Huw Irranca-Davies

Labour - Former Member for Ogmore

Liaison Committee (Commons)
10th Sep 2015 - 25th Jan 2016
Environmental Audit Committee
18th Jun 2015 - 25th Jan 2016
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Oct 2011 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Energy and Climate Change)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011
Shadow Minister (Marine and Natural Environment)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Marine and Natural Environment)
5th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
2nd Jul 2007 - 5th Oct 2008
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
5th May 2006 - 28th Jun 2007
Procedure Committee
24th Jun 2002 - 12th Jul 2005
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
5th Oct 2002 - 8th Jan 2004
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
10th May 2002 - 8th Jan 2004
Draft Mental Incapacity Bill (Joint Committee)
10th Jul 2003 - 17th Nov 2003


Division Voting information

Huw Irranca-Davies has voted in 1927 divisions, and 8 times against the majority of their Party.

20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Huw Irranca-Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 47 Labour Aye votes vs 226 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 217 Noes - 292
20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Huw Irranca-Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 48 Labour Aye votes vs 227 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 222 Noes - 290
20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Huw Irranca-Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 39 Labour Aye votes vs 240 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 190 Noes - 332
20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Huw Irranca-Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Labour Aye votes vs 229 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 173 Noes - 309
20 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Huw Irranca-Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 56 Labour Aye votes vs 231 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 233 Noes - 304
19 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Huw Irranca-Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 62 Labour Aye votes vs 216 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 286
19 May 2008 - Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Huw Irranca-Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Labour Aye votes vs 217 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 181 Noes - 314
7 Mar 2007 - House of Lords Reform - View Vote Context
Huw Irranca-Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 132 Labour Aye votes vs 177 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 178 Noes - 392
View All Huw Irranca-Davies Division Votes

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
David Heath (Liberal Democrat)
(59 debate interactions)
John Bercow (Speaker)
(47 debate interactions)
David Cameron (Conservative)
(35 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(78 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(72 debate contributions)
Wales Office
(57 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Huw Irranca-Davies has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Huw Irranca-Davies's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Huw Irranca-Davies

8th March 2016
Huw Irranca-Davies signed this EDM on Wednesday 9th March 2016

28th ANNIVERSARY OF THE SUMGAIT MASSACRES

Tabled by: Kevan Jones (Labour - North Durham)
That this House notes the 28th anniversary of the massacre of Armenians in the Azerbaijani city of Sumgait and expresses its sympathy to the families of those men, women and children victims; calls on the Azerbaijani government to end its aggression towards Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, end its cross-border attacks; further …
40 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2016)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 18
Scottish National Party: 14
Independent: 3
Conservative: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
22nd February 2016
Huw Irranca-Davies signed this EDM on Tuesday 1st March 2016

CONSTRUCTION FATALITIES

Tabled by: Stephen Hepburn (Independent - Jarrow)
That this House is alarmed that the length of time between a construction fatal accident occurring and a prosecution beginning is increasing, as in 2014-15 the average time between a construction fatal accident and a prosecution starting was 879 days; believes these delays are intolerable and for the families involved …
33 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2016)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Independent: 4
Scottish National Party: 2
Plaid Cymru: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Huw Irranca-Davies's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Huw Irranca-Davies, 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.


Huw Irranca-Davies has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Huw Irranca-Davies

Monday 25th February 2013
Thursday 24th November 2011

Huw Irranca-Davies has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Huw Irranca-Davies has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


92 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
8 Other Department Questions
11th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, if she will ensure that any exploitation of shale gas in the UK is (a) a substitute for, and not in addition to, imported gas and (b) does not lead to an increase in carbon emissions.

The shale gas resources beneath Britain have the potential to bolster our energy security and add new sources of home-grown supply to our real diversity of imports.


We are committed to reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and natural gas, the cleanest of fossil fuels, will help us in meeting that target. Reports[1] have shown that the carbon footprint of electricity from UK produced shale gas would likely be significantly less than coal and also lower than imported Liquefied Natural Gas.


This will be especially significant as we displace energy generation from high carbon fuels as coal.


[1] Mackay-Stone report (requested by DECC), Potential Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Shale Gas Extraction and Use, Sept 2013

11th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on UK businesses of the Berry Amendment to US legislation on contract policy.

The Government has not carried out any specific assessment of the effect of this amendment on UK businesses to date.


The Berry Amendment is a US Domestic Source Restriction established in the US Code that requires the Federal Government to procure textiles for any defence purpose from US suppliers, unless there is no domestic supplier available. It is possible, occasionally, for UK companies to benefit from partial exemptions to the Berry Amendment.


The trade team within the British Defence Staff in Washington DC can advise UK companies, on a case by case basis, on which opportunities may be considered as an exemption.

3rd Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, whether it is her policy that anaerobic digestion will continue to be supported under the reformed Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

We are still at an early stage in the process of reforming the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). Therefore, I am unable to make specific commitments as to the future shape of the scheme at this point.


However, Ofgem will continue to run the RHI under the current rules, while we consider reform of the scheme.

3rd Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, when she plans to publish details of how her Department plans to reform the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme to make the savings announced in the Autumn Statement 2015.

Officials have begun discussions with stakeholders, and we plan to consult on the changes in the New Year.

3rd Dec 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, when she plans to publish her Department's response to the consultation on a review of the feed-in tariff scheme.

We are currently analysing feedback submitted during the Feed-in Tariff review consultation and intend to publish a Government response as soon as possible.


1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what estimate he has made of the number of homes reliant on off-grid energy in each (a) constituency and (b) local authority area.

DECC publish estimates of the number of households without a gas connection by local authority. These are available on the Government website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sub-national-estimates-of-households-not-connected-to-the-gas-network.

1st Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of changes in energy bills on households and businesses in rural areas.

The Government is concerned about the effect of changes in energy bills on all households and businesses, including those in rural areas and considers the needs of all types of households and businesses when developing policies.

We publish regular information on industrial energy prices and on domestic energy bills in DECC’s Quarterly Energy Prices. Industrial prices are only available at the UK level. Average domestic energy bills are produced for each of the 15 Public Electricity Supply (PES) regions in the UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/quarterly-energy-prices

We also publish regular information on the impact of policies on prices and bills.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/estimated-impacts-of-energy-and-climate-change-policies-on-energy-prices-and-bills

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, by what measure the Director of the Serious Fraud Office judges whether there is a significant public interest element in a case.

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Robert Buckland
Secretary of State for Wales
26th Jan 2016
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, what measure the Director of the Serious Fraud Office uses to judge actual or potential economic harm.

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Robert Buckland
Secretary of State for Wales
26th Jan 2016
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, how the Director of the Serious Fraud Office measures the undermining of UK PLC commercial or financial interests in the (a) City of London and (b) UK.

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Robert Buckland
Secretary of State for Wales
26th Jan 2016
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, what the figure is for high actual or potential loss listed in the Statement of Principle.

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Robert Buckland
Secretary of State for Wales
26th Jan 2016
To ask the Attorney General, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2016 to Question 22432, whether a case considered by the Serious Fraud Office must meet all Statement of Principle considerations.

The Criminal Justice Act 1987 provides that “The Director may investigate any suspected offence which appears to him on reasonable grounds to involve serious or complex fraud.”

Each case is assessed on its own facts and merits.

The Statement of Principle sets out some of the factors that the Director will take into account when considering the matter for investigation. All of these will be considered, and there is no minimum requirement or measure in respect of the different factors.

Each on its own or taken in combination can establish sufficient grounds for the Director to decide that the case is sufficiently large, complex or of wide public interest that it should be dealt with by the Serious Fraud Office.

Robert Buckland
Secretary of State for Wales
9th Jul 2015
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people in Ogmore constituency earn between £3,850 and £6,420 annually.

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

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, whether she plans to take forward talks on reaching an intergovernmental agreement with Ireland on expanding electricity interconnection capacity in response to the conclusions of the National Infrastructure Commission's report on Smart Power, published in March 2016.

The Government is ambitious for the market to deliver an increase in electricity interconnection capacity where projects demonstrate value for money and provide benefits to consumers. We are primarily focused on facilitating developer-led delivery. Already one interconnection project to Ireland, Greenlink, has been approved by Ofgem in the first round of cap and floor applications. More projects, including to Ireland, can apply to Ofgem’s second cap and floor application window which opens this month.

10th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, with reference to the Memorandum of Understanding on renewable energy trade agreed between the UK and Ireland in January 2013, what progress has been made on reaching an intergovernmental agreement with Ireland.

We recognise the benefits of cooperation mechanisms and of opening our renewable support schemes to foreign generation in principle. This is why we signed the Memorandum of Understanding with Ireland. Whilst we have yet to agree with Ireland on any particular project, we remain open to new proposals.

11th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the carbon emissions and air pollution from diesel shipping moored (a) off Enderby Wharf, Greenwich and (b) in other inshore UK waters.

Assessment of local air quality is a matter for Local Authorities, following statutory guidance set by central Government and the devolved administrations. Central Government assesses air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions at a UK level using the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory.

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of the number of people who will (a) leave and (b) join the labour market in rural areas before 2025.

To inform Defra’s policy brief on the rural economy published on 27 December 2014, an estimate was included for how much employment in rural areas could increase by 2025. This assumed employment could grow at the rate of projected population growth in rural areas (derived from Office for National Statistics population projections). Further details can be found in the policy brief: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/390767/policy-brief-rural-productivity-pb14252.pdf

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page seven of her Department's policy brief, How increased Connectivity is Boosting Prospects of Rural Areas, published in December 2014, what assessment she has made of the effect of Visit England's marketing campaigns on tourism to rural areas to date.

Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the rural economy. In recognition of this, the Government launched the Rural Tourism package aimed at growing the visitor economy in rural areas. Under that package, Visit England estimates that its promotional activity to attract visitors to the countryside has so far delivered an extra 1,851 full-time equivalent jobs and £100 million in visitor spend.

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page seven of her Department's policy brief, How increased Connectivity is Boosting Prospects of Rural Areas, published in December 2014, what assessment she has made of the effect of the Skills and Knowledge Transfer Programme on business people in rural areas to date.

To date, the Rural Development Programme Skills and Knowledge Transfer Programme has provided training across England for 215,000 (non-unique) participants who have completed 220,000 training days. Delivery is still underway and an evaluation will be carried out.

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page seven of her Department's policy brief, How increased Connectivity is Boosting Prospects of Rural Areas, published in December 2014, what assessment she has made of the effect of UK RuralSkills on farmers' management and business skills to date.

Management and Business Skills forms one of a number of contracts awarded under the Rural Development Programme for England skills framework. The contract was awarded to Traineast, which works with its UK Rural Skills partners to provide coverage across England. To date, under the Management and Business Skills contract, 3,973 training days have been completed with 2,444 (non-unique) participants taking part in training. Evaluation completed by trainees following training indicates that 99.96% will put the skills gained into practice. Delivery under the skills framework is ongoing and an evaluation will be carried out.

21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page six of her Department's policy brief, How increased Connectivity is Boosting Prospects of Rural Areas, published in December 2014, what estimate she has made of the proportion of areas which will not be covered by superfast broadband by 2017 that are (a) rural and (b) coastal.

The Government is investing £780 million to give access to superfast broadband to 95% of UK premises by 2017. This will be achieved through two delivery phases. Until Phase 2 is complete, it is not possible to estimate precisely how many rural and coastal areas will not be covered by superfast broadband by 2017. Approximately 1.4 million premises are expected to fall within the remaining 5% hard to reach areas across the UK. We are currently exploring how to extend superfast broadband into these final areas.

8th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will meet the Chairman and Board of First Milk to discuss the effect of that body's recent announcements on milk prices, delays in payments and increased capital levy contributions on the viability of farmers who supply it.

The Secretary of State and I have spoken to the Chairman of First Milk to discuss the recent announcement on milk prices and the impact this will have on farmers. We are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with milk industry experts to consider if any further action is appropriate.

I will continue to work closely with the dairy industry as a whole to manage price volatility. Most recently I met the Chairman of First Milk on Monday evening.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
18th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what changes there have been in the number of herds under TB restrictions (a) in each area of the UK, (b) in the Gloucestershire pilot cull area and (c) in the Somerset pilot cull area in each month since January 2010.

The latest statistics for herds under bovine TB restrictions can be found online at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/incidence-of-tuberculosis-tb-in-cattle-in-great-britain

Statistics below county level are not available. For Gloucestershire and Somerset as a whole, the number of herds not officially TB free due to a bovine TB incident as at the end of January in each year since 2010, plus the latest published figures for September 2014, are shown below.

Gloucestershire

Somerset

January 2010

220

146

January 2011

228

220

January 2012

222

227

January 2013

230

254

January 2014

230

269

September 2014

185

194

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
14th Oct 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she has taken to ensure that statistics which record mis-stunning of animals are accurate; and if she will make a statement.

I refer the Rt Hon Member to the answer given to UIN 209694.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
26th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 September 2014 to Question 206013, what the reasons are for the delay in publication of the study commissioned by her Department.

The study to determine whether cage-based breeding can meet the needs of game birds (AW1303) has not been published because it is still being peer reviewed.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
26th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 3 September 2014 to Question 193828, what steps she has taken to ensure the accuracy of data collected by the Food Standards Agency on mis-stunning of animals for slaughter.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is due to complete a review into its monitoring and reporting of breaches of welfare legislation by the end of October.

Previously, only major and critical breaches were recorded, along with the actions taken to correct these. The FSA review is now also looking to strengthen recording of minor breaches. These minor breaches include where back-up stunning equipment is used or a second stun is carried out without the intervention of the Official Veterinarian and where there has been no injury, avoidable pain, distress or suffering to an animal. As with major and critical breaches, information on minor breaches would be collated centrally and reported to Defra, Welsh and Scottish Government on a monthly basis.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
10th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff were dedicated to food authenticity in (a) the Food Standards Agency and (b) her Department in each year from 2008 to date; and how much those bodies spent on food authenticity in those years.

In 2010, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) had 12 full time staff working in its Food Standards and Authenticity branch, which included food composition and standards as well as authenticity.

In the years 2008-2010, the FSA had between 3.5 and 4 staff members working solely on its Food Authenticity Research Programme, although other areas of authenticity-related policy work were carried out across the Standards branch.

The FSA has estimated that authenticity work associated with the food authenticity research programme had an annual research budget of around:

2008/09

2009/10

2010/11

£800,000

£700,000

£600,000

In 2010 22.6 full time equivalents (FTEs) were transferred to Defra under the Machinery of Government Changes.

Thirteen of these officials work wholly or partly on aspects of food authenticity. This includes work on food composition and standards, food labelling and related science, including developing methodologies for detecting food authenticity.

Three members of staff are dedicated to the Food Authenticity Research Programme in Defra, with additional support from an experienced external programme advisor.

The budget allocation for the Food Authenticity Research Programme transferred to Defra for 2011/12 onwards was £500,000 per year. This budget has been protected through re-prioritisation within Defra’s overall food science programme and actual spend on food authenticity in each of the last two years has been above this level, rising to £660,000 in 2013/14.

Defra works closely with the FSA which has responsibility for surveillance and enforcement. The FSA also makes available funds to Local Authorities as part of the National Co-ordinated Sampling Plan. These funds are not exclusively used for authenticity work, but a significant proportion funds authenticity testing. The funds allocated to the National Co-ordinated Sampling Plan were as follows:

2008/09

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

£900,000

£900,000

£900,000

£1.6 Million

£1.6 Million

£2.2 Million

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3rd Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether (a) she and (b) her predecessor had discussions with representatives of the agricultural and horticultural sectors on the potential effect on skills and recruitment into those sectors of the proposals to remove OCR environmental and land-based science from the curriculum; and if she will make a statement.

The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual), the independent regulator of qualifications in England, consulted recently on proposals for completing the reforms of GCSEs and A levels (http://comment.ofqual.gov.uk/completing-gcse-as-and-a-level-reform/), including principles to guide the subjects that may be offered in the future. The consultation closed on 30 July 2014 and Ofqual have not yet announced the outcome. These proposals do not remove specific subjects from the curriculum; however, they may have implications for the range of subjects available as GCSE or A level qualifications provided by awarding organisations. The removal of some qualifications may be as a result of low take up of specific qualifications or significant overlap of content. As Ofqual is independent of Ministers, and is accountable directly to Parliament, neither the Secretary of State nor her predecessor have therefore discussed the proposals with agriculture and horticulture representatives, although they were able to respond to the consultation directly. I have asked Ofqual’s Chief Regulator, Glenys Stacey, to write to the Hon. Member. A copy of her letter will be placed in the House of Commons Library.

29th Aug 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will commission a study to assess the extent of mis-stunning at the point of animal slaughter in the UK.

I refer the Right Hon. Member to the answer I gave to the Hon. Member, the Member for Finchley and Golders Green, on 1 April 2014, Official Report, column 600W.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
16th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings (a) Chris Elliot and (b) members of his team have had with representatives from the meat importation sector during the investigation into criminality in the food chain.

The City of London Police, working with their counterparts across Europe, are taking forward complicated and far-reaching criminal investigations into the Europe-wide horsemeat fraud.

During the course of his Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks, Professor Elliott and his team carried out site visits, and met many industry stakeholders, regulators and consumers, including representatives from the meat importation sector.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
16th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress has been made on the investigation into criminal prosecutions as a result of the adulteration of beef products with horsemeat; and if she will make a statement.

The Food Standards Agency and the City of London police, working with their counterparts across Europe, are taking forward complicated and far-reaching investigations into the Europe wide horsemeat fraud. The Crown Prosecution Service has announced that criminal proceedings have been instituted for the mislabelling of goat meat and the failure to comply with traceability requirements in relation to horsemeat. It would not be appropriate to comment further on ongoing criminal investigations.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effects of the CAP reforms on farmers.

I refer the hon. Member to my previous answer of 23 June 2014, Official Report, column 63W.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress her Department's study to determine whether cage-based breeding can meet the needs of game birds, reference AW1303 has made; what the cost of that study was; and for what reason the findings of that study have not been published.

The study commissioned by Defra to provide scientific evidence on whether cage-based breeding for pheasants and partridges can fully meet birds’ needs has been completed and is now being peer-reviewed. The study was commissioned in 2009 and was due to cost approximately £800,000. In 2010 Ministers reduced the cost to £426,000. The study will be published once the peer review is complete, later this year.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's position is in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations on future-proofing UK and EU standards of consumer and worker protection, animal welfare and environmental sustainability following the conclusion of those negotiations.

The Government wants to preserve the ability of the UK and EU to set and regulate standards for a range of issues (including consumer and worker protection, animal welfare and environmental sustainability) in order to address our future needs. The Government therefore wishes to enhance cooperation between the EU and US, without affecting the ability of governments to set policy on these issues.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's position is in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations on any weakening of farm animal welfare provisions in the UK; and if she will make a statement.

The Government continues to support the European Commission in seeking equivalence in animal welfare standards between the EU and US as an important part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations and will strongly resist any attempts to undermine our high national standards or those of our Community partners.

In parallel, we are working with the European Commission through the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to ensure that global standards of animal welfare match those of the EU.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's position is in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations on labelling of products containing GM in the UK food chain; and if she will make a statement.

The existing EU rules which require GM-derived food to be labelled are not expected to be discussed or reviewed as part of the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's position is in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations on food procurement rules and the ability of the Government to stipulate conditions on procurement which recognise local and regional food and the economic and other benefits of sourcing local and regional food for public procurement; and if she will make a statement.

Public sector procurers are required to seek value for money through fair and open competition. Through our membership of the European Union and as a signatory to international agreements, our contracting authorities are required to treat suppliers from Europe and various other countries on an equal footing with UK suppliers. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is expected to incorporate these longstanding principles of EU and WTO (World Trade Organisation) law. The Public Services (Social Value) Act (2012) requires contracting authorities to consider the full social, environmental and economic value of public services procurements at the pre-procurement stage.

The Government wants UK companies to be successful in public procurement. The most appropriate way to do this is for companies to offer the goods and services at the right quality levels and to provide good value for money. The Government is determined to make access to public sector contracts easier and is introducing a simpler, streamlined method for procuring food and catering services that sets out public sector’s requirements more clearly. This was launched on 21st July in, “A Plan for Public Procurement of Food and Catering Services”.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of whether measures to achieve regulatory convergence under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership may lead to a lower standard of food production in the UK in respect of (a) food safety, (b) food labelling and transparency, (c) animal welfare, (d) worker protections and (e) consumer protections; and if she will make a statement.

Regulatory coherence offers greater compatibility of EU and US systems and helps to reduce the costs of complying with duplicate procedures at our borders. Leaders on both sides of the Atlantic have been clear that this is not about reducing regulatory standards. Any agreement will need to take into account EU and US rules on food safety, food labelling, animal welfare, worker protection and consumer protection. Regulatory coherence between the EU and US is not therefore expected to lead to lower standards of food production in the UK.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's position is in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations on poultry treated with hyper-chlorinated water entering the UK food chain; and if she will make a statement.

This issue has yet to be discussed in detail within the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership TTIP negotiations and is unlikely to be until the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) delivers an opinion on the public health, safety and environmental impact of this treatment process. The Government will consider its position when the EFSA opinion becomes available.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's position is in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations on meat treated with antibiotics as growth promoters entering the UK food chain; and if she will make a statement.

The use of antibiotics as growth promoters has been banned in the EU since 2006. Third countries permitted to export to the EU are required to have equivalent standards, therefore meat from those countries entering the EU should not contain residues of these substances.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's position is in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations on meat and dairy products derived from cloned animals in the UK food-chain; and if she will make a statement.

The Government believes that the existing EU Novel Food controls on the use of cloned material already ensure adequate protection of Community consumers. The scientific advice we have makes clear that meat and milk from clones or their progeny is just as safe as that produced by more traditional methods. We do not therefore see the need for any further controls at this point.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's position is in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations on pork and other meats treated with lactic acid and other organic washes entering the UK food-chain; and if she will make a statement.

This issue has yet to be discussed in detail within the framework of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations. The Government will consider its negotiation position based on a range of factors including the environmental impact and public health benefit of such anti-microbial treatments that can reduce potential for foodborne illness.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
15th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's position is in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations on meat containing ractopamine entering the UK food-chain; and if she will make a statement.

The use of beta-agonists such as ractopamine for growth promotion purposes is banned under Council Directive 96/22/EC. Third countries permitted to export to the EU are required to have equivalent standards, therefore meat from those countries entering the EU should not contain residues of these substances.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
14th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2014, Official Report, column 178W, on food supply networks review, and with reference to the statement in the terms of reference for the Elliot review published on 4 June 2013 that the final report of that review would be published in Spring 2014, for what reasons that final review has not been published.

Professor Elliott's final report of the Review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks is being finalised and will be published soon.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
9th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2014, Official Report, column 175W, on Food Supply Networks Review, how many times he has met Professor Chris Elliott since March 2014.

The Secretary of State forEnvironment, Food and Rural Affairs has met with Professor Chris Elliott twice since March 2014.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
3rd Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the role of outdoor-reared pigs in transmission of bovine TB; and if he will make a statement.

The veterinary risk assessment on pigs has recently been reviewed. We intend to publish this in a forthcoming consultation package on TB in non-bovine farmed and companion animals.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
2nd Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he expects the Elliot Report on food crime to be published; and if he will make a statement.

The Elliott Report is due to be published shortly.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
30th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many officials in his Department are currently working on food authenticity.

Currently, 13 Defra officials work wholly or partly on aspects of food authenticity. This includes work on food composition and standards, food labelling and related science, including development of methodologies for detecting food authenticity. Defra works closely with the Food Standards Agency which has responsibility for surveillance and enforcement policy.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the causes and effects of falls in beef farm gate prices; and if he will make a statement.

With supplies of cattle outstripping demand both at home and abroad, domestic prime cattle prices have been under pressure and have fallen throughout 2014. In May, prices were at their lowest level since mid-2012 and 15-20% lower than the peak reached in 2013. The European Commission (EC) Short Term Outlook expects beef prices to remain firm although below the 2013 record highs.

On 1 July, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment will be hosting a senior-level beef industry summit with retailers, meat processors and farmers to discuss falling farm gate beef prices and develop strategies for a sustainable British beef sector.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many herd owners have (a) failed to complete TB surveillance tests on time and (b) received reductions in their Single Payment Scheme payments since the introduction of a revised TB testing regime in January 2014.

Owners of cattle herds are given a two or three month window to complete their TB surveillance tests, depending on whether they are subject to annual or four yearly surveillance testing. The enhanced cross compliance rule for overdue surveillance tests applies to cattle keepers with a testing window that started on or after 1 January 2014. In April 2014 (the most recent date for which we have data) 264 herd owners had failed to complete their TB tests on time, which compares to 689 overdue tests in April 2013. All of these herd owners who are Common Agricultural Policy scheme recipients will be liable to reductions in their payments once these become due, unless they can show that the late testing was beyond their control.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take in response to falls in beef farm gate prices.

With supplies of cattle outstripping demand both at home and abroad, domestic prime cattle prices have been under pressure and have fallen throughout 2014. In May, prices were at their lowest level since mid-2012 and 15-20% lower than the peak reached in 2013. The European Commission (EC) Short Term Outlook expects beef prices to remain firm although below the 2013 record highs.

On 1 July, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Farming, Food and the Marine Environment will be hosting a senior-level beef industry summit with retailers, meat processors and farmers to discuss falling farm gate beef prices and develop strategies for a sustainable British beef sector.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
24th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment has been made of the regulatory impact of the changes to the CAP on farmers.

I refer the hon. Member to my previous answer of 23 June 2014. Official report: column 63W.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of mango lots or number of shipments infested by tephriditae were rejected by Fera in each of the last five years; and from which source country each infected shipment was exported.

The ban was imposed following persistent interceptions of plant pestson imports of Indian produce into the European Union (EU) and critical reports from the European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office audits in 2010 and 2013. Despite assurances from India in response to these reports the level of interceptions remained high. The EU's decision to introduce a ban was therefore fully justified and supported by all Member States including the UK, in line with our policy of strengthening plant health controls. Therefore, no alternatives to a ban were considered by Defra.

Protecting plant health is a key Defra objective. Plant pests and diseases such as those intercepted from India in recent years can cause serious damage to the UK glasshouse industry which is worth over £300 million per annum. However, I am aware of the importance of the mango trade and Defra officials are liaising with the Indian High Commission on what support the UK can offer to India to help it ensure compliance with EU import requirements.

The following table shows the number of consignments of mangoes imported into the UK in the last five years which were infested with Tephriditae (and therefore rejected) by country of origin. The European Commission is considering similar measures to those taken against India for other countries with high levels of interceptions of plant pests. Such consideration takes account of findings from all Member States, and covers all plant commodities and all pests identified.

Year

Country of origin

No. of consignments imported into the UK

No. of consignments infected with Tephritidae

2010

Dominican Republic

351

1

India

1977

1

Jamaica

228

3

Pakistan

3302

6

2011

Dominican Republic

417

2

India

1836

11

Jamaica

262

3

Pakistan

3690

19

Puerto Rico

1

1

Sri Lanka

144

1

Uganda

138

1

2012

Bangladesh

146

1

Brazil

445

1

Costa Rica

70

2

Dominican Republic

606

18

Ghana

628

15

India

3448

23

Jamaica

332

24

Kenya

2044

4

Pakistan

5128

81

Philippines

12

2

Sri Lanka

189

10

St Lucia

50

1

Thailand

1050

3

Uganda

104

2

2013

Brazil

316

3

Dominican Republic

756

16

Ghana

357

4

Guinea

7

1

India

3563

13

Jamaica

516

17

Kenya

1654

17

Pakistan

5910

47

Puerto Rico

104

1

Sri Lanka

111

3

U A E

1

1

Vietnam

77

1

2014 (to 18/06/14)

Brazil

106

1

Dominican Republic

420

3

Ghana

271

1

India

401

1

Jamaica

464

9

Kenya

698

7

Mexico

61

1

Senegal

4

1

Sri Lanka

69

3

Source: Fera and Europhyt

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what (a) economic and (b) infection risks to UK and EU fruit and vegetable production arise from the importation of mangoes or other fruit infested with tephritidae.

Tephritidae is listed as a ‘quarantine' pest under European Union (EU) legislation. All quarantine pests have been assessed as presenting a significant economic or environmental risk to the EU and therefore their introduction into its territory is prohibited.

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his policy is on the recent EU ban on Indian mangoes.

The ban was imposed following persistent interceptions of plant pestson imports of Indian produce into the European Union (EU) and critical reports from the European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office audits in 2010 and 2013. Despite assurances from India in response to these reports the level of interceptions remained high. The EU's decision to introduce a ban was therefore fully justified and supported by all Member States including the UK, in line with our policy of strengthening plant health controls. Therefore, no alternatives to a ban were considered by Defra.

Protecting plant health is a key Defra objective. Plant pests and diseases such as those intercepted from India in recent years can cause serious damage to the UK glasshouse industry which is worth over £300 million per annum. However, I am aware of the importance of the mango trade and Defra officials are liaising with the Indian High Commission on what support the UK can offer to India to help it ensure compliance with EU import requirements.

The following table shows the number of consignments of mangoes imported into the UK in the last five years which were infested with Tephriditae (and therefore rejected) by country of origin. The European Commission is considering similar measures to those taken against India for other countries with high levels of interceptions of plant pests. Such consideration takes account of findings from all Member States, and covers all plant commodities and all pests identified.

Year

Country of origin

No. of consignments imported into the UK

No. of consignments infected with Tephritidae

2010

Dominican Republic

351

1

India

1977

1

Jamaica

228

3

Pakistan

3302

6

2011

Dominican Republic

417

2

India

1836

11

Jamaica

262

3

Pakistan

3690

19

Puerto Rico

1

1

Sri Lanka

144

1

Uganda

138

1

2012

Bangladesh

146

1

Brazil

445

1

Costa Rica

70

2

Dominican Republic

606

18

Ghana

628

15

India

3448

23

Jamaica

332

24

Kenya

2044

4

Pakistan

5128

81

Philippines

12

2

Sri Lanka

189

10

St Lucia

50

1

Thailand

1050

3

Uganda

104

2

2013

Brazil

316

3

Dominican Republic

756

16

Ghana

357

4

Guinea

7

1

India

3563

13

Jamaica

516

17

Kenya

1654

17

Pakistan

5910

47

Puerto Rico

104

1

Sri Lanka

111

3

U A E

1

1

Vietnam

77

1

2014 (to 18/06/14)

Brazil

106

1

Dominican Republic

420

3

Ghana

271

1

India

401

1

Jamaica

464

9

Kenya

698

7

Mexico

61

1

Senegal

4

1

Sri Lanka

69

3

Source: Fera and Europhyt

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether any alternatives to a full ban on the importation of Indian mangoes were (a) considered by his Department's officials and (b) put forward to European Commissioners.

The ban was imposed following persistent interceptions of plant pestson imports of Indian produce into the European Union (EU) and critical reports from the European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office audits in 2010 and 2013. Despite assurances from India in response to these reports the level of interceptions remained high. The EU's decision to introduce a ban was therefore fully justified and supported by all Member States including the UK, in line with our policy of strengthening plant health controls. Therefore, no alternatives to a ban were considered by Defra.

Protecting plant health is a key Defra objective. Plant pests and diseases such as those intercepted from India in recent years can cause serious damage to the UK glasshouse industry which is worth over £300 million per annum. However, I am aware of the importance of the mango trade and Defra officials are liaising with the Indian High Commission on what support the UK can offer to India to help it ensure compliance with EU import requirements.

The following table shows the number of consignments of mangoes imported into the UK in the last five years which were infested with Tephriditae (and therefore rejected) by country of origin. The European Commission is considering similar measures to those taken against India for other countries with high levels of interceptions of plant pests. Such consideration takes account of findings from all Member States, and covers all plant commodities and all pests identified.

Year

Country of origin

No. of consignments imported into the UK

No. of consignments infected with Tephritidae

2010

Dominican Republic

351

1

India

1977

1

Jamaica

228

3

Pakistan

3302

6

2011

Dominican Republic

417

2

India

1836

11

Jamaica

262

3

Pakistan

3690

19

Puerto Rico

1

1

Sri Lanka

144

1

Uganda

138

1

2012

Bangladesh

146

1

Brazil

445

1

Costa Rica

70

2

Dominican Republic

606

18

Ghana

628

15

India

3448

23

Jamaica

332

24

Kenya

2044

4

Pakistan

5128

81

Philippines

12

2

Sri Lanka

189

10

St Lucia

50

1

Thailand

1050

3

Uganda

104

2

2013

Brazil

316

3

Dominican Republic

756

16

Ghana

357

4

Guinea

7

1

India

3563

13

Jamaica

516

17

Kenya

1654

17

Pakistan

5910

47

Puerto Rico

104

1

Sri Lanka

111

3

U A E

1

1

Vietnam

77

1

2014 (to 18/06/14)

Brazil

106

1

Dominican Republic

420

3

Ghana

271

1

India

401

1

Jamaica

464

9

Kenya

698

7

Mexico

61

1

Senegal

4

1

Sri Lanka

69

3

Source: Fera and Europhyt

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which countries possess comparative levels of fruit fly infestation in exported mangoes and are not subject to an EU ban on importation.

The ban was imposed following persistent interceptions of plant pestson imports of Indian produce into the European Union (EU) and critical reports from the European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office audits in 2010 and 2013. Despite assurances from India in response to these reports the level of interceptions remained high. The EU's decision to introduce a ban was therefore fully justified and supported by all Member States including the UK, in line with our policy of strengthening plant health controls. Therefore, no alternatives to a ban were considered by Defra.

Protecting plant health is a key Defra objective. Plant pests and diseases such as those intercepted from India in recent years can cause serious damage to the UK glasshouse industry which is worth over £300 million per annum. However, I am aware of the importance of the mango trade and Defra officials are liaising with the Indian High Commission on what support the UK can offer to India to help it ensure compliance with EU import requirements.

The following table shows the number of consignments of mangoes imported into the UK in the last five years which were infested with Tephriditae (and therefore rejected) by country of origin. The European Commission is considering similar measures to those taken against India for other countries with high levels of interceptions of plant pests. Such consideration takes account of findings from all Member States, and covers all plant commodities and all pests identified.

Year

Country of origin

No. of consignments imported into the UK

No. of consignments infected with Tephritidae

2010

Dominican Republic

351

1

India

1977

1

Jamaica

228

3

Pakistan

3302

6

2011

Dominican Republic

417

2

India

1836

11

Jamaica

262

3

Pakistan

3690

19

Puerto Rico

1

1

Sri Lanka

144

1

Uganda

138

1

2012

Bangladesh

146

1

Brazil

445

1

Costa Rica

70

2

Dominican Republic

606

18

Ghana

628

15

India

3448

23

Jamaica

332

24

Kenya

2044

4

Pakistan

5128

81

Philippines

12

2

Sri Lanka

189

10

St Lucia

50

1

Thailand

1050

3

Uganda

104

2

2013

Brazil

316

3

Dominican Republic

756

16

Ghana

357

4

Guinea

7

1

India

3563

13

Jamaica

516

17

Kenya

1654

17

Pakistan

5910

47

Puerto Rico

104

1

Sri Lanka

111

3

U A E

1

1

Vietnam

77

1

2014 (to 18/06/14)

Brazil

106

1

Dominican Republic

420

3

Ghana

271

1

India

401

1

Jamaica

464

9

Kenya

698

7

Mexico

61

1

Senegal

4

1

Sri Lanka

69

3

Source: Fera and Europhyt

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether any phyto-sanitary and plant-disease expertise from the UK has been involved in helping to address the shortcomings identified by the EU Commissioner necessitating the recent ban on importation of mangoes from India.

Defra's Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) has offered to deliver a technical training programme for Indian Plant Health Inspectors to help address some of the issues raised in the previous European Commission's Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audits of the Indian plant health export certification systems. A Plant Health and Seeds Inspector from Fera will be also be assisting the FVO when it undertakes its audit visit to India in September.

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the economic effect of the EU ban on importing Indian mangoes on UK businesses.

The gross annual cost to UK businesses of the European Union ban on importing mangoes from India has been estimated at around £375,000 per year.

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent meetings his Department has had with representatives of (a) the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, (b) National Asian Business Association and (c) other representative organisations or affected businesses to discuss (i) the EU ban on importation of mangoes from India, (ii) any alternatives to a ban and (iii) measures to mitigate the effect of such a ban on UK importers, distributors, retailers and restaurateurs.

Lord de Mauley chaired a roundtable discussion on 21 May with the National Asian Business Association, the Fresh Produce Consortium and the Indian High Commission to discuss the implications of the European Union (EU) ban on mangoes from India and what help the UK might be able to offer India to comply with EU import requirements. Defra officials have also met these bodies and other trade representatives to discuss the issue.

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the regulatory effect of recent changes to the common agricultural policy on farmers.

In implementing the new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in England a number of decisions have been taken around how the budget should be spent.

In October 2013 Defra published an evidence paper alongside the consultation on CAP reform. This assessed the overall impact of the new CAP and the associated decisions being consulted on in England (https://consult.defra.gov.uk/agricultural-policy/cap-consultation).

Throughout the consultation period we actively sought further evidence, and further analysis took place. Further assessments of impacts on farmers, the rural community and Defra delivery bodies were made, and the findings of these have been included in publications setting out government decisions. These include:

· The December 2013 Government response to the consultation, which included estimates of the aggregate impact of changes to Pillar 1 on Farm Business Income - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/common-agricultural-policy-reform-implementation-in-england;

· A draft impact assessment of the new Regional Development Programme for England, published in December 2013 and updated in June 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/319445/rdpe-ia-201406.pdf;

· The Government decision on the moorland rate including an assessment of impact on farmers, published by Defra in May 2014 - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/common-agricultural-policy-reform-implementation-in-england; and

· The Government decisions on cross compliance together with a summary of the evidence, published by Defra in June 2014 - https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/common-agricultural-policy-reform-implementation-in-england.

We will continue to publish further evidence as final CAP implementation decisions are made.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, from which countries other than India the import of mangoes to the EU is banned.

None. The ban only applies to mangoes from India.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 24 March 2014, Official Report, column 37W, on rural areas: broadband, what the latest figures are for how much funding is for projects (a) granted, (b) under pre-contract approval and (c) still under consideration for funding.

The current breakdown of funding to date that has arisen from the Rural Community Broadband Fund is as follows:

a) Projects granted (contracted and in delivery) total: £0.459 million;

b) Projects with pre-contract approval total: £0.634 million; and

c) Projects under consideration total: £14.0 million.

Until contracted, all costs are estimated and subject to revision.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what evidence his Department has collected on the effect of badger culls conducted in Ireland on levels of bovine TB in that country.

The number of bovine TB reactors in the Republic of Ireland fell by over 65% between 1999 and 2013, from 44,903 to 15,612. This represents the lowest level since the eradication programme started in the 1950s. The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine's wildlife policy statement of April 2013 concludes that it is satisfied that the culling of infected badgers, which is underpinned by research studies and sound science, has led to a significant reduction in the incidence of TB in cattle over the past decade.

http://www.agriculture.gov.ie/animalhealthwelfare/diseasecontrol/bovinetbbrucellosiseradicationschemes/wildlifepolicybadgers/

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the food industry about its compliance with food-related legislation.

My Right Honourable Friend the Secretary of State and I meet regularly with food industry trade associations and with individual food businesses to discuss a wide range of current policy issues. This often includes proposals for changes in food-related legislation and food industry practices, to ensure legislation is fit-for-purpose and regulation is risk-based. Compliance with existing food-related legislation is something the Government expects from all food businesses. Primary responsibility for enforcing compliance with food-related legislation rests with local authority environmental health and trading standards departments, overseen by the Food Standards Agency.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will assess the desirability of separating responsibility for food safety policy and responsibility for food standards policy in England between the Food Standards Agency and his Department.

The Food Standards Authority is responsible for food safety and food hygiene across the UK, and for food law enforcement. Their strategic objective is safer food for the nation in order to protect the consumer.

Defra is responsible for non-safety related food compositional standards and labelling policy in England. Most of these standards are set under EU legislation considered by EU Agriculture Council and there are synergies with the equivalent standards set through the Common Agricultural Policy. The underlying reason for regulating in these areas is to set internationally recognised standards to facilitate trade and ensure a level playing field for food businesses, whilst protecting consumers against product misdescription. Food composition and standards policy is not generally related to food safety.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to his statement of 3 April 2014, Official Report, columns 1034-7, on bovine TB, what the evidential basis is for the statement that about a third of badgers in TB hotspot areas are infected with TB.

The prevalence of M. bovis in badgers based on post-mortems and a subsequent analysis of the post-mortem protocol following the Randomised Badger Culling Trail (RBCT) showed prevalence of around 33%.

In the long-running study of badgers at Woodchester park TB prevalence in badgers has increased to over 30%.[1]

In a separate study in Gloucestershire between 35% and 53% of badgers tested positive to a TB test. [2]


[1]Delahay et al. Epidemiol. Infect. (2013), 141, 1445–1456. Long-term temporal trends and estimated transmission rates for Mycobacterium bovis infection in an undisturbed high-density badger (Meles meles) population

[2]Carter SP, et al. (2012) PLoS ONE 7(12): e49833. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049833 BCG Vaccination Reduces Risk of Tuberculosis Infection in Vaccinated Badgers and Unvaccinated Badger Cubs.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of consumer confidence in the authenticity of British food.

Defra has not recently carried out its own assessment of consumer confidence in the authenticity of British food. However in 2013 consumer research carried out by both IGD and Mintel showed an increase in consumer trust in British food.

The IGD ShopperVista survey carried out in March 2013 found that shoppers are now nearly one and a half times more likely to buy British food than they were six years ago, with younger shoppers and families driving this growth. The Mintel report on Consumer Trust in Food, published in June 2013, found that the factor most encouraging consumer trust in food was the use of British ingredients (48%), with product origin on packaging also seen as a key factor (43%).

The Government is committed to clear and consistent labelling to help consumers make informed decisions about the food that they buy. On 13 December 2013, the European Commission adopted an Implementing Regulation setting out the detailed rules for mandatory country of origin labelling for fresh and frozen, unprocessed, pre-packed pork, poultry, sheep and goat meat. The rules come into force on 1 April 2015. Defra is reviewing with the UK food industry the current industry principles for meat labelled as ‘British', with a view to re-launching and reinforcing them alongside the new European mandatory labelling requirement.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether changes in the number of puppies and dogs imported from EU member states since January 2012 are consistent with AHLVA risk assessment in 2010.

The quantitative risk assessment carried out prior to harmonisation with the EU pet travel rules in 2012 took into account, amongst other things, a number of variables including increases in the number of pets entering the UK. The risk assessment was published in 2011 and is available here:

http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/rabies/documents/se0535-rabies-qra.pdf

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
4th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of climate change on forced migration and population displacement in the period to 2050.

There is increasing consensus among experts and academics that climate change will influence the factors that drive migration, changing both migration patterns and the volume of people likely to move, but the relationship is complex. The UK’s Foresight Report (2011) on Migration and Global Environmental Change found that environmental change will affect migration. Through resilience programming DFID is working to support countries, communities and households to anticipate and avoid shocks and stresses where possible, and to adapt when their current activities are no longer appropriate or threatened with collapse due to changing circumstances.

11th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what measures the Government plans to take to reduce (a) carbon emissions and (b) air pollution from shipping moored (i) off Enderby Wharf and (ii) in other inshore UK waters.

The Government has implemented the international and European requirements which control emissions from ships operating in inshore waters, including those moored at Enderby Wharf. We will continue to work at the International Maritime Organization and within the EU to reduce maritime emissions.


Through the National Policy Statement for Ports, the Government has encouraged ports and shipping companies to examine the opportunities available for shore-side electricity connection, particularly in areas identified as having poor air quality. Ultimately however, it is a matter for the Local Authority to consider what conditions should apply to a planning application before consent is given.


11th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to reduce (a) carbon emissions and (b) air pollution from maritime transport and air transport.

Given the international nature of the maritime and aviation sectors, the UK works primarily through UN’s International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organization (IMO) to ensure strong action on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at a global level is taken.


We are working with other states in ICAO to agree a global CO2 standard for aircraft and a global market-based measure to tackle aviation emissions growth, both of which will be subject to important decisions in 2016. We also continue to support the use of regional emissions measures, such as the Aviation EU Emissions Trading Scheme in the absence of a global measure. On air pollution from aviation, we are also working in ICAO to reduce particulate matter emissions, following the organisation’s introduction of a standard to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.


With maritime emissions, the UK is working in the IMO towards developing global data collection systems on ships’ CO2 energy efficiency. Moreover, following the introduction of a new 0.1 per cent sulphur limit on 1 January 2015, there has been a significant reduction in sulphur pollutants emitted by ships operating in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea emission control areas.


21st Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to page six of his Department's policy brief, How increased Connectivity is Boosting Prospects of Rural Areas, published in December 2014, how much of the £15 billion investment in road infrastructure will be used to promote rural connectivity.

In total we are investing £15.2 billion in England over 100 major schemes to enhance, renew and increase the connectivity of the Strategic Road Network between 2015/16 and 2020/21. This investment will be used to complete current road schemes, begin construction of previously announced road schemes and also start construction of 69 new road schemes by 2020/21.

This includes investments to key routes in rural areas and the periphery of the country – including the A1 north of Newcastle, an investment package worth around £290 million, the A47 in Norfolk, (over £300 million) and on the A30 in Cornwall (£100-250m).

Also included is a £2 billion commitment to turn the A303 into a new strategic corridor to the South West.

The strategic road network does not work in isolation, so that is why this government is also investing in roads managed by local authorities as part of the planned £12 billion ‘Growth Deals’.

1st Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average length of time to wait is for a reconsideration of a benefit decision by (a) his Department and (b) a tribunal hearing in (i) Ogmore and (ii) Wales in the latest period for which figures are available.

The published statistics in relation to Employment and Support Allowance reconsideration clearance times in the Great Britain are in the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mandatory-reconsiderations-of-dwp-benefit-decisions-data-to-october-2014

The information requested in relation to other benefit reconsiderations is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The latest information from Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service for appeal clearance times for the areas that cover Ogmore, Wales and the UK in the period April – September 2015, is as follows:

Area1

Waiting Time (Weeks)

Cardiff

16.6

Port Talbot

18.5

Wales

17.7

UK

18

Source: HMCTS MI System Feb 16 Note: The data is normally registered to the venue nearest to the appellant’s home address. Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service cannot retrieve data based on the appellant’s actual address, but can produce reports detailing the numbers of cases that were dealt with at one of its Regional centres. The majority of appellants living in the Ogmore area have their appeals heard in the Cardiff venues, though some may be heard in Port Talbot.

9th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in Ogmore constituency receive between £20,000 and £26,000 in benefit payments each year.

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

9th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in Ogmore constituency are eligible for universal credit; and if he will estimate how many such people will not be eligible for universal credit in 2020 as a result of measures announced in the Summer Budget 2015.

The information requested is not available. The Department published its strategy for releasing official statistics on Universal Credit (UC) in September 2013. As outlined in the strategy, officials are currently quality assuring data for UC therefore it is not yet possible to give a definitive list of what statistics will be provided in the future. These statistics however will be published in accordance with the relevant protocols in the Code of Practice for official statistics.

The latest official experimental statistics on UC and the Departments release strategy can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/universal-credit-statistics

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
9th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will estimate the number of 18 to 21 year olds in Ogmore constituency after April 2017 who will be unemployed and who will not be entitled to claim the housing element of universal credit.

The information requested is not available. The Department published its strategy for releasing official statistics on Universal Credit (UC) in September 2013. As outlined in the strategy, officials are currently quality assuring data for UC therefore it is not yet possible to give a definitive list of what statistics will be provided in the future. These statistics however will be published in accordance with the relevant protocols in the Code of Practice for official statistics.

The latest official experimental statistics on UC and the Departments release strategy can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/universal-credit-statistics

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
9th Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in Ogmore constituency claim benefits that will be subject to the uprating freeze from April 2016 to April 2020; and if he will estimate the average difference between the amount that would be received by a claimant if such benefits continue to increase at current rates and the amount that they will receive under the proposed uprating freeze.

The information requested is not available.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of work capability assessments appeals that were found in favour of the claimant heard by January 2014, were awarded zero points at the initial decision; and what proportion of such decisions were awarded to (a) the WRAG and (b) the Support Group.

The information requested for all Work Capability Assessments is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many representations he has received opposing the removal of customer access phones from Jobcentre Plus offices; which Jobcentre Plus offices serving constituents of Ogmore constituency have been affected by the removal of customer access phones from such offices; and how many people in Ogmore constituency are being serviced by each such Jobcentre Plus office.

The Department has received a number of representations on the removal of Customer Access Phones. The Department operates an Operational Stakeholder Engagement Forum, made up of charities, community organisations and customer representative groups, and this issue will be discussed at the next meeting of the Forum in May.

Jobcentres provide face to face support for claimants. Following the removal of Customer Access Phones, claimants who require access to a phone in connection with their benefit or job search will still be given controlled access to a telephone in a Jobcentre.

Ogmore constituents are served by several Jobcentres as the Jobcentre network does not reflect constituency boundaries. A summary follows by Jobcentre in the constituency:

Bridgend Jobcentre

Customer Access Phones have not yet been removed.

Maesteg Jobcentre

Customer Access Phones were withdrawn, replaced by a new assisted service of face to face support in 2014.

Llantrisant Jobcentre

Customer Access Phones were withdrawn, replaced by a new assisted service of face to face support in 2014.

Porth Jobcentre

One Customer Access Phone is currently available; three were withdrawn between November 2013 and January 2014, because of falling demand.

Jobcentre boundaries do not match constituency boundaries so we can only provide a breakdown for Ogmore in total, these follow below:

· Total JSA claimants (March 2014): 1,559

(Source: ONS claimant count with rates and proportions)

· Total claimants (Working-age client group – key benefit claimants (August 2013)): 10,510

(Source: DWP benefit claimants - working age client group)

21st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what system his Department has put in place to carry out sample checks on imported fat; and what assessment he has made of the risks of imported fat being passed off as a meat product.

We have been advised by the Food Standards Agency that in accordance with European Union legislation, all consignments of meat, imported into the United Kingdom (UK) must be presented for official controls at designated Border Inspection Posts (BIPs) in the UK. All consignments must undergo documentary and identity checks to ensure they are the products attested in the required animal and public health certificate accompanying each consignment. In addition, 20% of all meat, including offal, and products of the bovine, ovine, caprine, porcine and equine species, passing through the BIP, must undergo a physical check, which may include a laboratory test. This rate is increased to 50% for poultry, rabbit and game meat. We have no reports of imported fat being presented as meat products from these controls.

17th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made any representations to the Iranian government on (a) the need to respect trade union rights and International Labour Organisation conventions and (b) the detention and abuse of Shahrokh Zamani.

Independent unions and labour organisations have been heavily repressed in Iran, and many members have been jailed or harassed. The UK has repeatedly called on Iran to fulfil its international and domestic obligations to allow freedom of expression to all Iranians.

We are aware of the detention of Shahrokh Zamani, a member of the Founding Board of the Syndicate of Paint Workers of Tehran, who was sentenced to prison for “acting against national security by establishing and or being a member of groups opposed to the system”. The UK has called for Iran to release all political prisoners.

9th Jul 2015
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many families with more than two children in Ogmore constituency claim (a) child tax credits and (b) universal credit; if he will estimate the number of such families who will no longer be eligible to receive benefits for a child by the end of 2017; and if he will estimate the average amount by which the benefits received by such families will be reduced.

This information is not available.

Information about the number of benefitting families and average entitlement in the Ogmore constituency in the tax year 2013-14 can be found in the publication ‘Personal tax credits: Finalised award statistics – geographical statistics 2013-2014’ here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-tax-credits-finalised-award-statistics-geographical-statistics-2013-to-2014

The Government is making changes to Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit which will help put welfare spending on a more sustainable path. The Government wants to move from a low wage, high tax, high welfare society to a higher wage, lower tax, lower welfare society. That means more emphasis on support to hardworking families on low incomes by reducing income tax through increases in the personal allowance and increasing wages, than on topping up low wages through tax credits.

From April 2017, the child element of Child Tax Credit will be limited to two children. This means that families who have a third or subsequent child after April 2017 will not receive additional support for this child. Support provided to families who make a new claim to Universal Credit after this date will also be limited to two children. Equivalent changes will be made in housing benefit.

11th Jun 2015
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will respond formally to the Keep Me Posted campaign.

The Government takes the firm view that consumers must be able to access clear and transparent information about their accounts with banks and other financial service companies, utility companies, media companies and other service companies.

With regards to banking, for example, the Government is continuing to drive forward a wide-reaching and ambitious programme of reforms to open up competition in the banking sector, including enabling innovation in the use of bank data so that customers are able to use online information more effectively. This includes initiatives like the Midata current account tool, which will help customers switch to the best current account for them.

The Financial Conduct Authority is also currently reviewing cost-cutting initiatives that affect a significant number of customers, including the withdrawal of paper statements.

20th Feb 2015
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on amending or abolishing the import/export tax regime.

EU customs legislation requires that VAT and, in some cases, import duties are payable on goods when imported from outside the EU, (including by post). Most goods imported with a value of £15 or less are exempt from import VAT. When the value of goods exceeds the limit, import VAT is charged at the rate which applies to similar goods sold in the UK.

If this tax were not applied to imports, there would be an unfair advantage to foreign business over UK trade which is required to charge VAT on its sales no matter the value.

Customs duty is payable when the value of the goods exceeds £135, but is waived if the amount, when calculated is less than £9. The rate of duty applicable to each category of goods is set by the EU during world trade negotiations and applied to all goods imported into the UK.

The UK does not currently apply any export taxes/duties.

17th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if his Department will reconsider its decision to withdraw Volunteer Gliding Squadrons provision for Air Cadets in Wales.

No. Cadets from all Welsh cadet units will still have the opportunity to fly gliders.

Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (VGS) due to disband are 634 Squadron currently based at St Athan and 636 Squadron currently based at Swansea. The intention is that these will be offset by an expansion of 1 Air Experience Flight at St Athan and that VGS in the West of England will become regional hubs.

The reduced VGS footprint will allow resources to be focused on the remaining Squadrons. This will enable more suitable infrastructure to be built and maintained that supports the Air Cadet Organisation more fully. The key development across the estate over time will be to provide new overnight accommodation and training facilities that safely allows cadets and adult instructors, over full residential weekends, to carry out gliding alongside flying related ground training including gliding simulators, funded by the RAF Charitable Trust. This should improve access to such activities for those that are located further from VGS sites.

Volunteers at affected Volunteer Gliding Squadrons will be offered opportunities to fill other posts within the Air Cadet Organisation dependent upon their own transferable skills and their personal preferences.

1st Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of personal independence payment appeals were successful in (a) Ogmore and (b) Wales in the latest period for which figures are available.

The First-tier Tribunal – Social Security and Child Support (SSCS) administered by HM Courts & Tribunals Service, hears appeals against Department for Work and Pensions’ decisions on a range of benefits including Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The majority of appellants living in the Ogmore area have their SSCS appeals heard in the Cardiff venues though some may be heard in Port Talbot.

The following table provides information on the proportion of PIP appeals which were decided in favour of the appellant in Cardiff and Port Talbot venues and in Wales between July and September 2015 (the latest period for which figures are available).

Percentage of PIP appeals found in favour of the appellant

Cardiff

Port Talbot

Wales

July – September 2015

75%

75%

73%

Note: SSCS data are recorded by the office that dealt with the case, and if the case went to oral hearing, the location of the Tribunal hearing is normally the hearing venue nearest to the appellant’s home address. Data cannot be retrieved based on the appellant’s actual address but can be produced detailing the numbers of cases that were dealt with at one of our Regional centres or heard at a specific venue.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing the data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale case management system and are the best data available.

Shailesh Vara
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, for what reason the rules governing the provision of books to prisoners have recently been changed.

Up to 12 books may be held by prisoners in their cell at any one time. Prisoners may have additional books stored locally at the prison. Every prison has a library, to which every prisoner has access.

Ministers have not made any policy changes specifically about the availability of books in prisons. The changes to the Incentives and Earned Privileges national policy framework we introduced last year in relation to parcels were introduced to ensure consistency across the estate and to make sure that security can be maintained. There have always been controls on the sending of parcels into prisons, and allowing parcels to be sent in unrestricted would be operationally unmanageable and would lead to a significant risk of drugs and other illicit items being smuggled into prisons.

The National Offender Management Service works closely with the Shannon Trust to support schemes such as 'Toe by Toe', which includes peer mentoring to improve reading levels.