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Written Question
Rugby: Listed Events
13 Jan 2022

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with broadcasters on the potential merits of free to view broadcast of international rugby matches involving (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Wales.

Answered by Julia Lopez

I refer to my previous answer of 19 November 2021 that the Department has discussions regularly with broadcasters on a range of matters including those related to the broadcasting of Sport.

The Listed Events regime is designed to ensure that sporting events of national significance are accessible to as wide an audience as possible by ensuring that coverage of certain sports are offered to free-to-air broadcasters. Currently, matches in the Rugby World Cup finals tournament and Six Nations Rugby matches involving home countries are designated on the listed events regime under Group B. This means that they are protected for delayed coverage and/or highlights packages on free-to-air television but it does not preclude these events from being broadcast live on free-to-air television.


Written Question
Child Benefit: Taxation
12 Jan 2022

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many taxpayers are liable to pay the High Income Child Benefit Charge in the 2021-22 tax year.

Answered by Lucy Frazer

The High Income Child Benefit Charge (HICBC) was introduced in January 2013 to target support at those who need it most. It applies to anyone with an income over £50,000 who claims Child Benefit or whose partner claims it. The charge is tapered for taxpayers with incomes between £50,000 and £60,000. Where income is over £60,000, the amount of the charge is equal to the Child Benefit payments.

HICBC is based on the amount of Child Benefit paid and the higher earner’s Adjusted Net Income. A Self Assessment tax return is the only means of establishing this.

As the 2021-22 Self Assessment deadline has not yet passed, HMRC cannot provide the number of taxpayers who are liable to pay HICBC in the 2021-22 tax year. The numbers of individuals with a High Income Child Benefit Charge liability in each tax year are published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/high-income-child-benefit-charge-data/high-income-child-benefit-charge


Written Question
Vaccination: Immunosuppression
4 Jan 2022

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to assess immunogenicity for future vaccines to ensure that people who are immunosuppressed are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases.

Answered by Maggie Throup

Immunogenicity for future vaccines cannot be assessed until vaccines are tested in clinical trials. All vaccines must first be assessed for safety by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. It is the responsibility of vaccine manufacturers to include immunosuppressed individuals and assess immunogenicity in clinical trials.


Written Question
Influenza: Vaccination
20 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with (a) invasive pneumococcal disease and (b) other underlying health conditions receive their flu vaccination in addition to their covid-19 booster vaccination.

Answered by Maggie Throup

National guidance on influenza vaccination recommends that if an individual is acutely unwell, immunisation may be postponed until they have fully recovered. Patients unwell with invasive pneumococcal disease would typically have any influenza vaccine that they were due to receive deferred until recovery. Those considered to be in risk groups for invasive pneumococcal disease may also be eligible for a flu vaccine.

To encourage uptake, NHS England and NHS Improvement have recommissioned the national call and recall service for the 2021/22 season. This service will complement local mechanisms to target groups of eligible individuals, informing them of their eligibility and inviting them to make an appointment for their flu vaccination.

The ‘Boost Your Immunity This Winter’ campaign launched in October included targeted communications for those with underlying health conditions to raise awareness of the risks of flu and COVID-19 and their eligibility for the vaccinations as the best protection from serious illness.


Written Question
Obesity: Health Services
20 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations of the report entitled Turning the Tide: A 10-year Healthy Weight Strategy published by the Obesity Health Alliance in September 2021; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Maggie Throup

We welcome the Obesity Health Alliance’s report which makes a valuable contribution to the debate, endorsing policies we are taking forward on food and drink labelling, promotions and advertising. The forthcoming Government food strategy, to be published in early 2022, will set out the next steps in our approach.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Public Inquiries
16 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the inquiry into the Government's handling of the covid-19 pandemic will include the Government's strategy to secure global access to vaccines and other pandemic health tools.

Answered by Michael Ellis

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that a public inquiry into COVID-19 will be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers and that it will begin its work in spring 2022. A chair will be appointed by the end of the year. More details about the inquiry, including its terms of reference, will be set out in due course.


Written Question
Smoking: Health Hazards
15 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 November 2021 to Question 72542, if his Department will make an assessment of the relative risks of alternatives to smoking such as e-cigarettes and snus.

Answered by Maggie Throup

Although they are not risk free, we do promote the role that e-cigarettes can play in smoking cessation, whilst managing the risks to non-smokers and young people.
Oral tobacco, including snus, is banned in the United Kingdom under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. There is evidence that oral tobacco products can contain carcinogenic substances which increases the risk of adverse health effects. Whilst the risks of adverse health outcomes caused by snus are far lower than smoking, it remains the Government’s policy to help people to quit all forms of tobacco use.


Written Question
Catheters: Urinary Tract Infections
15 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of requiring Integrated Care Systems to record the number of catheter associated urinary tract infections acquired by patients in (a) hospital care and (b) the community.

Answered by Edward Argar

The United Kingdom Health Security Agency undertakes surveillance of bloodstream infections in hospital and community settings, including information on the infection source through National Health Service acute trusts, which will be part of the Integrated Care Systems, reporting infection cases. If a urinary source is identified, further information is requested around urinary catheterisation.


Written Question
Oral Tobacco: Health Hazards
15 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 November 2021 to Question 72543, on Oral Tobacco, what the serious adverse health outcomes caused by snus are; and how those risks compare with the risks associated with smoking.

Answered by Maggie Throup

Oral tobacco, including snus, is banned in the United Kingdom under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. There is evidence that oral tobacco products can contain carcinogenic substances which increases the risk of adverse health effects. This includes an increased risk of oesophageal and pancreatic cancer, high blood pressure, increased mortality in the aftermath of a heart attack or stroke and type 2 diabetes. While the risks of adverse health outcomes caused by snus are far lower than smoking, it remains the Government’s policy to help people to quit all forms of tobacco use.


Written Question
Food Composition
13 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to introduce further measures to encourage the reformulation of food and drink products to reduce the level of (a) sugar, (b) salt and (c) calories in those products; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Maggie Throup

The final sugar reduction progress report on reformulation is due to be published early in 2022. Next steps, which may include further measures, are being considered. Expert advice will continue to be provided to the Government, including an assessment of the voluntary approach on sugar, salt and calories.


Written Question
Obesity: Health Services
13 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Government's policies on tackling obesity; what recent discussions he has had with health representatives in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland on the effectiveness of those policies; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Maggie Throup

Since the publication of chapter one of the Childhood Obesity Plan in 2016, the average sugar content of drinks subject to the Soft Drinks Industry Levy decreased by 43.7% between 2015 and 2019. There has been approximately a 13% reduction of sugar in breakfast cereals, yogurts and fromage frais.

We have introduced legislation on mandatory out-of-home calorie labelling for large restaurants, cafes and takeaways; restrictions on the promotion of less healthy foods by location and volume price in store and online; and restrictions on the advertising of less healthy foods on TV before 9pm and via online paid for advertising. We have also invested £100 million in healthy weight programmes including the expansion of weight management services and incentives. Officials in the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities are in regular contact with the devolved administrations on measures in our healthy weight strategy.


Written Question
Queen's Guards: Uniforms
8 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the quality of the new faux bear fur that has been manufactured as an alternative to real bear fur to make the Queen’s Guard’s caps; and if he will make a statement.

Answered by Jeremy Quin

Our analysis of recent tests conducted on a fake fur fabric commissioned by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), showed it met one of the five requirements to be considered as a viable alternative for ceremonial caps. Whilst it met the basic standard for water absorption, it showed unacceptable rates of water shedding and performed poorly on the visual assessment. As the man-made fur sadly didn't meet the standards required for a ceremonial cap which is worn throughout the year and in all weathers, the Ministry of Defence has no plans to take this man-made fabric forward.


Written Question
Animal Experiments
6 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 November 2021 to Question 76763 on Animal Experiments, if she will make an assessment of the effectiveness of establishing a Ministerial position dedicated to accelerating the replacement of animal research with human relevant techniques.

Answered by Damian Hinds

The Home Office has no plans to make such an assessment.


Written Question
Counterfeit Manufacturing
2 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has had discussions with HMRC on encouraging the sharing of real time information on counterfeit seizures with private companies to support law enforcement prevention.

Answered by Damian Hinds

It is not Home Office Policy to publish operational discussions between government departments.

However, Border Force work closely with HMRC to enforce the Intellectual Property Rights regime through checks and seizures to prevent suspected counterfeit goods from reaching the UK market. Border Force, together with HMRC, liaise closely with rights holders and other law enforcement agencies to maximise targeting opportunities to tackle organised crime and prevent societal harm.


Written Question
Undocumented Migrants: English Channel
2 Dec 2021

Questioner: Martyn Day (SNP - Linlithgow and East Falkirk)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Maritime and Coastguard Agency received a call for help from any person aboard the boat carrying migrants that sank in the English Channel on 24 November 2021.

Answered by Robert Courts

Her Majesty’s Coastguard is committed to safeguarding life around the seas and coastal areas of the United Kingdom.

On Wednesday 24 November 2021, the Coastguard received over 90 alerts from the English Channel area including 999 emergency calls. Every call was answered, assessed and acted upon, including the timely deployment of search and rescue resources where appropriate.

In response to calls received in the early hours of Wednesday 24 November 2021, Her Majesty’s Coastguard launched a search and rescue operation including UK Border Force, a UK Coastguard Helicopter and passing ships were asked to keep a lookout for small boats in the area. Three small boats were located and those onboard rescued. No other small boats or people in the water were identified in the search area.