Fay Jones Portrait

Fay Jones

Conservative - Brecon and Radnorshire

Fay Jones has no previous appointments


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 12th May 2021
14:15
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Citizenship and Passport Processes in Northern Ireland
12 May 2021, 2:15 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Kevin Foster MP - Minister for Future Borders and Immigration at Home Office
Robin Walker MP - Minister of State at Northern Ireland Office
Kristian Armstrong - Head of Passport and Nationality Policy at Home Office
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 28th April 2021
Immigration
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 357 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 270 Noes - 358
Speeches
Wednesday 21st April 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

Farmers in Brecon and Radnorshire have worked tirelessly to give us world-class British food throughout the pandemic. In return, the …

Written Answers
Thursday 1st April 2021
Coronavirus: Vaccination
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of how …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
1. Employment and earnings
20 December 2019, received £619.20 from Grayling Communications Ltd, Holborn Gate, London WC2A 1AN, as a final salary payment for …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Fay Jones has voted in 349 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Fay Jones voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Fay Jones voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
View All Fay Jones Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(12 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(10 debate interactions)
Simon Hart (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Wales
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(23 debate contributions)
Home Office
(14 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Fay Jones's debates

Brecon and Radnorshire Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with most Brecon and Radnorshire signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.

The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare

Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.


Latest EDMs signed by Fay Jones

Fay Jones has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Fay Jones, 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.


Fay Jones has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Fay Jones has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Fay Jones has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Fay Jones has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


44 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Explanation of written questions
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Office of Veteran Affairs is taking to ensure that veterans can access mental health support.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ 906285 and 111603. The majority of veterans successfully access mental health support through mainstream services such as the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) in NHS England. For those who need more specialised support, they can access bespoke services through the NHS, such as the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service (TILS) and the Complex Treatment Services (CTS). Most recently, the new NHS Veterans Mental Health High Intensity Service has started to be introduced across England, with services in London, the Midlands and the North now live.

The Office of Veteran Affairs works closely with NHS, the Department for Health and Social Care, and the Devolved Administrations, who deliver mental health support to veterans, including exploring making access to this growing range of high quality mental health services as easy as possible.

9th Sep 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK nationals can stay in the Schengen Area for periods of longer than 90 days without a visa.

After the end of the transition period the EU will grant UK nationals visa free access for short-term visits, subject to reciprocity. This means that UK business visitors and tourists will not need a visa when travelling to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in every 180-day period. UK nationals will require permission from the relevant Member State to stay longer than 90 days in a rolling 180-day period.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support businesses that have faced disruptions as a result of the covid-19 outbreak to apply for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive before the deadline.

The Government has introduced a number of measures to support businesses that have been affected by the covid-19 pandemic. The Department also published guidance for tradesmen, so that they could continue to operate safely while carrying out installations in people’s homes.

In March 2020, as part of the budget statement, the Government extended the lifetime of the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (DRHI) scheme by an additional 12 months, so it is now scheduled to close at the end of March 2022. The extension will provide support for businesses and the installer supply chain for an additional year.

The Department is also making a further amendment to the regulations to relax the requirement for installations to be accredited to the RHI within 12 months of the installation taking place. This will help both consumers and businesses who have been unable to complete building work due to the. The amendment should come into force on 1st April 2021.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what financial support is available for the wedding venue industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

Wedding venues are able to access a wide package of support to help them through the current crisis. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, government-backed loans, and the Local Restrictions Support Grants.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether owners of self-catering holiday accommodation will be eligible for support from the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) of up to £3,000 per four-week period is available to all businesses in England that have been required to close due to local and national restrictions.

In order to qualify for this grant, businesses must be part of the business rate system. Therefore, businesses that manage accommodation remotely must be the eligible business rate payer for that hereditament in order to receive a grant through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) scheme.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open) is a discretionary fund and local authorities are free to determine which businesses to support.

The Devolved Administrations are responsible for the administration of support schemes in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage landlords of privately rented homes to increase the energy efficiency of their properties.

Since April 2020, all privately rented homes in England and Wales are required to meet a minimum energy efficiency standard of EPC band E. The Department is currently consulting on raising the minimum energy efficiency standards for privately rented homes in England and Wales to EPC band C. Under the Government’s recommended option, landlords would be required to reach EPC Band C for new tenancies from 1 April 2025 and all tenancies by 1 April 2028.

Landlords in England are encouraged to make use of the £2 billion Green Homes Grant funding scheme to improve their property stock to EPC Band C. Under this scheme, homeowners and landlords can receive at least two thirds of the cost of upgrading the energy performance of their homes up to a contribution of £5,000.

The consultation on improving the energy performance of privately rented homes can be accessed on GOV.UK?at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-the-energy-performance-of-privately-rented-homes and will remain open until 30 December 2020.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage television networks to increase their accessibility to people with visual or hearing impairments.

The government recognises that as part of a digitally inclusive society, television content should be accessible for all UK audiences. Under the Communications Act 2003 and Broadcasting Acts of 1990 and 1996, broadcasters are required to meet accessibility requirements for their linear TV services. Statutory targets on subtitling, sign language and audio description are also set by Ofcom, the UK’s independent broadcasting regulator.

The government also asked Ofcom to provide recommendations on how legislation could make on demand services more accessible. Ofcom published this report in December 2018, and has since completed a further targeted consultation looking at how a legislative framework should work in practice. This consultation closed on 16 September 2020. Once Ofcom has reported back to DCMS, we will review their recommendations and set out next steps.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there is competition within the market for rural broadband.

In 2018, the Government published the Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR), which set out the Government’s strategy to deliver nationwide gigabit capable broadband
as soon as possible, including in rural areas, by encouraging greater network competition and commercial investment.

The strategy focuses on:

  • Making the cost of deploying gigabit capable networks as low as possible by addressing barriers to deployment, which increase costs and cause delays.
  • Supporting market entry and expansion by alternative network operators through easy access to Openreach’s ducts and poles, complemented by access to other utility infrastructure.
  • Stable and long-term regulation that encourages competitive network investment.
  • Supporting the timely switchover to new gigabit capable broadband networks.

The Government has recognised that not all areas of the country, particularly those in the most rural and remote areas, are likely to benefit from network competition and receive
gigabit capable broadband through private investment alone, which is why we have committed to invest £5 billion in supporting deployment in these areas. The use of this funding will encourage a variety of rural broadband providers to deploy gigabit networks.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to minimise the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on women’s sport.

It is vital that we continue to strive for greater equality and opportunity in sport. I am keen that we maintain the focus on women’s sport and build on the fantastic progress made in recent years. In May I wrote to major sporting bodies setting out my expectation that momentum in women's and girl's sport would not be lost because of the pandemic. I followed this letter up with a meeting in June where the sporting bodies and Women in Sport (a charity whose aim is to campaign for increased representation and visibility of women and girls in all aspects of sport) detailed their plans to increase participation levels. I also met with Baroness Sue Campbell in November to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on women’s football. I am committed to helping women’s sport come out of the current crisis stronger than ever and we will continue to work closely with the sector to ensure that happens.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he will take to maintain levels of women’s participation in exercise during further covid-19 lockdowns.

I am keen that we continue to maintain the focus on women’s sport and build on the fantastic progress made in recent years. We recognise that Covid-19 has brought new challenges to the way people are able to engage in physical activity. We welcome initiatives like Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign which has inspired 3.9 million women to take part since its launch in 2015 and their “Join the Movement” campaign which is encouraging everyone to stay active during the lockdown.

We are determined to get more women and girls active. That is why in June I met with sports bodies and Women in Sport to ask about their plans for promoting women’s sport including increasing women and girls participation. I’m happy to say there was a real shared commitment amongst sports to protect investment in women’s sport and promote its growth. The new local restriction tier arrangements coming into force from 2 December in England should also mean that there will be greater options for how people can be physically active, from going to the gym to using sports facilities, to taking part in organised sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government has taken to provide financial support to the tourism sector in Wales during the covid-19 outbreak.

As tourism is devolved, the Welsh Government is responsible for any targeted financial initiatives to support the sector in Wales.

Welsh tourism businesses can continue to access the Government’s UK-wide support package, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as well as various government-backed loans. We have also extended the UK-wide reduced VAT rate for tourism and hospitality activities until March 2021.

I remain in regular contact with my Devolved counterpart in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We will continue to work together to assess how we can most effectively support the tourism sector’s recovery.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending funding for all PhD students who have faced disruption as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

English students eligible for the doctoral degree loan can access one loan up to the maximum amount that was available when they started their course. There is no discretion within the regulations to increase the entitlement where a student extends their study but those who have not accessed the maximum can apply for an additional amount of loan. If a student has withdrawn from their PhD due to compelling personal reasons they may nonetheless be eligible for a further loan for a second full course. Withdrawal as a result of reasons connected to COVID-19 is usually considered to be one such compelling personal reason.

UK Research and Innovation has made over £62 million of financial support available to PhD students in receipt of research council funding most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. It is estimated that this funding is available for up to 12,000 students.

We are aware of the enormous pressures that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on doctoral students and their ability to conduct their research and recognise that some students may face financial hardship. The department has worked with the Office for Students (OfS) to clarify that English providers are able to use existing funds, worth around £256 million for academic year 2020/21, towards hardship support.

In addition, we are currently making available up to a further £20 million on a one-off basis to support those that need it most, particularly disadvantaged students. The funding is being distributed by the OfS to approved fee cap providers, who will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need. The funding can be distributed to a wide population of students, including postgraduates research students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions his Department has held with universities on refunding students who have not been allowed to return to halls of residence as a result of covid-19 restrictions.

The government plays no role in the provision of student residential accommodation. Universities and private accommodation providers are autonomous and are responsible for setting their own rent agreements. Whether a student is entitled to a refund or to an early release from their contract will depend on the specific contractual arrangements between them and their provider.

This has been a very difficult time for students, and we encourage universities and private landlords to review their accommodation policies to ensure they are fair, clear and have the interests of students at heart.

Officials speak regularly with representatives of private and university owned accommodation, as well as sector bodies. The government worked closely with universities to ensure they were well prepared for the return of students in the autumn term, and we have published updated guidance to help them keep students and staff as safe as possible.

If students have concerns about their accommodation fees, they should first raise their concerns with their accommodation provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, and their higher education (HE) provider is involved in the provision of the accommodation, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for HE to consider their complaint.

If a student thinks their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice, as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/, https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml.

We recognise that in these exceptional circumstances some students may face financial hardship. The Department for Education has worked with the Office for Students (OfS) to clarify that providers are able to use existing funds, worth around £256 million for academic year 2020/21, towards hardship support. The government is currently making available up to a further £20 million on a one-off basis to support those that need it most, particularly disadvantaged students. The funding is being distributed by the OfS to approved fee cap providers, who will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need. The funding can be distributed to a wide population of students, including postgraduates (whether taught or research) and international students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with universities on the refunding of tuition fees for students who have experienced disruption as a result of covid-19 restrictions.

This has been a very difficult time for students, and the government is working with the sector to make sure that all reasonable efforts are being made to enable students to continue their studies. The government’s clear and stated expectation is that universities should maintain the quality and quantity of tuition, and seek to ensure that all students regardless of their background have the resources to study remotely. This is more important than ever at the moment, with the vast majority of students studying solely online.

We continue to regularly engage the sector in discussion on this issue, including universities, and have met with other groups across the sector only last week. I wrote to the Office for Students (OfS) on 13 January, outlining the government’s expectations of the higher education sector following the new national lockdown. Following this, the OfS wrote to provider Accountable Officers, setting out the actions that they are taking in connection with providers’ compliance to existing regulatory requirements. Both letters are available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/928ddbfc-7d48-4a7b-853e-411c34d6202f/ao-letter-regulation-during-the-current-phase-of-pandemic-14-jan-2021.pdf. We expect providers to ensure that continuing and prospective students receive the clear, accurate and timely information needed to make informed decisions.

Universities are autonomous and responsible for setting their own fees, up to a maximum of £9,250 for approved (fee cap) institutions. The Office for Students (OfS), as regulator for higher education (HE) providers in England, has made it clear that HE providers must continue to comply with registration conditions relating to quality and academic standards, which set out requirements to ensure that courses are high-quality, that students are supported and achieve good outcomes and that standards are protected, regardless of whether a provider is delivering its courses through face-to-face teaching, remote online learning, or a combination of both.

Whether or not an individual student is entitled to a refund of fees will depend on the specific contractual arrangements between the provider and student. If students have concerns, there is a process in place. They should first raise their concerns with their university. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

The OIA website is available via the following link: https://www.oiahe.org.uk/.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published guidance on consumer contracts, cancellation and refunds affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. This sets out the CMA’s view on how the law operates to help consumers understand their rights and help businesses treat their customers fairly. This is available via the following link: https://www.gov.uk/cma-cases/consumer-protection-review-of-higher-education.

The OfS has also published guidance on student consumer protection during the COVID-19 outbreak, which is available via the following link: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/student-wellbeing-and-protection/student-protection/consumer-benefit-forum/.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Jan 2020
What discussions she has had with the Welsh Government on opportunities to promote Welsh produce abroad.

My counterpart in the Welsh Government, the Noble Baroness Morgan of Ely, the Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, recently wrote to me that ‘For a small nation, Wales enjoys a reputation which stretches far beyond its borders’. She is right. Wales was my second visit as a Minister as we see the opportunities to help promote Wales abroad. Indeed I recall pushing the cause of Welsh Lamb quite recently in Vietnam. I hope we may continue those conversations today when I Chair the inaugural Ministerial Forum for Trade with Ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2021 to Question 140276 on Driving Tests: Coronavirus, if he provide details of the research suggesting an extension to the expiry dates of driving theory certificates would negatively impact on hazard perception skills.

Research studies in the UK, notably those conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), have separately proven that both on-road experience and hazard perception skills reduce crash risk. They also evidence that hazard perception is related to experience.

Other TRL research on independent driving also highlights the assumption that the learner driver is exposed to tasks that are typical of post-test driving as part of their pre-test learning.

Those with theory test certificates expiring may have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, their on road practical experience will have been significantly curtailed during recent lockdowns. Therefore, whilst a short extension would allow more on-road experience it does not ensure that the learner will have had sufficient experience, or been sufficiently exposed to driving tasks, to be able to drive safely at the critical point that they drive independently for the first time.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the importance of advertising Traffic Regulation Orders in local newspapers to (a) the elderly and vulnerable, (b) other local residents and (c) local media organisations.

The most recent assessments we have made about Traffic Regulation Orders are in two reports. The first discovery research report was published in 2019 and laid the foundations for the second report available here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/traffic-regulation-orders-identifying-improvements-to-the-legislative-process-in-england.

Each of these reports considered the impacts on different groups of potential improvements to the legislative process.

The Department plans to consult on proposed reforms to Traffic Regulation Orders more generally later in 2021. An Impact Assessment will accompany this consultation.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to tackle the covid-19 outbreak at the DVLA office in Swansea.

On 22 February, there were three cases of Covid across the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s workforce of more than 6,000 staff.

Since January, more than 5,000 lateral flow tests have been carried out with DVLA contact centre staff, with no positive results identified. This scheme is currently being extended to other DVLA staff working across its estate undertaking work which cannot be done from home.

All staff whose jobs can be done remotely are working from home, with now more than 2,000 staff doing so exclusively. Extensive safety measures have been put in place across the DVLA’s sites. These include enhanced cleaning, social distancing leasing an additional building, perspex screens installed, floors divided into zones with no mixing within zones, one-way systems introduced, and communal areas closed.

The DVLA has made significant investment in making its estate Covid-secure, working closely with Public Health Wales, Swansea Council’s Environmental Health team and the trade union. Swansea Bay University Health Board has confirmed a high level of compliance with control measures and did not identify any additional concerns over the control regime in place.

Throughout the pandemic, the DVLA has implemented Welsh Government legislative requirements and advice fully, including the workplace guidance for offices and contact centres. The organisations mentioned work closely with the DVLA and regularly review the measures in place. When advice is revised, it is acted upon and changes made quickly.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of granting an extension to the expiry dates of driving theory certificates during the covid-19 outbreak.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place for road safety reasons; to ensure that a candidate’s knowledge is current. This validity period is set in legislation and the Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to extend it.

It is important that road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point that they drive unsupervised for the first time. Those with theory test certificates expiring may have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, their lessons and practice sessions will have been significantly curtailed during recent lockdowns and it is likely that their knowledge base will have diminished. Research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills, a key factor in road safety.

Ensuring new drivers have current relevant knowledge and skills is a vital part of the training of new drivers, who are disproportionality represented in casualty statistics. Taking all this into consideration, the decision has been made not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to improve waiting times at the DVLA.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has a range of services available online offering quick and easy ways of transacting. The DVLA’s online services have worked well and as normal throughout the pandemic. Between March and the end of August, the DVLA has issued nearly seven million registration certificates and three and a half million driving licences.

The DVLA’s 6,000 staff are largely based at a single site in Swansea and to adhere to Welsh social distancing requirements the number of staff onsite had been greatly reduced. This impacted on the time taken to process applications sent by post as these have to be dealt with in person. The DVLA has reconfigured its accommodation to maximise staff numbers whilst meeting the requirement in Wales to maintain the two-metre social distancing and ensure it remains Covid secure.

Drivers with a licence that expires between 1 February and 31 December 2020 have been given an automatic extension from the date of expiry. This means they will not need to renew their entitlement to drive until 11 months after the original expiry date.

The DVLA has also accelerated the development of additional online services to further reduce paper applications and supported their take up through a publicity campaign.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had about the role hydrogen passenger vehicles can play as part of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

Ministers and officials are engaging extensively with UK hydrogen stakeholders including through the Net Zero Transport Board, our strategic priority workshops that ran through July and August and involved over 700 key stakeholders, as well as a number of Ministerial and official roundtables and bi-laterals meetings as we develop the Transport Decarbonisation Plan. We are committed to exploring all the options for green hydrogen across freight, buses, trains, maritime and aviation and ensuring the UK can leads the world in its deployment and use in transport applications.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the role hydrogen passenger vehicles can play in decarbonising transport.

In 2018, the Department for Transport published the outputs of the Transport Energy Model. The model provides an assessment of the relative environmental impacts of a range of fuel and powertrain options for road vehicles over the period to 2050, including hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether businesses that operate under a partnership structure are eligible to take part in the Kickstart scheme.

We welcome applications from all employers regardless of structure. Small businesses and organisations which are not registered on Companies House or do not have PAYE systems can now apply to the Kickstart Scheme through an organisation offering a ‘Gateway Plus’ model. This model enables Kickstart young people to be placed on the gateway’s PAYE system for the duration of their placement.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of ensuring that directors of limited companies are eligible for universal credit.

Universal Credit (UC) will be paid to eligible adults and the entitlement calculation will be based on their family circumstances.

For the purposes of UC, a person trading through a company as a company director in a position analogous to a sole trader or partner, is treated in the same way as a person who has not set up a company to conduct their business.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason businesses that are not registered with Companies House are unable to access the Kickstart scheme.

Companies not registered with Companies House are still able to access the Department for Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme by applying through a Gateway which can place the Kickstart participant on the Gateway’s PAYE scheme - such as the one set up in partnership between the Federation of Small Business and Adecco Working Ventures.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of how medical waste created by the covid-19 vaccine rollout will be disposed of.

Medical waste is being disposed of in line with local clinical waste disposal arrangements. Through Local Resilience Forums, health and care leaders with managers of vaccine sites and other vaccines delivery facilities are working collaboratively with local authorities to ensure there is sufficient capacity for this essential function. All staff involved in vaccinating patients in all types of vaccination facility are fully trained in the vaccination process including the disposal of medical waste.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to raise awareness of Mongolian Blue Spot among healthcare professionals.

Slate-grey naevi are a benign skin condition present from birth, which are most common on babies with darker skin. They can be mistaken for bruising but do not require treatment, will usually disappear by the age of four years old and are not a sign of a health condition.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence clinical knowledge summary on bruising, last revised in 2016, contains guidance for healthcare professionals, in the diagnosis of bruising. It contains recommendations that they also consider other skin conditions that could be mistaken for bruising, including Slate-grey naevi. Healthcare professionals should make diagnostic decisions in line with this guidance. The guidance is available at the following link:

cks.nice.org.uk/topics/bruising/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals on the emotional abuse of clients by their therapists.

The Government is committed to a proportionate system of safeguards for the professionals who work in the health and care system. The Government considered introducing statutory regulation for counsellors and psychotherapists in 2012 but concluded that this was not proportionate to the risks to patients and the public, opting instead for a system of accredited voluntary registration by the Professional Standards Authority (PSA) for health and social care.

The PSA currently accredits 10 voluntary registers relating to therapists which can be used by service users to choose a practitioner to meet their needs and be assured they are safe, trustworthy and competent to practise.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the (a) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (b) Self Employment Income Support Scheme beyond the end of April 2021.

The Government has provided a comprehensive economic response that is one of the most generous globally, including very substantial steps to protect jobs. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has helped to pay the wages of people in 9.9 million jobs across the country, providing £46.4bn worth of support as of 13 December. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has received claims from 2.7 million self-employed workers, amounting to £13.7bn as of 13 December.

The Government will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and support jobs at Budget 2021.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of deferring the VAT payments due by 31 March 2021 for businesses worst affected by the covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Approximately 600,000 payments were deferred to the value of £34 billion through the VAT payments deferral scheme, which ended on 30 June 2020. As part of the Winter Economy Plan, the Government announced further support for those with deferred VAT. Instead of paying the full deferred VAT outstanding by 31 March 2021, businesses can spread what they owe over up to 11 smaller monthly payments. More information is available at www.gov.uk/hmrc/vat-deferral.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of reducing beer duty.

Alcohol duties are kept under review and the merits of a change to beer duty is considered at each fiscal event. Announcements about any changes to beer duty will be made in the usual way at the next Budget.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason (a) income from furnished holiday lets is not included in calculations for support under the Self Employed Income Support Scheme and (b) an individual must receive more than half of their income from self-employment in order to be eligible for support from that scheme.

The self-employed are very diverse and have a wide mix of turnover and profits, with monthly and annual variations even in normal times, and in some cases with substantial alternative forms of income too. The design of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), including the eligibility requirement that an individual’s trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to their non-trading income, means it is targeted at those who need it the most, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income


Income from furnished holiday lets is classified as non-trading income and therefore it is not considered as part of a self-employed individual’s trading profits.

Beyond this, the SEISS continues to be just one element of a comprehensive package of support for the self-employed. The Universal Credit standard allowance has been temporarily increased for 2020-21 and the Minimum Income Floor relaxed for the duration of the crisis, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have fallen significantly, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what comparative assessment he has made of the effect of VAT rates from January 2021 on the affordability of reusable menstrual underwear and other female hygiene products.

The zero rate for women’s sanitary products announced in the March 2020 Budget will apply from 1 January 2021 to those products which are currently subject to the reduced rate of 5 per cent. This covers the supply of any sanitary protection product that is designed and marketed solely for the absorption or collection of menstrual flow or lochia, whether disposable or reusable. The relief excludes dual purpose period and incontinence products, items of clothing such as reusable menstrual underwear, or purely incontinence products.

The new zero rate will ensure that every woman needing sanitary protection during their monthly cycle will, from the start of January and for the first time, have access to a variety of zero rated sanitary protection products on which they had previously paid a 5 per cent rate of VAT.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to support asylum seekers at Penally Barracks, Pembrokeshire.

The AIRE (Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility) service provided for the Home Office by Migrant Help offers support and guidance to vulnerable migrants.

AIRE asylum services provide free independent advice, guidance and information on the asylum process, accommodation, financial support, finding legal representation and any other asylum related matters. AIRE run a national helpline that is free and accessible to all asylum seekers in the UK.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to support local police forces in tackling speeding in rural areas.

Excess speed is still a major cause of death and serious injury on our roads. Anyone who breaks the speed limit should expect to face proper sanction.

Enforcement of speeding offences and the deployment of resources in rural areas, is an operational matter for local chief officers of police, taking into account the specific local problems and demands with which they are faced.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has for the future of The Barracks, Brecon.

The intent remains to dispose of The Barracks, Brecon subject to further assessment work. Units currently based at the barracks, including Headquarters 160th (Welsh) Brigade, will be relocated within Wales. The MOD will work closely with Local Authorities to determine the impact of any decisions on local communities.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the importance of advertising planning notices in local newspapers to (a) the elderly and vulnerable, (b) other local residents and (b) local media organisations.

The use of digital tools is important to be able to standardise and improve the user interface where local people seek to engage in the planning system. It is not a replacement for engagement but is a tool to make this engagement more transparent and more accessible to all parts of communities across England. This is particularly the case for publicity of planning applications where we want to see greater digital coverage, and we will be exploring the best way of doing that as we develop our proposals to reform the planning system. In doing so, we recognise the importance of local newspapers to communities and that there will continue to be a need to reach out to people without digital access to information.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the use of wool in UK construction.

The Government is committed to meeting its target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The National Planning Policy Framework sets out how we expect the planning system to help mitigate and adapt to?climate change. In their development plan policies, local planning authorities can encourage the use of sustainable materials like wool in new development.

The Building Regulations are generally couched in performance terms and do not prescribe the technologies, materials or fuels to be used, allowing builders the flexibility to innovate and select the most practical and cost-effective solutions in particular circumstances. Developers are able to use wool products in construction projects where it is safe to do so and where it can be shown to meet all applicable Building Regulations requirements.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to criminalise the offence of threatening to share explicit images without consent.

Activities involving sharing or threatening to share intimate images are captured by existing offences tackling “revenge pornography”, harassment, malicious communications, blackmail, and “coercive or controlling behaviour”.

However, the Government recognises that there is concern over the growth of new technology and the impact on the law in this area.

We have asked the Law Commission to review the law in this area to ensure victims are properly protected. The Law Commission intends to publish a public consultation paper shortly with a view to announcing findings later this year, which the Government will consider carefully.

Alex Chalk
Assistant Whip
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what steps his Department is taking to help establish a Global Centre of Rail Excellence in Wales.

My Department is working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport to consider proposals for the development of a Global Centre of Rail Excellence and I have discussed the proposition with the Minister for Economy and Transport in the Welsh Government.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what support his Department is providing to the Welsh hydrogen economy.

The Government aims to consult on a preferred business model for low-carbon hydrogen production in 2021. This will be key to stimulating the deployment of hydrogen across the UK.

In addition, I am pleased to see that the South Wales Industrial Cluster is being supported by UK Research and Innovation’s £170m Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge, which is looking at options for decarbonising the region’s industrial base, including using hydrogen.

My officials regularly engage with officials in other departments across the UK Government to raise awareness of the opportunities in Wales for hydrogen energy generation.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales