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


Oral Question
Monday 25th October 2021
14:30
Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
Oral Question No. 13
What steps he is taking to increase the supply of affordable housing.
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 25th October 2021
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Achieving Net Zero: Follow up
25 Oct 2021, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Sarah Munby - Permanent Secretary at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Lee McDonough - Director General for net zero strategy and international at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Ben Rimmington - Director General Net Zero Buildings and Industry at Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
View calendar
Oral Question
Tuesday 26th October 2021
11:30
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
Topical Question No. 10
If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.
Save to Calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
14:00
International Development Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: UK aid for improving nutrition
26 Oct 2021, 2 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Professor Claire Heffernan - Director at London International Development Centre
Dr Lawrence Haddad - Executive Director at Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
At 3.30pm: Oral evidence
Dr Agnes Kalibata - President at Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
Dr Morseda Chowdhury - Director, Health, Nutrition and Population Programme (HNPP) at Bangladesh, BRAC
Grainne Moloney - Senior Nutrition Adviser at UNICEF
View calendar
Oral Question
Thursday 28th October 2021
09:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Oral Question No. 4
What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the impact of steps taken to improve winter air quality on the health of children and adults who are vulnerable to respiratory disease.
Save to Calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 28th October 2021
09:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Underpayments of the State Pension
28 Oct 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Peter Schofield - Permanent Secretary at Department for Work & Pensions
Amanda Reynolds - Director General for Service Excellence at Department for Work & Pensions
Cathy Payne - Deputy Director for State Pensions and Service Excellence at Department for Work & Pensions
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 1st November 2021
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities recall (Homelessness and housing)
1 Nov 2021, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Jeremy Pocklington - Permanent Secretary at Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 4th November 2021
09:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: DCMS recall (Broadband)
4 Nov 2021, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Sarah Healey - Permanent Secretary at Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Susannah Storey - Director General for Digital and Media at Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Imran Shafi - Director for Digital Infrastructure at Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Paul Norris - CE0 at Building Digital UK
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 8th November 2021
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Reducing the backlog in criminal courts
8 Nov 2021, 3:30 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Antonia Romeo - Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Justice
Jerome Glass - Director General Policy and Strategy Group at Ministry of Justice
Kevin Sadler - Interim Chief Executive at Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 15th November 2021
15:30
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
09:15
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 172 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 188 Noes - 251
Speeches
Monday 18th October 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

T9. I extend my condolences to Sir David’s and James Brokenshire’s family and friends. Is the Secretary of State aware …

Written Answers
Friday 15th October 2021
Refugees: Afghanistan
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who have arrived in the UK via …
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
Tuesday 7th September 2021
The Ministerial Code and the conduct of the Prime Minister
That this House believes that trust in the ministerial code has been eroded by the actions of the Prime Minister; …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Kate Osamor has voted in 262 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.

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 Open
1,386
of 388,380 signatures (0.36%)
Petition Open
1,049
of 48,850 signatures (2.15%)
Petition Open
666
of 13,169 signatures (5.06%)
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

6th September 2021
Kate Osamor signed this EDM on Tuesday 7th September 2021

The Ministerial Code and the conduct of the Prime Minister

Tabled by: Dawn Butler (Labour - Brent Central)
That this House believes that trust in the ministerial code has been eroded by the actions of the Prime Minister; further believes that the Prime Minister should no longer be the guardian of the code as he has been shown to lack the moral aptitude needed; and therefore calls for …
103 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 43
Scottish National Party: 39
Liberal Democrat: 11
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Alliance: 1
Green Party: 1
25th February 2021
Kate Osamor signed this EDM on Monday 26th April 2021

Cuba and the US blockade

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House recognises that the US blockade of Cuba has cost the Cuban economy billions of dollars, causes shortages in essential services and has been exacerbated by the Trump administration’s designation of Cuba as state sponsor of terrorism – a politically motivated move which intensifies sanctions against the Cuban …
58 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 34
Scottish National Party: 14
Independent: 3
Alba Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Plaid Cymru: 2
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alliance: 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


285 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
22nd 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
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)
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)
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.

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, if he will ensure that adult education providers who have continued to deliver courses throughout the covid-19 lockdown will not receive reductions in grant funding as a result of lower than forecast student numbers.

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)
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)
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)
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
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
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, what plans he has to increase the restriction on aircraft crew carrying liquids through security at airports to less than two litres.

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)
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)
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.

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, 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)
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, 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
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
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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 (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
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)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what additional funding will be made available to local authorities housing refugees via the Afghan Citizens Resettlement scheme.

The government has announced the Afghanistan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme which will relocate 5,000 vulnerable Afghans in its first year, potentially rising to 20,000 over the long term. The Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) for those who worked with the UK in Afghanistan also remains open. More detail on funding for local authorities to support those eligible for both schemes will be announced shortly.

In addition to the Afghan schemes, the Home Office also delivers the UK Resettlement Scheme which resettles vulnerable refugees from a range of regions of conflict and instability.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
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, 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.

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, 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.

As with citizens of countries elsewhere in the world, EEA citizens who missed the 30 June deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, and do not have any other form of immigration leave, no longer have their rights protected, including access to benefits.

However, a person granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme on the basis of a late application will have the same rights from the date they are granted status, as a person who applied by the deadline.

The Home Office has already published guidance on late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme at Immigration Rules Appendix EU - Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Home Office is working closely with DWP and HMRC to ensure all those eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme apply, including contacting people to encourage them to do so. We will also expediate outstanding applications to the EUSS, including late applications where there are compelling or compassionate grounds for doing so.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with which countries she has concluded readmission agreements for irregular migrants.

The UK already has arrangements with many countries across the world to facilitate the returns of irregular migrants. This year we have just agreed a Migration and Mobility Partnership with India, which commits both countries to greater cooperation on returning illegal migrants back to their country of origin.

The Joint Political Declaration between the EU and UK agreed in December 2020 noted the UK’s intention to engage in bilateral discussions with the most concerned Member States to discuss suitable practical arrangements, including on asylum and illegal migration. These discussions are continuing.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many properties are classified as (a) initial accommodation, (b) hostels and (c) hostel-like accommodation for asylum seekers in the borough of Enfield.

There are currently no properties classified as initial accommodation, hostels or hostel-like accommodation for Asylum Seekers in the borough of Enfield.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Detention Services Order (DSO) 06/2016 Women in the detention estate, whether the constant supervision of women subject to an Assessment Care in Detention and Teamwork (ACDT) plan who are detained in (a) Colnbrook and (b) Dungavel immigration removal centres is only undertaken by female detainee custody officers.

