Ben Spencer Portrait

Ben Spencer

Conservative - Runnymede and Weybridge


Department Event
Monday 11th July 2022
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Oral questions - Main Chamber
11 Jul 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Work and Pensions (including Topical Questions)
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Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th July 2022
09:00
Division Votes
Monday 4th July 2022
Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 281 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 209 Noes - 282
Speeches
Wednesday 22nd June 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
Q13. I am proud to represent more than 1,000 park home residents. When will the Government address the injustice of …
Written Answers
Monday 21st March 2022
Personal Independence Payment
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that personal …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 16th June 2021
Planning (Enforcement) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to create offences relating to repeat breaches of planning controls; to make provision about penalties for planning offences; …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 4th January 2021
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Carlton Club
Address of donor: 69 St. James's Street, London SW1A 1PJ
Amount of donation, or nature …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Ben Spencer has voted in 471 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Ben Spencer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Ben Spencer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Ben Spencer voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Ben Spencer voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
View All Ben Spencer 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(16 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(11 debate interactions)
Sajid Javid (Conservative)
(10 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(38 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(16 debate contributions)
Home Office
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Ben Spencer's debates

Runnymede and Weybridge 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).

Petitions with highest Runnymede and Weybridge signature proportion
Petitions with most Runnymede and Weybridge signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Government needs to change the law so laboratory animals are included in the Animal Welfare Act. Laboratory animals are currently not protected by the Act and are therefore victims of 'unnecessary suffering' (see section 4 of the Act: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/45/section/4).


Latest EDMs signed by Ben Spencer

Ben Spencer has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ben Spencer, 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 Spencer has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Ben Spencer has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Ben Spencer


A Bill to create offences relating to repeat breaches of planning controls; to make provision about penalties for planning offences; to establish a national register of persons who have committed planning offences or breached planning controls and make associated provision about planning applications; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 19th November 2021

A Bill to make provision for the collection and publication of statistics on mental health hospital admissions; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 5th February 2020

Ben Spencer has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


21 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
1 Other Department Questions
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will publish the number of formal breaches of planning permission recorded by each local authority in 2019.

This information is regularly published and available here at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-planning-application-statistics (See tables 127, 129 and 130).

5th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Government Department's responsibilities does SAGE fall within.

The terms of reference for SAGE can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage.

SAGE is not, as the terms outline, a membership body and the Chief Scientific Adviser and the Chief Medical Officer will advise on attendance.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had on steps being taken to support the (a) TV, (b) film and (c) other creative industries during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises broadcasting, film and other creative industries have an important role to play in the UK by providing access to entertainment, culture and news during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To ensure we are assisting the sectors as effectively as possible, regular ministerially-chaired roundtables are held with business representative organisations (BROs) as well as trade associations within the creative industries and broadcasting sectors. In addition, officials are in regular contact with stakeholders from these sectors.

We also continue to speak with HM Treasury colleagues to ensure that the full spectrum of government support reaches the UK's world-leading media and creative industries.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the long-term effect on children’s physical and mental health of the covid-19 lockdown; and what steps his Department is taking to mitigate those effects.

The Department for Health and Social Care has responsibility for children and young people’s health and we are working with them, Public Health England and NHS England to understand the impact COVID-19 is having. It is clear that physical and mental health support is more important than ever during COVID-19.

Public Health England has published guidance for parents/carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

The Department for Education’s guidance for parents/carers and schools covers how they can support children’s mental health. This information is available at the following links:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers and

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-school-closures/guidance-for-schools-about-temporarily-closing.

We have also developed online education resources, including resources to support mental wellbeing, physical activity, and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources/coronavirus-covid-19-list-of-online-education-resources-for-home-education.

The NHS Change for Life website and Sport England’s Join the Movement campaign both provide advice on staying physically active.

Access to support from health services remains important. NHS services remain open for everyone and leading mental health charities are being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund. The NHS is also setting up 24/7 open access telephone lines for urgent mental health support for people of all ages. The Department for Education is working across government on further support, including the first of the newly established Mental Health Support Teams which are now working in or near schools and colleges, to support children during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of availability of courses for international students at UK universities for academic year 2020-2021.

Teaching, learning and assessment in higher education (HE) are not stopping. We are working with the sector to ensure universities are able to make all reasonable efforts to enable all students, both international and domestic, to continue and complete their studies; for their achievements to be reliably assessed; and for qualifications to be awarded securely.

Despite the significant disruption being felt across the HE sector, students deserve appropriate support and recognition for their hard work and dedication - many universities and colleges have moved rapidly to develop new ways of delivering courses through online teaching and alternatives to traditional end-of-course exams.

Our universities will always be open to international students. Both the government and the HE sector are working together to ensure existing rules and processes are as flexible as possible under the current unprecedented circumstances, to ensure that international students who are planning to study at a UK institution from autumn 2020 can do so.

The UK looks forward to continuing to welcome international students in the future. They enrich UK HE culturally, socially and economically, and are one of the reasons why our HE sector remains world-class.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Education
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will require that Highways England ensure the work scheduled in 2020 to improve the road surface between junctions 10 and 11 of the M25 will include the replacement of all remaining road surface joints.

Highways England understands noise is a concern for residents living close to the M25 between junctions 10 and 11 and it is actively looking for ways to reduce noise from the carriageways.

In April 2020, Highways England started carrying out repairs to the failed joints on this section of the M25 and the work will be completed this summer. The work will concentrate on those joints which are in the poorest condition. Replacing joints which have not failed, or have already been repaired, would not reduce the noise from this concrete section or improve safety.

Highways England carried out extensive joint repairs last year. Like all road surfaces, the concrete carriageway between junctions 10 and 11 is regularly monitored for safety and condition, and repairs are carried out when needed.

17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce levels of fraud and error in universal credit.

We take any case of fraud and error extremely seriously and actively pursue fraudsters, using a wide range of powers to bring them to justice.

Last Autumn we announced a significant increase in our investment in Counter Fraud, Compliance and Debt operations by 75%, up to £1.4bn over the next three years. We are using this to scale up our existing operations, enhance our approach to data and intelligence and set up a new targeted review of the Universal Credit (UC) caseload. This will generate billions of savings over the scorecard period.

We published figures in the DWP Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21 that showed the estimated rate of fraud and error in Universal Credit was 14.5%, up from 9.4% in 2019/20.

These estimates are based on in depth reviews of a random sample of around 3,000 Universal Credit cases (taken between February and November 2020) to establish the extent of Fraud and Error. The level of fraud and error found in this sample is then applied to the 2020-21 Universal Credit expenditure to give our overall estimate. During the early months of the pandemic we faced unprecedented levels of claims, with 2.4 million new UC claims between 1 March and 26 May 2020. We took a decision to implement easements to ensure we could prioritise payments to those who needed help during this difficult time. This meant that although the overall level of fraud and error in Universal Credit across the year was 14.5%, the subset of claims made after the pandemic started had a level of 25.6%. Claims prior to the pandemic remained at a level of 9.4%. This detailed analysis indicates that the total overpayment for fraud and error for claims from the start of the pandemic (in 2020/21) was £3.1 billion, of which £1.1billion being overpaid due to incorrect information about self-employed income.

It is regrettable that people may have sought to exploit the extraordinary circumstances of a global pandemic for gain by not reporting changes in circumstances or even making false claims. This is particularly true for bogus claims orchestrated by organised criminals.

During the pandemic, we were able to detect and shut down systematic attacks on the benefit system, including preventing £1.9bn from an attack from Organised Criminals in May 2020. We removed the easements as early as possible from June 2020 and introduced new processes, including a new Enhanced Checking Service created in April 2020, comprising a team of trained investigators who review claims and contact claimants in order to obtain further information or evidence where there is suspected fraud. In total we estimate that we have prevented nearly £3bn of additional fraud and error.

Our rigorous checks to prevent fraud are now back in place and the new targeted UC case reviews funded as part of the £1.4bn investment will be focused on relentlessly pursuing and finding incorrect claims and driving out the Fraud and Error. We are determined to combat all attempts at fraud and will not hesitate to pursue those who exploit the system when benefits are there to support those most in need.

Fraud and error in the benefit system: financial year 2020 to 2021 estimates - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that personal independence payment claims and reviews are processed in a timely manner.

We are committed to ensuring people can access financial support through Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in a timely manner.

We have seen increasing levels of demand for PIP and are constantly making improvements to our service to ensure claimants get a timely decision.

We introduced a blend of phone, video and face-to-face assessments to deliver a more efficient and user-centred service. We are also increasing case manager and Assessment Provider health professional resource to deal with the increased demand.

We are sending new claims to Assessment Providers ahead of award reviews for existing claims, to ensure newly entitled claimants get the support they need.

Where possible, decisions on award reviews are made by DWP decision makers without a new referral to an Assessment Provider. Those who do require an assessment are put into a queue until our Assessment Providers have capacity to assess them, and their existing awards are extended where necessary until the review is completed. This ensures that they get the right decision, and that there is no risk of their award ending before they are assessed.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart Scheme placements have been (a) approved, (b) advertised and (c) started by young people by (i) nation, (ii) region and (iii) sector as of 31 January 2022.

As of the 31st January 2022, over 130,000 Kickstart jobs have been started by young people and over 235,000 jobs have been made available for young people to apply to through the scheme. Over 305,000 jobs have been approved for funding.

Below are tables listing the number of Kickstart jobs which have been made available and started by young people to date by geographical area of Great Britain and work sector. The figures used are correct as of the 31st January and these figures have been rounded according to departmental standards.

Jobs made available and starts quoted here include some unfunded Kickstart jobs. Over time, some previously approved jobs have been removed where the employer chose not to follow up the application. Included in the Great Britain total are a small number of jobs made available (less than 100 in total) that have an unrecorded job location. Data on approved jobs is taken from a snapshot of the Kickstart system at a point in time. This figure can be affected by retrospective changes resulting from previously approved grant applications being rescinded.

The number of approved jobs is defined as the number of jobs associated with approved applications recorded on the Kickstart application system on the date above. This total excludes approved jobs that have been withdrawn from the Kickstart Scheme by agreement with employers and gateways.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Table 1: Number of Kickstart total available jobs and job starts to 31st January 2022, Great Britain, by nation and region

Total jobs made available

Total jobs started

Total, Great Britain

235,000

130,000

England

204,000

113,000

East Midlands

14,000

8,000

East of England

18,000

9,000

London

51,000

28,000

North East

11,000

6,000

North West

30,000

17,000

South East

26,000

14,000

South West

14,000

8,000

West Midlands

21,000

12,000

Yorkshire and The Humber

19,000

11,000

Scotland

19,000

11,000

Wales

12,000

6,000

Table 2: Number of Kickstart total available jobs and job starts to 31st January 2022, Great Britain, by Sector

Sector

Total jobs made available

Total jobs started

Administration

57,350

32,660

Animal Care

1,610

1,060

Beauty & Wellbeing

1,720

1,080

Business & Finance

8,500

4,820

Computing Technology & Digital

15,840

10,490

Construction & Trades

7,230

4,200

Creative & Media

20,990

13,110

Delivery & Storage

6,380

3,710

Emergency & Uniform Services

520

290

Engineering & Maintenance

7,080

3,980

Environment & Land

4,620

2,710

Government Services

1,000

460

Healthcare

6,140

2,770

Home Services

1,560

730

Hospitality & Food

26,380

11,210

Law & Legal

650

410

Managerial

960

570

Manufacturing

6,430

3,600

Retail & Sales

34,970

20,450

Science & Research

990

650

Social Care

4,740

2,140

Sports & Leisure

5,920

3,200

Teaching & Education

11,000

5,410

Transport

900

330

Travel & Tourism

1,110

390

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart scheme placements have been (a) approved, (b) advertised and (c) started by young people, by (i) nation, (ii) region and (iii) sector.

As of the 2nd November, 98,000 young people have started a Kickstart job. Over 215,000 jobs have been made available for young people to apply to through the scheme and over 304,000 jobs have been approved for funding.

From 28/09/2021 to 25/10/2021, on average over 6,700 Kickstart jobs were made available each week, and on average over 3,400 young people started a Kickstart job each week.

Below are tables listing the number of Kickstart jobs which have been made available and started by young people to date by geographical area of Great Britain and work sector. The figures used are correct as of the 2nd November and these figures have been rounded according to departmental standards.

Jobs made available and starts quoted here include some unfunded Kickstart jobs. Over time, some previously approved jobs have been removed where the employer chose not to follow up the application.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Table 1- Kickstart jobs made available and started by location.

Location

Jobs Made Available

Cumulative Jobs Started

East Midlands

13,020

6,030

East of England

17,130

6,900

London

46,790

20,990

North East

8,660

4,600

North West

26,720

12,460

Scotland

16,040

8,400

South East

24,310

10,580

South West

15,080

6,230

Wales

11,100

4,730

West Midlands

19,270

9,070

Yorkshire and The Humber

16,830

7,830

*These numbers are rounded and so may not match provided totals.

Table 2- Kickstart jobs made available and started by sector.

Sector

Jobs Made Available

Cumulative Jobs Started

Administration

53,230

24,440

Animal Care

1,250

760

Beauty & Wellbeing

1,600

780

Business & Finance

7,770

3,570

Computing Technology & Digital

14,950

8,070

Construction & Trades

6,500

3,010

Creative & Media

17,550

9,750

Delivery & Storage

6,190

2,780

Emergency & Uniform Services

520

220

Engineering & Maintenance

6,680

3,000

Environment & Land

3,990

1,930

Government Services

780

280

Healthcare

5,330

2,060

Home Services

1,560

520

Hospitality & Food

25,080

8,110

Law & Legal

450

310

Managerial

1,070

460

Manufacturing

5,820

2,590

Retail & Sales

32,510

16,340

Science & Research

840

490

Social Care

4,750

1,590

Sports & Leisure

5,150

2,400

Teaching & Education

10,010

3,870

Transport

730

210

Travel & Tourism

700

280

*These numbers are rounded and so may not match provided totals.

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department has been taking to support Operation Warm Welcome.

The Department has played a key role in Operation Warm Welcome including legislating to exempt those arriving from Afghanistan from the usual residency tests which restrict access to certain benefits for new arrivals to the UK, including Universal Credit.

We recognise those arriving may require immediate help. Therefore, DWP work coaches are now working in bridging hotels to take claims for Universal Credit and other support, with over 2,900 claims already taken which covers 4,500 claimants (couples are treated as a single claim). The Department has also provided other assistance including help to set up bank accounts, access medical prescriptions, distribute essential items, arranging events to support wellbeing and providing reassurance and a contact point for individuals.

Moreover, employment is an important part of integration. That is why those arriving under the relocation and resettlement schemes have the right to work from day one. We are providing tailored support to those who are ready to start looking for work. Employment fairs are being run to highlight employment and training opportunities and online courses are available in bridging hotels. DWP are using our National Employment and Partnership Team to identify employment opportunities for those who are ready to work, and are working with the Refugee Employment Network to ensure we provide tailored support to this cohort.

DWP are also working with individuals to prepare them for work, looking at work experience opportunities, help with CV and practice interviews. As well as supporting the setup of English language classes either at hotels or the Department has arranged transport to locations so people can attend.

24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the (a) level of covid-19 vaccine hesitancy amongst women and girls of childbearing age due to concerns around fertility and menstrual disturbance and (b) effectiveness of the Government's strategy to tackle that hesitancy.

The latest assessment on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in the United Kingdom is available at the following link:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/datasets/coronavirusandvaccinehesitancygreatbritain

The latest data published in August 2021 shows 4% of adults reported vaccine hesitancy in the UK. In females aged between 16 to 29 years old, hesitancy increased to 9%, whilst for females aged between 30 to 49 years old vaccine hesitancy was at 6%. This is compared to 19% in females aged 16 to 29 years old and 14% for those aged 20 to 49 years old in February 2021.

Whilst vaccine hesitancy has decreased, the Department continues to work closely with our partners to address concerns around pregnancy, breastfeeding and fertility. Our vaccine toolkits for stakeholders, partners and employers provides information on these concerns, and we have shared case stories of women of childbearing age who have received the vaccine before, during or after pregnancy to reassure women who may still be concerned. We have also worked with trusted sources to publicly address and reassure the concerns of younger women. At a local level we have supported webinars and engagement sessions specifically focused on women’s vaccines concerns and tailored to specific demographic groups.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of people over the age of 18 have taken up covid-19 vaccination by (a) ethnicity and (b) age; and what assessment he has made of the (i) barriers to vaccination and (ii) effectiveness of Government measures to increase uptake in groups where take up is low.

NHS England and NHS Improvement publish vaccine uptake by both age and ethnicity. This is published daily and ranges from ‘Under 18’ to ‘80+’. There are also weekly and monthly publications of these statistics, which provides a more detailed breakdown of vaccine uptake by age and a detailed breakdown of vaccine uptake by ethnicity. The data can we found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

The Department reviews research into COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. This includes information gathered by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), health studies, and insights generated by the vaccine programme itself.

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is monitored by ONS. Data is published to record the reasons people give for vaccine refusal. A breakdown of this data can be found at the following link:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/datasets/coronavirusandvaccinehesitancygreatbritain

This is supported by Healthwatch, who undertook research in Spring 2021 and looked at uptake in ethnic minority groups who are known to be vaccine hesitant. They found that people commonly cited issues such as practical barriers, misinformation, and deeper cultural mistrust.

There have been a range of national and hyper-local initiatives in place to drive uptake, including national communications, provision of mobile/pop-up delivery models and work with faith/community leaders. These efforts have been hugely successful in communicating benefits of vaccination. Vaccine hesitancy has decreased from 9% in February to 3% in August for all adults per ONS data. The statistics also showed hesitancy has decreased for those aged 16 and 17 from 14% to 11%. Furthermore, YouGov polling indicates that hesitancy amongst ethnic minority groups has reduced from 63% to 14% from October to August. This success has been facilitated by the wide range of interventions and strategies employed to ensure strong vaccine uptake.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the tiered regional approach in slowing the rate of covid prior to the national lockdown.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre is currently assessing the evidence of the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions of all types. There are some early signs that the introduction and escalation of local alert levels had a material impact on behaviour, the number of household contacts and cases.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the infection fatality rate of covid-19 is in the UK (a) overall and (b) by (i) age group, (ii) gender and (iii) ethnic background.

Public Health England does not publish data on the infection fatality rate or the case fatality rate of COVID-19.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of the capacity at NHS Nightingale Hospitals are being used; and what plans are in place for the use of the remainder of the capacity if it is not required at this stage of the covid-19 outbreak.

Bed availability and occupancy rates are collected and published via the national reporting system at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/bed-availability-and-occupancy/

However, information is only published at trust level. The Nightingale hospitals in London (Barts Health NHS Trust) and the North West (Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust) are the only two to have accepted COVID-19 patients at this time. All Nightingale hospitals are now on standby.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much revenue accrued to the public purse from VAT on vehicle rentals in 2019-20; and what estimate he has made of the projected effect of covid-19 on that revenue in 2020-21.

HM Revenue and Customs do not hold data on VAT collected specifically from the rental of vehicles, as information on supplies of specific commodities and services is not required on VAT returns.

HMRC record and publish annually details of VAT receipts across trade sectors and subsectors, but not of specific commodities or services. HMRC estimate and monitor the general impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on VAT receipts based on reference scenarios from the Office for Budget Responsibility, as well as the impact of Government policies related to COVID-19 such as VAT deferral and reduced VAT rates. Impacts on individual commodities or services are not available.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of detainees remained in immigration detention centres for longer than 28 days; what the longest recorded length of stay is; and what the (a) median and (b) inter-quartile range of length of stay was in the most recent period for which figures are available.

The Home Office publishes statistics on people in detention on the last day of each quarter in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on people in detention under immigration powers at 30 June 2020 by current length of detention, are published in Table Det_03c and Det_03d of the ‘Summary tables’. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on detention.

In addition, the Home Office published data on people leaving detention in each quarter by length of detention in Table Det_04b of the ‘Summary tables’.

Figures on people in detention in Q3 2020 will be published on 26 November 2020. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/910647/detention-summary-jun-2020-tables.xlsx

https://www.gov.uk/search/research-and-statistics?content_store_document_type=upcoming_statistics&organisations%5B%5D=home-office&order=release-date-oldest

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/910647/detention-summary-jun-2020-tables.xlsx

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2020
What steps his Department has taken to tackle covid-19 on the prison estate.

We have restricted regimes, minimised transfers between prisons and boosted staffing at the frontline and supported prisoners to maintain family ties.

Prisons are also implementing a ‘compartmentalisation’ strategy to isolate the sick, shield the vulnerable and quarantine new arrivals.

Latest public health advice suggests that the measures we have been taking to tackle covid-19 have helped to limit the spread of the virus in prisons.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress the Government is making on bringing forward legislative proposals to ensure that local authorities can extend legal notices on marriages postponed as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.

The Government acknowledges the significant upheaval that Covid-19 is causing for couples who were looking to marry at this time. The requirement to solemnize a marriage within twelve months of giving notice to marry is set out in primary legislation and would require primary legislation to amend.

We are exploring what changes might be possible in relation to marriages at this time, and in line with Public Health England guidance on social distancing.