EDM on Tuesday 7th September 2021

UN World Drowning Prevention Day

Tabled by: Catherine McKinnell (Labour - Newcastle upon Tyne North)
That this House welcomes the UN General Assembly’s adoption of its first ever resolution on global drowning prevention; recognises the first ever UN World Drowning Prevention Day on 25 July 2021 and deeply regrets that almost 4,000 people in the UK lost their lives in water accidents from 2009-20 according …
29 signatures
(Most recent: 17 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 14
Scottish National Party: 6
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Independent: 2
Conservative: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Alba Party: 1
View All Angela Eagle's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Angela Eagle, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Angela Eagle has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Angela Eagle has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Angela Eagle


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require pension providers to publish standardised information on charges for pension products; to make provision for a cap on such charges; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 8th May 2019
(Read Debate)

256 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether any Crown Representatives or strategic suppliers are also employed by Francis Maude Associates.

No current Crown Representatives work for Francis Maude Associates.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish a list of all former and current Crown Representatives and strategic suppliers.

Crown Representatives help the government to act as a single customer. They work across departments to:

  • ensure a single and strategic view of the government’s needs is communicated to the market;

  • identify areas for cost savings or operational improvements;

  • act as a point of focus for cross-cutting supplier-related issues.

Crown Representatives cover all sectors of service provision including small and medium enterprises, voluntary sector organisations, mutually owned organisations, large suppliers and specific sectors. All Crown Representatives complete Conflict of Interest declarations every six months.

Information about the Crown Representative programme, including a list of the current Crown Representatives and strategic suppliers is available on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/strategic-suppliers

We will write to the hon. Member with further information and place a copy of the letter in the House Library.



Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse is of the employment of Crown Representatives who with strategic suppliers.

Crown Representatives help the government to act as a single customer. They work across departments to:

  • ensure a single and strategic view of the government’s needs is communicated to the market;

  • identify areas for cost savings or operational improvements;

  • act as a point of focus for cross-cutting supplier-related issues.

Crown Representatives cover all sectors of service provision including small and medium enterprises, voluntary sector organisations, mutually owned organisations, large suppliers and specific sectors. All Crown Representatives complete Conflict of Interest declarations every six months.

Information about the Crown Representative programme, including a list of the current Crown Representatives and strategic suppliers is available on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/strategic-suppliers

We will write to the hon. Member with further information and place a copy of the letter in the House Library.



Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether any Crown Representatives or strategic suppliers are also employed by Francis Maude Associates.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish a list of all civil servants who hold advisory positions outside the civil service.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service. The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here:

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/

The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions .

Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board any outside employment, as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Government has spent on the covid-19 public information campaign in (a) the North West, (b) the South East and (c) London.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 33512 on 21 April 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of homeless deaths in (a) the North West, (b) the North East, (c) Merseyside, (d) Wirral and (e) Wallasey in each year since 2010.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore requested the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, who will lead the inquiry into alleged breaches of the Ministerial Code by the Home Secretary.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in response to an Urgent Question in the House of Commons on 2 March 2020 (Official Record, Vol. 672, Col. 611/612).

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate his Department has made of the life expectancy of (a) women and (b) men in each of the last 10 years in (i) the North West, (ii) Merseyside, (iii) Wirral and (iv) Wallasey.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

The Cabinet Office is currently undertaking reviews on: Data Handling Practices in the Cabinet Office; the Inter-Governmental Relations Review; and the Integrated, Defence, Security and Foreign Policy Review. Lord Dunlop's Review of UK Government Union Capability has concluded and the Government is carefully considering its recommendations.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the creation of smallholder and community-led horticulture jobs in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 13 March 2021 to Question 174728, on GFG Alliance: Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, when he plans to publish details of the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module.

Details of facilities made available under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be published where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

Our priority is to ensure borrowers are given notice before information about their loans is shared with the European Commission; we are working with lenders and the British Business Bank to facilitate this. A rolling programme of reporting will then publish details of aid granted within the preceding 12 months.

More information is available at https://www.british-business-bank.co.uk/ourpartners/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-schemes/data-reporting/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) his Department and (b) officials at the British Business Bank had discussions with the Bank of England on the decision to give Greensill Capital accredited lender status for the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Bank of England had no role in the British Business Bank’s decision to accredit Greensill Capital.

All decisions taken by the British Business Bank were made independently and in accordance with the Bank’s usual procedures.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he had any discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or Treasury Ministers or officials on the British Business Bank's decision to grant Greensill Capital access to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The British Business Bank (Bank) accredited Greensill Capital to offer finance via the Coronavirus Large Business Interruptions Loan Scheme.

All decisions taken by the Bank were made independently and in accordance with the Bank’s usual procedures. The then Secretary of State had no discussions with either a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer, b) Treasury Ministers or c) Treasury officials about the Bank’s decision.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many lenders have had their Government guarantee on loans made under the (a) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (b) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme removed; and what the reasons are for that removal.

All accredited lenders are subject to audit by the British Business Bank to ensure their compliance with scheme rules. If serious non-compliance is identified, the Bank is entitled to take remedial action. Such action might include termination of the Guarantee Agreement, or withdrawal of the Guarantee.

It would not be appropriate to comment on individual cases given commercial sensitivities.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of fraudulent applications under the (a) Bounce Back Loan Scheme and (b) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme to date.

As part of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) application process lenders are required to undertake fraud, Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering checks. In addition, the application form makes clear that any individual who knowingly provides false information is at risk of criminal prosecution.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme is operated on the same basis as fully commercial loans, with lenders conducting the full range of checks they would usually make, subject to the specific eligibility requirements of the scheme. The Department continues to work with other Government Departments, lenders, and law enforcement agencies to tackle fraudulent abuse of the schemes.

Further details of how we expect the schemes to perform, including an estimate of fraud losses, will be set out in the BEIS Annual Report for 2020-21 published later this year.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of whether Coronavirus Business Interruption loans (CBILS) had been extended to companies that are part of or associated with the GFG Alliance; and whether those loans complied with the eligibility criteria set by the CBILS scheme.

We are unable to provide information relating to individual borrowers as it is commercially sensitive.

Details of facilities made available under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be published where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the British Business Bank has accelerated accreditation for some existing lenders; and what steps his Department is taking to prevent fraudulent applications for such accreditation.

The Recovery Loan Scheme ensures businesses of any size can continue to access finance they need once the existing Covid-19 loan schemes close.

All lenders will be subject to an assessment of their proposals, and subject to usual British Business Bank governance around approvals. Existing accredited Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme lenders have been invited to apply for accreditation. An accelerated process, for some of these lenders, will ensure that a broad range of lenders is in place to offer facilities as soon as possible.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department made of the suitability of Greensill Capital to become an accredited lender under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Greensill Capital were approved by the British Business Bank (Bank) in June last year to provide finance through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), based on criteria set out in the CLBILS “Request for Proposals”.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy had no role in the Bank’s decision to accredit Greensill Capital. All decisions taken by the Bank were made independently and in accordance with the Bank’s usual procedures.

All accredited lenders are subject to audit by the Bank to ensure their compliance with scheme rules. If serious non-compliance is identified, the Bank is entitled to take remedial action. Such action might include termination of the guarantee agreement or withdrawal of the guarantee.

While the Bank looks into Greensill’s position it is not able to originate new lending that benefits from a Government guarantee.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of disinfectant products that are marketed and sold in the UK that are making false or misleading claims about their efficacy in killing covid-19 on surfaces; and what steps his Department is taking to tackle those false and misleading claims.

The Advertising Standards Authority has an online complaints page for people to report advertisements that make misleading, harmful or irresponsible claims about COVID-19. The form can be found at: https://www.asa.org.uk/make-a-complaint/quick-report.html.

Furthermore, the Competition and Markets Authority has created a COVID-19 taskforce and set up an online form to enable consumers and business to report any businesses they believe is behaving unfairly during the pandemic. The form can be found at: https://www.coronavirus-business-complaint.service.gov.uk/.

The information received through those exercises is fed into the enforcement activities of those respective bodies and discussed at the Consumer Protection Partnership which coordinates activities.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether officials in his Department have had discussions with officials in the Treasury on making hairdressing salons eligible for business rate relief.

Under guidance published on 18th March, hereditaments that are being used for the provision of hair and beauty services (such as hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc.) do qualify for the grants. It will be for individual local authorities to determine in each individual case when, having regard to this guidance, to grant relief.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to issue guidance to hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons on closing as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

In order to further reduce the spread of the virus, on Friday 20 March, the Government told all businesses and venues in which activity necessitates prolonged social contact to close. This decision reflected clinical advice that the spread of infection is likely where people are in close contact for more than 15 minutes.

On 23 March, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced increased measures to reduce social contact and expanded the list of business that should close immediately, and this included hairdressers, beauty and nail salons.

Business owners and employees are encouraged to check https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest guidance and support available.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to require supermarkets to introduce social distancing measures during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government will continue to have regular conversations with industry stakeholders, including the British Retail Consortium and supermarket CEOs. We are keen to ensure supermarkets are well prepared to deal with a range of scenarios, while ensuring their operations remain in line with the latest health guidance.

Supermarkets that remain open will be expected to comply with social distancing requirements. The industry is doing everything it can to meet this challenge and the Government will continue to work with industry to help them do so

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of households living in fuel poverty in (a) Wallasey constituency and (b) the Wirral in each of the last 10 years.

Latest data (2017) for Wallasey constituency can be found in table 5 of the Fuel Poverty Sub-regional tables at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/sub-regional-fuel-poverty-data-2019. Data for the Wirral can be found in table 2 of the same set of tables.

Sub-regional figures going back to 2010 can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fuel-poverty-sub-regional-statistics and a time series for England going back to 2003 can be found in table 1 of the Fuel Poverty trends tables at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fuel-poverty-trends-2019.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will publish the titles of the reviews that her Department is undertaking.

The Department is undertaking the following reviews on matters of public policy or delivery:

  • A major review of research bureaucracy and methods, to free up the best researchers and establish the UK as a global science superpower.
  • A review to understand the barriers that young people from all backgrounds face to starting and growing a business, led by The Prince’s Trust.
  • The Magnox Inquiry, an independent inquiry into the award of the Magnox decommissioning contract by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and its subsequent termination.

We support wider Government reviews, including the Net Zero Review led by HM Treasury, to support the UK's world leading climate commitment. We also support two independent business-led reviews to improve gender and ethnic minority representation at the top of UK business; the Hampton-Alexander and Parker Reviews.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

DCMS has a number of policy consultations and reviews in process. A list of all current and past policy papers and consultations, and methods of contribution, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/search/policy-papers-and-consultations?organisations%5B%5D=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport&parent=department-for-digital-culture-media-sport.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils in (a) the North West, (b) Wirral and (c) Wallasey constituency were off school and self-isolating as a result of covid-19 on each day of the last two months.

The Department publishes geographic breakdowns of attendance and absence figures on a half-termly basis in the following publication: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. The data for the final half of the summer term will be published through this route on 27 July 2021.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of countries that do not have a mutual recognition of academic qualifications with the UK; and what steps his Department is taking to reach a mutual recognition of academic qualifications with those countries.

The Department does not have a full estimate of the number of countries with which the UK Government has not established the mutual recognition of academic qualifications through an agreement, a multilateral framework or a memorandum of understanding.

The UK takes part in the Bologna Process and is a member of the 49 country European Higher Education Area, which seeks to ensure mutual recognition of higher education (HE) qualifications and mobility for European students and staff. The UK Government is also a signatory to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and Council of Europe Lisbon Convention on the recognition of HE qualifications in the Europe and secondary school qualifications giving access to higher education.

In addition to multilateral frameworks and agreements, recognition of academic qualifications can also be included within bilateral memorandums of understanding. Existing UK Government agreements, for example, with China and Argentina cover HE qualifications.

Should it be to our mutual benefit, the Department, alongside the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and colleagues across Government, will pursue arrangements with countries outside existing agreements.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on creating an apprenticeship scheme for students on vocational courses who have been unable to attend in-person practical courses as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We are committed to supporting learners in Further Education to safely continue with, and complete, their programmes during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Following the announcement of a new national lockdown on 4 January 2021, our guidance for further education providers on restricting attendance sets out that providers should use their best endeavours to deliver remotely as much of students’ planned hours as possible. The guidance can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision. We recognise that this may be more challenging for some students, for example where a course necessitates the use of specialist equipment and supervision, or with respect to work experience and placements. Schools and colleges have been able to continue with the vocational and technical qualification (VTQ) exams that were due to take place in January, where they judged it right to do so. This may have been particularly important for occupational competence VTQs which can only be fulfilled through practical assessment, for example electrician. It was for providers to decide whether to put on the exam. If a student was unable to take their assessment this January, they may be able to take the assessment at a later date. In the event that is not possible, we will put in place arrangements to ensure they are not disadvantaged. Students have prepared for the assessments which are critical for them. It is right, given the importance, that those assessments were given priority alongside vulnerable students and children of key workers.

Apprenticeships are jobs created by employers which provide apprentices with high-quality on and off-the-job training. They will be more important than ever in helping businesses to recruit the right people and develop the skills they need to recover and grow. We have introduced flexibilities to support apprenticeship training to continue, including encouraging the remote delivery of training where possible, and have also introduced flexibilities to 120 apprenticeships to allow end-point assessments for these standards to continue. Where it is not possible and practicable for the apprentice to continue training, a break in learning can be used to allow the apprentice to return to learning at a future date.

To encourage employers to offer new apprenticeship opportunities we have introduced incentive payments for employers of up to £2000 for each new apprentice they hire under the age of 25 as part of our Plan for Jobs. These payments were extended until the end of March 2021 in the November 2020 Spending Review.

We continue to work closely with employers and providers, and across government, to ensure a range of training opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to gain the skills they need.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason his Department’s digital education platform programme provides funding support for schools to set up (a) G Suite for Education and (b) Office 365 Education but not for other digital education and learning platforms.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services. This has included £14.3 million to provide grants to schools to be set up on a digital platform.

Google’s G-Suite for Education and Microsoft’s Office 365 Education platforms are free-to-use for schools and meet their needs by providing the right breadth of tools and technology to support remote education. As of 5 January, 6,900 schools have applied to the Department's digital platforms programme that forms part of the Get Help With Technology programme. Funding provided by the Department means that schools can access technical support from accredited Google and Microsoft to:

  • set up all staff and student user accounts for the platform
  • provide handover training and technical advice

The funded support is only provided to schools and colleges that:

  • do not have a digital education platform
  • have access to Office 365 Education or G Suite for Education, but are not yet set up to assign work and communicate with pupils

Google and Microsoft platforms bring together the school community, pool resources and give pupils the opportunity to work with their peers remotely. They also enable:

  • Video and chat communications to deliver live lessons remotely, group meetings and presentations, broadcast assemblies
  • Recording of virtual lessons for future re-iteration of key learning
  • Secure file and folder storage for teaching and staff planning resources
  • Submission of assignments and provision of feedback to pupils to support ongoing assessment for learning
  • Teachers and pupils to work together through supervised group calls and via structured groups to support teaching, learning, and planning

The key for school leaders website provides feature comparisons and case studies on how schools are making the most of these platforms, to help schools make the most appropriate choice.

The EdTech Demonstrator network is also in place to offer advice, guidance and training in ways these platforms can be used effectively to strengthen remote education arrangements and reduce teacher workload.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will expand its digital education platform programme to include other digital education and learning platforms other than G Suite for Education and Office 365 Education.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services. This has included £14.3 million to provide grants to schools to be set up on a digital platform.

Google’s G-Suite for Education and Microsoft’s Office 365 Education platforms are free-to-use for schools and meet their needs by providing the right breadth of tools and technology to support remote education. As of 5 January, 6,900 schools have applied to the Department's digital platforms programme that forms part of the Get Help With Technology programme. Funding provided by the Department means that schools can access technical support from accredited Google and Microsoft to:

  • set up all staff and student user accounts for the platform
  • provide handover training and technical advice

The funded support is only provided to schools and colleges that:

  • do not have a digital education platform
  • have access to Office 365 Education or G Suite for Education, but are not yet set up to assign work and communicate with pupils

Google and Microsoft platforms bring together the school community, pool resources and give pupils the opportunity to work with their peers remotely. They also enable:

  • Video and chat communications to deliver live lessons remotely, group meetings and presentations, broadcast assemblies
  • Recording of virtual lessons for future re-iteration of key learning
  • Secure file and folder storage for teaching and staff planning resources
  • Submission of assignments and provision of feedback to pupils to support ongoing assessment for learning
  • Teachers and pupils to work together through supervised group calls and via structured groups to support teaching, learning, and planning

The key for school leaders website provides feature comparisons and case studies on how schools are making the most of these platforms, to help schools make the most appropriate choice.

The EdTech Demonstrator network is also in place to offer advice, guidance and training in ways these platforms can be used effectively to strengthen remote education arrangements and reduce teacher workload.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has issued guidance to schools that have had residential trips cancelled as a result of the covid-19 outbreak but have been unable to obtain a refund from the company providing that trip.

The Department for Education continues to advise against both overnight and non overnight domestic (UK) and overseas educational visits. In the autumn term, schools can resume non-overnight domestic educational visits. All such visits should be compliant with COVID-19 guidelines and subject to a thorough and ongoing assessment of the risks to ensure that they can be undertaken safely. Schools should consult the department’s health and safety guidance on educational visits when considering any visit.

The guidance will remain under review, including the position on overnight domestic visits, and will be updated in line with guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Transport and Public Health England.

Any disputes regarding travel agent or travel insurance should be resolved in line with issued contractual terms and arrangements, or by reference to the relevant regulator or national trade bodies such as the Association of British Insurers, the Association of British Travel Agents and the Association of Independent Tour Operators. Departmental guidance confirms this position.

Guidance for the full opening of schools can be found here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

COVID-19 travel advice for educational settings is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-for-educational-settings/coronavirus-travel-guidance-for-educational-settings

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students are in receipt of assistive (a) hardware and (b) software technology through the Disabled Students' Allowance in (i) Wirral and (ii) Wallasey.

The Student Loans Company does not distinguish between hardware and software within Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA). These would both be grouped under the DSA equipment allowance. Therefore, it is not possible to separately identify the number of students who are in receipt of assistive hardware and assistive software technology through the DSA.

The number of students who were in receipt of assistive technology through the DSA equipment allowance in the 2018-19 academic year are:

i. 92 students whose home address is registered as Wirral; and

ii. 35 students whose home address is registered as Wallasey.

Figures are not yet available for the 2019-20 academic year.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June 2020 to Question 51606 on Home Education: Computers, how many (a) laptops, (b) tablets and (c) 4G wireless routers his Department has allocated to Wirral Council.

The Department has published information about how many laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers we have delivered or dispatched to local authorities and academy trusts: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/laptops-tablets-and-4g-wireless-routers-progress-data.

The Department is providing over 200,000 laptops and tablets to vulnerable and disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examinations in Year 10, receiving support from a social worker, including pre-school children, or are a care leaver.

Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers.

Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and distribute the laptops and tablets to children and young people who need devices. In May, the Department invited local authorities to order devices for the most vulnerable children first - children with a social worker and care leavers.

Earlier this month, the Department started inviting academy trusts and local authorities to order their devices for disadvantaged year 10 pupils. Thousands of devices continue to be delivered each day. Laptops and tablets will continue to be ordered and delivered throughout June.

8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to support the families of pupils on free school meals in Wallasey constituency during the school summer holidays in 2020.

I refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave on 23 June 2020 to Question 54195.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the announcement by the Government on 19 April 2020 that disadvantaged children would receive laptops for home education during the covid-19 outbreak, what criteria his Department used to determine which children would be eligible for those laptops.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education and social care services, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.

The Department is providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examination in Year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers.

The Department has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and allocated devices to local authorities and academy trusts based on its estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and prioritise children and young people who need devices.

The Department is providing these devices in the shortest possible timeframe; deliveries to schools and local authorities started in May and will continue in June.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government's announcement on 19 April 2020 that disadvantaged young people will receive free laptops for home education during the covid-19 outbreak, when those laptops will be provided to children in schools in Wallasey constituency.

The Government has committed over £100 million to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children in England to access remote education and social care services, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers.

The Department is providing laptops and tablets to disadvantaged children who would otherwise not have access and are preparing for examination in Year 10, receiving support from a social worker or are a care leaver. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and children in Year 10 do not have internet connections, we are providing 4G wireless routers.

The Department has ordered over 200,000 laptops and tablets and allocated devices to local authorities and academy trusts based on its estimates of the number of eligible children that do not have access to a device. Local authorities and academy trusts are best placed to identify and prioritise children and young people who need devices.

The Department is providing these devices in the shortest possible timeframe; deliveries to schools and local authorities started in May and will continue in June.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his policy is on universities charging accommodation fees for students while they are closed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We expect universities to communicate clearly with residential students on rents for this period and administer accommodation provision in a fair manner. I have written to vice-chancellors and set out this expectation to them.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to make provisions for children who have a special educational need but have not yet received a formal diagnosis to continue attending school.

COVID-19 is clearly an unprecedented situation and the department’s highest priority.

We are working closely with colleagues across government to ensure that all appropriate arrangements, and support, are in place for all of the department’s sectors – from early years and childcare to schools and children’s social care, and for vulnerable groups including children with special educational needs.

We understand that parents will be worried about continued provision for their children with special educational needs when schools closed on Friday 20 March. Local authorities, schools and colleges, together with parents, should assess the risks to children and young people with Education, Health and Care plans (EHC plans) to judge whether they can be safely cared for at home or whether it is safer for them to remain at school or college. Local authorities and education settings have discretion to do a similar risk assessment for any individual children and young people who do not have an EHC plan but who have complex needs that could mean it is safer for them to be at school or college than at home. Guidance to help parents understand the changes, including information on vulnerable children can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers.

The government has also published guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to provide support for parents with children at nurseries that are closed but require fees to be paid that are (a) self-isolating, (b) diagnosed with covid-19, (c) temporarily on Statutory Sick Pay and (d) claiming employment and support allowance as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working hard to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on all parts of our society, including individuals and business. Childcare providers will have individual agreements with parents and therefore we urge all childcare providers to be reasonable and balanced in their dealings with parents, given the great uncertainty they will be facing too.

We acknowledge that in many cases, the insurance that early years providers have will not cover them for income lost during COVID-19-related closures. That is one of the reasons why we announced on 17 March that we will continue to pay funding to local authorities for the early years entitlements for 2, 3 and 4-year-olds and that funding would not be clawed back from local authorities due to closures or children being unable to attend.

We expect local authorities to follow the Department for Education’s position and to continue paying childminders, schools and nurseries for the early years entitlements – even if providers have suspended delivery of those entitlements due to COVID-19. This protects a significant proportion of early years providers’ income. In addition, the government has set out a range of support for businesses and workers to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on them. Many early years providers will qualify for this support.

This support being provided for individuals includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which means that for each employee not working but kept on payroll, the government will contribute 80% of their wages up to £2,500, backdated to 1 March 2020. Self-employed people may be eligible for taxable grants under the government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme. Further details of these schemes can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme and https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

Details of further assistance and benefits available for individuals can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19.

We will be keeping under close review what further support businesses and workers may require.

Guidance on closures of childcare and early years settings is available: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to allocate additional (a) funding and (b) resources to the provision of music teaching in schools in (i) the North West, (ii) Merseyside, (iii) Wirral and (iv) Wallasey.

The Government believes that music is an important subject and that all pupils should receive a high-quality music education. The subject is compulsory in the national curriculum up to age 14.

To support schools to deliver high quality music education for all their pupils, the Government has provided funding of over £300 million for music education hubs across England between 2016 and 2020, including £76 million in 2019-20, and further funding to support hubs with the additional costs under the teachers’ pension scheme. This is a significant increase over the £58 million we gave hubs in 2014.

The Government recently announced a further year’s funding for music hubs, to help thousands more children learn to play musical instruments, as well as continued support for a range of smaller music and arts programmes, totalling £85 million. We will also be offering an ‘arts premium’ of £90 million each year for secondary schools in England from 2021 to fund enriching activities for all pupils.

The North West region is served by ten individual music education hubs, which in the coming year will receive between them over £9.6 million in funding.

Merseyside is served by the Merseyside Music Education Hub Alliance, a conglomerate of music hubs based in Warrington and Halton, Sefton and Knowsley, Liverpool and St Helens. In the 2020-21, we will be providing these hubs with over £2 million of funding to continue to support the region’s schools to deliver high-quality music education. In 2016-17, the last year data for which data is available, these hubs provided individual lessons to over 2,400 pupils, small group lessons for over 5,800 pupils and whole class ensemble teaching to over 26,000 pupils. The hubs also supported or delivered 125 ensembles.

Wirral is served by the Musical Routes Music Education Hub. In 2020-21, the Government will be providing the hub with over £470,000 of funding. In 2016-17, the hub provided individual lessons to 850 pupils, small group lessons for over 1,200 pupils and whole class ensemble teaching to over 6,000 pupils. The hub also supported or delivered 25 ensembles.

The Government trusts that with the announced funding, the music education hubs in the North West will be able to continue their important work in supporting the schools in the region to deliver a high-quality music education for all their pupils.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in (a) the North West (b) Merseyside and (c) the Wallasey constituency have placed disruptive children in isolation booths in the 2019-2020 academic year.

?The Department does not collect or record information about schools’ use of isolation.

Guidance allows schools to adopt a policy for disruptive pupils to be placed in isolation away from other pupils for a limited period. If a school uses isolation as a disciplinary penalty, this should be made clear in their behaviour policy. As with other disciplinary penalties, schools must act lawfully, reasonably and proportionately in all cases. The school must also ensure the health and safety of all pupils.

The existing guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/behaviour-and-discipline-in-schools.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children were taken into care in (a) Merseyside, (b) the Wirral and (c) Wallasey constituency in each of the last 10 years.

The latest figures on the number of children taken into care in Merseyside metropolitan county and the Wirral local authority since 2009/10 are shown in the attached table. The department does not collect this data by parliamentary constituency area.

These figures on children taken into care by individual legal status are published in the statistical releases ‘Children Looked after in England including adoptions’ at local authority and regional level in the underlying data table ‘CLA ADM’ and, prior to 2017, in table C3 of the local authority tables, which are available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-looked-after-children.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

At present, the Department for Education is undertaking reviews in the following areas.

  • As set out in the manifesto, we are preparing to undertake a review of the care system which will consider how we support vulnerable children and young people in order to meet their needs and improve their outcomes.
  • A cross-government review into support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, as announced in 2019.
  • A review of Post-16 Qualifications at level 3 and below to ensure that every qualification has a distinct purpose, is high quality and supports progression to positive outcomes.
  • The Headteachers’ Standards Review as announced by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for School Standards in July last year to review the National Standards of Headteachers guidance last updated in 2004.
  • In last year’s teacher recruitment and retention strategy, Ministers committed to carrying out a review of system leadership to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of teaching schools and National Leaders of Education.

In addition, Dame Mary Ney’s review of college financial oversight and Dame Shirley Pearce’s review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework recently concluded. We will publish the reports and the government’s responses in due course.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the national funding formula for schools on levels of socio-economic inequality in (a) Wallasey, (b) Wirral, (c) Merseyside and (d) the North West.

The National Funding Formula commits extra funding for pupils with additional needs, based on levels of deprivation, low prior attainment, English as an additional language and mobility. This is because evidence shows that pupils with these characteristics are more likely to fall behind, and need extra support to reach their full potential. In 2020-21, £6.3 billion will be allocated in the National Funding Formula for 5-16-year olds with additional needs in England. Areas with high levels of additional needs will attract more funding.

Next year, primary schools and secondary schools in Wallasey will, on average, attract £4,328 and £5,813 per pupil respectively. This reflects a 4.1% increase in per pupil funding when compared to this year.

In Wirral, primary and secondary schools will, on average, attract £4,146 and £5,439 per pupil respectively next year. This reflects a 3.9% increase in per pupil funding compared to this year.

For the local authorities that make up the Merseyside area (Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral), this totals to a cash increase of £43.6 million in additional schools funding when compared to last year, which is a 4.3% increase in their total cash funding.

For the North West region, primary and secondary schools will, on average, attract £4,281 and £5,459 per pupil respectively. This reflects a 4.0% increase in per pupil funding compared to last year.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many nursery places were available in Wallasey in each of the last 10 years.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to you and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the average per-hour cost of childcare (a) in a nursery and (b) with a childminder in (i) Wallasey, (ii) Liverpool city region and (iii) the North West in each year since 2015.

The Government published data on the cost of delivering childcare in the North West of England for 2015 and 2018. The average hourly costs of delivery, with the respective publications from which the data is sourced, are:

2015[1]

2018[2]

2018[3]

2-year-olds

3- and 4-year-olds

All ages

2 year-olds

3- and 4-year-olds

All Settings

£3.70 (n=16)

£3.28 (n=19)

£3.16 (n=184)

£3.88 (n=8)

£4.02 (n=11)

The Government does not hold data relating specifically to the Wallasey constituency or Liverpool City Region.

[1] Table 16 of ‘SEED: The cost and funding of early education’ and is available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/586235/SEED_-_The_cost_and_funding_of_early_education_-_RR552.pdf.

[2] Table 17 of ‘Providers’ finances: Evidence from the Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers 2018’ and is available at the following link: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/795332/Frontier_-_SCEYP_2018_Finance_Report_v2.pdf.

[3] Figure 8 (2-year-olds) and figure 19 (3- and 4-year-olds) of ‘Early Years Provider Costs Research’ and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-providers-cost-study-2018. Average hourly costs are based on different collection methodologies and from different sources, so comparability is limited.

Figures in brackets indicate base sizes. Bases sizes under 50 cases should be treated with caution.

“All settings” is defined as private, voluntary, nursery class, maintained nursery schools, /children’s centre and childminder

“North West of England” is defined according to regional definition which can be found here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/methodology/geography/ukgeographies/administrativegeography/england#regions-former-gors.

8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the numbers of teachers in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

Ensuring the whole country has a strong teaching profession is a top priority for the Government. Last year the Department launched the first ever integrated strategy to recruit and retain more teachers. The strategy includes the biggest teaching reform in a generation, the Early Career Framework (ECF). The ECF provides new teachers with the solid foundations for a successful career in teaching, backed by £130 million a year in funding when fully rolled out in 2021. The Department has also committed to plans to raise starting salaries for new teachers to £30,000 by 2022-23, putting teaching on a par with other top graduate professions.

Beyond this, we are delivering some targeted initiatives that will benefit the North West, Merseyside, and Wirral. Schools in Greater Manchester will benefit from early roll out of the ECF in September 2020, with access to improved support for their early career teachers, including high-quality training.

The Department is also piloting a number of financial incentives. Teachers’ Student Loan Reimbursement is being offered to languages and science teachers in 7 local authorities throughout the North West identified as having high need for teachers, including 3 in Merseyside. Additionally, the Department is offering mathematics, chemistry, physics and languages early-career retention payments with additional uplifts for teachers in 11 local authorities throughout the North West, including 4 in Merseyside.

The Department has made available over £20 million of scholarships funding in 2017-19 to support teachers and leaders in Category 5 and 6 areas to take up a reformed National Professional Qualifications, doubling our initial intended investment. There are 15 category 5 or 6 local authority districts throughout the North West, and 6 in Merseyside including Wirral. The aim of the investment is to retain good teachers in these areas and support their professional development.

In addition to this, the Department has set aside £30 million in tailored support for schools struggling with teacher recruitment and retention. This support is designed to help schools improve existing plans, join national programmes, build local partnerships or fund new initiatives. Throughout the North West, 36 schools have received support as part of this programme, including 2 schools in Merseyside.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the creation of smallholder and community-led horticulture jobs in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

As set out in the Agricultural Transition Plan this Government will provide funding to create lasting opportunities for new entrants to access land, infrastructure and support to establish successful and innovative businesses including in horticulture. These could involve business models such as Community Supported Agriculture and small holdings.

The details and eligibility criteria of the new entrant scheme are being developed through a consultative co-design process with stakeholders.

The co-design steering group includes representatives of local authorities with council farm estates, new entrant farmers, providers of innovation support for young farmers, cooperative and community land organisations and private landowners. We are also engaging a wider range of stakeholders to help us design the scheme. We will report more details of the scheme this summer and aim to launch the scheme in 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure that air quality levels in (a) Wallasey and (b) the North West remain lower than they were prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

Our ambitious plans to improve air quality and support more active forms of travel have not changed, including the £3.8 billion we are already investing to clean up our air. Our recent rapid call for evidence will ensure we can fully understand the impact that coronavirus is having on changes to air pollution emissions, concentrations and exposure.

On 9 May, the Government announced a £2 billion funding package for cycling and walking: the largest ever investment in active travel. This includes £250 million to be spent in the current financial year on measures to get people cycling and walking, such as pop-up bike lanes, wider pavements, safer junctions, and cycle and bus-only corridors and a bike repair voucher scheme.

Local authorities already have a range of powers to take action to reduce pollution from road vehicles. Through the Environment Bill we are improving co-operation within the Local Air Quality Management framework to widen the range of bodies that play a role in improving local air quality, including neighbouring local authorities and relevant public bodies, ensuring action is taken by all key players to tackle pollution sources and to improve air quality locally.

Additionally we are working hard to implement our world-leading Clean Air Strategy, which focuses on reducing broader emissions beyond road transport.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the top five countries were for chicken imports to the UK in each of the last five years.

The attached table shows the top five countries importing chicken meat into the UK in the last five years. It is based on Defra analysis of HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with supermarkets on providing adequate home delivery shopping slots for people who are (a) self isolating or (b) have covid-19.

We are working closely across Government, with representatives of the food supply chain and with local authorities and charities to ensure that the elderly, vulnerable groups, and people who need to stay at home will have continued access to food.

To help industry respond to this unprecedented demand we have introduced new measures to support food deliveries. We have issued guidance to local authorities to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets so that shelves can be filled up more quickly, and we have implemented extensions to drivers’ hours. We are also temporarily relaxing certain elements of competition law to ensure retailers are able to collaborate effectively in the national interest, for example by sharing distribution depots and delivery vans. We welcome the actions that industry is taking, including hiring more staff, including prioritising delivery slots for those that need them most.

The Government is working to ensure that up to 1.5 million people in England identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract Coronavirus will have access to the food they need. A new Local Support System will make sure those individuals self-isolating at home and who are without a support network of friends and family will receive basic food and essential supplies. The Government is working with a partnership of the food industry, local government, local resilience forums and emergency partners, and voluntary groups, to ensure that essential items can start to be delivered as soon as possible to those who need it.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate her Department has made of the number of people who are reliant on coal for fuel in (a) Wallasey, (b) Merseyside and (c) the North West.

The impact assessment published alongside the Government response to the consultation on cleaner domestic burning of solid fuels and wood included an assessment of the number of people who use coal as a primary heat source across England. The impact assessment can be viewed at the following site: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/867428/burning-wood-consult-ia.pdf. The proposals included in the Government response outline our intention to rollout the policy in a phased approach, this is to ensure that those reliant on coal as a primary heat source have the time and support they need to transition to the cleanest alternative fuel type, whilst minimising any associated costs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to increase the number of trees planted in Wallasey.

The Government is developing policies to increase tree planting at a national scale and does not target particular constituencies.

Working with the Devolved Administrations, the Government is committed to planting 30,000 hectares per year of new forests across the UK by 2025, in line with the Committee on Climate Change’s recommendation. In England, the Nature for Climate fund will help drive planting in this Parliament.

We are supporting the creation of a Great Northumberland Forest, where one million trees will be planted by 2024. We are also investing £5.7 million to accelerate and further develop the Northern Forest - planting 1.8 million new trees, helping towards a long-term ambition of 50 million trees over 25 years.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment her Department has made of air quality in (a) the North West, (b) Wirral and (c) Wallasey.

Air quality is generally improving in the UK, as set out in the annual National Statistics report at the following URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/air-quality-statistics.

There are 171 national monitoring stations in the UK operated by the Environment Agency on behalf of Defra, of which 18 stations are in North West and Merseyside including two in Wirral (Wirral Tranmere and Birkenhead Borough Road). Near real-time measurements from these sites and further data tools can be found on the UK-AIR website (https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/). Within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral annual mean levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter have been below statutory limit values and stable over the last five years, consistent with national trends.

There are no automatic monitoring stations in Wallasey. However, Wirral Council also assesses its own air quality using 31 passive monitors to measure NO2 across the Borough which is made available through Annual Status Reports (https://www.wirral.gov.uk/environmental-problems/pollution-control/air-quality). Only one exceedance of the annual mean limit value for NO2 was observed in 2018 with levels at most sites either showing a lower or similar value compared to 2017 levels.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

DFID routinely conducts both internal reviews on the operations of the department, and reviews and evaluations covering the performance and results of our development programmes. While not all of the department’s internal reviews are made public, every programme review is published on DevTracker.

DFID plays an active part in relevant cross-Government reviews, including the Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review which the Prime Minister will lead to reassess the nation’s place in the world, covering all aspects of international policy from defence to diplomacy and development.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the titles of the reviews that her Department is undertaking.

The Department for International Trade is not conducting any formal reviews into areas of public policy for which it has responsibility.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that train stations in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey are fully equipped with tactile paving along platform edges.

I have asked Network Rail to develop a programme to aim to install platform edge tactile strips on every platform in Great Britain.

I will make a further announcement in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that relief crews are able to take over from UK seafarers who have remained at sea as a result of the outbreak of covid-19 so that they can return to the UK.

UK has not placed restrictions on the transit and transfer of seafarers and I personally wrote to the International Maritime Organisation, the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation on 23 March 2020, confirming that the UK will continue to meet its international obligations related to the transit and transfer of seafarers and highlighted that the UK is fully committed to the welfare of all seafarers regardless of their nationality, asking other States to follow this example.

