Dan Carden Portrait

Dan Carden

Labour - Liverpool, Walton

Armed Forces Bill Select Committee
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Shadow Financial Secretary (Treasury)
10th Apr 2020 - 15th Oct 2020
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
3rd Dec 2018 - 6th Apr 2020
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 29th Apr 2019
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 29th Apr 2019
Procedure Committee
23rd Oct 2017 - 19th Mar 2019
Shadow Minister (International Development)
12th Jan 2018 - 2nd Dec 2018


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 25th October 2021
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Achieving Net Zero: Follow up
25 Oct 2021, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Sarah Munby - Permanent Secretary at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Lee McDonough - Director General for net zero strategy and international at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Ben Rimmington - Director General Net Zero Buildings and Industry at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
14:00
Environmental Audit Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Net zero aviation and shipping
27 Oct 2021, 2 p.m.
At 2.15pm: Oral evidence
Dr Andy Jefferson - Programme Director at Sustainable Aviation
Dr Chika Miyoshi - Reader in Environment Science for Aerospace at Cranfield University
Chris Young - Group Chief Engineer at Rolls-Royce
At 3.15pm: Oral evidence
Simon Bullock - Research Associate at Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester
Sarah Kenny - Chair at Maritime UK
Anna Ziou - Policy Director at UK Chamber of Shipping
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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 27th October 2021
16:30
Westminster Hall debate - Westminster Hall
27 Oct 2021, 4:30 p.m.
Dame Carol Black's Independent review of drugs report
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Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
09:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Underpayments of the State Pension
28 Oct 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Peter Schofield - Permanent Secretary at Department for Work & Pensions
Amanda Reynolds - Director General for Service Excellence at Department for Work & Pensions
Cathy Payne - Deputy Director for State Pensions and Service Excellence at Department for Work & Pensions
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Select Committee Meeting
Monday 1st November 2021
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities recall (Homelessness and housing)
1 Nov 2021, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Jeremy Pocklington - Permanent Secretary at Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 4th November 2021
09:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: DCMS recall (Broadband)
4 Nov 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Sarah Healey - Permanent Secretary at Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Susannah Storey - Director General for Digital and Media at Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Imran Shafi - Director for Digital Infrastructure at Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Paul Norris - CE0 at Building Digital UK
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 8th November 2021
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Reducing the backlog in criminal courts
8 Nov 2021, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Antonia Romeo - Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Justice
Jerome Glass - Director General Policy and Strategy Group at Ministry of Justice
Kevin Sadler - Interim Chief Executive at Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service
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Select Committee Meeting
Monday 15th November 2021
15:30
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Prayers
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 114 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 3 Noes - 336
Speeches
Thursday 16th September 2021
Criminal Justice System: Families Bereaved by Public Disasters

It is an honour and a privilege to follow my friend, the hon. Member for Liverpool, West Derby (Ian Byrne), …

Written Answers
Thursday 21st October 2021
Business: Disclosure of Information
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government plans to publish a response …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 27th January 2021
Healthy Homes Act
That this House welcomes the campaign by the Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) for a Healthy Homes Act which …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 6th September 2021
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Racecourse Association Ltd
Address of donor: Winkfield Road, Ascot SL5 7HX
Amount of donation or nature and …
EDM signed
Tuesday 19th October 2021
£15 an hour minimum wage campaign
That this House congratulates Labour Party conference delegates for committing to support the policy of a £15 an hour minimum …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Public Advocate (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to establish a public advocate to provide advice to, and act as data controller for, representatives of the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Dan Carden has voted in 271 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Dan Carden Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
Kevan Jones (Labour)
(6 debate interactions)
Angela Eagle (Labour)
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(28 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(13 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(11 debate contributions)
Home Office
(5 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Dan Carden's debates

Liverpool, Walton Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

In light of the recent outbreak and lock down, those on maternity leave should be given 3 extra months paid leave, at least. This time is for bonding and social engaging with other parents and babies through baby groups which are vital for development and now everything has been cancelled.


Latest EDMs signed by Dan Carden

18th October 2021
Dan Carden signed this EDM on Tuesday 19th October 2021

£15 an hour minimum wage campaign

Tabled by: Jon Trickett (Labour - Hemsworth)
That this House congratulates Labour Party conference delegates for committing to support the policy of a £15 an hour minimum wage; notes that 14.5 million people in the country are living in poverty, the vast majority of whom are in working households; further notes that 5.5 million workers in the …
23 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 21
Independent: 2
18th October 2021
Dan Carden signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 19th October 2021

COP26 and the Glasgow Action Plan

Tabled by: Rebecca Long Bailey (Labour - Salford and Eccles)
That this House acknowledges that the COP26 conference is the important moment when countries that have signed the Paris Agreement on climate change must present new targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions; notes that this is critical for keeping temperature rises below 1.5 degrees Celcius and preventing the world’s poorest …
28 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Independent: 3
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Dan Carden's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Dan Carden, 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.


Dan Carden has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Dan Carden has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Dan Carden has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


359 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
4 Other Department Questions
20th Oct 2021
What steps the Government is taking to promote climate action and a green recovery from the covid-19 pandemic ahead of COP26.

The Prime Minister’s 10-Point Plan and Net Zero Strategy sets out our blueprint for a Green Industrial Revolution. The plan invests in green technologies and industries; leverages billions of pounds of private sector investments to create and support up to 250,000 highly-skilled green jobs, and level up across the UK. It’s a clear plan to build back greener from the covid pandemic.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what discussions has she had with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the impact of algorithmic decision-making on people with protected characteristics.

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (CDEI) is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Officials in the Equality Hub and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have discussed with the CDEI its Review into bias in algorithmic decision-making.

As part of its 2021-22 Annual Plan, the EHRC is developing guidance on artificial intelligence and the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), for government departments and public bodies. This is in response to recommendations from the CDEI as well as the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Additionally, as part of the planning process for the EHRC’s 2022-25 Strategic Plan, the Commission is engaging with key stakeholders, including the Ada Lovelace Institute and the Alan Turing Institute to build its capability to respond to the most pressing equality and human rights issues arising from the use of artificial intelligence.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what plans she has to bring forward legislative proposals to ban LGBT conversion therapy.

This Government is committed to tackling the abhorrent practice of conversion therapy in the UK. As the Prime Minister has reiterated, this practice has no place in civilised society.

We are considering both legislative and non-legislative options to end conversion therapy practices for good. Officials have been reviewing the current legislative framework to see how harmful and unacceptable practices referred to as conversion therapy may already be captured by existing laws and offences. Where this is the case, we will look to ensure that the law is clear and enforced. Where conversion therapy practices are not already unlawful we are looking at the best ways to end these practices without sending them underground.

The Government is working at pace on ending conversion therapy and will outline in due course how it intends to proceed with an effective and proportionate response.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answers of 21 July 2020 to Questions 75431 and 75432 on Bank Services, 75433 on Bank Services: Foreign Nationals and 75434 on Bank Services: Undocumented Migrants, whether that information is held by another Government department.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will ask the relevant authorities to undertake detailed audits of the 73 Government covid-19 contracts identified by Transparency International UK as containing corruption red flags.

Intensive collaboration with the private sector specifically on procurement has been, and continues to be, both necessary and essential for Government to properly manage and handle the Covid-19 crisis. During the most challenging periods, being able to procure at speed was critical in providing that response. Despite that, the Government has always made clear that all contracts, including all those entered into as part of the Government’s Covid-19 response, must achieve value for money for taxpayers and use sound commercial judgement. The details of all awards are published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

Proper due diligence is carried out for all government contracts and Government takes these checks extremely seriously. Government Departments, as individual contracting authorities, are responsible for ensuring that they have in place robust processes for spending public money fairly and achieving value for money for the taxpayer. This includes ensuring that appropriate levels of due diligence are undertaken on the supplier prior to award of contracts.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans publish details of (a) companies that were awarded contracts via the high-priority lane for covid-19 procurement and (b) who referred them.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000, and £25,000 in the wider public sector, are publicly available and published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

We plan to publish details of companies that were awarded contracts via the high-priority lane for Covid-19 procurement, and who referred them to the high-priority lane, in due course. This commitment goes above and beyond usual transparency obligations.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to publish its response to Nigel Boardman's report into the development and use of Supply Chain Finance (and associated schemes) related to Greensill Capital in government.

I refer the Honourable member to Written Statement HCWS293.

The Government notes the work of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs and Treasury Committees, as well as the forthcoming Standards Matter 2 report from the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Once these reports have been published, we will consider their work alongside Mr Boardman’s recommendations, and set out a substantive Government policy statement to Parliament in due course.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Government's timetable is for publishing its response to its consultation on planned reforms to public procurement.

Leaving the EU provides the UK with the opportunity to overhaul the public procurement regulations that govern how contracting authorities spend some £290bn of taxpayer’s money.

We received over 600 responses as part of the consultation exercise. The process of analysis of these comments is now complete and we are finalising our response to the consultation ahead of publication in the coming weeks.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of reducing the UK parliamentary general election spending limit.

As I announced in my written ministerial statement on 3 December 2020, it is the Government’s intention to review party and candidate spending limits for all polls within the legislative competence of the UK Government, other than local council elections in England which were uprated last year, with a view to uprating them in line with inflation since they were originally set. This will create a baseline for regular and consistent reviews of all limits in future.

In some cases, there has been a significant gap since the last time spending limits were raised - some, including those for political parties at UK parliamentary elections, haven’t changed since 2000. This impacts campaigning ability given inflationary costs of printing and communication, which is vital for parties and candidates to communicate their views with voters. Election spending limits are fixed in absolute terms. By updating for inflation, the limits remain in line with the original intent of Parliament when they were introduced.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) amount and (b) breakdown of costs incurred by the Government to date in respect of preventing the release of the personal diaries and correspondence of the 1st Earl and Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

The Cabinet Office is working with the University of Southampton to support the release of the Mountbatten archive whilst ensuring sensitive information, including personal data, is handled appropriately and in line with Freedom of Information Act.

Diaries from 1918 to 1934 have already been released. Further volumes will be released in due course as necessary sensitivity work is completed. This is in line with undertakings given by Earl Mountbatten in 1969 on the publication of the archive.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department's news story, Statement on government procurement following this week’s NAO report, published on 19 November 2020, how and to whom the high priority mailbox was advertised.

The mailbox was available across government and with Parliamentarians. This was done through email correspondence to ministerial private offices and senior officials in the PPE sourcing programme, who then onward shared as they considered appropriate.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Government response to the Justice Committee's report Post-legislative scrutiny of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, HC 96-I, published in July 2012, what progress the Government has made on implementing its response to the recommendation that the time limit for prosecution of offences under section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 should be extended; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ182093 on 21 April 2021.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to publish an updated Register of Ministers' Financial Interests.

The Prime Minister yesterday announced the appointment of Rt Hon Lord Geidt to serve as the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests. The Independent Adviser oversees the production of a List of Ministers' Interests, and the next publication will occur once Lord Geidt has concluded that process.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to ensure that the newly appointed Independent Advisor for Ministerial Standards has the powers to investigate whether there has been a breach of the Ministerial Code (a) independently of the Prime Minister and (b) on their own terms.

The Prime Minister yesterday announced the appointment of Rt Hon Lord Geidt to serve as the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests. Lord Geidt is a Crossbench Member of the House of Lords, a Privy Councillor and a former Private Secretary to The Queen. He brings a distinguished record of impartial public service and experience of Government to bear on the appointment.

The Prime Minister has agreed Terms of Reference for the role with Lord Geidt. These have been published on Gov.uk and will be deposited in the House libraries.

As part of these new Terms of Reference, and taking into account the recommendations of the Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, the Independent Adviser will now have the authority to advise on the initiation of investigations.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the information the Government holds on communications or meetings held between (a) Ministers, (b) advisors of those Ministers and (c) senior civil servants and those companies who have been awarded Government contracts since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

This information is not held centrally.


Details of Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, (a) in what way and (b) to whom was the high-priority lane for covid-19 contracts advertised.

There are well-established procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the legal framework governing public procurement, to enable contracting authorities to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances.

Indeed, being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However we have always made it clear that all contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

We have issued further updated guidance, Procurement Policy Note – Procurement in an Emergency (PPN 01/21) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency

Along with the above, we have recently published detailed proposals for a new and improved regulatory regime for public procurement, taking advantage of new freedoms now that we have left the EU. While these proposals have long been in development, they include specific measures to strengthen transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle

The Government has published a statement on gov.uk following the National Audit Office report.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that the use of emergency procurement procedures are subject to parliamentary oversight.

There are well-established procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the legal framework governing public procurement, to enable contracting authorities to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances.

Indeed, being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However we have always made it clear that all contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

We have issued further updated guidance, Procurement Policy Note – Procurement in an Emergency (PPN 01/21) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency

Along with the above, we have recently published detailed proposals for a new and improved regulatory regime for public procurement, taking advantage of new freedoms now that we have left the EU. While these proposals have long been in development, they include specific measures to strengthen transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle

The Government has published a statement on gov.uk following the National Audit Office report.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to resume undertaking procurement competitively for all contracts.

There are well-established procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the legal framework governing public procurement, to enable contracting authorities to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances.

Indeed, being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However we have always made it clear that all contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

We have issued further updated guidance, Procurement Policy Note – Procurement in an Emergency (PPN 01/21) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency

Along with the above, we have recently published detailed proposals for a new and improved regulatory regime for public procurement, taking advantage of new freedoms now that we have left the EU. While these proposals have long been in development, they include specific measures to strengthen transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle

The Government has published a statement on gov.uk following the National Audit Office report.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to (a) rectify and (b) prevent breaches of transparency obligations in public procurement; and if he will make a statement.

There are well-established procedures set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, the legal framework governing public procurement, to enable contracting authorities to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances.

Indeed, being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However we have always made it clear that all contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines.

We have issued further updated guidance, Procurement Policy Note – Procurement in an Emergency (PPN 01/21) reminding contracting authorities of the options available to them when undertaking procurements in an emergency

Along with the above, we have recently published detailed proposals for a new and improved regulatory regime for public procurement, taking advantage of new freedoms now that we have left the EU. While these proposals have long been in development, they include specific measures to strengthen transparency throughout the commercial lifecycle

The Government has published a statement on gov.uk following the National Audit Office report.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a requirement for (a) company identifiers and (b) spend data is planned to be included in upcoming public procurement reforms.

In its Green Paper on Transforming Public Procurement, the Government has proposed legislating to require all contracting authorities to publish procurement data throughout the commercial lifecycle in a format compliant with the Open Contracting Data Standard. This should include supplier identifiers and spend data. The Government’s response to the consultation will be published in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he made of potential conflicts of interest prior to the decision to appoint Nigel Boardman to lead the Government's Greensill lobbying review.

The Prime Minister has asked Nigel Boardman, a distinguished legal expert, to lead this review. Mr Boardman provided a declaration of interests and an assessment was made that there were no conflicts of interest arising.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of extending the six-month time limit for prosecution of offences under section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act on levels of compliance with that Act.

This Government will continue to consider the recommendations made for reform of section 77 of the Act.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish full details of communications or meetings held between (a) Ministers, (b) No.10 special advisors and (c) senior staff and (i) David Cameron and (ii) wider representatives of Greensill Capital since August 2018.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 14 April at Prime Minister's Questions [col312] setting out the Government's initiation of the Boardman Review.

The review's Terms of Reference were published on 16 April and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish a copy of the advice provided by his Department to Bill Crothers regarding his decision to join Greensill as an advisor to its board in 2015.

The Prime Minister has asked Mr Boardman to conduct a review that will look into the decisions taken around the development and use of supply chain finance (and associated schemes) in government, especially the role of Lex Greensill and Greensill Capital. The full terms of reference are set out at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference

The review will report to the Prime Minister by 30 June 2021. The Government will publish and present to Parliament the Review’s findings and the Government’s response in due course thereafter.

Correspondence between the Cabinet Office and the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments is published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/crothers-bill-government-chief-commercial-officer-cabinet-office-acoba-recommendation

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of expanding the scope of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014 to include (a) in-house lobbyists and (b) interactions with special advisers and senior civil servants.

As is best practice, the Government is currently conducting post-legislative scrutiny of Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014. Earlier this year, Ministers met stakeholders, including industry and civil society representatives, and sought their views on the legislation, including the scope and effectiveness of the Register of Consultant Lobbyists. The work is ongoing and publication of the memorandum will likely now be after the conclusion of the Boardman review so that any findings can be taken into account.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish his Department's internal conflicts of interest policy.

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

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

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

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

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the scope of the review into Greensill lobbying led by Nigel Boardman will include (a) corporate lobbying of Government more broadly, (b) the revolving door between Government and the private sector, (c) enforcement of the Ministerial Code and (d) other issues of (i) transparency and (ii) accountability.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 14 April at Prime Minister's Questions [col312] setting out the Government's initiation of the Boardman Review.

The review's Terms of Reference were published on 16 April and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the review into Greensill lobbying led by Nigel Boardman will hold public hearings.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 14 April at Prime Minister's Questions [col312] setting out the Government's initiation of the Boardman Review.

The review's Terms of Reference were published on 16 April and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the review into Greensill lobbying led by Nigel Boardman will be supported by an independent advisory board.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Prime Minister on 14 April at Prime Minister's Questions [col312] setting out the Government's initiation of the Boardman Review.

The review's Terms of Reference were published on 16 April and can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/review-into-the-development-and-use-of-supply-chain-finance-in-government-terms-of-reference.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to expand the scope of the lobbying register; and if he will make a statement.

As is best practice, the Government is currently conducting post-legislative scrutiny of Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014. Earlier this year, Ministers met stakeholders, including industry and civil society representatives, and sought their views on the legislation, including the scope and effectiveness of the Register of Consultant Lobbyists. The work is ongoing and publication of the memorandum will likely now be after the conclusion of the Boardman review so that any findings can be taken into account.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of reforming the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACBOA) including (a) statutory status, (b) enhancing sanctioning powers, (c) increasing resources and (d) making ACOBA fully independent of Government.

The Cabinet Office has been working with Lord Pickles on reviewing and improving the regime governing the acceptance of employment following departure from Government. This ongoing work will also take into account any lessons learnt from the Boardman review.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assssment he has made of the effectiveness of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments; and if he will make a statement.

The Cabinet Office has been working with Lord Pickles on reviewing and improving the regime governing the acceptance of employment following departure from Government. This ongoing work will also take into account any lessons learnt from the Boardman review.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to make the Ministerial Code a statute.

The Government has no plans for legislation on this matter.

The Ministerial Code is the responsibility of the Prime Minister of the day and customarily updated and issued upon their assuming or returning to office. The Code sets out the standards of conduct expected by the Prime Minister of all who serve in Her Majesty’s Government. It provides guidance to Ministers on how they should act and arrange their affairs in order to uphold these standards and lists the principles which may apply in particular situations.

It is the Prime Minister’s responsibility to set standards of behaviour for members of the Executive, and to account for the actions of the Government.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the correspondence from the Minister for the Constitution to the Executive Secretary of the​ Group of States Against Corruption (​GRECO) on 24 July 2020, what progress he has made on the post-legislative review of Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014; which organisations have been contacted as part of that review; and what the timeline is for implementing recommendations that come out of that review.

As set out in the Minister for the Constitution and Devolution’s letter of 24 July 2020 to GRECO, the Government has now commenced post-legislative scrutiny of Part 1 of the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014.

In January, I hosted two discussions with stakeholders to gather views, including with industry and civil society representatives. These stakeholders were also invited to feed in the views of their wider networks. The Government is currently considering the views gathered and will set out its position in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the findings of the Boardman Review published on 8 December 2020, what timetable the Government has in place for implementation of the review’s recommendations; and whether Ministers plan to provide regular updates on their progress to Parliament.

The Government has published on gov.uk a statement following press coverage regarding the NAO report.

The process of implementing the Boardman recommendations began immediately, and the programme is being assured by the Cabinet Office Audit and Risk Committee (COARC). We committed to provide an update on implementation six months after publication.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the 26 November 2020 National Audit Office report on its investigation into Government procurement during the covid-19 pandemic, how the process of making referrals to the High Priority Lane for procurement was made known; what criteria were used for identifying those who should be informed of the High Priority Lane; and (c) who was informed of the High Priority Lane process.

The Government has published on gov.uk a statement following press coverage regarding the NAO report.

The process of implementing the Boardman recommendations began immediately, and the programme is being assured by the Cabinet Office Audit and Risk Committee (COARC). We committed to provide an update on implementation six months after publication.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will extend the Freedom of Information Act 2000 to private companies contracted to deliver public services; and if he will make a statement.

Since 2010, this Government has been at the forefront of opening up data to allow Parliament, the public and the media to hold public bodies to account and has introduced a range of measures to increase transparency in public sector contracts. At present, the Government has no plans to legislate in this area.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to review the Government's business appointment rules for civil servants.

The government monitors policies and procedures, such as the Business Appointment Rules, and whether or not they can be improved on an ongoing basis.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the forthcoming Green Paper on transforming the UK’s public procurement regulations will include conditions to ensure that companies tendering for public contracts must (a) meet their tax obligations and (b) disclose publicly their beneficial owners.

Details of policy announcements will be made in the usual manner.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on (a) establishing and (b) appointing members of the Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps were taken to (a) identify and (b) tackle potential conflicts of interest during the appointment process to the Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel.

Further to the answer of 4 November, the Cabinet Office has undertaken an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement over many months to gather a range of views to shape our proposals on procurement reform. The Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel was designed to draw together experts from each part of the procurement community – suppliers, lawyers, academics and international experts.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish all (a) guidance and (b) advice that his Department provides to Government departments on responding to Freedom of Information requests; and if he will make a statement.

This Government is fully committed to transparency, and ensuring all requests for Freedom of Information (FOI) are handled appropriately. All requests are considered in an applicant-blind manner, regardless of - for example - the occupation of the applicant. The Cabinet Office FOI process complies with relevant protections under the Data Protection Act 2018.

Under section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the Cabinet Minister issues a Code of Practice, available on gov.uk, which provides guidance and advice to public authorities on the handling of Freedom of Information Requests. In addition, and in line with practice since 2005, the Cabinet Office provides advice to Departments, to ensure cases are handled consistently, and sensitive material handled appropriately. A Clearing House was established in 2004 and has operated in different forms since the FOI Act came into force in January 2005 as an advice centre to coordinate complex requests across Whitehall. There is now no stand alone Clearing House team, but coordination functions are carried out by a number of staff members who have a range of wider responsibilities. Policy responsibility for Freedom of Information transferred from the Ministry of Justice to the Cabinet Office in 2015.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the the National Audit Office investigation into government procurement during the covid-19 outbreak, what steps the Government is taking to ensure basic information on contracts is published in a timely manner.

Being able to procure at speed has been critical in providing the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We welcome the NAO report which recognises that the government ‘needed to procure with extreme urgency’ and ‘secured unprecedented volumes of essential supplies necessary to protect front-line workers’.

All contracts, including those designed to tackle coronavirus issues, must continue to achieve value for money for taxpayers, use good commercial judgement and the details of any awards made should be published as soon as possible in line with Government transparency guidelines.

Robust processes are in place for the award of government contracts. PPE offers were assessed using the same eight step process, including quality checks, price controls and other due diligence, no matter where the original referral came from. This eight step process has been published in the NAO’s report. For further details please see the statement on gov.uk.

We are committed to transparency in public procurement. Details of central government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder. We regret that some details have not been uploaded in a timely fashion. All will be published as soon as possible and significant information is already available online.

The forthcoming Green Paper on transforming the UK’s public procurement regulations will strengthen our longstanding and essential policies that are fundamental to public procurement including transparency, ensuring value for money and fair treatment of suppliers. As part of this, we will propose legislating to reinforce that contracting authorities would need to publish basic disclosure information, including the basis of award decisions.

We have always accepted that there are lessons to be learned from how we responded to this unprecedented global pandemic and the government is fully committed to doing so. We will address the NAO report’s recommendations in due course. As I stated in my answer on 12 November, we are engaged in both internal and external audit to review how our procurements during this period have been conducted.


The service to offer coronavirus (COVID-19) support has closed. Information for businesses seeking to offer coronavirus support is available at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus-support-from-business

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many covid-19 procurement contracts were awarded retrospectively after work had already been carried out.

Government departments are responsible for conducting their own procurements and must follow their own guidance and procedures on identifying, reporting and managing conflicts of interest in procurements.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to (a) identify and (b) tackle potential (i) conflicts of interest and (ii) bias in the Government procurement process.

Government departments are responsible for conducting their own procurements and must follow their own guidance and procedures on identifying, reporting and managing conflicts of interest in procurements.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) agendas and (b) minutes of the meetings of the Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel.

The Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel was a group of experts on public procurement, convened by the Cabinet Office to discuss potential proposals for reforming the public procurement regulations. Announcements of procurement policy will be made in the usual way. In line with the practice of successive administrations, such details are not normally disclosed.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness, and (b) value for money of private companies contracted to provide public services in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

As has been the case under successive administrations, departments are responsible for their commercial decisions, including the award and monitoring of contracts. All contracts, including those designed to address Covid-19 issues, must achieve value for money for taxpayers. Details of awards should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines on gov.uk.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what penalties have been applied to private companies who have not fulfilled the terms of procurement contracts related to the covid-19 outbreak.

As has been the case under successive administrations, departments are responsible for their commercial decisions, including the award and monitoring of contracts. All contracts, including those designed to address Covid-19 issues, must achieve value for money for taxpayers. Details of awards should be published in line with Government transparency guidelines on gov.uk.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to make an assessment of the potential effect of introducing mandatory Voter ID on the ability of (a) Black, (b) Asian and (c) minority ethnic people to vote.

Requiring proof of identity to vote in a polling station will strengthen the integrity of our electoral system, and give the public confidence that our elections are secure and fit for the 21st century.

Both Electoral Commission and Cabinet Office evaluations show that the voter identification pilots were a success and the overwhelming majority of electors cast their vote without a problem. There was no indication that any consistent demographic was adversely affected by asking for identification to vote.

Photo identification has been required in Northern Ireland since 2003, when introduced by the last Labour Government. Labour Ministers told Parliament: “The measures will tackle electoral abuse effectively without disadvantaging honest voters.... [ensuring that] no one is disfranchised because of them ” (Hansard, 10 July 2001, Col. 739) and “the Government have no intention of taking away people’s democratic right to vote. If we believed that thousands of voters would not be able to vote because of this measure, we would not be introducing it at this time” (Lords Hansard, 1 April 2003, Col. 1247). There has been no adverse effect on turnout or participation by such groups since then.

The Government has taken due regard to the public sector equality duty. We will continue to work with the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders including charities and civil society organisations to make sure that such reforms are inclusive for all voters. I have met with charities representing those who are elderly, suffer from dementia, are LGBTQ+, are BAME and other groups. For any voter who does not have one of the required forms of photographic ID, a local elector ID will be available, free of charge, from their local authority.

ID is already requested normally and reasonably in many areas of life, including by many constituency Labour parties, who require voter identification to vote in Labour Party selection meetings. The Labour Party’s NEC also mandates two forms of ID for any members joining an association which is in special measures.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Government plans to publish a response to its consultation on corporate transparency and register reform.

The Department is considering the responses and will respond in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to support public engagement on net zero in the Net Zero Strategy in respect of tackling gaps in consumer protections to give people the confidence to make changes to homes.

The Government’s upcoming Net Zero strategy will look at how the Government can best engage with the public in supporting them to make the right choices when retrofitting their homes and businesses.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to make it easier for people to make energy efficiency improvements to homes and adopt low-carbon heat technologies.

In 2019 there were around 1.3 million fewer fuel poor households living in the least energy efficiency Band E, F or G rated property compared to 2010.

Government is committed to ensuring as many homes as possible reach EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, affordable and cost effective. Support for energy efficiency improvements is available through schemes including the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

Support for low carbon heating is currently available through the Renewable Heat Incentive, and from April 2022, the Clean Heat Grant will provide support to households switching to low carbon heating.

The Government will set out more details of how it will accelerate deployment of energy efficiency and low carbon heating in the forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of potential floating wind projects that could be developed by 2040.

The Government has set an ambitious target of 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, as part of the wider 40GW by 2030 offshore wind target. This will stimulate development in projects and investment in the supply chain. In addition to our existing floating wind projects, Hywind Scotland and Kincardine, there are also a number of floating wind projects already in early development.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there is sufficient supply chain development in the UK to support the delivery of floating wind beyond 2030.

The Government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio fund, announced in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution, is accelerating the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies, systems and business models in power, buildings, and industry. An important element of this is the Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme which aims to support development and demonstration of state of the art technologies and products in the future offshore wind industry.

Our Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support Scheme has recently supported the development of significant new offshore wind manufacturing capacity in the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to accelerate research into motor neurone disease.

The Government is strongly committed to supporting research into dementia and neurodegeneration, including motor neurone disease (MND). We are currently working on ways to significantly boost further research on dementia and neurodegeneration.

In 2019/20, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the Medical Research Council (MRC), spent around £13.4 million on Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research. This included research which aims to increase our understanding of the causes and genetic mechanisms of MND and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) a form of MND. Over 5 years (2015/16 - 2019/20) MRC expenditure relevant to MND and ALS totalled £45 million.

In addition, UKRI, through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, supports a diverse portfolio of neuroscience research and innovation totalling around £30 million per annum. This work may underpin MND research by furthering current understanding of the structure and function of the nervous system; cell biology and genetics; mental processes including learning and memory and neuro, Additionally, the Department of Health and Social Care has spent over £10 million on MND research over the past five years through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). In 2019/20 alone, the NIHR invested £2.7 million in MND research through NIHR research programmes and the NIHR Clinical Research Network.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for UKRI of the £120 million funding gap between its allocations and commitments as a result of reductions in the Official Development Assistance budget.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

We are currently working with UKRI, and all our Global Challenges Research Fund and Newton Fund Delivery Partners, to manage the Financial Year 2021/22 ODA allocations. UKRI have written to their award holders to set out the process for reviewing ODA funding this year, and to explore options for individual programmes. (Full details have been published on the UKRI website).

The Government recognises the importance of supporting international research partnerships and supporting the UK research sector. The Government is committed to increasing UK investment in R&D to £14.9bn in 2021/22. This follows four years of significant growth in R&D funding, including a boost of more than £1.5 billion in 2020/21. It will mean UK Government R&D spending is now at its highest level in four decades.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure funding for covid-19 research is not affected by reductions to the Official Development Assistance budget.

The challenging financial situation we face due to the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary reduction in the UK’s aid spending target from 0.7% of GNI to 0.5%. This means making difficult decisions when it comes to prioritising how we spend aid money to deliver the most impactful outcomes.

BEIS is working with its delivery partners to implement the R&D ODA settlement for financial year 21/22. This work looks to protect the most impactful research programmes, with prioritisation driven by the Government’s Strategic Framework for ODA. The Framework includes priorities to tackle climate and biodiversity; Covid and global health security; girls’ education; science and research; open societies and conflict; humanitarian assistance; and trade.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what due diligence he carried out when considering whether Greensill Capital should be an accredited lender under the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The decision to accredit Greensill Capital was made independently and in accordance with the British Business Bank’s (Bank) usual procedures. The Bank ran an accreditation process for lenders to participate in the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), which included due consideration of whether a prospective lender met the criteria set out in the CLBILS Request for Proposals (a publicly available document).

The criteria included requirements such as the ability to demonstrate a track record of lending to larger enterprises, provision of evidence based forecasts, the ability to demonstrate that it has sufficient capital available to meet their lending forecasts, a viable business model, robust operations and systems, the proposed lending will not have unreasonable lender levied fees and interest, and that the lender has all the necessary regulations, licences, authorisations and permissions to operate the scheme.

At the point of accreditation and based on the information provided to it, the Bank considered that Greensill Capital met the required criteria.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Prime Minister’s announcement of 12 December 2020 that the the UK will end support for fossil fuel sector overseas, whether an impact assessment was undertaken by his Department prior to the decision to delay the implementation of that policy until after a consultation period.

It is important to ensure we provide appropriate notice and transitional support for UK industry. That is why the Government launched a short consultation, seeking views on how to further enable an accelerated growth in UK clean energy exports and on the impacts of the timing of implementation of the policy shift announced by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 12 December 2020. The consultation closes on 8 February 2021. The decision to consult in advance of implementation did not require an impact assessment.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Prime Minister’s announcement of 12 December 2020 that the Government was ending all UKEF support for fossil fuel projects overseas and the fact that UKEF continues to consider applications for support in the oil and gas sector, whether he has made an assessment of applying the ban retrospectively from 12 December 2020.

The date of implementation of the new policy will be determined following the consultation that was launched on the same day. During the consultation period and ahead of the implementation of the new policy, the Government will continue to apply current policy for all in-scope activities including proposals for high carbon projects, with consideration of relevant factors including climate change.

UKEF is already actively seeking to support projects in the clean growth and renewables sectors and will continue to work actively with UK companies on international projects within the clean energy sector.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to create a publicly accessible register of the beneficial owners of overseas companies that own or buy UK property.

The Government remains committed to establishing a new beneficial ownership register of overseas entities that own UK property in order to combat money laundering and achieve greater transparency in the UK property market. The Government is mindful that the register is a novel scheme and it is important to get it right. The register requires primary legislation to be established, and the Government will legislate when Parliamentary time allows.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with (a) employers and (b) trade unions on the use of fire and re-hire tactics in negotiations with employees.

The Department has engaged Acas to look into fire and rehire practices and they are talking to business and employee representatives, to gather evidence of how fire and rehire has been used.

Acas officials have made good progress in their independent and impartial discussions and are expected to share the evidence gathered with BEIS officials in February this year.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the net zero strategy; and whether that strategy will include plans to meet the UK’s 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution of reducing emissions by 68 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

We will publish the Net Zero Strategy ahead of COP26. We will build on my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and the Energy White Paper, as well as upcoming plans in key sectors such as the Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Heat and Buildings Strategy.

The UK’s Nationally Determined Contribution is ambitious and demonstrates our continued leadership in tackling climate change. Our Net Zero Strategy will be a comprehensive plan for decarbonising sectors across the economy, both to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and meet our interim targets, making the most of new growth and employment opportunities across the UK.

We are building on the strong foundations we have established in decarbonising our economy; our ambitious manifesto commitments; and announcements from the Prime Minister and my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer of measures to cut emissions as we build back better in our economic recovery from COVID-19.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which businesses have received loan guarantees under the (a) Bounce Back Loan Scheme, (b) Business Interruption Scheme, (c) Large Business Interruption Scheme and (d) Future Fund.

Details of awards under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be published where required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course. The Future Fund is not a loan guarantee scheme, however details of investments made through the Future Fund alongside private investors are commercially confidential.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress is being made on the retrofitting of homes and buildings to become more energy efficient.

In the Clean Growth Strategy (2017), the Government set out its ambitions that all properties should be EPC Band C by 2035, where cost-effective, affordable, and practical. We have demonstrated our ambition as properties at EPC Band C has increased from 9% in 2008 to 34% in 2018. In addition, from 1990 to 2019 emissions from homes has reduced by 17%.

The Green Homes Grant will give homeowners and landlords an opportunity to upgrade the energy performance of their homes. We also plan on introducing the Future Homes Standard by 2025, which will help ensure that the homes in the UK will be fit for the future. Homes across the UK will be future proofed with leading energy efficiency and low carbon heating measures. The £50m Social Housing Decarbonisation Demonstrator will make progress toward increasing the energy efficiency of social housing. The £1 billion Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme will offer grants to public sector buildings, including schools and hospitals, to fund both energy efficiency and low carbon heat upgrades.

The Government is also planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from all homes and buildings and set buildings on track for net zero.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
4th Feb 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UK regulation on global tech companies.

We want to make the UK the safest place to go online and the best place in the world to set up a digital company. To achieve this aim we need a step change in our regulatory approach.

From establishing the new pro-competition regime for digital markets to our world leading work on online harms this will drive competition, keep people safe and promote our democracy online.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that broadband remains affordable to people in receipt of (a) universal credit and (b) other low-income benefits.

The government has worked closely with industry throughout the pandemic and agreed a set of commitments with the UK’s major broadband and mobile operators to support vulnerable consumers during the Covid-19 period. Providers committed to working with customers who are finding it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19 to ensure that they are treated fairly and appropriately supported. This is in addition to lifting all fixed broadband data caps and providing new and generous landline and mobile offers, such as free or low cost mobile data boosts.

There are already social tariffs available which offer low cost landline and broadband services for those on certain means-tested benefits. However, in line with Ofcom’s recommendation in their Affordability Report published in December 2020, the government encourages those providers who do not currently offer social tariff packages to do so and we will monitor the situation closely.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 116638 on Government Departments: Procurement, what steps he is taking to (a) identify and (b) tackle potential (i) conflicts of interest and (ii) bias in his Department's procurement process.

The department takes all possible steps to identify and tackle conflict of interest and potential bias, including the embedment of fair and open tender processes, overseen by multiple officials from different areas of the department. Other measures include regular review of our policies, ensuring they are relevant to current contexts and adhere to central government guidelines.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many covid-19 procurement contracts were awarded by his Department retrospectively after work had already been carried out.

No COVID-19 contracts were awarded by the Department retrospectively after work had already been carried out.

22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the delay in the publication of the SEND Review on the support for disabled children and their families in their home.

The Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Review is making good progress in identifying the reforms needed to improve support for children and young people with special educational needs and their families.

The COVID-19 outbreak has inevitably frustrated the pace of the review and has materially altered the context for reform. That is why we continue to listen and work with system leaders to get this right by drawing on the best evidence available.

The government remains committed to publishing proposals for public consultation that will give children with SEND greater opportunities to succeed, by fundamentally improving the way we deliver support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether 16 to 19 year olds are to continue to have the opportunity to study for BTECs and other applied general qualifications.

The department has consulted in two stages on proposals for reforming post-16 qualifications at level 3. Our aim is to ensure that every qualification approved for public funding has a distinct purpose, is high quality and supports progression to positive outcomes.

The second stage of consultation ran from 23 October 2020 to 31 January 2021 and asked for views on the range of qualifications that will sit alongside A levels and T Levels in future. These proposals build on feedback from the first consultation and include a small number of groups of academic qualifications that can be taken alongside or as an alternative to A levels, where there is a clear need for skills and knowledge that A levels alone cannot deliver, and where they meet our new quality criteria.

No decisions have been made yet. The responses to the consultation are informing our thinking and we intend to publish a full response in due course.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will ensure that covid-19 catch-up funding for 16 to 19 year olds is not limited to students with low prior attainment in GCSE English and maths.

Catch-up funding for 16 to 19 year olds is provided through the 16-19 Tuition Fund. This is focused on supporting those young people who are at significant disadvantage and whose learning has been impacted most severely by the COVID-19 outbreak.

We targeted this funding among 16 to 19 year old students for those with low prior attainment because:

  • We know that these young people are disproportionately likely to be from disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • Students who leave full-time education with low attainment are far more likely to become Not in Education, Employment or Training and far less likely to progress to higher level courses, including higher education and apprenticeships. We also know that they earn significantly less over their lifetimes.

  • Students with low prior attainment are more likely to have fallen behind in lockdown, as they will have found it harder to ‘self-study’ at home and are more likely to disengage.

Those without GCSE English and/or maths at the expected standard at age 16 is the agreed measure used for disadvantage in 16 to 19 education and an established part of the 16 to 19 funding formula.

Funding is available to spend on those students without a grade 5 or above in English and/or maths GCSE. However, providers are required to prioritise support for students who have not achieved a grade 4 in English and/or maths. If providers have funding available within their allocations, they can consider whether any young people with a grade 4 also needs catch up support.

As further evidence emerges, we will consider if refinements to eligibility for future funding are needed to maximise its value and impact in providing catch-up support for 16 to 19 students.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for sixth form students.

The government is investing an additional £291 million in 16 to 19 education in 2021 to 2022. This is in addition to the £400 million awarded in the 2019 Spending Review which was the biggest injection of new money into 16 to 19 education in a single year since 2010. This has allowed us to raise the base rate of funding for all providers of 16 to 19 education, including school sixth forms and sixth-form colleges, for the first time since the current funding system was introduced in 2013, from £4,000 in each academic year up to 2019/20, to £4,188 in academic years 2020/21 and 2021/22, as well as to make further funding increases targeted on high value and high cost programmes. We are continuing to increase our investment in T Levels and will allocate up to an extra half a billion pounds a year to deliver these new programmes once they are fully rolled out. The Government has also committed £83 million capital funding in the 2021-22 financial year to ensure that eligible post-16 providers can accommodate the expected demographic increase in 16 to 19-year-olds. More details about this funding and eligibility for the funding will be announced in due course and we will keep the policy under review.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what checks are in place to ensure that private companies contracted to supply food parcels as part of the free school meals scheme comply with the guidance set by LACA, Public Health England and the Department for Education; and what penalties apply to contractors who fail to meet those standards.

The continuing provision of free school meals to children from out of work families or those on low incomes is of the utmost importance to this government.

School catering contracts are agreed locally. We have guidance in place allowing schools to decide the best approach for supporting free school meal pupils who are at home. This can be through lunch parcels, local vouchers or the national voucher scheme which will be up and running from next week.

The images circulating of poor-quality food parcels are unacceptable. On 13 January, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, met the leading school food suppliers and caterers to insist on urgent action to make sure lunch parcels meet the standards we expect. I’m grateful to those firms who are working hard with schools to provide nutritious, balanced lunches for children.

If a parent is concerned about the standards of their lunch parcel, they should speak directly with their school in the first instance. If the issue is not resolved then, a hotline is available at the department. The department will make contact with suppliers where concerns are escalated, to ensure they are following the good practice guidance we have set out. We will also alert the school to confirm appropriate contract management arrangements are in place, so that immediate improvements are made.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support will be provided for careers guidance programmes to meet the potential increase in demand for retraining and employment advice as a result of job losses due to the covid-19 outbreak.

As part of the Skills Recovery package, we are providing an extra £32 million to the National Careers Service which delivers impartial careers information, advice and guidance to adults and young people. This extra funding will be available until March 2022 and will provide personal careers advice and guidance for 269,000 more people in priority groups whose jobs or learning have been affected by COVID-19. This is additional to the 400,000 customers which the service currently supports.

The National Careers Service is also supporting the delivery of the online Skills Toolkit. This is a new online platform which aims to give people easy access to free, high quality digital and numeracy courses to help them build up their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department plans to provide support to Iran for their covid-19 outbreak.

On 3 March the UK, jointly with E3 partners (Germany and France), announced a comprehensive €5 million package of both material and financial support to combat the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Iran. The UK component of this support consists of a £2 million contribution to the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its work in Iran. This was made on 17 March and will pay for medical equipment, including laboratory items and protective kit, as well as an uplift in staffing.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 26 February 2020 to Question 18886 on CDC: Fossil Fuels, what the (a) original investment value was and (b) current net asset value is for CDC's investment in (i) Albatros Energy, (ii) Proton Energy, (iii) Simba Oil Ltd, (iv) SODEP and (v) Uquo Integrated Gas Business (Accugas).

The total amount invested across the five investments specified in the question was $5.2 million. The total net asset value, as of 31 December 2019, had risen to $6.2 million.

CDC publishes the amounts it invests directly into businesses and investment funds on its website www.cdcgroup.com. It does not disclose individual valuations as these are commercially sensitive.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans her Department has to allocate additional emergency funding to UK international development charities to ensure those charities do not (a) close, (b) cut programmes and (c) retrench staff as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

DFID is talking to our partners to look at ways to address the challenges posed to them and their projects by COVID-19. We will work collaboratively with our partners and take a flexible approach in order to find pragmatic solutions to support both our partners and our programmes.

DFID is implementing the UK government position on supplier partner relief to ensure that we offer support where this is appropriate.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she plans to reassign ageing to a specific Ministerial portfolio within her Department in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Ageing is an important element in the Department for International Development (DFID’s) efforts to tackle extreme poverty and our collective commitment to ‘leave no-one behind’. Baroness Sugg has direct responsibility for ageing as part of her portfolio on Inclusive Societies, and we will make this more explicit in her online portfolio. We recognise that, in addition to their other vulnerabilities, older people, people with pre-existing conditions, and those with complex needs are disproportionately impacted and at more serious risk of severe complications and fatality due to COVID-19.

The UK is at the forefront of the global response to COVID-19 and has, to date, committed up to £241 million of funding to support the global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19. We will work with all of our humanitarian partners to ensure that the most vulnerable, including older people and people with disabilities are reached and supported. We are therefore continuing to take action to support countries to care for their populations.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to help ensure that a covid-19 vaccine developed with support funded by the international development budget is affordable for developing countries.

The UK is at the forefront of supporting the science-led approach to tackling COVID-19 around the world and has invested £65 million so far into COVID-19 research. This includes investment in research and development of a possible vaccine, as well as more immediate gains such as rapid diagnostics and therapeutics.

An effective vaccine will be vital to the long-term control of the outbreak. To date the UK has invested £40 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), specifically for COVID-19 vaccine development, alongside our existing support to their research. DFID will work with CEPI and others to ensure that any vaccine candidates are affordable and accessible to developing countries.

We have also made available up to £150 million to the International Monetary Fund to help developing countries meet their debt repayments so that they can focus their available resources on tackling coronavirus. This will enable developing countries to direct greater resources to their healthcare efforts, helping prevent the virus from spreading around the world.

Our response builds on the UK’s longstanding record of supporting countries across the globe to prepare for large disease outbreaks. This includes being the largest donor to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Between 2016 and 2020, DFID provided £1.44 billion of support to GAVI. With UK support they have vaccinated 76 million children between 2016 and 2020, saving 1.4 million lives from vaccine preventable diseases.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what advice (a) her Department and (b) the UK Government Coronavirus International Taskforce is providing to low income countries on covid-19 herd immunity.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting the UK’s global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and help the most vulnerable. G7 leaders made an important statement on Monday on the need to coordinate a global response to COVID-19. DFID is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to respond to international requests for technical support in managing COVID-19.

This includes supporting countries with preparedness and disease control interventions to make sure we save lives and protect the vulnerable. We are connecting technical experts in partner countries with epidemiologists and public health experts. We are also sharing information that the UK is using to model the pandemic with others.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans she has to increase medium-term funding for the World Health Organisation until the end of 2020 to tackle covid-19.

The UK provides around £120 million each year to the World Health Organization (WHO). To support the UK’s global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and help the most vulnerable the UK has provided an additional £10 million to the WHO’s Emergency Flash Appeal to help prevent the spread of this outbreak by supporting developing countries to rapidly identify and care for patients with symptoms. In addition, experts funded by UK aid will be deployed to the WHO to help coordinate the international response.

We are keeping further international funding under regular review.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Government has shared its covid-19 (a) scientific model, (b) evidence and (c) herd immunity conclusions with governments of countries that are recipients of UK (i) aid and (ii) development assistance.

The Department for International Development (DFID) is supporting the UK’s global efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 and help the most vulnerable. G7 leaders made an important statement on Monday on the need to coordinate a global response to COVID-19. DFID is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to respond to international requests for technical support in managing COVID-19.

This includes supporting countries with preparedness and disease control interventions to make sure we save lives and protect the vulnerable. We are connecting technical experts in partner countries with epidemiologists and public health experts. We are also sharing information that the UK is using to model the pandemic with others.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with Kevin Kennedy, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis; and what requests for support she has received from Mr Kennedy.

DFID officials speak regularly with Kevin Kennedy and his team. Most recently they discussed the updated UN Readiness and Response Plan, requesting $500 million from the international community to support the emergency response in Idlib. DFID has contributed to that response.

On 3 March the Secretary of State announced an additional £89 million of humanitarian aid to Syria, including £15 million specifically for Idlib. This will deliver emergency support such as medical items, clean water and shelter, in addition to evacuating medical staff and civilians from unsafe areas where military forces are advancing.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent discussions she has had with Filippo Grandi, the UN high Commissioner for Refugees, on the humanitarian needs of people displaced by fighting in the Idlib area of north west Syria.

DFID officials are in regular contact with UNHCR counterparts.

The UK is deeply concerned that over 950,000 Syrians have been displaced by the violence in Idlib since 1 December, with over 80% being women and children. On 3 March, the Secretary of State announced an additional £89 million of humanitarian aid to Syria, including £15 million specifically for Idlib. This will deliver emergency support such as medical items, clean water and shelter, in addition to evacuating medical staff and civilians from unsafe areas where military forces are advancing.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the international community is taking to help stop the spread of covid-19 to refugee camps in north west Syria and elsewhere in the region.

There are no known cases of COVID-19 in refugee camps at present in North West Syria and elsewhere in the region.

DFID recognises that individuals in refugee camps are more vulnerable to COVID-19. In Syria, the international community is taking steps to help stop the virus spreading. On 1 March, the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator released US $15 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund to help fund global efforts to contain the virus in Syria. The funding, which will be allocated to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, will go towards monitoring the spread of the virus, investigating cases and the operation of national laboratories.

DFID is closely monitoring the situation and looking at specific support we could provide to existing partners. In Syria and the region, our healthcare funding through the WHO provides medicine and equipment to hospitals and health centres, including in IDP camps, as well as training of healthcare staff. DFID support also assists health systems strengthening, enabling real-time decision making in improving the health response and preventing mass outbreaks of disease.

Globally, the UK is continuing to support efforts to combat the outbreak of COVID-19. We have provided £40 million investment into vaccine and virus research, and £5 million to the World Health Organisation (WHO). We are working with other countries to use forums such as the G7 presidency to focus international efforts in support of the WHO led response.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether she has made an assessment of the potential effect on the effectiveness of her Department of removing ageing as a specific policy area with Ministerial responsibility.

My Department recognises that older people experience a range of complex barriers and face multiple exclusions in developing countries across the globe.

Baroness Sugg has direct responsibility for ageing as part of her portfolio on inclusive societies.

Ageing is an important factor in DFID’s efforts to tackle extreme poverty, ensure inclusion and in our approach to ‘leave no-one behind’. This is reflected in our departmental strategy papers. Both the Disability Inclusion Strategy and the Strategic Vision for Gender Equality take a life-course approach, ensuring the delivery of transformative change for people all ages.

We are also supporting governments to make vital social protection systems more inclusive of older people. In Uganda, DFID continues to build on its partnership with the Government of Uganda to deliver a Senior Citizen Grant. The grant currently supports over 168,000 older people with a cash transfer to help meet their nutritional and healthcare needs.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support the needs of older people.

The UK Government recognises that older people experience a range of complex barriers in developing countries around the globe.

DFID’s vision is a world where all people, in all stages of their lives, are engaged, empowered and able to exercise their rights. Ageing is an important factor in our efforts to tackle extreme poverty, ensure inclusion and in our approach to ‘leave no-one behind’. For example, DFID’s Disability Inclusion Strategy and Strategic Vision for Gender Equality take a life-course approach, ensuring the delivery of transformative change for people all ages.

We are also supporting governments to make vital social protection systems more inclusive of older people. In Uganda, DFID continues to build on its partnership with the Government of Uganda to deliver a Senior Citizen Grant. The grant currently supports over 168,000 older people with a cash transfer to help meet their nutritional and healthcare needs.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many projects the CDC Group has invested in since 2011 relating to fossil fuel power generation, exploration, production, storage or distribution; how much funding was allocated to each such project; and on what dates that funding was allocated.

The names of current CDC investments relating to fossil fuels are: Eneo (Formerly Sonel); Actis Energy Cameroon Holdings (Eneo); Azura Power West Africa Ltd; Azura Power; Cenpower; Amandi Energy; Maria Gleta; Proton Energy; Uquo Integrated Gas Business (Accugas); Simba Oil Ltd; SODEP; Broron Oil & Gas; Amandi Energy; Elton International Co; Africa Oilfield Services/AOS Orwell Ltd; Gas Train; Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc; Globeleq Ltd (Dibamba); Globeleq Ltd (Azito); Globeleq Ltd (Kribi); Globeleq Ltd (Tsavo) Globeleq Ltd (Songas); Globeleq Africa Holdings; Africa Oil Corp; Eland Oil & Gas; Petrobras Oil & Gas B.V.; GMR Energy Ltd / Skyron Eco Ventures (GMR Infrastructure); ONGC Tripura Power Company Ltd; Karadeniz Powerships; Kosmos Energy; Sirajganj 4; Summit Meghnaghat; Africa Terminaling Company Ltd; Viathan Engineering Ltd; Te Power; Albatross Energy, Mali; Petroleum Products Pipeline SA; Les Centaure Routiers; Bell Oil and Gas; Vivo Energy.

Information on these investments is available on CDC’s website [https://www.cdcgroup.com/en/our-investments/].

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the financial value was of CDC Group's investments in (a) Karadeniz Powerships (b) Maria Gléta (c) Les Centaure Routiers (d) Petroleum Products Pipeline SA (3PL) (e) Bell Oil and Gas; and on what dates those investments were made.

CDC invests in energy projects to support access to energy for 600 million Africans without power and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The total invested in aggregate across all 5 of these projects is $3.6 million. The date of each investment was a) March 2016 b) March 2018 c) February 2019 d) February 2019 e) May 2019.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many energy projects involving the burning of heavy fuel oil has CDC Group invested in since 2011; and (a) how much and (b) on what dates that funding was allocated to each of those projects.

Since 2011, CDC has invested in four energy projects designed to run on heavy fuel oil in four countries in Africa: Kenya, Cameroon, Mali and Guinea-Conakry. The funding was committed in 2015, 2017 and 2018. The total invested into the four projects is $77.3 million which represents less than 1.5% of CDC’s total investment portfolio.

CDC invests in energy projects to support access to energy for 600 million Africans without power and to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 in a socially just manner. Over the past two years, CDC has committed over $500 million to renewable energy projects, almost 25% of CDC’s total investment commitments made over this period. Whenever CDC invests in fossil fuels, it does so with the aim to increase efficiency, reduce emissions and as part of a low carbon transition plan.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to improve access for humanitarian agencies operating in Yemen.

The UK is increasingly concerned by the constraints placed on the international humanitarian response in Houthi-controlled areas of northern Yemen. In line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2451, we are calling on all parties to facilitate unhindered access for humanitarian actors and agencies and ensure that humanitarian workers are able to conduct their work safely and without harm.

In mid-February, donors (including the UK), International Non-Governmental Organisations and the United Nations met in Brussels and agreed to move forward with a coordinated response to improve access for humanitarian agencies operating in Yemen, including reducing aid if restrictions are not lifted.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with nearly 80% of the entire population, over 24 million people, requiring some form of humanitarian assistance. More than 20 million people in Yemen do not have reliable access to food and almost 10 million people face extreme food shortages.

The UK is increasingly concerned by the constraints placed on the international humanitarian response in Houthi-controlled areas of northern Yemen. In line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2451, we are calling on all parties to facilitate unhindered access for humanitarian actors and agencies and ensure that humanitarian workers are able to conduct their work safely and without harm.

A political settlement is the only way to fully address the humanitarian crisis and we encourage further constructive engagement from all parties to achieve this.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to support countries with weaker health systems following the declaration by the World Health Organisation that coronavirus is a global health emergency.

DFID has stepped up support for developing countries following the World Health (WHO) declaration, through an initial £5 million contribution to WHO’s Emergency Flash Appeal and deploying experts to the WHO’s Regional Office for Africa in the Republic of Congo. In addition, DFID Country Offices are in close contact with country partners in preparing for and responding to an outbreak, and we are working alongside the Department for Health and Social Care and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on further research into the virus.

More generally, DFID’s health system strengthening programmes build capability for health security such as disease surveillance and response systems.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what plans his Department has to attend the 64th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women in March 2020; and what his Department's objectives are for that meeting.

Gender equality is a top development priority for the UK. Girls and women across the world are held back by systematic and entrenched inequality and discrimination.

This year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women is particularly important: 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the foundational international agenda for women’s empowerment agreed in 1995, and five years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. DFID will be attending the event.

Our engagement with CSW will reinforce the UK’s bold leadership on gender equality, in the face of an increasingly coordinated and effective opposition to women’s rights globally.

DFID is working across government and with like-minded partners to drive forward our international priorities for girls and women including: negotiating a progressive and forward-looking Political Declaration, championing the critical role of civil society in collaborating with governments, the UN and other key actors, and standing firm against the attempted rollback of the international framework.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what members of African civil society attended the UK-Africa investment summit.

The Summit brought together, amongst others, hundreds of UK and African business representatives and representatives from Civil Society Organisations. Forty entrepreneurs from Africa, owning smaller businesses, participated. The Government has also organised more than ten events in the lead-up to, and as follow-up to, the Summit to gather views from a range of stakeholders, including African Civil Society Organisations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much his Department has spent on supporting (a) coal-mining and (b) coal-fired power stations in developing countries in each of the last five years.

DFID does not provide ODA bilateral assistance for coal and has not done so since 2012.

In the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) we do not support coal projects expect in rare circumstances and only for the poorest countries where there is no economical alternative. The Prime Minister’s announcement means DFID Ministers will now review all coal and other fossil fuel projects that are presented to the Boards of the MDBs and make a decision on each case.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which (a) coal-mining projects and (b) countries will be affected by the policy announced on 20 January 2020 by the Prime Minister that all UK aid-funded support for coal-mining and coal-fuelled power stations in developing countries will cease.

The UK is one of the first countries to commit to ending unabated coal generation. We have cut emissions by more than 40 per cent since 1990, while our economy has grown by two thirds. In May, the UK went without running coal power generation for over two weeks – the longest coal-free period in the country since the 1880s.

The UK and Canada are leading on initiatives to help countries build commitments to move away from unabated coal, such as the Powering Past Coal Alliance which now has 97 members, with growing membership from financial institutions.

In the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB) we do not support coal projects expect in rare circumstances and only for the poorest countries where there is no economical alternative. The Prime Minister’s announcement means DFID Ministers will now review all coal and other fossil fuel projects that are presented to the Boards of the MDBs and make a decision on each case.

17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will publish the (a) invitees and (b) attendees of the January 2020 UK-Africa investment summit.

The Summit brought together African leaders and delegations from 21 countries: Algeria, Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda.

Six multilateral organisations and international financial institutions also participated: the African Development Bank, the African Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations and the World Bank.

In addition, hundreds of UK and African business representatives and representatives from Civil Society Organisations attended the Summit.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of the TradeConnect initiative with Official Development Assistance requirements.

Trade Connect, a new £20m programme to help firms in developing countries remove ‘last mile barriers to export’, is focused on creating jobs and raising incomes to promote sustainable economic growth. The programme has been assessed to be compliant with the terms of spending ODA under the International Development Act 2002. The Trade Connect programme will help firms export to more to international markets and will not be restricted to direct trade with the UK or UK Companies.

17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the effect on development impact of the TradeConnect initiative.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit on 20 January 2020, the UK announced its commitment to helping African countries break down barriers for trade and investment. We are strengthening Britain’s trading partnerships with an offer that supports both British and African businesses to trade more and grow faster.

The new £20million Trade Connect programme will help businesses in developing countries overcome these barriers and sell more internationally. TradeConnect will therefore contribute to development by supporting growth creation in targeted firms and sectors.

17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the UK Africa Investment Summit 2020; and what proportion of that cost will be met from the Official Development Assistance budget.

As with all such Government events, the full costing will be available in due course. 2020 UK ODA spend, including for this Summit, will be reported in Statistics on International Development, published by DFID in Autumn 2021.

I am placing a summary of achievements at the Summit in the Library of the House.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will publish the itemised costs of the UK Africa Investment Summit 2020.

As with all such Government events, the full costing will be available in due course. 2020 UK ODA spend, including for this Summit, will be reported in Statistics on International Development, published by DFID in Autumn 2021.

I am placing a summary of achievements at the Summit in the Library of the House.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if he will publish the names of the members of African civil society that were invited to the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020.

The Summit brought together, amongst others, hundreds of UK and African business representatives and representatives from Civil Society Organisations. Forty entrepreneurs from Africa, owning smaller businesses, participated. The Government has also organised more than ten events in the lead-up to, and as follow-up to, the Summit to gather views from a range of stakeholders, including African Civil Society Organisations.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans she has to include anti-corruption provisions in future trade deals.

As detailed in our ‘Strategic Approach’ publications, we are aiming to secure provisions in free trade agreements with the US, Australia and New Zealand that address the trade-distorting effects of corruption on global trade and fair competition to help maintain the United Kingdom’s high standards in this area.

The United Kingdom-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement includes a new provision covering anti-corruption, which signals the United Kingdom and Japan’s shared ambition to combat the distorting effects of corruption on trade.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she has plans to end UK Export Finance support for fossil fuel projects.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January we announced an end to HMG support for thermal coal mining and coal power plant overseas, and we continue to keep our approach to other fossil fuel investments and financing overseas under review.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is obliged to consider all requests for its support to UK exports in all sectors. This includes the oil and gas sector, but also many other sectors such as renewables and green growth.

UKEF is helping to drive UK content into overseas renewables and green growth projects across the globe and has been proactively developing the breadth of its support for these sectors. This is supported by £2 billion of direct lending for UKEF, which was announced in the Spring Budget, to support UK exports to these sectors.

The support provided by UKEF to UK exporters takes the form of direct loans, guarantees and insurances for which premiums are charged and, for which, there is no net cost to the taxpayer.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department plans to announce an end to UK funding for fossil fuels overseas to include an end to UK Export Finance support for fossil fuels.

At the UK-Africa Investment Summit in January we announced an end to HMG support for thermal coal mining and coal power plant overseas, and we continue to keep our approach to other fossil fuel investments and financing overseas under review.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is obliged to consider all requests for its support to UK exports in all sectors. This includes the oil and gas sector, but also many other sectors such as renewables and green growth.

UKEF is helping to drive UK content into overseas renewables and green growth projects across the globe and has been proactively developing the breadth of its support for these sectors. This is supported by £2 billion of direct lending for UKEF, which was announced in the Spring Budget, to support UK exports to these sectors.

The support provided by UKEF to UK exporters takes the form of direct loans, guarantees and insurances for which premiums are charged and, for which, there is no net cost to the taxpayer.

9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will take steps to review the Airports National Policy Statement in light of the Government's commitment to net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

On 6th September the Secretary of State wrote to those stakeholders who had requested a review of the Airports National Policy Statement under the Planning Act 2008, communicating that it is not appropriate to review the ANPS at this time. The issue of whether to review the ANPS will be reconsidered after the Jet Zero Strategy has been finalised and we have more certainty about the longer-term impact of Covid-19 on aviation.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of theory driving test availability in the Liverpool City Region; and what steps his Department is taking to ensure additional test facilities.

The average waiting time for a driving theory test in the Liverpool City Region is 5 weeks.

The theory test centre estate and service for England, Scotland and Wales, which is currently delivered by a sole supplier, is changing. From 6 September 2021, the contract for running theory test centres is to be split into three regions and the number of theory test centres in Great Britain will increase from 180 to 202.

As part of its service recovery, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency has extended theory test centre opening hours in England, where conditions allow, creating 300,000 extra theory test appointments. It has also opened 10 temporary theory test super centres in England, which will create a minimum of 120,000 extra appointments each month.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made in reducing barriers to travel for people with assistance dogs seeking to travel to the (a) EU and (b) Northern Ireland.

The Government is engaging with the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to explore means to streamline pet travel between Great Britain and Northern Ireland recognising the high standards of animal health that we share. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has also written to the European Vice-President seeking to ensure that an agreement can be made to address the barriers imposed on pet travel between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Northern Ireland-based pets and assistance dogs returning to Northern Ireland from Great Britain can continue to use a Northern Ireland-issued EU Pet Passport to re-enter Northern Ireland and will not need an animal health certificate. Current guidance on pet travel to Northern Ireland is available on DAERA’s NIDirect website.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affiars are proactively engaging with the assistance dog community and relevant stakeholders on the impacts on dog movements from Great Britain to the EU and to Northern Ireland.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the level of retention of jobs in the aviation sector relating to special assistance support for passengers with disabilities and reduced mobility since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises that the aviation sector is home to many highly skilled and highly trained staff. We recognise that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will result in greater uncertainty over future demand (at least in the short/medium term) and that this has a knock-on effect on the operational requirements of airlines. However, airports are legally obliged to provide assistance, free of charge, for disabled passengers and those with reduced mobility to ensure equal access to aviation.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to extend the 12-month period drivers can use non-GB driving licences.

Holders of driving licences issued outside of the European Union who become resident in Great Britain can drive small vehicles (motorcars and motorcycles) for up one year from the date they become resident.

To continue driving after this period the driver must either exchange their licence, if it was issued by a country which has been designated for licence exchange purposes, or apply for a provisional driving licence and pass both a theory and practical driving test.

The Government keeps the ongoing impacts of the Covid 19 pandemic and any changes that may be needed to existing arrangements under review.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress his Department is making on supporting the UK’s aviation sector in the development of sustainable aviation fuels.

The Government is committed to promoting the use and production of sustainable aviation fuels. To help overcome barriers to the sector’s development in the UK the Department for Transport’s Future Fuels for Flight and Freight Competition (F4C) has made up to £20m of matched capital funding available. As part of this competition we are currently supporting two projects looking to build plants capable of supplying advanced fuels at a large scale for use in aviation.

In addition, we are incentivising the production and use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO). Such fuels are eligible for support under the RTFO and can be categorised as a development fuel, thereby potentially benefiting from a higher tradeable certificate value. DfT officials are also working closely with industry to explore further options for how we can support the UK’s development of sustainable aviation fuels.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the COVID Emergency Management Arrangements (EMA) with Train Operating Companies (TOC), what provisions are included in the EMA to ensure that TOCs are not in a financially advantageous position under the EMA than their financial performance under their franchise agreements in the months before the covid-19 lockdown.

The Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) temporarily suspend the normal financial mechanisms of franchise agreements, transferring all revenue and cost risk to the government. Operators are required to continue to fulfil their obligations under the EMAs for a small, pre-determined management fee. Fees are set at a maximum of 2 per cent of the cost base of the franchise before the Covid-19 pandemic began, intended to incentivise operators to meet reliability, punctuality and other targets. The maximum fee attainable was set on the basis that it will be lower than the returns attainable in operator’s existing franchise agreements where they bore revenue risk.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the COVID Emergency Management Arrangements (EMA) with Train Operating Companies, what steps his Department took to ensure that those companies had sought financial support packages in advance of entering into the EMA.

The Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) temporarily suspend the existing franchise agreements' financial mechanisms for an initial period of six months. They were developed at an early stage of the covid-19 crisis as a bespoke solution to address the particular circumstances of rail franchises. These include the fact that the government would face large and direct financial exposure via its obligations under the Railways Act if any franchise were to fail financially and become unable to operate its services. The EMAs include explicit provisions to prevent 'double recovery', ensuring franchisees cannot be compensated through the EMAs where funding from other government support schemes has been obtained.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Coronavirus Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG), what steps his Department took to ensure that large bus operators had sought financial support packages before entering into the CBSSG.

As part of the terms and conditions of the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG), operators are required to make use of existing COVID-19 related funding where possible.

The reconciliation process set out in the CBSSG guidance seeks to make operators no better or worse off than pre-Covid-19 levels, on their net costs of operating. The reconciliation process will take into account all revenues generated and costs incurred by operators while in receipt of CBSSG, including revenues and costs from both commercial and tendered services.

The Department will undertake reconciliation calculations to assess whether an overpayment of the scheme has occurred, and notify the relevant operator to make a repayment to DfT within 4 weeks of the conclusion of this calculation.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Corovavirus Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) what steps he is taking to ensure that bus operators recoup only the costs of their operations under the CBSSG.

As part of the terms and conditions of the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG), operators are required to make use of existing COVID-19 related funding where possible.

The reconciliation process set out in the CBSSG guidance seeks to make operators no better or worse off than pre-Covid-19 levels, on their net costs of operating. The reconciliation process will take into account all revenues generated and costs incurred by operators while in receipt of CBSSG, including revenues and costs from both commercial and tendered services.

The Department will undertake reconciliation calculations to assess whether an overpayment of the scheme has occurred, and notify the relevant operator to make a repayment to DfT within 4 weeks of the conclusion of this calculation.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made over-payments to bus operators under the Corovavirus Bus Service Support Grant.

As part of the terms and conditions of the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG), operators are required to make use of existing COVID-19 related funding where possible.

The reconciliation process set out in the CBSSG guidance seeks to make operators no better or worse off than pre-Covid-19 levels, on their net costs of operating. The reconciliation process will take into account all revenues generated and costs incurred by operators while in receipt of CBSSG, including revenues and costs from both commercial and tendered services.

The Department will undertake reconciliation calculations to assess whether an overpayment of the scheme has occurred, and notify the relevant operator to make a repayment to DfT within 4 weeks of the conclusion of this calculation.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to monitor the potential for over-payments to be made in relation to the Corovavirus Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG); and what processes his Department has put in place to recoup over-payments made in relation to the CBSSG.

As part of the terms and conditions of the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG), operators are required to make use of existing COVID-19 related funding where possible.

The reconciliation process set out in the CBSSG guidance seeks to make operators no better or worse off than pre-Covid-19 levels, on their net costs of operating. The reconciliation process will take into account all revenues generated and costs incurred by operators while in receipt of CBSSG, including revenues and costs from both commercial and tendered services.

The Department will undertake reconciliation calculations to assess whether an overpayment of the scheme has occurred, and notify the relevant operator to make a repayment to DfT within 4 weeks of the conclusion of this calculation.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of giving British Sign Language (BSL) full legal recognition; and whether the Government plans to grant full legal recognition to BSL.

On 18 March 2003 the UK government formally recognised that British Sign Language (BSL) is a language in its own right. Provision for accessing services by users of BSL are covered by the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Existing equality legislation already means employers, service providers and public bodies have to provide services in BSL and other formats when it is reasonable to do so. The Public Sector Equality Duty requires public bodies to have due regard to the needs of all those with protected characteristics.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the rate of Statutory Sick Pay on the level of compliance with self-isolation rules during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

This government has a strong safety net that helps people who are facing hardship and are unable to support themselves financially and we have taken steps to strengthen that safety net as part of the government’s response to the pandemic.

As part of strengthening this safety net we have made Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) payable from the first day of sickness absence from work, rather than the fourth – where an individual is self-isolating or shielding due to coronavirus and meets all SSP eligibility conditions.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) provides a minimum level of income for employees when they are sick or incapable of work. Employers are legally required to pay SSP to eligible employees who are off work sick or incapable of work, where employees meet the qualifying conditions. Some employers may also decide to pay more, and for longer, through Occupational Sick Pay.

SSP is just one part of our welfare safety net and our wider government offer to support people in times of need. Where an individual’s income is reduced while off work sick and they require further financial support, they may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their personal circumstances.

Working people on low incomes who are required to remain at home by NHS Test and Trace to help stop the spread of the virus and cannot work from home could be eligible for a £500 payment to financially support them while self-isolating.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 10 February 2020 to Question 12293 on Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations, when the approach to provide consistency for claimants across audio recording of work capability assessments and personal independence payment assessments will be published.

Work is ongoing to develop the details of our approach and we will provide an update in due course.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to ensure the provision of audio recording equipment for people who wish to keep a record of their personal independence payment assessment; and if she will make a statement.

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

21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle the backlog in needs assessments to ensure that disabled children can access the health support they need.

We are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve the provision of health and care services for disabled children. Children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) who require additional provision will receive an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan assessment. The SEND Regulations 2014 make clear that local authorities must complete an EHC plan assessment within twenty weeks after the request is received unless exceptional circumstances apply. The Department for Education monitors local authority performance on EHC plan assessments to establish where there are long-standing delays and provide support. This could include training for staff, extra monitoring or engagement with partners to improve joint working.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding is being made available to deliver the Government’s commitment to end new cases of HIV by 2030.

Funding for HIV treatment and care services is provided by NHS England and NHS Improvement through specialised commissioning. HIV testing and prevention is funded by local government through the ringfenced Public Health Grant. In addition, in March 2020, the Government announced that the HIV prevention drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) would be routinely available across England. The Public Health Grant in 2021/22 includes £23.4 million to cover local authority costs of routine commissioning of PrEP in addition to £11 million in 2020/2021. PrEP is now routinely available in the specialist sexual and reproductive health services throughout the country.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the 19.6 per cent annual increase in alcohol specific deaths; and what steps he is taking to reduce alcohol harm.

There is a programme of work underway to address alcohol-related health harms and their impact on life chances, including the establishment of specialist alcohol care teams in hospitals and supporting children of alcohol dependent parents. The new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will spearhead efforts to improve treatment and support and we have made the largest increase to drug and alcohol treatment funding for 15 years, with £80 million of new investment.

We have also committed to publish a new United Kingdom-wide cross-Government addiction strategy which will consider a range of issues, including drugs, alcohol and problem gambling.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on adequately funding disabled children’s health and care services in the long-term.

No meetings have taken place between the Secretary of State and the Chancellor of the Exchequer specifically to discuss this issue, however the Department is in discussion with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement about how the provision of health and care services to disabled children can be improved. We have provided over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils in the period of 2020-21 and 2021-22 to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including for children’s social care. Since 2019-2020, the Government has provided additional funding for the social care grant and is allocating £1.7 billion in 2021-2022.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for dedicated health and care catch-up policies for disabled children and their families.

This specific assessment has not been made, however as part of COVID-19 recovery planning the Department are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to look at how we can improve the provision of health and care services to disabled children. The Government has given over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils in the period of 2020-21 and 2021-22 to support them with the impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including for children’s social care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding of the report entitled The case for a Disabled Children’s Fund, published by the Disabled Children's Partnership in July 2018, on the funding gap in disabled children’s health and care services; and what estimate he has made of the difference in funding available for those services (a) before and (b) since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have made no specific assessment nor such an estimate. However, as part of COVID-19 recovery planning we are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve the provision of health and care services to disabled children. We have provided over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including for children’s social care. Since 2019-2020, the Government has provided additional funding for adults’ and children’s social care via the social care grant and is allocated £1.7 billion in 2021-2022.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 29 April 2021 to Question 179430 on Hospices: Finance, what recent assessment he has made of the financial sustainability of hospices; and if he will make a statement.

Whilst the Department has not conducted a national assessment of hospice sustainability, we recognise the funding challenges facing the sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We and have worked with HM Treasury and NHS England and NHS Improvement to maintain hospice provision.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have also funded Hospice UK to explore sustainable approaches to future care delivery. The Hospice UK ‘Future Vision Programme - Discovery Phase’ report sets out a range of options for hospices to consider in exploring future sustainability, acknowledging that as most hospices are independent, charitable organisations their circumstances will differ. The report is available at the following link:

https://www.hospiceuk.org/docs/default-source/hospice-iq-documents-and-files/hospice-uk-future-vision-programme---discovery-phase---final-report-ts-amends---20200912-(5).pdf?sfvrsn=2

Palliative and end of life care services are commissioned locally by clinical commissioning groups in response to the needs of their local population. This includes an understanding of the sustainability of available services.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on publishing the names of (a) companies which went through the high-priority lane for covid-19 contracts and (b) the people who referred those companies.

We have no plans to publish a list of suppliers as there may be associated commercial implications. The Department has to consider the position of suppliers in terms of the recognition that disclosure of their names may damage the supplier’s reputation, affecting their competitive position and could have a potentially detrimental impact on their revenue. We also have no plans to publish the names of those who referred those companies as this would make it less likely that individuals would provide the Department with commercially sensitive information in the future and consequently undermine the ability of the Department to fulfil its commercial role.

Contract Award Notices and the contracts themselves have now been published for all personal protective equipment contracts awarded by the Department which contain the details of the supplier, the value of the contract and the items ordered under the contract.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the status is of the high-priority lane to assess and process potential personal protective equipment leads.

The high priority lane for the procurement of personal protective equipment has closed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of the personal protective equipment (a) stockpile and (b) supply chain.

We have significantly strengthened and diversified our supply chains for personal protective equipment (PPE) by looking to new suppliers abroad as well as boosting United Kingdom manufacturing capability, which has helped build resilience. UK-made supply comprised 82% of the expected demand for PPE in England for the period 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, not including gloves, which were explicitly excluded from the September target.

We have almost 32 billion items of PPE on order, the majority of which has been delivered or en route. Since February 2020, the Department has distributed over 10.4 billion items of PPE, predominantly for use by health and social care services in England and by December 2020 we had built a four-month stockpile of all COVID-19 critical PPE. Many millions of items of PPE are now distributed through our PPE portal, which means primary and social care providers are able to order PPE to meet all their COVID-19 PPE needs until the end of March 2022, free of charge. We are confident we have secured enough PPE for the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and that we have the processes and logistics in place to distribute PPE to where it is needed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress the Government has made on the cross-government addiction strategy, announced on 28 November 2019.

Work on the cross-Government addiction strategy was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic but has now resumed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to begin the 12 week consultation on calorie labelling for alcohol products; and if he will make a statement.

Through ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’, published in July 2020, we are committed to consult shortly on our intention to make companies provide calorie labelling on all pre-packaged alcohol they sell. The consultation will also cover introducing calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks sold in the out of home sector, for example bought on draught or by the glass.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the wider economy of a pay rise greater than one per cent for NHS staff.

The Department works closely with HM Treasury during the Pay Review Body process. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have discussed National Health Service pay throughout the pay round, including the Government’s written evidence to the independent Pay Review Bodies.

The Government’s evidence to the Pay Review Bodies sets out information on a range of factors, including the wider economic and fiscal context. We have asked the Pay Review Bodies, consisting of industry experts, for their recommendations which will be based on a comprehensive assessment of evidence from a range of key stakeholders, including NHS system partners and trade unions. As the Pay Review Bodies are independent, we cannot pre-empt their recommendations. We have asked the Pay Review Bodies to report in late spring and will carefully consider the recommendations when we receive them.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed one per cent pay rise for NHS staff on staff retention.

The Government has committed to providing National Health Service staff with a pay uplift in 2021/22, in order to recognise the unique impact of the pandemic. The level of pay award has not yet been set and we are looking to the independent pay review bodies for a recommendation.

We have submitted our written evidence to the review bodies, which sets out what is currently affordable and also provides information on recruitment and retention in the NHS. In reaching their recommendations the review bodies will consider evidence from a range of parties, including NHS unions. They will also consider factors such as the economic context including inflation, recruitment and retention, affordability and value for the taxpayer. We have asked the review bodies to report in the spring and will carefully consider their recommendations when we receive them.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the level of projected future demand for clinical palliative care services; and whether his Department has plans to increase funding to meet that future demand.

The Government recognises the importance of palliative and end of life care services, including hospices. The hospice sector has played a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is reflected by the provision of up to £280 million of additional funding from March 2020 to March 2021.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement proactively engage with the whole sector on an ongoing basis to understand the issues they face and their views of upcoming needs and challenges. Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations that receive some statutory funding, mainly from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for providing local services. CCGs are responsible for the planning and commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their local population.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed Palliative and End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Networks, working closely with local commissioners, to develop and implement sustainable commissioning models for palliative and end of life care including hospice services that respond to the needs of their local population. This work includes the development of service specifications and an investment framework.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will commit to an urgent review into the level of statutory funding required for palliative care provided by independent hospices to ensure that those hospices can continue to provide care in the medium term.

The Government recognises the importance of palliative and end of life care services, including hospices. The hospice sector has played a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is reflected by the provision of up to £280 million of additional funding from March 2020 to March 2021.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement proactively engage with the whole sector on an ongoing basis to understand the issues they face and their views of upcoming needs and challenges. Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations that receive some statutory funding, mainly from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for providing local services. CCGs are responsible for the planning and commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their local population.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed Palliative and End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Networks, working closely with local commissioners, to develop and implement sustainable commissioning models for palliative and end of life care including hospice services that respond to the needs of their local population. This work includes the development of service specifications and an investment framework.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of levels of statutory funding for palliative care services provided by independent hospices for meeting projected future demand for those services.

The Government recognises the importance of palliative and end of life care services, including hospices. The hospice sector has played a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is reflected by the provision of up to £280 million of additional funding from March 2020 to March 2021.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement proactively engage with the whole sector on an ongoing basis to understand the issues they face and their views of upcoming needs and challenges. Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations that receive some statutory funding, mainly from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for providing local services. CCGs are responsible for the planning and commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their local population.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed Palliative and End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Networks, working closely with local commissioners, to develop and implement sustainable commissioning models for palliative and end of life care including hospice services that respond to the needs of their local population. This work includes the development of service specifications and an investment framework.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to increase statutory funding for clinical palliative care services provided by independent hospices.

The Government recognises the importance of palliative and end of life care services, including hospices. The hospice sector has played a vital role in the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic which is reflected by the provision of up to £280 million of additional funding from March 2020 to March 2021.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement proactively engage with the whole sector on an ongoing basis to understand the issues they face and their views of upcoming needs and challenges. Most hospices are independent, charitable organisations that receive some statutory funding, mainly from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) for providing local services. CCGs are responsible for the planning and commissioning of high-quality, cost-effective services that meet the needs of their local population.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have developed Palliative and End of Life Care Strategic Clinical Networks, working closely with local commissioners, to develop and implement sustainable commissioning models for palliative and end of life care including hospice services that respond to the needs of their local population. This work includes the development of service specifications and an investment framework.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on staffing levels of the changes to the registration fees for the Health and Care Professions Council from July 2021.

No such assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the potential effect on the wider economy of a greater than 1 per cent pay rise for NHS staff.

The Department works closely with HM Treasury during the Pay Review Body process. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have discussed National Health Service pay throughout the pay round, including the Government’s written evidence to the independent Pay Review Bodies.

The Government’s evidence to the Pay Review Bodies sets out information on a range of factors, including the wider economic and fiscal context. We have asked the Pay Review Bodies, consisting of industry experts, for their recommendations which will be based on a comprehensive assessment of evidence from a range of key stakeholders, including NHS system partners and trade unions. As the Pay Review Bodies are independent, we cannot pre-empt their recommendations. We have asked the Pay Review Bodies to report in late spring and will carefully consider the recommendations when we receive them.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the OBR's inflation forecast of his Department’s proposed one per cent pay rise for NHS staff.

The Government has committed to providing National Health Service staff with a pay uplift in 2021/22, in order to recognise the unique impact of the pandemic. The level of pay award has not yet been set and we are looking to the independent pay review bodies for a recommendation.

We have submitted our written evidence to the review bodies, which sets out what is currently affordable and also provides information on recruitment and retention in the NHS. In reaching their recommendations the review bodies will consider evidence from a range of parties, including NHS unions. They will also consider factors such as the economic context including inflation, recruitment and retention, affordability and value for the taxpayer. We have asked the review bodies to report in the spring and will carefully consider their recommendations when we receive them.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will set out a timeline for the implementation of the dementia moonshot.

There is currently no planned date for publication of a strategy to deliver the dementia moonshot. However, the Government is strongly committed to supporting research into dementia. As part of our 2020 Challenge on Dementia, the Government has spent £344 million on dementia research in the past five years and we are currently working on ways to significantly boost further research on dementia at all stages on the translation pathway including medical and care interventions. Later this year, we plan to bring forward proposals for a new strategy to set out our plans for dementia care, support, awareness and research in England.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people who are not formally registered as housebound but have significant (a) mobility impairments and (b) other physical limitations are offered (i) support to travel to and attend their vaccination appointment safely and (ii) a home vaccination if they are unable to travel to and attend their appointment safely.

For these individual patients, general practitioners will determine the best approach to vaccination, alongside the community teams, based on their knowledge of the patient and circumstances. Some of these patients may be able to attend Primary Care Network (PCN) designated sites with assistance and discussion should be held with the family and /or carer to facilitate this process.

We recognise that there will be a cohort of patient who are completely housebound and unable to travel to a PCN designated site for immunisation even with assistance. PCNs have established roving vaccination teams, which are aimed at those who cannot leave their homes. These teams have already been used for care homes and will also focus on people who are housebound, with additional funding of £10 per patient being provided to help them do this.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set out a timetable for the re-introduction of close contact care home visits in England.

We have acted to protect those most at risk in care homes and ensure visits can go ahead safely in some form. As set out in updated visiting guidance, visits to care homes can continue to take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not currently allowed. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

As of March 8th Care Homes will be expected to offer indoor visits for a single named visitor for every resident, supported by testing and PPE. In addition, visits should continue to be available using screens, pods etc so that each resident can see more than just a single visitor should they wish. Further detailed guidance on the new visiting arrangements will be published shortly.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the rate at which housebound people in high priority groups are receiving the covid-19 vaccine.

The National Health Service is vaccinating in line with the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation’s priority cohorts and people within high risk communities are being vaccinated to meet these targets. Most recent figures show that the NHS, working with their partners, have now vaccinated four in five of the over 80 year olds in England. As more general practitioner and community pharmacy led local vaccination services become operational, we will be able to extend the number of vaccinations given to those who are housebound through roving teams.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the Government’s strategy for ensuring housebound people in high priority groups can receive a covid-19 vaccination.

The National Health Service, alongside its health and social care partners have developed three different delivery models which will operate concurrently to provide flexibility in our approach and ensure the entire population has access to the vaccine. This includes delivery through hospital hubs, local vaccination services and vaccination centres.

Local vaccination services are well placed to support the specific needs of our highest risk individuals, including those unable to leave their home. Working together in Primary Care Networks and community pharmacies, they are able to coordinate and deliver vaccines to the homes of those who are housebound via mobile units as set out in the United Kingdom COVID-19 vaccines delivery plan.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 January 2021 to Question 129095 on Emma Stanton, who made the decision to reduce the lobbying ban to just four months.

The business appointment rules decision regarding Dr Emma Stanton’s appointment with Oxford Nanopore were made by the Department’s Human Resources Director in consultation with the Permanent Secretary. The period of any conditions relating to business appointment rules are always proportionate to the circumstances and in this case reflected Emma Stanton’s short Civil Service appointment with NHS Test and Trace.

The overarching business appointment rules will continue to apply for any new employment for two years after the last day of Emma Stanton’s Civil Service employment with any related conditions decided for each new employer and the related circumstances, as required.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to train health care professionals on how to communicate the safety and effectiveness of the covid-19 vaccines.

Public Health England produces comprehensive training and information materials for COVID-19 vaccinators. This includes information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines and key messages for healthcare professionals to convey to those being vaccinated. All vaccinating staff involved in the deployment programme are required to complete training that includes modules on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a covid-19 vaccine passport.

As with other vaccination programmes, vaccine record cards are issued to patients with the relevant details about the vaccine including the date of their vaccination and their vaccine type. This does not constitute an immunity passport and will not be used as a form of identification.

The Government will review whether COVID-19 status certification, could play a role in reopening the economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety. This review will include assessing to what extent certification would be effective in reducing risk and the potential uses to enable access to settings or a relaxation of COVID-19 secure mitigations. The Government will also consider the ethical, equalities, privacy, legal and operational aspects of this approach and what limits should be placed on organisations using certification. We will continue keep options under review as more evidence emerges.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on progress on meeting childhood immunisation targets.

For pre-school vaccinations preliminary data suggests that, whilst there was an initial decrease in the number of vaccinations delivered during the early weeks of the pandemic compared with the same period in 2019, the situation rapidly stabilised and recovered. For school-aged immunisation programmes were impacted due to school closures, though providers offered immunisations through a range of school and community settings. All vaccinations missed will be delivered as soon as possible, and no later than August 2021.

The latest verified data for this period will be published in September 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the Government’s Vaccine Strategy.

The publication of England’s national vaccine strategy has been delayed as a result of our ongoing focus on responding to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccine strategy has been kept under review and is now in the process of being refreshed to reflect the new models for delivery and the vaccine development seen in the COVID-19 vaccine development and roll out.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of his Department working with scientists to communicate the safety and effectiveness of the covid-19 vaccines.

The voices of scientists and researchers are an important part of the communications activity undertaken by the Department and wider Government to reassure the public about vaccines and ensure that people have access to accurate information. The Department and its partners work closely with stakeholders from the scientific community and provides regular updates to stakeholders on the vaccine programme, to support them with their own communications about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. Public Health England has also produced a range of ‘explainer videos’ presented by scientific leaders and experts, including those involved in vaccine development and the vaccine deployment programme. The videos can be viewed at the following link:


https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/covid-19-vaccine/resources/

The Government has also worked extensively with organisations such as the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and vaccine manufacturers and developers to highlight their work on vaccine safety and efficacy. This includes, for example, the ABPI’s Valuing Vaccines campaign, and direct collaboration with manufacturers such as AstraZeneca and Valneva, as well as work with Wockhardt to highlight safety of the fill/finish aspects of vaccine manufacture. More information the Valuing Vaccines Campaign can be found at the following link:


https://www.valuingvaccines.org.uk

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will provide a copy of the advice provided by his Department to Emma Stanton, former Director for Supplies and Innovation, before she took up private sector employment with Oxford Nanopore.

Emma Stanton was advised of conditions before she took up employment with Oxford Nanopore, which are in relation to Civil Service business appointment rules and are which are commensurate with the short length of time she was working for NHS Test and Trace.

These related to restrictions on lobbying of the United Kingdom Government and related commercial activities and a reminder on the use of privileged information gained in her time at NHS Test and Trace.

A copy of the advice, redacted to remove personal information, is attached.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department is evaluating the effectiveness of the mass covid-19 testing pilot in Liverpool; and when he plans to publish the findings of that evaluation.

The Liverpool COVID-19 Community Testing Pilot Evaluation Interim evaluation report is available at the following link:

https://news.liverpool.ac.uk/2020/12/23/covid-19-liverpool-community-testing-pilot-interim-findings-published/

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will commission an independent review of the parliamentary Register of Members’ Financial Interests to establish whether there is adequate disclosure of (a) trusts, (b) offshore holdings and (c) the financial interests of (i) spouses and (ii) other family members.

I suggest that the hon. Member raise his concerns with the Committee on Standards. The Committee’s remit, as set out in Standing Order No. 149, includes reviewing from time to time the form and content of the Register of Members’ Financial Interests and any proposals for change from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards. The Committee has recently launched a formal review of the Code of Conduct for Members. The accompanying Guide to the Rules contains the rules on registering interests. I understand that the Committee intends in 2021 to prepare a revised version of the Code and the Guide for the House to approve. That will give the House an opportunity to consider any recommended changes.

Pete Wishart
Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the creation of a cross-government strategy on reducing health inequalities as part of the Government’s covid-19 recovery strategy.

There are no plans for a cross-Government strategy on reducing health inequalities, as a result of COVID-19 or as part of the ongoing approach to tackling the virus. At each stage of its COVID-19 response, the Government has sought to minimise the harm on people’s wellbeing, livelihoods and physical and mental health. We recognise that some groups have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, and addressing these impacts is a priority as we continue to respond to the pandemic and develop interventions to support those affected.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding to enable local authorities to administer (a) discretionary payments and (b) other aspects under the covid-19 self-isolation support schemes.

Local authorities have been awarded an initial £50 million to cover the costs associated with this scheme, with £25 million to cover the costs of the main Test and Trace Support Payment; £15 million for discretionary payments; and £10 million for administration costs.

The scheme will run until 31 January 2021 and people may also apply for other benefits if they have to self-isolate, such as Statutory Sick Pay. During this time, we will continue to review the efficacy of the scheme, including the impact of COVID-19 incidence levels.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 1116638 on Government departments: procurement, what steps he is taking to (a) identify and (b) tackle potential (i) conflicts of interest and (ii) bias in his Department's procurement process.

Regulation 24 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 requires contracting authorities to take appropriate measures to effectively prevent, identify and remedy conflicts of interest arising in the conduct of procurement procedures. The Department has robust rules and processes in place to ensure that conflicts of interest do not occur, including declaration from suppliers, publication of ministerial interests and robust departmental guidance.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the critical urgency of the situation and requirement to protect the National Health Service and the country led to specialist consultants and contractors being brought in at extreme pace. This meant that some work was initiated before final contract details were put in place or had been formally awarded. This situation has been addressed. Over 900 contracts have been awarded by the Department and its executive agencies in response to COVID-19. Information on the precise number of such cases has not been centrally collated by the Department.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 procurement contracts were awarded by his Department retrospectively after work had already been carried out.

Regulation 24 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 requires contracting authorities to take appropriate measures to effectively prevent, identify and remedy conflicts of interest arising in the conduct of procurement procedures. The Department has robust rules and processes in place to ensure that conflicts of interest do not occur, including declaration from suppliers, publication of ministerial interests and robust departmental guidance.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the critical urgency of the situation and requirement to protect the National Health Service and the country led to specialist consultants and contractors being brought in at extreme pace. This meant that some work was initiated before final contract details were put in place or had been formally awarded. This situation has been addressed. Over 900 contracts have been awarded by the Department and its executive agencies in response to COVID-19. Information on the precise number of such cases has not been centrally collated by the Department.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to expand the eligibility of the Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 for people required to self-isolate during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

There are no immediate plans to expand eligibility, though we continue to work closely with the 314 unitary authorities and district councils in England to review the scheme.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the UK National Screening Committee on the mass covid-19 testing pilot in Liverpool.

We have had no such discussions. Community Testing is a case detection strategy we are implementing as a public health intervention, screening has different clinical considerations.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with the National Association of Funeral Directors to inform the guidance for conducting funerals during the covid-19 outbreak.

Public Health England and the Department officials have held weekly discussions with the National Association of Funeral Directors as part of the funeral sector stakeholder group. Through this group, the funeral sector has the opportunity to engage on funeral guidance and raise any concerns.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish all contracts (a) advertised and (b) awarded to private companies to supply tests for Operation Moonshot.

As part of Operation Moonshot, the Government has established partnerships with industry, academia, local government and others to its testing programme – from companies supplying testing kits and supplies, to logistics and processing partnerships. All Departmental COVID-19 contracts are, or will be, published on the GOV.UK Contract Finder service.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to assess the (a) suitability and (b) accuracy of tests used for the mass covid-19 testing pilot in Liverpool.

The antigen lateral flow test used for COVID-19 testing in Liverpool is highly specific, which means that only a small proportion of people who do not have COVID-19 will receive a false positive result. Ongoing quality assurance work has shown the tests to be as effective in identifying asymptomatic positive cases as symptomatic positive cases. If a person tests positive on a lateral flow test, it is likely that they are infectious at that moment. This means that by using the lateral flow test we can identify people with a high viral load who are the most likely to spread the virus further.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to renew the thalidomide health grant in April 2023.

While we are unable to take commit future funds at this time, ahead of the forthcoming Spending Review, we remain committed to supporting thalidomiders to live a full and independent life. We are working closely with the Thalidomide Trust to consider how thalidomiders can be best be supported in the future.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in waiting times for surgery during the covid-19 outbreak.

The size of the waiting list reduced by 9% between March and May as the National Health Service suspended non-COVID-19 services to help free up capacity to support the response to COVID-19. The NHS is now restoring non-COVID-19 services, including routine surgery and the waiting list has subsequently increased by 5% between June and July while the number of completed admitted pathways has increased 51% over the same period.

The return of non-COVID-19 health services to near-normal levels includes making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This is being done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally. Clinically urgent patients should continue to be treated first, with priority then given to the longest waiting patients. Trusts, working with general practitioner practices, have also been asked to ensure that every patient whose planned care has been disrupted by COVID-19 receives clear communication about how they will be looked after, and who to contact in the event that their clinical circumstances change.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on ensuring that people whose surgery has been delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak receive the treatment they need.

The size of the waiting list reduced by 9% between March and May as the National Health Service suspended non-COVID-19 services to help free up capacity to support the response to COVID-19. The NHS is now restoring non-COVID-19 services, including routine surgery and the waiting list has subsequently increased by 5% between June and July while the number of completed admitted pathways has increased 51% over the same period.

The return of non-COVID-19 health services to near-normal levels includes making full use of available capacity between now and winter, whilst also preparing for winter demand pressures. This is being done alongside continued vigilance in light of any further COVID-19 spikes locally and possibly nationally. Clinically urgent patients should continue to be treated first, with priority then given to the longest waiting patients. Trusts, working with general practitioner practices, have also been asked to ensure that every patient whose planned care has been disrupted by COVID-19 receives clear communication about how they will be looked after, and who to contact in the event that their clinical circumstances change.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking tackle the risk of stigma faced by people who are unable to wear face masks due to hidden disabilities and/or mental health reasons.

Our guidance published online is clear that there are exemptions where people do not need to wear face coverings. We are also clear that people do not need to prove they are exempt and they should not be challenged about this.

If someone is more comfortable showing they are exempt from the requirement to wear face covering, they are able to use some form of optional visual cue. Different options are available on GOV.UK, on charity and organisations websites, or could be hand-made. This aims to tackle the stigma faced by people who are unable to wear a face covering due to hidden disabilities and/or mental health reasons

The Government is running a proactive communications campaign on face coverings to alert the public to the places where they are required to wear a face covering, who is exempt from wearing one, and how to wear one correctly.

We are actively engaging with stakeholders including disability charities to communicate new guidance to their members as well as highlighting this message to the general public on social media and via broadcasting opportunities.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to update NHS guidance on allowing non-essential visitors to NHS facilities as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

On 5 June 2020, NHS England revised its guidance on how National Health Service organisations may choose to facilitate visiting across healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The national suspension on visiting imposed under previous guidance was lifted with immediate effect.

Visiting is now subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies, and will take into account local prevalence. The number of visitors at the bedside is limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the patient. However, where it is possible to maintain social distancing throughout the visit, a second additional visitor can be permitted in certain circumstances including those individuals receiving end-of-life care.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on immunisation targets.

The impact of COVID-19 on immunisation targets has been variable. Preliminary data suggests that, whilst there was an initial decrease in the number of pre-school vaccinations delivered in primary care during the early weeks of the pandemic compared with the same period in 2019, the situation rapidly stabilised and recovered. In contrast, school-aged immunisation programmes were more impacted as a result of school closures. Providers have been working with schools to catch-up those programmes as schools have re-opened.

Due to the public health advice on social distancing and shielding, general practices were not expected to offer the opportunistic shingles vaccine to those aged 70, unless the patient was already in the general practitioner practice for another reason. Coverage among those turning 70 or 78 during quarter 4 – who were vaccinated up to the end of June 2020 - achieved lower coverage (9.3% and 10.4%, respectively) than among those who turned 70 or 78 after the same eligibility interval in previous quarters.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to publish the proposed vaccine strategy.

Publication of England’s draft Vaccine Strategy has been delayed as we have rightly been focusing on responding to the unprecedented global COVID-19 pandemic.

We will keep the Vaccine Strategy under review in light of the ongoing pandemic response. Our current ambition is to update and refresh the strategy in 2021 to reflect the changing landscape and investment in vaccine development through the Vaccines Taskforce.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure access to enzyme replacement treatment at a local specialist centre for children with rare diseases.

The Government is committed to improving the lives of those affected by rare disease and continues to implement the commitments made in the UK Strategy for Rare Diseases.

There are three specialist centres in the country that prescribe enzyme replacement therapy for the treatment of lysosomal storage disorders. These diseases are very rare and the expertise to treat this cohort of patients is concentrated in these centres where staff are experienced in their care and where they are also engaged in research into these conditions.

Enzyme replacement therapy is usually delivered via an infusion at home with the support of homecare providers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the delay between data being collected at military covid-19 testing units and that data being shared with local authorities and Director of Public Health.

We have interpreted the hon. Member's question as relating to the Department's Mobile Testing Units (MTUs), and therefore the response focuses on the building up of this service and sharing the results with local authorities and Directors of Public Health. These MTUs have been set up across the United Kingdom, directed locally, with several additional units held back for strategic reserve. From 2-8 July, 95.8% of test results from MTUs were returned the day after the test was taken, with 88.8% returned in under 24 hours.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Gracious Speech of 19 December 2019, Official Report column 31, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to reform the Mental Health Act 1989 during the 2019-21 Session.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Luton South (Rachel Hopkins MP) on 14 July 2020 to Question 68461.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th May 2020
What steps the Government is taking to introduce a new (a) living wage and (b) financial settlement for social care workers.

We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities to address the pressures on local services caused by the pandemic. This funding can be used to cover the cost of pay for care workers who are currently unable to work because they may be shielding (if they are among the clinically extremely vulnerable) or self-isolating – and this has been included in guidance to local authorities.

My department is working with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Local Government Association and Association of Directors of Adult Social Services to confirm that funding provided to local authorities has been distributed to social care providers, and on to the workforce, in accordance with this guidance.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many men aged over 50 years old received the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test under the NHS Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme in each year since 2015; and how many of those patients were subsequently diagnosed with prostate cancer.

This information is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many men aged over 50 (a) requested and (b) were refused a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test under the NHS Prostate Cancer Risk Management Programme in England in each year since 2015.

This information is not collected centrally.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many men over 50 years old have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in each year since 2015.

The following table sets out how many men in England aged 50 or over were diagnosed with prostate cancer in the years from 2015:

Year

Amount of men 50 and over

2015

40,805

2016

40,690

2017

40,717

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Prime Minister's Oral Statement on Afghanistan on 6 September 2021, Official Report, column 26, by when he expects all representations made by hon. Members to have been answered.

As Minister Cleverly set out in the Urgent Question on 9 September, where the FCDO has received cases which are to be dealt with by the Home Office and MoD under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme and the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme, we will pass those on to the relevant Department, whilst also individually notifying MPs which Department their specific cases have been passed to by 16 September. The FCDO will continue to handle British National cases and will be in contact with MPs about the specific cases they have raised within 7 days, providing as much detail as possible.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to work with countries neighbouring Afghanistan on keeping their borders open and resettling refugees that flee by land.

On 3 September we announced £30m of life-saving aid to Afghanistan’s neighbouring countries to help those who choose to leave Afghanistan as part of the Government’s efforts to support regional stability.
Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle (a) conflict, (b) the covid-19 pandemic and (c) the climate crisis as causes of global hunger.

COVID-19 is making an already bad food security situation worse and dozens of countries are in or at risk of a generalised food security crisis. As Oxfam's report states, 2020 saw a sharp increase in severe hunger in countries affected by conflict, and according to latest estimates, the number of people at emergency levels of food insecurity in 2021 has risen further to 41 million.

Humanitarian preparedness and response is one of the seven priority areas for the UK's aid budget this year. FCDO will spend £906 million to maintain the UK's role as a force for good at times of crisis, focusing on those countries most affected by risk of famine. We are combining this funding with our diplomatic and aid expertise: following our 2020 Call to Action to Prevent Famine, our Presidency this year secured the G7's first ever Compact to tackle the drivers of famine. In addition, we have adapted many of our programmes to address impacts of COVID-19 and the longer-term climate crisis. For example, the UK co-chaired multilateral Global Agriculture and Food Security Program has adapted its portfolio to mitigating COVID-19 impacts and to deliver a greener recovery in the poorest countries most affected by the triple threat.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report published by Oxfam entitled The Hunger Virus Multiplies, published on 9 July 2021, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding in that report that 20 million more people have been pushed to extreme levels of food insecurity in 2021.

COVID-19 is making an already bad food security situation worse and dozens of countries are in or at risk of a generalised food security crisis. As Oxfam's report states, 2020 saw a sharp increase in severe hunger in countries affected by conflict, and according to latest estimates, the number of people at emergency levels of food insecurity in 2021 has risen further to 41 million.

Humanitarian preparedness and response is one of the seven priority areas for the UK's aid budget this year. FCDO will spend £906 million to maintain the UK's role as a force for good at times of crisis, focusing on those countries most affected by risk of famine. We are combining this funding with our diplomatic and aid expertise: following our 2020 Call to Action to Prevent Famine, our Presidency this year secured the G7's first ever Compact to tackle the drivers of famine. In addition, we have adapted many of our programmes to address impacts of COVID-19 and the longer-term climate crisis. For example, the UK co-chaired multilateral Global Agriculture and Food Security Program has adapted its portfolio to mitigating COVID-19 impacts and to deliver a greener recovery in the poorest countries most affected by the triple threat.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that humanitarian support reaches the 350,000 people experiencing famine-like conditions in Tigray, Ethiopia.

The UK Government is deeply concerned about the grave humanitarian situation in Ethiopia and shares the concerns outlined in the report on 24 June by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification report in June reported high levels of food insecurity in Tigray with 353,000 in 'catastrophe' as per the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) levels. Ensuring assistance gets to those who need it most remains our priority in Tigray. We continue to explore all options with partners to expand humanitarian access by both air and land.

On 14 June I announced that the UK will allocate a further £16.7 million to the crisis in Tigray. This will support civil-military coordination to help aid get to those in need and address famine risk through the provision of healthcare, sanitation, and nutritional support. This allocation is on top of the existing £27 million in 2020-21 already directed to the response, and an additional £4 million allocated to support nutrition and vaccinations in Tigray. This brings UK total funding to support response to the crisis to £47.7 million. We continue to urge all parties to the conflict to protect civilians, allow unfettered humanitarian access and respect international humanitarian law.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support the unimpeded delivery of fuel and emergency humanitarian relief to Gaza.

Access for humanitarian purposes into and out of Gaza remains critical. We are urging the Government of Israel to ensure access is maintained to ensure delivery of humanitarian supplies, including fuel. I announced on 20 May that the UK is providing £3.2 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) emergency flash appeal, which launched on 19 May. The emergency appeal by UNRWA focuses on meeting the immediate humanitarian needs of vulnerable Palestinians living in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to UN Security Council Resolution 2286 (2016), what steps his Department is taking to pursue accountability for attacks on health workers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We condemn any incidence of violence by settlers against Palestinians. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, and urge restraint in the use of live fire. In instances where there have been accusations of excessive use of force, we have advocated swift, transparent investigations. We welcome the efforts of Israeli authorities to address settler violence, and urge them to thoroughly investigate every instance to bring those responsible to justice.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021, whether he has plans to create an Independent Expert Advisory Group to (a) advise him on the implementation of such sanctions, (b) ensure that objective criteria are applied consistently in respect of such sanctions and (c) review the delisting of people or entities under those regulations.

UK sanctions are smart tools that are carefully targeted to achieve their goals, while minimising potentially negative wider impacts. Designations under the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 may only take place where the relevant legal tests as set out in the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 and the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021 are met.

The policy note that we have published alongside the regulations sets out some of the factors relevant to the consideration of designations under the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021. These factors include HMG's wider anti-corruption priorities and the scale, nature and impact of the serious corruption in question, among others.

Under section 22 of the Sanctions Act, if at any time the Minister responsible for a designation considers that the designation criteria are not met, the Minister must revoke the designation. Periodic reviews of autonomous sanctions designations will take place every three years under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. Designated persons may also request an administrative review of their designation, and, if this does not result in the designation being varied or revoked, may make further requests if there is a new significant matter to consider.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021, whether he plans to introduce a system allowing for non-governmental actors to provide information on corrupt actors.

We recognise the important role non-governmental organisations (NGOs) play in countering corruption globally. We have published an information note for NGOs designed to help NGOs engage with the sanctions regime, which provides further information on the regime's purpose and scope and the information required in considering designations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021, what plans he has to ensure transparency on the use of such sanctions; and if he will provide quarterly reports to Parliament on the (a) amounts of assets frozen, (b) visas denied, (c) types of assets frozen and (d) requests received for the delisting of people or entities under those regulations.

The Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 includes a number of reporting obligations. As required by Section 30 of the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 the Government will report annually to Parliament on all sanctions regulations.

The Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), part of HM Treasury, undertakes an annual frozen asset review. This requires all persons that hold or control funds or economic resources that are owned, held or controlled by a designated person and subject to UK financial sanctions to report them to OFSI. OFSI also gathers information through the exercise of its statutory powers. HM Treasury does not disclose information about individual assets held in the UK. The Home Office does not comment on individual cases with respect to travel bans.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to update the Government's strategy on supporting human rights defenders.

The UK strongly supports Human Rights Defenders worldwide to enable them to carry out their work safely and without fear. We are considering carefully the request from Amnesty International and other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for a UK Government strategy on Human Rights Defenders. In 2019, the Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, launched the document 'UK support for Human Rights Defenders' which was drawn up with significant and important input from relevant stakeholders, including Amnesty International, and which sets out how the UK Government engages with Human Rights Defenders to advance the human rights agenda globally.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the allocation of funding from the public purse for global child and maternal health outcomes remains a priority for his Department; and if he will make a statement.

As set out in the Integrated Review, global health is one of the most pressing issues for international collaboration. Global health remains a top priority for UK Official Development Assistance. The UK is committed to working with others to improve child and maternal health outcomes in order to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children by 2030. Our work to deliver this ambition includes our commitment of up to £1.65 billion to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to support Gavi's goal to immunise a further 300 million children.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to publish the Ending Preventable Deaths Action Plan.

The UK is committed to working with others to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns, and children by 2030. We hope to publish our approach to ending preventable deaths in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will deliver the commitment made by the Prime Minister in September 2019 to 12 years of quality education for all girls by (a) protecting the ODA allocation for education from budget reductions, (b) increasing that allocation to 15 per cent of UK ODA and (c) allocating £600 million of funding from the public purse to the Global Partnership for Education.

As set out in the Integrated Review, this Government's commitment to stand up for the right of every girl to 12 years of quality education is unwavering. The Foreign Secretary has set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget this year in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction. Girls' education is one of these priorities.

The impact of the global pandemic on the UK economy has forced us to take the tough but necessary decision to temporarily reduce how much we spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA). We will temporarily move to a target of spending 0.5% of Gross National Income (GNI) on ODA, rather than 0.7%. This is a temporary measure, and we will return to 0.7% when the fiscal situation allows. Details of the UK's next contribution to GPE will be announced in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to increase (a) political and (b) financial support for the forthcoming replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education.

The UK has placed girls' education and broader gender equality at the heart of our G7 Presidency. We have set out two ambitious global objectives to get 40 million more girls in school and 20 million more girls reading by age 10 in the next 5 years, and we are using our G7 Presidency to rally others behind these objectives and stand up for every girl's right to 12 years of quality education.

A well-funded GPE will be central to delivering these global objectives, especially in securing education financing from developing countries' domestic budgets. That is why we look forward to hosting the Global Education Summit to refinance GPE with the Government of Kenya in July. Details of the UK's next contribution to GPE will be announced in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if his Department will meet the request by civil society to allocate £600 million of funding to the Global Partnership for Education for the 2021-25 replenishment in 2021.

The UK has placed girls' education and broader gender equality at the heart of our G7 Presidency. We have set out two ambitious global objectives to get 40 million more girls in school and 20 million more girls reading by age 10 in the next 5 years, and we are using our G7 Presidency to rally others behind these objectives and stand up for every girl's right to 12 years of quality education.

A well-funded GPE will be central to delivering these global objectives, especially in securing education financing from developing countries' domestic budgets. That is why we look forward to hosting the Global Education Summit to refinance GPE with the Government of Kenya in July. Details of the UK's next contribution to GPE will be announced in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, which Independent Power Plants (IPP) and Captive Power Plants (CPP) in Nigeria are now owned by the UK Government as a result of CDC's acquisition of a majority stake in CPGNL Limited.

CDC has a 70% stake in Globeleq. Globeleq acquired a 74% stake in CPGNL Limited on 24 December.

CPGNL Limited comprises 11 power plants with a total generating capacity of 57 Megawatts (MW); further details are commercially sensitive.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the total value is of (a) the UK government's proposed investment in the Qua Iboe gas-fired power station in Nigeria through CDC Group's Globeleq subsidiary, (b) CDC Group's current investments in fossil fuel energy in Nigeria and (c) CDC Group's current investments in renewable energy in Nigeria.

CDC has invested over $1 billion of climate finance into developing countries in Africa and South Asia since 2017. CDC's climate strategy sets out its comprehensive approach to align all of CDC's investing activities with the Paris Agreement, based on the core principles of reaching net zero by 2050, enabling a just transition and strengthening adaptation and resilience.

CDC's full energy portfolio, as of December 2019, is available online: https://assets.cdcgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/11174306/Fossil-Fuels-and-Renewables-portfolio-as-at-31-December-2019-pdf.pdf.

CDC will only consider new investments in gas power and related infrastructure if they are aligned with the Paris Agreement and aligned with a country's pathway to net zero emissions by 2050. Information on CDC's pipeline of investments is commercially sensitive and therefore is unable to be disclosed.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the value is of the Government's proposed investment in the Temane gas-fired power station in Mozambique through CDC Group's Globeleq subsidiary.

CDC has invested over $1 billion of climate finance into developing countries in Africa and South Asia since 2017. CDC's climate strategy sets out its comprehensive approach to align all of CDC's investing activities with the Paris Agreement, based on the core principles of reaching net zero by 2050, enabling a just transition and strengthening adaptation and resilience.

CDC's fossil fuel policy, published in December 2020, applies to all new commitments. This policy excludes future investment in the vast majority of fossil fuel subsectors including coal, oil and upstream gas exploration and production, with very limited exceptions. CDC will only consider new investments in gas power and related infrastructure if they are aligned with the Paris Agreement and aligned with a country's pathway to net zero emissions by 2050.

Commercial discussions regarding the proposed Temane power project remain ongoing. Financial information on CDC's investment is commercially sensitive and therefore is unable to be disclosed.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the total value is of CDC Group's current investments in (a) solar and (b) wind energy in Mozambique.

CDC has invested over $1 billion of climate finance into developing countries in Africa and South Asia since 2017. CDC's climate strategy sets out its comprehensive approach to align all of CDC's investing activities with the Paris Agreement, based on the core principles of reaching net zero by 2050, enabling a just transition and strengthening adaptation and resilience.

CDC's full energy portfolio, as of December 2019, is available online: https://assets.cdcgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/11174306/Fossil-Fuels-and-Renewables-portfolio-as-at-31-December-2019-pdf.pdf.

CDC has an indirect renewable energy investment in Mozambique, Enventure Africa S.A, through DI Frontier Fund 2. Investment values for individual companies are commercially sensitive and are therefore unable to be disclosed.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many legacy investments in fossil fuels within the CDC Group’s portfolio have been phased out since 2018.

CDC's legacy portfolio comprises investments made by funds committed to before 2012 when major changes to CDC's strategy and investment policy were introduced.

CDC's full energy portfolio, as of December 2019, is available online: https://assets.cdcgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/11174306/Fossil-Fuels-and-Renewables-portfolio-as-at-31-December-2019-pdf.pdf.

Four fossil fuel power investments made through fund investments before 2012 have been exited since 2018.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on family planning and sexual and reproductive health and rights programmes of the planned reduction in UK ODA spending from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of GNI.

The UK is proud to champion comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning; these are fundamental to the empowerment of girls and women. Advancing gender equality and women's rights are a core part of the UK Government's work on development, including enabling girls to fulfil 12 years of quality education.

The Foreign Secretary has completed the cross-government review of how Official Development Assistance (ODA) will be allocated against the government's priorities for 2021. The aim is to ensure UK ODA is focused on strategic priorities, where it will have the maximum impact, enable greater coherence and deliver the most value for money. Officials are now working through the implications of these allocations. No decisions on individual sectoral budgets have been taken yet by Ministers.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in Official Development Assistance on the (a) Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to family planning and sexual health and reproduction services and (b) women and girls lives in the Global South.

The UK is proud to champion comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights, including family planning; these are fundamental to the empowerment of girls and women. Advancing gender equality and women's rights are a core part of the UK Government's work on development, including enabling girls to fulfil 12 years of quality education.

The Foreign Secretary has completed the cross-government review of how Official Development Assistance (ODA) will be allocated against the government's priorities for 2021. The aim is to ensure UK ODA is focused on strategic priorities, where it will have the maximum impact, enable greater coherence and deliver the most value for money. Officials are now working through the implications of these allocations. No decisions on individual sectoral budgets have been taken yet by Ministers.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect in the reduction in Official Development Assistance to developing countries on (a) family planning, (b) sexual and reproductive, (c) climate change, (d) poverty eradication, (e) tackling disease and (f) conflict in those countries.

We remain firmly committed to helping the world's poorest people. The Foreign Secretary has set out seven core priorities for the UK's aid budget this year in the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction: climate and biodiversity; Covid and global health security; girls' education; science and research; defending open societies and resolving conflict; humanitarian assistance; and promoting trade and economic growth. This new strategic approach will allow us to drive greater impact from our aid budget, notwithstanding the difficult financial position we face.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
19th Jan 2021
What steps he is taking to support the 2016 peace agreement in Columbia following the recent killings of human rights defenders and trade unionists in that country.

The UK remains concerned about the persistent level of violence towards human rights defenders in Colombia. We regularly raise this with the Colombian Government, and in multilateral fora.

I spoke to the Colombian Foreign Minister Blum on 2 June 2020, and reiterated UK support for the peace process, and concern about the killing of human rights defenders. Our Permanent Representative to the UN expressed our deep concern at the UN Security Council on 14 July 2020. Lord Ahmad discussed these issues with civil society, and government during a virtual visit to Colombia on 13 October 2020. The Colombian Government has taken measures to address violence, but there remain major challenges. We welcome the Colombian Government’s continuing commitment to the full implementation of the 2016 peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The UK will continue to support Colombia. We have committed £60 million through the Conflict, Security, and Stability Fund (CSSF) in support of peace, stability, and security. We lead on this issue at the UN Security Council, and are the largest donor to the UN Trust Fund. Our embassy programmes work to help human rights defenders at risk, and tackle root causes of the violence.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on levels of food insecurity in Gaza.

The UK remains concerned about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza, compounded by the impact of COVID-19.

We recognise the importance of tackling food insecurity. To support, we are providing £2.5 million to the World Food Programme to provide food and cash assistance to the most vulnerable Palestinians. We have also contributed £1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's Emergency Appeal in the Occupied Palestinian Territories which will help provide emergency food to over one million food-insecure refugees in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle the gap in oxygen supply for covid-19 patients in Gaza.

We remain concerned about the capacity of the Palestinian health system to cope with the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, especially in Gaza. We welcome the recent 30% increase in hospital beds for patients suffering critical and severe cases, and the recent procurement by World Health Organisation of two additional oxygen generators. The UK continues to monitor the situation closely.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help support Gaza’s healthcare system during the increase in covid-19 cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The UK remains concerned about the ongoing humanitarian situation in Gaza and the impact of COVID-19 on an already fragile healthcare system. Recognising the severity of the situation, we were one of the first donors to provide funding to support the health and humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We have provided £1.25 million funding (the World Health Organisation with £630,000 and the United Nations Children's Fund with £620,000) to purchase and co-ordinate delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline health workers and scale up laboratory testing capacity - mainly in Gaza.

In addition, we are providing £2.5 million to the World Food Programme to provide food and cash assistance for the most vulnerable Palestinians to help alleviate the humanitarian situation. We have also contributed £1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's Emergency Appeal in the OPTs which will help provide emergency food to over one million food-insecure refugees in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the specific needs of people with disabilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the covid-19 pandemic.

Disability inclusion is an important issue for the FCDO, and the Ministerial team remains committed to embedding it across all our work, including as we respond to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

The UK is committed to supporting people with disabilities across our programmes in the OPTs. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, we have approved additional programming to strengthen disability inclusion across Palestinian society, which aims to ensure people with disabilities (PwD) are accounted for in the COVID-19 crisis response through reviewing laws, regulations, HR policies and bylaws in public sector to analyse barriers to PwDs' participation in decision making. This will be followed by an advocacy campaign targeting the gaps identified in the analysis. We also engage frequently with the Israelis on issues affecting ordinary Palestinians, including the impact of COVID-19.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support the protection of rights of people with disabilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to maintain their health, safety, dignity and independence during the covid-19 outbreak.

Disability inclusion is an important issue for the FCDO, and the Ministerial team remains committed to embedding it across all our work, including as we respond to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

The UK is committed to supporting people with disabilities across our programmes in the OPTs. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, we have approved additional programming to strengthen disability inclusion across Palestinian society, which aims to ensure people with disabilities (PwD) are accounted for in the COVID-19 crisis response through reviewing laws, regulations, HR policies and bylaws in public sector to analyse barriers to PwDs' participation in decision making. This will be followed by an advocacy campaign targeting the gaps identified in the analysis. We also engage frequently with the Israelis on issues affecting ordinary Palestinians, including the impact of COVID-19.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on Israel upholding its obligations to ensure the respect and fulfilment of the rights of Palestinians with disabilities under its effective control in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Disability inclusion is an important issue for the FCDO, and the Ministerial team remains committed to embedding it across all our work, including as we respond to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

The UK is committed to supporting people with disabilities across our programmes in the OPTs. Following the outbreak of COVID-19, we have approved additional programming to strengthen disability inclusion across Palestinian society, which aims to ensure people with disabilities (PwD) are accounted for in the COVID-19 crisis response through reviewing laws, regulations, HR policies and bylaws in public sector to analyse barriers to PwDs' participation in decision making. This will be followed by an advocacy campaign targeting the gaps identified in the analysis. We also engage frequently with the Israelis on issues affecting ordinary Palestinians, including the impact of COVID-19.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on when to reinstate the UK's commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on overseas aid.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has agreed with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs that the Government intends to return to the 0.7% target when the fiscal situation allows.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his counterpart in Pakistan on the reported abduction of Amar Fayaz in Jamshoro, Sindh.

We are aware of the reported abduction of Amar Fayaz in Sindh, Pakistan. The UK Government strongly condemns any instances of enforced disappearances. We urge states to fully investigate any allegations, prosecute those responsible and provide justice to victims and their families. We regularly raise at a senior level our concerns about the human rights situation with the Government of Pakistan. Most recently, the Minister of State for South Asia and Minister for Human Rights, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, raised our concerns about human rights with Pakistan's Human Rights Minister, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 16 November.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government plans to announce an end to UK funding for fossil fuels overseas to include (a) Overseas Development Assistance and (b) UK Export Finance.

Tackling climate change is a key priority for the UK. The Government is committed to working with countries across the world to unlock their renewable energy potential and support their transition away from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives. We are continuing to work closely with departments and agencies across Government to align future UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) with the Paris Agreement.The Prime Minister announced in January that the Government would end direct ODA, investment, export credit and trade promotion support for thermal coal mining and coal power plants overseas. The Government continues to keep its approach to other fossil fuel investments and financing overseas under review.
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the proposal from the President and Minister of Health of Costa Rica for the World Health Organisation to create a global pool for rights in covid-19 related technologies for the detection, prevention, control and treatment of covid-19.

As details of the COVID-19 technology access pool (C-TAP) now emerge from the World Health Organisation, we will identify if C-TAP could add value to existing wider innovation and access infrastructure, such as the Medicines Patent Pool, which we helped set up 10 years ago.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has plans to attach public interest conditions to his Department's funding for research and development on covid-19 vaccines and treatments to ensure the (a) affordability, (b) accessibility and (c) social responsibility of the licensing of those vaccines.

To ensure affordability and accessibility, the FCDO supports the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator in collaborating globally to develop affordable new vaccines, treatments, and diagnostics, which are accessible to everyone who needs them, as quickly as possible. The UK has contributed £313 million to ACT-Accelerator partners to develop new vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. These international not-for-profit organisations are committed to ensuring that once developed, products are affordable and accessible in low and middle-income countries. This includes selecting products that can be developed and scaled-up quickly to support global access.

In addition, the UK has committed up to £548 million for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which will support access to COVID-19 vaccines for 92 developing countries by contributing to the supply of 1 billion doses in 2021, subject to vaccines successfully securing stringent regulatory approvals. Gavi will negotiate prices and supply volumes with companies based on its established expertise in supporting global immunisation, and take into account investments made in research and development by ACT-Accelerator partners. We welcome the commitments made by several manufacturers to not-for-profit pricing during the pandemic period. At the United National General Assembly, the pharmaceutical industry came together to pledge their collective support for ensuring the affordable, global distribution of vaccines.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart on the reported killing of 18-year-old activist Jayder Quintana in Cauca, southwest Colombia.

As we emphasised in the UN Security Council session on 14 July following the Special Representative's report, and will raise again in the Security Council on 14 October, the UK continues to be very concerned about the persistent level of violence towards human rights defenders, social leaders, former FARC-EP combatants, and others. We regularly raise these issues with the Colombian Government and in multilateral fora, and will continue to do so, including during Lord Ahmad's human rights-focused virtual visit to Colombia this week.

We have urged the Colombian Government to prioritise the tackling of this violence, and continue to work to improve security conditions around the country. The UK is also committed to continuing its own programming to support the government's efforts, and mitigate risks to communities.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the work of the Colombian Truth Commission; and if he will make a statement.

The UK sees the transitional justice system and the involvement of victims as vital elements of Colombia's 2016 Peace Accords. We are pleased that the Truth Commission and associated institutions have begun their work. We continue to emphasise our support for transitional justice in Colombia,?both with the government and in multilateral fora, including most recently at the UN Security Council on 14 July, where our Permanent Representative commended the Truth Commission and other institutions' quick adaptation to the pandemic by moving their work online.

The UK government has contributed over £26 million towards transitional justice mechanisms,?and victims of the conflict in Colombia since 2016. This includes supporting the Truth Commission's work to gather testimonies?from Colombians?both in Colombia and abroad, including here in the UK. We will continue to work closely with the Colombian government and civil society on the peace process and related matters.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the $1.90 level of the World Bank's international poverty line in accurately measuring and identifying trends in global poverty; and if he will make a statement.

Officials at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are actively involved in discussions about how best to define and measure global poverty, working with officials in developing countries, academia and international organisations, such as the World Bank and UN.

The international poverty line of $1.90 per capita per day continues to be the benchmark for monitoring extreme poverty at a global level. Set by the World Bank to reflect how the world's poorest countries define poverty, it provides a measure of absolute deprivation which allows us to compare levels of need between countries; track progress - or setbacks - over time; and focus resources and efforts where they are most needed. By this measure, 10 per cent of the world's population - around 734 million people - lived in extreme poverty in 2015. While still far too many, this represents remarkable progress from 1990, when 36 per cent of the world - around 1.9 billion people - lived below $1.90.

