John McDonnell Portrait

John McDonnell

Labour - Hayes and Harlington

First elected: 1st May 1997


Neonatal Care (Leave and Pay) Bill
20th Jul 2022 - 7th Sep 2022
Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill
7th Sep 2021 - 22nd Sep 2021
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
14th Sep 2015 - 5th Apr 2020
Justice Committee
25th Nov 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Unopposed Bills (Panel)
17th Oct 2001 - 14th Nov 2002
Regulatory Reform
16th Jul 2001 - 11th Apr 2002
Deregulation
19th Mar 1999 - 11th May 2001


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 161 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 226 Noes - 287
Speeches
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
Further to that point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I was going to suggest that the Speaker displayed immense flexibility …
Written Answers
Monday 12th February 2024
Gaza: Israel
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will place sanctions on Israeli (a) ministers …
Early Day Motions
Monday 19th February 2024
13th anniversary of the Bahrain pro-democracy uprising
That this House notes the 13th anniversary of Bahrain’s 2011 uprising, when widespread protests demanding democratic change and decrying structural …
Bills
Wednesday 30th September 2020
Business Standards Bill 2019-21
A Bill to establish an accreditation scheme for businesses that meet standards regarding the treatment of workers, the payment of …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
1. Employment and earnings
Payments from Verso, 6 Mead St, London W1F 0EG, for editing and providing an introduction to a book of 16 …
EDM signed
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Use of artificial intelligence in journalism
That this House supports the National Union of Journalists' (NUJ) Artificial Intelligence (AI) campaign and its concerns over rapid advancements …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Social energy tariff Bill 2023-24
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish proposals for a social tariff for energy.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, John McDonnell has voted in 760 divisions, and 5 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
John McDonnell voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 176 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
30 Dec 2020 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
John McDonnell voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 183 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 335 Noes - 212
3 Nov 2021 - Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill - View Vote Context
John McDonnell voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Labour No votes vs 53 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 44
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
John McDonnell voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Labour No votes vs 124 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
10 Jan 2022 - Nuclear Energy (Financing) Bill - View Vote Context
John McDonnell voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Labour No votes vs 148 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 458 Noes - 53
View All John McDonnell Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Western (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Education)
(26 debate interactions)
Michelle Donelan (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
(23 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(98 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(76 debate contributions)
Home Office
(50 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Finance Act 2021
(6,760 words contributed)
Contingencies Fund Act 2020
(4,320 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all John McDonnell's debates

Hayes and Harlington 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the Government to amend the Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCP) to require retailers, without exception, to:

- Buy what they agreed to buy
- Pay what they agreed to pay
- Pay on time

We believe the current GSCP is inadequate and doesn't protect farmers from unfair behaviour.

Undocumented Migrants are suffering in silence, with no access to adequate Financial support, or any help. The Government should grant an urgent Amnesty of 5years to those with no criminal record so that they could live their lives as normal human beings and pay tax to help the UK economy.

We ask Government to significantly increase targeted research funding for motor neurone disease (MND).

A new investment of £50m over 5 years could kickstart a pioneering MND Research Institute.

This would lead to better, faster and more definitive research outcomes and hope for those with MND.

Bring in a law which enforces professional football clubs to have at least 51% fan ownership similar to how the Bundesliga operates this rule.

The Government should use the recently established fan led review of football to introduce an Independent Football Regulator in England to put fans back at the heart of our national game. This should happen by December 2021.

The Government must make a public statement on the #kissanprotests & press freedoms.

India is the worlds largest democracy & democratic engagement and freedom of the press are fundamental rights and a positive step towards creating a India that works for all.

The government is helping private firms to protect jobs by paying up to 80% of staff wages through this crisis. If it can do this why can it not help key workers who will be putting themselves/their families at risk and working extra hard under extremely challenging and unprecedented circumstances.

During the pandemic government workers have delivered vital public services and kept our country safe and secure. After ten years in which the real value of civil service pay has fallen, many face hardship. The Government must start to restore the real value of their pay with a 10% increase in 2020.


Latest EDMs signed by John McDonnell

21st February 2024
John McDonnell signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 21st February 2024

Use of artificial intelligence in journalism

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House supports the National Union of Journalists' (NUJ) Artificial Intelligence (AI) campaign and its concerns over rapid advancements in AI technologies using journalistic content without consent or permission; recognises the risk of grave harm to journalism and the subsequent undermining of democracy should public trust in journalism erode; …
18 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 11
Independent: 3
Scottish National Party: 2
Plaid Cymru: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
20th February 2024
John McDonnell signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 20th February 2024

Detention of Frenchie Mae Cumpio

Tabled by: Liz Saville Roberts (Plaid Cymru - Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
That this House demands the immediate release of Filipino community journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio, who has been in detention since her arrest along with four human rights defenders since 7 February 2020 in Tacloban City; believes that the evidential basis for her arrest was fabricated, and that she is innocent …
9 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Scottish National Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All John McDonnell's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by John McDonnell, 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.


John McDonnell has not been granted any Urgent Questions

John McDonnell has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

5 Bills introduced by John McDonnell


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 22nd October 2010

A Bill to establish an accreditation scheme for businesses that meet standards regarding the treatment of workers, the payment of taxes and environmental practices; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 30th September 2020
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to regulate refractive eye surgery, including laser eye surgery.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 20th November 2013

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 20th June 2012

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. Enable representation of a constituency by two persons sharing membership of the House of Commons; and for connected purposes

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 20th November 2012

336 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
19th Oct 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the retendering of Facilities Management contracts in the Mitie Affiliate Cluster, what recent meetings he has held with (a) the Chief Operating Officer for the Civil Service, (b) the Chief Executive of the Government Property Agency and (c) civil service trade unions.

Employment Terms and Conditions are a matter for Employers and their Employees.

However, the Government Property Agency (GPA) has supported the employee representatives, notably the PCS Trade Union, in discussions with the GPA's new suppliers. All suppliers have listened to the concerns expressed by the PCS trade union and have provided both assurance and solutions to ensure that any affected member of staff is not directly or indirectly affected by the change of their employer. This includes financial assistance via ex gratia payments and interest-free loans and advice and support to mitigate against issues surrounding the claiming of "in work" benefits.

The GPA is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination. Throughout the workplace services transformation programme the GPA has continued to give PSED due consideration and will continue the completion of the impact assessment following the recent award of contracts. This will be shared with trade unions upon completion. The successful bidders have been tested for this requirement at Framework creation stage and will be required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Equalities Act 2010 and the GPA’s aspirations during delivery of the contract.

Whilst the GPA has an active interest in the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) transfer of supplier employees, TUPE transfers are a matter for both the outgoing and incoming contractors and both the outgoing and incoming suppliers are experienced in this area. The employee rights are set out by the TUPE regulations and reinforced in the Crown Commercial Services framework which this contract is let on. The Government Property Agency will act upon any breach of this legislation if it occurs and holds its supply chain to the legislative requirements. The GPA continues to encourage both their current and their new suppliers to exchange information quickly to enable consultations to be effective and to resolve queries quickly where they arise.


Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th Oct 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the retendering of Facilities Management contracts in the Mitie Affiliate Cluster, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of TUPE transfer provisions for (a) corporately employed and (b) privately contracted staff.

Employment Terms and Conditions are a matter for Employers and their Employees.

However, the Government Property Agency (GPA) has supported the employee representatives, notably the PCS Trade Union, in discussions with the GPA's new suppliers. All suppliers have listened to the concerns expressed by the PCS trade union and have provided both assurance and solutions to ensure that any affected member of staff is not directly or indirectly affected by the change of their employer. This includes financial assistance via ex gratia payments and interest-free loans and advice and support to mitigate against issues surrounding the claiming of "in work" benefits.

The GPA is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination. Throughout the workplace services transformation programme the GPA has continued to give PSED due consideration and will continue the completion of the impact assessment following the recent award of contracts. This will be shared with trade unions upon completion. The successful bidders have been tested for this requirement at Framework creation stage and will be required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Equalities Act 2010 and the GPA’s aspirations during delivery of the contract.

Whilst the GPA has an active interest in the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) transfer of supplier employees, TUPE transfers are a matter for both the outgoing and incoming contractors and both the outgoing and incoming suppliers are experienced in this area. The employee rights are set out by the TUPE regulations and reinforced in the Crown Commercial Services framework which this contract is let on. The Government Property Agency will act upon any breach of this legislation if it occurs and holds its supply chain to the legislative requirements. The GPA continues to encourage both their current and their new suppliers to exchange information quickly to enable consultations to be effective and to resolve queries quickly where they arise.


Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th Oct 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the retendering of Facilities Management contracts in the Mitie Affiliate Cluster, what steps he has taken to ensure that the Government Property Agency complies with its public sector equality duty to evaluate the potential impact of the proposed changes to the (a) terms and conditions and (b) general working arrangements on staff with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

Employment Terms and Conditions are a matter for Employers and their Employees.

However, the Government Property Agency (GPA) has supported the employee representatives, notably the PCS Trade Union, in discussions with the GPA's new suppliers. All suppliers have listened to the concerns expressed by the PCS trade union and have provided both assurance and solutions to ensure that any affected member of staff is not directly or indirectly affected by the change of their employer. This includes financial assistance via ex gratia payments and interest-free loans and advice and support to mitigate against issues surrounding the claiming of "in work" benefits.

The GPA is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination. Throughout the workplace services transformation programme the GPA has continued to give PSED due consideration and will continue the completion of the impact assessment following the recent award of contracts. This will be shared with trade unions upon completion. The successful bidders have been tested for this requirement at Framework creation stage and will be required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Equalities Act 2010 and the GPA’s aspirations during delivery of the contract.

Whilst the GPA has an active interest in the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) transfer of supplier employees, TUPE transfers are a matter for both the outgoing and incoming contractors and both the outgoing and incoming suppliers are experienced in this area. The employee rights are set out by the TUPE regulations and reinforced in the Crown Commercial Services framework which this contract is let on. The Government Property Agency will act upon any breach of this legislation if it occurs and holds its supply chain to the legislative requirements. The GPA continues to encourage both their current and their new suppliers to exchange information quickly to enable consultations to be effective and to resolve queries quickly where they arise.


Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th Oct 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the retendering of Facilities Management contracts in the Mitie Affiliate Cluster, what steps he has taken to ensure continuity of payment of (a) pay and (b) in-work benefits.

Employment Terms and Conditions are a matter for Employers and their Employees.

However, the Government Property Agency (GPA) has supported the employee representatives, notably the PCS Trade Union, in discussions with the GPA's new suppliers. All suppliers have listened to the concerns expressed by the PCS trade union and have provided both assurance and solutions to ensure that any affected member of staff is not directly or indirectly affected by the change of their employer. This includes financial assistance via ex gratia payments and interest-free loans and advice and support to mitigate against issues surrounding the claiming of "in work" benefits.

The GPA is committed to eliminating all forms of discrimination. Throughout the workplace services transformation programme the GPA has continued to give PSED due consideration and will continue the completion of the impact assessment following the recent award of contracts. This will be shared with trade unions upon completion. The successful bidders have been tested for this requirement at Framework creation stage and will be required to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the Equalities Act 2010 and the GPA’s aspirations during delivery of the contract.

Whilst the GPA has an active interest in the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) transfer of supplier employees, TUPE transfers are a matter for both the outgoing and incoming contractors and both the outgoing and incoming suppliers are experienced in this area. The employee rights are set out by the TUPE regulations and reinforced in the Crown Commercial Services framework which this contract is let on. The Government Property Agency will act upon any breach of this legislation if it occurs and holds its supply chain to the legislative requirements. The GPA continues to encourage both their current and their new suppliers to exchange information quickly to enable consultations to be effective and to resolve queries quickly where they arise.


Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an assessment of the average number of sick days taken by people in each grade of the Civil Service.

The Civil Service has a range of measures in place to support the health and wellbeing of civil servants. These include access to advice from Occupational Health practitioners on how they can be supported to stay in or return to work as well as to counselling and support for a range of issues which may include the impacts of ill-health. The Civil Service proactively ensures that its policies reflect best practice on health and wellbeing by monitoring the latest research and emerging trends.

The letter from PCS of 22 February 2021 was discussed during one of the regular discussions Cabinet Office has with the National Trade Union Committee - which includes PCS - on our policies to support the health, wellbeing and attendance of civil servants.

The Cabinet Office publishes sickness absence management information for the Civil Service on an annual basis, including breakdowns by grade. The latest data is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-sickness-absence

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the potential policy implications for the Civil Service of the Whitehall I and II longitudinal health surveys of civil servants.

The Civil Service has a range of measures in place to support the health and wellbeing of civil servants. These include access to advice from Occupational Health practitioners on how they can be supported to stay in or return to work as well as to counselling and support for a range of issues which may include the impacts of ill-health. The Civil Service proactively ensures that its policies reflect best practice on health and wellbeing by monitoring the latest research and emerging trends.

The letter from PCS of 22 February 2021 was discussed during one of the regular discussions Cabinet Office has with the National Trade Union Committee - which includes PCS - on our policies to support the health, wellbeing and attendance of civil servants.

The Cabinet Office publishes sickness absence management information for the Civil Service on an annual basis, including breakdowns by grade. The latest data is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-sickness-absence

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether policy initiatives were launched by his Department in response to the publication of the booklet, Work, Stress and Health: the Whitehall II Study, in 2004.

Due to data retention policies, the Cabinet Office does not hold the requested information.

22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of (a) civil and (b) public servant roles will move out of London under the Places for Growth programme.

As part of the Budget in 2020, the Government made a commitment to relocate 22,000 Civil Service roles from Greater London to locations across the UK by 2030, with commitments from departments and public bodies to relocate up to 15,000 by 2025. The Places for Growth Portfolio is at the heart of delivering this agenda working with departments and public bodies to ensure local voices are taken into account when making policy. As of 31st March 2021 there were 101,930 civil servants in London which represents 21% of the total.

The Government has made it clear that the Civil Service and its public bodies should have a truly national footprint. Whilst the majority of public bodies are already fairly regionally/nationally dispersed, those with a presence in London are still a key part of our Places for Growth work.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what payments on contracts the Department made to Topham Guerin in August 2021; what payments are scheduled to made to that company in September 2021; and what were the nature of those contracts.

The Cabinet Office publishes details of all contracts over £10,000 on Contracts Finder and spend over £500, including on public information campaigns, on gov.uk on a rolling basis. This will include expenditure on this campaign and will be broken down by supplier.

This contract was modified in accordance with Regulation 72.1.(c) and 72.1.(b) of the Public Contract Regulations. Further detail is available in the Tenders Electronic Daily supplement to the Official Journal of the EU.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department made at the time the Government Property Agency (GPA) was established of the effectiveness of the dispute resolution process relating to industrial disputes between the GPA, Government Departments and outsourced facilities management contractors.

The GPA has Client Managers in place for the Departments they support. Any disagreements would typically be resolved through the Client Manager’s regular framework of Client engagement meetings which includes a formal quarterly performance review.


As far as we know there was no assessment of the effectiveness of the dispute resolution processes at the time of the establishment of the Government Property Agency (GPA). Facilities management contracts were let by other Government Departments using Crown Commercial Services (CCS) framework agreements and then novated to the GPA. These contracts were created using standard CCS contract forms and terms and conditions, including dispute resolution procedures, that were consistent with commercial good practice at that time.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has taken steps to facilitate discussions to try to resolve the industrial dispute involving the PCS Union in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The GPA has Client Managers in place for the Departments they support. Any disagreements would typically be resolved through the Client Manager’s regular framework of Client engagement meetings which includes a formal quarterly performance review.


As far as we know there was no assessment of the effectiveness of the dispute resolution processes at the time of the establishment of the Government Property Agency (GPA). Facilities management contracts were let by other Government Departments using Crown Commercial Services (CCS) framework agreements and then novated to the GPA. These contracts were created using standard CCS contract forms and terms and conditions, including dispute resolution procedures, that were consistent with commercial good practice at that time.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government takes to resolve disagreements between the Government Property Agency (GPA) and Government departments occupying buildings run by the GPA.

The GPA has Client Managers in place for the Departments they support. Any disagreements would typically be resolved through the Client Manager’s regular framework of Client engagement meetings which includes a formal quarterly performance review.


As far as we know there was no assessment of the effectiveness of the dispute resolution processes at the time of the establishment of the Government Property Agency (GPA). Facilities management contracts were let by other Government Departments using Crown Commercial Services (CCS) framework agreements and then novated to the GPA. These contracts were created using standard CCS contract forms and terms and conditions, including dispute resolution procedures, that were consistent with commercial good practice at that time.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
26th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Government sold its shares in MyCSP for; and what the current value is of MyCSP.

When MyCSP was created as a mutual joint venture in 2012, the Cabinet Office owned 35%, Equiniti 40% and an Employee Benefit Trust 25%.

In 2014, the Cabinet Office sold 11% of MyCSP to Equiniti for £8 million.

In 2018, the Cabinet Office sold its remaining 24% stake to Equiniti for £8 million.

As the Cabinet Office no longer has a stake in MyCSP, we do not have a valuation of it.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the planned scope is of the framework the Crown Commercial Service plans to establish on the provision of outsourced contact centre services, shared services and operational business process services, with publication reference: 2021/S 000-006901.

The Shared Services Strategy for Government was published on 9 March 2021. The Strategy sets the framework for groups of departments to form Shared Service Centres to implement the Strategy. Part of Cabinet Office, Government Business Services is responsible for coordinating delivery of the Strategy.

The Strategy will deliver better, streamlined services and lower costs, to offer better value for money for the taxpayer. Each group of departments forming a Shared Service Centre will develop its own business case for implementing the strategy.

The final specification and all bidding documents for the Outsourced Contact Centre and Business Services (RM6181) framework agreement were published on the government’s Contracts Finder website in April 2021.

It is for Departments to determine their approach to consulting with Civil Service unions. Cabinet Office officials have had two constructive meetings with the National Trade Union Congress since publication of the Strategy, and welcome continuing dialogue.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has under the Shared Services Strategy for Government to externally-tender out existing work done by the Civil Service to private sector bodies.

The Shared Services Strategy for Government was published on 9 March 2021. The Strategy sets the framework for groups of departments to form Shared Service Centres to implement the Strategy. Part of Cabinet Office, Government Business Services is responsible for coordinating delivery of the Strategy.

The Strategy will deliver better, streamlined services and lower costs, to offer better value for money for the taxpayer. Each group of departments forming a Shared Service Centre will develop its own business case for implementing the strategy.

The final specification and all bidding documents for the Outsourced Contact Centre and Business Services (RM6181) framework agreement were published on the government’s Contracts Finder website in April 2021.

It is for Departments to determine their approach to consulting with Civil Service unions. Cabinet Office officials have had two constructive meetings with the National Trade Union Congress since publication of the Strategy, and welcome continuing dialogue.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will outline the Strategic Business Case for implementing the Shared Services Strategy for Government.

The Shared Services Strategy for Government was published on 9 March 2021. The Strategy sets the framework for groups of departments to form Shared Service Centres to implement the Strategy. Part of Cabinet Office, Government Business Services is responsible for coordinating delivery of the Strategy.

The Strategy will deliver better, streamlined services and lower costs, to offer better value for money for the taxpayer. Each group of departments forming a Shared Service Centre will develop its own business case for implementing the strategy.

The final specification and all bidding documents for the Outsourced Contact Centre and Business Services (RM6181) framework agreement were published on the government’s Contracts Finder website in April 2021.

It is for Departments to determine their approach to consulting with Civil Service unions. Cabinet Office officials have had two constructive meetings with the National Trade Union Congress since publication of the Strategy, and welcome continuing dialogue.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has to consult Cvil Service unions on the implementation of the Shared Services Strategy for Government.

The Shared Services Strategy for Government was published on 9 March 2021. The Strategy sets the framework for groups of departments to form Shared Service Centres to implement the Strategy. Part of Cabinet Office, Government Business Services is responsible for coordinating delivery of the Strategy.

The Strategy will deliver better, streamlined services and lower costs, to offer better value for money for the taxpayer. Each group of departments forming a Shared Service Centre will develop its own business case for implementing the strategy.

The final specification and all bidding documents for the Outsourced Contact Centre and Business Services (RM6181) framework agreement were published on the government’s Contracts Finder website in April 2021.

It is for Departments to determine their approach to consulting with Civil Service unions. Cabinet Office officials have had two constructive meetings with the National Trade Union Congress since publication of the Strategy, and welcome continuing dialogue.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to respond to the Fairness in Government debt management consultation which closed on 21 September 2020.

The government will publish an update regarding the call for evidence in due course and will make further announcements in the usual way.

Details of ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on gov.uk.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent meetings on Government debt management (a) Ministers and (b) senior officials of his Department has held with the (i) Local Government Association, (ii) Credit Services Association and (c) Civil Enforcement Association.

The government will publish an update regarding the call for evidence in due course and will make further announcements in the usual way.

Details of ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on gov.uk.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the results of the zero based review taking place in different business units in his Department; and whether the Government plans to undertake those reviews in each Department.

As has been the case under successive administrations, ministers routinely review their departments to ensure they are delivering the Government’s agenda in the most effective and efficient way. Significant changes are communicated to the House in the usual way.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the policy paper of 9 June 2020 entitled Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19, what assessment he has made of the (a) potential merits of continuing to provide contractual relief as a result of covid-19 in line with Procurement Policy Notice 02/20, (b)(i) companies and (ii) work areas that will be affected by a change in contractual relief and (c) timetable for those changes.

As the Government moves into the next phase of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the supplier relief provisions set out in PPN 02/20 may still be appropriate and contracting authorities have the final decision on whether they deem a supplier at risk and the form of any relief.

PPN 04/20 allows Contracting Authorities to continue paying in full for services if suppliers are deemed at risk.

17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether Simon Blagden's role at Fujitsu UK was taken in account as part of the appointment process for his roles at (a) Building Digital UK, (b) UK Health Security Agency and (c) the Trade Advisory Group on telecoms and technology.

For all appointments, a declaration of interests is recorded and due diligence conducted on appointees. These appointments will have been decided on the individual’s experience against the essential criteria for the role.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether Simon Blagden's status as a Conservative Party donor was taken into account as part of the appointment process for his roles at (a) Building Digital UK, (b) UK Health Security Agency and (c) the Trade Advisory Group for telecoms and technology.

For all appointments, a declaration of interests is recorded and due diligence conducted on appointees. These appointments will have been decided on the individual’s experience against the essential criteria for the role.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps she plans to take with Cabinet colleagues to facilitate parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals with the US; and if she will make a statement.

In June the Prime Minister and the President of the United States announced the Atlantic Declaration and accompanying Action Plan to cover the full spectrum of our economic, technological, commercial and trade relations, and to explore further ways to expand our bilateral trade.

Negotiations remain at an early stage and it is not clear what form agreement will take but we remain committed to effective and proportionate scrutiny of our trade negotiations and will ensure Parliament has the information it needs to scrutinise outcomes.

We will continue to update Parliament as our work on US trade develops.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, with reference to her Department's publication entitled UK-Canada Free Trade Agreement: The UK’s Strategic Approach, published 24 March 2022, for what reason does the UK's strategic approach (a) include an ambition to ensure the agreement does not contain an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism and (b) not commit to disapply such a mechanism with Canada as part of the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The UK will not be seeking to negotiate an investor state dispute mechanism (ISDS) in the UK-Canada FTA and will instead seek to consider alternative options for investment dispute resolution that are best suited to the bilateral relationship between the UK and Canada.

In seeking accession to CPTPP, the UK committed to the agreement’s existing standards, including its provisions on investor protections backed by a modern and transparent ISDS mechanism. These features balance the need to protect UK investors accessing and operating in CPTPP markets and ensure that the Government can regulate in the public interest.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
18th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, whether her Department sought a side letter similar to those agreed with the Governments of Australia and New Zealand to disapply investor–state dispute settlement provisions under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership during accession negotiations.

In seeking accession to CPTPP, the UK committed to the existing standards of this agreement, including its provisions on investor protections backed by a modern and transparent investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanism. These features balance the need to protect UK investors accessing and operating in CPTPP markets and to ensure that the Government can regulate in the public interest. In light of our investment relationship with Australia and New Zealand, we agreed side letters confirming that it was not necessary to have ISDS provisions between our countries in CPTPP.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps her Department is taking to help facilitate research into the (a) causes and (b) treatment of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Since 2012, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Medical Research Council (MRC) has awarded £6.2 million for research on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). This includes DecodeME, a significant strategic initiative co-funded by the National Institute of Health and Care Research in 2020, which aims to find genetic causes of ME/CFS in order to better understand the disease and ultimately to find treatments.

The Government works with the ME/CFS Priority Setting Partnership to identify research priorities in this area and MRC has an open highlight notice to encourage ME/CFS research.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of increasing public funding for research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

Since 2012, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s Medical Research Council (MRC) has awarded £6.2 million for research on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). This includes DecodeME, a significant strategic initiative co-funded by the National Institute of Health and Care Research in 2020, which aims to find genetic causes of ME/CFS in order to better understand the disease and ultimately to find treatments.

The Government works with the ME/CFS Priority Setting Partnership to identify research priorities in this area and MRC has an open highlight notice to encourage ME/CFS research.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports that Drax has paid more than $3 million in fines related to pollution in the US south, and if he will review Government support for Drax.

US air quality regulatory bodies have established robust processes for ensuring air quality requirements are adhered to. UK Government officials have discussed air quality with US counterparts and continue to liaise with them to ensure the government continues to have the most up-to-date information.

The forthcoming Biomass Strategy will review the amount of sustainable biomass available to the UK and how this resource could be best utilised across the economy to help achieve our net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050 while also supporting the delivery of our wider environmental targets.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Panorama report, aired on 3 October, on the environmental and financial cost of shipping wood pellets from North America to be burnt at Drax power station, whether his Department has made a recent assessment of those potential (a) financial and (b) environmental costs.

The UK only supports sustainable biomass use which can deliver genuine greenhouse gas emissions savings compared to fossil materials. The regulator Ofgem is responsible for auditing the sustainability of biomass used by electricity generators which receive support under the Renewables Obligation. Ofgem routinely checks whether the sustainability criteria have been met by generators.

Sustainability information is publicly available on Ofgem’s website, with the latest dataset accessible here: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/biomass-sustainability-dataset-2020-21. The forthcoming Biomass Strategy will set out recommendations for further enhancing the UK’s stringent biomass sustainability criteria.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish legal advice received in relation to the Liability of Trade Unions in Proceedings in Tort (Increase of Limits on Damages) Order 2022.

The Government does not propose to publish any legal advice received in relation to this Order.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason he did not carry out a consultation before laying the Liability of Trade Unions in Proceedings in Tort (Increase of Limits on Damages) Order 2022.

This change only increases the limits in line with inflation to match what they would have been had they increased year on year since 1982.

As no other changes to the trade union liabilities for damages regime are being proposed, the Government does not consider that further consultation is necessary.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason he did not initiate a consultation before laying the draft Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses (Amendment) Regulations 2022.

BEIS did consult. BEIS ran a consultation from 15 July to 9 September 2015 to gather views on what the impact would be of repealing the ban on agency workers. We received 167 substantive responses from a range of stakeholders. In addition to these responses, the TUC also submitted a petition opposing the repeal signed by 25,000 members, 1,500 of whom also made comments.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has asked the Financial Reporting Council to investigate audit firm Ernst & Young in response to the record fine issued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission in June 2022 for cheating on professional education courses to maintain its certified public accountant licensure.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is an independent regulator and independently decides whether an investigation should be commenced. The recent fine imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Ernst & Young (EY) in the United States relates to the conduct of EY and its audit professionals in the United States. The FRC is responsible for oversight of the qualification of external auditors in the UK and meets regularly with the SEC and also the Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board in the United States to discuss issues of common interest. The FRC has written to the seven largest UK audit firms about the impact of this issue and has published that letter on the FRC website on 13 July 2022.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many fines have been issued by the Financial Reporting Council for audit failures in each of the past five years for which figures are available.

The Financial Reporting Council has provided the following information on the fines it has imposed:

Financial year in which fines were imposed

Number of fines imposed against audit firms

Number of fines imposed against audit engagement partners at those firms

2017/18

4

4

2018/19

9

14

2019/20

6

6

2020/21

4

4

2021/22

9

9

2022/23 (so far)

0

0

This information reflects that set out in “Recent Enforcement sanctions imposed against Audit firms and Audit partners” published by the Financial Reporting Council, which is updated as and when further cases are concluded and is available at https://www.frc.org.uk/auditors/enforcement-division/enforcement-outcomes.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the announcement made on 30 June 2021 that the Government would remove unabated coal from the UK’s energy mix by 2024, whether that remains the Government's policy; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains committed to phasing out unabated coal generation by October 2024. The UK has already made excellent progress in reducing coal usage, with coal’s share of our electricity supply falling from 40% in 2012 to less than 2% in 2020.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what meetings he or his Ministers have held with the Financial Reporting Council since the fines issued in June 2022 to PWC for their audits of Kier and of Galliford.

Ministers have not met with the Financial Reporting Council in response to fines issued in June 2022 to PWC for their audits of Kier and of Galliford.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what meetings he or his Ministers have held with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US in response to its record fine against audit firm Ernst & Young in June 2022 for cheating on professional education courses to maintain its certified public accountant licensure; and if he will make a statement.

Ministers have not met with the Securities and Exchange Commission in response to its fine against Ernst & Young.

27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with (a) employers, (b) employment agencies, and (c) trade unions over plans to remove regulation 7 of the Conduct Regulations 2003.

The Government carried out a consultation on revoking the ban on using agency workers to cover strikes in 2015. The consultation asked what effect the removal would have on a wide variety of stakeholders, including workers, employment businesses, employers, employees on strike and about the impact on wider economy and society. It received a large number of substantive responses from a wide range of stakeholders, including employers, agencies and trade unions which have been carefully considered before deciding to proceed with removing Regulation 7 of the Conduct Regulations 2003.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the role of medium-sized family businesses in supporting growth as part of the recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.

Family run businesses make a key economic contribution to the UK economy. 77% of SME employers1 were defined as family-owned businesses in 2020 (a 3 percentage point increase on 20192) and they have been estimated to contribute 29 percent of UK GDP3. Over half of medium-sized businesses4 are family-owned (58%)5. Like other businesses they have been able to benefit from the unprecedented package of support that government continues to offer and we expect them to continue to play a key role in the recovery.

1 Businesses with 1-249 employees

2 Longitudinal Small Business Survey – SME employers, 2020 (BEIS)

3 Institute for Family Business Research Foundation, the UK Family Business Sector 2020-21

4 Businesses with 50-249 employees

5Longitudinal Small Business Survey – SME employers, 2020 (BEIS)

17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to undertake an investigation into the fire at the National Grid facility in Sellindge, Kent; and if he will make a statement.

The formal investigation into the fire at the Interconnexion France-Angleterre (IFA) interconnector is being led by National Grid Ventures, in their role as joint owner of the facility.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is working closely with National Grid Ventures to support the investigation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish details of the (a) meetings that Ministers in his Department have held with representatives of Ofgem in the last 12 months and (b) primary matter that was discussed at each of those meetings.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have regular meetings with Ofgem senior management.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of households in fuel poverty; and what forecast he has made of the number of households in fuel poverty in 2022-23.

The proportion of households classified as living in fuel poverty has fallen from 22.1% in 2010, to 15% in 2018, driven by improvements in the energy performance of homes. There are now 1.3 million fewer low-income households living in the least energy efficient homes (Band E, F or G) compared to 2010.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing outsourced workers in his Department into direct employment.

The Department periodically assesses its sourcing strategy, taking into consideration the HMG-published 'The Sourcing Playbook', which provides government guidance on service delivery including outsourcing, insourcing, mixed economy sourcing and contracting.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to address concerns around breaches of employment law by his Department's contractor, ISS.

The Department collaborates closely with the Government Property Agency (GPA) which manages the facilities management contract with ISS. With the support of GPA, the Department continuously works with ISS to ensure that its employment practices comply with employment legislation.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that contractors working in its buildings adhere to health and safety requirements; and whether his Department has taken enforcement action against contractors in relation to that matter.

Where appropriate, the Department works closely with contractors on health and safety matters, including reviewing health and safety practices, such as risk assessments, reviewing training information and protocols for staff working within the BEIS demise of buildings. The Department would work closely with enforcement agencies where relevant.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 18 March 2021 to Question 166306, on Competition and Markets Authority: Staff, if he will provide the same data for Non-Senior Civil Service performance management outcomes for (a) BAME staff (i) over the age of 55 and (ii) under the age of 24 and (b) female staff working for the Competition and Markets Authority in the 2019-20 performance year.

The CMA is unable to provide requested data for the Non-Senior Civil Service (‘non-SCS’) performance ratings for the 2019 - 2020 performance year for BAME staff over the age of 55 (a, i) and BAME staff under the age of 24 (a, ii) as the CMA does not disclose data for groups with fewer than 5 staff under a given protected characteristic (or combination of protected characteristics) for data protection and privacy reasons. The staff groups in the categories requested have small populations (7 and 12, respectively) which are further broken down to fewer than 5 when considered by each performance rating

The performance management outcomes for female staff for the 2019 - 2020 performance year are set out below. Male staff performance outcomes have been included for completeness. The table sets out the proportion of each performance rating that were awarded to staff of each gender

(b) Female staff

Performance Rating

Female

Male

Consistently Exceeding

47.2%

52.8%

Partially Exceeding

48.9%

51.1%

Consistently Achieving

53.3%

46.7%

Partially Achieving

50.1%

49.9%

Needs to Improve

25.0%

75.0%

Not Required (due to insufficient time in post)

49.9%

50.1%

CMA Non-SCS Profile

50.8%

49.2%

10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will place copies of the CMA’s internal reports (a) BAME Performance Ratings Review and (b) Equality Reporting Principles in the Library; and what assessment he has made of the reason for the Senior Civil Service performance management outcomes for BAME staff over the age of 55, and those under the age of 24 and female staff working for the Competition and Markets Authority in the 2019-20 performance year.

The CMA follows the guidance set out by Civil Service HR for the performance management of Senior Civil Servants (SCS).

It comprises individual performance planning and assessment together with personal development. The performance of job holders is assessed by taking account of both ‘what’ they have achieved, and ‘how’ they have achieved it. In the 2019 – 2020 performance year, the CMA had no SCS BAME staff over the age of 55, or under the age of 24. The data relating to the distribution of ratings for male and female members of the SCS is summarised below.

Male

Female

CMA SCS profile

56.6%

43.4%

Performance management outcomes

Top

71.1%

28.9%

Achieved

50.7%

49.3%

Low

66.7%

33.3%

Not required (due to insufficient time in post)

20.0%

80.0%

The BAME Performance Ratings Review was produced to allow a deeper analysis of the reasons and/or factors which could influence the distribution of performance ratings amongst BAME non-SCS staff. This work supports the CMA’s commitment to fully embed a diverse and inclusive culture within the CMA as detailed within the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2020 – 2024, and reinforces the work of the Race Action Plan 2020 – 2021. The Equality Reporting Principles set out the principles used for reporting performance rating distribution and CMA Staff Recognition Scheme outcomes for the purposes of the 2020 – 2021 non-SCS pay negotiation process. The CMA does not publish these documents externally as they were produced for internal purposes.

It is recognised that there are differences in SCS performance management outcomes for men and women. As detailed within the 2019 – 2020 Gender Pay Gap Report the CMA has already made progress in reducing its gender pay gap through a range of initiatives, and this continues to be an area of focus for the CMA.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many staff at the Competition and Markets Authority hold senior civil service roles at grade five or above, broken down by protected characteristics.

The number of CMA staff that hold Senior Civil Servants positions (grade five or above) as at 19 February 2021 is as follows. This has been broken down by protected characteristic1:

Age

Count

Under 34

3

35 - 44

53

45 - 54

45

55+

12

Disability

Count

Disabled

3

Not Disabled

92

Prefer not to say

3

Not Reportable2

17

Ethnicity

Count

BAME

3

Non-BAME

96

Prefer not to say

3

Not Reportable2

15

Gender

Count

Female

52

Male

62

Marital Status

Count

Married / Civil Partnership

66

Other Marital Status

33

Not Reportable2

15

Religious Belief

Count

Declared Religion or Belief

39

No Religion or Belief

54

Prefer not to say

6

Not Reportable2

15

Sexual Orientation

Count

LGBTQ+

5

Straight / Heterosexual

93

Prefer not to say

6

Not Reportable2

10

It should be noted that CMA staff of all contract types have been included in the tables listed above. This includes permanent staff, fixed-term contracts and those on loan from other government departments.

1 The CMA does not currently report on gender reassignment or pregnancy and maternity protected characteristics, as defined under the Equality Act (2020), due to the small number of staff.

2 Not Reportable refers to staff that have not disclosed information for a given diversity characteristic.

3 For groups with less than 5 staff under a given protected characteristic, these groups have been combined with larger groups and / or recorded as ‘

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average value of bonuses paid to non-senior civil service staff eligible for performance related pay at the Competition and Markets Authority has been in each financial year since 2015, broken down by protected characteristics.

The average (mean) value of performance related bonuses to non-SCS staff by protected characteristic1 for the financial years 2015/16 to 2020/21 is as follows. It should be noted that payments made in a given financial year are attributable to performance in the previous financial year.

Age

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

16 - 24

£0.00

£0.00

£0.00

£0.00

£288.08

£874.41

25 - 34

£1,164.79

£1,630.00

£1,623.61

£2,102.95

£1,105.31

£1,845.48

35 - 44

£1,826.05

£2,098.81

£2,356.92

£2,978.63

£1,624.57

£2,250.99

45 - 54

£2,141.31

£2,421.07

£2,272.87

£3,027.90

£1,353.08

£1,876.27

55 - 64

£1,625.16

£2,195.39

£1,927.40

£2,682.08

£1,139.67

£1,687.26

65+

£1,696.25

£661.33

£2,385.00

£3,630.00

£867.47

£1,325.00

Disability

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Disabled

£1,208.30

£1,654.22

£1,591.00

£2,675.00

£1,630.52

£2,316.86

Not Disabled

£1,785.01

£2,074.33

£2,107.57

£2,658.10

£1,278.88

£1,880.36

Not Reportable

£1,862.05

£2,021.93

£2,279.42

£2,844.06

£1,450.76

£2,164.22

Ethnicity

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

BAME

£1,217.54

£1,542.94

£1,638.15

£2,363.74

£1,180.51

£1,682.45

Non-BAME

£1,772.91

£2,061.00

£2,136.92

£2,776.90

£1,348.38

£1,979.60

Prefer not to say

£2,056.00

£2,620.25

£569.00

£4,000.00

£873.58

£737.60

Not Reportable

£2,351.43

£2,293.14

£2,543.70

£2,720.13

£1,604.28

£2,232.62

Gender

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Female

£1,804.01

£1,999.96

£2,149.27

£2,469.59

£1,218.69

£1,910.79

Male

£1,728.75

£2,063.20

£2,070.52

£2,945.74

£1,451.38

£1,946.10

Marital Status

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Married / Civil Partnership

£1,733.30

£2,060.78

£2,372.43

£2,984.02

£1,479.18

£2,033.39

Other Marital Status

£1,721.42

£1,942.37

£2,340.89

£2,515.19

£1,202.63

£1,862.71

Not Reportable

£1,969.78

£2,363.25

£1,885.74

£2,762.10

£1,664.53

£2,028.27

Religious Belief

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

Declared Religion or Belief

£1,417.42

£1,966.38

£2,019.61

£2,513.84

£1,263.08

£1,761.20

No Religion or Belief

£1,878.19

£2,015.48

£2,037.40

£2,829.85

£1,355.32

£2,039.18

Prefer not to say

£1,910.67

£2,364.00

£2,035.25

£2,775.00

£998.65

£1,922.22

Not Reportable

£2,245.56

£2,154.48

£2,483.85

£3,029.81

£1,626.40

£2,282.29

Sexual Orientation

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

LGBTQ+

£1,188.38

£2,496.40

£1,767.00

£2,743.11

£1,805.29

£2,030.67

Straight / Heterosexual

£1,710.97

£1,969.03

£2,078.45

£2,664.78

£1,269.27

£1,917.40

Prefer not to say

£1,899.22

£2,148.13

£2,018.00

£2,938.40

£1,155.14

£1,913.55

Not Reportable

£2,290.10

£2,380.00

£2,456.94

£2,943.36

£1,637.35

£2,000.67

Since the 2018/19 financial year, the CMA has calculated performance related bonuses as a flat rate payment which is tiered based on grade. Prior to the 2018/19 financial year, payments were made as a fixed percentage of a qualifying staff member’s base salary. In both approaches, it is noted that some groups of protected characteristics (e.g. younger staff between 25 - 34) received lower average performance related bonuses as they historically have primarily occupied more junior grades with lower base salaries.

1 The CMA does not currently report on gender reassignment or pregnancy and maternity protected characteristics, as defined under the Equality Act (2020), due to the small number of staff

2 Not Reportable refers to staff that have not disclosed information for a given diversity characteristic.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of non-senior civil service BAME staff employed by the Competition and Markets Authority have received a poor performance marking of partly achieved or needs to improve for the financial year 2019-20; and how that proportion directly compares to the proportion of non-BAME staff that have received that marking.

The proportion of BAME and non-BAME staff in receipt of ‘Partially Achieving’ or ‘Needs to Improve’ ratings for the performance year 2019 – 2020 is as follows:

Ethnicity

Partially Achieving

Needs to Improve

BAME

12.3%

1.1%

Non-BAME

5.0%

0.2%

Prefer not to say

21.4%

0.0%

Not Reportable1

6.3%

2.1%


It should be noted that only a small number of ‘Partially Achieving’ (52) and ‘Needs to Improve’ (4) were issued across 736 overall ratings. In addition, the ‘Prefer not to say’ cohort for ethnicity is only comprised of 16 staff


1 Not Reportable refers to staff that have not disclosed information for a given diversity characteristic.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many non-senior civil service staff at the Competition and Markets Authority will receive a performance related pay bonus for the financial year 2019-20, broken down by (a) ethnicity, (b) age, (c) gender, (d) part-time working and (e) other protected characteristics.

The number of staff by protected characteristic1 and part-time working that will receive a performance related payment for performance in the 2019 - 2020 financial year is as follows:


(a) Ethnicity

Ethnicity

Count

BAME

56

Non-BAME

208

Prefer not to say

3

Not Reportable2

21


(b) Age

Age

Count

16 - 24

10

25 - 34

123

35 - 44

84

45 - 54

55

55+

15

(c) Gender

Gender

Count

Female

139

Male

148

(d) Part-time working

Working Pattern

Count

Full Time

255

Part Time

32

(e) Other protected characteristics

Disability

Count

Disabled

12

Not Disabled

243

Not Reportable2

32

Marital Status

Count

Married / Civil Partnership

98

Other Marital Status

173

Not Reportable2

16

Religious Belief

Count

Declared Religion or Belief

124

No Religion or Belief

121

Prefer not to say

16

Not Reportable2

26

Sexual Orientation

Count

LGBTQ+

22

Straight / Heterosexual

241

Prefer not to say

12

Not Reportable2

12

1 The CMA does not currently report on gender reassignment or pregnancy and maternity protected characteristics, as defined under the Equality Act (2020), due to the small number of staff.

2 Not Reportable refers to staff that have not disclosed information for a given diversity characteristic.

3 For groups with less than 5 staff under a given protected characteristic, these groups have been combined with larger groups and / or recorded as ‘

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of non-senior civil service BAME staff employed by the Competition and Markets Authority is eligible for a performance related pay bonus for the financial year 2019-20; and how that proportion directly compares to the proportion of non-BAME staff that are eligible for that bonus.

The proportion of BAME and non-BAME staff that were eligible to receive a performance related pay bonus for performance in the 2019 - 2020 financial year is as follows.

It should be noted that staff in receipt of ‘Partially Exceeding’ and ‘Consistently Exceeding’ performance ratings were considered eligible to receive a performance related pay bonus.

Ethnicity

Eligible for Bonus

BAME

29.9%

Non-BAME

43.0%

Prefer not to say

12.5%

Not Reportable1

41.7%

1 Not Reportable refers to staff that have not disclosed information for a given diversity characteristic.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which (a) trade unions, (b) employers' organisations and (c) businesses his Department has consulted on the forthcoming consultation on employment rights.

There is no Government plan to reduce workers’ rights.

In our manifesto the government promised to maintain existing levels of protections for workers provided by our laws and regulations as we left the EU. In any case, our high standards were never dependent on our membership of the EU. The UK has one of the best employment rights records in the world and it is well known that in many areas the UK goes further than the EU on worker protections.

We have also committed to enhancing workers’ rights now that we have left the EU. We have already set out plans to bring forward legislation which will make workplaces fairer, provide better support for working families and new protections for those in low-paid work.

Our manifesto contains commitments to create a new, single enforcement body for labour market abuses, to give greater protections for workers, as well as plans to encourage greater flexible working.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the forthcoming consultation on employment rights will open.

There is no Government plan to reduce workers’ rights.

In our manifesto the government promised to maintain existing levels of protections for workers provided by our laws and regulations as we left the EU. In any case, our high standards were never dependent on our membership of the EU. The UK has one of the best employment rights records in the world and it is well known that in many areas the UK goes further than the EU on worker protections.

We have also committed to enhancing workers’ rights now that we have left the EU. We have already set out plans to bring forward legislation which will make workplaces fairer, provide better support for working families and new protections for those in low-paid work.

Our manifesto contains commitments to create a new, single enforcement body for labour market abuses, to give greater protections for workers, as well as plans to encourage greater flexible working.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to introduce rights to statutory bereavement leave for workers.

We recognise that the death of a close family member, friend, or colleague can be deeply upsetting. The Government believes that individuals are best placed to understand their own specific needs and we encourage their employers to respond in an appropriate and sensitive way.

Recognising that the death of a child is particularly tragic, in April 2020 we introduced a new statutory entitlement to Parental Bereavement Leave and Pay for parents who lose a child under the age of 18. Although there is no statutory entitlement to bereavement leave for employees who lose a close relative who is not a child, all employees have a ‘day 1’ right to take unpaid time off work for an emergency involving a dependant.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will create a net zero test for all infrastructure policy and spending decisions.

The UK’s climate change framework enables the Government to determine how best to balance emissions reductions across the economy. Any net emissions increase or decrease from infrastructure projects is managed within the Government’s overall strategy for meeting carbon budgets and the 2050 net zero target.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will place a moratorium on building high carbon infrastructure such as expanded airports as part of the covid-19 recovery package.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s ambitious Ten Point Plan will ensure that our recovery from coronavirus will be green, generate jobs, and bolster the economy, whilst continuing to drive down emissions both now and in the future. Covering clean energy, transport, nature, and innovative technologies, this plan will enable the UK to forge ahead on delivering its net zero target – and to build back better.

In the coming year, the Government will set out further plans for reducing emissions across the economy and delivering net zero. As part of this, the Government is committed to building a Britain with world class infrastructure. Spring Budget 2020 set out that the public sector will invest £640 billion over five years in our future prosperity. The Government will publish a National Infrastructure Strategy in due course, setting out further details on its long-term ambitions.

The UK’s climate change framework enables the Government to determine how best to balance emissions reductions across the economy. Any net emissions increase from infrastructure projects are managed within the Government’s overall strategy for meeting carbon budgets and the 2050 net zero target, as part of an economy-wide transition.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant the oral statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer entitled Summer Economic Update, Official Report, column 973, whether housing association landlords will be able to access the £50 million fund to pilot steps to decarbonise social housing.

The Summer Economic Update announced £50m to demonstrate innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing at scale, accelerating the delivery of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund envisaged by the manifesto. This will mean warmer and more energy efficient homes and could reduce annual energy bills by hundreds of pounds for some of the poorest households in society, as well as lowering carbon emissions.

Further details on the Social Housing Demonstrator, including eligibility, will be announced in in due course before the full launch in the Autumn.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the oral statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer entitled Summer Economic Update, Official Report, column 973, whether private rented sector tenants may apply for the green homes grant qualify for the full £10,000 if they are on a low income.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes.

Further detail on eligibility will be announced in due course, before the full launch of the scheme. Low income households will receive a higher rate of subsidy of up to 100% of the cost of measures.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the oral statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer entitled Summer Economic Update, Official Report, column 973, whether tenants can insist that their landlord applies for a green homes grant.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes.

Further detail on eligibility will be announced in due course, before the full launch of the scheme.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what mechanisms he has put in place to monitor the operation of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The British Business Bank (BBB) operates the BBLS via its group of accredited delivery partners.

In order to become an accredited delivery partner, lenders must provide a detailed submission, providing information on the applicant’s organisation and its intended use of the BBLS. The BBB then conducts due diligence, assessing the applicant’s business, governance, risk management and compliance frameworks.

Before being able to commence lending via the Scheme, a Lender will then be required to complete a number of preparatory steps. Firstly, the BBLS Guarantee Agreement must be signed by the Lender. This is a standard agreement, with limited scope to negotiate changes. The BBB will then provide the Lender with training on use of the BBB Reporting System, as well as general training and communications materials on how the Scheme works.

Accredited lenders must provide records of all eligible transactions on the BBB Reporting System in a timely and accurate manner in accordance with the guidance issued. The BBB Reporting System records details, the amount and terms of the lending, any extension of the terms of the lending, borrower default and claims against the guarantee of all BBLS-supported facilities. Lenders are also subject to periodic audits, whereby samples of transactions will be analysed during the audit to check that Scheme eligibility rules and processes have been followed.

This reporting, alongside other information on the performance of the Scheme and accredited lenders is fed into various governance fora including BBB, BEIS and HMT officials, as well as regular briefings to BEIS and HMT Ministers. Statistics showing the take up of the BBLS are published weekly by HM Treasury.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what due diligence assessment procedures have been put in place for the administering bodies of applicants for a Bounce Back Loan.

The British Business Bank (BBB) operates the BBLS via its group of accredited delivery partners.

In order to become an accredited delivery partner, lenders must provide a detailed submission, providing information on the applicant’s organisation and its intended use of the BBLS. The BBB then conducts due diligence, assessing the applicant’s business, governance, risk management and compliance frameworks.

Before being able to commence lending via the Scheme, a Lender will then be required to complete a number of preparatory steps. Firstly, the BBLS Guarantee Agreement must be signed by the Lender. This is a standard agreement, with limited scope to negotiate changes. The BBB will then provide the Lender with training on use of the BBB Reporting System, as well as general training and communications materials on how the Scheme works.

Accredited lenders must provide records of all eligible transactions on the BBB Reporting System in a timely and accurate manner in accordance with the guidance issued. The BBB Reporting System records details, the amount and terms of the lending, any extension of the terms of the lending, borrower default and claims against the guarantee of all BBLS-supported facilities. Lenders are also subject to periodic audits, whereby samples of transactions will be analysed during the audit to check that Scheme eligibility rules and processes have been followed.

This reporting, alongside other information on the performance of the Scheme and accredited lenders is fed into various governance fora including BBB, BEIS and HMT officials, as well as regular briefings to BEIS and HMT Ministers. Statistics showing the take up of the BBLS are published weekly by HM Treasury.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what procedures he has put in place to ensure probity in the administration of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

The British Business Bank (BBB) operates the BBLS via its group of accredited delivery partners.

In order to become an accredited delivery partner, lenders must provide a detailed submission, providing information on the applicant’s organisation and its intended use of the BBLS. The BBB then conducts due diligence, assessing the applicant’s business, governance, risk management and compliance frameworks.

Before being able to commence lending via the Scheme, a Lender will then be required to complete a number of preparatory steps. Firstly, the BBLS Guarantee Agreement must be signed by the Lender. This is a standard agreement, with limited scope to negotiate changes. The BBB will then provide the Lender with training on use of the BBB Reporting System, as well as general training and communications materials on how the Scheme works.

Accredited lenders must provide records of all eligible transactions on the BBB Reporting System in a timely and accurate manner in accordance with the guidance issued. The BBB Reporting System records details, the amount and terms of the lending, any extension of the terms of the lending, borrower default and claims against the guarantee of all BBLS-supported facilities. Lenders are also subject to periodic audits, whereby samples of transactions will be analysed during the audit to check that Scheme eligibility rules and processes have been followed.

This reporting, alongside other information on the performance of the Scheme and accredited lenders is fed into various governance fora including BBB, BEIS and HMT officials, as well as regular briefings to BEIS and HMT Ministers. Statistics showing the take up of the BBLS are published weekly by HM Treasury.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the (a) turnover and (b) number of employees is of companies awarded loans under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

At this time, we are unable to provide a breakdown of the turnover and number of employees at companies awarded loans under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). We are working with HM Treasury and the British Business Bank to consider what further data can be made available in the future.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he has taken to prevent fraud in the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Government takes the threat of fraud very seriously and a range of measures have been put in place to mitigate fraud and error risk for the loan schemes, including data and intelligence sharing arrangements, enabling us to work together and target known fraud threats.

At scheme design level, the rules of the scheme set out minimum standards in relation to fraud which highlight action lenders are expected to take to identify fraudulent applications. The British Business Bank’s (BBB) audit function enables BBB to sample portfolios of lending to assess regularity and take action if required.

For the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), we continue to work extensively with BBB and the lenders to strengthen the anti-fraud systems in place. For obvious reasons, I cannot go into specific detail about measures either in place or in development. For the same reason, it is not possible to release the number of fraudulent applications or associated investigations.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what mechanisms he has put in place specifically to detect fraud in relation to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Government takes the threat of fraud very seriously and a range of measures have been put in place to mitigate fraud and error risk for the loan schemes, including data and intelligence sharing arrangements, enabling us to work together and target known fraud threats.

At scheme design level, the rules of the scheme set out minimum standards in relation to fraud which highlight action lenders are expected to take to identify fraudulent applications. The British Business Bank’s (BBB) audit function enables BBB to sample portfolios of lending to assess regularity and take action if required.

For the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), we continue to work extensively with BBB and the lenders to strengthen the anti-fraud systems in place. For obvious reasons, I cannot go into specific detail about measures either in place or in development. For the same reason, it is not possible to release the number of fraudulent applications or associated investigations.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with the administering bodies for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme on putting in place mechanisms and procedures to prevent and detect fraud in that scheme.

The Government takes the threat of fraud very seriously and a range of measures have been put in place to mitigate fraud and error risk for the loan schemes, including data and intelligence sharing arrangements, enabling us to work together and target known fraud threats.

At scheme design level, the rules of the scheme set out minimum standards in relation to fraud which highlight action lenders are expected to take to identify fraudulent applications. The British Business Bank’s (BBB) audit function enables BBB to sample portfolios of lending to assess regularity and take action if required.

For the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), we continue to work extensively with BBB and the lenders to strengthen the anti-fraud systems in place. For obvious reasons, I cannot go into specific detail about measures either in place or in development. For the same reason, it is not possible to release the number of fraudulent applications or associated investigations.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether there have been any reported incidences of fraud in relation to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Government takes the threat of fraud very seriously and a range of measures have been put in place to mitigate fraud and error risk for the loan schemes, including data and intelligence sharing arrangements, enabling us to work together and target known fraud threats.

At scheme design level, the rules of the scheme set out minimum standards in relation to fraud which highlight action lenders are expected to take to identify fraudulent applications. The British Business Bank’s (BBB) audit function enables BBB to sample portfolios of lending to assess regularity and take action if required.

For the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), we continue to work extensively with BBB and the lenders to strengthen the anti-fraud systems in place. For obvious reasons, I cannot go into specific detail about measures either in place or in development. For the same reason, it is not possible to release the number of fraudulent applications or associated investigations.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many current investigations into fraud there are in relation to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Government takes the threat of fraud very seriously and a range of measures have been put in place to mitigate fraud and error risk for the loan schemes, including data and intelligence sharing arrangements, enabling us to work together and target known fraud threats.

At scheme design level, the rules of the scheme set out minimum standards in relation to fraud which highlight action lenders are expected to take to identify fraudulent applications. The British Business Bank’s (BBB) audit function enables BBB to sample portfolios of lending to assess regularity and take action if required.

For the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), we continue to work extensively with BBB and the lenders to strengthen the anti-fraud systems in place. For obvious reasons, I cannot go into specific detail about measures either in place or in development. For the same reason, it is not possible to release the number of fraudulent applications or associated investigations.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies in receipt of a Bounce Back Loan have (a) ceased trading and (b) entered into administration.

As of 5 July, over 1 million loans have been issued under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), with a total value of £31 billion.

We are currently unable to provide a breakdown on the number of companies in receipt of a Bounce Back Loan that have ceased trading and entered into administration.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) financial and (b) security checks are made of (i) owners or (ii) directors of multiple companies seeking loans under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme for each of the companies in which they have a financial stake.

A single business will not be eligible for multiple Bounce Back Loans; however, an individual who owns a number of separate businesses which do not fall under the same group, may apply for a Bounce Back Loan for each separate business entity. Business owners are required to self-certify that their business meets the eligibility criteria for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS). Any individual that knowingly provides false information is at risk of criminal prosecution for fraud.

Applications from eligible borrowers will also be subject to customer fraud, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many loans have been issued under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has been introduced to help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2000 and £50,000.

As of 5 July, 1,013,410 loans have been approved under the BBLS, with a total value of £30.93 billion. Banks are reporting that the average loan is around £30,000.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the value is of the loans granted under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has been introduced to help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2000 and £50,000.

As of 5 July, 1,013,410 loans have been approved under the BBLS, with a total value of £30.93 billion. Banks are reporting that the average loan is around £30,000.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average amount is of loans issued under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has been introduced to help small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2000 and £50,000.

As of 5 July, 1,013,410 loans have been approved under the BBLS, with a total value of £30.93 billion. Banks are reporting that the average loan is around £30,000.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many companies in each (a) industrial sector and (b) region of the UK have been awarded a loan under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

As of 5 July, 1,013,410 loans have been approved under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), with a total value of £30.93 billion.

At this time, we are unable to provide a breakdown of lending or number of applications by region or sector. The BBLS has been designed to be accessible across the UK and lenders have been accredited across the UK’s nations and regions.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19, published on 9 June 2020, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of maintaining the provision of contractual relief as a result of covid-19 in line with Procurement Policy Notice 02/20; which (a) companies and (b) work areas will be affected by changes to that contractual relief; and what the timeframe is for proposals to change that contractual relief.

The Department will continue to provide contractual relief to suppliers where it is appropriate and in line with Procurement Policy Note 02/20** and 04/20*. We will continue to work constructively with each supplier on a case by case basis to determine the future of each contract, ensuring they are sustainable and achieving value for money.

We continue to review this process in line with the guidance issued in Procurement Policy Note 04/20*. Conversations with suppliers regarding the nature and extent of specific financial relief are ongoing. We consider company names and work areas to constitute commercially sensitive information which we cannot disclose.

*https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0420-recovery-and-transition-from-covid-19

**https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0220-supplier-relief-due-to-covid-19

29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions she has has with the BBC Board on the future of investigative journalism in the BBC's programming.

The Secretary of State meets the BBC regularly to discuss a wide range of issues.

The BBC is operationally and editorially independent from the Government. While it is up to the BBC to decide how it delivers its services, the Government is clear that the BBC must make sure it continues to provide the news content required to deliver its remit, as set out in the Charter and Agreement.

The BBC's first Public Purpose in the Charter is to provide impartial news and information to help people understand and engage with the world around them. The Charter also makes clear that the BBC has a vital role to play in enabling all audiences to engage fully with major local, regional, national and global issues, and participate in the democratic process, at all levels, as active and informed citizens.

The Government expects Ofcom, as the BBC regulator, to ensure the BBC is held to account in delivering its public service duties.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the management of the Royal Parks Estate on the employment practices of private contractor Just Ask Estate Services Ltd; and whether she has received representations on that company not providing employees with accurate contracts of employment.

The management of the Royal Parks has been delegated by The Secretary of State to The Royal Parks Limited which is responsible for all operational decisions in relation to the maintenance of the Parks.

The Royal Parks Limited must, in the exercise of its public functions, have due regard to section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department takes to monitor the employment practices of private suppliers given contracts on the Royal Parks estates to ensure they comply with Public Sector Equalities Duties.

The management of the Royal Parks has been delegated by The Secretary of State to The Royal Parks Limited which is responsible for all operational decisions in relation to the maintenance of the Parks.

The Royal Parks Limited must, in the exercise of its public functions, have due regard to section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the management of The Royal Parks estate on the level of job reductions included within the tender contract specification for roles currently undertaken by those employed by Just Ask Estates Services Ltd across that estate.

The management of the Royal Parks has been delegated by The Secretary of State to The Royal Parks Limited which is responsible for all operational decisions in relation to the maintenance of the Parks.

The Royal Parks Limited must, in the exercise of its public functions, have due regard to section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans the Government has to allow the re-opening of tenpin bowling centres as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. From 1 August, we will reopen bowling alleys.

The Government is committed to reopening leisure facilities and visitor attractions, including bowling alleys, as soon as it is safe to do so. The Sport Working Group and the Visitor Economy Working Group both feed into the Cultural Renewal Taskforce, and ensure strong sector and expert support for the co-development of guidance. This will help ten pin bowling alleys become Covid-19 Secure and re-open as early as possible.

As with all aspects of the Government’s response to Covid-19, our decisions will continue to be based on scientific evidence and public health assessments.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional funding has been made available to further education colleges since their reclassification as public sector organisations in November 2022.

The department is investing an additional £185 million in the 2023/24 financial year and £285 million in the 2024/25 financial year to drive forward skills delivery in the further education sector. This funding is to help colleges and other providers to address their key priorities, particularly tackling recruitment and retention issues in high-value subject areas that are critical to the economy.

The above investment is in addition to the £125 million of funding made available in the 2023/24 financial year to boost the national 16 to 19 funding rate and subject-specific funding.

In the 2023/24 academic year, the department is applying a 2.2% increase to the final earnings for all adult education budget (AEB) formula-funded provision, excluding associated learner and learning support. In addition, the department is applying a 20% boost on top of earnings for all AEB formula-funded provision in six sector subject areas, including: Engineering, Manufacturing Technologies, Transport Operations and Maintenance, Building and Construction, ICT for Practitioners, and Mathematics and Statistics.

The department will make an initial downpayment over the next two years ahead of introducing the Advanced British Standard, with funding benefiting further education as follows:

- An additional investment of around £150 million each year to support those who do not pass mathematics and English GCSE at 16 to gain these qualifications. This will particularly benefit further education colleges, who play a vital role in helping close the attainment gap by 19.

- An increase in funding to colleges and schools so they can deliver maths to more students aged over 16, increasing the Core Maths and Advanced Maths Premium and investing in a digital platform for tutoring in Core Maths. In total this is £60 million of additional funding for maths education over the next two years of which further education institutions will potentially be able to benefit from the Core Maths Premium and Advanced Maths Premium.

- To improve the recruitment and retention of teachers of key shortage subjects around £100 million will be invested each year to double the rates of the Levelling Up Premium and expand it to cover all further education colleges. All teachers who are in the first five years of their career, teaching shortage subjects and working in disadvantaged schools and all further education colleges, will be paid up to £6,000 per year tax-free.

Since reclassification, £884 million of capital funding has been confirmed for further education colleges and designated institutions to fund condition improvement, expansion and the provision of specialist equipment and facilities. Some capital programmes have wider eligibility to also include sixth form colleges and other statutory sixth form providers.

  • £286 million further education capital transformation funding (final stage of £1.5 billion programme)
  • £150 million prioritising condition improvement of the college’s estate
  • £140 million Post 16 Capacity Funding (second round)
  • £125 million Local Skills Improvement Fund capital funding
  • £100 million T Level capacity funding (wave 5)
  • £53 million to improve energy efficiency
  • £30 million Higher Technical Education skills injection fund (round 2)

The department has also opened the college capital loans scheme in April to enable capital projects reliant on commercial borrowing to proceed as planned.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools in England have been built using Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC); and what steps she is taking to test the structural integrity of those buildings.

The Department is in the process of gathering information from responsible bodies of all schools, asking them to complete a questionnaire on the presence of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) in their premises.

The Department published updated guidance on RAAC in December 2022 and has appointed three leading structural surveying firms to investigate all cases of suspected RAAC. The Department is supporting responsible bodies to undertake this and their consultant structural engineers with assessing and managing RAAC in their estates. Where RAAC is confirmed, the Department helps access appropriate support through existing departmental programmes.

20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the potential reductions to university mathematics departments including Birkbeck University on the UK’s status in science and technology.

Higher education (HE) providers are independent, autonomous institutions responsible for their own decisions on staffing issues, including how they structure themselves to deliver research and teaching priorities. Where it is necessary to reshape their activities, it is important that universities carefully consider the impact of job losses on staff and students and the overall sustainability of teaching and research.

The department will continue to work closely with the Office for Students (OfS) and various parties including a variety of HE providers across the sector, mission groups and other government departments to understand the ongoing impacts and changing landscape of financial sustainability in the HE sector. The OfS collects financial data from HE providers, and analyse this to ensure they have an up to date understanding of the sustainability of the sector. Where the OfS identifies concerns about the financial viability of an HE provider, they will implement enhanced monitoring of that provider.

The government is committed to securing the UK’s status as a science and technology superpower, and in doing so, levelling up across the country. To achieve this, the department is investing in programmes that aim to achieve this at all levels of education, such as the Prime Minister’s recently announced mission to ensure all pupils study some form of maths up to the age of 18. Additionally, the department is investing in science, technology, engineering and maths in higher education, with an additional £750 million over the next three years to support high quality teaching and facilities including in science and engineering, subjects that support the NHS, and degree apprenticeships. This includes the largest increase in government funding for the HE sector to support students and teaching in over a decade. Several government strategies are also in place to support the science and technology superpower ambition and levelling up aims, including the UK Innovation Strategy (2021), the National AI Strategy (2021), and the UK Digital Strategy (2022). These strategies set out how we will strengthen our reserves of talent and skills in order to drive success.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of potential cuts to the Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics at Birkbeck, University of London, on higher education opportunities for (a) mature and (b) BAME students.

Overall, there are higher proportions of mature students and students from Black, Asian, Mixed or Other backgrounds at Birkbeck College than within the higher education (HE) sector as a whole.

HE providers are independent, autonomous institutions, responsible for their own decisions on staffing issues, including how they structure themselves to deliver research and teaching priorities. Where it is necessary to reshape their activities, it is important that universities carefully consider the impact of job losses on staff and students and the overall sustainability of teaching and research.

The department’s access and participation reforms announced in November 2021 are playing a key role in ensuring individuals can get the support they need to make decisions that are right for them, regardless of their age, ethnicity, geographical region or socio-economic background.

The government has issued guidance to the Office for Student asking it to refocus the entire access and participation regime to create a system that supports people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring students are able to make the right choices, accessing and succeeding on high quality courses which are valued by employers and lead to good graduate employment. This work aims to drive up standards in education and focus in on genuine social justice.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has had discussions with representatives of Birkbeck, University of London, on potential cuts to its Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics.

Overall, there are higher proportions of mature students and students from Black, Asian, Mixed or Other backgrounds at Birkbeck College than within the higher education (HE) sector as a whole.

HE providers are independent, autonomous institutions, responsible for their own decisions on staffing issues, including how they structure themselves to deliver research and teaching priorities. Where it is necessary to reshape their activities, it is important that universities carefully consider the impact of job losses on staff and students and the overall sustainability of teaching and research.

The department’s access and participation reforms announced in November 2021 are playing a key role in ensuring individuals can get the support they need to make decisions that are right for them, regardless of their age, ethnicity, geographical region or socio-economic background.

The government has issued guidance to the Office for Student asking it to refocus the entire access and participation regime to create a system that supports people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring students are able to make the right choices, accessing and succeeding on high quality courses which are valued by employers and lead to good graduate employment. This work aims to drive up standards in education and focus in on genuine social justice.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support lifelong learning and access to education in the UK.

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

The government is investing £1.6 billion through the National Skills Fund over the next three years, to help adults gain the skills that are sought by employers. The fund will make sure adults, at any age, can upskill to reach their potential and transform their lives.

As part of this investment, we have introduced the Free Courses for Jobs scheme, which enables learners without a level 3 qualification, or learners with any qualification level who are unemployed or earning below the National Living Wage, to gain a level 3 qualification for free.

Those who want to upskill in their role, are looking for a job, or are changing career, can take part in Skills Bootcamps. Skills Bootcamps are free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with an employer. Skills Bootcamps are currently available across England, offering training in digital, technical (including engineering and manufacturing), construction, logistics (HGV driving), and green skills (including heat pump engineer and electric vehicle charging point installation), and have the potential to transform the skills landscape for adults and employers.

We are on track to deliver 16,000 Skills Bootcamps training places in the 2021/22 financial year. The department will continue to significantly expand Skills Bootcamps further following the announcement of up to £550 million additional funding across financial years 2022 to 2025, including up to £150 million in financial year 2022/23.

The department is continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB). The AEB fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to help them gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning. In the academic year 2022/23 this funding totals £1.34 billion.

Apprenticeships are accessible to people of all ages and can support people to re-train and upskill throughout their lives. We are increasing investment in apprenticeships to £2.7 billion by 2024/25.

In November 2021, the department issued guidance to the Office for Students, tasking them to refocus the access and participation regime to create a system that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds throughout their education. Higher education providers should be working meaningfully with schools to ensure that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are encouraged and supported to achieve the highest possible grades to succeed, whether that be an apprenticeship or higher technical qualification, or a course at another university.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Working Together to Safeguard Children' guidance, updated on 1 July 2022, whether he plans to make changes to that guidance so that local authorities are required to notify his Department following the death of a care-leaver.

The latest figures on the number of deaths of care leavers were published here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/methodology/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions-methodology#content-section-4-content-11. The table shows rounded data between 2019 and 2021 for care leavers who have died aged between 17 and 21. A young person will be recorded in more than one year, for example, if a young person died in the year they turned 20, then they will also be reported in the figures the following year for those aged 21.

The department is considering a revision to the statutory ‘Working together to safeguard children (2018)’ guidance as part of the detailed and ambitious implementation strategy that will be published later this year in response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, national review into the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson and the Competition and Markets Authority study. The guidance currently places a duty on local authorities to notify the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel when a child dies or is seriously harmed, and neglect or abuse is known or suspected. In addition, local authorities are also required to notify the department and Ofsted of the death of a looked after child, regardless of neglect or abuse being known or suspected. The department will consider whether to revise the requirement on local authorities to include the notification of the death of a care leaver as part of this consultation process.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to release publicly accessible data on deaths of care-leavers in addition to deaths of children in care already published.

The latest figures on the number of deaths of care leavers were published here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/methodology/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoptions-methodology#content-section-4-content-11. The table shows rounded data between 2019 and 2021 for care leavers who have died aged between 17 and 21. A young person will be recorded in more than one year, for example, if a young person died in the year they turned 20, then they will also be reported in the figures the following year for those aged 21.

The department is considering a revision to the statutory ‘Working together to safeguard children (2018)’ guidance as part of the detailed and ambitious implementation strategy that will be published later this year in response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, national review into the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson and the Competition and Markets Authority study. The guidance currently places a duty on local authorities to notify the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel when a child dies or is seriously harmed, and neglect or abuse is known or suspected. In addition, local authorities are also required to notify the department and Ofsted of the death of a looked after child, regardless of neglect or abuse being known or suspected. The department will consider whether to revise the requirement on local authorities to include the notification of the death of a care leaver as part of this consultation process.

18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to help ensure that opportunities for play will be encouraged, supported and facilitated through Early Years provision as part of covid-19 catch-up strategies; and if he will make a statement.

To support education recovery, the department is investing up to £180 million of recovery support in the early years (EY) sector. This will be used to build a stronger, more expert workforce, enabling education providers to deliver high quality teaching and help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the youngest children, particularly those in the most disadvantaged areas. The support includes up to £153 million which will provide the opportunity for evidence-based professional development for EY practitioners.

New programmes will focus on key areas such as speech and language development, and physical and emotional development for the youngest children, for which play is an important part. The department is also investing up to £17 million for the Nuffield Early Language Intervention and up to £10 million for a second phase of the EY professional development programme in the 2021/22 academic year, targeted to support EY staff working with disadvantaged children.

The package will build on EY foundation stage reforms. These will support more effective EY curriculum and assessment, reducing unnecessary assessment paperwork so that practitioners and teachers can spend more time engaging children in enriching activities, including play, to support their learning.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to introduce (a) regulations and (b) mandatory data-gathering on the restraint of children during secure transportation equal to that for children restrained in secure accommodation.

All children’s homes, including secure children’s homes, are governed by the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015. These have provisions around behaviour and restraint. The Regulations and quality standards require homes to have a behaviour management policy that focuses on establishing positive relationships with young people, encourages acceptable behaviour, and sets out acceptable restraint measures.

There is a requirement for homes to record any incidents of restraint under Regulation 35 of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015, though central government does not collect any data on the use of restraint. The Regulations 2015, the guide to the children’s homes regulations, and the quality standards outline the types of support children receive from the home if they have been restrained. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to:

  • See a medical professional if they request it.
  • See or speak with an advocate directly via their pre-programmed phone in their rooms without having to ask staff.
  • Contact others on their pre-programmed phone, including their social worker, the children’s commissioner, or Ofsted.

There is also a requirement under Regulation 40 of the Regulations 2015 for the registered person to inform Ofsted of any incident in relation to a child that they consider to be serious. The department is clear that restraint is only permissible in a very narrow range of circumstances, as set out in Regulation 20, and must always be necessary and proportionate.

In 2019, the government published guidance on reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention, available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/812435/reducing-the-need-for-restraint-and-restrictive-intervention.pdf.

Regarding the use of restraint during secure transportation, the registered person and relevant local authority (LA) have a responsibility to ensure that children are kept safe, and their welfare is promoted. If transportation is arranged by the LA who has responsibility for the child, then the care of the child would fall to them. Where LAs have contract arrangements with transport services, the department expects the same approach to the use of restraint to be applied.

There is a review of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 planned for the near future. The department will revisit guidance on the use of restraint and strengthen the law in this area if our findings prove this is necessary.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department provides to children in secure accommodation after they have been restrained; and whether that same level of support is provided to children who have been restrained by secure transportation providers.

All children’s homes, including secure children’s homes, are governed by the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015. These have provisions around behaviour and restraint. The Regulations and quality standards require homes to have a behaviour management policy that focuses on establishing positive relationships with young people, encourages acceptable behaviour, and sets out acceptable restraint measures.

There is a requirement for homes to record any incidents of restraint under Regulation 35 of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015, though central government does not collect any data on the use of restraint. The Regulations 2015, the guide to the children’s homes regulations, and the quality standards outline the types of support children receive from the home if they have been restrained. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to:

  • See a medical professional if they request it.
  • See or speak with an advocate directly via their pre-programmed phone in their rooms without having to ask staff.
  • Contact others on their pre-programmed phone, including their social worker, the children’s commissioner, or Ofsted.

There is also a requirement under Regulation 40 of the Regulations 2015 for the registered person to inform Ofsted of any incident in relation to a child that they consider to be serious. The department is clear that restraint is only permissible in a very narrow range of circumstances, as set out in Regulation 20, and must always be necessary and proportionate.

In 2019, the government published guidance on reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention, available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/812435/reducing-the-need-for-restraint-and-restrictive-intervention.pdf.

Regarding the use of restraint during secure transportation, the registered person and relevant local authority (LA) have a responsibility to ensure that children are kept safe, and their welfare is promoted. If transportation is arranged by the LA who has responsibility for the child, then the care of the child would fall to them. Where LAs have contract arrangements with transport services, the department expects the same approach to the use of restraint to be applied.

There is a review of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 planned for the near future. The department will revisit guidance on the use of restraint and strengthen the law in this area if our findings prove this is necessary.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support children living in secure accommodation receive after they have been restrained; and how incidents of restraint are recorded by relevant authorities.

All children’s homes, including secure children’s homes, are governed by the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015. These have provisions around behaviour and restraint. The Regulations and quality standards require homes to have a behaviour management policy that focuses on establishing positive relationships with young people, encourages acceptable behaviour, and sets out acceptable restraint measures.

There is a requirement for homes to record any incidents of restraint under Regulation 35 of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015, though central government does not collect any data on the use of restraint. The Regulations 2015, the guide to the children’s homes regulations, and the quality standards outline the types of support children receive from the home if they have been restrained. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to:

  • See a medical professional if they request it.
  • See or speak with an advocate directly via their pre-programmed phone in their rooms without having to ask staff.
  • Contact others on their pre-programmed phone, including their social worker, the children’s commissioner, or Ofsted.

There is also a requirement under Regulation 40 of the Regulations 2015 for the registered person to inform Ofsted of any incident in relation to a child that they consider to be serious. The department is clear that restraint is only permissible in a very narrow range of circumstances, as set out in Regulation 20, and must always be necessary and proportionate.

In 2019, the government published guidance on reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention, available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/812435/reducing-the-need-for-restraint-and-restrictive-intervention.pdf.

Regarding the use of restraint during secure transportation, the registered person and relevant local authority (LA) have a responsibility to ensure that children are kept safe, and their welfare is promoted. If transportation is arranged by the LA who has responsibility for the child, then the care of the child would fall to them. Where LAs have contract arrangements with transport services, the department expects the same approach to the use of restraint to be applied.

There is a review of the Children’s Homes (England) Regulations 2015 planned for the near future. The department will revisit guidance on the use of restraint and strengthen the law in this area if our findings prove this is necessary.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to introduce a minimum guarantee of access to early years services.

The department is leading a cross government approach to champion the family hub model. The government is investing over £34 million to champion family hubs. This includes a National Centre for Family Hubs to provide expert advice, guidance and advocacy; a £10 million transformation fund to open family hubs in around 10 new areas in England; an evaluation innovation fund to build the evidence base; and work with local authorities to develop data and digital products that will support the practical implementation of family hubs. Further details are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/20m-to-provide-more-early-help-for-vulnerable-families.

Alongside this, the government is committed to delivering the action areas set out in the Early Years Healthy Development Review led by my right hon. Friend, the member for South Northamptonshire: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-best-start-for-life-a-vision-for-the-1001-critical-days.

One key action area was to champion Family Hubs as a place where parents and carers can access Start for Life services. To support delivery of this, the National Centre for Family Hubs will support councils to understand how best to build a Family Hub network and to take steps at a national and local level to reduce the stigma some parents or carers experience when asking for help. We will consider the recommendations in the Action for Children report as we take forward this work.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of Action for Children in their report, Barriers to accessing early years services for children, published 21 September 2021.

The department is leading a cross government approach to champion the family hub model. The government is investing over £34 million to champion family hubs. This includes a National Centre for Family Hubs to provide expert advice, guidance and advocacy; a £10 million transformation fund to open family hubs in around 10 new areas in England; an evaluation innovation fund to build the evidence base; and work with local authorities to develop data and digital products that will support the practical implementation of family hubs. Further details are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/20m-to-provide-more-early-help-for-vulnerable-families.

Alongside this, the government is committed to delivering the action areas set out in the Early Years Healthy Development Review led by my right hon. Friend, the member for South Northamptonshire: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-best-start-for-life-a-vision-for-the-1001-critical-days.

One key action area was to champion Family Hubs as a place where parents and carers can access Start for Life services. To support delivery of this, the National Centre for Family Hubs will support councils to understand how best to build a Family Hub network and to take steps at a national and local level to reduce the stigma some parents or carers experience when asking for help. We will consider the recommendations in the Action for Children report as we take forward this work.

20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to improve accessibility to early years services.

High quality, accessible childcare is important in ensuring that every child has the best possible start in life. As of 31 March 2021, 96% of providers on the Ofsted Early Years Register were judged Good or Outstanding, a substantial increase from 74% in 2012. Ofsted are responsible for monitoring the quality of provision.

The department continues to monitor the sufficiency of childcare through regular attendance data collection and monitoring the open or closed status of providers. We also discuss sufficiency of provision in regular conversations with local authorities. Local authorities are not currently reporting any significant sufficiency or supply issues and we have not seen a significant number of parents unable to secure a childcare place, either this term or since early years settings re-opened fully on 1 June 2020. The department provides support to local authorities with low take up of the entitlements.

All 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to 15 hours free childcare each week, providing children with high-quality early education. Take-up of this entitlement is high, with 90% of 3 and 4 year olds registered for a 15 hours per week free early education place in January 2021. Eligible working parents of 3 and 4 year olds are entitled to an additional 15 hours to help them with the additional costs associated with childcare. Households on a low income of under £15,400 (or £16,190 if receiving child tax credits) can qualify for 15 hours free childcare for 2 year olds.

In addition to free early education entitlements, the government offers Tax-Free Childcare for children from 0 to 11 years old, or up to 16 if disabled. For every £8 parents pay into their Tax-Free Childcare account, the government will pay £2, up to a maximum of £2,000 per child per year. For disabled children, the maximum is £4,000 per year. In total, 308,000 families used Tax-Free Childcare for 364,000 children in June 2021.

Working parents on a low income may also be eligible for help with up to 85% of their childcare costs (for children under 16) through Universal Credit Childcare. This is subject to a monthly limit of £646 for one child or £1108 for two or more children, payable in arrears.

As part of the COVID-19 education recovery strategy we are investing £180 million for training for early years staff to support the very youngest children’s learning and development. This includes Nuffield Early Language Intervention, improving the language skills of reception age children who need it most during COVID-19. Two thirds of eligible primary schools have signed up and we estimate 90,000 reception age children will get extra support with their speech and language development. Further detail on the additional training will be made available in due course.

11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what salary is proposed for the new post of Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom; and what budget will be made available to that postholder.

The Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom will be responsible for overseeing the performance of the Office for Students’ (OfS) freedom of speech functions, including the monitoring and enforcement of freedom of speech registration conditions and the new students’ unions duties, as well as the new complaints scheme under the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill.

The salary of the Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom has not yet been determined. They will be recruited through the public appointments process.

The department will work closely with the OfS to ensure it has the necessary resources to fulfil its duties.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the annual budget was for the Office for Students in the (a) 2019-20 and (b) 2020-21 financial years; and what the budget is for the 2021-22 and (b) 2022-23 financial years.

The budgets for the Office for Students (OfS) for financial years 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 are as follows:

2019-20 - £1.5 billion

2020-21 - £1.5 billion

2021-22 - £1.5 billion

2022-23 - Not yet confirmed

The funding for the financial year 2022-23 will be confirmed as part of the Spending Review.

The OfS budget includes the Strategic Priorities Grant. The Grant is funding supplied by the government on an annual basis to support higher education (HE) providers’ ongoing teaching and related activities. Since 2012, grant funding has been reduced, while student fees income has increased for HE providers. Fees now make up the bulk of providers’ income. The Strategic Priorities Grant accounts for a relatively small proportion of the total income of HE providers today.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to prioritise the replacement of Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme (CLASP) schools in the School Rebuilding Programme to ensure that teachers and schoolchildren are safe from asbestos.

The Department takes the issue of asbestos in schools very seriously, and is committed to supporting schools, local authorities and academy trusts to fulfil their duty to manage asbestos safely. Expert advice from the Health and Safety Executive is that if asbestos is unlikely to be damaged or disturbed then it is best managed in situ. We are clear that if asbestos does pose a safety risk and cannot be effectively managed in situ, then it should be removed from schools.

Since 2015, the Government has allocated over £9.5 billion, including an additional £560 million in financial year 2020/21 to those responsible for school buildings for essential maintenance and improvements, including removing or encapsulation when it is the safest course of action to do so.

In February, we announced the first 50 schools to benefit from the new School Rebuilding Programme as part of a commitment to 500 projects over the next decade. School Rebuilding Programme investment is targeted on the basis of buildings’ condition. A full explanation of the methodology used to prioritise the first 50 schools has been published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-rebuilding-programme.

The Department intends to consult later this year on the approach to prioritising schools for the longer-term programme. Further details will be set out at that time and we would welcome the views of the school sector and other interested parties, including on whether particular types of building should be prioritised.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to improve the quality of information available on the rates of infection and transmission of covid-19 in educational settings.

The Department regularly reviews advice from Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), Public Health England, the Office for National Statistics and other sources to ensure our policies are guided by the most up to date scientific evidence. SAGE have committed to publishing minutes and papers following meetings on a regular basis and we will continue to work closely with them, keeping the guidance under review as we continue to monitor the situation over the winter. The Department will adjust and adapt our approach as necessary if more evidence becomes available.

The Department collects daily data on the open status of schools, the number of schools that have indicated they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment, the number of pupils absent because they have suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, and the number of pupils asked to isolate due to contact with a potential case.

The data from this collection is published at a national level as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Public Health England also collects data on infection, incidence, and COVID-19 cases overall and publishes weekly data on COVID-19 incidents by institution, including educational settings. This can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/936672/Weekly_COVID-19_and_Influenza_Surveillance_Graphs_w47.pdf. It shows COVID-19 clusters or outbreaks by educational setting, including colleges and universities. Age-range data is also available from the Office for National Statistics here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/coronaviruscovid19infectionsurveypilot/20november2020. This shows age-range positive test rates, including for academic school Year 12 to age 24.

The department intends to publish school workforce attendance data from the new year. This data will be included as part of the publication ‘Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak’.

The Department is continuing to review what we publish in our weekly dataset, alongside the quality of data we collect.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies on keeping schools open and functioning effectively of the performance of the test and trace system.

Keeping schools and colleges open is one of the Government’s highest priorities. Being at school is vital for the education of children, and for their wellbeing. Time spent out of school is detrimental to the cognitive and academic development of children, particularly for disadvantaged children. It continues to be the Department’s aim that all pupils, in all year groups, remain in school full-time.

Those who have COVID-19 symptoms, or have someone in their household who does, must not attend school. All staff and students who are attending a school or college have access to a test if they display symptoms of COVID-19 and are encouraged to get tested. Guidance on how schools should respond to COVID-19 cases is available through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Testing capacity is the highest it has ever been. The UK’s daily COVID-19 testing capacity passed the 500,000 mark on 31 October and continues to expand. In order to support schools further, the Department is also supplying COVID-19 test kits directly to them for both staff and students who develop the symptoms of COVID-19 and face significant barriers to accessing a test through existing routes.

Schools are playing a vital role in supporting the test and trace system. Where someone who has attended tests positive for COVID-19, schools are taking swift action to send home close contacts of the positive case, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious. There is a dedicated advice line to help schools, colleges or early years settings to implement the most appropriate public health measures once a case is confirmed. If, following triage, further expert advice is required, the adviser will escalate the school’s call to the Public Health England local health protection team.

The Government is committed to introducing mass asymptomatic testing using new technologies to minimise the risk of infection spread in our communities, and pilots are already underway for using them in schools and colleges. Establishing this testing capability will enable students to continue their studies safely, and ensure staff are able to continue to deliver education and support.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, steps he is taking to improve understanding of the guidance on the use of personal protective equipment in (a) schools and (b) other educational settings.

COVID-19 related Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use is very limited for staff in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, and relates only to:

  • when caring for a child or individual who develops symptoms while attending their setting (and only then if a distance of two metres cannot be maintained),
  • when a child or individual already has routine intimate care needs that involve the use of PPE, for example when undertaking aerosol generating procedures.

Further guidance on the use of PPE in education and childcare settings is available through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care/safe-working-in-education-childcare-and-childrens-social-care-settings-including-the-use-of-personal-protective-equipment-ppe.

We continue to give schools and others in the education and childcare sectors information about our guidance, and any changes to it, through regular Departmental communications.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to (a) procure and (b) deliver (i) laptops and (ii) other home internet access to disadvantaged students in a timely manner during the covid-19 outbreak.

As part of over £195 million invested to support remote education and access to online social care, over half a million laptops and tablets are being made available this year to support disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 whose face-to-face education may be disrupted.

Since September 2020, over 100,000 of these devices have already been delivered to schools. This supplements over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers, which have already been delivered during the summer term.

The Department is also working with mobile network operators to provide temporary access to free additional data, offering families flexibility to access the resources that they need the most. As part of a pilot, disadvantaged families have been able to access a free mobile data uplift for this term.

The Department is now working with mobile operators to provide a national service until the end of the 2020-21 academic year. We will continue to invite a range of mobile providers to support the offer.

These laptops and tablets are the property of the trust, local authority or school, and so will benefit children’s education long after we come out of the measures required to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

More information on deliveries in this term can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/929064/Ad-hoc_stats_note_shipped_data_231020_FINAL.pdf.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether parents who are concerned that their children returning to school in May, June or July will be at risk from covid-19 and associated conditions will be able to keep them at home and away from school at least until the commencement of the September term.

From the week commencing 1 June, at the earliest, we will be asking primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers). We will only do this provided that the five key tests set by government justify the changes at the time.

By returning pupils gradually, settings can initially reduce the number of children and young people in classrooms compared to usual and put protective measures in place to reduce risks.

Eligible children – including priority groups - are strongly encouraged to attend their education setting, unless they are self-isolating or they are clinically vulnerable. Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time and schools will not be held to account for attendance levels.

Further guidance for parents and carers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers.

12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what guidance his Department has issued to (a) schools and (b) colleges on assessing the grades of students that are due to resit A-level examinations.

These are matters for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. I have asked its Chief Regulator, Sally Collier, to write the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the safety of imported food under the Border Target Operating Model.

The Government’s absolute priority in delivering the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM) is to protect and enhance food safety, and plant, animal and public health. The BTOM sets outs out a risk-based, proportionate regime of controls which systematically assesses the inherent biosecurity or public health risk presented by an import, together with the prevalence of relevant pests and diseases and our confidence in the exporting country’s production standards and health controls. This assessment allows us to set controls at the most appropriate level and focus on the areas of highest risk to ensure food safety.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she plans to publish a consultation on the use of cages for farmed animals.

We have delivered an ambitious legislative programme since the publication of the Action Plan, which will deliver significant improvements for animals in the UK and abroad. We are firmly committed to maintaining our strong track record on animal welfare and to delivering continued improvements, both in the course of this Parliament and beyond.

Our recent announcement on delivering the measures in the Kept Animals Bill through single measure Bills will help us to deliver two further commitments in the plan, including the ban on live exports. These are our key priorities. We do not consider the time is right to consult on cage reforms, being mindful of the challenges the sectors are facing. The market is already driving the move away from using cages for laying hen production. The proportion of eggs that come from caged hens has steadily decreased from 47% of total throughput in Q4 2017, to 21% in Q1 2023.

We continue to work with the sector to maintain and enhance our high standards. The Government’s animal welfare priorities for its Animal Health and Welfare Pathway include supporting producers to transition away from confinement systems.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment. Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with supermarkets on profit levels and food pricing in response to increased food price inflation.

Defra has regular discussions with food retailers about a range of issues, including the impact of food price inflation. We are closely monitoring the situation and taking action to maintain an efficient food supply chain by mitigating against any potential burdens or friction which could otherwise drive up consumer food prices. In addition, Defra continues to work with supermarkets and producers to explore the range of measures they can take to ensure the availability of affordable food. However, it is not for HM Government to set retail food prices nor to comment on day-to-day commercial decisions by companies. We do not actively monitor the profits of food retailers.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with senior representatives at Kew Gardens on funding for that institution as a result of the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the outbreak on the (a) finances and (b) functionality of that institution.

Defra has regular meetings with Kew Gardens about the impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak. There are significant impacts on Kew’s operations and finances, mainly as a result of having to close the Kew and Wakehurst Place sites to the public for a period during lockdown, and a staggered return to full operations is anticipated through 2020/21.

Kew has reopened to the public under a carefully planned approach and is now able to generate visitor income as a result, although at a significantly lower level than would normally be anticipated. The operational facilities are being kept under review with a view to maximising visitor access within social distancing guidelines. Kew has taken financial mitigation measures to partly offset the loss of income, including reducing costs, postponing investment plans and use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Under optimistic scenario planning of steady growth in visitor numbers and associated income and no second lockdown or related restrictions, their in-year operating deficit would result in a 25% reduction in total income for 2020/21, which will be funded by Kew drawing down its unrestricted reserves.

We continue to work with Kew to monitor the situation and any future challenges.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department holds any information about assurances provided to the Government by the government of Israel that equipment exported to Israel from the UK by Elbit has not been re-exported to other countries.

Export licence applications are supported by an end user undertaking that sets out the specific purposes for which the goods are to be used by the end user, including if applicable, where the goods are being incorporated and or re-exported. This includes an undertaking not to re-export goods for weapons of mass destruction purposes where to do so would breach UK international obligations.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department holds information on whether any equipment that has been exported by Elbit to Israel has been re-exported by (a) Elbit Israel and (b) subsidiaries of Elbit Israel as (i) whole military systems or (ii) components in Elbit Israel's military exports to (A) countries which are Human Rights Priority countries for the Government (B) countries which are in conflict with other states and (C) countries to which the direct export of that equipment from the UK would constitute a violation of (I) the UN's Arms Embargo list or (II) the UK's Strategic Exporting Licence Criteria.

Exporters are required to advise His Majesty’s Government of the ultimate end user of their goods, to the extent that is known at the time of their application. The government’s assessment and decision will take into account the end user and ultimate end user. We will not issue a licence where to do so would be inconsistent with the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, including where it would breach sanctions or where exports could contribute to or undermine regional peace and security. Information about export licences is published quarterly as official statistics on Gov.uk. My Department only holds comprehensive information about exports from the UK which are subject to controls and have an export licence. We do not hold detailed or specific information about all exports from the UK. We do not hold any information on exports from Israel.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department holds information on whether any equipment that has been exported by Elbit to Israel has been used by the Israeli armed forces in any Israeli/Palestinian conflicts from inception to completion since its delivery.

HM Government only holds information on items exported by Elbit Systems UK Limited which were subject to strategic export controls. We can advise that since 2011 the company have had licences granted for the items below:

Items licenced for export

Control Entry

Licence Issued

components for military communications equipment, military communications equipment, software for military communications equipment

ML11, ML21

25 Jan 2021

body armour, components for military communications equipment, components for military electronic equipment, military communications equipment, military electronic equipment, technology for military communications equipment

ML11, ML13, ML22

13 Oct 2020

The purpose of export controls is to promote global security and facilitate responsible exports. We will not issue an export licence where to do so would be inconsistent with the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria which includes an assessment of whether exports could contribute to or undermine regional peace and security.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will provide details of the types of equipment that have been exported by Elbit to Israel.

HM Government only holds information on items exported by Elbit Systems UK Limited which were subject to strategic export controls. We can advise that since 2011 the company have had licences granted for the items below:

Items licenced for export

Control Entry

Licence Issued

components for military communications equipment, military communications equipment, software for military communications equipment

ML11, ML21

25 Jan 2021

body armour, components for military communications equipment, components for military electronic equipment, military communications equipment, military electronic equipment, technology for military communications equipment

ML11, ML13, ML22

13 Oct 2020

The purpose of export controls is to promote global security and facilitate responsible exports. We will not issue an export licence where to do so would be inconsistent with the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria which includes an assessment of whether exports could contribute to or undermine regional peace and security.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment the Government has made of how the TRIPS outcome will help to achieve ensure the equitable distribution of second-generation vaccines across the world.

The consensus-based outcome reached at the World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial Conference streamlines processes provided in the TRIPS Agreement for developing countries to make use of the compulsory licensing (CL). The decision, which is limited to COVID-19 vaccines and has a duration of five years, is intended to facilitate production and exportation of vaccines by developing countries while protecting the international intellectual property framework, which has and will continue to allow the development and production of vaccines at unprecedented pace.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
9th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the timeline is for the publication of the KPMG report into Transport for London’s financial sustainability.

The Government’s review into Transport for London’s future financial position continues to be a matter of live policymaking. The Government will continue to monitor the public interest test for when publication might be appropriate.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to make driving tests available for critical workers who may require them.

Following the announcement of the national lockdown in England, all practical driving lessons and tests have been suspended. The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is not currently offering a critical worker service. However, essential delegated bus and emergency service testing, including ambulance tests, will continue where they are identified as a priority by bus companies, the emergency services or NHS trusts.

The DVSA will continue to keep critical worker tests under review and announce any changes on its social media platforms.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will extend the period of validity of theory tests for learner drivers who have had their driving test cancelled as a result of covid-19 restrictions.

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

It is important that road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point that new drivers drive unsupervised for the first time. Those who have not been able to practice are most likely to see their knowledge base diminish and research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills.

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

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will encourage the covid-secure provision of black cabs by issuing bespoke guidance to drivers of those vehicles on safer taxi travel during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will introduce a discount scheme for black cab passengers as restrictions ease and alert levels decline.

The Government has published ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer transport guidance for operators’ on the safe provision of transport services during the pandemic; this is applicable to the taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) trade.

The Government has acted to support those that are self-employed and have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak across all sectors of the economy. The overwhelming majority of taxi and PHV drivers are self-employed and can therefore apply for grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which has been extended to April 2021. Over the first three rounds of the scheme, up to £21,570 will have been made available. HMRC will provide details of the final grant, to cover the period from February, in due course. The Department is in regular contact with sector representatives to discuss their concerns and will consider ways in which further appropriate support might be provided.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government’s review of Transport for London (TfL) will include an examination of the operating model of (a) London Underground and (b) TfL’s subsidiary transport operations.

As agreed with the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL), Government is taking forward a broad ranging review of TfL’s future financial position and future financial structure, with the aim of identifying clear options for strengthening TfL’s future financial sustainability.

This will include identification of opportunities to deliver further efficiencies in the short to medium term in relation to operating costs across TfL’s operations including, London Underground. It will also include a review of the current TfL operating model.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what Government support is available for the families of transport workers who die from covid-19 in the course of their employment.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced on 27th April a life assurance scheme where families of eligible NHS and care workers, who die from coronavirus in the course of their frontline work, will receive a £60,000 payment.

Payments in respect of transport workers who die from Covid-19, or for any other reason, vary depending on the terms of death in service benefits of each person, with specific arrangements varying across modes and employers. For example, many members of the Railways Pension Scheme may have a death in service benefit of four times their final average pay.

Support provided in respect of key workers on the frontline will continue to be reviewed across government.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the potential extension of the covid-19 life assurance scheme to include the families of transport workers who die from covid-19 in the course of their employment, (a) what assessment he has made of the costs of extending that scheme and (b) by what date the decision on that extension will be made.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced on 27th April a life assurance scheme where families of eligible NHS and care workers, who die from coronavirus in the course of their frontline work, will receive a £60,000 payment.

Payments in respect of transport workers who die from Covid-19, or for any other reason, vary depending on the terms of death in service benefits of each person, with specific arrangements varying across modes and employers. For example, many members of the Railways Pension Scheme may have a death in service benefit of four times their final average pay.

Support provided in respect of key workers on the frontline will continue to be reviewed across government.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the potential extension of the covid-19 life assurance scheme to include the families of transport workers who die from covid-19 in the course of their employment, what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Health and Social Care on that matter; and which Minister has responsibility for taking that decision.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care announced on 27th April a life assurance scheme where families of eligible NHS and care workers, who die from coronavirus in the course of their frontline work, will receive a £60,000 payment.

Payments in respect of transport workers who die from Covid-19, or for any other reason, vary depending on the terms of death in service benefits of each person, with specific arrangements varying across modes and employers. For example, many members of the Railways Pension Scheme may have a death in service benefit of four times their final average pay.

Support provided in respect of key workers on the frontline will continue to be reviewed across government.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the (a) details and (b) conditions of the grant and loans provided to Transport for London on 14 May 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Much of the detail of the agreement was outlined in the Written Ministerial Statement laid by the Secretary of State for Transport on Monday 18 May. As is usual with funding letters between the Mayor of London and the Secretary of State for Transport, the letter is not published on the Department for Transport website.

18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure the longer-term sustainability of London Underground given the need to preserve social distancing and reduce passenger numbers on public transport due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Government messaging is clear that public transport should only be used when necessary and that social distancing should be followed in stations and on trains. Transport for London, in conjunction with Network Rail where appropriate, have developed station plans and implemented them across the network to manage travel demand. The funding agreement reached with the Mayor of London includes increasing service levels as soon as possible to ensure people can follow social distancing guidelines while on the network, making sure those who have no alternative to public transport can travel safely. As part of the funding agreement reached with the Mayor of London, there will be a broad ranging government-led review of TfL's future financial position and future financial structure.

18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential merits of restoring the direct grant to Transport for London to ensure the longer-term sustainability of that transport authority; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has reached agreement with the Mayor of London on a package of support which will allow Transport for London (TfL) to continue to operate essential services during the COVID 19 outbreak. This funding agreement includes increasing service levels as soon as possible to ensure people can follow social distancing guidelines while on the network, making sure those who have no alternative to public transport can travel safely. As part of this agreement, there will be a broad ranging Government-led review of TfL's future financial position and future financial structure.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what advice his Department has provided to cab drivers on protecting themselves and their passengers from the transmission of covid-19; and what financial support the Government has provided to cab drivers to implement requisite protective measures.

The Government has published transport guidance on the safe provision of transport services during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are separate guidance documents for transport providers and for passengers. Both guidance documents cover all modes. The guidance sets out Government recommendations on who should be traveling and under what circumstances, and how social distancing rules should be interpreted. It also includes information about cleaning practices. In addition, we have been in contact with industry bodies to support interpretation of the guidance for the taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) sector.

We are aware of the issues being faced by the taxi sector and are working with industry to understand the particular pressures they are facing. The Self-employment Income Support Scheme allows taxi and PHV drivers to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of their trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the 3 months from April to June. This is a temporary scheme, but it may be extended.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking in response to the announcement by British Airways that the company will make 12,000 members of staff redundant.

We recognise that this will be very distressing news for British Airways employees and their families.

The aviation sector is essential to the UK economy, and we encourage firms to draw on the unprecedented package of measures we have made available to support them through this time. This includes schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what is his planned timetable for announcing local housing allowance rates for 2025; and if he will launch a consultation on the level of those rates.

The Secretary of State (SoS) has recently completed his review of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates for 2024/25. As announced by the Chancellor in the recent Autumn Statement, from April 2024 the Government will be investing £1.2 billion increasing LHA rates to the 30th percentile of local market rents. This ensures 1.6 million private renters in receipt of Housing Benefit, or the Housing Element of Universal Credit will gain, on average, nearly £800 per year in additional help towards their rental costs in 2024/25. This is a significant investment of £7bn over five years.

The SoS has committed to reviewing LHA rates annually, usually in the Autumn. The rates for 2025/26 have not yet been reviewed.

The department works closely with stakeholders, jobcentres, and local authorities to understand the impact of its policies.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many children live in households where at least one adult is in work which are affected by the benefit cap.

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

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many vacancies there were in his Department for the most recent date for which figures are available.

DWP does have ambitious recruitment plans over 2023/24 and latest plans are to fill approximately 4,850 posts a quarter, through internal and external recruitment to manage attrition and also grow key priority areas to respond to changing demand and commitments.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 4 December 2023 to Question 4331 on Unemployment: Chronic Illnesses, what assessment he has made of the impact of NHS waiting lists on long-term sickness in the labour market.

The department monitors trends in economic inactivity and works closely with other departments and organisations to understand the relationship between health and economic inactivity. In addition, organisations, such as the Office for Budget Responsibility, Health Foundation, Bank of England and the Office for National Statistics, have all published analysis on the relationship between health and economic inactivity. However, there is currently no consensus, and further work is needed to establish the nature and extent, if any, of the relationship between NHS waiting lists and long-term sickness.

The ONS reported in February 2023 that 33% of those who were economically inactive (excluding retired) were waiting for NHS treatment, of which 42% said it had “strongly impacted” their lives. The ONS also reported in July 2023 that for those individuals suffering with long-term health conditions who were in employment, the sickness absence rate in 2022 was 4.9%, the highest it has been since 2008, compared with 1.5% for those in employment without a long-term health condition. However, analysis published by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) in July 2023 states that “the rising NHS waiting list itself looks unlikely to have been a significant causal driver of rising long-term sick inactivity in recent years”, one reason being that “there appears to be limited correlation in waiting list trends by age and ‘treatment function’ between mid-2021 and the end of 2022 and concurrent changes in inactivity due to long-term sickness.”

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether there is (a) a minimum, (b) a maximum and (c) an optimal number of universal credit cases overseen by each case manager.

There is no set minimum/maximum or optimum caseload size. We do look to equalise pressures/caseloads in the network via recruitment in or pivoting work out of a site

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an estimate of the potential cost to the public purse of applying the triple lock to the uprating of social security benefits in financial year 2024-25.

The triple lock is this Government’s commitment to increase the new and basic State Pensions annually in line with the highest of the increase in prices, the growth in average earnings, or 2.5%.

Accordingly, the Secretary of State has decided that – subject to Parliamentary approval – for the financial year 2024/25, the new and basic State Pensions, along with the Standard Minimum Guarantee in Pension Credit, will increase by 8.5%, in line with the growth in average earnings. Working-age and extra-costs disability benefit rates will – also subject to Parliamentary approval – increase by 6.7%, in line with the increase in prices and in accordance with the provisions of the Social Security Administration Act 1992.

Using 8.5% instead of 6.7% for these benefits would potentially add approximately £2.3bn to the cost of the social security system in that year.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an estimate of how many and what proportion of children were living in poverty in 2010 based on his Department's households below average income data.

The latest available National statistics on child poverty covering 2021/22 are available here.

This Government has overseen significant falls in absolute poverty since 2009/10. Both rates and numbers of children in absolute poverty (60% of 2010/11 median income, both before and after housing costs) were lower in 2021/22 than in 2009/10.

In 2009/10, 28% (3.7m) children were living in absolute poverty after housing costs.

In 2021/22, 23% (3.3m) children were living in absolute poverty after housing costs.

This means that, in 2021/22, there were 400,000 fewer children in absolute poverty after housing costs than in 2009/10, a decrease of 5 percentage points.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of ending the two-child limit on the number of children living in poverty; and if he will make an estimate of the potential cost to the public purse of such a decision.

There are no plans to review this policy.

The latest available estimate of the potential cost to the public purse of such a decision was made in 2019, and can be found here.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an estimate of how many children would be lifted out of poverty if the household benefit cap was (a) uprated with inflation since 2016 and (b) abolished.

It is not possible to produce robust estimates of the effect of the impact of uprating the household benefit cap by inflation on the number of children in child poverty or similar impacts of the removal of the household benefit cap on the same group.

There was a significant increase to the benefit cap levels following a review last year. The benefit cap continues to provide a strong work incentive and fairness for working taxpaying households and encourages people to move into work, where possible.

Where possible it is in the best interests of children to be in working households and, of course, returning to employment will significantly increase the likelihood of a household not being affected by the cap.

Both rates and numbers of children in absolute poverty (60% of 2010/11 median income, both before and after housing costs) were lower in 2021/22 than in 2009/10. In 2021/22 there were 400,000 fewer children in absolute low income after housing costs than in 2009/10.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many vacancies there are within his Department; and what recent estimate he has made of the number of full-time equivalent staff that will be employed by his Department by the end of 2024.

DWP have ambitious recruitment plans over 2023/24 and are filling approximately 4,400 posts a quarter, through internal and external recruitment to manage attrition and also grow key priority areas to respond to changing demand and commitments.

DWP has yet to sign off workforce plans for the period to end 2024, which forms part of the financial year 2024/25. DWP awaits further guidance from HMT on future Civil Service headcount levels following the chancellor’s announcement in October 2023, and will then be in a position to give an accurate estimate of FTEs employed in DWP by end 2024.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an estimate of the cost to the public purse of increasing the local housing allowance to the 50th percentile of local market rents.

The Secretary of State has committed to review LHA rates annually and has just completed his review for 2024/25 rates. From April 2024 we are investing £1.2 billion increasing Local Housing Allowance rates to the 30th percentile of local market rents. This significant investment will ensure 1.6 million private renters in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit will gain on average, nearly £800 per year in additional help towards their rental costs in 2024/25.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which categories of claimants had their contact with work coaches reduced in the last 12 months.

A policy change in August 2023 reduced the level of contact Jobcentre work coaches have with Universal Credit (UC) Intensive Work Search (IWS) claimants participating in contracted employment provision, including the Restart Scheme, from fortnightly to monthly. This was to reduce duplication of effort.

The Government announced an investment over 5 years of £3.5bn at Spring Budget to boost workforce participation and £2.5 billion at Autumn Statement as part its Back to Work plan to significantly expand available support and transform the way people interact with the benefits system.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many on average Universal Credit claimants' cases are overseen by each Universal Credit Case Manager as of November 2023.

We are unable to accurately answer this question. This is because the information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. To calculate an average over time would require development of new code, which we don’t currently have.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he plans to uprate social security benefits in line with inflation in April 2024.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is required by law to undertake an annual review of benefits and the State Pension, and this review will commence shortly.

The outcome of the review will be announced in the Autumn – and therefore it would not be appropriate to pre-judge the outcome.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications made to the Access to Work Scheme were outstanding as of 3 May 2023.

Access to Work had 24,101 applications outstanding as of 3 May 2023.

Please note that the data supplied is derived from unpublished management information, which was collected for internal departmental use only, and have not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. They should therefore be treated with caution.  

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what research his Department has commissioned on the effectiveness of benefit sanctions; and if he will place copies of that research in the Library.

The Department has conducted internal analysis on some elements of benefits sanctions and intend to release this report by the 10th April.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of what the potential rate of the basic state pension would have been in financial year 2022-23 had the earnings link not been ended in 1980.

We do not hold the information required to answer this request. The Office for National Statistics are responsible for estimates of earnings growth. A time series consistent with the Average Weekly Earnings growth measure used for benefit uprating is only available from 2001 onwards.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
25th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Departmental staff will be among the 600,000 workers subject to the Intensive Work Search regime.

Requirements to meet with a work coach will start from September 2023. We are currently developing our approach, including how and when impacted claimants will be contacted and will set out further details in due course.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Autumn Statement 2022, published on 17 November 2022, whether his Department plans to recruit additional work coaches to deal with the increased caseload of Universal Credit claimants.

We are continuously employing more staff and have plans to recruit further to enable us to meet outcomes, subject to fiscal events and departmental finances.

The Department continually impacts and assesses the service being offered to customers. Staff numbers are reviewed on an ongoing basis, in line with the latest economic and benefit forecasts. The Department has governance controls in place at all levels of forecasting and modelling to ensure the estimated numbers of staff needed to meet demand for our services are robust and affordable.

All new work announced in any Fiscal Statement will need to be built into forecasts and funding assessed by HM Treasury. Until DWP planning receives both elements, we would not be in a position to comment on whether we will have additional resources for new areas of work.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Autumn Statement 2022, published on 17 November 2022, whether his Department has informed in-work claimants of Universal Credit that they will be required to meet with work coaches.

Working Universal Credit claimants who wish to access support to progress to greater earnings and or more work can volunteer for our In-Work Progression offer which is currently being trialled across various parts of Great Britain.

As announced at Autumn Statement, requirements to meet with a work coach will start from September 2023. We are currently developing our approach, including how and when impacted claimants will be contacted and will set out further details in due course.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Nov 2021
What recent assessment she has made of the contractual performance of Serco plc in delivering call-handling services for her Department.

DWP regularly reviews performance with Serco to ensure they are meeting contractual responsibilities. During the term of the contract Serco have largely met their Key Performance Indicators, though more recently, competitive labour market conditions and subsequent challenges recruiting agents have led to some short-term performance impacts.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what inspections have been undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive of sites in the UK storing ammonium nitrate (a) prior to and (b) since the explosion caused by a result of the storage of that chemical compound in Beirut in August 2020.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent regulator, and has responsibility for regulatory oversight of the storage of ammonium nitrate (AN) at sites where it is the enforcing authority. The matters raised are primarily regulatory and operational matters and I encourage the Rt Hon colleague to contact HSE at Chief.Executive@hse.gov.uk to discuss any particular matters of concern.

As you may expect the storage of AN is subject to a robust regulatory framework, which considers the hazards posed by storage, product safety and measures to deal with emergencies. Sites storing the quantities of AN reported to have been involved in the tragic incident in Beirut would be subject to the provisions of the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (COMAH) in the UK. All COMAH sites have a plan which sets out interventions with the site including inspections. Sites are subject to proportionate, targeted intervention, in line with the Competent Authority (HSE and Environmental Agencies) approach to the regulation of COMAH sites.

Prior to incident in Beirut, all COMAH sites storing AN had been visited during the previous 6 years, in line with the intervention plans. Following the incident HSE has reviewed its last interventions with those sites and considered any appropriate changes to the planned interventions. As a result of this review inspections were undertaken to two sites where the last intervention was over 5 years ago. The outcomes from these inspections identified that the arrangements for the storage of AN were appropriate. It should be noted that it is often the case that organisations may operate more than one COMAH site and so interventions at one site offer the opportunity to assess an organisations general approach and identify areas for improvement which can then be implemented across the organisation.

There is one COMAH site in Great Yarmouth, currently operated by Origin UK Operations Limited. The site notified HSE that they intended to store COMAH qualifying quantities of AN in August 2018. HSE is scheduled to undertake an inspection of the current dutyholder at this site as part of this year’s work plan. Prior to 2018 the site was operated by another dutyholder. HSE inspected the site in 2015 and verified that the ammonium nitrate storage conditions were appropriate. Between 2015 and 2018 AN was not stored in COMAH qualifying quantities at the site.

All sites storing COMAH qualifying quantities of AN fertiliser have to first gain Hazardous Substance Consent (HSC) from the Local Planning Authority. This process involves consultation with HSE to consider whether the site is suitable, taking into account risks to local people. HSE has recently reviewed all sites where such Hazardous Substances Consent (HSC) has been granted, but where no notification has been made under the provisions of the COMAH Regulations. HSE is contacting these sites to establish their current status to provide assurance that all regulatory provisions are being met.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has requested a report from the Health and Safety Executive on the safety of the storage of ammonium nitrate in UK storage sites.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent regulator, and has responsibility for regulatory oversight of the storage of ammonium nitrate (AN) at sites where it is the enforcing authority. The matters raised are primarily regulatory and operational matters and I encourage the Rt Hon colleague to contact HSE at Chief.Executive@hse.gov.uk to discuss any particular matters of concern.

As you may expect the storage of AN is subject to a robust regulatory framework, which considers the hazards posed by storage, product safety and measures to deal with emergencies. Sites storing the quantities of AN reported to have been involved in the tragic incident in Beirut would be subject to the provisions of the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (COMAH) in the UK. All COMAH sites have a plan which sets out interventions with the site including inspections. Sites are subject to proportionate, targeted intervention, in line with the Competent Authority (HSE and Environmental Agencies) approach to the regulation of COMAH sites.

Prior to incident in Beirut, all COMAH sites storing AN had been visited during the previous 6 years, in line with the intervention plans. Following the incident HSE has reviewed its last interventions with those sites and considered any appropriate changes to the planned interventions. As a result of this review inspections were undertaken to two sites where the last intervention was over 5 years ago. The outcomes from these inspections identified that the arrangements for the storage of AN were appropriate. It should be noted that it is often the case that organisations may operate more than one COMAH site and so interventions at one site offer the opportunity to assess an organisations general approach and identify areas for improvement which can then be implemented across the organisation.

There is one COMAH site in Great Yarmouth, currently operated by Origin UK Operations Limited. The site notified HSE that they intended to store COMAH qualifying quantities of AN in August 2018. HSE is scheduled to undertake an inspection of the current dutyholder at this site as part of this year’s work plan. Prior to 2018 the site was operated by another dutyholder. HSE inspected the site in 2015 and verified that the ammonium nitrate storage conditions were appropriate. Between 2015 and 2018 AN was not stored in COMAH qualifying quantities at the site.

All sites storing COMAH qualifying quantities of AN fertiliser have to first gain Hazardous Substance Consent (HSC) from the Local Planning Authority. This process involves consultation with HSE to consider whether the site is suitable, taking into account risks to local people. HSE has recently reviewed all sites where such Hazardous Substances Consent (HSC) has been granted, but where no notification has been made under the provisions of the COMAH Regulations. HSE is contacting these sites to establish their current status to provide assurance that all regulatory provisions are being met.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has received reports from the Health and Safety Executive on the safety of the storage of ammonium nitrate at sites in the UK.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent regulator, and has responsibility for regulatory oversight of the storage of ammonium nitrate (AN) at sites where it is the enforcing authority. The matters raised are primarily regulatory and operational matters and I encourage the Rt Hon colleague to contact HSE at Chief.Executive@hse.gov.uk to discuss any particular matters of concern.

As you may expect the storage of AN is subject to a robust regulatory framework, which considers the hazards posed by storage, product safety and measures to deal with emergencies. Sites storing the quantities of AN reported to have been involved in the tragic incident in Beirut would be subject to the provisions of the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (COMAH) in the UK. All COMAH sites have a plan which sets out interventions with the site including inspections. Sites are subject to proportionate, targeted intervention, in line with the Competent Authority (HSE and Environmental Agencies) approach to the regulation of COMAH sites.

Prior to incident in Beirut, all COMAH sites storing AN had been visited during the previous 6 years, in line with the intervention plans. Following the incident HSE has reviewed its last interventions with those sites and considered any appropriate changes to the planned interventions. As a result of this review inspections were undertaken to two sites where the last intervention was over 5 years ago. The outcomes from these inspections identified that the arrangements for the storage of AN were appropriate. It should be noted that it is often the case that organisations may operate more than one COMAH site and so interventions at one site offer the opportunity to assess an organisations general approach and identify areas for improvement which can then be implemented across the organisation.

There is one COMAH site in Great Yarmouth, currently operated by Origin UK Operations Limited. The site notified HSE that they intended to store COMAH qualifying quantities of AN in August 2018. HSE is scheduled to undertake an inspection of the current dutyholder at this site as part of this year’s work plan. Prior to 2018 the site was operated by another dutyholder. HSE inspected the site in 2015 and verified that the ammonium nitrate storage conditions were appropriate. Between 2015 and 2018 AN was not stored in COMAH qualifying quantities at the site.

All sites storing COMAH qualifying quantities of AN fertiliser have to first gain Hazardous Substance Consent (HSC) from the Local Planning Authority. This process involves consultation with HSE to consider whether the site is suitable, taking into account risks to local people. HSE has recently reviewed all sites where such Hazardous Substances Consent (HSC) has been granted, but where no notification has been made under the provisions of the COMAH Regulations. HSE is contacting these sites to establish their current status to provide assurance that all regulatory provisions are being met.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has requested that the Health and Safety Executive undertake an inspection of the safety of the storage of (a) ammonium nitrate and (b) other similar chemical compounds at sites in Great Yarmouth.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent regulator, and has responsibility for regulatory oversight of the storage of ammonium nitrate (AN) at sites where it is the enforcing authority. The matters raised are primarily regulatory and operational matters and I encourage the Rt Hon colleague to contact HSE at Chief.Executive@hse.gov.uk to discuss any particular matters of concern.

As you may expect the storage of AN is subject to a robust regulatory framework, which considers the hazards posed by storage, product safety and measures to deal with emergencies. Sites storing the quantities of AN reported to have been involved in the tragic incident in Beirut would be subject to the provisions of the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (COMAH) in the UK. All COMAH sites have a plan which sets out interventions with the site including inspections. Sites are subject to proportionate, targeted intervention, in line with the Competent Authority (HSE and Environmental Agencies) approach to the regulation of COMAH sites.

Prior to incident in Beirut, all COMAH sites storing AN had been visited during the previous 6 years, in line with the intervention plans. Following the incident HSE has reviewed its last interventions with those sites and considered any appropriate changes to the planned interventions. As a result of this review inspections were undertaken to two sites where the last intervention was over 5 years ago. The outcomes from these inspections identified that the arrangements for the storage of AN were appropriate. It should be noted that it is often the case that organisations may operate more than one COMAH site and so interventions at one site offer the opportunity to assess an organisations general approach and identify areas for improvement which can then be implemented across the organisation.

There is one COMAH site in Great Yarmouth, currently operated by Origin UK Operations Limited. The site notified HSE that they intended to store COMAH qualifying quantities of AN in August 2018. HSE is scheduled to undertake an inspection of the current dutyholder at this site as part of this year’s work plan. Prior to 2018 the site was operated by another dutyholder. HSE inspected the site in 2015 and verified that the ammonium nitrate storage conditions were appropriate. Between 2015 and 2018 AN was not stored in COMAH qualifying quantities at the site.

All sites storing COMAH qualifying quantities of AN fertiliser have to first gain Hazardous Substance Consent (HSC) from the Local Planning Authority. This process involves consultation with HSE to consider whether the site is suitable, taking into account risks to local people. HSE has recently reviewed all sites where such Hazardous Substances Consent (HSC) has been granted, but where no notification has been made under the provisions of the COMAH Regulations. HSE is contacting these sites to establish their current status to provide assurance that all regulatory provisions are being met.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has received reports from the Health and Safety Executive on the safety of the storage of (a) ammonium nitrate and (b) other similar chemical compounds at sites in Great Yarmouth.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is an independent regulator, and has responsibility for regulatory oversight of the storage of ammonium nitrate (AN) at sites where it is the enforcing authority. The matters raised are primarily regulatory and operational matters and I encourage the Rt Hon colleague to contact HSE at Chief.Executive@hse.gov.uk to discuss any particular matters of concern.

As you may expect the storage of AN is subject to a robust regulatory framework, which considers the hazards posed by storage, product safety and measures to deal with emergencies. Sites storing the quantities of AN reported to have been involved in the tragic incident in Beirut would be subject to the provisions of the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations (COMAH) in the UK. All COMAH sites have a plan which sets out interventions with the site including inspections. Sites are subject to proportionate, targeted intervention, in line with the Competent Authority (HSE and Environmental Agencies) approach to the regulation of COMAH sites.

Prior to incident in Beirut, all COMAH sites storing AN had been visited during the previous 6 years, in line with the intervention plans. Following the incident HSE has reviewed its last interventions with those sites and considered any appropriate changes to the planned interventions. As a result of this review inspections were undertaken to two sites where the last intervention was over 5 years ago. The outcomes from these inspections identified that the arrangements for the storage of AN were appropriate. It should be noted that it is often the case that organisations may operate more than one COMAH site and so interventions at one site offer the opportunity to assess an organisations general approach and identify areas for improvement which can then be implemented across the organisation.

There is one COMAH site in Great Yarmouth, currently operated by Origin UK Operations Limited. The site notified HSE that they intended to store COMAH qualifying quantities of AN in August 2018. HSE is scheduled to undertake an inspection of the current dutyholder at this site as part of this year’s work plan. Prior to 2018 the site was operated by another dutyholder. HSE inspected the site in 2015 and verified that the ammonium nitrate storage conditions were appropriate. Between 2015 and 2018 AN was not stored in COMAH qualifying quantities at the site.

All sites storing COMAH qualifying quantities of AN fertiliser have to first gain Hazardous Substance Consent (HSC) from the Local Planning Authority. This process involves consultation with HSE to consider whether the site is suitable, taking into account risks to local people. HSE has recently reviewed all sites where such Hazardous Substances Consent (HSC) has been granted, but where no notification has been made under the provisions of the COMAH Regulations. HSE is contacting these sites to establish their current status to provide assurance that all regulatory provisions are being met.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefit sanctions have been issued to claimants in each month since 30 June 2020.

Sanctions statistics on those people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment Support Allowance (Work Related Activity Group), Income Support and Universal Credit are published quarterly and can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions

Additional breakdowns of the figures can be found at:

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

Guidance for users is available at:

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

The statistics for May to July 2020 will be published in November 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of enabling people over 64 years old to claim the state pension during the covid-19 outbreak in order to limit the use of public transport among that age group to reach their place of work.

The Secretary of State will make no such assessment.

We have no plans to reverse changes to State Pension age. Changes to State Pension age were made over a series of Acts by successive governments from 1995 onwards, following public consultations and extensive debates in both Houses of Parliament.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19, published on 9 June 2020, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of maintaining the provision of contractual relief as a result of covid-19 in line with Procurement Policy Notice 02/20; which (a) companies and (b) work areas will be affected by changes to that contractual relief; and what the timeframe is for proposals to change that contractual relief.

Procurement Policy Notice 04/20 came in to force on the 1st of July effectively replacing PPN 02/20 which provided for payment of suppliers to ensure service continuity during and after the current coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak. Following publication of PPN 02/20 the commercial team acted immediately to review the Department’s supply chain and, on a case-by-case basis, identify suppliers at risk and agreed a number of payments under this PPN, to ensure suppliers identified as at risk would be in a position to resume normal contract delivery once the outbreak is over.

PPN 04/20 enables payments made under PPN 02/20 to continue until the 31st of October 2020 as well as for new relief payments to be made where a new need to provide support to at risk suppliers is identified and enables the Department to make alternative relief arrangements such as easing of certain service levels. It also requires the Department to work transparently in partnership with suppliers to plan an eventual exit from these relief measures. As such, the commercial team continue to work with colleagues throughout the Department to monitor individual suppliers within our supply chain, understand the changing position of those suppliers in receipt of relief payments and identify any additional suppliers who may require support. Again, the assessment of relief is made on a case-by-case basis depending on the particular circumstances of each supplier impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Whenever a relief payment has been considered under PPN 02/20, or will be considered under PPN 04/20, this follows a rigorous approval process assessing the particular circumstances of the supplier, the market and the need, and is subject to both commercial and Departmental approval prior to any payment being made. This ensures that the merits of making or continuing the relief payments or easing of service levels are considered at all stages of the process

As we move in to the effective period of PPN 04/20 we do not anticipate the immediate cessation of any relief payments but the existing relief provided (as detailed below) will be monitored closely and we will proactively discuss and make appropriate arrangements with each of the suppliers in receipt of relief to move towards a sustainable position by the end of October 2020. This will involve an assessment of the new or continuing circumstances and challenges that the supplier might be facing, which may in fact be exacerbated by the resumption of some services, and the mutual agreement of appropriate relief measures as well as a plan to transition to steady state.

In cases where a return to a pre-COVID state might not be viable, discussions with the supplier will extend to agreeing appropriate contractual arrangements for a new, sustainable position.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the pay (a) minimum and (b) maximum is for each civil service grade in her Department below the Senior Civil Service (i) inside and (ii) outside the London area.

The tables below provide the generalist pay ranges, which cover the vast majority of DWP employees.

DWP Generalist pay scales

April 2020 Pay Scales AA - HEO

Generalist Scales

Employee Deal

Legacy (Opt out)

Min

Max

Min

Max

AA London Inner

£20,984

£20,984

£19,662

£19,682

AA London Outer

£20,984

£20,984

£19,118

£19,118

AA National

£19,732

£19,732

£19,118

£19,118

AA Specialist Pay Zone

£19,732

£19,732

£19,118

£19,118

AO London Inner

£24,498

£24,498

£21,011

£22,643

AO London Outer

£23,587

£24,498

£19,601

£22,414

AO National

£20,499

£20,499

£19,118

£19,682

AO Specialist Pay Zone

£20,499

£22,635

£19,118

£21,885

EO London Inner

£30,303

£31,099

£25,182

£29,586

EO London Outer

£28,570

£31,099

£23,743

£28,344

EO National

£26,892

£26,892

£22,424

£25,486

EO Specialist Pay Zone

£26,892

£28,809

£23,425

£27,854

HEO London Inner

£35,754

£38,045

£29,712

£35,262

HEO London Outer

£34,265

£38,045

£28,475

£34,025

HEO National

£31,208

£33,448

£25,935

£31,343

HEO Specialist Pay Zone

£31,208

£34,665

£27,925

£33,515

April 2020 Pay Scales SEO – Grade 6

Generalist Scales

Min

Max

SEO London Inner

£38,982

£43,920

SEO London Outer

£38,342

£42,641

SEO National

£34,448

£39,674

SEO Specialist Pay Zone

£36,672

£42,139

Grade 7 London Inner

£52,748

£63,079

Grade 7 London Outer

£51,528

£61,898

Grade 7 National

£47,971

£58,135

Grade 7 Specialist Pay Zone

£50,922

£61,386

Grade 6 London Inner

£64,636

£76,843

Grade 6 London Outer

£63,238

£75,797

Grade 6 National

£59,258

£71,154

Grade 6 Specialist Pay Zone

£62,662

£75,274

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the paper in Epidemiology and Infection 2023; 151: e160, entitled Haemolytic uraemic syndrome in children England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Ireland: A prospective cohort study, published on 1 September 2023, if she will take steps to publish more accurate data on the number of cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli-associated hemolytic uremic syndrome identified by the UK Health Security Agency; and if her Department will take steps to increase funding for research into (a) cures and (b) treatments to improve long-term health outcomes for this illness.

Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS) is a notifiable disease and cases are reported on a weekly basis by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). The most common type of Shiga toxin-producing E.coli associated with HUS is also a notifiable pathogen, and the number of laboratory reported cases is published on a weekly basis by UKHSA. This data covers England and Wales, and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/notifiable-diseases-causative-agents-reports-for-2024/noids-causative-agents-week-2-week-ending-14-january-2024

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). As the largest public funder for health and care research, the NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including cures and treatments for HUS.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his planned timetable for publishing the report on the E.coli O157 outbreak that started in August 2022.

The report is expected to be published in March 2024.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to reduce waiting times for children and young people to access community paediatric services.

  • The government is working hard to bring down NHS waits, including in community services.
  • The latest data shows fewer children are waiting for community health services, and we’re boosting access to speech therapy and mental health support in schools.
Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps (a) her Department, (b) the Food Standards Agency and (c) the UK Health Security Agency have taken to help ensure that unsafe food is not placed on the market by companies that were involved in the outbreak of E.coli O157 in August 2020 and August 2022.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and other health protection agencies undertook a thorough investigation of this outbreak linked to fresh produce, which involved the appropriate food safety enforcement authorities for each site involved. A review of food safety management systems provided reassurance that robust controls were in place. Where opportunities for improvement were identified, the FSA along with the enforcing local authorities provided risk management advice to food businesses.

Following engagement with industry trade associations to assess industry practices and approaches to risk assessment mitigation across the fresh produce sector, a multi-agency working group has been formed to review standard practices across the industry.

The UK Health Security Agency undertook a surveillance study which included a retail sampling survey of fresh produce in 2023. Early monitoring of results indicates good safety practices in the fresh produce sector with no evidence of serious public health consequences.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of trends in average waiting times to access (a) community paediatric services, (b) occupational therapy and (c) speech and language therapy in the last three years.

Addressing waiting lists is a priority for the Department and the National Health Service, and NHS England has asked local systems to develop and agree plans for reducing their community services waiting lists.

Community Health Service data was first published in October 2022 and is now published monthly. It is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/community-health-services-waiting-lists/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an estimate of the number of patients with suspected myalgic encephalomyelitis that have been (a) misdiagnosed and (b) missed due to the SNOMED CT classification system in primary care.

NHS England has not undertaken an assessment of the coding for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Whilst we are unable to estimate the numbers of patients misdiagnosed or missed, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline NG206 estimates that there are over 250,000 people in England and Wales with ME/CFS. The guideline is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng206

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of (a) improving and (b) adapting the SNOMED CT classification system in primary care when diagnosing suspected myalgic encephalomyelitis.

NHS England has not undertaken an assessment of the coding for myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Whilst we are unable to estimate the numbers of patients misdiagnosed or missed, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guideline NG206 estimates that there are over 250,000 people in England and Wales with ME/CFS. The guideline is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng206

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress her Department has made on implementing the interim delivery plan on myalgic encephalomyelitis and chronic fatigue syndrome; and if she has an expected timeline on when the plan will be fully implemented.

We have been consulting on ‘My Full Reality’, the cross-government interim delivery plan on myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), which seeks to improve the experiences and outcomes of people living with this condition.

We are analysing the results of the consultation and the views and experiences gathered through this consultation will be used to build a picture of how well the interim delivery plan identifies and meets the needs of the ME/CFS community and to highlight any significant gaps where further action may be necessary.

We will publish the final delivery plan in due course.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the APPG on Brain Tumours' report entitled Pathway to A Cure, whether his Department plans to implement a joint strategy for brain tumour research with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology; and if he will make a statement.

The Department welcomes the All-Party Parliamentary Group report, recommendations of which continue to be worked through with the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, UK Research and Innovation and the Medical Research Council (MRC), and with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

The report recommended action by the research funding agencies on coordinating activities and making funding available. We are taking steps to ensure that funders work closely together to coordinate work along the translational pathway, from the discovery and early translational science typically supported by the MRC, feeding through to the applied health and care research funded by the NIHR.

It is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. As with other Government funders of health research, the NIHR does not allocate funding for specific disease areas. The level of research spend in a particular area, is driven by factors including scientific potential and the number and scale of successful funding applications.

23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the APPG on Brain Tumours' report entitled Pathway to A Cure, whether his Department has taken steps to implement that report's recommendations on engaging healthcare professionals with research.

The Department welcomes the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) report, recommendations of which continue to be worked through with the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, UK Research and Innovation and the Medical Research Council (MRC), and with the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

In February 2023 the APPG report recommended that NIHR and UKRI should build research capacity, encouraging and retaining talent through fellowships and research incentives. In July 2023, NIHR jointly funded with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission (TJBCM), the first two TJBCM Neuro-Oncology Fellowships, a new Fellowship Programme to support high quality training in neuro-oncology clinical practice and research to ensure clinicians are equipped with the relevant research skills needed to lead neuro-oncology trials that change practice.

Other capacity-building initiatives underway include: the designation of 28 TJBCM adult Centres of Excellence within the National Health Service, creating a world-class network of brain tumour treatment and research centres to provide the best care and share best practice; the Tessa Jowell Academy Programme, a free national learning and networking digital platform for NHS brain tumour professionals to share excellence in research, treatment and care; and the TJBCM Brain Tumour Research Novel Therapeutics Accelerator programme, to review and provide guidance on the translation and development of novel treatments, guided by a multidisciplinary international group of experts.

The NIHR is continuing to work with the TJBCM to develop further capacity-building initiatives.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of conducting health impact assessments of the public health impacts of new free trade agreements; and if he will make an impact assessment of the potential impact of accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership on public health.

The Department of Health and Social Care does not carry out specific health impact assessments for Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Section 42 of the Agriculture Act 2020 commits the Government to produce a report which examines new FTAs in the context of their impact on domestic statutory protections in the United Kingdom, including the impact on human health. This report must be laid in Parliament as part of the scrutiny process. This process will apply to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Agreement.

The “Section 42 report”, as it is known, is led by the Department for Business and Trade, and is drafted in consultation with other Government departments, including the Department of Health and Social Care.

5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to encourage people to work in podiatry.

NHS England has worked extensively to enhance and modernise the podiatry professions. Central to this has been the development of education and training for support workers in podiatry and the development of the the podiatry apprenticeship.

NHS England is also continuing to promote podiatry as a career option through a suite of careers resources. The recently launched NHS Employers guide to podiatry sets out the full range of opportunities and offers guidance from career promotion in schools, to effective staff recruitment, retention and return to practice.

5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve patient care within NHS podiatry services, in the context of trends in vacancy rates of NHS podiatrists.

NHS England has worked extensively to enhance and modernise the podiatry professions. Central to this has been the development of education and training for support workers in podiatry and the development of the the podiatry apprenticeship.

NHS England is also continuing to promote podiatry as a career option through a suite of careers resources. The recently launched NHS Employers guide to podiatry sets out the full range of opportunities and offers guidance from career promotion in schools, to effective staff recruitment, retention and return to practice.

2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England's Salt reduction targets for 2024, published in September 2020, when he expects a report on the food industry’s progress towards meeting those targets to be published.

The salt reduction strand of the Government’s voluntary reformulation programme continues, with monitoring data being collected and industry encouraged to continue to work towards meeting the 2024 targets. There is currently no confirmed publication date for the report on the food industry’s progress but it is not expected until next year. An update will be provided in due course.

19th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has previously supported air ambulance charities with targeted funding support; and if he will provide funding specifically targeted at air ambulance charities.

Air ambulances are not directly funded by the National Health Service. However, the Government has provided significant and sustained support to the sector. In 2019, the Department launched a three year capital grant programme which allocated £10 million to nine air ambulance charities across England, of which London’s Air Ambulance Charity and Barts Health NHS Trust received £1,393,552.

In addition, the Department provided £6 million of COVID-19 emergency funding to all 21 air ambulance charities across the United Kingdom, to ensure that each charity could continue to provide their life-saving services during the pandemic. London’s Air Ambulance Charity received £252,500 of this funding.

There are no current plans to provide further funding to the sector which operates through a longstanding and successful charitable model.

27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of consultants and other NHS workers who will return to work as a result of the removal of the pensions lifetime allowance.

The decision to retire is a personal one and it is not possible to assess the impact of a specific factor. Estimates based on projected pension scheme data indicate that around 22,000 senior National Health Service clinicians could exceed the previous £40,000 annual allowance in 2023/24, and that around 31,000 clinicians had reached at least 75% of the £1.073 million lifetime allowance.

Around 3,000 general practitioners (GPs) and hospital doctors retire each year and around 40% of GPs and 17% of hospital doctors take voluntary early retirement. In 2020/21, there were 1,615 lifetime allowance charges paid over to HM Revenue & Customs in respect of NHS pensions claimed. It is not possible to break down this data by occupation.

The chair of the British Medical Association’s Pension Committee said that removing the lifetime allowance will be potentially transformative for the NHS. The changes announced at Budget will ensure that the vast majority of doctors in the NHS are not disincentivised from remaining in roles and taking on extra hours, as pension tax is no longer a trigger event for retirement.

From 1 April 2023, NHS Pension Scheme members who have put their 1995 Section benefits into payment can re-join the scheme and build further pension if they return to work.

30th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential implications for his policies of the case of Dr S. Shashikanth and the decision not to share patient data with a primary care trust; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of enabling general practitioners to determine at a practice-level whether to share patient data across an integrated care system.

‘Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data’, published in June 2022, prioritises appropriate data sharing across health, social care and public health systems to ensure patient safety. As of March 2022, all integrated care systems in England have implemented a basic shared care record, connecting National Health Service trusts and general practices.

28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average time is between notification of an outbreak of E Coli 0157 and information being provided to (a) those affected and (b) the general public.

Between 28 August and 4 September 2022, an increase in the number of presumptive Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 referrals to UK Health Security Agency was observed. On 10 September a cluster of cases of a specific strain of STEC O157 was confirmed through whole genomic sequencing.

All cases of illness of STEC O157 are interviewed and public health advice is given to at-risk groups to prevent onward transmission. After the results were available which confirmed an outbreak, 60 people were re-interviewed for investigation from 13 September and were notified of the outbreak. The general public were not informed of the outbreak as the suspected cause of infection was not established until the latter period of the investigation. It was therefore not possible to provide appropriate public health advice.

A report on the management and outcomes of the investigation is being prepared. A routine assessment of cross-agency incident responses and any areas for improvement to develop and implement action plans for outbreak management will be scheduled imminently. We are unable to estimate the average time between notification of an outbreak based on the results of whole genome sequencing and the provision of information to those affected and the general public. Such timings are dependent on factors including the cause of the outbreak and whether epidemiological and food tracing investigations can conclusively identify a specific implicated food and supply chain. Multi-agency investigations are initiated immediately on detection of STEC O157 outbreaks. Once the food vehicle of infection is confirmed, control measures are implemented by the Food Standards Agency in a matter of days.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the (a) Food Standards Agency and (b) UK Health Security Agency in tackling E. Coli 0157.

Between 28 August and 4 September 2022, an increase in the number of presumptive Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 referrals to UK Health Security Agency was observed. On 10 September a cluster of cases of a specific strain of STEC O157 was confirmed through whole genomic sequencing.

All cases of illness of STEC O157 are interviewed and public health advice is given to at-risk groups to prevent onward transmission. After the results were available which confirmed an outbreak, 60 people were re-interviewed for investigation from 13 September and were notified of the outbreak. The general public were not informed of the outbreak as the suspected cause of infection was not established until the latter period of the investigation. It was therefore not possible to provide appropriate public health advice.

A report on the management and outcomes of the investigation is being prepared. A routine assessment of cross-agency incident responses and any areas for improvement to develop and implement action plans for outbreak management will be scheduled imminently. We are unable to estimate the average time between notification of an outbreak based on the results of whole genome sequencing and the provision of information to those affected and the general public. Such timings are dependent on factors including the cause of the outbreak and whether epidemiological and food tracing investigations can conclusively identify a specific implicated food and supply chain. Multi-agency investigations are initiated immediately on detection of STEC O157 outbreaks. Once the food vehicle of infection is confirmed, control measures are implemented by the Food Standards Agency in a matter of days.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the outbreak of E. coli 0157 was first identified; and when (a) people affected and (b) the public were notified of this outbreak.

Between 28 August and 4 September 2022, an increase in the number of presumptive Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 referrals to UK Health Security Agency was observed. On 10 September a cluster of cases of a specific strain of STEC O157 was confirmed through whole genomic sequencing.

All cases of illness of STEC O157 are interviewed and public health advice is given to at-risk groups to prevent onward transmission. After the results were available which confirmed an outbreak, 60 people were re-interviewed for investigation from 13 September and were notified of the outbreak. The general public were not informed of the outbreak as the suspected cause of infection was not established until the latter period of the investigation. It was therefore not possible to provide appropriate public health advice.

A report on the management and outcomes of the investigation is being prepared. A routine assessment of cross-agency incident responses and any areas for improvement to develop and implement action plans for outbreak management will be scheduled imminently. We are unable to estimate the average time between notification of an outbreak based on the results of whole genome sequencing and the provision of information to those affected and the general public. Such timings are dependent on factors including the cause of the outbreak and whether epidemiological and food tracing investigations can conclusively identify a specific implicated food and supply chain. Multi-agency investigations are initiated immediately on detection of STEC O157 outbreaks. Once the food vehicle of infection is confirmed, control measures are implemented by the Food Standards Agency in a matter of days.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the concerns raised in the letter sent on 7 November 2022 by Dr Nicola Byrne, National Data Guardian, and Dr Arjun Dhillon, chair of the UK Caldicott Guardian Council to integrated care board senior information risk owners, whether he is taking steps to assess the confidentiality of patients' data in response to those concerns.

‘Data saves lives: reshaping health and social care with data’ sets out the importance of transparency in maintaining trust in the use of personal information in the health and care system. NHS England supports integrated care boards with advice on identifying the appropriate legal basis for using confidential patient information for purposes beyond individual care, including ensuring that the correct approvals are sought where relevant.

11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made (a) podiatry vacancy rates in the NHS in Hayes and Harlington constituency and (b) the impact these vacancies will have on patient treatment for diabetic foot complications.

The information requested is not held centrally.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment her Department has made of the comparative level of funding for research into (a) physical and (b) mental health.

The Department funds health and care research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health. However, it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in 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.

The following table shows expenditure on research on physical health and mental health in each of the last three years. This expenditure refers to a range of research, including studies on health service provision and public health and also research into specific treatments.

2019/20

2020/21

2021/22

Physical health

£855,317,799

£836,277,951

£976,485,697

Mental health

£91,049,739

£109,099,902

£120,895,907

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans she has to increase funding for mental health research.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). In 2021/22, the NIHR’s expenditure on mental health research was approximately £120 million. The NIHR recently launched a mental health research initiative, which included a £30 million investment to target acute regional and community mental health needs. The NIHR is exploring plans to provide further support to improve research capacity and capability, particularly in regions with low research activity and high unmet need. The NIHR’s funding is available through open competition for mental health and it encourages researchers to submit applications in this area.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the findings of the Royal College of Nursing report entitled Nursing Under Unsustainable Pressure: Staffing for Safe and Effective Care, published on 6 June 2020, that (a) 82 per cent of respondents from nursing and midwifery staff across the UK said there was a shortfall of one or more registered nurses on their last shift and (b) 63 per cent said there was a shortfall of one or more health care support workers; and what steps he plans to take to tackle those shortfalls.

Local National Health Service trusts are responsible for managing staffing levels and for recruiting the appropriate number of health professionals required to meet local service need. We have committed to deliver 50,000 more nurses and ensure the NHS is on a trajectory to a sustainable long-term supply. In March 2022, there were more than 30,000 additional nurses, compared to September 2019. Since 2020, nursing students have been eligible for a non-repayable training grant of a minimum of £5,000. Additional funding is also available for childcare costs, accommodation costs and travel costs.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what research is being undertaken on the combined effects of risperidone and covid-19 vaccines; and whether that research will be published.

The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). The NIHR is not currently supporting any specific research on the combined effects of risperidone and COVID-19 vaccines. The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including effects of COVID-19 vaccination.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his department provides clinical support to children living in secure accommodation following incidents in which they have been restrained; and what information his department holds on the process of recording those incidents.

NHS England and NHS Improvement commission healthcare services for children in the children and young people secure estate (CYPSE). Under the Healthcare Standards for the CYPSE, children should be seen by a healthcare professional as soon as possible after being restrained, to provide support and fully document any injuries sustained. Restrictive interventions are recorded on Mental Health Services Data Set for all children and young people mental health inpatient services, which is available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/data-tools-and-services/data-services/mental-health-data-hub/mental-health-services-monthly-statistics-restrictive-interventions

The Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018 came into force on 1 April 2022, placing a requirement on inpatient mental health providers to record of any use of force on a patient by staff who work in that unit. This will inform the published end of year statistics.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what payments have been made to Uniserve Ltd for (a) demurrage and (b) detention fees for each month in the last six months for which figures are available.

We are unable to provide the information requested as it is commercially sensitive.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions and meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have held with Hutchison Group on delays to shipments at Felixstowe port.

There have been no such discussions or meetings.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister of 12 May 2021, Official Report, column 158, what steps he is taking to increase brain tumour research.

In May 2018 the Government announced £40 million over five years for brain tumour research as part of the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Brain tumours are a difficult research area with a relatively small community therefore we are taking action to grow the field, through workshops for researchers and training for clinicians.

The NIHR released a public announcement to the research community in April 2018 for brain tumour research funding applications. We are relying on researchers to submit high-quality research proposals. All applications that were fundable in open competition have been funded.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many FTE nurses at each grade were employed in NHS England in (a) December 2019 and (b) the most recent month for which figures are available.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups, but not staff working in social care, primary care, local authorities or private sector providers commissioned by the National Health Service.

The following table shows the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) nurses by Agenda for Change grade in the NHS in England in December 2019 and January 2021, the latest data available.

Grade

FTE nurses as at December 2019

FTE nurses as at January 2021

Band 1

0

0

Band 2

0

0

Band 3

0

2

Band 4

208

288

Band 5

133,272

136,228

Band 6

88,328

92,963

Band 7

48,887

51,732

Band 8a

12,829

14,249

Band 8b

3,011

3,339

Band 8c

1,273

1,334

Band 8d

490

581

Band 9

171

213

Non AfC Grade

723

562

Total

289,192

301,491

Source: NHS Digital, NHS HCHS workforce statistics.

Staffing changes will be impacted by the cyclical nature of annual recruitment and training cycles.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that companies listed on the Government’s website as a provider of covid-19 tests under the Government’s quarantine procedures are not acting in a fraudulent manner.

Those providers listed on GOV.UK have declared and evidenced compliance with the relevant minimum standards for their commercial provision of testing, including participating in the three-staged United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) process if they are providing sample collection and/or test analysis services. UKAS also take appropriate action where organisations fraudulently state they are UKAS accredited.

The Department is working closely with providers to ensure tests and results are delivered on time. Providers’ performance is continually monitored and the Department takes rapid action should providers deliver inadequate services. This includes a five-day warning to demonstrate they have rectified their service or they will be removed from GOV.UK.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle failures by companies that are required to deliver covid-19 tests under the Government’s quarantine procedures to deliver those tests.

Those providers listed on GOV.UK have declared and evidenced compliance with the relevant minimum standards for their commercial provision of testing, including participating in the three-staged United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) process if they are providing sample collection and/or test analysis services. UKAS also take appropriate action where organisations fraudulently state they are UKAS accredited.

The Department is working closely with providers to ensure tests and results are delivered on time. Providers’ performance is continually monitored and the Department takes rapid action should providers deliver inadequate services. This includes a five-day warning to demonstrate they have rectified their service or they will be removed from GOV.UK.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many type 1 A&E departments there were in NHS England in (a) December 2019 and (b) the most recent month for which figures are available.

In December 2019 there were 132 National Health Service trusts reporting type 1 accident and emergency (A&E) departments. In April 2021 there were 126 trusts reporting type 1 A&E departments. However, some trusts may have multiple A&E units.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS hospitals there were in England in (a) December 2019 and (b) in the most recent month for which figures are available.

As at December 2019, there were 1,433 hospitals in England. In March 2020, the most recent data available showed that there were 1,433 hospitals.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he make an urgent assessment of the quality of the services provided by the company, 001Doctor.uk, listed on the Government’s website as a provider of tests under the Government’s quarantine procedures.

001 Doctor is not listed as a provider of quarantine testing.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he make an urgent assessment of the quality of the services provided by the company, 001Doctor.uk, listed on the Government’s website as a provider of tests under the Government’s quarantine procedures.

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

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that companies listed on the Government’s website as a provider of covid-19 tests under the Government’s quarantine procedures are not acting in a fraudulent manner.

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

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to tackle failures by companies that are required to deliver covid-19 tests under the Government’s quarantine procedures to deliver those tests.

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

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, by what date he is planning for all care home staff in England to have been vaccinated; and how many of those staff have been vaccinated to date.

We offered the first dose of vaccine to everyone in the first four priority groups, including all staff in care homes for older adults by 15 February. Everyone will receive the second dose within 12 weeks of their first. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection.

NHS England now publish weekly data on the vaccination of staff in older adult care homes, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to bring forward proposals on the social care plan announced by the Prime Minister in July 2019; and whether he plans to bring forward a (a) White Paper or (b) Bill.

As set out in the 2020 Spending Review, the Government is committed to the reform of the adult social care system and will bring forward proposals later this year, the form of which is to be confirmed.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, by what date he is planning for all domiciliary care staff in England to have been vaccinated; and how many of those staff have been vaccinated to date.

We offered a first vaccine to everyone in the first four priority groups, including domiciliary care staff by 15 February. We are working with NHS England to publish data on the vaccination of domiciliary care staff shortly.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase awareness of symptoms of (a) chronic fatigue syndrome and (b) long covid.

No specific assessment has been made of increasing awareness of chronic fatigue syndrome.

On 15 November 2020, the National Health Service launched a new taskforce with patients, charities, researchers and clinicians to help manage the NHS approach to ‘long COVID’. The taskforce will produce information and support materials for patients and healthcare professionals to develop a wider understanding of the condition. The full announcement is available via the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/11/nhs-launches-40-long-covid-clinics-to-tackle-persistent-symptoms/

2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the the report by Friends, Families and Travellers entitled Suicide Prevention in Gypsy and Traveller communities in England and its findings that (a) only five out of 79 local authority suicide prevention plans mention Gypsy and Traveller communities and (b) only two out of 79 local authority suicide prevention plans listed any action to address the high suicide rate in their local Gypsy and Traveller communities.

We have not made a formal assessment. We continue to explore ways of improving the quality and timeliness of suicide data to allow both national and local partners to continue to monitor rates, identify trends and develop effective prevention plans.

We know that there are certain groups that may be exposed to more risk factors for suicide, and we expect local agencies to work together to ensure that their plans are tailored to meet the needs of these groups. These groups include people from minority ethnic groups, such as Romany Gypsies or Irish Travellers.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the report entitled, Elective Surgery During COVID-19, published in June 2020 by the Royal College of Surgeons, what steps he plans to take to increase the level of the NHS workforce available for elective surgery.

Guidance has been issued to National Health Service providers and commissioning trusts on resetting non-COVID-19 services, including elective surgery. Decisions on how this is done, including apportionment of the workforce, will be taken at local level, based on local demand and local capacity. Infection control will be a guiding principle in the safe resumption of services.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, qualified staff who have previously left the NHS have been encouraged to return to the NHS to increase the available workforce. Additionally, an unprecedented deal with the independent sector will support the NHS in delivering elective surgery whilst maintaining capacity to deal with a potential second surge in COVID-19 cases.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that NHS trusts and integrated care systems, resuming services as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased, carry out their statutory duty to consult people with arthritis on those services.

Guidance has been issued to the NHS on the process of starting to restore urgent non-COVID-19 services, as well as encouraging the public to access the care they need when they need it. The most urgent treatments should be brought back first, and this will be driven by local demands with infection prevention and control as a guiding principle. The approach is being locally tailored according to capacity and demand in different parts of the country, but the reset will be gradual. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/07/Phase-3-letter-July-31-2020.pdf

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to announce which at-risk groups will be eligible for the 2020 NHS flu vaccine.

The flu vaccination programme will be a critical part of preparing the United Kingdom for winter and as part of our planning should we see co-circulation of flu and COVID-19.

On 14 May we published the Annual Flu letter 2020/21 which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/national-flu-immunisation-programme-2020-2021.pdf

This indicated the main groups who are eligible for free flu vaccination. Further details will be published on our plans for the flu season soon.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to reform the Mental Health Act 1989.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Luton South (Rachel Hopkins MP) on 14 July 2020 to Question 68461.

2nd Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will place sanctions on Israeli (a) ministers and (b) members of parliament who participated in the conference entitled Settlement Brings Security on 28 January 2024.

We were alarmed by the conference in Jerusalem calling for the resettlement of Gaza, and the fact that Israeli ministers participated. The UK's position is clear: Gaza is occupied Palestinian territory and will be part of the future Palestinian state. Settlements are illegal. No Palestinian should be threatened with forcible displacement or relocation.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on support for UK pensioners in Commonwealth countries.

FCDO provides support to British pensioners in Commonwealth countries on the same basis as we do for any British national overseas. All questions about British pensions should be directed to DWP.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations she has made to her Israeli counterpart on protecting children in Gaza.

We are aware of Save the Children's report into the wellbeing of Gazan children. In 2021, the UK contributed £2 million to UNICEF, which provided child-sensitive grants to vulnerable households in Gaza reaching 4,311 boys and girls. This support met the essential needs of vulnerable children, with the majority of it being spent on food, education, and healthcare. The UK also contributes annually to UNRWA, supporting their Mental Health and Psychosocial Support interventions, especially for children, which included summer school activities targeting 98,595 children in Gaza in 2021.

I recently visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) where I saw first-hand the challenges of the prolonged conflict and the impact of the occupation. I reiterated UK support for a two-state solution and the need to improve conditions for ordinary Palestinians in my meetings with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Roll, and with the Palestinian leadership, including Prime Minister Shtayyeh.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her Department’s policies of Save the Children’s report entitled Trapped: The impact of 15 years of blockade on the mental health of Gaza’s children, published on 15 June 2022.

We are aware of Save the Children's report into the wellbeing of Gazan children. In 2021, the UK contributed £2 million to UNICEF, which provided child-sensitive grants to vulnerable households in Gaza reaching 4,311 boys and girls. This support met the essential needs of vulnerable children, with the majority of it being spent on food, education, and healthcare. The UK also contributes annually to UNRWA, supporting their Mental Health and Psychosocial Support interventions, especially for children, which included summer school activities targeting 98,595 children in Gaza in 2021.

I recently visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) where I saw first-hand the challenges of the prolonged conflict and the impact of the occupation. I reiterated UK support for a two-state solution and the need to improve conditions for ordinary Palestinians in my meetings with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Roll, and with the Palestinian leadership, including Prime Minister Shtayyeh.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what diplomatic steps she is taking to help end the 15-year blockade of Gaza.

The UK continues to urge both the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authorities to prioritise progress towards reaching a durable solution for Gaza and to take the necessary practical steps to ensure Gaza's reconstruction and economic recovery. I recently visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) where I saw first-hand the challenges of the prolonged conflict and the impact of the occupation. I reiterated UK support for a two-state solution and the need to improve conditions for ordinary Palestinians in my meetings with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Roll, and with the Palestinian leadership, including Prime Minister Shtayyeh.

We remain longstanding supporters of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and their work to support Palestinian refugees across the region including Gaza. At the UNRWA pledging conference in New York in June, we announced a new multi-year funding programme with the agency providing £15 million in 2022, which helps UNRWA provide education to over 533,000 children a year (half of them girls), and access to health services for 3.5 million Palestinian refugees.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the total value is of payments from UK Aid to Abt Associates in respect of projects in Ukraine.

Abt Associates are a provider to the Ukraine programme funded by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) and previously the Good Governance Fund (formerly a CSSF programme, now funded by FCDO). The FCDO has held a contract with Abt Associates since May 2020, as part of the Managed Fund Technical Assistance Programme. Abt Associates have worked on numerous individual projects within Ukraine and the Eastern Neighbourhood. The latest financial figures for the Managed Fund Technical Assistance Programme, including expenditure to Abt Associates is available to the public on DevTracker.

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of Ukraine’s compliance with International Labour Organisation protocols.

The United Kingdom engages with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on country compliance with international labour standards actively as a permanent member of the ILO Governing Body and International Labour Conference. The Committee on the Application of Standards is integral to the ILO's supervisory system and the UK encourages all countries to abide to high labour standards. It is not for the UK to independently assess compliance with ILO standards and therefore any view of Ukraine's compliance would be based on information from the ILO's supervisory system.

In Ukraine, the UK is a key supporter to Ukraine's economic and governance reforms, as restated by the Prime Minister in his call to President Zelenskyy on 23 September and through the UK-Ukraine Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement signed on the 8 October 2020. The UK has advised Ukraine on the development of legislation to support key reforms in a number of areas, including on labour reform, through providing legal advice and technical assistance based on international best practice as well as recommendations of respected organisations, such as the International Labour Organisation.

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of Ukraine’s compliance with Article 282 of the Political, Free Trade and Strategic Partnership Agreement between the UK and Ukraine, signed on 8 October 2020.

The UK continues to monitor compliance and ensure high levels of protection across all its bilateral trade relationships. Trade agreement implementation, which involves committees with partner countries and engagement with advisory groups and civil society, allows for regular engagement on labour, climate and environment matters with partner countries.

For example, the Department for International Trade held its first Trade and Sustainable Development (TSD) Sub-Committee with Ukraine in November 2021. TSD Sub-Committees aim to support the effective implementation of the labour, environment and climate provisions included in trade agreements.

Compliance monitoring is supported by the work of the UK overseas network as well as appropriate engagement through multilateral institutions.

17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent reports that the Turkish army attacked a village with chemical weapons in the Duhok region of Northern Iraq on 4 September 2021.

We have not made an assessment of this report. We take seriously all allegations of the use of chemical weapons - it is important that the full facts are established. We continue to reiterate the importance of dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey to combat terrorism, ensure regional security, and protect civilians. We welcome discussions between Iraqi and Turkish Defence Ministers regarding Ankara's military operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a proscribed terrorist group, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The Foreign Secretary discussed the stability of Iraq and the KRI with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq's President, Nechirvan Barzani, during his visit to London of 15-17 September.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of recent reports that the Turkish army attacked a refugee camp in the Zaxo region of Northern Iraq on 30 August 2021 housing Yazidi refugees displaced during the ISIS genocide.

We are aware of reports of an explosion in a refugee camp in Zaxo in Northern Iraq on 30 August. Allegations of attacks against refugee camps are deeply concerning. We continue to reiterate the importance of dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey to combat terrorism, ensure regional security and protect civilians. We welcome discussions between Iraqi and Turkish Defence Ministers regarding Ankara's military operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a proscribed terrorist group, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The Foreign Secretary discussed the stability of Iraq and the KRI with the President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, President Nechirvan Barzani, during his visit to London on the 15-17 September.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent reports that the Turkish Government is seeking to shut down the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party in Turkey; and if he will make a statement.

We have made it clear to Turkey that we expect the government to undertake any legal processes or actions against opposition parties, as well as human rights defenders and journalists, fairly, transparently and with full respect for the rule of law. We are aware that the Turkish Government is seeking to ban the People's Democratic Party (HDP). Our Embassy meets regularly with the HDP leadership, as it does with other opposition parties, to discuss their concerns, including the arrests of HDP MPs. We will continue to engage closely with Turkey, including at Ministerial level, to insist that it fulfils its international legal obligations to secure the human rights of all people, regardless of their legitimate political affiliations, particularly in the areas of freedom of expression and assembly, press freedom and the treatment of detainees. We will hold Turkey to account using established international mechanisms, and look for opportunities to raise these issues with our international partners.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to his counterpart in the Turkish Government to help prevent the further escalation of Turkish alleged persecution and inciting of violence against Kurdish people in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, Iraq and Syria.

The UK continues to follow closely the situations in northern Iraq and Syria. We reiterate the importance of dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey to combat terrorism, ensure regional security and protect civilians. The UK respects Iraqi sovereignty and acknowledges Turkey's security concerns regarding the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK), a proscribed terrorist group. We believe Turkey has a legitimate right to defend itself against the PKK, whose attacks we condemn as we condemn all terrorism. In Turkey, we continue to urge an end to PKK violence and a return to a peace process. As in any conflict, civilian casualties should be avoided and human rights fully protected. In Syria, we welcome the fact that the ceasefires in north-east and north-west Syria broadly continue to hold, and we continue to call on all sides in the Syrian conflict to abide by their obligations under international law.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of reports of the attack and murder of a Kurdish family on 30 July 2021 in the Konya region of Turkey; and if he will make a statement.

The murder in July of seven members of the Dedeoğulları family was shocking and deeply saddening. I understand that there were several arrests in the days following the murders, and that police investigations are continuing. We also note claims in the Turkish media that the attack was racially motivated. We expect the Turkish authorities to conduct a rigorous investigation into the killings.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent reports of Turkish military activity in the Kurdish region of Northern Syria; and if he will make a statement.

We assess that the ceasefire in north east Syria is broadly holding, but we are not complacent and will continue to call for all actors to meet their obligations under international law. We are aware of the recent reports of increased violence in the region and I called for de-escalation on the 1st September.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the Government will fulfil its commitment to the 2021 Afghan Chevening scholars; and what provisions have been made to enable those scholars to travel to the UK.

We successfully evacuated the majority of Afghan Chevening scholars in this year’s cohort and we will continue to uphold our commitment to support all of our Chevening scholars from Afghanistan.
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of recent reports of Turkish military activity in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq; and if he will make a statement.

The UK continues to follow the situation in northern Iraq closely. The Foreign Secretary met Iraqi President Saleh, Prime Minister Kadhimi and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq's President Nechirvan to discuss the stability of Iraq and the KRI during his visit to Iraq on 8-9 June. We welcome discussions between Iraqi and Turkish Defence Ministers regarding Ankara's military operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a proscribed terrorist group, in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. We continue to reiterate the importance of dialogue and cooperation between Iraq and Turkey to combat terrorism, ensure regional security, and protect civilians.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 178778, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the treatment of prisoners in Jau Prison during the covid-19 pandemic.

We regularly discuss the challenges of managing Covid-19 in prisons with senior members of the Bahraini Government and continue to engage with the Government of Bahrain to support its reform agenda. 70% of prisoners are vaccinated and, since February, visits from vaccinated family members have been allowed in person.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 178778 Bahrain: Political Prisoners, what visits have taken place at Jau Prison during the covd-19 pandemic.

We regularly discuss the challenges of managing Covid-19 in prisons with senior members of the Bahraini Government and continue to engage with the Government of Bahrain to support its reform agenda. 70% of prisoners are vaccinated and, since February, visits from vaccinated family members have been allowed in person.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Bahraini counterpart on the treatment of prisoners in Jau Prison during the covid-19 pandemic.

We regularly discuss the challenge of managing the covid-19 pandemic in prisons with senior members of the Bahraini government. We also continue to discuss with the Ombudsman, the NIHR (National Institute for Human Rights) and the PDRC (Prisoners and Detainees Rights Commission), who actively monitor the covid-19 situation through inspection visits (NIHR and PDRC) and investigations (Ombudsman) into prison conditions.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what equalities impact assessment he has made of his Department's policy to reserve certain job roles for British nationals.

A full equalities impact assessment (EIA) was conducted to fully understand the potential impacts on protected characteristics.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in Overseas Development Aid budget to 0.5% of GDP on the number staff required in his Department.

The FCDO is a new organisation which undertakes a diverse range of responsibilities. That remains the case despite the temporary ODA reduction and there will be no compulsory redundancies. We have begun the process of integrating the development and diplomatic functions of the FCDO and determining the mix of skills which will best meet its needs. We expect that process to deliver a more effective organisation better able to meet the UK's international ambitions. We maintain our status as one of the leading countries in the world in terms of our ODA spend and remain firmly committed to helping the world's poorest people.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the reduction in the Overseas Development Assistance budget on (a) career progression and (b) potential redundancies of staff employed by his Department.

The FCDO is a new organisation which undertakes a diverse range of responsibilities. That remains the case despite the temporary ODA reduction and there will be no compulsory redundancies. We have begun the process of integrating the development and diplomatic functions of the FCDO and determining the mix of skills which will best meet its needs. We expect that process to deliver a more effective organisation which will meet the reasonable career aspirations of its staff.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he made of the potential merits of a hybrid approach in terms of nationality and reserved posts for his Department, as is operational at the Home Office.

The most appropriate approach is the chosen one: reserving new recruitment into the FCDO to UK Nationals, while allowing flexibility for existing valued staff, who are non-UK nationals, to continue their careers within the FCDO. Many factors, including nationality, were considered in drawing up this approach.

2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to increase the remuneration of British Council employees; when a pay award will be made; and if he will make a statement.

This has been a uniquely challenging time for the British Council and its finances, and HMG have worked hard to provide additional financial support in a time of strain on public finances. The FCDO has provided an additional £26 million Grant in Aid in 2019-20 and a £60 million loan in June 2020, with further financial support to be provided in the New Year.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the UK will attach (a) the need to release human rights activists and women’s rights defenders and (b) other conditions to their attendance at the upcoming G20 in Riyadh.

The UK will participate in the G20 Summit, which is likely to focus on health, the global economic recovery and wider global challenges (including climate change, trade and development). It is a key part of international planning for a sustainable recovery from coronavirus. As current G20 President, Saudi Arabia will play a vital role in coordinating the global health and economic response. We hope that the international platform provided by the G20 Presidency encourages continued progress on domestic reforms.

Our close relationship with Saudi Arabia allows us to raise our concerns about human rights, including on political detainees, in private and in public. We have expressed significant concerns about reports of continuing arrests and arbitrary detentions in Saudi Arabia. We raise concerns about individual cases regularly, using a range of Ministerial and diplomatic channels, including our Embassy in Riyadh. The UK signed a statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September. It noted our human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia, regretted the continued detention of at least five women's human rights defenders, arrested in 2018, and called for the release of all political detainees. We continue to raise concerns at all levels and are monitoring the situation closely.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what specific discussions his Department has had with its counterparts in Saudi Arabia on the release of senior political figures detained without charge in that country.

The UK will participate in the G20 Summit, which is likely to focus on health, the global economic recovery and wider global challenges (including climate change, trade and development). It is a key part of international planning for a sustainable recovery from coronavirus. As current G20 President, Saudi Arabia will play a vital role in coordinating the global health and economic response. We hope that the international platform provided by the G20 Presidency encourages continued progress on domestic reforms.

Our close relationship with Saudi Arabia allows us to raise our concerns about human rights, including on political detainees, in private and in public. We have expressed significant concerns about reports of continuing arrests and arbitrary detentions in Saudi Arabia. We raise concerns about individual cases regularly, using a range of Ministerial and diplomatic channels, including our Embassy in Riyadh. The UK signed a statement at the UN Human Rights Council on 15 September. It noted our human rights concerns in Saudi Arabia, regretted the continued detention of at least five women's human rights defenders, arrested in 2018, and called for the release of all political detainees. We continue to raise concerns at all levels and are monitoring the situation closely.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, for what reason Mohammed bin Salman was not included in the list of individuals from Saudi Arabia sanctioned under the new Magnitsky legislation.

It is not appropriate to speculate on who may be designated under the Global Human Rights sanctions regime. We don't comment in relation to individuals who have not been sanctioned under the regime.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking against people involved in the suppression of human rights in Nigeria.

The UK Government's position on human rights is firm: they are universal and must apply equally to all people. We condemn all human rights violations or abuses in Nigeria and encourage all parties to work together to enable the people of Nigeria to exercise their rights safely, peacefully and in line with the rule of law. The UK Government works closely with the Nigerian Government and international and civil society partners on improving the human rights compliance and accountability of the Nigerian authorities. We are also committed to helping Nigeria tackle the terrorist threat from groups, including Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa, who commit human rights abuses in North East Nigeria. We will continue to make clear to the Nigerian authorities at the highest levels the importance of protecting human rights for all.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that food shortages and famine across Sub-Saharan Africa do not result in an increase in sexual exploitation of adolescent girls.

Sexual exploitation is completely unacceptable. That is why the UK is a vocal advocate for safeguarding against sexual exploitation, abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH). We remain firmly committed to raising safeguarding standards across the aid sector and we continue to have zero tolerance to any form of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment.

FCDO launched a new UK Strategy on Safeguarding Against SEAH last month that applies to all UK Official Development Assistance. Partners undergo our enhanced safeguarding due diligence to ensure they meet our high standards.

The current food security situation in sub-Saharan Africa places adolescent girls at increased risk of sexual exploitation. All humanitarian programmes, including those addressing chronic hunger and its broader underlying drivers, undertake a robust gender analysis of SEAH risks. This informs programme design, interventions and monitoring. The UK is also a leading donor on gender-responsive social protection. This protects and builds the resilience of poor and vulnerable families to reduce negative coping mechanisms such as exchanging sex for food or marrying daughters in exchange for assets or cash.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the closure of schools and related school feeding programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa on (a) girls and (b) all children in that region.

The education of over 1.3 billion children in over 150 countries has been disrupted since COVID-19 struck, including many across Sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that 10 million children may never return to school, and past evidence suggests the majority will be girls.

The effects of school closures go beyond the millions of hours of lost learning. School-based nutrition programmes provide a key safety net for many children and families and help keep children - particularly girls - in school. School closures also increase the risk of child labour, neglect, violence and sexual abuse.

In response, the UK has taken decisive action. We have adapted our bilateral education programmes in 18 countries to provide child protection, learning continuity, safe reopening of schools. As the largest donor to the Global Partnership for Education we have helped establish a dedicated $500 million COVID-19 accelerated funding window to maintain basic education. We have topped up our contribution to the global fund for Education in Emergencies to which we are also the largest donor, which includes support for school feeding programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa including in Burkina Faso, Niger, DRC, Mali, Uganda and Somalia.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the Government of Eritrea on reforming its policies that breach the human rights of (a) prisoners who have never been charged nor presented to a court of law but kept imprisoned without due legal process and incommunicado for decades and (b) other citizens.

The UK Government, along with partners in the international community, has taken every opportunity to voice our concern about arbitrary arrests and detentions in Eritrea, and has called for the release of those arrested and detained in this way. We have done so directly with the Government of Eritrea and publicly at the Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, most recently on 30 June at the 44th Session. Over the past year, our Ambassador in Asmara has raised the cases of journalists detained without trial, as well as members of non-registered religious groups. We do not have a regular dialogue but we will continue to seek opportunities to raise these cases in our engagements.

On 26 February, the UK's International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, delivered a statement during the 43rd Session of the HRC, expressing concern at continuing human rights abuses and said that the UK would continue to press for the release of arbitrarily detained individuals. Eritrea remains a priority country for the FCO under our annual human rights reporting, and we will continue to monitor the situation there.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to the UN Security Council on the Eritrean Government's denial of access to the Red Sea for the Southern Red Sea people.

The UK has not been able to verify reports that the Government of Eritrea is targeting the Southern Red Sea Afar people and denying them access to the Red Sea. The UK is informed by reporting from the UN Special Rapporteur on Eritrea, who regularly monitors the human rights situation in the country, but she has not been allowed to visit herself. We note that her latest report refers to the reported marginalization of the Afar people. We will maintain contact with her office as we seek to establish the facts. The UK strongly supports the important work that she does in challenging the Government of Eritrea to improve its human rights record. This was reiterated by the UK in our statement at the Human Rights Council (HRC) on 30 June. Eritrea remains a priority country for the FCO under our annual human rights reporting, and we will continue to monitor the situation there.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Eritrea on abolishing indefinite servitude in the form of national service in line with the findings and recommendations of the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Eritrea.

The UK continues to call for reform of Eritrea's use of a system of indefinite national service. Whilst the Government of Eritrea has justified this service on grounds of the security threat posed by Ethiopia and has talked about the need for reform, we have yet to see any concrete proposal following the July 2018 peace agreement. At the 44th session of the Human Rights Council in July 2020, the UK renewed calls for Eritrea to reform the national service system. The Home Office International Director raised national service reform with Eritrean ministers during her visit in February 2020.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19, published on 9 June 2020, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of maintaining the provision of contractual relief as a result of covid-19 in line with Procurement Policy Notice 02/20; which (a) companies and (b) work areas will be affected by changes to that contractual relief; and what the timeframe is for proposals to change that contractual relief.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office previously considered and applied Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 02/20 from end of March 2020 onwards. All Relief measures agreed under PPN02/20 ended by 30th June 2020. Throughout the aforementioned period any suppliers seeking financial relief have been risk assessed by a dedicated team within the Commercial Directorate. Where relief has been considered we have applied contract change practices to ensure measures are time limited, offer transparency of costs and are able to transition to a new operational approach for that contract. All relief measures sought under PPN04/20 are to be re-assessed to test necessity and proportionality of relief to ensure maintenance of critical services.

We are working in partnership with our suppliers to develop transition plans to exit from any relief arrangements as soon as reasonably possible, including the agreement of contract variations. By the end of Oct 2020 we expect suppliers to have resumed services in line with new operational requirements and all associated relief should end by this date. This is in addition to working with all our key suppliers to review Business Continuity Plans in line with the impacts of COVID-19, potential future waves, ensuring rapid payment of invoices to maintain cash flow and protect services.

19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Saudi Arabian counterpart on the reported forced eviction of 20,000 members of the Huwaitat tribe to make way for a new city, NEOM; and whether the Government will rescind its offer to help develop that project.

The NEOM City is part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 programme for socio-economic reform. We are aware of the reports of evictions in the area. We welcome the Saudi announcement on 20 June to grant plots of land, housing, compensation and provide job opportunities to residents within the project area. Saudi Arabia remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office human rights priority country, and we regularly raise areas of concern with the Saudi authorities at all levels.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make urgent representations to the Government of Saudi Arabia requesting the release of (a) female activists and (b) political prisoners.

We remain concerned about the continued detention of women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia. The Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about the ongoing detention of political detainees, including women's rights defenders with Saudi Ministers during his visit this year to Riyadh on 4 and 5 March. We regularly raise areas of concern with the Saudi authorities at all levels, through Ministers, our Ambassador and the Embassy in Riyadh. We consistently underline the importance of political freedoms globally. This includes respect for the right to peaceful protest, the rule of law, and freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. We continue to raise concerns about individual cases regularly and monitor the situation closely.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he plans to include the UK’s relationship with (a) Saudi Arabia and (b) other countries with similar human rights records in his integrated review of foreign policy.

The UK's relationship with Saudi Arabia is one of great importance, covering a broad range of UK national security and economic interests. Our most recent assessment of Saudi Arabia's human rights record was published in our latest Human Rights and Democracy Report. This was published in June 2019. Saudi Arabia remains a Foreign and Commonwealth Office human rights priority country, particularly because of death penalty use, restrictions on women's rights, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion or belief. The Foreign Secretary raised our human rights concerns with Saudi Arabia during his visit in March. We regularly raise areas of concern with the Saudi authorities at all levels, through Ministers, our Ambassador and the Embassy in Riyadh.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to lift the freeze on personal tax allowance.

The Government is committed to keeping taxes low to support people to keep more of what they earn. However, the Government must also ensure the UK’s economic stability and provide confidence in the commitment to fiscal discipline. The Chancellor has made clear that the UK’s public finances must be on a sustainable path into the medium term.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Sep 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of a UK central bank digital currency on the right to privacy.

Individuals’ privacy, user control and the proper use of data in line with UK data protection laws are of paramount importance to the public, HM Treasury and the Bank of England. The Government recognises the launch of a digital pound would require deep public trust in this new form of money – trust that their money would remain safe, accessible, and private.

The digital pound would be subject to rigorous standards of privacy and data protection. Neither the Government nor the Bank of England would have access to personal data, nor be able to see how consumers use their money.  Similarly, the Government and the Bank of England would not put any restrictions on how the public choose to spend digital pounds – users would have complete freedom in how they spent their money.

We consulted on the privacy features of a potential digital pound in February, and we are currently reviewing the feedback received from industry and the general public. We will publish a consultation response publication in due course.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
13th Sep 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of a UK central bank digital currency on financial exclusion.

The Government is committed to promoting financial inclusion, meaning that individuals, regardless of their background or income, have access to useful and affordable financial products and services. These include banking, payment services, credit, insurance, and the use of financial technology.

The consultation on the digital pound closed on 30 June, and we are now assessing the responses. We will publish a consultation response publication in due course. A digital pound could help financial exclusion. Financial inclusion and the needs of vulnerable people will be considered by HM Treasury and the Bank of England at every stage.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
15th May 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation holds on whether oil tankers registered under the St. Kitts and Nevis international ship registry have transported refined oil products from Russia to third countries.

The UK, alongside G7 partners, has introduced unprecedented and wide-ranging sanctions on Russian oil and oil products, and the revenues they generate. The government has moved swiftly to ensure we have the right tools and structures in place to rigorously enforce those sanctions. Alongside our partners, we continue to monitor our oil-related measures and reserve the right to take further action to ensure their effectiveness. UK law requires breaches of sanctions to be reported to HM Treasury, however we do not require reporting from non-UK entities or where the service is outside the scope of the relevant sanctions.

While flagging and registration services are not in scope of the ban on maritime services for the transport of Russian oil and associated oil price cap, the UK government can make use of a process of applying sanctions and deregistration in the event of any circumvention or breach of the maritime services prohibition by UK-flagged ships.

Any UK-flagged vessel which the Secretary of State has reasonable grounds to suspect is, has been, or is likely to be, involved in circumventing or breaching the Maritime Services Ban could could be deregistered from the UK shipping register.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th May 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many applications (a) crown servants, (b) contractors and (c) their family members have submitted to the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation under Regulation 64 of the Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 since 1 August 2022; and how many times that Office has granted an application under General Licence INT-2022-1845976 in that period.

In the period between the 1 August 2022 – 19 August 2022, OFSI did not receive any applications from crown servants, contractors, and their family members under the Russia Regulations.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he will take to ensure that banks pass on interest rate rises to savers, as well as to debtors.

The pricing of financial products, including savings accounts and mortgages, is a commercial decision for firms and the Government does not seek to intervene in such decisions. The Bank of England’s independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) sets the base rate of interest, which is known as the Bank Rate, to achieve its primary objective of maintaining price stability. MPC decisions over Bank Rate guide commercial banks’ decisions over the retail interest rates they charge on loans and pay on deposits.

More broadly, the Government is committed to ensuring people are supported to save, and that they can access a wide range of competitive savings products. The retail savings market currently offers a range of competitive options to savers, who can now access the highest rates in recent years on a variety of instant access and fixed-term products. I would encourage savers to explore the full range of products available in the market to find the best rates.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the Governor of the Bank of England on (a) the provision of liquidity to the UK banking sector and (b) swap lines between central banks.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and Governor of the Bank of England meet regularly to discuss a range of issues including conditions in the UK and global financial markets.

Swap lines are a routine lending facility amongst central banks and form a part of the global financial architecture. Changes to bilateral swap line operations are a matter for the Bank of England.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will pause the passage of the Financial Services and Markets Bill in response to the instability in the global financial system.

The government has no plans to pause the passage of the Financial Services and Markets Bill. The Bill will establish a coherent, agile and internationally-respected approach to financial services regulation that maintains high regulatory standards and can adapt to the specifics of UK markets.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
25th Nov 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what systems he has in place to monitor the rates of (a) landlord possession orders and (b) mortgage possession orders.

Arrears and repossession levels remain low: according to UK Finance data, 700 residential mortgaged properties and 390 buy-to-let mortgage properties were repossessed in Q3 2022. These were both lower than the 1,070 and 640 respectively in Q1 2020 (pre-pandemic).

The Government remains watchful of any emerging trends in this space and engages regularly with mortgage lenders and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to monitor market developments. The Government also closely monitors a wide range of sources that measure levels of financial distress amongst consumers.

It is worth noting though that around 75% of residential mortgage borrowers, and 73% of buy-to-let mortgage borrowers, are on fixed-rate deals and therefore shielded from interest rate rises in the near term. If mortgage borrowers do fall into financial difficulty, FCA guidance requires firms to provide support through tailored forbearance options. The Government has also taken a number of measures aimed at helping people to avoid repossession, including Support for Mortgage Interest loans for those in receipt of an income-related benefit, and protection in the courts through the Pre-Action Protocol, which makes clear that repossession must always be the last resort for lenders.

More broadly, the Government has taken decisive action to support households across the UK through the cost-of-living challenges ahead, whilst remaining fiscally responsible. In addition to the £37 billion of support for the cost of living already announced for 2022-23, the Government has announced further support for next year designed to target the most vulnerable households. This cost-of-living support is worth £26 billion in 2023-24, in addition to benefits uprating, which is worth £11 billion to working age households and people with disabilities. The Government is also continuing to provide support to all households through the Energy Price Guarantee, which will save the average UK household £500 in 2023-24.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
25th Nov 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to replicate in the 2023 Energy Bills Support Scheme the £400 non-repayable discount administered by energy suppliers and paid to consumers.

This winter, the Government is spending £55 billion to directly help households and businesses with their energy bills - amongst the largest support plans in Europe. This includes the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme. Energy suppliers are delivering this support to households in Great Britain with a domestic electricity meter over the 6 months from October 2022 to March 2023. It also includes the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) which caps the unit price households pay for electricity and gas, saving the typical household around £900 this winter.

The Government has reviewed the energy support available from April 2023 to design a new approach that is expected to cost the taxpayer less while targeting support on those most in need. At Autumn Statement the

Government announced that the EPG will be adjusted so that the typical household pays £3000 per annum from April 2023 until April 2024 on energy, saving the average household £500. At the same time, the Government has announced further support designed to target the most vulnerable households across the UK through next winter via additional Cost of Living Payments. UK households on means-tested benefits will receive a further £900 Cost of Living payment; pensioner households will receive an additional £300 Cost of Living payment and people on non-means-tested disability benefits will receive a further £150 Disability Cost of Living payment, to help with the additional costs they face. The support in 2023-24 is in addition to the support already in place to protect households this winter, including the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme, the £150 Council Tax rebate and the one-off £650 Cost of Living Payment for those on means-tested benefits, with additional support for pensioners and those claiming disability benefits.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to assess the extent of (a) domestic tax base erosion and profit shifting and (b) tax avoidance by multinational shipping companies registered in the UK.

The Government has not carried out any sector-specific assessment of the extent of base erosion and profit shifting or tax avoidance by multinational shipping enterprises. However, the UK has led on international measures to combat base erosion and profit-shifting by multinationals. In particular, the UK has played a leading role in the OECD base erosion and profit shifting project. Since 2015, the UK has introduced a number of key measures to combat multinational tax planning, including diverted profits tax, corporate interest restriction, hybrid mismatch rules, and rules dealing with offshore receipts from intangible property.

20th Sep 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many shipping companies that qualify for tonnage tax operate container lines from UK ports.

The information requested is not available. It is not possible to identify which shipping companies qualifying for tonnage tax operate container lines from UK ports, because companies paying tonnage tax are not required to declare this information in tax returns.

HMRC does publish the total number of companies paying tonnage tax in its publication on non-structural tax reliefs, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/main-tax-expenditures-and-structural-reliefs. In 2018-19, in total 415 companies paid tonnage tax.

20th Sep 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to introduce a windfall tax on the profits of container shipping companies operating from the UK.

The Government currently has no plans to introduce new windfall taxes on businesses operating from the UK.
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential relationship between the cost of shipping containers on international routes and domestic inflation rates.

Record energy prices and supply chain pressures (including shipping costs) have driven inflation up globally. Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation was at a near 40-year high of 9.9% in August. Price pressures have become more widespread since March, with a broader range of items in the CPI basket of goods and services seeing increases that exceed the headline 2% CPI inflation target.

Shipping cost increases have been caused by a combination of pressures from increased demand for goods and from logistical issues impeding shipping from adequately addressing elevated demand - such as port closures, congestion, and operational efficiency. These pressures and resulting elevated shipping prices continue to ease from their post pandemic peaks but remain elevated compared to historical averages.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the impact on economic growth of the measures for households announced in his Economy Update on 26 May 2022; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has published analysis alongside the May 2022 Cost of Living support package. This includes an analysis of the impact of the support package on households across the income distribution. The published report can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1078837/DA_May_2022_publication.pdf

Alongside this the published Cost of Living support factsheet can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-living-support/cost-of-living-support-factsheet-26-may-2022. This includes illustrative case-studies which show the combined impact of the Cost of Living package, support announced in February 2022, and changes in the labour market.

HM Treasury does not prepare formal forecasts for the UK economy. The macroeconomic impacts of the support package will be incorporated into the next forecast produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what modelling his Department has undertaken on the economic stimulus effect of the measures for households announced in his Economy Update on 26 May 2022; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has published analysis alongside the May 2022 Cost of Living support package. This includes an analysis of the impact of the support package on households across the income distribution. The published report can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1078837/DA_May_2022_publication.pdf

Alongside this the published Cost of Living support factsheet can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cost-of-living-support/cost-of-living-support-factsheet-26-may-2022. This includes illustrative case-studies which show the combined impact of the Cost of Living package, support announced in February 2022, and changes in the labour market.

HM Treasury does not prepare formal forecasts for the UK economy. The macroeconomic impacts of the support package will be incorporated into the next forecast produced by the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

1st Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what modelling his Department has undertaken on the extra investment that will be brought forward as a result of the introduction of the investment allowance announced in his Economy Update on 26 May 2022.

The new Energy Profits Levy will raise around £5 billion over the next year. This figure factors in the investment allowance.

The Government expects the combination of the Levy and the investment allowance to lead to an overall increase in investment.

The Levy will be legislated for shortly, and a Tax Information and Impact Note will be published as standard. A full costing of the policy will be certified by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility at Autumn Budget 2022.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost to the Exchequer of the investment allowance announced in his Economy Update on 26 May 2022.

The new Energy Profits Levy will raise around £5 billion over the next year. This figure factors in the investment allowance.

The Government expects the combination of the Levy and the investment allowance to lead to an overall increase in investment.

The Levy will be legislated for shortly, and a Tax Information and Impact Note will be published as standard. A full costing of the policy will be certified by the independent Office for Budget Responsibility at Autumn Budget 2022.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraphs 3.2 and 4.1 of the Civil Service Pay Remit Guidance 2020-21, published by the Cabinet Office on 18 May 2020, which elements of the HM Revenue and Customs pay business case for years 2020-21 to 2022-23 have been disclosed to its recognised trade unions.

HMRC have collectively agreed their pay and working arrangement reforms with their recognised departmental unions, ARC and PCS. Union members voted in favour for HMRC’s pay and contract reform offer and HMRC have started to implement reforms.

HMRC conducted an intensive period of negotiations with trade unions to reach the collectively agreed position, based on proposals set out in the original business case. The final position agreed during these talks was then put to union members at Trade Union organised ballots, where it was strongly supported.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to paragraph 4.1 of the Civil Service Pay Remit Guidance 2020-21 published by the Cabinet Office on 18 May 2020, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of HM Revenue and Customs' work with its recognised trade unions on the development of its pay business case for years 2020-21 to 2022-23.

The Civil Service Pay Remit Guidance 2020-21 encourages departments to work constructively with trade unions on the development of their overall pay, reward and workforce strategies as a matter of course. HMRC have followed the Cabinet Office procedure for pay cases including conducting formal negotiations with trade unions in late 2020.

The outcome was a pay settlement agreed with trade unions and endorsed by Union members in a series of ballots held in February 2021.

11th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether HM Revenue & Customs consulted its recognised trade unions on the contract of employment that applies to apprentices working in the HMRC Surge & Rapid Response Team; and if he will make a statement.

The Surge and Rapid Response Team (SRRT) was established in May 2015, following a request from the Cabinet Office, Civil Service People Board to find innovative ways to improve operational resilience across Government.

Recognised Civil Service trade unions FDA and PCS were informed of the SRRT contracts prior to advertising the posts.

All contracts were drafted and reviewed by Civil Service Employee Policy, and Treasury Solicitors were also consulted. Any subsequent changes to contracts and the relationship with broader HMRC contractual changes were also done with union consultation.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimates his Department has made of the revenue impact of expanding the scope of dormant assets scheme in the Dormant Assets Bill.

HM Treasury and the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport have worked extensively with industry stakeholders to estimate the potential impact of expanding the Dormant Assets Scheme. According to industry estimates, this expansion could result in a further £1.7bn of dormant assets being transferred into the Scheme. After a portion is reserved for any future reclaims, the Government estimates £880m will be available for distribution to initiatives across the UK. The Government’s consultation response, “Government response to the consultation on expanding the Dormant Assets Scheme” has further detail on the impact of Scheme expansion.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the revenue impact in 2022-23 of introducing zero-rate contributions on secondary class 1 contributions for employees at freeport tax sites.

The National Insurance contribution relief will be important in supporting the Government’s objectives for the Freeports programme, which includes regeneration through job creation. The Government has considered the costs of the tax reliefs that will be granted across each of the eight English Freeport locations. However, as a result of these tax reliefs applying only in tax sites agreed and confirmed by Government, estimates of their cost will be dependent on the final locations once agreed.

Bidders were required to submit initial proposals for their tax sites as part of their bids. The Government will outline the process for confirming tax sites in due course and expects to score the costs of tax reliefs, including zero-rate contributions, at the next fiscal event. These costings will undergo the usual scrutiny from the Office for Budget Responsibility.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of employees that will benefit in 2022-23 from the introduction zero-rate contributions on secondary class 1 contributions for employees at freeport tax sites.

The National Insurance contribution relief will be key in supporting the Government’s objectives for the Freeports programme, which includes regeneration through job creation. The Freeports tax sites have not yet been confirmed and so the Government is currently unable to give an accurate estimate of the number of employees that benefit in 2022-23 as this will depend on how many employers use the relief and will vary depending on a number of circumstances, including the location of the Freeport tax site.

The Government will publish an updated Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN), when further information is available following confirmation of the tax sites.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 9 September 2019 to Question 284253 on Revenue and Customs: Equal Pay, when his Department plans to complete its 2019 Equal Pay Audit.

Publication of HMRC’s next Equal Pay Audit was delayed from its originally scheduled publication date of 2019 while the department was working with trade unions last year to negotiate a set of reforms to its pay and working arrangements. The department took the decision to delay publication as this programme of work and the changes proposed to its pay system were likely to have a significant impact on the report’s results. Following agreement by HMRC union members of a final pay and contract offer put forward at a members’ ballot in January 2021, HMRC are now in the process of implementing these workforce reforms and HMRC expect to publish their next Equal Pay Audit before the end of 2021.

HMRC have continued to meet their statutory obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and in January 2021 also published equality objectives until 2024 that describe HMRC’s commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hmrc-equality-objectives-2020-to-2024. HMRC have embedded pay gap reduction actions into the work already being undertaken to review and improve policies and processes, and HMRC’s analyses show that they reduced their gender pay gap (ordinary and bonus) from 2019 to 2020. HMRC continue to take an evidence-based approach, using quantitative and qualitative insight to inform action taken.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the Average Working Days Lost for civil servants working in the Debt Management directorate of HMRC in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

This directorate report is based on the most recent organisational structure. The average working days lost for civil servants working in Debt Management was as follows:

April 2019 – March 2020 = 8.77 days average

April 2018 – March 2019 = 8.69 days average

April 2017 – March 2018 = 7.58 days average

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the Average Working Days Lost for civil servants working in the Benefits and Credits directorate of HMRC in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

This directorate report is based on the most recent organisational structure. The average working days lost for civil servants working in Benefits and Credits was as follows:

April 2019 – March 2020 = 10.62 days average

April 2018 – March 2019 = 8.15 days average

April 2017 – March 2018 = 8.19 days average

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the Average Working Days Lost for civil servants working in the Personal Tax Operations directorate of HMRC in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

This directorate report is based on the most recent organisational structure. The average working days lost for civil servants working in Personal Tax Operations was as follows:

April 2019 – March 2020 = 8.90 days average

April 2018 – March 2019 = 8.68 days average

April 2017 – March 2018 = 8.13 days average

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the Average Working Days Lost for civil servants working in the Campaigns and Projects directorate of HMRC in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

Campaigns and Projects is a sub-directorate within Individuals and Small Business Compliance (ISBC) directorate; HMRC are unable to break down data further than directorate level. This directorate report is based on the most recent organisational structure for ISBC. The average working days lost for civil servants working in ISBC was as follows:

April 2019 – March 2020 = 7.34 days average

April 2018 – March 2019 = 6.53 days average

April 2017 – March 2018 = 7.11 days average

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the Average Working Days Lost for civil servants working in the Customer Service Group of HMRC in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

This report is based on the most recent organisational structure. Customer Service Group (CSG) is a collective of individual directorates.

Customer Service Group

Benefits & Credits Delivery

Business Tax & Customs

CS Director General

CSG Transformation

Debt Management

Finance Planning & Performance

Operational Excellence & Output Mgmt

PT Operations

Surge & ODP

The average working days lost for civil servants working in CSG was as follows:

April 2019 – March 2020 = 8.90 days average

April 2018 – March 2019 = 8.68 days average

April 2017 – March 2018 = 8.13 days average

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the Average Working Days Lost for civil servants working in the Business Tax and Customs directorate of HMRC in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

This directorate report is based on the most recent organisational structure. The average working days lost for civil servants working in Business Tax and Customs was as follows:

April 2019 – March 2020 = 9.84 days average

April 2018 – March 2019 = 8.30 days average

April 2017 – March 2018 = 8.17 days average

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent meetings Ministers of his Department has had with the (a) Financial Conduct Authority and (b) Bank of England on recent trends in the level of personal debt.

The Government engages regularly with the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) to monitor personal finances, including levels of consumer debt.

MaPS monitor financial difficulty through an annual survey of 22,000 people. The FCA conduct a biennial Financial Lives Survey, which provides a comprehensive insight into the finances of 16,000 adults. Both surveys will be published in early 2021.

The Bank of England publish monthly statistics on money and credit and the FCA is undertaking further research to understand how the impacts of COVID-19 are evolving.
John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will allow directors of small companies who file their PAYE RTI returns annually between 20 March and 19 April 2020 who were ineligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to claim backdated payment.

For claims from 1 November, employers must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020 notifying a payment of earnings for that employee to be able to claim under the CJRS. This does mean that some annually paid employees such as directors, who were not paid between these dates will not be eligible for CJRS.

The Government has balanced a number of risks by aligning the start of the eligibility period for the CJRS extension with the cut-off date for the original scheme, meaning anyone who has been furloughed previously and paid in line with the rules of the scheme can be furloughed again.

This ensures that individuals paid annually towards and following the end of the previous tax year who were not eligible for the original scheme can now benefit from the extension. Those paid annually are eligible to claim, as long as they meet the relevant conditions.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of extending eligibility to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to include directors of small companies, who file their PAYE RTI annually; and if he will make a statement.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has seen 1.2 million employers apply to help to pay the wages of 9.6 million furloughed jobs. In light of the path of the virus, the CJRS has been extended until the end of March 2021 for all parts of the UK.

Those paid annually are eligible to claim, as long as they meet the relevant conditions including being notified to HMRC on an RTI real-time information submission between 20 March and 30 October. These cut-off dates allow as many people as possible to be included by going right up to the day before the announcement, balancing the risk of fraud that existed as soon as the scheme became public.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of directors of small companies, who file their PAYE RTI returns annually.

PAYE schemes that pay their employees annually all in the same tax month may register as an ‘annual scheme’. Further information can be found on gov.uk at the following link (see section: Annual payroll scheme for PAYE): https://www.gov.uk/running-payroll/changing-paydays.

Information on which PAYE schemes are operated by small companies and which are operated by other types of employer such as sole traders and partnerships is not readily available for all PAYE schemes.

Among all PAYE schemes, not just those that are operated by small companies, the number of registered PAYE schemes that were live on 8 October 2020 (the date this information was extracted) and were registered as an ‘annual scheme’ was 33,300.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what consultation he undertook with directors of small companies, who file their PAYE RTI returns annually, on the design and introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has seen 1.2 million employers apply to help to pay the wages of 9.6 million furloughed jobs. In light of the path of the virus, the CJRS has been extended until the end of March 2021 for all parts of the UK.

Those paid annually are eligible to claim, as long as they meet the relevant conditions including being notified to HMRC on an RTI real-time information submission between 20 March and 30 October. These cut-off dates allow as many people as possible to be included by going right up to the day before the announcement, balancing the risk of fraud that existed as soon as the scheme became public.

24th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason it was decided that directors of small companies who file their PAYE RTI returns annually should be ineligible for support from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has seen 1.2 million employers apply to help to pay the wages of 9.6 million furloughed jobs. In light of the path of the virus, the CJRS has been extended until the end of March 2021 for all parts of the UK.

Those paid annually are eligible to claim, as long as they meet the relevant conditions including being notified to HMRC on an RTI real-time information submission between 20 March and 30 October. These cut-off dates allow as many people as possible to be included by going right up to the day before the announcement, balancing the risk of fraud that existed as soon as the scheme became public.

3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will provide additional bespoke financial support for taxi drivers in response to the covid-19 outbreak similar to the Government support that has been provided to the hospitality sector to ensure that viable taxi drivers are able to continue to trade in the longer term.

The Government appreciates this is a challenging time for many sectors and individuals, including taxi and private hire drivers. With the resurgence of the virus and tightening of restrictions to protect people's health, we have taken further steps to protect jobs and businesses.

The Chancellor announced on 5 November the next income support grant which covers the period November to January, will now increase to 80% of average profits, up to £7,500. This will provide vital financial support to the roughly 80% of taxi and private hire drivers who are self-employed.

Drivers who are employed will benefit from an extension of the furlough scheme to the end of March. The government will continue to help pay people’s wages, up to 80% of the normal amount.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will increase the level of financial support provided through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension to taxi drivers; and if he will extend eligibility for that financial support to (a) taxi drivers who have recently purchased a new taxi and (b) those taxi drivers who have been ineligible for financial support under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Government has acted to support those that are self-employed and have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak across all sectors of the economy. The overwhelming majority of taxi and private hire vehicle drivers are self-employed and can therefore apply for a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The overall level of the third SEISS grant has been increased to 80 per cent of average trading profits, meaning that the maximum grant available has now increased to £7,500. This will provide an estimated £7.3bn of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. This places the SEISS among the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world.

Those ineligible for financial support under the SEISS may still be eligible for other elements of the unprecedented financial support available. The Government has temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor for the duration of the crisis meaning that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly reduced, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this they may also be able to access other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to Procurement Policy Note 04/20–Recovery and Transition from COVID-19, whether his Department plans to maintain the contractual relief in relation to the covid-19 oubreak set out in Procurement Policy Notice 02/20.

HM Treasury will continue working with its suppliers using the procurement policy guidance referred to.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19, published on 9 June 2020, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of maintaining the provision of contractual relief as a result of covid-19 in line with Procurement Policy Notice 02/20; which (a) companies and (b) work areas will be affected by changes to that contractual relief; and what the timeframe is for proposals to change that contractual relief.

HM Treasury is working collaboratively with its suppliers using the procurement policy guidance so that contracts continue to remain relevant and sustainable and deliver value for money.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the application of business rates relief to food and drink wholesalers.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors. The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities on eligible properties.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as wholesalers, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the hospitality, retail and leisure grants to the wholesale food and drink sector.

The Government recognises that this is a very challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors. Small businesses occupying properties for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes are likely to be particularly affected by COVID-19 due to their reliance on customer footfall, and the fact that they are less likely than larger businesses to have sufficient cash reserves to meet their high fixed property-related costs. The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) is intended to help small businesses in this situation.

Local Authorities (LAs) can choose to make discretionary grants to businesses in other supply chains, like the wholesale food and drink sector, if they feel there is a particular local economic need. The Government has allocated up to an additional £617 million to LAs to enable them to give discretionary grants to businesses in this situation. LAs may choose to focus payments on those priority groups which are most relevant to their local areas or to businesses outside of these priority groups, so long as the business was trading on 11th March, and has not received any other cash grant funded by central Government.

Small businesses which are not eligible for business grants should still be able to benefit from other elements of the Government’s unprecedented package of support for business. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the pay (a) minimum and (b) maximum is for each civil service grade in his Department below the Senior Civil Service (i) inside and (ii) outside the London area.

Treasury’s pay ranges as of 1st August 2019 are as follows:

Range

London pay range (£) as of 1 August 2019 Min - Max

National pay range (£) as of 1 August 2019 Min - Max

Range E2

61,200 - 70,000

58,200 - 67,000

Range E

51,000 - 64,498

48,000 - 61,498

Range D Experienced

36,800 - 45,700

33,800 - 42,700

?Range D

?32,000 - 36,800

?29,000 - 42,700

?Graduate entry salary

?28,500

?-

Range C

26,000 - 31,000

23,000 - 28,000

Range B

23,000 - 25,000

20,000 - 22,000

?Apprentice & Student single salary spot rate (£)

GES Sandwich / Summer Students

22,500

-

??Range C Apprentice

23,600

20,160

?Range B Apprentice & Diversity Students

19,800

17,300?

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2023 on (a) court caseloads and (b) the prison estate.

The Home Office has undertaken an assessment of the potential impacts of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2023, which will ban nitrous oxide, on the police, courts and prison systems.

The impact assessment is published at The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2023 - Impact Assessment

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2023 on the (a) workload of and (b) resources available to police forces.

The Home Office has undertaken an assessment of the potential impacts of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2023, which will ban nitrous oxide, on the police, courts and prison systems.

The impact assessment is published at The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) Order 2023 - Impact Assessment

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department publishes information on the number of deaths in immigration detention.

Published Home Office Detention Services Order 08/2014 Deaths in detention provides guidance as to the actions that Home Office and contracted supplier staff must take in the event of a death in detention.

The Home Office publish annual data on deaths in detention as part of the Immigration System Statistics Quarterly Release. The annual data for 2017 to 2021 are included in table Det_05b in the Detention summary tables.

29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department is taking steps to provide counselling and bereavement support to people at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre.

Published Home Office Detention Services Order 08/2014 Deaths in detention provides guidance as to the actions that Home Office and contracted supplier staff must take in the event of a death in detention.

The Home Office publish annual data on deaths in detention as part of the Immigration System Statistics Quarterly Release. The annual data for 2017 to 2021 are included in table Det_05b in the Detention summary tables.

29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department takes to ensure prompt, thorough and transparent investigations when people die at immigration removal centres.

Published Home Office Detention Services Order 08/2014 Deaths in detention provides guidance as to the actions that Home Office and contracted supplier staff must take in the event of a death in detention.

The Home Office publish annual data on deaths in detention as part of the Immigration System Statistics Quarterly Release. The annual data for 2017 to 2021 are included in table Det_05b in the Detention summary tables.

12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will commission an independent inquiry into any deaths by suicide of (a) asylum-seekers living in Home Office-provided accommodation and (b) unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young adult care-leavers in the care of local authorities.

The Home Office and its providers have robust processes in place to support those within the accommodation we provide.

As with the general population deaths can occur within Asylum Support accommodation, and our thoughts are with the families of those who pass away. In most cases these are as a result of existing and medical conditions or natural causes.

The Home Office does not routinely hold public enquiries into suicides that occur whilst someone is in receipt of asylum support. The Police and local coroner will investigate deaths in accordance with established processes and the Home Office will assist them to do so.

The Home Office supports the work of safeguarding boards and coroner services and complies with all enquiries and investigations they conduct.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will commit to hold an inquiry or research into any deaths of (a) unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in the care of local authorities and (b) young adult care-leavers who were formerly unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

The Home Office and its providers have robust processes in place to support those within the accommodation we provide.

As with the general population deaths can occur within Asylum Support accommodation, and our thoughts are with the families of those who pass away. In most cases these are as a result of existing and medical conditions or natural causes.

The Home Office does not routinely hold public enquiries into suicides that occur whilst someone is in receipt of asylum support. The Police and local coroner will investigate deaths in accordance with established processes and the Home Office will assist them to do so.

The Home Office supports the work of safeguarding boards and coroner services and complies with all enquiries and investigations they conduct.

13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the viability of bringing forward a public sexual harassment bill.

This Government is committed to taking action to address this issue, that is why in March we announced we will launch a public consultation by the summer recess on whether there should be a new offence of public sexual harassment.

We are also taking several non-legislative actions to address this issue. In September 2021 we launched the pilot of the new StreetSafe tool, which allows people to show on a map places where they have felt unsafe, enabling the police to take action to improve safety. More than 15,000 reports have been submitted to date.

Last December, the College of Policing published new guidance for police showing what they can do when they receive a report of public sexual harassment, including the criminal offences available and other protective tools which can be used. Furthermore, the Home Office launched the ‘Enough’ communications campaign in March, which challenges public attitudes and tolerance towards crimes such as public sexual harassment and aims to ensure victims know how and where to report it.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has had recent discussions with relevant stakeholders on a potential review of Neighbourhood Watch.

The Government welcomes the aims of the Neighbourhood Watch Network through its 5-year strategy: a) to be the authoritative voice on community-based crime prevention; b) to become the most popular gateway for citizens to engage in their locality on crime prevention; and c) to become a recognised contributor to community health and wellbeing.

This department has supported Neighbourhood Watch for over 20 years and provides grant funding annually. As part of this grant process, we maintain regular engagement with Neighbourhood Watch and relevant stakeholders to review the aims of the grant and its delivery.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19, published on 9 June 2020, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of maintaining the provision of contractual relief as a result of covid-19 in line with Procurement Policy Notice 02/20; which (a) companies and (b) work areas will be affected by changes to that contractual relief; and what the timeframe is for proposals to change that contractual relief.

The Home Office reviewed the impact of PPN 04/2020 which allows continued consideration of payment and non-payment supplier relief due to impacts of Covid-19 with a focus on exit from any relief as soon as reasonably possible. We continue to work with our suppliers to review all requests for relief. This, combined with relief agreed following the launch of PPN 02/2020, has meant we have seen minimal impact to the key Home Office services which are delivered by our third-party suppliers.

To date, under PPN 02/2020 we have implemented relief against their current contractual terms with 5 companies which support services within the Borders, Immigration Citizenship System business area. All of these companies have specific arrangements to end relief arrangements

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the pay (a) minimum and (b) maximum is for each civil service grade in her Department below the Senior Civil Service (i) inside and (ii) outside the London area.

The Home Office will place in the Library a copy of the current pay ranges for civil servants in the department.

24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Python Minefield Breaching Systems (a) are in storage, (b) are in use and (c) were donated to Ukraine between February 2022 and June 2023.

I am withholding the number of in-service Python as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the British Armed Forces.

I can confirm however that no Python Minefield Breaching Systems have been Granted in Kind to Ukraine by the UK.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason his Department donated 14 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine; and for what reason his Department did not donate all Challenger 2 tanks not due to be upgraded to Challenger 3.

The UK’s decision to send a squadron of 14 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks to Ukraine delivered a coherent and combat effective capability and, in doing so, unlocked dozens of additional Main Battle Tanks from international partners.

A decision on what will happen to the Challenger 2 platforms not being used as part of the Challenger 3 programme has not yet been taken.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to donate more Minefield Breaching Systems to Ukraine.

The UK does plan to donate additional Minefield Breaching Systems to Ukraine. However, due to operational security I will not provide a specific breakdown.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Trojan platforms were donated to Ukraine between February 2022 and June 2023.

We have not donated any Trojan platforms to Ukraine during that time period.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many remotely operated minefield breaching systems his Department has provided to Ukraine (a) since 1 February 2022 and (b) before 1 June 2023.

We have not provided any remotely operated minefield breaching systems during this time period.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many Minefield Breaching Systems were donated to Ukraine between February 2022 and June 2023.

The UK has provided considerable equipment and training to Ukraine to improve their ability to clear mines. This has included over 1,500 sets of both vehicle-mounted and 'on-the person' mine clearing and explosive ordnance disposal equipment, including necessary training.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, Defence how many Aardvark AMCS Mk4 mine flail vehicles (a) are in storage, (b) are in use and (c) were donated to Ukraine between February 2022 and June 2023.

The Aardvark AMCS Mk4 is not in service with the British Armed Forces. There are none in storage nor have any been Granted in Kind to Ukraine by the UK.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether any tanks other than Challenger 2 are in storage.

I can confirm that Challenger 2 is the only tank currently held in storage.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19, published on 9 June 2020, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of maintaining the provision of contractual relief as a result of covid-19 in line with Procurement Policy Notice 02/20; which (a) companies and (b) work areas will be affected by changes to that contractual relief; and what the timeframe is for proposals to change that contractual relief.

In line with the Government's Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 04/20, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) will be extending the provision for contractual relief outlined in PPN 02/20 until October 2020, where that is appropriate and necessary. This will apply to all MOD procurement activity. On current plans and in line with the wider Government policy, we expect to cease the provision of contractual relief by the end of October 2020.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the pay (a) minimum and (b) maximum is for each civil service grade in his Department below the Senior Civil Service (i) inside and (ii) outside the London area.

As of 1 April 2020, the following pay scales apply:

Ministry of Defence (MOD) including Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA)

MOD Grade

Civil Service equiv. grade

National Min

National Max

London Min

London Max

E2

AA

19,045

19,045

19,130

19,444

E1

AO

20,369

21,367

21,799

22,863

D

EO

25,967

28,907

27,019

30,064

C2

HEO

32,425

36,102

33,728

37,546

C1

SEO

39,511

43,988

41,090

45,747

B2

Grade 7

53,107

59,157

55,241

61,523

B1

Grade 6

62,528

71,728

65,044

74,597

Skill Zone Pay Scales

MOD Grade

Civil Service Equivalent

National Min

National Max

London Min

London Max

Skill Zone 1

N/A

16,778

17,033

N/A

N/A

Skill Zone 2

N/A

18,264

18,611

N/A

N/A

Skill Zone 3

N/A

19,980

22,891

N/A

N/A

Skill Zone 4

N/A

24,532

25,762

N/A

N/A

United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) Pay Scales

UKHO Grade

Civil Service equiv. grade

National Min

National Max

London Min

London Max

A2

AA

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

A1

AO

19,361

20,932

N/A

N/A

B3

EO

26,001

29,001

N/A

N/A

B2

HEO

32,371

34,988

N/A

N/A

B1

SEO

41,337

45,120

N/A

N/A

C2

Grade 7

52,243

57,199

N/A

N/A

C1

Grade 6

65,399

69,606

N/A

N/A

Notes: As the UKHO is based in Taunton, London figures do not apply. It should be noted that there are currently no A2 grade staff employed at the UKHO

Defence Equipment and Support(DE&S) Pay Scales

MOD Grade

Civil Service Equivalent

National Min

National Max

London Min

London Max

DES Apprentice

N/A

16,777

16,777

N/A

N/A

Admin Specialist 37/37L

N/A

16,777

35,000

N/A

N/A

Admin Specialist 42/42L

N/A

19,044

35,000

N/A

N/A

Senior Admin Specialist 37/37L

N/A

19,044

50,000

N/A

N/A

Senior Admin Specialist 42/42L

N/A

19,044

50,000

N/A

N/A

Senior Admin Specialist OT B

N/A

19,044

50,000

N/A

N/A

Senior Admin Specialist OT B/L

N/A

19,044

50,000

N/A

N/A

Senior Admin Specialist OT D

N/A

19,044

50,000

N/A

N/A

Senior Admin Specialist OT D/L

N/A

19,044

50,000

N/A

N/A

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) Pay Scales

Level

Civil Service Equivalent

National Min

National Max

London Min

London Max

1

N/A

16,993

17,085

N/A

N/A

2

N/A

17,000

22,084

N/A

N/A

3

N/A

19,987

28,084

N/A

N/A

4

N/A

21,576

36,214

N/A

N/A

5

N/A

31,983

44,719

N/A

N/A

6

N/A

39,716

54,683

N/A

N/A

7

N/A

49,646

65,117

N/A

N/A

8

N/A

58,531

75,641

N/A

N/A

9

N/A

70,208

123,453

N/A

N/A

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he plans to take steps to provide additional funding to local authorities to cover the cost of increasing the national living wage for social care staff.

The final Local Government Finance Settlement for 2023/24 made available up to £59.7 billion for local government in England, an increase in Core Spending Power of up to £5.1 billion or 9.4% in cash terms on 2022/23. The government will look in the round at sector spending when finalising budgets at next year’s finance settlement, as we do every year. This will include considering the impact of inflation and other wider economic circumstances.

Simon Hoare
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans to publish the provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for the 2024-25 financial year.

As with previous years, the government will bring forward its proposals for the Local Government Finance Settlement 2024-25 in the usual way towards the end of the calendar year.

Simon Hoare
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what guidance his Department issues on the criteria residents need to satisfy to qualify for the over-65 discount scheme for a reduction in council tax operated by local authorities.

While local council tax support schemes are administered by local authorities, the Government sets out the circumstances in which pensioners are eligible for a reduction in council tax in The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England) Regulations 2012 Regulations. These Regulations are updated annually.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
27th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what impact assessment his Department (a) undertook or (b) asked local councils to provide before waiving the cap on council tax increases for Slough, Thurrock and Croydon.

All decisions were made in line with normal processes, and appropriate impact assessment in line with duties.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
15th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department is taking steps to provide training for (a) polling station and (b) returning officers on determining the veracity of official documents and photo IDs before the elections in May 2023.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 165270 on 17th March 2023.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Government has to bring forward legislative proposals to repeal the Vagrancy Act 1824.

This is a complex issue and that is why a review is the right course of action and we are looking at all options.

Work is ongoing and the Government will update on its findings in due course.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to implement the recommendations made by the Law Commission in March 2017 on transparency of fees and charges in retirement properties.

The Government responded to the Law Commission in March 2019, thanking them for the report and agreeing to implement the majority of the recommendations. The Government is further considering two of the recommendations, on succession rights and a database of leasehold retirement properties with event fees.

Given the impact of Covid-19 on the legislative agenda, and the Government’s wider priorities to restart the economy, we will bring forward legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners serving sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection in category A prisons are categorized as C category prisoners.

There are 108 prisoners serving sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection are in Category A prisons.

There are * prisoners serving sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection in Category A prisons which are categorised as C category prisoners. (*) has been used to suppress values of one or two. This is to prevent the disclosure of individual information.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners serving sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection are in category A prisons.

There are 108 prisoners serving sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection are in Category A prisons.

There are * prisoners serving sentences of Imprisonment for Public Protection in Category A prisons which are categorised as C category prisoners. (*) has been used to suppress values of one or two. This is to prevent the disclosure of individual information.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2023 to Question 193050 on Prisons: Crimes of Violence, if he will provide the 2021-22 Prisons Performance Framework target levels for each prison for the KPIs of (a) prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and (b) assaults on staff.

For the performance year 2022/23, we will publish the Annual Prisons Performance Ratings on 27 July 2023. This publication will provide the weightings given to a wide range of KPIs used by the framework that enables us to monitor the performance of the prison system, including prisoner on prisoner assaults and assaults on staff. The weightings will be published in the publication guidance documentation.

Performance targets were not set for individual prisons for 2021-22 because prisons were still recovering from the pandemic, however, HMPPS still monitored performance in order to drive continuous improvement.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2023 to Question 193050 on Prisons: Crimes of Violence, what weighting is given to the rate of (a) prisoner-on-prisoner assaults and (b) assaults on staff relative to other KPIs when assigning annual prison performance ratings.

For the performance year 2022/23, we will publish the Annual Prisons Performance Ratings on 27 July 2023. This publication will provide the weightings given to a wide range of KPIs used by the framework that enables us to monitor the performance of the prison system, including prisoner on prisoner assaults and assaults on staff. The weightings will be published in the publication guidance documentation.

Performance targets were not set for individual prisons for 2021-22 because prisons were still recovering from the pandemic, however, HMPPS still monitored performance in order to drive continuous improvement.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State on 4 July 2023, Official Report, Col. 760, if he will list the key performance indicators used to measure violence in prisons; and whether his Department plans to introduce any sanctions for prison operators failing to meet these targets.

Prison governors and senior leaders use a variety of measures to understand violence within prisons. The 2021/2022 Prisons Performance Framework (PPT) rated the performance of all public and private sector prisons in England and Wales. It contains two violence Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which prisons are assessed against. These are:

  • Prisoner on prisoner assaults – rate per 1,000 prisoners, and;
  • Assaults on staff - rate per 1,000 prisoners.

These are available on gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-performance-ratings-2021-to-2022. The prison performance ratings for 2022/2023 will be published on 27 July 2023.

HMPPS monitors performance against these KPIs on an ongoing basis and takes action if this is deemed necessary.

Private prison contracts are managed by operational contract managers who assure delivery against performance and contract measures.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will review sentencing for women including potential alternatives to short-term sentences for non-violent offences.

We remain committed to the vision in the Female Offender Strategy, which set out our priorities to achieve better outcomes for female offenders, including fewer women coming into the criminal justice system and fewer women in custody (especially on short-term sentences) and a greater proportion of women managed in the community successfully.

Since publication in June 2018, the number of women entering the criminal justice system has fallen by 30%. We are investing millions of pounds over the next 3 years into community services such as women’s centres, drug rehabilitation and accommodation support so fewer women end up in prison.

We also have several initiatives underway to improve community sentencing options to tackle low-level offending, divert women from custody, and reduce reoffending. This includes several pilots such as the Residential women’s centre pilot, with the first in Wales, Problem-Solving Courts for women, and a Pre-Sentence Report pilot that is targeting fuller reports for women.

Of course, where female offenders are found guilty of committing criminal offences, it is for our independent judiciary to determine the appropriate sentence in the usual way.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make it his policy to agree and implement a Women’s Prison Release Protocol with co-signatories to the London Blueprint for Women in contact with the Criminal Justice System.

My officials engage regularly with the Mayor’s Office for Crime and Policing, including attending the Blueprint Delivery Group. As set out in the Concordat we encourage the creation of Whole System Approaches that will improve partnership working locally.

In the Prisons Strategy White Paper, we committed to developing a resettlement passport, which will bring together the key information and services that an individual needs for successful resettlement into society. The passport will be a practical and personalised tool that organises, plans and records the information and services needed to support prison leavers’ resettlement, alongside providing information to professionals working with them. We recognise the needs of women differ and resettlement passports will help prisons move further towards a more personalised and integrated approach based on the individual needs of the offender. We will engage with stakeholders throughout the development and implementation of the passport to ensure it is effective and fit for purpose.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Procurement Policy Note 04/20: Recovery and Transition from COVID-19, published on 9 June 2020, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of maintaining the provision of contractual relief as a result of covid-19 in line with Procurement Policy Notice 02/20; which (a) companies and (b) work areas will be affected by changes to that contractual relief; and what the timeframe is for proposals to change that contractual relief.

The Ministry of Justice has reviewed Procurement Policy Note 04/20 and maintenance of the provisions within that will continue to be provided as appropriate and on a case by case basis. We will continue to monitor the suppliers currently in receipt of the relief under the measures and we are working with them on individual transition plans to move out of the relief period by the end of October as set out in the Policy Note.
The Department is working closely with suppliers that are not currently in receipt of any relief measures to provide support and avoid them getting into any financial difficulty.
The Department considers the identity and category of those suppliers in receipt of the relief measure to be commercially sensitive information.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the pay (a) minimum and (b) maximum is for each civil service grade in his Department below the Senior Civil Service (i) inside and (ii) outside the London area.

We have provided pay information for the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and for Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).

MoJ

The 2019 MoJ pay award was effective from 1 August 2019.

The employee groups covered in this pay award include staff directly employed by the MoJ in Band A – F (Civil Service equivalent G6 – AA) in MoJ Headquarters, Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), Legal Aid Agency (LAA), Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), and Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

Pay information:

Grade

Min. Salary
(London)

Max. Salary
(London)

Min. Salary
(National)

Max. Salary
(National)

AA (MoJ Band F)

£17,988

£20,599

£16,680

£17,777

AO (MoJ Band E)

£21,298

£25,009

£18,884

£22,101

EO (MoJ Band D)

£24,436

£31,202

£21,170

£27,678

HEO (MoJ Band C)

£28,597

£38,373

£24,002

£34,105

SEO (MoJ Band B)

£34,818

£47,591

£30,989

£41,095

MoJ Band A

£48,354

£71,411

£43,958

£63,831

Grade 7

£48,354

£63,500

£43,958

£59,000

Grade 6

£56,421

£76,000

£52,119

£72,000

HMPPS

The 2019 HMPPS pay review was effective from 1st April 2019 for staff in Public Sector Prisons/Prisons HQ and also for staff in the National Probation Service (NPS).

The employee groups covered in the pay award include:

Treasury Equivalent

F&S Equivalent

Closed Grade (Pre-F&S) Name Equivalent (Summarised)

AA

Band 1**

Support Band 2 Cleaner

Band 2

AA

AO

Band 3

AO Personal Secretary

EO

Band 4

EO Senior Personal Secretary

HEO

Band 5

Manager G

Band 6

SEO

Band 7

Manager F

Band 8

Manager E

Grade 7

Band 9

Senior Manager D

Grade 6

Band 10

Senior Manager C

N/A

Band 11

Senior Manager A

Senior Manager B

HMPPS Fair & Sustainable (F&S) pay structures

Due to the complex and diverse workforce in prisons, roles are assessed under the Job Evaluation Scheme (JES) and linked to a specific Band within the pay structures. Please the below grade equivalency details:

Band

Min of National

Max of National

Min of Outer London

Max of Outer London

Min of Inner London

Max of Inner London

Band 1

£15,857

£18,516

£19,903

Band 2

£17,175

£19,834

£21221

Band 3

£19,054

£21,183

£21,448

£23,842

£22,695

£25,229

Band 4

£24,018

£26,713

£26,410

£29,372

£27,658

£30,759

Band 5

£27,021

£28,349

£29,385

£33,074

£30,618

24,461

Band 6

£31,145

£35,819

£33,458

£38,477

£34,662

£39,864

Band 7

£37,218

£42,800

£39,531

£45,459

£40,737

£46,846

Band 8

£41,586

£49,906

£43,802

£52,565

£44,958

£53,952

Band 9

£53,267

£63,920

£55,483

£66,579

£56,639

£67,966

Band 10

£58,636

£70,367

£60,852

£73,026

£62,008

£74,413

Band 11

£66,328

£79,594

£68,544

£82,253

£69,700

£83,640

HMPPS closed world structures

Under the closed world structures there was a no zonal pay but a National rate of pay with specific sites receiving a Local Pay Allowance (LPA).

Grade

Minimum

Maximum

Senior Manager A

£68,189

£87,274

Senior Manager B

£64,205

£84,712

Senior Manager C

£59,931

£76,290

Senior Manager D

£49,742

£65,907

Manager E

£35,098

£48,458

Manager F

£31,255

£41,106

Manager G

£26,433

£33,839

Executive Officer

£23,349

£27,394

Senior Personal Secretary

£23,349

£26,597

Administrative Officer

£16,639

£22,674

Personal Secretary

£17,091

£22,674

Administrative Assistant

£15,489

£16,262

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)