The Government has ensured quarantine requirements for those travelling into UK, announced on 22 May, do not apply to crew or marine pilots travelling in the operation of their duties.

The Government is continuing to monitor the welfare of all UK seafarers and is working to support employers in their repatriation efforts for all non-essential staff.

The Department is currently considering the framework, recently developed by the International Chamber of Shipping and other organisations, which has been supported and circulated by the International Maritime Organisation, in more detail to see what more can be done to further facilitate crew changes in UK.

20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to remove the off-peak travel limit on over-60 bus passes to allow elderly people who have been asked to self isolate due to covid-19 access supermarkets during the morning.

We are acutely aware of the issues around the time restrictions of the current concessionary travel scheme and are considering next steps as a matter of urgency.

The Government is very pleased to see that some local authorities and operators have already agreed to provide free morning travel to concessionary pass holders due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition, free or discounted travel before 9.30am is the most commonly offered discretionary concession, with 68 of the 89 Travel Concession Authorities in England outside London (predominantly local authorities) already offering free or discounted morning travel to older person’s and/or disabled person’s concessionary pass holders.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on ensuring that airline staff receive a salary when flights are grounded as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak the Department has been in frequent contact with aviation industry stakeholders to understand more about their position and the support they need. Last week Government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment.

This will allow businesses to put workers on temporary leave and the Government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2500 per month, providing they keep the worker employed.

The Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1 March. It will be open initially for at least three months with the option to extend for longer if necessary.

There is no limit on the amount of funding available for the Scheme, and all UK-wide employers with a PAYE scheme will be eligible. Further guidance will be set out in due course.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

The Department currently has two formal reviews on matters of public policy or delivery. These are the Williams Rail Review, chaired by Keith Williams, and the independent review into the High Speed 2 (HS2) project, chaired by Doug Oakervee.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to improve rail services in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey constituency.

In response to passengers’ needs, Northern introduced, in the December 2019 timetable, an extension of the Alderley Edge to Southport route which now takes customers into Manchester Piccadilly. It also secured a recent agreement with ASLEF to improve the reliability of Sunday services which will significantly reduce cancellations in the North West. Also, in December, Trans-Pennine Express (TPE) introduced a brand new service between Liverpool and Glasgow with three services running in each direction every day.

The introduction of new trains by both TPE and Northern also means an improved customer experience and faster journey times, connecting passengers to cities across the network.

Trains services in the Wirral and Wallasey are provided by Merseyrail, the management of which is a devolved responsibility of Liverpool City Region.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of new funding for road maintenance will be allocated to (a) Liverpool City Region and (b) Wirral council.

The Government is committed to improving local infrastructure and expects to announce details of the available funding shortly. Individual allocations of this funding will be subject to Ministerial decisions.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to abolish the lower earnings limit for those who are eligible for statutory sick pay.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is just one part of our welfare safety net and our wider government offer to support people in times of need. Many of those earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £120 per week, who are not eligible for SSP, are already in receipt of benefits. Those who are not already in receipt of benefits may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their personal circumstances, to support them when they are unable to work.

The Government published a consultation in which we sought views on a range of proposals to reform Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). A response will be published shortly.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of claimants for personal independence payment that are on a fixed-term award in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey constituency.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the number of personal independence payment claimants previously awarded a fixed-term award who have had their claim stopped due to a delay in processing claims as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible and are treating as a priority advance claims, where a person’s previous fixed term award has ended. Where a person is found to still be eligible for Personal Independence Payment their award is backdated to the point they claimed or when their previous award ended, so no one loses out financially.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of claimants for personal independence payment that are on a fixed term award in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey constituency.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal independence payments claimants previously awarded a fixed term award have had their claim stopped due to a backlog of claims as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether it is her Department's policy that workplaces that remain open during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021 must provide their staff with access to disinfectant products that are tested to the EN 14476 standard for virucidal efficacy.

As each is workplace is different, it is for an employer to identify, as part of their risk assessment, how to control COVID-19 transmission. Guidance has been produced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive that gives advice and information to employers on how to do such an assessment and make the workplace COVID-secure.

Frequent surface cleaning is one of several control measures that can be implemented to manage the transmission risk. Guidance from PHE and BEIS advises the use of standard cleaning products for frequently touched surfaces to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Whilst we do not specify particular products, those that have been tested to the EN 14476 standard will be effective against viruses.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for enforcement notices. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it his policy to ensure that all workplaces provide (a) disinfectant products with comprehensive labelling, with the word ‘active’ and list the active substances, (b) hazard and precautionary statements, (c) the name and address of the manufacturer of the disinfectant products provided, (d) information on contact time, (e) an authorisation number/CE mark depending on the registration scheme and (f) a statement to read instructions before use.

Disinfectant products containing hazardous substances must be labelled in accordance with the comprehensive labelling requirements in the retained Regulation (EC) 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation), and where the product has been Authorised under the retained Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 (Biocidal Products Regulation or BPR) there are additional labelling requirements arising from that regulation.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to reintroduce the suspension on (a) repayment of universal credit advances and (b) sanctions for claimants during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

There are no plans to introduce suspension of a) a repayment of UC advances and b) sanctions. Work coaches will work with claimants to ensure claimant commitments are reasonable for claimants’ circumstances, and allows them to continue to continue to adhere to Covid-19 public health advice.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the timetable is for the implementation of (a) new criminal offences and (b) information-gathering powers contained in the Pension Schemes Bill; and whether they will apply (i) retrospectively and (ii) to pension schemes that have already closed.

Subject to Parliamentary processes, the Pension Schemes Bill should gain Royal Assent in due course. The Pensions Regulator will be producing guidance on the use of the new criminal sanction powers and it plans to undertake a consultation first with industry to ensure these vital views are captured. There are also other powers in Part 3 of the Bill that require implementing regulations and the aim is for these powers to be available to the Pensions Regulator by autumn 2021. None of the provisions in Part 3 of the Bill will be retrospective and the new criminal sanctions and information gathering powers will apply to all schemes where the act occurs, or in the case of a series of acts commences, after the powers come into force.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people living in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey have had a Pension Wise guidance appointment by telephone or in person in each of the last 12 months.

The Money and Pensions Service published annual data on pension wise appointments for 2019-2020 here:

https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Pension-Wise-Service-Evaluation-report-2019-2020.pdf(opens in a new tab).

This records that there were over 97k face to face and around 62k telephone appointments in 2019-20. This is the latest available annual published data.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of trends in the number of pension scams during the covid-19 outbreak.

DWP is working across government and with regulators to monitor and respond to any increases in transfers or pension scams. To date, this monitoring has revealed little evidence to demonstrate an increase in either transfers or scams across the industry as a whole as confirmed by the independent regulator. This has been confirmed by responses from industry. The Government will continue to monitor and respond to any emerging evidence.

The Government established Project Bloom, a cross-government taskforce that brings together law enforcement, government and industry to share intelligence, raise awareness of and the reporting of scams through public communication campaigns, and take enforcement action where appropriate.

Please see links below for more information about the joint statement from Regulators and the Money Advice Service, and help available, produced by the Pension Protection Fund and supported by government.

https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/covid-19-savers-stay-calm-dont-rush-financial-decisions

https://www.ppf.co.uk/sites/default/files/file-2020-05/COVID-19-and-your-pension.pdf

The Government continues to work with Regulators and enforcement agencies to prevent scams and take appropriate action. In the period March - July 2020, 116 reports of possible pension fraud were received by Action Fraud, compared to 179 for the same period in 2019.

Project Bloom has identified that the methodology of scammers is continually evolving, moving away from the traditional type of theft of peoples pensions through setting up a sham scheme, towards investment related fraud. Investment related fraud includes persuading individuals to invest in ventures that do not exist or using multiple charging structures that the member is not aware of.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to increase public understanding of the risks of pension scams.

The Government is committed to safeguarding consumer savings. The Government is raising public awareness of scams through ongoing communications directly from DWP and with other organisations.

Joint and independent communications from the FCA and tPR spelling out the dangers, what to watch out for and giving clarity to trustees and providers on the boundaries between guidance and advice have been issued since April this year (https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/covid-19-savers-stay-calm-dont-rush-financial-decisions). Prior to Covid-19 the FCA and tPR conducted regular campaigns, through the ScamSmart branding, to raise awareness of pension scams and what to watch out for, these have been deemed very successful, over 222,000 visited the ScamSmart website to find out how to identify a scam scheme as a result of the most recent pre Covid campaign, July – November 2019.

In addition, Government is actively monitoring the numbers of transfers and scams and preparing further policy responses. At the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, the Department convened a cross-government and regulator group to closely monitor and respond to any increase in transfers and scams. The group includes DWP, HMT, both the Pensions Regulator and the FCA as well as the Money and Pensions Service and the Pension Ombudsman. All of the participating organisations have confirmed that to date no evidence has emerged of an increase in either transfers or scams, based on their internal monitoring of the industry.

DWP continues to communicate regularly on social media to set out the warning signs of a scam and has made multiple posts referencing Pension Scams and #ScamSmart in total across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in the period March to September 2020.

The Pension Schemes Bill was amended by Government in the House of Lords to add to the example conditions that can be placed on the statutory right to transfer by regulations. This amendment makes it explicit that the regulations can require that in certain circumstances the member demonstrates they have taken information or guidance before the transfer can proceed to ensure they are informed of the risks.

The Government wants to support all pension savers aged 50 and over in the lead up to accessing their pension savings, to make informed choices about their retirement income, which includes making them aware of Pension Wise through communications from their pension scheme trustees. We intend introducing Single page summary and single page risk warnings from age 50 and then every 5 years until the point they access their pension savings.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) conducted trials to establish different ways to encourage more people to take Pension Wise guidance before accessing their pension savings under Pension Freedoms. These trials found that a nudge developed using behavioural science principles significantly increased take-up of Pension Wise guidance among those wishing to access their pension savings under pension freedoms. The evaluation report was published in July 2020. We are working to develop the most effective and proportionate way to implement this nudge to pension guidance. We intend to publish our proposed way forward shortly.

In addition, we have banned cold calling and seek to provide and prosecute and publicise the conviction of all who commit pension scams.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have (a) contacted Action Fraud regarding potential pension scams and (b) booked a Pension Wise guidance session since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

In the period March – July 2020 116 reports of pension fraud were received by Action Fraud, compared to 179 for the same period in 2019. In recognition of the potential impact of Covid-19 on individual’s pensions savings the Department convened a cross-government and regulator group, to closely monitor and respond to any increase in transfers and scams. All of the participating organisations have confirmed that to date no evidence has emerged to demonstrate an increase in either transfers or scams, based on their internal monitoring of the industry. Although this is encouraging Government recognises it needs to continue to monitor and react to the changing environment.

To ensure that people are able to fully access support and make informed decisions, a collaborative approach has been taken with the TPR, the FCA and MaPS in communicating to savers, to use Pension Wise or the Pensions Advisory Service channels for guidance before making decisions about retirement. There have been a total of 79,967 bookings for a Pension Wise guidance session between March 1st– October 20th 2020. The government is also taking action with the Pensions Schemes Bill.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have accessed and transferred their pension early since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and how many of those have been classified as an unauthorised payment from their pension fund.

This government is committed to safeguarding consumer savings. We have introduced, with other departments, measures that assist all savers to understand their choices and the possible risks of the choices they make along with legislation to protect those most vulnerable to scams.

There is currently no information available about pension unauthorised payments since the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak. This is because administrators of a registered pension scheme must tell HMRC when certain reportable events occur; reportable events include unauthorised payments. The scheme administrator does this by completing and submitting an Event Report for a tax year, these must be received by HMRC by the 31st of January after the end of the tax year to which the Event Report relates. Therefore, reports for the period March to date are not available.

The data available from the industry has so far revealed little evidence of an increase in transfers or scams since the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak. Similarly, independent regulators report less of a problem. We will continue to monitor and assess if there has been any increase in pension scams activity as a result of the crisis.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of implementing a training programme for pension and finance professionals to ensure they can more readily identify scam risks.

The Government is committed to safeguarding consumer savings. The Government is raising public awareness of scams through ongoing communications directly from DWP and with other organisations.

Joint and independent communications from the FCA and tPR spelling out the dangers, what to watch out for and giving clarity to trustees and providers on the boundaries between guidance and advice have been issued since April this year (https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/covid-19-savers-stay-calm-dont-rush-financial-decisions). Prior to Covid-19 the FCA and tPR conducted regular campaigns, through the ScamSmart branding, to raise awareness of pension scams and what to watch out for, these have been deemed very successful, over 222,000 visited the ScamSmart website to find out how to identify a scam scheme as a result of the most recent pre Covid campaign, July – November 2019.

In addition, Government is actively monitoring the numbers of transfers and scams and preparing further policy responses. At the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, the Department convened a cross-government and regulator group to closely monitor and respond to any increase in transfers and scams. The group includes DWP, HMT, both the Pensions Regulator and the FCA as well as the Money and Pensions Service and the Pension Ombudsman. All of the participating organisations have confirmed that to date no evidence has emerged of an increase in either transfers or scams, based on their internal monitoring of the industry.

DWP continues to communicate regularly on social media to set out the warning signs of a scam and has made multiple posts referencing Pension Scams and #ScamSmart in total across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in the period March to September 2020.

The Pension Schemes Bill was amended by Government in the House of Lords to add to the example conditions that can be placed on the statutory right to transfer by regulations. This amendment makes it explicit that the regulations can require that in certain circumstances the member demonstrates they have taken information or guidance before the transfer can proceed to ensure they are informed of the risks.

The Government wants to support all pension savers aged 50 and over in the lead up to accessing their pension savings, to make informed choices about their retirement income, which includes making them aware of Pension Wise through communications from their pension scheme trustees. We intend introducing Single page summary and single page risk warnings from age 50 and then every 5 years until the point they access their pension savings.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) conducted trials to establish different ways to encourage more people to take Pension Wise guidance before accessing their pension savings under Pension Freedoms. These trials found that a nudge developed using behavioural science principles significantly increased take-up of Pension Wise guidance among those wishing to access their pension savings under pension freedoms. The evaluation report was published in July 2020. We are working to develop the most effective and proportionate way to implement this nudge to pension guidance. We intend to publish our proposed way forward shortly.

In addition, we have banned cold calling and seek to provide and prosecute and publicise the conviction of all who commit pension scams.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of Defined Contribution pension savers that have not received regulated financial advice had a telephone appointment with the Pension Wise guidance service before accessing their pension benefits in the last 12 months.

Data on the number of Defined Contribution (DC) contract-based pots accessed without financial advice, but after taking Pension Wise guidance can be found in Tables 10-13 in FCA’s retirement income market data 2018/19 release: https://www.fca.org.uk/data/retirement-income-market-data. This data is not broken down by appointment type and as it does not include the trust-based DC market, does not cover the entire DC decumulation market.

We do not hold data on the proportion of Defined Contribution savers that this represents, as people may have multiple pots and may not seek advice or guidance on each pot.

The Money and Pensions Service publish information on the number of Pension Wise appointments delivered by appointment type in their Pension Wise service evaluation report 2018/19: https://moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk/2020/01/24/pension-wise-service-evaluation-2018-19-experiences-and-outcomes-of-customers/

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department taking to tackle the gap in pension income for (a) people who are BAME, (b) women and (c) low paid earners.

The level of earnings at which workers are automatically enrolled (the earnings trigger) is subject to an annual statutory review. The review includes analysis of the equalities impact and an assessment of reducing the trigger to the National Insurance threshold.

Since 2014/15, the annual reviews have concluded that the earnings trigger be frozen at £10,000. People earning below the trigger have a right to opt in, and if they are earning above the lower earnings limit (£6,240 in 2020-21) they will receive an employer contribution.

Automatic enrolment has hugely increased women’s pension participation, participation across all ethnic groups, and among lower earners. Among eligible women in the private sector, participation has increased from 40% in 2012 to 86% in 2019, equal to men. Among eligible employees in the private sector earning between £10,000 and £20,000, 19% were participating into a workplace pension in 2012. As of 2019, this rate had increased to 79%, a 60 percentage point increase.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department made of the potential merits of lowering the annual earnings necessary for auto-enrolment to the National Insurance lower earnings limit of £6240.

The level of earnings at which workers are automatically enrolled (the earnings trigger) is subject to an annual statutory review. The review includes analysis of the equalities impact and an assessment of reducing the trigger to the National Insurance threshold.

Since 2014/15, the annual reviews have concluded that the earnings trigger be frozen at £10,000. People earning below the trigger have a right to opt in, and if they are earning above the lower earnings limit (£6,240 in 2020-21) they will receive an employer contribution.

Automatic enrolment has hugely increased women’s pension participation, participation across all ethnic groups, and among lower earners. Among eligible women in the private sector, participation has increased from 40% in 2012 to 86% in 2019, equal to men. Among eligible employees in the private sector earning between £10,000 and £20,000, 19% were participating into a workplace pension in 2012. As of 2019, this rate had increased to 79%, a 60 percentage point increase.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to increase the proportion of BAME workers who are part of the workplace pensions system.

The level of earnings at which workers are automatically enrolled (the earnings trigger) is subject to an annual statutory review. The review includes analysis of the equalities impact and an assessment of reducing the trigger to the National Insurance threshold.

Since 2014/15, the annual reviews have concluded that the earnings trigger be frozen at £10,000. People earning below the trigger have a right to opt in, and if they are earning above the lower earnings limit (£6,240 in 2020-21) they will receive an employer contribution.

Automatic enrolment has hugely increased women’s pension participation, participation across all ethnic groups, and among lower earners. Among eligible women in the private sector, participation has increased from 40% in 2012 to 86% in 2019, equal to men. Among eligible employees in the private sector earning between £10,000 and £20,000, 19% were participating into a workplace pension in 2012. As of 2019, this rate had increased to 79%, a 60 percentage point increase.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the future retirement income of (a) women, (b) BAME workers, (c) self employed workers and (d) gig economy workers.

Helping people to save for their futures remains a key priority for this Government. We have put in place an unprecedented package of support to strengthen job and income security during the emergency to help workers, including those disproportionately affected, to better manage costs during the crisis, while supporting longer term financial resilience.

We are monitoring the impacts of covid-19 on workplace pension participation and saving levels and are working closely with the pensions industry and across government to understand the impact of the emergency. However, at this stage, it is not possible to draw robust conclusions on the impact of covid-19 including the impact on the self-employed, women and BAME.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her Department's policy to extend the temporary suspension of sanctioning in the welfare system beyond 30 June 2020.

We made the decision to temporarily suspend the requirement for face-to-face Jobcentre Plus appointments for all claimants in Universal Credit, New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), old-style JSA and ESA, and Income Support.

Arrangements after the 30th June will be communicated in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her Department's policy to extend the temporary suspension of reviews and reassessments for all benefits beyond 24 June 2020.

Our priority throughout this health emergency continues to be to protect the public and staff, while ensuring people get the benefits they are entitled to quickly and safely. Reviews and reassessments remain suspended while we review what activity we can gradually start reintroducing in line with the latest public health advice.

10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have been sanctioned since 1 March 2020 in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

The number of Universal Credit claimants who have been sanctioned is published quarterly. The latest figures for Universal Credit sanction rates are up to February 2020 and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/about/statistics

Geographical breakdowns of the figures can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The number of Universal Credit claimants who have been sanctioned since 1 March 2020 will not be available until the next publication of these statistics in August 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people that (a) opted-out and (b) ceased active membership of auto-enrolment pension schemes since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Key to supporting both businesses and pension savers is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which offers an unprecedented package of support for businesses. Under the CJRS grants have been available to employers to support business by covering up to 80 percent of a furloughed worker’s regular salary, capped at £2,500 per month. Additionally, the grants also cover statutory minimum employer pension contributions into registered pension schemes on behalf of furloughed employees.

On 29th May the Chancellor announced how changes to the CJRS will be phased in prior to closure of the scheme at the end of October. The changes provide flexibility from July when furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time. From August employers will be asked to pay employer NICs and pensions contributions for their workers.

Helping people save for their futures remains a key priority for Government, and employers are still required to comply with obligations under automatic enrolment to enrol employees into workplace pensions and then make contributions. We have asked employers to share the costs of paying the wages of furloughed workers and starting with the costs of employer national insurance and pension contributions is a simple and fair way to do that.

By easing the burden of workplace pensions for employers, we are helping them better manage costs during the crisis whilst supporting long-term saving for the future.

The Department does not yet have suitable data to make an assessment of the number of employees who have reduced their contributions, or have stopped saving, since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The last assessment by the Department of opt-out and cessation was published in our 2019 Automatic Enrolment Evaluation Report, when we estimated that 0.76 per cent of savers in the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year made an active decision to stop saving.

The Department continues to monitor Automatic Enrolment using a range of sources such as the annual Workplace Pension Participation Statistics, which will next be published on 18th June covering workplace pension participation and contributions up to April 2019.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/883289/automatic-enrolment-evaluation-report-2019.pdf

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential increase in pension scams since the start of covid-19 outbreak.

To assess and respond to the impacts of Covid-19 on the pension industry and pension savers, DWP has established a cross-government and regulator group and has been working with the pension industry to understand emerging impacts.

This group is informed by a separate data monitoring group that co-ordinates the aggregation of data from a range of sources, including government, regulators and pension industry bodies, to identify trends including any increase in pension scams activity.

Data received so far has revealed little evidence of an increase, however it may take time for impacts to materialise. We will of course continue to monitor the situation to assess if there has been any increase in pension scams activity as a result of the crisis.

The PPF, in collaboration with regulators and pensions bodies, recently published a guide,’COVID-19 and your pension: where to get help’, which answers common pension concerns and helps individuals find the right support. This includes guidance for individuals who are concerned about pension scams.

https://www.ppf.co.uk/covid-19-pensions

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have booked a Pension Wise guidance session since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Pension Wise have been successful in increasing demand for guidance appointments year on year from a standing start in 2015. During the 2019-2020 financial year there were 205,643 available appointments.

Since the 11th March 2020, the Money and Pension Service have been collating Covid-19 figures. From this point up until 2nd June 2020, 21,663 bookings for Pension Wise guidance sessions have been made. The Money and Pension Service has successfully adapted its methods for delivering Pension Wise guidance during the Covid-19 outbreak to ensure that it can maintain its service. As face-to-face appointments have not been possible at this time, the Money and Pension Service have focussed on digital and telephone delivery channels to maintain levels of service. This has involved working proactively with customers who were booked for a face-to-face session and offering channel shift to ensure that support is still given to meet customer needs.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employees have reduced their contributions into auto-enrolment schemes since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

Key to supporting both businesses and pension savers is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which offers an unprecedented package of support for businesses. Under the CJRS grants have been available to employers to support business by covering up to 80 percent of a furloughed worker’s regular salary, capped at £2,500 per month. Additionally, the grants also cover statutory minimum employer pension contributions into registered pension schemes on behalf of furloughed employees.

On 29th May the Chancellor announced how changes to the CJRS will be phased in prior to closure of the scheme at the end of October. The changes provide flexibility from July when furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time. From August employers will be asked to pay employer NICs and pensions contributions for their workers.

Helping people save for their futures remains a key priority for Government, and employers are still required to comply with obligations under automatic enrolment to enrol employees into workplace pensions and then make contributions. We have asked employers to share the costs of paying the wages of furloughed workers and starting with the costs of employer national insurance and pension contributions is a simple and fair way to do that.

By easing the burden of workplace pensions for employers, we are helping them better manage costs during the crisis whilst supporting long-term saving for the future.

The Department does not yet have suitable data to make an assessment of the number of employees who have reduced their contributions, or have stopped saving, since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The last assessment by the Department of opt-out and cessation was published in our 2019 Automatic Enrolment Evaluation Report, when we estimated that 0.76 per cent of savers in the first quarter of the 2019/20 financial year made an active decision to stop saving.

The Department continues to monitor Automatic Enrolment using a range of sources such as the annual Workplace Pension Participation Statistics, which will next be published on 18th June covering workplace pension participation and contributions up to April 2019.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/883289/automatic-enrolment-evaluation-report-2019.pdf

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to extend the winter fuel allowance for recipients who (a) have to self-isolate or (b) are diagnosed with covid-19.

There are no plans to extend the winter fuel allowance scheme.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has, however, published a series of measures designed to help those affected by the coronavirus outbreak with the cost of their energy bills.

Further information on the measures is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to increase the payment amount of (a) universal credit and (b) employment support allowance for claimants who are diagnosed with covid-19.

The Department is monitoring the adequacy of its response to the spread of COVID-19 closely and is determined to provide effective support to people across the country during this challenging period. Further measures will be taken if shown to be necessary.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions her Department has had with the Treasury on increasing the amount of Statutory Sick Pay paid to people who have to (a) self-isolate or (b) are diagnosed with covid-19.

The current Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rate is the legal minimum rate that an employer must pay to an employee; many employers have their own occupational health schemes. The SSP system is designed to balance support for the individual with the costs to the employer and, as such, there are no plans to make this change. The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those affected in these difficult times and we have made a number of changes to the welfare system in the past fortnight to ensure people are supported in doing this. These changes include:

  • making it easier to access benefits. SSP is now payable from day 1 – as opposed to day 4 – and those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment. Both Universal Credit and Contributory ESA can now be claimed by phone or online;
  • increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by around £1000 per year; and
  • increasing in the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

Together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the current estimated processing time is for mandatory reconsiderations of personal independence payment claims in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

Statistics on the average clearance time for Mandatory Reconsiderations (MR) for Personal Independence Payment can be found in the data tables of the quarterly statistical publication ‘Personal Independence Payment: April 2013 to October 2019’ published by the Department for Work and Pensions and available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

Figures for the North West region and the five local authorities which comprise Merseyside can be found in Table 4B (ii), ‘MR Clearance Time (median calendar days), Normal Rules, by year of clearance, region and Local Authority’.

Figures for Wallasey can be found in Table 4B (i), ‘MR Clearance Time (median calendar days), Normal Rules, by year of clearance, and Parliamentary Constituency’.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that people whose appointments with her Department are cancelled do not have their benefits suspended for non-attendance of those meetings.

A claim to benefit should not be suspended due to an appointment being cancelled by the Department. If there is no alternative but to cancel a scheduled appointment at the Jobcentre, claimants will be contacted to apologise for the cancellation, explain the reasons for cancellation and seek to agree a new date and new time for a new appointment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people invited to appointments with her Department were recorded as non-attending in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) the Wirral and (d) Wallasey in each of the last 12 months for which information is available.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether it will be her Department's policy that the integrated assessment system for personal independence payment and work capability assessments will adopt a unified policy for recording assessments.

I refer the Rt.Hon Member to the answer I gave on 10 February 2020 to Question UIN 12293.

I also refer the Rt.Hon Member to a further answer I gave on 09 March 2020 to question UIN 25186.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the accuracy of reports that her Department is offering time-limited settlement offers to people who have a strong chance of success at a tribunal on refusal of their claim for personal independence payments.

The Department does not make ‘offers’ to claimants. If at the appeal stage of the decision making process it is decided that a decision can be changed in the claimant’s favour, then in law the Secretary of State has the option to revise the decision and thereby lapse the appeal against that decision. As we always aim to make the right decision as early as possible, then changing the decision to award a higher rate of benefit is the right thing to do. However, we will only do this if the claimant agrees. The telephone call is made to explain the changed circumstance. But, critically, it also the case that, whilst the appeal against the original decision will stop, a new right of appeal is given against the revised decision. This is explained both by the new decision notice and by the letter sent by the Tribunals Service confirming the appeal has stopped. The process does not disadvantage claimants. And, of course, if the second appeal is successful the additional benefit will be backdated and full arrears paid.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal independent payment claimants have had their assessment scores changed following an appeal to the Tribunal, but before their tribunal hearing date, in each of the last 12 months.

The assessment scores for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claimants at the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) and appeal stages are not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 March 2020 to Question 21155 on Universal Credit, which organisation has the responsibility for setting and adjusting the rate at which a court fine is deducted from a universal credit claim.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Deductions for court fines are based on rates provided in legislation.

HMCTS have the ultimate responsibility for setting the amount of a court fine, which the Department will then make deductions for at their request.

The rate of Universal Credit deductions for court fines is detailed in the Fines (Deduction from Income Support) Regulations 1992, Regulation 4(1B). This piece of legislation was amended to include Universal Credit and can be viewed at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/2182/regulation/4.

Since October 2019, all standard Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made in implementing the recommendations of the Social Security Advisory Committee on alternative ways of claiming universal credit other than online.

We want the application process for Universal Credit to be as quick and easy as possible to ensure that claimants receive their money at the earliest opportunity.

The Department takes seriously the need to support vulnerable claimants. Comprehensive support is available to claimants to use our digital service, however we recognise there will be occasions when people are unable to make or maintain their claim online, so telephone applications can be accepted. In these instances, information normally available through a claimant’s online account will be communicated in an alternative format, which is best suited to an individual’s circumstances.

Job Centre staff can refer claimants to personalised provisions which support those who find navigating technology challenging. We are currently testing a range of additional support offerings and employment provision, including more integrated health and employment support. This includes the Local Supported Employment trailblazer, which will be focusing on people with a learning disability or autism who are known to Adult Social Care, or those in touch with mental health services.

The most recent report from SSAC suggests 80% of claimants are comfortable with using the online features such as the journal, and recent interaction with stakeholders suggests a high proportion’ of claimants were very comfortable with claiming online.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the (a) accuracy and (b) efficiency of contracted out health assessments for claimants of (i) employment and support allowance and (ii) personal independence payment with severe hidden disabilities.

We continually look to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the assessment service by working closely with Providers. We are committed to ensuring individuals receive high quality assessments as part of the suite of evidence used to decide entitlement. Providers are monitored against a range of measures, including through Independent Audit, to improve accuracy of the advice they provide.

Assessment Providers are required to ensure Health Professionals carrying out assessments have knowledge of the clinical aspects and likely functional effects of a wide range of health conditions and impairments, including hidden disabilities affecting both physical and mental health. Health Professionals are also expected to explore and consider the hidden nature of some symptoms, such as fatigue and pain, during their assessments.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants with mental health conditions have been required to undertake a face-to-face interview when claiming for personal independence payment in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey in the last 12 months.

The information requested is not available.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal independence payment claimants were passed on to her Department's specialist team for severe hidden disabilities in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey in each of the last 12 months.

We have a duty to provide a compassionate service to all of our customers, treating each person with dignity and respect to deliver the best service with the right outcomes. Therefore, we do not have a team specialising in hidden disabilities we ensure all members are staff are trained in dealing with all customers.

Our Case Managers have all had up-skilling sessions delivered around Holistic Decision Making to ensure they are equipped to action the most complex cases. Holistic decision making empowers Case Managers to review all available evidence and give customers the best opportunity to provide information. This allows us to better understand our customers and their conditions before making decisions.

We have a team of Vulnerable Claimant Champions to ensure our most vulnerable customers are supported when engaging with us. A vulnerable claimant is defined as someone who has difficulty in dealing with procedural demands at the time when they need to access our services; all staff are aware of the Champions and use them when they feel additional help is needed.

To ensure consistency, we provide our Case Managers with regular updates and provide sufficient time to read any policy guidance and complete mandatory training for Disability awareness. In addition, regular all colleague calls with medical experts speculating in various conditions are held along with monthly Quality Calibration sessions on real life cases. Quality Assurance Managers who are also always on hand to provide further expert help, advice and support to all of our people.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which organisation has the responsibility for setting and adjusting the rate of deductions for fixed penalty notices for environmental offences to universal credit claims.

Fixed penalty notices for environment offences are not deducted from Universal Credit awards.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to grant unmarried couples the same automatic right to benefit from their partner’s pension in the event of the death of their partner as exists for married couples.

Members of defined contribution schemes are normally able to nominate a beneficiary through an expression of wish form who may be a spouse, an unmarried partner or any other person. Trustees have discretion, but will generally give very significant weight to the member’s expressed wish. Where a member purchases an annuity, they nominate a beneficiary at the point of purchase for any survivor’s pension to which the contract entitles them.

Spouses of defined benefit occupational pension scheme members do not automatically receive benefits when the member dies. There are no statutory requirements for these schemes to provide a survivor or a nominated beneficiary benefits unless the scheme was contracted out of the additional State Pension, where the scheme provided a pension in place of the additional State Pension.

Contracted out schemes must provide a survivor’s Guaranteed Minimum Pension for certain widows, widowers and surviving civil partners, reflecting the provisions in the additional State Pension. Any survivor benefits beyond this are a matter for the scheme rules and the sponsoring employer subject to HMRC tax restrictions. Some schemes may choose to provide survivor benefits for those who are not in a legal partnership, but they are not required to.

There are no plans to extend these requirements beyond the surviving partner of a legal relationship.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what data her Department holds on levels of pension income by ethnicity.

National statistics on pensioners income by ethnicity can be found on the ‘ethnicity facts and figures’ website, here: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/work-pay-and-benefits/pay-and-income/pensioner-income/latest

In addition, National Statistics on the percentage of pensioners in low income and income of pensioners by income quintile, by ethnicity are published annually in the ‘Households Below Average Income’ publication. Latest statistics can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-199495-to-201718

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to improve the collection of data on levels of pension income by ethnicity.

There are no plans to alter the collection of data on levels of pension income, in relation to the ethnicity of pensioners.

The Department’s key statistics on overall pension income are set out in the Pensioners’ Incomes series, which is itself based on the Family Resources Survey (FRS). The FRS captures ethnicity as part of the survey process. Both the survey as a whole and the ethnicity question within it are voluntary; respondents have the option not to state their ethnicity if they do not wish to. The Pensioners’ Incomes series can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/pensioners-incomes-series-statistics--3

Where respondents do volunteer their ethnicity, this is captured as one of 18 recognised groups. This is consistent with the harmonised principles for ethnicity, as set out by the Government Statistical Service, wherever social surveys are carried out. These principles were developed in consultation with several stakeholders, including the Equality & Human Rights Commission.

Further information on categorisation by ethnic group, including how the groupings are chosen, can be found on GOV.UK: https://www.ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk/ethnic-groups

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of additional (a) female workers and (b) workers from an ethnic minority who would be eligible for auto-enrolment if the earnings trigger was reduced to the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit.

Under the Pensions Act 2008, the Department is required to conduct an annual review of the automatic enrolment earnings trigger, as well as the upper and lower limits of the qualifying earnings band (the automatic enrolment thresholds). Section 14 of the Pensions Act 2008 sets out a list of non-exhaustive factors to which the Department may pay regard while conducting the Review, including National Insurance Thresholds. The Department will also have regard to the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) contained in section 149 Equality Act 2010 and the impact on protected characteristics including sex (women) and race (black and ethnic minority groups).

The Departments decision on the review for 2020/21 was announced earlier today. The earnings trigger for 2020/21 will be set at £10,000, striking a necessary balance between bringing in those most likely to benefit from pension saving with affordability for employers.

The full analysis behind the Departments decision for 2020/21 automatic enrolment thresholds including the earnings trigger will be published in due course.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the titles of the reviews that her Department is undertaking.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

While departments conduct and commission a variety of formal reviews, there is no single public list of each of the reviews currently underway.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have contacted the personal independence payments helpline in (a) Wallasey, (b) Wirral and (c) the North West in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information is not available.

28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons jobs are being transferred from Great Western House, Birkenhead to Blackpool, Sunderland and Cardiff.

I can confirm that jobs are not being transferred from Great Western House, Birkenhead to other locations.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions she has had with officials at Great Western House, Birkenhead on the potential loss of staff jobs.

Currently there are no job losses of permanent colleagues planned at Great Western House Birkenhead. Therefore, no discussions have taken place.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many children lived in (a) poverty and (b) extreme poverty in (i) the North West, (ii) Merseyside and (iii) Wallasey in each of the last 10 years.

The tables below provide estimates of the number of children in the North West living in households where equivalised income is a) below 60% of median income and b) below 50% of median income. Information is only available for regions on an average of three financial years as the sample sizes in the survey used to collect income data are not large enough to provide robust single year estimates. Estimates for geographical areas that are smaller than regions are not possible due to sample sizes so it is not possible to provide estimates for Merseyside and Wallasey.

Relative low income sets a threshold as a proportion of the UK average (median) income and moves as average income changes over time. Absolute low income takes the 60 per cent of median income threshold from 2010/11 and moves this in line with inflation. This is designed to assess how low incomes are faring with reference to inflation.

Number (millions) of children living in households with equivalised income below 60% of median income in the North West

3 year average

Relative Low Income (Before Housing Costs)

Relative Low Income (After Housing Costs)

Absolute Low Income (Before Housing Costs)

Absolute Low Income (After Housing Costs)

2015/16 to 2017/18

0.4

0.5

0.3

0.4

2014/15 to 2016/17

0.4

0.5

0.3

0.4

2013/14 to 2015/16

0.3

0.5

0.3

0.4

2012/13 to 2014/15

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.4

2011/12 to 2013/14

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.5

2010/11 to 2012/13

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.5

2009/10 to 2011/12

0.3

0.5

0.3

0.5

2008/09 to 2010/11

0.3

0.5

0.3

0.5

2007/08 to 2009/10

0.4

0.5

0.4

0.5

2006/07 to 2008/09

0.4

0.5

0.4

0.5

Number (millions) of children living in households with equivalised income below 50% of median income in the North West

3 year average

Relative Low Income (Before Housing Costs)

Relative Low Income (After Housing Costs)

Absolute Low Income (Before Housing Costs)

Absolute Low Income (After Housing Costs)

2015/16 to 2017/18

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

2014/15 to 2016/17

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

2013/14 to 2015/16

0.1

0.3

0.2

0.3

2012/13 to 2014/15

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

2011/12 to 2013/14

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

2010/11 to 2012/13

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

2009/10 to 2011/12

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

2008/09 to 2010/11

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

2007/08 to 2009/10

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

2006/07 to 2008/09

0.2

0.3

0.2

0.3

Numbers are rounded to the nearest 0.1million children

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she plans to take to tackle food poverty in Wallasey.

The government is committed to delivering a sustainable long-term solution to poverty in all its forms and in all parts of the UK by building a strong economy and ensuring that the benefit system works with the tax system and the labour market to support employment and higher pay.

The evidence shows that full time work substantially reduces the risk of being in poverty. Universal Credit is designed to help people move into work faster, stay in work longer and spend more time looking to increase their earnings, provides more financial help with childcare costs and removes the 16-hour ‘cliff edge for those who are working. To help families keep more of what they earn we have delivered another rise in the National Living Wage, increasing a full-time worker’s annual pay by over £2,750 since its introduction, and by nearly £3,700 with the recently announced rise from this April, with our tax changes making basic rate tax payers over £1,200 better off from April 2019, compared with 2010.

In order to develop a better understanding of the drivers of food insecurity and identify which groups are most at risk we have introduced a new set of food security questions in the Family Resources Survey questionnaire from April 2019 onwards. This will enable us in the future to monitor the prevalence and severity of household food insecurity across the UK and for specific groups.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons jobs are being transferred from Birkenhead job centre to Blackpool and Cardiff.

There are no job losses or transfers planned at Birkenhead Jobcentre.

Whilst there have been some recruitment exercises in Cardiff and Blackpool, these are not linked to Birkenhead and no jobs are being transferred from Birkenhead Jobcentre to any other locations.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions she has had with Birkenhead job centre about the potential loss of staff jobs.

There are no job losses or work movements planned at Birkenhead Jobcentre. Therefore, no discussions have taken place.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of claimants of legacy benefits who will naturally migrate to universal credit without transitional protection before the process of managed migration as a whole starts in (a) the North West, (b) Wirral and (c) Wallasey.

Claimants who naturally migrate to Universal Credit will do so because they will have had a significant change in their circumstances which previously would have led to a new claim to another existing benefit. In these situations, it has always been the case that the assessment of their new benefit will be based on their new circumstances and under the rules of their new benefit without regard to their previous entitlement.

The Department has delivered a number of improvements to support claimants during their first assessment period, such as removing waiting days and paying those claimants moving from Housing Benefit to Universal Credit a two-week run-on. We are also introducing a two-week run-on for eligible claimants of Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance from July 2020.

Data surrounding Universal Credit caseload growth at national, regional and constituency level is published at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk

Guidance for users is available at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of trends in the level of administrative errors made processing applications during the roll-out of (a) universal credit and (b) personal independence payment in (i) the North West, (b) Wirral and (c) Wallasey.

National statistics are published yearly which provide an estimate of the value of benefit overpayments that result from fraud, claimant error and official error (administrative errors). I have copied below a link to the latest publication.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/801594/fraud-and-error-stats-release-2018-2019-estimates.pdf

Each application made to UC or PIP is judged on its own merit, taking into account the information provided by the claimant, and robust Quality Assurance Processes are in place to minimise administrative errors. When a claimant disagrees with the decision made there is a well-established process in place for this to be looked at again, when more information may be provided by the claimant.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on a claimant's (a) mental health and (b) financial situation of the roll-out of universal credit on people in receipt of the severe disability premium.

Universal Credit is simpler and fairer than the legacy system, is designed to target resources at those that need them most and to provide support for people who can’t work or need help moving towards the labour market. We have trained work coaches in how to support claimants with mental health conditions, and claimants who enquire about their Severe Disability Premium (SDP) transitional protections are connected with Specialised SDP Agents. Our work coaches all undertake a robust training process which includes a focus on health conditions and disabilities, how to tailor service delivery according to needs, and has specific content on requirement setting for people with mental health conditions.

A gateway was introduced from 16 January 2019 to prevent those claimants entitled to the SDP as part of their legacy benefit from claiming Universal Credit. Additionally, a commitment was made for monthly transitional payments to be made to eligible former SDP claimants who have already moved to Universal Credit due to a change in circumstances and to provide a lump sum arrears payment, where appropriate.

Positive progress has been made and caseload growth has now slowed, however, in the event a new case is discovered payments will be in place quickly. It is not possible to estimate when we will have paid everyone who is entitled as some people become entitled to these payments retrospectively, and therefore the caseload is not a fixed number.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the mental health of claimants during the assessment process for (a) personal independent payment, (b) employment and support allowance and (c) universal credit; and if she will make a statement.

We recognise that attending a Personal Independence Payment assessment or Work Capability Assessment for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance can be a stressful experience and that is why we do not carry out face-to-face assessments where there is enough existing evidence to determine benefit entitlement. Assessing claims on solely paper-based evidence avoids face-to-face assessments.

The assessment of mental, cognitive and intellectual function is an integral part of all these assessments and all Health Professionals have undergone comprehensive training in the functional assessment of disability and mental health conditions. Before attending a face-to-face assessment, claimants are given the opportunity to alert their assessment provider of any additional requirements they may have and the providers will meet any reasonable requests.

In addition, Mental Function Champions support Health Professionals by providing additional expertise about mental health, cognitive, developmental and learning disabilities and can be referred to at any time during the assessment process.

Furthermore, companions or advocates may play an active role in helping claimants answer questions where the claimant or Health Professional wishes them to do so. This may be particularly important where the claimant has a mental, cognitive or intellectual impairment.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants for (i) personal independent payment, (ii) employment and support allowance, (iii) universal credit in (a) Wallasey, (b) Wirral, (c) Merseyside and (d) the North West were transferred to the vulnerable persons team in each of the last 12 months.

I can confirm that the Department does not centrally hold the information requested.

DWP is committed to providing the best possible support for all our claimants, including the most vulnerable in society. We are continuously reviewing and improving the service for vulnerable people to ensure that it is accessible and responsive to their needs.

Specific training and guidance is provided for all staff on working with different vulnerable groups. This includes developing the skills they need to support and communicate with a diverse range of customers, and specific training is provided for working with different vulnerable groups.

DWP staff have access to information on services and support available in their local area for vulnerable claimants and will signpost claimants to national and local organisations who provide specialist support.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of people who have applied for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment to date were ineligible to receive that payment.

This information is not currently available as it is being collated from lower tier and unitary local authorities and centrally validated.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many parents who have had children told to self-isolate as a result of covid-19 have claimed a Test and Trace Support Payment in (a) the North West, (b) Wirral and (c) Wallasey constituency.

The information requested is not currently available as this data is being collated and validated.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department used consultants from Deloitte to draft answers to written parliamentary questions; how many answers were drafted by those persons; and what the associated cost to the public purse was.

The Department’s contract included a general clause for Deloitte to provide support in responding to Written Questions, Freedom of Information requests and media queries. They have not been directly responsible for drafting replies.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on implementing each of recommendations 1-9 inclusive of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review report entitled First Do No Harm, published on 8 July 2020; and if he will make a statement.

My Written Ministerial Statement of 11 January 2021 (HCWS692) updated hon. Members on current progress on each of the nine recommendations. The Government will respond in full to the report later this year.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the (a) efficacy of the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine on over 65s and (b) implications for his policies of Germany banning the vaccine for its over-65 population.

Current evidence for the AstraZeneca vaccine does not suggest a lack of protection against COVID-19 in people aged 65 years and over. The Department continues to work closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and its international counterparts to assess any new data on the use of all COVID-19 vaccines.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's policy is on the World Health Organization Charter on Health worker safety: a priority for patient safety, published on 17 September 2020.

Ensuring the safety of both health workers and patients is a priority for the Government, particularly during this unprecedented pandemic. The Secretary of State agreed on 21 September 2020 to sign up to the World Health Organization Charter on Health worker safety: a priority for patient safety. The charter is closely aligned with aims of the NHS People Plan 2020/21 published in July. The People Plan includes a specific commitment around looking after National Health Service staff in compassionate and inclusive environments and focuses on building resilience across the NHS workforce.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department regularly (a) monitors and (b) measures levels and trends in (i) mental health and (b) occupational health and safety among NHS health workers.

Trends in mental health and occupational health and safety of National Health Service workers are shared through self-reported data in the annual NHS staff survey. The survey includes questions on health and wellbeing and safety culture.

More information on the survey is available at the following link:

https://www.nhsstaffsurveys.com/Page/1056/Home/NHS-Staff-Survey-2020/

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on (a) the mental health of NHS staff (b) the effect of stress on NHS staff in (i) each year since 2015 and (ii) since the outbreak of covid-19.

The annual National Health Service staff survey enables an analysis of self-reported trends and can be tracked back to 2015. The survey collects data on health and wellbeing.

It includes the question ‘During the last 12 months have you felt unwell as a result of work-related stress?’. The response rates for the past five years are shown in the following table:

Year

% of staff responding ‘yes’

2015

37.10%

2016

36.80%

2017

38.40%

2018

39.90%

2019

40.30%


Data on NHS staff sickness absence is published by NHS Digital includes reporting on the reason for sickness absence dating back to 2015.

The following table shows the full time equivalent (FTE) days lost to mental health related absence for NHS Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) staff, for the period March to February in each year since 2015.

Period

FTE days lost due to mental health related reasons

Sickness absence rate for mental health related absence as a percentage of FTE days available

Sickness absence rate for mental health related absence as a percentage of FTE days lost due to all reasons

March 2015 to February 2016

3,264,151

0.80%

20.10%

March 2016 to February 2017

3,465,678

0.90%

20.70%

March 2017 to February 2018

3,759,543

0.90%

22.20%

March 2018 to February 2019

4,206,154

1.00%

24.10%

March 2019 to February 2020

4,820,335

1.10%

25.60%


Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, a significant health and wellbeing offer accessed over 500,000 times by NHS staff, has been developed to support the psychological and physical health of staff. The offer is kept under review and gathers intelligence from existing surveys and user experience.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what information his Department holds on the number of health care workers who have experienced breaches of their occupational health and safety during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department does not hold the information requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the (a) mental health and (b) occupational health and safety of health workers.

Supporting the mental health and occupational health and safety of health workers is a priority for the Government, particularly during this unprecedented pandemic. NHS England and NHS Improvement have put in place a comprehensive package of health and wellbeing services for National Health Service staff, including helplines for counselling and support and free access to well-being apps. The NHS People Plan published in July is focused on the wellbeing of the NHS workforce. This includes more comprehensive occupational health support and a £15 million investment into mental health hubs that will provide proactive outreach to overcome barriers to seeking help for frontline staff. The NHS also funds NHS Practitioner Health, which provides confidential mental health services for doctors and dentists.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment for self-isolating have (a) claimed and (b) received that payment in England; and what the total cost to the public purse has been of those payments.

We are working closely with all 314 lower tier and unitary local authorities to collate information on how the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is progressing, and will release information on the number of applications, number of successful applications and amounts paid out in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people are eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment for self-isolating in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey; and of those people so eligible how many of those people have (i) claimed and (ii) received that payment.

We are working closely with all 314 lower tier and unitary local authorities to collate information on how the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is progressing and will release information on the number of applications, number of successful applications and amounts paid out in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of women aged 15 to 45 years prescribed sodium valproate in the UK have received the pregnancy prevention programme.

The Department does not hold data on the proportion of women aged 15-45 who are prescribed sodium valproate in the United Kingdom and have received the Pregnancy Prevention Programme.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the GP to patient ratio for female patients aged from 15-45 years with epilepsy in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey constituency.

Data on the general practitioner (GP) to patient ratio for female patients between the ages of 15 to 45 years old with epilepsy is not available at national or regional levels. There is no recommendation for how many patients a GP should have as the demand each patient places on their GP is different and can be affected by various factors, including rurality and patient demographics. When considering the ratio of GPs to patients it is important to consider GPs as part of the wider multidisciplinary team. Getting the skills mix right in general practice is critical in addressing workload pressures as well as in delivering appropriate patient care.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to introduce a compensation and care plan for people affected by sodium valproate prescriptions.

The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review made a series of recommendations, contained in its report published 8 July 2020. Recommendation four included the establishment of a redress scheme for those suffering avoidable harm occurring after in utero exposure to sodium valproate. Recommendation five included the establish of specialist centres for those adversely affected by medication during pregnancy, including sodium valproate.

All recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review are being considered carefully and the Government will provide an update in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will update the quality outcome framework for epilepsy to include the pregnancy prevention program for valproate.

The Quality Outcomes Framework (QoF) indicator which focuses on epilepsy requires that General Medical Services (GMS) establish and maintain a register of patients aged 18 or over receiving drug treatment for epilepsy.

In July 2018, NHS England and NHS Improvement published the ‘Report of the Review of the Quality and Outcomes Framework in England. This identified a number of principles for the reform and update of QoF which NHS England and NHS Improvement are continuing to implement, including a focus upon quality improvement activities in areas where metric development is challenging, and upon an increased personalisation of care.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness of the potential health risks for women aged between 15-45 years who are prescribed sodium valproate.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has updated the patient information leaflets for all valproate-containing medicines to ensure women have access to the latest information on the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders in children born to women who took the medicine during pregnancy. A pictogram warning of the risks of use in pregnancy has been added to the outer packing of valproate medicines and a patient card is available to provide more detail on actions to take.

The documents that form the basis of the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Program, including a patient guide, have been made available electronically and disseminated as hard copies to doctors and pharmacists to support discussion of the risks with women. Healthcare professionals have been reminded of their responsibility to inform women taking valproate of the risks through letters from the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officers and Chief Pharmaceutical Officers and by articles in the MHRA’s electronic bulletin Drug Safety Update.

We are working with the Valproate Stakeholder Network to explore additional ways of improving the reach of regulatory communications through platforms in the healthcare and patient setting.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the scientific evidence base for the decision to close soft play centres in (a) tier 3 covid-19 local alert areas and (b) Liverpool city region during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has listened carefully to the views of the scientific community, the information from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and its sub-groups when taking decisions on the best way to tackle COVID-19.

Data and scientific advice informing the fight against COVID-19 are published on GOV.UK and specific relevant findings are shared in presentations accompanying significant policy announcements.

Unfortunately, we know that the virus spreads readily in indoor environments where members of different households and/or support bubbles spend time together. These restrictions do not single out restaurants, pubs or gyms but apply to a wide range of settings where the risk of transmission is high.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the scientific evidence base for the decision to close gyms and leisure centres in (a) tier 3 covid risk areas and (b) Liverpool city region during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has listened carefully to the views of the scientific community, the information from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and its sub-groups when taking decisions on the best way to tackle COVID-19.

Data and scientific advice informing the fight against COVID-19 are published on GOV.UK and specific relevant findings are shared in presentations accompanying significant policy announcements.

Unfortunately, we know that the virus spreads readily in indoor environments where members of different households and/or support bubbles spend time together. These restrictions do not single out restaurants, pubs or gyms but apply to a wide range of settings where the risk of transmission is high.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has adequate stock and future supply of remdesivir to help treat covid-19 patients.

Remdesivir has been granted a conditional marketing authorisation for use in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, pneumonia and on supplemental oxygen. NHS England and NHS Improvement have published an interim commissioning policy, which specifies the clinical criteria for use in the National Health Service. The United Kingdom is participating in a joint procurement for remdesivir that has been arranged by the European Commission and the NHS currently has sufficient stock for use in line with the published clinical criteria.

In addition to remdesivir, the corticosteroids dexamethasone and hydrocortisone have been proven through clinical trials to be effective treatments for patients with COVID-19. The UK has secured supplies of both drugs for use in COVID-19 and they are now routinely available to NHS patients.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the capacity is for (a) pillar I and (b) pillar II covid-19 tests in (i) the North West, (ii) Merseyside, (iii) Wirral and (iv) Wallasey constituency.

The Government does not publish this data in this format.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the availability of covid-19 tests in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool city region, (c) Merseyside, (d) Wirral and (e) Wallasey constituency; and if he will make a statement.

We are increasing our testing capacity, both through current swab testing and new, rapid lateral flow tests to cut the spread of COVID-19 nationwide.

The United Kingdom’s daily testing capacity passed the 500,000 mark on 31 October. Testing capacity in the UK across all pillars between 29 October and 4 November was at 4,367,049 tests, an increase of 21% compared to the previous week.

Our mass testing pilot in Liverpool continues and will help inform any future rollout of large-scale population testing. Any confirmed expansion will be announced in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have been available and what proportion of those tests have been used in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey constituency in each of the last five weeks for which data is available.

We do not publish data in the format requested. We publish data on the number of pillar 2 tests processed in each local authority weekly alongside the Test and Trace statistics publication on GOV.UK.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many positive covid-19 test results have been recorded from tests completed by mobile testing units based in (a) Wirral and (b) Wallasey.

We do not publish data by individual mobile testing units.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the maximum number of covid-19 tests is that can be completed per day by mobile covid-19 testing units in Wallasey.

We do not publish data by individual mobile testing units. All our mobile testing units currently have the capacity to process up to 500 tests a day.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have been (a) administered in person and (b) posted out to care homes in (i) Wirral and (ii) Wallasey; and how many of those tests posted out have been returned.

We do not hold data in this format.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's policy is for doctors who are contacted by the covid-19 contact tracers; and whether other healthcare professionals working in the same hospital will have to quarantine for 14 days in the event of such a contact.

People identified by NHS Test and Trace as having been in close contact with someone who has a positive test must stay at home for 14 days, even if they do not have symptoms, to minimise the risk that they unknowingly spread the virus. Only those who have had close, recent contact with someone who tests positive will be asked to self-isolate.

If someone who works in – or has recently visited – a health or social care setting, tests positive for COVID-19, their case will be escalated to local public health experts, who will liaise with the relevant setting to agree on the most appropriate action. If they were wearing appropriate personal protective equipment as part of their professional duties at the time of the contact, this will not count as a contact.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many care settings have applied for covid-19 tests through the gov.uk online portal in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region, (c) Wirral, (d) Wallasey, (e) the South East and (f) London.

We do not hold data in this format.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions his Department has had with Wirral Council on the implementation of the test and trace system for covid-19.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has appointed Minister Nadine Dorries to lead on engagement with local authorities, alongside Tom Riordan, Chief Executive of Leeds Council.

We have met with local authorities multiple times. Tom Riordan has held three calls with all local authority leaders, Chief Executives and Directors of Public Health, to which those from Wirral were invited to take part and ask questions. We also attend a Local Outbreak Planning National Advisory Board, chaired by the Chairman of the Local Government Association.

This is in addition to two calls with Local Resilience Forum (LRF) chairs, including representatives from Merseyside Resilience forum, the LRF that covers the Wirral.

We are looking to continue engaging regularly with all councils, including the Wirral.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the average mortality rate for covid-19 per 100,000 people is higher in Wirral than the average mortality rate in (a) North West of England and (b) the UK.

