Faisal Rashid Portrait

Faisal Rashid

Labour - Former Member for Warrington South


Division Voting information

Faisal Rashid has voted in 391 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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All Debates

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
Greg Hands (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(16 debate interactions)
Barry Gardiner (Labour)
(12 debate interactions)
Bill Esterson (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Business and Industrial Strategy)
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for International Trade
(35 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(25 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(18 debate contributions)
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View all Faisal Rashid's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Faisal Rashid

21st October 2019
Faisal Rashid signed this EDM on Tuesday 22nd October 2019

Racism in football

Tabled by: Catherine West (Labour - Hornsey and Wood Green)
That this House condemns the appalling racism at the Haringey Borough v. Yeovil Town FA Cup game on 19 October; applauds the Haringey players and management for their brave and principled decision to walk off in the face of such abuse; calls on the Football Association to ensure that those …
59 signatures
(Most recent: 16 Dec 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 34
Conservative: 6
Independent: 5
Liberal Democrat: 5
Scottish National Party: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Plaid Cymru: 1
Green Party: 1
The Independent Group for Change: 1
16th October 2019
Faisal Rashid signed this EDM on Friday 18th October 2019

Compass PLC and Blackpool and St Helens workers

Tabled by: Gordon Marsden (Labour - Blackpool South)
That his House notes that hospital cleaning workers employed by the private contractor Compass Group PLC at Blackpool Victoria are currently in dispute with Compass over that company's failure to award them a decent pay rise to give them the same hourly rates as the NHS colleagues they work alongside, …
17 signatures
(Most recent: 28 Oct 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 13
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Conservative: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Independent: 1
View All Faisal Rashid's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Faisal Rashid, 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.


Faisal Rashid has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Faisal Rashid has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Faisal Rashid


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 remove certain restrictions on trade unions conducting business in workplaces; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 15th May 2019
(Read Debate)

Faisal Rashid has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


140 Written Questions

(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
14th Dec 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons students are included in migration statistics.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Feb 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what criteria the Government uses to award contracts to private companies.

Public sector procurers are required to assess value for money using criteria linked to the subject matter of the contract, including compliance with the published specification.

Regulations covering selection and award criteria are included in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/102/contents/made

Oliver Dowden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
31st Jan 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2018 to Question 121455, if he will publish the robust contingency plans referred to.

Our arrangements contain commercially sensitive information it would not be appropriate to publish them.

Oliver Dowden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
16th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when she plans to bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that restaurant staff receive 100 per cent of their tips.

The Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill, announced as part of the Queen’s Speech, is a key part of the Government’s commitment to building fairer workplaces for all.

The Government plans to introduce this legislation in the current Parliamentary session, requiring employers to pass on 100 per cent of tips and service charges to their workers. Where employers distribute tips, they will be required to do so fairly and transparently.

We expect over 1 million workers to benefit from this legislation, many of whom earn the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage.

14th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that executive (a) salaries and (b) bonuses reflect the performance of the companies they run.

The existing legal framework provides full transparency about directors’ remuneration arrangements, including on salaries and bonuses, and gives shareholders a strong say on pay.

Since 2013, the law has required quoted companies to prepare a directors’ remuneration policy. This must set out how the company proposes to pay directors, including every element of remuneration that a director is entitled to and how it supports the company’s long-term strategy and performance. Companies are required to put the remuneration policy to a binding shareholder vote at least once every three years.

Companies must also publish an annual remuneration report showing how the approved pay policy has been implemented, including a single figure for the total pay directors received that year. This report is subject to an annual advisory vote. If the company loses this vote, it is required to put a new remuneration policy to shareholders the following year.

Alongside the legislative requirements, the UK Corporate Governance Code includes principles and provisions setting out how companies should approach executive remuneration, including a principle that executive remuneration should be “aligned to company purpose and values and be clearly linked to the successful delivery of the company’s long-term strategy”. The Financial Conduct Authority’s Listing Rules require companies to make a report in their corporate governance statement to enable shareholders to evaluate how the principles have been applied.

23rd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to nationalise British Steel.

Nationalisation would change the ownership of the plant, but not how it operates. It would require the Government to take on the company’s outstanding financial obligations and may not provide the necessary legal security and protection for taxpayers’ investment.

Once nationalised, in line with strict state aid rules for steel, the Government would have to act in the same was as any private owner, thinking principally of making a profit.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has taken steps to ensure that the new Smart Export Guarantee scheme will be in place before the Feed-in Tariffs scheme ends.

The Feed-in Tariffs scheme will close to new applicants, subject to certain time limited grace periods and extensions, on 31 March 2019.

On 8 January, the Government published a consultation on the future for small-scale low-carbon generation, providing visibility of the proposals for a Smart Export Guarantee. This consultation will close on 5 March; responses will be analysed to inform future policy development, and government will respond in due course.

15th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, apart from Hinkley Point, what plans the Government has to construct new nuclear power stations.

As my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State said in his statement to the House on 17 January, this Government continues to believe that nuclear has a vital role to play in the UK’s energy future as we transition to the low carbon economy, but it must represent good value for taxpayers and consumers. We understand that developers are actively engaged in planning of nuclear power stations at Sizewell C and Bradwell. Discussions with Hitachi in respect of the future of the Wylfa and Oldbury sites are ongoing.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Industrial Strategy for Construction 2025, published in 2013, what progress his Department has made on the introduction of a licensing scheme for building companies to protect consumers from rogue traders.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 2nd November to Question 184422. We remain in a dialogue with the industry about this and other issues, as part of our regular discussions with the construction sector.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government’s Industrial Strategy for Construction 2025, published in 2013, whether his Department has made plans to introduce a licensing scheme for building companies to protect consumers from rogue traders.

The Construction Sector Deal sets a strategy for improving the competitiveness of the UK construction sector through investing in innovation and skills development, and through improving business practices within the sector. It does not include a commitment to introduce a licensing scheme for the construction sector. We remain is a dialogue with the industry about this and other issues, as part of our regular discussions with the construction sector.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the effect on productivity of excluding under 25 year olds from receiving the National Living Wage.

Workers under 25 are entitled to the National Minimum Wage (NMW), which is designed to ensure younger workers are fairly rewarded, while protecting the employment prospects of those workers. For younger workers, the priority in those years is to secure work and gain experience – something that has always been reflected in the NMW rate structure.

Age-related rates protect younger workers who are more vulnerable in the labour market. For example, between January to March 2018, the unemployment rate for people aged 16 to 24 was 12 per cent compared to 3 per cent for those aged 25 and over.

All of the NLW and NMW rates are recommended by the independent Low Pay Commission (LPC). The LPC is carrying out a review of the youth rate structure to see if the current structure best supports their remit. They are due to provide their advice to Government in Spring 2019.

6th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the US’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports on the British steel and aluminium industries.

Total US imports of steel from the UK in 2017 were 351 thousand tonnes with a value of £360m. This represents 5% of UK steel production in 2017, in tonnage. For aluminium, the equivalent figures were nine thousand tonnes with a value of £29m. We are working closely with the steel and aluminium industries to assess the potential impact of these measures.

Lord Harrington of Watford
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has plans to provide free TV licences to people over the age of 75 after the end of the current scheme in 2020.

The government agreed with the BBC at the 2015 funding settlement that responsibility for the concession will transfer to the BBC in 2020. It is entirely the BBC’s decision on the future of the concession. However, we have been clear that we would want and expect the concession to continue.

13th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has had discussions with the Rugby Football League on women's rugby league.

I have regular discussions with national governing bodies of sport, including the Rugby Football League (RFL), on a range of issues including women's rugby league. I recently wrote to the Chief Executive of RFL to outline the progress made in women’s sport and make clear that I am keen that they continue to improve investment in women's rugby league.

26th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will increase funding for Sure Start in the next Budget.

Local authorities have a duty under the Childcare Act 2006 to ensure there are sufficient Sure Start children’s centres to meet the needs of local families. Funding for children’s services (including children’s centres) is made available through the local government finance settlement. In addition, other government funding, including that for public health, adult skills training and troubled families may also be used locally to support services delivered wholly, or in part, through children’s centres. Children’s services funding for 2020-21 and beyond will be determined in the Spending Review.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
6th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if the Government will bring forward plans to reduce university tuition fees to £7,500.

The independent panel’s report to government forms an important step in the Review of Post-18 Education and Funding. The government will consider the panel’s recommendations carefully and will conclude the review at the Spending Review. The government has not yet taken decisions with regards to the recommendations put forward.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making yoga available as part of the school curriculum; and if he will make a statement.

The Department for Education recognises the benefits that activities such as yoga and meditation can have on promoting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils and in helping the building of character. The department has no plans to review the national curriculum. It will remain up to schools to decide what specific activities to offer to their pupils.

Schools are free to organise and deliver a diverse and challenging curriculum that suits the needs of all of their pupils. Pupils can participate in yoga as part of the PE curriculum, which is designed to ensure that all pupils develop competence to excel in a broad range of physical activities, are physically active for sustained periods of time and lead healthy and active lives.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
1st Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will (a) bring forward legislative proposals to require local authorities to provide food waste bins and (b) allocate funding to local authorities to provide those waste bins.

The Government set out its commitment to working towards zero food waste to landfill by 2030 in the Resources and Waste Strategy which we published in 2018.

Our recent ‘consultation on consistency in household and business recycling collections in England’ sought views on the collection of food waste from households. The majority of respondents were in favour of this measure. Government has therefore said that it will bring in legislation so that all English local authorities have a duty to collect food waste separately from other waste every week so that this food waste can be recycled or composted.

The Government has committed to funding any new additional burdens arising from this new statutory duty to local authorities including provision of equipment such as food waste bins.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to designate areas in England and Wales for wild camping.

Access is a devolved matter and this answer relates only to England. Landowners may permit people to camp outside of designated campsites. There are no current plans for the Government to designate any areas for wild camping in England. Dartmoor National Park Authority has a map of wild camping areas.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
22nd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to respond to the public consultation on the Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, published in February 2019.

The consultation on proposals to introduce a deposit return scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland closed on 13 May. Policy officials are currently analysing the responses, and the analysis of responses and the Government’s response will be published in due course.

Thérèse Coffey
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to match the funding provided by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development after the UK leaves the EU.

In line with its manifesto promise, the Government will continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of this parliament. Future funding decisions will reflect the Government’s aim of securing a better future for UK agriculture, for rural communities and for the environment.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
24th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what funding his Department has allocated to programmes supporting the payment of living wages in global value chains; and whether that funding is supporting workers in the cocoa sector.

DFID is investing more than £1.2 billion in bilateral agriculture programmes, many of which support smallholders in global value chains, including cocoa. DFID does not categorise its programme spend according to the nature of different value chains given the significant additional burden this would place on projects if the data was to be robust.

DFID is a founding member of the Living Income Community of Practice and is partnering with the UN Foundation, CARE, and the Fourth Sector Group, to explore how we can encourage the growth of more “for benefit” businesses in the cocoa supply chain. It also supports the Ethical Trade Initiative to improve worker’s rights in global supply chains. This includes working with companies to improve the application of human rights and providing direct remediation of labour rights violations for vulnerable workers.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to his Department's Economic Development Strategy, what steps he is taking to track progress towards the achievement of living incomes in developing countries.

DFID tracks progress on living incomes for the poor through global progress against the targets under Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG 8) – to deliver sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. DFID measures the contribution its projects make by reporting on the “Number of people supported to have raised incomes and better jobs or livelihoods”. This includes beneficiaries who we have supported to raise their income, which alone amounted to 2.2 million people between 2015/16 and 2018/19.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
5th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what funding her Department has allocated to programmes supporting the payment of living wages in global value chains; and whether this funding is supporting workers in the cocoa sector.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to her Department's Economic Development Strategy, what steps she is taking to track progress towards the achievement of living incomes in developing countries.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jul 2019
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the humanitarian situation on the US-Mexico border.

I share the hon Gentleman’s concerns about the reports of poor conditions and overcrowding in US detention facilities on the border with Mexico.

I very much welcome the steps already taken by the Administration and Congress to address these issues, including the emergency funding signed off by the President on 1 July.

These are difficult issues, and the UK has also struggled sometimes to get this right.

But we very much encourage our US friends to continue to work to improve the conditions in these facilities.

I have seen the excellent work the US has done around the world to promote human rights, and so it is important that they uphold these standards as they continue to tackle the situation at the US-Mexico border.

24th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will guarantee continued market access to the UK on current terms for exports from (a) Ghana, (b) Cameroon, (c) Côte d’Ivoire, (d) Kenya and (e) South Africa in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The Government is seeking continuity in our trading arrangements on leaving the EU.

Most recently, on 10 September 2019, the UK initialled an Economic Partnership Agreement with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique (including South Africa). We will work at pace with our Southern African partners to sign the agreement and subsequently bring it into effect as quickly as possible.

We are continuing to work with other partner countries, including Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Kenya, to maintain their market access and replicate the effects of EU arrangements for when we need them, whether that is in the event of a no deal, or after an implementation period.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
24th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans he has to develop fair and ethical trade.

As outlined in the White Paper, Preparing for our future UK trade policy, the Government is committed to a fair and rules-based approach to international trade. The UK has long supported the promotion of our values globally and this will continue as we leave the European Union.

The Department for International Trade and the Department for International Development are working together to ensure development and global prosperity are at the heart of UK trade and investment policy. We do this in several ways, including:

  • enhancing market access for poor countries through our trading arrangements;

  • ensuring that they can take advantage of this access through trade-related assistance (Aid for Trade); and

  • using our voice in organisations like the World Trade Organisation to argue for better and fairer trading rules for developing countries.

The Government will pursue economic prosperity for the UK and lead by example through our pursuit of free and fair trade.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
5th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will guarantee continued market access to the UK on current terms to (a) Ghana, (b) Cameroon, (c) Côte d’Ivoire, (d) Kenya and (e) South Africa in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
5th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what plans she has to develop fair and ethical trade.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
5th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal on exporters to the UK based in developing countries.

Our first priority is to deliver continuity in our trading arrangements with developing countries on leaving the EU to minimise trade disruption.

The Taxation (Cross-Border Trade) Act enables the UK to put in place a UK trade preferences scheme for developing countries. This will provide the same level of access as the current EU trade preference scheme by granting duty-free, quota-free access to around 48 Least Developed Countries and tariff reductions to other developing countries.

It remains our priority to replicate the effects of seven EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries. The UK has signed EPAs with Eastern and Southern Africa states, Pacific states and CARIFORUM states. This will provide continuity for businesses, exporters and consumers as the UK prepares to leave the EU. We are continuing to work with other partner countries to have agreements in place ready for when we need them, whether that is in the event of no deal, or after an implementation period.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
6th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the US’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports on international trade relations.

We have a long-standing and special relationship with the US. The US and UK are strong partners and allies and the US-UK economic and security relationship is crucially important.

As the Prime Minister outlined to President Trump, when she raised the UK's concerns relating to these tariffs on 4 March, multilateral action is the best way to resolve the problem of global overcapacity, in commodities such as steel and aluminium. The Government is continuing to make representations to the US Administration, at the highest levels on the proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the US’s proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports on the future negotiation of a strong trading partnership between the US and UK after the UK has left the EU.

The United States and United Kingdom are strong partners and allies. The US-UK bilateral trading relationship is an important one and vital to our economy. Total trade between the UK and US in 2016 was £167.6bn and both sides have committed to deepening our commercial relationship further.

The Government has made representations to the US Administration at the highest levels, on the proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, including when the Prime Minister raised the UK's concerns with President Trump.

We will continue our positive and productive conversations with the US, on strengthening our bilateral trade and investment relationship, through the UK-US Trade and Investment Working Group.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on replacing the Northern Rail franchise.

We are developing contingency plans for the replacement of the current franchise with either a new short-term management contract with Northern or the Operator of Last Resort (OLR). If we find the operator to be in default of its current contract and that default was material and not capable of remedy, we have the right to terminate the current franchise. If such a right is exercised, a decision on next steps will be based on a full and rigorous analysis into what delivers the best outcomes for passengers and taxpayers and what would best enable the implementation of the forthcoming recommendations of the Williams Review.

We will take a decision once we have the full information, and will provide Parliament with a full update on these next steps at the appropriate time.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
17th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that the rail industry is accountable to Government.

The Department works closely with the rail industry to ensure it is held accountable, with regular meetings between industry and Ministers and officials. A number of robust reporting and risk management processes are in place to support this work. The Williams Rail Review will also consider the role of the Department as part of its thinking on wider reform.

3rd Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make it his policy to allow the Northern Rail franchise to be publicly run.

Alongside Transport for the North, who co-manage the franchise, our absolute priority is delivering the services that passengers expect. At a time when performance is improving and brand-new trains have been successfully introduced onto the network only this week to replace the unpopular and dated Pacers, major change could result in significant disruption. We see no reason at this stage to consider making changes to the franchise.

3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making the wearing of helmets compulsory for cyclists.

The Government’s 2018 cycling and walking safety review considered this matter carefully. The Government’s response to the safety review, published in November 2018, summarises the arguments for and against making helmets compulsory, and explains the Government’s position. In short, the Government will continue to encourage cyclists to wear helmets, but believes that this should remain a matter of individual choice. The Government has committed to undertake three actions over the next two years as part of its cycling and walking safety action plan. First, it will continue to promote and encourage cyclists to wear helmets, especially children. Secondly, the Government will provide strengthened advice on fitting of cycle helmets for children, as part of wider advice on use of safety equipment and attire when cycling. Thirdly, the Government will review evidence and international experience on mandatory helmets for children and provide clear guidance to help parents choose what is appropriate for their child.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will fund local authorities to provide free bus travel for people under the age of 25.

Local authorities are currently empowered to offer local travel concessions under concessionary travel legislation. If they wish to do so, local authorities are able to offer discounted travel to young people. In addition, bus operators can offer discounted travel for young people - bus operators in 71 of the 89 TCA areas in England outside of London offered some form of discounted travel for young people in 2018/19. In addition, there is a statutory scheme for certain eligible children to receive free school transport.

14th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much Government subsidy the Northern railway franchise will receive in the next financial year.

The originally contracted annual subsidy amount payable to Arriva Rail North for 2019/20 was £221m in 2015/16 prices.

However, these amounts will be subject to a number of changes in line with the provisions of the contract, many of which are not currently quantified and won’t be finalised until the after the financial year has ended.

17th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to resolve the industrial dispute affecting the Northern Rail network.

The industrial dispute is a matter between Northern, its employees and their union representative in which the Government cannot intervene directly. However, the Government is keen for these strikes to end. They are having a big impact on the people and businesses of so many communities across the North. The Government has written to the Rail North Partnership (through which the Department and Transport for the North co-manage the Northern franchise) expressing our clear support for a second member of staff on Northern trains who is focused on delivering excellent customer service. Northern have now confirmed to the RMT that there will continue to be a second appropriately trained member of staff on board the trains, and have guaranteed jobs and pay will be protected. The Government therefore continues to call on both parties to engage in talks and resolve the dispute.

18th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will end the toll on the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

The Government has no plans to end tolling on the Mersey Gateway Bridge. This is a responsibility for Halton Borough Council.

11th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment the Government has made of merits of lowering the age of eligibility for the older person’s bus pass to 60 years old nationwide.

Restoring the previous age of eligibility for concessionary bus travel to sixty would re-create the anomaly of some non-disabled people of working-age, some of whom may be on significant wages, being entitled to a free bus pass, which was not the original intention of the national bus concessionary scheme. Re-establishing the link between concessionary bus pass eligibility and the state pension age addresses that issue and will also help the financial sustainability of the scheme.

Local authorities have the discretion to offer concessionary travel to those who are yet to reach the qualifying age, such as have been introduced in London and Liverpool.

29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department’s policy is on awarding contracts to companies which have recently issued profit warnings.

The Department’s remit within the transport sector is primarily delivered through its Arm’s Length Bodies: Network Rail, Highways England and High Speed Two Ltd. Assessments of a company’s ability to deliver its obligations is performed during each procurement exercise by those bodies.

14th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to amend the Pension Protection Fund rules to allow people with pre-April 1997 pensionable service to receive increases to their pension of up to 2.5 per cent.

The Pension Protection Fund is a well-established compensation scheme with cross party support. Without the Pension Protection Fund, most company insolvencies would mean that members of Defined Benefit pension schemes could be facing significant financial insecurity in retirement. The Pension Protection Fund was never intended to replicate scheme benefits in their entirety.

There are ongoing court cases relating to the Pension Protection Fund compensation and so it would be inappropriate to comment further until the final judgments have been handed down. Once the litigation is concluded we will review the position.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publicise to eligible pensioners their right to claim pension credit.

It is important to highlight that there are over 1.6 million people already claiming some £5.4 billion in Pension Credit but the Government wants to ensure that all pensioners eligible can claim the Pension Credit to which they are rightly entitled.

On a national basis the DWP targets activity on engaging with people who may be eligible to Pension Credit at pivotal stages, such as when they claim State Pension or report a change in their circumstances. The DWP uses a wide range of channels to communicate information about benefits including Pension Credit to potential customers; including information on https://gov.uk/, in leaflets and by telephone.

We know that often the best ways to reach eligible customers is through trusted stakeholders working in the community. That is why we have developed and resourced the Pension Credit toolkit which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pension-credit-toolkit and contains resources for anyone working with pensioners and includes guides to Pension Credit. It also contains publicity material and guidance designed to help older people understand how they could get Pension Credit and help organisations support someone applying for Pension Credit as well as ideas for encouraging take-up.

In addition, the Pension Credit calculator https://www.gov.uk/pension-credit-calculator enables potential customer to check if they are likely to be eligible and get an estimate of what they may receive; and of course the easiest way to make a Pension Credit claim is via the Freephone number 0800 99 1234.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to ensure that state pensions for UK citizens living overseas increase at the same rate as pensions for pensioners who remain in the UK.

The UK State Pension is payable worldwide. It is up-rated for overseas residents where there is a legal requirement to do so and it is up-rated abroad at the same rate as in the UK.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to increase (a) funding and (b) staffing of the Child Maintenance Service.

Child Maintenance Service funding and staffing is determined as part of the funding settlement that DWP receives to provide the range of services that it provides. DWP, along with all other Government Departments, is currently agreeing its budgets for the approaching Spending Review period with HM Treasury. No decisions on the level of future budgets has been agreed at this point but is expected to be resolved in the latter part of 2019.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her Department's policy to process mandatory reconsiderations for personal independence payment claims within 15 working days.

Mandatory reconsideration (MR) decisions are made without delay, but the focus is on making sure that the decision under dispute is thoroughly reviewed not on how long it takes to review it.

We are engaging with stakeholders to explore how we can improve the MR process. We have recently implemented a new approach in PIP which includes contacting claimants, where appropriate, to see if there is information that would enable us to change the decision ourselves. To support this, we are investing additional time for communication, evidence gather and review – including providing time for claimants to provide more information - which means that some cases can take longer. However, this approach supports our aim - to make the right decision as early as possible - so claimants don’t need to progress to the appeal stage.

9th May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress he has made on the review into 1.6 million personal independent payment claims.

The administrative exercise to check whether claimants are eligible for more support under Personal Independence Payments, following the MH and RJ legal judgments, started in June 2018. DWP published management information on progress on checking potentially affected cases in December 2018. These figures showed that around 140,000 cases had been reviewed and cleared (as at 23rd November 2018). Figures are changing rapidly as we continue to check cases and progress is in line with our expectations. As part of December’s release, we committed to providing further updates at 6 monthly intervals.

1st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department issues to GPs on the provision of fit notes for patients who are undergoing an appeal for employment and support allowance.

The Department provides  guidance on the benefits system for GPs which is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-short-guide-to-the-benefit-system-for-general-practitioners.

18th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to extend the eligibility for widowed parents' allowance to unmarried parents.

We are currently considering how to proceed following the recent Supreme Court judgement which ruled it incompatible with ECHR principles to provide that cohabitees with children are not entitled to Widowed Parent’s Allowance. When we have looked at all the options, I will update Parliament further on this matter.

12th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to make it easier for cancer patients undergoing treatment in hospital to claim universal credit.

A claimant in hospital, regardless of their condition, has a range of options open to them to support them through their Universal Credit claim if they are unable to complete it themselves online.

Those claimants who are unable to claim online are able to make their claim by telephone and in exceptional circumstances, a hospital visit may be considered. During this visit, the visiting officer will support the claimant to make a telephony claim. If the claimant requires a hospital visit, the date of the claim will be the date of first contact, even if the claimant is not actually able to complete the claim on that same day. In cases in which the claimant is unable to manage their own affairs due to mental incapability or severe physical disability an appointee can be agreed to act on behalf of the claimant in all interactions with the Department.

All claimants receive continuous tailored support through their personal work coaches and all DWP staff in customer facing roles receive training on supporting claimants that report a health condition or disability, including those claimants who report a terminal illness. The Department are committed to ensuring that terminally ill patients are treated with sensitivity and care and receive the support they need to make a claim to Universal Credit.

In addition, staff can use our District Provision Tool to signpost claimants to relevant information about local support services. This digital tool lists local and national provision and support delivered by Jobcentre Plus, Skills Funding Agency, Skills Development Scotland, Careers Wales, other providers, local authorities, and independent and volunteer organisations.

10th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of mandatory reconsiderations for personal independence payments have (a) overturned and (b) upheld the original assessment decision in each year for which information is available.

Table 7B of the publication “Personal Independence Payment: April 2013 to October 2018” provides statistics on Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) clearances by type and month of clearance, a copy of which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2018

Not all MRs will relate to the outcome of the PIP assessment, but other aspects of the PIP process.

20th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the validity of the assessment by the National Audit Office of the value for money of universal credit.

Universal Credit delivers value for money. As the business case makes clear, Universal Credit will create net economic benefits of £34 billion over the ten years to 2026-27, for example by helping 200,000 more people into work. 83% of Universal Credit claimants are satisfied with the service that they receive.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
6th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the reasons for the number of disallowed personal independence payments claims that are successfully appealed at tribunal.

Decisions are overturned at appeal in the main because of the oral evidence provided by the claimant at the hearing; and because of new written evidence not previously seen by the department’s decision makers. Tribunals do of course also reach a different conclusion based on the same evidence. But it should be noted that since PIP was introduced, up until December 2017, of the 3.1m decisions made 4% have been overturned at appeal.

19th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 23 February 2018 to Question 128682, for what reasons the claimant service and experience survey does not include personal independence payment claimants whose claims were unsuccessful.

The claimant Service and Experience Survey (CSES) measures satisfaction with the services provided by DWP and therefore only includes within its sample those that have had contact with DWP in the previous three months to aid recall.

Historically satisfaction surveys were conducted by separate surveys of each DWP benefit group, some of which included disallowed claimants whist others did not. It was therefore decided to revert to a consistent approach across all benefits from 2015/16 and to focus on service performance rather than outcome.

For all benefits, at the time of drawing the sample, cases are live and in payment. However, between the date on which the sampke is drawn and the date in which a claimant is interviewed, some claimants may have withdrawn their claim, or had it disallowed. Some disallowed PIP claims are included for those that report a change of circumstances. These PIP claimants will still be interviewed.

19th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 23 February 2018 to Question 128682, what assessment she has made of the (a) accuracy and (b) value of the Claimant Service and Experience Survey.

The Claimant Service and Experience Survey (CSES) is an operational tool to inform delivery improvements and measure performance across ten benefits. Claimant satisfaction is measured against four areas of the DWP customer charter (getting it right, keeping you informed, ease of access and right treatment).

CSES is an externally commissioned survey and is conducted by an independent research organisation (selected through an open and rigorous competition). The design of the survey, fieldwork and outputs are extensively quality assured by DWP in line with Government Social Research guidance to ensure high standards of accuracy and robustness.

The DWP utilises the research in the following ways:

  • Performance monitoring of claimant satisfaction with services provided by DWP across benefits, to inform service design and delivery improvements;
  • Understanding claimant use of digital services and different communication channels;
  • Feeding into DWP annual report and accounts, as well as Cabinet Office equality report.
19th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 23 February 2018 to Question 128682, whether the PIP Claimant Experience Evaluation included responses from people whose claims were disallowed.

Claimants who applied but did not get a PIP award were purposely included in the evaluation. Consequently the experiences of people with different award outcomes, including those who decided to appeal, are fully reflected in the research findings.

This externally commissioned evaluation is known as the Personal Independent Payment Evaluation. It comprised of three waves of research conducted in 2016-7 and focussed on how PIP processes are working from a claimant perspective.

19th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 1 March 2018 to Question 129209, on state retirement pensions: women, if she will estimate the cost to the public purse of transitional arrangement number 23 of Table A of her Department’s response to Freedom of Information request 378/2016.

We do not have an estimate of the cost to the public purse of transitional arrangement number 23 of Table A of her Department’s response to Freedom of Information request 378/2016 as the information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2018 to Question 125256, for what reasons she will not change this long-standing policy and revoke regulation three of the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 2017.

The policy on uprating pensions abroad is a long-standing one of successive post-war Governments. UK State Pensions are payable worldwide, however they are up-rated overseas only where there is a legal requirement to do so.

There are two main reasons for not paying annual up-ratings to non-residents. First, up-ratings are based on levels of earnings growth and price inflation in the UK which have no direct relevance where the pensioner is resident overseas. Second, the cost of up-rating state pensions overseas in countries where we do not currently up-rate would increase immediately by over £0.5 billion per year if all pensions in payment were increased to current UK levels.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the number of UK pensioners who live overseas who will return to live in the UK due to the lack of uprating to state pensions.

The decision to move abroad is voluntary and remains a personal choice dependent on the circumstances of the individual. The policy on up-rating UK state pensions overseas is a long-standing policy of successive Governments. UK State Pensions are payable worldwide without regard to nationality to those people who meet the eligibility criteria and are up-rated for recipients resident abroad where there is a legal requirement to do so. HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions publish information on the effect of moving abroad on the State Pension which is available at: www.gov.uk.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her Department’s response to Freedom of Information request 378/2016, for what reasons transitional arrangements No. 22 and 23 of Table A have not been costed.

Table A shows all of the options considered by the Government during the passage of the Pensions Act 2011. At the time the options were prioritised for costing, and those which were less specific in scope were not costed.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government plans to match the funding provided by the European Social Fund after the UK leaves the EU.

The Government’s 2017 election manifesto committed to create a new UK Shared Prosperity Fund to reduce inequalities between communities across the UK. The design of this new fund is currently being considered, including its funding arrangements, and further details will be set out in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
29th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 23 January 2018 to Question 123025, if she will revoke regulation 3 of the Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations 2017.

The policy on up-rating UK state pensions overseas is a long-standing policy of successive Governments. UK State Pensions are payable worldwide without regard to nationality to those people who meet the eligibility criteria and are up-rated for recipients resident abroad where there is a legal requirement to do so. The Government has no plans to change this policy.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2017 to Question 108399, whether there are any factors legally preventing her from granting up-rated state pensions to all overseas UK pensioners regardless of whether the UK has a reciprocal agreement with their country of residence.

The Social Security Benefits Up-rating Regulations restrict for overseas residents the annual increases in certain benefits, including state pensions. This continues the long-standing policy of not up-rating the state pension in payment to people who are overseas residents, except where there is a legal requirement to up-rate for example the European Union Co-ordination Regulations and Reciprocal Agreements that allow for up-rating.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with Parkinson’s receive their medication on time.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Dissolution.

23rd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve support for autistic adults.

We are committed to supporting autistic people to live healthy, independent lives and to participate in their local communities. We are currently reviewing our cross-Government autism strategy and extending it to include children and young people. The Government expects to publish the revised all age autism strategy by the end of the calendar year.

Learning disability and autism are one of the clinical priorities in the NHS Long Term Plan which was published on 7 January 2019. The Plan has a renewed focus on supporting people with learning disabilities or autism or both by improving diagnostic pathways, reducing over-prescribing of medicines, and by ensuring people have access to high-quality care and support in the community.

22nd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) update GP guidance and (b) increase GP awareness of the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome.

General practice is where most patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) are likely to be managed, and the condition is identified as a key area of clinical knowledge in the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Applied Knowledge Test (AKT) content guide. The AKT is a summative assessment of the knowledge base that underpins general practice in the United Kingdom within the context of the National Health Service and is a key part of GPs’ qualifying exams.

In 2007, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published the clinical guideline, ‘Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (or encephalopathy): Diagnosis and management of CFS/ME in adults and children. This sets out best practice in the diagnosis, treatment, care and support of people with the condition

15th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for mental health (a) referrals and (b) treatment.

The Government is committed to ensuring that everyone who has a mental health need is able to access timely treatment based on their clinical need.

We have made ambitious commitments in the NHS Long Term Plan to make mental health services available to an extra 380,000 adults and 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 by 2023/24.

The NHS Long Term Plan commits the National Health Service to test and roll out comprehensive waiting time standards for adults and children over the next decade. This builds on the already established waiting time standards for children and young people’s eating disorder services, early intervention for psychosis that covers all ages and adult improving access to psychological therapies services which are all being met or on track for delivery by 2020/21 in line with previous commitments.

Specific waiting times targets for emergency mental health services will take effect from 2020.

The ongoing NHS clinical review of standards has reported its interim findings which set out a number of proposed future waiting time standards for testing in mental health. These include:

- assessment within 24 hours for urgent community referrals;

- seen by liaison psychiatry in accident and emergency within 1 hour from referral;

- four week waiting times for children and young people to access specialist mental health services; and

- four week waiting times for adults to community mental health teams.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
4th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will add the six-week maternal postnatal check to the GP contract.

An agreement on whether additional items will be included in the 2020/21 general practitioner (GP) contract – such as the inclusion of a specific universal maternal six-week postnatal check – will be made following negotiations between NHS England and the GP profession later this year. No decisions have been made on which issues are to be included in the negotiating remit.

Post-natal care can be delivered by a number of different providers, including midwives, health visitors and GPs. Currently, commissioners and providers should ensure that women are offered a review of their physical, emotional and social wellbeing by a healthcare professional at the end of the postnatal period (between 6-8 weeks). National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on postnatal care stipulate that a documented, individualised postnatal care plan should be developed with the woman ideally in the antenatal period or as soon as possible after birth.

The NHS Long Term Plan highlights that we will continue to work with midwives, mothers and their families to implement continuity of carer so that, by March 2021, most women receive continuity of person caring for them during pregnancy, birth and postnatally.

6th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to reverse the decision to remove nurse bursaries.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 4 March 2019 to Question 226753.

27th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if the Government will make it its policy to reinstate nurse bursaries.

The Government has no plans to reinstate the bursaries for nursing degrees and is committed to increasing uptake of the additional places these reforms have made available.

The intention of the funding reforms was to unlock the cap which constrained the number of pre-registration nursing training places, and to allow more students to gain access to nurse degree training courses, creating a sustainable model for universities and securing the future supply of homegrown nurses to the National Health Service. In support of the reforms, we announced additional clinical placement funding to make available 5,000 more nurse training places each year from September 2018 and 3,000 more midwifery training places over the next four years.

Students on the loans system are at least 25% better off than they were under the previous bursary system. In recognition of the additional costs that the healthcare students incur in order to attend the mandatory clinical placement, the Government introduced the Learning Support Fund, a £1,000 per student, per year for child dependent allowance, reimbursement of all travel costs above their usual daily travel and up to £3,000 per year for exceptional hardship. These payments are in addition to the allowances on the student loans system.

On 7 February, the University and College Admissions Service published full-time undergraduate nursing and midwifery applications made by the 15 January deadline. This data showed a 4.5% increase in applicants to undergraduate nursing and midwifery courses at English providers. We are working with Health Education England and the university sector to ensure students continue to apply for these courses this year and in future years.

19th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will ensure that social care receives a real terms increase in funding in the forthcoming comprehensive spending review.

Social care funding for future years will be settled in the spending review, where the overall approach to funding local government will be considered.

16th Oct 2018
‘To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many subject access requests have been made to GP surgeries since the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation.

This information is not held centrally.

19th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Departments policies of the conclusion of the Office for Budget Responsibility's Fiscal Sustainability Report that tax rises or budget cuts are necessary to deliver the proposed funding increases for the NHS.

The Prime Minister has announced that the National Health Service budget will grow by over £20 billion a year in real terms by 2023-24. It is now up to NHS leaders to produce a new ten-year plan, led by clinicians, professionals and supported by local health and care systems across the country. The final settlement will be confirmed at a future fiscal event, subject to a plan that delivers the efficiency, productivity, and performance improvements necessary to address the long-term cost pressures highlighted by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

As the Prime Minister set out, some of this funding will be paid for by us no longer having to send annual membership subscriptions to the European Union after we have left. The commitment the Government is making goes beyond this, and so the Prime Minister has been clear that taxpayers will have to make a greater contribution, in a fair and balanced way. The Government will listen to views about how we do this and the Chancellor will set out the details in due course.

Steve Barclay
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
19th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Education Policy Institute report, Access and waiting times in children and young people’s mental health services, published in September 2017, on the proportion of children referred to specialist mental health services who are being denied access to those services; and if he will make a statement.

We acknowledge the need for focus on early intervention in children and young people’s mental health services, as set out in the Education Policy Institute report. The additional £1.4 billion that the Government has made available to transform children and young people’s mental health services will ensure that an additional 70,000 children and young people per year will receive treatment from National Health Service specialist services by 2020. The recently published green paper on children and young people’s mental health also includes a proposal to trial a four week waiting time for access to specialist NHS children and young people’s mental health services.

16th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Education Policy Institute’s report Access and Waiting Times in Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services, what steps he plans to take to reduce the variation in waiting times for mental health treatment across the country.

The recent Green Paper, ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’, includes a proposal to trial a four week waiting time for access to specialist National Health Service children and young people’s mental health services. New Mental Health Support Teams, a further announcement in the green paper, will also enable children and young people to access earlier help for emerging problems. Both approaches will be tested using trailblazer areas, operational from 2019, to understand what works.

Two waiting time standards applicable to children and young people’s mental health are already in place; the early intervention in psychosis standard is currently exceeding its target and the children’s eating disorder standard is on track to meet its target by 2020/21.

2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make it his policy to prevent fossil fuel projects from being funded through his Department's foreign aid programmes.

The UK Green Finance Strategy, launched on 2 July 2019, included a commitment to align Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending with the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
4th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he bring forward a new protection of civilians strategy to help safeguard children in conflict zones throughout the world.

The Government is currently reviewing its strategy on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, and is committed to ensuring that its approach benefits all civilians, including children and other vulnerable groups, and that it reflects the changing international landscape and the complexity of many conflicts. The Government welcomes recent research carried out by academics and NGOs in this field and is taking their work into account as it undertakes its review. The Government aims to complete the review by the end of 2019.

2nd Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Brazilian counterpart on protecting the Amazon rainforest.

Our posts in Brazil frequently engage with the Brazilian Government on a number of environmental issues including deforestation. We have been having positive discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture and work closely with them on our International Climate Fund programmes.

We are working with Brazil to help ensure it continues to protect the Amazon and have invested nearly £120 million through the International Climate Fund on projects to limit deforestation, prevent forest fires and implement the Forestry Code in the Amazon, Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes.

4th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Government response to the Thirteenth Report of Session 2017-19 of the Foreign Affairs Committee on Human rights and the rule of law, if the Government will publish its assessment of the technical assistance it has given to Bahrain.

The UK has been providing a range of technical and practical assistance to the Government of Bahrain since 2012, in support of its reform programme. Technical assistance supports the building of effective and accountable institutions, strengthening of the rule of law, and police and justice reform. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides updates on its programme work in its annual Human Rights Reports.​

17th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has received information from his Israeli counterpart on the cause of death of the Palestinian medic Razan Al Najjar.

We have not received any information on this issue directly from the Israeli authorities, we understand that the Israeli probe into the death of Razan Al Najjar is still ongoing.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has received information from his Israeli counterpart on the cause of death of the Palestinian medic Razan Al Najjar.

We have not received any information on this issue directly from the Israeli authorities, we understand that the Israeli probe into the death of Razan Al Najjar is still ongoing.

21st Oct 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will increase the £66 million funding for early years education announced in the Spending Round 2019 by 10 per cent by 2021.

At Spending Round 2019 the government announced an additional £66m to increase the hourly rate paid to early years providers through the government’s free hours offers. The Department for Education will share further details of funding for 2020-21 in due course.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
15th Oct 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to (a) prevent pension phone scams and (b) bring people who undertake pension phone scams to justice.

The Government is committed to protecting people from pension scams, and pursuing those who perpetrate pension scams wherever possible. That is why the government established Project Bloom, a joint taskforce between government, regulators and law enforcement to share intelligence, raise awareness of scams through communications campaigns, and take enforcement action when appropriate.

Regulations to ban pensions cold calling came into force in early January 2019, using the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) as a legal framework. Firms who break the rules could face penalties of up to half a million pounds. As well as deterring cold callers by making their activities illegal, the cold calling ban makes it clear to the public that any pensions cold call they receive is illegal and likely to be a scam call.

The Government also recently amended PECR to allow fines on individual directors who consent to or connive in or neglect to prevent serious contraventions of PECR by their organisation(s). The new measure came into force in December 2018. This measure gives the Information Commissioner the power to impose civil monetary penalties of up to £500,000 on those in positions of responsibility in all forms of corporate entities.

In addition, the Government has recently provided the National Trading Standards Scams team up to £640,000 for the roll out of call blocking devices, free of charge, to vulnerable people, including old aged pensioners. The National Trading Standards launched this project on 15 October of this year.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Oct 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will increase the minimum wage to £10.50 in the next Budget.

Both the National Living Wage and the National Minimum Wage rates for younger workers and apprentices saw above inflation increases in April. The National Living Wage is currently on target to reach 60 per cent of median hourly earnings in 2020, subject to sustained economic growth. The independent Low Pay Commission will recommend next year’s rates to us later this month, and we will announce the rates at the next Budget.

The Chancellor has also announced his intention to increase the National Living Wage to two-thirds of median hourly earnings within five years. He will confirm this at the next Budget.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to ensure those affected by IR35 changes and who pay national insurance contributions will receive holiday and sick pay and other benefits associated with employment.

At present there is no direct link between employment status for rights and employment status for tax.

Those who wish to challenge their employment status for rights can take their case to an employment tribunal, regardless of their tax status. In order to modernise and enhance the enforcement of the employment rights for workers, the government is currently consulting on the proposal to introduce a new single enforcement body for employment rights. The government is also consulting on strengthening enforcement and extending entitlement to statutory sick pay.

2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to reduce the level of beer duty in Budget 2019.

The Government supports consumers, pubs and breweries. To this end, the Government has cut or frozen beer duty at six of the last seven Budgets. These actions have ensured the price of a pint of beer is 14p is lower than it otherwise would have been since ending the beer duty escalator in 2013.

All taxes are kept under review and the impact of a change to beer duty is considered at each fiscal event, including its effect on pubs and the wider economy.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
24th Jun 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what safeguards his Department has put in place to prevent online VAT fraud.

The Government has led the way in tackling this complex and international problem. A package of measures was announced at Budget 2016 to tackle abuse by overseas businesses selling goods to UK customers through online marketplaces. This included holding online marketplaces jointly liable for the future unpaid VAT of non-compliant overseas businesses and the introduction of the Fulfilment House Due Diligence Scheme which went live in April 2019. At Budget 2017 the Government strengthened the joint and several liability rules for online marketplaces to include UK businesses, where they either knew or should have known that an overseas business should have been registered for VAT and required them to display a valid VAT number where provided with one. Taken together, these measures are expected to deliver just under £1bn by 2023.

14th May 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will reduce beer duty in Budget 2019.

This government remains clear in its support for consumers, pubs and breweries, and we have taken action to this end – ensuring the price of a pint of beer is 14p is lower than it otherwise would have been since ending the beer duty escalator in 2013.

All taxes are kept under review and the impact of a change to beer duty is considered at each fiscal event, including its effect on pubs and the wider economy.

4th Apr 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will reopen the compensation scheme for Equitable Life victims.

Since 2010, we have taken more action than any previous government to resolve this issue by allocating up to £1.5bn, tax free, for payment to affected policyholders. There are no plans to allocate any further funds to the Equitable Life Payment Scheme, or reopen it.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Dec 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to implement an affordable repayment plan for people affected by the disguised remuneration loan charge.

Disguised Remuneration (DR) schemes are contrived arrangements that pay loans in place of ordinary remuneration with the sole purpose of avoiding income tax and National Insurance contributions.

HMRC is working hard to help individuals get out of tax avoidance for good and is encouraging anyone who is concerned about their ability to pay to contact them as soon as possible to discuss their options. In November 2017, HMRC set up a dedicated helpline for those wanting to settle their avoidance scheme use, and discuss payment options. HMRC will work with all individuals to reach a manageable and sustainable payment plan wherever possible.

HMRC has also introduced a simplified process for those who choose to settle their use of DR avoidance schemes before the loan charge arises. Those earning less than £50,000 a year and who are no longer engaging in tax avoidance can agree a payment plan of up to five years without the need for detailed supporting information.

There is no maximum period within which an overall settlement can be agreed, and HMRC will deal with individual cases appropriately and sympathetically.

19th Jul 2018
Pay
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the reduction in wage growth between March and May 2018.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the level of total average weekly earnings has been growing steadily since January 2017, between March and May 2018 it increased from £515 to £517. Total real pay growth was 0.1% in the three months to May. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) expect average earnings to grow faster than inflation in every year of the forecast.

The employment rate is currently at a record high and the Government is taking action to support wages. Supported by the introduction of the National Living Wage, the lowest paid have seen their wages grow by 7% above inflation between April 2015 and April 2017.

Boosting productivity is the only way to achieve sustained wage growth and higher living standards. That’s why in the Autumn Budget, the Chancellor announced that the National Productivity Investment Fund, introduced in 2016 to invest in housing, R&D and infrastructure, would be extended and increased from £23bn to £31bn.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Jul 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 33 of the Fiscal sustainability report – July 2018, published by the Office of Budget Responsibility on 17 July 2018, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies that Brexit is more likely to weaken the public finances than strengthen them over the medium term.

As set out in its White Paper published on 12 July 2018, the government is seeking a deep and comprehensive economic partnership with the EU, broader in scope than any other that exists between the EU and a third country. This partnership will protect jobs and support growth while respecting the UK’s sovereignty, preserving the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK’s own Union, and respecting the EU’s autonomy and the integrity of the Single Market.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
12th Jul 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the reductions in the level of investment in the UK car industry in the last 12 months.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics figures show that in 2017, overall manufacturing investment grew by 3.1% and car sales were 25% higher than in 2010. The automotive sector is a valuable part of the UK economy and the government has recently established the first automotive sector deal. Through mechanisms such as the Advanced Propulsion Centre, we have approved R&D projects worth £680 million with £322 million of Government investment.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
22nd May 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the (a) economy and (b) NHS of the 2019 Loan Charge.

The 2019 loan charge is targeted at artificial schemes where earnings were paid in the form of non-repayable loans made by an offshore third party.

It is unfair to ordinary taxpayers to let anybody benefit from contrived tax avoidance of this sort, and that is why this government has taken action to ensure that everybody pays the taxes they owe.

Given the specific targeting of these contrived tax avoidance schemes, the 2019 loan charge is not expected to have significant effects on the economy or the NHS.

19th Apr 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) levying VAT against (i) flight training and (ii) aviation gas on the number of trained UK pilots and (b) the shortage of trained UK pilots on the economy.

HM Treasury and HM Revenue and Customs do not hold information on VAT revenues that can be broken down to assess the impact of VAT on the number of trained UK pilots.

22nd Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merit of the introduction of favourable financial grants to rebuild and diversify the economies of tax havens that are conditional on benchmarks on (a) transparency, (b) accountability and (c) cooperation to tackle offshore tax avoidance and evasion.

The Government has no plans to introduce such grants. The UK supports international efforts to tackle aggressive tax avoidance and evasion, and supports lists of non-co-operative jurisdictions for tax purposes in the OECD and EU to encourage jurisdictions to comply with relevant international tax standards. The UK also supports capacity building programmes to help jurisdictions implement these standards, including through the OECD’s Global Forum, the OECD’s Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting, and a dedicated capacity building unit in HMRC.

22nd Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits for tackling offshore tax avoidance and evasion of the imposition of a withholding tax on all interest and dividend payments to people and companies in tax havens which reject reform.

Government has taken significant steps to tackle multinational avoidance. That includes the introduction of the diverted profits tax, which raised over £280 million in 2016/17, and a restriction on the deductibility of corporate interest, which is estimated to raise £1 billion per annum. It also includes measures to extend UK withholding tax on royalties paid to low-tax jurisdictions

The UK continues to engage with international efforts to improve adherence to international tax standards, including through the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions which was agreed by EU Finance Ministers in December last year.

29th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to match the funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund after the UK leaves the EU.

The government has committed to launch the UK Shared Prosperity Fund after the UK leaves the EU, using money returning to the UK from European structural funds, and to consult widely ahead of its launch. Further details on design will be set out following the consultation; however, the fund will be designed to reduce inequalities between communities, and be focused on domestic priorities.

19th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the National Audit Office report on PFI and PF2 published on 18 January 2018, what assessment he has made of the benefits of using publicly financed procurement with fixed-price contracts instead of private finance initiatives.

Prior to approval, all Private Finance 2 proposals should be assessed in line with The HM Treasury’s Green Book, including a comparison against an appropriate publicly funded option.

19th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the National Audit Office report on PFI and PF2 published on 18 January 2018, whether his Department plans to conduct a review of the use of PFI and PF2 contracts and their long-term value for money.

We have no plans currently to conduct such a review. Prior to approval, all privately financed contracts should be assessed in line with HM Treasury’s Green Book.

18th Oct 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to improve regional productivity.

Increasing the productivity of every region in the UK is very important to the Government. We are committed to building a more balanced economy, by devolving powers and investing in every region.

12th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will allocate more funding to the fire service in the 2019-20 financial year.

Fire and rescue services have the resources they need to do their important work and will receive around £2.3 billion in 2019/20.

Fire and Rescue Services funding requirements from 2020/21 will be considered as part of the Spending Review.

5th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will remove visa charges for indefinite leave to remain for commonwealth UK armed forces personnel and their families .

All immigration and nationality fees are set within strict financial limits agreed with HM Treasury and Parliament, and are also aligned with clear principles that balance a number of complex factors, including the benefits likely to be accrued.

The Home Office is listening carefully to those with concerns about how foreign and Commonwealth members of HM Forces can have the support of their families whilst serving our country.

26th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps he is taking to support convenience retailers in Warrington South that have lost an estimated £133,145 due to shop theft.

All forms of retail crime are unacceptable, and everyone has the right to feel safe at work.

I chair the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) which brings together partners including the police, trade bodies – including the Association of Convenience Stores - and retailers and is overseeing a range of work to tackle retail crime. This includes the collation and dissemination of good practice and developing guidance on the use of Impact Statements for Business, which give victims of business crime the opportunity to set out the impact the crime has had on the business, including, for example, financial loss. The NRCSG also continues to work with retailers to improve the management and response to shop theft using a partnership approach according to local circumstances.

On 21 January I announced that we will launch a call for evidence on violence and abuse towards shop workers to strengthen our understanding of this issue, including how existing legislation is being applied.

In addition, the Sentencing Council is reviewing its guidelines on assault and a consultation on a revised guideline is anticipated to commence this Summer.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to prevent unaccompanied and trafficked children going missing from care.

The Government is committed to protecting all children who go missing and recognises the specific needs of trafficked children, which is why we have announced a range of actions to better protect child victims and keep them safe.

The Government has committed to expanding Independent Child Traf-ficking Advocates to one third of all local authorities by April 2019. The Child Trafficking Protection Fund which, as well as providing victim support and recovery, aims to reduce vulnerability to exploitation by preventing trafficked children from going missing and potentially being re-trafficked. In November 2017, the Department for Education published a Safeguarding Strategy for unaccompanied asylum seeking and refugee children. The Strategy com-missioned a further 1,000 training places for carers and support workers to equip them with the skills they need to identify when a child is at risk of going missing and of potentially being trafficked onwards. The Refugee Council are delivering this training and will have delivered 1,000 places by the end of March 2019.


The Home Office is also working with the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) through the Home Office National Law Enforcement Data Pro-gramme (NLEDP) to deliver a National Register of Missing Persons (NRMP). This will enable real time information about police reported missing persons incidents to be accessed by police forces across England and Wales. Over time the NRMP will build a national picture of historic missing persons incidents. This will assist officers when they are looking for, or en-counter a missing person, particularly if that missing person is outside their home force area. We are currently working towards the NRMP to be in use operationally in 2020/2021.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
31st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans the Government has to increase police resources to deal with crimes against animals and wildlife, including investigating reports of illegal fox hunting.

The Home Office, along with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, committed to fund the National Wildlife Crime Unit until 2019/20. This money is in addition to central government funding to police forces. Decisions on funding the National Wildlife Crime Unit beyond 2020 will be taken at the next Spending Review.

The Government does not prescribe the nature or level of resources deployed by individual police forces to tackle crimes against animals and wildlife or any other form of crime. It is for Chief Constables and Police and Crime Commissioners, as operational leaders and elected local representa-tives, to ensure that forces’ priorities locally reflect those of their communities, and it is important that forces have the flexibility to deploy their resources without Government interference.

11th Oct 2018
‘To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many family visit visa applications from non-EEA countries have been declined in the last 12 months.

The family visitor visa has been replaced by the standard visitor visa https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa

The information on total entry clearance visitor visas granted is released quarterly as part of the Home Office’s Immigration Statistics, available at the .GOV.UK website.

The most recent published visas statistics are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2018/list-of-tables#visas

12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report Waiting in the Dark: How the asylum system dehumanises, disempowers and damages, published in May 2018 by Refugee Action.

Home Office Ministers and officials meet regularly with Refugee Action and other NGOs to discuss the operation of the asylum system. However, we do not routinely provide responses to individual reports.

12th Jul 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference evidence in the report, Waiting in the Dark: How the asylum system dehumanises, disempowers and damages, published by Refugee Action in May 2019, what assessment has he made of the reasons for the high number of decisions overturned on appeal.

UK Visas and Immigration has an internal audit process, consisting of reviews by senior case workers and independent auditors, which assesses the application of Home Office policy. We continue to work to improve the quality of decision-making to ensure that we properly consider all the evidence provided and get decisions right the first time.

Appeals are allowed for a variety of reasons including the presentation of fresh evidence, not available at the time of the initial decision. We have a very active feedback system between our presenting officers and those who make decisions on asylum claims. Where our reviews show that there are lessons for the Home Office, these are fed back to decision making units who use them to improve operational practices.

6th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason rectifying a tax return error constitutes sufficient grounds for his Department to refuse indefinite leave to remain under paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules.

It is not the Government’s policy to refuse applications due to rectification of tax return errors.

We have refused applications where there are substantial differences – often tens of thousands of pounds – between the earnings used to claim points in an immigration application and an applicant’s HMRC records, without a credible explanation from the applicant. We take all available evidence into account before making a decision. Paragraph 322(5) is used where the evidence shows that an applicant’s character and conduct is such that their application should be refused. Any such case is signed off by a manager before refusal grounds are applied.

As I advised the Home Affairs Select Committee on 8 May, we are carrying out a review of these cases to see how many showed clear evidence of deceit, and whether any were minor errors.

6th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of resources available to police forces to tackle violent crime.

The Minister for Policing and the Fire Service engaged with every police force in England and Wales to better understand the changing demands on policing, and how these can best be managed. We recognised that the police are seeing increased demands as more complex crime is being reported, including previously hidden crimes such as Child Sexual Exploitation and modern slavery, and from the terrorist threat.

We are helping the police to respond to changing demand with a £460m increase in overall funding in 2018/19, including increased funding for local policing through Council Tax precept.

21st May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment he has made of the reasons for the rise in knife crime over the last 12 months.

On 9 April 2018, the Government published the Serious Violence Strategy to set out the action it is taking to address serious violence and in particular the recent increases in knife crime, gun crime and homicide. The Strategy is taking a multi-strand approach. Law enforcement is very important, but it also depends on partnerships across a number of sectors, such as education, health, social services, housing, youth services, victim services and others.

We have reviewed the evidence and the strategy sets out the trends and drivers of serious violence. The evidence shows that while overall crime continues to fall, homicide, knife crime and gun crime have increased since 2014 across virtually all police force areas in England and Wales. Robbery has also risen sharply since 2016. The increases have been accompanied by a shift towards younger victims and perpetrators. About half the rise in knife/gun crime and robbery is probably due to improvements in police recording. However, for the remainder, drug-related cases seem to be an important driver. Between 2014/15 and 2016/17, homicides where either the victim or suspect were known to be involved in using or dealing illicit drugs increased from 50% to 57%

The analysis in the Serious Violence Strategy shows that changes in the drugs market is a major factor in the recent increases as: Crack-cocaine markets have strong links to serious violence and evidence suggests crack use is rising in England and Wales; County lines drugs dealing is also associated with violence and exploitation and its spread is also a key factor; It is also thought that drugs-market violence may be facilitated and spread by social media, which is used to glamorise gang or drug-selling life, taunt rivals and normalise weapons carrying; and there is an increase in the number of individuals who are most vulnerable.

Our analysis also looks at the evidence of the key risk factors which may mean a young person may have a greater propensity to get involved in crime than would otherwise be the case. It also sets out the evidence supporting the importance of early intervention with young people and encouraging positive activities to engage them in and build links with their community.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
21st May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to tackle the rise in knife crime.

On 9 April 2018, the Government published the Serious Violence Strategy that set out action being taken to address serious violence and in particular the recent increases in knife crime, gun crime and homicide. This includes the national knife crime media campaign, #knifefree, to raise awareness of the consequences of knife crime among young people and to encourage them to take up positive activities.

We will continue to encourage police forces in England and Wales to undertake a series of coordinated national weeks of action to tackle knife crime under Operation Sceptre. In February this year, all 44 forces participated in Operation Sceptre, which includes targeted stop and searches, weapon sweeps, test purchases of knives from identified retailers, the use of surrender bins and educational activities. On 18 May we also announced up to £1million for a new round of the anti-knife crime Community Fund which will invited bids for funding from community groups to tackle knife crime in their area.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for indefinite leave to remain were made by Tier 1 migrants in the last 12 months; and how many of those applications were declined.

The specific information you have requested is not currently published.

Information on total refusals and grants by category of settlement (indefinite leave to remain) is published in the quarterly Immigration Statistics, Settlement table se_02_q, latest edition at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2018/list-of-tables#settlement

22nd Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Future Accommodation Model survey, what assessment he has made of the effect of the level survey’s response rate on the efficacy of the survey’s results and conclusions.

The Future Accommodation Model (FAM) Survey was conducted in 2016 to gauge the views of serving Armed Forces personnel on current accommodation provision and proposed options under FAM.

The Survey was open to approximately 137,000 personnel. The response rate was 18%, based on 24,302 valid responses. Full details of the methodology used in the FAM survey can be found at the following address:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mod-future-accommodation-model-survey-2016.

Response rates tended to be lower among the more junior ranks, which means these groups are under-represented within the data. To compensate for this non-response bias, FAM Survey results were weighted by Service, Rank and Marital Status as the key variables affecting both responses rates and views on FAM.

The results are now being considered alongside qualitative data, collected from focus groups and workshops, and quantitative data from other surveys.

2nd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will commit to building 100,000 homes for social rent per year.

We are committed to increasing the supply of social housing to further support struggling families and those at risk of homelessness. We have invested over £9 billion into our Affordable Homes Programme to deliver approximately 250,000 affordable homes by 2022, including at least 12,500 for social rent in areas of acute affordability pressure.

We have increased the size of the Affordable Homes Programme, re-introduced social rent, removed the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) borrowing cap for local authorities, and have set out a long-term rent deal for councils and housing associations in England from 2020. Housing associations and local authorities now need to accelerate delivery and build more affordable homes.

Since 2010, we have delivered over 430,000 new affordable homes, including over 308,000 affordable homes for rent.

On 18 September we announced an additional £2 billion of long-term funding certainty for housing associations. This extra funding will deliver more affordable homes and stimulate the sector’s wider building ambitions, through strategic partnerships.

We do not publish yearly targets but, deliver flexibly throughout the years of the programme to achieve our overall target and hold Homes England and the Greater London Authority (GLA) to account for delivery.

We will continue to provide opportunities for more people to afford home ownership and seek to build on the progress that has been made on building new social homes.

19th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will bring forward plans to draft the parking code of practice.

The Government is committed to delivering the Code of Practice as soon as possible. We are currently considering the format for formal stakeholder engagement and will make an announcement in due course. We are also committed to carrying out a full public consultation on the draft Code of Practice, allowing all interested parties to directly respond to the proposals.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
18th Feb 2019
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if the Government will bring into force section 106 of the Equality Act 2010 so that political parties would be required to publish diversity data on candidates standing in elections.

We keep section 106 under review, as we do with other uncommenced provisions in the Equality Act 2010.

The Government Equalities Office is working to support women and disabled people to participate in politics. This includes the recently announced fund to support disabled candidates to seek electoral office, to meet the costs of campaigning, primarily for the forthcoming English local elections in 2019.

Ultimately, parties are responsible for their candidate selection and should lead the way in improving diverse representation. Many are already doing so.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government has taken to increase the number of affordable homes being built each year since 2014.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of social housing and has made £9 billion available through the Affordable Homes Programme to March 2022 to deliver 250,000 new affordable homes of a wide range of tenures, including social rent


Our expanded programme will now provide a wider range of homes to meet the housing needs of a range of people in different circumstances and different housing markets – building the right homes in the right places


We have listened to the sector. We have increased the size of the Affordable Homes Programme and re-introduced social rent to it, lifted the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap for local authorities, and are setting a long term rent deal for councils and housing associations in England from 2020.

In September 2018, the Prime Minister announced an additional £2 billion of long term funding certainty for housing associations. This extra funding will deliver more affordable homes and stimulate the sector’s wider building ambitions, through strategic partnerships


Our ten year funding commitment marks the first time any government has offered housing associations such long-term funding certainty.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the validity of the findings in the Crisis report, Everybody In: How to end homelessness in Great Britain.

I welcome Crisis's report and Government shares the broad ambition it sets out. That is why we have committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and ending it by 2027. As part of this we have established the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel and a cross-Government Ministerial Taskforce to support the development and implementation of the Rough Sleeping Strategy. Crisis sit on the Advisory Panel and supported the work to put forward a number of recommendations for the Rough Sleeping Strategy.

I will continue to consider the findings outlined within the report ahead of the publication of the Rough Sleeping Strategy. My Department will also continue to work with Crisis once the strategy has been published and remain committed to tackling both rough sleeping and broader issues of homelessness as highlighted in the report.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the ministerial statement HCWS384 of 21 December 2017, what steps he plans to take to prevent onerous ground rents in already existing leasehold properties.

The Government response to the consultation on ‘ Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market’ set out a range of measures to cut out unfair and abusive practices within the leasehold system. This included introducing legislation to prohibit the development of new build leasehold houses, other than in exceptional circumstances, and restricting ground rents in newly established leases of houses and flats to a peppercorn (zero financial value).

For existing leaseholders, the Government wants to see developer compensation schemes going further and faster, with support extended to all those with onerous ground rents, including second hand buyers and for customers to be proactively contacted. We will be keeping a close eye on progress and will consider measures that could be pursued to take action if necessary.

We want to make it easier for existing leaseholders to exercise their right to buy their freehold, or extend their lease, for this to be faster, fairer and cheaper, and to be available as soon as possible.

Dominic Raab
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
16th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the answer of 27 December 2017 to Question 120298, what information his Department holds on the number of people that have died while sleeping rough in each of the last seven years.

This department does not collect data on deaths of people sleeping rough. No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why Government has committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and eliminating it altogether by 2027. We have announced a new Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Reduction Taskforce, chaired by the Secretary of State, which will drive forward the implementation of a cross-Government strategy to tackle this issue.

We have allocated over £1 billion through to 2020 to prevent and reduce all forms of homelessness including piloting a Housing First approach for some of the most entrenched rough sleepers.

Heather Wheeler
Assistant Whip
24th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will increase funding for (a) magistrates courts and (b) county courts to prevent court closures.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service assesses the court and tribunal estate against its estates principles - ensuring access to justice, delivering value for money and enabling efficiency in longer-term.

The decision to close any court is not taken lightly – it only happens following full public consultation and only when effective access to justice can be maintained. Courts that have closed were either underused, dilapidated or too close to one another with every penny of those closed since 2016 reinvested in the justice system.

We have always been clear that our Reform Programme will result in the need for fewer court and tribunal buildings and that this will only happen when there is sound evidence that people are using them less.

There are currently no active proposals to close further crown or magistrates’ courts beyond those already announced.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were convicted of voter ID fraud in the last twelve months.

There is no specific offence of voter ID fraud. Cases are usually prosecuted as offences involving fraud by false representation as well as offences involving impersonation.

It is not possible to ascertain if an offender was convicted specifically for voter ID fraud as this information is not centrally held in the court proceedings database. As a result, identifying the number of offenders convicted for voter ID fraud from court data would require a manual search of court records, which would be of disproportionate cost.

The Electoral Commission hold more detailed information which can be found at this link: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/our-views-and-research/our-research/electoral-fraud-data/2018-electoral-fraud-data

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent progress his Department has made in reviewing the legal aid means test.

The Government announced the review of the legal aid means test on 7 February 2019, as part of the Legal Support Action Plan.

The review will consider the full range of means-testing criteria including the applicable thresholds for legal aid entitlement and their interaction with wider criteria.

The review is in progress, bringing together data, evidence and expertise, and liaising with experts from across the field to explore potential improvements to the system.

This comprehensive review of the legal aid eligibility regime is expected to conclude in summer 2020 after which we will publish a full consultation paper setting out our future policy on the proposals in this area. We will seek to implement any final recommendations as soon as practicable following public consultation.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to announce proposals for the future of the probation system.

Last year, we announced our decision to end current Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) contracts early. Following this, we launched a consultation, Strengthening Probation, Building Confidence, and engaged with stakeholders and the market on the future of the probation system.

We are currently considering options for future delivery arrangements and reflecting carefully on the balance of public, private and voluntary sector involvement. It is important that we take the time to get this decision right. We will aim to publish a formal response to our consultation, detailing our future plans later this year.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent steps he is taking to reduce tribunal waiting times for people attempting to claim personal independence payment.

It is important that appeals are heard as quickly as possible. The Ministry of Justice recognises that there are delays in the system and is in the process of recruiting more judicial office holders in order to increase capacity and help to reduce waiting times for appellants. In the Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) jurisdiction, 225 new medical members have already been appointed and 119 disability-qualified members have recently been recruited. The SSCS jurisdiction will also benefit from the fact that 250 fee-paid judges and 100 salaried judges are being recruited across tribunals more widely. In addition, we have recently launched a new digital service with a view to enabling speedier processing of appeals and provide a better service for all parties to the proceedings. Information on the new digital service can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/appeal-benefit-decision/submit-appeal

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)