Staff at all immigration removal centres (IRCs) are trained to identify those at risk of self-harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. All incidents of self-harm are treated very seriously, and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature. Formal risk assessments on initial detention and systems for raising concerns at any subsequent point feed into established self-harm procedures in every IRC, which are in turn underpinned by the Home Office Operating Standard on the prevention of self-harm and Detention Services Order 06/2008 ‘Assessment Care in Detention Teamwork (ACDT)’.

As set out in Detention Services Order 06/2016 ‘Women in the detention estate’ the constant supervision of women held in the immigration detention estate who are subject to an ACDT plan must be undertaken by a female detainee custody officer.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to reduce the evidential requirements for eligibility for compensation from the Windrush Compensation Scheme from beyond reasonable doubt to the balance of probabilities.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme awards compensation according to both actual losses and tariff-based awards. Where awards are for actual losses it is right we seek to obtain an appropriate level of assurance these losses were incurred in order to fulfil our duty to properly manage taxpayers’ money.

However, we do not expect people to meet the criminal standard of proof. We therefore published revised Windrush Compensation Scheme rules and guidance in October which clarify that the scheme operates on the balance of probabilities. This means caseworkers must be satisfied it is more likely than not that the losses and impacts being claimed for were suffered due to difficulties evidencing lawful status. We are working through more detailed changes to the ‘Loss of Access to Employment’ category to enable the actual losses section to be operated on the balance of probabilities as well.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made the effect of the requirement to provide evidence beyond reasonable doubt for the Windrush Compensation Scheme on the proportion of successful claimants.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme awards compensation according to both actual losses and tariff-based awards. Where awards are for actual losses it is right we seek to obtain an appropriate level of assurance these losses were incurred in order to fulfil our duty to properly manage taxpayers’ money.

However, we do not expect people to meet the criminal standard of proof. We therefore published revised Windrush Compensation Scheme rules and guidance in October which clarify that the scheme operates on the balance of probabilities. This means caseworkers must be satisfied it is more likely than not that the losses and impacts being claimed for were suffered due to difficulties evidencing lawful status. We are working through more detailed changes to the ‘Loss of Access to Employment’ category to enable the actual losses section to be operated on the balance of probabilities as well.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush Compensation Scheme applicants have died since January 2019; and of those how many had received final decisions on their applications.

Non-casework staff that supported the Covid Helpline included team members with specific call centre expertise and experienced call handlers. The former supported the team for a short period to set up the Helpline, including call centre systems, management data production and development of tools for call handlers. These team members were not reassigned to the Covid Helpline. Experienced Call handlers were reassigned to the team and supported the training and mentoring of new team members and receipt of customer calls.

The redeployment had minimal impact on performance as team members had been upskilled to undertake a variety of duties across the team so that work could be prioritised. Intake on claims and calls was lower than forecast which enabled the support to be agreed. The support was reviewed in line with intake and team members were returned to the team in a staged process to ensure that both areas had the resource that they required.

We are aware of nine unfortunate cases to date where the claimant has passed away since January 2019, of which one claim received a final decision.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 9 November 2020 to Question 109520, what the monthly application processing capacity is at each additional location introduced to register asylum claims.

There are no processing capacity limits on the additional temporary locations introduced to register asylum claims.

The Home Office aims to ensure all locations are sufficiently resourced to provide timely appointments to register asylum claims. Capacity is based upon demand and workforce availability at these temporary locations which enables them to cope with fluctuations in levels of asylum intake.

Asylum claims registered at these temporary regional locations are processed in accordance with policy, fulfilling the UKs statutory obligations in relation to registering asylum claims in a Covid safe environment.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of Indefinite Leave to Remain applications were processed within the six month service standard in each month since January 2020.

Performance against service standards for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications are included in the Migration Transparency data which is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data#uk-visas-and-immigration

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 November 2020 to Question 110196 on Government Departments: Staff, what Non-casework resource was reassigned from the Windrush Compensation Scheme to the Covid Helpline.

Non-casework staff that supported the Covid Helpline included team members with specific call centre expertise and experienced call handlers. The former supported the team for a short period to set up the Helpline, including call centre systems, management data production and development of tools for call handlers. These team members were not reassigned to the Covid Helpline. Experienced Call handlers were reassigned to the team and supported the training and mentoring of new team members and receipt of customer calls.

The redeployment had minimal impact on performance as team members had been upskilled to undertake a variety of duties across the team so that work could be prioritised. Intake on claims and calls was lower than forecast which enabled the support to be agreed. The support was reviewed in line with intake and team members were returned to the team in a staged process to ensure that both areas had the resource that they required.

We are aware of nine unfortunate cases to date where the claimant has passed away since January 2019, of which one claim received a final decision.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to reduce the backlog of (a) asylum, (b) EU Settlement Scheme and (c) indefinite leave to remain applications.

Asylum Operations have, over the last two years increased the number of decision makers and support staff. There are recruitment strategies in place to maintain staffing at the required levels to allow us to manage asylum intake and reduce the overall time to make initial asylum decisions. These include rolling recruitment campaigns, a staff retention strategy to ensure it retains its highly skilled asylum decision makers, and the further expansion of digital processes to increase case working flexibility. Asylum Operations has also been exploring further options to get the system moving again following the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier in the year with steps being taken to improve efficiency, focusing on process improvements, better quality decisions and transformation. Asylum Operations has also developed a recovery plan focused on returning interviews and decisions back to pre-COVID-19 levels as soon as possible. We are also seeking to secure temporary resources to assist from within the Home Office and other government departments, along with other potential options. We are fully committed to ensuring that our operational teams have the resources they need to run an efficient and effective migration system. In addition to the new technology and processes, we have over 1,500 UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) European Casework staff in post to process applications, along with 250 staff handling calls and emails in the Settlement Resolution Centre, helping people apply. Visas & Citizenship are flexing resources to manage caseloads and therefore currently do not require additional recruitment to assist with indefinite leave to remain applications.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to recruit additional staff to help tackle the backlog of (a) asylum, (b) EU Settlement Scheme and (c) indefinite leave to remain applications.

Asylum Operations have, over the last two years increased the number of decision makers and support staff. There are recruitment strategies in place to maintain staffing at the required levels to allow us to manage asylum intake and reduce the overall time to make initial asylum decisions. These include rolling recruitment campaigns, a staff retention strategy to ensure it retains its highly skilled asylum decision makers, and the further expansion of digital processes to increase case working flexibility. Asylum Operations has also been exploring further options to get the system moving again following the outbreak of COVID-19 earlier in the year with steps being taken to improve efficiency, focusing on process improvements, better quality decisions and transformation. Asylum Operations has also developed a recovery plan focused on returning interviews and decisions back to pre-COVID-19 levels as soon as possible. We are also seeking to secure temporary resources to assist from within the Home Office and other government departments, along with other potential options. We are fully committed to ensuring that our operational teams have the resources they need to run an efficient and effective migration system. In addition to the new technology and processes, we have over 1,500 UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) European Casework staff in post to process applications, along with 250 staff handling calls and emails in the Settlement Resolution Centre, helping people apply. Visas & Citizenship are flexing resources to manage caseloads and therefore currently do not require additional recruitment to assist with indefinite leave to remain applications.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff members of her Department have been assigned to work on the Windrush Compensation Scheme for each month since April 2020.

The table below details the number of staff members in the Home Office assigned to work on the Windrush Compensation Scheme for each month since April 2020.

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020

July 2020

August 2020

FTE

90.9

90.9

92.9

115.1

115.9

Non casework resource was assigned to support the set up and delivery of Covid Helpline. The staff were seconded based on their expertise with no impact to casework delivery. Call and claim intake was low during this period resulting in no impact to Helpline Customer Service delivery.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any Windrush Compensation caseworkers have been reassigned to other departments or roles in the last six months.

The table below details the number of staff members in the Home Office assigned to work on the Windrush Compensation Scheme for each month since April 2020.

April 2020

May 2020

June 2020

July 2020

August 2020

FTE

90.9

90.9

92.9

115.1

115.9

Non casework resource was assigned to support the set up and delivery of Covid Helpline. The staff were seconded based on their expertise with no impact to casework delivery. Call and claim intake was low during this period resulting in no impact to Helpline Customer Service delivery.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the six month service standard for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications remains her Department's policy.

Our service standard for the processing of ILR cases remains 6 months. We aim to conclude the applications within the published service standard.

If we cannot make a decision within the service standards, we write to customers and explain the reason for the delay. Delays may occur where we require further information/investigations before a decision can be made on the application.

Most ILR cases are submitted digitally and can be assessed remotely by caseworkers working from home.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what circumstances relating to the covid-19 pandemic have caused delays in her Department processing asylum and indefinite leave to remain applications; and what steps she is taking to mitigate those delays.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, customers in the UK were unable to attend their substantive asylum interviews and asylum operations made the decision to cease these on 19 March 2020 in line with government guidance.

In response, Asylum Operations secured a mobile digital and video interviewing solution to support remote interviewing and restarted remote video interviewing for adults from 17 July 2020 and on 21 September 2020 recommenced with face to face substantive interviews for adults. On the same date, we also commenced remote video interviewing for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC). We are also able to offer in person interviews for UASC should they be required.

Asylum Operations were able to continue to make decisions on asylum applications during this time but were unable to serve these due to government guidance to ‘stay at home’ as the operations relied on the postal service to deliver these causing delays. The department have since agreed a process to enable the service of decisions via email and post which has been shared through the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) and the Law Society. Asylum Operations is now working to deliver on recovery plans to return interviewing and decisions to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Asylum in the UK should continue to be sought at the first available opportunity, however for those who have failed to claim on arrival, or whose circumstances have changed since arrival, claims are usually registered in Croydon, but appointments were limited due to restrictive measures. The Home Office have temporarily introduced additional locations to register claims across the UK.

In relation to Indefinite Leave to Remain applications, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and government and public health restrictions put in place, the UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS), which allows customers within the UK to enrol their biometrics, was suspended from the end of March to 1 June 2020.

As the UKVCAS service reopened, in parallel UKVI began reusing existing fingerprint biometrics for some customers which meant that instead of attending a service point in person to re-enrol, UKVI could reuse the fingerprints already recorded against a previous application.

Once a customer has submitted their biometrics to UKVI, either through a physical appointment or verifying their identity in order that their existing biometrics can be reused, UKVI is able to make a decision. UKVI are processing decisions as quickly as possible.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason there are no service standards for the processing of asylum applications.

Until October 2018, there was a published service standard in place to decide 98% of straight-forward cases within six months from date of claim. Whilst the operation consistently achieved this for three years, the number of non-straight forward cases awaiting a decision grew rapidly and it became clear that the former service standard no longer best served those that used our services. For these reasons, former Ministers agreed that we should move away from the service standard to reprioritise cases, whilst we come to longer term arrangement for service standards that meet the needs of all parties.

As a result, we moved away from the 6-month service standard to concentrate on older claims, cases with acute vulnerability and those in receipt of the greatest level of support, including Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC). Additionally, we are prioritising cases where an individual has al-ready received a decision, but a reconsideration is required. This prioritisation has been successful as we made 3,114 decisions on claims from UASC in the year ended December 2019, a 45% increase on the previous year.

For the year 2020, we continue to prioritise claims in the same way, including UASCs, however there have been some operational challenges resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak that has impacted our decision making across all claims. We are continuing to formulate plans on a new service standard for all asylum claims, which should provide asylum seekers and partners with clear expectation of how and when a decision should be made. The Home Office does however continue to publish information on the total number of cases awaiting an initial decision broken down by specific periods of time. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020 (Asy_02)

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 October 2020 to Question 93654 on Immigrants: Coronavirus, what support is available for migrants with no recourse to public funds who are not entitled to contributory based benefits or local authority support and who are waiting for their change of conditions application to be processed.

The Government has acted decisively to ensure that we support everyone through this crisis. We are committed to protecting vulnerable people and are confident that we have measures in place to support those who have no recourse to public funds.

Many of the wide-ranging coronavirus measures we have put in place are not considered public funds and therefore are available to migrants with no recourse to public funds. These range from protections for renters from evictions, a mortgage holiday for those who need it, as well as support for those who are vulnerable and need assistance with access to medication and shopping. Measures also include the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, along with statutory sick pay which is open to those with no recourse to public funds.

Those with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the no recourse to public funds (NRPF) restriction lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application. This application can be made if a migrant is destitute or at risk of destitution, if the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income, or where there are other exceptional financial circumstances.

We recognise the important work being undertaken by the voluntary sector and have also allocated £750m funding for charities who are providing vital support to vulnerable people at this difficult time.

Local authorities, who have been allocated more than £4.3 billion to help them respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, may also provide basic safety net support, regardless of immigration status, if it is established that there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Under-Secretary of State of 11 June 2020, Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill (fourth sitting), Official Report, column 123, if she will publish the evidential basis for the Government's view that unrestricted access to employment opportunities for asylum seekers may also act as an incentive for more people to choose to come here illegally.

There is already published, independent evidence showing that good economic conditions and essential services can create an incentive for people to choose to go to a particular country illegally. This is because it is easier to work under such conditions – and we cannot ignore that access to the labour market is among the reasons that so many people choose to come to the UK illegally, rather than remain in any of the countries through which they transit.

That is why it is important to distinguish between those who need protection and those seeking to work here, who can apply for a work visa under the Immigration Rules. Our wider policy could be undermined if migrants bypassed work visa Rules by lodging unfounded asylum claims here.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many refugee resettlement places the Government plans to make available for each year up to and including 2026.

In June 2019, the Government reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to refugee resettlement by announcing a new, global UK Resettlement Scheme. While we hoped to have both met our commitment to resettle 20,000 vulnerable refugees through the VPRS, and started the new scheme earlier this year, the unprecedented restrictions and pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant this has not yet been possible. We are evaluating how to respond to these ongoing restrictions and pressures, but we expect to resume refugee resettlement activity when safe.

Ultimately the number of refugees we resettle every year depends on a variety of factors including local authorities’ capacity for supporting refugees and the extent to which Community Sponsorship continues to thrive. We look forward to working with local communities to welcome thousands more of those in need in the years to come.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to invite external organisations to contribute to the upcoming review of the compliant environment recommended to be undertaken by the Windrush Lessons Learned Review.

My officials are consulting external experts, community organisations and the very people the Home Office has failed in the past in an extensive programme of engagement to ensure officials understand the change that is needed and that the organisation at every level learns the lessons of what went wrong.

I have accepted the Windrush Lessons Learned review’s important findings and I will be updating the House in the coming weeks.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
22nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support she plans to make available to people with No Recourse to Public Funds who have become unemployed during the covid-19 outbreak while they are awaiting the result of a Change of Conditions application.

Many of the wide-ranging Covid-19 measures the Government has put in place will be available to migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF). Migrants working in the UK legally may be able to access contributory based benefits such as employment and support allowance. Local Authorities also have a statutory duty to provide support to families subject to the NRPF condition where a child’s wellbeing is in question.

The change of conditions applications, which are available for those who have been granted leave on the basis of their family or private life, are being prioritised and dealt with compassionately.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush Compensation Scheme cases have been closed in each month since April 2019.

Information on the number of claims on which compensation has been paid under the Windrush Compensation Scheme is available to view on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-august-2020. Data also refers to the number of zero entitlement claims and those rejected on eligibility grounds.

We deploy staff flexibly across different areas. We now have over 100 staff working on the Windrush Compensation Scheme, including the Windrush Helpline, casework, quality assurance, payment and review functions.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff in her Department are assigned to work on the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

Information on the number of claims on which compensation has been paid under the Windrush Compensation Scheme is available to view on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-august-2020. Data also refers to the number of zero entitlement claims and those rejected on eligibility grounds.

We deploy staff flexibly across different areas. We now have over 100 staff working on the Windrush Compensation Scheme, including the Windrush Helpline, casework, quality assurance, payment and review functions.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many successful applicants to the Windrush Compensation Scheme have been awarded less than £1000 since April 2019.

Information on the amount of compensation paid under the Windrush Compensation Scheme is available to view on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-may-2020.

Average calculations are possible, but it would be wrong to infer these as overall averages as some of the payments are interim payments, where we have resolved part of the claim and the claimant may then be entitled to further compensation as we resolve the remainder of the claim. Furthermore, impacts on individuals have varied greatly, so each claim is unique and the compensation reflects individual circumstances.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average award from the Windrush Compensation Scheme was in each month since April 2019.

Information on the amount of compensation paid under the Windrush Compensation Scheme is available to view on GOV.UK at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-may-2020.

Average calculations are possible, but it would be wrong to infer these as overall averages as some of the payments are interim payments, where we have resolved part of the claim and the claimant may then be entitled to further compensation as we resolve the remainder of the claim. Furthermore, impacts on individuals have varied greatly, so each claim is unique and the compensation reflects individual circumstances.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of immigrants on a five-year route to settlement have been moved onto a 10-year route because they cannot meet the minimum income threshold as a result of their income being affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office does not collate the information requested.

The Home Office has established a range of measures to support those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation closely and take these exceptional circumstances into account.

To ensure spouses or partners applying for entry clearance, leave to remain or indefinite leave are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control, for the purpose of the minimum income requirement:

  • a temporary loss of employment income between 1 March and 31 July 2020 due to COVID-19 will be disregarded, provided the requirement was met for at least six months up to March 2020;
  • an applicant or sponsor furloughed under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be deemed as earning 100% of their salary;
  • a temporary loss of annual income due to COVID-19 between 1 March 2020 and 31 July 2020 will generally be disregarded for self-employment income, along with the impact on employment income from the same period for future applications. Income received via the Coronavirus Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will also be taken into account;
  • evidential flexibility may be applied where an applicant or sponsor experiences difficulty accessing specified evidence due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Guidance for our customers is available on GOV.UK here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/chapter-8-appendix-fm-family-members

This also sets out the ways in which the minimum income requirement can be met using other sources of income instead of, or along with, income from employment or self-employment. For example, income from the couple’s investments, property rental or pension may also be taken into account, together with their cash savings.

These are unprecedented times. We continue to monitor the situation closely and may make further adjustments to requirements where necessary and appropriate to ensure people are not unduly affected by circumstances beyond their control.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people with no recourse to public funds have applied for that condition to be lifted as a result of changes to their financial situation since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and how many of those applications have been granted.

The information you have requested is not currently published by the department. We have been in discussion with the UKSA over this issue and are investigating whether the administrative data held by the department can provide any meaningful data in future.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to support people with no recourse to public funds who are unable to access support through covid-19 financial support packages.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with no recourse to public funds, through this pandemic and are confident we have measures in place to support those who have no recourse to public funds (NRPF) at this difficult time.

For those whose employment status precludes access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme (neither of which are classed as public funds), other assistance is still available. Statutory sick pay and some other work-related benefits, such as contributory employment and support allowance, are also available to individuals with NRPF who are eligible.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the NRPF restriction lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there has been a change in their financial circumstances. The Home Office has recently digitised the application form to make sure it is accessible for those who need to remain at home. Applications are being dealt with compassionately.

In addition, the Government has made in excess of £3.2 billion of funding to local authorities in England, and additional funding under the Barnett formula to the devolved administrations to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including services helping the most vulnerable.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department will take to ensure that the income of people of colour who are subject to immigration control is not disproportionately affected during the covid-19 outbreak as a result of the no recourse to public funds condition.

Colour is not a characteristic that is recorded separately by the Home Office and any impact of the no recourse to public funds condition on a person of colour will be because of immigration status. The Government has published advice and information about the support available to migrants living here,?including where they are subject to NRPF

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will place in the Library the criteria used by her Department to determine the amount of compensation due to Windrush Compensation Scheme applicants.

The Windrush Compensation Scheme rules and caseworker guidance set out the criteria by which claims under the Windrush Compensation Scheme are considered. These are published at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/windrush-compensation-scheme and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-casework-guidance.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many successful Windrush Compensation Scheme claims there have been in each month since April 2019.

Information on the total number of applications, claims paid and the overall amount paid out by the scheme since April 2019 is available to view on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-july-2020.

We are processing claims as quickly as possible, but all claims are different, and the time taken will depend on many factors, including the complexity of the case. Furthermore, we are committed to working with the claimant to ensure all possible information is taken into account - this will have an impact on the length of time it takes to process the claim but can result in a higher level of payment. Wherever possible, we will make interim payments on parts of the claim that are straightforward to determine, such as immigration fees, thereby speeding up the provision of compensation.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average processing time is for an application to the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

Information on the total number of applications, claims paid and the overall amount paid out by the scheme since April 2019 is available to view on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-july-2020.

We are processing claims as quickly as possible, but all claims are different, and the time taken will depend on many factors, including the complexity of the case. Furthermore, we are committed to working with the claimant to ensure all possible information is taken into account - this will have an impact on the length of time it takes to process the claim but can result in a higher level of payment. Wherever possible, we will make interim payments on parts of the claim that are straightforward to determine, such as immigration fees, thereby speeding up the provision of compensation.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much money has been paid to applicants to the Windrush Compensation Scheme in each month since April 2019.

Information on the total number of applications, claims paid and the overall amount paid out by the scheme since April 2019 is available to view on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/windrush-compensation-scheme-data-july-2020.

We are processing claims as quickly as possible, but all claims are different, and the time taken will depend on many factors, including the complexity of the case. Furthermore, we are committed to working with the claimant to ensure all possible information is taken into account - this will have an impact on the length of time it takes to process the claim but can result in a higher level of payment. Wherever possible, we will make interim payments on parts of the claim that are straightforward to determine, such as immigration fees, thereby speeding up the provision of compensation.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of people with dependants under the age of 18 who have No Recourse to Public Funds attached to their immigration status.

We do not currently have estimates of the number of migrants who are in the UK and subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF) at any given time.

Migrants coming to the UK are expected to maintain and support themselves and their families without posing a burden on the UK’s welfare system. Access to benefits and other publicly funded services reflects the strength of a migrant’s connections to the UK.

The Home Office publish a range of statistics on entry clearance visas, and extensions of leave in the UK in the quarterly Immigration Statistics (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). However, these do not show the number of people subject to NRPF.

Local welfare provision is not classed as a public fund for immigration purposes as set out in the Immigration Rules on GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-index.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with NRPF, through this pandemic. We have announced a range of measures to ensure people can stay safe and many of these are available for those with a NRPF condition, such as protection for renters from evictions, a mortgage holiday for those who need it.

I can confirm the assistance being given under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme are not classed as public funds and are available to all those in work or self-employment respectively, including those with NRPF status and those on zero-hour contracts.? Statutory sick pay and some other work-related benefits are also not classed as public funds and so are also available to all.

The Government has outlined the support available to migrants, including those with NRPF, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of individuals with limited leave to remain in the UK that have no recourse to public funds attached to their immigration status.

We do not currently have estimates of the number of migrants who are in the UK and subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF) at any given time.

Migrants coming to the UK are expected to maintain and support themselves and their families without posing a burden on the UK’s welfare system. Access to benefits and other publicly funded services reflects the strength of a migrant’s connections to the UK.

The Home Office publish a range of statistics on entry clearance visas, and extensions of leave in the UK in the quarterly Immigration Statistics (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). However, these do not show the number of people subject to NRPF.

Local welfare provision is not classed as a public fund for immigration purposes as set out in the Immigration Rules on GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-index.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with NRPF, through this pandemic. We have announced a range of measures to ensure people can stay safe and many of these are available for those with a NRPF condition, such as protection for renters from evictions, a mortgage holiday for those who need it.

I can confirm the assistance being given under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme are not classed as public funds and are available to all those in work or self-employment respectively, including those with NRPF status and those on zero-hour contracts.? Statutory sick pay and some other work-related benefits are also not classed as public funds and so are also available to all.

The Government has outlined the support available to migrants, including those with NRPF, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of applicants with dependants under the age of 18 who are on the 10 year route to settlement with no recourse to public funds attached to their leave to remain application.

We do not currently have estimates of the number of migrants who are in the UK and subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF) at any given time.

Migrants coming to the UK are expected to maintain and support themselves and their families without posing a burden on the UK’s welfare system. Access to benefits and other publicly funded services reflects the strength of a migrant’s connections to the UK.

The Home Office publish a range of statistics on entry clearance visas, and extensions of leave in the UK in the quarterly Immigration Statistics (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). However, these do not show the number of people subject to NRPF.

Local welfare provision is not classed as a public fund for immigration purposes as set out in the Immigration Rules on GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-index.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with NRPF, through this pandemic. We have announced a range of measures to ensure people can stay safe and many of these are available for those with a NRPF condition, such as protection for renters from evictions, a mortgage holiday for those who need it.

I can confirm the assistance being given under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme are not classed as public funds and are available to all those in work or self-employment respectively, including those with NRPF status and those on zero-hour contracts.? Statutory sick pay and some other work-related benefits are also not classed as public funds and so are also available to all.

The Government has outlined the support available to migrants, including those with NRPF, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether local welfare provision is classified as a public fund for immigration purposes.

We do not currently have estimates of the number of migrants who are in the UK and subject to no recourse to public funds (NRPF) at any given time.

Migrants coming to the UK are expected to maintain and support themselves and their families without posing a burden on the UK’s welfare system. Access to benefits and other publicly funded services reflects the strength of a migrant’s connections to the UK.

The Home Office publish a range of statistics on entry clearance visas, and extensions of leave in the UK in the quarterly Immigration Statistics (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release). However, these do not show the number of people subject to NRPF.

Local welfare provision is not classed as a public fund for immigration purposes as set out in the Immigration Rules on GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/immigration-rules/immigration-rules-index.

The Home Office is working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with NRPF, through this pandemic. We have announced a range of measures to ensure people can stay safe and many of these are available for those with a NRPF condition, such as protection for renters from evictions, a mortgage holiday for those who need it.

I can confirm the assistance being given under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme are not classed as public funds and are available to all those in work or self-employment respectively, including those with NRPF status and those on zero-hour contracts.? Statutory sick pay and some other work-related benefits are also not classed as public funds and so are also available to all.

The Government has outlined the support available to migrants, including those with NRPF, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, from which Government budget was funding allocated to the (a) 2015 Joint Declaration, (b) 2018 Sandhurst Agreement and (c) 2019 Joint Action Plan.

The funding which was committed under these three agreements was allocated to the Home Office budget and was provided within the financial year in which the respective agreement was signed.

This funding was utilised to implement the obligations as detailed in the agreements, including investments in improving border infrastructure at the ports of Calais and Dunkirk, the delivery of strategic communications campaigns, cooperation on return charter flights, and developing access to French asylum services.

The funding allocated under the Joint Action Plan was committed to the delivery of strategic communications campaign as well as the purchase of equipment to improve detections of boats making crossings.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time taken is for applicants to receive a decision from her Department after filing a change of conditions application to have the no recourse to public funds restriction lifted.

Migrants with limited leave to remain under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the no recourse to public funds restriction lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there has been a change in their financial circumstances.

The information you have requested is not assured to the standard required by ONS for publication and as it would be too costly to do so, we are unable to provide it. However, my department has recently digitised the application form, to make sure it is accessible for those who need to remain at home, and I can assure you that the applications are being prioritised and dealt with compassionately.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Office, what recent estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of suspending no recourse to public funds conditions during the covid-19 outbreak.

The majority of migrants from outside of the European Economic Area have no recourse to public funds (NRPF); this includes those here for work or as the partner or parent of a British citizen. The public interest in migrants being financially independent and not being a burden on the State is long established.

Many of the wide-ranging Covid-19 measures the government has put in place are not public funds and therefore are available to migrants with NRPF. In light of the support available, we do not believe it is necessary to suspend the NRPF condition. We will keep the situation under review and consider further measures if needed.

The Home Office is, however, working closely with other government departments to support people, including migrants with NRPF, through this crisis. We are taking a compassionate and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented situation.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have the NRPF restriction lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if there has been a change in their financial circumstances. The Home Office has recently digitised the application form to make sure it is accessible for those who need to remain at home, and the applications are being dealt with compassionately.

The Coronavirus job retention scheme, self-employment income support and statutory sick pay are not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Contribution-based benefits are also not classed as public funds for immigration purposes. Additionally, measures we have brought forward such as rent and mortgage protections are not considered public funds and can be accessed by migrants with leave to remain.

Local authorities may also provide basic safety net support if it is established that there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution, for example, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question.

The Government has made in excess of £3.2 billion of funding to local authorities in England, and additional funding under the Barnett formula to the devolved administrations to enable them to respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including services helping the most vulnerable.

More information on the support available to migrants, including those with NRPF, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 29 April 2020 to Question 37581 on migrant camps: France, what steps her Department is taking to (a) identify and (b) protect (i) unaccompanied minors, (ii) disabled people, (iii) the elderly and (iv) pregnant women.

The identification and relocation of vulnerable migrants on French territory remains the domestic responsibility of the French government. We will continue to work collaboratively with France under the terms of the Sandhurst Treaty, as signed in 2018.

The UK is also committed to meeting our obligations to transfer unaccompanied children to the UK where they have eligible family here and where transfer is in their best interests under the Dublin Regulation. An unaccompanied child must first claim asylum in the EU Member State in which they are present, and the Member State must then raise a Take Charge Request with the UK Government.

The UK is not currently providing funding to France under these agreements to assist with the Covid-19 outbreak. The transfer of individuals into reception centres remains an issue of domestic responsibility for the French government; as noted in our response to Question 37581, over 600 migrants have so far volunteered to move into reception centres.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will provide a breakdown of the UK's current expenditure on border operations in Northern France.

We do not routinely publish breakdowns of operational departmental spending. The information we do publish can be found in the Annual Report and Accounts – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/home-office-annual-report-and-accounts-2018-to-2019

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what funding her Department is providing to its French counterparts under the (a) 2015 Joint Declaration and (b) 2018 Sandhurst Agreement to assist with the response to the covid-19 outbreak in displaced settlements in Calais and Dunkirk.

The identification and relocation of vulnerable migrants on French territory remains the domestic responsibility of the French government. We will continue to work collaboratively with France under the terms of the Sandhurst Treaty, as signed in 2018.

The UK is also committed to meeting our obligations to transfer unaccompanied children to the UK where they have eligible family here and where transfer is in their best interests under the Dublin Regulation. An unaccompanied child must first claim asylum in the EU Member State in which they are present, and the Member State must then raise a Take Charge Request with the UK Government.

The UK is not currently providing funding to France under these agreements to assist with the Covid-19 outbreak. The transfer of individuals into reception centres remains an issue of domestic responsibility for the French government; as noted in our response to Question 37581, over 600 migrants have so far volunteered to move into reception centres.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether people subject to the ECAA-2 Visa will have access to the (a) Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, (b) Small Business Grant Fund and (c) Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

The Government is committed to ensuring people are not unfairly impacted in terms of their immigration status as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. To this end, an individual who holds valid leave under the Turkish EC Association Agreement as a business person can benefit from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Small Business Grant Fund and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme if they meet the eligibility criteria for those schemes.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of a musicians’ passport for live performing and touring musicians after the end of the transition period.

Free Movement will end on 31 December 2020 with the end of the Transition Period. Following the end of the Transition Period EEA and Swiss nationals will be able to continue to travel to the UK for holidays or short-term trips, without needing a visa. The current Immigration Rules, including those for visitors, contain a wide range of provisions to cater for artists, entertainers and musicians.

The Home Office is currently engaging with other government departments, including DCMS, to ensure the future immigration system continues to support the thriving cultural sector in the UK.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to maintain freedom of movement for live performing and touring musicians after the end of the transition period.

Free Movement will end on 31 December 2020 with the end of the Transition Period. Following the end of the Transition Period EEA and Swiss nationals will be able to continue to travel to the UK for holidays or short-term trips, without needing a visa. The current Immigration Rules, including those for visitors, contain a wide range of provisions to cater for artists, entertainers and musicians.

The Home Office is currently engaging with other government departments, including DCMS, to ensure the future immigration system continues to support the thriving cultural sector in the UK.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many places under the Syrian Vulnerable Person Resettlement Programme have been (a) applied for and (b) filled successfully in Enfield in each year since 2015.

We are grateful to over 300 local authorities for pledging their support to the UK’s resettlement schemes, enabling us to welcome over 27,000 vulnerable refugees to the UK since 2010.

