Kate Osamor Portrait

Kate Osamor

Labour (Co-op) - Edmonton

Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
27th Jun 2016 - 1st Dec 2018
Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
9th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Consolidation Bills (Joint Committee)
9th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Junior Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities
14th Jan 2016 - 27th Jun 2016
Petitions Committee
20th Jul 2015 - 14th Mar 2016
Education Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 1st Feb 2016


Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 19th May 2022
11:30
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 23rd May 2022
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Managing cross-border travel during the COVID-19 pandemic
23 May 2022, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Alex Chisholm - Permanent Secretary at Cabinet Office
Patricia Hayes - Second Permanent Secretary at Home Office
Shona Dunn - Second Permanent Secretary at Department of Health and Social Care
Gareth Davies - Second Permanent Secretary at Department for Transport
Phil Douglas - Director General at Border Force
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Select Committee Meeting
Monday 23rd May 2022
15:45
International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact - Oral evidence
Subject: ICAI’s review on tackling fraud in UK aid through multilateral organisations
23 May 2022, 3:45 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Tarek Rouchdy - Commissioner at Independent Commission for Aid Impact
Stephen Blakeley - Team Leader, ICAI Tackling fraud in UK aid through multilateral organisations review at Independent Commission for Aid Impact
At 4.45pm: Oral evidence
Christian Rogg - Director for Development and Parliament Directorate at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Tim Jones - Finance Director at Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
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Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 24th May 2022
13:30
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 25th May 2022
13:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Secure training centres and secure schools
25 May 2022, 1 p.m.
At 1.30pm: Oral evidence
Antonia Romeo - Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Justice
Dr Jo Farrar - Chief Executive Officer at Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service
Helga Swidenbank - Executive Director, Youth Custody Service at Her Majesty's Prison and Probation Service
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Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 8th June 2022
13:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Whole of Government Accounts
8 Jun 2022, 1 p.m.
At 1.30pm: Oral evidence
Sir Tom Scholar - Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury
Cat Little - Director General Public Spending at HM Treasury
Vicky Rock - Director Public Spending at HM Treasury
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Select Committee Meeting
Monday 13th June 2022
14:30
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 13th June 2022
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: British Steel Pension Scheme
13 Jun 2022, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Andrew Bailey - Governor at Bank of England
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Division Votes
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Achieving Economic Growth
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 176 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 312
Speeches
Wednesday 27th April 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
10. The cost of household food bills is set to rise by £271 this year as prices soar. The supermarkets …
Written Answers
Thursday 28th April 2022
Universal Credit: Publicity
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the paper entitled Tackling misconceptions and improving …
Early Day Motions
Monday 15th June 2015
YARL'S WOOD IMMIGRATION REMOVAL CENTRE
That this House notes the work of and problems in Yarl's Wood Immigration Removal Centre, and especially the poor treatment …
Bills
Wednesday 5th February 2020
NHS 111 Service (Training and Clinical Oversight) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to set training standards for NHS 111 service operators; to require NHS 111 services to be overseen by …
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
9. Family members employed and paid from parliamentary expenses
I employ my son, Ish Osamor, as Senior Communications Officer. (Registered 18 April 2016)
EDM signed
Monday 28th March 2022
Health inequalities for patients with sickle cell disease
That this House welcomes the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia’s report, No One’s Listening, which highlighted …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Kate Osamor has voted in 405 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Kate Osamor 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
View All Kate Osamor 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(5 debate interactions)
Vicky Ford (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(5 debate interactions)
Michael Ellis (Conservative)
Paymaster General
(4 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(17 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(8 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Kate Osamor's debates

Edmonton Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Edmonton signature proportion
Petitions with most Edmonton signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Black Women in the U.K. are 5 times more likely to die during pregnancy and after childbirth compared to White Women (MBRRACE, 2019). We need more research done into why this is happening and recommendations to improve health care for Black Women as urgent action is needed to address this disparity.

The Government should explore using the new sanctions regime that allows individuals and entities that violate human rights around the world to be targeted, to impose sanctions on members of the Nigerian government and police force involved in any human rights abuses by the Nigerian police.


Latest EDMs signed by Kate Osamor

22nd March 2022
Kate Osamor signed this EDM on Monday 28th March 2022

Health inequalities for patients with sickle cell disease

Tabled by: Lisa Cameron (Scottish National Party - East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow)
That this House welcomes the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia’s report, No One’s Listening, which highlighted the growing burden of sickle cell disease in the UK; notes that the report revealed a pattern of several years of sub-standard care, stigmatisation and lack of prioritisation which have …
21 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 8
Scottish National Party: 6
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Alba Party: 1
23rd March 2022
Kate Osamor signed this EDM on Monday 28th March 2022

P&O Ferries and DP World

Tabled by: Karl Turner (Labour - Kingston upon Hull East)
That this House condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision of P&O Ferries to fire 800 staff without notice or consultation with their trade unions, the RMT and Nautilus; demands the immediate reinstatement of the sacked workers; condemns their replacement with agency workers earning as little as £1.80 per …
125 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 94
Scottish National Party: 12
Liberal Democrat: 7
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
View All Kate Osamor's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Kate Osamor, 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.


Kate Osamor has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Kate Osamor has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Kate Osamor


A Bill to set training standards for NHS 111 service operators; to require NHS 111 services to be overseen by clinical advisors; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 5th February 2020

Kate Osamor has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


463 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
3 Other Department Questions
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the proposal by the Mayor of London to seize properties owned by Russian oligarchs.

The Government is already taking action against the billions of pounds worth of UK property accumulated by the Russian state-linked individuals and companies. We have frozen the assets of those individuals on the sanctions list and are taking further steps on land ownership transparency through the Economic Crime Bill. We will set out details in due course. If the Mayor of London wants to make further suggestions via his office, he is welcome to get in touch with my officials.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to increase the supply of affordable housing.

We are committed to increasing the supply of affordable homes and are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing. This is the largest investment in affordable housing since 2010.

This includes our new Affordable Homes Programme which will provide up to 180,000 affordable homes, should economic conditions allow.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will publish the (a) terms of reference for and (b) names of the (i) chair and (ii) commission members of the commission on race.

On 14 June, the Prime Minister announced a new Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities. The Commission will drive forward work to understand why disparities exist, what works to address disparities and what does not, and will present recommendations for action across Government and other public bodies, bridging the gap between data and policy. It will report by the end of the year. The aim of the Commission is to set out a new, positive agenda for change - balancing the needs of individuals, communities and society, maximising opportunities and ensuring fairness for all. The terms of reference, and names of the chair and commission members will be published in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that independent news publishers have fair and reasonable access to national media advertising contracts, such as the All in, all together campaign, funded by the Government.

The All in, All together campaign is a unique and unprecedented partnership with the newspaper industry. It has been deliberately structured to support smaller regional and local titles by providing an equal amount of funding to that of national titles. As part of this, we have utilised advertising and paid for editorial in over 600 national, regional, local and community titles across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

All of the titles within the partnership have been selected independently by our media planning and buying agency, OmniGOV. Individual titles are selected by OmniGOV based on their ability to communicate with key audiences in a measurable and effective way.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the recent Office for National Statistics finding that nearly three in five people who have died from covid-19 were disabled, whether his Department plans to allocate additional resources to the Disability Unit to help minimise the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on disabled people.

The Government is committed to supporting disabled people affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Government Departments are working to ensure that the needs of disabled people are considered in the UK Government’s response to COVID-19. The Government will publish a National Strategy for Disabled People this year taking into account the impacts of the pandemic on disabled people. The strategy will focus on the issues that disabled people say affect them the most in all aspects and phases of life.

The Disability Unit sits in the new Equality Hub in the Cabinet Office, alongside the Government Equalities Office, the Race Disparity Unit and, from 1 April, the sponsorship of, and secretariat to, the Social Mobility Commission. Together they will be better equipped to drive meaningful progress on equality. The Equality Hub has a particular focus on improving the quality of evidence and data about disparities and the types of barriers different people face, ensuring that fairness is at the heart of everything we do.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights report entitled, Black people, racism and human rights, published on 11 November 2020, what plans she has to consult on the effect of the implementation of automatic voter registration on increasing democratic participation among Black people.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQs 114938, 102161 and 104752.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of automatic voter registration on voter turnout among (a) Black people and (b) other ethnic minorities.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQs 114938, 102161 and 104752.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a long-term energy efficiency scheme, open to all, to accelerate the decarbonisation of owner-occupied homes.

The Heat and Buildings Strategy sets out how the Government will decarbonise homes, commercial, industrial, and public sector buildings, as part a path to achieving the Government’s net zero commitment by 2050.

Alongside the strategy, the Government announced £3.9 billion of new funding for decarbonising heat and buildings. This will fund the next three years of investment through schemes including the Home Upgrade Grant scheme and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme. This takes the financial commitment to decarbonising buildings in this Parliament to £6.6billion.

The Government is prioritising the most vulnerable in society for support and is committed to achieving its statutory fuel poverty target: that as many fuel poverty households as reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of a Band C by 2030’.

In addition, the Government is working with lenders to catalyse the market for green finance. This is a priority for Government to help support homeowners not eligible for grants with the upfront costs of improvement.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to give businesses and workers the maximum possible amount of notice ahead of any introduction of possible further economic covid-19 support measures.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has recognised the need to provide businesses, workers and the public with as much notice as possible of any changes to COVID-19 measures.

We published our Autumn and Winter plan for managing COVID-19 last September, including details of Plan B measures should they be required. Plan B measures are now in place to slow the spread of the virus and ease pressure on the NHS, whilst minimising the impact on lives and livelihoods. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced on 5 January that Plan B will be in place for another 3 weeks, with a further review before the regulations expire on 26 January. We will provide businesses and the public with as much notice as possible of any changes to COVID-19 measures.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to give businesses and workers the maximum possible notice ahead of any introduction of further covid-19 restrictions.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has recognised the need to provide businesses, workers and the public with as much notice as possible of any changes to COVID-19 restrictions.

We published our Autumn and Winter plan for managing COVID-19 last September, including details of Plan B measures should they be required. Plan B measures are now in place to slow the spread of the virus and ease pressure on the NHS, while minimising the impact on lives and livelihoods. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced on 5 January that they will be in place for another 3 weeks, with a further review before the regulations expire on 26 January. We will provide businesses and the public with as much notice as possible of any changes to COVID-19 restrictions.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to end the practice of fire and rehire.

Despite the unprecedented package of support provided by this Government, some employers will need to offer different terms and conditions to their employees in order to ensure the sustainability of their business and avoid redundancies.

However, using threats about firing and re-hiring as a negotiating tactic is unacceptable. In addition, if the employer changes any of the terms without the employee’s agreement, the employee may be entitled to seek legal redress. Laws are in place to ensure that there is fair procedure in redundancy and dismissal matters as well as contractual terms and conditions cannot discriminate unlawfully.

The Department has engaged Acas to look into fire and rehire practises and they are talking to business and employee representatives, to gather evidence of how fire and rehire has been used.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason Soft Tissue Therapists are not able to return to work on 6 July 2020 as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

There is clearly a risk of greater transmission in close proximity services. That is why we have had to phase their introduction. We had to make difficult choices to keep the R rate below 1.

We’ve now provided close contact services like Soft Tissue Therapists in England, except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department has taken to consult the public on its decision to privatise Channel 4.

As a self-financing public corporation, under its current ownership model, Channel 4 is publicly-owned but commercially run.

Following an extensive public consultation, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has come to a decision that although Channel 4 as a business is currently performing well, public ownership is holding it back in the face of a rapidly-changing and competitive media landscape.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has consulted with Cabinet colleagues on that decision. The Government will publish its consultation response shortly, and set out the future plan for Channel 4 in a White Paper.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish the results of her Department's consultation on a change of ownership of Channel 4 Television Corporation.

As a self-financing public corporation, under its current ownership model, Channel 4 is publicly-owned but commercially run.

Following an extensive public consultation, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has come to a decision that although Channel 4 as a business is currently performing well, public ownership is holding it back in the face of a rapidly-changing and competitive media landscape.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has consulted with Cabinet colleagues on that decision. The Government will publish its consultation response shortly, and set out the future plan for Channel 4 in a White Paper.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to her oral evidence to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee of November 2021 that Channel 4 is in receipt of public money, if she will confirm what public funding Channel 4 receives.

As a self-financing public corporation, under its current ownership model, Channel 4 is publicly-owned but commercially run.

Following an extensive public consultation, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has come to a decision that although Channel 4 as a business is currently performing well, public ownership is holding it back in the face of a rapidly-changing and competitive media landscape.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has consulted with Cabinet colleagues on that decision. The Government will publish its consultation response shortly, and set out the future plan for Channel 4 in a White Paper.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the additional £30 million allocated to the Cultural Recovery Fund will be accessible to freelance creatives and other workers in the creative sector who are economically impacted by the covid-19 outbreak.

This £30m for the Culture Recovery Fund being made newly available for organisations will be used to increase the budget for the relaunched Emergency Resource Support strand of CRF in order to meet the demand from across the cultural sector.

Freelancers are supported through the Culture Recovery Fund by ensuring the venues and organisations which support them have survived the pandemic.

The Government announced on 23rd December that it has also provided an immediate £1.5 million to support freelancers affected by the pandemic, underpinning a further £1.35 million funding from the theatre sector. The Government, via Arts Council England, is providing grants of £650,000 each to charities Theatre Artists Fund and Help Musicians, and £200,000 to a-n, The Artist Information Company, a charity for visual artists, to give a much needed helping hand to freelancers over the coming weeks.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to her Department's Consultation on a change of ownership of Channel 4 Television Corporation, what steps she plans to take if there is public opposition to a change in Channel 4's current operating model.

The government is committed to the success and sustainability of public service broadcasting, including the continuing success of Channel 4, and preserving its unique and vital role in UK broadcasting.

We have publicly consulted on the best ownership model to support Channel 4 into the future and have welcomed responses from all stakeholders. We are carefully considering all the views and evidence received to inform the government’s policy-making and final decision.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate his Department has made of the date and year by which Channel 4 will no longer potentially be a profitable broadcaster under its current model.

Linear TV broadcasting is facing increasing and unprecedented pressure from competition for viewers from high spending streaming giants, and there is growing pressure on TV advertising revenues too. Ofcom have recognised these challenges in their latest recommendations to the government on the future of public service media, published on 15 July.

Channel 4 is uniquely constrained in its ability to meet these challenges while it remains under public ownership. In comparison to other public service broadcasters, its access to capital is highly constrained. By virtue of the publisher-broadcaster restriction and borrowing restrictions placed upon it, its ability to diversify its income streams is also limited. These factors restrict Channel 4’s ability to respond to changing market dynamics now and into the future.

Recognising this challenge, we are looking at reform to protect Channel 4's long term future so it can continue to be a valued public service broadcaster, serving audiences with great public service content for years to come.

We have consulted on the best model to ensure Channel 4’s sustainability. We are analysing all the responses to ensure evidence feeds into the government’s policy-making and final decision.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has made an assessment of the possibility of increasing the borrowing limits available to Channel 4 as an alternative to privatisation.

As set out in our consultation document, we are seeking views on the best model to ensure Channel 4’s sustainability in an ever-changing and competitive landscape, and we continue to remain open to all options to address this. We are currently analysing the views and evidence we have received from a broad range of stakeholders to inform the government’s policy-making and final decision.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, in the context of the collapse of football gambling firm Football Index, what steps she is taking to help ensure that those persons (a) affected by the collapse are compensated and (b) responsible for that collapse are held to account.

The government appreciates the significant impact that the collapse of the novel gambling product Football Index had on former customers. Administration proceedings for BetIndex, the company which operated Football Index, are continuing. These are looking at the assets and liabilities of the operator and what is owed to customers. It is likely that this process will result in some amounts being reimbursed to creditors.

The Gambling Commission has revoked BetIndex’s operating licence and the Personal Management Licences held by senior members of the company have been surrendered. The Commission has also referred the company to the Insolvency Service to ask that they consider whether the actions of the directors prior to administration breached insolvency or fraud laws.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with the Home Office on including creative professionals on the list of self-employed workers benefiting from visa-free travel for work purposes.

This Government recognises the importance of the UK’s thriving cultural industries, and that is why it pushed for ambitious arrangements to make it easier for performers and artists to perform across Europe as part of the negotiations on our future relationship with the EU.

This Government proposed to the EU that musicians, and their technical staff, be added to the list of permitted activities for short-term business visitors in the entry and temporary stay chapter of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement. This would have allowed musicians and their staff to travel and perform in the EU more easily, without needing work-permits. These proposals were rejected by the EU.

As with legal text shared in confidence with trading partners, elaborating on discussions between departments related to the development of legal text for trade agreements would not be appropriate as these discussions took place in confidence.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate his Department has made of the income lost by creative professionals as a result of visa restrictions imposed after the end of the transition period.

The Government recognises the importance of international touring for UK cultural and creative practitioners, and their support staff.

We know that while leaving the EU will bring changes and new processes to touring and working in the EU, it will also bring new opportunities.

Leaving the EU has always meant that there would be changes to how practitioners operate in the EU. DCMS has engaged with the sector extensively throughout negotiations and since the announcement of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement to understand the diverse circumstances of companies, organisations and individual practitioners and how they may need to adapt as they plan activity across the European Union.

Going forward we will continue to work closely with the sector, including with representative organisations, to assess the impact and to ensure businesses and individuals have the advice and guidance they need to meet new requirements. This includes the creation of a DCMS-led working group to bring together sector leads and other government departments to address technical questions from the sector in more detail.

19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the levels of misogyny and sexual harassment in primary schools.

Sexual abuse, sexual violence and sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable. It is essential that children are protected, and that allegations are dealt with appropriately.

In March 2021, the former Secretary of State for Education commissioned Ofsted to undertake an immediate review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges, including primary schools. The review was published on 10 June 2021 and the department accepted the findings of the review in full, committing to go further than its recommendations.

Harmful sexual behaviours exist on a continuum. It is, therefore, vital to stem and prevent misogyny and sexual harassment as early as possible, preventing the escalation of behaviours, and entrenchment of unacceptable views.

For this reason, the department is developing further support to help build teachers’ confidence in educating on matters of sexual abuse and harassment. In March 2022, the department ran expert-led webinars on the subjects identified by teachers as most challenging to teach. Alongside this, the department is developing new non-statutory guidance for schools, covering specific topics mentioned by the Ofsted review. This will build on existing Relationships, Sex and Health Education guidance, providing more detail on when specific content regarding harassment and abuse should be taught. It will aid primary school teachers’ knowledge of what is appropriate to teach, and when.

Additionally, the department has recently consulted on proposed changes to ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ (KCSIE) which includes embedding the standalone sexual violence and sexual harassment advice into KCSIE, to give it the prominence it deserves in statutory guidance. The consultation launched on 11 January 2022 and closed on 11 March 2022. Revised guidance will be published in May and come into force in September 2022. This strengthened guidance will better support schools to prevent abuse and appropriately respond when reported, specifically highlighting the importance of acknowledging and understanding the scale of harassment and abuse.

In November and December 2021, the department held a series of events with statutory safeguarding partners and schools to identify emerging practice and barriers to effective working. This will form part of a broader piece of work to improve how teachers and professionals work together to support children and young people.

In addition, the department is developing a new online hub for designated safeguarding leads (DSLs) to provide information/support for DSLs in schools and colleges. Resources will be co-developed with DSLs and subject matter experts.

The department has also worked with the Home Office on developing and launching the Harmful Sexual Behaviour Support Service to assist professionals in identifying and tackling harmful sexual behaviours.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason he has not updated his guidance for schools and colleges to state that staff and students should wear clear face coverings if needed to meet the needs of pupils and students.

The Department’s guidance on face coverings can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education.

As the guidance outlines, during national lockdown, in schools and colleges where Year 7 and above are taught, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors), pupils and students when moving around indoors, outside of classrooms and other teaching situations, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Based on current evidence and the measures that schools and colleges are already putting in place, such as the system of controls and consistent bubbles, face coverings will not generally be necessary in the classroom.

Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This includes people who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expressions to communicate. The same legal exemptions that apply to the wearing of face coverings in shops and on public transport also apply in schools and colleges.

Face coverings can make it more difficult to communicate with pupils and students with additional needs or those who many rely on lip reading or facial expressions for understanding. We expect staff to be sensitive to these needs when teaching and interacting with pupils and students.

We continue to provide information to the sector on our guidance, and any changes to it, through regular departmental communications. We also continue to work with the sector to understand the impact of the system of controls on staff, pupils and parents.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the role of adult education in supporting individuals back into work after the covid-19 outbreak.

As we address the challenges presented by COVID-19 and prepare to seize the opportunities offered up by leaving the European Union, it is vital that we support adults, including those working in sectors directly affected by COVID-19, to attain the skills that will be needed in the economy of the future.

Starting this year, the Government is investing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations) in the national skills fund. This is a significant investment and has the potential to deliver new opportunities to generations of adults who may have been previously left behind.

My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced £375 million for the national skills fund at the Spending Review in November 2020. This includes £95 million funding for a new level 3 adult offer and £43 million for skills bootcamps. Investment in skills through the national skills fund is vital, ensuring adults have the opportunity to progress into higher wage employment and to support those who need to retrain at different points throughout their lives.

From April 2021, we will be supporting any adult aged 24 and over who wants to achieve their first full Level 3 qualification – equivalent to two A-Levels, or a technical certificate or diploma – to access nearly 400 fully funded courses.

Complementing the Level 3 adult offer, the skills bootcamps offer 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 a local employer. skills bootcamps have the potential to transform the skills landscape for adults and employers.

The Government plans to consult on the national skills fund in spring 2021 to ensure that we develop a fund that helps adults learn valuable skills and prepares them for the economy of the future.

Through our lifelong loan entitlement, we will also make it easier for adults and young people to study more flexibly. This will allow them to space out their studies across their lifetimes, transfer credits between colleges and universities, and enable more part-time study.

We are also continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the adult education budget (AEB) (£1.34 billion in 2020/21). The AEB fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to Level 3, to support adults to gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

In April we introduced the skills toolkit, an online platform providing free courses to help individuals build the skills that are most sought after by employers. We have recently expanded the platform so that people can now choose from over 70 courses, covering digital, adult numeracy, employability and work readiness skills, which have been identified as the skills employers need the most. These courses will help people stay in work, or take up new jobs and opportunities.

In July last year the Plan for Jobs was announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which includes incentives for employers to take on new apprentices, including those over 25, and an additional £17 million to increase the number of Sector-based work academy programme placements in 2020/21.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to publish the further education White Paper.

We hope to publish the White Paper in January. It will set out our ambitious reform programme which will ensure that further and technical education supports people to get the skills our economy needs throughout their lives, and wherever they live in the country.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that adult education institutions are adequately resourced to support online learning.

We continue to support providers through the COVID-19 outbreak, and the testing programme that has been successfully stood up for colleges and secondary schools will continue to be used to support teachers, vulnerable children and children of critical workers and to prepare for wider re-opening.

We will continue to pay grant-funded providers their scheduled monthly profiled payments for 2020/21 academic year. We are currently reviewing the end of year grant funded AEB reconciliation position for 2020 to 2021 in recognition of the difficulties and uncertainties many providers are facing. We will communicate any changes to the published arrangements through our Update publication in the coming weeks.

Where applicable, providers were able to apply to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Post 16 and ESFA provider relief schemes for support.

For colleges in significant financial difficulties, the existing support arrangements remain in place, including short-term emergency funding.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have put in place a package of support to help the further education (FE) sector build their capacity to deliver digitally. This includes flexibilities to secure devices and connectivity through the 16-19 bursary funding and through changes to the adult education budget funding rules for the 2020/21 academic year.

In order to support colleges to respond to current challenge, including developing new ways of working, we adapted the College Collaboration Fund. This will see investment in new high-quality digital curriculum content, including funding for 7 projects that will develop hundreds of hours of new digital content for a wide range of vocational subjects, as well as PSHE and English and Maths.

We are also investing in FE practitioner online teaching skills through funding the Education and Training Foundation to support teachers to develop their online teaching skills, and we recently announced 80 new grants of £1,000 to FE providers across England to provide additional training and support for mentors and coaches specialising in assisting teachers with remote education.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support adult education institutions and providers during the covid-19 outbreak.

We continue to support providers through the COVID-19 outbreak, and the testing programme that has been successfully stood up for colleges and secondary schools will continue to be used to support teachers, vulnerable children and children of critical workers and to prepare for wider re-opening.

We will continue to pay grant-funded providers their scheduled monthly profiled payments for 2020/21 academic year. We are currently reviewing the end of year grant funded AEB reconciliation position for 2020 to 2021 in recognition of the difficulties and uncertainties many providers are facing. We will communicate any changes to the published arrangements through our Update publication in the coming weeks.

Where applicable, providers were able to apply to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Post 16 and ESFA provider relief schemes for support.

For colleges in significant financial difficulties, the existing support arrangements remain in place, including short-term emergency funding.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we have put in place a package of support to help the further education (FE) sector build their capacity to deliver digitally. This includes flexibilities to secure devices and connectivity through the 16-19 bursary funding and through changes to the adult education budget funding rules for the 2020/21 academic year.

In order to support colleges to respond to current challenge, including developing new ways of working, we adapted the College Collaboration Fund. This will see investment in new high-quality digital curriculum content, including funding for 7 projects that will develop hundreds of hours of new digital content for a wide range of vocational subjects, as well as PSHE and English and Maths.

We are also investing in FE practitioner online teaching skills through funding the Education and Training Foundation to support teachers to develop their online teaching skills, and we recently announced 80 new grants of £1,000 to FE providers across England to provide additional training and support for mentors and coaches specialising in assisting teachers with remote education.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has issued to schools on pupils wearing masks outside of the classroom while they are on school premises.

On 26 August, the Department revised its guidance on face coverings in schools following a new statement by the World Health Organisation on 21 August, which advised that “children aged 12 and over should wear face coverings under the same condition as adults, particularly when they cannot guarantee at least a one metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area”. The guidance can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education.

As the guidance outlines, in areas of national government intervention, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and pupils in secondary schools when moving around indoors, such as in corridors in communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Otherwise, the Government is not recommending that face coverings are necessary in schools. All schools, including primary schools, have the discretion to require the use of face coverings for adults and pupils in year 7 and above in indoor communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that it is right in their particular circumstances. Children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on permanently extending free school meals eligibility to children from families with no recourse to public funds.

During the COVID-19 outbreak we are temporarily extending free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds. We do not currently hold estimates for the cost of permanently extending eligibility on this basis.

The Department does not currently collect data regarding the take up of free school meals from children of families who are subject to a no recourse to public funds condition.

The Department has engaged in discussion with Home Office colleagues throughout the policy-making process.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of ending the temporary extension of free school meals eligibility on child (a) hunger and (b) malnutrition.

During the COVID-19 outbreak we are temporarily extending free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds. We do not currently hold estimates for the cost of permanently extending eligibility on this basis.

The Department does not currently collect data regarding the take up of free school meals from children of families who are subject to a no recourse to public funds condition.

The Department has engaged in discussion with Home Office colleagues throughout the policy-making process.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of permanently extending eligibility for free school meals to pupils with no recourse to public funds.

During the COVID-19 outbreak we are temporarily extending free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds. We do not currently hold estimates for the cost of permanently extending eligibility on this basis.

The Department does not currently collect data regarding the take up of free school meals from children of families who are subject to a no recourse to public funds condition.

The Department has engaged in discussion with Home Office colleagues throughout the policy-making process.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children of families who are subject to the no recourse to public funds condition have received free school meals in each month since May 2020.

During the COVID-19 outbreak we are temporarily extending free school meals eligibility to include some groups who have no recourse to public funds. We do not currently hold estimates for the cost of permanently extending eligibility on this basis.

The Department does not currently collect data regarding the take up of free school meals from children of families who are subject to a no recourse to public funds condition.

The Department has engaged in discussion with Home Office colleagues throughout the policy-making process.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, who was consulted on plans to permanently extend eligibility for free schools meals to children with Zambrano carers, families receiving Section 4 support, families receiving section 17 (Children Act 1989) support and families with leave to remain under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights; whether the findings of that consultation will be published; and what steps the Government plans to take in response to that consultation.

We have temporarily extended our eligibility for free school meals during the COVID-19 outbreak to include children of Zambrano carers, families with leave to remain under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, families receiving section 17 support who also have a no recourse to public funds condition and to families receiving section 4 support.

This extension was implemented urgently and our consultation was limited to other government departments in the time available. No formal consultation was undertaken beyond this.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department is taking steps to encourage independent schools to reopen on 1 June 2020.

As a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to strict social distancing measures, the transmission rate of COVID-19 has decreased and the Government’s five tests have been met. Based on all the evidence, the Department asked primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers), from 1 June. From 15 June, secondary schools can invite year 10 and 12 pupils (years 10 and 11 for alternative provision schools) back into school for some face-to-face support with their teachers, to supplement their remote education, which will remain the predominant mode of education for these pupils this term. Priority groups can continue to attend full-time.

To support schools the Department has published guidance on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020#year-groups-in-first-phase-of-wider-opening.

The guidance makes clear that we expect all mainstream schools, including independent schools, to follow the same approach.

Both officials and ministers are in frequent contact with the Independent Schools Council about the wider opening of schools.

12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government plans to extend free school meal provision into the (a) spring half-term and and (b) summer holidays.

As both my right hon. Friends, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

Our latest guidance for schools is set out below:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, during the Easter holidays the department met the costs of offering free school meals to eligible pupils not attending school during term time weeks. This was in recognition of the unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty for schools during this time. Whether or not such a measure continues to be appropriate in future holiday periods will be confirmed in due course.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he place in the Library the Government guidance issued to schools on what support schools must provide to children who come from families without recourse to public funds.

Guidance for schools regarding the temporary provision of free school meals for children from certain groups of families with no recourse to public funds is currently available online here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

We will place the guidance in the Libraries of both Houses.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many secondary school places were available in (a) Edmonton constituency and (b) Enfield borough in each year since 2010.

The Department collects pupil forecasts, existing school capacities, and plans to deliver additional school places from each local authority via the annual school capacity survey which can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-school-capacity.

The Department only collects data at local authority and planning area level, and so do not hold constituency level data. Over 5,000 new school places have been created in Enfield local authority since 2010.

Table 1: Secondary capacity in Enfield since 2010

Academic Year

2009/10

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

Enfield

23,914

24,585

24,615

24,000

28,230

27,901

28,533

28,717

29,394

The statutory duty to provide sufficient school places sits with local authorities. We provide basic need funding for every place that is needed, based on local authorities’ own data on pupil forecasts. They can use this funding to provide places in new schools or through expansions of existing schools, and can work with any school in their local area, including academies and free schools. Enfield has been allocated £122.7 million to provide new school places from 2011-2021.

14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department issues to schools on the (a) use and (b) recycling of plastics.

The Department for Education is encouraging schools, as well as suppliers of goods and services to schools, to reduce their consumption of single-use plastics throughout the supply chain. Further information regarding this can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-challenged-to-go-single-use-plastic-free-by-2022.

We urge schools to consider finding reusable alternatives wherever possible.

As part of the science curriculum, children are taught about the scientific concepts that relate to the environment. At key stage 2, pupils should explore examples of the human impact on environments, which can include the negative impact of litter. This is built upon in key stage 3 chemistry where pupils are taught about the efficacy of recycling.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to ban the import of (a) fur and (b) foie gras.

Now we have left the EU, the Government is able to explore potential action in relation to animal fur. We are reviewing the evidence gathered both from our Call for Evidence and wider engagement with the fur trade and stakeholders, and a summary of responses will be published soon.

The Government has made clear that the production of foie gras from ducks or geese using force feeding raises serious welfare concerns. We do not allow its production in the UK. We are now able to consider any further steps that could be taken in relation to foie gras that is produced overseas using force feeding practices, such as restrictions on import and sale. We are gathering information and will continue to speak to a range of interested parties about the issues involved. This is in line with the Government's commitment to improving animal welfare standards as set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has had any discussions with the Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency on proposals to ban the import of (a) fur and (b) foie gras.

Now we have left the EU, the Government is able to explore potential action in relation to animal fur. We are reviewing the evidence gathered both from our Call for Evidence and wider engagement with the fur trade and stakeholders, and a summary of responses will be published soon.

The Government has made clear that the production of foie gras from ducks or geese using force feeding raises serious welfare concerns. We do not allow its production in the UK. We are now able to consider any further steps that could be taken in relation to foie gras that is produced overseas using force feeding practices, such as restrictions on import and sale. We are gathering information and will continue to speak to a range of interested parties about the issues involved. This is in line with the Government's commitment to improving animal welfare standards as set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to introduce the mandatory neutering and microchipping of all pets.

All dogs and all pet horses, ponies and other equines in England are already required to be microchipped. In December 2021 we announced that we will introduce compulsory microchipping of all owned cats in line with our manifesto commitment. We plan to introduce the necessary legislation in 2022. We have no plans to introduce compulsory microchipping of other pets.

The neutering of pets is a decision for owners and we have no plans to make this mandatory. We support animal welfare charities and rehoming establishments in their work to encourage people to neuter their cats and dogs when they are not intended for breeding purposes. Owners should consult their vets for advice about neutering and breeding control.

This is a devolved matter and this response relates to the situation applying in England.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to to ban the import of pets other than those who have been rescued.

The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was introduced in Parliament on 8 June and completed committee on 18 November. The Bill allows us to protect the welfare of pets by introducing restrictions to crack down on the low welfare movements of pets into Great Britain and includes powers to introduce new restrictions on pet travel and the commercial import of pets on welfare grounds, via secondary legislation.

In August 2021, the Government launched an eight-week consultation on our proposed restrictions to the commercial and non-commercial movement of pets, including rescue pets, into Great Britain. This included proposals to ban the commercial and non-commercial movement into Great Britain of puppies under the age of six months, heavily pregnant dogs and dogs which have been subjected to low welfare practices such as ear cropping or tail docking. We are currently analysing the responses to the consultation and will publish a summary response in due course. This will allow us to take onboard the views of the public and interested groups on puppy smuggling and low welfare imports in order to shape our future policy.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ban the sale of animals online by unlicensed breeders and private individuals.

The Government considers that the best way of addressing the online sale of animals by unlicensed breeders and private individuals is to work closely with the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG). PAAG was created to combat growing concerns about the irresponsible advertising of pets for sale, rehoming and exchange, including through social media platforms. PAAG has developed a set of Minimum Standards which several of the UK’s largest classified websites have agreed to meet.

In addition my Department maintains a national communications campaign (Petfished) to raise awareness of issues associated with low-welfare and illegal supply of pets. This includes providing clear signposting to where responsible breeders and rehoming centres can be found and encouraging prospective buyers to research the seller thoroughly before they visit and decide to purchase. The campaign provides a list of red flags for buyers to look out for when searching for a pet online.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of expanding the capacity of the Edmonton EcoPark waste incinerator on air pollution in that local area.

The new energy-from-waste plant will replace the existing facility at Edmonton and has been permitted and assessed based on an environmental impact assessment for a maximum of 700,000 tonnes per year, as opposed to 750,000 tonnes for the existing plant. The permitted capacity is not being increased.

All energy-from-waste plants in England must comply with strict emission limits under the Environmental Permitting Regulations and cannot operate unless issued with a permit by the Environment Agency (EA). The EA assesses the emissions from new plant as part of its permitting process and consults Public Health England on every application it receives.

In the future, if the operator wishes to increase the capacity of the plant, they will need to apply to the EA for a permit variation, including details on any changes to the impact on air quality. The EA would only grant a variation if it was satisfied that the proposed increase in capacity would not have a significant impact on the environment or human health.

Once the plant becomes operational, the EA will perform regular inspections and audits to ensure that the plant is complying with the requirement of its permit. That will include checks of the results of the continuous air emissions monitoring which all energy-from-waste plants must do.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish communications he has had with the North London Waste Authority on its plans to increase the capacity of the Edmonton EcoPark waste incinerator.

I have no plans to publish this information. However, my Department would be happy to consider any request submitted under the statutory conditions set out in the Freedom of Information Act or Environmental Information Regulations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of a pause and review on the expansion of the Edmonton EcoPark waste incinerator.

Defra has not undertaken any such review.

Local authorities prepare local waste plans in which they consider their area’s waste infrastructure needs. They will need to take account of the Resources and Waste Strategy ambitions and measures in their assumptions around planning future waste infrastructure needs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the use of incineration as a method of waste disposal.

In December 2018, the Government published its Resources and Waste Strategy which outlines how we will work towards our ambitions of doubling resource productivity and producing zero avoidable waste by 2050. Introducing the Collection and Packaging Reforms are a key part of the policy measures required to meet the targets set in the Strategy, by helping to recycle more material and increasing the quality of the material being collected for recycling. Due to the combined impacts of consistent recycling collections, Extended Producers Responsibility for packaging and a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers, we estimate that we will meet our commitment of a municipal waste recycling rate of 65% by 2035.

In addition, in October 2020 as part of the Circular Economy Package, we legislated through the Environmental (England and Wales) Permitting Regulations 2016 to include a permit condition for landfill and incineration operators, meaning they cannot accept separately collected paper, metal, glass or plastic for landfill or incineration unless it has gone through some form of treatment process first, and post treatment this is deemed to be the best environmental outcome. This is in addition to existing permit measures that already prevent the acceptance of recyclable material.

The above measures will reduce the levels of residual waste needing to be treated through incineration (including with energy recovery) or landfilled.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the milk supply chain is not disrupted during the covid-19 outbreak.

Defra is working closely with the dairy industry to manage the impact of COVID-19. Demand for milk and some dairy products has increased in supermarkets and the vast majority of Britain’s dairy farmers continue to supply their contracts at the usual price. However, between 5 and 10 per cent of total milk production goes to the service trade, and these farmers have been impacted by the significantly reduced demand.

At the outset of the pandemic, the Government announced a number of emergency measures to support farmers, processors, and retailers. These include designating the food sector as critical to the response, with those working in the production, processing, sale, distribution or delivery of food categorised as “key workers” and granting derogations on drivers’ hours limitations.

In addition, to support milk producers, the Government announced on 17 April a temporary easing of some elements of competition law to make it easier for the dairy industry to come together to maximise production, processing and storage efficiency and ensure as much product as possible can be processed into high quality dairy products. This approach will allow the market for milk to adjust to the change in demand for milk while allowing production to be restored when shops, restaurants and pubs are able to open again. Exempted activities have been developed in conjunction with the dairy industry.

The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) together with Dairy UK are launching a new £1 million campaign to drive consumption of milk and other dairy products. Running over 12 weeks, the campaign will highlight the role that milk and other dairy products play in supporting moments of personal connection during times of crisis. Defra and the devolved administrations are jointly contributing towards the financing of this campaign.

The dairy industry can access various Government backed loan schemes. The COVID-19 Business Interruption Loans scheme is available to farmers, milk buyers and milk processors. In addition, the new Bounce Back Loan scheme, which will apply to businesses including those operating in agriculture, will ensure that the smallest businesses can access up to £50,000 loans.

In recognition of the unprecedented challenges facing this sector, on 6 May 2020, Defra announced a new fund to help support those dairy farmers who have seen decreased demand due to the loss of the food service sector. The new fund will provide support for those most in need. Eligible dairy farmers in England will be entitled to up to £10,000 each, to cover 70% of their lost income during April and May to ensure they can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare.

Public intervention for skimmed milk powder and butter continues to be available. Industry can sell skimmed milk powder and butter into public intervention when the price they would receive on the open market falls below the intervention price. This provides a floor price for dairy products. From 7 May, UK dairy processors are also eligible to apply for EU funded private storage aid in respect of skimmed milk powder, butter and cheese.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to introduce an additional grant scheme for people working in the agricultural sector that are facing market disruption as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is aware that coronavirus represents a very significant challenge, affecting daily life and every part of the economy. The agricultural sector plays a vital role in maintaining the UK’s food security. We are working closely alongside the agricultural industry to ensure that we understand and manage the impacts to the industry.

The department has been in close discussion with banks to ensure the farming sector has access to financial support to ease cashflow problems during this period, including through the HMG backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBIL), and the Bounce Back Loan scheme, which was announced on 27 April, and is the latest step in a package of support measures announced by the Chancellor. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan, to give lenders the confidence they need to support small businesses. These loans will be from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of firms’ turnover, and the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender. Almost all UK businesses will be eligible to apply for a loan under the scheme.

In March, Defra worked with BEIS to introduce new measures to support businesses in the food sector keep food supply flowing on to shelves and into homes. These included a temporary relaxation of competition rules to allow supermarkets to work together. The legislation to bring in this change was introduced on 27 March and has a retrospective effect from 1 March.

In April, we temporarily relaxed further elements of competition law to support the dairy sector during this period. Legislation was laid before Parliament on 1 May to enable collaboration between dairy farmers and producers, supporting them to adapt to changes in the supply chain including decreased demand from the hospitality sector. The legislation will apply retrospectively from 1 April 2020.

On 6 May, Defra announced a new fund to support English dairy farmers who have seen decreased demand due to the loss of the food service sector. Dairy farmers access this funding for those qualifying months, with no cap set on the number of farmers who can receive this support or on the total funding available. Eligible dairy farmers who have lost more than 25% of their income over April and May due to coronavirus disruptions will be eligible for funding of up to £10,000 each, to cover around 70% of their lost income during the qualifying months to ensure they can continue to operate and sustain production capacity without impacts on animal welfare. The Welsh Government announced the opening of a similar scheme on 12 May.

The availability of this funding followed the launch on 5 May of a joint Government and Devolved Administrations backed £1 million campaign aiming to boost milk consumption and help producers use their surplus stock. This 12-week campaign is being led by Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and Dairy UK. This follows a similar on-going campaign led by AHDB and retailers to promote the consumption of beef products.

While the Government has made a wide-ranging package of measures available to businesses to support them through this difficult period, we continue to keep the situation in each sector under review. Legal powers were included in the COVID-19 Bill enabling us to offer further financial support if we believe it is necessary.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that schools are reducing their use of single use plastic.

Whilst Defra does not directly work with schools to reduce their use of single use plastics, the Government published the Resources and Waste Strategy (RWS) in December 2018, setting out our plans to reduce, reuse and recycle more plastic than we do now. Our target is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the life of the 25 Year Environment Plan, but for the most problematic plastics we are going faster - that is why we are committing to work towards all plastic packaging placed on the UK market being recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

Our landmark Environment Bill will enable us to significantly change the way that we manage our waste and take forward a number of the proposals in the RWS. The Bill will enable us to create extended producer responsibility schemes; introduce deposit return schemes; establish greater consistency in the recycling system and charge for single use plastic items, all of which will assist with reducing and dealing with single use plastics in schools.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), supported by Defra, works to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency. Through RecycleNow, a national recycling campaign for England, they run an engagement programme targeted towards primary school children and encouraging them to think about recycling and sustainability.

In addition, Keep Britain Tidy runs an England-wide Eco-Schools programme, working with schools to educate young people about the dangers of littering.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to UK Export Finance's support for the Mozambique LNG project, what the names of the companies are with which contracts for that project have been issued for UK goods and services; and on what date those contracts were issued.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is aware of contracts with estimated supported eligible contracting of over US $750 million having been awarded from the Mozambique LNG project. Those contracts include the manufacture of equipment, subsea installation vessels, and provision of legal and financial advice.

Specific details of individual contracts that are eligible for UKEF support are not published due to commercial confidentiality.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate he has made of the number of contracts supported by UK Export Finance with (a) UK and (b) non-UK companies for the Mozambique LNG project.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is aware of contracts with estimated supported eligible contracting of over US $750 million having been awarded from the Mozambique LNG project. Those contracts include the manufacture of equipment, subsea installation vessels, and provision of legal and financial advice.

Specific details of individual contracts that are eligible for UKEF support are not published due to commercial confidentiality.

15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to UK Export Finance's support for the Mozambique LNG project, how many contracts have been issued for UK goods and services as a result of that support, on what date each of those contracts was signed; and what the total value was of each of those contracts.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) is aware of contracts with estimated supported eligible contracting of over US $750 million having been awarded from the Mozambique LNG project. Those contracts include the manufacture of equipment, subsea installation vessels, and provision of legal and financial advice.

Specific details of individual contracts that are eligible for UKEF support are not published due to commercial confidentiality.

25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policy of her Department's updated guidance to UK firms operating in Nigeria that Nigeria has a democratic framework which guarantees human rights within its constitution. an independent judiciary and a strong civil society.

Our guidance forms part of the package of support that we offer to all British businesses. HM Government is clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of our values.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether arms sales granted an export license by the Government have been used by Saudi Arabia and their coalition partners in combat missions which have resulted in civilian casualties.

The United Kingdom has a robust export controls regime. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria (the “Consolidated Criteria”).

We have been clear that equipment manufactured in the United Kingdom is used all over the world, and we are equally clear that a licence will not be granted if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she is making a new assessment as a result of recent developments in the region of the Mozambique LNG project's (a) compliance with international environmental, social and human rights standards and (b) development of an up to date project community security plan.

In line with the requirements of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Common Approaches (2016) and Equator Principles (2013), UK Export Finance (UKEF) will monitor the ongoing environmental, social and human rights (ESHR) performance of the Mozambique LNG Project to be satisfied that it is being constructed and operated in compliance with applicable local and international laws, and aligns with relevant international ESHR standards, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. UKEF will be supported in this performance monitoring by an independent ESHR consultant and an independent security consultant. There is also ongoing monitoring of the security threat situation and validation of the Project’s reports and management plans through the UK, US and French Embassies in Mozambique.

The Mozambique LNG Project is committed to following the UN Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, which provide guidance on good international practice in terms of conducting security operations while respecting human rights. The Project has a Community Security Plan in place which is aligned with international standards. The Community Security Plan has recently been updated in light of the dynamic security situation in the region.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2020 to Question 122815 on Pipelines: East Africa, for what reason the Answer of 23 December 2020 to Question 130164 on Fossil Fuels: Export Credit Guarantees did not include reference to the East African Crude Oil Pipeline; and what other projects have UKEF been approached on that were not included in Answers to Questions 91998 and 118072.

While UK Export Finance (UKEF) has been approached by and held initial meetings with the sponsors of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project (EACOP), it has not engaged in any substantive due diligence on the project and so considers this to be an early-stage enquiry. As such, at this early stage UKEF was not able to make any reliable assessment of whether the transaction might progress or, if so, over what timeframe.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many fossil fuel projects UK Export Finance (a) is currently considering for support or (b) has been asked to consider for support in the future; and for each project (i) where it is located and (ii) what fossil fuel it relates to.

On 12 December 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the British government will no longer provide any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas. This policy will be implemented as soon as possible following the conclusion of the consultation process that was also launched on 12 December.

During the consultation period and ahead of the implementation of the new policy, the government will continue to apply current policy for all in-scope activities including proposals for high carbon projects, with consideration of relevant factors including climate change.

I refer the Hon. Member for Edmonton to my responses to the Hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston on 18 November 2020 (UIN: 91998) and 25 November 2020 (UIN: 118072), which listed the fossil fuel related projects that UK Export Finance is currently considering for 2021, their locations, and the type of fossil fuel involved.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 18 November 2020 to Question 91998 on Fossil Fuels: Export Credit Guarantees, what status the listed projects have following the Prime Minister’s announcement of 12 December 2020 on ending direct financing for fossil fuel projects overseas.

The new policy on ending government’s support to fossil fuels overseas announced by the Prime Minister at the Climate Ambition Summit will be implemented as soon as possible following the conclusion of the consultation process that was launched on 12 December.

During the consultation period and ahead of the implementation of the new policy, the government will continue to apply current policy for all in-scope activities including proposals for high carbon projects, with consideration of relevant factors including climate change.

The projects referred to in my response to the Hon. Member for Birmingham, Edgbaston on 18 November 2020 (UIN: 91998) are still under consideration by UK Export Finance, and no decisions have been made. It is our policy not to comment on potential transactions for reasons of commercial sensitivity.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether support for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline is being considered under UKEF.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has been approached on the project referred to, but no decision has been made.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 18 November 2020 to Question 91998 on Fossil Fuels: Export Credit Guarantees, what steps UKEF is taking to conduct that extensive due diligence, including environmental, social, and human rights due diligence and consideration of climate change; and whether that due diligence includes an assessment of potential scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions from those projects.

The projects referred to in the response to Question 91998 are still under consideration, and we cannot comment on potential transactions for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has a specialist environmental, social, and human rights (ESHR) team that reviews relevant projects for such risks and impacts (including consideration of climate change) prior to UKEF taking a decision on support. ESHR reviews are undertaken in strict alignment with international frameworks for managing such ESHR risks and impacts, namely the OECD Council Recommendation on Common Approaches for Officially Supported Export Credits and Environmental and Social Due Diligence (OECD Common Approaches) and Equator Principles, which was updated in July 2020 to strengthen requirements related to climate change and human rights. The ESHR team undertakes these reviews to be satisfied that relevant projects should comply with applicable local and relevant international laws, and align with international ESHR standards, before support is provided. Where UKEF provides support to such projects it undertakes on-going ESHR monitoring over the period of that support.

Where a relevant project is identified as having a high potential impact on the environment and/or social matters/human rights, UKEF publishes Category A notices to inform stakeholders of its consideration of such a project.

Furthermore, from 1 April 2020, UKEF has committed to consider how it will take account of climate change within its decision-making processes across all its products. This consideration will be proportionate to the risks and impacts associated with the projects and its support.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 18 November 2020 to Question 91998 on Fossil Fuels: Export Credit Guarantees, what each project comprises; and who the project developer in the host country is for the two projects in Brazil.

The projects referred to in the response to Question 91998 are still under consideration by UK Export Finance, and no decisions have been made. It is our policy not to comment on potential transactions for reasons of commercial sensitivity.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether UKEF is making an assessment of the potential merits of providing financial support for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has been approached on the project referred to, and no decision has been made. It is not UKEF policy to comment on potential transactions for reasons of commercial sensitivity.

25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many export licences for the sale or transfer of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia have been (a) granted and (b) refused by the Government since 20 June 2019.

HM Government takes its arms export responsibilities seriously and assesses export licence applications in accordance with strict licensing criteria.

Through our rigorous process, 87 export licences were granted for military related items to Saudi Arabia, during the period 20th June 2019 to 29th September 2020.

We will not license the export of equipment where to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated Criteria; no licences had to be refused on this basis in the aforementioned period.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to UK Export Finance support for the Mozambique LNG Project, what her Department’s most recent estimate is of the lifecycle carbon emissions from that project; and what methodology was used to make that estimate.

The Project’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment presents the direct and indirect (Scope 1 and Scope 2) contribution of the Project to Mozambique’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) baseline, which is estimated to account for approximately 6 - 10% of Mozambique’s national GHG emissions. This was estimated in accordance with the GHG Protocol: Corporate Accounting & Reporting Standard developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI). The Project’s Scope 3 emissions are produced by the use of the Project’s LNG. Calculating LNG Scope 3 emissions is highly complex and requires details of when, where, how and how much of the Project’s gas volumes will be used. UK Export Finance (UKEF) made some reasonable assumptions about Scope 3 emissions, that it then took into account in its review of the Project. There is scope, however, for the Project to replace / displace more polluting hydrocarbon sources, such as oil and coal, which would result in lower net emissions than using these energy sources.

UKEF considered climate change as part of its review of the Project including considering the potential lock-in risks from the Project. It is not known for certain whether the Project will displace renewable energy potential or lower carbon solutions. However, for Mozambique, the need for financial resources to support the country’s climate resilience is noteworthy and, as per Mozambique’s own Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), UKEF considers that the financial outputs of this Project will act as a catalyst towards enabling the country’s climate change plans to be fulfilled, and thus to allow investment in the renewables sector.

The International Energy Agency notes that demand for energy cannot be met for the
foreseeable future (i.e. up to 2040) without oil and gas. Even under a sustainable
development scenario, gas is expected to account for 24% of global primary energy
demand in 2040. The Paris Agreement (Article 4.1) recognises that the peaking of
greenhouse gases will take longer for developing countries, such as Mozambique, and the Project sits within Mozambique’s longer-term plans to establish strong social and
economic stability.

The support provided by UKEF takes the form of direct loans or loan guarantees, rather than equity funding.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to UK Export Finance support for the Mozambique LNG Project, what assessment she has made of the risks of potential carbon lock-in from that project; when that assessment was made; and what methodology was used to make that assessment.

The Project’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment presents the direct and indirect (Scope 1 and Scope 2) contribution of the Project to Mozambique’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) baseline, which is estimated to account for approximately 6 - 10% of Mozambique’s national GHG emissions. This was estimated in accordance with the GHG Protocol: Corporate Accounting & Reporting Standard developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI). The Project’s Scope 3 emissions are produced by the use of the Project’s LNG. Calculating LNG Scope 3 emissions is highly complex and requires details of when, where, how and how much of the Project’s gas volumes will be used. UK Export Finance (UKEF) made some reasonable assumptions about Scope 3 emissions, that it then took into account in its review of the Project. There is scope, however, for the Project to replace / displace more polluting hydrocarbon sources, such as oil and coal, which would result in lower net emissions than using these energy sources.

UKEF considered climate change as part of its review of the Project including considering the potential lock-in risks from the Project. It is not known for certain whether the Project will displace renewable energy potential or lower carbon solutions. However, for Mozambique, the need for financial resources to support the country’s climate resilience is noteworthy and, as per Mozambique’s own Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), UKEF considers that the financial outputs of this Project will act as a catalyst towards enabling the country’s climate change plans to be fulfilled, and thus to allow investment in the renewables sector.

The International Energy Agency notes that demand for energy cannot be met for the
foreseeable future (i.e. up to 2040) without oil and gas. Even under a sustainable
development scenario, gas is expected to account for 24% of global primary energy
demand in 2040. The Paris Agreement (Article 4.1) recognises that the peaking of
greenhouse gases will take longer for developing countries, such as Mozambique, and the Project sits within Mozambique’s longer-term plans to establish strong social and
economic stability.

The support provided by UKEF takes the form of direct loans or loan guarantees, rather than equity funding.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the decision to provide £800,000 in UK Export Finance funding to support of the Mozambique LNG Project will comply with (a) the UK’s commitments made under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and (b) the COP26 President's recommendation for states to align finance flows with low carbon, resilient development.

The Project’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment presents the direct and indirect (Scope 1 and Scope 2) contribution of the Project to Mozambique’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) baseline, which is estimated to account for approximately 6 - 10% of Mozambique’s national GHG emissions. This was estimated in accordance with the GHG Protocol: Corporate Accounting & Reporting Standard developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI). The Project’s Scope 3 emissions are produced by the use of the Project’s LNG. Calculating LNG Scope 3 emissions is highly complex and requires details of when, where, how and how much of the Project’s gas volumes will be used. UK Export Finance (UKEF) made some reasonable assumptions about Scope 3 emissions, that it then took into account in its review of the Project. There is scope, however, for the Project to replace / displace more polluting hydrocarbon sources, such as oil and coal, which would result in lower net emissions than using these energy sources.

UKEF considered climate change as part of its review of the Project including considering the potential lock-in risks from the Project. It is not known for certain whether the Project will displace renewable energy potential or lower carbon solutions. However, for Mozambique, the need for financial resources to support the country’s climate resilience is noteworthy and, as per Mozambique’s own Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), UKEF considers that the financial outputs of this Project will act as a catalyst towards enabling the country’s climate change plans to be fulfilled, and thus to allow investment in the renewables sector.

The International Energy Agency notes that demand for energy cannot be met for the
foreseeable future (i.e. up to 2040) without oil and gas. Even under a sustainable
development scenario, gas is expected to account for 24% of global primary energy
demand in 2040. The Paris Agreement (Article 4.1) recognises that the peaking of
greenhouse gases will take longer for developing countries, such as Mozambique, and the Project sits within Mozambique’s longer-term plans to establish strong social and
economic stability.

The support provided by UKEF takes the form of direct loans or loan guarantees, rather than equity funding.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department conducted an independent assessment of the potential effect of UK Export Finance's support for Total's LNG Project in Mozambique on (a) human rights and (b) the environment.

In line with its regular policy, UK Export Finance (UKEF) has undertaken an environmental, social and human rights (ESHR) review of the Mozambique LNG Project. This was undertaken in strict alignment with international frameworks for managing such ESHR risks and impacts. UKEF’s review was conducted alongside other export credit agencies and the African Development Bank, with the support of an independent ESHR consultant. This review considered all the relevant ESHR documentation provided by the Project sponsors such as ESHR impact assessments, strategies, management and monitoring plans amongst others and included studies undertaken since the publication of the Project’s impact assessment.

UKEF published, in August 2019, a Category A notice of its consideration of the Project which includes a link to an Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) of the Mozambique LNG project and related information. In undertaking its review, UKEF considered the most up-to-date ESHIA. The Category A notice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/category-a-project-under-consideration-mozambique-lng-project

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department conducted an independent assessment of the effect of UK Export Finance's support for Total's LNG Project in Mozambique on poverty reduction.

As Mozambique is progressively emerging from debt distress, UK Export Finance (UKEF) support is subject to meeting the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Sustainable Lending Principles, which include a consideration of the economic and social development benefits of the Project to Mozambique. The Department for International Development provided confirmation that these benefits would be met by the Project.

The Project is directly supported by the African Development Bank. The World Bank and IMF are supportive of the Project. All three of these organisations are leading international financing institutions with developmental mandates and goals.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she is making an assessment in addition to the UKEF environmental, social and health impact assessment of the implications for her policy on funding for the Category A Mozambique LNG project of (a) the correlation between gas industry activity and the level of covid-19 cases, (b) attacks on local villages and increasing violence and instability in the region and (c) other human rights issues.

The Mozambique LNG Project is still under consideration, and we cannot comment on potential transactions for reasons of commercial confidentiality.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) carries out due diligence on all relevant aspects of a project before coming to a decision on whether to provide support.

As the question acknowledges, the Government has already published a Category A notice which includes a link to an Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHR) of the Mozambique LNG project and related information. The Category A Notice is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/category-a-project-under-consideration-mozambique-lng-project/category-a-project-under-consideration-mozambique-lng-project

UKEF has a specialist ESHR team that reviews relevant projects for such risks and impacts prior to UKEF taking a decision on support.

9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether EDO MBM Technology Ltd have extant export licences to export hornet bomb racks to (a) Roketsan, Turkey and (b) any other consignee in that country.

There are no extant licences in scope of this request.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
7th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government has issued any export licences to EDO MBM Technology Ltd for the export of military munitions and equipment or components to be used by the Turkish armed forces.

Licences have been granted to both EDO MBM Technology Ltd and other companies for military items for use by the Turkish armed forces.

We continue to monitor the situation in Syria very closely and are considering the licensing position in the light of recent developments. No further export licences to Turkey, for items which might be used in military operations in Syria, will be granted while we do so.

HM Government publishes official statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) about export licences on gov.uk; these reports contain detailed information on the type of export licences issued, refused or revoked, by destination type (e.g. military, other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
7th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government has issued any export licences to companies for the export of military munitions and equipment or components to be used by the Turkish armed forces.

Licences have been granted to both EDO MBM Technology Ltd and other companies for military items for use by the Turkish armed forces.

We continue to monitor the situation in Syria very closely and are considering the licensing position in the light of recent developments. No further export licences to Turkey, for items which might be used in military operations in Syria, will be granted while we do so.

HM Government publishes official statistics (on a quarterly and annual basis) about export licences on gov.uk; these reports contain detailed information on the type of export licences issued, refused or revoked, by destination type (e.g. military, other) and a summary of the items covered by these licences.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department plans to take to help ensure the stability of Transport for London funding following the economic impact of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has provided Transport for London (TfL) with more than £4 billion of support through three extraordinary funding and financing agreements since May 2020. The Department for Transport continues to work closely with TfL to support it onto a sustainable financial footing while ensuring a fair deal for the taxpayer.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of increasing direct Government funding to Transport for London to levels similar to those for transport networks in Paris and New York.

The Government currently provides approximately £1 billion per year of funding for capital investment to Transport for London (TfL). This is in addition to the three extraordinary funding and financing agreements since May 2020, worth more than £4 billion. These agreements take steps to place TfL on a financially sustainable footing while offering a fair deal for the taxpayer. In the most recent agreement, of 1 June 2021, the Government has committed to review of options for longer term reform of the funding framework for Transport for London, including governance and oversight. We continue to work with the Mayor and TfL on those options, and it would be inappropriate to comment at this stage.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the Government's timetable for its plans to tackle pavement parking in response to his Department's 2020 consultation on that matter.

We are giving careful consideration to the large volume of responses to this consultation and will publish the outcome as soon as possible.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to accelerate the installation of tactile paving on train platforms at mainline stations.

Platform edge tactiles are part of the scope for more than 100 accessible routes due to be installed under our Access for All programme by 2024. In addition, whenever the industry installs, replaces or renews platform infrastructure they are required to install tactiles.

I have asked Network Rail to work up a costed plan for a wider roll out of tactiles for stations where tactiles are not being delivered under another programme.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to reduce the risk of covid-19 among bus, coach and taxi drivers.

The Government has published 'Safer Transport' guidance for transport operators and 'Safer Travel' guidance for passengers, as well as specific safety guidance for owners, operators and drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles (PHVs). The Government is developing further guidance on installing protective screens in taxis and PHVs.

In addition, the Government continues to provide £27.3 million per week of Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) funding to bus operators and local authorities and will do so until it is agreed that this funding is no longer needed. CBSSG funding allows bus operators to provide up to 100% of pre-Covid service levels in order to accommodate social distancing, while also helping operators to implement safety measures to protect staff and passengers, including protective screens in driver’s cabs and enhanced cleaning of vehicles.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he make an assessment of the potential merits of lifting the liquid restriction for aircraft crew carrying liquids through security at airports.

Aviation security remains a priority for the Government. There are currently no plans to lift or increase the levels of liquid currently permitted to be carried by aircraft crew through security. We do however regularly assess our security measures to ensure they are proportionate and effective, including taking advice from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the (a) scientific and (b) technical advice that informed the Government's decision to exclude Portugal from the Government's air bridge scheme.

Portugal was added to the travel corridor list on 22 August.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with representatives of British Airways as a result of their recent announcement on staff redundancies.

It would not be appropriate to comment on individual discussions. However, we recognise that this will be very distressing news for BA employees and their families, and we stand ready to support them.

The aviation sector is essential to the UK economy, and firms can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures, including: schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees. If airlines find themselves in trouble because of coronavirus, and have exhausted the measures already available to them, the Transport Secretary is clear that the Government is prepared to enter discussions with individual companies seeking bespoke support as a last resort, having exhausted all other options.??Any intervention would need to represent value for money for taxpayers.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications were received for the post of chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board when it was last advertised; and how many candidates were interviewed for that role.

The role of chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board was recruited as a direct appointment.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will place a copy of the job description and person specification for the post of chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board when it was last advertised in the Library.

We will place a copy of the job description / person specification for the post of chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board in the Library.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether it is her Department's policy that all benefit claimants should reasonably be expected to be aware of whether they do or do not pass the habitual residence test.

Access to DWP income-related benefits such as Universal Credit flows from an individual’s immigration status. The Department assesses this through the Habitual Residence Test, which has two elements: a legal right to reside test and an objective assessment of factual evidence of habitual residence. Those eligible to claim Universal Credit are required to have established habitual residence in the UK and be exercising a right to reside in the UK which grants eligibility to receive public funds (e.g. Indefinite Leave to Remain or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme).

EU citizens with pre-settled status have the same access to benefits as they did prior to the introduction of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). They will satisfy the right to reside element of the Habitual Residence Test and can access benefits if they are exercising a qualifying right to reside, such as a worker or self-employed person, and are habitually resident in the UK.

Guidance on the Habitual Residence Test can be found within Chapter C1: International Issues within the Advice for Decision Makers guide:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff-guide

Those who undertake the Habitual Residence Test will receive a letter explaining the decision, either for a pass or a fail. In respect of Universal Credit, this letter is uploaded to the claimant’s journal. If the claimant does not agree with the decision, and they have additional evidence to support their claim, they have the right to apply for a mandatory reconsideration.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the paper entitled Tackling misconceptions and improving the reputation of universal credit, presented to Universal Credit Programme Board by officials on 14 May 2019, whether that Board received a paper following the Advertising Standards Authority’s investigation which found the adverts in The Metro to be exaggerated and misleading and ordered that they should not be published again; and what steps the Board took following that investigation.

The independent BBC documentary and the campaign work with the Metro was very successful in improving people’s understanding of Universal Credit, achieving its objectives, and therefore we did not need a further paper.

The high profile ‘Universal Credit Uncovered’ Metro partnership was a key element of the Department’s strategy to tackle negative perceptions and Universal Credit misinformation that were affecting claimant understanding. The Department went to great lengths to ensure factual accuracy by consulting extensively with the ASA throughout the campaign, which was clearly identifiable as an advertising feature from DWP.

The Department was disappointed with the ASA findings; however, to ensure the Department continues to adhere to the highest standards of advertising across all DWP campaigns, a number of steps have been taken. This includes regular senior and operational level engagement with the ASA and their Copy Advice Team on campaign development, combined with internal training sessions on ASA guidelines.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 March 2022 to Question 142049 on Social Security Benefits: Habitual Residence Test, what steps the Risk Review Team takes to determine whether there is a risk that a claimant does not satisfy the Habitual Residence Test.

If during a review, the Risk Review Team identify any doubt regarding HRT status, they gather relevant information, and refer to an independent decision maker who will determine HRT status.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 9 March 2022 to Question 137396 on Social Security Benefits: Fraud, how many of the cases of benefit fraud in (a) 2020, (b) 2021 and (c) 2022 to date were reviewed at any point by the Risk Review Team.

The information relates to criminal fraud investigations conducted between 2015 – 2022.

Risk Review Team interventions are not included in the data.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 March 2022 to Question on Social Security Benefits: Habitual Residence Test, whether the Risk Review Team reviews every case in which intelligence has identified a high risk that the claimant does not satisfy the Habitual Residence Test.

The Risk Review Team review all cases referred to them.

Referrals are not identified based on Habitual Residence test status.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the term of office is of the chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board.

The term of office for the chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board is 18 months with the possibility of an extension. The current chair of the Universal Credit Programme Board took office on 5 August 2021.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Risk Review Team reviews cases in which no fraud is suspected but where it is believed there is a risk that the claimant does not satisfy the Habitual Residence Test.

The Risk Review Team only reviews cases where intelligence has identified a high risk of fraud. That may include claimants who don’t satisfy the Habitual Residence Test as they will have been receiving benefit they are not entitled to.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether it is the Risk Review Team's policy to suspend cases when fraud is suspected and not in cases where more evidence is required to determine eligibility.

The Risk Review Team only deal with cases where intelligence indicates that there is a high risk of fraud.

In these cases, claims are suspended until such time as claimants can provide the evidence required in order for us to determine their eligibility.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the definition of fraud used by the Risk Review Team to determine which cases to investigate.

The definition of fraud, as reflected in our annually published statistics on Fraud and error in the Benefits System, can be found here:

Background information: Fraud and error in the benefit system statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Risk Review Team’s role forms part of DWP’s increasing focus on stopping such fraud from entering the benefits system.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of the cases investigated by the Risk Review team were subsequently disallowed because of a failed Residence Test.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Risk Review Team provides a full explanation detailing the reasons behind a decision when a decision is made that a claimant isn't entitled to benefits and an overpayment is issued.

For every overpayment decision made the customer will receive details of the reason for the overpayment.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether it is the policy of her Department not to provide claimants with the reasons for an overpayment occurring in instances when the Risk Review Team has been responsible for reviewing the claimants' benefits.

For every overpayment decision made the customer will receive details of the reason for the overpayment.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases of benefit fraud have been found by her Department in each year since 2015; and how many of those cases have resulted in a criminal conviction.

      Year

Cases of benefit fraud

Criminal convictions

2015

22,000

7,100

2016

24,100

6,000

2017

21,400

5,800

2018

18,900

4,400

2019

21,000

2,600

2020

11,900

800

2021

5,600

800

2022 YTD

1,100

200

The changing nature of fraud investigation work in the 5-year period prior to the Covid pandemic is reflected in the above figures, including an increase in the actual prosecution threshold, which allowed us to generate better returns for the taxpayer by focusing on detecting fraud quicker and enforcing tough Administrative penalties.

This was evidenced in 2019, when we took the decision to temporarily divert fraud resources to tackle UC Advances fraud, an emerging threat at that time. This necessary change to our operational approach led to a corresponding increase in financial penalties, with 10,000 Admin. penalties issued in 2019/20 alone.

In 2020, DWP’s ability to investigate cases, and the courts’ ability to process cases, were significantly impacted by the Covid pandemic, with large numbers of DWP staff redeployed to support the unprecedented demand for financial support, and social distancing measures constraining our ability to carry out face to face Interviews Under Caution.

However, DWP maintained an operational fraud presence throughout and is now looking to resume face to face interviews in DWP premises, whilst making sure that all the necessary safety precautions are in place. We can, as a result, expect to see the level of prosecution cases increasing over the coming months.

More generally, it should be noted that DWP will always look to use penalties proportionally. Prosecuting someone for a relatively minor offence could be inappropriate if it adversely affects their life chances by, for example, reducing their employability. This would run against DWP’s overall objective of encouraging people into work and gaining financial independence. DWP focuses instead on prosecuting the most serious, higher value overpayments, but reserves the right to refer any case for prosecution, dependent on the case.

Note that all figures have been rounded to the nearest 100 and are correct up to 9 March 2022. Data has been sourced from DWP’s main internal IT fraud management information system. The figures do not reflect cases that are currently suspended, cases that were not investigated by our central fraud investigation team, or data held on other DWP systems.

Internal data is only intended to help the Department manage its business. It is not intended for publication and has not been subject to the same quality assurance checks applied to our published official statistics.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims remain suspended under the Risk Review Process as of February 2022.

The latest published figures show there are 5.6 million people receiving Universal Credit.

As of 17th February 2022, 174,000 claims have been suspended under the Risk Review Process, a percentage of 3.1%. Of the 174,000 claims suspended, Risk Review Team have de-suspended 5,346 claims.

Note: The figures provided have been sourced from internal DWP management information, intended only to help the Department to manage its business and has not been subject to the same quality assurance checks applied to our published official statistics.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department collects data on the number of claims reviewed by the Risk Review Team that have been closed as a result of fraudulent activity.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims have been closed by the Risk Review Team as a result of fraudulent activity as of 18 February 2022.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what process the Risk Review team has put in place to work with local authorities who are assisting individuals who have had their benefits suspended under the risk review process.

The Department engages with a wide range of external organisations, including employers, partners, representatives and stakeholders, for varying reasons.

The Risk Review Team will engage with Local Authorities if they have a query regarding a claimant they are supporting. We can share information relating to alternative payment arrangements with all Local Authorities across the UK when acting in a welfare capacity. Claimant consent is, however, required for the initial referral.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether charities, local authorities and other third parties are permitted to contact the Risk Review Team on behalf of the claimant who has had their benefits suspended under the Risk Review Process.

The Risk Review Team follows standard disclosure and consent guidelines. Claimants have full access to information held on their account. If claimants feel unable to find the information or understand more complex issues, they may ask a representative to contact DWP on their behalf to obtain the information.

A representative is any person or organisation acting on behalf of or making enquiries for the claimant. This can be at any stage of the claimant’s Universal Credit claim. The customer must provide explicit consent to discuss their personal data with a third party; consent can be given over the phone, in person or through their journal.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims were suspended in each month from January 2016 to February 2021.

The increase in suspensions seen from 2020, particularly in May and June 2020 could be attributed to the rapid increase in claims to UC during the Covid pandemic when there were over 10 times the usual number of claims made. Over 550,000 claims for Universal Credit were made in each week ending 26 March and 2 April 2020 compared to an average of 54,000 claims per week before the first national lockdown.

The requested information is provided in the attached spreadsheet.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has undertaken an assessment or consideration of its duties under the Equalities Act 2010 in relation to the Risk Review Team.

No demographic data or protected characteristics are used to determine if a case is referred to the Risk Review Team, therefore no Equality Assessment was required.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefit claimants have had their claims suspended as a result of the time taken to be granted settled status.

We have been clear in our guidance to DWP Decision Makers that no claim should be suspended due to delays in resolving an application to the EU Settlement Scheme.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people were claiming universal credit and legacy benefits as of 24 January 2022, broken down by nationality.

The nationality of claimants is not currently recorded on benefit payment systems.

The Department for Work and Pensions does publish annual statistics on “Nationality at point of National Insurance Number registration of DWP working age benefit recipients” and the latest statistics are for November 2020 and available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/nationality-at-point-of-national-insurance-number-registration-of-dwp-working-age-benefit-recipients-data-to-november-2020

Table 3 in the tables provides a benefit combination breakdown by nationality, however please note that the nationality for Non-UK nationals is recorded at the point of NINo registration and cannot be used as a proxy for current nationality or nationality at birt

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has shared data provided by people who applied for pre-settled status with the Risk Review Team.

The Department has not used any demographic data to influence or determine what cases are referred to the Risk Review Team.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2022 to Question 96989, on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, whether the Risk Review Team has undertaken an Equalities Impact Assessment; and if she will publish the outcome of that assessment.

No demographic data has been used to determine if a case is referred to the Risk Review Team, therefore no Equality Assessment was required.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2022 to Question 97000 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, what the average time taken by the Risk Review Team is to make a decision on a claimant’s entitlement once a claimant has engaged with the Risk Review Team.

Once a customer engages with us, the time taken to complete a review is case specific. It is dependent on the information provided and it may also be necessary to involve independent decision makers. If entitlement is established, any suspension will be lifted and any payments due will be made without delay.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2022 to Question 97000 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, how many claims have been reviewed by the Risk Review Team but not suspended.

Due to the high risk of fraud associated to the claims identified through this process, and in order to protect the public purse, all claims are suspended pending contact from the claimant, and the provision of any information requested to support a review and decision on entitlement.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, at what stage claimants who have had their benefits suspended or closed under the Risk Review Process are provided with the reasons for that suspension or closure.

Any claimant whose benefit is suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team activity is notified by journal, which is a digital means by which messages are exchanged between the Department and a Universal Credit claimant. These messages tell the claimant how they can contact the Department to speak to the agent responsible for that case. Where a customer does contact us in these circumstances, they will have the opportunity to have a one to one conversation with an agent to discuss their specific claim in more detail, and the agent can request any additional information required. With the relaxation of Covid rules, we can arrange for claimants to meet officials by way of a face to face appointment, where they can receive help in understanding what has happened with regards to their claim, and with providing the correct verification information.

At no point should the claimant be unaware as to what is required from them in order to determine their benefit entitlement.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2022 to Question 97000 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, what steps are taken by the Risk Review Team prior to suspending a claimant’s benefits to ensure that suspension is a last resort.

The Risk Review Team only reviews, and therefore suspends, cases where there is a high risk of fraud based on specific intelligence.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2022 to Question 97000 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, what information is taken into account when carrying out an assessment of a person’s personal circumstances prior to suspending their benefits.

The specific methods employed by the Risk Review Team are sensitive and, as such, we are not able to provide the mechanics of how they are identified, or how they are progressed. By putting such methods or the guidance in the public domain, we would risk undermining the ability of DWP to detect and counter fraudulent threats.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons a claim may be suspected of fraud and therefore subject to the Risk Review Process.

The specific methods employed by the Risk Review Team are sensitive and, as such, we are not able to provide the mechanics of how they are identified, or how they are progressed. By putting such methods or the guidance in the public domain, we would risk undermining the ability of DWP to detect and counter fraudulent threats.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason her Department's Risk Review Team does not capture demographic data on any claims they suspend.

The Risk Review Team does not capture demographic data because it is not relevant to the fraud risk identified by our Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service, which uses detection methods that are agnostic of nationality and other demographic data, to identify risk and fraud within the benefits system.

The specific methods employed are sensitive and, as such, we are not able to provide the mechanics of how they are identified. By putting such methods or the guidance in the public domain, we would risk undermining the ability of DWP to detect and counter fraudulent threats.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what further evidence may be requested from claimants who have had their benefits suspended under the Risk Review Process.

The Risk Review Team may ask for any information and/or supporting evidence that is required to determine correct benefit entitlement.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2022 to Question 97003 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, how many of the 149,763 cases that had been suspended under the Risk Review Process as of 24 December 2021, have now been closed after a decision was made that the claim was made fraudulently.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2022 to Question 97000 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, how many claims remain suspended by the Risk Review Team despite the claimants having now engaged with the team and provided all requested evidence.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2021 to Question 63817 on Personal Independence Payment: Appeals, how many appeals against personal independence payment decisions were lapsed by her Department prior to the hearing at the First Tier Tribunal in Quarter 2 of 2020.

The information on number of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appeals lapsed during Quarter 2 of 2020 is given below:

Period

Number of PIP appeals lapsed

April – June 2020

5,960

Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Totals are for Great Britain.

PIP appeals data taken from the DWP PIP computer system’s management information. Therefore, this data may differ from that held by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service for various reasons such as delays in data recording and other methodological differences in collating and preparing statistics.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 23 October 2017 to Question 107685 on Social Security Benefits: Appeals, when her Department stopped collecting data on the number of appeals to the First-Tier Tribunal against its decisions on universal credit that were lapsed or conceded by its decision-makers each year; and for what reason that data collection stopped.

The Department has not stopped collecting data on Universal Credit lapsed appeals. The information provided in the answer to Question 107685 in October 2017 was internal management information.

That information is still available today but to assess the completeness of its recording and quality assure the data, would incur disproportionate costs. This is necessary because this type of information does not form part of the official statistics outputs that are released by the Department in accordance with the UK Statistics Authority’s Code of Practice.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims suspended under the Risk Review process have been reinstated as of 24 December 2021.

Approximately 3% of cases reviewed under the Risk Review Process between May 2020 and the beginning of January 2022 have been re-instated.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefit claims that have been suspended under the Risk Review process have been closed under suspicion of fraud as of 24 December 2021.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2021 to Question 84427 on Social Security Benefit: Disqualification, how many of the 149,057 cases that were suspended under the Risk Review Process remain suspended as of December 2021.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of increasing statutory sick pay on the ability of workers to self-isolate when necessary.

The government has put in place support to help individuals to comply with public health advice on self-isolation. This includes extending Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to those who are sick or self-isolating due to coronavirus. SSP is also payable from the first day of absence, rather than the fourth, where an employee is sick or self-isolating due to coronavirus.

Alongside this we have always made sure there are no financial barriers to self-isolating, by providing the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment which has been extended until the end of March 2022.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has had any discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the potential merits of increasing statutory sick pay to rates paid in other economically developed countries in order to encourage workers who need to self-isolate to do so.

The government has put in place support to help individuals to comply with public health advice on self-isolation. This includes extending Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to those who are sick or self-isolating due to coronavirus. SSP is also payable from the first day of absence, rather than the fourth, where an employee is sick or self-isolating due to coronavirus.

Alongside this we have always made sure there are no financial barriers to self-isolating, by providing the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment which has been extended until the end of March 2022.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the results of any impact assessment her Department has conducted on the reintroduction of the universal credit minimum income floor.

The Department was always clear that the change to the Minimum Income Floor as a result of the coronavirus pandemic was temporary, and that it would be reinstated when appropriate. As the reintroduction of the Minimum Income Floor is a return to an existing policy, the Department does not intend to publish an impact assessment.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the time frame is for the Risk Review Team to finish reviews of benefits it has suspended.

Any decision to suspend a claim to benefit by the Risk Review Team is not made lightly and includes an assessment of a person’s personal circumstances. Suspension of benefit is a last resort and is based on the risk that a person may not be entitled to benefit.

Where a claim is suspended, we are unable to make any alternative payments. In law, there is no right of appeal against a decision to suspend payment of benefit.

If it is determined there is entitlement to Universal Credit, following the receipt of additional information and evidence from the claimant, the suspension would be lifted immediately and we would always aim to pay benefits at the earliest opportunity, including any arrears that may be due.

Where a review determines there is no entitlement to Universal Credit an outcome decision will be made to that effect. This decision can be appealed.

We make all claimants aware of the evidence we need and the consequence of failing to provide it within prescribed timescales. For any Universal Credit claim that is suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team activity, the claimant is notified by journal and text messages, along with a means by which they can contact the Department and speak to the agent responsible for that case. At no time should claimants be unaware of the action they need to take and how they may contact us to provide evidence.

The length of time a review may take to complete is largely dependent on the engagement of the claimant and the timely provision of any information requested. Claimants are asked to provide requested information within a 14-day window for digital submissions, extended to 28 days if they have indicated a postal submission. Once a customer engages with us, the time taken to complete a review is case specific, dependant on the information provided. Once entitlement is established, payments are put into payment as soon as possible.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether claimants who have had their benefits suspended under the Risk Review process are able to request a reconsideration of that decision or appeal against it.

Any decision to suspend a claim to benefit by the Risk Review Team is not made lightly and includes an assessment of a person’s personal circumstances. Suspension of benefit is a last resort and is based on the risk that a person may not be entitled to benefit.

Where a claim is suspended, we are unable to make any alternative payments. In law, there is no right of appeal against a decision to suspend payment of benefit.

If it is determined there is entitlement to Universal Credit, following the receipt of additional information and evidence from the claimant, the suspension would be lifted immediately and we would always aim to pay benefits at the earliest opportunity, including any arrears that may be due.

Where a review determines there is no entitlement to Universal Credit an outcome decision will be made to that effect. This decision can be appealed.

We make all claimants aware of the evidence we need and the consequence of failing to provide it within prescribed timescales. For any Universal Credit claim that is suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team activity, the claimant is notified by journal and text messages, along with a means by which they can contact the Department and speak to the agent responsible for that case. At no time should claimants be unaware of the action they need to take and how they may contact us to provide evidence.

The length of time a review may take to complete is largely dependent on the engagement of the claimant and the timely provision of any information requested. Claimants are asked to provide requested information within a 14-day window for digital submissions, extended to 28 days if they have indicated a postal submission. Once a customer engages with us, the time taken to complete a review is case specific, dependant on the information provided. Once entitlement is established, payments are put into payment as soon as possible.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information the Risk Review Team shares with claimants whose benefits have been suspended under the Risk Review process.

Any decision to suspend a claim to benefit by the Risk Review Team is not made lightly and includes an assessment of a person’s personal circumstances. Suspension of benefit is a last resort and is based on the risk that a person may not be entitled to benefit.

Where a claim is suspended, we are unable to make any alternative payments. In law, there is no right of appeal against a decision to suspend payment of benefit.

If it is determined there is entitlement to Universal Credit, following the receipt of additional information and evidence from the claimant, the suspension would be lifted immediately and we would always aim to pay benefits at the earliest opportunity, including any arrears that may be due.

Where a review determines there is no entitlement to Universal Credit an outcome decision will be made to that effect. This decision can be appealed.

We make all claimants aware of the evidence we need and the consequence of failing to provide it within prescribed timescales. For any Universal Credit claim that is suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team activity, the claimant is notified by journal and text messages, along with a means by which they can contact the Department and speak to the agent responsible for that case. At no time should claimants be unaware of the action they need to take and how they may contact us to provide evidence.

The length of time a review may take to complete is largely dependent on the engagement of the claimant and the timely provision of any information requested. Claimants are asked to provide requested information within a 14-day window for digital submissions, extended to 28 days if they have indicated a postal submission. Once a customer engages with us, the time taken to complete a review is case specific, dependant on the information provided. Once entitlement is established, payments are put into payment as soon as possible.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial support is available to claimants whose benefits have been suspended under the Risk Review process.

Any decision to suspend a claim to benefit by the Risk Review Team is not made lightly and includes an assessment of a person’s personal circumstances. Suspension of benefit is a last resort and is based on the risk that a person may not be entitled to benefit.

Where a claim is suspended, we are unable to make any alternative payments. In law, there is no right of appeal against a decision to suspend payment of benefit.

If it is determined there is entitlement to Universal Credit, following the receipt of additional information and evidence from the claimant, the suspension would be lifted immediately and we would always aim to pay benefits at the earliest opportunity, including any arrears that may be due.

Where a review determines there is no entitlement to Universal Credit an outcome decision will be made to that effect. This decision can be appealed.

We make all claimants aware of the evidence we need and the consequence of failing to provide it within prescribed timescales. For any Universal Credit claim that is suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team activity, the claimant is notified by journal and text messages, along with a means by which they can contact the Department and speak to the agent responsible for that case. At no time should claimants be unaware of the action they need to take and how they may contact us to provide evidence.

The length of time a review may take to complete is largely dependent on the engagement of the claimant and the timely provision of any information requested. Claimants are asked to provide requested information within a 14-day window for digital submissions, extended to 28 days if they have indicated a postal submission. Once a customer engages with us, the time taken to complete a review is case specific, dependant on the information provided. Once entitlement is established, payments are put into payment as soon as possible.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the majority of claimants who have had their benefits suspended under the Risk Review process are Bulgarian nationals.

The Risk Review Team does not capture demographic data on any claims they suspend. All claims subject to the Risk Review Process are suspected of fraud. This is not linked to nationality.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2021 to Question 84427 on Social Security Benefit: Disqualification and with reference to the 149,057 cases that were suspended under the Risk Review Process, what steps her Department has taken to ensure the process of suspension does not result in the discrimination of claimants and is compliant with the Equality Act 2010.

The Risk Review Team does not capture demographic data on any claims they suspend. All claims subject to the Risk Review Process are suspected of fraud. This is not linked to nationality.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefit claims were suspended under the Risk Review process as of 24 December 2021.

Since the Risk Review Team was created in May 2020, latest published figures show there have been 3,999,004 claims made to Universal Credit.

As of 24th December 2021, 149,763 have been suspended under the Risk Review Process, a percentage of 3.74%

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims were issued with a negative decision on the grounds that the claimant failed the habitual resident test, as a proportion of total claims, in each month from January 2014 to December 2021.

The table attached gives relevant proportions and volumes of total Universal Credit (UC) claims that failed their Habitual Residency Test (HRT) in each month from June 2015 to September 2021.

The Department currently holds information for HRTs failed by UC claimants from June 2015 to September 2021.

Notes:

  1. Numbers failing the HRT are updated monthly and retrospectively as outcomes are resolved. Current numbers and the proportions on which these are based may therefore be different from those shared at an earlier time for the same period.
  2. The rise in numbers failing the HRT since 2015 reflects the gradual roll out of UC and rising UC caseload.
  3. Only single-person claims were included on the early UC caseload until December 2018 when the UC full service began rollout.
  4. Proportions in table attached are based on unrounded numbers.
  5. Any numbers shown below 100 are rounded to the nearest 10.
  6. Any numbers shown above 100 are rounded to the nearest 100.
David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to amend universal credit regulations so that maternity allowance is treated as earned income.

We have no plans to change the way that Maternity Allowance is treated in Universal Credit.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to establish a specialist advice service run by the Health and Safety Executive for the purposes of delivering advice to (a) employers, (b) employees and (c) local authority officers on risk assessment and management for pregnant women and new mothers.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) already provides guidance for employers of new or expectant mothers on its web site. HSE’s guidance includes recently updated advice and information, including on risk assessments, welfare rights and relevant workplace safety law. While the guidance is predominantly aimed at employers, it includes a section for new and expectant mothers and the content will be equally helpful to others with responsibilities for workplace health and safety.

Anyone who requires further advice on this topic can contact HSE through their Concerns and Advice service.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims were issued with a negative decision on the grounds that the claimant failed the habitual residence test in each month from January 2015 to December 2021.

The table attached gives numbers of Universal Credit claims issued with a negative decision on the grounds that the claimant failed the Habitual Residence Test in each month from June 2015 to August 2021.

The Department currently holds information for Habitual Residence Tests failed by Universal Credit claimants from June 2015 to August 2021.

Notes:

  1. Numbers failing the Habitual Residence Test are updated monthly and retrospectively as outcomes are resolved. Current numbers may therefore be different from those shared at an earlier time for the same period.
  2. The rise in numbers failing the Habitual Residence Test since 2015 reflects the gradual roll out of Universal Credit and the rising caseload.
  3. Only single-person claims were included on the early Universal Credit caseload until December 2018 when the Universal Credit full service began rollout.
  4. Figures below 100 rounded to the nearest 10.
  5. Figures above 100 rounded to the nearest 100.
David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 8 December 2021 to Question 84427 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, with reference to the 149,057 cases that were suspended under the Risk Review Process, how many were suspended due to (a) suspected fraud and (b) claimant error.

All claims that have been suspended under the Risk Review Process are done so where there is suspicion of fraud.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2021 to Question 84427 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, of the 149,057 cases suspended under the Risk Review Process, what the average time is between (a) the start of the suspension and (b) a decision being issued.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2021 to Question 84427 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, of the 149,057 cases that were suspended under the Risk Review Process how many appeals have been lodged after a decision was issued.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the answer of 8 December 2021 to Question 84427 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, how many of the 149,057 cases that have been suspended under the Risk Review Process were suspended in each month from May 2020 to December 2021.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2021 to Question 84427, Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, with reference to the 149,057 cases suspended under the Risk Review Process, how many and what proportion (a) remain suspended, (b) have been closed and (c) were reinstated.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the policy that is followed by the Risk Review Team when investigating a claim they have suspended.

The methods used to identify cases reviewed by the Risk Review Team are sensitive and, as such, we are not able to provide the mechanics of how they are identified.

By putting such methods or the guidance in the public domain, we would risk undermining the ability of DWP to detect and counter fraudulent threats.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the policy that her Department’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service use to identify which benefit claims present a high fraud risk.

The methods used to identify cases reviewed by the Risk Review Team are sensitive and, as such, we are not able to provide the mechanics of how they are identified.

By putting such methods or the guidance in the public domain, we would risk undermining the ability of DWP to detect and counter fraudulent threats.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims have been suspended under the Risk Review Process.

Since the Risk Review Team was created in May 2020, there have been 3,761,761 claims made to Universal Credit. Of those,149,057 have been suspended under the Risk Review Process, a percentage of 3.96%.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of Risk Review Team activities on claimants with specific nationality, ethnic or religious backgrounds.

The Risk Review Team does not capture demographic data on any claims they review.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2021 to Question 78474 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, what proportion of claims reviewed by the Risk Review Team have been closed as a result of fraud as of 30 November 2021.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases that have been reviewed under her Department's Risk Review Process remain suspended as of 30 November 2021.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 30 November 2021 to Question 78474 on Social Security Benefits: Disqualification, how many and what proportion of cases reviewed under the Risk Review Process have been closed as of 30 November 2021.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her policy is on claimants' right to appeal when their claims have been suspended by the Risk Review Team.

In law there is no right of appeal against a decision to suspend payment of benefit.

If it is determined there is entitlement to Universal Credit following review by the Risk Review Team, the suspension will be lifted immediately.

If it is determined there is no entitlement, an outcome decision will be made to that effect. This decision can be appealed.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what date the risk review team was established, how many staff work on that team; and what the objectives are of that team.

The Risk Review Team (RRT) was created in May 2020 as a direct response to threats identified by the Department’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS).

IRIS brings together the Department’s Risk and Intelligence Service, our Cyber Resilience Team and our co-ordination of our response to Serious and Organised Crime activity.

Last year, IRIS coordinated the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups seeking to exploit COVID-19, which meant that systematic attacks on the benefit system were detected and shut down. In this way cyber colleagues prevented an attack by organised criminals which would have seen £1.9 billion in benefits being paid to people trying to scam the system.

The role of the RRT is to review and take action on cases identified by IRIS as being a high fraud risk.

The numbers engaged in RRT activity have fluctuated dependant on the numbers of claims identified. However, 165 full time equivalent staff are currently engaged on the RRT.

The methods used to identify cases that are reviewed by the RRT are sensitive and, as such, we are not able to provide the mechanics of how they are identified. By putting such methods – or the guidance to the team – in the public domain, we would risk undermining the ability of DWP to detect and counter fraudulent threats.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will place in the Library a copy of guidance to the Risk Review Team on the investigation of benefit claims.

The Risk Review Team (RRT) was created in May 2020 as a direct response to threats identified by the Department’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS).

IRIS brings together the Department’s Risk and Intelligence Service, our Cyber Resilience Team and our co-ordination of our response to Serious and Organised Crime activity.

Last year, IRIS coordinated the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups seeking to exploit COVID-19, which meant that systematic attacks on the benefit system were detected and shut down. In this way cyber colleagues prevented an attack by organised criminals which would have seen £1.9 billion in benefits being paid to people trying to scam the system.

The role of the RRT is to review and take action on cases identified by IRIS as being a high fraud risk.

The numbers engaged in RRT activity have fluctuated dependant on the numbers of claims identified. However, 165 full time equivalent staff are currently engaged on the RRT.

The methods used to identify cases that are reviewed by the RRT are sensitive and, as such, we are not able to provide the mechanics of how they are identified. By putting such methods – or the guidance to the team – in the public domain, we would risk undermining the ability of DWP to detect and counter fraudulent threats.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what criteria that are used by the Risk Review Team to prompt an investigation into a benefit claim.

The Risk Review Team (RRT) was created in May 2020 as a direct response to threats identified by the Department’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS).

IRIS brings together the Department’s Risk and Intelligence Service, our Cyber Resilience Team and our co-ordination of our response to Serious and Organised Crime activity.

Last year, IRIS coordinated the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups seeking to exploit COVID-19, which meant that systematic attacks on the benefit system were detected and shut down. In this way cyber colleagues prevented an attack by organised criminals which would have seen £1.9 billion in benefits being paid to people trying to scam the system.

The role of the RRT is to review and take action on cases identified by IRIS as being a high fraud risk.

The numbers engaged in RRT activity have fluctuated dependant on the numbers of claims identified. However, 165 full time equivalent staff are currently engaged on the RRT.

The methods used to identify cases that are reviewed by the RRT are sensitive and, as such, we are not able to provide the mechanics of how they are identified. By putting such methods – or the guidance to the team – in the public domain, we would risk undermining the ability of DWP to detect and counter fraudulent threats.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of benefit claims suspended pending an investigation by the Risk Review Team, were then reinstated, in each month since January 2015.

The Risk Review Team (RRT) was created in May 2020 as a direct response to threats identified by the Department’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS).

IRIS brings together the Department’s Risk and Intelligence Service, our Cyber Resilience Team and our co-ordination of our response to Serious and Organised Crime activity.

Last year, IRIS coordinated the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups seeking to exploit COVID-19, which meant that systematic attacks on the benefit system were detected and shut down. In this way cyber colleagues prevented an attack by organised criminals in which would have seen £1.9 billion in benefits being paid to people trying to scam the system.

The role of the Risk Review Team is to review and take action on cases identified by IRIS as being a high fraud risk.

A monthly breakdown of cases where benefit was re-instated following suspension is not available, however approximately 3% of cases reviewed under the Risk Review Process have been reinstated. All other cases will remain suspended pending investigation or closure.

The average length of claim suspension because of the Risk Review Team activity is not available. However, the length of time that a claim is suspended is largely dependent on the engagement of the claimant and the timely provision of any information requested.

Where a customer does contact us and provides the information requested, we have processes in place to ensure people’s payments are put back into payment as soon as possible.

The Risk Review Team does not capture demographic data on any claims they suspend and, as such, no information can be provided on nationality.

Any Universal Credit claim that is suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team activity is notified by journal and text messages, along with a means by which a claimant can contact the Department and speak to the agent responsible for that case.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average length of a benefit claim suspension pending an investigation by the Risk Review Team was in each month from January 2015 to present.

The Risk Review Team (RRT) was created in May 2020 as a direct response to threats identified by the Department’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS).

IRIS brings together the Department’s Risk and Intelligence Service, our Cyber Resilience Team and our co-ordination of our response to Serious and Organised Crime activity.

Last year, IRIS coordinated the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups seeking to exploit COVID-19, which meant that systematic attacks on the benefit system were detected and shut down. In this way cyber colleagues prevented an attack by organised criminals in which would have seen £1.9 billion in benefits being paid to people trying to scam the system.

The role of the Risk Review Team is to review and take action on cases identified by IRIS as being a high fraud risk.

A monthly breakdown of cases where benefit was re-instated following suspension is not available, however approximately 3% of cases reviewed under the Risk Review Process have been reinstated. All other cases will remain suspended pending investigation or closure.

The average length of claim suspension because of the Risk Review Team activity is not available. However, the length of time that a claim is suspended is largely dependent on the engagement of the claimant and the timely provision of any information requested.

Where a customer does contact us and provides the information requested, we have processes in place to ensure people’s payments are put back into payment as soon as possible.

The Risk Review Team does not capture demographic data on any claims they suspend and, as such, no information can be provided on nationality.

Any Universal Credit claim that is suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team activity is notified by journal and text messages, along with a means by which a claimant can contact the Department and speak to the agent responsible for that case.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what information the Risk Review Team must provide to benefit claimants when it takes the decision to suspend their claim pending an investigation.

The Risk Review Team (RRT) was created in May 2020 as a direct response to threats identified by the Department’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS).

IRIS brings together the Department’s Risk and Intelligence Service, our Cyber Resilience Team and our co-ordination of our response to Serious and Organised Crime activity.

Last year, IRIS coordinated the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups seeking to exploit COVID-19, which meant that systematic attacks on the benefit system were detected and shut down. In this way cyber colleagues prevented an attack by organised criminals in which would have seen £1.9 billion in benefits being paid to people trying to scam the system.

The role of the Risk Review Team is to review and take action on cases identified by IRIS as being a high fraud risk.

A monthly breakdown of cases where benefit was re-instated following suspension is not available, however approximately 3% of cases reviewed under the Risk Review Process have been reinstated. All other cases will remain suspended pending investigation or closure.

The average length of claim suspension because of the Risk Review Team activity is not available. However, the length of time that a claim is suspended is largely dependent on the engagement of the claimant and the timely provision of any information requested.

Where a customer does contact us and provides the information requested, we have processes in place to ensure people’s payments are put back into payment as soon as possible.

The Risk Review Team does not capture demographic data on any claims they suspend and, as such, no information can be provided on nationality.

Any Universal Credit claim that is suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team activity is notified by journal and text messages, along with a means by which a claimant can contact the Department and speak to the agent responsible for that case.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefit claims were suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team investigating those claims, by claimant nationality, in each month from January 2015 to November 2021.

The Risk Review Team (RRT) was created in May 2020 as a direct response to threats identified by the Department’s Integrated Risk and Intelligence Service (IRIS).

IRIS brings together the Department’s Risk and Intelligence Service, our Cyber Resilience Team and our co-ordination of our response to Serious and Organised Crime activity.

Last year, IRIS coordinated the detection of, and response to, fraud risks from organised crime groups seeking to exploit COVID-19, which meant that systematic attacks on the benefit system were detected and shut down. In this way cyber colleagues prevented an attack by organised criminals in which would have seen £1.9 billion in benefits being paid to people trying to scam the system.

The role of the Risk Review Team is to review and take action on cases identified by IRIS as being a high fraud risk.

A monthly breakdown of cases where benefit was re-instated following suspension is not available, however approximately 3% of cases reviewed under the Risk Review Process have been reinstated. All other cases will remain suspended pending investigation or closure.

The average length of claim suspension because of the Risk Review Team activity is not available. However, the length of time that a claim is suspended is largely dependent on the engagement of the claimant and the timely provision of any information requested.

Where a customer does contact us and provides the information requested, we have processes in place to ensure people’s payments are put back into payment as soon as possible.

The Risk Review Team does not capture demographic data on any claims they suspend and, as such, no information can be provided on nationality.

Any Universal Credit claim that is suspended as a consequence of the Risk Review Team activity is notified by journal and text messages, along with a means by which a claimant can contact the Department and speak to the agent responsible for that case.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for the period April to June 2021, how many personal independence payment first-tier Tribunal appeals lapsed.

The information on number of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appeals lapsed during the requested periods is given below:

Period

Number of PIP appeals lapsed

January – March 2021

7,020

April – June 2021

5,310

Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Totals are for Great Britain.

PIP appeals data taken from the DWP PIP computer system’s management information. Therefore this data may differ from that held by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service for various reasons such as delays in data recording and other methodological differences in collating and preparing statistics.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal independence payment first-tier Tribunal appeals were lapsed between January and March 2021.

The information on number of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appeals lapsed during the requested periods is given below:

Period

Number of PIP appeals lapsed

January – March 2021

7,020

April – June 2021

5,310

Data has been rounded to the nearest 10. Totals are for Great Britain.

PIP appeals data taken from the DWP PIP computer system’s management information. Therefore this data may differ from that held by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service for various reasons such as delays in data recording and other methodological differences in collating and preparing statistics.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employment and support allowance first-tier Tribunal appeals were lapsed between April and June 2021.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employment and support allowance first-tier Tribunal appeals were lapsed between January and March 2021.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for the period April to June 2021, how many universal credit first-tier Tribunal appeals were lapsed.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for the period January to March 2021, how many universal credit first-tier Tribunal appeals were lapsed.

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

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has untaken an impact assessment to estimate how many claimants may potentially need to use food banks in the context of the decision to end the £20 uplift to universal credit.

No such assessment has been made. Food banks are independent charitable organisations and there is no consistent and accurate measure of food bank usage. We take the issue of food insecurity seriously, which is why we added internationally used food security questions to the Family Resources Survey in 2019/20 and published the data in March this year. We recognise the data limitations in this area, so from April 2021, we have introduced a set of questions to the Family Resources Survey (FRS) on food bank usage. The first results of these questions are expected to be published in March 2023, subject to usual quality assurances.

The Chancellor announced a temporary six-month extension to the £20 per week uplift at the Budget on 3 March to support households affected by the economic shock of Covid-19. Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and the temporary uplift was part of a COVID support package worth a total of £407 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced. With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty.

Through our Plan for Jobs, we are targeting tailored support schemes of people of all ages to help them prepare for, get into and progress in work. These include: Kickstart, delivering tens of thousands of six-month work placements for Universal Credit claimants aged 16-24 at risk of unemployment; we have also recruited an additional 13,500 work coaches to provide more intensive support to find a job; and introduced Restart which provides 12 months’ intensive employment support to Universal Credit claimants who are unemployed for a year. Our Plan for Jobs interventions will support more than two million people

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, and continues to do so through many measures, a including by spending over £111 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2021/22. This government is continuing to take action to support living standards by increasing the National Living Wage to £9.50 effective from 1st April 2022, as well as reducing the taper rate in Universal Credit from 63% to 55% and increasing the value of work allowances by £500 per year, meaning Universal Credit claimants will be able to keep more of their benefit payments when they increase their earnings.

Additionally, we recognise that some people may require extra support over the winter as we enter the final stages of recovery, which is why vulnerable households across the country will now be able to access a new £500 million support fund to help them with essentials. The Household Support Fund will provide £421 million to help vulnerable people in England and allocations to individual local authorities are set out below. The Barnett Formula will apply in the usual way, with the devolved administrations receiving almost £80 million (£41m for the Scottish Government, £25m for the Welsh Government and £14m for the NI Executive), for a total of £500 million.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time between a claimant's benefits being (a) stopped and (b) reinstated was following allegations of fraud by her Department having been (i) dropped and (ii) successfully appealed against in each year since 2015, for (A) universal credit, (B) employment and support allowance and (C) job seeker's allowance.

The Department does not hold this information. When we suspend benefits due to suspected fraud, we strive to resolve the case quickly, including reinstating benefits as soon as possible if fraud is no longer suspected.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department records the number of deaths that are directly or indirectly related to instances in which her Department has stopped benefit payments.

Coroners investigate unnatural deaths and where the cause of death is unknown. There is no requirement for a Coroner to inform the department of the outcome in a former claimant’s inquest, unless the department is named as an Interested Person at that inquest - or the Coroner decides to issue the department with a Prevention of Future Deaths report. The Coroner has responsibility for concluding the cause of death.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department offers mental health support to claimants who have had their benefits stopped and have experienced problems with their mental health.

We have taken steps to increase staff awareness of the mental health difficulties that may be experienced by our customers, so they can direct them to further support at any stage of the claimant journey. For example, we introduced mental health training for UC Work Coaches in late 2017; this has better equipped them to identify customers’ mental health issues and take appropriate action. We have also made mental health training mandatory for all new Personal Independent Payment and Employment Support Allowance telephony staff.

Every Jobcentre has a complex needs toolkit containing links to local organisations which can help and provide support. The toolkit was developed to support claimants with various complex needs, including by signposting them to appropriate organisations and services. Designated contacts from each jobcentre attended training sessions where they were taught how to use the toolkit. The toolkit is now covered within UC training for all new starters.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has a policy of compensating claimants for emotional distress in cases where allegations of fraud, which have resulted in benefit claims being stopped, have proven to be false.

DWP has a discretionary special payment scheme. The policy and guiding principles can be viewed via this link: Compensation for poor service: staff guide - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

DWP can award consolatory payments to customers where DWP service failure has resulted in a serious impact on an individual’s well-being.

Where an allegation of fraud results in an individual’s benefits being suspended and subsequently reinstated following an investigation, DWP can consider additional financial redress, over and above any arrears that might be due, if DWP has:

  • Maladministered the case in investigating the allegation and
  • Disadvantaged the individual (caused an injustice or hardship) as a result of that maladministration.
David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to stop the universal credit and legacy benefit claims of individuals who qualify for EU Settled Status but have not yet applied for that scheme.

The Government has made clear its commitment to safeguard the rights of EEA nationals, and their family members, living in the UK prior to the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. They have done this though the introduction of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

The scheme opened to the public on 30 March 2019 and the deadline for the scheme for those resident in the UK by the end of the transition period was 30 June 2021. Every day thousands of people are being given status through the EUSS and to date the Home Office have received more than 6 million applications.

There is scope to make a late application based on reasonable grounds for missing the deadline. The Home Office have also released guidance for late applications and reiterated their general approach under the EUSS which is to look to grant status, rather than looking for reasons to refuse. Those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement who submit a late application to the EUSS will also be able to access benefits and services, if they are eligible, from the point their application is validated, and identity has been verified.

From 1 July 2021, the Department has continued to work in collaboration with the HO and HMRC to undertake further engagement activities and give those without status further opportunity to apply to the EUSS. Claimants that fail to make a late application will not have entitlement to benefits unless, and until, they apply. The Department is however taking all reasonable steps to engage claimants and provide them with multiple opportunities to apply before taking compliance action. This includes engaging with relevant customers through scheduled face to face and telephony contact, and Universal Credit (UC) journal prompts. The Department’s visiting service is also available for those customers who are identified as the most vulnerable.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether a person who has not yet been granted EU Settled Status but is eligible to do so and is in the process of claiming a disability benefit will still be eligible to claim that benefit.

From 1 July 2021, EEA and Swiss Nationals (excluding Irish Nationals) will require immigration status in order to access income related benefits and public services. EEA and Swiss nationals, and their family members, in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement can acquire immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme. Those currently receiving benefits have not seen their payments stop automatically from 1 July. However, it is important that anyone eligible who hasn’t applied to the EUSS does so quickly to ensure that benefit payments are protected.

We are working very closely with the Home Office and HM Revenue and Customs to identify those who have yet to apply. Letters had been issued to encourage existing benefit recipients to apply to the EUSS to protect their existing rights in the UK. The Home Office will shortly be writing to benefit recipients who have still not applied for a status, giving a further 28 days to apply, after which the departments will be notified of those recipients who have still not applied.

Further information can be found here - https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/02/media-factsheet-eu-settlement-scheme/

For those that require support making an application to the EU Settlement Scheme we are able to signpost individuals to the Settlement Resolution Centre, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk/y/inside-the-uk/eu-settlement-scheme-settled-and-pre-settled-status-or-service-provider-from-switzerland-visa-applications

A full list of 72 grant funded organisations able to offer help at a local level to vulnerable and at risk EU citizens applying to the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-community-support-for-vulnerable-citizens

Detailed guidance will be issued through our Advice to Decision Makers in due course - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff-guide

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support her Department has provided to people who claim (a) employment and support allowance or (b) the equivalent universal credit component who are eligible to apply for EU Settled Status but have so far failed to do to help them make an application.

From 1 July 2021, EEA and Swiss Nationals (excluding Irish Nationals) will require immigration status in order to access income related benefits and public services. EEA and Swiss nationals, and their family members, in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement can acquire immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme. Those currently receiving benefits have not seen their payments stop automatically from 1 July. However, it is important that anyone eligible who hasn’t applied to the EUSS does so quickly to ensure that benefit payments are protected.

We are working very closely with the Home Office and HM Revenue and Customs to identify those who have yet to apply. Letters had been issued to encourage existing benefit recipients to apply to the EUSS to protect their existing rights in the UK. The Home Office will shortly be writing to benefit recipients who have still not applied for a status, giving a further 28 days to apply, after which the departments will be notified of those recipients who have still not applied.

Further information can be found here - https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/02/media-factsheet-eu-settlement-scheme/

For those that require support making an application to the EU Settlement Scheme we are able to signpost individuals to the Settlement Resolution Centre, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk/y/inside-the-uk/eu-settlement-scheme-settled-and-pre-settled-status-or-service-provider-from-switzerland-visa-applications

A full list of 72 grant funded organisations able to offer help at a local level to vulnerable and at risk EU citizens applying to the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-community-support-for-vulnerable-citizens

Detailed guidance will be issued through our Advice to Decision Makers in due course - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff-guide

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to stop benefit payments to people who are eligible but have failed to apply for EU Settled Status.

From 1 July 2021, EEA and Swiss Nationals (excluding Irish Nationals) will require immigration status in order to access income related benefits and public services. EEA and Swiss nationals, and their family members, in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement can acquire immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme. Those currently receiving benefits have not seen their payments stop automatically from 1 July. However, it is important that anyone eligible who hasn’t applied to the EUSS does so quickly to ensure that benefit payments are protected.

We are working very closely with the Home Office and HM Revenue and Customs to identify those who have yet to apply. Letters had been issued to encourage existing benefit recipients to apply to the EUSS to protect their existing rights in the UK. The Home Office will shortly be writing to benefit recipients who have still not applied for a status, giving a further 28 days to apply, after which the departments will be notified of those recipients who have still not applied.

Further information can be found here - https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/02/media-factsheet-eu-settlement-scheme/

For those that require support making an application to the EU Settlement Scheme we are able to signpost individuals to the Settlement Resolution Centre, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk/y/inside-the-uk/eu-settlement-scheme-settled-and-pre-settled-status-or-service-provider-from-switzerland-visa-applications

A full list of 72 grant funded organisations able to offer help at a local level to vulnerable and at risk EU citizens applying to the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-community-support-for-vulnerable-citizens

Detailed guidance will be issued through our Advice to Decision Makers in due course - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff-guide

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit and legacy benefit claimants who are eligible to apply for EU Settled Status have failed to do so.

From 1 July 2021, EEA and Swiss Nationals (excluding Irish Nationals) will require immigration status in order to access income related benefits and public services. EEA and Swiss nationals, and their family members, in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement can acquire immigration status through the EU Settlement Scheme. Those currently receiving benefits have not seen their payments stop automatically from 1 July. However, it is important that anyone eligible who hasn’t applied to the EUSS does so quickly to ensure that benefit payments are protected.

We are working very closely with the Home Office and HM Revenue and Customs to identify those who have yet to apply. Letters had been issued to encourage existing benefit recipients to apply to the EUSS to protect their existing rights in the UK. The Home Office will shortly be writing to benefit recipients who have still not applied for a status, giving a further 28 days to apply, after which the departments will be notified of those recipients who have still not applied.

Further information can be found here - https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/02/media-factsheet-eu-settlement-scheme/

For those that require support making an application to the EU Settlement Scheme we are able to signpost individuals to the Settlement Resolution Centre, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/contact-ukvi-inside-outside-uk/y/inside-the-uk/eu-settlement-scheme-settled-and-pre-settled-status-or-service-provider-from-switzerland-visa-applications

A full list of 72 grant funded organisations able to offer help at a local level to vulnerable and at risk EU citizens applying to the EU Settlement Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-community-support-for-vulnerable-citizens

Detailed guidance will be issued through our Advice to Decision Makers in due course - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff-guide

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of universal credit claimants who did not receive a £20 uplift as a result of the benefit cap.

The information is not available. This is because Universal Credit is a unitary concept. Whilst there are different elements in the determination of the gross entitlement, Universal Credit is paid as one single payment. As such it is not possible to describe the benefit cap deduction as a deduction from a particular increase to an element of the Universal Credit award, such as the £20 uplift or the increase in Local Allowance Rates for example.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has issued guidance to the Department of Work and Pensions on welfare benefit entitlement for individuals who have missed the EU Settlement Scheme application deadline of 30 June 2021.

Access to benefits for non-UK nationals depends on their immigration status. EEA and Swiss nationals, and their family members, resident in the UK at the end of the transition period need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to maintain entitlement to taxpayer funded benefits.

Those currently receiving benefits will not see their payments stop automatically from 1 July. However, it is important that anyone eligible who hasn’t applied to the EUSS does so quickly to ensure that benefit payments don’t stop.

Further information can be found here - https://homeofficemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/02/media-factsheet-eu-settlement-scheme/

We are working with the Home Office and HM Revenue and Customs to identify existing benefit claimants who have yet to apply for status under the EUSS. Letters had been issued to encourage existing benefit recipients to apply to the EUSS to protect their existing rights in the UK before the deadline.

The Home Office will shortly be writing to benefit recipients who have still not applied for a status, giving a further 28 days to apply, after which the department will be notified of those recipients who have still not applied.

Detailed guidance will be issued through our Advice to Decision Makers in due course - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-decision-making-staff-guide

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department conducted an impact assessment of the decision not to apply the £20 uplift to claimants on legacy benefits.

No such assessment has been undertaken.

The government has focused support on Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit claimants because they are more likely to be affected by the sudden economic shock of COVID-19 than other legacy benefit claimants.

Claimants on legacy benefits can voluntarily make a claim for UC if they believe that they will be better off. Claimants considering making a claim should check carefully their eligibility and entitlements under UC before applying, as legacy benefits will end when claimants submit their UC claim and they will not be able to return to them in the future. For this reason, prospective claimants are signposted to independent benefits calculators on GOV.UK. They can also get help through the government funded Help to Claim scheme as well as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Citizens Advice Scotland.

We are committed to supporting families most in need, spending billions more on welfare and planning a long-term route out of poverty by helping people increase their hours in employment or find new work through our Plan for Jobs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish data on the number of welfare benefit claimants who use food banks.

Food banks are independent charitable organisations and there is no consistent and accurate measure of food bank usage. We take the issue of food insecurity seriously, which is why we added internationally used food security questions to the Family Resources Survey in 19/20 and published the data in March this year.

In addition, from April 2021 we introduced a set of questions into the Family Resources Survey (FRS) on food bank usage. The first results of these questions are expected to be published in March 2023 subject to usual quality assurance.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of ending the £20 uplift to universal credit on universal credit claimants.

No assessment has been made.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. A further 6 month extension announced to the uplift was announced in March at this year’s Spring Budget, and more than £9bn will have been spent on it by the time it ends, well beyond the end of the roadmap.

As the Government has done throughout this pandemic, it will continue to assess how best to support individuals and businesses as the situation develops.

We are committed to supporting families most in need, spending billions more on welfare and planning a long-term route out of poverty by helping people increase their hours in employment or find new work through our Plan for Jobs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 25 March 2021 to Question 171674 on Social Security Benefits: Appeals, what training decision makers receive on the Decision makers’ guide, volume 1, chapter 3.

The Decision Makers Guide, Volume 1, Chapter 03 is titled Revision. As part of their foundation learning, all new decision makers receive the following training on Revision:

Decision Maker Foundation Learning Module 05: Common Decision Maker Subjects Part 2: Revision and supersession. This is a 3-hour session delivered by Learning Delivery Officers. This training aims to provide decision makers with the knowledge and understanding of the revision and supersession processes, the differences between them, what an application for revision or supersession is, and how to record the outcome of an application.

In addition, decision makers who deal with mandatory reconsiderations and appeals undertake the following additional learning:

Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals. This is a 12-hour session delivered by Learning Delivery Officers. This training aims to give decision makers the skills to make a mandatory reconsideration decision accurately and write the outcome clearly, addressing all areas disputed by the claimant.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 25 March 2021 to Question 171674 on Social Security Benefits: Appeals, and the Best practice memorandum issued to decision-making staff involved in appeals lapsing, Quality focus August 2020: lapsing appeals (including in-part) and telephone calls, if she will undertake a sampling exercise to establish whether there are instances of decision makers calling claimants directly to lapse an appeal against the refusal of personal independence payments when those decision makers should have contacted the claimant’s representative in the first instance.

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

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of claimants who were offered an increased benefits award after lodging an appeal were provided with an interpreter in 2020.

The information requested is not available.

11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 20 April 2021 to Question 181077 and the Advertising Standards Authority’s Ruling on her Department in association with Associated Newspapers of 6 November 2019, if she will set out the steps she is taking to ensure the proposed Universal Credit Take Up campaign complies with the Advertising Standards Authority Code.

The Department works closely with the Advertising Standards Authority on all of its paid media campaigns to ensure they follow industry best practice.

All campaign messaging is shared with the Advertising Standards Authority Copy Advice Team as part of the rigorous approval process which precedes the launch of all DWP campaigns.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 25 March 2021 to Question 171674, on Social Security Benefits: Appeals, and the Best practice memorandum issued to all decision-making staff involved in appeals lapsing, Quality focus August 2020: lapsing appeals (including in-part) and telephone calls, if she will undertake a sampling exercise to establish whether there are instances of decision makers calling claimants directly to lapse an appeal against the refusal of personal independence payments when those decision makers should have contacted the claimant’s representative in the first instance.

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

26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Answer of 25 March 2021 to Question 171674, on Social Security Benefits: Appeals, what training decision makers receive in respect of the Decision makers’ guide, volume 1, chapter 3.

The Decision Makers Guide, Volume 1, Chapter 03 is titled Revision. As part of their foundation learning, all new decision makers receive the following training on Revision:

  • Decision Maker Foundation Learning Module 05: Common Decision Maker Subjects Part 2: Revision and supersession. This is a 3-hour session delivered by Learning Delivery Officers. This training aims to provide decision makers with the knowledge and understanding of the revision and supersession processes, the differences between them, what an application for revision or supersession is, and how to record the outcome of an application.

In addition, decision makers who deal with mandatory reconsiderations and appeals undertake the following additional learning:

  • Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals. This is a 12-hour session delivered by Learning Delivery Officers. This training aims to give decision makers the skills to make a mandatory reconsideration decision accurately and write the outcome clearly, addressing all areas disputed by the claimant.
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of claimants who were offered an increased benefits award after lodging an appeal were provided with an interpreter in 2020.

The information requested is not available.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will place in the Library the minutes, action log, or any written record of her Department's internal meetings on the DWP Universal Credit Take Up campaign that have taken place since 1 January 2021.

The Department does not routinely place all notes of internal discussions in the Library.

However, to assist with transparency, and since November 2018, the Department has deposited Universal Credit Programme Board papers in twice-yearly batches to the House Library to provide information surrounding governance and key decision-making.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of personal independence payment claimants who accepted an offer made by her Department in 2020 of an increased benefits award after lodging their appeal subsequently then appealed this new offer.

The information requested is not available.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of personal independence payment claimants offered an increased benefits award by her Department in 2020, after lodging their appeal, which if accepted would have lapsed their appeal were (a) accepted and (b) declined.

The information requested is not available.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what policy guidance departmental staff follow when offering claimants an increased benefits award over the telephone after their appeal has been lodged; and if she will place a copy of that policy in the Library.

A copy of the guidance will be placed in the library. It includes a step by step approach that must be taken to ensure that claimants fully understand the nature of the call and their rights; it also enables any representative to play a full part in the discussions and the decision to be made.

During the call claimants are told that should the decision be revised and the appeal lapsed, they will have a new right of appeal against the new decision. The decision notification itself includes, as it must in law, details of those appeal rights.

18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department takes to inform benefit claimants who have been offered an increased benefits award after lodging a successful appeal of those claimants' rights associated with that new increased offer.

A copy of the guidance will be placed in the library. It includes a step by step approach that must be taken to ensure that claimants fully understand the nature of the call and their rights; it also enables any representative to play a full part in the discussions and the decision to be made.

During the call claimants are told that should the decision be revised and the appeal lapsed, they will have a new right of appeal against the new decision. The decision notification itself includes, as it must in law, details of those appeal rights.

12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the evidence of the Senior Responsible Owner of Universal Credit at the Department for Work and Pensions at the joint meeting of the Lords Economic Affairs Committee and Commons Work and Pensions Committee on 9 March 2021, whether the figure of 1.4 million legacy benefit claimants who would benefit financially from moving to universal credit is calculated on the basis of the temporary £20 a week uplift in universal credit being retained.

The Department estimates around 1.4 million people currently on legacy benefits would have higher notional entitlement on Universal Credit before including the £20 standard allowance temporary uplift.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 4 March 2021 to Question 160753, what steps her Department is taking to support people who are unable to undertake a telephone assessment because of their health condition.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave on 4 March 2021 to Question 160753 and 9 March 2021 to Question 160755 respectively.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for people on universal credit and employment and support allowance who have been told that they have to wait for face-to-face Work Capability Assessments to resume before they can be assessed, due to being identified as a claimant who is not suitable for a telephone consultation according to the specifications outlined in the CHDA COVID-19 Filework process document of 15 May 2020, what extra support is available to help those people manage their health condition or disability while they are without that support from their benefits income.

The health and safety of our claimants and staff is our key priority. We suspended all face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits in March 2020. This temporary suspension, brought in to protect people from unnecessary risk of coronavirus at the outset of the pandemic, remains in place, and is being kept under review in line with the latest public health guidance.

Throughout the pandemic we have continued to assess people on paper evidence, using this route whenever possible. We are aware there are some claimants who are unable to undertake a telephone assessment because of their health condition and we are currently developing ways in which we can support these individuals. We also continue to undertake some video assessments where appropriate.

Individuals invited for a telephone assessment are encouraged to inform their assessment provider of any additional requirements they may have, and the provider will endeavour to meet any reasonable requests. This is explained to the individual in the initial invitation letter for all telephone assessments. For example, companions are able to join a telephone assessment, as they could for a face to face assessment.

Where a claimant is unable to undertake a telephone assessment because of their health condition, they remain on their current award until we are able to gather the evidence needed for a recommendation to be made or, in contributory ESA, until their benefit is due to end.

As ever, claimants should get in touch if their health condition has worsened or they are experiencing financial hardship.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason it is her policy to provide virtual telephone Work Capability Assessments to people on personal independence payment who (a) require interpreters (including BSL), (b) have hearing difficulties, (c) have speech difficulties, (d) have learning disabilities and (e) have experienced suicidal ideation or behaviour and a history of self harm, and not to provide those assessments to those categories of people on universal credit and employment and support allowance.

The assessment criteria for Personal Independence Payment are very different to those for the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which assesses whether claimants to Employment and Support Allowance, and Universal Credit have limited capability for work.

We are aware that there are some claimants who are unable to undertake a WCA telephone assessment because of their health condition and we are currently developing ways in which we can support these individuals. We are continuing to assess as many people as we are able to on paper evidence, using this route as often as possible. We are also undertaking some video assessments, where appropriate.

Individuals invited for a telephone assessment are encouraged to inform their assessment provider of any additional requirements they may have, and the provider will endeavour to meet any reasonable requests. This is explained to the individual in the initial invitation letter for all telephone assessments. For example, companions are able to join a telephone assessment, as they could for a face to face assessment.

Claimants who we are unable to assess by telephone or video because of their health condition will be prioritised when we are able to safely resume face-to-face assessments.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in 2020 on (a) universal credit and (b) employment and support allowance were denied a virtual telephone Work Capability Assessment, following a refusal to make a paper-based decision, because they were identified as being a claimant who is not suitable for a telephone consultation according to the specifications outlined in the CHDA COVID-19 Filework process document of 15 May 2020.

The data you have requested is not available.

It might be helpful if I explain that on receipt of a referral, the Healthcare Professional will review each case along with any additional information provided by the claimant. A request may then be made for further medical evidence from a treating medical professional. Once all the information has been received, the Healthcare Professional may be able to provide a paper based assessment or advise on the appropriateness of a telephone assessment.

We are aware that there will be some claimants who are unable to undertake a telephone assessment because of their health condition and we are currently developing ways in which we can support these individuals. We also continue to undertake some video assessments where appropriate.

Claimants who we are unable to assess by telephone or video because of their health condition will be prioritised when we are able to safely resume face to face assessments.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to her Answer of 24 September 2020 to Questions 91106 on Universal Credit: Coronavirus, for what reason she initially sought to exclude existing universal credit claimants from the £20 a week uplift to universal credit.

The £20 uplift is for everyone on Universal Credit and the Department did not consider excluding existing UC claimants.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Change Director General & Senior Responsible Owner Universal Credit, Neil Couling’s statement to the Resolution Foundation on 27 May 2020 on supporting new claimants affected by the covid-19 outbreak, for what reason the Government initially sought to provide the uplift to universal credit only to people claiming universal credit since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The uplift to Universal Credit is available regardless of claimant start date and not only those claiming since the start of the covid-19.

We currently spend over £95 billion a year on working age benefits, including Universal Credit, and remain committed to supporting the most vulnerable in society.

In March 2020, following the outbreak of COVID-19, the Government took unprecedented economic intervention to support jobs and people across the country, which has been supported by additional welfare spending of over £9.3 billion across a number of areas. For example, the uplift for all Universal Credit claimants, as well as Local Housing Allowance rates including the Shared Accommodation element, were increased to cover the lowest 30% of local market rents, benefiting over one million households by £600 a year on average.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her response to the Social Security Advisory Committee’s letter of 27 May 2020, dated 8 July 2020, how many people in receipt of employment support allowance on 31 March 2020 were unable to make a universal credit claim because they were in receipt of severe disability premium.

All ESA claimants can choose to claim UC If they believe they will be better off, however special arrangements exist for those in receipt of SDP.

11th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, further to the Social Security Advisory Committee’s letter of 27 May 2020 which stated that it is increasingly untenable for (employment support allowance (ESA) and job seeker's allowance (JSA)) claimants to be excluded and continue to have a lower level of income than those in receipt of Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit, if she will commission research into the comparative effect of the covid-19 lockdown on people who are living on (a) £74.35 a week standard allowance for ESA, JSA and Income support and (b) £95 a week paid to those on universal credit, working tax credit and statutory sick pay.

The Department has no current plans to commission such research.

Claimants on legacy benefits can make a claim for Universal Credit if they believe that they will be better off. Claimants should check their eligibility before applying to Universal Credit as legacy benefits will end when they submit their claim and they will not be able to return to them in the future. For this reason, prospective claimants are signposted to independent benefits calculators on GOV.UK.

There are special arrangements for those in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium, who will be able to make a new claim to Universal Credit from January 2021.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 8 July 2020 to Question 42141 on Universal Credit: Telephone Services, what the average waiting time for has been for claimants calling the universal credit helpline in each week since 6 January 2020.

Individuals making a Universal Credit declaration from 16 March to 23 June stood at 3.2 million (3,240,570)

The Average Speed of Answer for calls to Universal Credit in each week from 6th January 2020 is shown below in the format of hours:minutes:seconds.

Week Commencing -

06/01/2020 0:04:00

13/01/2020 0:03:34

20/01/2020 0:03:06

27/01/2020 0:02:14

03/02/2020 0:03:37

10/02/2020 0:03:31

17/02/2020 0:03:46

24/02/2020 0:02:56

02/03/2020 0:03:12

09/03/2020 0:03:34

16/03/2020 0:16:52

23/03/2020 0:43:08

30/03/2020 0:44:01

06/04/2020 0:29:32

13/04/2020 0:15:17

20/04/2020 0:23:05

27/04/2020 0:21:42

04/05/2020 0:10:30

11/05/2020 0:07:24

18/05/2020 0:04:30

25/05/2020 0:06:20

01/06/2020 0:02:35

08/06/2020 0:01:50

15/06/2020 0:01:44

22/06/2020 0:02:38

29/06/2020 0:03:54

The average waiting times change week on week and is demand led. To manage and improve increased waiting times due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Department implemented changes in processes in April and initiated a communication campaign to pro-actively call those with new claims. The Department also redeployed staff from non-business critical areas to front line delivery roles, made use of staff from other Government Departments, has recruited and continues to recruit significant numbers of new staff and has utilised contract and agency staff in certain roles.

Average Speed of Answer measures the average customer wait time from the point of entering a queue to connection to an agent. This excludes any time spent in pre-queue messaging and any wait time for calls ultimately abandoned by callers.

Source: BT Historical Management Information (HMI), Serco, Capita

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people were claiming (a) job seeker's allowance, (b) employment and support allowance and (c) income support at the time at which the £20 uplift was made to universal credit.

National Statistics for claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Income Support is published quarterly and the latest available information up to November 2019 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 the number of people claiming these benefits to February 2020 and to May 2020 will be published in August and November 2020 respectively.

Statistics for claimants of Jobseeker’s Allowance is published monthly by the Office for National Statistics on the NOMIS website, and the latest data to May 2020 can be found at:

https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/

Guidance for users can be found at:

https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/home/newuser.asp

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to review the Habitual Residence Test to improve access to (a) universal credit and (b) other welfare benefits for EEA migrants and their families during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has taken steps to provide reassurance to and protect the rights of EEA citizens’ resident in the UK by the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, so that they will be able to continue their lives in the UK much as before. In order to give effect to this, on 30 March 2019, the Home Office fully launched the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

By being granted status under the EUSS, EEA citizens living in the UK are able to continue to work, study and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis as they did before we left the EU.

EU citizens with settled status who demonstrate habitual residence in the UK will pass the Habitual Residence Test (HRT) and be eligible to access tax-payer funded benefits. EEA citizens with pre-settled status are eligible to claim DWP income-related benefits such as Universal Credit if they are exercising a qualifying EU Treaty Right. This includes those with a worker or self-employed status and EEA workers with retained worker status who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

Government measures to support workers and their families through Covid-19 are also available for EEA citizens with pre-settled status under the EUSS who meet the eligibility criteria. These include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-employed Income Support Scheme and Statutory Sick Pay.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that claimants of legacy benefits who have fraudulent universal credit claims made in their name will not be transferred onto universal credit as a result of that fraudulent claim.

Where a claim to Universal Credit was prompted by fraudulent activity, and a claimant is a victim whose details have been used to make a claim, the Department will consider the reinstatement of legacy benefits if there is clear evidence that the claimant had no involvement in the fraud, and where the claimant wishes us to do so.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of claimants of (a) universal credit and (b) legacy benefits who have had fraudulent claims made in their name in each month in 2020.

We do not have an estimate of the number of claimants of (a) Universal Credit and( b) Legacy benefits who have had a fraudulent claim made in their name in each month in 2020.

If an individual approaches DWP alleging they have had their identity hijacked, we will investigate the matter.

Where a person has had their identity hijacked and their details have been used to make a fraudulent claim for Universal Credit, the Department may consider the reinstatement of legacy benefits where it is clear they played no part in the making of the claim.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he plans to classify covid-19 as an occupational disease for health workers; and if he will make a statement.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) provides the national reporting framework for responsible persons (usually employers in relation to employees) to report certain cases of injury, occupational disease and dangerous occurrences to the Health and Safety Executive.

In relation to the current outbreak, where an individual has either been exposed to coronavirus (SARS- COV-2) or contracted Covid-19 as a direct result of their work, those instances are reportable under RIDDOR.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has made an estimate of the number of self-employed workers who will have claimed universal credit by October 2020.

The information requested is not available.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what budget has been allocated to the public consultation on the forthcoming health and disability Green Paper.

There is not a fixed budget for the public consultation on the forthcoming health and disability Green Paper.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 13 May 2020 to Question 43082 on the forthcoming Health and Disability Green Paper, for what reason that Answer states that citizens who have undergone disability benefit assessments may not welcome a letter from her Department outlining the proposed reforms to these processes and inviting responses.

It is not normal routine practice to directly write to anyone who has come in to contact with relevant government services, to inform them of an upcoming consultation, due to the disproportionate cost involved.

However, it is crucial that we hear from as many of our customers as possible during the consultation to ensure these views can influence change. We will seek to extensively promote the consultation and encourage users to engage with us.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to her Answer of 13 May 2020 to Question 43081, for what reason the Government Communications Service was instructed to undertake the investigation into the circumstances in which her Department’s Communications Director authorised the advertisements entitled Universal Credit Uncovered in The Metro.

It is commonplace for the Government Communications Service (GCS) to review communications projects undertaken by individual government departments. Following the ruling by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) it was agreed that further information on engagement with the ASA would be beneficial for all communications teams across government. It was subsequently agreed that the GCS would review the partnership with The Metro. The review found that DWP had not intentionally misled the public through the partnership, while recognising the importance of continuing to work closely with the ASA to inform campaigns and establish best practice.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Government Communications Service’s internal review of the circumstances in which her Department authorised the Universal Credit Uncovered adverts in The Metro, for what reason the Tier One and Tier Two internal clearance process has been redacted from the copy placed in the Library.

As the request was to publish the review in the Library, which is accessible to the public, personal details were redacted. If required I can share a revised version with you that includes names and job titles for everyone at Senior Civil Service grade and above, as is common practice.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Government Communications Service’s internal review of the circumstances in which her Department authorised the Universal Credit Uncovered adverts in The Metro, how many staff members from the Government Communications Service were involved in that review by civil service grade.

The review was undertaken by two members of staff from the Government Communications Service, both at Senior Civil Service band 2 grade. These two members of staff are independent to DWP, as is standard practice for reviews by the Government Communications Service.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral evidence of the Permanent Secretary to the Work and Pensions Committee on the DWP's response to the coronavirus outbreak on 25 March 2020, Q33, HC 178, if she will estimate the length of time it would take her Department to implement a £20 a week uplift of benefit payments to claimants of (a) job seekers allowance, (b) employment support allowance and (c) income support.

DWP have no plans to uplift Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 1994 on the Independent Case Examiner, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Independent Case Examiner's Office reduces the time taken to commence an investigation and allocate that investigation to an investigation case manager.

The Independent Case Examiner’s Office has begun the process of recruiting additional Investigation Case Managers, to help it reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation, prior to the introduction of the Coronavirus lockdown measures.

Due to the unprecedented number of benefit claims received since the start of the pandemic, we have refocused recruitment on staff needed to process and pay claims, taking the difficult decision to pause recruitment to ICE. We will recommence as soon as it is practicable to do so.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 37988 on Social Security Benefits, if she will make it her Department's policy to write to all those claimants who have undergone an assessment for (a) employment support allowance and (b) personal independence payment to (i) notify those claimants of that consultation and (ii) seek the views of those claimants on those green paper proposals.

We are committed to ensuring that the Health and Disability Green Paper addresses the right challenges and issues in the welfare system and that action is influenced strongly by our stakeholders and people who use our services.

To achieve this, it is important that we get a wide range of views from the many users of our services, once the Green Paper is published. We are actively considering the best ways to do this. The suggestion made, however, is not an option we are currently considering due to the resource requirement involved, which may prove disproportionate, and that many people may not welcome such an approach.

During the Green Paper consultation period, we would welcome responses on how to improve the system from anyone with experience of DWP services. Details of how to respond will be set out when published.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 1 May 2020 to Questions 38941 and 38942 on Department for Work and Pensions: Metro Newspaper, if she will place in the Library a copy of the Government Communications Service’s review into the actions taken by her Department throughout the Government's Universal Credit Uncovered advertisement campaign.

We will place a copy in the Library of the review of the Department for Work and Pensions Universal Credit Uncovered Metro partnership (May 2019) conducted by the Government Communication Service.

The review concluded the Department did not intentionally mislead the public. The Department has provided assurance to the ASA that the advertising which was the subject of their investigation will no longer appear in its original form. We continue to recognise the importance of working closely with the ASA to inform future campaigns and establish best practice.

Within the recent context of unprecedented volumes of benefit claims, it continues to be very much in the public interest to ensure people understand how best to claim Universal Credit and we will continue to ensure the Department meets our responsibility to do this.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 37990 on Social Security Benefits, how many mandatory reconsiderations of (a) employment support allowance, (b) personal independence payment and (c) universal credit decisions her Department completed in (i) March 2020 and (ii) April 2020.

Statistics on Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) clearances for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Work Capability Assessments (WCA) covering the period up to April 2020 have been pre-announced for publication on 11th June 2020.

Information on the number of completed Universal Credit MRs is provided in the table below.

Month

Number of completed UC MRs

March 2020

16,270

April 2020

7,510

This information is for Great Britain and is rounded to the nearest 10.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full-time equivalent staff were employed by her Department as decision makers with responsibility for making decisions on mandatory reconsideration requests for (a) employment support allowance, (b) personal independence payment and (c) universal credit claims on (i) 31 December 2018 and (ii) 31 December 2019.

The full-time equivalent (FTE) information below refers to Decision Makers (EOs) and does not include any associated AO administration activities.

December 2018:

ESA MRs 180.70 FTE

PIP MRs 485.80 FTE

UC MRs 55.40 FTE

TOTAL 721.90 FTE

December 2019:

ESA MRs 115.86 FTE

PIP MRs 510.68 FTE

UC MRs 289.14 FTE

TOTAL: 915.47 FTE

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time is for claimants calling the universal credit helpline.

The average waiting times change week on week and is demand led.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will undertake an investigation into the (a) commissioning and (b) approval of the Government's Universal Credit Uncovered advertisements that were published in The Metro in May and June 2019.

The Department takes its responsibility to ensure people understand the benefits they may be entitled to seriously. Officials went to great lengths to ensure the factual accuracy of the Metro partnership through extensive consultation within the Department. They also consulted with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and their sister organisation team the Committee of Advertising Practice prior to the launch and continued to do so throughout the campaign lifetime.

The Department did not intentionally mislead the public through the partnership and whilst disappointed with the outcome, they have provided assurance to the ASA that the advertising that was the subject of their investigation will no longer appear in its original form.

Following the ASA ruling, the Government Communications Service reviewed the actions taken by DWP throughout the advertising partnership and was satisfied that they did not intentionally mislead the public. However, we continue to recognise the importance of working closely with the ASA to inform future campaigns and establish best practice.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her Department's policies of the ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority in November 2019 that the advertisements by her Department on universal credit published in The Metro in May and June 2019 were misleading and exaggerated.

The Department takes its responsibility to ensure people understand the benefits they may be entitled to seriously. Officials went to great lengths to ensure the factual accuracy of the Metro partnership through extensive consultation within the Department. They also consulted with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and their sister organisation team the Committee of Advertising Practice prior to the launch and continued to do so throughout the campaign lifetime.

The Department did not intentionally mislead the public through the partnership and whilst disappointed with the outcome, they have provided assurance to the ASA that the advertising that was the subject of their investigation will no longer appear in its original form.

Following the ASA ruling, the Government Communications Service reviewed the actions taken by DWP throughout the advertising partnership and was satisfied that they did not intentionally mislead the public. However, we continue to recognise the importance of working closely with the ASA to inform future campaigns and establish best practice.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claims were closed after first payment as a result of a claimant not meeting their claimant commitment having been awarded limited capability for work and work-related activity in 2019.

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

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she plans to take to ensure that (a) disabled and (b) seriously unwell people with experience of the employment support allowance and personal independence payment assessment processes are consulted as part of the forthcoming green paper on health and disability support.

The Department will be bringing forward a Green Paper on health and disability support focusing on how the welfare system can better meet the needs of claimants with disabilities and health conditions, now and in the future.

As part of this wider work, we have been working closely with external stakeholders to inform our approach to reform the Work Capability Assessment. This engagement has included several events with service users to hear directly from individuals with experience of the assessment process, to better understand the issues with the current system as well as gathering their views on what a future assessment could look like. We plan to continue this valuable engagement to develop options for a reformed assessment.

Once published, during the Green Paper consultation period, we would welcome responses on how we improve the system from anyone with experiences of DWP services and we will be exploring ways to ensure disabled people can participate in consultation events.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) employment support allowance, (b) personal independence payment and (c) disability living allowance claimants had a request for mandatory reconsideration of her Department’s initial decision outstanding on 31 March 2020.

The specific information requested on outstanding Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) against initial decisions on an Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance claim is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions her Department has had with the Ministry of Defence on the effect on veterans of the freeze on pensions for UK citizens living overseas.

The Ministry of Defence have not raised the issue of frozen pensions for UK citizens living overseas with the Department for Work and Pensions. Therefore, no discussions have taken place between the two departments on this issue.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when (a) she and (b) her officials last discussed reciprocal pensions agreements with their counterparts in (i) individual EU member states, (ii) Canada and (iii) Australia.

The Government has agreed reciprocal social security arrangements for those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Government has made clear that it intends to discuss social security coordination in the upcoming negotiations with the EU.

Discussions took place with Ireland in 2018 in the context of our commitment to maintain the rights associated with the Common Travel Area after the UK’s exit from the EU. This led to the signing of a reciprocal social security agreement on 1 February 2019, protecting the social security benefit and pension rights of UK and Irish nationals living and/or working in either state. The agreement will come into force on 1 January 2021.

There have been no recent discussions with Canada and Australia on reciprocal pension agreements.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to review the effect of the three month relevant period limitation on universal credit claimants with long-term illnesses.

The Department does not centrally collect data surrounding the volume of Universal Credit claimants who have had claims restricted or rejected because of relevant period regulations.

For those who claim Universal Credit on health grounds, we generally determine if the claimant has limited capability for work (LCW), limited capability for work and work related activity (LCWRA) or is fit for work, based on the advice given by the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments’ health care professional who carried out the claimant’s work capability assessment (WCA).

Where the claimant is determined to have LCWRA, an additional amount of benefit may be awarded. This additional amount will be included in the Universal Credit award from the first full assessment period after the 3 month relevant period ends.

The 3 month relevant period in Universal Credit mirrors the 13-week assessment phase in Employment and Support Allowance and is used, in both benefits, to establish whether the claimant has a long-term health condition or a short term illness, and also ensures a consistent date of application, as there may be fluctuations in times taken to process and apply a decision following a WCA.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have had claims restricted or rejected because of relevant period regulations in (a) 2017, (b) 2018 and (c) 2019.

The Department does not centrally collect data surrounding the volume of Universal Credit claimants who have had claims restricted or rejected because of relevant period regulations.

For those who claim Universal Credit on health grounds, we generally determine if the claimant has limited capability for work (LCW), limited capability for work and work related activity (LCWRA) or is fit for work, based on the advice given by the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments’ health care professional who carried out the claimant’s work capability assessment (WCA).

Where the claimant is determined to have LCWRA, an additional amount of benefit may be awarded. This additional amount will be included in the Universal Credit award from the first full assessment period after the 3 month relevant period ends.

The 3 month relevant period in Universal Credit mirrors the 13-week assessment phase in Employment and Support Allowance and is used, in both benefits, to establish whether the claimant has a long-term health condition or a short term illness, and also ensures a consistent date of application, as there may be fluctuations in times taken to process and apply a decision following a WCA.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which nations the UK has reciprocal pensions agreements with; when those agreements were signed; and if she will make a statement.

The UK has reciprocal social security agreements covering pensions with the countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) listed in the table below. Social security and pension rights for people who have moved between the UK and the EEA countries and Switzerland are regulated by the EU social security coordination regulations. These regulations will remain in force until the end of the transition period, and will continue to apply after that period for individuals in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Country

Date of Signature

Barbados

7 January 1992

Bermuda

13 October 1969 (London) 23 October 1969 (Hamilton)

Ireland1

1 February 2019

Israel

25 April 1957

Jamaica

12 November 1996

Mauritius

22 April 1981

New Zealand

1 November 1983

The Philippines

27 February 1985

Turkey

9 September 1959

USA

13 February 1984

Former Yugoslavia2

24 May 1958

1 The agreement with Ireland maintains the social security and pensions rights associated with the Common Travel Area after the UK’s exit from the EU.

2 The agreement with Yugoslavia continues to be applied bilaterally, and with their consent, to the now separate republics – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to exempt under-25s from the shared accommodation rate local housing allowance provided to homeless people who have stayed in a hostel for three or more months.

There is an exemption from the shared accommodation rate for those aged 25-34 who have previously spent 3 months, which doesn’t have to be continuous, in a homeless hostel/hostels specialising in rehabilitation and resettlement. There are no current plans to extend this exemption to those under the age of 25.

For individuals who may require more support and whose circumstances may make it difficult for them to share accommodation, Discretionary Housing Payments are available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what services are available to housebound patients who require diabetic eye screenings.

If an individual is unable to attend in person at a community-based setting, a retinal assessment by a qualified optometrist can be provided through their general practitioner through the community domiciliary optometry service. Individuals can be referred for further investigation or treatment at hospital eye services which can provide facilities to support attendance and assist patients who are housebound.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how people who are housebound and require a diabetic eye screening can access that service in the event that it is not provided by private or NHS providers in their local area.

If an individual is unable to attend in person at a community-based setting, a retinal assessment by a qualified optometrist can be provided through their general practitioner through the community domiciliary optometry service. Individuals can be referred for further investigation or treatment at hospital eye services which can provide facilities to support attendance and assist patients who are housebound.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that covid-19 lateral flow tests for people visiting residential care homes remain free after 1 April 2022.

Testing for visitors to care homes should continue in line with the wider care home testing regime. The regular asymptomatic testing regimes from 1 April 2022 are currently under review, including for visitors to care homes. Further detail on future testing in adult social care testing will be provided in due course.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to introduce a zero cap on care costs for people who turn 18 with eligible care needs.

The cap on care costs places an £86,000 limit on the amount care users will need to spend on their care over their lifetime, excluding daily living costs. This cap will apply to all adults, regardless of their age or when they developed care and support needs.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve sickle cell patient care in response to avoidable deaths and failures of care for sickle cell patients in secondary care.

The Department is taking several steps to improve sickle cell patient care. These are in line with the recommendations of the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Sickle Cell and Thalassemia, published in November 2021, titled ‘No One’s Listening’. The Department has been commissioned to coordinate a cross system action plan, as part of the health disparities white paper, about how we can work to address each of these recommendations. Additionally, the England Rare Diseases action plan, due for publication in February, will detail steps towards meeting the priorities of the 2021 UK Rare Diseases Framework, including actions to improve awareness of rare diseases, such as sickle cell, amongst healthcare professionals.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of people who are housebound who were eligible for a covid-19 vaccination received the vaccination in each month from January 2021 to November 2021.

The data requested is not held centrally in the format requested. Identifying those who are housebound is managed at a local level as it requires access to more detailed patient information.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the waiting times for people who are housebound to receive their (a) first, (b) second and (c) booster covid-19 vaccine dose.

For patients who are housebound, ‘Standard Operating Procedure: Roving and mobile models’ has been provided to local health teams to support their operations, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/06/C1432-Standard-Operating-Procedure-Roving-and-mobile-models-v2.pdf

National Health Service regions, Primary Care Networks and community pharmacy-led local vaccination services are monitoring progress and identifying whether further interventions are required for those who are housebound. As set out in the SOP, it is advised that the monitoring of the vaccination programme draws on sources of information to maximise the effectiveness of roving and mobile models to increase vaccination uptake among people who may experience barriers to accessing health services.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to monitor the progress of the covid-19 vaccination programme for people who are housebound.

For patients who are housebound, ‘Standard Operating Procedure: Roving and mobile models’ has been provided to local health teams to support their operations, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/06/C1432-Standard-Operating-Procedure-Roving-and-mobile-models-v2.pdf

National Health Service regions, Primary Care Networks and community pharmacy-led local vaccination services are monitoring progress and identifying whether further interventions are required for those who are housebound. As set out in the SOP, it is advised that the monitoring of the vaccination programme draws on sources of information to maximise the effectiveness of roving and mobile models to increase vaccination uptake among people who may experience barriers to accessing health services.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department has provided to district nurse teams to ensure they have the resources required to carry out vaccinations for people who are housebound.

District nurse teams and community nurses contribute to all vaccinations programmes for those who are housebound, as commissioned locally. Community nurses have access to free vaccination e-learning and support from regional hubs.

Local National Health Service and general practice teams are contacting their eligible housebound patients and working with St John’s Ambulance to give local areas additional support. Funding is also being provided for local teams secure additional staff to ensure that all eligible housebound patients are offered a COVID-19 booster vaccination.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of cancer patients were (a) eligible for, (b) applied for and (c) received free dental care in each year from 2015.

There have been no specific discussions and the information requested is not collected centrally.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has had discussions with HM Treasury on the potential merits of introducing free dental care for cancer patients.

There have been no specific discussions and the information requested is not collected centrally.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is taking steps to prevent people with links to private health companies from sitting on NHS decision-making bodies.

The Health and Care Bill makes provision to establish statutory integrated care systems, consisting of an integrated care board (ICB) and an integrated care partnership (ICP), together referred to as the ICS.

ICBs will be National Health Service bodies and will not and cannot be controlled by private providers. We have amended the Bill to make it clear that no one who could undermine the independence of the NHS due to their involvement in the private healthcare sector should sit on an ICB. We are allowing ICPs to determine their own membership, to allow local flexibility.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his policy to ensure that NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts are the default providers for NHS services.

The vast majority of National Health Service care will continue to be provided by public sector organisations. However, we have no plans for a legal requirement that NHS trusts and foundation trusts are the default providers for NHS services. Local commissioners may commission services from any Care Quality Commission-registered provider.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions officials in his Department have had with their counterparts in the Treasury on the introduction of free dental care for cancer patients.

No recent assessment or discussions have taken place. People with cancer can apply for help with National Health Service dental charges on a range of grounds, including partial help through the NHS Low Income Scheme where eligible. Nearly half of all NHS dental patients were treated free of charge in 2020/21.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing free dental care for cancer patients.

No recent assessment or discussions have taken place. People with cancer can apply for help with National Health Service dental charges on a range of grounds, including partial help through the NHS Low Income Scheme where eligible. Nearly half of all NHS dental patients were treated free of charge in 2020/21.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will support the introduction of early support hubs in each community across England to provide mental health support for young people who do not meet the threshold for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

While no formal assessment has been made, we are exploring the model of early access of support for children and young people’s mental health with stakeholders. There are currently approximately 60 ‘early support hubs’ in England providing early intervention and prevention services. They are locally designed and funded and often provide a range of services such as sexual health clinics or careers advice. Clinical commissioning groups and local authorities work with local partners to understand local needs and commission these services.

Alongside the additional investment for children and young people aged 0 to 25 years old outlined in the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20–2023/24, we are providing an additional £79 million in 2021/22 to expand children’s and young people’s mental health services. This includes accelerating the coverage of mental health support teams providing early support in schools and colleges. In addition, £15 million will be invested in local authority areas in the most deprived parts of the country to increase prevention and early intervention services. We are also raising awareness of the resources and guidance available to children and young people, their parents and carers through the ‘Every Mind Matters’ online platform.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of funding early mental health support hubs in communities across England with the aim of providing easy-to-access drop-in support for young people aged 11 to 25.

While no formal assessment has been made, we are exploring the model of early access of support for children and young people’s mental health with stakeholders. There are currently approximately 60 ‘early support hubs’ in England providing early intervention and prevention services. They are locally designed and funded and often provide a range of services such as sexual health clinics or careers advice. Clinical commissioning groups and local authorities work with local partners to understand local needs and commission these services.

Alongside the additional investment for children and young people aged 0 to 25 years old outlined in the NHS Mental Health Implementation Plan 2019/20–2023/24, we are providing an additional £79 million in 2021/22 to expand children’s and young people’s mental health services. This includes accelerating the coverage of mental health support teams providing early support in schools and colleges. In addition, £15 million will be invested in local authority areas in the most deprived parts of the country to increase prevention and early intervention services. We are also raising awareness of the resources and guidance available to children and young people, their parents and carers through the ‘Every Mind Matters’ online platform.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what mental health drop-in-support is available on a self-referral basis for people aged 11 to 25 in England who do not meet the threshold for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

There is a range of support available for mental health and wellbeing for children and young people across the National Health Service, local authorities, education and the voluntary and independent sector. The extent of drop-in support on a self-referral basis is a matter for local commissioners across those sectors. Some local areas may commission digital services as part of their children and young people mental health pathway. This may include alternative forms of provision for those in crisis, such as sanctuaries, safe havens and crisis cafes which can provide a more suitable alternative to accident and emergency departments. Subject to local commissioning arrangements, this may include 'digital drop ins' as part of their service.

We have also established local 24 hours a day, seven days a week NHS urgent mental health lines to provide help, advice and support, including for children and young people.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Government's decision not to recognise Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Janssen jabs administered in Africa on the UK Government's relationship with (a) Uganda and (b) other countries in Africa that have received AstraZeneca vaccines from the UK.

We have not made a specific assessment.

We now recognise the following vaccines: Pfizer BioNTech; Oxford AstraZeneca; Moderna and Janssen (J&J); and also formulations of the above four vaccines such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda from countries and territories with approved COVID-19 proof of vaccination. This includes a number of countries in Africa.

From 1 November, Uganda was added to the list of approved countries and qualifies under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to the United Kingdom.

We are working with an array of international partners and look forward to continuing the expansion of the policy to countries and territories across the globe in a phased approach, where this meets our certification requirements. Extension of vaccine certification will be reviewed regularly.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) target and (b) current average waiting times were for access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in England for each month from January 2020 to June 2021.

This information is not available as an access and waiting time standard for child and adolescent mental health services has not yet been defined.

The National Health Service is piloting a four-week waiting time for access to specialist mental health treatment for children and young people in 12 areas in England. The pilots will inform a recommendation to the Government on the potential development of access and waiting time standards for all children and young people who need specialist mental health services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to support British citizens and residents returning from red list travel ban countries who are unable to meet the costs of mandatory hotel quarantine and who are not in receipt on income-related benefits.

For those facing significant financial hardship as a result of the managed quarantine charge, there is an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking. We have updated the guidance on GOV.UK as it previously referred only to those on income-related benefits.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 105483, tabled by the Hon. Member for Edmonton on 19 October 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers to Questions 102133, 105481 and 105483.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 105481, tabled by the Hon. Member for Edmonton on 19 October 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers to Questions 102133, 105481 and 105483.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to answer Question 102133, tabled by the Hon. Member for Edmonton on 12 October 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers to Questions 102133, 105481 and 105483.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have applied for a deferred repayment plan in relation to the managed quarantine charge.

For the period 14 February to 17 March, excluding cancellations, there have been 1,252 bookings for managed quarantine hotels which applied for a deferred repayment plan. Their eligibility for the income related benefits that would entitle them to claim is currently being assessed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the maximum monthly payment is for people who are using the deferred repayment plan to pay for the managed quarantine charge.

The deferred repayment plan requires payment of instalments over 12 months. There is no maximum monthly payment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to assist people who are unable to pay for the managed quarantined charge within the 12 months allowed by the deferred repayment plan.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to support British citizens and residents returning from red list travel ban countries who are unable to meet the costs of mandatory hotel quarantine and who are not in receipt on income-related benefits.

For those facing significant financial hardship as a result of these costs, there is an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking. We have updated the guidance on GOV.UK as it previously referred only to those on income-related benefits.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to introduce a target for the NHS to end the disparity in maternal morality between Black women and white women.

Work to reduce health inequalities around maternal mortality rates is being led by Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE, the Chief Midwifery Officer. This includes understanding why mortality rates are higher, considering evidence about what will reduce mortality rates and taking action.

We have established the inequalities oversight forum, with a group of clinical experts, to understand the reasons why the death rate for black women in childbirth is five times higher than for white women and to find out what we can put in place to ensure that, by addressing those issues, we reduce the number of deaths.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he takes to monitor the performance of call handlers working on the Coronavirus Response Service.

All call handlers in the COVID-19 Response Service have a competency check completed by the service provider before they take live calls. Following this, three calls per call handler are audited each month. The audits are reviewed weekly by the clinical governance, operations, and training teams, and any learning fed back to staff.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2020 to Question 99681 on NHS 111: Training, who was responsible for auditing call handlers recruited to the Coronavirus Response Service in advance of those call handlers completing their training for that service.

Each provider of the COVID-19 Response Service is responsible for auditing their call handlers to ensure competency. South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust also has oversight and governance of the COVID-19 Response Service.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether all calls to the Coronavirus Response Service are recorded.

All calls to the COVID-19 Response Service are currently recorded, in line with core NHS 111 service policy.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the guidance issued to general practitioners recruited to the covid-19 Clinical Assessment Service in August 2020.

General practitioners (GPs) in the COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS) access a number of guidance resources which are published online, including the relevant pages at NHS.UK and GOV.UK.

GPs also access guidance via the NHS Pathways system and the NHS Futures Forum with ongoing professional and clinical discussions for support from within the service. The CCAS is administered by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust has advised that this guidance is commercially sensitive as a result of the competitive process to award contracts to individuals or service providers to deliver the CCAS.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2020 to Question 99681 on NHS 111: Training, if he will publish the training materials provided to call handlers recruited to the Coronavirus Response Service.

The Coronavirus Response Service (CRS) is run by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust has advised that the information requested is commercially sensitive as a result of the competitive process to award contracts to individuals or service providers to deliver the CRS.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what training was given to Covid-19 Clinical Assessment Service general practitioners prior to the commencement of their roles in August 2020.

All general practitioners who support the COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS) are required to complete essential training on a range of subjects before starting their role.

This training includes:

- safeguarding;

- a senior clinician module;

- CCAS Self-Assessment Framework;

- COVID-19 Breathlessness – Clinical Triage Support Tool; and

- training on the system used to take a patient’s history and make clinical notes.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which private providers have been contracted to run the NHS 111 Coronavirus Response Service.

The Department has not awarded contracts for the delivery of the COVID-19 Response Service (CRS). The CRS is run by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

Contracts for the CRS are held with Teleperformance, Sitel and Serco.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2020 to Question 99681 on NHS 111: Training, how many hours of face-to-face training call handlers recruited to the Coronavirus Response Service were required to receive before they were permitted to answer live calls to that service.

As with National Health Service 111 call handlers, there are clear and robust governance arrangements in place for call handlers working in the NHS 111 COVID-19 Response Service. If a clinical assessment is?required, the call is transferred to a clinician for full assessment. There are also clinical supervisors on hand to support call handlers should they need it.

In the first wave of COVID-19, all recruited call handlers received two full days of training. This included training on safeguarding, the referral and escalation process, and soft skills telephone training, as well as role play calls. Following this they undertook an assessment before commencing live call handling.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 October 2020 to Question 99681 on NHS 111: Training, what form the audit of Coronavirus Response Service call handlers took in advance of those call handlers completing their training for that service.

All call handlers in the COVID-19 Response Service have a competency check completed by the service provider before they take live calls. Following this, three calls per call handler are audited each month. The audits are reviewed weekly by the clinical governance, operations, and training teams, and any learning fed back to staff.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the Library a list of the private contractors used by his Department to deliver the NHS 111 covid-19 response service.

The Department has not awarded contracts for the delivery of the COVID-19 Response Service (CRS). The CRS is run by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

Contracts for the CRS are held with Teleperformance, Sitel and Serco.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 October 2020 to Question 96968, if he will place in the Library a copy of the internal online tool for guidance used by covid-19 call handlers.

The online tool used for COVID-19 guidance is publicly available at the following link:

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

NHS Digital continues to update this online tool in response to new scientific information, Government guidance and public health strategies. The changes made over time are available at the following link:

https://digital.nhs.uk/coronavirus/nhs-111-online-coronavirus-services

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 October 2020 to Question 96968, if he will place in the Library a copy of the assessment that call handlers recruited to the NHS 111 covid-19 Response Service have to pass before taking live calls.

The Coronavirus Response Service (CRS) is run by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust has advised that the information requested is commercially sensitive as a result of the competitive process to award contracts to individuals or service providers to deliver the CRS.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 October 2020 to Question 96968, what support experienced clinicians have provided to call handlers recruited to the NHS 111 covid-19 Response Service.

As with National Health Service 111 call handlers, there are clear and robust governance arrangements in place for call handlers working in the NHS 111 COVID-19 Response Service. If a clinical assessment is?required, the call is transferred to a clinician for full assessment. There are also clinical supervisors on hand to support call handlers should they need it.

In the first wave of COVID-19, all recruited call handlers received two full days of training. This included training on safeguarding, the referral and escalation process, and soft skills telephone training, as well as role play calls. Following this they undertook an assessment before commencing live call handling.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 October 2020 to Question 96968, if he will place in the Library a copy of the mandatory training material given to NHS 111 covid-19 call handlers.

Call handlers and clinicians in the core NHS 111 service receive intensive training on the NHS Pathways system. NHS Digital has provided an overview of the training framework for call handlers which is attached.

NHS Digital has advised that copies of the full training materials for NHS Pathways cannot be published because this information is commercially sensitive.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average length of time was for Public Health England to respond to schools reporting positive covid-19 cases in each week since August 2020.

Public Health England does not collect the data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a centralised database is being used by Public Health England to record the information provided to them by schools who report positive cases of covid-19.

Local Health Protection Teams record COVID-19 clusters or outbreaks reported to them by schools on HPZone – a web-portal used for case and outbreak management. Nationally, Public Health England reports on the number of suspected and confirmed clusters and outbreaks linked to schools in the weekly surveillance report, available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether any private contractors have been asked to deliver any part of the NHS 111 service since March 2020.

The core NHS 111 service is run by a mix of private, social enterprise and National Health Service providers across England.

The Coronavirus Response Service is run on behalf of NHS 111 by private providers, with clinical oversight and governance provided by South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether NHS 111 call handlers recruited in response to the covid-19 outbreak were given the NHS Pathways 6-week training course.

Call handlers in the core NHS 111 service receive 10 weeks of training.

The Coronavirus Response Service specifically recruited call handlers to answer COVID-related calls only, therefore they received training that mirrored the core NHS 111 training but was specific to COVID-19 only.

Call handlers were supported by clinicians and received face-to-face training in a classroom setting. All call handlers were audited to ensure they had reached the required competencies to deliver a high-quality service for patients.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what training was given to Covid-19 Clinical Assessment Service call handlers prior to the commencement of their roles, as of August 2020.

The COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service does not employ call handlers. It is staffed by general practitioners who assess and provide clinical advice to patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Answer of 1 October 2020 to Question 91107 on Influenza: Vaccination, how many additional doses of the seasonal flu vaccine his Department has acquired.

Overall, there is sufficient vaccine for over 30 million people to be vaccinated in England this winter.

The Department has agreed to procure over 8 million additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to ensure more flu vaccines are available from November. This is in addition to the stock that general practitioners and pharmacists have ordered directly from manufacturers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason some pharmacists and GPs are experiencing delays in acquiring the seasonal flu vaccine.

General practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults. This year we have seen an early increase in demand for the flu vaccination, and GPs and pharmacists have used their first deliveries of flu vaccine.

The flu vaccine is delivered to GPs, pharmacies and other services in batches for operational reasons, including allowing GPs and pharmacies to schedule clinics and appointments alongside their other usual services and to allow people to choose when to have their vaccination.

There is sufficient vaccine for over 30 million people to be vaccinated in England this winter and flu vaccination deliveries will continue in all areas in England throughout the winter months as they do every year.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to schools on the wearing of face masks by pupils.

Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering. In primary schools where social distancing is not possible between adults in indoor areas (for example when moving around in corridors and communal areas), settings have the discretion to recommend the use of face coverings when indoors on site, for both staff and visitors.

In schools where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors) and pupils when moving around indoors in corridors and other communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Face coverings are not currently required in school classrooms due to the negative impact they have on communication between teacher and student, and because schools are able to put other COVID-19 secure measures into place.

No-one should be excluded from education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering. Where anybody is struggling to access a face covering, or where they are unable to use their face covering due to having forgotten it or it has become soiled or unsafe, education settings should take steps to have a small contingency supply available to meet such needs.

We continue to provide guidance to educational settings online.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether schools are required to ensure that pupils wear face masks while on school premises and outside of the classroom.

Children in primary schools do not need to wear a face covering. In primary schools where social distancing is not possible between adults in indoor areas (for example when moving around in corridors and communal areas), settings have the discretion to recommend the use of face coverings when indoors on site, for both staff and visitors.

In schools where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults (staff and visitors) and pupils when moving around indoors in corridors and other communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain. Face coverings are not currently required in school classrooms due to the negative impact they have on communication between teacher and student, and because schools are able to put other COVID-19 secure measures into place.

No-one should be excluded from education on the grounds that they are not wearing a face covering. Where anybody is struggling to access a face covering, or where they are unable to use their face covering due to having forgotten it or it has become soiled or unsafe, education settings should take steps to have a small contingency supply available to meet such needs.

We continue to provide guidance to educational settings online.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking following the results of the recent audit of calls to the covid-19 clinical assessment service in August 2020.

A recent audit of the COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS) indicated a need to provide focused training for nurses and allied health professionals. The Coronavirus Response Service Board and NHS 111 senior leaders made the decision to support these staff with further training on the NHS Pathways triage system to enable them to work as clinical advisors in the core NHS 111 service rather than the CCAS.

The CCAS is currently operated by general practitioners who are regularly audited to ensure patients receive high-quality clinical advice.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the guidance issued to new call handlers recruited to the covid-19 Clinical Assessment Service in August 2020.

The COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service does not employ call handlers. It is staffed by general practitioners who assess and provide clinical advice to patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the required experience was in August 2020 for covid-19 clinical assessment service call handlers.

The COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Service does not employ call handlers. It is staffed by general practitioners who assess and provide clinical advice to patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the guidance issued to call-handlers recruited in March 2020 to NHS 111 in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

All call handlers recruited to the NHS 111 COVID-19 Response Service are trained by accredited National Health Service staff and supported by experienced clinicians. They receive mandatory training in areas including safeguarding and patient data privacy, as well as a comprehensive training course on the COVID-19 clinical pathway and must pass an assessment before taking any live calls.

COVID-19 call handlers use an internal online tool for guidance, which is continually updated as more becomes known about the virus. This guidance is subject to stringent clinical review and approval before use to ensure its accuracy.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the minimum training standards were for new call handlers recruited to the NHS 111 service in response to the covid-19 outbreak in March and April 2020.

All call handlers recruited to the NHS 111 COVID-19 Response Service are trained by accredited National Health Service staff and supported by experienced clinicians. They receive mandatory training in areas including safeguarding and patient data privacy, as well as a comprehensive training course on the COVID-19 clinical pathway and must pass an assessment before taking any live calls.

COVID-19 call handlers use an internal online tool for guidance, which is continually updated as more becomes known about the virus. This guidance is subject to stringent clinical review and approval before use to ensure its accuracy.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to (a) promote and (b) improve access to the Winter 2020-21 influenza vaccine.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local areas to ensure that regional teams have plans in place to increase coverage of the flu vaccination this winter. New models of delivery have been shared with regional commissioning teams to encourage innovative thinking such as mobile and mass vaccination models to allow for increases in uptake safely whilst observing social distancing and personal protective equipment requirements.

NHS England and NHS Improvement will be introducing an enhanced call and recall system so that those who are eligible are reminded to attend a vaccination session alongside better mechanisms of data collection to target interventions into areas/cohorts with poor uptake during the season. Alongside this, additional trained workforce is being made available to local providers to help them vaccinate more eligible people. Public Health England will also be launching a new marketing campaign to encourage uptake of flu vaccination amongst eligible groups.

Additional flu vaccine has been purchased by the Department which will be available to providers to facilitate expansion of the programme.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the timetables for the (a) manufacture and (b) delivery of the Winter 2020-21 influenza vaccine remain on track.

The manufacturing of the flu vaccines is a complex biological process. In February, each year, the World Health Organization makes recommendations on the composition of the flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere based on its international surveillance programme. It takes six to eight months to manufacture the vaccines and following regulatory clearance they start to become available to service providers at the start of the flu season in September. The flu vaccine is currently available and will continue to be supplied throughout the winter.

In relation to the supply of vaccine for the adult programme, general practitioners and pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults. In addition, the Department has procured additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to ensure more flu vaccines are available this winter.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that it (a) secures and (b) maintains an adequate supply of the influenza vaccine for population groups eligible for that vaccine in Winter 2020-21.

The manufacturing of the flu vaccines is a complex biological process. In February, each year, the World Health Organization makes recommendations on the composition of the flu vaccine for the northern hemisphere based on its international surveillance programme. It takes six to eight months to manufacture the vaccines and following regulatory clearance they start to become available to service providers at the start of the flu season in September. The flu vaccine is currently available and will continue to be supplied throughout the winter.

In relation to the supply of vaccine for the adult programme, general practitioners and pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults. In addition, the Department has procured additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to ensure more flu vaccines are available this winter.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people his Department estimates will require a Winter 2020-21 influenza vaccine; and how many of those vaccines will be available throughout that season.

This winter we expect to offer the seasonal flu vaccine to over 30 million people. On 5 August 2020 we published the Annual Flu Letter Update 2020/21, which set out our ambitions for uptake for all eligible groups. The Annual Flu Letter is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/907149/Letter_annualflu_2020_to_2021_update.pdf

In relation to the supply of vaccine for the adult programme, general practitioners and pharmacists are directly responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults. In addition, the Department has procured additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to ensure supply of the flu vaccines are available this winter.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the decision was made, and by which Minister, to remove responses from the stakeholder and community engagement consultation process from Public Health England's Disparities in the risk and outcomes of covid-19 report.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 July 2020 to Question 59534.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons responses from the stakeholders and community engagement consultation process were removed from Public Health England’s report entitled Disparities in the risk and outcomes of covid-1’ before publication.

No stakeholder views were removed from Public Health England’s epidemiological report entitled ‘COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes’, published on 2 June 2020.

Alongside the epidemiological review, Professor Fenton undertook a rapid evidence review and external stakeholder engagement with a significant number of individuals and organisations within the black, Asian and minority ethnic community, to hear their views, concerns and ideas about the impact of COVID-19 on their communities. The results of that work have now been published and will inform the Government’s next steps being taken forward by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP).

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the review published by Public Health England on 2 June 2020 entitled Disparities in the risk and outcomes of covid-19, if he will place in the Library the (a) annexe to that report and (b) responses received from the stakeholder and community engagement process.

No stakeholder views were removed from Public Health England’s epidemiological report entitled ‘COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes’, published on 2 June 2020.

Alongside the epidemiological review, Professor Fenton undertook a rapid evidence review and external stakeholder engagement with a significant number of individuals and organisations within the black, Asian and minority ethnic community, to hear their views, concerns and ideas about the impact of COVID-19 on their communities. The results of that work have now been published and will inform the Government’s next steps being taken forward by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP).

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to include on the NHS prescription form, a box to signify that the applicant is claiming universal credit.

The new FP10 National Health Service prescription form, which includes a tick box for Universal Credit claimants who meet the criteria for free prescriptions, is now being printed and distributed to the NHS.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to review the adequacy of the minimum training requirements for NHS 111 operators.

Health advisors handling calls to NHS 111 use a computer aided dispatch and clinical decision support system called NHS Pathways. All call handlers and operators using the system undergo an intensive training programme. NHS Pathways is a clinical system and as such, its use to provide services to the National Health Service is carefully governed by a ‘Licence to Use’. Content within the Licence relates to the training and on-going continuous quality monitoring of staff.

NHS England also publishes the ‘National Service Specification for Integrated Urgent Care Services’. This outlines the need for providers to adhere to the clinical content of NHS Pathways and the requirement of the Licence that an NHS Pathways trained clinician is in the room at all times. The Specification also outlines how the commissioner and provider shall develop relationship with local Health Education England teams and Local Workforce Action Boards to ensure system-wide workforce planning is implemented.

The Specification is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Integrated-Urgent-Care-Service-Specification.pdf

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department takes to ensure nurses, GPs or clinical experts are present at all times in NHS 111 call centres.

Health advisors handling calls to NHS 111 use a computer aided dispatch and clinical decision support system called NHS Pathways. All call handlers and operators using the system undergo an intensive training programme. NHS Pathways is a clinical system and as such, its use to provide services to the National Health Service is carefully governed by a ‘Licence to Use’. Content within the Licence relates to the training and on-going continuous quality monitoring of staff.

NHS England also publishes the ‘National Service Specification for Integrated Urgent Care Services’. This outlines the need for providers to adhere to the clinical content of NHS Pathways and the requirement of the Licence that an NHS Pathways trained clinician is in the room at all times. The Specification also outlines how the commissioner and provider shall develop relationship with local Health Education England teams and Local Workforce Action Boards to ensure system-wide workforce planning is implemented.

The Specification is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Integrated-Urgent-Care-Service-Specification.pdf

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to amend the NHS prescription form to include a box to indicate whether a free prescription can be claimed by a universal credit claimant.

The new FP10 National Health Service prescription form, which includes a tick box for Universal Credit claimants who meet the criteria for free prescriptions, is now being printed and distributed to the NHS.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many complaints he has received on the NHS 111 service in each of the last five years.

A count of complaints received by the Department regarding the NHS 111 service in each of the last five calendar years is shown in the following table:

Year

Count of NHS 111 complaints

2015

63

2016

62

2017

26

2018

23

2019

20

Total

194

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much the NHS has paid out in claims for clinical negligence by NHS 111 operators or call centres in each of the last five years.

This information is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients per GP there have been in (a) Edmonton and (b) Enfield borough in each year since 2010.

The number of doctors, nurses and other direct patient care staff per patient working in general practice in NHS Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in each year since 2015 has been provided in the attached table. General practitioner (GP) locums are excluded as improvements have been made to GP locum recording methodology and figures are not comparable across the time series. Data is not included prior to 2015 as improvements were made to the methodology for recording all staff working in general practice in September 2015 and data prior to this is not comparable.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to improve performance and safety at the North Middlesex University hospital; and if he will make a statement.

The most recent Care Quality Commission inspection, published in October 2019, gave an overall rating of requires improvement to the North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust.

To assist with improving performance, the Trust has been allocated additional winter monies. This has provided more capacity to meet the anticipated increase in the numbers of emergency patients.

Broader responses, in areas such as community and social care, are being coordinated through the local accident and emergency (A&E) Delivery Board and include the provision of additional primary care capacity in Enfield and a two-hour rapid response service.

Ambulance turnaround and response times are being addressed through the transfer of low priority calls to 111 clinical assessment service, freeing up London Ambulance Service and reducing the number of unnecessary admissions to A&E. Additionally, the introduction of mental health professional’s working with paramedics in ambulance cars is helping to reduce transports to local emergency departments, and thereby assisting in reducing demand on services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether her Department has provided support to Poland to help that country with the arrival of Ukrainian refugees.

The Foreign Secretary most recently engaged with the Polish Foreign Minister on 2 March and our Embassy in Poland is in regular contact with its host government in Warsaw.

Total UK aid to Ukraine and the region for the current crisis comes to almost £400 million. As well as ensuring that Ukrainians have access to basic necessities and medical supplies, this will help countries surrounding Ukraine, including Poland, to receive and support the increasing flow of refugees. A five person team of UK humanitarian experts are currently (as of 4 March) in Rzeszow, Poland providing logistics advice and analysis on the evolving refugee situation there.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she plans to widen export limits of luxury goods to and from Russia.

We have already implemented a set of measures to strengthen significantly our trade restrictions against Russia. On 28 February we legislated to ban the export of all dual-use list items to Russia. We have also prohibited the export of a range of high-end and critical technical equipment and components in sectors including electronics, telecommunications, and aerospace. These measures will have strategic impact, constraining Russia's military-industrial and technological capabilities for years to come. However, nothing is off the table. We are working with our international partners to identify further areas where concerted action will have a maximum impact on Putin's regime.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that small-scale farmers in low-income countries have access to the Just Rural Transition Fund.

At COP26, the UK Government announced a new £65 million Just Rural Transition Support Programme. This programme will build on and scale-up current UK Government support to the Just Rural Transition (£9 million, 2020-23), which is helping countries to take initial steps towards implementing sustainable land use policies and practices, to deliver benefits for people, climate and nature. The new programme will support developing countries to design and implement approaches that help their farmers build resilience and drive investment into more sustainable methods of agriculture through repurposing agricultural policies and support. The programme will also include support to ensure that farmers, including smallholders, are involved in policy-making processes, for example through consultations, trials and pilot programmes for new technologies and approaches.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the commitments made at COP26, what recent progress has been made on providing extra funding for cocoa farmers working to prevent deforestation on their lands.

The UK works with cocoa farmers to improve livelihoods and prevent deforestation through Partnerships for Forests (P4F) (£120 million, 2015-23). P4F is a global programme which supports partnerships between companies, farmers and communities, piloting new approaches to growing crops like palm oil, cocoa and soya while improving livelihoods and protecting and restoring forests.

Cocoa sector support includes funding to the Cocoa and Forest Initiative. UK funds enable the implementation of agreements between the global cocoa industry and the Ghanaian and Ivoirian governments, helping farmers to improve practices and eliminate deforestation from the cocoa supply. P4F also funds landscape-scale partnerships between companies, communities and government agencies, which provide farmers with help to increase productivity and grow deforestation-free, climate smart cocoa. At COP26, the UK announced a £500 million, ten-year second phase of support to Partnerships for Forests, building on the experience of the first phase of the programme. Work is now underway to put this new funding commitment into place.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress has been made towards delivering the annual climate funding worth $100 billion for people in lower-income countries most affected by the climate crisis.

Under our COP26 Presidency, 95% of the largest developed country climate finance providers have made new, forward-looking commitments, with many doubling or even quadrupling their support for developing countries to take climate action. These pledges mean that the $100 billion finance goal will be met by 2023 at the latest, and it is now likely that $500bn will be mobilised over the period 2021-25. This means more money for developing countries to decarbonise and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Further information can be found here: https://ukcop26.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Climate-Finance-Delivery-Plan-1.pdf

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to his oral statement of 12 January 2021, Official Report, column 160 on Xinjiang: forced labour, whether Magnitsky style sanctions are now being considered against the Chinese officials most closely involved with the human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslims.

The UK Government remains gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang. On 12 January, the Foreign Secretary announced robust, targeted measures to help ensure that British organisations, whether public or private sector, are not complicit in, nor profiting from, the human rights violations in Xinjiang. These measures will target in a forensic way either those profiting from forced labour or those who would financially support it, whether deliberately or otherwise. We also continue to play a leading role in holding China to account for its human rights violations in the region, working closely with international partners. We keep all evidence and potential listings under the UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the cost of the surplus covid-19 vaccine doses for low income countries will be met by the UK.

The Prime Minister has confirmed that the UK will share the majority of any future excess COVID-19 vaccines from our supply with the COVAX international vaccine procurement pool. However, it is still too soon to say when we will have any surplus doses. Our current priorities are ensuring the safety of the UK population, and making sure that COVAX, the multilateral facility responsible for distributing COVID-19 vaccines, is able to allocate vaccines where they are needed most. We will set out more details on the funding mechanisms and any cost recovery in due course.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of granting UK Export licenses for arms sales to Saudi Arabia on the UK's development goals in Yemen.

The Government takes its export control responsibilities extremely seriously. All applications for export licences are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. This is a rigorous assessment process which incorporates expertise from several Government Departments and takes into account a wide range of information from a variety of sources, including the UN and NGOs.

The UK is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Yemen, providing over £1 billion in UK aid since the conflict began. This has helped to make sure millions of vulnerable Yemenis have access to food and sanitation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of restricting arms sales to Saudi Arabia on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

The Government takes its export control responsibilities extremely seriously. All applications for export licences are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. This is a rigorous assessment process which incorporates expertise from several Government Departments and takes into account a wide range of information from a variety of sources, including the UN and NGOs.

The UK is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Yemen, providing over £1 billion in UK aid since the conflict began. This has helped to make sure millions of vulnerable Yemenis have access to food and sanitation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the export of air-to-air refuelling equipment from the UK to Saudi Arabia on the war in Yemen.

The Government takes its export control responsibilities extremely seriously. All applications for export licences are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. This is a rigorous assessment process which incorporates expertise from several Government Departments and takes into account a wide range of information from a variety of sources, including the UN and NGOs.

The UK is one of the largest humanitarian donors to Yemen, providing over £1 billion in UK aid since the conflict began. This has helped to make sure millions of vulnerable Yemenis have access to food and sanitation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the US Administration's designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group on humanitarian (a) operations and (b) access in Yemen.

We are deeply concerned by assessments from the UN and NGOs that the US Administration's decision to designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation is likely to disrupt the humanitarian response and stop vital food supplies getting in to Yemen. We have already engaged with the US to urge them to ensure that the vital humanitarian response, including food supplies, is not disrupted. Ministers and officials will continue to engage closely with the UN and other donors, including the US, to ensure life-saving humanitarian aid reaches the millions of Yemenis in need, to prevent famine where we can and to work with all parties involved to bring this extended conflict to a conclusion.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on the humanitarian situation for Yemeni people during the covid-19 pandemic of the US Administration's proposed designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group.

The UK is deeply concerned by assessments from the UN and NGOs that the US Administration's decision to designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation is likely to disrupt the humanitarian response, an effect exacerbated by COVID-19. We have already engaged with the US to urge them to ensure that the vital humanitarian and COVID-19 response is able to reach Yemenis. We are calling on all parties in Yemen to facilitate the movement of humanitarian supplies and experts into and across the country to ensure an effective COVID-19 response. The UK is ready to support the World Health Organisation roll-out the COVID-19 vaccine once the Government of Yemen's application to the COVAX facility has been accepted. We are clear that agreeing a peace settlement will give Yemen the best chance of managing an outbreak of COVID-19; we call on all parties to engage constructively with the UN-led political process to achieve this.

On 3 December, the Foreign Secretary announced an extra £14million UK aid to help 1.5 million households access food and medicines, taking the UK's commitment to £214m this FY.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the US designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group on Yemen’s (a) economy, (b) level of food imports and (c) access to humanitarian support.

We are deeply concerned by assessments from the UN and NGOs that the US Administration's decision to designate the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation is likely to disrupt the humanitarian response and stop vital food supplies getting in to Yemen. We have already engaged with the US to urge them to ensure that the vital humanitarian response, including food supplies, is not disrupted. Ministers and officials will continue to engage closely with the UN and other donors, including the US, to ensure life-saving humanitarian aid reaches the millions of Yemenis in need, to prevent famine where we can and to work with all parties involved to bring this extended conflict to a conclusion.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that international development policy is coherent across all Government Departments.

The UK Government is committed to a coherent international development policy that advances our national interests and maximises our influence and impact on development and poverty. The new Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office will bring our world-class expertise to bear and ensure our development and foreign policy goals are fully integrated.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he made of the potential merits of merging the Department for International Development with his Department prior to the planned Integrated Review of foreign, defence, security and development policy announced by the Prime Minister on 26 February 2020.

The Prime Minister is committed to a unified British foreign policy that will maximise our influence around the world. The review will define the Government's ambition for the UK's global role and its outcomes will shape the objectives of the new department.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he plans to take to ensure that all Official Development Assistance is fully transparent and used for the primary purpose of tackling poverty.

To tackle poverty and advance our Global Britain objectives, the Foreign Office takes evidence-based spending decisions. The FCO is committed to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standard, and publishes on GOV.UK all the information on ODA that can be released whilst safeguarding FCO's obligations under UK national security, diplomatic relations and individual's personal information. Further details on how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office allocates Official Development Assistance funding can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/official-development-assistance-oda-allocations-aid-policy.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he had with (a) NGOs, (b) aid recipients, (c) local actors and (d) other key stakeholders ahead of the decision made on 16 June to merge the Department for International Development with his Department.

The Government continues to engage with all relevant stakeholders, including UK and international Non-Governmental Organisations, on issues relating to the merger. The Prime Minister has concluded that in the next decade, international issues will be even more important to the lives of our citizens and our own national interest; that the world will become even more complex and competitive, with growing, interconnected challenges and opportunities for the UK; and that therefore we need a new all-of-government approach if we are to secure our values and interests in a changing world.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what debt recovery agency his Department plans to refer debts relating to emergency repatriation loans to in the event that they have not been repaid within six months.

British nationals who are overseas and wish to return to the UK, but cannot afford travel costs and have no other options for getting funds to return home, may apply for an emergency loan from the Government as a last resort.

Those eligible must sign an Undertaking to Repay (UTR) in which they agree to repay the loan within 6 months. Loan recipients are unable to renew their passport until they repay the loan in full. If loan recipients do not repay the loan or set up a repayment plan with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) within 6 months, their passport may be cancelled, and their details passed to Indesser, a cross Government debt management service. The FCO will always work with British nationals to agree flexible repayment plans tailored to individual circumstances. We will not cancel the passports of those actively seeking to repay their loan. All loans are interest free.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
9th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make assessment of whether equipment supplied by EDO MBM Technology Ltd to Turkey has been incorporated into drones sent by Turkey to Libya in violation of the UN arms embargo on that country.

HMG takes its arms export responsibilities seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. All licence applications are assessed against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, which include Criterion One, upholding the United Kingdom's international obligations to enforce arms embargoes; and Criterion Seven concerning the risk of equipment's diversion to an undesirable end-user or end-use. We are aware of reports of Turkish military involvement in Libya. Licences have been granted to EDO MBM Technology Ltd for military items for use by the Turkish armed forces. We are monitoring the situation in Libya and if extant licences are found to be no longer consistent with the Criteria, those licences will be revoked.

The UK publishes quarterly and annual statistics on all our export licensing decisions, including details of export licences granted, refused and revoked. These can be accessed here https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/strategic-export-controls-licensing-data

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many people have applied for an emergency repatriation loan since the start of the covid-19 pandemic; and how many of those applications have been (a) accepted and (b) rejected.

The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we remain committed to helping British travellers around the globe return home. British nationals who are overseas and wish to return to the UK, but cannot afford travel costs and have no other options for getting funds to return home, may apply for an emergency loan from the government as a last resort. We estimate the FCO has issued over 2000 loans on behalf of the FCO since 7 April. We are unable to provide an accurate number of people who have had their applications for emergency repatriation loans rejected as we do not have full details on our systems to be able to provide comprehensive figures.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the report by the UN Human Rights Office published on 12 February 2020 on companies involved in certain activities relating to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, what discussions he has had with (a) JCB, (b) Opodo and (c) Greenkote.

The UK, along with a number of other European countries, opposed the creation of the UN Human Rights Office's database. Human rights obligations are directed at states, and not individuals or businesses. Ultimately it is the decision of an individual or company whether to operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The British Government neither encourages nor offers support to such activity.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what action he plans to take in relation to JCB, Opodo and Greenkote in the light of the publication of the UN Human Rights Council's database of companies directly doing business with Israeli settlements.

The UK, along with a number of other European countries, opposed the creation of the UN Human Rights Office's database. Human rights obligations are directed at states, and not individuals or businesses. Ultimately it is the decision of an individual or company whether to operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The British Government neither encourages nor offers support to such activity.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department plans to respond to the report by the UN Human Rights Office, published on 12 February 2020, on business enterprises involved in certain activities relating to settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The UK, along with a number of other European countries, opposed the creation of the UN Human Rights Office's database. We neither encourage nor offer support to individuals or companies who operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans his Department has to respond to the publication of the UN Human Rights Office report on business enterprises involved in certain activities relating to settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory published in February 2020.

The UK, along with a number of other European countries, opposed the creation of the UN Human Rights Office's database. We neither encourage nor offer support to individuals or companies who operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea, published on 8 June 2016, what assessment he has made of the effect on human rights of indefinite national service in that country.

The UK continues to call for reform of Eritrea’s use of a system of universal and compulsory national service. Roles are both military and civilian. Whilst the Government of Eritrea has justified this service on grounds of the security threat posed by Ethiopia we have yet to see a concrete proposal for reform following the July 2018 peace agreement. In July 2019, the Eritrean Government said that it would undertake a review of national service, but they gave no deadline for the review’s completion.

At the 41st session of the Human Rights Council in July 2019, the UK renewed calls for Eritrea to reform the national service system, recognising that sustainable reform of national service needs to happen in tandem with an improved economic situation and job creation. We also raise human rights in Eritrea, both directly with the Government, as the former Minister for Africa did with the Eritrean President's senior adviser when she saw him in July 2019, and when our Ambassador in Asmara saw the same advisor in August 2019.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his Department's policy is on the Reconnecting Eritrea and Ethiopia through rehabilitation of the main arterial roads in Eritrea project which is supported by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.

Following the historic agreement between Eritrea and Ethiopia in July 2018, reconnecting the two countries and providing Ethiopia access to Eritrea’s ports is a priority. This will help to boost both countries’ economies, and generate job opportunities.

The UK welcomes reconciliation between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Our support for the project under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, to reconnect Eritrea and Ethiopia through the rehabilitation of the main roads, was conditional on the EU working with the UN to monitor the treatment of national service workers implementing the project. We are continuing to monitor this. We note increased engagement from Eritrea with the EU on human rights issues since the inception of the project, including two Article 8 dialogues and the visit to Asmara of the EU Special Representative on Human Rights.

The border between Eritrea and Ethiopia remains closed and we are concerned that both sides are yet to agree substantive arrangements on trade and border management given the impact this has on peace agreement. Like our partners in the EU we urge the two countries to ensure the agreement is fully implemented in order to bring stability and prosperity to their countries and the Horn of Africa region.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to review the VAT regime for electricity, in order to support electric vehicle uptake.

The Government is committed to supporting electric vehicle uptake. Since the Spending Review 2020, we have committed £2.5 billion to vehicle grants and charging infrastructure to accelerate the country's transition to electric vehicles. However, we have no plans to review the VAT regime for electricity.

Although the supply of electricity is normally subject to the standard rate of VAT (20 per cent), in order to keep costs down for families, the supply of electricity for domestic use, including charging electric vehicles at home, attracts the reduced rate of VAT (5 per cent).

Expanding the existing relief would come at a cost. VAT makes a significant contribution towards the public finances, raising around £130 billion in 2019-20, and helps fund the Government's priorities including the NHS, schools, and defence. Any loss in tax revenue would have to be balanced by a reduction in public spending, increased borrowing, or increased taxation elsewhere.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what funding he plans to allocate to decarbonise homes.

The recent Spending Review invested £3.9bn to decarbonise buildings. This included: £450m to drive growth in the heat pump market through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme; £338m to continue our support for heat networks; £1.4bn to decarbonise public sector buildings, and £1.8bn to support low-income households to decarbonise their homes through the Home Upgrade Grant and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

This means that, since March 2021, the Government will have committed over £9.7bn to decarbonising buildings, of which £3bn is to install energy efficiency measures in over 500,000 homes, saving households an average of £290 per year.

As set out in the Heat and Building Strategy, the Government is also implementing policies to create a market friendly regulatory framework to increase clean heat uptake. This includes setting an ambition to phase out all new fossil fuel heating from 2035 and consulting on an earlier date for high-carbon fossil fuel heated off gas grid homes.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to reintroduce the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in the event that further restrictions are introduced in the context of the rising rate of covid-19 infections.

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. We will continue to respond proportionately to the changing path of the virus.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has a strong track record of responding quickly, flexibly, and comprehensively in supporting jobs, businesses, individuals, and families when needed.

The effectiveness of our £400 billion package of interventions since the start of the pandemic, and the strength of the recovery that we have seen from previous waves means the economy is in a different place now.

Employee numbers are above February 2020 levels in every part of the country and have grown consistently through this year.

So, it is right that our economic response in the face of Omicron adapts too and that our support is better targeted at the businesses that need it the most, providing better value for taxpayers and helping the economy to bounce back more quickly.

However, we recognise the impact Omicron and Government guidance is having on businesses and individuals, which is why on 21 December 2021 we announced £1 billion of new grant support for the hospitality, leisure, and cultural sectors, and reintroduced the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. This is on top of the existing package of support, in place through to Spring 2022, which includes the Recovery Loan Scheme, business rates relief, VAT reduction, and the ongoing commercial rent moratorium.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the potential reintroduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in the context of the spread of the omicron covid-19 variant.

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. We will continue to respond proportionately to the changing path of the virus.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has a strong track record of responding quickly, flexibly, and comprehensively in supporting jobs, businesses, individuals, and families when needed.

The effectiveness of our £400 billion package of interventions since the start of the pandemic, and the strength of the recovery that we have seen from previous waves means the economy is in a different place now.

Employee numbers are above February 2020 levels in every part of the country and have grown consistently through this year.

So, it is right that our economic response in the face of Omicron adapts too and that our support is better targeted at the businesses that need it the most, providing better value for taxpayers and helping the economy to bounce back more quickly.

However, we recognise the impact Omicron and Government guidance is having on businesses and individuals, which is why on 21 December 2021 we announced £1 billion of new grant support for the hospitality, leisure, and cultural sectors, and reintroduced the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. This is on top of the existing package of support, in place through to Spring 2022, which includes the Recovery Loan Scheme, business rates relief, VAT reduction, and the ongoing commercial rent moratorium.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to take steps to remove the holiday let tax exemption that allows landlords to lower their mortgage interest payments by using properties for holiday lets rather than longer-term tenancies.

Tax relief on mortgage interest is available for landlords renting properties both as longer-term tenancies and as furnished holiday lets. Tax relief on mortgage interest on properties rented as longer-term tenancies is available at the basic rate of income tax; we estimate that only 1 in 10 landlords are affected by this restriction introduced in 2017 and phased in over four years. The Government keeps all taxes under review.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many successful applications have been made to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme by people subject to the no recourse to public funds restriction.

Applications for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened on 13 May. By 28 June 2020, HMRC had received 2.6m claims representing a total of £7.7bn.

HMRC have published tables showing the number of individuals claiming the SEISS by 31 May 2020 which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-june-2020.

HMRC do not hold data on whether SEISS applicants are subject to the no recourse to public funds restriction.

The revised guidance published alongside the legal Direction makes it clear that grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are not counted as “access to public funds”.

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme have been issued to applicants that hold a Turkish Businessperson visa.

Applications for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) opened on 13 May. By 11 June 2020, HMRC had received:

  • 2.1m claims representing a total of £6.1bn in England;
  • 146k claims representing a total of £425m in Scotland;
  • 102k claims representing a total of £273m in Wales; and
  • 69k claims representing a total of £198m in Northern Ireland.

HMRC have published tables showing the number of individuals claiming the SEISS by 31 May 2020 which can be found at

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/self-employment-income-support-scheme-statistics-june-2020.

HMRC do not hold data on whether SEISS applicants hold a Turkish Businessperson visa and so cannot provide this information.

20th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether self-employed workers who are subject to the Turkish EC Association Agreement visa are eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The revised guidance published alongside the legal Direction makes it clear that grants under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) are not counted as “access to public funds”, and that taxpayers can claim the SEISS grant on all categories of visa. This treatment of the SEISS grant aligns with that of payments from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme beyond August 2020.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) allows eligible individuals to claim a taxable grant worth up to 80% of their average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single installment covering three months, and capped at £7,500 in total. The Chancellor indicated that the SEISS would be temporary when he announced it at the end of March, and that it could be extended if necessary. The Government is keeping this under review.

6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has plans to change the qualifying criteria for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The new Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will help those adversely affected by COVID-19. It means the UK will have one of the most generous self-employed COVID-19 support schemes in the world. HMRC designed the SEISS using information they already held, in order to deliver it quickly and minimise the risk of fraud. Expanding the scope would have required HMRC to collect and verify new information. This would have taken longer to deliver and put at risk the other schemes which the Government is committed to delivering as quickly as possible. Some 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment could benefit from this scheme. The scheme is targeted at those most in need, and who are most reliant on their self-employment income.

Those not eligible for the SEISS may still benefit from other support. Individuals may have access to a range of grants and loans depending on their circumstances, and the SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Bounce Back Loans Scheme, and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the potential merits of removing the no recourse to public funds conditions during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor and Home Secretary have regular discussions on matters of importance for the Home Office.

The Home Office leads on policy towards those with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) and is working closely with the Treasury and other government departments, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health and Social Care to support people, including migrants with NRPF, through this crisis. Departments are sharing what they are learning from other bodies and charities with each other to ensure that the Government continues to take a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of self-employed workers who have been excluded from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

HMRC are currently using Self-Assessment data to identify those eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), and aim to contact those eligible by mid-May 2020. An updated estimate of the numbers excluded will not be held until this work has concluded.

Eligibility for SEISS is based on average trading profits for sole traders and income from partnerships. More information on the eligibility criteria can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

Those ineligible for SEISS may still benefit from other support. Individuals may have access to a range of grants and loans depending on their circumstances, and the SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/.

1st May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business. Energy and Industrial Strategy on ensuring that business owners with a UK payroll but have an immigration status condition of no recourse to public funds are not automatically excluded from accessing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to any employer providing they have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020; enrolled for PAYE online; and have a UK bank account. Individuals on any type of employment contract can be furloughed providing they were employed on 19 March 2020 and were on the employer’s payroll on or before 19 March 2020.

The assistance being given under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not classed as public funds and is available to all those in work, including those with No Recourse to Public Funds status.

14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason payments to Windrush Compensation Scheme claimants are delayed in the event that they request a review of a decision under that scheme.

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

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush Compensation Scheme claimants have requested a review of a decision under that scheme; and of those how many have received a decision from the adjudicator as at 14 April 2022.

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

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what measures are in place to (a) monitor the performance of Clearsprings Ready Homes and (b) ensure the safety and suitability of the housing they provide.

The total expenditure on asylum accommodation is published in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts.

This link includes details on the total value of the Government's contract with Clearsprings Ready Homes from 2022 to its current expiration date.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to ensure value for money in respect of contracted-out services to Clearsprings Ready Homes.

The standards we expect from our contractors and providers are monitored closely to ensure they continue to meet them.

The standards of accommodation and service are set within the Asylum Accommodation and Support Services (AASC) contract and represent a higher standard of quality than the preceding COMPASS contracts. The AASC contracts have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver.

Accommodation providers’ performance is monitored closely by dedicated staff in each contract area, who are in daily contact with them. This is supplemented by a formal governance process.

Details of the AASC can be found at: New asylum accommodation contracts awarded - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many complaints her Department has received from people housed by Clearsprings Ready Homes in each year between 2010 and 2022.

The total expenditure on asylum accommodation is published in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts.

This link includes details on the total value of the Government's contract with Clearsprings Ready Homes from 2022 to its current expiration date.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of services provided to her Department by Clearsprings Ready Homes.

The total expenditure on asylum accommodation is published in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts.

This link includes details on the total value of the Government's contract with Clearsprings Ready Homes from 2022 to its current expiration date.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether there are mechanisms in place to enable asylum seekers to contact her Department to report unsafe or unsuitable conditions in respect of housing provided by Clearsprings Ready Homes.

The total expenditure on asylum accommodation is published in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts.

This link includes details on the total value of the Government's contract with Clearsprings Ready Homes from 2022 to its current expiration date.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what measures are in place to ensure the safety of asylum seekers housed by Clearsprings Ready Homes.

The total expenditure on asylum accommodation is published in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts.

This link includes details on the total value of the Government's contract with Clearsprings Ready Homes from 2022 to its current expiration date.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under what terms in her Department's contract with Clearsprings Ready Homes would early termination of that contract be permitted.

The total expenditure on asylum accommodation is published in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts.

This link includes details on the total value of the Government's contract with Clearsprings Ready Homes from 2022 to its current expiration date.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the total value of the Government's contract with Clearsprings Ready Homes is from 2022 to its current expiration date.

The total expenditure on asylum accommodation is published in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts.

This link includes details on the total value of the Government's contract with Clearsprings Ready Homes from 2022 to its current expiration date.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush Compensation Scheme applicants died before receiving compensation, as at 16 March 2022.

It is deeply regrettable when a claimant passes away before a compensation award can be made or an apology sent to them.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme staff are working hard to ensure where they are aware of claimants with critical or life shortening illnesses, their cases are prioritised.

In the unfortunate circumstances where a claimant has passed away after submitting a compensation claim, but before the claim is fully resolved, the team continues to work closely with the appointed representative, usually members of the family, to ensure the compensation payment is made as quickly as possible to the family member.

As at the end of January 2022 in line with the latest Windrush Compensation Scheme published data, out of the 3490 applications made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme, we are aware of 28 cases to date where the claimant had passed away after having submitted a claim but before receiving compensation. We are working closely with the families and legal representatives to determine the right person to whom the compensation can be paid as quickly as possible.

It must be noted this data is manually recorded and is reliant on the person receiving the information on an applicant notifying the Windrush Compensation Scheme to record this information. The data isn’t recorded in a reportable field in the casework system.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to ensure that the Animals in Science Regulation Unit provides appropriate regulatory oversight in the context of fewer in-person inspections to view animals and meet with staff.

In July 2021 the regulator initiated a new operating model that delivers a structured and integrated framework aligned with leading regulatory practice. In October of last year the regulator commenced a new system of audits that form part of an integrated system to assess compliance across the regulated community. The audit process and the evidence for assessment of compliance against the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and associated licence conditions, are available here: www.gov.uk/guidance/animal-research-technical-advice#process-and-standards-for-establishment-full-system-audits.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what is the average amount of time it takes for her Department to process asylum applications from Ukrainian refugees.

The Home Office does not publish data relating to the length of time it takes to process asylum applications from Ukrainian refugees, as this data is not held in a reportable format and can only be updated at disproportionate costs.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has plans to introduce a new humanitarian route of entry for Ukrainian refugees to the UK.

The Government has introduced two new schemes: the Ukraine Family Scheme announced on 4 March the Homes for Ukraine Scheme announced 14 March.

Further details can be found at Home Secretary statement on humanitarian support for Ukrainians; Homes for Ukraine – Homes for Ukraine – Local Sponsorship Scheme for Ukraine (campaign.gov.uk); and the Factsheet: Home Office action on Ukraine - Home Office in the media (blog.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many refugees who have arrived in the UK from Ukraine have no recourse to public funds.

Ukrainians accepted under the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme will be permitted to live, work, and study in the UK and access public funds for 36 months (3 years) from the time of their arrival.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether Ukrainian refugees will have (a) recourse to public funds and (b) the right to work while waiting for biometric and security checks to be completed.

Applicants granted an Entry Clearance visa under the Ukraine Family Scheme will be able to live, work, and study in the UK and access public funds from the point of entry. Applicants switching into the route within the UK will be able to work and access public funds from the date the leave is granted.

Ukrainians granted Leave Outside the Rules at the UK border will also be able to live, work, and study in the UK and access public funds.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has made an estimate of how many Ukrainian refugees will apply for a UK visa.

The Government has set no limit on the number of Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion who can come to the UK.

In response to the invasion, the Government has set up the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

There is no limit to the number of individuals who can come to the UK via the Ukraine Family Scheme, provided they are eligible, and no limit to the number of Ukrainians who can come to the UK having secured a sponsor under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

Given the fluid situation on the ground in Ukraine it is impossible to give a precise estimate of how many will take up the two schemes on offer.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Ukrainian citizens have (a) applied for and (b) been refused a UK visa since the Russian invasion of that country.

The Home Office does not hold data on the number of Ukraine citizens who have applied for and been refused a UK visa since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. To do so would require a manual assessment of data and this would exceed the cost threshold


The Home Office publishes data on the number of Ukraine citizens who have applied for and been refused Entry Clearance under our Migration Statistics. However, the data for the first quarter of 2022 has yet to be quality assured and will be published in our next quarterly update


Further information can be found on the GOV.UK webpage: Migration statistics - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Home Office does publish regular data on the Ukraine Family Scheme, which can be found here: Ukraine Family Scheme: application data - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to create safe routes for Ukrainian refugees travelling to the UK.

This Government has made its support for Ukrainians fleeing in fear of their lives clear.

We are creating safe and legal routes for Ukrainian nationals to come to the UK.

This Government has introduced two new schemes: the Ukraine Family Scheme announced on 4 March, and the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ Scheme announced by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities on 14 March.

The Ukraine Family Scheme is fee-free and allows British nationals and people settled in the UK to bring family members to the UK, covering immediate family members plus parents, grandparents, children over 18 and siblings, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins and in-laws. Individuals will be granted leave for three years and will be able to work and access public services and benefits.

The ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the UK to bring Ukrainians to safety – including those with no family ties to the UK. There will be no limit on the number of arrivals, and those who come to the UK on the scheme will have permission to live and work here for up to three years. They will also have access to public services and benefits. This government will work closely with international partners on the ground to support displaced Ukrainians in need of a home.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, by what date she estimates that all Afghan refugees currently in hotels will have been moved into permanent accommodation.

The UK Government undertook the biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan. Due to the scale and pace of the evacuation we were not able to source appropriate accommodation in the normal way, so we have had to use hotels as a temporary measure.

We do not want to keep families or individuals in temporary accommodation any longer than they need to be. It is important that they move into more permanent settled accommodation so that they can begin to rebuild their lives here in the UK. Over 4000 Afghans have already moved, or are in the process of being moved, into their permanent accommodation.

We are grateful to those local authorities who have already stepped forward to offer accommodation and we would like to encourage those local authorities who have not yet pledged support to consider offering to do so.

Afghans still temporarily accommodated in hotels are provided with meals and have access to healthcare, education, as well as support to seek employment opportunities or claim Universal Credit.

Until 11th February 2022 as well as accommodation and meals, additional items such as non-essential toiletries and over-the-counter medication were provided free of charge to guests in hotels as an interim measure before the grant of Universal Credit to them. However, these items are no longer being provided for those guests who are in receipt of Universal Credit. It is expected that the provision of Universal Credit will cover the cost of these items. This is in line with the approach taken to those in the UK population in receipt of Universal Credit. Meals, baby milk and baby food will continue to be provided.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of Afghan refugees who have been placed in hotels are claiming universal credit.

The UK Government undertook the biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan. Due to the scale and pace of the evacuation we were not able to source appropriate accommodation in the normal way, so we have had to use hotels as a temporary measure.

We do not want to keep families or individuals in temporary accommodation any longer than they need to be. It is important that they move into more permanent settled accommodation so that they can begin to rebuild their lives here in the UK. Over 4000 Afghans have already moved, or are in the process of being moved, into their permanent accommodation.

We are grateful to those local authorities who have already stepped forward to offer accommodation and we would like to encourage those local authorities who have not yet pledged support to consider offering to do so.

Afghans still temporarily accommodated in hotels are provided with meals and have access to healthcare, education, as well as support to seek employment opportunities or claim Universal Credit.

Until 11th February 2022 as well as accommodation and meals, additional items such as non-essential toiletries and over-the-counter medication were provided free of charge to guests in hotels as an interim measure before the grant of Universal Credit to them. However, these items are no longer being provided for those guests who are in receipt of Universal Credit. It is expected that the provision of Universal Credit will cover the cost of these items. This is in line with the approach taken to those in the UK population in receipt of Universal Credit. Meals, baby milk and baby food will continue to be provided.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether an impact assessment has been undertaken by her Department on its decision to stop providing Afghan refugees staying in hotels with free access to non-basic toiletries and over-the-counter medication.

The UK Government undertook the biggest and fastest emergency evacuation in recent history, helping over 15,000 people to safety from Afghanistan. Due to the scale and pace of the evacuation we were not able to source appropriate accommodation in the normal way, so we have had to use hotels as a temporary measure.

We do not want to keep families or individuals in temporary accommodation any longer than they need to be. It is important that they move into more permanent settled accommodation so that they can begin to rebuild their lives here in the UK. Over 4000 Afghans have already moved, or are in the process of being moved, into their permanent accommodation.

We are grateful to those local authorities who have already stepped forward to offer accommodation and we would like to encourage those local authorities who have not yet pledged support to consider offering to do so.

Afghans still temporarily accommodated in hotels are provided with meals and have access to healthcare, education, as well as support to seek employment opportunities or claim Universal Credit.

Until 11th February 2022 as well as accommodation and meals, additional items such as non-essential toiletries and over-the-counter medication were provided free of charge to guests in hotels as an interim measure before the grant of Universal Credit to them. However, these items are no longer being provided for those guests who are in receipt of Universal Credit. It is expected that the provision of Universal Credit will cover the cost of these items. This is in line with the approach taken to those in the UK population in receipt of Universal Credit. Meals, baby milk and baby food will continue to be provided.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has met any representatives of the Metropolitan Police to discuss the finding of the Independent Office for Police Conduct in relation to the behaviour of officers at Charing Cross Police Station.

The Home Secretary was appalled to learn of the behaviour of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers following publication of the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) investigation report on Operation Hotton.

Being a police officer is a privilege which has been abused by these officers, and standards must be raised. The Home Secretary met the MPS Commissioner to discuss her concerns about the IOPC’s findings, and expects the MPS and the Mayor of London to implement the 15 recommendations of the report as soon as practically possible.

The Home Secretary has also asked the independent policing inspectorate, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), to review vetting and counter-corruption arrangements in policing across England and Wales – looking in particular at what forces are doing to identify and deal with misogynistic and predatory behaviour.

This work is underway – and it is anticipated that HMICFRS will publish a report before the summer – providing part of the evidence base informing Phase 2 of the Angiolini Inquiry.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has had any discussions with the Metropolitan Police in relation to Operation Hillman.

The Home Secretary has regular meetings with serving London Metropolitan Commissioners to discuss matters of strategic interest as part of her duties under her departmental portfolio. However, the Metropolitan Police Service - in common with other police forces - are operationally independent of Government and free from political interference.

As a result, any decision to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for alleged breaches following the conclusion of Operation Hillman will be for the Metropolitan Police to determine.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Metropolitan Police has shared any information with her Department regarding Operation Hillman.

The Home Secretary has regular meetings with serving London Metropolitan Commissioners to discuss matters of strategic interest as part of her duties under her departmental portfolio.

However, the Metropolitan Police Service - in common with other police forces - are operationally independent of Government and free from political interference. As a result, any decision to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for alleged breaches following the conclusion of Operation Hillman will be for the Metropolitan Police to determine.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will launch a public inquiry into the Metropolitan Police’s handling of potential breaches of covid-19 regulations in 10 Downing Street.

The Metropolitan Police Service, in common with all other police forces in the United Kingdom, is operationally independent from Government. To protect and maintain that independence, Ministers do not intervene in individual cases, complaints or operational decisions made by the police and nor should MPs.

Allegations against the police are handled under a comprehensive legislative framework, which includes the role of the independent police “watchdog”, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). The IOPC is responsible for investigating the most serious and sensitive cases and, by law, forces must refer certain matters to them – including any allegation of serious corruption. The Government strengthened the police complaints and discipline systems in February 2020 making them more timely, proportionate and accountable. This included additional powers for the IOPC, including the “power of initiative” to ensure they can investigate of its own volition without first requiring a referral from a police force.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department shares with the Department for Work and Pensions' Risk Review Team.

The Home Office does not regularly share information with the Department for Work and Pensions' Risk Review Team.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government inquiry into issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens, announced on 5 October 2021, whether it is her policy that a panel will be appointed for that inquiry that includes at least one female expert in male violence against women and girls.

The Home Secretary has announced a two part inquiry to investigate the issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens. Part one will examine Couzens’ previous behaviour and establish a comprehensive account of his conduct leading up to his conviction, as well as any opportunities missed, drawing on the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) investigations, once concluded.

Part two can look at any specific issues raised by the first part of the inquiry, which could include wider issues across policing – including but not limited to vetting practices, professional standards and discipline, and workplace behaviour. The final scope of the inquiry will be determined by the Chair once appointed, in consultation with other parties, including the Metropolitan Police Service as appropriate.

The Chair will be responsible for deciding if a panel should be appointed and who will be on it. Given the need to provide assurance as swiftly as possible, part 1 of the inquiry will be established as a non-statutory inquiry. A non-statutory inquiry allows for greater flexibility, can be tailored to the issues and is likely to be faster and less costly.

The government has amended regulations to make it clear that it can be a breach of professional standards, leading to a disciplinary sanction, if officers fail to co-operate with investigations and inquiries, when identified as a witness. The Home Secretary will retain the option to convert to a statutory inquiry if, in consultation with the Chair, it is determined that the inquiry cannot otherwise fulfil its functions.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government inquiry into issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens, announced on 5 October 2021, for what reasons the scope of that inquiry is restricted to the abuse perpetrated by Wayne Couzens.

The Home Secretary has announced a two part inquiry to investigate the issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens. Part one will examine Couzens’ previous behaviour and establish a comprehensive account of his conduct leading up to his conviction, as well as any opportunities missed, drawing on the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) investigations, once concluded.

Part two can look at any specific issues raised by the first part of the inquiry, which could include wider issues across policing – including but not limited to vetting practices, professional standards and discipline, and workplace behaviour. The final scope of the inquiry will be determined by the Chair once appointed, in consultation with other parties, including the Metropolitan Police Service as appropriate.

The Chair will be responsible for deciding if a panel should be appointed and who will be on it. Given the need to provide assurance as swiftly as possible, part 1 of the inquiry will be established as a non-statutory inquiry. A non-statutory inquiry allows for greater flexibility, can be tailored to the issues and is likely to be faster and less costly.

The government has amended regulations to make it clear that it can be a breach of professional standards, leading to a disciplinary sanction, if officers fail to co-operate with investigations and inquiries, when identified as a witness. The Home Secretary will retain the option to convert to a statutory inquiry if, in consultation with the Chair, it is determined that the inquiry cannot otherwise fulfil its functions.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Government inquiry into issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens, announced on 5 October 2021, for what reason it is not her policy to hold a statutory inquiry.

The Home Secretary has announced a two part inquiry to investigate the issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens. Part one will examine Couzens’ previous behaviour and establish a comprehensive account of his conduct leading up to his conviction, as well as any opportunities missed, drawing on the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) investigations, once concluded.

Part two can look at any specific issues raised by the first part of the inquiry, which could include wider issues across policing – including but not limited to vetting practices, professional standards and discipline, and workplace behaviour. The final scope of the inquiry will be determined by the Chair once appointed, in consultation with other parties, including the Metropolitan Police Service as appropriate.

The Chair will be responsible for deciding if a panel should be appointed and who will be on it. Given the need to provide assurance as swiftly as possible, part 1 of the inquiry will be established as a non-statutory inquiry. A non-statutory inquiry allows for greater flexibility, can be tailored to the issues and is likely to be faster and less costly.

The government has amended regulations to make it clear that it can be a breach of professional standards, leading to a disciplinary sanction, if officers fail to co-operate with investigations and inquiries, when identified as a witness. The Home Secretary will retain the option to convert to a statutory inquiry if, in consultation with the Chair, it is determined that the inquiry cannot otherwise fulfil its functions.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions her Department has had with the Metropolitan Police on the scope of the Government inquiry into issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens, announced on 5 October 2021.

The Home Secretary has announced a two part inquiry to investigate the issues raised by the conviction of Wayne Couzens. Part one will examine Couzens’ previous behaviour and establish a comprehensive account of his conduct leading up to his conviction, as well as any opportunities missed, drawing on the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) investigations, once concluded.

Part two can look at any specific issues raised by the first part of the inquiry, which could include wider issues across policing – including but not limited to vetting practices, professional standards and discipline, and workplace behaviour. The final scope of the inquiry will be determined by the Chair once appointed, in consultation with other parties, including the Metropolitan Police Service as appropriate.

The Chair will be responsible for deciding if a panel should be appointed and who will be on it. Given the need to provide assurance as swiftly as possible, part 1 of the inquiry will be established as a non-statutory inquiry. A non-statutory inquiry allows for greater flexibility, can be tailored to the issues and is likely to be faster and less costly.

The government has amended regulations to make it clear that it can be a breach of professional standards, leading to a disciplinary sanction, if officers fail to co-operate with investigations and inquiries, when identified as a witness. The Home Secretary will retain the option to convert to a statutory inquiry if, in consultation with the Chair, it is determined that the inquiry cannot otherwise fulfil its functions.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of the administration of the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy on her Department's existing application processing times.

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) launched on 1 April 2021. Under the policy, any current or former locally employed staff in Afghanistan who are assessed to be under serious threat to life are offered priority relocation to the UK regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of time served.

Since 1 April, the MOD and Home Office have relocated around 7,000 former Afghan locally employed staff and their families to the UK, including those relocated as part of HMG’s evacuation from Afghanistan.

The overwhelming majority of those eligible for the ARAP scheme have now been evacuated. The scheme is an enduring commitment and will remain open for anyone who is eligible.

Resourcing has been increased substantially to support implementation of the ARAP scheme and ensure that any impact on existing application processing times is mitigated.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has recruited additional staff to assist with the potential increased workload from the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) launched on 1 April 2021. Under the policy, any current or former locally employed staff in Afghanistan who are assessed to be under serious threat to life are offered priority relocation to the UK regardless of their employment status, rank or role, or length of time served.

Since 1 April, the MOD and Home Office have relocated around 7,000 former Afghan locally employed staff and their families to the UK, including those relocated as part of HMG’s evacuation from Afghanistan.

The overwhelming majority of those eligible for the ARAP scheme have now been evacuated. The scheme is an enduring commitment and will remain open for anyone who is eligible.

Resourcing has been increased substantially to support implementation of the ARAP scheme and ensure that any impact on existing application processing times is mitigated.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether caseworkers who were previously working on the Windrush Compensation Scheme have been re-allocated as a result of the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

As of August 2021, the Home Office (HO) has 63.1 FTE decision-making caseworkers working on the Scheme, which will increase by 56 Caseworkers over the next four months.

No Windrush Compensation Scheme caseworkers have been reallocated as a result of the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
10th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff in her Department are working on the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

As of August 2021, the Home Office (HO) has 63.1 FTE decision-making caseworkers working on the Scheme, which will increase by 56 Caseworkers over the next four months.

No Windrush Compensation Scheme caseworkers have been reallocated as a result of the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who have arrived in the UK via the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme have been housed in (a) hotels, (b) self-contained accommodation, (c) permanent accommodation and (d) hostels.

The Government is working at pace to develop the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme. It will relocate 5,000 vulnerable people in its first year. The ACRS is one of the most generous schemes in our country’s history, which will give up to 20,000 people at risk a new life in the UK over coming years.

Nobody has arrived in the United Kingdom under this newly announced scheme to date, but some of those who arrived in the UK under the evacuation programme, which included individuals who were considered to be at particular risk, will be the first to be resettled under the ACRS.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions officials in her Department have had with their counterparts in the (a) Housing, Communities and Local Government and (b) Treasury on the level of funding that will be made available to local authorities that will be housing refugees via the Afghan citizen's resettlement scheme.

The Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme will welcome 5,000 Afghans in year one, with up to a total of 20,000 in the next four years.  We will keep the route under constant review and will operate it flexibly given the increasingly difficult conditions on the ground in Afghanistan.

All those brought to the UK under ACRS will have the right to work, access to education and healthcare and be able to apply for public funds. To ensure they will be supported properly, changes will be made to legislation so that, if necessary, people arriving under ACRS do not need to meet the habitual residence test.

They will also receive comprehensive integration support as they start their new lives in the UK. A package of support to acclimatise to the UK, learn English, and find work, will enable rapid self-sufficiency and social integration in UK communities.

We will match the tariff for the successful Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) to provide a complete package covering health, education and integration support costs for those on the ACRS. The core local authority tariff of £20,520 per person will be provided over a shorter period of three years, enabling more funding in those crucial early years to support resettled Afghans to integrate into British society and become self-sufficient more quickly. Funding will also be provided to support education, English language training and health provision (in year one only).  We have also agreed a further £20m of flexible funding in the current financial year (2021/22) to support local authorities with higher cost bases with any additional costs in the provision of services.

We welcome the commitments already made by many local authorities and would urge all local authorities to participate in welcoming these at-risk Afghan citizens into our communities.

The challenge of integrating such a large number of people at pace and supporting them to rebuild their lives in safety cannot be met by central and local government alone. We will be actively working with the private, voluntary and community sectors to harness a whole society effort to address this challenge.

As part of this, we are creating a portal where people, organisations and businesses can register offers of support. This could include volunteering, offers of employment, or to provide professional skills pro bono, including helping those arriving deal with trauma, or offering donations of mobile phones, mobile credit or data, laptops, access to training, clothes and toys. This will complement the Afghanistan housing portal which has been set up to collect offers of additional housing support.

We will also be extending the Community Sponsorship Scheme (CSS) so that friends and neighbours, charities and faith groups can come together to support a family through the ACRS. We will make it easier and quicker for community groups to become sponsors so that more people can play a direct role in the warm welcome we will extend to these new members of our communities.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how additional funding will be allocated to local authorities that will house refugees via the Afghan citizen's resettlement scheme; and what his timetable is for allocating that funding.

The Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme will welcome 5,000 Afghans in year one, with up to a total of 20,000 in the next four years.  We will keep the route under constant review and will operate it flexibly given the increasingly difficult conditions on the ground in Afghanistan.

All those brought to the UK under ACRS will have the right to work, access to education and healthcare and be able to apply for public funds. To ensure they will be supported properly, changes will be made to legislation so that, if necessary, people arriving under ACRS do not need to meet the habitual residence test.

They will also receive comprehensive integration support as they start their new lives in the UK. A package of support to acclimatise to the UK, learn English, and find work, will enable rapid self-sufficiency and social integration in UK communities.

We will match the tariff for the successful Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) to provide a complete package covering health, education and integration support costs for those on the ACRS. The core local authority tariff of £20,520 per person will be provided over a shorter period of three years, enabling more funding in those crucial early years to support resettled Afghans to integrate into British society and become self-sufficient more quickly. Funding will also be provided to support education, English language training and health provision (in year one only).  We have also agreed a further £20m of flexible funding in the current financial year (2021/22) to support local authorities with higher cost bases with any additional costs in the provision of services.

We welcome the commitments already made by many local authorities and would urge all local authorities to participate in welcoming these at-risk Afghan citizens into our communities.

The challenge of integrating such a large number of people at pace and supporting them to rebuild their lives in safety cannot be met by central and local government alone. We will be actively working with the private, voluntary and community sectors to harness a whole society effort to address this challenge.

As part of this, we are creating a portal where people, organisations and businesses can register offers of support. This could include volunteering, offers of employment, or to provide professional skills pro bono, including helping those arriving deal with trauma, or offering donations of mobile phones, mobile credit or data, laptops, access to training, clothes and toys. This will complement the Afghanistan housing portal which has been set up to collect offers of additional housing support.

We will also be extending the Community Sponsorship Scheme (CSS) so that friends and neighbours, charities and faith groups can come together to support a family through the ACRS. We will make it easier and quicker for community groups to become sponsors so that more people can play a direct role in the warm welcome we will extend to these new members of our communities.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people will be housed in each local authority under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement scheme.

The Afghan citizens’ resettlement scheme (ACRS) will provide protection for people at risk identified as in need.

The government has committed to welcome around 5,000 people in the first year and up to 20,000 over the coming years. We will work with the United Nations and aid agencies to identify those we should help.

The scheme is not yet open yet, further details will be announced in due course.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people (a) made a visa application using the priority service and (b) received a decision within five working days on that application in each month since 2015.

Information on numbers of applications made using the priority and super priority service has been routinely published as part of the quarterly Immigration statistics since 2019.

The current data is available and can be found via the link below on tab VC_02.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visas-and-citizenship-data-q1-2021

Between 2015 and 2019 data was derived from unpublished management information collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. There are currently no plans to publish this data.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people made a visa application using the super priority service in each month since 2015; and how many of those people received a decision by the end of the next working day in each month since 2015.

Information on numbers of applications made using the priority and super priority service has been routinely published as part of the quarterly Immigration statistics since 2019.

The current data is available and can be found via the link below on tab VC_02.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/visas-and-citizenship-data-q1-2021

Between 2015 and 2019 data was derived from unpublished management information collected for internal Departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard. There are currently no plans to publish this data.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff in her Department have been working on processing EU Settled Status applications in each month since January 2020.

Since the start of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) we have maintained 1500 full-time equivalent officials within its casework operation, and a further 250 staff within the Settlement Resolution Centre in place to provide assistance to applicants with any questions about the scheme or who need help applying.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many EU Nationals have made late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Home Office publishes data on the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) monthly in the ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’.

The latest published information shows the total number of applications to the EUSS was 6.02 million up to 30 June 2021, of which 5.45 million had been concluded. Data to 31 July 2021 will be published in early August 2021.

Published EUSS figures refer specifically to applications made to the EUSS and cannot be directly compared with estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK.

The published figures include non-EEA national family members, Irish nationals and eligible EEA nationals not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in estimates of the resident EU/EEA population.

Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a blog on 2 July 2021, further discussing the differences and their plans for future population estimates:

Are there really 6m EU citizens living in the UK? | National Statistical (ons.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of EU nationals in the UK who have missed the deadline to apply for EU Settled Status.

The Home Office publishes data on the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) monthly in the ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’.

The latest published information shows the total number of applications to the EUSS was 6.02 million up to 30 June 2021, of which 5.45 million had been concluded. Data to 31 July 2021 will be published in early August 2021.

Published EUSS figures refer specifically to applications made to the EUSS and cannot be directly compared with estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK.

The published figures include non-EEA national family members, Irish nationals and eligible EEA nationals not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in estimates of the resident EU/EEA population.

Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a blog on 2 July 2021, further discussing the differences and their plans for future population estimates:

Are there really 6m EU citizens living in the UK? | National Statistical (ons.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many EU Settled Status applications submitted after the deadline of 30 June 2021 are being processed by her Department.

he Home Office publishes data on the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) monthly in the ‘EU Settlement Scheme statistics’.

The latest published information shows the total number of applications to the EUSS was 6.02 million up to 30 June 2021, of which 5.45 million had been concluded. Data to 31 July 2021 will be published in early August 2021.

Published EUSS figures refer specifically to applications made to the EUSS and cannot be directly compared with estimates of the resident population of EU/EEA nationals in the UK.

The published figures include non-EEA national family members, Irish nationals and eligible EEA nationals not resident in the UK, none of whom are usually included in estimates of the resident EU/EEA population.

Furthermore, the population estimates do not take account of people’s migration intentions and will include people who have come to the UK for a range of purposes, including some who have no intention to settle in the UK.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) published a blog on 2 July 2021, further discussing the differences and their plans for future population estimates:

Are there really 6m EU citizens living in the UK? | National Statistical (ons.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to expedite outstanding EU Settled Status applications.

We currently have 1,500 UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) European Casework staff in post.

The majority of applications are concluded within 5 working days but may take up to a month. Cases may take longer dependent on the circumstances of the case, for example if the applicant is facing an impending prosecution or has a criminal record.

The following link lists the expected processing times for EU Settlement Scheme applications, based upon current performance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-settlement-scheme-application-processing-times/eu-settlement-scheme-pilot-current-expected-processing-times-for-applications

The rights of those EU citizens and their family members who were lawfully resident at the end of the transition period and who, from 1 July 2021, have a pending application under the EUSS made by the deadline, or an appeal against the refusal of an application submitted by then, will be protected until their application is finally determined.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will publish guidance on welfare benefit entitlement for EU nationals who have not made an application under the EU Settlement Scheme by the deadline of 30 June 2021.

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