Duncan Baker Portrait

Duncan Baker

Conservative - North Norfolk


Oral Question
Monday 13th December 2021
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Topical Question No. 5
If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.
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Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 14th December 2021
16:00
Backbench Business Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Proposals for backbench debates
14 Dec 2021, 4 p.m.
At 4.15pm: Oral evidence
Members of Parliament - Members of Parliament at House of Commons
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Oral Question
Wednesday 15th December 2021
11:30
Scotland Office
Oral Question No. 12
What assessment he has made of the adequacy of support provided by the Government to people in Scotland affected by Storm Arwen.
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Division Votes
Wednesday 8th December 2021
Nationality and Borders Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 285 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 236 Noes - 288
Speeches
Monday 6th December 2021
Ten-Year Drugs Strategy

I thank the Minister for paying tribute to the Norfolk constabulary in his opening remarks. They have done a fine …

Written Answers
Wednesday 20th October 2021
Minimum Wage: Tax Allowances
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the personal …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 2nd March 2021
Banking Services (Post Offices) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to place a duty on major high street banks to provide banking services in post offices; to make …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th November 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Until 5 February 2021, Councillor, North Norfolk District Council, Holt Road, Cromer NR27 9EN. I received a monthly allowance of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Duncan Baker has voted in 451 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Duncan Baker 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
(14 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(10 debate interactions)
Elizabeth Truss (Conservative)
Minister for Women and Equalities
(10 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(22 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(21 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(20 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Duncan Baker's debates

North Norfolk Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

Now the hedgehog has been listed as vulnerable to extinction in the UK, we are calling on the Government to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to allow them greater protection.

The Government should class in-person interaction with family members and unmarried partners abroad as an essential reason to travel.

12 kids in the UK are diagnosed with cancer daily. 1 in 5 will die within 5 years, often of the deadliest types like DIPG (brainstem cancer) - fatal on diagnosis & other cancers on relapse. Yet there has been little, or no, funding for research into these cancers and little, or no, progress.

I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.

We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.

To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.

Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.


Latest EDMs signed by Duncan Baker

Duncan Baker has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Duncan Baker, 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.


Duncan Baker has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Duncan Baker has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Duncan Baker


A Bill to place a duty on major high street banks to provide banking services in post offices; to make associated provision about access to post office services, including for elderly and vulnerable people; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Tuesday 2nd March 2021
(Read Debate)

Duncan Baker has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


40 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
22nd Sep 2021
What steps the Government is taking to encourage covid-19 vaccination uptake among harder to reach groups.

We continue to focus our efforts on those groups with the lowest rates of vaccine uptake. Recent initiatives include co-producing a toolkit aimed at improving vaccine uptake among the Black African and Black Caribbean groups, among whom rates have been the lowest. We also produced two animations explaining the entitlement to vaccination for migrants, and held pop-up clinics for those without NHS numbers. Over time, both positive vaccine sentiment and vaccine uptake have increased among all ethnic groups.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Apr 2021
What assessment he has made of carbon pricing mechanisms in the run-up to COP26.

Carbon pricing has been shown to incentivise investment in renewable energy in a cost-effective manner. The UK has long been a supporter of carbon pricing and continues to lead the way with the new UK Emissions Trading System.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will (a) update the guidance for significant life events including christenings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs as part of Step 3 of the covid-19 roadmap and (b) clarify limits on the number of guests permitted to attend those events; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of aligning that guidance with the removal of the cap on maximum guest limits for weddings, civil partnerships, receptions, wakes, funerals and other commemorative events.

Guidance on significant life events, such as baptisms and bar mitzvahs, is available on gov.uk as part of the guidance for the safe use of places of worship. This guidance is kept under continual review, and the government continues to work with its Places of Worship Taskforce and faith leaders to review and amend this guidance, as necessary.

If significant life events take place as part of communal worship, participation is limited by the capacity of the venue, in line with the wider rules on communal worship. If significant life events take place as standalone events, there is a limit of up to 30 people (indoors or outdoors, excluding inside private homes). Anyone working is not included in this limit.

From 21 June, there is no longer a maximum number cap for attendees at wedding or civil partnership ceremonies and receptions set out in law. Many people have planned for wedding or civil partnership ceremonies and receptions a long time in advance, and these types of events can be difficult to book and to cancel. They often require aligning multiple businesses, sometimes years in advance, and can have a significant social and economic cost. The exact number of attendees will be based on the COVID-19 risk assessment of each venue or outdoor space, and measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to Government Guidance: COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021, published on 22 February 2021, what the Government's definition is of minimising travel; what (a) distances and (b) frequencies are permitted in that travel guidance; how that guidance on minimising travel will be enforced given domestic overnight stays are permitted and self-contained accommodation re-opens; and whether the Government's stay local advice remains in place at that stage.

From the 29th of March the legal order to ‘Stay at home’ ceased and the government is asking people to minimise travel. This means that people should avoid making unnecessary journeys and combine their trips where possible. People should remember that other restrictions remain in place, for instance, if visiting friends and families they can only do so outside.

There are no permitted limits to the distance that may be travelled or frequency of journeys. People are permitted to stay away from their home overnight from 12th April, but only with members of their own household in self contained accommodation. People will not be allowed to enter another household to stay with friends and family until at least the 17th May. When travelling, people should remember to do so safely, planning ahead, travelling at quiet times, sanitise your hands, wear a face covering unless exempt and social distance.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the trading difficulties leaseholders operating under the Wellington Pub chain are experiencing; and what support his Department is providing to Wellington pub tenants.

Over the course of the pandemic, the Government has worked closely with the pubs and hospitality sector to understand the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and has responded with a substantial package of business support. We keep all restrictions under constant review.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) wood fibre and (b) other sustainable insulation materials are permitted to be used for home insulation purposes under the terms of the Government's Green Deal scheme.

Under the Green Deal Framework (Disclosure, Acknowledgment, Redress etc.) Regulations 2012, installers are required to comply with the Green Deal Code of Practice. This does not proscribe any materials but requires that products and systems installed must comply with all legislation relevant to the testing, performance, certification and quality of the product or system. Installers must be certified by a UKAS-accredited Certification Body as meeting the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2030 for the measures they install.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to improve mobile phone coverage in North Norfolk constituency; and what the timeframe is for improving that coverage.

The Government announced in-principle support in October 2019 for the Mobile Network Operators’ (MNOs) Shared Rural Network (SRN) proposal. The proposal would share investment costs between the mobile network operators and government and increase 4G mobile coverage throughout the United Kingdom to 95% by 2025. It will be underpinned by a legally binding coverage commitment from each operator.

The Government's in-principle support is subject to detailed negotiations. While this is not yet a done deal, the Prime Minister has made improvements to rural mobile coverage part of his first 100 days pledge. I will continue to work with the sector to make that happen.

The exact site deployment plans and timescales will be managed by the MNOs themselves in order for them to best deliver the agreed coverage outcomes. So until the operators’ final radio planning exercise is complete, neither the Government nor the operators will know the precise location or number of new or upgraded masts. However, the operators will be consulting with local communities as they do so. The MNOs’ intention is to deliver this programme by the end of 2025.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made for staff at complex needs schools to be considered for vaccination alongside their pupils who are on the priority list; and what support is being offered to teachers and teaching assistants in those schools as they have close contact with their pupils who are at high risk and vulnerable to covid-19.

During national lockdown restrictions, special schools and special post-16 settings should continue to welcome and encourage pupils to attend full-time (or as per their usual timetable) where parents and carers wishes for their child to be able to attend (or for post-16s, where the young person wishes to attend). This is because we know that children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families, can be disproportionately impacted by being out of education. The Department for Education (DfE) has published new guidance on the period during the national lockdown, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak#history.

It is important that staff in these schools continue to be supported. The rapid asymptomatic testing programme will include testing staff, vulnerable pupils and students, and children of key workers, including those within special schools and special post-16 settings. Further announcements on the roll out of testing to staff in primary schools will follow in due course, to help support the reopening of education settings.

As outlined in the department’s published guidance, additional use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for COVID-19 related purposes is only needed in a small number of cases, such as if a pupil or student becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms and a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained, or when undertaking aerosol generating procedures. If a pupil or student already has routine intimate care needs that involve the use of PPE, the same PPE should continue to be used. Public Health England have advised that the current guidance on the system of controls, including the use of PPE and face coverings, should continue to be followed.

The PPE portal can be used by residential special settings to access COVID-19 PPE. These providers will have received an email invitation to register with the portal. Depending on local arrangements, special schools and special post-16 settings may be able to access PPE for their COVID-19 needs via their local authority or local resilience forum.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are independent experts advising the government on which vaccine(s) the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems, and as the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19. In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other government departments. The DfE will input into this cross-governmental exercise.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to support independent field study centres until 2020 due to the cancellation of residential field trips during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has issued guidance on the financial support for businesses during coronavirus (COVID-19). This can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The Charity Commission has also issued coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector, including considerations and practical steps that charities can take when they are facing serious financial difficulties. This can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-charity-sector.

The Department for Education continues to advise against both overnight and non-overnight domestic (UK) and overseas educational visits as outlined in the coronavirus travel guidance for educational settings.

In the autumn term, schools can resume non-overnight domestic educational visits. All such visits should be compliant with COVID-19 guidelines and subject to a thorough and ongoing assessment of the risks to ensure that they can be undertaken safely. Schools should consult the health and safety guidance on educational visits when considering any visit.

The above guidance will remain under review, including the position on overnight domestic visits, and will be updated in line with guidance from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Transport and Public Health England.

The coronavirus: travel guidance for educational settings can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-for-educational-settings/coronavirus-travel-guidance-for-educational-settings.

Guidance for full opening: schools is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Guidance on health and safety on educational visits can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-safety-on-educational-visits/health-and-safety-on-educational-visits.

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to (a) support pupils in years (i) 10 and (ii) 12 that are not attending school due to the covid-19 outbreak but are due to take exams in 2021 and (b) ensure that the break in the schooling of those pupils is taken into account when assessing the results of their exams.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Our latest guidance for schools and colleges is at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

We have prioritised the return to school of children in reception, year 1 and year 6, and have asked secondary schools and colleges to offer some face to face support for young people in year 10 and year 12 to supplement their remote education. This is because they are preparing for key examinations next year and are most at risk of falling behind due to time out of school or college. From 1 June 2020, we expect that secondary schools and colleges will be able to offer some face to face contact with year 10 and year 12 students. This will not be a return to full timetables or students back in school or college full time, but rather support to supplement students’ remote education.

We have also committed over £100 million to boost remote education, including giving free laptops to year 10 students from disadvantaged backgrounds, alongside care leavers and those with a social worker, to help them learn from home during the lockdown. Additionally, if families of these students do not have good access to the internet, we will provide them with 4G routers so that they can learn online. Students aged 16 to 19 without a suitable device for education may be eligible for support through the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund. The Department will also ensure that every school and college that wants it has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education.

In light of the disruption experienced by students in Years 10 and 12 who are due to take exams in 2021, we are working with Ofqual and the exam boards to develop our approach to next year’s exams.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the criteria is that employee relocation professionals should apply to determine how and when they may relocate employees into the UK from (a) EU countries, (b) outside the EU during the period of covid-19 travel restrictions; and if she will make a statement.

International travel to and from the United Kingdom is restricted to protect public health in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. HM Government is operating a ‘traffic light system’, which commenced on 17th May when the ‘Stay in the United Kingdom’ regulation ceased. The three categories – Red, Amber and Green – determine the health measures that are present at the border. You can see the full list of countries in each category on GOV.UK, where you can also find the steps to be taken before entering the country.

The risk posed by individual countries will be continuously monitored and ratings will be reviewed every three weeks. The traffic light system itself will be reviewed through a series of checkpoints in June, July and October, taking into account the latest domestic and international data. In addition, the visa application criteria is available on GOV.UK.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the planned timetable is to restart unrestricted employee relocation activity into the UK from abroad, and if she will make a statement.

International travel to and from the United Kingdom is restricted to protect public health in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. HM Government is operating a ‘traffic light system’, which commenced on 17th May when the ‘Stay in the United Kingdom’ regulation ceased. The three categories – Red, Amber and Green – determine the health measures that are present at the border. You can see the full list of countries in each category on GOV.UK, where you can also find the steps to be taken before entering the country.

The risk posed by individual countries will be continuously monitored and ratings will be reviewed every three weeks. The traffic light system itself will be reviewed through a series of checkpoints in June, July and October, taking into account the latest domestic and international data. In addition, the visa application criteria is available on GOV.UK.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many jobs included within the Kickstart scheme have been (a) approved, (b) advertised and (c) started by (i) county, (ii) region and (iii) nation.

We are pleased to say that, as of the 31st August, over 63,000 young people have started Kickstart jobs. Over 181,000 jobs have been made available for young people to apply for through the Kickstart Scheme with over 280,000 jobs approved for funding by the Scheme.

We are unable at present to provide data on the number of approved jobs by location, 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.

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

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

Jobs Made Available

Total Jobs Started

East Midlands

11,600

3,840

East of England

14,400

4,460

London

36,700

13,970

North East

7,300

2,930

North West

23,400

8,090

Scotland

13,400

5,670

South East

21,000

6,870

South West

13,500

4280

Wales

10,400

3,190

West Midlands

16,400

5,670

Yorkshire and The Humber

13,700

4,820

*These numbers are rounded and so may not match provided totals. Jobs Made Available include 1,000 non-grant funded vacancies and Total Starts include around 900 starts to non-grant funded jobs

Sector

Jobs Made Available

Total Jobs Started

Administration

45,500

16,190

Animal Care

900

510

Beauty & Wellbeing

1,300

500

Business & Finance

6,600

2,350

Computing, Technology & Digital

12,800

5,670

Construction & Trades

5,600

2,070

Creative & Media

13,900

6,450

Delivery & Storage

5,400

1,860

Emergency & Uniform Services

400

150

Engineering & Maintenance

6,000

1,930

Environment & Land

3,400

1360

Government Services

600

120

Healthcare

5,000

1,420

Home Services

1,300

340

Hospitality & Food

19,300

4,840

Law & Legal

400

190

Managerial

1100

330

Manufacturing

4,500

1,750

Retail & Sales

28,500

10,400

Science & Research

700

300

Social Care

4,500

1050

Sports & Leisure

4,300

1500

Teaching & Education

8,600

2,180

Transport

600

140

Travel & Tourism

600

190

*These numbers are rounded and so may not match provided totals. Jobs Made Available include 1,000 non-grant funded vacancies and Total Starts include around 900 starts to non-grant funded jobs

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department's review of how the welfare system works for people with a terminal illness includes an assessment of (a) the ability of people with motor neurone disease to access the special rules for terminal illness and (b) the potential merits of applying reforms to (i) the disability element of universal credit and (ii) personal independence payment.

In July 2019, the Secretary of State announced an in-depth evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life. The evaluation included 3 strands of research:

- hearing directly from claimants and charities about their first-hand experiences;

- considering international evidence to find out what works in other nations and the support they provide; and

- reviewing current DWP performance to better understand how our Special Rules for Terminal Illness process operates and performs.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the findings of (a) the ONS that chronic lower respiratory disease is the third most common underlying condition with death as a result of covid-19 in quarter 2 of 2021 and (b) of the British Lung Foundation, in its 2012 survey, that 81 per cent of chronic lower respiratory disease is asthma, if he will make it his policy that people with asthma who receive a free annual flu vaccination will be included in any covid-19 booster vaccination programme.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) interim advice is that COVID-19 booster vaccinations should first be offered to the most vulnerable. The JCVI advises a two stage approach, with individuals in stage one offered a booster vaccine and flu vaccine, as soon as possible from September. Individuals in stage two would be offered a booster vaccine as soon as practicable after stage one, with equal emphasis on deployment of the flu vaccine where eligible. The JCVI suggests those aged 16 to 49 years old who are in an influenza or COVID-19 at risk group, including some patients with chronic respiratory disease and asthma are currently included in stage two.

Final decisions on the timing and scope and cohort eligibility, booster programme will be confirmed once the JCVI has provided their final advice.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will (a) clarify the rationale and (b) make available the data that informed the decision for people returning from France regardless of vaccination status to quarantine for 10 days in the UK from 19 July 2021.

As of 19 July, GISAID data showed there have been to date 2,959 cases of the Beta variant in France or 5.2% of all cases, compared to 1,052 cases of the Beta variant in the United Kingdom or 0.2% of all cases, 44 cases or 0.5% of all cases in Greece and 621 cases or 1.4% of all cases in Spain since the start of the pandemic. As of 14 July, more sequences uploaded to the GISAID international database in the last three to four months were attributed to the Beta variant in France, than in Spain or Greece. The precautionary measure of the current quarantine rules and testing for travellers into the UK from France was meant to significantly reduce the risk of importing cases of the Beta variant, preventing community clusters or outbreaks.

From 8 August, arrivals from and those who have transited through France in the last ten days who have been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency do not need to quarantine. They are still expected to take a day two test.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of (a) using the existing 2020-21 flu vaccination list for all future covid-19 booster vaccines and (b) the potential merits of using that list to protect all vulnerable people, including those with asthma who take daily Inhaled steroids.

We are preparing for a potential booster vaccination programme from the autumn. Whilst we are planning for several potential scenarios, final decisions on the timing and scope of the booster programme will not be taken until later this year, in line with results from key clinical studies and independent advice from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). The JCVI will review the emerging scientific evidence from studies on co-administering the flu and COVID-19 vaccines safely, alongside data supplied by manufacturers, to inform the Government in the decision-making process.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 181447 on Coronavirus: Vaccination, for what reason The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guideline and Bloom et al were not used by the JCVI in determining the vaccination priority list.

The definitions used by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) were based on evidence of the risk from COVID-19 disease as set out by OpenSAFELY and QCOVID.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline on severe asthma was based on European Respiratory Society and American Thoracic Society definitions of severe asthma, which are not related to the risk of hospitalisation associated with COVID-19 disease. Similarly, the Bloom et al definition is not based on COVID-19 disease risk. Therefore, these definitions were not used. The JCVI has advised that all adults should be offered COVID-19 vaccination, unless it is contraindicated.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to (a) the definition of severe asthma set out in paragraph 1.2 of the NICE 2020 publication, COVID-19 rapid guideline: severe asthma and (b) the article by Bloom et al published in The Lancet on 4 March 2021, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of prioritising all asthmatics in (i) phase 2 and (ii) future phases including booster shots of the covid-19 vaccine rollout; and whether the JCVI considered the NICE guidelines on covid-19 and severe asthma when setting out the approach to covid-19 vaccination roll out in the UK.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) considered data from OpenSAFELY and QCOVID in determining the risk of COVID-19 in those with asthma and in determining which individuals with asthma were at significant risk of mortality from COVID-19 in phase one of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The JCVI concluded that only a subset of those with asthma are at clinically higher risk from COVID-19. This group is defined by data from OpenSAFELY and QCOVID as adults with asthma who require continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guideline Bloom et al were not used.

For phase two, the JCVI concluded that there is good evidence that the risks of hospitalisation and critical care admission from COVID-19 increase with age. The JCVI advised that the offer of vaccination during phase two is age-based starting with the oldest adults first. The JCVI has not advised prioritisation of any sub-groups and is currently considering the need for and timing of future phases and booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Their advice will be published in due course.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a one-off bonus-payment for NHS and social care workers in England; and what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the affordability of such a payment.

We are looking to the independent Pay Review Bodies (PRBs) for a recommendation on NHS pay, who consider a range of factors, including, motivation, morale and affordability. The Department and HM Treasury work together closely during the PRB process.

As the PRBs are independent of the Government, we cannot pre-judge their recommendations. Once received, we will take time to carefully consider their recommendations before responding.

The vast majority of care workers are employed by private sector providers who ultimately set their pay and remuneration, independent of central Government. Local authorities work with care providers to determine a fair rate of pay based on local market conditions

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) dentists and (b) frontline health staff working in private dental practices will be prioritised for the covid-19 vaccine.

In line with the guidance and the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, anyone defined as a frontline healthcare worker is prioritised in cohort two, whether they work for the National Health Service or a private healthcare provider. This includes dentists and dental staff.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what scientific evidence informed the recommendation of the level for vitamin D supplementations.

United Kingdom vitamin D recommendations are based on advice from the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN). The SACN is an advisory committee of independent experts that advises the Government on nutrition-related matters.

In its 2016 report on vitamin D and health, the SACN carried out an extensive and robust assessment of the evidence on vitamin D and a wide range of musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal health outcomes, including infection. The SACN report is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sacn-vitamin-d-and-health-report

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people with settled status need to prove their status before they can receive the covid-19 vaccine.

Entitlement to free National Health Service treatment is generally based on ordinary residence in the United Kingdom. A person who can show they have taken up ordinary residence in the UK can access all NHS services immediately, including COVID-19 vaccinations, based on clinical need. This will be on a free of charge basis. They can apply to register with a general practitioner practice near where they now live.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to prioritise people in care home settings with learning disabilities for covid-19 vaccination; and if he will take steps to ensure that those people are vaccinated with higher priority than priority level six in the context of the covid-19 mortality rate among adults with learning disabilities.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advise the Government on which vaccine(s) the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation.

As the highest risk of mortality increases with age, the JCVI advise that care home residents, their staff and those over 80 years old should be the first group to receive the vaccine. Adults with Down's syndrome and people with a severe and profound learning disability are also prioritised to receive the vaccine; they are within the fourth and sixth vaccine prioritisation groups respectively.

With regards to prioritising vaccines for people in care home settings with learning disabilities higher than in their current group six category, we will continue to review the evidence and advice from the JCVI as it emerges to determine if this is required.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Oct 2020
What steps his Department is taking to increase the number of mental health hubs in the community.

The NHS Long Term Plan set out a vision for providing integrated mental health support across primary and community services to ensure people can access the care, treatment and support at the earliest point of need.

All local areas have received funding to develop and deliver these new models of integrated care by 2023-24. The Government has not prescribed the form these should take though they may take the form of community mental health hubs.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jun 2021
What steps he has taken to secure international co-operation on the Leaders Pledge for Nature to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 for sustainable development.

We are working to build support for the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, and 88 countries so far have signed up. I am pleased that in the last two weeks, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Guyana, and Suriname have also signed up. Just last weekend, the Prime Minister secured commitments from G7 Leaders to work together to tackle biodiversity loss, including to protect at least 30% of global land and ocean by 2030.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to encourage the Ethiopian Government to cease hostilities, especially in Tigray Province to prevent an escalation of the conflict and civil war and; what support his Department has offered to help guarantee unhindered humanitarian access and the restoration of basic services in Tigray.

The UK is concerned by the violence between federal and regional forces in the Tigray region. The Foreign Secretary called Prime Minister Abiy on 10 November to raise our concerns and stress the urgent need for de-escalation and for unfettered humanitarian access. He reiterated these messages when he met Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke on 25 November. I also reiterated this in my tweets of 24 and 19 November and when I spoke with the Ethiopian Ambassador in London on 18 November. We will continue to track the situation and to raise with the Government of Ethiopia and regional leaders these concerns, our concerns about civilian deaths and casualties, and the importance of respect for human rights.

We are contributing to UN-led planning efforts for Tigray. It is important that agreement between the UN and the Ethiopian Government, which permits access to government controlled areas of Tigray, also quickly paves the way for unfettered access to those areas that remain contested. We are in close contact with UK-funded humanitarian agencies there to understand humanitarian needs and what programme adaptations are required, as well as monitoring the regional situation. In Ethiopia, the UK provides funds to the UN's World Food Programme (WFP), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund, to provide food assistance, shelter, water and sanitation, health, nutrition and protection support. In Sudan, flexible UK funding to WFP and the UNHCR is already helping new refugees from Ethiopia to receive emergency assistance, including shelter and food. These agencies have proven themselves capable of working in high risk contexts, in Ethiopia and elsewhere, and for managing UK funds adeptly.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the personal allowance in proportion to rises in the National Minimum Wage to ensure as much tax-free income as possible is earned by people on the lowest wages; and what steps he is taking increase the personal allowance to protect as many as people as possible on the lowest earnings from the effects of inflation.

The Government remains committed to protecting the living standards of the lowest earners and has taken action to do this. Increases to the real terms value of the Personal Allowance by nearly 50 per cent in the last decade mean that, compared to 2010-11, a typical basic rate taxpayer will pay over £800 less Income Tax in 2021-22.

The Government must also ensure the sustainability of the public finances to fund excellent public services and has done so in a fair and progressive way by maintaining the Income Tax Personal Allowance and Higher Rate Threshold at 2021-22 levels. The 20 per cent highest income households will contribute 15 times that of the 20 per cent lowest income households.

At £12,570, the Personal Allowance is the highest basic personal tax allowance of all countries in the G20, and it remains one of the most generous internationally.

On 1 April 2021, following the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission (LPC), workers on the National Living Wage saw a 2.2 per cent pay increase to £8.91 an hour. The Government remains committed to supporting low paid workers and looks forward to receiving the recommendations for the 2022 National Living and Minimum Wage rates from the independent LPC this Autumn.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the briefing note published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies on 31 March 2020, and its finding that public spending per person in Scotland is over 30 per cent higher than equivalent English funding, if he will review the Barnett formula to take account of (a) recent trends in the level of Scotland’s population growth and (b) the cost of living in that country.

The government sets out funding arrangements for the Devolved Administrations in the Statement of Funding Policy (SFP), which was most recently updated at the 2020 Spending Review and is kept under review. The 2020 SFP states that the Barnett formula continues to perform a key part of the arrangements for pooling and sharing risks and resources across the UK. This means that a downturn in one area can be supported by other areas, rather than being dependent on local economic conditions – and a windfall can be shared with other areas. It ensures the devolved administrations receive a population share of changes in relevant funding consistent with the wider principles set out in the SFP.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make a root-and-branch assessment of the implications of the business models of large internet companies for his policies on state aid and tax avoidance.

Ensuring an effective solution to the challenges related to the taxation of the digital economy is a priority for the Government. In April 2020, the Government introduced a Digital Services Tax which ensures digital businesses pay UK tax that reflects the value they derive from UK users. The Government is also strongly supportive of OECD negotiations which seek to come to a global consensus agreement on the taxation of the digital economy.

Regarding subsidy control, following the end of the transition period, the UK also has the freedom to design a new domestic regime. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently published a consultation seeking views on the approach the Government should take.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the minimum income guarantee.

It is for Local Authorities to set Minimum Income Guarantee rates in their area, subject to nationally mandated floors. At the 2019 Spending Round we gave LAs access to up to an additional £1.5bn for social care, on top of existing grants. More widely, we will urgently seek a cross-government consensus to bring forward proposals and legislation for long-term care reform.
Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether sustainable farming activities under the Agriculture Bill will be deemed active practices and benefit farmers for the purposes of VAT and inheritance tax legislation; and if he will make a statement.

HMRC will consider the tax implications of any detailed proposals.

8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether people who have not applied for the EU Settlement Scheme and have instead applied for British Citizenship and (a) have or (b) have not received their citizenship by 30 June retain the right to remain.

People who have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme but have applied for and are granted British citizenship will have the right of abode in the UK. If they were lawfully resident in the UK under EU law as an EEA citizen at the end of the transition period, they will continue to enjoy relevant rights under the Citizens’ Rights Agreements even if they did not obtain EU Settlement Scheme status before they were granted British citizenship.

Those who have not been granted British citizenship and have not applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 will not have the right to remain in the UK after that date. If there are reasonable grounds for the person missing the deadline to apply to the scheme, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

A person who has applied for and not yet received British citizenship can ensure they are in the UK lawfully after 30 June 2021 by making a free of charge application to the EU Settlement Scheme by that date.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether EU citizens with permanent residency status in the UK need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme by June 2021.

Permanent residence is a status derived from EU law.

EU citizens with this status need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for a UK immigration status by 30 June 2021 in order to continue living in the UK after that date.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many of the 20,000 new police officers she plans to allocate to North Norfolk; and what her Department's timescale is for deploying additional police officers to North Norfolk.

The Government is delivering on the people’s priorities by recruiting 20,000 additional police officers over the next three years.

Norfolk Police has been allocated 67 officers in year one of the uplift, to be recruited by the end of March 2021. This is supported by an increase of up to £11.4m in 2020/21. Decisions on the allocation of officers for years two and three are yet to be taken.

Decisions on the deployment of officers within a force area are operational decisions for Chief Constables.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the (a) cash and (b) percentage change was in the Band D precept for the Greater London Authority in (i) real and (ii) cash terms between (A) 2009-10 and 2016-17 and (B) 2017-18 and 2020-21.

The Greater London Authority precept charged in the 32 London boroughs decreased by £33.82 (10.9%) between 2009-10 and 2016-17; a real terms (CPI) decrease of £71.81 (23.2%). Between 2017-18 and 2020-21, it increased by £52.05 (18.6%); a real terms (CPI) increase of £31.10 (13.2%).

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what comparative assessment he has made of the level of council tax in the (a) 2021-22 and (b) 2010-11 financial years by local authority area.

Based on the latest OBR forecasts, the average council tax bill in England in 2021/22 would be 1.7% lower in real terms (RPI) than in 2010/11.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent steps his Department has taken to support renters; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a (a) compulsory and (b) permanent ban on rental increases in (i) private, (ii) public and (iii) shared ownership housing after the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has no plans to ban rent increases and we have put in place an unprecedented package of support to protect renters during this period.

We have legislated to increase notice periods to 6 months in all but the most serious circumstances and bailiffs have been asked not to enforce evictions across England whilst the new, toughened national restrictions apply from 5 November. The only exceptions to this will be the most egregious cases, including cases of illegal occupation, fraud, where tenants have demonstrated anti-social behaviour or are the perpetrator of domestic abuse in social housing and where a property is unoccupied following the death of a tenant. We also intend to introduce an exemption for extreme pre-Covid rent arrears and will provide more detail in due course.

Together with the pause on evictions starting in December, this means that evictions will not be enforced in England until 11 January at the earliest, except in the most serious circumstances.

These measures build on the Government’s major economic package of support to help renters continue to meet their housing costs, including the Chancellor’s recent announcement to extend the Job Retention Scheme to March 2021 .

We have also strengthened the welfare safety-net with an over £9 billion boost to the welfare system, which includes an extra £1 billion to increase Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates so that they cover the lowest 30 per cent of market rents. For renters who require additional support, there is also an existing £180 million of Government funding for Discretionary Housing Payments made available this year, an increase of £40 million from last year, which is for councils to distribute to support renters needing additional help.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to limit second home ownership.

The Government has introduced a series of measures to help mitigate second home ownership. In 2013 the Government removed the requirement for local authorities to offer a discount on second homes enabling them to charge the full rate of council tax. Additionally, in April 2016, the Government introduced a 3 per cent higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) for those purchasing additional properties.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)