As with any definition of poverty, the $1.90 poverty line has limitations, which are well recognised, including by the World Bank.

Following the recommendations of the 2016 Atkinson Commission and others, there is a global consensus that we need a range of complementary poverty measures to provide a rounded picture and meet differing policy needs. FCDO-funded investments in data collection and research supports this agenda. However, the $1.90 measure remains essential to monitoring poverty, allowing us to understand and improve the degree to which growth and economic and social policies affect the poorest. For this reason, it is the measure used in the first of the UN Sustainable Development Goals - 'by 2030, eradicate extreme poverty' - and a key consideration in how donors allocate aid on the basis of need.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Colombian counterpart on peace talks with the National Liberation Army; and if he will make a statement.

The UK remains extremely concerned about the continued activity of illegal armed groups in Colombia, including the National Liberation Army (ELN), and the impact their violence has on Colombian society - even more so at this challenging time. We noted the unilateral ceasefire declared by the ELN on 30 March at a UN Security Council meeting on 14 April and hoped it would facilitate efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as potentially representing a positive step towards peace. We regret that this ceasefire has not been renewed by the ELN.

The UK has reaffirmed its unwavering support to the Colombian authorities as they seek to ensure sustainable peace in Colombia, and has reiterated the importance of pressing ahead with work to consolidate peace and build stability. At the same time, the UK, alongside international partners, has continued to urge the ELN to end its campaign of violence and to play a part in bringing an end to this conflict.

The UK has been vocal in expressing our concern about the effect the activity of armed groups has on the future of peace in Colombia. We regularly raise these issues with the Colombian Government and in multilateral fora. Most recently, our Permanent Representative to the United Nations spoke on this issue at the UN Security Council on 14 April, and we consistently press the Colombian Government to focus on extending the rule of law to all parts of the country.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of media reports of killings of former FARC combatants that are taking part in the peace process.

Following the change to date for answer of this PQ, I submitted a response by email on 26 March, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

The UK shares the concerns of the Colombian Government regarding ongoing violence in Colombia, including the killings of former FARC combatants. We have been vocal in expressing our concern about the persistent high levels of violence and threats towards former FARC combatants and others, as well as the impact this has on the future of peace.

The United Kingdom welcomes the Colombian Government's longstanding commitment to assisting former guerrilla fighters in transitioning to civilian life following the peace agreement of 2016. We have committed almost £45 million over 5 years through the United Kingdom's Conflict, Stability and Security Fund for Colombia to support development across conflict-affected regions. We have done this through programmes designed to build state capacity to ensure the safety of former fighters, and of other vulnerable individuals and groups, including outside of official reincorporation zones.

We also raised our concern about this issue at the United Nations Security Council session on Colombia on 13 January, where we called on the Colombian government to accelerate its reintegration programmes for former combatants. We will continue to work closely with the Colombian government and civil society on the peace process and related matters.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Colombian counterpart on the security situation for human rights defenders in Colombia.

Following the change to date for answer of this PQ, I submitted a response by email on 26 March, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

The United Kingdom remains concerned about the persistent level of violence towards human rights defenders in Colombia. We consistently raise these issues with the Colombian Government, and in multilateral fora, most recently at the UN Security Council on 13 January, and during President Duque's visit to the UK in June 2019. Our Embassy in Bogota also continues to raise concerns about specific communities with the relevant state actors in Colombia.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Government plans to extend the timescale of the integrated review of foreign policy, defence, security and international development as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

As Parliament rose earlier than planned and the first day for answer of this PQ was after the Easter recess, due to the pace of developments during the COVID-19 crisis, I submitted a response by email on 27 March, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

We have diverted resources from across government and the civil service to work on Covid-19, scaling back efforts on the Integrated Review. We will provide an update on timing in due course.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made in the last three months to his counterpart in Greece on its policy to contain migrants on Greek islands in the Aegean sea.

The UK and Greece enjoy a long-standing friendship. The UK is concerned about the condition of migrant camps on the Greek islands. Following a significant increase in arrivals during 2019, camps on the "hotspot" Greek islands have become severely overcrowded, resulting in poor conditions and inadequate accommodation, sanitation and healthcare.

The British Government remains committed to supporting Greece's efforts to manage migration and is working with the Greek Government to this end. We discuss our concerns with Greek ministers, as well as with senior officials, most recently HMA Athens spoke to the Minister for Migration and Asylum on 7 February and the UK Chargé d'Affaires with the Foreign Minister on 3 March.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the validity of reports of the Hellenic Coast Guard and border police using violent and dangerous methods to turn back refugees and migrants.

We are concerned by the situation on the Greek border, and we remain in close contact with the Greek authorities. We continue to work across government to explore where the UK can further support Greece to improve the conditions for migrants. We do, of course, oppose any actions that endanger human life.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with reference to the Prosperity Fund's Global Trade Programme, what criteria was used to decide which countries would be chosen for the programme.

​The middle income countries covered by the Prosperity Fund's Global Trade Programme (GTP) were selected based on findings from qualitative and quantitative analysis, which included assessments on the potential benefits to poverty reduction through supporting their economic development, and their willingness and capacity of countries to engage with UK expertise. The GTP is currently focusing on interventions in Indonesia, Vietnam, Turkey, India, South Africa, Nigeria, Columbia, Mexico and Brazil; countries which account for a significant share of global economic activity: together they account for 26% of global GDP and 20% of global trade flows. We will keep open options to expand interventions regionally, including into other Prosperity Fund eligible countries, where there are benefits to be gained from synergies with the core programme.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, with reference to the Prosperity Fund's Global Trade Programme, what steps he is taking to ensure that aid funding allocated under this programme reaches the poorest people in the countries involved.

​No country can defeat poverty without sustained economic growth. Middle income countries are home to around two thirds of the world's poor, and therefore need to not only generate new investment, growth and jobs, but also need to ensure that economic growth resulting from trade is inclusive and genuinely helps to reduce poverty, support gender equality and women's economic empowerment. It is in the UK's interest to support middle income countries to tackle these challenges.

Through the Prosperity Fund Global Trade Programme we are providing technical assistance to facilitate free trade and open markets for Official Development Assistance eligible middle income countries, in turn enabling greater investment with global value chains to create jobs and prosperity and lift the poorest sectors of society out of poverty.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to undertake a review of the Government's support for (a) Bahrain’s Special Investigations Unit and (b) the Ombudsman of the Ministry of the Interior, following the death sentences that were handed down on 8 January 2020 to Mohammed Ramadan and Husain Moosa.

The UK welcomed the investigation conducted by the Special Investigation Unit on the cases of Mohammed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa and its recommendation that the cases should be re-tried – a first in Bahrain. As I tweeted on 8 January, we are deeply concerned about the death sentences given to Mohammed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa. The Government of Bahrain are fully aware that the UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty, in all circumstances. The UK has, and will, continue to monitor the cases closely and raise concerns with senior members of the Bahraini Government.

Bahrain remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Priority Country; there is more to do, but we believe progress will only be made by working with Bahrain. Assistance, which is kept under regular review, is provided in line with international standards, and fully complies with our human rights obligations and the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance process.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the re-imposition of the death sentence for Bahraini prisoners Mohammed Ramadhan and Husain Moosa, if he will publish the assessment made under the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance guidance for training provided by the College of Policing to Bahrain’s Special Investigations Unit and Ombudsman; and whether that guidance was approved by a Minister of his Department.

The UK welcomed the investigation conducted by the Special Investigation Unit on the cases of Mohammed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa and its recommendation that the cases should be re-tried – a first in Bahrain. As I tweeted on 8 January, we are deeply concerned about the death sentences given to Mohammed Ramadhan and Hussain Moosa. The Government of Bahrain are fully aware that the UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty, in all circumstances. The UK has, and will, continue to monitor the cases closely and raise concerns with senior members of the Bahraini Government.

Bahrain remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Priority Country; there is more to do, but we believe progress will only be made by working with Bahrain. Assistance, which is kept under regular review, is provided in line with international standards, and fully complies with our human rights obligations and the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance process.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to provide support for property buyers who agreed sales ahead of the end of the stamp duty freeze and who will not complete sales until after the end of that freeze due to waiting for the completion of building surveys.

The SDLT threshold for all purchases of property, except purchases by first time buyers, will be £125,000 from 1 October 2021. The SDLT threshold is £300,000 for first time buyers who purchase a property for £500,000 or below.

In March 2021, the Chancellor extended the period in which the £500,000 SDLT threshold applies to 30 June 2021. This was designed to ensure that transactions that were unable to be completed by the original 31 March 2021 deadline because of delays in the sector would still receive the relief.

The SDLT threshold then stepped down to £250,000 on 1 July 2021 to transition the market back to the standard rate. The standard SDLT threshold will return to £125,000 on 1 October 2021.

7th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on allocating funding to specific covid-19 recovery policies for disabled children and young people.

HM Treasury Ministers regularly meet with other government departments and a range of stakeholders, which includes discussions around disabled children and young people, and COVID-19 recovery.

As part of plans to boost education recovery, the government is investing £1.7 billion in academic years 20-21 and 21-22. This includes a £650 million catch up premium in 20-21, and £302 million one-off recovery premium in 21-22. Schools can prioritise this funding to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) where appropriate.

The government is providing a further £1.4 billion over the next three academic years for education recovery, including £1 billion to support up to six million, 15-hour tutoring courses for disadvantaged school children.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Global Anti-Corruption Sanctions Regulations 2021, what additional resources he will provide to (a) the National Crime Agency and (b) the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation to ensure the proactive enforcement of sanctions and (c) the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office to support the investigation of allegations of corruption.

A number of different agencies are responsible for the enforcement of sanctions in the UK, including the National Crime Agency, and HM Treasury, through the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation. The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office has dedicated sanctions policy resource, including for the Global Anti-Corruption sanctions regime.

Any additional resourcing needs arising from new sanctions regimes are identified early and addressed in the context both of each internal function and across the sanctions community in Whitehall.

Future funding decisions will be taken at the next Comprehensive Spending Review.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 179434, if he will list the (a) finance industry and (b) business groups that were involved in the discussions referenced in that Answer; and if he will publish the minutes of those discussions.

As set out in our previous response HM Treasury, BEIS and the British Business Bank (BBB) engaged with a range of stakeholders from the finance industry to ensure the covid loan schemes could efficiently deliver support to those businesses most in need of Government-backed finance. This included banks, building societies, non-bank lenders and trade associations.

Details of all ministerial meetings are published on the department’s transparency returns.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the super-deduction on progress towards the Government’s climate emissions targets.

The super-deduction relieves investments in new plant and machinery assets, meaning companies can invest in new equipment, including those designed to make them more energy efficient.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent progress has been made on the publication of aggregate data from the country-by-country reporting of multinational companies; and if he will make a statement.

The Government supports the goal of improving the measurement and monitoring of base erosion and profit shifting, and improving tax transparency.

UK officials are continuing to work with the OECD Secretariat to address issues with the quality of country-by-country reporting data, to ensure that it is accurate, reliable and suitable for publication.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment has he made of the potential (a) distributional effect and (b) projected receipts of equalising capital gains tax rates with income tax rates.

Last year, the Chancellor commissioned the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to carry out a review of Capital Gains Tax (CGT). The OTS considered a range of issues and recommended aligning the rates charged on capital gains with those on income. The report contains revenue estimates on the impact of their recommendations. The Government will respond to the OTS report in due course.

Any changes to the tax system will balance the need to raise revenue with the principles of fairness and market efficiency. The Government’s priority is supporting jobs and the economic recovery from the pandemic.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the regional distribution of capital gains in the UK.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is reserved and applies across the whole of the UK.

In 2018-19, 92.3 percent of CGT liabilities arose in England, 1.6 percent in Wales, 4.6 percent in Scotland and 1.4 percent in Northern Ireland.

The full 2018-19 CGT data on individuals, gains and tax accruals by region is available online: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/908659/Table_5.pdf.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether (a) persons and (b) organisations from outside Government were involved in designing the Government's covid-19 emergency loan schemes.

Since March 2020, the Government has introduced a collection of emergency loan guarantee schemes to support businesses’ access to lending in response to Covid-19. As of 21st March 2021, these schemes have collectively approved more than £75 billion worth of finance through more than 1.6 million facilities to support businesses of all sizes to get through the pandemic.

On 23 March 2020, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) was launched, building closely off the former Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) Scheme which ran from 2009 to 2020.

The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) were launched on 20 April and 4 May 2020 respectively. These schemes responded to market feedback that both the largest and smallest UK businesses needed support outside CBILS. CLBILS offered Government-guaranteed loans to businesses with a turnover greater than £45 million who needed bigger loans that £5 million. BBLS offered 100% guaranteed loans to ensure that the smallest businesses could access loans from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of businesses’ turnover in a matter of just days, as these businesses had struggled with the eligibility criteria for CBILS.

In launching these schemes and ensuring their smooth operation thereafter, the British Business Bank (BBB), HM Treasury and BEIS worked closely with the finance industry and business groups to ensure Government-backed finance could get to the businesses who needed it most. These discussions focused purely on how the schemes could function as effectively as possible; they did not cover the entry criteria for firms who wanted to participate in the scheme as accredited lenders.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 119350 on Capital Gains Tax, when he plans to publish the Government's response to the Office for Tax Simplification's Capital Gains Tax Review.

Last year, the Chancellor commissioned the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to carry out a review of Capital Gains Tax (CGT).

Given the wide scope of the review, the OTS will produce two reports.

The first report, on the policy design and principles underpinning CGT, was published in November 2020.

The second report, which will explore key technical and administrative issues, will be published later this year.

The Government will respond to these reports in due course.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of a global minimum tax rate of 21 per cent on revenues under the corporation tax charge in 2022-23.

The UK has been at the forefront of global efforts to update the international corporation tax framework in response to challenges created by digitisation.

The UK played an active role in helping to develop a comprehensive two-pillar solution. This would ensure countries can more effectively tax businesses that participate in their economies as well as require multinational groups to pay a minimum level of tax on profit they generate in jurisdictions in which they operate.

The UK also played a leading role in securing a G20 commitment to reach political agreement on such a solution by mid-2021, and is now using its G7 Presidency to help deliver on that objective.

The details of a political agreement are still subject to international negotiation and it would not be appropriate to provide a detailed impact assessment or to comment on specific provisions.

If and when a global solution is agreed and implemented it will be assessed through the OBR forecast process in the usual way.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a global minimum tax rate, as proposed by President Biden; and if he will make a statement.

The UK has been at the forefront of global efforts to update the international corporation tax framework in response to challenges created by digitisation.

The UK played an active role in helping to develop a comprehensive two-pillar solution. This would ensure countries can more effectively tax businesses that participate in their economies as well as require multinational groups to pay a minimum level of tax on profit they generate in jurisdictions in which they operate.

The UK also played a leading role in securing a G20 commitment to reach political agreement on such a solution by mid-2021, and is now using its G7 Presidency to help deliver on that objective.

The details of a political agreement are still subject to international negotiation and it would not be appropriate to provide a detailed impact assessment or to comment on specific provisions.

If and when a global solution is agreed and implemented it will be assessed through the OBR forecast process in the usual way.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the super-deduction on levels of tax fraud.

The super-deduction has safeguards within the legislation to prevent abuse, including the exclusion of connected party transactions and second hand assets.

The legislation also introduces a new anti-avoidance provision that applies to counteract arrangements which are contrived, abnormal, or lacking a genuine commercial purpose.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a one-off wealth tax as proposed by the UK Wealth Tax Commission in its final report of 9 December 2020.

The Wealth Tax Commission has no connection or link to the Government. The Commission’s report offers one perspective about how taxes might be raised in future if necessary, but it is clear that introducing a new one-off wealth tax in the UK would be a hugely complex undertaking and the amount of revenue raised would be highly dependent on the final design of the tax.

The UK does not have a comprehensive, single wealth tax, but it does have several taxes on assets and wealth. These operate across many different economic activities, including the acquisition, holding, transfer and disposal of assets, and income derived from assets. As set out by the Wealth Tax Commission, the UK’s taxes on wealth are on par with those of other G7 countries.

The UK’s progressive income tax system means the top 1% of income taxpayers are projected to have paid over 29% of all Income Tax, and top 5% are projected to have paid over 50%, in 2019-20.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has he made of the potential merits of replacing council tax and stamp duty with a proportional property tax.

The Government does not have any plans to introduce a new proportional property tax, but keeps all taxes under review. Residential properties will continue to be taxed through Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and Council Tax.

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of financial hardship on compliance with self-isolation rules during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Self-isolation is an essential part of the Test, Trace and Isolate system. If an employee is unable to work due to self-isolating, they may be eligible for their employer’s sick pay policy or Statutory Sick Pay.

In order to reduce the financial barriers to self-isolation compliance, the Government has introduced the Test and Trace Support Payment. People who are instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and are on a qualifying means tested benefit, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, may be entitled to a payment of £500 from their local authority. Those who are not on a qualifying benefit but meet the other criteria and will face financial hardship while self-isolating, may be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment.

People who are self-isolating may also receive support with everyday tasks, such as collecting shopping, through the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2020 to Question 120991, what fiscal criteria he plans to use to determine when the Government will reinstate the UK's commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on overseas aid.

The Government intends to return to the 0.7% target when the fiscal situation allows. We cannot at this moment predict with certainty when the current fiscal circumstances will have sufficiently improved.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with his Department on the potential merits of expanding the eligibility of the Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 for people required to self-isolate during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Treasury ministers and officials have frequent meetings with their counterparts at the Department for Health and Social Care on a range of matters including the Test and Trace Support Payment. The Government is exploring plans to expand the payment to include those who are advised by the app to self-isolate because of close contact with somebody who has tested positive, and will set out further details in due course.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs on reinstating the UK's commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on overseas aid.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has agreed with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs that the Government intends to return to the 0.7% target when the fiscal situation allows.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Bank of England on adding rapid decarbonisation objectives to its mandate; and if he will make a statement.

In March, as part of the Remit and Recommendations letter for the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee, the Chancellor recommended that the Committee should continue to regard risks from climate change as relevant to its primary and secondary objectives.

The Government remains committed to including new and ambitious recommendations to the regulators, including the Prudential Regulatory Authority, about the government’s NetZero objectives, as set out in the 2019 Green Finance Strategy. We plan to issue remit letters at the next opportunity to allow the government to reiterate its expectations for the regulators, ahead of the UK’s hosting of the COP26 summit in November 2021.

Finally, on 9 November, the Chancellor delivered a statement to the House, outlining the Government’s plans for financial services, including new proposals to support sustainable financial flows and extend the UK’s global leadership in green finance ahead of hosting COP26.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish his Department’s September 2020 modelling on the economic effect of (a) introducing the covid-19 circuit-breaker recommended by SAGE and (b) the November 2020 lockdown in England.

Throughout the pandemic, economic analysis has been a key part of the advice that ministers use to inform decisions taken in this fast-moving health environment.

The Treasury continues to provide economic analysis to ministers on an ongoing basis as part of policy making and design. The Treasury does not produce formal forecasts for the UK economy. Economic and fiscal forecasting is the responsibility of the independent OBR who updated their forecasts on 25 November 2020.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to publish a response to the Office for Tax Simplification's Capital Gains Tax Review.

The Government thanks the OTS for their independent report and will consider the recommendations made and respond in due course.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government has plans to commission an independent assessment of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on levels of (a) poverty and (b) household debt experienced by (i) groups with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010, (ii) different regions of the UK and (iii) people (A) on zero-hours contracts, (B) who are self-employed and (C) with other types of employment status.

The Government continues to monitor and publish trends in households’ circumstances across the UK, using a range of sources.

The Government already publishes data on people in low income households by various protected characteristics, region and economic status through its Household Below Average Income (HBAI) publication.

However, in order to illustrate the challenge faced by households during COVID-19, and how Government interventions have supported households of different income levels, HM Treasury published a distributional analysis alongside the Summer Economic Update: Plan for Jobs showing estimates of the change in household net incomes between February and May 2020. The Government will consider updating this analysis at an appropriate point in the future. Given the economic and fiscal significance of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) as responses to the COVID-19 outbreak, HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have committed to evaluating the two schemes and their impacts.

The Office for National Statistics routinely publishes data on financial debt through the Wealth and Assets Survey, which includes breakdowns by age and region. The Government works closely with the Money and Pensions Service to monitor financial difficulty through an annual survey of 22,000 people. The latest data will be published next month. The Government also monitors information coming from the Financial Conduct Authority’s biennial Financial Lives Survey, which provides a comprehensive insight into the finances of 16,000 adults and has data by characteristics such as gender, age and working status. The latest survey will be published in early 2021. This is in addition to Government engagement with other stakeholders to monitor and understand the current and future impact of COVID-19 on people’s finances, including on the demand for debt advice and debt solutions.

In respect of assessing the impacts of policy decisions on people with protected characteristics, HM Treasury carefully considers the equalities impacts of the individual policy decisions taken on all policies that are likely to affect those sharing protected characteristics, in line with both its legal obligations under the Equalities Act 2010 and with its strong commitment to equality issues.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of aligning Capital Gains Tax more closely with Income Tax.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is an annual tax charged on the profits made on an asset between the point of its acquisition and its disposal.

Earlier this year, the Chancellor commissioned the Office for Tax Simplification to examine and make recommendations on how to make CGT as clear and efficient as possible, including considering the interactions of how gains are taxed compared to other types of income.

The Government keeps all taxes under review, and any changes are made at fiscal events within the context of wider public finances. The Government’s priority is to support jobs and the economy, through the Winter Economy Plan and Plan for Jobs.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to allocate additional resources to HMRC to support the investigation of multinational companies that report profits in other countries to reduce the amount of tax they are required to pay in the UK.

The Government continues to take significant steps, domestically and internationally, to ensure multinationals pay the right amount of tax on their activities in the UK.

Through shared G20 and OECD initiatives to tackle Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, the UK remains at the forefront of multilateral action, reforming tax standards to realign taxation of profits with economic activities taking place across borders.

In order to further combat profit-shifting by multinationals, the Government introduced the Diverted Profits Tax in 2015, the Corporate Interest Restriction in 2017 and the charge on Offshore Receipts in respect of Intangible Property in 2019.

The Government has made significant investment to ensure non-compliance is tackled in all its forms. At Budget 2020, the Treasury provided HMRC with £63 million of additional funding in 2020-21 to tackle non-compliance, which is forecast to generate £4.7 billion of additional tax revenue over the next five years.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what penalties apply to multinational companies that fail to submit required transfer pricing information within the deadline set by HMRC.

The filing of transfer pricing documentation alongside the tax return is not currently compulsory in the UK.

Taxpayers should prepare and retain such transfer pricing documentation as is reasonable given the nature, size and complexity of their business or of the relevant transaction but which adequately demonstrates that their transfer pricing meets the arm’s length standard. HMRC’s aim is to address this issue effectively while ensuring that businesses do not suffer disproportionate compliance costs.

In the event of a compliance check by HMRC, if the business has not provided all the documents and information requested, HMRC have the power to issue a notice to the business requiring it to provide information and documents that HMRC reasonably require for the purpose of checking its tax position.

If the business does not provide the information or produce the documents requested, HMRC may charge a penalty unless there is a reasonable excuse for the failure.

If the failure continues, HMRC may charge daily penalties. If HMRC consider that the maximum daily penalties that can be assessed are insufficient for the particular case or the that records have been destroyed, a tax-related penalty may be appropriate.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 1 October 2020 to Question 96180 on Taxation, whether the publication of aggregate statistics received by HMRC from countries participating in information exchange on financial accounts is prohibited by treaty.

Statistical information in respect of information received from an identifiable jurisdiction is subject to treaty confidentiality provisions.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to appoint a person independent of the private sector and Government to sit on the Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB); and if he will review the composition of the ECSB to ensure it is representative of (a) non-government organisations, (b) academia, (c) victims’ groups and (d) civil society.

The Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB) is co-chaired by the Chancellor and the Home Secretary and its membership comprises senior representatives from the organisations most critical to tackling economic crime. This includes senior officials, heads of law enforcement and representatives from the private sector (including from the legal and accountancy, insurance, estate agency and financial sectors).

The agendas and minutes for the ECSB meetings as well as the list of attendees are publicly available and can be found on gov.uk/crime-justice-and-law/crime-prevention.

The Government has worked with Civil Society Organisations to form the independently run Civil Society Organisations Steering Group, which has met twice since its inception in March 2020. This body provides a mechanism for civil society organisations to comment on the delivery of the Economic Crime Plan and the work of the ECSB and to proactively raise issues which it thinks the board should consider. The ECSB receives the minutes from the latest meeting.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the transparency of the appointment process to the Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB); and whether a register of interests of ECSB members is publicly available.

The Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB) is co-chaired by the Chancellor and the Home Secretary and its membership comprises senior representatives from the organisations most critical to tackling economic crime. This includes senior officials, heads of law enforcement and representatives from the private sector (including from the legal and accountancy, insurance, estate agency and financial sectors).

The agendas and minutes for the ECSB meetings as well as the list of attendees are publicly available and can be found on gov.uk/crime-justice-and-law/crime-prevention.

The Government has worked with Civil Society Organisations to form the independently run Civil Society Organisations Steering Group, which has met twice since its inception in March 2020. This body provides a mechanism for civil society organisations to comment on the delivery of the Economic Crime Plan and the work of the ECSB and to proactively raise issues which it thinks the board should consider. The ECSB receives the minutes from the latest meeting.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 1 October 2020 to Questions 96179 and 96180, what his timescale is for publishing (a) further aggregate statistics on the data held by HMRC on non-resident account holders as reported by UK financial institutions and (b) aggregate statistics on the data received by HMRC from countries participating in information exchange on financial accounts.

The Government will consider publication of further statistics in due course.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 29 September 2020 to Question 95206 on Tax allowances, how much additional funding will be allocated to HMRC for the monitoring and evaluation of tax reliefs.

The amount of additional funding allocated to HM Revenue & Customs for the monitoring and evaluation of tax reliefs will be determined through the outcome of the funding settlement agreed between HM Treasury and HM Revenue & Customs, as part of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review 2020.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many policy evaluations of non-structural tax reliefs have been undertaken by (a) HMRC and (b) his Department in each of the last five years.

HMRC carry out evaluations either internally or through external contracts to evaluate the effectiveness of reliefs. HMRC have published evaluations of 15 tax reliefs since 2015. The reliefs evaluated account for over £11 billion of the total cost of reliefs as estimated in 2018-19.

The Government’s response to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report “Management of tax reliefs” was published on 28 September. This outlines the approach and commitments the Government has made on the monitoring and evaluation of tax reliefs. This includes new commitments to define and publish criteria for determining which reliefs to evaluate, to put in place a more structured programme of internal evaluation, and to aim to publish more of this internal analysis.

HMT and HMRC work in policy partnership to consider the effectiveness of policies as part of continuing policy maintenance and development, which forms the foundation of evidence-based advice to ministers. They do this as part of the fiscal event cycle, where tax policy changes are decided and put forward by ministers, voted on by Parliament, and legislated for through the Finance Bill.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 25 September 2020 to Question 93667, if he will (a) request and (b) publish aggregate statistics on the data held by HMRC as reported by UK financial institutions under the International Tax Compliance Regulations 2015 (as amended) for the total and average value of holdings in financial accounts by (i) year and (ii) country of tax residence of the account holder.

Publication of aggregate statistics on the data held by HMRC on non-resident account holders, as reported by UK financial institutions, will be considered so far as the disclosure of such information would not prejudice international relations.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will (a) request and (b) publish aggregate statistics on the data held by HMRC from countries participating in information exchange under the (i) OECD Common Reporting Standard, (ii) EU Savings Directive, (iii) US Foreign Account Compliance Act and (iv) any similar arrangements for the (A) total and (B) average value of holdings of UK tax residents in financial accounts by (1) year and (2) country of the accounts.

Some information concerning data received by HMRC from countries participating in information exchange on financial accounts has been published in the document ‘No Safe Havens 2019’. Publication of further aggregate statistics will be considered, so far as the relevant treaty provisions allow.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for HMRC Datalab.

The HMRC Datalab has been an important element of HMRC’s transparency agenda since 2012, allowing external researchers access to de-identified tax data to answer significant questions about the tax system and the economy.

The Datalab is currently fully funded by HMRC. Options for expanding the capacity of the Datalab to meet anticipated future demand are currently being reviewed by HMRC, while ensuring that the personal information held is suitably protected in line with all relevant data protection legislation. As part of this review, HMRC are assessing funding options, which include the Chancellor’s next spending review allocation to the department, as well as external research council support.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of establishing an intergovernmental tax body at the United Nations.

The UK Government welcomes the current United Nations tax committee’s efforts to foster universal participation in international legal instruments on tax matters and its work on capacity building.

The UK's priority is to maintain effective and representative arrangements for international cooperation in tax matters that respects member states' sovereignty and avoids duplication with the work of other international organisations. Therefore, the Government would not support an upgrade of the committee to an intergovernmental body at this time.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on regional economic inequalities.

The Government is committed to levelling up opportunity across the country, including as we respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19. For example, we have so far helped over 1.2 million employers across regions to furlough 9.6 million jobs through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; we have supported 2.6 million self-employed individuals through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme; and we have provided over £11billion in Small Business Grants. The Winter Economy Plan will further protect jobs and businesses, including through introducing the Job Support Scheme and extending the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with (a) his international counterparts, (b) global financial institutions and (c) private creditors on developing a debt relief plan for low-income countries.

The UK is strongly supportive of work to safeguard debt transparency and sustainability in low-income countries. In April 2020 the G20 and Paris Club of official creditors announced a historic joint Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) for low income countries. The DSSI has supported 43 countries which have requested suspensions by freeing up $5 billion in fiscal space to fund their COVID-19 responses. Given the depth of liquidity needs in these countries, the UK supports an extension of the DSSI into 2021.

Given the significant pre-existing debt vulnerabilities in many low income countries, in some cases further debt relief will be required after the DSSI. This should be on a case-by-case basis in the context of an IMF programme to ensure it is tailored to need, with equitable burden sharing among all official and private creditors.

Last week the Chancellor met with his G7 counterparts to discuss the possibility of both an extension of the DSSI and a future Common Framework for debt relief between the G20 and Paris Club. A joint statement detailing this discussion is available on the US Treasury website. Discussions in the G20 are ongoing, and there is regular engagement with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, and other Multilateral Development Banks. The Paris Club is coordinating closely with the Institute of International Finance, as the primary membership group for private creditors to low income sovereigns

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to review the (a) effectiveness, (b) equity and (c) value for money of non-structural tax reliefs.

The Government’s response to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report “Management of tax reliefs” was published on 28 September. This outlines the approach and commitments the Government has made regarding the monitoring and evaluation of tax reliefs. The Government has said it will consider development of a methodology for assessing the value for money of tax reliefs. This work will support the Government’s ambition for a fair and sustainable tax system.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to delay the date for reporting the Loan Charge and concluding settlement agreements as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced in December 2019 that they would extend the deadline from 31 January 2020 to 30 September 2020, for individuals due to pay the Loan Charge, to submit their 2018/19 Self Assessment returns.

This deadline has long been established and the extension has given taxpayers an additional eight months to file their returns and, if they choose to, reach a settlement agreement with HMRC.

The Government has no plans to extend the deadline beyond 30 September 2020. HMRC will take a proportionate and reasonable approach to anyone who is unable to reach a settlement agreement or file their tax return by the 30 September 2020 deadline as a direct result of COVID-19.

22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 17 September 2020 to Question 89824, whether his Department holds information collected by UK financial institutions to meet UK commitments under international agreements as set out in section 222 of the Finance Act 2013, the International Tax Compliance Regulations 2015, the International Tax Compliance (Amendment) Regulations 2015, the International Tax Compliance (Amendment) Regulations 2017 and the International Tax Compliance (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

Information reported by UK financial institutions under the International Tax Compliance Regulations 2015 (as amended) is not held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Department but by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 21 September 2020 to Question 89825, which ministerial or non-ministerial Government Department holds data collected by UK financial institutions to meet UK commitments under international agreements as set out in section 222 of the Finance Act 2013, the International Tax Compliance Regulations 2015, the International Tax Compliance (Amendment) Regulations 2015, the International Tax Compliance (Amendment) Regulations 2017 and the International Tax Compliance (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

Information reported by UK financial institutions under the International Tax Compliance Regulations 2015 (as amended) is not held by the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Department but by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 21 July 2020 to Questions 75431 to 75432 on Bank Services, 75433 on Bank Services: Foreign Nationals and 75434 on Bank Services: Undocumented Migrants, for what reason that information is not held by HM Treasury.

Although HM Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services, it does not routinely collect such specific information of this kind. The information relates to commercial data from UK financial institutions.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many accounts in UK financial institutions have been held by non-residents in each country of residence; what the (a) total and (b) median (i) value has been of those accounts and (ii) income has been of those account holders; and what the value has been of accounts held by (A) natural persons and (B) entities in each year since 2013.

The information requested is not held by HM Treasury.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many (a) active and (b) passive entity account holders there have been with accounts in UK financial institutions in each year since 2013.

The information requested is not held by HM Treasury.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the value has been of passive entity accounts in UK financial institutions in each category of country of residence of beneficial owner in each year since 2013.

The information requested is not held by HM Treasury.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the value has been of accounts held by non-resident account holders in UK (a) depository institutions, (b) custodial institutions, (c) investment entity type a and b and (d) insurance companies in each year since 2013.

The information requested is not held by HM Treasury.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many accounts in UK financial institutions are undocumented accounts.

The information requested is not held by HM Treasury.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much money cleaning contractor ISS charged HMRC for cleaning services at (a) Litherland House, (b) The Triad, Regian House and (c) Imperial Court HMRC offices in Merseyside between 16 and 27 March 2020 and at (i) City Centre House and (ii) Norfolk House in Birmingham between 16 and 17 March 2020.

HMRC do not have a direct contract with ISS, who are a Tier Three supplier within HMRC’s PFI agreement with Mapeley STEPS Ltd.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what Key Performance Indicators were missed at (a) Litherland House, (b) The Triad, (c) Regian House and (d) Imperial Court HMRC offices in Merseyside from 16 to 27 March 2020; and what penalties were issued to the contracted cleaning company ISS.

The following tasks were not delivered within agreed KPIs between the period of 16 to 27 March for each site as follows; (a) Bootle, Litherland House 2 items: 1 Fabric, 1 Electrical; (b) Bootle, Triad 18 items: 9 Electrical (mainly light bulb replacements), 4 Fabric, 3 Plumbing, 1 Heating and 1 Security; (c) Liverpool, Regian House 2 items: 1 Consumables, 1 Lift; (c) Liverpool, Imperial Court 8 items: 7 Fabric, 1 Plumbing.

HMRC would not be made aware of any financial deduction related to the contract that ISS (as a Tier 3 supplier) has in the period, as ISS is within the supply chain as part of HMRC’s contract with Mapeley STEPS Ltd.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what Key Performance Indicators were missed at (a) City Centre House and (b) Norfolk House HMRC offices in Birmingham from 16 to 17 March 2020; and what penalties were issued to the contracted cleaning company ISS.

The following tasks were not delivered within agreed KPIs between the period of 16 to 17 March for each site as follows: (a) Birmingham, City Centre House 4 items: 2 Fabric, 1 Electrical, 1 Plumbing; and (b) Birmingham Norfolk House 1 item. HMRC are not aware of any financial deductions specifically related to ISS as HMRC do not have a direct contract with ISS. ISS are a Tier 3 supplier within HMRC’s prime PFI contract with Mapeley STEPS Ltd.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the additional costs to the public purse would be per annum of paying staff employed on the HMRC cleaning contract held by ISS at (a) Litherland House, (b) the Triad, (c) Regian House and (d) Imperial Court in Merseyside and (i) City Centre House and (ii) Norfolk House in Birmingham the Real Living Wage as determined by the Living Wage Foundation.

HMRC do not have any direct contracts with ISS and the provision of these services is provided through a twenty-year national PFI contract with Mapeley STEPS Ltd.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much HMRC paid ISS to employ temporary staff to clean during the covid-19 outbreak from 1 March 2020 to date (a) at (i) Litherland House, (ii) the Triad, (iii) Regian House and (iv) Imperial Court in Merseyside, (b) at (A) City Centre House and (B) Norfolk House in Birmingham and (c) throughout the UK.

HMRC have paid through the PFI contractor the following indicative amounts to support the COVID-19 crisis: Bootle and Liverpool £88,000; Birmingham £20,000; and throughout the UK £480,000. HMRC have no visibility of the split between temporary or permanent staff or of the costs passed on to ISS under their contract model as HMRC do not have any direct contracts with ISS.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what proportion of UK client funds held by Swiss banks at the end of 2019 were declared to HMRC by UK tax residents.

The information requested is not available. UK tax residents are not required to declare the amount of their funds held overseas. HMRC receive year end information on the value of UK residents’ assets held in Swiss financial institutions via the Common Reporting Standard. However, information for the year ending 31 December 2019 has not yet been exchanged. Taxpayers are required to declare the taxable income and gains received from assets held overseas for each tax year ending on 5 April. This cannot be accurately used to estimate the proportion of assets held overseas to which the declared income and gains relates.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his Answer of 18 May 2020 to Question 46137, on Revenue and Customs: Coronavirus, if he will publish the number of HMRC (a) employee redundancies and (b) employees there were in each of the last six months.

Each year HMRC publish their Annual Report, which sets out a breakdown of their detailed workforce data from that year. This includes the number of employees and exits from that year, broken down in a meaningful manner. HMRC will continue to ensure that they have the workforce they need to deliver their critical public services.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his Answer of 18 May 2020 to Question 46137, on Revenue and Customs: Coronavirus, if he will publish the projected number of HMRC (a) employee redundancies and (b) employees in each of the next six months.

Each year HMRC publish their Annual Report, which sets out a breakdown of their detailed workforce data from that year. This includes the number of employees and exits from that year, broken down in a meaningful manner. HMRC will continue to ensure that they have the workforce they need to deliver their critical public services.

12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of redundancies arising from HMRC's Building our Future programme on (a) the implementation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (b) wider operational capacity in HMRC.

HMRC will continue to deliver the Job Retention Scheme for as long as needed, in addition to providing their other critical services. The Government is thankful for the dedication, effort and commitment HMRC’s staff have shown during this challenging period.

HMRC remain committed to their Location Strategy and regularly review their workforce requirements in line with this strategy.

12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps is he taking to limit enforcement action by debt collection agencies during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government’s priority is to support as many people as possible who have had extreme disruption to their lives as a result of COVID-19. Debt collection firms are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA has announced a series of measures to provide consumers with temporary relief if they are facing payment difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes requiring firms to provide consumers with 0% interest on the first £500 of an arranged overdraft for three months and allowing consumers either a 3-month payment holiday or to make nominal payments towards credit cards, store cards, catalogue credit and certain personal loan agreements.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the new covid-19 public health guidelines to avoid using public transport while travelling to work on the definition of reasonable travelling distance for those HMRC staff without private means of transport who face relocation to the new regional centre in Stratford following the proposed closure of the office at International House, Ealing.

HMRC have supported over 50,000 colleagues to work from home during the current COVID-19 crisis. For those who have to attend the workplace to fulfil their role by using public transport, HMRC have provided additional support to them through flexibility and support with additional travel costs, to allow them to ensure their journey meets government guidance.

HMRC recognise the challenges faced by their staff, particularly in locations where journeys are more difficult. HMRC have a range of policies and support in place, including remote working where possible.

12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans his Department has to review HMRC's Building our Future programme in response to the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

HMRC remain committed to their strategy of moving into regional centres and are planning for delays to their Locations Programme caused by COVID-19, assessing the impacts on a site by site basis. Construction or fit-out work continues at most of HMRC’s regional centre sites in line with UK Government guidelines and Safe Operating Procedures issued by industry construction bodies. HMRC are providing critical support to the country at this vital time, such as through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as well as delivering their usual services.

12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what impact assessment his Department has undertaken of the closure of the HMRC office at International House, Ealing on the implementation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on 20 April 2020 and is a temporary scheme available until the end of October 2020.

The HMRC office at International House in Ealing is currently scheduled to close in December 2020, and this closure will have no impact on the implementation of CJRS.

4th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to make access to covid-19 support packages contingent on companies certifying that they are not involved in any reportable tax arrangements outlined in the International Tax Enforcement (Disclosable Arrangements) Regulations 2020.

The Government has introduced an unprecedented support package that is well targeted at the businesses and individuals who most need support, bearing in mind the need to act very quickly to protect livelihoods from the current crisis. The Government expects everyone to act responsibly and in the spirit of the package, and only to claim and use support as intended.

4th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many HMRC staff have the necessary IT equipment to work from home.

HMRC have made all possible provisions to ensure that they continue to collect the vital revenues that pay for public services and support those in need during this difficult time. Since the end of March, approximately 90% of the HMRC workforce has been working from home with the necessary equipment, with about 10% supported to safely work from an office environment owing to operational requirements. HMRC will keep this under review as and when the Government advice in response to COVID-19 evolves, ensuring that they protect the safety of their workforce and continue to deliver their vital public functions.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 29 April 2020 to Question 39777 on Multinational Companies: Disclosure of Information, what discussions he has had with the OECD on the (a) accuracy and reliability of country-by-country reporting data and (b) the UK's consent for the aggregate data to be published by the OECD.

Officials attended OECD meetings on this topic over the course of the last year, where data quality issues concerning the aggregated and anonymised CbCR statistics were discussed in detail.

One of those issues was the distortive effect of the inclusion of intragroup dividends receivable within CbCR profit, where globally multinational groups had been taking different approaches in the absence of OECD guidance.

An outcome of those discussions was the publication of new OECD CbCR guidance which clarifies the approach that should be taken by multinationals in relation to intragroup dividends when preparing their future Country-by-Country Reports.

This is an important step in increasing the reliability and consistency of future CbCR data.

However, it does not address the data quality and consistency issues in previously submitted Country-by-Country Reports, and the Government has been clear that it will not consent to publication of aggregated UK CbCR information unless those issues are addressed.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 29 April 2020 to Question 39777, on Multinational Companies: Disclosure of Information, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) accuracy and (b) reliability of country by country reporting data that is (i) supplied to the UK by multinational companies and (ii) supplied by the UK to the OECD.

UK multinational groups have provided their Country-by-Country Reporting (CbCR) data to HMRC from 2016 onwards, prepared in accordance with the OECD Action 13 framework.

This data has been beneficial as a risk assessment tool in supporting HMRC’s compliance activities.

However, alongside errors that necessitate correction, there have been issues with the consistency of data being submitted by UK multinational groups within Country-by-Country reports.

In particular, in the absence of OECD guidance on this point, multinational groups have taken different approaches in relation to the inclusion of intragroup dividends receivable within CbCR profit.

While this does not compromise the value of Country-by-Country Reports for individual group compliance purposes, it does compromise how representative and comparable the aggregate CbCR data is for UK multinational groups.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to make access to covid-19 support packages contingent on companies meeting their tax obligations; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has introduced an unprecedented support package that is well-targeted at the businesses and individuals who most need support, bearing in mind the need to act very quickly to protect livelihoods from the current crisis.

Where businesses fail to meet their tax obligations, HMRC challenge them using their compliance powers. That is the right way to challenge rule-breaking, not by denying access to measures that support the British economy and workers who pay their taxes, and who would otherwise lose their jobs.

The Government expects everyone to act responsibly and in the spirit of the package, and only claim and use support as intended. The Government is keeping measures under constant review.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether it remains his Department's policy to participate in the OECD joint publication of aggregate data from the country by country reporting of multinational companies.

The Government fully supports the goal of improving the measurement and monitoring of base erosion and profit shifting, and improving tax transparency.

As part of that, it supports the principle behind the publication of aggregated and anonymized Country-by-Country Reporting information as per the recommendations in BEPS Action 11 report.

It is important to ensure that data is accurate and reliable, and the Government cannot agree to publication unless it is.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to publish aggregate data from the country by country reporting of multinational companies.

The Government fully supports the goal of improving the measurement and monitoring of base erosion and profit shifting, and improving tax transparency.

As part of that, it supports the principle behind the publication of aggregated and anonymized Country-by-Country Reporting information as per the recommendations in BEPS Action 11 report.

It is important to ensure that data is accurate and reliable, and the Government cannot agree to publication unless it is.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish the UK’s company level data from country by country reporting of multinational companies.

The UK receives Country-by-Country reports from multinational companies under the OECD BEPS Action 13 framework.

As set out in that framework, the primary purpose of CbCR is to assist tax administrations in conducting high-level risk assessments for transfer pricing and BEPS purposes.

The UK’s CbCR information must be treated in accordance with the internationally agreed data confidentiality standards and used only for the agreed purposes as codified in the relevant treaty.

To that end, individual reports received under the OECD framework cannot be published.

18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the implications for his policies of the funding recommendation in part 2 of the Government’s Independent Review of Drugs by Dame Carol Black.

The Government is committed to tackling substance misuse and working with Dame Carol Black to ensure high quality services are in place to support people dependent on drugs.

On 27 July we published an initial response to Part 1 and Part 2 of Dame Carol Black’s review, outlining the urgent action needed to turn the tide on drug-related deaths and get more people access to higher quality services. As part of this response, the government committed to publishing a new drug strategy which will respond in full to Dame Carol’s recommendations.

The strategy will build on the £148m package the Government announced in January, which included £80m for drug treatment services right across England. The strategy will present our whole of government approach to drive down drug supply and demand, including support for people through treatment and recovery.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to support organisations that assist victims of sexual violence.

We are committed to ensuring that victims and survivors of VAWG get the support they deserve. This year, the Government is providing approximately £300 million for victim and witness support services.

The Ministry of Justice alone has provided £150.5m for victim and witness support services. This funding includes £50m to increase support for rape and domestic abuse victims and recruitment of more Independent Sexual Violence Advisers to help victims feel informed and supported at every stage of their recovery journey.

This year, the Home Office is providing nearly £200k to the National Sexual Violence Support Fund to support victims and survivors of rape and sexual violence. The Home Office is also providing £120k to the Revenge Porn Helpline to support victims of non-consensual intimate image sharing, colloquially known as ‘revenge porn’.

Also, the Government recognises the significant pressure that support services are under and are working closely with them to monitor levels of demand. The Ministry of Justice has increased core funding for rape support centres by 50%, from £8 million to £12 million per annum, and extended the Rape Support Fund until March 2023 to ensure support services have the funding stability they need.

It is hoped that the forthcoming Spending Review will provide long term funding certainty for departments and by extension, the organisations we support through funding.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to expand the Afghan Interpreters Scheme to include people engaged in UK-linked initiatives and human rights activists who are at risk of being targeted by the Taliban.

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) launched on 1 April 2021. The scheme enables any current or former locally employed staff who are assessed to be under serious threat to life priority relocation to the UK regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of time served.

Our Afghan relocation policy is one of the most generous in the world and has already supported over 8,000 directly employed former Afghan staff and their families to start new lives in the UK.

The Home Office is committed to providing protection for vulnerable people fleeing Afghanistan. The Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme will welcome up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans to the UK, who have been forced to flee the country, in its first year, with up to a total of 20,000 in the long-term.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to establish humanitarian visas and a means for people to apply for those visas from Afghanistan to reduce dangerous journeys for people seeking asylum.

On Wednesday 18 August, the Government announced the launch of a new bespoke Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), to welcome up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghans to the UK. The scheme will focus on those most at risk and in its first year will resettle up to 5,000 vulnerable Afghans. This scheme delivers on the Government’s commitment in the New Plan for Immigration to create safe and legal routes for those in fear of persecution and oppression in their home country. The Government is working urgently to open this route and further details will be announced in due course on gov.uk.

The new route is separate from, and in addition to, the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), which offers any current or former locally employed staff who are assessed to be under serious threat to life priority relocation to the UK.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to address the specific experiences and needs of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and to ensure that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are not penalised in their asylum applications in the event that they do not reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity immediately upon arrival.

The Home Office has and continues to work closely with a diverse range of organisations specialising in asylum and human rights protection to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people (LGBTQ+) communities, not only to facilitate the development of bespoke guidance and training products but also to further our work for LGBTQ+ within our asylum system.

We ensure that LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are signposted to relevant NGOs specialising in the support of these individuals. This is done through an information leaflet given to all asylum claimants at the point of claim which includes sections on legal advice, additional help and assistance with links to relevant legal bodies and support organisations. LGBTQ+ asylum seekers can also access support from Rainbow Migration (formerly the UK Lesbian & Gay Immigration Group), who provide both practical and emotional support for LGBTQ+ people including how to help improve their confidence and self-esteem and to reduce isolation.

The Home Office recognises that discussing persecution may often be distressing and those seeking asylum are given every opportunity to disclose information relevant to their claim before a decision is taken. Our caseworkers are very mindful that many asylum seekers come from cultures which shun any open expression or discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity. We recognise that the intimate nature of disclosure set against the individual’s cultural background may have made it difficult for some to disclose and discuss their sexuality or gender identity with officials at a port of entry.

Where it appears that a claimant has been in the UK for a prolonged period of time before either coming to immigration attention or voluntarily seeking protection, this will be explored with the claimant. Consideration will be given to any explanation offered for not seeking protection at the first available opportunity, or for not disclosing the issue of sexuality or gender identity as a claim basis at the first available opportunity. Adverse inference however will not solely be drawn from someone not having immediately identified their sexual or gender identity as a basis to their claim.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of evidence from the (a) Scottish and (b) Welsh Governments following the introduction of minimum unit pricing on (i) the consumption of alcohol and (ii) levels of alcohol harm.

There are no plans to introduce Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in England at this time. The Government continues to monitor the impact of MUP in Scotland and Wales as it emerges, including the recent report by Public Health Scotland. We have an existing agenda on tackling health harms from alcohol and are committed to supporting the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what comparative cost benefit analysis her Department has made of the respective cost to the public purse of continuing to provide temporary accommodation to failed asylum seekers under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and the effect of not providing such accommodation on the effect on street homelessness.

Failed asylum seekers and other migrants unlawfully present in the UK are not eligible for mainstream welfare and housing benefits. Accommodation is available under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, but only where the individuals are taking reasonable steps to leave the UK or there is a practical or legal obstacle preventing their departure. Failed Asylum Seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return. No assessment has been made of the impact of changing the legislation so that failed asylum seekers are provided with accommodation without these conditions, but the cost to the public purse is likely to be extremely high, particularly as such a policy is very likely to encourage unfounded asylum applications and there would be little incentive for the individuals to leave the UK when their claims are rejected.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many decisions to discontinue section 4 support her Department plans to issue weekly in (a) Liverpool and (b) the Liverpool City Region in response to a resumption of cessations of support as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what advice he has received from Public Health England on the implications for the health of (a) migrants, (b) communities and (c) the public to cease provision of support under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and restart evictions during the covid-19 outbreak.

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) notice and (b) additional support her Department plans to give to (a) local authorities and (b) other relevant stakeholders supporting vulnerable individuals prior to the ending Section 4 support and the restarting of evictions.

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans the Government has put in place to avoid the homelessness and rough sleeping of vulnerable migrants who have been in receipt of section 4 support and accommodation during the covid-19 outbreak when the ban of evictions ceases.

All failed asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can obtain accommodation from the Home Office under section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, provided they take reasonable steps to leave the UK or show there is a temporary obstacle preventing their departure. No failed asylum seeker therefore needs to be homeless. Failed asylum seekers should leave the UK and return to their country of origin - support will be given to them to do that via voluntary return or we will seek an enforced return.

Decisions to stop providing accommodation to failed asylum seekers who refuse to take steps to leave the UK, despite being able to, were suspended in November last year following the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions. Now that step 2 of the Government’s Covid-19 Recovery Roadmap has been reached (from 12 April) this blanket pause on all cessations of support has been replaced by an approach that allows them to take place on a case by case basis, though initially with a cap on the total number of cessations that can be made per week (175) and exceptions for those who are pregnant, elderly and clinically vulnerable. This approach will initially apply to those accommodated in England only, but is expected to be rolled out to the rest of the UK, subject to further discussions with officials in the devolved administrations. The policy approach has been developed following discussions with Public Health England, representatives of local authorities and NGOs.

The Home Office has been informing local authorities about the new policy approach, through letters and meetings and there will be further communication in the coming weeks. It is not possible at this stage to assess how many decisions are likely to be made in respect of individuals currently accommodated in Liverpool or other areas, as this depends on a range of factors, including whether the individuals now agree to leave the UK and can therefore remain in Home Office accommodation until their departure is arranged. As the picture becomes clearer data will be shared with individual local authorities on the likely volumes of such cases in their areas.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to improve (a) access to and (b) provision of domestic violence support services.

This Government is committed to ensuring domestic abuse organisations are able to meet the needs of victims. To that end we have awarded £27 million in additional funds to support domestic abuse services this financial year alone, comprising £25 million from the government’s £76 million in emergency funding for the most vulnerable in society, and an extra £2 million from the Home Office in April 2021 to bolster the capacity of domestic abuse organisations affected by the pandemic.

To ensure victims know where and how to access support, we have launched guidance on our gov.uk website and delivered a successful #YouAreNotAlone awareness raising campaign to signpost access to help and support services - reaching almost 25 million UK adults and securing over 130 million followers on social media

This January, we also launched a new Ask for ANI Codeword scheme to enable domestic abuse victims to seek safe and discreet support from over 2,600 participating pharmacies who will be able to provide victim focussed support, including engagement with specialist victim support services and the police as necessary.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Institute of Alcohol Studies' report, Inequalities in victimisation: alcohol, violence and anti-social behaviour, published in May 2020, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings of that report.

The Government is committed to tackling and preventing anti-social behaviour. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 provides 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 anti-social behaviour.

The Government has a wide-ranging approach to support the most vulnerable at risk from alcohol misuse, including support for children of alcohol dependent parents and action to reduce alcohol-related crime. Since 2016 the Government has invested more than £16 billion in local government public health services, including alcohol treatment services.

Alcohol is no excuse for domestic abuse or any other kind of abusive behaviour. The Domestic Abuse Bill introduces new Domestic Abuse Protection Orders that will allow courts to tailor requirements to address the perpetrator’s behaviour. This could include abuse exacerbated by alcohol, for example a requirement to be assessed for an alcohol treatment programme.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to resolve the industrial dispute between her Department and Border Force staff at Heathrow Airport.

Changes to colleague working arrangements in line with government guidance have been introduced following extensive consultation which began in October. The aim is to help protect Border Force officers, and the public from coronavirus. This best practice is supported nationally by independent bodies such as ACAS, and the PCS itself. Organisations across the country have implemented similar arrangements to ensure their staff and the public are protected.

We are fully engaged with staff and unions at Heathrow to resolve any potential industrial dispute.

Industrial action would cause unnecessary disruption at an already difficult time. Border Force has robust contingency plans in place to ensure any industrial action does not impact on border security.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government plans to renew the UK Anti-Corruption Strategy 2017-22 with a view to addressing issues around (a) cronyism, (b) conflicts of interest and (c) party funding.

The government is focussed on implementation of the Anti-Corruption Strategy. Officials have begun to consider the question of renewal and at present no decision has been made. The content of any future strategy would be informed by an evidence-based review of threats, progress and priorities.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of creating an independent Anti-Corruption Agency in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The UK recently received international recognition for the positive structures and systems in place to address corruption. This was evidenced in the UK’s 2019 United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Peer Review which singled out as successes and good practice the UK’s “structures and governance for the coordination of anticorruption activity, including a national anti-corruption strategy, a Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion, an Inter-Ministerial Group on Anti-Corruption and a cross-government Joint Anti-Corruption Unit.”

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of creating an Independent Commissioner for Corruption; and if she will make a statement.

The UK recently received international recognition for the positive structures and systems in place to address corruption. This was evidenced in the UK’s 2019 United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) Peer Review which singled out as successes and good practice the UK’s “structures and governance for the coordination of anticorruption activity, including a national anti-corruption strategy, a Prime Minister’s Anti-Corruption Champion, an Inter-Ministerial Group on Anti-Corruption and a cross-government Joint Anti-Corruption Unit.”

25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the need to increase independent input on the Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB).

The Economic Crime Strategic Board (ECSB) includes independent representatives, with senior private sector members from the legal, accountancy, insurance, estate agency and financial sectors.

In the July 2019 Economic Crime Plan, published by this Board, the need for additional engagement and input from non-government organisations, academia, victims’ groups and civil society was specifically noted under Action 52.

To meet this action, Government has worked with civil society organisations including Global Witness, Transparency International, Fraud Advisory Panel, Spotlight on Corruption and RUSI to form the independently run Civil Society Organisations Steering Group, which has met twice since its inception in March 2020. This body provides a mechanism for civil society organisations to comment on the delivery of the Economic Crime Plan and work of the ECSB and proactively raise issues which it thinks the ECSB should consider.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the time taken to process one-year visa extensions for healthcare workers.

Following the announcement of the automatic visa extension scheme on the 31 March, subsequently expanded on 29 April, UKVI have concluded over 6000 free extensions for eligible healthcare workers and their dependents.

On average, straightforward cases have been concluded within four weeks of receiving necessary information from employers to enable the extension to be undertaken.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government plans to provide financial support to the Greek Government for the construction of closed centres for migrants on the Greek Islands.

The UK has a strong bilateral relationship with Greece and continues to offer support and exchange expertise on effective migration management to alleviate the pressures on the islands. However, the Government has no plans to provide funds for the building of these centres.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what (a) funding, (b) assets and (c) personnel the Government provides to Frontex in the Aegean region.

The UK does not provide assets or funding to Frontex in the Aegean region. However the UK provides humanitarian assistance in the Aegean through ongoing deployment of a Cutter to carry out vital search and rescue operations alongside the Hellenic Coastguard.

Since 2015 UK vessels deployed to the Aegean have rescued over 20,000 lives. In addition, due to the strong UK-Greece bilateral relationship we continue to offer support and exchange expertise on effective migration management to alleviate the pressures on the Greek islands.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many unaccompanied refugee children the UK has resettled from Greece in (a) each year since 2016 and (b) 2020.

Under Article 8 of the Dublin Regulation which concerns unaccompanied minors the UK accepted for transfer 196 requests from the Greek authorities between 2016 and 2019. By year this is broken down as follows; 2016 – 10, 2017 – 17, 2018 – 69, and 2019 – 100. The data for 2020 will be published as part of the annual data release on the Dublin regulation and is scheduled for release at the end of 2020.

Under Article 17.2, the discretionary article of the Dublin Regulation allowing Member States to agree responsibility for an asylum claim, the UK accepted a further 81 requests from the Greek Authorities between 2016 and 2019. A proportion of these transfers were unaccompanied children; however, an exact breakdown is not available.

The UK will continue to be bound by the Dublin Regulation provisions during the Transition Period, allowing us to continue to transfer family reunion cases to the UK throughout 2020, and we will continue to process all family reunion requests that have been submitted but not completed under Dublin before the end of the Transition Period.

We will cease to participate in EU instruments at the end of the Transition Period, including the Dublin Regulation. This means that the ability of unaccompanied children to use Dublin to reunite with family will end, unless a replacement agreement is negotiated. The Government has been clear that it is committed to seeking such an agreement with the EU, thereby ensuring these children can continue to reunite with family at the end of the Transition Period. We made this commitment clear in the UK’s approach to negotiations on our future relationship, published on 27 February.

The Government remains fully committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment) as soon as possible. Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making further progress with Greece and the other participating states, to transfer more eligible children to move closer to achieving this commitment. We will publish a full data set on the transfers once we have fulfilled this commitment.

Section 67 is just one way in which the Government supports children in need of protection. The Government’s long-standing policy is to provide support to and resettle the most vulnerable refugees directly from conflict regions. In total, the UK provided protection to over 7,700 children in the year ending December 2019, and 42,500 since the start of 2010. In 2019 the UK received 3,651 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children up 19% from 2018.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to facilitate the resettlement of vulnerable child refugees from Greek islands.

Under Article 8 of the Dublin Regulation which concerns unaccompanied minors the UK accepted for transfer 196 requests from the Greek authorities between 2016 and 2019. By year this is broken down as follows; 2016 – 10, 2017 – 17, 2018 – 69, and 2019 – 100. The data for 2020 will be published as part of the annual data release on the Dublin regulation and is scheduled for release at the end of 2020.

Under Article 17.2, the discretionary article of the Dublin Regulation allowing Member States to agree responsibility for an asylum claim, the UK accepted a further 81 requests from the Greek Authorities between 2016 and 2019. A proportion of these transfers were unaccompanied children; however, an exact breakdown is not available.

The UK will continue to be bound by the Dublin Regulation provisions during the Transition Period, allowing us to continue to transfer family reunion cases to the UK throughout 2020, and we will continue to process all family reunion requests that have been submitted but not completed under Dublin before the end of the Transition Period.

We will cease to participate in EU instruments at the end of the Transition Period, including the Dublin Regulation. This means that the ability of unaccompanied children to use Dublin to reunite with family will end, unless a replacement agreement is negotiated. The Government has been clear that it is committed to seeking such an agreement with the EU, thereby ensuring these children can continue to reunite with family at the end of the Transition Period. We made this commitment clear in the UK’s approach to negotiations on our future relationship, published on 27 February.

The Government remains fully committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children to the UK under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (the Dubs Amendment) as soon as possible. Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have been making further progress with Greece and the other participating states, to transfer more eligible children to move closer to achieving this commitment. We will publish a full data set on the transfers once we have fulfilled this commitment.

Section 67 is just one way in which the Government supports children in need of protection. The Government’s long-standing policy is to provide support to and resettle the most vulnerable refugees directly from conflict regions. In total, the UK provided protection to over 7,700 children in the year ending December 2019, and 42,500 since the start of 2010. In 2019 the UK received 3,651 unaccompanied asylum-seeking children up 19% from 2018.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support the Government provides to the Hellenic Coast Guard to assist in its response to the arrival of refugees and migrants.

The United Kingdom provides support to the Greek authorities under a bilateral agreement.

During 2019/20 the Government has deployed one cutter and crew to the Aegean to support the Hellenic Coastguard to deliver humanitarian assistance in the region.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of drug and alcohol addiction support services for (a) serving armed forces personnel and (b) veterans.

Drug and alcohol abuse is incompatible with the standards we expect of those who Serve in the Armed Forces. For those Serving Personnel needing help to overcome addiction, treatment is provided via the Defence Medical Establishment. Veterans’ healthcare, including treatment for drug and alcohol dependency, is the responsibility of the NHS in England and the Devolved Administrations.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the procedures for investigating and responding to breaches of the Ministerial Code; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministerial Code makes clear the high standards of behaviour that Ministers are expected to maintain. Ministers are personally responsible for deciding how to act and conduct themselves in the light of the Ministerial Code and for justifying their actions and conduct to Parliament and the public to whom they are ultimately accountable. As Prime Minister I take any allegations about misconduct seriously and, as the ultimate arbiter of conduct under the Code, can follow the process set out in paragraph 1.4 of the Code.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, since the 2012 debt settlement, how much principal has been repaid to the Public Works Loans Board by all Housing Revenue Accounts (HRAs); how much interest has been repaid to the Public Works Loan Board by all HRAs; and what the overall debt of all HRAs is.

The Public Works Loan Board provides loans to local authorities, rather than specifically to Housing Revenue Accounts (HRA). How this is attributed within the local authority, any interest incurred and repaid, is a treasury management decision taken locally by individual authorities.

The Department does collect data on total housing debt as represented by the HRA Capital Financing Requirement. The closing HRA debt for 2012-13 was £26,722,259 million, falling to £25,954,009 million by the close of 2019-20, the latest year for which we have data.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Decent Homes Standard Review, whether the review will estimate the overall cost for council Housing Revenue Accounts of proposed improvements.

We will review the Decent Homes Standard and consider whether it needs to be updated to ensure it is delivering what is needed for safety and decency now, including on energy efficiency and green spaces. The Social Housing White Paper committed to review the Decent Homes Standard to consider if it should be updated. The Review is in two stages, with the first step considering the case for change. If the evidence demonstrates that we need to revise the Standard, we will consider the strategic, economic and management case for new criteria as a second stage of the review.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the upcoming Decent Homes Standard Review will consider the cost of retro-fitting existing council homes and funding.

We will review the Decent Homes Standard and consider whether it needs to be updated to ensure it is delivering what is needed for safety and decency now, including on energy efficiency and green spaces. The Social Housing White Paper committed to review the Decent Homes Standard to consider if it should be updated. The Review is in two stages, with the first step considering the case for change. If the evidence demonstrates that we need to revise the Standard, we will consider the strategic, economic and management case for new criteria as a second stage of the review.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his oral contribution of 24 March 2021 on Liverpool City Council, Official report, column 937, what impact assessment his Department is undertaking on the proposal for electing a reduced number of councillors in single member wards.

Subject to the representations we have requested by 24 May 2021, the Secretary of State proposes to direct Liverpool City Council to consider and consult upon a new submission to the Local Government Boundary Commission for England as part of its current electoral review. Under the proposed Directions, that submission must include a proposal to reduce the number of councillors to those consistent with elections on a single member ward basis and will need to be approved by the proposed Commissioners. Any impact assessment on the proposal would be prepared by the Council.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his oral contribution of 24 March 2021 on Liverpool City Council, Official report, column 937, what consultation he is undertaking on his proposed intervention package in addition to seeking representations from that council.

The Secretary of State's proposals are publicly available on gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/liverpool-city-council-letter-to-the-chief-executive-setting-out-the-proposed-intervention-package). Representations are welcome from all interested parties. As required by statute, the Secretary of State is specifically seeking representations from the council on the report and his proposals in response by 24 May. This timetable allows for a newly elected Liverpool City Mayor and their Cabinet to provide their view. The Secretary of State will update the House on any conclusions in due course.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when the Government plans to publish the selection methodology for the allocation of funding under the Levelling Up Fund.

As set out in the prospectus published last week, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration. We will shortly publish further detail on the methodology used to calculate the index.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the The Public Health (Coronavirus) (Protection from Eviction) (England) Regulations 2021, what impact assessment was carried out prior to the decision to change the definition of substantial rent arrears from nine months’ arrears at the date on which the order for possession was granted and which pre-date 23 March 2020, to six months’ arrears at the date on which the order for possession was granted.

We decided to redefine the definition of substantial rent arrears to rent arrears of more than six months in order to balance the effect of ongoing restrictions on the enforcement of evictions on landlords with the need to continue to protect tenants.

As a result of measures taken in response to the pandemic, we assess that the majority of cases which will fulfil the criteria of this exemption will involve rent arrears that pre-date 23 March 2020. In these cases, landlords may have been waiting over a year without rent being paid.

Measures taken include a requirement for landlords to give tenants longer notice periods before starting possession proceedings in most cases, and the six month stay on possession proceedings in the courts which ended on 21 September 2020. We have also taken into account the amount of time it takes for a case to reach the enforcement stage and the new arrangements that have been put in place in the courts to deal with the resumption of possession proceedings.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of tenants in rent debt since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

Data from the EHS Household Resilience Survey June-July 2020 suggests that around 7 per cent of PRS households are in rent arrears compared to around 3 per cent pre-COVID. 5 per cent of private renters had spoken to their landlords and agreed a rent holiday and a further 6 per cent had spoken to their landlords and agreed a rent reduction. The vast majority of tenants are meeting their rental commitments

The Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support which is available to tenants. The Coronavirus Job Reception Scheme and the wider package of economic support measures are supporting private renters to continue paying their rent.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make it his policy to increase public engagement on planning applications in growth and renewal areas.

Our proposals will put effective community engagement at the heart of planning. We recognise that the current planning system has a very poor record on community engagement, with information that is hard to find, and difficult to understand, use and trust.

Our proposals seek to prioritise engagement; with better input from communities at the stage of preparing plans and design codes, local people with have real influence over both the location and design of development. And by taking a digital-first approach to modernise the planning process, we can use new tools and platforms to improve the user experience. From making applications to improving citizen engagement, our reforms will make it easier for people to understand what is being proposed and to feed their views into the system.

Rather than having to react to unexpected and ad hoc planning applications, our reforms will give communities a genuinely meaningful voice from the start of the planning process.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of public engagement proposed for planning applications in the Planning for the Future White Paper.

The current planning system excludes residents who do not have the time to contribute to the lengthy and archaic planning process. A poll carried out last year found that only seven per cent of participants trusted their local council to make decisions about large scale development that will be good for their local area.

Improving engagement is at the heart of our proposals. The White Paper Planning for the Future sets out our ambition to give neighbourhoods and communities an earlier and more meaningful voice in the future of their area as plans are made. We have also proposed more and better use of digital technology, which will make it much easier to access and understand information about specific planning proposals. The proposals will move us away from notices on lampposts to an interactive, and accessible map-based online system – placing planning at the fingertips of people, and bringing it into the 21st century.

The White Paper consultation has recently closed, and we will be reflecting upon the views of those that have responded as well as working with the local government sector and community groups to consider further how best to implement these reforms.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of simplifying the environmental impact assessment for new developments.

Planning for the Future sets out our intention to reform the current framework of environmental assessment. It is vital that environmental considerations are considered properly as part of the planning and development process. However, the current frameworks for doing so – which include Strategic Environmental Assessment, Sustainability Appraisal, and Environmental Impact Assessment – can lead to duplication of effort and overly-long reports which inhibit transparency and add unnecessary delays.

Reform of environmental assessment is being taken forward as part of the government’s planning reforms in order to:

  • speed up decision-making and the delivery of development projects;
  • simplify the requirements for environmental assessment and mitigation; and
  • ensure that we take advantage of opportunities for environmental improvements.

These reforms will bring benefits across planning, including for new developments.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on additional funding to enable local authorities to administer effectively discretionary payments under the covid-19 self-isolation support scheme.

Policy and funding for the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme is the responsibility of the Department for Health and Social Care. MHCLG Ministers and officials regularly engage with counterparts in HMT and with local authorities on matters relating to local authorities’ finances.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including parks and green spaces within the statutory services that councils must provide; and what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the adequacy of funding to local authorities for the provision and upkeep of parks and green spaces.

The Government recognises the value of parks and green spaces in providing?vibrant and inclusive?locations for communities to socialise, volunteer, work, and exercise. We are committed to?safeguarding the future of our green?spaces.

We?recognise the pressures councils and our communities?are continuing to face?as a result of Covid-19, which is why we are providing?local authorities with £3.7 billion of un-ringfenced grants.

Along with the measures brought forward?to safeguard local government income drops,?this?additional funding?demonstrates Government’s?continued commitment to make sure councils have the resources they need and?is?sufficient for them to respond to these pressures based on what?they?have told us.

In total, over £28 billion has been committed to local areas to support councils, businesses and communities across?government. This comprehensive package of support?includes direct financial support?and cashflow measures?for councils,?bus and tram services, support for the homeless?and both grants and rates reliefs for businesses, as well as several other?grants.

13th Jan 2020
What recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of changes in the level of local government funding on the most deprived areas.

The provisional settlement gives access to an extra £2.9 billion, the biggest year-on-year increase in a decade. This Government will ensure that this money is going to the right places – and the most deprived will get three times the spending power per home in government grants than the least deprived.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department has plans to keep official statistics on how many convictions rely on the law of joint enterprise.

The Ministry of Justice only collects information on how many defendants are prosecuted and convicted for each offence in any given year. Information is not collated on whether a prosecution or conviction relied on the law of joint enterprise. Such information may be held on court records but could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of the current retirement age of 68 for prison officers on prison officer pensions.

We highly value our hardworking prison staff and offer access to medical professionals and an employee assistance programme to ensure continued physical and mental wellbeing. There are currently no plans for Cabinet Office to review the retirement age of prison officers within the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential effect of raising the retirement age of prison officers to 68 on the (a) recruitment, (b) retention, (c) safety and (d) morale of prison officers.

We highly value our hardworking prison staff and offer access to medical professionals and an employee assistance programme to ensure continued physical and mental wellbeing. There are currently no plans for Cabinet Office to review the retirement age of prison officers within the Civil Service Pension Scheme.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2020 to Question 126115, when the Government plans to respond to the Law Commission’s report into Misconduct in Public Office.

We are still carefully considering the Law Commission’s report on Misconduct in Public Office which was published in December last year.The Government’s response, together with confirmation of any next steps, will be issued within the timeframes outlined in the Joint Protocol between the Law Commission and the Government which include any timeframe agreed between the Law Commission and Government

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans the Government has to bring forward legislative proposals to update the definition of adultery to include members of the LGBT+ community.

Parliament considered this definition during passage of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013. Adultery in this context has a longstanding definition and can, within the terms of the 2013 Act, take place only between a man and a woman. A same sex extramarital affair can therefore not be cited in support of the legal fact of adultery for the purpose of a divorce petition under the existing law. People can and do, however, use the fact of behaviour in a divorce petition to cite same sex affairs or other kinds of infidelity that do not meet the legal definition of adultery.

Reforms to be implemented by the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 will remove the use of adultery and other facts to show irretrievable breakdown in divorce and dissolution proceedings and replace these with a statement that the marriage or civil partnership has broken down irretrievably. There will therefore no longer be a requirement to evidence matters of a personal nature that can introduce or worsen conflict in the legal process to the detriment of any arrangements for the future, particularly about children. The Government is working to an indicative timetable of autumn 2021.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect on prison officer (a) recruitment, (b) retention and (c) morale of his Department’s decision to reject the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s Recommendation 3.

In July 2020, the Government accepted in full six out of seven recommendations made by the Prison Service Pay Review Body. This delivered an increase of at least 2.5% with some staff receiving up to 7% with progression. This delivered an above inflation increase and was the third year in a row that prison staff have benefitted from a pay award of at least 2%.

The Government committed to consider recommendation 3 in more detail due to the affordability challenges a £3,000 uplift posed, and the concern that such a significant increase in pay was out of step with the awards given to other public sector workforces. After careful consideration, the recommendation was ultimately rejected, and this was announced on 10 December 2020.

As part of this decision making, recruitment, retention and staff morale were carefully considered alongside affordability and value for money for the taxpayer. However, recruitment and retention and staff morale levels are all driven by a range of factors and an increase of pay alone cannot be assumed to be a fix for these issues.

It is not possible at this time, particularly during the unique and complex challenges presented by the pandemic, to isolate and quantify the impact of the decision to reject the PSPRB’s ‘recommendation 3’.

I highly value the work of prison staff and the decision to reject ‘recommendation 3’ should in no way suggest otherwise. I remain immensely grateful to the hardworking public servants who are critical to the safe and secure running of our prisons.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Law Commission's recommendations of 4 December 2020 to replace the misconduct in public office offence with two statutory offences (a) an offence of corruption in public office and (b) an offence of breach of duty in public office.

It is vital that those who hold public office are held to the highest standards and if they abuse these positions it should be clear what punishments they could face. We welcome the Law Commission’s report into Misconduct in Public Office and will respond in due course.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what additional financial support he plans to provide to funeral directors to help them manage attendance requests from self-isolating relatives of the deceased during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced a wide series of measures to support businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, business rate relief and other measures, for which it has been open to funeral directors to apply. We continue to assess the impacts of COVID-19 and keep the funeral sector’s needs under review.

The Government recognises the importance of balancing the needs of the bereaved to mourn with the need to minimise the spread of COVID-19 infection. To support the management of this balance, we have published Guidance for arranging or attending a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic which, while recognising the importance of these rituals and gatherings, details the actions which are important in reducing the spread of infection. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when his Department will publish a response to its corporate liability for economic crime: call for evidence consultation, which closed on 31 March 2017.

The Government is still considering the case for reforming the law on corporate criminal liability for economic crime but expects to publish a response to the Call for Evidence shortly.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)