The Home Office is committed to publishing data in an orderly way as part of the regular quarterly Immigration Statistics, in line with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

The statistics, which include a local authority breakdown of resettlements, are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

The latest statistics published on 28 November 2019 show that, in total since 2015, Enfield have resettled no refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme and four refugees under the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme, as at the end of September 2019.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government has plans to send military troops for (a) training, (b) combat support and (c) other purposes to Mozambique.

The Ministry of Defence, with other Departments, is supporting the British High Commission in Maputo in developing a varied programme of assistance under the framework of the UK-Mozambique Defence Memorandum of Understanding agreed in 2019. This involves defence cooperation and aims to assist the Government of Mozambique in addressing terrorism and promoting respect for human rights. As the security situation evolves, we will continue to review and adapt that programme in consultation with the Government of Mozambique.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using the Indices of Multiple Deprivation to prioritise investments through the UK Community Renewal Fund.

To ensure the UK Community Renewal Fund funding reaches the most in need, we have identified 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience across Great Britain which measures productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density. We are committed to transparency and a methodological note explaining how the 100 priority places were determined has been published: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus/uk-community-renewal-fund-prioritisation-of-places-methodology-note.

The Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) does not represent a ‘one size fits all’ solution to measuring economic need - not all of the variables it considers are relevant to the particular interventions we want to support through the UK Community Renewal Fund, and some of the variables it does not consider, such as productivity, are central to the policy goals of the Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how the measure of household income used for the index of economic resilience for the UK Community Renewal Fund differs from the Income Deprivation Domain used in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation.

To ensure the UK Community Renewal Fund funding reaches the most in need, we have identified 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience across Great Britain which measures productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density. We are committed to transparency and a methodological note explaining how the 100 priority places were determined has been published: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus/uk-community-renewal-fund-prioritisation-of-places-methodology-note.

The Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) does not represent a ‘one size fits all’ solution to measuring economic need - not all of the variables it considers are relevant to the particular interventions we want to support through the UK Community Renewal Fund, and some of the variables it does not consider, such as productivity, are central to the policy goals of the Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reasons the Government does not plan to publish immediately the methodology used to calculate the index employed to categorise places for the Levelling Up Fund and UK Community Renewal Fund.

To ensure the UK Community Renewal Fund funding reaches the most in need, we have identified 100 priority places based on an index of economic resilience across Great Britain which measures productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density.

We are committed to transparency and a methodological note explaining how the 100 priority places were determined has been published: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-community-renewal-fund-prospectus/uk-community-renewal-fund-prioritisation-of-places-methodology-note.

As set out in the prospectus published at Budget, the index used for the Levelling Up Fund places areas into category one, two or three based on the local area’s need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity, and regeneration.

We have published the index and further details of the methodology used to calculate the index of places set out in the prospectus: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/levelling-up-fund-additional-documents.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Jan 2021
What recent estimate his Department has made of the number of buildings in England that have combustible non-ACM cladding.

Local authorities and housing associations are conducting a data collection exercise as part of a programme to build a more complete picture of high-rise residential buildings and the variety of external wall systems in use. We will publish appropriate summary information from the data collection in our monthly Building Safety Programme data release when ready, which we expect to be in spring this year.

For buildings with unsafe ACM cladding, more buildings have come on site with remediation work within the last year than at any other time previously. Final figures for 2020 will be published on 21 January and we expect this to show that around 95 per cent of the buildings identified at the start of last year will have safety work completed or underway.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many people have been sleeping rough in (a) Edmonton constituency, (b) Enfield borough and (c) Greater London in each year since 2010.

MHCLG’s latest official annual Rough Sleeping Snapshot Statistics published on 31 January 2019 provide information about the estimated number of people sleeping rough across Local authorities in England on a single night in Autumn from 2010 – 2018.

MHCLG does not collect any statistics on the number of people sleeping rough for (a) Edmonton, which is an area within the London borough of Enfield.

A breakdown of the annual rough sleeping statistics for every year from 2010 to 2018 can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/homelessness-statistics#rough-sleeping. Each publication includes a breakdown for Enfield and Greater London.

This Government is clear that no one should be without a roof over their head. That is why we have committed to end rough sleeping by the end of this Parliament and to enforce the Homelessness Reduction Act.

The Government has already taken important steps to prevent and reduce homelessness and rough sleeping. This includes implementing the most ambitious legislative reform in this area in decades, the Homelessness Reduction Act, which is transforming the culture of homelessness service delivery and actively prevents homelessness, meaning people will get the help they need quicker.

The Government has already committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period to April 2020. In 2020/2021 we are providing a further £422 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. This marks a £54 million increase on what Government provided in 2019/20 and will go towards funding important programmes such as the newly combined Rapid Rehousing Pathway / Rough Sleeping Initiative and the Flexible Homelessness Support Grant.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average time was between the submission of an appeal and a case being listed for a hearing in the Immigration Appeal Tribunal on 31 August 2021.

As at 31 March 2021 the number of cases without a hearing date:

a) In the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was 17,334.

b) In the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was 1,086.

These figures include appeals that have been adjourned following an initial hearing.

The average waiting time from receipt to the first substantive hearing in the period April 2020 to March 2021

a) in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was 40 weeks

b) in the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was 17 weeks.

Figures are provided for the most recent time period covered by official statistics.

Since the outset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic steps have been taken to increase listing with the introduction of remote hearings and the return of face-to-face hearings in covid-secure tribunal buildings.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases were waiting to be listed by the Immigration Appeal Tribunal on 31 August 2021.

As at 31 March 2021 the number of cases without a hearing date:

a) In the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was 17,334.

b) In the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was 1,086.

These figures include appeals that have been adjourned following an initial hearing.

The average waiting time from receipt to the first substantive hearing in the period April 2020 to March 2021

a) in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was 40 weeks

b) in the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) was 17 weeks.

Figures are provided for the most recent time period covered by official statistics.

Since the outset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic steps have been taken to increase listing with the introduction of remote hearings and the return of face-to-face hearings in covid-secure tribunal buildings.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many reward and recognition nominations have been (a) made and (b) approved by his Department for people in each category of (i) ethnicity and (ii) gender in each year since 2015.

Under the department’s recognition and reward policies, nominations for awards are proposed and administered at a local level, therefore we do not have a central record of nominations.

Approved awards made in the form of special bonuses and vouchers are available in the Ministry of Justice Workforce Monitoring Reports, which are published annually:

2015/16: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/moj-workforce-monitoring-report-2015-to-2016

2016/17: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/moj-annual-diversity-report-2016-to-2017

2017/18: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministry-of-justice-workforce-monitoring-report-2017-to-2018

2018/19: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministry-of-justice-workforce-monitoring-report-2018-to-2019

The published data covers awards issued in the form of special bonus for each year up to March 2019. The published data in 2018/19 also includes award issued in the form of vouchers.

Awards data covering April 2019 to March 2020 will be published in the Ministry of Justice Workforce Monitoring Report for 2019/20 in due course.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when First-Tier Social Security and Child Support tribunals will resume.

(1) Appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) have continued to be heard inline with government guidance throughout the pandemic. Face to face hearings have been replaced with telephone hearings and the use of other remote hearing technology to facilitate as many hearings as possible being held remotely. All parties to the hearings are being contacted directly to confirm the new hearing arrangements.

In addition to holding remote hearings in all regions, appeals may also be decided by judges sitting alone in chambers, using the evidence before them in the case papers.

(2) The number of appeals which were ready to list1 for a hearing as at 31 March2 (the latest date for which data are available) was a) 4,832 for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) 3, (b) 23,134 for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 4 and (c) 7,013 for Universal Credit (UC) 5.

(3) After a number of successful tests, arrangements are currently being made to introduce and make available Cloud Video Platform (CVP) hearings in all SSCS Tribunal regions. The decision as to how a hearing is conducted is a matter for the judge who will determine how best to uphold the interests of justice. In considering the suitability of video/audio, judges will consider issues such as the benefit type under appeal, the nature of the matters at stake during the hearing and any issues the use of video/audio technology may present for participants in the hearing.

1 The ready to list status could include those appeals where an earlier hearing had been adjourned (which may be directed by the judge for a variety of reasons, such as to seek further evidence), or after an earlier hearing date had been postponed (again, for a variety of reasons, often at the request of the appellant). An appeal may also have been decided at an earlier date by the First-tier Tribunal, only for the case to have gone on to the Upper Tribunal, to be returned once again to the First-tier for its final disposal.

2 Latest data available in line with published statistics.

3 Includes Employment Support Allowance and Employment Support Allowance (Reassessments).

4 Personal Independence Payment (New Claim Appeals) which replaces Disability Living Allowance was introduced on 8 April 2013, also includes Personal Independence Clams (Reassessments).

5 Universal Credit was introduced on 29 April 2013 in selected areas of Greater Manchester and Cheshire, and has been gradually rolled out to the rest of the UK from October 2013.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing these data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale case management system and are the best data that are available. The data may differ slightly to that of the published statistics where data were run on a different date.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the current backlog is of employment and support allowance, universal credit and personal independence payment appeals.

(1) Appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) have continued to be heard inline with government guidance throughout the pandemic. Face to face hearings have been replaced with telephone hearings and the use of other remote hearing technology to facilitate as many hearings as possible being held remotely. All parties to the hearings are being contacted directly to confirm the new hearing arrangements.

In addition to holding remote hearings in all regions, appeals may also be decided by judges sitting alone in chambers, using the evidence before them in the case papers.

(2) The number of appeals which were ready to list1 for a hearing as at 31 March2 (the latest date for which data are available) was a) 4,832 for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) 3, (b) 23,134 for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) 4 and (c) 7,013 for Universal Credit (UC) 5.

(3) After a number of successful tests, arrangements are currently being made to introduce and make available Cloud Video Platform (CVP) hearings in all SSCS Tribunal regions. The decision as to how a hearing is conducted is a matter for the judge who will determine how best to uphold the interests of justice. In considering the suitability of video/audio, judges will consider issues such as the benefit type under appeal, the nature of the matters at stake during the hearing and any issues the use of video/audio technology may present for participants in the hearing.

1 The ready to list status could include those appeals where an earlier hearing had been adjourned (which may be directed by the judge for a variety of reasons, such as to seek further evidence), or after an earlier hearing date had been postponed (again, for a variety of reasons, often at the request of the appellant). An appeal may also have been decided at an earlier date by the First-tier Tribunal, only for the case to have gone on to the Upper Tribunal, to be returned once again to the First-tier for its final disposal.

2 Latest data available in line with published statistics.

3 Includes Employment Support Allowance and Employment Support Allowance (Reassessments).

4 Personal Independence Payment (New Claim Appeals) which replaces Disability Living Allowance was introduced on 8 April 2013, also includes Personal Independence Clams (Reassessments).

5 Universal Credit was introduced on 29 April 2013 in selected areas of Greater Manchester and Cheshire, and has been gradually rolled out to the rest of the UK from October 2013.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing these data, the details are subject to inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale case management system and are the best data that are available. The data may differ slightly to that of the published statistics where data were run on a different date.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service is taking to process social security benefit appeals at the First Tier Tribunal during the covid-19 outbreak.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service is working hard to keep our justice system functioning during this unprecedented public health emergency. We are focusing on priority cases, changing working practices and introducing new procedures to minimise risks to the judiciary, staff and all those who use our courts and tribunals.

In line with government guidance, face to face hearings in the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) have been replaced with telephone hearings and the use of other remote hearing technology to facilitate as many hearings as possible being held remotely. All parties to the hearings are being contacted directly to confirm new hearing arrangements.

In addition to holding remote hearings in all regions, appeals may also be decided by judges sitting alone in chambers, using the evidence before them in the case papers.

These changes to Tribunal practice are authorised by Practice Direction of the Senior President of Tribunals (effective 19th March 2020) and amendments to the relevant Tribunal procedure rules:

www.legislation.gov.uk/id/uksi/2020/416.

Pilot Practice Direction: Contingency Arrangement in the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal

Pilot Practice Direction: Panel Composition in the First-tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal

The latest advice and guidance from the government and judiciary in relation to appeals within the Tribunal during the coronavirus pandemic is updated regularly and can be viewed using the following links:

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation

www.judiciary.uk/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-and-guidance/

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Leader of the House, whether he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the time taken to answer Questions (a) 102133 tabled on 9 October 2020 and (b) 105481 to 105483 tabled on 19 October 2020.

During the height of the pandemic, departments were under significant pressure when replying to written questions and correspondence and I had some sympathy with departments. Nevertheless, members must receive full and timely responses when they request information. I continue to raise the hon. members specific questions with the Department for Health and Social Care and have impressed upon it the need to answer these questions as a matter of urgency.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, whether he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the delay in answering Questions (a) 102132 to 102136 tabled on 9 October 2020 and (b) 105481 to 105489 tabled on 19 October 2020.

I have regular discussions with members of the Cabinet and have reminded all departments of the importance of full and timely responses to Parliamentary questions. I have raised the hon. member’s specific questions with the Department for Health and Social Care and have been assured answers will be provided as soon as possible.

The Department of Health and Social Care responded to an urgent question on Thursday 19 November 2020 in relation to its performance in answering written questions from right hon. and hon. Members.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons