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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).
End child food poverty – no child should be going hungryGov Responded - 11 Nov 2020 Debated on - 24 May 2021 View Ben Everitt's petition debate contributions
Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme
These initiatives were driven by Ben Everitt, 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.
Ben Everitt has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Ben Everitt has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
Ben Everitt has not introduced any legislation before Parliament
Ben Everitt has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
We launched a call for evidence on 25 March 2021 to gather views and inform a longer-term decision about whether to make express provision for councils to meet remotely on a permanent basis.
The Department has considered the responses to the consultation and the Government will respond shortly.
Offering vulnerable people a better choice of accommodation to suit their changing needs can help them live independently and feel more connected to their communities. This Government is committed to the provision of suitable homes for older people, including extra care housing, which contributes to levelling up across communities. Housing-with-care allows individuals to choose where they want to live, with whom, how they can best be supported, and what happens in their home. Both the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department of Health and Social Care provide capital funding to incentivise their supply. Our planning rules already mean councils must consider the needs of older people when planning for new homes. In 2019, we published guidance to help councils implement the National Planning Policy Framework policies.
We are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, where 10 per cent of delivery over the course of the programme will be used to increase the supply of much needed specialist or supported housing, including retirement housing. The Department of Health and Social Care are also continuing to subsidise new supply of specialist housing for older and disabled people through the Care and Support Specialised Housing (CASSH) Fund.
The Government's plan for health and social care, announced on Tuesday 7 September, also recognised the important role of housing, and supported housing in particular, in providing care and support to people in the community.
We continue to work closely with the older people's housing sector and across Government to look at how we can further support its growth. I look forward to engaging with representatives in the sector further and value their insight.
The Government is strongly supportive of the community radio sector and recognises the great value that it offers to communities across the UK. Community radio plays an important role in our cross channel strategy, with the merits of its use being assessed in relation to this.
Government public information campaigns utilise a wide range of channels to maximise reach and engagement and to ensure our messaging reaches as many people as possible. The government has recently worked with over 35 community radio stations on a weekly basis and this includes the use of paid-for advertising on community radio.
The Cabinet Office is in regular contact with the Secretary of State and his department, including through the Cabinet Committee chaired by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has increased funding to local authorities, is providing accommodation and support for rough sleepers and is co-ordinating the distribution network of food to some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
We are funding the fastest increase in R&D spending ever to cement our position as a Global Science Superpower, driving economy-wide R&D investment to 2.4% of GDP by 2027 and priming the UK to take advantage of huge opportunities in emerging technologies like AI, Quantum computing and Fusion.
The £2 billion pledged to the Green Homes Grant (GHG) is comprised of £500m of funding for the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) element and £1.5 billion of funding originally allocated to the Voucher Scheme for use in the 2020/21 financial year.
All £500m LAD funding is planned to be allocated to Local Authorities and Regional Energy Hubs, as appropriate, before the end of March 2021. This will be delivered in three phases:
- Phase 1A: over £74 million was allocated in October 2020 to fund energy efficiency projects in over 100 Local Authorities by June 2021.
- Phase 1B: around £126 million of grant offers were made to 81 Local Authorities in January 2021, for delivery of energy efficiency projects by September 2021.
- Phase 2: will see funding of £300m allocated to the five Local Energy Hubs this financial year, to deliver energy efficiency projects by December 2021.
The Voucher Scheme was designed to provide a short-term economic stimulus while tackling our contribution to climate change. However, the prevalence of Covid-19 since the scheme’s launch in September last year has led to an understandable reluctance on the part of the public to welcome tradespeople into their homes. We will continue to work with the scheme’s administrator to ensure voucher applications are processed as quickly as possible. As of 22 February 2021, 25,770 vouchers have been issued. £320 million of funding was announced for the Voucher Scheme for 2021/22 in the November 2020 Spending Review.
We are committed to making the UK a world leader in space and other high-tech industries. The UK’s first comprehensive national space strategy is being developed under the direction of the National Space Council.
The Green Homes Grant Scheme launched for applications on 30 September and as announced on 18 November will run until 31 March 2022.
As of 20:00 on 19 November 2020, 43,126 grant applications have been received for the Green Homes Grant scheme. Vouchers become redeemable once scheduled works are completed and as yet, no vouchers have been redeemed.
BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.
It is estimated that the UK low-carbon economy could grow more than four times faster than the rest of the economy between 2015 and 2030 and support up to 2 million jobs. As set out in the 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution, the Government is investing £1 billion to make our homes, schools and hospitals greener, warmer and more energy efficient, whilst creating 50,000 jobs by 2030.
My Department has been working closely with stakeholders within the private and public sector since the 2017 reforms to the Electronic Communications Code (“the Code”) came into effect to support their implementation and to understand their impact on this important sector.
We are keen to ensure that the Code is fully fit for purpose and intend to consult on whether further reforms are necessary to support investment in digital networks.
Public sector landlords play a critical role in facilitating the delivery of greater mobile connectivity. We are keen to ensure that the public sector leads by example and that public property is readily available for digital infrastructure deployment.
My Department’s Barrier Busting Task Force regularly engages with local authorities across the country to advise on the deployment of mobile infrastructure. This includes the publication of guidance, for example on access to assets and valuation, and working directly with councils to encourage greater collaboration with the mobile sector and develop understanding of the Electronic Communications Code, which underpins rights to install digital communications apparatus. My officials spoke with Buckinghamshire County Council in December last year, and are planning to meet with Milton Keynes Council in the near future.
In addition to our work with local authorities, both we and the Office of Government Property are continuing to engage with government departments and arm’s length bodies in order to provide them with training and guidance on access to public sector land.
We will analyse the impact of the funds we have already announced. We are continuing to meet with live events stakeholders to provide support and guidance for grassroots music venues to re-open and stage live events.
The Secretary of State announced an unprecedented £1.57 billion support package for the cultural sector which will benefit the live events sector by providing support to venues and many other cultural organisations to stay open and continue operating. £333 million was awarded to 1973 arts organisations which had applied for grants less than £1 million from Arts Council England. Funded organisations included venues, festivals, theatres, museums and cultural organisations. Over the coming weeks further Culture Recovery Fund awards will be announced - including grants over £1 million, and the Capital Kickstart and Repayable Finance programmes.
The Chancellor has announced the Winter Economy Plan to protect jobs and support businesses over the coming months, once the existing Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme come to end. We are also offering businesses who face a drop in demand for their services and possible cash flow issues generous terms for the repayment of deferred taxes and government-backed loans.
We continue to engage with the sector to discuss the on-going challenges facing grassroots music venues.
The Culture Recovery Fund will provide a vital lifeline to thousands of organisations but we have always been clear that this funding would not be enough to help every organisation. This is public money and it is important that there was a robust criteria that applicants had to meet. This included applicants being able to show that they have a sustainable, viable plan, and that this funding would help them to continue trading.
While this means not everyone who applied could be supported, we have provided funding to almost 2000 organisations already - providing a vital life line and protecting them for future generations. Organisations unsuccessful in obtaining funds from the Culture Recovery Fund can still apply to the government’s other support measures including the job support scheme, the bounce back loans scheme and the VAT reduction.
In addition, Arts Council England recently reopened the National Lottery Project Fund programme with a budget of £77.9 million which will be available until April 2021. This programme will support independent organisations, creative practitioners and freelancers.
Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.
The Government has made it clear that it will adopt a phased approach based on scientific and medical advice, and that the primary goal is to protect public health. The Government is in discussions with representatives from the sport and physical activity sector about the steps required to restart grassroots sport and will update the public when it is deemed safe to reopening indoor sports venues and facilities as soon as it is safe to do so including indoor ice rinks.
Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.
The Government is committed to reopening facilities as soon as it is safe to do so including indoor gyms and sports centres. The Sport Working Group, led by myself, feeds into the Secretary of State’s Cultural Renewal Taskforce and ensures strong sector and expert support for the co-development of guidelines and will help leisure facilities become Covid-secure and re-open as early as possible in July.
As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, we will be guided by the science to ensure that as restrictions are eased people can return to activity safely.
As part of the National Cyber Security Strategy, the Government is helping organisations across the economy and society improve their digital security. We are promoting the uptake of the Cyber Essentials (CE) scheme in a number of ways, including through the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) extensive engagements with industry sectors and via police regional organised crime units, which engage with businesses locally.
The Government’s Cyber Aware campaign helps the public and small businesses take up secure online behaviours, including signposting businesses towards Cyber Essentials and other guidance and support.
The Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy (2016-2021) is backed with £1.9 billion investment to transform the nation’s cyber security and make the UK the safest place to live and do business online. As part of the strategy, in 2016 we established the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The NCSC engages with organisations and businesses across the economy and society, including those in the manufacturing sector, to encourage the take-up of good cyber security measures. The Government is currently undertaking a Review of Cyber Security Incentives and Regulation to understand what more can be done to ensure businesses of all sizes are effectively managing their cyber risks.
For manufacturers of 'Internet of Things' (or “smart”) devices used by consumers, we have developed a Code of Practice for Consumer IoT Security to help manufacturers ensure cyber security measures are embedded in their devices. We intend to introduce legislation to support the manufacturing of more secure “smart” devices.
The government has set up two schemes to support those fleeing the war: the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine. All children and young people arriving under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Homes for Ukraine have the right to access state education whilst in the UK. Attending school is vital in helping children integrate into the communities in which they are living.
Ukrainian parents will apply for a school place through the in-year admissions process. The department is working with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on developing a welcome pack for Ukrainian migrants. This will include details of the education offer and guidance on navigating the education system. General advice on school admissions can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/schools-admissions.
Local authorities will work with families to enable all children to attend school in the local area as soon as possible, even if these places are not in the immediate vicinity of their accommodation. The department understands the challenge of finding suitable school places for new arrivals and will work with local authorities where helpful to make this as smooth as possible.
To support schools’ efforts, Oak National Academy have rolled out an auto-translate function across all 10,000 of its online lessons. This means Ukrainian children can access education in their native language.
The department has ensured Ukrainians have access, if they need it, to the same childcare entitlements, as well as university and college courses as a UK citizen.
Schools are responsible for ensuring that all their pupils, including refugees and migrants who have a first language other than English, develop the English language skills they need to access the curriculum and achieve their potential.
Ukrainians aged 19+ and their family members settled under the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine in the UK, can access training to gain the skills they need to move on with their lives. This includes provision funded through the adult education budget, including English for speakers of other languages, and Level 3 free courses for job offer.
The number of degree entrants in English higher education (HE) providers in the last 3 academic years are shown in the table below:
First year: first degree entrants
First year: postgraduate-taught entrants
Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships starts for England, along with figures for those where there is a mandatory degree component required, are shown in the following table:
Level 6 apprenticeship starts
Of which level 6 with a mandatory degree component
Level 7 apprenticeship starts
Of which level 7 with a mandatory degree component
The table below provides an 'indicative' percentage of level 6 apprenticeships with mandatory degrees as a ratio of all HE entrants for first degrees.
The indicative percentage is based on the data in the above tables that are drawn from 2 different sources having different coverage. The percentages are therefore indicative rather than precise and are comparing domiciled workers doing apprenticeships with a degree component versus all domiciled and non-domiciled HE entrants doing their first degree in England only.
Level 6 apprenticeship with mandatory
degree as a ratio of first degree HE entrants
1) The data sources are the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) for apprenticeship starts and Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) for degree entrants.
2) The HESA figures include all students entering English higher education institutions for academic year August to July each year.
3) Overall degree entrants exclude a minority of entrants who started degrees in further education and alternative providers.
4) Apprenticeship starts are counted for the full, final academic year August to July each year and include all funded and unfunded learners recorded on the ILR.
5) Apprenticeship volumes are rounded to the nearest ten starts.
6) Not all level 6 and level 7 apprenticeships have a mandatory degree element. Mandatory degrees can be included in apprenticeships at either level 6 or level 7.
7) Where a level 6 or 7 apprenticeship does not contain a mandatory degree element, an employer or training provider can choose to use a degree or other qualification voluntarily as part of an apprenticeship standard. This would not attract additional funding. These apprenticeships are therefore not recorded as an apprenticeship start that includes a degree component.
Between January 2019 to December 2019, there have been 13,796 level 7 apprenticeship starts reported to date in England, which was 3.7% of all starts in this period.
The attached table shows the number of level 7 starts, the number of all apprenticeship starts, and the proportion of level 7 starts per month. This is the latest monthly data available.
The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) is responsible for working with employer trailblazer groups to design and approve apprenticeships standards. This includes deciding which qualifications may be included in apprenticeship standards and whether those qualifications should be funded by government as part of the apprenticeship.
To ensure that high-quality apprenticeships are available to learners, the IfATE reviews standards on an ongoing basis. It is currently reviewing the level 7 Senior Leader standard, which may include a MBA qualification, to ensure that it meets the current policy intent and provides value for money.
Defra provides the Canal and River Trust with an annual grant of £52 million, under a 15-year agreement signed when the Trust was established in 2012. The grant may be used for the Trust’s charitable objects and the permitted activities set out in the formal Grant Agreement document, which is published on the Government website. This includes maintenance of the canal network infrastructure. Around £10 million of the annual grant is conditional on the Trust meeting key performance indicators covering waterway safety, improvement of towpath condition, and flood defence and mitigation. The Trust’s waterways maintenance expenditure is available in their Annual Report and Accounts, which is published on the Trust’s website.
Climate change impact is being considered as part of Defra’s current review of the Government grant required by the Grant Agreement, to inform a decision about any future funding for the Trust from 2027.
The departments principally responsible for government policy on water pollution and development are Defra and DLUHC respectively, which are both aware of the challenges facing housebuilding and environmental protection in the Somerset Levels and Moors. To address water quality issues arising from nutrient pollution, a cross-departmental Nutrient Taskforce has been created, which brings together Defra, Natural England, Environment Agency and DLUHC colleagues. Its remit is to discuss the causes of phosphate and wider nutrient pollution and ways we can support businesses to develop and protect the environment nationally.
Locally, the taskforce has assisted Natural England in developing several tools which enable local authorities to understand possible mitigations that can be put in place. In the Somerset Levels and Moors, this has materialised in the development of a phosphorus budget calculator which has helped to move forward planning applications. Furthermore, Somerset West & Taunton Council have approved a further £2M programme for interim mitigation projects as advised by Natural England. The Council will now seek NE sign-off in the next few weeks, after which it can begin to employ mitigation schemes to unlock delayed development in the area. Alongside this Natural England continues to support the piloting of a first-of-its-kind nutrient trading scheme in Somerset and expects to formally accredit the scheme in November. They report back regularly to the taskforce on progress.
More broadly, the taskforce has helped to inform and guide Defra’s wider approach to address nutrient pollution in our waterways. For example, how we utilise the newly expanded Catchment Sensitive Farming advice programme, which we have doubled funding for, alongside funding for 50 new Environment Agency inspectors to work with the farming sector to tackle nutrient pollution. Defra is committed to improving the water environment and will continue to work with Natural England and the Environment Agency on the wider issue of underlying sources of pollution, considering upgrades to wastewater treatment works and ways of reducing pollution from agriculture.
Defra is investing in the development of new technologies that will enhance the UK's international standing as a global leader on agri-tech innovation. We are working closely with the Department for International Trade (DIT) to provide support to UK Agri-Tech companies looking to expand into new markets, in partnership with the DIT's overseas network.
In May, the UK and Swiss Governments, with the support of the World Bank and other partners, launched a global Call to Action on remittances. This called on policymakers, regulators and remittance service providers to take action to keep remittances flowing during the crisis.
The Government has taken steps to support remittance service providers in the UK, including enabling them to remain open through lockdown by including them on the list of essential businesses.
Remittance prices are high for many reasons, including underdeveloped financial infrastructure in some countries, limited competition, regulatory obstacles, lack of access to the banking sector by remittance senders and/or receivers, and difficulties for migrants to obtain the necessary identification documentation to enter the financial mainstream.
The Government recognises that transparency is an important factor leading to high remittances prices. We are working to improve price transparency for consumers with the Treasury, the FCA and the industry.
In the remittances market, the total cost might not always be clear to customers as there are a number of variable factors including: the transaction fee, the exchange rate applied and the margin and speed of the service. We are working on ways to support increasing transparency of data so it is clear for the remitter and receiver how the total cost is calculated.
The World Bank Remittances Prices Worldwide (RPW) reports uses example transactions of $200 and $500 to illustrate the overall charge for sending this money in percentage terms. However, capturing this cost can be challenging as some costs can be hidden, especially where host country’s currencies are not directly convertible into the recipient’s country’s currency.
The World Bank methodology uses the inter-bank rate that is published by central banks as a reference point and this is generally a reliable data point for exchange rates. However, some countries have multiple exchange range windows which may not be captured by the inter-bank rates.
We find the World Bank’s methodology adequate and their data informative, however we recognise that some remittance service providers do not consider this an accurate representation of their charges. This could be due to several factors. We are working with the industry to improve data accuracy.
DFID is providing significant support to protect children from violence around the world in humanitarian crises. Our programmes assist children and reduce their risks of violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect.
In August 2019 at the G7 Summit, the UK Prime Minister announced £90 million of new UK support for education in emergencies and crises across the world. This will support 600,000 children living in conflict areas and areas of protracted crises. Girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school in emergencies and are more susceptible to child marriage and other forms of abuse and exploitation. This investment is a key part of the PM’s plan to ensure more girls benefit from 12 years of quality education. This funding will provide safe spaces for girls and psycho-social support to those who have experienced violence and trauma.
The UK’s Humanitarian Reform Policy puts the protection of vulnerable populations, including children, at the centre of the UK’s humanitarian work. DFID’s core funding to UN agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement helps them to fulfil their unique roles within the humanitarian sector, including promoting compliance of International Humanitarian Law and protecting children against violence.
Tackling child marriage, including in emergencies, is a key priority for the UK. Through DFID’s flagship global programme, Accelerating Action to End Child Marriage, the UK has supported nearly 3 million girls to attend school, skills training and girls’ clubs in 2018 alone, helping to prevent and respond to child marriage in countries with a high prevalence.
The UK Government intends to achieve a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU and therefore does not expect the UK global tariff (UKGT) to apply to EU imports.
The UKGT was developed following an extensive public consultation in which over 1,300 responses were received, providing vital information.
As such, the UK Government has sought a balance between the interests of consumers and producers to benefit the UK economy as a whole.
We will publish more analysis in the Taxation Information and Impact Note (TIIN) alongside the legislation, as is standard practice.
The Department is currently developing technical standards for the construction of e-scooters. Careful consideration of the merits of each requirement, including those highlighted, will be made. Knowledge gained from the e-scooter trials as well as relevant evidence from other sources will be taken into account.
Since 2015 Milton Keynes Council has received £865,690 under the On Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS). Milton Keynes also received a total of £9,797,400 through the Go Ultra Low City Schemes (GULCS) between Financial Year 15/16 and Financial Year 19/20, this funding was used to support the delivery of public chargepoints and to help establish the Electric Vehicle Experience Centre which provides advice to the public considering making the switch to electric driving.
The number of grants awarded for the installation of electric vehicle charging devices in the UK are published and updated on a regular basis on our public website.
The Department has played a key role in Operation Warm Welcome, including legislating to exempt those arriving under the Afghan relocation and resettlement schemes from the usual residency tests, which restrict access to certain benefits for arrivals to the UK, including Universal Credit. This means that eligible individuals will meet the residency requirements and are able to access benefits when they arrive in the UK.
