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Written Question
Offshore Industry: North Sea
Friday 1st July 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what powers the Government has to ensure that oil and gas extracted in the North Sea comes into the UK market.

Answered by Greg Hands - Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The North Sea Transition Authority publishes projections of oil and gas production in the UK, including comparisons with forecasts of demand, at www.nstauthority.co.uk/data-centre/data-downloads-and-publications/production-projections.

Statistics on current UK oil and gas production and supply are available at www.gov.uk/government/statistics/oil-and-oil-products-section-3-energy-trends and www.gov.uk/government/statistics/gas-section-4-energy-trends respectively.


Written Question
Nature Conservation
Friday 1st July 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to hold a public consultation on its response to the Joint Nature Conservation Committee's 7th Quinquennial Review recommendations on species protection.

Answered by Rebecca Pow - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

JNCC’s seventh Quinquennial Review report, submitted to the Government on 19 April, provides the Secretary of State with independent scientific advice on proposed changes to Schedules 5 and 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. We will consider the recommendations carefully and the Government’s proposed approach, including any plans for consultation, before aiming to publish JNCC’s advice later this year. No decisions have yet been made.


Written Question
Offshore Industry: North Sea
Friday 1st July 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of oil and gas from new licences in the North Sea that will come to the UK market.

Answered by Greg Hands - Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The North Sea Transition Authority publishes projections of oil and gas production in the UK, including comparisons with forecasts of demand, at www.nstauthority.co.uk/data-centre/data-downloads-and-publications/production-projections.

Statistics on current UK oil and gas production and supply are available at www.gov.uk/government/statistics/oil-and-oil-products-section-3-energy-trends and www.gov.uk/government/statistics/gas-section-4-energy-trends respectively.


Written Question
Warm Home Discount Scheme: Disability
Friday 1st July 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to put his plans to remove eligibility for the warm homes discount from disabled people not on income related benefits on hold for the purpose of holding discussions with disabled people's organisations on the impact of this plan on disabled people; what assessment he has made of the (a) net difference between the amount a disabled person who would previously have been eligible for the Warm Home Discount loses and gains with the Disability Cost of Living Payment and the (b) adequacy of this for paying for the additional costs faced by disabled people referred to by the Chancellor in his statement to the House on 26 May; and if he will make a statement on the impact of this plan on disabled people.

Answered by Greg Hands - Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Due to the expansion and reform of the scheme, the Government estimated that 160,000 more households where someone has a disability or long-term illness will receive a rebate compared to the unreformed scheme. The scheme will be better targeted to households in fuel poverty and on the lowest incomes. Around 62% of Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance recipients also receive one of the qualifying means-tested benefits. Those households with high energy costs would therefore be eligible for a rebate.

The cost-of-living support measures announced this year will mean low-income people with a disability and in receipt of a means-tested benefit will receive £1,350 this year.


Written Question
West Burton Power Station
Friday 1st July 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy:

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he approved the agreement between (a) the National Grid and (b) EDF on keeping the West Burton A coal plant open until March 2023.

Answered by Greg Hands - Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The extension to operations at West Burton A was made to further boost the UK’s energy security and domestic supply, in light of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. It remains the Government’s firm commitment to end the use of coal power by October 2024.


Written Question
Right to Buy Scheme
Friday 1st July 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to his plans to extend right to buy housing association properties, what comparative assessment he has made of the (a) difference in cost to Government of one-for-one compared to like for like replacement of each social housing property sold and (b) level of potential risk that (i) properties will be sold on to buy to let private landlords in the future and (ii) the policy will contribute to a reduction in the overall number of social homes for rent; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Stuart Andrew - Minister of State (Minister for Housing)

This Government is committed to the Right to Buy, which has helped nearly two million council tenants to realise their dream of home ownership.

Housing associations that took part in the Midlands pilot have 3 years to use the receipts from a sale for replacement affordable housing. Replacement is therefore still ongoing. 1,839 homes were sold between 2019 and 2021 under the Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy pilot. We are monitoring replacement of homes sold under the pilot, including through our annually published data collection.

The Prime Minister announced on 9 June 2022, the intention to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants, and that homes sold under an extended Right to Buy scheme will be replaced one-for-one.

We will be working closely with the housing association sector as we develop the scheme and will announce more details in due course.


Written Question
Right to Buy Scheme
Friday 1st July 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the Evaluation of Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy Pilot, what steps he is taking to address the indication from housing associations that they will find meeting the collective commitment to one for one challenging, particularly without putting their own resources in to part-fund replacements.

Answered by Stuart Andrew - Minister of State (Minister for Housing)

This Government is committed to the Right to Buy, which has helped nearly two million council tenants to realise their dream of home ownership.

Housing associations that took part in the Midlands pilot have 3 years to use the receipts from a sale for replacement affordable housing. Replacement is therefore still ongoing. 1,839 homes were sold between 2019 and 2021 under the Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy pilot. We are monitoring replacement of homes sold under the pilot, including through our annually published data collection.

The Prime Minister announced on 9 June 2022, the intention to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants, and that homes sold under an extended Right to Buy scheme will be replaced one-for-one.

We will be working closely with the housing association sector as we develop the scheme and will announce more details in due course.


Written Question
Right to Buy Scheme: Midlands
Friday 1st July 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many of the homes sold during the Voluntary Right to Buy Midlands pilot have been replaced since the commencement of that scheme; what recent assessment he has made of whether the pilot will lead to a one-for-one replacement of the homes that have been sold; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Stuart Andrew - Minister of State (Minister for Housing)

This Government is committed to the Right to Buy, which has helped nearly two million council tenants to realise their dream of home ownership.

Housing associations that took part in the Midlands pilot have 3 years to use the receipts from a sale for replacement affordable housing. Replacement is therefore still ongoing. 1,839 homes were sold between 2019 and 2021 under the Midlands Voluntary Right to Buy pilot. We are monitoring replacement of homes sold under the pilot, including through our annually published data collection.

The Prime Minister announced on 9 June 2022, the intention to extend the Right to Buy to housing association tenants, and that homes sold under an extended Right to Buy scheme will be replaced one-for-one.

We will be working closely with the housing association sector as we develop the scheme and will announce more details in due course.


Written Question
Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests
Wednesday 29th June 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question to the Cabinet Office:

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, through what mechanism a civil servant can raise a complaint of (a) bullying, (b) sexual harassment and (c) other misconduct against a minister during any time the post of Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interest is unfilled; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Michael Ellis - Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)

In the event of a complaint against a minister relating to potential misconduct, the dispute resolution procedure in place in all departments would be used. The matter would be escalated to the department’s Permanent Secretary, who would handle the complaint in conjunction with the Cabinet Office and the member of staff concerned.


Written Question
Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests
Monday 27th June 2022

Asked by: Caroline Lucas (Green Party - Brighton, Pavilion)

Question

To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2022 to Question 19605 on Lord Geidt, what criteria he uses for deciding when to request the advice of the Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests on matters relating to the national interest.

Answered by Boris Johnson - Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union

From time to time, issues may arise relating to the national interest, and in these cases it is helpful to obtain advice on how those issues may be best addressed to avoid or mitigate potential conflicts under the Ministerial Code.

I also refer the Hon. Member to the Terms of Reference on the Independent Adviser (as of May 2022), which sets out the Adviser’s role in providing confidential advice to the Prime Minister. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/terms-of-reference-for-the-independent-adviser-on-ministers-interests--2/terms-of-reference-independent-adviser-on-ministers-interests