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Written Question
Roads: Freight
Wednesday 21st February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the number of road haulage businesses that entered insolvency in 2023; and whether he plans to take fiscal steps to help support the road haulage sector in the next 5 years.

Answered by Gareth Davies - Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)

The Government acknowledges the pressures the industry has faced in recent years and has taken decisive action to support the sector. This has included 33 measures in response to the driver shortage including significant investment in HGV Skills Bootcamps and on driver welfare facilities and lorry parking.

Additionally, at Autumn Statement 2023 the Government announced that it is continuing its support for haulage companies by freezing HGV Vehicle Excise Duty and the HGV Levy in 2024-25. This results in a tax saving for one of the most popular HGVs (a 38-44 tonne Artic lorry with 3 axles, EURO VI) of a total of £47 per annum. These measures form a package of support for hauliers, alongside the freezing of Fuel Duty as announced at Spring Budget 2023.

Like all taxes, the Government keeps HGV Vehicle Excise Duty and the HGV Levy under review.


Written Question
Gaza: Humanitarian Aid
Wednesday 21st February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2024 to Question 13138 on UNRWA: Finance, if he will publish a breakdown of funds allocated to (a) OCHA, (b) UNICEF, (c) the World Food Programme, (d) Egyptian Red Crescent Society and (e) any other partners.

Answered by Andrew Mitchell - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)

UK funding to specific agencies and organisations includes the following:

•£7.75 million to the OCHA Pooled Fund to support up to 139,000 people in Gaza and the West Bank with food, water, sanitation, health, education and protection services through NGOs

•£1.35 million to OCHA to support analysis of needs and coordination of humanitarian aid

•£7.75 million to UNICEF to support up to 89,200 beneficiaries in Gaza with protection, nutrition, education, health, Water Sanitation and Hygiene services, and Gender-Based Violence services

•£8.25 million to the World Food Programme to provide in-kind food assistance to up to 53,500 beneficiaries

•£7.75 million to Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement to support up to 140,000 beneficiaries in Gaza and the West Bank with food, livelihoods, water, sanitation, health and protection

In addition, the UK is providing:

•£1.5 million to WHO to support Emergency Medical Teams and essential medical supplies

•£1 million to Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO) to facilitate medical supplies to Gaza

•£900 thousand to UNOPS to facilitate humanitarian access and delivery of aid supplies


Written Question
UNRWA: Finance
Wednesday 21st February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2024 to Question 13138 on UNRWA: Finance, what the sources for the allegations referred to were.

Answered by Andrew Mitchell - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)

As we have said, we are pausing any future funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) whilst we review these concerning allegations. We are pressing the UN Office of Internal Oversight and Catherine Colonna to produce a rapid interim report.


Written Question
Fishing Vessels: Surveillance
Wednesday 21st February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 February 2024 to Question 13142 on Fishing Vessels: Surveillance, what the cost of flights were for DWF lawyers in 2023.

Answered by Guy Opperman - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

There has been no cost for flights for DWF lawyers in 2023.


Written Question
West Bank: Violence
Wednesday 21st February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, if he will apply Magnitsky-style sanctions to (a) Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, (b) Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, (d) David Chai Chasdai, (e) Einan Tanjil, (f) Shalom Zicherman and (g) Yinon Levi, in the context of (i) the US President's executive order in relation to settler violence in the West Bank and (ii) the Foreign Secretary's announcement that he will ban those responsible for settler violence from entering the UK.

Answered by Andrew Mitchell - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)

The UK continues to take a strong stance against settler violence and urges Israel to take stronger action to stop settler violence and hold the perpetrators accountable. As noted, we will prevent those responsible for settler violence in the West Bank from entering the UK.


Written Question
Gaza: Development Aid
Tuesday 20th February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, how much UK aid money was spent in Gaza in each year since 2003.

Answered by Anne-Marie Trevelyan - Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We remain committed to getting humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza who desperately need it and, as such, we have trebled our aid commitment for this financial year. The UK is providing £60 million in humanitarian assistance to support partners including the British Red Cross, UNICEF, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS) to respond to critical food, fuel, water, health, shelter and security needs in Gaza.

The UK's 'Official Development Assistance' (ODA) Spend for Occupied Palestinian Territories each year since 2012:

2012/13 - £89.3 million

2013/14 - £95.4 million

2014/15 - £85 million

2015/16 - £73.6 million

2016/17 - £67.8 million

2017/18 - £64.9 million

2018/19 - £81.3 million

2019/20 - £112.7 million

2020/21 - £79.8 million

2021/22 - £29.8 million

2022/23 - £25.7 million


Written Question
Oil: Scotland
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero:

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what his Department's contingency plans are for (a) Scottish domestic energy and (b) aviation fuel security in the event that (i) the Finnart pipeline is shut and (ii) Grangemouth does not have a refinery capacity.

Answered by Andrew Bowie - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

Scotland has other infrastructure for the import of both road and aviation fuel. In most circumstances industry is able to manage disruptions to supply chains without impact to the customer. We would expect this to be the case for either of the scenarios given.

If the industry requires support, the Department can provide assistance including a reserve fleet of road tankers, which can be made available to hauliers to help them maintain supplies from more distant infrastructure.


Written Question
Oil: Scotland
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero:

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether an assessment has been made of the potential (a) maritime and (b) environmental impact of the increased use of Finnart oil terminal in the event of the closure of Grangemount refinery.

Answered by Andrew Bowie - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

The matter of maritime activity in Clydeport including Finnart oil terminal is a matter for Transport Scotland for devolved matters, and the Department for Transport for reserved matters. As such, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has not conducted an assessment of maritime impacts of the use of Finnart Oil terminal. Finnart terminal is currently in use in both an import and export capacity for a variety of oils.

Any assessment of environmental impacts as a result of changing functions of the oil terminal is a matter for the company to consider with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.


Written Question
Pipelines: Scotland
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero:

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2024 to Question 3139 on Pipelines: Scotland, whether the (a) Finnart oil terminal and (b) pipeline to Grangemouth are classified as critical national infrastructure.

Answered by Andrew Bowie - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

The Government cannot disclose which sites are classified as critical national infrastructure due to national security concerns.


Written Question
Oil: Scotland
Monday 19th February 2024

Asked by: Kenny MacAskill (Alba Party - East Lothian)

Question to the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero:

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent discussions she has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) relevant stakeholders on the future of the (i) Finnart oil terminal and (ii) Finnart to Grangemouth pipeline.

Answered by Andrew Bowie - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State has regular meetings with Cabinet colleagues to discuss a range of issues.

Following the announcement from Petroineos on Grangemouth refinery, the Secretary of State met with Franck DeMay, Chief Executive Officer of Petroineos Refining Limited on 23 November 2023 to discuss future options for the company’s operations in the UK.

The Department’s other Ministers have continued to engage the company, local business and the Scottish Government on the matter over this time.