Jessica Morden Portrait

Jessica Morden

Labour - Newport East

Shadow Vice Chamberlain of HM Household (Whip)

(since April 2020)
Opposition Whip (Commons)
18th Sep 2015 - 10th Apr 2020
Liaison Committee Sub-committee on the effectiveness and influence of the select committee system
13th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Liaison Committee (Commons)
14th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
5th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
5th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Standing Orders
1st Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Administration Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee of Selection
12th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Selection Committee
12th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
10th Jul 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Statutory Instruments (Joint Committee)
14th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Statutory Instruments (Select Committee)
14th Nov 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee of Selection
10th Feb 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission
16th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Welsh Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Justice Committee
6th Nov 2007 - 6th May 2010
Constitutional Affairs
11th Jul 2005 - 8th Nov 2007
Welsh Affairs Committee
21st Nov 2005 - 4th Jun 2007
Modernisation of the House of Commons
13th Jul 2005 - 16th Jan 2006


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 8th December 2021
15:40
Division Votes
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Finance (No. 2) Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 152 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 212 Noes - 306
Speeches
Thursday 25th November 2021
Business of the House

May I draw the Leader of the House’s attention to the recent Public Accounts Committee report on the benefits system …

Written Answers
Friday 26th November 2021
Migrant Workers: Employment
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 17 November 2021 to Question …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 22nd July 2020
Welfare (Terminal Illness) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to make provision about terminally ill people in the welfare system.
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: GMB
Address of donor: Garley House, 17 Newport Road, Cardiff CF24 0TB
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Tuesday 17th March 2020
War widows pensions
That this House honours and recognises the sacrifices that our veterans and their families make; notes the particular sacrifices that …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 16th June 2020
Automatic Electoral Registration Bill 2019-21
A Bill to impose certain duties upon Her Majesty’s Government to ensure the accuracy, completeness and utility of electoral registers; …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Jessica Morden has voted in 288 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Jessica Morden 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(39 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(16 debate interactions)
Kwasi Kwarteng (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(22 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(18 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(18 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Jessica Morden's debates

Newport East 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).

Jessica Morden has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Jessica Morden

11th March 2020
Jessica Morden signed this EDM on Tuesday 17th March 2020

War widows pensions

Tabled by: Stephen Doughty (Labour (Co-op) - Cardiff South and Penarth)
That this House honours and recognises the sacrifices that our veterans and their families make; notes the particular sacrifices that the partners of veterans make and the consequences for them of tragically losing a spouse or partner serving in the armed forces; notes the changes announced in 2014 which allowed …
47 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Apr 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 26
Scottish National Party: 6
Conservative: 5
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Liberal Democrat: 4
Green Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
3rd March 2020
Jessica Morden signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 3rd March 2020

70th anniversary of the Llandow Air Disaster

Tabled by: Nick Thomas-Symonds (Labour - Torfaen)
That this House notes that 12 March 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of the Llandow Air Disaster in Wales; further notes that the flight concerned was for rugby union fans returning home from the Five Nations game between Ireland and Wales; commends efforts, including a service being held by Cwmbran …
22 signatures
(Most recent: 11 Mar 2020)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 15
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Plaid Cymru: 2
Scottish National Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Conservative: 1
View All Jessica Morden's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Jessica Morden, 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.


Jessica Morden has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Jessica Morden has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Jessica Morden


A Bill to make provision about terminally ill people in the welfare system.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 22nd July 2020
(Read Debate)

271 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
1 Other Department Questions
22nd Sep 2021
What steps she is taking with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to help ensure an equitable economic recovery for women from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Treasury has offered an unprecedented level of support to both individuals and businesses during this pandemic. In responding to the economic challenges of COVID-19, the Government carefully considered the equality impact of both individual measures and fiscal events on those sharing protected characteristics, including gender, in line with its legal obligations and its strong commitment to promoting fairness. This year, we have invested £44 million to support family childcare costs, enabling local authorities to increase hourly rates paid to childcare providers.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps she is taking to support the criminal justice system's ability to prosecute perpetrators of coercive and controlling behaviour.

This Government and the Crown Prosecution Service take cases of domestic abuse extremely seriously.

Since the introduction of the Serious Crime Act 2015, which created an offence of coercive and controlling behaviour, the number of domestic abuse prosecutions have increased.

The CPS has developed an ambitious twelve-month programme of work to help narrow the disparity between domestic abuse reporting and criminal justice outcomes, including, sharing best practice and revising guidance to support effective case handling of coercive and controlling behaviour crimes.

It is essential that perpetrators, victims and their families know and understand that the criminal justice system remains open and is prioritising cases with high risk domestic abuse victims.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Government plans to publish UK export figures for February 2021.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 1 April 2021 to Question 169810, on 10 Downing Street: Iron and Steel, what records his Department holds on the use of UK-produced steel in the construction of the briefing room facilities in 9 Downing Street.

This information is not centrally held by the Cabinet Office.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what records his Department holds on the use of UK-produced steel in the construction of the briefing room in 10 Downing Street.

A briefing room has not been constructed in 10 Downing Street, therefore we do not hold the information requested. The Government is establishing facilities within 9 Downing Street which will be used for daily broadcasting by a number of news organisations, therefore I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 169917 on 22 March 2021.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to equalise payments to infected blood victims throughout the UK.

Work is currently underway across government to address the concerns of people infected and affected by infected blood, and a compensation framework is being explored. Parliament will be updated in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many women born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1960 there are in the UK; and how many of those women are in employment.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will allocate funding to ensure that widows and widowers in the four nations of the UK are included in Infected Blood ex gratia support schemes until the Infected Blood inquiry reports in 2022.

In 2017, country-specific support schemes were set up in Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland. These schemes are devolved, and the devolved administrations will have made different choices around their offers of support over time.

We are currently working with our partners in the devolved nations and other relevant Government departments on taking forward actions to address the disparities in financial and non-financial support for those infected and affected across the UK, including bereaved partners.

The report's timetable is a matter for the Chair, Sir Brian Langstaff. Sir Brian has publicly recognised the need to balance between speed and the need for thoroughness, and has made clear that the Inquiry will complete its work as quickly as a thorough examination of the facts allows.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the future of the Clean Steel Fund.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy regularly discusses a range of issues with Cabinet colleagues regarding Net Zero and levelling up, in which the UK steel industry will play a key role.

The Government recognises the vital role that the sector plays in all areas of the UK and our economy and will continue to work with the sector to support its decarbonisation. The Department announced the Clean Steel Fund in 2019 and a number of options have been explored, together with ongoing feedback from industry.

In March 2021, the Government published the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy in which we committed to working with the Steel Council to consider the implications of the recommendation of the Climate Change Committee to ‘set targets for ore-based steelmaking to reach near-zero emissions by 2035 and the business environment necessary to support the transition. We will provide further information in due course.

Lee Rowley
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that companies which receive Government support on the basis of procuring 40 per cent or more of their steel content from the UK meet those obligations.

It is important that suppliers continue to be treated equally and fairly through open competition. Keeping our procurement market open to international competition facilitates UK suppliers being offered reciprocal rights to participate in procurements abroad.

We have established a joint industry and BEIS Steel Procurement Taskforce (launched on 12 March) with the aim of working with the sector to promote the unique selling points of UK steel and explore how best to support and position the industry for success in forthcoming major public contracts.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with representatives of Vauxhall on the use of UK steel at its sites in Ellesmere Port and Luton.

Where the UK steel industry produces the relevant grade steel this is utilised in Stellantis/Vauxhall manufacturing plants. However the company uses multiple grades of steel, not all of which are available in the UK.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the UK steel sector’s commitment to increase capital investment in the UK in the event that the Government takes steps to ensure that electricity costs are competitive.

The Government is committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive. The ability for our industries to be able to compete across Europe and globally is a priority for this Government.

Our aim is to work with the steel sector and help them to reduce carbon emissions. We will continue to support the steel sector in achieving these aims through the various funds available such as the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and Clean Steel Fund.

We estimate that the reduction in the various renewable policy costs for eligible energy intensive industries, including steel, will save them around £400m a year in electricity costs. Between 2013 and 2019, total compensation paid to the steel sector was over £480m.

We have also extended compensation for the indirect emission costs in electricity prices for the most energy-intensive companies at significant risk of carbon leakage by a year, to the end of 2021.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he plans to take to ensure that electricity costs for the UK steel sector are competitive.

The Government is committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive. The ability for our industries to be able to compete across Europe and globally is a priority for this Government.

Our aim is to work with the steel sector and help them to reduce carbon emissions. We will continue to support the steel sector in achieving these aims through the various funds available such as the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and Clean Steel Fund.

We estimate that the reduction in the various renewable policy costs for eligible energy intensive industries, including steel, will save them around £400m a year in electricity costs. Between 2013 and 2019, total compensation paid to the steel sector was over £480m.

We have also extended compensation for the indirect emission costs in electricity prices for the most energy-intensive companies at significant risk of carbon leakage by a year, to the end of 2021.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to provide 100 per cent relief for the cost of renewable energy generation for the steel sector.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the UK steel sector’s commitment to increase capital investment in the UK in the event that the Government takes steps to ensure a level playing field on electricity costs.

This issue is related to electricity costs for the steel industry and was highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of network charging costs on the ability of the steel sector to compete globally.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the steel sector of the forthcoming Targeted Charging Review reforms.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to implement 100 per cent compensation for the indirect costs of carbon to lower electricity prices for the steel sector.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to introduce a Capacity Market Levy exemption to lower electricity prices for the steel sector.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to introduce discounts on energy network costs for the steel sector.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations set out in the report by UK Steel entitled Closing the gap, published in February 2021, on reducing the industrial electricity price disparity between the UK and Germany and France.

All these issues are related to electricity costs for the steel industry and were highlighted in the recent UK Steel report “Closing the Gap”. We welcome this report and will give its recommendations careful consideration.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of any divergence between the UK and the EU Emissions Trading System on the UK steel sector.

As stated in the Government Response to the Consultation on The Future of UK Carbon Pricing, the design of the UK Emissions Trading Scheme builds on and is similar to Phase IV of the EU ETS, including for free allocation of emissions allowances. This provides continuation of emissions trading and protects the competitiveness of UK businesses. To have a take a fair, proportionate and considered approach to potential improvements to free allocation, we have committed to reviewing free allocation of allowances.

We currently have a range of ambitious policies in place that will help industry to reduce costs and decarbonise, including the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, Clean Steel Fund and Industrial Clusters Mission, among others. In Spring 2021, we will publish an Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, setting out a coherent plan for decarbonisation of the UK’s industrial sector in line with our net zero target.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on monitoring of the gap in industrial energy prices between the UK and other key nations.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular meetings with Cabinet colleagues on a variety of issues.

The Government is committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive. The ability for our industries to be able to compete across Europe and globally is a priority for this Government.

Our aim is to work with the steel sector and help them to reduce carbon emissions. We will continue to support the steel sector in achieving these aims through the various funds available such as the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and Clean Steel Fund.

We estimate that reduction in the various renewable costs for eligible energy intensive industries, including steel, will save them around £400m a year in electricity costs. We have also extended the schemes to compensate certain energy intensive industries for indirect emission cost to the end of the next financial year in order to minimise disruption to existing recipients whilst we conduct a review. Between 2013 and 2019, total compensation paid to the steel sector was over £480m.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the (a) value and (b) duration is of the contract with ICF to administer the Green Homes Grant scheme.

The Department contracted ICF to administer the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme, following a compliant competition, using the Crown Commercial Grants and Programme Services framework. The contract went out to tender on 13th August 2020 and ICF were awarded the contract, which runs from 14 September 2020 until 28 February 2022.

Further details will be published on GOV.UK in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) voucher applications have been received, (b) vouchers approved, (c) installations completed, (d) installations inspected by Trustmark and (e) installations inspected by MCS under the Green Homes Grant scheme.

As of 26 January 2021:

(a) 66,902 grant applications have been received, corresponding to 103,833 voucher applications

(b) 17,618 vouchers have been approved and issued to customers, to date.

With regard to (c), (d) and (e), official scheme statistics will be published in due course. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many voucher applications have required (a) further identity checks and (b) alternative quotations under the Green Homes Grant scheme.

Under the Green Homes Grant, the scheme administrator may seek additional information from customers when processing applications in order to progress their application. This is to ensure applications are compliant with scheme rules, contain sufficient evidence to approve applications and that government funding is spent appropriately.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the (a) total and (b) average value is of (i) voucher applications, (ii) approved voucher applications and (iii) installations under the Green Homes Grant scheme.

As of 26 January, 17,618 vouchers have been approved and issued to customers, to date. The total value of such vouchers is £73.1 million.

Official scheme statistics will be published in due course. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) the value of (i) primary and (ii) secondary measures installed under the Green Homes Grant scheme to date.

Official scheme statistics will be published in due course. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, under the Green Homes Grant, what is (a) the number and (b) the value of (i) voucher applications and (ii) installations for (1) low income households as defined by the eligibility criteria, and (2) other households.

As of 26 January, 34,795 grant applications have been received from households in receipt or stating in their application that they are in receipt of qualifying benefits. 32,109 applications have been received from households not in receipt of said benefits.

Official scheme statistics will be published in due course. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Trustmark registered installers were registered with the Green Homes Grant scheme in each month since September 2020.

The Green Homes Grant scheme opened for installer applications on 30 September. As of 28 January, the total number of installers registered with the scheme was 906.

Official scheme statistics will be published in due course.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 19 January 2021 to Question 137894 on Retail Trade: Insolvency, if his Department will provide the timescales for its development of proposals on sector specific legislation on pre-payments to enable action on Christmas savings clubs.

Enactment of this measure as proposed by the Law Commission will require new primary and secondary legislation and the Government will confirm its plans as part of the wider legislative programme as soon as parliamentary time allows.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government plans to take in response to the recommendations of the Law Commission's report on prepayments in retail insolvency.

In December 2018, the Government set out in its response to the Law Commission prepayment report, ‘Consumer Prepayments on Retailer Insolvency’ that it intends to develop proposals to create a power to create sector specific legislation on pre-payments to enable action on Christmas savings clubs. The Government is considering the most practical route to formulate and implement this legislation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to provide statutory protections for people putting money in Christmas savings clubs.

In December 2018, the Government set out in its response to the Law Commission prepayment report, ‘Consumer Prepayments on Retailer Insolvency’ that it intends to develop proposals to create a power to create sector specific legislation on pre-payments to enable action on Christmas savings clubs. The Government is considering the most practical route to formulate and implement this legislation.

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, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January to Question 130668, if he will name the projects that received funding in 2019-20 from the (a) Medical Research Council and (b) National Institute for Health Research.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) funded seven Motor Neurone Disease-related projects in 2019-20 in pursuant to the Answer of 11 January to Question 130668. Details of the projects can be found in the table below.

Research Organisation

Project Title

Start Date

End Date

Amount Awarded (£m)

University College London

The impact of TDP-43 on translation and the response to axonal damage in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

01/10/2019

30/09/2024

£1.9m

University College London

Elucidating early stage ALS pathomecanisms that drive mitochondrial dysfunction

01/01/2020

31/12/2022

£0.9m

University of Sheffield

Regulation of ER-mitochondria contacts in neurodegeneration

01/07/2019

30/09/2022

£0.6m

University College London

A 5 year prospective follow-up clinical and imaging investigation of demyelinating clinically isolated syndrome (CIS)

01/09/2019

31/08/2023

£0.8m

Imperial College London

Regulated proteolysis of p62/SQSTM1, nutrient-sensing and human disease

01/02/2020

31/01/2023

£0.5m

University of Edinburgh

Investigating the molecular mechanisms of mutant C9orf72 human iPSC-derived astrocyte-mediated motor neuron deficits

01/08/2019

31/01/2022

£0.2m

Newcastle University

Novel MRI Biomarkers in Neuromuscular Disease

01/09/2019

31/08/2022

£0.1m

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded no Motor Neurone Disease-related projects during this period.

Further details of all projects funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which MRC has been integrated into, can be found at https://gtr.ukri.org/.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which Motor Neurone Disease-related projects were funded by the (a) Medical Research Council and (b) National Institute for Health Research in (i) 2018-19 and (ii) 2019-20.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) have funded the following number of Motor Neurone Disease-related projects, started in 2018-19 and 2019-2020.

2018-2019

2019-2020

MRC

10

7

NIHR

3

0

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research on motor neurone disease.

In 2019/20, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), through the Medical Research Council (MRC), spent around £13.4 million on Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research. This included research which aims to increase our understanding of the causes and genetic mechanisms of MND and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) a form of MND. Over 5 years (2015/16 - 2019/20) MRC expenditure relevant to MND and ALS totalled £45 million.

In addition, UKRI, through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, supports a diverse portfolio of neuroscience research and innovation totalling around £30 million per annum. This work may underpin MND research by furthering current understanding of: the structure and function of the nervous system; cell biology and genetics; mental processes including learning and memory, and neurodegeneration as a result of normal ageing. Their portfolio of funded research also includes awards seeking to understand the biology of neuromuscular systems and motor control which has underpinning relevance to MND has an average annual spend of £1.2 million.

Additionally, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). It is not usual practice to ring-fence funding for particular topics or conditions. The NIHR welcomes funding on applications for research into any aspect of human health, including MND. Applications are subject to peer review and judged on open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money, and scientific quality.

Over the past five years, DHSC has spent over £9 million on MND research through NIHR programmes and infrastructure. In 2018-19 alone, the NIHR invested £2.2 million in MND research through the NIHR research programmes and the NIHR Clinical Research Network. Additionally, the NIHR research infrastructure supported 73 research studies and trials on MND in 2018-19.

Furthermore, you be interested to hear about the NIHR Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre which has a research theme dedicated to MND. Further information on the AMBRoSIA study can be found at:http://sheffieldbrc.nihr.ac.uk/research-themes/motor-neurone-disease/.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to reduce industrial energy costs for UK steel producers.

The Government has helped steel companies to reduce their costs through resource and energy efficiency, including through a package of compensation and exemptions from electricity costs, and has provided more than £560 million in support to the UK steel industry since 2013.

In?addition, we have established an Industrial Energy Transformation Fund,?backed by up to?£315 million?of investment. This Fund will help businesses, including steel companies, with high energy use in order to cut their bills and transition the UK’s industry to a low carbon future.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to include representatives of the electricity network supply chain in the Government’s future engagement with industry and other stakeholders on the development of the energy system.

The Government’s commitment to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050 puts clean growth at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy. The manufacturing sector will have a key role to play in delivering the required investment in energy infrastructure to help meet these commitments. It also provides an opportunity to develop skills, provide employment and boost exports, which will be key in supporting a post-COVID green recovery. Government will continue to engage with the electricity network supply chain, along with a wide range of stakeholders, as we work towards developing a smarter, more flexible energy system.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that companies comply with ACAS guidelines on accrued holiday pay when making an employee redundant.

Where a worker is made redundant by their employer, they are entitled to be paid for any accrued but untaken holiday and any holiday taken but unpaid up to the point of their redundancy. Further guidance on how to calculate holiday pay and entitlement is available on GOV.UK and is kept under review.

On the 23rd July, the Department published updated guidance to clarify holiday pay for workers who are made redundant. This also includes when an employee is made redundant by an insolvent employer. The guidance can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/calculating-holiday-pay-for-workers-without-fixed-hours-or-pay

Employees who feel their rights have been denied may contact ACAS to receive free and impartial advice and may be able to bring a claim to an employment tribunal.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the number of people unable to apply for a Bounce Back Loan as a result of an application for a feeder account being declined.

Decision-making on lending under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is fully delegated to the Scheme’s accredited lenders.

In order to minimise administrative burden and therefore facilitate the issuing of as many loans as possible, the British Business Bank’s system only gathers data from lenders when loans are offered and drawn. Decisions on whether to capture information relating to rejected loans are at the discretion of the lender.

It is not a requirement of the Scheme for businesses to operate via a business account. However, some lenders may request that an applicant opens a business account in line with their standard policies. This is at the sole discretion of the lender.

A lender may consider paying funds into a personal current account if no business bank account is held, if it has been satisfactorily evidenced that the personal current account is being used for business purposes.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average time is between application and payment of Bounce Back Loans by banks to customers who (a) have an existing business bank account and (b) are new customers.

The processing of applications under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme is fully delegated to the 26 accredited lenders. The length of time from application to payment will vary across each of these lenders. A number of factors, including whether or not a customer has an existing relationship with the lender, will have an impact on how long the application process will take.

In order to apply for the scheme, businesses complete a short, simple, online application form, meaning that applications can be submitted and processed rapidly, and loans can be accessed within a matter of days. The Government is providing lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan to give them the confidence they need to support the smallest businesses in the country.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a Government-backed industry watchdog for the website design and IT sectors.

The Government has not made an assessment of establishing an industry watchdog for these sectors. Businesses contracting for website design and IT will be protected by the Business Protection from Misleading Marketing Regulations 2008, and consumers are protected under general consumer law.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from pub companies on support for pub tenants during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has had discussions with a broad range of stakeholders from across the pubs sector on the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, including support to pub tenants.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he is having with UK satellite companies on their development of capability in Cislunar space; and if he will make a statement

The UK is investing to participate in future lunar activities including Cislunar space through our membership of the European Space Agency. This is an independent organisation and not part of the EU. In November 2019, the Government invested 218M€ in ESA’s exploration programme which covers our involvement in the International Space Station, and the exploration of the Moon and Mars. ESA has provided workshops for industry explaining the future opportunities. Specifically, for the Moon the future opportunities include building elements of the Gateway a space station that will orbit the Moon, led by NASA; a commercial data relay service and a study for a future telecommunication and navigation network service. UK officials and ESA are working closely together with SSTL and Goonhilly Earth Station to launch the first lunar communications satellite in 2023. This activity will enable the UK to deliver on the joint Statement of Intent between the UK Space Agency and NASA to identify areas of cooperation for Lunar exploration and research.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support people with prepayment (a) gas and (b) electricity meters during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government announced on 19 March that we have secured a voluntary agreement with domestic energy supply companies to support customers impacted by Covid-19.

Under the terms of this agreement, energy suppliers will seek to identify and prioritise customers at risk, support customers who are impacted financially, and support prepayment meter customers to stay on supply.

The support offered will be based on the individual circumstances of the customer and the systems, processes and capability of the supply company. It could include extending discretionary or friendly credit, or sending out a pre-loaded top up card for prepay customers who are unable to leave home to top up.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of steel procured by her Department was produced in the UK, in each of the last five years.

BEIS does not procure any steel directly, however, we are working hard to make sure that UK producers of steel have the best possible chance of competing for and winning contracts across all Government procurement. All Government departments and arms-length bodies are required to consider socio-economic and environmental factors when procuring steel. We also publish a Steel Pipeline, signalling upcoming steel requirements for national infrastructure projects.

BEIS collates data, including origin where known, for arms-length bodies undertaking infrastructure projects with significant steel content, including UKRI and the NDA as well as Offshore Wind builds and Hinkley Point C. This information is published annually on gov.uk at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/steel-public-procurement

The data was first published in January 2019, with the next iteration due to be published shortly.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to ensure that the UK steel industry will continue to benefit from the Research Fund for Coal and Steel after the UK has left the EU.

The Government recognises the importance of R&D to help transform the steel sector so it can play a vital role within our modern Industrial Strategy. Increasing investment in R&D was one of the key recommendations in our 2017 Future capacities and capabilities of the UK steel industry study (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-steel-industry-future-market-opportunities), which sets out how the industry can increase its profitability and sustainability.

On ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU, we will continue to participate in RFCS during the implementation period. We want to make sure that if we are signing up to future EU Programmes, they align with UK priorities and provide value for money. Where it is in the UK’s interests, we will seek to participate in some specific EU Programmes. The exact terms of any participation would be subject to negotiation between the UK and the EU.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it remains her policy to deliver the lowest energy costs in Europe to reduce the disparity between the UK and EU in industrial electricity cost for the steel sector.

The Government is reducing the cumulative impact of energy and climate change policies on industrial electricity prices for energy intensive industries, including the steel sector. This includes over £300m of compensation to the steel sector since 2013.

We are committed to minimising energy costs for businesses to ensure our economy remains strong and competitive, such as through the £315m Industrial Energy Transformation Fund and our provision of electricity cost compensation and exemption.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he is having with (a) major telecommunications networks and (b) his EU counterpart on preventing the reintroduction of roaming charges for UK citizens travelling in the EU.

Ministers have regular discussions with senior representatives of mobile operators on a range of issues, including on the issue of mobile roaming, and the government will continue to promote a competitive marketplace that serves the interests of consumers.

During negotiations for the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU, the UK proposed continuation of reciprocal agreements between the UK and EU for surcharge free roaming, or a review clause to consider the need for these should roaming surcharges return for consumers. The EU did not agree to either of these proposals. Therefore, mobile operators are now able to impose a surcharge on UK consumers travelling abroad to the EU for their mobile phone usage. We advise that consumers check with their operators before travelling.

1st Jul 2021
What steps he is taking to progress the fan-led review of football governance.

Evidence sessions with nearly 70 fan groups and other key stakeholders are well underway, and I’m grateful to Newport County FC for their contribution.

Key themes emerging from these sessions will be set out in the interim findings due later this month. The Review panel will shortly be launching an online survey for all fans focusing on how we can improve football governance.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with UEFA on travel restrictions for overseas visitors to the UK for the European Football Championship.

In general, international visitors are subject to our current border restrictions and were not exempt from quarantining if they had a ticket for any Euro 2020 games being hosted in the UK. We did, via UEFA, communicate to all international ticket-holders on the nature of our border restrictions, and saw that most of those based overseas who originally purchased tickets latterly chose not to come here, with many transferring them to people in the UK.

The government and UEFA announced on 22 June that the semi finals and the final would be hosted at up to 75% capacity. We agreed with UEFA that all additional tickets sold by them for these matches would be limited to those based in the Common Travel Area

A limited number of accredited guests were provided an exemption from COVID-19 borders restrictions to attend the latter stages of the Championships. This ensured that the tournament could take place successfully in the UK. They were either:

a) only permitted to leave isolation for official events, including matches or UEFA meetings, subject to strict public health mitigations, developed with the input of Public Health England and in line with other international events such as the G7; or

b) required to travel directly from the airport to the stadium, and back again, helping to prevent contact with the local population.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support the Government is providing to the exhibition and events industries that have lost revenue as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware that multiple aspects of the exhibition and events industries have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. The Tourism Minister has engaged regularly with the sector over the last few months, for example by convening a panel of Senior Leaders from across the industry and meeting with the Events Industry Board.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes employee support, business rates relief and grants for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses, plus £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans. The Chancellor also announced a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

The Welsh Government is responsible for any support tied to business rates or council tax in Wales.

We will continue to engage with the Devolved Administrations to support business events across the UK during the recovery period, as set out in last year’s International Business Events Action Plan.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department will take to promote (a) Wales and (b) the International Convention Centre in Newport, as a venue for major conferences and events.

Business events and conferences are very important to the UK economy and we engage with the Wales Office along with the Welsh Government to support business events in Wales. Support is primarily provided by VisitBritain.

The Government supports the delivery of VisitBritain’s Business Events Growth Programme and is committed to attracting more international business events to the UK. This April, VisitBritain will hold its flagship business tourism event, ‘MeetGB’, at the International Convention Centre Wales.

Government support for the events sector is set out in the International Business Events Action Plan, which was published in June 2019.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Construction Industry Training Board on recent changes to its redundancy policy; and if he will make an assessment of the effect of those changes on staff.

The Industrial Training Act 1982, delegates employment matters to the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Schedule 1 (11) of the Act states, ‘An industrial training board may appoint such officers and servants, upon such terms as to remuneration, pension rights and other conditions of service, as the board may determine.’

The Department maintains ongoing dialogue with the CITB and is sighted on key activity impacting on CITB colleagues.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that non-departmental Government bodies that report to his Department do not change their redundancy policy prior to the completion of a full consultation with staff.

The Department’s arm's length bodies (ALBs) are usually responsible for the management of their own staff terms and conditions, including the need to consult with staff on any changes. Governance arrangements are in place to ensure the Department has oversight of any changes which require Departmental input or approval and to ensure this is managed compliantly. The guidance about the Department’s overall approach to ALBs, as set out in the Cabinet Office guide to public bodies, is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/partnerships-with-arms-length-bodies-code-of-good-practice.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of steel procured by his Department was produced in the UK, in each of the last five years.

Based on data available, the Department estimates that the proportion of steel procured by the Department that has been produced in the UK is as follows:

  • April 2017 to March 2018 – 45%
  • April 2018 to March 2019 – 36%

The above data excludes the tonnage that may have been used for modular projects – which would be minimal given the small quantities of modular schools delivered to date.

Data collection on steel usage, source and type only commenced in 2017 as a result of Procurement Policy Note 15/16, issued by the Cabinet Office.

20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with representatives from the brewing and beer industries on the potential impact of an industrial carbon dioxide shortage on that sector in the coming months.

We are aware of the issues faced by the brewing and beer industry due to the shortage and are working closely with them to provide support and advice. We have had extensive meetings with representatives from food and drink sectors, and those conversations are continuing to further explore impacts and discuss potential solutions.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that harmful chemical products are not used in disposable and reusable period products.

Period products are regulated under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 which require that only safe products are placed on the market. Producers are responsible for the safety of the products they place on the market and have to provide relevant information and adequate warnings so that that the risks can be assessed.

Both the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety and the Swedish Chemical Agency have carried out studies that have considered the safety of these products. Both studies concluded that the risks were low.

If there were significant concerns about the presence of hazardous substances in a product, then there are measures in the UK REACH legislation, such as a UK REACH restriction, that could be taken to address this. However, we would need to be convinced that there was clear evidence before considering such action.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of steel procured by her Department was produced in the UK, in each of the last five years.

This Government remains committed to supporting the UK steel industry.

Defra collates information about steel spend for projects with the largest steel requirements, including origin where known. This information is published annually on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/steel-public-procurement

The data was first published in January 2019, with the next iteration due to be published shortly.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to support increased UK steel exports to India.

India is a major steel producer and is second only to China in terms of annual production with an output of 100.3mmt in 2020. India’s low production costs mean it is not a priority market for bulk steel from the UK but it is an important market for specialist UK steel products. The Department for International Trade supports all UK companies who wish to export through our extensive trade promotion network and has been actively working to reduce trade barriers to India, including through our Free Trade Agreement negotiations.

19th Nov 2020
What steps her Department is taking to support UK steel exports to the EU after 31 December 2020.

My Department and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy worked closely with industry to engage with the European Commission to provide a tariff-free quota allocation for UK steel exports into the EU from 1 January 2021. The European Commission announced the creation of a UK allocation on 30 October. As a result, the UK steel industry will avoid an £80m tariff bill in the first half of next year, according to UK Steel estimates.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure an exemption for UK steel producers from the EU’s current steel safeguarding quotas.

The Government’s priority is to ensure that, at the end of the transition period, domestic industry retains appropriate trade remedy protections. The Department for International Trade and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy have engaged closely with the European Commission to secure tariff-free quota allocations for UK steel exports into the EU from 1 January 2021.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she will make the removal of Section 232 tariffs for steel a pre-condition of a free trade agreement with the United States.

The UK has consistently opposed US tariffs on steel and aluminium. The UK is a close national security ally of the US and our steel and aluminium products are important for US businesses and defence, and we continue to reject any claim that they harm US national security. We will continue to press for an urgent resolution to these tariffs as part of our ongoing trade discussions with the US.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary for State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that the EU FTA negotiations do not result in UK steel exports being subject to EU steel safeguard measures without the provision of UK specific tariff-free quotas at the end of 2020.

The Government will seek to engage with the European Commission to discuss the mutual application of the steel safeguard measure with the aim of preserving traditional trade flows and providing as much continuity to industry as possible at the end of the Implementation Period.

Conor Burns
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
15th Oct 2021
M49
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with National Highways and Delta on a completion date for the two-bridge Central Park-Avonmouth junction on the M49.

National Highways completed works at the M49 Avonmouth junction in December 2019 and is working with key stakeholders to finalise an approach for the completion of the link roads to the existing local roads in the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area, which will be an important step towards unlocking significant benefits to local communities and the wider region.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is taking to prioritise driving license (a) applications and (b) amendments for heavy goods vehicle drivers.

The DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day which must be dealt with in person. Ongoing industrial action by members of the Public and Commercial Services union, along with fewer operational staff on site to allow for social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements and an increased demand for its services has led to delays in dealing with paper applications. The DVLA has leased an additional building to accommodate more operational staff.

Currently, driving licence applications made on paper are likely to take six to ten weeks to process. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed.

The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The DVLA has reconfigured its accommodation to safely maximise the number of staff on site and is working hard to process applications as quickly as possible. The DVLA has accelerated the development of additional online services to reduce the number of paper applications and supported their take up through a publicity campaign. Further digital service enhancements are underway.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce the time taken for the drivers' medical action team to assess whether medical evidence is required when processing (a) new and (b) renewal applications for driving licences.

The average processing time to make a medical licensing decision in the last three financial years is shown in the table below.

Financial Year

Average processing time (working days)

2018-2019

34

2019-2020

36

2020-2021

58

To improve the length of time taken to process medical licensing applications, the DVLA has recruited additional staff. This includes increasing the number of in-house doctors it employs and temporary administrative staff. Nurse caseworkers are being utilised to deal with specific conditions. The DVLA is also working with the relevant bodies to explore ways of reducing the time taken to receive the information needed to make licensing decisions.

The DVLA has also recently trialed a simplified renewal process for some medical conditions. This has significantly reduced the turnaround times for some drivers.

Where possible the DVLA will refer specific medical conditions to its in-house doctors in the first instance, to make a licensing decision using the information held.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average processing time was for the renewal of driving licences where a medical consideration was made in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The average processing time to make a medical licensing decision in the last three financial years is shown in the table below.

Financial Year

Average processing time (working days)

2018-2019

34

2019-2020

36

2020-2021

58

To improve the length of time taken to process medical licensing applications, the DVLA has recruited additional staff. This includes increasing the number of in-house doctors it employs and temporary administrative staff. Nurse caseworkers are being utilised to deal with specific conditions. The DVLA is also working with the relevant bodies to explore ways of reducing the time taken to receive the information needed to make licensing decisions.

The DVLA has also recently trialed a simplified renewal process for some medical conditions. This has significantly reduced the turnaround times for some drivers.

Where possible the DVLA will refer specific medical conditions to its in-house doctors in the first instance, to make a licensing decision using the information held.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will reinstate the Rescue Boat Grant Fund for independent lifeboat organisations.

We will be considering the future of the Rescue Boat Grant Fund as part of the forthcoming review of government spending.

Independent lifeboat organisations play a vital role in the safety of our coasts and waterways. The Fund has already provided nearly £6 million in support significantly enhanced the capacity of the sector.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to ensure that all drivers who use mobile phones to film or take photographs whilst driving are prosecuted.

The Government has consulted on changing the law to broaden the offence of using a mobile phone while driving. We are currently analysing the consultation responses.

Our objective in putting forward a proposal to change the law, was to ensure that the offence of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving reflects the real world where smart phones or devices are used not only for calls and texting (interactive communication), but also for scrolling play lists, taking photographs, or drafting emails (standalone functions).

Additionally, broadening of the offence will facilitate enforcement by obviating the need for the police to demonstrate that any use they identified from the roadside involved interactive communication.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what criteria were used to inform the decision include Qatar on the covid-19 red list for travel.

The decision to add Qatar to the red list on 19 March was made by Ministers, following data showing an increased risk of importation of the Beta variant of concern first identified in South Africa.

The Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC) produces risk assessments of countries and territories. Decisions on Red, Amber or Green List assignment and associated border measures are taken by Ministers, who take into account the JBC risk assessments, alongside wider public health factors. Key factors in the JBC risk assessment of each country include genomic surveillance capability, COVID-19 transmission risk and Variant of Concern transmission risk. A summary of the JBC methodology has been published on GOV.UK, alongside key data that supports ministers’ decisions.

As with all our coronavirus measures, the Government keeps the red list under constant review and our priority remains to protect the health of the UK public.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support learner drivers who need to resit their driving theory test because the two-year validity on their qualification has expired as a result of being unable to sit their practical test during the covid-19 outbreak.

A candidate whose theory test certificate expires will have received the service for which they paid the fee. If a practical test is already booked at the time when the theory test expires, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will refund the fee for the practical driving test.

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

Taking all this into consideration, the decision has been made not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

A total of 195,814 theory test certificates expired between the period of 25 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 without a practical test pass.

In the normal course of events, on average, 14,000 candidates let their certificate expire each month.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people have had the two-year validity on their driving theory test expire since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

A candidate whose theory test certificate expires will have received the service for which they paid the fee. If a practical test is already booked at the time when the theory test expires, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency will refund the fee for the practical driving test.

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

Taking all this into consideration, the decision has been made not to extend theory test certificates and learners will need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

A total of 195,814 theory test certificates expired between the period of 25 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 without a practical test pass.

In the normal course of events, on average, 14,000 candidates let their certificate expire each month.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of reconfiguring the South Wales Mainline so that inter-city services can be separated from commuter services; and if he will make a statement.

On 21 August the Secretary of State announced a £343m package of investment in railway infrastructure in Wales. This includes the development of a scheme to upgrade the relief lines between the Severn Tunnel and Cardiff to provide greater capacity and more flexibility for passenger services on this part of the route. I have asked Network Rail to look for opportunities to accelerate this development work as much as possible.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to reduce the risk of fatality for private contractors' staff on the UK railway network.

The Department is working closely with Network Rail, train operators, trade unions and the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to reduce the risk of fatalities on the network to directly employed staff and contractors. It has been over a year since the tragic deaths of two track maintenance workers, Mr Gareth Delbridge and Mr Michael Lewis, on 3 July 2019, when a passenger train struck them at Margam East Junction on the South Wales Main Line, and I would like to once again express my condolences to their families for their losses.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is currently investigating the circumstances that led to the tragic incident at Margam. Its report, which is expected shortly, is likely to make recommendations aimed at ensuring that lessons are learnt and at preventing such an event happening again.

Since July 2019, Network Rail has established a £70m safety task force to make fundamental changes to the way it manages track worker access to the rail network, including a review of its safe systems of work. Network Rail is also developing new digital protection and warning systems to warn track workers of approaching trains, and to increase the use of technology such as Plain Line Pattern Recognition, which provides automated track inspection and reduces the need for track access.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with train operating companies on ensuring their staff fatigue risk management systems meet relevant industry guidance and best practice.

The Department continues to work closely with train operating companies, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), and Network Rail to ensure that staff fatigue risk is managed properly in accordance with published guidance and best practice. Train operators are required by health and safety law to implement measures to manage fatigue amongst safety critical staff as part of their safety management systems. This includes monitoring working hours, identifying the signs of fatigue, and managing factors that can have an impact of this on alertness and fitness for work. This applies to all staff on the railways, including track workers, train drivers and control room staff.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure British Airways are providing cash refunds for flights that have been cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department for Transport is in regular conversation with UK airlines and wider membership bodies. We are working closely with the sector, the regulator and consumer groups to help ensure airlines deliver on their commitments.

Airlines are working hard to answer the high call volumes and to process large volumes of refunds. However, the Government appreciates the frustration consumers may be experiencing. We have been clear that where a consumer has asked for a refund, that refund must be paid

15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Government plans to publish the full application form for the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund.

The online form for registering an interest in the second round of the Ideas Fund was sent to Members on 15 May. The full application form will be published on GOV.UK during week commencing 25 May. We will let Members know when the form is available, as we have done at all stages of the Restoring Your Railway Ideas Fund. The deadline for applications is 19 June.

We received 60 bids for the first round, which have recently been assessed and the next steps from this round will be communicated to Members and Promoters shortly.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his plans are for the provision of driving lessons for those not classed as critical workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Using the latest Government guidance, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is working closely with the Approved Driving Instructors National Association Strategic Partnership (NASP) to develop appropriate plans and control measures that will enable the resumption of non-essential driving lessons. The DVSA will keep the situation under review and provide advice as soon as it can.

Approved Driving Instructors (ADIs) can continue to provide tuition to pupils if the lesson is considered essential. It is the responsibility of the ADI, and the pupil, to decide if the driving lesson is critical. ADIs should ask pupils to bring appropriate identification to demonstrate the need for the lesson, such as a payslip, letter or identification badge.

All ADIs should put in place appropriate health and safety measures, in line with the latest Public Heath England and Cabinet Office guidance, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether additional seats will be be available on Cross Country rail services from (a) Newport, (b) Severn Tunnel Junction and (c) Caldicot.

Additional seats are due to be provided on the CrossCountry route linking Cardiff, Newport, Caldicot, Birmingham and Nottingham. A small number of CrossCountry services on this route also call at Severn Tunnel Junction

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will use UK-produced steel for the HS2 project.

The Government’s guidance on the procurement of steel was published in November 2015 and subsequently updated in December 2016. All major government projects are required to take cognisance of the Crown Commercial Service Procurement Policy Note 11/16: “Procuring Steel in Major Projects - Revised Guidance” (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-1116-procuring-steel-in-major-projects-revised-guidance ).

Whilst HS2 Ltd. does not directly buy steel, it does apply a strategic and transparent approach to the sourcing of steel for the HS2 Programme through its Tier 1 contractors and their supply chains. HS2 Ltd ensures a fair procurement process which complies with UK procurement law and the Government policy on the procurement of steel.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the potential benefits for Wales of HS2 Ltd procurement contracts.

HS2 has huge potential to support growth across the UK including Wales and will promote regeneration, boost skills and generate new jobs for people across the region. Our procurement process is open to all bidders with the relevant experience and required credentials and ensures value for money for the taxpayer. HS2 Ltd has a continuing programme of engagement with local businesses, attending events arranged by local Chambers of Commerce and other networks to ensure that the procurement opportunities of the project are spread across all four nations of the United Kingdom. To date, 26 Welsh companies have provided goods or services to the project, including 16 SMEs.

Aside from procurement contracts, the Department forecasts the north-east Wales economy will be boosted by £50m annually by HS2's quicker journey times.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the amount of UK steel which could be procured for the HS2 project.

It is anticipated that around two million tonnes of steel will be used across the HS2 programme.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of establishing a nationwide independent Road Collision Investigation branch.

The Department has sponsored the RAC Foundation to conduct the Road Collision Investigation Project which is ongoing and will report by Summer 2022. This project is seeking to establish whether there is a business case for putting more resource into the investigation of road crashes and if so, to identify how best to develop it. Considerations will include whether the future service should be nationwide and independent among other options. Their recommendations, together with learning from the ongoing Roads Policing Review which will report in 2021, will provide the evidence base necessary for an informed assessment to be made.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress the road collision investigation project led by the RAC Foundation has made; and what plans he has to extend that scheme to Wales.

The Road Collision Investigation Project is ongoing. Progress to date includes:

  • A report on Models and methods for collision analysis giving the rationale for taking a systems approach to collision investigation.

  • RCIP Feasibility Study carried out by the Transport Research Laboratory to assess the validity of the AcciMap framework

    This work is being led by the RAC Foundation, in collaboration with and supported by the Department for Transport (DfT), Highways England (HE), the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) and other national and local organisations.

    Three police force analysts are all using the Collision Reporting and Sharing System managed and funded by the Department for Transport - no Welsh forces use this system at present, though it would be open for them to do so. The learning from the project will be published in due course and will be available to all of central and local government (including devolved administrations), and all GB police forces.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of the £500 million Restoring Railways, Connecting Communities funding he plans to allocate to (a) Wales and (b) cross-border services between Wales and England.

We have announced £500m funding for reopening railway lines and stations closed in the Beeching era, but it is too early to say how much of this will be spent within Wales or on cross-border services. This depends on the schemes put forward for consideration and I have invited the Hon. Member to our briefing on 4th February where she can learn more about this. A new £20m round of funding is allocated to support new stations on the network. In the previous round a new station at Bow Street, Ceredigion, was one of five in England and Wales that secured funding.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to introduce statutory targets to reduce levels of overcrowding on rail services.

The Department expects all its operators to provide sufficient levels of service to meet passenger demand. We are taking steps to increase capacity wherever possible and many operators are introducing new trains this year. The Williams Rail Review will shortly propose comprehensive measures to improve how the railway works for passengers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether (a) devolution of powers over rail infrastructure and (b) increased rail infrastructure funding for Wales will be considered in the Williams Rail Review.

The Williams Rail Review is considering where further devolution of powers could be in the interests of passengers. Further details will be set out in the forthcoming White Paper.

Decisions around levels of public investment in the railways are outside of the Review’s remit.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with Welsh Government on the provision of cross-border rail services.

Since the General Election I have spoken to the Minister for Economy and Transport on this subject. Officials in the Department have regular meetings both with officials from Welsh Government and Transport for Wales on cross border rail services.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of (a) Network Rail and (b) Highways England on the potential support of those organisations for the UK Steel Charter.

I can confirm that discussions have taken place with representatives of a) Network Rail and b) Highways England and that both organisations have committed to supporting the Charter where this is relevant to their commercial activities and where consistent with the relevant public procurement regulations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's timeframe is for the publication of the Williams Rail Review.

A White Paper based on the Williams Rail Review’s recommendations will be published in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of steel procured by his Department was produced in the UK, in each of the last five years.

Government’s guidance on the procurement of steel was published in November 2015 and subsequently updated in December 2016. In DfT, steel is only purchased directly by Network Rail. Both Highways England and High Speed Two Ltd procure steel through their respective supply chains. The guidance has been fully adopted by DfT for all in-scope projects and we have been required to report on its implementation (and the % of UK steel directly purchased) since January 2017. The percentage of UK steel we have reported is set out below.

Year

Proportion of UK Steel procured by DfT

June 2018-19

93 %

June 2017-18

93.5 %

Jan-June 2017

95 %

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has plans to (a) become a signatory to the UK Steel charter and (b) maximise the use of UK steel in public infrastructure projects through procurement practises for national transport projects.

I can confirm that the Department has committed to supporting the Charter where this is relevant to our commercial activities and where consistent with the relevant public procurement regulations. This position has been communicated to UK Steel.

Government’s guidance on the procurement of steel was published in November 2015 and subsequently updated in December 2016. In DfT steel is only purchased directly by Network Rail, and they source approximately 93% percent of their steel from the UK. Both Highways England and High Speed Two Ltd procure steel through their respective supply chains. The guidance has been fully adopted by DfT for all in-scope projects and we are required to report on its implementation.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time was for a substantive response to be sent following an enquiry being made to her Department's MP Account Management team in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

Information on the handling of correspondence from hon. Members and Peers by Government Departments and Agencies is published by the Cabinet Office. The most recent available information was published on 15 July 2021 and can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/data-on-responses-to-correspondence-from-mps-and-peers.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the value was of all claims identified as fraudulent benefit claims through identity theft; how much has been recovered from those fraudulent claims; and how many people have been prosecuted for fraudulent benefit claims through identity theft in (a) 2018-2019, (b) 2019-2020 and (c) 2020-2021.

Where there is a suspicion of fraud, the Department takes the issue extremely seriously. DWP’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service coordinates the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups detecting and shutting down systematic attacks. Last year, this led us to suspend 152,000 Universal Credit claims and prevented £1.9 billion in benefits from being paid to people trying to defraud the system.

The table below shows the number of Fraud Investigations concluded in each of the requested years where the allegation was recorded as Identity Fraud and the primary benefit in payment was Universal Credit. Also shown is the value associated to these Investigations.

2018/2019

2019/2020

2020/2021

Cases closed - all outcomes (figures rounded to nearest 100)

900

2,400

2,600*

Values calculated in respect of above cases (rounded to nearest 100)

£65,300

£928,500

£2,092,500**

*As this was identified as a result of serious and organised fraud this figure reflects the number of referrals made and not the number of individual claims that may be incorporated in that referral.

**These cases and values do not include the large number of additional Identity Fraud attempts during 2020/21 (many of which were the result of co-ordinated attacks) which we spotted and stopped before they went into payment, as the cases are still ongoing.

DWP’s Debt Management system does not match recovery to specific fraud type, so it is not possible to state how much money has been recovered in relation to closed cases classified as Identity Fraud.

Covid-19 restrictions have impacted prosecution cases as it has not been possible to carry out face to face interviews. This is because a face to face interview under caution, carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, is a legal requirement before a case can be referred for either prosecution or for an administrative penalty to be issued.

However, DWP is making considerable progress in securing Covid safe rooms across the country for its fraud investigators and is also securing digital facilities, which will enable interviews to be conducted remotely.

DWP will always look to prosecute this type of offence to the full extent where possible and conducted 4 prosecutions for this offence in 2018/19, 9 in 2019/20 and 3 in 2020/21.

There will always be a time lag between the formal investigation and the court’s final verdict, but a number of investigations into hijacked identity are currently being pursued and will come to court in due course.

DWP is currently considering how future legislative change could help target fraud and error even more acutely moving forwards.

All cases where ‘Departmental error’ leads to overpayments of Universal Credit are logged on DWP’s Debt Management system as Official Error cases. These debts are recoverable. The table below shows the total number of these cases recorded on the system in each of the last 3 years.

Financial Year

Volume*

2018/2019

106,000

2019/2020

199,000

2020/2021

337,000

*figures rounded to nearest 1000

Ensuring benefit correctness is a DWP priority. Despite an additional 3 million claimants to Universal Credit as a result of Covid-19, published National Statistics on Fraud and Error in the Benefit System show that Universal Credit Official Error fell in 2020/21 from 1.3% to 0.9% of benefit expenditure.

Note that the data supplied in this response is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims have been identified as involving (a) identity fraud, (b) departmental error in (i) 2018-19, (ii) 2019-20 and (iii) 2020-21.

Where there is a suspicion of fraud, the Department takes the issue extremely seriously. DWP’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service coordinates the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups detecting and shutting down systematic attacks. Last year, this led us to suspend 152,000 Universal Credit claims and prevented £1.9 billion in benefits from being paid to people trying to defraud the system.

The table below shows the number of Fraud Investigations concluded in each of the requested years where the allegation was recorded as Identity Fraud and the primary benefit in payment was Universal Credit. Also shown is the value associated to these Investigations.

2018/2019

2019/2020

2020/2021

Cases closed - all outcomes (figures rounded to nearest 100)

900

2,400

2,600*

Values calculated in respect of above cases (rounded to nearest 100)

£65,300

£928,500

£2,092,500**

*As this was identified as a result of serious and organised fraud this figure reflects the number of referrals made and not the number of individual claims that may be incorporated in that referral.

**These cases and values do not include the large number of additional Identity Fraud attempts during 2020/21 (many of which were the result of co-ordinated attacks) which we spotted and stopped before they went into payment, as the cases are still ongoing.

DWP’s Debt Management system does not match recovery to specific fraud type, so it is not possible to state how much money has been recovered in relation to closed cases classified as Identity Fraud.

Covid-19 restrictions have impacted prosecution cases as it has not been possible to carry out face to face interviews. This is because a face to face interview under caution, carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, is a legal requirement before a case can be referred for either prosecution or for an administrative penalty to be issued.

However, DWP is making considerable progress in securing Covid safe rooms across the country for its fraud investigators and is also securing digital facilities, which will enable interviews to be conducted remotely.

DWP will always look to prosecute this type of offence to the full extent where possible and conducted 4 prosecutions for this offence in 2018/19, 9 in 2019/20 and 3 in 2020/21.

There will always be a time lag between the formal investigation and the court’s final verdict, but a number of investigations into hijacked identity are currently being pursued and will come to court in due course.

DWP is currently considering how future legislative change could help target fraud and error even more acutely moving forwards.

All cases where ‘Departmental error’ leads to overpayments of Universal Credit are logged on DWP’s Debt Management system as Official Error cases. These debts are recoverable. The table below shows the total number of these cases recorded on the system in each of the last 3 years.

Financial Year

Volume*

2018/2019

106,000

2019/2020

199,000

2020/2021

337,000

*figures rounded to nearest 1000

Ensuring benefit correctness is a DWP priority. Despite an additional 3 million claimants to Universal Credit as a result of Covid-19, published National Statistics on Fraud and Error in the Benefit System show that Universal Credit Official Error fell in 2020/21 from 1.3% to 0.9% of benefit expenditure.

Note that the data supplied in this response is derived from unpublished management information which was collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. The data should therefore be treated with caution.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to (a) identify and (b) investigate universal credit claims in the event that multiple claims are being paid to the same bank account.

COVID-19 saw an unprecedented surge in Universal Credit claims, demanding an extraordinary response from DWP to ensure the welfare safety net continued to catch all those in urgent need.

Whilst a small number of people deliberately misrepresented their circumstances or looked to exploit our response to the pandemic, the verification of claimants’ identities remains at the core of our checks and we quickly introduced new and robust verification procedures following initial easements. Face to face interviews are now being re-established, subject to the latest COVID-19 advice.

Where fraud does occur, the Department takes the issue extremely seriously. Our Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service coordinates the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups, detecting and shutting down systematic attacks. Last year, this led us to suspend 152,000 Universal Credit claims and prevented £1.9 billion in benefits from being paid to people trying to scam the system.

Identity fraud is a complex issue, and it is not always possible to be definitive about every case, but our Enhanced Checking Service and our Serious Organised Crime teams disrupted or corrected over 298,000 claims (including the 152,000 mentioned above) in 2020-21.

We are not able to describe the robust processes we have in place, as to do so may compromise the effectiveness of our operations. However, DWP continues to work across Government to address this issue.

Where citizens allege that their identity has been used to make a fraudulent claim for Universal Credit, DWP considers each case on its own merits. Decisions are made on the strength of the evidence provided. If a claimant has been the victim of a scam, and has not benefited from it in any way, they will not be held liable for any debt. In these cases, we will seek to recover any losses from the perpetrator of any fraud.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to protect people who are victims of identity theft and have had fraudulent benefit claims made in their name.

COVID-19 saw an unprecedented surge in Universal Credit claims, demanding an extraordinary response from DWP to ensure the welfare safety net continued to catch all those in urgent need.

Whilst a small number of people deliberately misrepresented their circumstances or looked to exploit our response to the pandemic, the verification of claimants’ identities remains at the core of our checks and we quickly introduced new and robust verification procedures following initial easements. Face to face interviews are now being re-established, subject to the latest COVID-19 advice.

Where fraud does occur, the Department takes the issue extremely seriously. Our Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service coordinates the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups, detecting and shutting down systematic attacks. Last year, this led us to suspend 152,000 Universal Credit claims and prevented £1.9 billion in benefits from being paid to people trying to scam the system.

Identity fraud is a complex issue, and it is not always possible to be definitive about every case, but our Enhanced Checking Service and our Serious Organised Crime teams disrupted or corrected over 298,000 claims (including the 152,000 mentioned above) in 2020-21.

We are not able to describe the robust processes we have in place, as to do so may compromise the effectiveness of our operations. However, DWP continues to work across Government to address this issue.

Where citizens allege that their identity has been used to make a fraudulent claim for Universal Credit, DWP considers each case on its own merits. Decisions are made on the strength of the evidence provided. If a claimant has been the victim of a scam, and has not benefited from it in any way, they will not be held liable for any debt. In these cases, we will seek to recover any losses from the perpetrator of any fraud.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason deductions for child maintenance are listed at numbers 13 and 14 in her Department's guidance on the deductions priority order for universal credit.

Schedule 6 of the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker's Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Claims and Payments) Regulations 2013 sets out the priority order in which Departmental staff must consider all deductions from Universal Credit, including Child Maintenance. The deductions contained in that priority order are all priority debts and social obligations that are important for claimants to address.

The Department recognises the importance of Child Maintenance payments and these deductions are already prioritised above others such as benefit overpayments of Housing Benefit, Tax Credit and DWP overpayments and Recoverable Hardship and Social Fund loans.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time taken by the Child Maintenance Service to recover arrears for child maintenance was in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

We do not hold this information due to the complex nature of our unpaid Child Maintenance (previously known as arrears) negotiations. When arranging for unpaid Child Maintenance to be recovered, caseworkers speak to both the Paying Parent and the Receiving Parent to agree an affordable and acceptable amount for both parties.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department accepts a statutory safeguarding duty of care to vulnerable benefits claimants.

The Department does not have a statutory safeguarding duty or legal duty of care. The safety of claimants is of great importance to us and the Department provides staff with training and guidance to help them identify those who require further support beyond the provision of benefits.

Our staff can direct vulnerable claimants to agencies and services who are best placed to support them, including those who have statutory safeguarding duties such as local authorities and social services.

DWP supports the work of all statutory safeguarding agencies, either when formally requested to do so, or by engaging with them to identify, where possible, those who might need particular support.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what representations her Department has received from (a) welfare and (b) disability groups on her Department's public sector equality duty as set out in the Equality Act 2010 to those people claiming disability benefits.

DWP take our Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) seriously and are absolutely committed to ensuring our services are accessible to all.

We focus on being a learning organisation and are keen to capture the voice of the customer. A key part of this role is working with a number of representative groups from welfare and disability organisations through regular stakeholder forums.

They comprise of a range of organisations of and for disabled customers and through them we hear the voice of our customers. They let us know where we can improve the reasonable adjustments we offer and our processes for providing them, and they assist us by testing new products and procedures

One example is the Taskforce on Accessible Information which works at strategic level and meets three to four times a year.

Another is the Reasonable Adjustments Forum who work at an operational level and meet every two months.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to support an urgent independent inquiry into (a) the impact of the benefits assessment process on claimants' mental health and (b) preventing future deaths of those wrongly declared fit for work.

The Department’s key obligation is to ensure that claimants receive the benefits that they are entitled to, in a timely manner. We continually review our processes to ensure that benefits assessment processes are accessible and supportive to all customers, including those with mental health conditions. We recently put in place a number of improvements to disability benefits assessments, to ensure that vulnerable customers are identified and all evidence relevant to the claim is taken into account. These include enhancing Additional Support Markers on digital case files to indicate vulnerable claimants.

The Department is committed to learning from cases where there is suggestion or allegation that the Department’s actions or omissions may have negatively contributed to the customer’s circumstances. We conduct internal retrospective investigations (known as Internal Process Reviews) to capture these lessons, and take them forward to inform future policy and service.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if the Government will establish an independent inquiry into the (a) number and (b) causes of deaths of those who have died after being found fit to work following a benefits assessment in each of the last six years.

The Department’s key obligation is to ensure that claimants receive the benefits that they are entitled to, in a timely manner. We have recently put in place a number of improvements to disability benefits assessments, to ensure that vulnerable customers are identified and all evidence relevant to the claim is taken into account.

The Department is committed to learning from cases where there is suggestion or allegation that the Department’s actions or omissions may have negatively contributed to a customer’s circumstances. We conduct internal retrospective investigations (known as Internal Process Reviews) to capture these lessons, and take them forward to inform future policy and service.

In England and Wales (where engaged) a Coroner has responsibility for concluding the cause of death.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of bringing forward proposals to reduce the number of face-to-face assessments for disabled benefits claimants.

We are committed to improving the experience of accessing health and disability benefits. The Health and Disability Green Paper is an opportunity to understand how we can best improve the health assessment system, including the frequency of reassessments, and will inform our plan for change.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many families are in receipt of universal credit in Newport East constituency; and how many of those families are in receipt of the £20 uplift for that benefit.

The available information on the number of households with Universal Credit in payment by parliamentary constituency is published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

The £20 uplift applies to all Universal Credit claimants.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the pension credit take up is in (a) Newport East constituency and (b) each Welsh constituency.

The information requested is not available.

The DWP publishes annual take-up statistics for income-related benefits, including Pension Credit, at Great Britain level. The latest data was published in October 2020 and provides take-up estimates up to financial year 2018/19: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/income-related-benefits-estimates-of-take-up--2(opens in a new tab)

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to ensure that universal credit claimants in Wales are able to receive their bonuses from both rounds of the Welsh Government's NHS and social care financial recognition scheme without deductions.

Frontline health and social care workers make a valuable contribution to our society and we are so grateful for their continued work through this pandemic.

The Department does not deduct from a Universal Credit claimant’s salary or bonus payment, however it may reduce the amount of Government support a claimant receives through Universal Credit if their earnings increase and they therefore have more money available to support themselves. It is a long-standing principle of means-tested benefits that as a person’s earnings increase their government support decreases – Universal Credit is no different.

Bonus payments, including those paid to health and social care workers, are earnings and therefore are treated in the same way as any other earnings. Universal Credit rules align closely to tax legislation (Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA)). Amounts that are taken into account for a Universal Credit award include those that are general earnings, as defined in section 7(3) of ITEPA. Amounts paid as expenses that are exempt from Income tax under Part 4 of ITEPA are not taken into account for a Universal Credit award.

To ensure consistency with the approach taken across different forms of earnings and Covid-19 financial support, the UK Government does not believe there is a case for disregarding these payments from benefit calculations. They are therefore subject to the Universal Credit taper rate of 63%, unless the earnings form part of the work allowance, which is the amount someone can earn before the taper is applied to their earnings.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government plans to take steps to formally recognise British Sign Language in law.

On 18 March 2003 the UK government formally recognised that British Sign Language (BSL) is a language in its own right. Provision for accessing services by users of BSL are covered by the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty.

Existing equality legislation already means employers, service providers and public bodies have to provide services in BSL and other formats when it is reasonable to do so. The Public Sector Equality Duty requires public bodies to have due regard to the needs of all those with protected characteristics.

26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of research by the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, published 26 May 2021, on the barriers facing people with mental health issues from getting help to manage their universal credit account.

Universal Credit provides personalised and tailored support for all claimants, and it is already possible for claimants to give permission for a third party to discuss aspects of their claim.

The Department has also provided mental health training for staff who have direct contact with claimants, including all Work Coaches, to equip them to identify mental wellbeing issues or vulnerabilities, and to take appropriate action to support individuals. Work Coaches will tailor support to the needs of the individual and work closely with local organisations that provide additional specialist support. To enable Work Coaches to provide that tailored experience, with the permission of the claimant, they are able to record, in a free text format, through the use of ‘pinned notes’ in the Universal Credit system, information which supports staff in identifying and managing relevant experiences and circumstances of individual claimants.

In terms of supporting people manage their Universal Credit account, there is assistance available to make and maintain their Universal Credit claim using the Freephone Universal Credit helpline.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time is (a) between receipt of an application for state pension and date of the first payment and (b) between reaching state pension age and the date of the first payment of state pension.

The information requested is not readily available, as to provide it would require complex interrogation of our systems and would incur disproportionate cost.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have died whilst waiting for a decision on their personal independence payment claim in 2021.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are being cleared in 4 working days on average (as at the end of January 2021, the latest available published data).

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

390 people died whilst waiting for a decision on their PIP claim between 1st and 31st January 2021, the latest date for which published data is available. For context, 62,330 claims were submitted for PIP over the same period. Note that the stated number of deaths includes people who submitted claims before January 2021.

Notes:

Source: PIP ADS and Customer Information System

  • These figures include claims made under normal rules and special rules for terminally ill claimants and include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • PIP claimants are included if they died in January 2021 and a PIP claim was registered before their date of death and was cleared after their date of death.
  • Claimants’ dates of death are as recorded on the system at 11th May 2021 and may be subject to change.
  • Data covers Great Britain only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

The PIP data includes claims made under normal rules and special rules for terminally ill claimants, as well as new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time was for a response to a complaint made to the Child Maintenance Service in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) January to April 2021.

The Department does not measure timings as described in the question, so this information could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Complaints received about the Child Maintenance Service are handled in line with the overall Departmental complaints process published on Gov.uk. We aim to contact customers within 15 working days to clear the complaint or agree how to investigate it if it will take longer.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the (a) average and (b) longest waiting times were for Independent Case Examiner decisions in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019 and (iii) 2020.

At the point the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) Office accept a complaint for investigation, they will initially try to broker a solution between the complainant and the Department or supplier, without having to undertake an investigation – this is known as “resolution”. If the complaint cannot be resolved the evidence will be requested and the case will await allocation to an Investigation Case Manager (ICM). Cases are usually brought into investigation in strict date order. Following a review of the evidence, it may be possible to “settle” the complaint, if agreement can be reached which satisfies the complainant. If the complaint cannot be settled, ICE will issue a report detailing findings and any recommendations for redress. The majority of the complaints that are referred to ICE are complex and require a full investigation.

The Unit received additional resource during 2020/21 financial year to help reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation, but Covid has adversely affected the unit with staff re-deployed to priority front-line activities at the outset of the pandemic and recruitment plans delayed. It has also been affected by Covid-related sickness, self-isolation and bereavement.

For the 2020/21 reporting year, the average Resolution clearance time, from acceptance to case closure, was 6.2 weeks. The average time taken to allocate complaints that required investigation to an ICM, from acceptance to allocation, was 63.8 weeks. The average clearance time for complaints that required investigation (Settlements and ICE Reports), from allocation to an ICM to case closure, was 20.1 weeks.

For the reporting years 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 the average waiting times from case acceptance to case clearance (for all cleared cases) were: 65; 69; and 73 weeks respectively.

For the same reporting years, the single longest waiting times from case acceptance to case clearance in each reporting year were: 134; 153; and 160 weeks respectively. These cases are among the most complex and contentious and in addition may be subject to scrutiny and consideration by the Department before recommendations for redress are settled.

It should be noted that Customer satisfaction with the service is high with 82.6 per cent of customers who respond to the ICE survey stating that they were satisfied with the service they received.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time was for a complaint submitted to her Department for the (a) case to be assigned to an Independent Case Examiner, (b) investigation to commence and (c) decision to be provided to the complainant in the most recent period for which figures are available.

At the point the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) Office accept a complaint for investigation, they will initially try to broker a solution between the complainant and the Department or supplier, without having to undertake an investigation – this is known as “resolution”. If the complaint cannot be resolved the evidence will be requested and the case will await allocation to an Investigation Case Manager (ICM). Cases are usually brought into investigation in strict date order. Following a review of the evidence, it may be possible to “settle” the complaint, if agreement can be reached which satisfies the complainant. If the complaint cannot be settled, ICE will issue a report detailing findings and any recommendations for redress. The majority of the complaints that are referred to ICE are complex and require a full investigation.

The Unit received additional resource during 2020/21 financial year to help reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation, but Covid has adversely affected the unit with staff re-deployed to priority front-line activities at the outset of the pandemic and recruitment plans delayed. It has also been affected by Covid-related sickness, self-isolation and bereavement.

For the 2020/21 reporting year, the average Resolution clearance time, from acceptance to case closure, was 6.2 weeks. The average time taken to allocate complaints that required investigation to an ICM, from acceptance to allocation, was 63.8 weeks. The average clearance time for complaints that required investigation (Settlements and ICE Reports), from allocation to an ICM to case closure, was 20.1 weeks.

For the reporting years 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21 the average waiting times from case acceptance to case clearance (for all cleared cases) were: 65; 69; and 73 weeks respectively.

For the same reporting years, the single longest waiting times from case acceptance to case clearance in each reporting year were: 134; 153; and 160 weeks respectively. These cases are among the most complex and contentious and in addition may be subject to scrutiny and consideration by the Department before recommendations for redress are settled.

It should be noted that Customer satisfaction with the service is high with 82.6 per cent of customers who respond to the ICE survey stating that they were satisfied with the service they received.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications his Department has received for an extension of personal independence payments under the special rules for terminal illness after the expiration of the three-year award since 2019; and how long the waiting times were for applications to be processed in those such instances.

4,270 Personal Independence Payment claimants under an existing Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) award registered Advance claims under SRTI at the end of their 3 year fixed term award between January 2019 – October 2020 (latest available data).

The median end to end clearance times were 7 working days for Advance claims cleared under special rules.

Notes

Source: PIP ADS

  • SRTI awards are identified based on the initial decision at New Claim or Reassessment from DLA. This data excludes instances where end dates or award types have been updated following this initial decision.
  • PIP data includes both new claims and reassessment claims from Disability Living Allowance.
  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • Please note that claimants who register under SRTI but are deemed not to be eligible under the SRTI criteria are sent a PIP2 form and continue their claim under the Normal Rules claim journey. This means that claimants who register a PIP claim can change to Normal Rules during the customer journey:
  • The 'Registration to DWP decision (end to end)' clearance time is measured as the average time between the date of registration of the claim (or for Special Rules, the date of transition if the claim moves from being a normal rules claim to being a special rules claim during the claimant journey) and the date of the DWP decision to either award or disallow the claim.
  • Clearance Time measures do not include claims that were withdrawn by the claimant or claims that were disallowed by DWP prior to referral to the Assessment Providers (e.g. for failure to meet basic eligibility criteria).
  • Advance claims are defined as a New Claim or Reassessment from DLA registration made by a claimant with an existing award either less than 6 months prior to the end date or up to 6 months after the end date of an existing award.
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of postponing the scheduled relocation of DWP offices in Newport, Cwmbran, Caerphilly, the Rhondda, Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff to Treforest during the covid-19 outbreak; and what discussions officials in her Department have had with trade union representatives on those relocations.

The movement of non-customer facing services to the new, purpose built, office at Treforest is part of the Department’s ambition to move to larger, modern, more efficient multi-product-line service centres. The Department originally notified all those impacted in 2017. The Department carefully considered the relative merits of the recent announcement, which confirmed plans for migration of the first two sites Gabalfa and Merthyr, who are due to move between July and October. The Department must exit the Gabalfa site this year in order to return it to the landlord, and it was decided to proceed as this will reduce the uncertainty for people and ensure the maximum amount of time for discussions to take place with individuals to understand the impact of the move on them, including seeking solutions where a move to the new office is not possible based on their personal circumstances. The situation with regard to Covid is being kept under review and the safety of colleagues remains paramount, with many continuing to work from home. There is extensive and ongoing consultation with the trade union.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 September 2020 to Question 90092 on Personal Independence Payment, what were the recorded reasons for those 1,860 claimants' claims being disallowed at initial decision under normal rules.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

There were 1,860 claimants who were disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules who had registered a claim between April 2018 – October 2019 and died within 6 months of that registration. Table 1 below shows a breakdown of the disallowances broken by the disallowance type. Please note that the Department holds no further data on the reasons claimants are disallowed PIP.

Table 1: Breakdown of disallowance reasons for claimants cleared under Normal Rules who died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim

Outcome of PIP Claim

Number of claimants cleared under Normal Rules

Disallowed pre-referral to the Assessment Provider

330

Disallowed pre-referral to the Assessment Provider - due to non-return of Part 2 within the time limit

1,150

Disallowed post-referral to the Assessment Provider - Failed Assessment

280

Disallowed post-referral to the Assessment Provider – Failed to Attend Assessment

100

Total disallowances

1,860

Notes

Source: PIP ADS

  • PIP data includes normal rules claimants only, and is for both new claims and Disability Living Allowance reassessment claims.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system (PIPCS). This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 90092 and PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIPCS’s management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 2nd October 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 September 2020 to Question 90092 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 2,140 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision applied under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness; and what the recorded reasons were for those claims being so disallowed.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

There were 2,140 claimants who were disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules or Special Rules who had registered a claim between April 2018 – October 2019 and died within 6 months of that registration. Of these, 280 originally applied under Special Rules and Table 1 shows a breakdown of these disallowances broken by the disallowance type. Please note that the Department holds no further data on the reasons claimants are disallowed PIP.

Table 1: Breakdown of disallowance reasons for claimants who originally registered under Special Rules, were disallowed and died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim

Outcome of PIP Claim

N

Disallowed pre-referral to the Assessment Provider

260

Disallowed pre-referral to the Assessment Provider - due to non-return of Part 2 within the time limit

20

Disallowed post-referral to the Assessment Provider - Failed Assessment

-

Disallowed post-referral to the Assessment Provider – Failed to Attend Assessment

-

Total

280

Notes

Source: PIP ADS

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and Disability Living Allowance reassessment claims.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system (PIPCS). This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 90092 and PQ 81701.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIPCS’s management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 2nd October 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 September 2020 to Question 90093 on Personal Independence Payment, after how many days on average after making a claim for personal independence payment under Special Rules for Terminal Illness did the 1,740 claimants die who applied under those rules for personal independence payment but prior to her Department making a decision on their claim.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked. New claims to PIP under SRTI were being cleared in 4 working days on average (median) in April 2020 and reassessments from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP under SRTI were being cleared in 6 working days on average (median) in April 2020.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

For the 1,740 claimants who died after registering a PIP claim under Special Rules but prior to a decision being made on their case between 1st April 2018 and 30th April 2020, the average (median) number of working days between registering a claim and death was 5 working days.

Notes:

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • These figures include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures include registrations made from 1st April 2018 – 30th April 2020 and clearances made up to 30th April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 30th April 2020) and claimant deaths from 1st April 2018 – 30th April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 2nd October 2020) and may be subject to retrospection.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answers to PQ 90093 and PQ 81700.
  • The averages provided are median working days. The median is the middle value if you were to order all the times within the distribution from lowest value to highest value. The median is presented here instead of the mean because the mean can be unduly affected by outlying cases.
  • Median working days are provided to allow comparison with the figure published for all PIP new claims made under SRTI.
  • GB only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 September 2020 to Question 90093 on Personal Independence Payment, what the medical conditions were of the 5,520 personal independence payment claimants who applied under normal rules and who died after registering their claim but prior to her Department making a decision on their claim.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New claims to PIP made under Normal Rules were cleared in an average (median) of 16 weeks in April 2020 and reassessments from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP under Normal Rules were being cleared in an average (median) of 27 weeks in April 2020.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

The number of PIP claimants who died after registering a PIP claim under Normal Rules but prior to a decision being made on their case between 1st April 2018 and 30th April 2020 has increased from 5,520 to 5,530, since Question 90093 was answered. This is due to a live system.

The main disabling condition of the 5,530 PIP claimants who died after registering a PIP claim under Normal Rules but prior to a decision being made on their case between 1st April 2018 and 30th April 2020 is shown in Table 1 below:

Table 1: Main disabling condition for PIP claimants who died after registering a PIP claim under Normal Rules but prior to a decision being made on their case between 1st April 2018 and 30th April 2020

Main Disabling Condition

Number of claimants

Autoimmune disease (connective tissue disorders)

30

Cardiovascular disease

80

Diseases of the immune system

-

Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract

80

Endocrine disease

30

Gastrointestinal disease

10

Genitourinary disease

30

Haematological Disease

-

Hearing disorders

10

Infectious disease

-

Malignant disease

450

Metabolic disease

10

Musculoskeletal disease (general)

90

Musculoskeletal disease (regional)

60

Neurological disease

180

Psychiatric disorders

270

Respiratory disease

150

Skin disease

10

Unknown or missing

4,050

Visual disease

10

Total

5,530

Notes:

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • These figures include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is recorded on the PIP CS.
  • The main disabling condition is only recorded for claimants who have attended a PIP assessment with an assessment provider.
  • Figures include registrations made from 1st April 2018 – 30th April 2020 and clearances made up to 30th April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 30th April 2020) and claimant deaths from 1st April 2018 – 30th April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 2nd October 2020) and may be subject to retrospection.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answers to PQ 90093 and PQ 81700.
  • Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and ‘-’ is used for totals of greater than 0 but less than 5.
  • Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  • GB only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 24 September 2020 to Question 90092 on Personal Independence Payment, with reference to the 30 claimants who subsequently registered a claim under the special rules for terminal illness, what the average length of time was between those claimants receiving an award under special rules for terminal illness and initially registering that claim under normal rules.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

There were 30 PIP claimants who died within 6 months of registering an initial PIP claim who were disallowed under Normal Rules and who subsequently registered a PIP claim under Special Rules. Because of the small number of claims in this category we are unable to provide an average for the length of time between registration of the initial claim and the clearance of the subsequent claim. Calculating averages for small populations has a risk of misrepresentative results skewed by non-typical values. This is in line with our practice for PIP statistical publications, where averages for populations of less than 50 are suppressed.

Notes

Source: PIP ADS

  • PIP data includes both new claims and reassessment claims from Disability Living Allowance.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system (PIPCS) for a given claim. This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 90092 and PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP CS’s management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 2nd October 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2020 to Question 81702 on Personal Independent Payment, how many of the 3,310 personal independence payment claimants since April 2018 who died within three months of their initial application being disallowed had made previous claims that were refused.

Personal Independence Payment is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting. The Department treats the tragic death of any claimant sympathetically.

The Government has taken steps to ensure that new claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020.

I also refer the Hon. Member to the correction to the answer to Question 81702.

480 claimants had previously registered a Personal Independence Payment claim that was disallowed.

There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming Personal Independence Payments was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2020 to Question 81702 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 3,310 personal independence payment claimants who died within three months of their initial application being disallowed applied under normal rules; and what conditions those claimants had.

Personal Independence Payment is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting. The Department treats the tragic death of any claimant sympathetically.

The Government has taken steps to ensure that new claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020.

The cause of death of claimants is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming Personal Independence Payments was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

I also refer the Hon. Member to the correction to the answer to Question 81702.

A breakdown of conditions is listed in the accompanying table.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer on 8 September 2020 to Question 81700 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 7,260 claimants who died after registering a personal independence payment claim since April 2018 but prior to her Department making a decision on their claim applied under (a) Normal Rules and (b) Special Rules.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise. People claim PIP for various reasons, the majority of which are non-life threatening.

Of the 7,260 claimants who died after registering a PIP claim but prior to a decision being made on their case between April 2018 and 30th April 2020 5,520 applied under (a) Normal Rules and 1,740 applied under (b) Special Rules.

Notes:

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • These figures include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures include registrations made from April 2018 – April 2020 and clearances made up to April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 30th April 2020) and claimant deaths from April 2018 – April 2020 (as recorded on the system at 31st August 2020) and may be subject to retrospection.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 81700.
  • Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
  • GB only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 September 2020 to Question 81701 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 18,290 people who registered to claim personal independence payment since April 2018 and who died within six months of making a claim (a) had their application rejected under Normal Rules and (b) were subsequently awarded benefits after appeal; and what primary condition those claimants had.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim:

  • There were 2,140 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under either Normal Rules or Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.
  • There were 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules.
  • Of these 1,860 claimants, there were 30 claimants who registered a subsequent claim for PIP under Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.

Table 1 below shows a breakdown of the 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules by main disabling category:

Table 1: Breakdown by Disability Category of claimants who died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim from April 2018 – October 2019 and who had their claim disallowed under Normal Rules

Disability Category

Number of claimants

Autoimmune disease (connective tissue disorders)

-

Cardiovascular disease

30

Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract

10

Endocrine disease

10

Gastrointestinal disease

10

Genitourinary disease

10

Haematological Disease

-

Hearing disorders

10

Infectious disease

-

Malignant disease

50

Musculoskeletal disease (general)

30

Musculoskeletal disease (regional)

20

Neurological disease

30

Psychiatric disorders

100

Respiratory disease

30

Skin disease

-

Unknown or missing

1,540

Visual disease

-

Total (ALL)

1,860

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • Data is based on primary disabling condition as recorded on the PIP computer system. Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is shown in these statistics.
  • The primary disabling condition does not get recorded until a claimant has attended an assessment. This means that claimants who are disallowed without attending an assessment (e.g. for failing to attend an assessment or for disallowances pre-referral to the Assessment Provider) do not have a disability recorded and are recorded in Table 1 as “Unknown or Missing”.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system. This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st August 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim, there were 280 claimants who had their claim disallowed following a PIP assessment under Normal Rules up to March 2020. This does not include disallowance decisions made prior to an assessment being completed.

Appeals information for these 280 claimants show that there were 0 Appeals where the DWP decision was overturned or upheld and there were fewer than 5 appeals withdrawn/struck out or lapsed.

Due to small numbers, figures on appeal outcomes by primary disabling condition are not shown.

Notes

  • These figures cover PIP claims registered between April 2018 and October 2019, disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment up to March 2020 and appeals to June 2020.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • GB Only.
  • 'Appeals - withdrawn/struck out' - includes where an appeal is brought to an end, or cleared, without a determination on the issue in dispute. Struck out appeal is where the proceedings have been brought to an end by the Tribunal Judge.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - lapsed' - where DWP changed the decision (in the customer’s favour) after an appeal was lodged but before it was heard at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - overturned' - where the DWP decision is revised in favour of the customer at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - upheld' - where the DWP decision is upheld at a tribunal hearing.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer on 8 September 2020 to Question 81701 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 18,290 people who registered a claim for personal independence payment since April 2018 and who died within six months of making a claim and who had their application rejected under Normal Rules subsequently reapplied for that benefit under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness process.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim:

  • There were 2,140 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under either Normal Rules or Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.
  • There were 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules.
  • Of these 1,860 claimants, there were 30 claimants who registered a subsequent claim for PIP under Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.

Table 1 below shows a breakdown of the 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules by main disabling category:

Table 1: Breakdown by Disability Category of claimants who died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim from April 2018 – October 2019 and who had their claim disallowed under Normal Rules

Disability Category

Number of claimants

Autoimmune disease (connective tissue disorders)

-

Cardiovascular disease

30

Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract

10

Endocrine disease

10

Gastrointestinal disease

10

Genitourinary disease

10

Haematological Disease

-

Hearing disorders

10

Infectious disease

-

Malignant disease

50

Musculoskeletal disease (general)

30

Musculoskeletal disease (regional)

20

Neurological disease

30

Psychiatric disorders

100

Respiratory disease

30

Skin disease

-

Unknown or missing

1,540

Visual disease

-

Total (ALL)

1,860

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • Data is based on primary disabling condition as recorded on the PIP computer system. Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is shown in these statistics.
  • The primary disabling condition does not get recorded until a claimant has attended an assessment. This means that claimants who are disallowed without attending an assessment (e.g. for failing to attend an assessment or for disallowances pre-referral to the Assessment Provider) do not have a disability recorded and are recorded in Table 1 as “Unknown or Missing”.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system. This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st August 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim, there were 280 claimants who had their claim disallowed following a PIP assessment under Normal Rules up to March 2020. This does not include disallowance decisions made prior to an assessment being completed.

Appeals information for these 280 claimants show that there were 0 Appeals where the DWP decision was overturned or upheld and there were fewer than 5 appeals withdrawn/struck out or lapsed.

Due to small numbers, figures on appeal outcomes by primary disabling condition are not shown.

Notes

  • These figures cover PIP claims registered between April 2018 and October 2019, disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment up to March 2020 and appeals to June 2020.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • GB Only.
  • 'Appeals - withdrawn/struck out' - includes where an appeal is brought to an end, or cleared, without a determination on the issue in dispute. Struck out appeal is where the proceedings have been brought to an end by the Tribunal Judge.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - lapsed' - where DWP changed the decision (in the customer’s favour) after an appeal was lodged but before it was heard at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - overturned' - where the DWP decision is revised in favour of the customer at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - upheld' - where the DWP decision is upheld at a tribunal hearing.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer on 8 September 2020 to Question 81701 on Personal Independence Payment, how many of the 18,290 people who registered to claim for personal independence payment since April 2018 and who died within six months of making a claim had their application rejected.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically.

New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and were being cleared in 4 working days on average in April 2020. This is compared to an average of 16 weeks for New Claims cleared under Normal Rules in April 2020, down by 62% from their peak of 42 weeks in July 2014.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department. There is no evidence in this data to suggest someone’s reason for claiming PIP was the cause of their death and it would be misleading to suggest otherwise.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim:

  • There were 2,140 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under either Normal Rules or Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.
  • There were 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules.
  • Of these 1,860 claimants, there were 30 claimants who registered a subsequent claim for PIP under Special Rules for the Terminally Ill.

Table 1 below shows a breakdown of the 1,860 claimants who had their claim disallowed at initial decision under Normal Rules by main disabling category:

Table 1: Breakdown by Disability Category of claimants who died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim from April 2018 – October 2019 and who had their claim disallowed under Normal Rules

Disability Category

Number of claimants

Autoimmune disease (connective tissue disorders)

-

Cardiovascular disease

30

Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract

10

Endocrine disease

10

Gastrointestinal disease

10

Genitourinary disease

10

Haematological Disease

-

Hearing disorders

10

Infectious disease

-

Malignant disease

50

Musculoskeletal disease (general)

30

Musculoskeletal disease (regional)

20

Neurological disease

30

Psychiatric disorders

100

Respiratory disease

30

Skin disease

-

Unknown or missing

1,540

Visual disease

-

Total (ALL)

1,860

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • Data is based on primary disabling condition as recorded on the PIP computer system. Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is shown in these statistics.
  • The primary disabling condition does not get recorded until a claimant has attended an assessment. This means that claimants who are disallowed without attending an assessment (e.g. for failing to attend an assessment or for disallowances pre-referral to the Assessment Provider) do not have a disability recorded and are recorded in Table 1 as “Unknown or Missing”.
  • The outcome is the first DWP decision recorded on the PIP Computer system. This does not take into account any mandatory reconsideration or Appeal action so some of these claimants may have subsequently been awarded PIP. Some cases do not have a decision recorded.
  • The latest PIP Official Statistics, including data to 31st July 2020, were published on 15th September 2020. We have provided figures here as at 30th April 2020 for consistency with the original answer to PQ 81701.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • Components may not sum to the total due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – April 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st August 2020. Data may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

Of the 18,290 people who registered a claim to PIP between April 2018 and October 2019 and had died within 6 months of registering a PIP claim, there were 280 claimants who had their claim disallowed following a PIP assessment under Normal Rules up to March 2020. This does not include disallowance decisions made prior to an assessment being completed.

Appeals information for these 280 claimants show that there were 0 Appeals where the DWP decision was overturned or upheld and there were fewer than 5 appeals withdrawn/struck out or lapsed.

Due to small numbers, figures on appeal outcomes by primary disabling condition are not shown.

Notes

  • These figures cover PIP claims registered between April 2018 and October 2019, disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment up to March 2020 and appeals to June 2020.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Fields with fewer than 5 cases are replaced by a “-“.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • GB Only.
  • 'Appeals - withdrawn/struck out' - includes where an appeal is brought to an end, or cleared, without a determination on the issue in dispute. Struck out appeal is where the proceedings have been brought to an end by the Tribunal Judge.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - lapsed' - where DWP changed the decision (in the customer’s favour) after an appeal was lodged but before it was heard at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - overturned' - where the DWP decision is revised in favour of the customer at a tribunal hearing.
  • Definition of 'Appeals - upheld' - where the DWP decision is upheld at a tribunal hearing.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish the findings of her Department’s review on how well the benefits system supports people who are terminally ill.

The evaluation remains a priority for the DWP. We will be announcing the outcome and the changes that will be made as a result shortly.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of personal independence payments have died within three months of having their application rejected since April 2018.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are being cleared in 5 working days on average (as at the end of April 2020, the latest available published data).

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

  • Between April 2018 and 31st October 2019, 1,360,420 registrations were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 18,290 died within 6 months of registering a claim to PIP up to 30th April 2020.
  • Between April 2018 and 31st January 2020, 688,100 disallowances at initial decision were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 1,700 died within 3 months of receiving a disallowance decision up to 30th April 2020.

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • This analysis only takes the first registration a claimant makes to PIP.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – January 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st July 2020. Data and may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people who applied for personal independence payment died within six months of making their application since April 2018.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are being cleared in 5 working days on average (as at the end of April 2020, the latest available published data).

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

  • Between April 2018 and 31st October 2019, 1,360,420 registrations were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 18,290 died within 6 months of registering a claim to PIP up to 30th April 2020.
  • Between April 2018 and 31st January 2020, 688,100 disallowances at initial decision were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 1,700 died within 3 months of receiving a disallowance decision up to 30th April 2020.

Notes

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • This analysis only takes the first registration a claimant makes to PIP.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered from April 2018 – October 2019, initial decisions made from April 2018 – January 2020, and deaths from April 2018 up to 30th April 2020 as recorded at 31st July 2020. Data and may be subject to retrospection.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have died while waiting for their eligibility for personal independence payment to be determined since April 2018.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. New Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are being cleared in 5 working days on average (as at the end of April 2020, the latest available published data).

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

Between April 2018 and 30th April 2020, the latest date for which data is available, 1,662,080 registrations were made for PIP New Claims and Reassessments from DLA. Of these, 7,260 (less than 0.5%) claimants died prior to a decision being made on their case.

Notes:

Sources: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • These figures include claims made under Normal Rules or Special Rules for Terminal Illness and include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures cover registrations made from April 2018 – April 2020, clearances made up to April 2020 and claimant deaths from April 2018 – April 2020 as recorded on the system at 31st July 2020 and may be subject to retrospection.
  • Figures are rounded to the nearest 10
  • GB only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of people making special rules for terminal illness claims for universal credit who are (a) unsuccessful and (b) told to apply for universal credit under standard rules.

Estimates could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Data exists in the system that would require matching across a number of data sets, which is a substantial piece of work. The required information is therefore not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of claims for the disability component of universal credit were made under the special rules for terminal illness in each year since 2016.

Information about the number of UC claimants who declare a Terminal Illness can only be provided at disproportionate cost because the required information is not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how claimants for personal independence payment in 2019 died within six months of making those claims; and how many of those claimants had their claims disallowed by her Department.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. Claims made under the special rules for people who are terminally ill are fast tracked and are currently being cleared within 5 working days for new claimants.

Of the 1,820 PIP claimants who died within 6 months of registering a claim and were disallowed at initial decision:

  • 240 claimants originally registered their claim under Special Rules for Terminal Illness.
  • 1,670 claimants died within 3 months of an initial decision on their PIP claim.

Notes

Source: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • This analysis only takes the first registration a claimant makes to PIP.
  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Components may not sum to the whole due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered between January 2019 and December 2019, claims cleared up to and including 30th April 2020 and deaths up to 30th April 2020.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the claimants for personal independence payment in 2019 who died within six months of making those claims and had those claims disallowed by her Department (a) made those claims under the special rules for terminal illness and (b) died within three months of those claims being disallowed by her Department.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. Claims made under the special rules for people who are terminally ill are fast tracked and are currently being cleared within 5 working days for new claimants.

Of the 1,820 PIP claimants who died within 6 months of registering a claim and were disallowed at initial decision:

  • 240 claimants originally registered their claim under Special Rules for Terminal Illness.
  • 1,670 claimants died within 3 months of an initial decision on their PIP claim.

Notes

Source: PIP ADS, Customer Information System

  • PIP data includes normal rules and special rules for the terminally ill claimants, and is for both new claims and DLA reassessment claims.
  • This analysis only takes the first registration a claimant makes to PIP.
  • This is unpublished data. It should be used with caution and it may be subject to future revision.
  • Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Components may not sum to the whole due to rounding.
  • Figures cover PIP claims registered between January 2019 and December 2019, claims cleared up to and including 30th April 2020 and deaths up to 30th April 2020.
  • GB Only.

Under the Social Security (Notification of Deaths) Regulations 2012 and s125 of Social Security Administration Act 1992 date of death is provided to the Department for all registered deaths. Additionally, next of kin also provide information on the date of death of an individual and this information is used appropriately in the administration of Departmental benefits.

10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of claims for the disability component of universal credit were made under the special rules for terminal illness in each year since 2016.

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Data exists in the system that would require matching across a number of data sets, which is a substantial piece of work. The required information is therefore not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of people making special rules for terminal illness claims for universal credit who are (a) unsuccessful and (b) told to apply for universal credit under standard rules.

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Data exists in the system that would require matching across a number of data sets, which is a substantial piece of work. The required information is therefore not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people claiming the universal credit disability component under standard rules have died within six months of making their claim in each year since 2015.

A breakdown by year could only be provided at disproportionate cost for the same reasons as given in PQs 69500 and 69501.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of claims for the disability component of universal credit are special rules for terminal illness claims.

Information about the proportion of UC claimants who declare a Terminal Illness at the start of a claim can only be provided at disproportionate cost because the required information is not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of people making special rules for terminal illness claims for universal credit are (a) unsuccessful and (b) told to apply for universal credit under standard rules.

The information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost. Data exists in the system that would require matching across a number of data sets, which is a substantial piece of work. The required information is therefore not all readily available to analysts in a format that would enable them to undertake the analysis and quality assure the figures, to answer this PQ in the timescales.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 30 June 2020 to Question 64868, how many universal credit claimants in Wales are directly affected by the decision of the Court of Appeal of 22 June 2020 in the case Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart v the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people (a) over 25 years old, (b) under 25 years old and (c) who were lone parents under 25 years old have submitted claims for universal credit since 23 March 2020.

The number of declarations (claims) made between 23 March 2020 and 14 May 2020 is 2,392,336. The breakdowns requested are not readily available and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants in (a) Wales and (b) each constituency in Wales are directly affected by the decision of the Court of Appeal of 22 June 2020 in the case Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart v the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish the findings from the review announced on 11 July 2019 into how the welfare system supports people who are terminally ill.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to Parliamentary Question PQ 52243 on 4 June 2020.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people submitted claims for universal credit in Wales from 1 March to 12 May in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

Information on new Universal Credit claims made in a) 2017, b) 2018 and c) 2019 is published online and can be found at https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

For figures for 2020, I refer to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Newport East on 21 May 2020 to Question 39515

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to increase universal credit rates for people aged under 25.

We have increased the Universal Credit standard allowance by around £20 per week for the next 12 months – equivalent to up to £1,040 a year.

This is in addition to the 1.7% inflation increase (announced Nov 2019) as part of the Government’s decision to end the benefits freeze and means more financial support for millions of people across the UK.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the proposals in the Joint call to Government for a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme that can help us all weather this storm, published by the Trussell Trust in April 2020.

The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those affected in these difficulties times and we have made a number of changes to the welfare system to ensure people are receiving the support they need. These changes include:

  • making it easier to access benefits. Those applying for Contributory ESA who may have coronavirus, are self-isolating, or caring for a child (or qualifying young person) who falls into either of those categories, or individuals who have been advised to ’shield’ because they are at high risk of severe illness, will be entitled from day 1 of their claim – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment. Both Universal Credit and ESA can now be claimed by phone or online;
  • increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by around £1000 per year;
  • temporarily relaxing the application of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed claimants affected by COVID-19 to ensure that the self-employed can access UC at a more generous rate;
  • making Statutory Sick Pay available from day 1 – as opposed to day 4 - where an eligible individual is sick or self-isolating; and
  • increasing in the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest 30% of local market rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.
  • To allow staff to be re-deployed to the front line, we have suspended recovery of some Government debts such as Tax Credits, benefit overpayments and Social Fund Loans.
  • The Department has also made Regulations which remove restrictions preventing prisoners on temporary release due to the Covid-19 measures from claiming means-tested benefits, including Universal Credit, during the period of that release.

Taken together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system and, along with the other job and business support programmes announced by the Chancellor, including the Business Retention Scheme and the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, represent one of the most comprehensive packages of support introduced by an advanced economy in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Government remains committed to supporting the essential work the Voluntary, and Community and Social Enterprise Sector do in our communities which is why the Chancellor recently announced a £750million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak. Following the Chancellor’s announcement last month, the bidding process for direct cash grants through the National Lottery Community Fund has now launched for those in England.

The Coronavirus Community Support Fund aims to support the tens of thousands of charities and organisations at the heart of local communities that are making a big difference during the COVID-19 outbreak, including delivering food, essential medicines and providing financial advice, which includes welfare support and advice. The funding is to help organisations ensure they can meet increased demand as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as continuing their day to day activities supporting vulnerable people in need.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she will publish the findings from the review, announced in July 2019, on how the welfare system supports people who are terminally ill.

The evaluation and supporting people who are terminally ill remains an absolute priority for the Department. However, these are unprecedented times and the Government’s immediate focus is on people affected by Covid-19 and getting support to them as quickly as possible. It is important to note that we have always done – and will continue to do – our utmost to process claims under the special rules as quickly as possible.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have submitted claims for universal credit in Wales from 23 March 2020 by local authority area.

Number of Universal Credit declarations in Wales 01 March 2020 - 12 May 2020

Individuals

Households

Total 1 Mar to 12 May

122,160

95,080

Sun 01 Mar 2020

240

200

Mon 02 Mar 2020

820

690

Tue 03 Mar 2020

710

590

Wed 04 Mar 2020

680

580

Thu 05 Mar 2020

640

530

Fri 06 Mar 2020

530

440

Sat 07 Mar 2020

170

140

Sun 08 Mar 2020

190

160

Mon 09 Mar 2020

720

620

Tue 10 Mar 2020

730

610

Wed 11 Mar 2020

700

580

Thu 12 Mar 2020

630

530

Fri 13 Mar 2020

570

470

Sat 14 Mar 2020

260

210

Sun 15 Mar 2020

300

240

Mon 16 Mar 2020

1,070

880

Tue 17 Mar 2020

1,800

1,480

Wed 18 Mar 2020

2,450

2,010

Thu 19 Mar 2020

2,970

2,370

Fri 20 Mar 2020

3,560

2,810

Sat 21 Mar 2020

2,310

1,790

Sun 22 Mar 2020

1,610

1,250

Mon 23 Mar 2020

5,720

4,410

Tue 24 Mar 2020

6,040

4,640

Wed 25 Mar 2020

4,230

3,280

Thu 26 Mar 2020

4,190

3,260

Fri 27 Mar 2020

6,860

4,860

Sat 28 Mar 2020

2,970

2,160

Sun 29 Mar 2020

2,000

1,450

Mon 30 Mar 2020

5,140

3,800

Tue 31 Mar 2020

3,670

2,780

Wed 01 Apr 2020

3,740

2,790

Thu 02 Apr 2020

4,150

3,120

Fri 03 Apr 2020

2,830

2,150

Sat 04 Apr 2020

1,400

1,060

Sun 05 Apr 2020

1,140

880

Mon 06 Apr 2020

2,960

2,310

Tue 07 Apr 2020

2,340

1,820

Wed 08 Apr 2020

2,230

1,720

Thu 09 Apr 2020

1,910

1,500

Fri 10 Apr 2020

1,330

1,040

Sat 11 Apr 2020

810

630

Sun 12 Apr 2020

650

510

Mon 13 Apr 2020

1,090

850

Tue 14 Apr 2020

2,080

1,610

Wed 15 Apr 2020

1,850

1,440

Thu 16 Apr 2020

1,780

1,370

Fri 17 Apr 2020

1,670

1,290

Sat 18 Apr 2020

870

660

Sun 19 Apr 2020

610

470

Mon 20 Apr 2020

1,570

1,250

Tue 21 Apr 2020

1,320

1,050

Wed 22 Apr 2020

1,290

1,030

Thu 23 Apr 2020

1,350

1,080

Fri 24 Apr 2020

1,140

900

Sat 25 Apr 2020

560

450

Sun 26 Apr 2020

480

400

Mon 27 Apr 2020

1,350

1,070

Tue 28 Apr 2020

1,280

1,030

Wed 29 Apr 2020

1,170

950

Thu 30 Apr 2020

1,240

1,010

Fri 01 May 2020

1,070

880

Sat 02 May 2020

490

390

Sun 03 May 2020

470

380

Mon 04 May 2020

1,140

940

Tue 05 May 2020

1,030

850

Wed 06 May 2020

1,030

860

Thu 07 May 2020

830

710

Fri 08 May 2020

510

420

Sat 09 May 2020

360

310

Sun 10 May 2020

410

340

Mon 11 May 2020

1,090

920

Tue 12 May 2020

1,090

900

Caveats:

The figures use the Job centre the claimant has been allocated to rather than the contract address to determine location.

The requested information is not available at local authority level.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for universal credit were (a) made, (b) refused and (c) granted for terminal illness payments using the DS1500 form in each month from January 2018 to December 2019; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for personal independence payment were (a) made, (b) refused and (c) granted for terminal illness payments using the DS1500 form in each month from January 2018 to December 2019; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim for Personal Independence Payment under the special rules for terminal illness. The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500.

6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2020 to Questions 21930, 219331, 219332 and 21933, for what reasons the information requested is not readily available.

A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

We do not record receipt of the DS1500 centrally for all benefits. Whilst the Department does collect some information on DS1500 forms providing the requested data would necessitate complex data matching; and the extraction of the data requested would require significant time applying specialist knowledge and a high level of skill. This task, in addition to assessing the completeness of recording on DS1500 forms, and quality assuring the figures would therefore take in excess of four working days and exceed the appropriate cost limit for central Government.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims were (a) made, (b) refused and (c) granted for terminal illness payments using the DS1500 form in each month from January 2018 to December 2019; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500. The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim under the special rules for terminal illness. A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).”

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants who received a payment in response to a DS1500 claim in each month from January 2018 to December 2019 died within (a) six months and (b) the first year of receiving their first payment; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500. The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim under the special rules for terminal illness. A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).”

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants that were refused a payment of terminal illness benefits having submitted a DS1500 in each month from January 2018 to December 2019 died within (a) six months of their application being received and (b) one year of their application being made; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500. The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim under the special rules for terminal illness. A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).”

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants that were denied access to personal independence payment in each month from January 2018 to December 2019 and subsequently submitted a DS1500 were (a) granted and (b) refused the terminal illness benefit; and if she will make a statement.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The DS1500 can be completed by a terminally ill patient’s doctor or other healthcare professional and returned to DWP. The doctor or healthcare professional provides information about their patient’s condition, including its clinical features and ongoing or planned treatment on the DS1500. The DS1500 is not a claim form in itself and is not a requirement to support a claim under the special rules for terminal illness. A DS1500 can be completed during the claim process for various benefits: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit (UC), Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).”

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department has made on its review of the Special Rules for Terminal Illness and Severe Conditions.

The Department is taking forward as a priority its evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life and those with severe conditions. We have made progress on all areas of this work and will be continuing to engage with clinicians and claimants to ensure their views are heard.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to respond to the consultation on the fortification of flour with folic acid.

We will provide further updates on the response after the summer recess.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that physician associates are afforded the protection of formal statutory regulation.

The Department’s consultation ‘Regulating healthcare professionals, protecting the public’ closed on 16 June. The consultation sought views on proposals to modernise each of the healthcare professional regulators’ legal frameworks and on the proposed approach to introducing statutory regulation for physician associates (PAs) and anaesthesia associates (AAs).

The reforms will update the General Medical Council’s (GMC) current legislation, enabling it to bring PAs and AAs into regulation under a new, modernised framework. We plan to publish the consultation response in the autumn. A further consultation on the draft legislation that will bring PAs and AAs into regulation will follow. We are working with the GMC to ensure that regulation of PAs and AAs begins as early as possible in the second half of 2022.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has a planned timescale for bringing forward legislative proposals to fortify flour products with folic acid.

The Department published a consultation on the proposed mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid from 13 June to 9 September 2019. A post consultation update was published on GOV.UK. Publication of the consultation response has been delayed due to the pandemic. We will publish the response as soon as possible outlining the next steps for this proposal.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2021
What steps his Department is taking to support targeted research into motor neurone disease.

The Government is supporting research into motor neurone disease (MND). On 29 April, I jointly hosted a roundtable event on boosting MND research with the National Institute for Health Research Sheffield Biomedical Research Centre.

The event brought together researchers, charities, people with MND and funders and we will be working closely with these stakeholders over the coming months to consider ways forward for this vital area of research.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data the Government holds on the professions of designated medical professionals stationed in covid-19 quarantine hotels in the UK.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to increase funding for bereavement support services for (a) BAME communities, (b) deprived communities and (c) other communities disproportionately affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

Since March 2020, the Government has given over £10.2 million to mental health charities, including bereavement support charities, to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing due to the impact of COVID-19.

We continue to take a cross-Government approach to assess what is needed to provide support to bereaved individuals and families during this incredibly difficult time, in order to ensure that individuals from all backgrounds and communities have access to appropriate bereavement support.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that non-malignant stem cell transplant patients who received their transplant more than six months ago receive the same priority for the covid-19 vaccine as other stem cell transplant patients.

Priority group 6 includes all those who are defined as clinically vulnerable and at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. People who have received a stem cell transplant more than six months ago are included in this definition. People who have received a stem cell transplant within the last six months will be defined as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV), in which case they are included in priority group 4. Both groups should now have been called forward for vaccination.

Further information can be found at the following links:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/who-is-at-high-risk-from-coronavirus-clinically-extremely-vulnerable/

https://www.anthonynolan.org/patients-and-families/understanding-stem-cell-transplants/coronavirus-and-your-stem-cell-transplant

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances, what assessment he has made of (a) the effectiveness of the Committee's performance and (b) its timeliness in responding to applications in 2019-20; and how many (i) products the Committee approved and (ii) new products were submitted to it for approval in that 12 month period.

The Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS) Secretariat, ACBS members and industry representatives of the British Specialist Nutrition Association have concluded that the current application form and guidance are leading to inconsistent quality in submissions from manufacturers and a new application form and guidance is required As a result, a joint project with industry to improve ACBS processes began in 2019. This was paused due to COVID-19 and will resume as soon as the ACBS and its stakeholders are able to do so.

As part of the project, a bespoke report was produced and shared with the British Specialist Nutrition Association on 18 February 2020 showing that the average time for the ACBS to respond to all types of applications was 28 working days.

From 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 the Committee approved 103 products and 35 new products were submitted to it for approval.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances takes to work with stakeholders; and whether the Committee's work is publicly accessible.

The Department is responsible for the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS). The Committee and its secretariat work closely with stakeholders including arranging regular meetings with industry representatives at the British Specialist Nutrition Association. Much of the Committee’s work covers commercially sensitive information. However, the minutes of ACBS meetings are published at the following link:

https://app.box.com/s/k8a2gxf6b8emexz6neekq134yx9vi35y

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances publishes (a) an annual report, (b) minutes of meetings, (c) conflict of interest declarations and (d) a performance review; and if he will make a statement.

The Department is responsible for the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS).

The Department publishes the minutes of the ACBS meetings at the following link:

https://app.box.com/s/k8a2gxf6b8emexz6neekq134yx9vi35y

The minutes include a record of the interests declared by members of the ACBS and any conflicts.

The Department has not published an annual report or performance review of work relating to the ACBS.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to proceed with proposals on the mandatory fortification of flour and gluten-free products with folic acid.

The Department published a United Kingdom-wide consultation on the proposed mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid which ran from 13 June to 9 September 2019. A post consultation update was made available on GOV.UK. We received 1,442 responses from a wide range of stakeholders. Publication of the consultation response has been delayed due to COVID-19 related work taking priority. We will publish our response as soon as possible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government will publish a response to the consultation on the fortification of flour with folic acid; and if he will make a statement.

Further to the answer I gave on 4 February 2020 to Question 10331, we can confirm that no further progress has been made on publishing a response to the consultation due to COVID-19 pressures taking precedence. We cannot yet give an indication when the response will be published, but we will return to it, in conjunction with the devolved administrations, in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the Government's guidance is on people (a) travelling and (b) travelling a distance of over 10 miles to visit someone who is dying at home from a non-covid-19 terminal illness.

On 10 May, the Prime Minister released a statement explaining that everyone must stay at home wherever possible. People are allowed to leave home for limited purposes including medical need, such as caring for or supporting a vulnerable person. The Government has not set specific travel distance restrictions.

On 13 May 2020, National Health Service England published guidance on visitors for patients at the end of life in all settings - healthcare inpatient settings, care homes, hospices and at home. The considerations assert the rights of the dying to see their loved ones and/or to receive religious support. For end of life care at home, it is the healthcare professional’s role to advise on minimising risk while allowing close family members or friends to accompany and say goodbye to their loved ones. Practical considerations include the number of visitors at the bedside is limited to one close family contact or somebody important to the dying person. However, where it is possible to maintain social distancing throughout the visit, a second additional visitor (including a child) could be permitted.

The considerations aim to minimise risk of infection whilst allowing close family members or friends to accompany and say goodbye to their loved ones at the end of their life. This guidance applies to both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related illness.

More information can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0393-clinical-guide-for-supporting-compassionate-visiting-arrangements-13-may-2020.pdf

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to extend patient access to GP surgeries via (a) dial-in telephone lines, (b) skype and (c) other teleconferencing facilities to facilitate the remote working of GPs during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

NHSX and NHS England and NHS Improvement are supporting the rapid acceleration of the Digital First programme to ensure general practitioner (GP) practices in England have the ability to deliver total triage using online consultation and video consultations. At the same time we are ensuring every GP practice has an uncapped ability to send and receive text messages for a range of purposes e.g. reminders, invitations to video consultations, and ensuring that GP practices have sufficient telephone capacity to take and make telephone calls with patients.

In terms of general practice staff we are making sure that every GP practice has the capability to support remote working for staff including equipment, secure communications, smartcard access, software and access to support.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will discuss with the Royal College of Nursing the need to ensure that GP’s medical negligence insurance is extended to provide cover in the event GPs are required to provide medical support for neighbouring surgeries during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Arrangements are in place to indemnify healthcare professionals through one of the following state indemnity schemes:

- The Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts, if they are engaged by a National Health Service trust to provide NHS services; and

- Clinical Negligence Scheme for General Practice, if they are engaged by a general practitioner (GP) practice to provide NHS services (i.e. a GP practice, the main business of which is the provision of primary medical services for the NHS).

During the outbreak, existing indemnity arrangements will continue to cover the vast majority of NHS services, including staff working in a place that is not their ordinary place of work. To ensure there are no gaps in indemnity coverage, the Coronavirus Bill seeks additional powers to provide clinical negligence indemnity arising from NHS activities related to the COVID-19 outbreak, where there is no existing indemnity arrangement in place.

Departmental officials have discussed COVID-19 and indemnity with the Royal College of Nursing, and will continue this engagement.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the implementation timetable is for the provisions of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019.

The Department is working to implement the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 which will replace the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards system with the Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS) system, in October 2020.

The Department has worked with health and social care organisations, the third sector, the Local Government Association, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, other Government departments, and experts with lived experience to develop chapters of the Liberty Protection Safeguards Code of Practice.

The draft Code of Practice and Regulations for the LPS system will be published for public consultation in the coming months.

30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timetable is for a decision on proposals on the mandatory fortfication of flour and gluten-free products with folic acid.

The Department published a United Kingdom-wide consultation on the mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid which ran from 13 June to 9 September 2019. A post consultation update was made available on the Gov.UK website. We received 1,442 responses from a wide range of stakeholders. Due to the pre-election period, preparation of the Government response was put on hold. This is now being prepared and further information will be announced in due course. Any decisions will be made in conjunction with the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support is available to privately-contracted (non-LES) security workers in Afghanistan who face intimidation as a result of their employment supporting UK Government agencies.

It is for individual private security companies to fulfil fully their duty of care to those they employ. The UK Government requires private security contractors which work for us to ensure they have robust procedures to ensure the safety of all their staff.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on halting forced evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem.

The Foreign Secretary delivered a message of de-escalation in his calls to Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 11 and 16 May, and with Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh on 12 May. I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador and to the Palestinian Head of Mission in London, to urge them to de-escalate, restore calm and to reiterate our position on this issue. On May 8 I [Mr Cleverly] publicised our concern over tensions in Jerusalem linked to the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. We continue to urge Israel to cease such actions, which in all but the most exceptional cases are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2021
What recent assessment he has made of the security situation in Afghanistan.

The security situation throughout Afghanistan remains uncertain, and could change rapidly. On 14 April, NATO announced that its forces would leave Afghanistan within a few months. The Afghan Security Forces have been leading security provision for Afghanistan since 2014. The UK is working closely with the US and other Allies and partners to support an Afghanistan at peace with itself and its neighbours. We urge all to seize the current opportunity to secure a political settlement, which is needed to bring about the lasting peace and stability that the people of Afghanistan want and deserve.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to Afghan counterpart on the recent execution of Afghan interpreters who served alongside the UK's armed forces; and what assessment he has made of the ongoing security risks faced by interpreters still living in Afghanistan.

Her Majesty's Government regularly speaks to the Afghan authorities on a range of issues. Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Minister for South Asia, discussed concerns around ongoing security issues and targeted killings with the Afghan Foreign Minister Atmar on 18 January.

We recognise the vital role local staff, including interpreters, have played in supporting the UK's activities in Afghanistan over the last decade. That is why, as well as offering a generous redundancy package in recognition of this service, we have a permanent expert team based in Kabul to thoroughly investigate claims of intimidation. They assist with relocations within Afghanistan and, where necessary, relocation to the UK. So far, Her Majesty's Government has supported over 1,300 Afghan interpreters and their families to build new lives in the UK. A further 350 staff have benefitted from our in-country finance and training packages. The UK government is constantly reviewing its policies in relation to local staff. Whilst I cannot provide details for operational security reasons, we take necessary measures to mitigate the risks to all our staff.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations his Department has made to his Indian counterpart on (a) state-sanctioned acts of violence against protesting Punjabi farmers and (b) the suppression of the right to peaceful protest in that dispute.

The Foreign Secretary discussed protests about agricultural reforms with his Indian counterpart during his visit to India in December, whilst making clear that the handling of protests is an internal matter for the Indian authorities. The right to gather lawfully and demonstrate a point of view is common to all democracies. Governments also have the power to enforce law and order if a protest crosses the line into illegality.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department has taken to review the validity of and remediation for loans taken by customers of Azure Services Ltd and Barclays Partner Finance prior to 1 April 2014.

This question has been passed on to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA will reply directly to the Honourable member by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps are taken to ensure that the local authority is provided with real time information regarding change in circumstances so that any housing benefit entitlements can be adjusted in cases where a claimant notifies HMRC of a change in their childcare costs affecting tax credits.

HMRC do not share information with local authorities about changes to their customers’ tax credits awards. Guidance on GOV.UK explains what steps Housing Benefit customers should take to contact their council/DWP to report changes which may affect their entitlement to Housing Benefit: www.gov.uk/housing-benefit/report-a-change-of-circumstances.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with insurance companies on improving early access to pension pots for people diagnosed with terminal illnesses.

An individual cannot usually access their pension pot before normal minimum pension age, currently age 55. However, the Government allows members to access their pension earlier than this age on the basis of ill-health.

In 2016 the Government made changes to enable people with less than a year to live to take any pension savings up to the value of the lifetime allowance as a tax-free lump sum. Dependent on pension scheme rules, if an individual is seriously ill and expected to live for less than one year, they may be able to take their entire pension pot as a tax-free serious ill-health lump sum.

Further, dependent on pension scheme rules, people who have more than a year to live but are medically incapable of continuing their current occupation as a result of injury, sickness, disease or disability may access their pension early and not be subject to an unauthorised payment charge.

There are no plans to change these tax rules, but all aspects of the tax system are kept under review in the context of the wider public finances. The Treasury continues to have discussions with a variety of stakeholders about different parts of the tax regime.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the economic impact of the proposal set out in his Department's Alcohol duty review to differentiate based on place of retail.

The Treasury is considering the merits of differentiating products based on the place of retail as part of its alcohol duty review and has consulted industry and stakeholders for their views. Officials are working closely with HMRC to assess the practical implications of potential options, such as administration costs. The Treasury will provide further updates about the review in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the cost of implementing a differential alcohol duty rate for the off-trade sector.

The Treasury is considering the merits of differentiating products based on the place of retail as part of its alcohol duty review and has consulted industry and stakeholders for their views. Officials are working closely with HMRC to assess the practical implications of potential options, such as administration costs. The Treasury will provide further updates about the review in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many accounts have been placed on Time to Pay Arrangements; and how many accounts on Time to Pay Arrangements have been sent to debt collection agencies since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

In January 2021, there were 664,000 taxpayers paying £4 billion of tax debts to HMRC through Time to Pay (TTP) arrangements. If a taxpayer agrees a TTP arrangement, HMRC do not take further action on the debt (unless the taxpayer defaults) so none of these debts have been passed to debt collection agencies.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much in interest payments on Time to Pay arrangements has been (a) billed, (b) recovered and (c) sent to debt collection agencies by his Department since the start of the covid-19 pandemic.

The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

4th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish the (a) timetable for and (b) details of the compensation scheme for LCF bondholders.

I refer the Honourable Member to my answer given on 4 February to PQ UIN 148019. In my answer I explained that my Written Ministerial Statement of 17 December 2020 set out the three main channels through which London Capital & Finance plc (LCF) bondholders can seek compensation. These are the administration process, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Complaints Scheme.

My Written Ministerial Statement also set out that, taking into consideration the specific and complex set of circumstances surrounding the collapse of LCF, the Treasury will set up a compensation scheme which will assess whether there is justification for further one-off compensation payments in certain circumstances for some LCF bondholders. The Government will announce further details in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the viability of the UK steel sector of industry companies paying Carbon Price Support while EU companies do not.

Decarbonisation in the power sector, driven in part through the Carbon Price Support (CPS) tax rate, has accounted for almost 78% of the reduction in the UK’s carbon emissions between 2012-18.

The government compensates eligible energy intensive businesses for up to 75% of the costs in their electricity bills due to the UK Emissions Trading System (previously the EU ETS) and the Carbon Price Support (CPS). This support was worth £120m in 2019, with those businesses benefiting from it mainly operating in the steel, chemicals and paper and pulp sectors.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions his Department has had with HMRC on a resolution to the dispute between HMRC and the Roadchef Employee Benefits Trust; and if he will make a statement.

The administration of the tax system is a matter for HM Revenue and Customs, who have indicated that they are in dialogue with the taxpayer. It is not appropriate for Treasury ministers to become involved in the administration of the tax system in specific cases.

12th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from pub companies on financial support for pub tenants during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. The hospitality sector continues to have access to a range of government support measures including, but not limited to:

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England
  • Small business grant funding (SBGF) of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • The retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund (RHLGF)
  • A Discretionary Grant Fund in England
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

We continue to engage with businesses and value their feedback. Support measures for businesses, including pubs, remains under constant review.

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, what assessment he has made of the effect on people solely in receipt of the state pension of the 50 per cent of income from self-employment threshold.

The new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) aims to provide financial support to those who rely on self-employment as their main source of income. It means that the UK has one of the most generous self-employed COVID-19 support schemes in the world.

The Government is also committed to ensuring that older people are able to live with the dignity and respect they deserve, and the State Pension is the foundation of state support for older people. Following the Government’s commitment to the Triple Lock, the full basic State Pension is now about £1,900 per year higher in 2020/21 than in 2010.

11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of compensation provided to Equitable Life policyholders by the Equitable Life Payment Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

There are no plans to reopen the Payment Scheme or review the £1.5 billion funding allocation previously made to it. The Equitable Life Payment Scheme closed to claims in 2015 and further guidance on the status of the Payment Scheme after closure is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equitable-life-payment-scheme#closure-of-the-scheme.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether employers can furlough employees who are (a) shielding, (b) vulnerable, (c) pregnant and (d) unable to work as a result of caring responsibilities resulting from covid-19.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to all employees providing that they were on their employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and that HMRC received an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020. Employees should speak to their employer about whether they plan to place staff on furlough.

If a firm chooses not to furlough staff who are shielding, these staff are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay as a statutory minimum, although many employers will pay more than that in occupational sick pay. The Government recognises it is a challenge for parents to balance paid work and childcare while schools and nurseries are closed. Schools remain open for children of critical workers and for the most vulnerable children, and the Government has put in place a national voucher scheme to provide free school meals for children while at home. Families who see a fall in earnings may become eligible for support through the welfare system, in particular through Universal Credit (UC).

20th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what progress has been made in resolving the dispute between HMRC and the Roadchef Employee Benefits Trust; and if he will being forward legislative proposals in the Finance Bill to help resolve that dispute.

The administration of the tax system is a matter for HM Revenue and Customs. It would not be appropriate for Treasury ministers to become involved in the administration of the tax system in specific cases.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to protect participants in employee share ownership schemes from losing the tax relief they would otherwise be entitled to where a trustee acts in breach of trust; and if he will make a statement.

A breach of trust can occur if a trustee does any act which he ought not to do, or fails to do any act which he ought to do, with regard to the administration of the trust or the beneficial interests arising under the trust.

Beneficiaries that suffer a loss as a result of a breach of trust should consider action against the trustees.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to promote employee share ownership schemes and on what basis tax exemptions should apply to beneficiaries; and if he will make a statement.

The Government wants to support hard-working people to share in the success of the businesses for which they work.

To encourage this, the Government offers several tax-advantaged employee share schemes: Employee Ownerships Trusts (EOTs), Share Incentive Plans (SIP), the Save as You Earn (SAYE) scheme, Company Share Option Plans (CSOP), and the Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) scheme. These provide a range of tax benefits to participating employees and businesses. More information on the schemes can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/tax-employee-share-schemes.

By sharing financial rewards with staff, businesses can better motivate their workforce, support productivity and help recruit and retain staff. The Government keeps all employee share schemes under review, to ensure that they remain effective in these ways.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of how many people will be affected by changes to the off-payroll working rules in (a) the UK, (b) Wales and (c) Newport East.

The off-payroll working rules are designed to ensure that an individual who works like an employee, but through their own limited company, pays broadly the same Income Tax and National Insurance contributions as other employees. The Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) published in July 2019 sets out HMRC’s assessment that the reform to the off-payroll working rules is expected to affect 170,000 individuals. The TIIN can be found here: https://bit.ly/2YTbOaA. This is a UK wide figure.

The Government launched a review of changes to off-payroll working rules on 7 January 2020 to determine if any further steps can be taken to ensure the smooth and successful implementation of the reform due to come into force in April 2020. The review will also consider whether any additional support for businesses is needed to ensure that the self-employed, who are not in scope of the rules, are not affected. The review will conclude in mid-February 2020.

20th Dec 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his policy is on the future of IR35.

The Government announced yesterday further details about the review of the off-payroll working rules reform. As set out at Budget 2018, the reform is due to be extended to all sectors from April 2020. The review will address any remaining concerns from businesses and individuals about how the forthcoming reform will be implemented, and will focus on steps the Government can take to ensure smooth and successful implementation.

18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 17 November 2021 to Question 73790 on Migrant Workers: Employment, whether her Department collects data on the time taken to complete Employer Checking Service checks and (b) in what format that data is collated.

The Home Office holds management information collected as part of a daily census, which covers the total size of the Employer Checking Service work queue and the age of the oldest query awaiting unanswered. This information cannot be used to infer an average processing time for the queue as a whole.

More granular detail, and a reliable calculation of average processing time would require a case by case review, which would incur disproportionate cost.

The information is provisional internal management information and subject to change. It is not quality assured under National Statistics protocols and does not constitute part of National Statistics.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average waiting time was for the completion of an Employer Checking Service check in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

The information is not available in the format requested and could only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average waiting time was for a substantive response to be sent following an enquiry being made to her Department's MP Account Management team in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

Data about intake and performance in answering MP Correspondence are published quarterly with the latest quarter available at: Customer service operations data: Q2 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) and this includes data up to and including the end of quarter 2 - 2021. We are proposing the release of data for quarter 3 in due course.

We do not publish average waiting times for substantive responses to correspondence

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to expedite biometric residence permit applications for Afghans evacuated under Operation Pitting and who have been in bridging hotels for over a week.

The government has announced that those arriving under ARAP and ACRS will receive Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). Following the policy statement the Government published on 13 September in relation to ILR, we are working through the cases of those who have recently arrived from Afghanistan and are processing them in line with the published policy.

No one will be required to leave the United Kingdom, or be disadvantaged in any way, while we work through their cases.

More information can be found in the Afghanistan Resettlement and Immigration Policy Statement

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement-accessible-version#afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department has sent to people who have passports with an expiry date over ten years after the issue date to inform them of changes to passport validity requirements.

A cross-government campaign has run since November 2018, and has been updated three times, the most recent iteration was on 8 September 2020, which was to inform citizens of changes as a result of the end of the transition period following the UK’s exit from the European Union.

This campaign promoted the new passport validity rules for travel to most countries in Europe, as well as promoting Her Majesty’s Passport Office’s online passport checker, where customers can enter their details to see if HM Passport Office recommend they renew their passport to meet these new rules. This checker can be found at the following website:

www.gov.uk/check-a-passport-travel-europe

HM Passport Office has been directing customers to the checker using SMS and email, subject to the customer’s details being held from the previous application. For over-16s, these messages are sent to customers whose passport was issued over nine and a half years previously.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have waited over four weeks for access to a working Aspen card from the date of their application in (a) the UK, (b) Wales and (c) Newport East in 2021.

All Home Office projects, including the delivery of the new contract providing asylum support payments, have robust risk management mechanisms and practices in place. Engagement with our strategic delivery partners, accommodation providers and Migrant Help-including the consideration of risks-took place well in advance of the project rollout/go-live.

This will continue through an already-established service delivery management process which ensures ongoing risks are understood and appropriately managed across the many different provisions which support the asylum-seeking population.

The number of people eligible for asylum support; as well as the card activation rate; is a fluid and fluctuating figure. They change on a daily basis due to new service users entering the system, the provision of support and card activation numbers in particular increasing over time.

Fully functioning and tested Aspen cards have been distributed to all service users. The vast majority have activated it and have been using it successfully since the service went live on Monday 24th May 2021. Where replacement cards have been requested, they are being actioned swiftly and are being dispatched to service users accordingly.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what risk assessments were made ahead of her Department's change of contractor for the provision of Aspen cards.

All Home Office projects, including the delivery of the new contract providing asylum support payments, have robust risk management mechanisms and practices in place. Engagement with our strategic delivery partners, accommodation providers and Migrant Help-including the consideration of risks-took place well in advance of the project rollout/go-live.

This will continue through an already-established service delivery management process which ensures ongoing risks are understood and appropriately managed across the many different provisions which support the asylum-seeking population.

The number of people eligible for asylum support; as well as the card activation rate; is a fluid and fluctuating figure. They change on a daily basis due to new service users entering the system, the provision of support and card activation numbers in particular increasing over time.

Fully functioning and tested Aspen cards have been distributed to all service users. The vast majority have activated it and have been using it successfully since the service went live on Monday 24th May 2021. Where replacement cards have been requested, they are being actioned swiftly and are being dispatched to service users accordingly.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason Afghan interpreters who married after moving to the UK cannot bring their spouses to the UK via the Afghan relocations and assistance policy or ex-gratia schemes.

The intention of the relocation schemes for Afghan locally employed staff is to enable eligible local staff to relocate with their existing family members. We will though consider exceptional circumstances on a case by case basis, taking into account the level of risk faced and family dependencies.

Where people choose to marry or start a relationship after relocating to the UK, their partner can apply for a visa to come to the UK under the usual family immigration rules.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support the Government is providing to Afghanistan-based spouses of Afghan interpreters who are based in the UK in cases where the marriage occurred after the interpreter re-settled in the UK.

The Government recognises the vital role of interpreters in operations in Afghanistan. This is why there are two dedicated schemes designed to help them relocate to the UK: the ex-gratia scheme and the Afghan relocations and assistance policy (ARAP). Over 1,300 former Afghan interpreters, and their family members, have been relocated to the UK under these schemes since 2014.

Under the immigration rules, only partners and dependent children under the age of 18, who are not married or leading an independent life are eligible under the relocation schemes.

We will consider exceptional circumstances on a case by case basis taking into account the level of risk faced and family dependencies.

Those who apply and are approved for relocation are brought to the UK as soon as suitable accommodation has been sourced and support arrangements are in place.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce the length of time taken during police misconduct hearings.

It is very important that both misconduct investigations and disciplinary proceedings are dealt with in a timely manner.

The Home Office introduced new legislation in February 2020, which includes provisions to improve the timeliness of misconduct hearings. Greater powers for Legally Qualified Chairs (LQCs) allows them to better case manage hearings through the introduction of pre-hearings. This sets specified time limits for hearing dates to be fixed and ensures earlier management of disclosure, legal arguments and witnesses.

This legislation also includes provisions to improve the timeliness of investigations themselves, with specified action if an investigation is not completed within 12 months. This means that the investigating force, or Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), must put in writing to the Local Policing Body (or police force in the case of the IOPC) what progress it has made, why it hasn’t completed the investigation and what it proposes to do to conclude the investigation.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the processing times are for the removal of the no recourse to public funds condition in migrants' visas for applicants who have lost their jobs as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and are experiencing severe financial hardship.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply, for free, to have their NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if they are destitute or at risk of destitution, if the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income, or where there are other exceptional financial circumstances.

The Home Office does not hold data on the processing times for the removal of the no recourse to public funds condition in migrants’ visas for applicants who have lost their jobs as a result of the covid-19 pandemic and are experiencing severe financial hardship. Data published covers all change of conditions applications, regardless of the reason the application has needed to be made.

Change of conditions decisions are being prioritised and are being dealt with compassionately. Data published in November 2020 shows that 85% of change of conditions applications have been granted and the average time taken to make a decision is now 17 days, down from 45 days in the previous quarter. Against a backdrop of a huge increase in change of conditions applications there has been a significant drop in processing times.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 16 February 2021 to Question 151645, what services are provided by her Department's service providers in (a) Newport and (b) Monmouthshire for people supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 in Dispersed Accommodation who are shielding or self-isolating.

Our asylum accommodation providers have put in place a range of measures and additional support to enable households to comply with public measures on social distancing and self-isolation. This has included food parcels and other items for people who are unable to leave the house, provision of telephony for those who are isolating and do not have a telephone, as well as increased welfare contact for those who are isolating.

For those in dispersal accommodation, service user essential living needs -including for cleaning and sanitary items - are met through a weekly cash allowance.

All asylum seekers in our accommodation have access to our Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service provider, Migrant Help. They can contact Migrant Help 24 hours a day if they need assistance or guidance on COVID-19 or other issues – including reporting any concerns with accommodation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to allow people in receipt of Aspen cards under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 to be able to obtain cash with those cards so that they can self-isolate when required during the covid-19 outbreak.

For asylum seekers supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and who are accommodated in full board accommodation (such as hotels) a small weekly cash allowance is provided to allow for the purchase of essential items.

For those supported under Section 4 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 in Dispersed Accommodation they continue to have cash loaded onto their card which can be used on a chip and pin basis in stores across the UK. However, for those asylum seekers who are shielding or self-isolating our service providers have extended their wraparound services and will assist with the provision of food and other items where required.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 February 2021 to Question 142848, whether her Department holds data on the number of cases of marriage by deception as opposed to sham marriages that were reported in the UK in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020; what the average time taken was for her Department to respond to those reports in each of those years; and in how many of those cases the perpetrator of marriage by deception was removed from the UK in each of those years.

Whilst Home Office Immigration Enforcement publishes information relating to the number of allegations it receives each quarter, allegations relating specifically to marriage fraud are not reported upon separately and it is not possible to provide information relating to the number of these allegations received in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Where a relationship has broken down and the UK sponsor of the relationship has reported this to the Home Office, action may be taken to cancel the former partner’s leave to remain.

In some of the cases where relationship breakdown is reported, an allegation may also be raised indicating the reason for the breakdown is because the UK sponsor became aware it was deceptive at the outset. Whilst figures are collated for the number of cases in which leave is cancelled on account of the breakdown of a relationship, the Home Office does not differentiate between the causes of the breakdown and, as such, there is no reporting which captures allegations of deception separately from the overall number of relationship breakdowns declared to the Home Office.

Any British citizen who believes they are a victim of immigration marriage fraud, and believes they were deceived into marriage in order for their partner to obtain some form of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, can make a request for this to be investigated and action taken where appropriate.

In some cases it can be difficult to establish a person entered into a relationship in order to abuse the immigration system. However, all allegations will be assessed and investigated further where appropriate.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what step she is taking to expedite existing applications for the ex-gratia scheme for Afghan interpreters who served alongside the armed forces.

Those who apply for and are approved for relocation under the ex gratia scheme for Afghan locally engaged staff are brought to the UK as soon as suitable accommodation has been sourced and support arrangements are in place.

The application and relocation process for those being considered under the ex gratia scheme has inevitably been impacted by COVID-19, but the Home Office is working closely with all parties to ensure, wherever possible, applications are processed in a timely manner.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to support UK citizens who are victims of immigration marriage fraud.

The Home Office takes all allegations of immigration abuse very seriously.

Any British citizen who believes they are a victim of immigration marriage fraud, and were deceived into marriage in order that their partner may obtain some form of leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom, can make a request for this to be investigated and action taken where appropriate by completing the ‘Report an immigration or border crime’ page at the following address:

https://www.gov.uk/report-immigration-crime.

Alternatively, this can be done by calling the Immigration Enforcement Hotline on 0300 123 7000 or by email to the following address:

nationalallegationsteam@homeoffice.gov.uk

In some instances it can be difficult to establish a person entered into a relationship in order to abuse the immigration system. However, all allegations will be vetted and assessed and may be referred to the Home Office casework unit for formal investigation. If there is sufficient evidence to substantiate the allegation, action will be taken to cancel or remove the partner’s leave.

The Home Department is in general unable to provide an update to former partners on what action has been taken due to GDPR constraints. All evidenced allegations will be thoroughly investigated, and appropriate action taken.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle (a) pet theft and (b) illegal dog sales.

The Government recognises the emotional trauma that the theft of a much-loved pet can cause and the impact it can have on an individual or family.

The theft of a pet is a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968 and carries a maximum penalty of 7 years’ imprisonment. The Government expects the police to record all such crimes reported to them so that they can determine how best to investigate.

It is a legal requirement that dogs must be microchipped and their details recorded on a database. This assists police to reunite stolen pets with their owners.

Commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens were banned in England from 6 April 2020. This prevents pet shops, pet dealers and other commercial outlets from selling these animals in England unless they themselves have bred them. It means anyone looking to get a puppy or kitten must buy direct from a breeder or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead. In addition to, and ahead of, the ban coming into force, the Government launched a national communications campaign (Petfished) to raise awareness of issues associated with low-welfare and illegal supply of pets. This includes providing clear signposting on where responsible breeders and rehoming centres can be found and encouraging prospective buyers to research the seller thoroughly before they visit and decide to purchase. The campaign provides a list of red flags for buyers to look out for when searching for a pet online. More information can be found here: https://getyourpetsafely.campaign.gov.uk/

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time taken nationally was between an individual receiving a positive decision on refugee status and receiving a biometric residence permit in (a) 2017 (b) 2018 (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

The Home Office does not keep data relating to the time it takes to deliver a BRP from point of a positive decision, but it does have service level agreements (SLAs) with partners for the creation and delivery of BRPs. The Home Office can also check whether and how quickly an individual BRP was created and delivered.

The Home Office aims to deliver a BRP within 10 working days of an immigration application being approved.

The DVLA, which produces BRPs, has an SLA to complete 90% of production requests within one working day and the remaining 10% within two working days. While this was met consistently until February 2020 the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions and safe working practices have caused occasional delays of up to four working days since April.

Our delivery partner is required to attempt first delivery of 99% of BRP within two working days of collection from DVLA. This target was met up until February 2020 and is 92% since then. We are working to improve our performance in all areas.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many cases of immigration marriage fraud were reported in the UK in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020; what the average time taken was for her Department to respond to those reports in each of those years; and in how many of those cases the perpetrator of immigration marriage fraud was removed from the UK in each of those years.

Reports of suspected Immigration marriage fraud (sham marriage) are reported to the Home Office by Superintendent registrars and member of the public.

The Home Office received reports:

From Superintendent registrars: 2,805 in 2018, 3,155 in 2019 and 2,822 in 2020.

From members of the public, 7,027 in 2018, 5,554 in 2019 and 4,390 in 2020.

The Home Office initially assesses every incoming piece of information within twenty-four hours of receipt. Beyond this, the average time taken to deal with each case of marriage fraud (sham marriage) is not recorded and is therefore not held.

The number of people involved in a marriage referral from a Superintendent registrar who have been removed from the UK by year of referral is, 138 in 2018, 87 in 2019 and 10 in 2020.

It is not possible to produce data for those reported by the public as this information is not readily available/held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time taken was between a person receiving a positive decision on their refugee status and receiving a biometric residence permit in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2019.

The Home Office does not keep data relating to the time it takes to deliver a Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) from point of a positive decision, but it does have service level agreements (SLAs) with partners for the creation and delivery of BRPs. The Home Office can also check whether and how quickly an individual BRP was created and delivered.

The Home Office aims to deliver a BRP within 10 working days of an immigration application being approved.

The DVLA, which produces BRPs, has an SLA to complete 90% of production requests within one working day and the remaining 10% within two working days. While this was met consistently until February 2020 the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions and safe working practices have caused occasional delays of up to four working days since April.

Our delivery partner is required to attempt first delivery of 99% of BRP within two working days of collection from DVLA. This target was met up until February 2020 and is 92% since then. We are working to improve our performance in all areas.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many cases of immigration marriage fraud were reported in the UK in (a) 2018 (b) 2019 and (c) 2020; what the average time taken was to deal with each case; and how many of those cases resulted in the removal of the perpetrator of immigration marriage fraud from the UK.

Reports of suspected Immigration marriage fraud (sham marriage) are reported to the Home Office by Superintendent registrars and member of the public.

The Home Office received reports:

From Superintendent registrars: 2,805 in 2018, 3,155 in 2019 and 2,822 in 2020.

From members of the public: 7,027 in 2018, 5,554 in 2019 and 4,390 in 2020.

The Home Office initially assesses every incoming piece of information within twenty-four hours of receipt. Beyond this, the average time taken to deal with each case of marriage fraud (sham marriage) is not recorded and is therefore not held.

The number of people involved in a marriage referral from a Superintendent registrar who have been removed from the UK by year of referral is, 138 in 2018, 87 in 2019 and 10 in 2020.

It is not possible to produce data for those reported by the public as this information is not readily available/held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of living conditions at temporary accommodation sites for asylum seekers in Wales.

The Government demands the highest standards from contractors and their accommodation and monitor them closely to ensure this is maintained.

Accommodation providers are required to provide safe, habitable, fit for purpose and correctly equipped accommodation that complies with the Decent Homes Standard in addition to the standards outlined in relevant national or local housing legislation.

These standards apply to all accommodation used by the Home Office including the Ministry of Defense site in Pembrokeshire.

The Home Office is in daily contact with service providers to ensure that the Government continues to meet its statutory obligation to house destitute asylum seekers and to ensure that all contracted support services are delivered, and service users are housed safely. This is in addition to the monthly and quarterly formal performance boards.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average waiting time is for a British Citizenship application to be processed; and how many applicants have been waiting over a year for their application be processed, as of November 2020.

The most recent published data on citizenship applications (August 2020) shows that of those Straightforward Applications received, the percentage completed within the Service Standard of six months was 99.3%.

The latest information on processing times can be found in the UK Visas and Immigration Transparency Data

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visas-and-citizenship-data-august-2020

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average waiting time was for an asylum interview after the date of an asylum claim in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

The Home Office is unable to state what the average waiting time is for an asylum interview after the date of an asylum claim in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020 as the Home Office does not publish this information.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration, for main applicants only. This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/list-of-tables

The Home Office are committed to ensuring asylum claims are considered without unnecessary delay, individuals who need protection are granted asylum as soon as possible and can start to integrate and rebuild their lives, including those granted at appeal.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average waiting time was for a Biometric Residency Permit to be issued after a positive outcome in a UKVI application in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) January to November 2020; and how many applicants were waiting for a Biometric Residency Permit to be issued six months after a positive outcome of their UKVI application in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

The Home Office does not keep data relating to delays issuing Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs), but it does have service level agreements (SLAs) with partners for the creation and delivery of BRPs. The Home Office can also check whether and how quickly an individual BRP was created and delivered.

The Home Office aims to deliver a BRP within 10 working days of an immigration application being approved.

The DVLA, which produces BRPs, has an SLA to complete 90% of production requests within one working day and the remaining 10% within two working days. While this was met consistently until early 2020 the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions and safe working practices have caused occasional delays of up to four working days since April.

Our delivery partner is required to attempt first delivery of 99% of BRP within two working days of collection from DVLA. This target was met up until February 2020 and is 91% since then. We are working to improve our performance in all areas.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on how many occasions UKVI failed to meet the 20-day service level agreement on responding to enquiries from hon. Members on behalf of constituents in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

UK Visas and Immigration work to a target of responding to 95% of Ministerial correspondence within 20 working days.

Performance has been impacted by an increase in the volume of correspondence received, alongside the need for Ministers and officials to instigate a remote process for drafting and signing correspondence during the period of COVID-19 restrictions. An action plan is currently in place to clear backlogs and drive up performance.

The latest published data on UKVI performance against the service standard is held at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/customer-service-operations-data-august-2020 and this includes data from quarter 2 - 2017 up to and including the end of quarter 2-2020/21. We are proposing the release of data for quarter 3, in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jun 2020
What assessment she has made of the adequacy of Government funding allocated to the recruitment of 6,000 police officers by March 2021.

This Government is delivering on the people’s priorities by giving policing the biggest funding increase in a decade.

In total we’re increasing the funding available to the policing system by over £1bn this year.

In order to help recruit we are giving PCCs an additional £700 million this year to help deliver the recruitment of 6,000 additional officers by the end of March 2021; we have already recruited 3000 new officers.

We are giving the police the resources they need to fight crime and keep the public safe.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding each police authority in Wales will receive under the apprenticeship levy and when that funding will be received by each of those authorities.

We are supporting police apprenticeships in Wales. Funding was provided through the Special Grant mechanism in 2018/19, 2019/20 and will be provided again in 2020/21.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will extend the support available to UK locally employed staff in Afghanistan to those employed by private firms involved in security operations supporting UK government staff, buildings and agencies in Afghanistan.

The Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) was designed with a recognition that many of those who worked with Her Majesty's Government may not have been directly employed by us. Through the ARAP a significant number of these people will be eligible for relocation to the UK, including contracted Afghan interpreters working for MOD who will be invited to apply.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on the extension of the Veterans Recognition Scheme.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister for the Armed Forces (James Heappey) on 3 September 2020 to Question 81645 to the hon. Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne).

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish the number of extant service complaints as of 28 August 2020 in (a) the Army, (b) Royal Air Force, (c) Royal Navy which have been ongoing for (i) 0-6 months, (ii) 6-12 months, (iii) one-two years, (iv) two-three years, (v) three-four years, (vi) four-five years, (vii) six-seven years, (viii) seven-eight years, (ix) eight-nine years, (x) nine-10 years (xi) over 10 years.

The requested information is provided in the following table and was current as at 31 August 2020:

Time Period

0-6 months

6-12 months

1-2 years

2-3 years

3-4 years

4-5 years

6-7 years

7-8 years

8-9 years

9-10 years

Over 10 years

Army

180

120

95

35

10

~

-

~

~

-

-

Royal Air Force

75

20

25

~

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Royal Navy

55

40

20

5

5

~

-

-

-

-

-

Notes:

Figures are single Service estimates and have not been verified by Defence Statistics.

Figures are rounded to the nearest 5 to prevent the inadvertent release of personal data and figures fewer than 5 are represented by ‘~’. Zero is ‘-‘.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many reported incidents of (a) sexual harassment, (b) sexual assault and (c) rape there were by (i) gender and (ii) service in each year from 2015 to 2018; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence is absolutely clear there is no place for sexual offending in the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces are committed to addressing the issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault through a range of actions, including awareness campaigns and training presentations around sexual consent.

We recognise the great courage it takes to come forward and report a sexual offence. Personnel who come forward can have full confidence that all allegations are thoroughly investigated; Commanding Officers must always refer any allegation of rape and sexual assault, or any other offence which may have a sexual element, to the Service Police. Anyone found to fall short of the Services’ high standards or to have committed an offence is dealt with appropriately, up to and including imprisonment and dismissal from service.

Detailed statistics about sexual offending in the Service Justice System are published annually as part of our commitment to openness and transparency: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sexual-offences-in-the-service-justice-system

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will provide details of the (a) training and (b) other steps taken to increase reporting of (i) sexual harassment, (ii) sexual assault and (iii) rape by (A) gender and (B) service in the armed forces each year from 2015 to 2018; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence is absolutely clear there is no place for sexual offending in the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces are committed to addressing the issues of sexual harassment and sexual assault through a range of actions, including awareness campaigns and training presentations around sexual consent.

We recognise the great courage it takes to come forward and report a sexual offence. Personnel who come forward can have full confidence that all allegations are thoroughly investigated; Commanding Officers must always refer any allegation of rape and sexual assault, or any other offence which may have a sexual element, to the Service Police. Anyone found to fall short of the Services’ high standards or to have committed an offence is dealt with appropriately, up to and including imprisonment and dismissal from service.

Detailed statistics about sexual offending in the Service Justice System are published annually as part of our commitment to openness and transparency: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/sexual-offences-in-the-service-justice-system

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) perfluorooctane sulfate and (b) perfluooctane acid firefighting foams there are on military bases in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

There are no firefighting foams in use on the Defence estate that use either perfluorooctane sulfate and perfluooctane acid as constituents. Foams with these constituents were withdrawn from use in 2015.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure military access to GPS satellites resilient to jamming of signals for (a) communications, (b) direct energy weapons, (c) route planning and (d) local confirmation; and if he will make a statement.

UK Armed Forces rely upon accurate Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) information for a variety of critical applications. GPS, owned and run by the US Armed Forces, is our main system; as a tier 1 nation, we have privileged access to the most secure GPS signals. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has a dedicated Research & Development programme looking at diminishing traditional PNT vulnerabilities. This includes key work with industry on research into anti-jam techniques (jamming is the most common form of PNT interference) and the £70 million Robust Global Navigation System contract to deliver Multi Constellation Open Signal receivers, further decreasing our vulnerabilities. The MOD is committed to a systems-of-systems approach to managing PNT vulnerabilities, including with cross-Government partners.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what arrangements his Department has put in place for auditing the cyber security capability of defence contractors; and if he will make a statement.

Defence takes the cyber security of its suppliers extremely seriously, which is why we work with a wide range of Defence contractors in the Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP). The DCPP is a collaboration between government and industry and it has developed a cyber security framework which is applied in all Defence procurements. The model requires the supplier to have in place cyber security controls which are proportionate to the cyber risk to the information they handle. These controls address security governance, culture, personnel and asset security as well as technical requirements and incident management, and our suppliers are accountable for flowing the requirements down through their supply chains. In addition, for activities where the routine handling of material classified as secret or above takes place, the granting and maintenance of List X status confirms that contractors conform to a defined set of controls provides assurance of their security.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many civilian posts in his Department have been vacant in each month of each year from January 2018 to December 2019; and if he will make a statement.

I will write to the hon. Member shortly.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) guidance and (b) equipment has been issued to (i) military commanders, (ii) civilian staff and (iii) defence equipment contractors on (A) UK military bases and (B) overseas deployment for responding to a covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has put in place plans to ensure the delivery of its key operations in the UK and overseas. Guidance to all Defence personnel refers to advice issued by the NHS, Public Health England and the FCO. This is being widely distributed and displayed across the Department, both in the UK and overseas. Where additional information is required to support operational deployment, that is also being provided.

All Defence Medical staff have access to the recommended medical Personal Protective Equipment appropriate to their role and are fully trained in its safe use. The provision of Personal Protective Equipment to other MOD personnel would be conducted in accordance with Public Health England advice and as appropriate to their role.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent discussions he has had with his NATO counterparts on (a) cancelling or (b) postponing joint military exercises in response to covid-19; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence has regular discussions with NATO allies about NATO joint military exercises. At present, the NATO major training and exercise programmes are continuing as planned. We will continue to closely monitor and assess the situation.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many (a) Royal Navy, (b) RAF, (c) Army and (d) Royal Marines personnel have killed themselves in each month of each year since 2015, by gender.

The attached table provides the requested breakdown of coroner-confirmed suicides by month, service and gender from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2018, the last published data available. Figures are for Regular personnel and only those Reservists who died whilst on operational deployment. The definition of suicide is that used by the Office for National Statistics. It should be noted that figures may be subject to change following coroner's inquests on deaths awaiting verdicts.

Defence Statistics (Health) produce an annual National Statistic on Suicide in the UK Armed Forces which is released at the end of March every year and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-armed-forces-suicide-and-open-verdict-deaths-index

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether Stellate Ganglion Block injections have been approved in the UK for the treatment of military personnel suffering from PTSD; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence is committed to providing the best evidenced-based healthcare for Service personnel, and follows the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for all interventions in military healthcare. Stellate Ganglion Block injections are not NICE-approved in the treatment of PTSD, and are therefore not used by the Defence Medical Services.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what proportion of steel procured by his Department in 2019 was produced in the UK.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not hold a central record of the origin of all steel used in defence equipment projects. This is because steel for our major programmes is mainly sourced by our prime contractors and the supply chains are complex.

The MOD does, however, collate some information about the origin of steel for projects with the largest steel requirements. This information is published annually on gov.uk at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/steel-public-procurement

The data was last published in January 2019, with the next iteration due to be published shortly.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if Ministers of his Department will publish (a) written guidance and (b) discussions on the role and rules for hon. Members sponsoring bids in the Levelling Up Fund.

The Levelling Up Fund prospectus published at Budget provides guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for the first round of funding for projects starting in 2021-22. This includes guidance on the process for submitting bids, the types of projects eligible for funding, and how bids will be assessed. Further detail on this process was made available subsequently via both a technical note and a frequently asked questions document, the former of which specifically discusses the role of MPs in the bidding process.

The Government recognises the important role of MPs in championing the interests of their constituents, and taking on a positive role in prioritising bids and helping broker local consensus within their communities. We expect bidding authorities to consult local MPs as part of submitting bids for the Levelling Up Fund, and support and engagement from local stakeholders and local MPs will be considered as part of the strategic fit assessment; however, such support from local MPs is not a necessary condition for a successful bid.

As part of the bidding process, MPs have the option of providing formal written support for one bid which they see as a priority. The lead authority must submit that letter of priority support along with their application, and a bid may have priority support from multiple MPs and local stakeholders. In addition to formally backing one bid, MPs may also want to support any or all schemes that would have a benefit to their constituencies as part of the wider stakeholder input process. Individual MPs should not provide a letter offering their priority support to more than one bid. Information on the role of MPs in future bidding rounds of the Fund will be confirmed after funding has been announced for bids from the first funding round.

There are no plans to publish further guidance on the role of MPs in supporting Levelling Up Fund bids.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if Ministers of his Department will publish (a) written guidance and (b) discussions on the role and rules for hon. Members sponsoring bids in the Levelling Up Fund.

The Levelling Up Fund prospectus published at Budget provides guidance for local areas on how to submit bids for the first round of funding for projects starting in 2021-22. This includes guidance on the process for submitting bids, the types of projects eligible for funding, and how bids will be assessed. Further detail on this process was made available subsequently via both a technical note and a frequently asked questions document, the former of which specifically discusses the role of MPs in the bidding process.

The Government recognises the important role of MPs in championing the interests of their constituents, and taking on a positive role in prioritising bids and helping broker local consensus within their communities. We expect bidding authorities to consult local MPs as part of submitting bids for the Levelling Up Fund, and support and engagement from local stakeholders and local MPs will be considered as part of the strategic fit assessment; however, such support from local MPs is not a necessary condition for a successful bid.

As part of the bidding process, MPs have the option of providing formal written support for one bid which they see as a priority. The lead authority must submit that letter of priority support along with their application, and a bid may have priority support from multiple MPs and local stakeholders. In addition to formally backing one bid, MPs may also want to support any or all schemes that would have a benefit to their constituencies as part of the wider stakeholder input process. Individual MPs should not provide a letter offering their priority support to more than one bid. Information on the role of MPs in future bidding rounds of the Fund will be confirmed after funding has been announced for bids from the first funding round.

There are no plans to publish further guidance on the role of MPs in supporting Levelling Up Fund bids.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to outline how much of the £220 million to help local areas transition to the Shared Prosperity Fund in 2021/22 will be allocated to Wales.

To help local areas prepare over 2021-22 for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, we will provide £220 million additional funding to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches. Further details will be provided soon.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to support tenants who are unable to pay their rent as a result of loss of income due to the covid-19 outbreak.

On 18 March, we announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus. Emergency legislation has been brought forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a three-month period. As a result of these measures, no renter in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction during this time.

Tenants will continue to be liable for their rent, and those tenants who can afford to pay should continue to do so. The Government has also announced unprecedented measures to support workers to stay in work during this period by paying up to 80 per cent of their wages, increasing the amount available to welfare claimants and raising the Local Housing Allowance rate to the 30 th percentile, supporting tenants who may have already been struggling with their rent. These significant financial measures will support tenants to continue to pay their living costs, including rental payments.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average waiting time was for the completion of a coroner's report after a death in England and Wales in (a) 2018 (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

The Ministry of Justice publishes annual coroner statistics that include the average time taken to process an inquest. The timeframe of each inquest is defined between the date the death was reported, until the conclusions of that inquest.

In 2018 the average time taken to process an inquest was 26 weeks; in 2019, the average was 27 weeks. Information for 2020 is not yet available but will be included in the annual coroner statistics scheduled to be published on Gov.uk on 13 May.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the Government holds data on the number of specialist Domestic Violence courts in operation in England and Wales.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) does not hold data on the number of Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVC) in operation in England and Wales. This is because the principles of Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts (SDACs) are increasingly embedded across all magistrates’ courts in England and Wales. SDACs bring together highly trained personnel and support services for victims. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), together with the police and HMCTS, implemented a Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework for use across all magistrates’ courts. This Framework is the result of a Criminal Justice System (CJS) wide initiative to identify common components from high performing courts. Its aim is to improve the capacity and capability of the whole CJS to respond effectively to reports of Domestic Abuse.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many and what proportion of domestic abuse convictions related to controlling and coercive behaviour in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

The Ministry of Justice does not hold data centrally on how many domestic abuse convictions relate to coercive and controlling behaviour. Offences involving domestic abuse can take various forms and are prosecuted under the offence in law that best reflects their nature and circumstances, for example, harassment, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, a public order offence. These offences can take the form of domestic abuse or non-domestic abuse and data collected centrally from courts does not distinguish between the two. The data on domestic abuse offences could only be identified by manually searching case records at disproportionate cost.

However, the Ministry of Justice regularly publishes information on all prosecutions and convictions for offences related to controlling and coercive behaviour, as defined by section 76 of the Serious Crime Act 2015, in the ‘Principal Offence Proceedings and Outcomes by Home Office Offence Code 2013 to 2019’ data tool, available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938554/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2019.xlsx

The number of convictions can be identified for each year from 2016 to 2019. Data from 2020 will be published in May 2021.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the backlog of cases involving serious criminal offences was in the Crown Courts in (a) Wales (b) Gwent for each month from June 2019 to June 2020.

This information is not held separately for Gwent as the Crown in Newport is administered from Cardiff.

Total outstanding serious offences in the Crown Court

Month

Wales

June

545

July

502

August

511

September

461

October

437

November

418

December

402

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the backlog of cases relating to the possession and supply of drugs was in the (a) Crown Courts and (b) Magistrates' Courts in (i) Wales (ii) Gwent for each month from June 2019 to June 2020.

This information for the Crown Court is not held separately for Gwent as the Crown Court in Newport is administered from Cardiff.

Month

Wales outstanding drug offences in Crown Court

Wales outstanding drug offences in the Magistrates’ court

Gwent outstanding drug offences in the magistrates’ court

June

198

342

41

July

186

325

30

August

173

309

30

September

159

316

34

October

182

328

56

November

183

298

25

December

171

313

27

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps are being taken to initiate virtual court hearings for serious criminal cases during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working closely with the courts and judiciary to ensure that cases progress through the system. We introduced emergency legislation which enables courts to make greater use of audio and video hearings where appropriate. Magistrates’ court trials are now being listed wherever it is safe to do so and every effort is being made to resume Crown Court trials. Representatives from across the criminal justice system are working at pace to agree the best way of doing this safely.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time taken to process a coroner's inquest was in weeks in (a) Gwent, (b) Wales and (c) England and Wales in each year from 2010-2019.

The requested information for 2010-2018 is set out in the attached table. It is taken from the Coroner Statistics Annual which is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coroners-and-burials-statistics

Information for 2019 is not yet available.

Clearly, unnecessary delay between death and inquest may cause additional anguish and distress to the relatives and friends of the deceased. For this reason, the Coroners (Inquests) Rules 2013 require that an inquest must be completed within six months of the coroner being made aware of a death or as soon as is reasonably practicable after that date. The Chief Coroner has published advice for coroners to reinforce these requirements which indicates that, if there is to be a delay of over six months, a coroner should ensure that a Pre-Inquest Review hearing is held.

Coroners are also under a statutory duty to report to the Chief Coroner any inquest which is not concluded within twelve months.

The Chief Coroner undertakes regular training with all coroners on a number of issues, including the timeliness of inquests and the investigation process.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for coroners' inquests.

The requested information for 2010-2018 is set out in the attached table. It is taken from the Coroner Statistics Annual which is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coroners-and-burials-statistics

Information for 2019 is not yet available.

Clearly, unnecessary delay between death and inquest may cause additional anguish and distress to the relatives and friends of the deceased. For this reason, the Coroners (Inquests) Rules 2013 require that an inquest must be completed within six months of the coroner being made aware of a death or as soon as is reasonably practicable after that date. The Chief Coroner has published advice for coroners to reinforce these requirements which indicates that, if there is to be a delay of over six months, a coroner should ensure that a Pre-Inquest Review hearing is held.

Coroners are also under a statutory duty to report to the Chief Coroner any inquest which is not concluded within twelve months.

The Chief Coroner undertakes regular training with all coroners on a number of issues, including the timeliness of inquests and the investigation process.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
25th Feb 2020
What assessment he has made of trends in waiting times for Child Maintenance Service appeals.

I accept that waiting times for Child Maintenance Service appeals remain higher than we would like. I am pleased to say that we are working on measures to help reduce waiting times for those appealing to the Social Security and Child Support jurisdiction.

We have recruited three more judges who will be able to hear Child Maintenance appeals in Wales, two of which will be available to sit at the Langstone tribunal venue in Newport. Furthermore, we are spending £1.2 billion on modernising the courts and tribunals system with a view to improving the experience of service users. 129 fee paid judges have been recruited to the SSCS jurisdiction in 2019, which will also greatly assist.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many litigants in person there were in (a) crown courts, (b) family courts and (c) county courts in each court area in Wales in (i) 2013, (ii) 2014, (iii) 2015, (iv) 2016, (v) 2017, (vi) 2018 and (vii) 2019.

This information is not held centrally and would require reviewing individual court files in each year specified. The requested information could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. However, self-representation in criminal, civil and family cases is identified in HMCTS case management systems by the legal representation field being left blank. These figures should therefore be considered as counting parties without a recorded representative, and are not necessarily self-representing litigants in person.

PERSONS WITHOUT RECORDED REPRESENTATION IN HMCTS WALES 2013-2019

YEAR

CROWN COURTS

COUNTY COURT

FAMILY COURT

2013

22

2291

6660

2014

17

1792

6243

2015

22

1800

5813

2016

30

1653

6506

2017

30

1852

6757

2018

48

1763

6679

2019

Data not published until June 2020

15111

50861

Access to justice is a central pillar of society, which is why we spent around £1.7 billion on legal aid last year. We have also committed a further £5 million on innovative technologies to enable access to legal support at the earliest opportunity.

We are improving the Exceptional Case Funding scheme, reviewing legal aid means testing, and will launch an awareness campaign to ensure even more people know what support they are entitled to.

Notes to accompany release of data:

1. Family and county court data for 2019 is available at present only for the period January 2019 until September 2019.

2. County court data is for cases where claims were defended. The data represents defended cases where there was a claimant only represented, defendant only represented or neither claimants or defendants were represented. Please note: it cannot be assumed that each defended claim has only one claimant and defendant.

3. In both the family and county court, some cases involve more than one applicant/claimant or respondent/defendant. As such there are more applicants and respondents than there are cases.

4. Please note, the Crown Court data includes both defendants who did not have an advocate recorded at all hearings and defendants whose advocate representation was unknown. It is not necessarily the case that someone whose representation was unknown, did not have representation.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average waiting time is for a personal independence payment appeal to be heard under the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal service in (a) Wales and (b) England and Wales.

Information about waiting times for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) is published at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average waiting time is for a Child Maintenance Service appeal to be heard under Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunal Service in each court area in Wales.

General information about waiting times for appeals in the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) are published at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

The table below contains the average waiting time for Child Maintenance appeals between July and September 2019 (the latest period for which data are available) at HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) hearing venues in Wales1.

Average time (in weeks) taken to administer Child Maintenance appeals between July – September 2019 (the latest period for which figures are available)

Aberystwyth

~

Cardiff

59

Haverfordwest

~

Langstone, Newport

38

Llanelli

~

Port Talbot

42

Swansea

~

Wrexham

~

1 Wales SSCS Region

~ denotes five or fewer cases. If the number of disposals are five or fewer, the average disposal time is redacted.

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 that are available. Data include appeals cleared with and without a Tribunal hearing.

Waiting times are calculated from receipt of an appeal to its final disposal. An appeal is not necessarily disposed of at its first hearing. The final disposal decision on the appeal may be reached after an earlier hearing had been adjourned (which may be directed by the judge for a variety of reasons, such as to seek further evidence), or after an earlier hearing date had been postponed (again, for a variety of reasons, often at the request of the appellant). An appeal may also have been decided at an earlier date by the First-tier Tribunal, only for the case to have gone on to the Upper Tribunal, to be returned once again to the First-tier, for its final disposal.

HMCTS recognises it is important for appeals to be heard as quickly as possible, and is in the process of recruiting more judicial office holders to the SSCS jurisdiction in order to increase capacity and help to reduce waiting times for appellants. In 2018, 118 specialist members were appointed and trained to the jurisdiction, and an extra 129 fee-paid judges were appointed in 2019. The jurisdiction will also benefit from 114 salaried judges and 170 fee-paid judges being recruited across tribunals more widely.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of steel procured by his Department was produced in the UK, in each of the last five years.

This Government remains committed to supporting the UK steel industry.

MoJ collates information about steel spend for projects with the largest steel requirements, including origin where known. This information is published annually on gov.uk at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/steel-public-procurement

The data was first published in January 2019, with the next iteration due to be published shortly.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average waiting time is for a Child Maintenance Service appeal to be heard under Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunal Service in (a) Wales and (b) England and Wales.

General information about waiting times for appeals in the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) are published at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

The average waiting time for Child Maintenance appeals between July and September 2019 (the latest period for which data are available) was (a) 46 weeks in Wales and (b) 40 weeks in England and Wales.

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 that are available. Data include appeals cleared with and without a Tribunal hearing.

Waiting times are calculated from receipt of an appeal to its final disposal. An appeal is not necessarily disposed of at its first hearing. The final disposal decision on the appeal may be reached after an earlier hearing had been adjourned (which may be directed by the judge for a variety of reasons, such as to seek further evidence), or after an earlier hearing date had been postponed (again, for a variety of reasons, often at the request of the appellant). An appeal may also have been decided at an earlier date by the First-tier Tribunal, only for the case to have gone on to the Upper Tribunal, to be returned once again to the First-tier, for its final disposal.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many publicly-funded providers of legal aid for housing cases there are in (a) Newport and (b) Monmouthshire.

Details of firms holding a legal aid contract, including their locations and the categories of law in which they may offer services, are published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/directory-of-legal-aid-providers.

The LAA regularly monitors capacity and the available access to services, and takes action where it identifies gaps in services or where demand is greater than the available supply.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Dec 2020
What steps he is taking to support the steel industry in Scotland.

We recognise that global economic conditions continue to be challenging for the steel industry.

The UK Government is working with the sector, unions, and devolved administrations to support the UK steel sector, and to develop a long-term viable solution for the industry.

The UK Government has put together an unprecedented package of support to help businesses through the current crisis. We have established the £250 million Clean Steel Fund, which will help UK steel producers to reduce emissions in line with our target to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is complemented by the £315 million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to help energy intensive industries, such as steel, transition away from carbon-intensive energy sources.