The variation in incidence and mortality rates between national, regional and upper tier local authority level is influenced by a range of factors including the epidemiology of the disease and risk factors such as demography and behaviour. Other local factors causing variability in the number of tests carried out can also affect the observed mortality rates. These factors include the number of people accessing testing, and the number of tests that are carried out in the investigation and control of local incidents and outbreaks.

Public Health England has published a rapid review to better understand how different factors such as ethnicity, deprivation, age, gender and obesity can impact on how people are affected by COVID-19. The Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 review can be viewed on the GOV.UK website at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-review-of-disparities-in-risks-and-outcomes

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that contact tracers for covid-19 have adequate training to appropriately deal with people with mental health issues and vulnerable adults.

All staff involved in contact tracing are required to undergo appropriate levels of accredited safeguarding training modules for adults and children.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contact tracers for covid-19 there are in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

Contract tracing is delivered through partnerships between Public Health England, NHS Professionals and commercial call handling companies, and the local authorities. The public health workforce for each local authority is a matter for them to determine and this varies according to the size of each authority.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason his Department has send replies to letters from Honorable Members from civil servants; and whether those letters were been seen by a Minister in his department before they are issued.

The Department is currently dealing with unprecedented volumes of correspondence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with approximately 22,000 cases received since the beginning of March, a threefold increase in cases compared to the same period last year.

The Department ensures that urgent cases raised by Members are prioritised and has taken steps to provide substantive responses in as short a time as possible.

All lines used to respond to correspondence are provided by the Department’s policy teams and the Ministerial Correspondence and Public Enquiry unit has daily contact with Ministers’ private offices. As a temporary measure, officials are sending replies with commonly used lines in line with Cabinet Office guidance.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the daily maximum capacity is for covid-19 tests in care homes.

We are issuing over 50,000 tests a day to care homes across the country, with the majority of these in high priority outbreak areas. Any symptomatic person can get a test and care homes with suspected positive cases will be able to access whole home testing via their local Health Protection Team.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons his Department awarded Deloitte a contract to help distribute covid-19 tests.

Deloitte provides vital services to the Department to support testing services and ensure that everyone who needs a test can get one. Deloitte has wide experience in project management and logistics which made them a sensible choice to deliver the contract. All contracts are awarded through a fair process.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have been wasted every day as a result of breakages in transit.

We do not hold data in this format.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the capacity for the number of swab tests is at each satellite testing centre for covid-19 in the Liverpool City Region area.

We do not publish data broken down by test site.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the satellite testing centre for covid-19 in Bidston, Wallasey is limited to 50 swab tests a day.

We have introduced satellite testing centres as both to expand overall test capacity and to provide a more agile and flexible method to complement the fixed regional testing centres.

The daily allocations given to each testing site across the testing network are determined by many factors, including expected demand, capacity and prioritisation of certain outbreak regions. From mid-July, the capacity of the satellite testing centre in Bidston, Wallasey site has increased to 150 tests a day.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has issued guidance to NHS trusts in the North West as a result of the increase of cases of covid-19 in that region.

The Public Health England (PHE) COVID-19 data dashboard includes data by upper tier local authority. As at 13 May, the COVID-19 incidence rate was 306.2 cases per 100,000 resident population for Liverpool, 353.9 per 100,000 for Wirral, and 248.7 per 100,000 for Manchester. Data from 31 January to 13 May 2020 show the COVID-19 cumulative incidence rate for the North West was 313.4 cases per 100,000 resident population. This is lower than the North East, although higher than other regions. The PHE COVID-19 Dashboard is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support his Department is providing to NHS trusts in the North West to tackle the increase in cases of covid-19 in that region.

The North West runs a robust process, led by the Regional Medical Director, working with three critical care networks in the region ensuring trusts in the region have access to all the appropriate resources to manage patient care.

Additional capacity has been established within each trust to ensure that there is capacity and capability for the increase of patients with COVID-19 requiring care including oxygen therapy, non-invasive ventilatory support and mechanical ventilation.

Trusts, through their critical care network, have requested additional equipment from the national team where a need has been identified, to ensure each is well supplied and able to support the changing needs of the situation.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with Local Resilience Forums in the North West about the reasons for the North West having the highest reported incidences of cases of covid-19.

The Public Health England (PHE) COVID-19 data dashboard includes data by upper tier local authority. As at 13 May, the COVID-19 incidence rate was 306.2 cases per 100,000 resident population for Liverpool, 353.9 per 100,000 for Wirral, and 248.7 per 100,000 for Manchester. Data from 31 January to 13 May 2020 show the COVID-19 cumulative incidence rate for the North West was 313.4 cases per 100,000 resident population. This is lower than the North East, although higher than other regions. The PHE COVID-19 Dashboard is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of covid-19 cases in (a) Liverpool, (b) Wirral and (c) Manchester.

The Public Health England (PHE) COVID-19 data dashboard includes data by upper tier local authority. As at 13 May, the COVID-19 incidence rate was 306.2 cases per 100,000 resident population for Liverpool, 353.9 per 100,000 for Wirral, and 248.7 per 100,000 for Manchester. Data from 31 January to 13 May 2020 show the COVID-19 cumulative incidence rate for the North West was 313.4 cases per 100,000 resident population. This is lower than the North East, although higher than other regions. The PHE COVID-19 Dashboard is available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to provide PPE for (a) dentists and (b) dental hygienists who have to see patients face-to-face during the covid-19 outbreak.

Dentists normally purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) through dental wholesale suppliers. However, for PPE which is needed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has made supplies available free of charge for National Health Service dental contractors. A dedicated PPE portal has been developed to deliver these items. As of 4 November, over 5,100 NHS dental and orthodontic providers in England have registered with the PPE portal and over 36 million items have been delivered.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with private healthcare providers in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside and (c) Wirral on the NHS requisitioning private beds for use during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the independent sector on a national basis to increase capacity and resource within the National Health Service, adding around 8,000 beds and 20,000 clinical staff. This will ensure that more facilities across England are available for patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Under the agreement, the independent sector will be reimbursed at cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department will take steps for pharmacists who are dealing with members of the public to be issued protective clothing and equipment.

Packs of personal protective equipment (PPE) have now been delivered to community pharmacies by DPD. This began on 13 March 2020; and deliveries were completed on 17 March 2020. These packs are only for use by pharmacy staff in line with the standard operating procedure for community pharmacy, and contain masks, aprons and gloves.

If pharmacies have not received their PPE packs, or if the pack delivered is incomplete, they can contact the National Supply Disruption Service.

Should community pharmacies require further PPE supplies, they can order this through their wholesalers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many additional critical care beds the NHS has made available in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region, (c) Merseyside and (d) Wirral since the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Health Service is scaling up the number of intensive care beds. There are currently 3,771 critical care beds in the NHS in England. As part of the readiness for the likely influx of more COVID-19 patients, the NHS is taking concerted action to free up to a third of its 100,000 general and acute beds.

In addition, NHS England has agreed a major deal with the nation’s independent hospitals. The deal – the first of its kind ever - includes the provision of 8,000 hospital beds across England and nearly 1,200 more ventilators.

A new temporary hospital - the NHS Nightingale hospital – will open at the Excel Centre in London next week. It will have capacity for 4,000 people.

Two new temporary hospitals will be set up at Birmingham's NEC and the Manchester conference centre and will be ready next month.

The NHS is making sure that not just overall hospital beds but particularly intensive care beds, operating theatres, recovery bays being repurposed, mechanical ventilation and other facilities across the hospital sector are expanded to the greatest possible extent so that the NHS can do all it possibly can.

Data on the number of critical care beds made available in the North West, Liverpool City Region, Merseyside and Wirral since the COVID-19 outbreak is not currently available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust on tackling covid-19.

The Government is doing everything it can to tackle the pandemic and mitigate its impact. The Department is supporting the National Health Service so that it can help those who need it the most.

The Chancellor has also set out a package of targeted measures which include a £5 billion emergency response fund to support the NHS and other public services. He has since reiterated that whatever resources the NHS needs, it will get.

The NHS works very closely with NHS foundation trusts across England to enact these measures.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce waiting times for treatment at gender identity clinics.

In 2018 NHS England published two new service specifications for adult gender identity services, formed through a process of extensive stakeholder engagement and public consultation. NHS England and NHS Improvement have now completed several procurements to identify which organisations are best placed for future delivery of these services.

In addition, NHS England will pilot new gender dysphoria services for adults in 2020/21 in a number of localities across England, following which national rollout will be considered. The first of the new services will be established in London at a National Health Service HIV and sexual health clinic in Soho, the planned ‘go live’ date is April 2020.

These new services will increase the number of patients that are able to access specialised services and reduce waiting times.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequate provision of intensive care beds in the event of an outbreak of covid-19 in (a) Merseyside, (b) Wirral and (c) Wallasey.

It is the Government’s priority that the National Health Service has appropriate equipment to respond to COVID-19, this includes the provision of intensive care beds. The Department working closely with NHS England and the devolved administrations to ensure this. The Government is monitoring the situation closely and are creating plans with the NHS for an increase in the cases of COVID-19.

The NHS remains prepared to respond to high consequence infectious diseases, including the response to the current outbreak of Covid-19. The NHS has tried and tested procedures to respond to infectious disease outbreaks many of which are used each year for seasonal flu.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have used the 111 service in (a) Merseyside (b) Wirral and (c) Wallasey constituency in each of the last six months.

The data is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the ability of the (a) Care Quality Commission and (b) NHS Counter Fraud Authority to take action against companies that charge NHS Trusts for contracted support hours that individuals do not receive.

The Care Quality Commission’s remit focuses on the quality of care provided to people that use services. Its remit does not extend to identifying and tackling fraud against National Health Service providers. However, should it identify any fraudulent activity whether during an inspection, via wider monitoring of services, or via members of the public, it would notify the responsible organisation, including the NHS Counter Fraud Authority.

Where information is received by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority raising a suspicion of fraud committed by those providing contracted services to or on behalf of the NHS, where appropriate, a criminal investigation will be undertaken and prosecution of those suspected of committing fraud sought. Any abuse of systems to perpetrate fraud are reviewed by the NHS Counter Fraud Authority to inform the development of future prevention measures.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve early diagnosis of genetic haemochromatosis.

Steps to improve diagnosis of rare conditions, including genetic haemochromatosis, are being taken through the implementation of the of the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases, available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rare-diseases-strategy

The Genomic Medicine Service is supported by the National Genomic Test Directory which specifies the genomic tests that are commissioned by the National Health Service in England. Genetic haemochromatosis is included in the Test Directory.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many bed spaces are available for patients who have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in each region.

This information is not available in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) nurses and (b) other healthcare professionals were displaced as a result of the quarantine of Wuhan evacuees at an accommodation block at Arrowe Park hospital.

The World Health Organization has declared the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. To ensure the safety of those returning from Wuhan, plus the rest of the United Kingdom population, an isolation facility was required. We are extremely grateful that a small number of staff have vacated their staff accommodation to help their fellow UK citizens leave the epicentre of this outbreak. We have ensured that they have excellent quality alternative accommodation during this temporary period and remain in touch with them throughout.

This vacation of staff accommodation has not impacted upon the operations of Arrowe Park Hospital. All services within the hospital are continuing to run as usual, including emergency services, outpatients and planned surgery.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date the decision was made to quarantine citizens that have been repatriated from Wuhan at Arrowe Park Hospital; what criteria his Department used to make that decision; and if he will make a statement.

We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures in response to the outbreak of coronavirus in China, acting at all times on the clinical advice of the Chief Medical Officer and national experts in the treatment of infectious diseases.

A Ministerial decision was taken on supported isolation, based on advice by PHE, on 29 January.

Arrowe Park Hospital was chosen because it offers appropriate accommodation and other facilities for those coming back from Wuhan.

It also allows the health of those in the group to be regularly monitored and has the necessary medical facilities close at hand should they be required.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the cost to the public purse is of quarantining citizens that have been repatriated from Wuhan at Arrowe Park Hospital.

The Government has responded to the Wuhan coronavirus by putting in place protocols to protect the United Kingdom, and will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

It is too early to know the final cost to the public purse associated with placing citizens returning from Wuhan in supported isolation at Arrowe Park Hospital.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to allocate additional funding to (a) Wirral Council and (b) Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust for quarantining citizens that have been repatriated from Wuhan.

We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures in response to the outbreak of coronavirus in China, acting at all times on the clinical advice of the Chief Medical Officer and national experts in the treatment of infectious diseases.

It is too early to know the final cost to the public purse associated with placing citizens returning from Wuhan in supported isolation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason the hon. Member for Wallasey was not informed in advance of the decision to quarantine citizens flying back from Wuhan in an accommodation block at Arrowe Park hospital.

The priority was to contact the hon. Member for Wirral West (Margaret Greenwood MP), where Arrowe Park Hospital is located, and she was informed in advance about the decision to place returnees in supported isolation.

Due to fast moving circumstances and the need to prioritise the protection of the public and those being evacuated, contact was made with all Wirral MPs subsequently.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

This information is not collected centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate NHS England has made of the number of linear accelerator radiotherapy machines in use at NHS hospitals in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside and (c) Wirral that have exceeded the recommended 10 year lifespan.

NHS England produced a stocktake, which included age, of linear accelerators in full clinical use in 2016 as part of the Equipment Modernisation programme, which enabled 80 machines to be replaced or upgraded. Further work to update this stocktake is underway to reflect both the impact of the Equipment Modernisation programme and any local changes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the level of unmet demand for adult social care in each of the last 10 years in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool city region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

The Government has made no such assessment. It is the responsibility of local authorities to commission social care services to meet the needs of people in their areas.

The Government has enshrined in legislation, through the Care Act 2014, that local authorities have a statutory responsibility to meet the eligible needs of people in their area.

Social care is a key priority which is why the Government has given councils access to up to £1.5 billion more dedicated funding for social care next year.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with health professionals to ensure that gay and bisexual men in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey have access to places on the PrEP Impact Trial.

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is currently provided in England through the three-year PrEP Impact Trial. Participation in the trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide the number of allocated places they can accept. The Department has held no discussions with health professionals in the North West, Liverpool City Region, Wirral and Wallasey regarding access to places on the Trial.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much has been spent from the public purse on substance misuse services in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

Reported spend on substance misuse services by local authorities in the Public Health England North West Centre area, Liverpool City region and the Wirral from 2013/14 to 2018/19 are shown in attached tables. Spend on these services was not reported in this way prior to 2013/14.

Data is not available for the Wallasey area because it is not collected at parliamentary constituency level.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much funding has been allocated from the public purse to children’s mental health services in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

This information is not held centrally.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce GP waiting times in Wallasey.

The Government wants everyone to be able to access a primary care professional when they need to. The actions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan, backed by the extra £4.5 billion of investment in primary and community care by 2023/24, and the five-year contract framework for general practice, are already being implemented and will build the general practice workforce and improve access to primary care services. The Government is creating an extra 50 million general practice appointments a year within the next five years and is committed to growing the workforce by 6,000 more doctors in general practice and increasing the skills mix with 6,000 more primary care professionals.

Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has advised that general practice services are available between 8am and 8pm seven days a week at 27 sites across the Wirral through its Enhanced Access service. A range of healthcare professionals are available for patients to see including general practitioners, nurse prescribers, physician associates and clinical pharmacists. The CCG has advised this service provides an additional 45 appointments per 1,000 patients per week on top of the individual practices’ appointment capacity per week.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients at A&E at Arrowe Park Hospital have had to wait over four hours to be seen in each of the last five years.

The information is not available in the format requested. Data is collected at trust level.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the budget was for Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in each of the last 10 years.

National Health Service providers (NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts) fund their spending from income mostly received from NHS commissioners in return for the provision of healthcare services to their local population, and therefore do not have an annual budget.

Reported income for the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in the years requested is shown in the following table.

Financial Year

Operating income from patient care activities (£000)

Other operating income (£000)

Total operating income (£0000)

2018-19

161,240

10,286

171,526

2017-18

153,709

9,529

163,238

2016-17

153,921

8,615

162,536

2015-16

153,964

7,624

161,588

2014-15

146,830

8,163

154,993

2013-14

147,355

5,261

152,616

2012-13

154,921

6,482

161,403

2011-12

152,844

7,175

160,019

2010-11

127,150

7,131

134,281

2009-10

123,683

7,522

131,205

Source: Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust published annual report and accounts, 2009-10 to 2018-19.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) medical support his Department plans to provide to vulnerable UK nationals stranded abroad as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides information and advice for those requiring financial assistance abroad, including as a last resort a repatriation loan: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-assistance-abroad/financial-assistance-abroad.

We urge British people who require medical assistance while abroad to check the specific travel advice page.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

The titles of the reviews currently being undertaken by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are not held centrally and to compile this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the number of businesses who were aware that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme could also be used to cover self-isolation of employees.

No such estimate has been made.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not to be used simply because of short-term absences from work due to sickness or self-isolation.

Where an employee is on sick leave or self-isolating as a result of coronavirus, the rules in relation to Statutory Sick Pay apply.

Conversely, an employee is eligible for CJRS if they are unable to work because they are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or are in the equivalent highest-risk group for severe illness from coronavirus, and following the public health guidance.

These rules have been in place and clearly reflected in all versions of the guidance, since March 2020.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of businesses that did not claim for self-isolating employees on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (b) savings were to the public purse as a result of those non-claims.

The information requested is not available.

HM Revenue and Customs neither collect nor hold data on the reasons that eligible employers make claims through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not to be used simply because of short-term absences from work due to sickness or self-isolation.

Where an employee is on sick leave or self-isolating as a result of coronavirus, the rules in relation to Statutory Sick Pay apply.

Conversely, an employee is eligible for CJRS if they are unable to work because they are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or are in the equivalent highest-risk group for severe illness from coronavirus, and following the public health guidance.

These rules have been in place and clearly reflected in all versions of the guidance, since March 2020.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of businesses who claimed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cover self-isolation of employees with covid-19.

The information requested is not available.

HM Revenue and Customs neither collect nor hold data on the reasons that eligible employers make claims through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not to be used simply because of short-term absences from work due to sickness or self-isolation.

Where an employee is on sick leave or self-isolating as a result of coronavirus, the rules in relation to Statutory Sick Pay apply.

Conversely, an employee is eligible for CJRS if they are unable to work because they are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or are in the equivalent highest-risk group for severe illness from coronavirus, and following the public health guidance.

These rules have been in place and clearly reflected in all versions of the guidance, since March 2020.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason his Department did not widely publicise that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme could be used by employees who were self-isolating due to covid-19.

It has always been clear that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is designed to protect jobs. HMRC guidance has been clear from the start that the scheme is not intended for short term absences from work due to sickness, and self-isolation should not be a consideration for employers when deciding if they should furlough an employee. The Government has specific, separate support in place for those self-isolating and has always been clear that businesses should support staff who are self isolating to work at home where possible.

An extensive support package is in place for those self-isolating due to coronavirus including help for those on low incomes through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, where eligible individuals unable to work from home can receive a £500 one off payment, as well as Statutory Sick Pay being payable from Day 1. If an employer wants to furlough an employee for business reasons and they are currently off sick, then they are eligible to do so as with other employees. This has been set out in guidance since April last year.

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he had with officials in his Department on the potential merits of expanding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to include people who are self-isolating.

It has always been clear that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is designed to protect jobs. HMRC guidance has been clear from the start that the scheme is not intended for short term absences from work due to sickness, and self-isolation should not be a consideration for employers when deciding if they should furlough an employee. The Government has specific, separate support in place for those self-isolating and has always been clear that businesses should support staff who are self isolating to work at home where possible.

An extensive support package is in place for those self-isolating due to coronavirus including help for those on low incomes through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, where eligible individuals unable to work from home can receive a £500 one off payment, as well as Statutory Sick Pay being payable from Day 1. If an employer wants to furlough an employee for business reasons and they are currently off sick, then they are eligible to do so as with other employees. This has been set out in guidance since April last year.

13th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he had any discussions with the Bank of England on the potential to grant Greensill Capital access to its Covid Corporate Financing Facility.

In the context of discussions about Covid support schemes, the Bank, as operators of the CCFF, were informed that HM Treasury were not minded to adjust the scheme to include supply chain finance.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the minutes of the meetings held between officials in his Department and Greensill Capital; and whether there were any meetings that took place that were not minuted and for what reason.

HM Treasury has released a range of information relating to this matter both proactively and in response to FOI requests including details of meetings held between Greensill and HM Treasury senior officials between April – June 2020.

Links to these releases can be found online: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hm-treasury-greensill-meetings and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/response-to-a-freedom-of-information-request-on-greensill

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions his Department had with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the decision to make Greensill Capital an accredited lender under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

There is a robust accreditation process in place for lenders seeking to lend through the coronavirus business lending schemes. This process is run independently by the British Business Bank (BBB), which is an arms-length body of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

HM Treasury’s only role in the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) accreditation process is where lenders are seeking to make individuals loans of over £50 million, given the significant exposure such loans would represent to the taxpayer.

In order to lend at this level under CLBILS, lenders were required to complete an enhanced accreditation process via the BBB. This additional accreditation was generally restricted to lenders supervised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and approved for internal risk-based modelling, as the government (and the regulators) have confidence in the oversight of these lenders and their track record of business lending at this scale.

Once this additional accreditation process had been completed, if the BBB were prepared to accredit lenders to make loans over £50 million they would approach HM Treasury for a go/no-go decision on providing that lender with the enhanced accreditation. HM Treasury was not approached on this basis in relation to Greensill.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people in Wallasey have been furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in each month since the introduction of that scheme.

It is not possible to answer directly the question as data on the number of people furloughed whose jobs have been supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is not available. However, data is available for the number of employments furloughed with the support of the CJRS (a person may have multiple employments). Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published statistics about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 21 August 2020, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-august-2020.

These statistics are the latest available to include figures for the number of jobs furloughed in local areas, and include the total number of jobs furloughed at any time in the Wallasey constituency. They also include figures for the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. The number of jobs furloughed by Parliamentary constituency is not available for each month. The production of the figures depends on the matching of employment level CJRS data to other data held by HMRC. For records where this has been possible, the release reports that a cumulative total of 11,200 jobs had been furloughed under CJRS for employees living in Wallasey. This figure is based on claims received to 31 July and covers all jobs supported by the CJRS up to the end of June (when the scheme closed to claims for employments not already furloughed).

The next release of these statistics will provide data on the number of jobs furloughed by Parliamentary constituency at 31 August. This is due to be published on 22 October. More information on this release can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/announcements/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-october-2020.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the long term financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on (a) women, (b) BAME workers, (c) self employed workers and (d) gig economy workers.

It is too early to assess the long-term financial impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on individual groups, but the Government recognises the challenges that the current crisis is posing to all groups in society, including the most vulnerable.

The Government has delivered an unprecedented package of support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, and increases to Universal Credit. This has helped protect incomes, jobs, and support those most in need.

The Government remains committed to supporting the lowest-paid workers and helping unemployed people go back into work, and the Government is continuing to review what can be done to support those most vulnerable to job loss and to aid the UK’s economic recovery.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

The Treasury is currently undertaking the following formal reviews on matters of public policy or delivery:

  • A review of the Economics of Biodiversity
  • A review of the Costs of Net Zero
  • The Infrastructure Finance Review
  • A review and evaluation of the Financial Advice Market (joint review with the FCA)
  • The Financial Services Future Regulatory Framework Review
  • The Payments Landscape Review
  • A review of s.272 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
  • The National Security and Listings Project
  • A review of the rules for the Innovative Finance ISA
  • A review of the tapered annual allowance in the context of the NHS and other public services
  • A review of off-payroll working rules
Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the backlog of correspondence at HM Passport Office on the adequacy of help for correspondents; what strategy is in place to clear that backlog; and what discretion will be in place for people who have been affected by that backlog.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office will always endeavour to ensure that correspondence is handled in a timely manner, however there are currently high levels of contact which is causing some delays. In light of this, a triage process is in place to support those with the most urgent needs. We are working to recruit additional staff to deal with enquiries, alongside using other contingency measures, such as overtime.

For those who need a British passport urgently on compassionate grounds they should continue to call the Passport Adviceline.

A British passport will not be issued until all checks have been satisfactorily completed, however passport applications continue to be typically processed well within the published guidance of up to ten weeks.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking with Cabinet colleagues to improve conviction rates in cases of fraud.

The Government recognises that to improve conviction rates, there needs to be an increased pipeline of cases under investigation. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Service (HMICFRS) carried out an inspection of the police response to fraud in 2019. The review found that significant improvements are required to ensure the model works more effectively and efficiently, including the need for a much more co-ordinated national approach with clear roles and responsibilities.

In August 2021, a follow up review from the HMICFRS established that the majority of their initial recommendations had been met, citing improvements across numerous areas of the law enforcement response. Despite this, we know that more needs to be done to ensure law enforcement has the capacity and capability to respond effectively to fraud. We will continue to work with partners to act on outstanding HMICFRS recommendations and improve the law enforcement response at all levels moving forward.

We are also considering all routes, including legislation, to ensure that law enforcement have all the tools they need to go after fraudsters and crucially to protect those who are vulnerable to these harmful crimes

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of abolishing the No Recourse to Public Funds condition.

The principle of No Recourse Public Funds (NRPF) was established as far back as 1971 and is a condition which successive governments have applied to those in the UK with temporary immigration status. Migrants here without lawful status are also subject to NRPF.

NRPF restrictions are an important part of immigration policy designed to assure the public that controlled immigration brings real benefits to the UK, and does not place excessive demands upon the UK’s finite resources. We have no plans to lift or abolish the NRPF condition and have made no estimates of the cost of doing so.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an estimate of the cost to the public purse of removing the No Recourse to Public Funds condition from all people currently subject to that condition.

The principle of No Recourse Public Funds (NRPF) was established as far back as 1971 and is a condition which successive governments have applied to those in the UK with temporary immigration status. Migrants here without lawful status are also subject to NRPF.

NRPF restrictions are an important part of immigration policy designed to assure the public that controlled immigration brings real benefits to the UK, and does not place excessive demands upon the UK’s finite resources. We have no plans to lift or abolish the NRPF condition and have made no estimates of the cost of doing so.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department has issued to police forces on the safe detention of people accused of a crime who are displaying symptoms of covid-19.

The Home Office are in regular contact with the National Police Chiefs' Counsel (NPCC) and other key stakeholders regarding custody related matters. The NPCC have circulated guidance for all police forces in order for them to safely manage their custody suites with respect to their detainees, staff and visitors.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to answer Question 4307 tabled on 16 January 2020.

The response for UIN 4307 was given on 26th June 2020.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to answer Question 4306 tabled on 16 January 2020.

The response for UIN 4306 was given on 26th June 2020.

31st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to allocate additional funding to Merseyside police to tackle the safety implications of quarantining citizens flying back from Wuhan at Arrowe Park hospital.

Merseyside Police could submit a claim for additional costs incurred from policing an unexpected and exceptional event within their area in the form of an application for Special Grant, provided it meets the relevant criteria of threatening the financial stability of the police force and their capacity to deliver effective policing and/or the additional costs equal or exceed 1% of the force’s budget.

As set out in the police funding settlement for 2020/21, Merseyside Police will receive up to £359.4m in funding next year, if the Police and Crime Commissioner chooses to increase their precept flexibility. This is an increase of up to £27.1m on 2019/20.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the titles of the reviews that her Department is undertaking.

The titles of the reviews that the Department is currently undertaking are:(see attached table)

Review

Date Started

Expected Completion

Review of Cannabis-based products for Medicinal Use in Humans

February 2020

End of 2020

Urgent review of the classification of GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyric acid) and GBL (gamma-butyrolactone) and closely related compounds under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the scheduling of both drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001

January 2020

Autumn 2020

Independent review of the statutory multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA). Jointly with Ministry of Justice.

January 2020

The review has been completed and will be published shortly

Review of the support services provided to Victims of Terrorism

The review has not yet commenced

Independent Review of Prevent

August 2019

August 2021[1]

Roads Policing Review

July 2019

July 2021

Law Commission Review into Hate Crime legislation (jointly commissioned with Ministry of Justice)

October 2018

Independent Review of the Border, Immigration and Citizenship System (BICS)

August 2019

Summer 2020

Coercive or Controlling Behaviour Offence – Review of Effectiveness

Summer 2019

Autumn 2020

Review of the overall response to migrant victims of domestic abuse

July 2019

The evidence gathering phase of the review has been completed. We aim to set out our conclusions before Commons Report stage.

Review of Pre-Charge Bail.

November 2019

Summer 2021

Review of the Health Measures at the Border

June 2020

29 June 2020

Air Weapons Review

October 2017

Summer 2020

Independent review of Serious and Organised Crime

November 2019

The review has been completed and the Government is considering its recommendations

Rape Review (jointly with Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Office)

March 2019

Independent Review of Drugs

February 2019

Part 1 completed and published 27 February. DHSC commissioned a further (Part 2) drugs review of prevention, treatment and recovery, which is shortly to be launched.

[1] The Counter Terrorism and Sentencing Bill which was introduced on 20 May 2020 seeks to remove the current statutory deadline for the completion of the Independent Review of Prevent (August 2020) as set out in the Counter Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress she is making on the recruitment of new frontline police officers in Merseyside.

In October 2019 Home Office confirmed officer allocations for every force in England and Wales in the first year of the uplift. The Home Office is working with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to support all forces deliver these allocations.

Merseyside Police has been allocated 200 officers in year 1 of the uplift. Merseyside Police will receive up to £359.4m in funding in 2020/21 an increase of up to £27.1m on 2019/20, and of up to £46.8m compared to 2018/19.

The Home Office publishes the statistical series 'Police workforce, England and Wales' on a biannual basis. The next publication is scheduled for release on Thursday 30 January and will contain information on the number of officers in post as at 30 September 2019. Data on joiners and leavers are published annually, in the July release of the bulletin, which covers the situation as at 31 March.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-announces-first-wave-of-20000-police-officer-uplift

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much additional funding from the public purse will be allocated to Merseyside Police for (a) training and (b) recruitment; and how many additional police officers will be recruited to Merseyside Police in each of the next five years.

In October 2019 Home Office confirmed officer allocations for every force in England and Wales in the first year of the uplift. The Home Office is working with the National Police Chiefs’ Council to support all forces deliver these allocations.

Merseyside Police has been allocated 200 officers in year 1 of the uplift. Merseyside Police will receive up to £359.4m in funding in 2020/21 an increase of up to £27.1m on 2019/20, and of up to £46.8m compared to 2018/19.

The Home Office publishes the statistical series 'Police workforce, England and Wales' on a biannual basis. The next publication is scheduled for release on Thursday 30 January and will contain information on the number of officers in post as at 30 September 2019. Data on joiners and leavers are published annually, in the July release of the bulletin, which covers the situation as at 31 March.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-announces-first-wave-of-20000-police-officer-uplift

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many extradition requests were made by the USA to the UK during the period 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2019, and of these requests (a) the nationality of the defendant for each extradition request (b) the number of successful extraditions by the nationality of the defendant and (c) the number of rejected requests by the nationality of the defendant.

As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, we do not disclose whether an extradition request has been made or received until such time as a person is arrested in relation to the request. We therefore cannot provide the total number of extradition requests made by the UK to the USA or vice versa.

We can, however, provide the figures for both successful and unsuccessful extradition requests. These can only be provided from 2016 because before then the nationality in extradition requests was not regularly centrally recorded in all cases.

Requests from US to UK – successful

Nationality

Number

British

11

American

8

Romanian

3

Nigerian

2

Italian

1

Lithuanian

1

Latvian

1

British / American

1

Colombian

1

Egyptian

1

Ukrainian

1

German

1

Irish

1

Dutch

1

Somali

1

Pakistani

1

Total

36

Requests from US to UK – unsuccessful

Nationality

Number

British

2

Total

2

Requests from UK to USA – successful

Nationality

Number

British

5

American

3

Nigerian

1

Italian

1

Chinese

1

British / Montenegrin

1

Ghanaian

1

Indian / American

1

Total

14

There has only been one unsuccessful request from the UK to the USA.

Please note that “unsuccessful” requests include those refused by the court.

All figures are from local management information and have not been quality assured to the level of published National Statistics. As such they should be treated as provisional and therefore subject to change. The figures do not include Scotland, which deals with its own extradition cases.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many extradition requests were made by the UK to the USA during the period 1 January 2004 to 31 December 2019; and of those requests (a) what the nationality was of the defendant for each extradition request, (b) how many extraditions requests were successful, by the nationality of the defendant and (c) how many extradition requests were rejected, by the nationality of the defendant.

As a matter of long-standing policy and practice, we do not disclose whether an extradition request has been made or received until such time as a person is arrested in relation to the request. We therefore cannot provide the total number of extradition requests made by the UK to the USA or vice versa.

We can, however, provide the figures for both successful and unsuccessful extradition requests. These can only be provided from 2016 because before then the nationality in extradition requests was not regularly centrally recorded in all cases.

Requests from US to UK – successful

Nationality

Number

British

11

American

8

Romanian

3

Nigerian

2

Italian

1

Lithuanian

1

Latvian

1

British / American

1

Colombian

1

Egyptian

1

Ukrainian

1

German

1

Irish

1

Dutch

1

Somali

1

Pakistani

1

Total

36

Requests from US to UK – unsuccessful

Nationality

Number

British

2

Total

2

Requests from UK to USA – successful

Nationality

Number

British

5

American

3

Nigerian

1

Italian

1

Chinese

1

British / Montenegrin

1

Ghanaian

1

Indian / American

1

Total

14

There has only been one unsuccessful request from the UK to the USA.

Please note that “unsuccessful” requests include those refused by the court.

All figures are from local management information and have not been quality assured to the level of published National Statistics. As such they should be treated as provisional and therefore subject to change. The figures do not include Scotland, which deals with its own extradition cases.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to honour veterans affected by nuclear tests in Britain.

The Government continues to be grateful to veterans who participated in the Nuclear Test Programme. The recent review by the independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee into the case for medallic recognition concluded it did not meet the level of risk and rigour generally required for the award of a campaign medal. This in no way diminishes the contribution of veterans.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason veterans whose spouse qualifies for a war pension are not automatically eligible for an Elizabeth cross medal.

The Government continues to recognise and be grateful to all Service personnel who participated in the British nuclear testing programme, including Mr Eric Denson. They contributed to keeping our nation secure during the Cold War and since, ensuring that the United Kingdom was equipped with an appropriate nuclear capability.

On 16 March 2021, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) advised Mr Denson’s widow of the outcome of her application for the Elizabeth Cross in respect of her late husband.

The delay in providing this response was due to the impact of COVID-19 on the working arrangements of Departmental officials, and, in particular, the ability to access Mr Denson’s Service records from almost fifty years ago, which exist in hard copy only. Mr Denson’s widow was advised that there would be a delay in considering her application.

There is no correlation between being awarded a pension under the War Pension Scheme and the criteria for the Elizabeth Cross. The Elizabeth Cross is granted to the next of kin of Service personnel who have died since 1 January 1948 on medal earning operations, as a result of an act of terrorism or on a non-medal earning operational task where death has been caused by the inherent high risk of the task. A claim considered before 6 April 2005 under the War Pensions Scheme required the award of a pension to be made unless it could be shown beyond reasonable doubt that Service had played no part in an illness or death.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress his Department has made in awarding Eric Denson, a British veteran affected by nuclear testing, the Elizabeth Cross.

The Government continues to recognise and be grateful to all Service personnel who participated in the British nuclear testing programme, including Mr Eric Denson. They contributed to keeping our nation secure during the Cold War and since, ensuring that the United Kingdom was equipped with an appropriate nuclear capability.

On 16 March 2021, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) advised Mr Denson’s widow of the outcome of her application for the Elizabeth Cross in respect of her late husband.

The delay in providing this response was due to the impact of COVID-19 on the working arrangements of Departmental officials, and, in particular, the ability to access Mr Denson’s Service records from almost fifty years ago, which exist in hard copy only. Mr Denson’s widow was advised that there would be a delay in considering her application.

There is no correlation between being awarded a pension under the War Pension Scheme and the criteria for the Elizabeth Cross. The Elizabeth Cross is granted to the next of kin of Service personnel who have died since 1 January 1948 on medal earning operations, as a result of an act of terrorism or on a non-medal earning operational task where death has been caused by the inherent high risk of the task. A claim considered before 6 April 2005 under the War Pensions Scheme required the award of a pension to be made unless it could be shown beyond reasonable doubt that Service had played no part in an illness or death.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

The Ministry of Defence constantly reviews its processes and structures to ensure effective operation across the organisation. Our cross-Government Integrated Security, Defence and Foreign Policy Review has already been announced by the Prime Minister. In addition to this, "Reserve Forces 2030: A Review of the Reserve Service" is also underway and is examining how Reserves can best contribute to Defence and wider HMG objectives by 2030.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to take steps to increase the public land available for community gardening projects in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

The Government is taking a number of steps to ensure land is available for community needs such as community gardens. The National Planning Policy Framework already makes clear that planning policies and decisions should aim to achieve healthy, inclusive and safe places which enable and support healthy lifestyles, especially where this would address identified health and wellbeing needs, for example through the provision of safe and accessible green infrastructure. The Government has also recently sought views on the draft the National Model Design Code, and supporting Guidance Notes which sets out how local design codes may specify levels of green infrastructure provision, including allotments and community gardens.

In addition to this, land can also be designated as Local Green Space through local and neighbourhood plans which allows communities to identify and protect green areas of particular importance to them. Designating land is a matter for local discretion, but the Government has set out in guidance that this could include green areas such as allotments.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department plans to take steps to increase the public land available for community gardening projects in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason his Department changed the funding allocation formula for local authorities during the covid-19 outbreak from the cost of social care needs to population figures.

MHCLG continues to work closely with local authorities to manage the impacts of Covid-19 on the most vulnerable in our society.

We are supporting authorities in the fight against coronavirus with over £3.2 billion of additional funding. Our engagement with local councils and latest assessment shows that Covid-19 pressures are not necessarily related to pre-existing needs.? The per capita allocation for the second wave of funding represents a fair and balanced response to the national effort in tackling?coronavirus. Furthermore, both waves of allocations need to be seen together.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent discussions his Department has had with representatives from Wirral Council on the provision of additional funding during the covid-19 outbreak.

We announced on 18 April an additional £1.6 billion of funding to support councils delivering essential frontline services, taking the total to over £3.2 billion of additional funding. To date, Wirral Council has received £20.8 million of additional funding to support their response to Covid-19. Last month (April), Wirral Council also received an upfront payment of 3 months of social care grants, totalling £2.8 million.

We have continued to engage with local authorities across the sector to develop our understanding of how the additional funding is being used by local authorities, using both monthly data collections and ongoing conversations with councils to refine our assessment. The Department issued a monitoring return to all local authorities, including Wirral Council, on 7 April, and we will issue a second monitoring return later this month. This has been supported by engagement with Local Resilience Forums, councils and their representatives, including our local Delivery Board with Councillors from across the country.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to provide support to (a) Liverpool City Region and (b) Wirral Council in response to the (a) reduction in income and (b) increase in expenditure as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We are supporting authorities in the fight against coronavirus with over £3.2 billion of additional funding. Across both tranches of funding, Liverpool City Region has received £102 million extra to fight this pandemic, whilst Wirral Council has received over £20 million. This funding is unringfenced to allow councils to respond to local priorities, and is in addition to that from other departments – for example to support bus services, Fire and Rescue authorities and local businesses – and the most recent local government finance settlement which provides access to the largest year-on-year increase in Core Spending Power in a decade.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate he has made of the increase in the costs incurred by Wirral Council as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The additional £20 million for Wirral Council to fight the coronavirus pandemic is expected to cover cost pressures incurred in the first phase of the response. This funding follows the most recent local government finance settlement in which Wirral’s Core Spending Power rose by 6.6 per cent.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

The Department is currently undertaking reviews in the following areas:

  • The quality and effectiveness of the audit and financial reporting of local authorities in England, led by Sir Tony Redmond;
  • How Government can best engage with faith communities, led by Colin Bloom;
  • Antisemitism, led by Lord Mann; and
  • Fair funding Review for how funding is allocated and redistributed between local authorities.

The Department has also recently undertaken a number of significant reviews. This includes Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which the Government has committed to taking forward its recommendations. The Building Better Building Beautiful Commission also recently published its final report, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/living-with-beauty-report-of-the-building-better-building-beautiful-commission.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish the consultation paper on the Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Government recognises the importance of reassuring local areas on the future of local growth funding as we leave the European Union and of providing clarity on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Government has been working closely with interested parties across the UK whilst developing the fund. Government officials have held 25 engagement events across the UK, attended by over five hundred representatives from a breadth of sectors, which has helped inform progress on policy design

We will come forward with further details in due course.

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of the shared prosperity fund will be allocated to (a) the North West and (b) Wirral.

Following our departure from the European Union, the 2019 Conservative Manifesto has committed to creating a UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which binds together the whole of the United Kingdom, tackling inequality and deprivation in each of our four nations, and at a minimum match the size of European Structural Funds in each nation.

The Fund will invest in UK priorities and tackle inequalities between communities by raising productivity, especially in those parts of the UK whose economies are furthest behind.

However, the Government has been clear final decisions about the design of the Fund must take place after a cross-government Spending Review.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much and what proportion of the Housing Infrastructure Fund funding has been allocated to (a) the North West and (b) Wirral Council.

Around £215 million of this has been allocated to the North West, including £6 million to Wirral Council’s Northbank project, which will unlock up to 1,100 homes at Wirral Waters.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate he has made of the number of children in temporary accommodation in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey constituency in each of the last five years.

The number of children in temporary accommodation in the North West and Wirral at the end of each financial year where figures are available from 2015 to 2019 are provided here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness.

Data is collected at the local authority level and therefore not available at lower geographical areas. Figures for Wallasey are therefore not available. Liverpool City Region can be calculated by summing figures for Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St. Helens and Wirral. In December 2019 we announced the allocation of £263 million in funding for 2020/21 to local authorities designed to support them to deliver services to tackle homelessness. The purpose of this funding is to give local authorities more control and flexibility in managing homelessness pressures and supporting those who at risk of homelessness, including providing them with temporary accommodation.

England and regional totals include imputations for missing values, including Halton, so the sum of individual figures will not match these totals.

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many houses in (a) Wallasey constituency and (b) the North West were unoccupied in 2019.

Statistics on vacant dwellings in England and in each local authority district are published in the Department’s live table 615 which is available at the following link. This table shows the annual total numbers of empty homes and those vacant longer than six months and also vacants in the local authority, housing association and other public sector tenures.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-dwelling-stock-including-vacants

Statistics on vacant dwellings at parliamentary constituency level are not centrally collected. Statistics for 2019 are scheduled to be published in Spring 2020.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a list of all (a) substantial and (b) minor reforms his Department has made to marriage law since the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013.

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for marriage law in England and Wales. Marriage law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

The Government has received a number of representations about making separate provision for humanist marriage in England and Wales. As we have made clear, a Law Commission report due later this year is expected to present options for wholesale reform to the law governing marriage ceremonies, which the Government will consider carefully. Options being explored by the Law Commission include offering couples greater flexibility to form their own ceremonies, allowing the ceremony to take place in a much broader range of locations and to provide a framework that could allow non-religious belief organisations (such as Humanists) and/or independent celebrants to conduct legally binding weddings.

The Government will decide on provision for non-religious belief marriage on the basis of the Law Commission's recommendations.

Since 2013, the main reform related to marriage has been the recent amendment to the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005. This follows a commitment made in 2019 to accelerate plans to allow civil weddings and civil partnerships to be held outside through secondary legislation. The change took effect on 1 July and will gives more options to couples and the sector in terms of how civil weddings and civil partnerships are celebrated by allowing all aspects of the ceremony to take place outdoors, within the boundary of the land of which the built premises form part. The proposed location for the outdoor proceedings must be assessed to be seemly and dignified.

This change will provide greater flexibility especially during the pandemic when there are important public health considerations to take into account. This is not radical reform and ultimately it does not change the current law’s focus on premises.

These are time-limited amendments to the regulations which came into force on 1 July 2021 and will expire at the end of 5th April 2022. A consultation will be undertaken in the Autumn of 2021 to consider the practical impacts of this policy in detail and to enable a later amending Statutory Instrument which is not time limited. A full equality impact assessment will be undertaken on completion of the consultation and will be published in due course.

Amending the 2005 Regulations will benefit many thousands of couples who seek a civil marriage or civil partnership formation on approved premises. The power to make provision in regulations for approved premises is set out in statute and extends only to civil marriage and civil partnership formation.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what (a) assessments of the potential merits his Department has made and (b) steps his Department has taken to legally recognise humanist marriages since the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Act 2013; and if he will present that information in the form of a timeline.

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for marriage law in England and Wales. Marriage law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

The Government has received a number of representations about making separate provision for humanist marriage in England and Wales. As we have made clear, a Law Commission report due later this year is expected to present options for wholesale reform to the law governing marriage ceremonies, which the Government will consider carefully. Options being explored by the Law Commission include offering couples greater flexibility to form their own ceremonies, allowing the ceremony to take place in a much broader range of locations and to provide a framework that could allow non-religious belief organisations (such as Humanists) and/or independent celebrants to conduct legally binding weddings.

The Government will decide on provision for non-religious belief marriage on the basis of the Law Commission's recommendations.

Since 2013, the main reform related to marriage has been the recent amendment to the Marriages and Civil Partnerships (Approved Premises) Regulations 2005. This follows a commitment made in 2019 to accelerate plans to allow civil weddings and civil partnerships to be held outside through secondary legislation. The change took effect on 1 July and will gives more options to couples and the sector in terms of how civil weddings and civil partnerships are celebrated by allowing all aspects of the ceremony to take place outdoors, within the boundary of the land of which the built premises form part. The proposed location for the outdoor proceedings must be assessed to be seemly and dignified.

This change will provide greater flexibility especially during the pandemic when there are important public health considerations to take into account. This is not radical reform and ultimately it does not change the current law’s focus on premises.

These are time-limited amendments to the regulations which came into force on 1 July 2021 and will expire at the end of 5th April 2022. A consultation will be undertaken in the Autumn of 2021 to consider the practical impacts of this policy in detail and to enable a later amending Statutory Instrument which is not time limited. A full equality impact assessment will be undertaken on completion of the consultation and will be published in due course.

Amending the 2005 Regulations will benefit many thousands of couples who seek a civil marriage or civil partnership formation on approved premises. The power to make provision in regulations for approved premises is set out in statute and extends only to civil marriage and civil partnership formation.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the waiting times for personal independence payment tribunals in (a) the North West, (b) Wirral and (c) Wallasey.

The most recent venue data is not currently available.

The latest period for which data about First-tier Tribunal Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) are available is January to March 2021. However, due to issues identified as the Tribunal was being migrated to a new operational system, SSCS data at venue level requires further quality assurance.

Throughout the pandemic, SSCS appeals have continued to be decided on the papers or heard using telephone and other remote technology. Additionally, HMCTS has introduced safety measures so that face to face hearings can be held for any cases which cannot be decided on the papers or heard remotely.

Information about appeals to tribunals is published quarterly on gov.uk at: www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s response to the Post-Implementation Review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, what estimate his Department has made of the number of cases of people with protected characteristics unable to access legal aid.

The Post-Implementation Review (PIR) of LASPO assessed the impact of LASPO on individuals with protected characteristics and considered how those accessing legal aid has changed over time. This concluded that diversity data shows few substantial changes in the proportion of clients with different characteristics but that key stakeholders raised concerns that LASPO may have had a disproportionate impact on certain groups. This assessment is included at paragraph 170 – 194 of the PIR, which can be found here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/777038/post-implementation-review-of-part-1-of-laspo.pd

Alongside the PIR, we published the Legal Support Action Plan (LSAP) which set out our vision of a modern system of legal support. This includes ensuring that the method of accessing such support does not inadvertently act as a barrier for some groups. To this end we announced the removal of the mandatory requirements from the Civil Legal Advice telephone gateway for debt, discrimination, and special educational needs cases and this change came into force on 15 May. We continue to review the equalities’ impacts of legal aid policies on those with protected characteristics.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s response to the Post-Implementation Review of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, what progress his Department has made on implementing the recommendations in that report.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission made a number of submissions to the Post-Implementation Review (PIR) of LASPO. These focused on fully assessing the impact of LASPO on access to justice and on individuals with protected characteristics; reviewing the means test; reinstating legal aid for initial advice; enhancing the availability of information on legal aid; reforming the exceptional case funding scheme (ECF); addressing potential reductions in access to redress for human rights breaches; and, making changes to the Legal Advice Telephone Gateway (CLA Gateway).

To address issues raised during the PIR, including these, we published a Legal Support Action Plan. This set out the government’s vision for the future of legal support (including legal aid) in England and Wales and committed to implementing changes to both legal aid and legal support to achieve this. Commitments include a review of the legal aid means tests, improvements to the exceptional case funding scheme, piloting the reintroduction of early legal advice in specific categories of law, the removal of the mandatory element of the CLA Gateway, and the launch of a campaign to raise awareness of legal support, including legal aid.

On 21 April 2020, we laid a Statutory Instrument to fulfil our commitment to remove the mandatory element of the CLA Gateway for those seeking legal aid in discrimination, debt and special educational needs matters, reinstating immediate access to face-to-face advice in these cases. This came into force on 15 May 2020. In addition, the Means Test Review was due to report in late Summer 2020 but has since been paused due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We hope to recommence the review and continue to progress other elements of the LSAP in coming weeks as we move towards recovery. We will continue to engage regularly and extensively with stakeholders such as the EHRC as part of this process.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Magistrates' court hearings have been cancelled in (a) the North West, (b) Liverpool City Region and (c) Wirral in each year from 2010 to date.

The information requested is not available.

Information about cancelled hearings is not held in this form because there are many types of Magistrates’ Court hearings and reasons why they may not proceed.

HMCTS does collect data about effective, cracked, ineffective and vacated trials, it is published here https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-july-to-september-2019 and can be found in the ‘Trial effectiveness at the criminal courts tool’.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent estimate she has made of waiting times for tribunal hearings for (a) personal independent payment, (b) employment and support allowance, (c) income support, (d) jobseeker's allowance and (e) tax credits in the North West.

Information about the outcomes, and waiting times, for appeals in the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) are published at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

SSCS appeals are listed into the hearing venue nearest to the appellant’s home address. The published data (which can be viewed at the link above) provide information about the outcomes and waiting times for (i) Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and (ii) Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) appeals for hearing venues covering (a) Wallasey (b) Wirral (c) Merseyside and (d) the North West for the period July – September 2019, the latest period for which data are available.

The tables below contain the proportion of successful appeals for (iii) Income Support (IS), (iv) Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and (v) Tax Credits (TC) for Wallasey and Wirral, Merseyside and the North West; and the average time taken to administer those appeals in the North West for the same period.

Proportion1 of appeals decided in favour of the appellant between July – September 2019 (the latest period for which figures are available)

IS

JSA

TC2

Wallasey and Wirral3

~

~

~

Merseyside4

~

~

~

North West5

35%

29%

23%

Average time (in weeks) taken to administer appeals between July – September 2019 (the latest period for which figures are available)

IS

JSA

TC2

North West5

36

38

26

1 Proportion of decisions in favour, based on the number of appeals found in favour of the appellant as a % of the cases cleared at tribunal hearing

2 TC includes Working Family Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Working Tax Credit.

3 SSCS appeals for Wallasey and Wirral constituents are heard in the Birkenhead venue but this venue also hears appeals from other constituencies. It is not possible to provide constituency-specific data.

~ Equates to a value of five or fewer appeals received

4 Merseyside includes the SSCS venues Birkenhead, Liverpool and St Helens

5 North West includes the SSCS venues Barrow, Birkenhead, Blackburn, Blackpool, Bolton, Burnley, Carlisle, Chester, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Rochdale, St Helens, Stockport, Wigan, Workington

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale case management system and are the best data that are available.

Waiting times are calculated from receipt of an appeal to its final disposal. An appeal is not necessarily disposed of at its first hearing. The final disposal decision on the appeal may be reached after an earlier hearing had been adjourned (which may be directed by the judge for a variety of reasons, such as to seek further evidence), or after an earlier hearing date had been postponed (again, for a variety of reasons, often at the request of the appellant). An appeal may also have been decided at an earlier date by the First-tier Tribunal, only for the case to have gone on to the Upper Tribunal, to be returned once again to the First-tier, for its final disposal.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of appeals to the HM Courts & Tribunals Service in (a) Wallasey, (b) Wirral, (c) Merseyside and (d) the North West for (i) personal independent payment, (ii) employment and support allowance, (iii) income support, (iv) jobseeker's allowance and (v) tax credits were successful in the latest period for which figures are available.

Information about the outcomes, and waiting times, for appeals in the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) are published at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

SSCS appeals are listed into the hearing venue nearest to the appellant’s home address. The published data (which can be viewed at the link above) provide information about the outcomes and waiting times for (i) Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and (ii) Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) appeals for hearing venues covering (a) Wallasey (b) Wirral (c) Merseyside and (d) the North West for the period July – September 2019, the latest period for which data are available.

The tables below contain the proportion of successful appeals for (iii) Income Support (IS), (iv) Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and (v) Tax Credits (TC) for Wallasey and Wirral, Merseyside and the North West; and the average time taken to administer those appeals in the North West for the same period.

Proportion1 of appeals decided in favour of the appellant between July – September 2019 (the latest period for which figures are available)

IS

JSA

TC2

Wallasey and Wirral3

~

~

~

Merseyside4

~

~

~

North West5

35%

29%

23%

Average time (in weeks) taken to administer appeals between July – September 2019 (the latest period for which figures are available)

IS

JSA

TC2

North West5

36

38

26

1 Proportion of decisions in favour, based on the number of appeals found in favour of the appellant as a % of the cases cleared at tribunal hearing

2 TC includes Working Family Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Working Tax Credit.

3 SSCS appeals for Wallasey and Wirral constituents are heard in the Birkenhead venue but this venue also hears appeals from other constituencies. It is not possible to provide constituency-specific data.

~ Equates to a value of five or fewer appeals received

4 Merseyside includes the SSCS venues Birkenhead, Liverpool and St Helens

5 North West includes the SSCS venues Barrow, Birkenhead, Blackburn, Blackpool, Bolton, Burnley, Carlisle, Chester, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Rochdale, St Helens, Stockport, Wigan, Workington

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale case management system and are the best data that are available.

Waiting times are calculated from receipt of an appeal to its final disposal. An appeal is not necessarily disposed of at its first hearing. The final disposal decision on the appeal may be reached after an earlier hearing had been adjourned (which may be directed by the judge for a variety of reasons, such as to seek further evidence), or after an earlier hearing date had been postponed (again, for a variety of reasons, often at the request of the appellant). An appeal may also have been decided at an earlier date by the First-tier Tribunal, only for the case to have gone on to the Upper Tribunal, to be returned once again to the First-tier, for its final disposal.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time was for a Crown court case to be heard from offence to completion in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside and (c) Wirral in each of the last 10 years.

Please find attached tables (annex A) providing:

Mean offence to completion (days) and median offence to completion (days) for Crown Court cases in (a) the North West and (b) Merseyside for the years 2010-2018 (data for 2010 does not include Q1 as this information is not available)

Please note: Merseyside includes only Liverpool Crown Court. As such, no further breakdown for part (c) Wirral is available.

Offence to completion covers the period of time between a criminal offence being committed, through victim reporting, police investigation, entry into the Magistrates' Courts, sending to, and then completion at Crown Court.

The majority of time between offence to completion for Crown Court Cases is spent prior to entering the court system (between offence committed and first listing at the Magistrates Court) and this can be impacted by the reporting of historical offences and an increasingly complex caseload.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that adequate numbers of criminal duty solicitors are available in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey.

The Government is clear that there are sufficient solicitors to undertake criminal legal aid-funded cases and will make sure this continues to be the case in (a) the North West, (b) Merseyside, (c) Wirral and (d) Wallasey. The Government commenced a review of all criminal legal aid fee schemes in December 2018, including the criminal duty solicitor fee scheme.

In June 2019 the Government took the decision to accelerate certain key areas of the Criminal Legal Aid Review that were highlighted to be of immediate concern to defence practitioners.

In addition to monitoring duty solicitor coverage on an ongoing basis where issues are identified, the Government continues to take action to ensure there is ongoing availability of criminal legal advice for the public.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

My Department is not currently undertaking any public reviews.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

My Department are not currently undertaking any formal reviews on matters of public policy or delivery.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will publish the titles of the reviews that his Department is undertaking.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales is not currently undertaking any reviews.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)