James Davies Portrait

James Davies

Conservative - Vale of Clwyd

6 APPG memberships (as of 6 Oct 2021)
Dementia, Mersey Dee North Wales, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Obesity, Tidy Britain, Wine and Spirits
1 Former APPG membership
Union
Welsh Affairs Committee
13th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Health and Social Care Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
09:00
Health and Social Care Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Cancer services
26 Oct 2021, 9 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Dr Philippa Hetherington, Expert be experience
At 9.45am: Oral evidence
Professor David Cunningham - Chair at Association of Cancer Physicians
Professor Mike Griffin - President at Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Professor Pat Price - Consultant Clinical Oncologist and Chair at Action Radiotherapy
At 10.40am: Oral evidence
Professor Nick James - Prostate and Bladder Cancer Team Leader at Institute of Cancer Research
Baroness Delyth Morgan - Chief Executive Officer at Breast Cancer Now
David Watson - Executive Director of Economic, Health and Commercial Policy at The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI)
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
09:25
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
26 Oct 2021, 9:25 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
14:00
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
26 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
09:25
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
27 Oct 2021, 9:25 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 27th October 2021
14:00
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
27 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
11:30
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 11:30 a.m. View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
14:00
Health and Care Bill - Debate
Subject: Further to consider the Bill
28 Oct 2021, 2 p.m. View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 20th October 2021
Environment Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 300 Conservative Aye votes vs 1 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 307 Noes - 185
Speeches
Wednesday 20th October 2021
Access to Cash

I congratulate the hon. Member for Pontypridd (Alex Davies-Jones) on securing this important debate. My hon. Friend the Member for …

Written Answers
Friday 22nd October 2021
Social Services
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the value of …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 4th October 2021
1. Employment and earnings
23 September 2021, received £1,800. Hours: 24 hrs. (Registered 27 September 2021)
EDM signed
Tuesday 9th June 2015
CAFFÈ NERO AND CORPORATION TAX
That this House is dismayed that despite making over £20 million of profit last year, Caffè Nero has not paid …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, James Davies has voted in 323 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
James Davies 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
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
James Davies voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
View All James Davies 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
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(27 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(14 debate interactions)
Alok Sharma (Conservative)
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
View all James Davies's debates

Vale of Clwyd Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Vale of Clwyd signature proportion
James Davies has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by James Davies

9th June 2015
James Davies signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 9th June 2015

CAFFÈ NERO AND CORPORATION TAX

Tabled by: David T C Davies (Conservative - Monmouth)
That this House is dismayed that despite making over £20 million of profit last year, Caffè Nero has not paid a penny in corporation tax; and calls on the directors of Caffè Nero to remedy this situation urgently.
63 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2016)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 18
Scottish National Party: 15
Conservative: 8
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Independent: 3
Liberal Democrat: 1
Green Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
View All James Davies's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by James 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.


James Davies has not been granted any Urgent Questions

James Davies has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

James Davies has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

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


72 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the economic effect of covid-19 on supply chains in the hospitality industry.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic the Government has worked closely with the hospitality sector, including businesses in the supply chain, to understand the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.

Businesses have been able to benefit from Government support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Government-backed loans.

On 5 January, when the new National Lockdown began, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an extra £4.6bn in business support including a £594 million discretionary fund to support impacted businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support businesses in the hospitality supply chain that have not received financial support from their local authority during the covid-19 outbreak.

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic the Government has worked closely with the hospitality sector, including businesses in the supply chain, to understand the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.

Businesses have been able to benefit from Government support, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Government-backed loans.

On 5 January, when the new National Lockdown began, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced an extra £4.6bn in business support including a £594 million discretionary fund to support impacted businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether charities conducting medical research will be able to access the funding for research and development announced in the 2020 Spending Review.

The Government is aware of the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the funding of medical research charities.

The Government already provides significant direct funding to charities’ research through Research England’s Quality Related (QR) charity support funding. This year charity QR will amount to £204m, to support charity funded research in universities in England.

Additionally, the Government supports this research through investments in the necessary infrastructure, through collaborations with UKRI and through the tax system. In 2018-19 over £1.3bn in tax relief on donations was received through Gift Aid benefitting all charities, including those carrying out vital medical research.

BEIS officials have also been meeting regularly with the Association of Medical Research Charities to develop an appropriate approach to supporting the important research that their members fund through the challenges they are currently facing.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support the manufacturing sector in the North Wales Mersey Dee region.

The Department continues to engage with industry and suppliers to ensure that we can support our?manufacturing sectors?during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Ministers have been leading a series of roundtables, bringing together businesses, business representative groups, and leading academics, including representatives from the Welsh Government, to consider the measures needed to support the UK’s economic recovery.

The Government’s support for the manufacturing sector includes £147 million towards the Made Smarter programme to support digitalisation in UK manufacturing, £1 billion for the Automotive Transformation Fund, and £1.9 billion committed to the Aerospace Technology Institute programme.

In addition, the UK Government is investing £120 million in the North Wales Growth Deal, which includes support for manufacturing. The manufacturing project that the Growth Deal is funding is run by Glyndwr University.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential volume of (a) offshore wind, (b) onshore wind and (c) solar sites which might bid into Contract for Difference Auction Round 4.

The Government considers a range of matters when setting the parameters for Contracts for Difference allocation rounds, including the anticipated pipeline of eligible projects. We will publish allocation round parameters in advance of the next auction in 2021, when assessments of the potential volume of participants can be informed by the most current information on project pipelines.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of the financial sector on additional financial support that may be made available to SMEs which are ineligible for the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is part of a comprehensive package of support for SMEs, including business rates relief, grants and support for wage packages. The Government continues to seek to identify new areas for improvement across this support.

The Government held discussions with the banking industry prior to the launch of the CBILS. The Business Secretary continues to hold a regular dialogue with each of the biggest CBILS lenders to address feedback on how the scheme has been working and closely monitor its implementation.

The Business Secretary continues to work with banks and other finance providers to help SMEs access the finance they need and has discussed with these organisations the alternative forms of support for businesses that they are offering. The Government welcomed the statement by UK Finance on behalf of the financial sector which announced that banks, building societies and credit card providers are committed to supporting their business customers in continuing to trade.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his policy is on enabling organised walking groups to resume their activities as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.The Government has made it clear that it will adopt a phased approach based on scientific and medical advice, and that the primary goal is to protect public health.

The government's guidance remains that people should gather in groups of no larger than six people from different households, or two households, adhering to social distancing including when as part of organised walking groups.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will bring forward proposals to grant (a) music venues, (b) community sporting venues and (c) semi-professional sports clubs temporary charitable status for the purpose of donations during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is not within DCMS’s gift to grant charitable status on a temporary basis and there are no plans to widen the definition of charity. Some music venues, community sporting venues and amateur sports clubs already qualify for charitable status and can therefore benefit from gift aid on donations. In England and Wales, charitable status is dependent on meeting the definition of a charity set out by Parliament in the Charities Act 2011. The advancement of arts, culture or amateur sport for the public benefit are determined to be charitable purposes within scope of the Charities Act 2011. To meet the definition of charity, organisations must exist for public benefit rather than private benefit. Further detail is set out in the Charity Commission’s Guidance on ‘Charitable Purposes’.

Arts and sporting organisations can benefit from the broad range of support the Government has made available to support organisations through the crisis, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. In addition to the £750 million funding package the Government has provided specifically for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, the Government has unlocked £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts, part of which will provide emergency loans for civil society organisations and improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.

The Government has also provided more targeted provision to support arts and sporting organisations through the crisis. On the 5th July, the Government announced a £1.57bn targeted rescue package to protect the arts, cultural and heritage industry. This represents the largest one off investment in culture, and will include investment in music venues to ensure future sustainability of the sector. Sport England has provided up to £210m of funding to support community and grassroots clubs facing financial challenges over the period of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes £35m of public funding under the banner of Community Emergency Funding (CEF) available to community clubs.


https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charitable-purposes/charitable-purposes#the-advancement-of-the-arts-culture-heritage-or-science.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the entertainment sector on long-term support for freelancers who have been affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The government appreciates that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to many of DCMS’ sectors including the Creative Industries, which is why we announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency.

To ensure we are assisting the sectors as effectively as possible, regular ministerially-chaired roundtables are held with business representative organisations as well as trade associations from across the Creative Industries. In addition, officials are in regular contact with stakeholders from these sectors, and we continue to speak with HM Treasury colleagues to ensure that the full spectrum of government support reaches the UK's world-leading media and Creative Industries.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps to work with the devolved administrations to support and protect sports teams which are in financial difficulty as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Sport is a devolved matter, but we remain in close contact with the Devolved Administrations on a range of ways to support sport at this time, We are seeing fantastic levels of cooperation between all political parties and governments as we work together to tackle this crisis.

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of support to protect businesses across the UK, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (covering 80% of furloughed employees wages up to a cap of £2,500 per month), and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (up to £2,500 per month in grants for eligible self-employed workers). These support measures are open to businesses across the UK and in every sector, including Sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with teaching representatives on extending the £1 billion Covid-19 catch up fund to include nurseries.

We know that young children have missed out on early education at a crucial period of cognitive and behavioural development. This is especially significant for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, which may widen the early development gap.

The most effective intervention government can take to address this is to get children back into early education. Children in early years were the first priority for the reopening of education settings.

Since 1 June, early years settings have been able to welcome back children of all ages. We want to ensure councils and early years providers can get children back into settings as quickly as possible, where they can be fully supported during this crucial period for their development.

Fifteen hours of high quality free early education is provided for all three- and four-year olds and disadvantaged two-year olds. An additional fifteen hours (30 hours) is provided for eligible working parents for three- and four-year olds.

We will work with the sector to explore how best to continue to support children’s early development, including through the department’s Hungry Little Minds campaign which we will use to continue to provide support for parents to develop their children’s early language and literacy.

Information on the Hungry Little Minds campaign can be found at:
https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the market impact of a (a) flat rate and (b) variable rate of deposit within a deposit return scheme.

We have recently closed our second consultation on introducing a deposit return scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and are analysing the responses with a view to publishing a government response later this year. We will be appointing a Deposit Management Organisation to run the DRS scheme. The recent consultation explored the potential for both a flat rate and variable rate deposit to be used in the scheme, and stated that the intention would be for the Deposit Management Organisation to have the power to set the deposit level within parameters set out in legislation by Government. This would include the ability to set either a flat rate or variable rate deposit. The government response to the consultation will include details on the agreed approach to setting a deposit level in the DRS.

I am acutely aware of the concerns that stakeholders have raised regarding the possible market distortions that could occur depending on the type and level of deposit set, and we will be keeping these concerns in mind when finalising the approach to setting and amending the deposit level.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2021
What steps he is taking to reduce tobacco litter.

The most effective way to tackle smoking related litter is by reducing the prevalence of smoking in the first place. The Government has committed to publish a new tobacco control plan for England later this year, to deliver its ambition of a smoke-free country by 2030. We have also recently announced our intention to explore regulatory options to ensure that the tobacco industry takes sufficient financial responsibility for the toxic litter created by its products.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support his Department can make available to vulnerable individuals who are unable to afford minimum spending requirements or delivery charges for priority supermarket home delivery slots.