DWP work coaches have supported all those in bridging hotels who need to make a claim, with currently over 2,900 claims for Universal Credit on the caseload, which covers roughly 4,500 claimants (families are treated as a single claim).
Immediately after a claim for Universal Credit has been taken, the full support of the Department is available, including job searches and training, as well as other support. The Home Office have issued cash cards to those arriving under the Afghan relocation and resettlement schemes for expenses until such time as their first Universal Credit payments, meaning those relocated are supported financially as soon as they enter the UK.
Accommodation and meals are paid for, as well as the provision of other additional essential items for those in bridging hotels, such as nappies, baby food/milk and toiletries including women’s sanitary products.
As for those who were placed in local authority accommodation before claiming Universal Credit, the local authorities will provide financial support, including weekly cash support up until the first Universal Credit payment.
Officials are currently analysing the responses received to the call for evidence to develop the 10 Year Cancer Plan. The Plan will address all cancer types, including rarer and less survivable cancers such as brain cancer.
There are currently no plans to increase the cap on medical or dentistry school places in England in 2022.
The Department is working with NHS England and NHS Improvement and other Government Departments to ensure that Ukranian nationals arriving in the United Kingdom through the various schemes are signposted to registering with general practitioner.
Health and care commissioners are expected to take the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guidelines fully into account. These guidelines provide recommendations on best practice in terms of both the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions and services.
NHS England’s Adult Critical Care Service specification states that providers must comply with the 2009 NICE clinical guideline on rehabilitation after critical illness. The specification is available at the following link:
All organisations that have access to National Health Service patient data and systems should complete a Data Security and Protection Toolkit self-assessment each year. For 2019/20 the deadline for completion has been pushed back from March to September to allow organisations to focus on their COVID-19 response.
To support the NHS and further strengthen cyber resilience across the system during the COVID-19 response period, NHSX and delivery partners are providing enhanced central support to NHS organisations to manage their cyber risks.
Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had already submitted an initial interim self-assessment, against the March 2020 submission, in September 2019. This information is being used by NHS Digital to help inform the support package they are offering to the Trust during this COVID-19 response period to help address any critical cyber vulnerabilities.
In September 2019, my Rt. Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care unveiled the Health Infrastructure Plan: a long-term startegic investment programme in the future of our National Health Service.
This included the biggest hospital building programme in a generation: £2.8 billion funding for 40 new hospitals over the next ten years, with six in the first wave (HIP 1), on top of the 20 hospital upgrades announced by the Prime Minister in August 2019.
We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang including the extra-judicial detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in "political re-education camps", systematic restrictions on Uyghur culture and the practice of Islam, and extensive and invasive surveillance targeting minorities.
On 28 July, the Foreign Secretary raised our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi. On 30 June, the UK read out a formal statement on behalf of 28 countries at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighting arbitrary detention, widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly those targeting Uyghurs and other minorities, and urging China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights meaningful access to Xinjiang. We will continue to raise our concerns with China bilaterally, and through the UN working with international partners.
The Government continues to engage with all relevant stakeholders on issues relating to the merger.
There are no plans to repeal or replace any of the Acts. Spending 0.7 percent of our national income on aid is enshrined in law. We will continue to be guided by our responsibilities under the International Development Act, including a commitment to poverty reduction. The Government will undertake the necessary parliamentary process to transfer responsibilities under the International Development Act to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office will be accountable to parliament for how it spends UK aid. The form this takes is a matter for parliament.
Eat Out to Help Out is designed to encourage people to return to eating out to support restaurants, pub, cafes and other dine-in establishments, which have been severely affected by COVID-19 due to closures and the impact of social distancing. In doing so, it will help support 1.8 million jobs disproportionately occupied by young, female, part-time workers, in the bottom half of incomes.
Hot takeaway food and drinks will benefit from the temporary VAT reduced rate for hospitality from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021.
Eat Out to Help Out is designed to encourage people to return to eating out in order to support restaurants, pubs, cafes and other dine-in establishments, which have been severely affected by COVID-19 due to closures and the impact of social distancing. In doing so, it will help support 1.8 million jobs disproportionately occupied by young, female, part-time workers, in the bottom half of incomes.
Hot takeaway food and drinks will benefit from the temporary VAT reduced rate for hospitality from 15 July 2020 to 12 January 2021.
The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. Gyms and leisure facilities continue to have access to a range of support measures including, but not limited to:
The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.
On 11 May the Government published its COVID-19 recovery strategy which sets out our plan for moving to the next phase of our response. The strategy sets out a cautious roadmap for easing existing measures in a safe and measured way. On 23 June, the Prime Minister announced that several currently closed sectors will be allowed to reopen from 4 July, with appropriate mitigants in place, as set out in the COVID-secure guidance that departments have been working on. This includes:
The new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) helps those adversely affected by COVID-19. The scheme allows eligible individuals to claim a taxable grant worth 80 per cent of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months, and capped at £7,500 in total. Self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, are eligible if they have submitted their Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, continued to trade, and have been adversely affected by COVID-19. To qualify, their self-employed trading profits must be less than £50,000, with more than half of their income from self-employment. Some 95 per cent of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment could benefit from this scheme. The Chancellor will keep the scheme under review.
Individuals may have access to a range of grants and loans depending on their circumstances, and the self-employed can benefit from the Government’s relaxation of the earnings rules (known as the Minimum Income Floor) in Universal Credit. The SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Bounce Back Loan Scheme for small businesses, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.
The Government is committed to reducing knife crime, this why we have invested £130.5 million over the last year to tackle serious violence.
This includes £35.5 million for Violence Reduction Units which draw key partners together to address the root causes of violence, and £30 million for targeted police action to deter and disrupt knife crime.
Demands on the police are changing and becoming increasingly complex, so it is important that we have a police workforce that has the knowledge and skills needed for the future.
This Government is keen to see police forces recruit the best and brightest into their ranks, from all walks of life, as we work to deliver on our key manifesto pledge to recruit an additional 20,000 officers. In doing so, we support the implementation of the new Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF), which is putting in place new entry routes for police constables to ensure that new recruits across all forces meet the same high standards.
The College of Policing has been clear from the start of developing these new routes that full implementation will be delivered at a pace with which forces are comfortable. PEQF has now been implemented in 38 out of 43 forces and the College of Policing plans to phase out the old Initial Police Learning and Development Programme entirely by March 2023.
The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 can be used for cases of anti-social behaviour, including on travellers’ sites. Through this Act we have provided the police, local authorities, and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to all forms of anti-social behaviour. These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for agencies to use their local knowledge of each incident to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances.
Through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, we will be strengthening the police’s powers to arrest and seize the vehicles of those who trespass to set up unauthorised encampments and cause damage, disruption or distress, which could include instances of anti-social behaviour. These will complement the exiting powers that the police and local authorities have to remove unauthorised campers under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
For those in bridging accommodation, the hotel address will be sufficient to allow them to do this, and if they encounter any issues these should be raised with the Hotel Liaison Officers.
These officers will provide support, advise and escalate any issues should they occur.
Domestic abuse?is a horrific crime that shatters the lives of those affected. The Home Office works closely with the domestic abuse organisations, the Domestic Abuse Commissioner and the police, to ensure that support is available to victims who need it and that perpetrators are brought to justice.
Since 2018 the Home Office has provided £1.1m per year to help fund specialist helplines offering support in domestic abuse, honour-based abuse and stalking cases. A national awareness raising campaign has been launched to help direct victims to these sources of support.
A further £3.1m has been provided this year, as a continuation of the Children Affected by Domestic abuse fund for specialist support for children affected by domestic abuse.
Work is also underway to enhance perpetrator programmes and promote innovative approaches to preventing domestic abuse using £10m of funding.
We are continuing with the passage of the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill, which started its Committee Stage on 4 June. This will further protect victims of domestic abuse and bring perpetrators to justice.
By the start of this year, this Government supported over 37,000 people as part of our Everyone In initiative during the pandemic, with over 26,000 already being moved into longer term accommodation.
At the Spending Review in November we committed an additional £254 million of resource funding to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This takes resource funding in 2021-22 to £676 million - a 60% increase compared to what was announced at Spending Review 2019.
In addition, the Government has accelerated the delivery of the £433 million Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme to deliver 6,000 move-on homes and support - the largest ever investment in move-on accommodation.
In Planning for the Future, one key proposal is that future local plans would put all land into one of three categories: areas for growth, for renewal or for protection. That proposal makes clear that, under such a system, local authorities would use the plan-making process to earmark valued green space, which need not only be designated land such as Local Green Space or Green Belt, for protection.
We will expect local authorities to promote the provision and retention of green space, parks and other green infrastructure in their plan-making and decisions. Sound planning, in line with the policies in our National Planning Policy Framework, will continue to protect sites of biodiversity, local wildlife sites and irreplaceable habitat; recognise the character and beauty of the countryside; and take account of all the benefits from natural capital and ecosystems.
The White Paper makes it clear that development plans, including the identification of Growth Areas where outline consent would be automatically granted, should continue to be informed by appropriate infrastructure planning. We are also proposing to introduce a new Infrastructure Levy, which will aim to collect more than the current system of developer contributions, and which local authorities will be able to use to fund infrastructure (including onsite provision). We are currently consulting on these proposals, which will inform our assessment of their impact.
The Government recognises the importance of affordable homes in rural communities. National planning policy makes it clear that in rural areas, housing development that reflect local needs should be supported, and that affordable housing can be sought for residential developments that are not major developments in designated rural areas. None of our proposals change this overall approach.
In Planning for the Future, we propose to replace the existing system of developer contributions with a new Infrastructure Levy, which will deliver at least as much onsite affordable housing as at present. We are currently consulting on this approach, which will inform our assessment of the impacts of the proposed Levy.
My Department issued revised guidance for England on how to move home safely on 13 May 2020.
This Government believes it is vitally important that domestic abuse victims who are homeless, or are at risk of homelessness, are supported to find an accommodation solution that meets their needs and reflects their individual circumstances.
In April 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act came into force, which puts prevention at the heart of the local authorities’ response to homelessness, irrespective of whether they are a family or single person, what has put them at risk, or if they have a local connection to the area. This means that all victims of domestic abuse who are at risk of homelessness should be provided with an offer of support from their local authority to find appropriate accommodation.
Under homelessness legislation a person who is pregnant, has dependent children, or is vulnerable as a result of having to leave accommodation due to domestic abuse already has priority need for accommodation. These duties, alongside new duties under the Domestic Abuse Bill, will ensure that all victims of domestic abuse are supported to find accommodation that meets their needs.
We are building on the landmark Domestic Abuse Act to improve victims services, to ensure that victims can secure justice in our courts and to pursue perpetrators ruthlessly.
Victim support funding is rising to £185 million by 2024/25, including increasing the number of Independent Sexual and Domestic Abuse Advisors to more than 1000 and we are extending the time limit for prosecuting domestic abuse-related common assaults to help victims secure justice.
The government’s focus on this most hidden and pernicious of crimes will continue with the publication of our Domestic Abuse Strategy in the coming months.
Supporting and protecting victims of domestic abuse has been a central priority of this Government, backed by major additional investment.
The latest commitment of £40m for victims’ services includes £9.7m for local community-based DA support, plus £8m for new independent domestic violence advisors (IDVAs).
We will pass the landmark Domestic Abuse Bill which creates new domestic abuse protection orders, institutes a new Domestic Abuse Commissioner, and empowers domestic abuse complainants to give their best evidence in court.
This Government has always stressed the importance of the Union. The current crisis demonstrates how valuable it is to have a collective ability to respond.
We have world leading expertise and the economic strength to protect jobs and businesses with generous support packages.
It is the strength of our Union which will enable us to defeat the Covid-19 virus and rebuild our economy quickly and fairly.
I refer the honourable Gentleman to the answer I gave earlier today to the honourable Member for Stoke-on-Trent South.