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Written Question
Reoffenders
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to prevent people released from prison from re-offending within 14 days of their release.

Answered by Kit Malthouse

This Government is committed to reducing crime by tackling reoffending. We know the likelihood of ex-offenders reoffending is significantly decreased if they have a home, a job and access to healthcare, including substance misuse treatment. We are building on the investment made in 2021 by spending £200 million a year by 2024-25 to address these factors and ensure prison leavers have a strong foundation on release.

Our Prisons Strategy White Paper, published in December, sets out our vision for reducing reoffending. This includes our aim that no-one subject to probation supervision is released from prison homeless. We are therefore expanding our new Community Accommodation Service, which currently provides up to twelve weeks temporary housing in five regions, to support the thousands of people in England and Wales who leave prison each year without accommodation.

We plan to transform how prisons get offenders into work. We will open our doors to the private sector to overhaul the opportunities for work offered in prisons, on Release on Temporary Licence and on release. We will do this by implementing dedicated Employment Advisors in prisons, developing a digital tool that will match prisoners to jobs and establishing local employment boards to link prisons with business networks.

We will also introduce new Resettlement Passports, which will be set up prior to release and will bring together the key information and services that an individual needs to resettle into society.


Written Question
Dementia and Heart Diseases
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there has been a relative increase in the numbers of people diagnosed with (a) dementia and (b) heart disease over the last 18 months.

Answered by Edward Argar

There has been a decrease in the numbers of people diagnosed with dementia and heart disease in the last 18 months. The reduction in the numbers of people diagnosed with dementia and heart disease can be attributed to the impact of COVID-19.

The number of people registered to with a general practitioner (GP), the data shows that 0.72% were diagnosed with dementia in November 2021, compared to 0.73% in June 2020. This coincided with a reduction of 25% in referrals from GPs to memory clinics. There has been a reduction of 0.04% in the number of people diagnosed with heart disease in England in the last 18 months.


Written Question
Diabetes: Medical Equipment
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timetable is for conclusion of the pilot of the closed loop technology to continually monitor blood glucose and adjust insulin given for type one diabetics; and what estimate he has made of when that technology will be widely available to all suitable type one diabetics.

Answered by Maria Caulfield

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently collecting data on the use of closed loop systems as part of the hybrid closed loop pilot. The data collected is due to be analysed in April 2022. The findings will be shared with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to inform a multiple technology appraisal. The outcome of this appraisal is expected in autumn 2022. This will determine whether the technology will be offered in the National Health Service and which patients it is recommended for. If recommended by NICE, trusts would be expected to routinely offer the technology within six months of the publication of the guidance.


Written Question
Armenia: Prisoners of War
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions her Department has had with international counterparts to help (a) secure protections under international treaties ​and (b) facilitate the release and return of any Armenian prisoners of war and detained civilians.

Answered by Chris Heaton-Harris

In her meetings with the Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers, on 4 and 17 November 2021 respectively, the former Minister for Europe and Americas, Wendy Morton MP, raised the importance of the return of all prisoners of war and detainees. The UK Government will continue to reinforce these points in its contacts with the parties and in other fora, as well as to support the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to settle all outstanding matters related to the conflict.


Written Question
Kinnegar Logistics Base
14 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timetable is for disposal of Kinnegar Barracks in County Down; and whether plans have changed for the scale of the disposal.

Answered by Jeremy Quin

Following detailed assessment, the disposal of Kinnegar Logistics Base has been delayed by two years from 2022 to 2024.

There has been no change to the scale of the disposal. The Ministry of Defence intent remains to dispose of the whole site as surplus to requirements when military use has ended.


Written Question
Veterans: Immigration
13 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he is taking steps to encourage non-UK military personnel who are leaving the UK Armed Forces and who wish to remain in the UK to apply for residency for their families before their service ends.

Answered by Leo Docherty

Applying to Settle in the UK is a personal choice and some non-UK families will already have Settled status before the Service Person leaves the military. The MOD works closely with our non-UK personnel to make sure that they and their families are aware of how they can attain settlement in the UK, should they wish to do so.

We keep our personnel guidance under regular review and as part of that ongoing process we update non-UK content, from the point of recruitment, including information on recruitment websites, right through Service life. In addition, through the Armed Forces Covenant Trust, a further immigration advisor has also been employed by the Army Families Federation to help deal with their casework.


Written Question
UK Internal Trade: Northern Ireland
13 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what recent steps have been taken by the EU to facilitate trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and what steps he is taking to help ensure that business are able to source parts from Great Britain for (a) vehicles and (b) lawn mowers.

Answered by Conor Burns

The Government welcomed the European Union’s acknowledgement in October last year that the current operation of the Protocol is having considerable impacts on Northern Ireland businesses and on the people of Northern Ireland more widely.

In December, the European Union published proposals with the intention to facilitate medicine supply to Northern Ireland. The Government is considering these proposals carefully.

In relation to movement of goods, whilst the Trader Support Service and the Movement Assistance Scheme provides support to traders moving goods between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, businesses continue to raise significant concerns with me and it is clear that there needs to be substantively different processes for goods remaining in the UK, in order to deal with these very real challenges.

The Government has made clear that discussions with the EU need to proceed with renewed urgency and our continued preference is to reach a comprehensive solution dealing with all the issues now. However, as long as there is no agreed solution, Article 16 safeguards remain on the table to deal with the very real problems faced in Northern Ireland.


Written Question
Internet: Rural Areas
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she plans to allocate funding for internet connection in rural community businesses throughout the UK.

Answered by Julia Lopez

The Government is investing £5 billion through Project Gigabit to support gigabit broadband coverage in areas not covered by commercial roll-out, adding to the 600,000 rural homes and businesses already covered by gigabit with our support.

As part of Project Gigabit the government is investing up to £210m in the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to support rural communities with the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections. The scheme provides a micro-grant of up to £1,500 for residents and up to £3,500 for businesses towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband.

The scheme enables those communities and businesses in rural areas not in line for commercial rollout, and those that do not want to wait for Project Gigabit procurements, to get more immediate help with the costs of installing a gigabit-capable connection. Further information is available on the gigabit voucher website including eligibility criteria and how to apply for the scheme.


Written Question
HIV Infection: Drugs
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has a timetable for the HIV drug which combines the antiretroviral drugs cabotegravir and rilpivirine as a bi-monthly injection to be available on the NHS throughout the UK.

Answered by Edward Argar

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is the independent body responsible for developing evidence-based recommendations for the National Health Service on whether new medicines represent a clinically and cost-effective use of resources. On 5 January 2022, NICE published guidance recommending cabotegravir with rilpivirine, within its marketing authorisation, as an option for treating HIV‑1 infection in adults. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ta757

The NHS in England is legally required to fund medicines recommended in a NICE appraisal within three months of final guidance. The availability of medicines in the rest of the United Kingdom is a devolved matter.


Written Question
Transcaucasus: Hate Crime
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if her Department will monitor the potential prevalence of anti-Armenian hate speech and disinformation in the Caucasus region; and what discussions she has had with her Azerbaijani counterpart on the use of anti-Armenia hate speech and disinformation by senior Azerbaijani politicians.

Answered by Chris Heaton-Harris

The UK Government remains deeply concerned by the inflammatory rhetoric deployed during and after the conflict in 2020 by Azerbaijan and Armenia. We continue to urge the parties to refrain from unhelpful actions and rhetoric and engage in discussions with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to settle all outstanding matters related to the conflict. The former Minister for Europe and Americas, Wendy Morton MP, reinforced these messages during her trip to the South Caucasus last year.


Written Question
Military Aid: Coronavirus
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make military (a) medics and (b) transportation available to health trusts throughout the UK to help combat the staff shortages caused by covid-19 isolation.

Answered by James Heappey

As at 10 January 2022, we are providing 313 personnel to the NHS in England and Scotland in order to help relieve winter pressures. This comprises both medics and general duties personnel.

543 personnel, the majority of whom are drivers, are currently providing support to Ambulance services in response to driver shortages in England, Scotland and Wales.

In addition, we are currently providing 1,059 personnel comprising medics, general duties personnel and planners to support the UK's COVID-19 vaccination and booster programmes.

We remain ready to support health trusts and other bodies across the UK through the Military Aid to Civilian Authorities (MACA) process.


Written Question
Nagorno Karabakh: Human Rights
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential occurrence of war crimes and serious human rights violations within the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Answered by Chris Heaton-Harris

The UK Government remains deeply concerned by the allegations that war crimes and human rights violations and abuses were committed during and after the conflict in 2020. We continue to encourage the Armenian and Azerbaijani Government, including through our Embassies in Yerevan and Baku, to thoroughly investigate all allegations that prisoners of war and detainees were mistreated during and after the conflict.


Written Question
NHS
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has a role in (a) ensuring that the NHS is training enough doctors and nurses and (b) developing policies on the structure, and any potential restructuring, of the NHS.

Answered by Michael Ellis

The Cabinet Office’s role is to support DHSC in delivering the priorities of the Prime Minister and the government, which includes training more doctors and nurses. The NHS has over 5,100 more doctors and over 9,700 more nurses than last year and is on track to train 50,000 more nurses by the end of this Parliament - as per our manifesto commitment. The Cabinet Office is also supporting DHSC with the Health and Care Bill, which delivers on the NHS reform proposals set out in the 2019 Long Term Plan.


Written Question
NHS: Negligence
11 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 September 2021 to Question 43518 on NHS: Negligence, how much NHS Resolution spent on medication errors in (a) hospitals and (b) GP surgeries in the financial year 2020-21.

Answered by Maria Caulfield

The information is not held in the format requested as NHS Resolution indemnify their members under various schemes between primary and secondary care. However, the following table shows the total value of payments made by NHS Resolution for damages and legal costs for medication errors in secondary care and primary care in England in 2020/21.

Type

Damages paid

National Health Service legal costs

Claimant legal costs

Total costs

Secondary care

£5,773,001

£839,761

£10,155,919

£16,768,681

Primary care

£38,140

£13,792

£63,541

£115,474


Written Question
Biofuels: Excise Duties
11 Jan 2022

Questioner: Jim Shannon (DUP - Strangford)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his policy of restricting the use of rebated Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil in certain diesel-powered vehicles, ​whether he plans to provide support to businesses which are running down stocks of HVO, including costs of cleaning out storage tanks, in preparation for the introduction of the duty harmonisation of fuels ahead of 1 April 2022.

Answered by Helen Whately

At Budget 2020, the Chancellor announced that he will remove the entitlement to use rebated fuel from most sectors from April 2022. This will more fairly reflect the negative environmental impact of the emissions they produce and help to ensure that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternative technologies.

During the consultation period, the Government engaged directly with a wide variety of organisations, including affected sectors and fuel suppliers, to discuss these tax changes. HMRC have published interim guidance on the implementation of the changes to the tax treatment of rebated fuel, which is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-rebated-fuels-entitlement-from-1-april-2022

The Government has not announced any changes to the treatment of hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) and so it will continue to be taxed at the same rate as diesel and required to be marked if supplied for rebated use. The rebated rate applies to qualifying uses, not to specific fuels, so sectors losing their entitlement will no longer benefit from the rebate regardless of what fuel they use.

As with all taxes, the Government will keep the tax treatment of HVO under review. However, there are no plans at present to change treatment as the Government uses the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) to incentivise the use of low carbon fuels and reduce emissions from fuel supplied for use in transport and non-road mobile machinery. HVO is eligible for Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates under the RTFO, and is eligible to receive twice the reward in certificates under this scheme where it is produced from waste.