DEFRA is continuing to hold regular conversations with each of the seven supermarkets participating in the priority access to online deliveries offer: Asda, Iceland, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose. The department uses these meetings as an opportunity to convey any concerns raised by charities or Local Authorities around topics such as delivery charges. Although DEFRA cannot legally dictate the delivery costs charged by supermarkets, our regular conversations ensure that supermarkets understand the impact that delivery charges can have in preventing a clinically extremely vulnerable person from being able to access food.

Alongside encouraging supermarkets to seriously consider the impact delivery charges can have on clinically extremely vulnerable people, the department also monitors delivery charges and circulates this information to Local Authorities to allow them to advise their residents accordingly.

If a vulnerable customer is struggling to afford the costs associated with online delivery, they could consider using a supermarket’s click and collect service. While there is no priority access to click and collect slots, slot availability tends to be much higher than for online deliveries. Vulnerable customers could ask friends, family or a volunteer to visit the store and collect the shopping they ordered online on their behalf. If a vulnerable customer is unable to access food through one of these routes, then they may wish to contact their local council to see what support they are able to offer.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his policy is on pet passports after the end of the transition period; and if he will take steps to ensure that pets will be able to travel freely with their owners throughout the EU.

The non-commercial movement of cats, dogs and ferrets is covered by the EU Pet Travel Scheme which has three categorisations of third country: unlisted; Part 1 listed; and Part 2 listed. Third countries can apply to the European Commission to be listed under the EU Pet Travel Scheme.

The UK has submitted its application to allow the UK to become a Part 1 listed third country under Annex II of the EU Pet Travel Regulations to the European Commission. Should the UK become a Part 1 listed country, there would be little change to the current arrangements, with only minor changes needed for documentation and, in most cases, no change for owners from what they currently need to do in terms of their animal’s health preparation. It is now for the Commission to consider our application for listed status.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with industry representatives on the introduction of (a) Graduated Driver Licences and (b) mandatory telematic devices to cars in the UK.

In October 2020 the Department for Transport discussed the topic of a Graduated Driver Licence and compulsory black box usage at the Transport Select Committee on Young and Novice Drivers.

After giving our reasoning that we are not currently pursuing the topic as a future policy, the Secretary of State has accordingly not met with industry representatives on the matter.

The Department for Transport take any consideration of restrictions on any road users very seriously, particularly those in rural areas for access to education, employment and leisure.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this Government has no current plans to enforce any further restrictions which could be detrimental to the younger generation’s prospects for employment, education or livelihood.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with local stakeholders on the future of the Wrexham to Bidston Railway line.

My Department is actively engaged with Transport for Wales’s work to progress plans for a North Wales Metro and is providing strategic planning support and guidance on funding mechanisms.

Interventions to deliver service frequency improvements are currently being progressed and my officials will continue to engage with regional bodies on wider proposals and to provide advice on how they might be funded in the future.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2020 to Question 52205, on Rolling Stock: Energy, what steps he is taking to ensure that North Wales benefits from developments to low carbon rail transport solutions.

Rail decarbonisation will be an important element in the UK’s first Transport Decarbonisation Plan. The Department is working with Network Rail and the rail industry to determine which parts of the network are best suited to use of hydrogen and battery trains and electrification.

Introduction of these technologies will deliver environmental improvements and benefits for rail users across the rail network. Through the Transport Decarbonisation Plan the Government will continue to support the UK economy through the development of expertise on low carbon technologies.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on linking railway stations in (a) North Wales and (b) Chester to Northern Powerhouse Rail.

This month the HS2 Minister will meet with leaders from the Midlands and the North, to discuss priorities for rail investment. During this meeting the Government will present an Integrated Rail Plan for the North and Midlands by the end of 2020, which will look at how to deliver NPR, HS2 Phase 2b, and related connections more effectively.

Some supporting infrastructure enhancements in this corridor, including line speed improvements, are already under consideration through industry planning studies and the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has received a completed business case for an High Speed Two hub station at Crewe.

We welcome the work Cheshire East Council and the Constellation Partnership are doing to ensure the wider local benefits can be fully realised. We continue to work collaboratively on the development of a business case to support this vision and look forward to formally receiving in due course.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his policy is on the re-allocation of good-quality diesel-powered rolling stock following the electrification of railway lines.

It is a matter for operators to procure appropriate rolling stock to operate their services. Electrification can typically lead to significant fleet changes and the Department supports the opportunities presented by the cascade of displaced trains from newly electrified routes. However, we expect train owners and manufacturers to develop cost effective proposals to convert their diesel trains to bi-mode or use alternative energy sources.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with local stakeholders on the future of the North Wales Coast Main Line.

My officials maintain active and constructive engagement with stakeholders including the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales. Development work undertaken by my department has been openly shared with stakeholders and the GrowthTrack360 Alliance. I have encouraged Network Rail to examine ways to facilitate capacity, performance, and journey time improvements across the region, building on recent major signalling and track renewals, and remain happy to engage with stakeholders on their own proposals, and to provide advice on how these might be funded in the future.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he will take to increase (a) line speed and (b) capacity on the North Wales Coast Main Line.

I am pleased to say that I have recently approved the progression of a relevant railway enhancement scheme to the next stage of the Rail Network Enhancements Pipeline. My department is willing to fund the development of an Outline Business case for interventions aimed at increasing line speed and capacity on the North Wales Coast Main Line. We have engaged with stakeholders in Wales on the specification of this work, and will maintain such engagement as it proceeds over the next twelve to eighteen months.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support private coach and bus companies facing financial difficulty as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is supporting essential bus services across England with a funding package totalling £397 million.

In March the Chancellor announced £330 billion of guarantees, so businesses, such as coach operators, have access to the funds to pay essential bills. This includes the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of October.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to engage with local employers to support new graduates into employment.

We are working closely with employers and other partner’s to deliver the Government’s Plan for Jobs, providing a comprehensive package of support for all young people – including graduates.

Our national and local Employer and Partnership Teams are engaging with employers across the country to bring in employment opportunities in a variety of sectors. These include many of the opportunities established as part of the Plan for Jobs, including Kickstart, Sector-based Work Academy Programme, Apprenticeships and traineeships. These provide a wide range of ways for young people to access work in their local area and enable employers to engage their future workforce. Young people, including new graduates will have access to these through their local Jobcentre Plus and via the Government’s official job matching service Find a Job website.

We have supported the development of the Department for Education’s Graduate Employment and Skills Guide that is published on the Office for Students website. The guide is designed to help final year students and recent graduates by signposting to a range of public, private and voluntary sector opportunities, to help build employability skills, gain work experience or enter the labour market.

We have provided Plan for Jobs information for employers on GOV.UK and employers can access our Help for Employers website which offers a range of advice to help businesses overcome challenges associated with the coronavirus pandemic. Whether employers are needing to expand rapidly, or worried about redundancies, they can find advice on next steps and the best ways to support their staff.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to offer specialised assistance to new graduates seeking employment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government’s Plan for Jobs is delivering a comprehensive package of support for young people, including graduates, which DWP is providing in collaboration with the Department for Education, employers and other partners

The DWP Youth Offer is the wrap-around support programme, helping young people access so much of the positive provision stood up as part of the Plan for Jobs, (including Kickstart, Sector-based Work Academy Programme, Apprenticeships and traineeships), alongside local work-related provision. The Youth Offer includes 13-week Youth Employment Programme, complimented by joined-up local delivery through our Youth Hubs and specialist Youth Employability Coaches.

The Government has implemented a range of measures to help deliver on our commitment to provide all young people with opportunities to develop skills that will enable them to secure jobs in productive and fulfilling careers, including help for young people through Kickstart. Jobs from the Kickstart Scheme are open to 16–24-year-olds, who are claiming Universal Credit, and are at risk of long-term unemployment. Young people can speak to their work coach to find out more.

Our experienced and well-trained jobcentre Work Coaches have access to tools that help them understand vacancies, opportunities and skills needs and are well versed in collaborating with their local partners, including employers, local authorities and independent volunteer and charity organisations.

We are publicising our offer for young people and have launched the JobHelp website in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. JobHelp offers job search advice, showcases recruiting sectors and signposts to job vacancies to help people successfully find work. The JobHelp campaign encourages young people under 25 to visit the JobHelp advice and signposting hub where they can access careers advice, job opportunities and signposting to initiatives such as Kickstart and Access to Work.

We have supported the development of the Department for Education’s Graduate Employment and Skills Guide that is published on the Office for Students website. The guide is designed to help final year students and recent graduates by signposting to a range of public, private and voluntary sector opportunities, to help build employability skills, gain work experience or enter the labour market.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the welfare payments which people receive reflect the needs of the individual.

The Government has introduced a package of temporary welfare measures worth around £9.3 billion this year to help with the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Chancellor announced a series of policies to support people, jobs and businesses on 20 March 2020 during which he confirmed an increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance for 12 months by £1040 a year, which was in addition to planned uprating of 1.7% announced by the Secretary of State in November 2019. Further decisions on spending will be made at the next fiscal event.

In addition to the standard allowance increase, Universal Credit claimants have also benefited from an increase in the Local Housing Allowance rates so that it covers the lowest third of local rents, and during Covid-19 the Minimum Income Floor, (an assumed level of earnings) has been relaxed to zero for self-employed claimants.

The Government has made significant investment to improve Universal Credit’s generosity through the reduction in the taper rate from 65% to 63% in 2017, and an extra £1.7 billion a year put into Work Allowances by 2023/24, increasing them by £1,040 a year for working parents and disabled claimants, from April 2019 - an extra £630 a year in the pockets of 2.4 million of the lowest paid families.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase housing-with-care provision across the UK.

Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities are required to shape their local markets, and ensure that people have a range of high-quality, sustainable and person-centred care and support options available to them. As of 1 September 2021, the Care Quality Commission rated 85% of all social care organisations as good/outstanding.

Health, social care and housing are devolved matters. In England, the Government’s plan for health and social care, announced on 7 September, recognised the important role of housing in providing care and support to people in the community. An independent pre-evaluation scoping exercise commissioned by the Department has found good evidence for the benefits of extra care housing for older people. The Government will invest in supported housing, including housing-with-care, as well as exploring other innovative housing solutions to allow more people to live independently at home for longer, with personalised care and support. We will continue to work closely with the sector, including as part of the white paper on adult social care which will be published later this year.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the value of (a) care and (b) housing-with-care provision within the health and social care system.

Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities are required to shape their local markets, and ensure that people have a range of high-quality, sustainable and person-centred care and support options available to them. As of 1 September 2021, the Care Quality Commission rated 85% of all social care organisations as good/outstanding.

Health, social care and housing are devolved matters. In England, the Government’s plan for health and social care, announced on 7 September, recognised the important role of housing in providing care and support to people in the community. An independent pre-evaluation scoping exercise commissioned by the Department has found good evidence for the benefits of extra care housing for older people. The Government will invest in supported housing, including housing-with-care, as well as exploring other innovative housing solutions to allow more people to live independently at home for longer, with personalised care and support. We will continue to work closely with the sector, including as part of the white paper on adult social care which will be published later this year.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the performance of lateral flow devices available in the UK; and what comparative assessment he has made of the performance of those devices that are available in the UK and overseas.

Since August 2020, Public Health England has evaluated over 150 lateral flow antigen devices (LFDs) produced by United Kingdom and international manufacturers. To date, 31 of these have displayed performance characteristics desirable for mass testing, with a very high specificity and sensitivity against viral loads associated with infectiousness. Devices are also tested for robustness, usability and evidence of cross-reactivity with seasonal coronaviruses.

The Department monitors the evaluation of LFDs that are performed in other countries to shortlist LFDs for validation that meet criteria designed to identify the most likely future requirements and use cases in the United Kingdom.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of whether the Innova Lateral Flow Device Test is fit-for-purpose.

Evaluation from Public Health England and the University of Oxford have shown that Innova lateral flow tests were shown to detect over 95% of individuals with high viral load or the most infectious cases. Results of the Innova evaluation in 2020 showed that the tests were effective in picking up viral antigens in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. The Department continues to monitor the performance of the Innova lateral flow test.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department plans to set out a timeline for the implementation of the dementia moonshot.

The Government is committed to supporting research into dementia and to delivering a moonshot. Later in 2021, we will bring forward a new dementia strategy to set out our plans for dementia research, care, support and awareness in England for future years.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to communicate changes to the Green Book on vaccination to clinicians to ensure that patients are offered the same standards of care across the UK.

Each revision of the Green Book is promoted in the Vaccine Update (VU), a Public Health England (PHE) immunisation newsletter for health professionals and immunisation practitioners which is sent to health care professional subscribers at least once a month. Any updates are also shared with the National Immunisation Network of Screening and Immunisation professionals at their weekly meeting.

A function is available through the Green Book page on the website to send an email alert when the Green Book collection or chapter is updated.

The PHE immunisation guidance collection is published on gov.uk to provide information regarding the national immunisation programme and ensure patients are offered the same standards of care across the United Kingdom. This is available to read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immunisation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support research into long covid.

The Department, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), launched a £20 million joint research call which closed on 9 December 2020. This call will fund comprehensive research to understand and address the longer term physical and mental health effects of COVID-19 in individuals who contracted the virus but were not hospitalised. Results of the call will be published in due course.

The NIHR and UKRI have already invested £8.5 million in the PHOSP-COVID study led by the University of Leicester. The study is one of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term physical and mental health impacts of COVID-19 on hospitalised patients and will draw on expertise from a consortium of leading researchers and doctors from across the United Kingdom.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for the involvement of (a) medical research charities and (b) the NHS in researching long-covid.

The Department, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), recently launched a joint research call which closed on 9 December 2020. Through this call, £18.5 million has been committed to funding four research studies to understand and address the longer term physical and mental health effects of ‘long’ COVID-19, in individuals who contracted the virus but were not hospitalised.

The NIHR and UKRI have also invested £8.5 million in the PHOSP-COVID study which is one of the world’s largest comprehensive research studies into the long-term health impacts of COVID-19 on hospitalised patients. Researchers and clinicians as part of the study are actively working with medical charities to help define key questions for research.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the (a) effectiveness of protection conferred by pneumococcal vaccination in reducing deaths of people who have tested positive for covid-19 and (b) current level of take-up of pneumococcal vaccination among groups eligible for that vaccination; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending eligibility for that vaccination during the covid-19 outbreak.

There were large reductions in pneumococcal disease since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, most likely because of the lockdown measures that were implemented nationally. Co-infections of SARS-CoV-2 and pneumococcal disease occur very rarely. The number of pneumococcal infections and more so deaths due to pneumococcal disease in people with COVID-19 has been low. As such, it is not possible to assess the effectiveness of protection conferred by pneumococcal vaccination in reducing deaths of people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

The most recently published pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV) coverage data are for the year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. PPV coverage was 69.0% in all patients aged 65 years and over, immunised at any time up to 31 March 2020 in England, rising to 82.4% for those aged 75 years and over. The proportion immunised in the last 12 months for these two age groups was 3.8% and 1.4% respectively.

These data are available to view here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pneumococcal-polysaccharide-vaccine-ppv-vaccine-coverage-estimates

As the supply of the PPV23 vaccine is limited due to high demand, the Joint Committee on Vaccine and Immunisation is not currently planning to undertake an assessment of the potential merits of extending eligibility for the vaccine. Public Health England has issued comprehensive clinical guidance on how to prioritise those who should receive this vaccine.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of whether proposals regarding the preferred discount rates for costs and health effects used by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence should be included in the scope of his Department's consultations during its ongoing review into evaluation methods used to carry out technology appraisals.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent body and is therefore responsible for its own methods and processes. The discount rates applied by NICE in its health technology assessments are specified in its methods guides. NICE, not the Department, will carry out three public consultations as part of its methods review. The most recent consultation being 6 November to 18 December on the case for change to its methods.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to raise clinical and public awareness of Kawasaki disease.

Recent studies have found links between COVID-19 and a ‘Kawasaki-like’ syndrome. NHS England has taken steps to work with experts to define what is now called ‘Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Disorder Temporally Related to Sars CoV2 infection (PIMS-TS)’. All paediatric units and intensive care units have been briefed.

The Government plans to publish a new United Kingdom Rare Diseases Framework by the end of 2020 to replace the current Strategy which will outline the key priorities for rare diseases in the UK over the next five years. One priority area, as identified through the ‘national conversation’ on rare diseases, is to further increase awareness of rare diseases amongst health professionals.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the number of patients receiving treatment for Kawasaki disease in (a) Wales and (b) the UK.

The Department only holds data for activity in England as health is a devolved matter. The Department, alongside NHS England, continues to consider the impact of COVID-19 on patients with Kawasaki disease and other rare diseases.

NHS England has had discussions with some services and patients/patient groups to understand the impact of COVID-19. NHS England has worked with commissioned providers, patient groups and charities throughout the pandemic to ensure that patients, carers and their families have been supported during the COVID-19 outbreak and ensuring those discussions inform planning for autumn and winter.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that children suffering from Kawasaki disease can access suitable treatment.

The Government recognises the importance of ensuring that rare disease patients, including those with Kawasaki disease have access to suitable treatment, and takes steps to improve access via implementation of the United Kingdom Strategy for Rare Diseases.

The Government plans to publish a new UK Rare Diseases Framework by the end of 2020 to replace the UK Rare Disease Strategy. One priority area, as identified through the ‘national conversation’ on rare diseases, is to improve access to specialist care.

Specialised commissioning within NHS England and NHS Improvement have ensured sufficient stock of intravenous immunoglobulin ahead of the second wave of COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the readiness of (a) delivery methods and (b) storage infrastructure for a potential vaccine for covid-19.

Public Health England is making preparations for storage of COVID-19 vaccines at the required temperatures to support a national COVID-19 vaccination programme. This includes both the central storage of vaccines and distribution capability across the United Kingdom to the National Health Service.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of changes to reimbursement mechanisms in the NHS on the funding for weight management services; and what the timelines are for the introduction of those changes.

Government departments work very closely on reducing obesity. Through the obesity strategy we are committed to expanding weight management services and will provide further details on this later in the year.

NHS England is responsible for funding allocations to clinical commissioning groups. This process is independent of Government and NHS England takes advice on the underlying formula from the independent Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation.

NHS England has advised that it does not routinely commission weight management services. However, funding for weight management services for those living with obesity plus diabetes and/or hypertension was allocated to NHS England and NHS Improvement through the NHS Long Term Plan. NHS England and NHS Improvement are commissioning a Digital Weight Management Innovation Platform which will allow general practitioners to refer eligible service users into weight management services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how funding for weight management services is allocated to NHS organisations throughout the UK.

Government departments work very closely on reducing obesity. Through the obesity strategy we are committed to expanding weight management services and will provide further details on this later in the year.

NHS England is responsible for funding allocations to clinical commissioning groups. This process is independent of Government and NHS England takes advice on the underlying formula from the independent Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation.

NHS England has advised that it does not routinely commission weight management services. However, funding for weight management services for those living with obesity plus diabetes and/or hypertension was allocated to NHS England and NHS Improvement through the NHS Long Term Plan. NHS England and NHS Improvement are commissioning a Digital Weight Management Innovation Platform which will allow general practitioners to refer eligible service users into weight management services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the funding of weight management services.

Government departments work very closely on reducing obesity. Through the obesity strategy we are committed to expanding weight management services and will provide further details on this later in the year.

NHS England is responsible for funding allocations to clinical commissioning groups. This process is independent of Government and NHS England takes advice on the underlying formula from the independent Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation.

NHS England has advised that it does not routinely commission weight management services. However, funding for weight management services for those living with obesity plus diabetes and/or hypertension was allocated to NHS England and NHS Improvement through the NHS Long Term Plan. NHS England and NHS Improvement are commissioning a Digital Weight Management Innovation Platform which will allow general practitioners to refer eligible service users into weight management services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on the development of obesity services in (a) hospitals and (b) communities in areas where such services do not currently exist.

We published ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ on 27 July. The strategy demonstrates an overarching campaign to reduce obesity, takes forward actions from previous chapters of the childhood obesity plan and sets our measures to get the nation fit and healthy, protect against COVID-19 and protect the National Health Service.

In addition, Public Health England has launched the ‘Better Health’ campaign, which will call on people to embrace a healthier lifestyle and to lose weight if they need to, supported by a range of evidence-based tools and apps providing advice on how to reduce the waistline. We will also expand weight management services to help more people get the support they need and through incentives with general practitioners will make conversations about weight in primary care the norm.

‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ is available at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/tackling-obesity-government-strategy/tackling-obesity-empowering-adults-and-children-to-live-healthier-lives

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has had discussions with the Health and Safety Executive on including in Government guidance on approved hand sanitisers products that have an alcohol content of less than 60 per cent proof; and if he will make a statement.

Public Health England has not had any discussions with the Health and Safety Executive on the use of hand sanitisers products that have an alcohol content of less than 60% proof. The scientific evidence shows that alcohol-based hand sanitisers with ethanol at concentrations of at least 70% and up to 90% are effective against most enveloped viruses, such as COVID-19, within 30 seconds. At 95% the virucidal activity of ethanol covers the majority of clinically relevant viruses. Isopropyl alcohol has a similar but less virucidal range of activity.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Public Health England report entitled Disparities in the risk and outcomes of Covid-19, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to obesity services; and whether his Department plans to improve access to bariatric surgery for people with obesity.

Clinical Commissioning Groups are responsible for commissioning complex obesity services for adults, which include all bariatric surgical procedures and the associated care. To help practitioners deliver the best possible care and give people the most effective treatments, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a suite of guidance on reducing obesity including “Obesity: identification, assessment and management”. This includes recommendations on when to consider bariatric surgery for people who are obese.

Covid-19 makes it more important than ever to support the nation in achieving a healthy weight. We outlined in the “COVID-19 Recovery Strategy”, that we will invest in preventative and personalised solutions to ill-health, empowering individuals to live healthier and more active lives. This will involve expanding the infrastructure for active travel, for example cycling and walking, and expanding health screening services, especially through the NHS Health Check programme, which is currently under review.

Through the third chapter of the childhood obesity plan, published in July 2019 as part of “Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s”, we are committed to looking at what further action can be taken to improve our weight management services and we are actively looking at how we can better support people living with obesity to achieve a healthier weight.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase surgical interventions for people with obesity in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Clinical Commissioning Groups are responsible for commissioning complex obesity services for adults, which include all bariatric surgical procedures and the associated care. To help practitioners deliver the best possible care and give people the most effective treatments, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a suite of guidance on reducing obesity including “Obesity: identification, assessment and management”. This includes recommendations on when to consider bariatric surgery for people who are obese.

Covid-19 makes it more important than ever to support the nation in achieving a healthy weight. We outlined in the “COVID-19 Recovery Strategy”, that we will invest in preventative and personalised solutions to ill-health, empowering individuals to live healthier and more active lives. This will involve expanding the infrastructure for active travel, for example cycling and walking, and expanding health screening services, especially through the NHS Health Check programme, which is currently under review.

Through the third chapter of the childhood obesity plan, published in July 2019 as part of “Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s”, we are committed to looking at what further action can be taken to improve our weight management services and we are actively looking at how we can better support people living with obesity to achieve a healthier weight.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make it his policy to maintain the Government's £500m annual budget to tackle malaria internationally.

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the government to take the difficult decision to temporarily reduce ODA to 0.5% of GNI. The Foreign Secretary has set out a strategic approach to ensure maximum impact for our aid spend. Global health remains a priority. It is one of seven challenges where the Foreign Secretary believes UK aid can make the most difference.

In light of this decision, we are currently planning spend for the next financial year, and will be able to provide more information in due course. We will seek to remain one of the most generous donors in the world on malaria. The UK's current pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is our largest to date and will help to distribute 92 million bednets.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of reducing the rate of VAT on (a) veterinary services and (b) animal medications as a means of promoting animal welfare.

Under the VAT rules, veterinary medicines supplied to certain charities may be eligible for a zero rate of VAT. Otherwise, veterinary services and animal medications are subject to the standard rate of VAT.

Changing the rate of VAT on veterinary services and animal medication would come at a considerable cost to the Exchequer. The Government has no current plans to change the VAT treatment of such services and goods, but keeps all taxes under review

4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish the prospectus for the first round of applications to the Levelling Up Fund.

The Levelling Up Fund will invest in local infrastructure that has a visible impact on people and their communities and will support economic recovery. We will publish a prospectus for the fund and launch the first round of competitions very soon.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has in place to take into account the recommendations of the Union Connectivity Review when assessing applications to the Levelling Up Fund.

This government recognises the importance of connectivity to levelling up all parts of the UK. The Levelling Up Fund is one part of this wider strategy and its investments will include local road schemes, bus lanes, and rail station upgrades. Further details will be published soon in the prospectus.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that the needs of cross-border commuters and their communities are taken into account during the preparation of the prospectus for the first round of applications to the Levelling Up Fund.

The Levelling Up Fund will empower local areas to identify and bring forward genuine local priorities: we will only fund projects prepared in collaboration with local stakeholders that have clear benefits to the local community and are aligned with a broader local economic strategy. Further details will be published in the prospectus.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he plans to take to ensure co-operation between the UK Infrastructure Bank and the Development Bank of Wales.

The new national infrastructure bank will help to support infrastructure projects across the whole of the UK, including Wales. The new bank is primarily aimed at increasing investment in infrastructure, whereas the Development Bank of Wales focuses on business support. Where their interests are aligned on specific projects, the two institutions will be able to work collaboratively.

4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his criteria are for determining the location of the UK Infrastructure Bank; whether local authorities have been invited to submit bids to host the bank; and when he plans to announce a decision on the location of the bank.

The Government is considering a wide range of relevant factors, in order to ensure that it chooses a location in the North of England that meets the bank’s needs while supporting the Government’s wider levelling up agenda. At Budget, the Chancellor will set out comprehensive details regarding the operations, mandate and scale of the bank.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of the temporary reduction in VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions on levels of (a) growth, (b) employment and (c) tax revenues of companies in the hospitality sector and its supply chain.

To support the cash flow and viability of over 150,000 businesses and to protect 2.4 million jobs, the Government has applied a temporary reduced rate of VAT (5 per cent) to goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sectors until 31 March. This relief is estimated to be worth over £2 billion to the tourism and hospitality sectors.

6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential long-term economic effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the live entertainment industry.

We will continue to monitor developments to understand the economic impacts of COVID-19, including on industries and sectors, and consider how the Government can best support their recovery, including that of the live entertainment industry.

The Government’s economic strategy will be closely coordinated with our public health strategy to ensure a safe return to economic activity.

Like many other sectors, the live entertainment industry has been severely impacted by COVID-19, which is why the Government has put in place an unprecedented level of support for business and workers, including:

• A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England

• The Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund (RLHGF)

• The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

• The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

• The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

• The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

• The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises

• VAT deferral for up to 12 months

• The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs

• Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with financial regulators on ensuring that insurance providers are not unfairly dismissing claims made by businesses as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis, and fully supports the FCA in its role as conduct regulator.

The FCA rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. In addition, the FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

On 15 April, the FCA published a Dear CEO letter to the insurance industry on the subject of business interruption claims. This set out its expectations for the sector to be as flexible as possible, to ensure that payments for valid claims are made quickly to customers, including interim payments where required, and to clearly communicate to customers where exclusions apply. The letter can be found at the following link: www.fca.org.uk/publication/correspondence/dear-ceo-insuring-sme-business-interruption-coronavirus.pdf

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of extending financial support during the covid-19 outbreak by deferring for six months the introduction of planned tax changes to be enforced after 1 April 2020.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for public services, businesses and workers to protect against the current economic emergency. These steps are necessary to ensure that the country, economy and public finances are stronger in the longer term.

The Government has not announced a six-month deferral of tax changes planned to be enforced from 1 April 2020. However, as part of the additional support the Government is providing for businesses and individuals to deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19, changes to the off-payroll working rules have been delayed for one year from 6 April 2020 to 6 April 2021. The costing implications of the delay will be subject to scrutiny by the Office for Budget Responsibility, and will be published at the next fiscal event.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has made an assessment of the performance of UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services during the covid-19 outbreak.

Sopra Steria Ltd (SSL) are our commercial partner who run the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) on behalf of UKVI. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted all UKVI services. On 27 March, Sopra Steria Ltd closed all UKVACS service points to protect the health and safety of both their staff and our customers. This decision was taken in line with Government and PHE advice.

On 1 June 2020 SSL began a phased reopening of the UKVCAS service. Like all public services, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on some visa services, and we had to adapt our working practices to allow social distancing, which led to some understandable delays.

Whilst more of our services have resumed the impact of Covid-19 continues to be felt in different ways across our UK operations. Our priority is the safety of our customers and staff, to ensure we can deliver an effective service that meets public health guidelines and the service customers expect.

UKVI officials meet with Sopra Steria Limited (SSL) on a regular basis to review performance and drive improvements to service standards through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) within the contract: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/ec5031ea-021e-471a-86cf-af540e8d8efa

UKVI monitor UKVCAS performance against set key performance indicators (KPIs) within the contract with the Home Office maintaining oversight to ensure Sopra Steria Ltd adhere to contractual requirements. This has continued throughout the phased restart of the UKVCAS service after suspension of services due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what his Department's plans are for a new Medium Lift Helicopter.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 October 2021 to Question 56262 from the hon. Member for Portsmouth South (Mr Morgan).

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
28th Apr 2020
What steps his Department is taking to support Local Resilience Forums in managing local responses to the covid-19 outbreak.

All Local Resilience Forums (LRFs) have a dedicated Government Liaison Officer from MHCLG, who provides a direct line of contact into central government. LRFs are further supported by senior MHCLG leaders and experts in local engagement and response. Ministers talk to LRF leads regularly to discuss issues and how we can better support them.

MHCLG have also supported the embedding of four highly experienced military planners into each LRF, who are providing on-the-ground support. I would like to take this opportunity to particularly thank the North Wales Local Resilience Forum, and, as I know my Honourable Friend is a medical practitioner himself, the whole NHS for their tireless and determined work at this most difficult time.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to audit the performance of local resilience forums during the covid-19 outbreak.

With any emergency each local resilience forum partnership will, as a matter of course, seek to identify and then learn lessons from the response. Matters pertaining to Welsh local resilience forums are for the Welsh Government to answer.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his policy is on protecting prisoners with underlying health conditions from covid-19.

To protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19 and reduce transmission of infection, new cohorting strategies were developed by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service advised by the Public Health Authorities and implemented from March 31. As a result, prisons are in the process of implementing units to isolate the sick, shield the vulnerable (including those with underlying health conditions) and cohort new arrivals to reduce risk.

In addition, prisoners identified as ‘extremely vulnerable’ as defined in the NHS guidelines will merit consideration for Release on Temporary License (ROTL). Any prisoners released on temporary license must abide by the provisions of that licence; the licence can be revoked for breach of a condition or for any other reason. All prisoners released under ROTL will be returned to prison once the justification for temporary compassionate release ends, provided they are still serving the custodial element of their sentence at that point.

More widely, the Prison Service is creating extra cells, restricting regimes, limiting prisoner movement and releasing some prisoners early. The strong measures the Prison Service is taking are successfully limiting the transmission of the virus.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans the Government has to (a) conduct covid-19 testing among prison staff and prisoners and to (b) reduce transfer of staff and prisoners between sites during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 24 April, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced the rollout of COVID-19 testing for all essential workers and symptomatic members of their household, including prison and probation staff in England. To date, we have referred more than 2,000 staff working for HM Prison and Probation Service for testing.

As healthcare is devolved in Wales, testing for prison and probation staff, and symptomatic members of their household, is being delivered through local resilience forum arrangements and local health boards.

Tests will be conducted on symptomatic prisoners on site and are carried out by qualified healthcare practitioners. Those who are well enough to be safely managed by prison healthcare teams will remain in prisons, and those requiring hospital care will be transferred to the appropriate medical facility.

The testing capacity and availability can vary between establishments, depending on local circumstances at the time. This means that the total number of potential cases at any establishment can include clinically diagnosed but untested cases, as well as those who have a confirmed COVID-19 positive result. Outbreak control teams monitor and take account of these matters in their advice on the management of prison cases.

Routine transfers of both staff and prisoners are being minimised to reduce opportunities for transmission of COVID-19 between prisons and prevent the introduction of infection into prisons where there is no outbreak.

Some controlled prisoner movements between establishments have been authorised in order to utilise the headroom created by population control measures. All such moves require COVID-19 Gold Command authorisation and only take place once the receiving prison has a Reverse Cohorting Unit established to receive incoming prisoners.

Staff detached duty has been minimised and used only in exceptional circumstances.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Feb 2020
What assessment he has made of the effect of delays in the (a) charging and (b) requisitioning of suspects on the outcome of subsequent court cases.

The government has committed to recruiting 20,000 more police officers, investing £85 million in the CPS and doubled funding for support services to support victims of the most harmful crimes through the criminal justice process. I also welcome the announcement made by the Homes Secretary that the Government will review the use of pre-charge bail.

We’re also working across the CJS to help agencies join up and make processes more effective and efficient.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th May 2021
What steps the Government is taking to promote the growth of green industries in North Wales.

We are backing the North Wales Growth Deal with £120m including for innovative net zero projects such as the Morlais tidal energy test facility. We are seeing a further 2 gigawatts of offshore wind in development. And we are also providing close to £5m for the Holyhead Hydrogen Hub.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what steps he is taking to engage with (a) the devolved Administrations and (b) local authorities on regional support for the functional economy of North Wales and Mersey Dee.

The UK Government regularly meets with the Welsh Government and local authorities to discuss support for regional economies in Wales. I wrote to Cllr Mark Pritchard, Chair of the Mersey Dee Alliance (MDA) on 28 September 2020, and met with him on 6 October 2020, to offer our support for the work that the MDA is doing to bring key partners together to support manufacturing in the region.

We continue to work in collaboration with both the Welsh Government and regional partners to ensure that the UK Government’s £120m funding commitment for the North Wales Growth Deal is delivered as soon as possible.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales