David Linden Portrait

David Linden

Scottish National Party - Glasgow East

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

(since February 2021)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
7th Jan 2020 - 1st Feb 2021
SNP Whip
20th Jun 2017 - 7th Jan 2020
Standing Orders
1st Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Procedure Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Department Event
Monday 8th November 2021
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Oral questions - Main Chamber
8 Nov 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Work and Pensions (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Monday 13th December 2021
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Oral questions - Main Chamber
13 Dec 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Work and Pensions (including Topical Questions)
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View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 37 Scottish National Party No votes vs 0 Scottish National Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 321 Noes - 220
Speeches
Monday 25th October 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

T6.   I congratulate the Secretary of State on retaining the portfolio responsibility for democracy in his new Department. When he …

Written Answers
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Job Centres: Coronavirus
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many job centres have been closed due to occurrences …
Early Day Motions
Monday 18th October 2021
60th Anniversary of the 165th Glasgow Boys Brigade
That this House congratulates the 165th Glasgow Boys Brigade for their recent service which commemorates their 60th anniversary; notes that …
Bills
Tuesday 4th December 2018
Nappies (Environmental Standards) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 23rd August 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Payments from YouGov, 50 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8RT, for surveys. All fees paid to my campaign fund.
EDM signed
Wednesday 27th October 2021
Scottish Interfaith Week 2021 and COP26 vigil
That this House welcomes the range of events and activities planned to mark Scottish Interfaith Week 2021, which takes place …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Unpaid Trial Work Periods (Prohibition) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, David Linden has voted in 225 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

20 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
David Linden voted No - against a party majority - in line with the party majority and against the House
One of 3 Scottish National Party No votes vs 2 Scottish National Party Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 307 Noes - 185
View All David Linden Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(27 debate interactions)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
(24 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(20 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(106 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(38 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(36 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all David Linden's debates

Glasgow East Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Glasgow East signature proportion
Petitions with most Glasgow East signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Football is a powerful tool of which allows a range of benefits such as employment, and other important aspects of life. Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community. With Fans attending football games a range of economic benefits are there too.


Latest EDMs signed by David Linden

25th October 2021
David Linden signed this EDM on Wednesday 27th October 2021

Scottish Interfaith Week 2021 and COP26 vigil

Tabled by: Patrick Grady (Scottish National Party - Glasgow North)
That this House welcomes the range of events and activities planned to mark Scottish Interfaith Week 2021, which takes place between 31 October and 7 November 2021; notes the decision to dedicate the week, under the theme of Together for Our Planet, during the COP26 Conference being held in Glasgow, …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 15
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
26th October 2021
David Linden signed this EDM on Tuesday 26th October 2021

Death and recognition of Walter Smith OBE

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House expresses its deep sorrow at the death of Rangers Football Club legend, and one of the great modern day football managers, Walter Smith OBE; recognises Walter's extraordinary contribution to Scottish football, both as a manager and as a player, beginning his playing career at Dundee United in …
39 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 31
Labour: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
Independent: 1
View All David Linden's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by David Linden, 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.


David Linden has not been granted any Urgent Questions

David Linden has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by David Linden


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to extend entitlements to parental leave for parents of babies born prematurely or requiring neonatal care; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 12th June 2019
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to establish environmental standards for nappies; to make provision about the advertising and promotion of nappies with regard to those standards; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 4th December 2018

179 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
2 Other Department Questions
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which polling organisations his Department commissioned in 2020; and how much his Department has paid to each of those organisations for each service.

As has been the case with successive administrations, Government routinely works with suppliers to provide polling and market research work so as to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform our vitally important campaigns and policies. This enables us to deliver strong, national, cross-government communications campaigns, including to support the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic. Internal policy development work is not normally disclosed.

Details of departmental expenditure and contracts are published on GOV.UK.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish all opinion polling commissioned by his Department on Scottish independence conducted in 2020.

As has been the case with successive administrations, Government routinely works with suppliers to provide polling and market research work so as to understand public attitudes and behaviours to inform our vitally important campaigns and policies. This enables us to deliver strong, national, cross-government communications campaigns, including to support the UK’s response and recovery from the pandemic. Internal policy development work is not normally disclosed.

Details of departmental expenditure and contracts are published on GOV.UK.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost to the public purse has been of severance payments for staff working as part of the Downing Street Union Unit.

Information on Cabinet Office staff costs and exit packages are routinely published as part of the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Accounts. Future information will be published in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the names of civil service staff who report directly to Mr Dominic Cummings.

Paragraph 5 of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers sets out their role in relation to the exercise of management functions.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the dates of the meetings between Government Ministers and Amit Patel held in (a) 2016, (b) 2017, (c) 2018, (d) 2019 and (e) 2020.

Details of Ministers’ meetings with external organisations and individuals are published quarterly on GOV.UK.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment the Government has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on the progress of trade negotiations with the EU.

As a result of Covid-19, it has been necessary to conduct negotiations through video conference. Negotiators from the UK and the EU held discussions through video conferencing on 20 – 24 April 2020 for the second round of negotiations on the UK-EU future relationship. A written ministerial statement (HCWS209) made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 28 April 2020 updated the House on the progress of negotiations.

The third round of negotiations started this week, also via video conference, and will conclude on 15 May.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions his Department has had with representatives of the travel industry on protecting consumers' rights.

BEIS officials hold regular discussions with travel and tourism sector representatives, including ABTA, travel businesses and consumer advocacy bodies. Most recently this has been to assess the impact of cancellations made in light of the Covid-19 outbreak. The Government is committed to safeguarding consumers’ rights and protections.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department last met representatives of the Showman’s Guild of Great Britain.

My Department has held a number of meetings with representatives of the outdoor events industry to discuss guidance and next steps to reopening the sector.

DCMS officials last met with the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain on 14 August, and have also spoken to representatives of the Amusement Device Safety Council.


More broadly, my Department’s officials have regular contact with the Events Industry Forum, which is responsible for developing Covid-secure guidance for outdoor events. We continue to engage with visitor attraction stakeholders through the Visitor Economy Working Group.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to change the School Admissions Code to allow summer-born children to automatically start reception at five years old.

The Government remains committed to making the necessary changes to allow children to start Reception aged five where this is what their parents want. The Department will consider the appropriate time for consulting on these changes in the context of competing pressures on parliamentary time.

1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to respond to the letter of 15 June 2020, which was transferred to his Department from the Home Department in July 2020, reference DL6304, from the hon Member for Glasgow East.

I apologise for the delay in responding to the hon. Member. Defra is currently dealing with unprecedented volumes of correspondence due to COVID-19. A reply to the hon. Member's correspondence is being prepared and will be sent out very shortly.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2020 to Question 106364 on Overseas Aid, how many projects for each of the financial years (a) 2016-17, (b) 2017-18, (c) 2018-19 and (d) 2019-20 her Department applied for under the Integrated Activity Fund; what the titles of those projects were; how many of those projects were approved; and how many of those projects were subjected to Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments.

I refer the Hon. Member for Glasgow East to the answer my Hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Trade gave to the Hon. Member for Dundee West on 9 November 2020, UIN: 111560.

The Integrated Activity Fund provides funding in support of a range of programmes across the Gulf Region, including but not limited to, activities focusing on education, sport and culture, and healthcare. The Department for International Trade has been involved in several such projects, all of which are in line with international standards and aim to share the UK's expertise and experience.

It is Government policy not to disclose specific information related to the Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments that accompany these bids due to their sensitive nature. This ensures that officials can be candid in their assessments and accurately consider the proposed assistance.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his comments of 7 July 2021 on HGV driver shortages, if he will (a) make a statement on the steps his Department has taken to increase the number of driving tests available, (b) publish figures on the number of HGV driving tests carried out each year since 2016 and (c) publish the geographical distribution of those additional HGV driving tests by region.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is doing it all it can to increase the number of vocational tests available and has put in place a number of measures to do this. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing on public holidays and weekends. This has increased the overall number of vocational test slots made available to around 3,000 per week.

The DVSA will be launching a recruitment campaign to increase the number of HGV examiners. It will also continue its training programme to enable more examiners to conduct vocational tests.

The DVSA publish data for the number of large goods vehicle (LGV) practical driving tests and pass rates for each driving test centre on Gov.uk. DVSA continues to work with the driver training industry to understand demand, respond to geographical peaks.

Additional tests are added to each test centre as the resource becomes available and can vary on a daily basis. The number of tests conducted are published as Official Statistics.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to respond to the letter of 15 June 2020, reference DL6304, from the hon Member for Glasgow East.

The Department has no record of the correspondence being received. If copy can be provided a response will be prepared as a priority.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to respond to the letter of 30 April 2020 from the hon. Member for Glasgow East, ref DL5648.

As you will understand, the Department is currently dealing with unprecedented volumes of correspondence due to COVID-19. The Department ensures that urgent cases raised by hon. Members are prioritised, and is taking steps to provide substantive responses in as short a time as possible.

All correspondence received from hon. Members is being reviewed and will be responded to as soon as possible.

A response to your letter of 30th April was sent on 11th June.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what tasks the Departmental Ministerial Disability Champions are undertaking in helping to deliver the national disability strategy.

The first Ministerial Disability Champions were appointed in summer 2020, at the request of the Prime Minister, to drive the development and delivery of the National Disability Strategy.

Their role, as set out on GOV.UK, includes championing disabled people and driving the delivery of the National Disability Strategy in their respective departments. All champions contributed a statement of intent, and a specific range of commitments published in the Strategy.

The Strategy committed to publishing an annual report in summer 2022, which will detail the progress made against the commitments. The Ministerial Disability Champions will have direct input into the annual report.

An updated list of Departmental Ministerial Disability Champions will be published on GOV.UK in due course. The next ministerial champions meeting is due to happen this month.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how the Departmental Ministerial Disability Champions' effectiveness will be assessed.

The first Ministerial Disability Champions were appointed in summer 2020, at the request of the Prime Minister, to drive the development and delivery of the National Disability Strategy.

Their role, as set out on GOV.UK, includes championing disabled people and driving the delivery of the National Disability Strategy in their respective departments. All champions contributed a statement of intent, and a specific range of commitments published in the Strategy.

The Strategy committed to publishing an annual report in summer 2022, which will detail the progress made against the commitments. The Ministerial Disability Champions will have direct input into the annual report.

An updated list of Departmental Ministerial Disability Champions will be published on GOV.UK in due course. The next ministerial champions meeting is due to happen this month.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many job centres have been closed due to occurrences of covid-19 infections since the outset of the covid-19 outbreak.

There have been 23 Jobcentres that were fully closed using a circuit break between the beginning of the pandemic and Sept 30 2021 as a result of possible direct workplace transmission. Circuit breaks are tight restrictions and/or closures designed to stop the spread and bring the number of cases down. The Department has prioritised the safety of our workforce and claimants throughout the pandemic.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 16 September 2021 to Question 48341 on Employment Schemes, what the evidential basis is for the assertion that work coaches are helping people already in work into better paid work.

Universal Credit is based on a strong system of support and an agreed relationship where both sides endeavour to do the best they can to achieve positive work outcomes and prevent a slide into welfare dependency. Our evidence shows that Work Coach support is effective at reducing the amount of time claimants spend on benefit and that Work Coaches can help working claimants overcome barriers to taking on more or better work.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published in July 2021, what recent assessment she has made of the progress of the pilots for the Access to Work Adjustments Passport.

The Adjustment Passport pilots have recently commenced with Contractors and Freelancers and are due to go live with young disabled people leaving University and Veterans leaving the Armed Forces at the end of October 2021. The pilots will enable us to gain an understanding of whether the passport reduces the need for assessments where the customer’s needs remain the same, and if it empowers the passport holder to have conversations with future employers about adjustments. Following an evaluation, if the pilots prove successful, the passport will be made available to support all people with disabilities and health conditions providing a transferable record of adjustments and reduce the need for unnecessary assessments.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 20 September 2021, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Update, HCWS294, how her Department plans to prioritise PIP claims for review as part of the Administrative Exercise.

As part of this exercise we are prioritising cases of terminally ill claimants. The remainder of cases will be reviewed in chronological order, starting with the earliest cases first. I can also confirm it is the Department’s policy to review cases where the claimant is now deceased to ensure that their next of kin receive payments.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published in July 2021, what steps she is taking to increase the awareness of Access to Work among disabled employees.

We are taking a range of steps to continue to raise awareness of Access to Work among people with a disability or long-term health condition.

We regularly promote the scheme through the Department’s social media channels, signposting people to the Access to Work pages on the JobHelp website and on gov.uk.

We are also ensuring advisers who work with potential customers, including Jobcentre Plus, health professionals and advisory groups, have the information and tools to act as advocates for the scheme.

In addition, we are continuing to work with stakeholders, partners and employer associations to raise awareness of Access to Work through communications to their customers, and we have produced a communications toolkit to help them raise awareness.

We are continuing to promote Access to Work to employers as part of the Disability Confident scheme.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 20 September 2021, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Update, HCWS294, what additional support her Department plans to provide to those who request it and whose PIP claim is awaiting review as part of the Administrative Exercise.

We are committed to ensuring that claimants receive the PIP support they are entitled to. The Department is contacting claimants who may be affected and we may ask for further information about the help they needed. We want to ensure we have all the relevant evidence when making a decision and get the right outcome for claimants when reviewing their claim, as part of the administrative exercise.

We recognise that the Department comes into contact with some claimants who are potentially very vulnerable. That is why claimants with a severe mental health or behavioural condition, learning disability, developmental disorder or cognitive problems, who may have difficulty engaging with the process, and with no support network in place, can be provided with additional support during the process if they need it.

This support can include arranging to speak to a representative, carer or other support worker at a convenient time and allowing additional time to provide further information. Where we identify there may be an impact on health, safety and wellbeing of an individual when they receive an arrears payment as part of the exercise, we will work with claimants to understand their needs and seek to help them in identifying and accessing the help that they require.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made on its plans to set up an Extra Costs Taskforce.

I refer the honourable member to the response to PQ UIN 42013 [https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-09-03/42013].

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her Written Statement of 20 September 2021, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Update, how many individual PIP claims will be reviewed over the course of the Administrative Exercise.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her Written Statement of 20 September 2021, Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Update, if she will publish further detail on (a) the work involved in the Administrative Exercise including the different stages of work to be carried out and (b) the date on which she expects the Administrative Exercise to be completed.

The Department for Work and Pensions has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to launch a consultation on workforce reporting on disability for large employers.

I refer the honourable member to the response to PQ UIN 43124 [https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2021-09-06/43124].

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart Scheme jobs have been (a) approved and (b) started in each region across the UK from 14 July 2021 to the date.

Please refer to the table below for a regional breakdown of the number of Kickstart vacancies and starts since 14 July 2021 until 8 September 2021*.

*Vacancies have been rounded to the nearest 100 and Starts to nearest 10

Region

Jobs Approved since 14.7.21*

Job Starts since 14.7.21*

East Midlands

1,870

1,390

East of England

2,900

1,570

London

8,500

4,780

North East

1,600

960

North West

4,100

2,900

Scotland

2,800

2,030

South East

4,000

2,380

South West

2,600

1,480

Wales

1,900

940

West Midlands

2,800

2,010

Yorkshire and The Humber

2,900

1,770

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the 280,000 jobs approved for funding by the Kickstart Scheme as of 31 August 2021 were based in Scotland.

As of 31st August, there were 280,000 jobs approved for funding by the Kickstart Scheme, of which over 17,000 of these were from applications that listed the employer address as based in Scotland. This equates to 6% of the total approved jobs.

It is worth noting, we do not hold information on the location of a job at the application approval stage as this information is only confirmed once a job is available to apply for. We do however, hold information on the locations listed on original employer application form though these are not necessarily where the Kickstart job will be based and in many cases represent the head office of a particular employer and not the location the Kickstarter will be working.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons had only 69,000 young people begun jobs under the Kickstart scheme as of 31 July 2021 compared with the target of 250,000 taking job under that scheme.

Since Kickstart jobs commenced in November, we are pleased that by 8 September 2021 over 69,000 young people had started in jobs created by the scheme. There was an average of 2,800 more starting each week between 18/08/2021 and 08/09/2021. We are confident that we will can continue to fill tens of thousands over the coming months. Employers across Great Britain have provided thousands of roles so that young people can choose a job that is right for them. There are also jobs opening up for young people in the wider economy as it recovers from the global pandemic, between August 2020 and August 2021 there was a 381,000 increase in pay rolled employees under 25 years old.

A Kickstart job can start at any time over the lifetime of the scheme and some employers choose to delay the commencement of roles for a variety of reasons. Our data indicates that between the 27/07/2021 and 08/09/2021 the average time between receipt of an application by DWP to confirmation of its approval was 14 days. Within the same period the average time between receipt of an application and the job being made available for young people to apply for was 43 days. A significant portion of this time includes engagement with employers to return grant funding agreements and job description templates promptly so that applications can be progressed.

We are ensuring as many eligible young people as need it get a chance to experience the Kickstart Scheme. We are promoting vacancies on various platforms, including social media and using initiatives such as Kickstart Quickstart to match young people to jobs in some cases on the same day they are referred to the scheme. In addition, Jobcentres are inviting Kickstart employers into their centres to job match Kickstart opportunities with young people.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons had only 69,000 young people started a Kickstart scheme job out of the 188,000 job placements available under that scheme as of July 2021.

Since Kickstart jobs commenced in November, we are pleased that by 8 September 2021 over 69,000 young people had started in jobs created by the scheme. There was an average of 2,800 more starting each week between 18/08/2021 and 08/09/2021. We are confident that we will can continue to fill tens of thousands over the coming months. Employers across Great Britain have provided thousands of roles so that young people can choose a job that is right for them. There are also jobs opening up for young people in the wider economy as it recovers from the global pandemic, between August 2020 and August 2021 there was a 381,000 increase in pay rolled employees under 25 years old.

A Kickstart job can start at any time over the lifetime of the scheme and some employers choose to delay the commencement of roles for a variety of reasons. Our data indicates that between the 27/07/2021 and 08/09/2021 the average time between receipt of an application by DWP to confirmation of its approval was 14 days. Within the same period the average time between receipt of an application and the job being made available for young people to apply for was 43 days. A significant portion of this time includes engagement with employers to return grant funding agreements and job description templates promptly so that applications can be progressed.

We are ensuring as many eligible young people as need it get a chance to experience the Kickstart Scheme. We are promoting vacancies on various platforms, including social media and using initiatives such as Kickstart Quickstart to match young people to jobs in some cases on the same day they are referred to the scheme. In addition, Jobcentres are inviting Kickstart employers into their centres to job match Kickstart opportunities with young people.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she last received correspondence from the Canadian Government on a reciprocal social security agreement; and if she will place a copy of that correspondence in the Library.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to meet Deb Schulte, member of the Canadian Parliament, to discuss frozen pensions.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has recently received a request from the Canadian Government to discuss frozen pensions.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to meet with representatives of the Canadian Government to discuss frozen pensions.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she or Ministers in her Department have met with representatives of the Canadian Government to discuss frozen pensions.

The Government last received correspondence from the Canadian Government in November 2020.

The Department does not routinely place its correspondence with foreign Government officials in the Library. However, the Department responded to Canadian officials explaining the Government’s longstanding policy position.

Departmental Ministers have not met Canadian Ministers to discuss the issue of frozen pensions and there are no plans for such a meeting.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to publish an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Kickstart scheme when its funding ends in June 2022.

The Department for Work and Pensions will be monitoring and evaluating the Kickstart scheme throughout and after its implementation, and will continue to evaluate the longer term outcomes for participants after they have completed their Kickstart job.

The evaluation will include large scale surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants and of employers and gateway organisations. The evaluation will consider how experiences and outcomes from the scheme vary and examine how participants’ and employers’ characteristics, local context and approaches to delivery effect experiences. Qualitative case-studies will provide a detailed understanding of how different aspects of the scheme interact and we will draw on available data and insights.

We will publish the findings of the evaluation once complete.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment has she made of the effectiveness of the Kickstart scheme with 69,000 young people having started jobs under that scheme as of 31 July 2021.

The Department for Work and Pensions will be monitoring and evaluating the Kickstart scheme throughout and after its implementation, and will continue to evaluate the longer term outcomes for participants after they have completed their Kickstart job.

The evaluation will include large scale surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants and of employers and gateway organisations. The evaluation will consider how experiences and outcomes from the scheme vary and examine how participants’ and employers’ characteristics, local context and approaches to delivery effect experiences. Qualitative case-studies will provide a detailed understanding of how different aspects of the scheme interact and we will draw on available data and insights.

We will publish the findings of the evaluation once complete.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the 188,000 jobs made available under the Kickstart Scheme as of July 2021 were based in Scotland.

Of the 155,000 jobs that had been made available as of 21 July, 11,200 had been made available in Scotland representing approximately 7% of the total jobs made available across Great Britain at the time.

By 8 September, 188,000 jobs had been made available overall with 13,800 jobs made available in Scotland, representing approximately 7% of the total job made available across Great Britain.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many young people have started Kickstart placements in each Parliamentary constituency.

We are currently not able to publish a breakdown below the regional and national level although expect to be able to do so in due course, to do so now would be at a disproportionate cost due to the amount of data that would need to be collated and quality assured.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the 69,000 young people who had started jobs under the Kickstart Scheme as of July 2021 were based in Scotland.

Of the 50,000 jobs that had been started as of 21 July, 4,400 have been started in Scotland as of 21 July, representing approximately 9% of the total job starts across Great Britain at the time.

By 8 September, 69,000 jobs had been started overall with 6,140 jobs starting in Scotland, representing approximately 9% of the total job starts across Great Britain.


Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much and what proportion of the £2 billion funding allocated to the Kickstart scheme has been spent on that scheme as of 14 September 2021.

Information relating to Kickstart grants will be published by the Cabinet Office on the Government website in due course, as is standard practice for all Government general grants. This information is normally published about a year after the financial year end and includes grant value and recipients.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her oral contribution in response to the hon. Member for Glasgow East of 13 September 2021, what estimate she has made of the number of people who were already in work and have moved into better paid work as a result of assistance from a Work Coach in (a) Glasgow East constituency, (b) Scotland and (c) the UK in the last three months.

No estimates have been made. We have recruited an additional 13,500 Work Coaches in our Jobcentres in the UK to help support people of all ages to find a job, retrain, or gain vital practical experience to move into better jobs from unemployment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her oral contribution in response to the hon. Member for Glasgow East of 13 September 2021, what guidance her Department issues to Work Coaches to help them move people who are already in work into better paid work; and if she will place in the Library a copy of that guidance.

Work Coaches receive training to support all claimants and have access to guidance, a complex needs toolkit and district provision toolkit, that provide local support for claimants who require additional and specialist support.

This guidance will be published under the latest version of National Provision and placed in the House of Commons Library early October 2021.

Any work related provision which will support the claimant is identified and can be a single activity or several activities which address problems like debt, health or basic skills.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that people with disabilities are able to access the Kickstart scheme.

Young people on Universal Credit with a disability or health condition can access the Kickstart scheme and any reasonable adjustment they require with either a Work Coach, Youth Employability Coach or Disability Employment Adviser. If adjustments are required to enable the young person to take up a Kickstart job these are then discussed and agreed with the Kickstart employer.

If the young person does have a Work Coach assigned to them and they wish to find out more about Kickstart opportunities this can be arranged with their local Jobcentre.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 28 May 2021 to Question 6283, for what reasons her Department does not use information it holds on the number of universal credit claimants on the Kickstart scheme who have declared a disability to record data on disability for Kickstart scheme participants.

The Kickstart Scheme was launched quickly and in response to the impact of the pandemic as part of a comprehensive package of support for young people. The scheme supports eligible 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment, regardless of disadvantage or disability. Mechanisms that record the number of disabled young people participating were not included within the initial design of Kickstart, however disability status is recorded on the wider Universal Credit systems.

The information requested is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and in some cases being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme who have a disability or health condition and will do this as part of the evaluation. The evaluation will include surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants. It will look at their experiences within their Kickstart job and track changes in views, attitudes and employment status. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons her Department has not included statistics on disability in its publication on characteristics in relation to the Kickstart scheme.

The Kickstart Scheme was launched quickly and in response to the impact of the pandemic as part of a comprehensive package of support for young people. The scheme supports eligible 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment, regardless of disadvantage or disability. Mechanisms that record the number of disabled young people participating were not included within the initial design of Kickstart, however disability status is recorded on the wider Universal Credit systems.

The information requested is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and in some cases being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme who have a disability or health condition and will do this as part of the evaluation. The evaluation will include surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants. It will look at their experiences within their Kickstart job and track changes in views, attitudes and employment status. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to record the experiences of (a) disabled people and (b) other participants in the Kickstart scheme.

The Kickstart Scheme was launched quickly and in response to the impact of the pandemic as part of a comprehensive package of support for young people. The scheme supports eligible 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment, regardless of disadvantage or disability. Mechanisms that record the number of disabled young people participating were not included within the initial design of Kickstart, however disability status is recorded on the wider Universal Credit systems.

The information requested is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and in some cases being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme who have a disability or health condition and will do this as part of the evaluation. The evaluation will include surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants. It will look at their experiences within their Kickstart job and track changes in views, attitudes and employment status. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish her Department's monitoring of the characteristics of people who participate in the Kickstart scheme.

The Kickstart Scheme was launched quickly and in response to the impact of the pandemic as part of a comprehensive package of support for young people. The scheme supports eligible 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment, regardless of disadvantage or disability. Mechanisms that record the number of disabled young people participating were not included within the initial design of Kickstart, however disability status is recorded on the wider Universal Credit systems.

The information requested is not currently collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. This is due to data being contained across multiple systems and in some cases being provided voluntarily, meaning it would require a significant level of gathering and quality assurance.

The Department of Work and Pensions plans to track the success of Kickstart amongst young people on the scheme who have a disability or health condition and will do this as part of the evaluation. The evaluation will include surveys to capture the views and experiences of Kickstart participants. It will look at their experiences within their Kickstart job and track changes in views, attitudes and employment status. We will publish the evaluation once it has been completed.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason the kickstart scheme was not extended to legacy benefit claimants.

Kickstart is aimed at young people on Universal Credit at risk of long term unemployment. Young people in receipt of legacy benefits may be less likely to benefit from Kickstart over other provision, as such Jobcentre Work Coaches identify those most in need of extra support and discuss with them the most appropriate path forward, this would include accessing Kickstart if they are eligible.

Kickstart is part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs and Youth Offer which allows Job Centre Plus Work Coaches to find the best route for each young person, this includes our Youth Employment Programme and dedicated Youth Employment Coaches and the Youth Hubs, which we aim to have 150 open by the end of the year. This combined offer ensures that young people looking for work have access to the support they need.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many kickstart scheme jobs have been (a) approved and (b) started in each region from 6 May 2021 to the most recent date for which information is available.

Between 06/05/2021 and 30/06/2021, over 39,400 new jobs were approved by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme. We are unable at present to provide data on the number of approved jobs by region, as at that stage in the process we do not hold information about the exact location of a job, only the head office of the employer.

Between 03/06/2021 and 30/06/2021 an average of 500 young people started a Kickstart job each working day.

The table below shows a breakdown of the increase in starts by location between 06/05/2021 and 30/06/2021. Figures have been rounded according to departmental standards.

Location

New Starts 06/05/2021-30/06/2021

East Midlands

1,260

East of England

1,560

London

4,390

North East

950

North West

2,330

Scotland

1,790

South East

2,130

South West

1,340

Wales

1,120

West Midlands

1,740

Yorkshire and The Humber

1,490

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

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

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many participants in the Kickstart scheme have declared in their universal credit claim that they have an illness, disability or health condition.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given for PQ 6284.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to respond to the letter of 19 April 2021 from the hon. Member for Glasgow East on care leavers.

The Department has no record of receiving this correspondence, we will engage with the Hon Members office to discuss it.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many civil service jobs her Department and its agencies had located in Scotland in March 2015.

As at 31st March 2015, DWP had 10,101 employees based in Scotland.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what awareness training for autism is provided to work coaches and JobCentre Plus staff.

The Department is committed to providing the best possible support for all claimants to meet their individual circumstances.

Jobcentre staff undergo a comprehensive learning journey which includes self-paced and facilitated classroom based learning, incorporating complex needs of individuals, to equip staff when engaging with claimants on the autistic spectrum.

Supporting information is also available in Guidance which incorporates all complex needs of different vulnerable groups, together with a short bitesized learning product which was launched as part of Autism Awareness Week in April 2019. All of which is available at the point of need for each individual personal requirement.

Support is also provided by Disability Employment Advisers and Work Psychologists. Work Coaches can refer individuals to personalised provision and support, such as the Work and Health Programme (available in England and Wales) or Fair Start Scotland (devolved programme available Scotland).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the answer of 28 April 2021 to Question 187305 on Work Capability Assessment, what assessment she has made of the effect of (a) regulation 23, (b) regulation 35(1) and (c) schedule 1 of the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2013 on the determination of the commencement of award following (i) a scheduled review by her Department of that claimant's level of entitlement and (ii) completion of a new UC50 disclosing a change of circumstances by that claimant.

The provisions referred to provide for a decision to be superseded for a change of circumstances and the date from which that change takes effect. In terms of its effect on the decision which commenced the award, that of course will depend on whether it is a relevant change which does indeed affect that award. If the original award was that the claimant had Limited Capability for Work (LCW) and the change (confirmed or identified following a work capability assessment) had seen a deterioration in the same condition such that the claimant now had Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity, then the award would be superseded and increased effective from the appropriate date.

8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will list the dates that she has met with the Public and Commercial Services Union since taking up her current post.

The Secretary of State has not personally held meetings with Public and Commercial Services Union. However, officials from her Department continue to meet with PCS representatives on a regular basis.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many civil service jobs her Department and its agencies had in Scotland in (a) March 2011 and (b) the most recent period for which data are available.

As at 30th April 2021, the Department had 8,841 employees based in Scotland. Figures for March 2011 are not available because the data retention policy for reporting of employee information at this level is for seven years.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases of covid-19 have been reported among staff in offices where the Indian variant of that virus is present in the community; and if she will make a statement.

The Department collates data of reported positive cases where the member of staff was last in the office in the preceding 72 hours. We do not however, have information to confirm whether any of these cases were VOC B1617.2 (the Delta variant, first identified in India).

All of our sites are COVID secure and we have extensive measures in place to protect staff and customers including social distancing and enhanced cleaning regimes.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the cost of the rapid estates expansion programme; and how long those temporary offices are due to remain open.

For commercial reasons, the Department is unable to provide any information on the cost of the Rapid Estates Expansion Programme at this stage.

The Department cannot say how long the new sites will remain open as they are being used to temporarily supplement the existing Jobcentre network to help meet the current increase in demand for services - ensuring that there is the space to operate safely in the interests of both colleagues and customers. The short term leases provide flexibility, which will enable the Department to ‘downsize / right-size’ as the economy recovers and / or social distancing requirements are eased. If any of the new sites offer better, more suitable, accommodation than our existing offices the Department may look to retain them.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of work coaches who have received their (a) first dose and (b) second dose of the covid-19 vaccine.

The Department encourages and supports its staff, including Work Coaches, to get vaccinated against COVID-19. We do not, however, record the number of staff who have been vaccinated.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart scheme jobs have been (a) approved and (b) started in each region from April 8th to the most recent date for which information is available.

We are unable at present to provide data on the number of approved jobs by region, as at that stage in the process we do not hold information about the exact location of a job, only the head office of the employer. The table below lists by region the increase in the number of jobs started on the Kickstart Scheme between the 8th of April and the 6th May. Over this period, the total number of Kickstart job placements started increased by almost 9,000, to a total of over 20,000.

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

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

Location

Increase in starts between 08/04/21-06/05/21

East Midlands

460

East of England

540

London

1,900

North East

470

North West

1,140

Scotland

670

South East

1,150

South West

660

Wales

460

West Midlands

650

Yorkshire and The Humber

690

Data provided has been rounded. 1,000 non-grant funded jobs are included under Jobs Started. Total jobs started includes those which have been completed or ended early.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 13 April 2021 to Question 176014, on Work Capability Assessment, what constitutes appropriate with respect to making the additional Limited Capability for Work Related Activity (LCWRA) amount payable from the date of the decision maker's decision as opposed to the date of the claimant's application.

If the claimant applies for a change in their award on the grounds that they have LCWRA, the effective date of the change, that is, the date from which the decision is superseded, is the date of the application. If they move from LCW to LCWRA following a routine WCA then it will take effect from the date of decision.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the (a) rate of universal credit sanctions on claimants who have a mental health condition and (b) effect of those sanctions on those people; and if she will publish that assessment.

No assessment has been made of the (a) rate of Universal Credit sanctions on claimants who have a mental health condition and (b) effect of those sanctions on those people.

We engage on an individual level with all of our claimants and are committed to tailoring support to their individual needs. This includes agreeing realistic and structured steps to encourage claimants into, or closer to, work, where appropriate. These conditionality requirements are regularly reviewed to ensure that they remain appropriate for the claimant. This would include tailoring to reflect any mental health issues the claimant raised.

When considering whether a sanction is appropriate, a Decision Maker will take the claimant’s individual circumstances, including any health conditions or disabilities and any evidence of good reason, into account before deciding whether a sanction is warranted.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of Kickstart scheme candidates are disabled.

I refer the right honourable member to PQ 143815

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of (a) new style and (b) contribution-based employment and support allowance are in the assessment phase as at 19 April 2021; and how and many what proportion of those claimants are awaiting a face-to-face assessment.

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

The available statistics for ESA WCA by month of claim start (to June 2020) for initial assessment outcomes, including those still in progress, and assessment outcome by month of decision to September 2020, are published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/esa-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessments-including-mandatory-reconsiderations-and-appeals-march-2021

We recognise that Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) have unfortunately not been completed for some contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants as quickly as we would have liked due to the pressures presented by the pandemic.

The Honourable gentleman might be aware that face-to-face assessments for WCAs will resume from May across England and Scotland, and will do so in Wales from the point on their roadmap when socialising indoors is allowed. This will initially be for those who we have been unable to fully assess by other channels.

Throughout the pandemic we have continued to assess people on paper evidence as usual, using this route whenever possible. We also introduced telephone assessments in June 2020 in a phased approach, with limited outcomes in the first instance, that allowed us to build capability and improve processes. Since the beginning of February all outcomes have been available in telephone assessments, and we are now in the process of completing second telephone assessments for people who previously had a telephone assessment but no outcome. The combination of these assessment channels will enable us to ensure that claimants receive their correct benefit entitlement as quickly as possible.

If, following their assessment and the subsequent decision, an ESA claimant is entitled to a higher rate of benefit, payments are backdated where appropriate so that they do not lose out. Where an individual’s contributory ESA ends, if they require further financial support, they may be able to claim Universal Credit, depending on their personal circumstances.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of (a) new style and (b) contribution-based employment and support allowance were in the assessment phase when their payments were stopped as a result of reaching the end of the 365 day time-limit since March 2020.

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

The available statistics for ESA WCA by month of claim start (to June 2020) for initial assessment outcomes, including those still in progress, and assessment outcome by month of decision to September 2020, are published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/esa-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessments-including-mandatory-reconsiderations-and-appeals-march-2021

We recognise that Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) have unfortunately not been completed for some contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants as quickly as we would have liked due to the pressures presented by the pandemic.

The Honourable gentleman might be aware that face-to-face assessments for WCAs will resume from May across England and Scotland, and will do so in Wales from the point on their roadmap when socialising indoors is allowed. This will initially be for those who we have been unable to fully assess by other channels.

Throughout the pandemic we have continued to assess people on paper evidence as usual, using this route whenever possible. We also introduced telephone assessments in June 2020 in a phased approach, with limited outcomes in the first instance, that allowed us to build capability and improve processes. Since the beginning of February all outcomes have been available in telephone assessments, and we are now in the process of completing second telephone assessments for people who previously had a telephone assessment but no outcome. The combination of these assessment channels will enable us to ensure that claimants receive their correct benefit entitlement as quickly as possible.

If, following their assessment and the subsequent decision, an ESA claimant is entitled to a higher rate of benefit, payments are backdated where appropriate so that they do not lose out. Where an individual’s contributory ESA ends, if they require further financial support, they may be able to claim Universal Credit, depending on their personal circumstances.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish her Department's timetable for publishing its response to the Government's consultation, Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss.

The Government is considering the timing of the response in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A response will be available as soon as possible.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will provide a breakdown of universal credit adverse sanction decisions by main medical condition or disability in Scotland in each financial year since 2017.

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

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 16 March 2021 to Question 169940 on Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations, how many and what proportion claimants who had a telephone assessment with no outcome have participated in a second telephone assessment since February 2021; and how many and what proportion of those claimants have since received an outcome.

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

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what equality impact assessment her Department has made on its decision to award payments from the date on which a decision is made for claimants moving from the Limited Capability for Work (LCW) group to the Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity (LCWRA) group.

Limited Capability for Work (LCW) and Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity (LCWRA) apply both in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC). The law in relation to the dates from which determination of LCW or LCWRA applies is set out in Regulations made in 2013 (see SI2013/381). In relation to LCWRA specifically, the law says that the date from which the additional amount for having LCWRA will become payable, will be either the date of the decision maker’s decision or the date of the claimant’s application, whichever is appropriate. Those who have, or are treated as having, LCWRA from the start of their claim, will get the additional amount from week 14 for ESA or the 4th assessment period for UC. That date is not dependent on the medical evidence received.

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will award claimants moving from the Limited Capability for Work (LCW) group to the Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity (LCWRA) group backdated payments from the date on which new medical evidence is submitted rather than from the date on which a decision is made, in line with awards given to people placed in the LCWRA group following their first work capability assessment.

Limited Capability for Work (LCW) and Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity (LCWRA) apply both in Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC). The law in relation to the dates from which determination of LCW or LCWRA applies is set out in Regulations made in 2013 (see SI2013/381). In relation to LCWRA specifically, the law says that the date from which the additional amount for having LCWRA will become payable, will be either the date of the decision maker’s decision or the date of the claimant’s application, whichever is appropriate. Those who have, or are treated as having, LCWRA from the start of their claim, will get the additional amount from week 14 for ESA or the 4th assessment period for UC. That date is not dependent on the medical evidence received.

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants moved from the Limited Capability for Work group to the Limited Capability for Work and Work-Related Activity group in 2020 following a reassessment triggered by the submission of new medical evidence.

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

25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what mental health training has been put in place for work coaches in job centres.

There are three mental health training products available for Work Coaches in job centres.

Since August 2018 mental health training has been included in the fundamental learning journey which is available to all new staff or those new to the role. This product is designed to improve learners’ understanding of mental ill health and states where to find further information regarding mental health for themselves and the customer.

During their initial technical learning, Work Coaches complete training in two sessions as part of their complex needs learning. In the first session Work Coaches cover a range of complex needs and the routes to take to support customers and themselves. They discuss what signs may alert them to a customer struggling with their mental health and how they can support them. In the second session Work Coaches consolidate what they learned in the first session by considering an example, recapping on the support they would offer to customers who have mental health issues.

There is further mental health training that has been specifically designed for Work Coaches which ideally takes place at around week 26 of their learning journey. In this learning, the Work Coaches explore their impact on customers, the steps needed to build relationships and learn how to respond appropriately to unexpected customer behaviour. This learning includes the opportunity for the Work Coach to practice the skills they have learned during the training.

The rollout of this specific Work Coach mental health learning began in November 2017 and was completed for existing work coaches in March 2018. In 2020, DWP paused this specific mental health training to divert resources to learning related to covid-19 impacts. Our ambition is to re start this training in 2021/22.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support is available to universal credit applicants whose first language is not English.

Universal Credit is designed to be a 'digital-first' service, ensuring we make best use of technology to deliver a modern and effective working-age welfare system, allowing our staff to concentrate on those people who require additional support. Although the Department offers comprehensive support for claimants to use our digital service, there will be occasions when people are unable to make their claim online, so telephone applications are accepted.

Foreign Language interpreting help is available, in writing and by telephone, to assist claimants who may require additional support. Claimants can also access free telephony and web support through the Citizen's Advice Help to Claim service.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what written communications her Department has had with claimants of universal credit advising those claimants that the £20 uplift to that benefit is a temporary measure during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government’s economic response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been widely reported on and the Department has worked through external media channels to ensure we informed the largest possible audience as welfare-related decisions were made.

DWP benefit and pension rates for 2021 to 2022 are published on GOV.UK at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/benefit-and-pension-rates-2021-to-2022 And, following the necessary legislation being laid, to reflect the decision announced in the Budget to extend the temporary uplift in the Standard Allowance for a further six months, this will be updated.

Additionally, at the end of each monthly assessment period, all Universal Credit claimants have access to a statement which includes information surrounding the rate of Standard Allowance awarded.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the real terms cut to Local Housing Allowance rates in 2021-22 on levels of (a) poverty and (b) homelessness; and if she will publish that assessment.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates were increased in April 2020 to the 30th percentile of local rents costing almost £1 billion providing 1.5 million claimants with around £600 more housing support per year than they would otherwise have received. For 2021/22 LHA rates are to be maintained at their increased level, ensuring all claimants who benefited from the significant increase last year will continue to do so.

In addition, as announced on 3 March, we will be extending the exemption for care leavers and former residents of homeless hostels to all qualifying under 25 year olds from June 2021. This will bring forward the planned implementation of these previously announced changed by over 2 years.

For those who require additional support with housing costs Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available. Since 2011 we have provided over £1 billion in DHP funding.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the potential effect of Budget 2021 on levels of (a) poverty and (b) household debt; and if she will publish that assessment.

No such assessment has been made.

This Government champions the principle of work as the best route out of poverty and towards financial independence. Our approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risk of poverty and is underpinned by our Plan for Jobs which will support economic recovery through new schemes including the Kickstart Scheme, the Restart Scheme and our Job Entry Targeted Support Scheme. We are also on track to fulfil our commitment to recruit 13,500 Work Coaches this financial year. Through our Jobcentre network, these Work Coaches will provide our claimants with the tailored support they need to move into work.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 February 2021 to Question 155335 on Jobcentres, when she plans to publish details on gov.uk of the temporary Jobcentre site in Southend which was reported to have been confirmed in writing by her Department to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend East.

Information and updates on temporary Jobcentres is currently being developed for GOV.UK, with plans to publish later in March. It should be noted however that, due to commercial sensitivities, information about any temporary Jobcentre can only be published once a lease is signed.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the implications of her policies of the findings of Citizens Advice Scotland, published in February 2021, that the value of standard allowance of universal credit without the £20 uplift is less in real terms than in 2013.

No such assessment has been carried out.

There is no objective way of deciding what an adequate level of benefit should be as everyone has different requirements. Income related benefit rates are not made up of separate amounts for specific items of expenditure such as food or fuel charges.

The Government is committed to helping people with the cost of living and providing a safety net for those that need it. We have injected billions into the welfare system for those most in need, including increases to the Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit standard allowances of up to £1040 this financial year, and uplifts to the Local Housing Allowance rates to cover the lowest 30% of market rents. The Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people, with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, (what recent assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of universal credit payment rates; and whether her Department undertakes regular analysis to help ensure universal credit payment rates are set at levels that meet the basic needs of recipients.

No such assessment has been carried out.

There is no objective way of deciding what an adequate level of benefit should be as everyone has different requirements. Income related benefit rates are not made up of separate amounts for specific items of expenditure such as food or fuel charges.

The Government is committed to helping people with the cost of living and providing a safety net for those that need it. We have injected billions into the welfare system for those most in need, including increases to the Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit standard allowances of up to £1040 this financial year, and uplifts to the Local Housing Allowance rates to cover the lowest 30% of market rents. The Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people, with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the recommendations of the Social Security Advisory Committee's Occasional Paper 23 on the use of public funds in supporting the mobility needs of disabled people, published on 17 November 2020.

The Department welcomed the report by the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) and engaged openly with SSAC throughout the process. The Department is committed to ensuring that disabled people get the right support and will use the upcoming Health and Disability Green paper to further explore this area. SSAC’s Occasional Paper 23 made recommendations to the Department which included collaboration with colleagues in other government departments, and after some initial engagement giving consideration to the recommendations, the Department is currently in the process of formulating a formal response to SSAC.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in which locations her Department (a) has opened, (b) plans to open, (c) is considering opening a temporary job centre in 2021.

DWP is exploring potential options to take premises, on a temporary basis, predominantly in large metropolitan areas where we expect to see increased demand for the Department’s services. The Department has opened three temporary Jobcentre sites to date in Oldham, Ashton-under-Lyne and Crawley.

DWP is currently negotiating leases for a significant number of retail and office properties, in major centres, that meet the planning requirements for a jobcentre, with public access, good transport links and accessibility for both colleagues and customers. Location plans cannot be confirmed until commercial negotiations for each site conclude, however as leases are signed we will write to local MPs and provide the details of all sites on GOV.uk.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many prosecutions have been pursued by the Health and Safety Executive relating to outbreaks of covid-19 in occupational settings; and if she will make a statement.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) takes COVID-19 safety at work very seriously and is playing a critical role in the national response to the pandemic. The Government has provided additional funding of £14 million to HSE to strengthen its capacity to tackle COVID-19.

Since the start of the pandemic, HSE has carried out over 127,000 Covid-19 spot checks, responded to over 19,000 workplace COVID-19 concerns and 569 outbreaks. Spot checks have been specifically targeted in those industries where workers are most likely to be vulnerable to transmission risks. HSE’s experience is that more than 90% of businesses checked have either the correct precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for formal enforcement action.

No prosecutions have yet been initiated for COVID-19 related breaches, though HSE will not hesitate to take such action, in accordance with our published Enforcement Policy Statement and the Code for Crown Prosecutors, where this is warranted.

Note: Figures extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 23rd February 2021 and are liable to change, e.g. as it may take up to ten working days for data to be uploaded onto the system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefits claimants receive their payments into a Post Office card account.

This is a question more appropriately directed to the Post Office.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish statistics on the (a) value of childcare element received by households claiming universal credit and (b) proportion of registered childcare costs that parents have claimed back from her Department.

There are currently no plans to publish these statistics.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what equality impact assessment she has made of the (a) eligibility criteria for and (b) length of the benefit cap grace period during the covid-19 pandemic.

Ministers continue to fulfil the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty and to monitor the current situation as it develops.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 1 May 2020 to Question 37734 on Flexible Support Fund, when her Department plans to publish a breakdown of Flexible Support Fund spend on upfront childcare costs.

We have submitted a breakdown of spend to the WPSC for 2019/20 as agreed. This covers spend by geographic area and includes overall spend on childcare. This information will be published on the WPSC correspondence page on Parliament UK in due course

https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/164/work-and-pensions-committee/publications/3/correspondence/

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the economic effect of the benefit cap on people supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Universal Credit households are exempt from the benefit cap if they have monthly earnings of at least £604, which can include earnings from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. In addition, claimants with a sustained work record may be entitled to a nine-month grace period where their benefits are not capped.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much expenditure was allocated from the Flexible Support Fund in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK on (i) childcare and (ii) other categories of activity in (A) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21.

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the table below.

Flexible Support Fund – Budget allocations (£m)

2019/20

Scotland

3.4

Total

37.8

The total figure shown is the allocation for England, Scotland & Wales.

Source : Hyperion

Numbers are rounded to the nearest £0.1m

Eligibility criteria is the same in all areas however Fair Start Scotland, Scottish Governments employability programme, may impact on expenditure. There are also other competing programmes with significant investment in Scotland which may impact on expenditure, as customers would not be eligible for FSF whilst participating on other programmes.

Flexible Support Fund – Expenditure breakdown (£’000)

Category

2019/20

Partnerships

(15)

Removing Barriers

1,517

Training

1,279

Childcare *

60

Other

55

Total

2,896

Source: Hyperion

Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand.

Negative numbers are in () and may reflect accounting adjustments.

* Childcare is only reported as a separate category from October 2019. Childcare expenditure between April 19 – September 19 cannot be separately identified and is reported within the Removing Barriers category.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the affordability of childcare for universal credit claimants since the judgment made on 22 January 2021 in R (Salvato) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2021] EWHC 102; and if she will make a statement.

UC childcare is a generous offer - eligible claimants can claim up to 85% of their registered childcare costs each month compared to 70% in legacy benefits.

DWP’s internal analysis indicates that less than 5% of families/claimants hit the childcare costs cap of £646.35 for one child and £1108.04 for two children.

The Department has been granted permission to appeal. It is therefore not appropriate to comment at this time.

The policy of reimbursing actual childcare costs paid has, as intended, resulted in a significantly lower level of fraud and error than in the legacy system, which was based on projected costs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to reopen Jobcentre Plus offices in Easterhouse and Parkhead in Glasgow East constituency in response to rising unemployment as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Easterhouse and Parkhead offices were closed in 2017/18 as part of the department’s major transformation of its estate. It no longer leases either site.

DWP is currently evaluating the estates capacity needed to respond to the economic consequences of the pandemic, this is being done in line with recruitment, which is already underway. The response will take account of local demand, available accommodation and Jobcentre operating model changes. Further details will be provided to Parliament when our plans have been finalised.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many staff at each (a) grade and (b) job title are employed at Shettleston Jobcentre in Glasgow East constituency.

There are 69 full time equivalent (FTE) staff employed at Shettleston Jobcentre. The details are:

Job title and grade

FTE

Customer Service Leader (SEO)

1

Work Coach Team Leader/Jobcentre Customer Service Managers (HEO)

5

Work Coaches (EO)

52

Assistant Service Delivery Coaches (AO)

11

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to respond to the letter of 31 March 2020 from the hon. Member for Glasgow East, reference DL5255.

I replied to the hon. Member on 11 June 2020.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to review the wording of system-generated letters to universal credit claimants.

The Department has recently experienced a large increase in Universal Credit claims as a result of COVID-19 outbreak and our priority is to ensure benefit payments are made on time to provide financial support.

We recognise our claimants have a diverse range of circumstances and requirements, so our system-generated letters are designed to be clear and easy to understand. They can be supplied in alternative formats, such as large print or Braille, which are best suited to an individual's circumstances where required. Contact details are provided in each letter issued, allowing questions and/or queries to be directed to the right team or person within the Department. This is in addition to the online messaging function within the Universal Credit journal.

The Department maintains a range of standardised Universal Credit letters to ensure claimants notifications are consistently and efficiently delivered. We regularly review our communication products and are always seeking to improve how we engage with our claimants.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will take steps to exempt all care leavers from the shared accommodation rate for housing benefit; and if he will make a statement.

Care leavers up to the age of 22 are exempt from the Local Housing Allowance shared accommodation rate in the Private Rented Sector. There are no current plans to extend this exemption to all care leavers.

For individuals who may require more support and whose circumstances may make it difficult for them to share accommodation, Discretionary Housing Payments are available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has visited a food bank since her appointment.

The Secretary of State has visited a food bank since her appointment.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government has taken to improve digital access for jobcentre customers in areas previously served by Parkhead Jobcentre.

Customers previously served by Easterhouse and Parkhead Jobcentres are now served by Shettleston Jobcentre. A number of activities have been undertaken in Shettleston Jobcentre to improve digital access for customers including:

  • Weekly sessions in the office’s “Digi Suite” to provide help with job searching using smartphones and tablets.
  • On-going customer sessions on digitally compiling a CV.
  • On-going customer sessions on managing their Universal Credit account.
  • Daily Drop in sessions to help customers upload medical certificates.
  • Customer sessions providing support for customers applying for on-line vacancies I.E. HMRC, Royal Mail and Community Jobs Scotland vacancies.
  • Daily full-time digital support provided for customers with Universal Credit access problems I.E. lost log in details, navigating their account, how to use of journal message etc.
  • 15 customer access computers available for drop in use.
  • 8 computers in the “Digi Suite” are available for group sessions.

In addition, Shettleston Jobcentre has a number of partners located within the office to provide supplementary support to customers. This includes:

  • Citizens Advice located in jobcentre for “Help to Claim “.
  • Jobs and Business Glasgow provide additional support with CV’s, job searching, online support and confidence building.
  • Momentum provide support with CV’s, Job searching, online support and confidence building.

All MPs are encouraged to visit and engage with their local Jobcentres and the Service Leaders to keep up to date with innovations.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government has taken to improve digital access for jobcentre customers in areas previously served by Easterhouse Jobcentre.

Customers previously served by Easterhouse and Parkhead Jobcentres are now served by Shettleston Jobcentre. A number of activities have been undertaken in Shettleston Jobcentre to improve digital access for customers including:

  • Weekly sessions in the office’s “Digi Suite” to provide help with job searching using smartphones and tablets.
  • On-going customer sessions on digitally compiling a CV.
  • On-going customer sessions on managing their Universal Credit account.
  • Daily Drop in sessions to help customers upload medical certificates.
  • Customer sessions providing support for customers applying for on-line vacancies I.E. HMRC, Royal Mail and Community Jobs Scotland vacancies.
  • Daily full-time digital support provided for customers with Universal Credit access problems I.E. lost log in details, navigating their account, how to use of journal message etc.
  • 15 customer access computers available for drop in use.
  • 8 computers in the “Digi Suite” are available for group sessions.

In addition, Shettleston Jobcentre has a number of partners located within the office to provide supplementary support to customers. This includes:

  • Citizens Advice located in jobcentre for “Help to Claim “.
  • Jobs and Business Glasgow provide additional support with CV’s, job searching, online support and confidence building.
  • Momentum provide support with CV’s, Job searching, online support and confidence building.

All MPs are encouraged to visit and engage with their local Jobcentres and the Service Leaders to keep up to date with innovations.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on jobcentre users of the closure of Parkhead Jobcentre.

Customers previously served by Easterhouse and Parkhead Jobcentres are now served by Shettleston Jobcentre.

Our DWP estate announcement on 5 July 2017 confirmed that some smaller Jobcentres would merge with larger ones, and others would be co-located in local government premises. Merging our staff and services from some smaller or underutilised jobcentres, into larger Jobcentres nearby, makes better use of space and reduces costs to the taxpayer while still maintaining the same excellent level of customer service.

We are committed to retaining a Jobcentre Plus network and continuing to serve throughout GB to make sure they can continue to access the Jobcentre Plus services they need.

When closing or merging a Jobcentre, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) undertake an equality analysis as part of the detailed planning for service reconfiguration. This will include feedback from public consultation in those locations where this applied.

As part of the pre closure consultation work MPs and MSPs were invited to attend meetings with the local Service Leader as part of the consultation exercise to allow them to present constituent concerns; links were established with the hospital and Local Housing Associations to raise awareness of the closures; Customer Surveys were carried out to gather insight and to address any concerns; DWP staff attended meetings at the local Citizens Advice Scotland with key stakeholders, including providers and landlords, with a view to communicating the change.

In addition, to this stakeholder events were held giving all our stakeholders the opportunity to feed in concerns.

Outreach work continues in Easterhouse at Greater Easterhouse and John Wheatly College Supporting Hands. Employer Advisers attend to weekly to provide updates on local vacancies and to help customers who wish to apply for these.

In Parkhead, we have set up a partnership with Cranhill Development Trust who attend Shettleston Jobcentre staff meetings and our staff also attend their meetings. This is a continual exchange of information on jobs and benefits to ensure the local community in Parkhead is supported.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect on jobcentre users of the closure of Easterhouse Jobcentre.

Customers previously served by Easterhouse and Parkhead Jobcentres are now served by Shettleston Jobcentre.

Our DWP estate announcement on 5 July 2017 confirmed that some smaller Jobcentres would merge with larger ones, and others would be co-located in local government premises. Merging our staff and services from some smaller or underutilised jobcentres, into larger Jobcentres nearby, makes better use of space and reduces costs to the taxpayer while still maintaining the same excellent level of customer service.

We are committed to retaining a Jobcentre Plus network and continuing to serve throughout GB to make sure they can continue to access the Jobcentre Plus services they need.

When closing or merging a Jobcentre, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) undertake an equality analysis as part of the detailed planning for service reconfiguration. This will include feedback from public consultation in those locations where this applied.

As part of the pre closure consultation work MPs and MSPs were invited to attend meetings with the local Service Leader as part of the consultation exercise to allow them to present constituent concerns; links were established with the hospital and Local Housing Associations to raise awareness of the closures; Customer Surveys were carried out to gather insight and to address any concerns; DWP staff attended meetings at the local Citizens Advice Scotland with key stakeholders, including providers and landlords, with a view to communicating the change.

In addition, to this stakeholder events were held giving all our stakeholders the opportunity to feed in concerns.

Outreach work continues in Easterhouse at Greater Easterhouse and John Wheatly College Supporting Hands. Employer Advisers attend to weekly to provide updates on local vacancies and to help customers who wish to apply for these.

In Parkhead, we have set up a partnership with Cranhill Development Trust who attend Shettleston Jobcentre staff meetings and our staff also attend their meetings. This is a continual exchange of information on jobs and benefits to ensure the local community in Parkhead is supported.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have been signposted to a food bank by staff at Shettleston Jobcentre in the last 12 months.

Under long-standing national guidance issued to all Jobcentres, staff can signpost benefit claimants to a local food back provided all sources of formal support have been considered. Although staff are not required to keep records of the number of signposting slips issued, they may set up a process for recording the issue of signposting slips for authentication purposes only, if the local food banks asks them to do so. Staff can make local arrangements to reflect any specific restrictions set by their food bank around the use of their services; however, any decision to award a food parcel is a matter for the food bank alone.

The staff in Shettleston Jobcentre continue to work closely with local food bank managers to ensure vulnerable people get the support they need.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the data collected through maternity situation reports, what progress his Department has made in ensuring parents have unrestricted access to their babies on neonatal units.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked closely with trusts to adopt the actions set out in updated guidance ‘Supporting pregnant women using maternity services during the coronavirus pandemic’ to remove barriers which prevent trusts being able to facilitate full parental presence in neonatal units. NHS England and NHS Improvement are assured that 100% of trusts report they are actively using the guidance.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to use maternity situation report data to support NHS trusts to facilitate full parental access to their babies on neonatal units.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked closely with trusts to adopt the actions set out in updated guidance ‘Supporting pregnant women using maternity services during the coronavirus pandemic’ to remove barriers which prevent trusts being able to facilitate full parental presence in neonatal units. NHS England and NHS Improvement are assured that 100% of trusts report they are actively using the guidance.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with officials in HM Treasury on the effect of pension taxation on early retirement rates of senior NHS workers.

The decision to claim payment of pension is an individual one. The NHS Pension Scheme does not require members to give a reason at the point of claim. It is therefore difficult to determine the specific factors that contribute to early retirements.

The Department continues to have a regular dialogue with HM Treasury on a range of matters relating to the NHS Pension Scheme.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of (a) pension taxation and (b) the freezing of the lifetime allowance on early retirement rates of senior NHS workers.

The decision to claim payment of pension is an individual one. The NHS Pension Scheme does not require members to give a reason at the point of claim. It is therefore difficult to determine the specific factors that contribute to early retirements.

The Department continues to have a regular dialogue with HM Treasury on a range of matters relating to the NHS Pension Scheme.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish his Department’s projected retirement rates for doctors in 2021-22.

The Department does not hold the specific information requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jan 2021
What steps his Department is taking to increase awareness of neonatal herpes.

Reducing mortality and morbidity in maternity and neonatal services is a priority for this Government.

The national ambition is to halve the 2010 rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries in babies occurring during or soon after birth by 2025.

The National Health Service website has a dedicated page on neonatal herpes, which sets out how neonatal herpes can be prevented.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a response to EDM 521 on UK law on disability-selective abortion tabled by the hon. Member for Upper Bann.

Parliament decided the circumstances under which abortion can legally be undertaken. It would be for Parliament to decide whether to make any changes to the law on abortion. As with other matters of conscience, abortion is an issue on which the Government adopts a neutral stance and allows hon. Members to vote according to their moral, ethical or religious beliefs.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has allocated funding to the research on neonatal herpes.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and is the largest public funder of health research in the United Kingdom.

The NIHR funds a range of research in maternal and neonatal health focussing on the safety of maternity and neonatal services, and the national maternity ambition to halve maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths and brain injury by 2025.

The NIHR is not currently funding any specific research into neonatal herpes but it welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including neonatal herpes. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. In all disease areas, the amount of NIHR funding depends on the volume and quality of scientific activity.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Kit Tarka Foundation.

The Department has not had any discussions with the Kit Tarka Foundation.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of Tunisian President Saied’s (a) dismissal of the prime minister and (b) freezing of parliamentary activity.

The UK is closely monitoring the situation in Tunisia. We believe that the solution to Tunisia's challenges can only be achieved through the principles of democracy, transparency, human rights, and free speech. We call on all parties to uphold Tunisia's reputation as a tolerant and open society and to protect the democratic gains of the 2011 revolution.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in the Government of Sri Lanka on the ongoing detention of young poet and teacher, Ahnaf Jazeem.

The UK Government remains concerned at the ongoing detention of Ahnaf Jazeem under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). On 7 June, the UK's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and International Ambassador for Human Rights issued a joint statement with European partners calling on the Government of Sri Lanka to release Ahnaf Jazeem or uphold his right to a fair trial. We also highlighted our concerns in a statement to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on 22 June, and have raised the case privately with the government of Sri Lanka. We continue to call on the government to replace the PTA with human rights compliant counter terrorism legislation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to UN Resolution 46/1, what steps he is taking to protect human rights in Sri Lanka.

The UK Government, alongside our partners in the Core Group on Sri Lanka, has led international efforts over many years to promote accountability, reconciliation and human rights in Sri Lanka, including at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). On 23 March the UNHRC adopted a new UK-led resolution, 46/1. This resolution provides a continued framework for international engagement on human rights in Sri Lanka, and highlights serious concerns about the situation, including those detailed in the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). It calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to make progress on accountability and human rights, and stresses the importance of a comprehensive accountability process for all violations and abuses committed in Sri Lanka.

The Minister of State for South Asia, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, has raised the importance of accountability, justice and reconciliation on several occasions with the Sri Lankan High Commissioner and the former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, Dinesh Gunawardena, most recently during calls on 10 May and 17 June respectively. We continue to engage with the government of Sri Lanka on these important issues.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the treatment of Pastor Yang Hua of Living Stone Church by Chinese authorities.

We are concerned by reports that Pastor Yang Hua of Living Stone Church was recently attacked by Chinese officials. We remain deeply concerned about the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and others on the grounds of their religion or belief in China. The freedom to practise, change or share ones faith or belief without discrimination or violent opposition is a human right that all people should enjoy. We believe that societies which aim to guarantee freedom of religion or belief are more stable, prosperous and more resilient against violent extremism. We will continue to raise our concerns around freedom of religion or belief with the Chinese authorities.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Chinese Government on the state of the human right to freedom of religion or belief in China.

We are deeply concerned about restrictions on freedom of religion or belief in China, including the persecution of Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and Falun Gong practitioners. The Foreign Secretary has personally raised our serious concerns with his Chinese counterpart, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, on a number of occasions, most recently on 27 May. The Foreign Secretary also expressed the UK's deep concern at the treatment of Uyghur Muslims and other religious and ethnic minorities at the UN Human Rights Council on 22 February.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what proportion of Official Development Assistance spending was allocated to nutrition in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020; and what proportion will be allocated to nutrition in 2021.

In 2018 and 2019, the UK spent 1.2% of ODA on basic nutrition programmes.

The 2020 provisional ODA spend is due to be published in early April 2021.

The FCDO is undertaking a rigorous internal prioritisation process in response to the spending review announcement. We will update on the implications of this for 2021 nutrition spend in due course.

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 funding commitment his Department plans to make at the 2021 Nutrition for Growth Summit.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is working closely with the Government of Japan to make sure the 2021 Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit supports meaningful action by governments, donors, businesses, the UN and civil society.

The FCDO is undertaking a rigorous internal prioritisation process in response to the spending review announcement. We will update on the implications of this for any new commitment to nutrition in due course.

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 covid-19 pandemic on levels of wasting, stunting and other effects of undernutrition in children.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child malnutrition is not yet fully understood due to a lack of data and disruptions to data collection activities. However, a recent modelling study estimated that, by the end of 2022, the pandemic could result in an additional 9.3 million wasted and 2.6 million stunted children. It is also estimated that there will be an additional 2.1 million cases of maternal anaemia cases.

The FCDO continues to monitor the impacts of the pandemic on nutrition and we are working with UNICEF and other partners to strengthen data collection.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on human rights of recent violence in Kaduna State in Nigeria; and what diplomatic steps he is taking to tackle the conflict in that region.

GROUPED WITH PQ 136037.

The UK Government condemns all incidents of violence in Kaduna State, including the recently reported abduction of civilians on the Birnin Gwari to Kaduna road. Such incidents constitute human rights abuses and impact on individual's rights to life, liberty and security. Our High Commissioner and her team visited Kaduna State in December 2020 to engage with the state government and police, civil society, faith and community leaders and communities affected by violence. The UK Government maintains a network of regional offices in Nigeria, including in Kaduna State. This network monitors human rights issues. We will continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting human rights for all.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of recent abductions in the Birnin Gwari area of Kaduna state on human rights in that region.

GROUPED WITH PQ 136037.

The UK Government condemns all incidents of violence in Kaduna State, including the recently reported abduction of civilians on the Birnin Gwari to Kaduna road. Such incidents constitute human rights abuses and impact on individual's rights to life, liberty and security. Our High Commissioner and her team visited Kaduna State in December 2020 to engage with the state government and police, civil society, faith and community leaders and communities affected by violence. The UK Government maintains a network of regional offices in Nigeria, including in Kaduna State. This network monitors human rights issues. We will continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting human rights for all.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Nigerian counterpart on recent terrorist violence in the north east of Nigeria.

Terrorist groups, including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, continue to cause immense suffering to local communities in North East Nigeria. I [the Minister for Africa] have condemned recent attacks, including the attack on civilians in Koshobe on 28 November. We are committed to helping Nigeria tackle the threat posed by these terrorist groups. We are providing a comprehensive package of humanitarian and stabilisation assistance to Nigeria to help tackle the threat and support affected communities.

In November 2020, Nick Dyer, the UK's Special Envoy on Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, met representatives of the Nigerian Government in Abuja and North East Nigeria to discuss the conflict and push for action on deteriorating food insecurity in the North East. In December 2020, the UK Deputy National Security Advisor discussed security in Nigeria, including terrorism, with the President's Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari. The British High Commissioner in Abuja also regularly raises the conflict at senior levels within the Nigerian Government.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2020 to Question 106363 on Overseas Aid and pursuant to his oral contribution of 22 October 2020, column 492WH that his Department listens to concerns raised by colleagues from both sides of the House about the need for greater transparency on the Integrated Activity Fund and Gulf Strategy Fund, if he will publish a list of the titles of the 44 projects delivered by the Integrated Activity Fund in 2018-19.

As stated on 22 October, we will publish a programme summary covering activities funded by the Gulf Strategy Fund in 2020/21. We do not disclose information related to individual Integrated Activity Fund projects to maintain the confidence and confidentiality of implementers and our Gulf partners.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2020 to Question 106364 on Overseas Aid, how many projects for each of the financial years (a) 2016-17, (b) 2017-18, (c) 2018-19 and (d) 2019-20 his Department applied for under the Integrated Activity Fund; what the titles of those projects were; how many of those projects were approved; and how many of those projects were subjected to Overseas Security and Justice Assistance assessments.

We do not disclose information related to individual Integrated Activity Fund projects to maintain the confidence and confidentiality of our Gulf partners.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 16 October 2020 to Question 102832 on Overseas Aid, which Government departments applied for those 13 projects in financial year 2018-19 that were covered by an Overseas Security and Justice Assessment; and how many of those projects each of those Government departments applied for.

We do not disclose information related to individual Integrated Activity Fund projects to maintain the confidence and confidentiality of our Gulf partners.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2020 to Question 106362 on Overseas Aid, which Government departments applied for the 16 projects covered by Overseas Security and Justice Assessments in financial year 2019-20; and how many projects each of those Government departments so applied for.

We do not disclose information related to individual Integrated Activity Fund projects to maintain the confidence and confidentiality of our Gulf partners.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many applications for funding from the Integrated Activity Fund over £50,000 were approved in financial year 2019-20; what the value was of each of those applications; and which Department or Minister requested that funding.

20 applications over £50,000 were approved in 2019/20. The Integrated Activity Fund expenditure for that year was £12.4 million.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much funding the College of Policing has received through the Integrated Activity Fund to deliver activities to bodies based in, or working in (a) Saudi Arabia, (b) Bahrain, (c) Kuwait, (d) Oman, (e) Qatar and (f) the United Arab Emirates.

The College of Policing only received Integrated Activity Fund funding for activities in Bahrain. I refer the Honourable Member to my answer of June 19 to question 58024 and 58028.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the (a) spend and (b) allocated budget has been of the Integrated Activity Fund to date, by financial year, since the start of the program in 2015.

The Integrated Activity Fund was allocated £20m each year from 2016/17 to 2019/20. Actual expenditure was £10.5m in 2016/17, £13.9m in 2017/18, £17.08m in 2018/19 and £12.4m in 2019/20.

£8.4m has been allocated for 2020/21 to deliver programme activities in the Gulf.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government has provided technical assistance to (a) Saudi Arabia, (b) Kuwait, (c) UAE, (d) Oman and (e) Qatar since 2011.

The Government has provided technical assistance to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar since 2011. This technical assistance covers a broad range of non-financial support, including training and the sharing of expertise.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the cost has been of the Gulf Strategy Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) by financial year from 2019-20; what the budget is for the IDT for the financial year 2020-21; and how many full-time and part-time military and civilian individuals are employed on that team.

The cost of Integrated Delivery Team (IDT) in 2019/20 was £309,000. The IDT has now been disbanded and the residual costs for FY20/21 were £34,145.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the death sentence passed on Asif Pervaiz for blasphemy on 8 September 2020.

We are aware of the case of Asif Pervaiz and are closely following developments. We regularly raise at a senior level the issue of the blasphemy laws with the authorities in Pakistan. The UK's position on the death penalty is well known - we are firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, in accordance with international standards. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon last raised our human rights concerns with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 27 August.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he will make representations to his Pakistani counterpart on the use of blasphemy laws to sentence Asif Pervaiz to death.

We are aware of the case of Asif Pervaiz and are closely following developments. We regularly raise at a senior level the issue of the blasphemy laws with the authorities in Pakistan. The UK's position on the death penalty is well known - we are firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. We will continue to urge the Government of Pakistan to guarantee the fundamental rights of all its citizens, in accordance with international standards. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon last raised our human rights concerns with Pakistan's Minister for Human Rights, Dr Shireen Mazari, on 27 August.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the (a) detention, (b) harassment and (c) torture of human rights lawyers in that country.

We remain concerned by restrictions on freedom of expression in China, and urge the authorities to immediately release human rights lawyers detained for the peaceful and constitutionally protected expression of their views.

We have raised Gao Zhisheng's case directly with the Chinese Government. We called for his release, and urged the Chinese authorities to ensure he is not subjected to harassment, mistreatment or discrimination.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on the whereabouts of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

We remain concerned by restrictions on freedom of expression in China, and urge the authorities to immediately release human rights lawyers detained for the peaceful and constitutionally protected expression of their views.

We have raised Gao Zhisheng's case directly with the Chinese Government. We called for his release, and urged the Chinese authorities to ensure he is not subjected to harassment, mistreatment or discrimination.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his polices of the statement by the EYN Church National President Reverend Joel Billi during a press conference in Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria on 2 July, that over 700,000 of his church’s members have been displaced, eight pastors and over 8,370 lay people have been killed, and an unknown number have been abducted by terrorist factions of Boko Haram.

We are aware of the statement made by the President of EYN Church, Reverend Joel Billi, on 2 July. The UK condemns the appalling actions of terrorist groups including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa in North East Nigeria. Adamawa State is one of the three Nigerian states worst affected by the conflict. These terrorist groups attack Nigerians of all faiths who do not subscribe to their extremist views, causing immense suffering in both Christian and Muslim communities.

The UK remains committed to helping Nigeria tackle the terrorist threat and supporting affected communities through a comprehensive package of security, stabilisation and humanitarian assistance. This includes up to £300 million of humanitarian assistance to affected communities between 2017-2022. We regularly raise the importance of protecting all Nigerians with the Government of Nigeria, and do so at the highest levels. In June, I discussed the conflict in North East Nigeria with the Nigerian President's Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari.

5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 May 2020 to Question HL3434, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policy on the veracity of statements on covid-19 in Bahrain prisons from the Bahraini National Institute for Human Rights of the 9 April 2020 Reuters article which found that prisoners in that country were subject to overcrowding, poor sanitation and lack of medical care.

The Government of Bahrain has been clear in public statements that access to appropriate medical care for those in detention is guaranteed by the Constitution of Bahrain. Bahrain has stated publicly that under normal circumstances, any prisoner wishing to see a doctor is taken to the prison clinic, with referral to specialist facilities where required, but as part of the COVID-19 precautions, all medical consultations now take place via a video call, ensuring the safety of the patient and the medical staff. We welcome these assurances from the Government of Bahrain and urge continued transparency.

We encourage those with concerns about treatment in detention to raise them with the appropriate Bahraini human rights oversight body. We continue to encourage the oversight bodies in Bahrain to carry out thorough and swift investigations into any such claims.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of continuing violence in Kajuru in southern Kaduna, Nigeria between the beginning of a covid-19 lockdown on 25 March 2020 and the morning of 12 May 2020.

We condemn all incidents of intercommunal violence in Nigeria, including recently reported attacks in Kaduna State. Officials from the British High Commission in Abuja are in contact with and have visited communities in Kaduna that have experienced violence and conflict. We continue to encourage the Government of Nigeria to take urgent action to protect those at risk of intercommunal violence, to bring perpetrators to justice and to implement long-term solutions that address the root causes and meet the needs of all communities.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Wilton Park hosted a conference on 'Fostering Social Cohesion in Nigeria' in February, which brought together a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives from Kaduna State. The conference was an opportunity to discuss how government, faith-based and community organisations can build solutions to intercommunal violence in Nigeria.

The UK Government is supporting local efforts to build solutions to intercommunal violence in Nigeria. As competition over land and resources is leading to violence, our response has included the provision of technical support to the Nigerian Government for the development of the National Livestock Transformation Plan, for which Kaduna State is a pilot state, to promote ranching, an economically viable livestock sector, new jobs and address conflict.

The Prime Minister discussed insecurity in Nigeria with President Buhari at the UK Africa Investment Summit in January. We have made clear to the Nigerian authorities, at the highest levels, the importance of protecting civilians, including ethnic and religious minorities, and human rights for all Nigerians.

20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, when the Minister for Asia plans to respond to the letter of 7 April 2020 from the hon. Member for Glasgow East, reference DL5327, regarding his constituents who are stranded in the Philippines.

This has been a time of unparalleled demand for consular support across the globe, and we have experienced an unprecedented volume of incoming correspondence from worried families and MPs asking for information about the status of their families and constituents. I apologise for the delay in responding to your letter of 7 April and confirm that a response was sent to your office on 21 May.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Chinese counterpart on (a) closing the re-education camps in Xinjiang and (b) protecting elderly people detained in those camps from covid-19.

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 risk of the spread of COVID-19 in places of detention is a matter of concern in a number of countries around the world.

We have consistently made clear our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the extra-judicial detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in "political re-education camps".

On 9 March, the Foreign Secretary directly raised these concerns with his Chinese counterpart, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. On 10 March at the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UK used its national statement to raise concerns about systematic human rights violations and reports of forced labour in Xinjiang. We continue to urge China to implement UN recommendations - to end the practice of extra-judicial detention of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, and to allow UN observers unfettered access to the region.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the accuracy of the conclusion of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom report on COVID-19, which stated that limited access to medical resources and the concentration of elderly detainees in the re-education camps in Xinjiang could lead to a humanitarian disaster.

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 risk of the spread of COVID-19 in places of detention is a matter of concern in a number of countries around the world. We are aware of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom report and will consider its findings.

We have consistently made clear our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, including the extra-judicial detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in "political re-education camps".

On 9 March, the Foreign Secretary directly raised these concerns with his Chinese counterpart, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. On 10 March at the 43rd session of the UN Human Rights Council, the UK used its national statement to raise concerns about systematic human rights violations and reports of forced labour in Xinjiang. We continue to urge China to implement UN recommendations - to end the practice of extra-judicial detention of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, and to allow UN observers unfettered access to the region.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment HMRC has made of the potential merits of introducing arrivals duty free shops in airports, international rail and ferry terminals in Great Britain.

Following a consultation, the Government announced on 11 September 2020 that duty-free sales would be extended to EU-bound passengers for the first time in over 20 years from 1 January 2021.

This is a significant boost to all airports and international rail terminals in England, Scotland and Wales, including Manchester, and smaller regional airports and rail hubs, which have not been able to offer duty-free to the EU before.

Duty-free on arrival did not form part of the Government's consultation on the potential approach to duty- and tax-free goods arising from the UK’s new relationship with the EU, which took place in the Spring of 2020. The Government nonetheless acknowledged in the summary of responses to the consultation that some stakeholders had requested the introduction of duty-free on arrival. This also set out that duty-free on arrival was not a scheme that the Government previously offered and was therefore not considering implementing the scheme at that time.

Duty-free on arrival could undermine the UK high street and run counter to public health objectives. The Government would also need to consider the cost and any revenue and legal risks of introducing such a scheme. Any new tax relief will impose additional pressure on the public finances, to which excise duty makes a significant contribution. Duty on alcohol and tobacco raises over £22 billion and plays a key role in funding vital public services like the NHS and addressing harms caused by these products. Any loss in tax revenue would have to be balanced by a reduction in public spending, increased borrowing or increased taxation elsewhere.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of providing similar provision to NHS workers to that offered to the judiciary to mitigate against the effect of the pension lifetime allowance freeze on NHS workers.

The NHS remains the Government’s key spending priority. This is why the Government is increasing the NHS budget in England from £114.6 billion in 2018-19 to £148.5 billion in 2023-24.

The Government has also provided unprecedented support during the Covid-19 pandemic. As of 3 March 2021, taking into account the significant funding announced at Spending Review 2020 and Budget 2021, total support provided for the economy is £352bn across 2020-21 and 2021-22, or around 17 per cent of 2020 GDP. The Government must make responsible decisions to ensure the process of returning the public finances to a sustainable path is not harder than it needs to be.

Pensions tax relief is one of the most expensive reliefs in the personal tax system. In 2017-18 income tax and employer National Insurance Contributions reliefs cost £54 billion, with around 60 per cent going to higher and additional rate taxpayers. 92% of individuals approaching retirement over the next 5 years will have a pension below the lifetime allowance and so will not be affected by this change.

The unique circumstances of judiciary appointments mean that it is necessary to reform their pension arrangements. Judges are not able to work in private practice after taking up office, and many judges take a significant pay cut to join the judiciary. The combination of these factors is why the Government is committed to introduce a reformed judicial pension scheme. Such a scheme would not benefit the vast majority of NHS staff, as members would receive no tax relief on their contributions.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the pension lifetime allowance freeze on staffing levels in the NHS.

The NHS remains the Government’s key spending priority. This is why the Government is increasing the NHS budget in England from £114.6 billion in 2018-19 to £148.5 billion in 2023-24.

The Government has also provided unprecedented support during the Covid-19 pandemic. As of 3 March 2021, taking into account the significant funding announced at Spending Review 2020 and Budget 2021, total support provided for the economy is £352bn across 2020-21 and 2021-22, or around 17 per cent of 2020 GDP. The Government must make responsible decisions to ensure the process of returning the public finances to a sustainable path is not harder than it needs to be.

Pensions tax relief is one of the most expensive reliefs in the personal tax system. In 2017-18 income tax and employer National Insurance Contributions reliefs cost £54 billion, with around 60 per cent going to higher and additional rate taxpayers. 92% of individuals approaching retirement over the next 5 years will have a pension below the lifetime allowance and so will not be affected by this change.

The unique circumstances of judiciary appointments mean that it is necessary to reform their pension arrangements. Judges are not able to work in private practice after taking up office, and many judges take a significant pay cut to join the judiciary. The combination of these factors is why the Government is committed to introduce a reformed judicial pension scheme. Such a scheme would not benefit the vast majority of NHS staff, as members would receive no tax relief on their contributions.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that the proposed freeze to the lifetime allowance does not encourage senior healthcare workers to retire earlier than planned.

The NHS remains the Government’s key spending priority. This is why the Government is increasing the NHS budget in England from £114.6 billion in 2018-19 to £148.5 billion in 2023-24.

The Government has also provided unprecedented support during the Covid-19 pandemic. As of 3 March 2021, taking into account the significant funding announced at Spending Review 2020 and Budget 2021, total support provided for the economy is £352bn across 2020-21 and 2021-22, or around 17 per cent of 2020 GDP. The Government must make responsible decisions to ensure the process of returning the public finances to a sustainable path is not harder than it needs to be.

Pensions tax relief is one of the most expensive reliefs in the personal tax system. In 2017-18 income tax and employer National Insurance Contributions reliefs cost £54 billion, with around 60 per cent going to higher and additional rate taxpayers. 92% of individuals approaching retirement over the next 5 years will have a pension below the lifetime allowance and so will not be affected by this change.

The unique circumstances of judiciary appointments mean that it is necessary to reform their pension arrangements. Judges are not able to work in private practice after taking up office, and many judges take a significant pay cut to join the judiciary. The combination of these factors is why the Government is committed to introduce a reformed judicial pension scheme. Such a scheme would not benefit the vast majority of NHS staff, as members would receive no tax relief on their contributions.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme so that disabled workers who are concerned about returning to work due to their impairment have the right to be put on furlough if they cannot work from home.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been available since the start of the pandemic. Shielding guidance is no longer in place, but Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) individuals can continue to be claimed for like everyone else, subject to the CJRS eligibility criteria.

It is not for the Government to decide whether an individual firm should put its staff on furlough; that is a decision for the employer, in consultation with the employee. CEV individuals and those who are disabled should talk to their employer to discuss and agree options in relation to work, such as working from home, or returning to the workplace in a different role if their previous position cannot be fulfilled in a COVID-secure manner.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking in addition to putting new guidance on gov.uk to raise awareness for the tax rebate for home-working.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) continue to engage with stakeholder groups, including employers, to raise awareness of the tax relief available to those working from home.

10th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to ensure that people working from home are aware of a tax rebate they can access from HMRC for (a) wifi, (b) computers and (c) other work related expenses such as WIFI and computers.

The Government published a Written Ministerial Statement on 13 May 2020. This announced a new tax exemption for employees who are working from home as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, and need to purchase home office equipment and are reimbursed by the employer.

HMRC published new guidance on GOV.UK to raise awareness of the tax relief available to people working from home for home office equipment and other work-related expenses. HMRC have also included information in their publications such as the Employer Bulletin and guidance manuals, and are working directly with stakeholder groups and media outlets to help raise further awareness.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the letter of 6 April 2020, reference DL5296, from the hon. Member for Glasgow East.

HM Treasury has received unprecedented amounts of correspondence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the UK, and apologises for the delay in responding to the Honourable Member. HM Treasury passed the Honourable Member’s correspondence to HM Revenue and Customs as it concerns an operational issue. HM Revenue and Customs will reply as soon as possible.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the letter of 19 February 2020, reference DL4850, from the hon. Member for Glasgow East.

HMT asked HMRC to respond as it has operational responsibility for tax credits. Ruth Stanier, Director General, duly replied to Mr Linden’s letter on 11 June. HMRC apologises for the delay in replying, which was caused by competing priorities following the COVID-19 outbreak. HMRC assures Mr Linden that his constituent has not been disadvantaged by this delay.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to respond to the letter of 16 April 2020 from the hon. Member for Glasgow East.

HM Treasury has received unprecedented amounts of correspondence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, and apologises for the delay in responding to the Honourable Member. The Honourable Member’s correspondence is receiving attention and will be replied to as soon as possible.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government will take to support charities whose income and fundraising activities are affected by the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Chancellor set on April 8 a £750 million package of support for charities providing key services and supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 crisis. This will help charities providing essential services to continue their operations and to weather the storm until we return to more normal times. Funding for charities will be made available in the coming weeks and the most up to date information will be on Gov.uk. Our aim is to get funding to those in greatest need as soon as possible.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the average timescale for her Department to make a decision on an asylum application in 2021 to date.

The Home Office is unable to state what proportion, offer timescales currently or provide average timescales to make an decisions on asylum application in 2019 and 2021 as this information is not published.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration, for main applicants only. This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2021/list-of-tables.

The Home Office are pursuing a programme of transformation and business improvement initiatives that will speed up decision making, reduce the time people spend in the system and reduce the numbers who are awaiting an interview or decision. This includes almost doubling decision makers number to c.1,000 by March 2022 and providing improved training and career progression opportunities to aid retention of staff. We are continuing to develop existing and new technology to help build on recent improvements such as digital interviewing and move away from a paper-based system.

We have three key areas of focus in the short to medium term to reduce the number of outstanding asylum cases by improving efficiency and productivity, reducing the number of outstanding claims and building high performing teams. We are streamlining and digitalising the case working process to enable more effective workflow, appointment booking and decision-making.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the average timescale for her Department to make a decision on an asylum application in 2019.

The Home Office is unable to state what proportion, offer timescales currently or provide average timescales to make an decisions on asylum application in 2019 and 2021 as this information is not published.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration, for main applicants only. This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2021/list-of-tables.

The Home Office are pursuing a programme of transformation and business improvement initiatives that will speed up decision making, reduce the time people spend in the system and reduce the numbers who are awaiting an interview or decision. This includes almost doubling decision makers number to c.1,000 by March 2022 and providing improved training and career progression opportunities to aid retention of staff. We are continuing to develop existing and new technology to help build on recent improvements such as digital interviewing and move away from a paper-based system.

We have three key areas of focus in the short to medium term to reduce the number of outstanding asylum cases by improving efficiency and productivity, reducing the number of outstanding claims and building high performing teams. We are streamlining and digitalising the case working process to enable more effective workflow, appointment booking and decision-making.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department will be able to offer timescales on decisions to all asylum claimants.

The Home Office is unable to state what proportion, offer timescales currently or provide average timescales to make an decisions on asylum application in 2019 and 2021 as this information is not published.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration, for main applicants only. This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2021/list-of-tables.

The Home Office are pursuing a programme of transformation and business improvement initiatives that will speed up decision making, reduce the time people spend in the system and reduce the numbers who are awaiting an interview or decision. This includes almost doubling decision makers number to c.1,000 by March 2022 and providing improved training and career progression opportunities to aid retention of staff. We are continuing to develop existing and new technology to help build on recent improvements such as digital interviewing and move away from a paper-based system.

We have three key areas of focus in the short to medium term to reduce the number of outstanding asylum cases by improving efficiency and productivity, reducing the number of outstanding claims and building high performing teams. We are streamlining and digitalising the case working process to enable more effective workflow, appointment booking and decision-making.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of asylum claimants are being advised of timescales as to when decisions will be taken on their cases.

The Home Office is unable to state what proportion, offer timescales currently or provide average timescales to make an decisions on asylum application in 2019 and 2021 as this information is not published.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration, for main applicants only. This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-march-2021/list-of-tables.

The Home Office are pursuing a programme of transformation and business improvement initiatives that will speed up decision making, reduce the time people spend in the system and reduce the numbers who are awaiting an interview or decision. This includes almost doubling decision makers number to c.1,000 by March 2022 and providing improved training and career progression opportunities to aid retention of staff. We are continuing to develop existing and new technology to help build on recent improvements such as digital interviewing and move away from a paper-based system.

We have three key areas of focus in the short to medium term to reduce the number of outstanding asylum cases by improving efficiency and productivity, reducing the number of outstanding claims and building high performing teams. We are streamlining and digitalising the case working process to enable more effective workflow, appointment booking and decision-making.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Feb 2021
What assessment she has made of the adequacy of the temporary accommodation provided by her Department for asylum seekers.

Asylum seekers are provided with safe, warm, suitable accommodation that is fit for purpose and correctly equipped in line with existing asylum accommodation standards and contractual requirements. This includes accommodation recently used by our Armed Forces.

The Home Office expects the highest standards from its accommodation providers and works closely with partner organisations, including health and public health bodies, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of supported asylum seekers in all our accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the new discretionary power in the Immigration Rules to refuse or cancel a person’s permission to stay in the UK on the basis of that person’s rough sleeping, what guidance is available on safeguards and the permissible use of that discretionary power.

The new Immigration Rules make provision for the refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the basis of rough sleeping. The new rule will apply on a discretionary basis to non-EEA nationals from 1 December 2020 and to newly arriving EEA nationals from 1 January 2021. The provision will be used sparingly and only where individuals have refused support offers such as accommodation and are engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour.

A person is expected to leave the UK if their leave is cancelled or refused, including where they have been refused protection status and have no other legal basis to remain here. If they do not choose to leave voluntarily we may enforce their removal. They will not be subject to deportation action unless they have been convicted of criminal offences other than those relating to immigration, or have demonstrated serious or persistent criminality, or for reasons of national security.

Guidance will be provided for decision-makers to make clear the circumstances in which permission may be cancelled or refused, and this will be available on GOV.UK when the new provision comes into force.

An Equality Impact Assessment was completed for all the Immigration Rules laid on 22 October 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the new discretionary power in the Immigration Rules to refuse or cancel a person’s permission to stay in the UK on the basis of that person’s rough sleeping, whether that power can be used in relation to persons whose asylum claim has been finally determined and refused.

The new Immigration Rules make provision for the refusal or cancellation of permission to stay in the UK on the basis of rough sleeping. The new rule will apply on a discretionary basis to non-EEA nationals from 1 December 2020 and to newly arriving EEA nationals from 1 January 2021. The provision will be used sparingly and only where individuals have refused support offers such as accommodation and are engaged in persistent anti-social behaviour.

A person is expected to leave the UK if their leave is cancelled or refused, including where they have been refused protection status and have no other legal basis to remain here. If they do not choose to leave voluntarily we may enforce their removal. They will not be subject to deportation action unless they have been convicted of criminal offences other than those relating to immigration, or have demonstrated serious or persistent criminality, or for reasons of national security.

Guidance will be provided for decision-makers to make clear the circumstances in which permission may be cancelled or refused, and this will be available on GOV.UK when the new provision comes into force.

An Equality Impact Assessment was completed for all the Immigration Rules laid on 22 October 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to respond to the letter of 12 May 2020 from Councillor Jennifer Layden and all hon. Members representing Glasgow constituencies.

The UKVI service standard for providing a response is currently 20 working days. The correspondence from Councillor Jennifer Layden was received on 12 May 2020 and a full response will be sent by 10th June 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the legal implications of immigration detention during the covid-19 outbreak.

As part of the Department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic the Home Secretary had frequent and regular conversations with Cabinet colleagues including considering the impact on immigration detention.

Immigration Enforcement has responded to the unique circumstances of the coronavirus outbreak and are following the latest guidance from Public Health England. On 26 March, the High Court ruled that our approach to detention and Coronavirus was sensible, with the appropriate precautionary measures in place.

Further guidance on managing COVID-19 in immigration removal centres was published on gov.uk on 5 June https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-removal-centres.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring that refugees and asylum seekers have access to information on the covid-19 outbreak in languages other than English.

The Home Office are engaging with the wider Voluntary and Community sector via the British Red Cross to ensure that the refugees and migrants they are supporting are aware of the Government advice and are clear about the importance of adhering to it.

All asylum accommodation providers continue to provide translated public health guidance, available in 12?languages, and instructions to service users.??Where appropriate, service users are supported to ensure that they can self-isolate effectively.

Public Health England is also coordinating engagement through its local centres, linking into local authorities and their Directors of Public Health.? They have also translated advice on social distancing and self-isolation into multiple languages, in addition to material provided by Doctors of the World, which is based on the Government’s advice.?This advice can be found within the Migrant Health Guide at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-entitlements-migrant-health-guide#main-messages.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the contribution of 5 October 2020 of the Minister of State for Regional Growth and Local Government, Official Report, Column 599, when he plans to publish the Devolution and Local Renewal White Paper; and whether that White Paper will apply to Scotland.

Levelling up all areas of the country remains at the centre of the Government’s agenda. We want to devolve and decentralise to give more power to local communities, providing an opportunity for all places to level up. That is why we intend to bring forward the English Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper in due course, detailing how the UK Government will partner with places across the UK to build a sustainable economic recovery.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will extend the moratorium on evictions in England beyond 11 January 2021 during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has extended existing legislation to ensure bailiffs in England do not serve eviction notices, or carry out evictions except in the most serious circumstances, such as anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse perpetrators in the social sector. This legislation will be in place for at least six weeks before being reviewed with consideration taken to the latest public health data. This will mean in practical terms that no evictions will be enforced until March.

To further protect renters, landlords are required to provide 6-months' notice of their intention to seek possession through the courts, except in the most serious cases such as anti-social behaviour, fraud and egregious rent arrears. This means that tenants served notice today will not have to leave until July.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of homelessness of ending the moratorium on evictions in England on 11 January 2021.

The Government is clear that no one should be without a roof over their head. That is why we are spending over £700 million this year and will be spending over £750 million next year to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, further demonstrating the Government’s commitment to end rough sleeping.

Renters will continue to be protected from eviction during this new national lockdown period. The Government has extended existing legislation to ensure bailiffs do not serve eviction notices or carry out evictions, except in the most serious circumstances, such as anti-social behaviour and domestic abuse in the social sector. This legislation will be in place for at least six weeks, after which it will be reviewed and consideration taken to the latest public health data. Landlords are also required to provide six months' notice except in the most serious cases such as anti-social behaviour, fraud and egregious rent arrears meaning tenants served notice now will not have to leave until July.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how much in cash terms has been spent from the Towns Fund to date.

In December, we paid out £16.4 million in capacity funding to local authorities from the initial 100 towns selected to agree Town Deals. This was to support the development of a Town Deal Board and Town Investment Plan for each of the shortlisted towns in their area.

To date we have also allocated £14.5 million in Future High Streets Fund revenue funding to places to develop detailed business cases for their proposals.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will provide a breakdown of any capital funding which has been allocated to local authorities from the Towns Fund.

Local authorities have not yet received any capital funding from the Towns Fund. Now that we have published the Towns Fund further guidance, I am looking forward to Towns coming forward with their transformative proposals through their Town Investment Plans

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Government’s covid-19 recovery strategy, whether he plans to (a) issue guidance to local authorities on accommodating persons with no recourse to public funds, (b) list the legislative provisions that local authorities may use to accommodate those persons and (c) fund local authorities to accommodate those persons.

The Government is aware of concerns about those with no recourse to public funds experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 crisis.

We are ensuring local authorities are supported, with £3.2 million in targeted funding to help support individuals who are sleeping rough off the streets, and an additional £3.2 billion provided to local authorities as part of the wider government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding has been provided to help local authorities to reduce risks to public health and to support individuals on the basis of need.

The legal position on those with no recourse to public funds has not been amended.

The legal position on those with no recourse to public funds has not been amended, and the Government expects local authorities to use the funding they have been provided to support people who are sleeping rough, and to minimise unnecessary risks to public health, acting within the law.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the average social housing monthly rent was in England, in each of the last five years.

Local authority and Private Registered Provider average weekly (social and affordable) rents, by district, for England can be found in Live Tables 702 and 704, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-rents-lettings-and-tenancies

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department provides (a) financial and (b) other resources to local authorities to help them retain Trading Standards officers.

Local authorities receive funding through the Local Government Finance Settlement, and this year’s settlement delivers a 4.4 per cent increase from £46.3 billion to £49.2 billion - the largest year on year real terms increase in a decade. Authorities have flexibility over the money they receive, enabling them to work with their residents to decide the best services and resources on which to spend their money, including Trading Standards officers.

Details of funding allocations provided by the Local Government Finance Settlement can be found on the gov.uk website.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support is available to local authorities for the recruitment of Trading Standards officers.

Local authorities receive funding through the Local Government Finance Settlement, and this year’s settlement delivers a 4.4 per cent increase from £46.3 billion to £49.2 billion - the largest year on year real terms increase in a decade. Authorities have flexibility over the money they receive, enabling them to work with their residents to decide the best services and resources on which to spend their money, including Trading Standards officers.

Details of funding allocations provided by the Local Government Finance Settlement can be found on the gov.uk website.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether he plans to visit a food bank in (a) February and (b) March 2020.

I currently have no plans to visit a food bank in my capacity as Secretary of State for Scotland in February and March 2020.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether he plans to visit a food bank in January 2020.

I currently have no plans to visit a food bank in my capacity as Secretary of State for Scotland in January 2020.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, whether he plans to visit a food bank in December 2019.

I did not visit a food bank in my capacity as Secretary of State for Scotland in December 2019.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland