Matt Vickers Portrait

Matt Vickers

Conservative - Stockton South

2 APPG memberships (as of 17 Nov 2021)
British Bioethanol, Future of Retail
1 Former APPG membership
Loneliness
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
2nd Mar 2020 - 16th Jan 2021


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 29th November 2021
15:45
Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Long-term funding of adult social care
29 Nov 2021, 3:45 p.m.
At 4.00pm: Oral evidence
Brian Dow - Deputy CEO at Rethink Mental Illness
Emily Holzhausen - Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK
Jackie O'Sullivan - Co-Chair at Care and Support Alliance
At 5.00pm: Oral evidence
Fazilet Hadi - Head of Policy at Disability Rights UK
Ruthe Isden - Head of Health and Care at Age UK
James White - Head of Public Affairs and Campaigns at Alzheimer’s Society
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 1st December 2021
15:00
Petitions Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Tackling Online Abuse
1 Dec 2021, 3 p.m.
At 3.00pm: Oral evidence
Chris Philp MP - Minister for Tech and Digital Economy at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Orla MacRae - Deputy Director for Online Harms Regulation at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 300 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 191 Noes - 307
Speeches
Thursday 4th November 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

Stockton-on-Tees was home to the world’s first passenger railway. The discussion about building that railway was held in Stockton town …

Written Answers
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Insurance: Low Incomes
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to help make insurance coverage more accessible …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th November 2021
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Ascential Information Services Ltd
Address of donor: 33 Kingsway, London WC2B 6UF
Amount of donation or nature …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Matt Vickers has voted in 331 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Matt Vickers voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Matt Vickers voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Matt Vickers voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
View All Matt Vickers Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(10 debate interactions)
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(14 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(8 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Matt Vickers's debates

Stockton South Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

Now the hedgehog has been listed as vulnerable to extinction in the UK, we are calling on the Government to move hedgehogs to schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 to allow them greater protection.

Enact legislation to protect retail workers. This legislation must create a specific offence of abusing, threatening or assaulting a retail worker. The offence must carry a penalty that acts as a deterrent and makes clear that abuse of retail workers is unacceptable.

The right to peaceful assembly and protest are fundamental principles of any democracy and the proposed part of this bill that gives the police new powers to tackle disruptive peaceful protests should be removed from The Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.


Latest EDMs signed by Matt Vickers

Matt Vickers has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Matt Vickers, 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.


Matt Vickers has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Matt Vickers has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Matt Vickers has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Matt Vickers has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


72 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
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to increase the level of (a) public and (b) private research and development funding in the North East.

The 2021 Spending Review sees record levels of investment in the UK’s world-leading research base with public spending on Research & Development (R&D) increasing by £5 billion per annum to £20 billion in 2024-25. The substantial uplift to research and science funding will not only allow the UK to build on our core strengths but will also provide opportunities to grow research and innovation investment across the entire country.

UKRI currently funds over 570 active science and research projects in the North East of England with a value of over £660 million. More specifically, the Government has already committed over £93.6 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund funding to organisations registered in the North East, which has leveraged an additional £41.8 million co-investment from non-public sources.

The Innovation Strategy, published in July, signalled how we would embed innovation across the country to level up the UK. We will create the right policy environment and send clear signals to unlock business investment in innovation and boost the private sector investment we need to achieve the 2.4% target by 2027 including in the North East. Making the most of R&D in places around the UK remains a key government priority and the forthcoming Levelling Up White Paper will set out the plan for doing this.

UKRI are also publishing detailed breakdowns of their funding data at a regional level annually to increase transparency of how places benefit from R&D funding. Latest available data is at: https://www.ukri.org/our-work/what-we-have-funded/regional-distribution-of-funding/2018-to-2019-regional-distribution-of-funding/#contents-list.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the criteria are for businesses to access the Government’s Help to Grow: management scheme.

The Help to Grow: Management programme is open to senior business leaders with between 5 to 249 employees that have been trading for over 1 year. Applications are welcome from businesses across all sectors, including social enterprises.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the criteria are for businesses to access the Government’s Help to Grow: digital scheme.

Through Help to Grow: Digital, the Government will launch a new online platform this Autumn where businesses can access advice on software that could help them save time and money, and a voucher to reduce the costs of buying that software. Over the next 3 years, 100 000 eligible SMEs could benefit from a voucher providing up to a 50% discount (worth up to £5,000) to adopt approved productivity enhancing software.

The voucher is expected to be available to UK businesses that have more than 5 and fewer than 249 employees, that have been trading for more than 12 months, and that are purchasing the discounted software for the first time.

The programme will launch in Autumn 2021 and eligible businesses are encouraged to register their interest at https://helptogrow.campaign.gov.uk/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the criteria are for businesses to access the £375 million Government funding to help scale-up the most innovative, research and development intensive businesses.

Future Fund: Breakthrough is a new £375m UK-wide programme that will encourage private investors to co-invest alongside government in high-growth, innovative firms that have received prior equity investment. The programme will launch in the early summer of 2021 and will support the growth of UK-based, R&D intensive companies.

Detailed eligibility criteria will be published once the programme is open for applications.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what businesses will be regarded as non-essential businesses and allowed to access the Restart Grants.

Local Authorities are responsible for determining if a business qualifies as non-essential and therefore eligible for the Restart Grant payment. A non-essential retail business can be defined as a business that is used mainly or wholly for the purposes of retail sale or hire of goods or services by the public, where the primary purpose of products or services provided are not necessary to the health and well-being of the public.

Local Authorities may use the following criteria to assess whether a business is eligible for a grant under this threshold:

  • Businesses offering in-person non-essential retail to the general public.
  • Businesses that were likely to have been required to cease their retail operation in the January 2021 lockdown.
  • Businesses that had retail services restricted during January lockdown.
  • Businesses that sell directly to consumers.

Local Authorities are advised to use their local expertise to evaluate the eligibility of a claim. If a business does not qualify for the Restart Grant further support is available through the Additional Restrictions Grant, a discretionary scheme. Local Authorities are free to provide support that suits their local area including to support those businesses not required to close but which have had their trade severely affected by restrictions or who do not qualify under the mandatory schemes.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether hair salons are permitted to open during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021 for the sole purpose of performing hair replacement system services.

The business closures guidance states that hair salons must close during the national lockdown. However, personal care services provided for essential medical and health needs, which cannot be deferred, may continue such as cosmetic treatments associated with cancer treatment. In that case, the safer working guidance on close contact services should be followed.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to simplify the applications process for the Green Homes Grant scheme.

We have provided updated guidance to both installers and homeowners, so they are clear on the information needed for the scheme administrator to approve an application, for example around providing quotes. We have already made improvements based on feedback received and are working closely with the scheme administrator to identify further improvements and support increasing the numbers of vouchers to be issued. However, applications must be thoroughly checked for compliance with the scheme rules to help ensure value for money, consumer protection, and detect malpractice.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support he is providing to the (a) events, (b) hospitality and (c) nightlife industries which are unable to open as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We are aware that the events, hospitality and nightlife industries have been severely impacted by Covid-19. Businesses can continue to access the Government’s UK wide support package. This includes the Bounce Back Loans scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

As the Chancellor announced on 24 September, we are also offering affected businesses generous terms for the repayment of deferred taxes and government-backed loans, as well as extending the application window of the government-backed loan schemes.

We continue to engage with stakeholders - including through the Visitor Economy Working Group, the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel, and meetings with representatives of the night time economy - to monitor the situation facing companies across the UK.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to publish a timescale for the renewal of the National Lottery licence.

The current National Lottery licence expires in 2023, and the Gambling Commission remains on track to appoint an operator to take on the new licence from this date. The competition is expected to commence in the first half of 2020, with the successful applicant being announced in 2021.

The Gambling Commission is providing regular updates on progress with the competition on the 4NLC website at https://www.4nlc.com/home.aspx.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much National Lottery funding has been allocated to each constituency; and what projects have received that funding in each of the last three years.

Information on National Lottery funding awards up to January 2018 is held on a publicly available database which allows searches to be made for good cause grants in each constituency within specific timeframes.

We expect to update the database with grant information from January 2018 to March 2020 later this Spring.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to tackle rising levels of anti-Semitic abuse on university campuses.

The government is clear that antisemitism is abhorrent, and we expect higher education (HE) providers to be at the forefront of tackling the challenge of it.

The department has pushed for several years for greater action from HE providers in addressing antisemitism. This has included encouraging institutions to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, in order to have clarity of what constitutes antisemitic behavior. This in turn enables providers to better understand and recognise incidences of antisemitism and take action to address them.

As part of this work, the former Secretary of State for Education wrote out to all HE providers urging adoption of the IHRA definition, stating that we would consider further action if institutions did not adopt. A follow-up letter was sent in May 2021, reinforcing the government's expectation that providers adopt the IHRA definition, stressing the even greater importance of doing so in light of an increased number of antisemitic incidents recorded as a result of the conflict in the Middle East.

In response to this, on 10 November 2021, the Office for Students published a list of providers who have adopted the definition. I am pleased to report good progress in the last year, an increase from around 30 to over 200 providers having adopted. This includes the vast majority of universities. I will continue to urge all providers to adopt.

Adoption of the IHRA definition is only a first step towards ridding HE of antisemitism. I want to be very clear that, while the government considers that adoption of the definition is crucial, it is not enough on its own. I will continue to work with the sector to ensure it better understands antisemitism and does more to end it. I intend to bring together key stakeholders from the sector to examine what more can be done to make Jewish students and staff feel safe on campus.

I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure it is eradicated from our world-leading providers.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help local authorities (a) identify, (b) assess and (c) support young carers.

The Children and Families Act 2014, amended the Children Act 1989 to place a duty on local authorities to assess the needs of young carers. The duties have remained in place throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Local authorities must ensure young carers are identified and referred to appropriate support if needed, and that the young carers are not taking on excessive or inappropriate care and support responsibilities. This provision works alongside those for assessing adults in the Care Act 2014, to enable whole family approaches to assessment and support.

On 7 September 2021, we announced investment of an additional £5.4 billion over three years in social care, which includes a commitment to take steps so that unpaid carers have support, advice and respite fulfilling the goals of the Care Act 2014. We will work with the sector, including unpaid carers to develop more detail on our plans and publish further detail in a White Paper for reform later this year. We have also provided councils with access to over £1 billion of additional funding for social care in the 2021/22 financial year. This will support councils to maintain care services while keeping up with rising demand and recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to monitor and publish data on the average (a) food orders by schools supported through the National School Breakfast Programme and (b) proportion of students on roll that take up the offer of breakfast provision in the 2021-22 academic year.

The government is committed to continuing support for school breakfast clubs and we are investing up to £24 million to continue our national programme for the next two years. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to learn.

The focus of the programme is to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the Department for Education’s Opportunity Areas. Throughout the contract we will be working with our provider, Family Action, to monitor different aspects of the programme including the ordering patterns from schools, participation rates among children, and the benefits the programme is having on pupils who are attending. We will consider the best opportunities to share information on the programme as it progresses.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which schools in Stockton South constituency will be supported by the new National School Breakfast Programme tender during the academic year 2021-2022.

The government is committed to continuing support for school breakfast clubs and we are investing up to £24 million to continue our national programme for the next two years. This funding will support around 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to learn.

The focus of the programme is to target the most disadvantaged areas of the country, including the Department for Education’s Opportunity Areas. Schools’ eligibility for the programme is based on the Income deprivation affecting children index (IDACI) – a nationally recognised indicator of need – to ensure provision is directed where it is most needed. Schools will be eligible for the programme if they have 50% or more pupils within bands A-F of the IDACI scale.

The enrolment process for schools joining the programme is currently ongoing, and we have seen a strong interest so far from eligible schools since we invited the expressions of interest. Schools are currently still able to apply to join the programme. As we are still registering schools for the programme, it is too early to publish a list of participating schools. However, we will consider the best opportunities to share information on the programme as it progresses.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help schools improve (a) canteens, (b) playgrounds and (c) other facilities.

The Department allocates condition funding each year to schools and those responsible for school buildings to maintain and improve the condition of their estates, including canteens, playgrounds and other facilities. We have allocated £11.3 billion in condition funding since 2015, including £1.8 billion committed in this financial year. As part of that, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council has been allocated over £1.3 million this financial year to invest in improving the condition of its schools. Allocations are informed by consistent data on the condition of the school estate.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced a new, ten-year School Rebuilding Programme in June 2020, which will replace poor condition school buildings with modern, energy efficient designs. We have announced the first 50 schools to benefit, as part of a commitment to 500 rebuilding projects over the next decade. We expect to confirm a further 50 projects this year and plan to consult on the approach to prioritising future projects later in 2021.

In addition, the existing Priority Schools Building Programme has been rebuilding or refurbishing buildings in poor condition at over 500 schools across England.

12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that university students receive value for money from student fees during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government recognises the challenges facing students and supports them in their desire to continue receiving the best possible learning experience from our higher education providers. This is a difficult and uncertain time for students, but we are working with the sector to make sure all reasonable efforts are being made to enable students to continue their studies.

The Office for Students (OfS), the regulator in England, has committed to protecting students throughout the present crisis and has produced guidance on practical ways in which students can complete their studies whilst ensuring quality and standards are upheld. This guidance is clear that standards must be maintained - further details are available here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/guidance-for-providers-about-quality-and-standards-during-coronavirus-pandemic/. The government is also working closely with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education to ensure students continue to leave university with qualifications that have real value, reflect their hard work and allow people to progress.

We have seen some fantastic and innovative examples of high-quality online learning being delivered by higher education providers across the country and the sector is working hard to provide learning materials for the summer and autumn terms. Our priority now is to maintain the integrity of higher education qualifications and the achievement of students’ learning aims. The government expects universities to continue delivering a high quality academic experience and help students to achieve qualifications that they and employers will value.

Universities are autonomous and responsible for setting their own fees. In deciding to keep charging full fees, universities will of course want to ensure that they can continue to deliver courses which are fit for purpose and which help students progress their qualifications. If providers are unable to facilitate good online tuition, then they should seek to avoid charging students for any additional terms they may need to undergo as a consequence – avoiding effectively charging them twice. Whether or not an individual student is entitled to a refund of fees will depend on the specific contractual arrangements between the provider and student.

If students have concerns, there is a process in place. They should first raise their concerns with their university. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at providers based in England or Wales can contact the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to ask them to consider their complaint.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
12th May 2020
What steps she is taking to strengthen the UK's trade in medical research and development with Israel during the covid-19 pandemic.

UK and Israeli experts have been cooperating on the COVID-19 response in such areas as testing, clinical response, epidemiological management and the development of vaccines and treatments. We will continue to assist in identifying and supporting further areas of cooperation between the private and public sectors of both countries.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to maintain signage for cyclists to ensure their safety.

The Department for Transport sets legislation, in this case the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, prescribing signs for cyclists. The deployment and maintenance of signing for cyclists to ensure their safety is the responsibility of local highway authorities.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of changes to IR35 tax status on the shortage of HGV drivers.

The introduction of changes to the off-payroll working rules announced by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have been delayed until April 2021 to help businesses and individuals deal with the economic impact of COVID-19.

We will maintain a dialogue with the road haulage sector on this issue to assess whether the introduction has an impact on the HGV driver shortage.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Oct 2020
What recent assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the introduction of E10 fuel.

The Department consulted on proposals to introduce E10 in 2021.

There is no assessment that identified any Covid-19 impact on that timeline.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that travellers who booked holidays through (a) LoveHolidays and (b) On The Beach prior to the departure of those companies from ABTA have their bookings protected.

All travel agents trading in the UK must have an ATOL License and provide an ATOL certificate for holidays booked, regardless of their country of origin and regardless of ABTA membership. Consumers retain the same legal rights to a refund or a credit note for travel that is no longer possible. Where the travel agents are not liable to offer these, and FCDO guidance has changed, consumers should rely on their travel insurance.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to ensure that travel firms operating out of the UK treat British holidaymakers equitably in the event that the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office advises holidaymakers against non-essential travel to a destination that those holidaymakers had make a booking to prior to that advice being released.

All travel agents trading in the UK must have an ATOL License and provide an ATOL certificate for holidays booked, regardless of their country of origin and regardless of ABTA membership. Consumers retain the same legal rights to a refund or a credit note for travel that is no longer possible. Where the travel agents are not liable to offer these, and FCDO guidance has changed, consumers should rely on their travel insurance.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 2 May 2020 to Question 46196 on Biofuels, when his Department plans to publish its response to the Consultation on the Introduction of E10; and if he will publish that response before the House returns from recess in September 2020.

The Department aims to publish the Government response to our consultation on the introduction of E10, which closed in May, as early as possible this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 20 May 2020 to Question 46196, on Biofuels: Public Consultation, if his Department will publish the (a) responses to the consultation received from the public and (b) the Government's response and next steps before the 2020 summer recess.

As is the normal practice the Department will publish a summary of all responses to the consultation. The Department is working hard to publish this summary, as part of the Government response setting out next steps, as early as possible this year. However, taking into account that the consultation only closed last month it will not possible to publish the Government response before summer recess.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what meetings he has held with and what representations he has received from stakeholders on his Department's consultation on the Introduction of E10; and if he will make a statement on the steps his Department plans to take during that consultation process.

The Department publishes details of ministers’ meetings with external organisations on a quarterly basis and this information is made available on data.gov.uk. The consultation “Introducing E10 petrol”, on proposals to introduce petrol with a higher bioethanol content, closed on 3 May 2020. The Department received responses from a wide range of stakeholders and is analysing the responses at pace. We plan to publish a Government response later this year, summarising the representations made and setting out next steps.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the bioethanol industry.

The Government is in regular contact with companies in the fuel supply chain, including UK bioethanol suppliers, to apprise them of the support available to businesses as part of the response to COVID-19. It is too early to make any formal assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on the bioethanol sector but the Department for Transport regularly monitors and reviews the schemes it has in place to support the renewable transport fuels sector to ensure these deliver cost effective carbon savings.

The Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), a certificate trading scheme, is continuing to support a market for renewable fuels, such as bioethanol. The Department is working as flexibly as possible to ensure that renewable transport fuel certificates are issued quickly to improve the cash flow of renewable transport fuels suppliers.

The Department has also just consulted on proposals to introduce petrol with a higher bioethanol content in 2021 and is analysing responses at pace. It is understood that these proposals could potentially provide an economic boost to UK bioethanol producers in addition to wider economic benefits for the UK. Indeed, the UK bioethanol sector has stepped up to the challenge presented by COVID-19, by amending their production procedures to supply ethanol to the cleaning and sanitizer market. The Government is grateful to the producers involved.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the use of E10 fuel on the UK's carbon emissions.

Biofuels, such as ethanol, have a lower impact on net CO2 emissions compared with fossil fuel derived petrol. In the consultation paper “E10 petrol, consumer protection and fuel pump labelling”, the Department noted that using bioethanol in place of fossil fuels can reduce CO2 emissions by around 65% for an equivalent volume of fossil fuel. As a result, increasing the proportion of bioethanol in petrol from 5 to 10% could reduce the CO2 emissions of a vehicle by around 2%. Recently, the Government has made significant progress in relation to policy on E10 and we will publish our response to the previous call for evidence on E10, as well as next steps, as soon as possible.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what formula her Department used to determine the funding given to each local authority from the Household Support Fund.

The government has allocated the Household Support Fund according to the population of each local authority, weighted by a function of the English Index of Multiple Deprivation. Taking account of deprivation, as well as population, reflects the fact that the scheme is aimed at vulnerable families and individuals who may struggle to afford the cost of essentials over the Winter.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have enrolled on the Job Entry Targeted Support (JETS) programme in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland, broken down by region, since its inception; and how many of those people have gained employment as a result of that programme.

Up to the end of April 2021 there have been 94,560 starts on the Job Entry: Targeted Support (JETS) scheme in England and Wales (launched 5 October 2020) and 3,795 starts on JETS Scotland (launched 25 January 2021).

By region:

JETS England & Wales

Total Starts

Central

9,790

North East

26,615

North West

8,470

Southern

12,925

Home Counties

8,630

Greater Manchester

6,160

Central London

5,415

West London

2,610

South London

2,305

Local London

6,315

Wales

5,325

Total England & Wales

94,560

JETS Scotland

3,795

Total

98,360

So far there have been 12,665 job outcomes in England and Wales, and 160 job outcomes for JETS Scotland (a job outcome is defined as when an individual achieves £1000 cumulative earnings within eight months of starting).

By region:

JETS England & Wales

Total employment Outcomes

Central

1,160

North East

3,600

North West

1,430

Southern

1,760

Home Counties

1,090

Greater Manchester

915

Central London

570

West London

360

South London

325

Local London

680

Wales

770

Total England & Wales

12,665

JETS Scotland

160

Total

12,825

It should be noted that JETS provides support for up to six months and many people who have started on the scheme will not yet have had time to achieve a job outcome.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart scheme jobs have been approved nationally to date.

As of the 6th May 2021, there are over 200,000 jobs approved on the Kickstart Scheme.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart scheme jobs have been (a) made available for young people to apply to and (b) started, (i) nationally, (ii) by region and (iii) by sector.

As of the 6th May 2021, over 108,000 jobs have been made available for young people to apply for through the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) Kickstart Scheme. This includes over 20,000 jobs started by young people.

There have been over 200,000 jobs approved by the scheme.

We are unable at present to provide data on the number of approved jobs by region, as at that stage in the process we do not hold information about the exact location of a job, only the head office of the employer. We do hold regional information on jobs made available for young people to apply for and for placements started, which is provided below.

The tables below show these figures split by location and sector, the data presented has been rounded according to DWP statistical rounding convention. Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system which has been developed quickly. The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Location

Jobs Advertised

Total Jobs Started

East Midlands

7,270

1,120

East of England

8,240

1,320

London

22,740

4,500

North East

4,560

960

North West

13,560

2,840

Scotland

7,540

1,770

South East

12,320

2,350

South West

7,670

1,440

Wales

6,020

1,000

West Midlands

10,030

1,850

Yorkshire and The Humber

8,310

1,580

Figures may not add up to provided totals due to rounding. 1,000 non-grant funded jobs are included in Jobs Advertised but not included under Jobs Started. Total jobs started includes those which have been completed or ended early.

Sector

Jobs Advertised

Total Jobs Started

Administration

27,950

5,370

Animal Care

480

160

Beauty & Wellbeing

740

150

Business & Finance

4,040

750

Computing, Technology & Digital

8,490

2,110

Construction & Trades

3,600

700

Creative & Media

8,420

2,180

Delivery & Storage

3,320

670

Emergency & Uniform Services

230

10

Engineering & Maintenance

3,900

470

Environment & Land

2,140

360

Government Services

290

30

Healthcare

4,360

570

Home Services

800

80

Hospitality & Food

7,530

1,030

Law & Legal

260

90

Managerial

830

120

Manufacturing

2,650

600

Retail & Sales

17,120

3,680

Science & Research

450

80

Social Care

2,880

270

Sports & Leisure

2,350

410

Teaching & Education

4,720

760

Transport

400

40

Travel & Tourism

310

40

Figures may not add up to provided totals due to rounding. 1,000 non-grant funded jobs are included in Jobs Advertised but not included under Jobs Started. Total jobs started includes those which have been completed or ended early.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what types of businesses will be able to access equity from pension funds under the new pension reforms; and what steps she plans to take to reach a decision on how much of a pension fund can be released for investment in businesses.

The government are committed to ensuring both that pension funds have the opportunities to invest in UK businesses as we build back better, and that this process is made easier and simpler. We believe this will benefit both individual pension scheme members and the wider UK economy.

Private equity and venture capital, including releasing equity to new and innovative British businesses, already can and does form part of a pension scheme’s investment strategy. Trustees are currently free to make these types of investments if they believe the balance of risk and return to be in the best interest of members.

Over the past 6 months, DWP has made real efforts to respond to trustees and make this process simpler and easier: DWP has published two consultations relating to this issue. Improving outcomes for members of defined contribution pension schemes: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/improving-outcomes-for-members-of-defined-contribution-pension-schemes and, Incorporating performance fees within the charge cap: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/incorporating-performance-fees-within-the-charge-cap

The proposals included allowing schemes to smooth the incurrence of performance fees over multiple years to allow schemes greater flexibility to innovate their investment strategy whilst maintaining the important member protection that is the charge cap. We intend to bring forward regulations which seek to make investment in a wider range of assets easier for defined contribution schemes.

Through the consultation we also gathered evidence on the specific question of steps the Government can take to better enable these types of investments. The consultation closed on April 16th and we will publish a response in June.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Jan 2021
What support her Department is providing to help people find new jobs during the covid-19 lockdown.

My Department has taken significant steps to ensure jobseekers continue to get the help they need throughout the pandemic. As well as recruiting thousands of new Work Coaches, our employment support programmes, including Job Finding Support and SWAPs offer both online and - when necessary and appropriate - face-to-face support in line with the latest guidance.

In addition, as part of the DWP Estates Expansion and Renewal Programme my Hon.Friend will already be aware that we have secured new premises for a JobCentre Plus in Stockton.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce ambulance waiting times.

National Health Service ambulance trusts are being supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement to reduce ambulance waiting times. This includes through monitoring and support through the National Ambulance Coordination Centre and an extra £55 million to increase staff numbers ahead of the winter, to recruit more 999 call handlers and clinicians to work in control rooms and frontline staffing capacity.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the number of (a) people with learning disabilities and (b) autistic people detained in inpatient mental health hospitals in England.

In 2021/22, we are investing more than £90 million for community support and to facilitate the discharge of people with a learning disability and autistic people.

The cross-Government Building the Right Support Delivery Board is responsible for progress in reducing the number of people with a learning disability and autistic people in mental health inpatient settings, through oversight of relevant activities and by commissioning specific workstreams. The Board is overseeing development of an Action Plan, which will complement the NHS Long Term Plan commitment to achieve at least a 50% reduction in the number of people with a learning disability and autistic people who are inpatients in mental health hospitals by 2023/24.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to facilitate international travel for British citizens resident in European countries that are administering only one dose of a two-dose vaccination programme to those who have previously been infected by covid-19.

British citizens resident in European countries will be eligible to use the European Union’s Digital COVID Certificate if they have been vaccinated in that country. Some EU Member States issue a certificate for individuals with one dose of a vaccine and recent recovery from COVID-19. However, at the United Kingdom border, we can only accept a full course of vaccination as meeting the definition of fully vaccinated and therefore exempting a traveller from self-isolation and reduced testing. This is based on the higher levels of health protection offered from a full course of vaccination and advice from public health experts.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) reduce rates of stillbirth and neonatal deaths and (b) address racial inequalities in stillbirths and neonatal deaths; and if his Department will launch an inquiry into the rates of stillbirth and neonatal death among Asian and Asian British babies.

The Department has funded the National Health Service to implement a range of initiatives to reduce stillbirths and neonatal rates, including the Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle which standardises five evidence-based elements of care demonstrated to reduce stillbirths and neonatal deaths; reducing smoking in pregnancy; risk assessment, prevention and surveillance of pregnancies at risk of fetal growth restriction; raising awareness of reduced fetal movement; effective fetal monitoring during labour and reducing pre-term birth. There has been a 25% reduction in the stillbirth rate and a 29% reduction in the neonatal mortality rate for babies born after 24 weeks gestation since 2010.

NHS England and NHS Improvement published ‘Equity and Equality: Guidance for Local Maternity Systems’ on 6 September. This guidance asks Local Maternity Systems (LMS) to produce an analysis on health outcomes by 30 November 2021 and an action plan for mothers and babies from minority ethnic and other backgrounds. The guidance is supported by £6.8 million for LMS to implement these plans and targeted and enhanced continuity of carer. LMS are being asked to include four interventions to prevent avoidable deaths of babies in their action plans:

- targeted and enhanced continuity of carer for 75% of women from black, Asian and mixed ethnic groups by 2024 and additional midwifery time to support women from the most deprived areas;

- smoke-free pregnancy pathways for mothers and their partners;

- breastfeeding strategies to improve breastfeeding rates for women living in the most deprived areas; and

- culturally-sensitive genetics services for consanguineous couples.

A confidential enquiry into perinatal deaths of Black/Black British babies is currently being undertaken by the MBRRACE-UK Maternal, Newborn and Infant Clinical Outcome Review Programme. The Department has no current plans to concurrently establish an inquiry into the rates of stillbirth and neonatal deaths among Asian and Asian British babies.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to introduce PSA blood tests to detect and help prevent prostate cancer in line with action already taken out during chemotherapy sessions.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for men over the age of 50 years old is already available through general practitioner (GP) surgeries as part of the prostate cancer risk management programme. Tests can be arranged through the National Health Service for men aged 50 years old and over who decide to have their PSA levels tested after consultation with their GP.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's timetable is for the implementation of the dementia moonshot.

The Government is committed to supporting research into dementia and to delivering a moonshot. Later in 2021, we will bring forward a new dementia strategy to set out our plans for dementia research, care, support and awareness in England for future years.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has change the NHS target for dentistry contracts announced on 1 January 2021 during the 2021 England national covid-19 lockdown.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have set a 45% dental activity target. This target is based upon clinical advice and modelling from the office of the Chief Dental Officer and has taken into consideration robust adherence to infection prevention and control guidance and social distancing requirements. Furthermore, data on the percentages of activity dental practices have achieved to date supports the view that the target can be safely attainable.

NHS commissioners have the discretion to make exceptions, for instance in cases where a dental practice has been impacted by staff being required to self-isolate and the reinstatement of shielding during the national lockdown. There are currently no plans to review or change the unit of dental activity targets for January to March 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure covid-19 vaccine targets will be met.

By 15 February we aim to have offered a first vaccine dose to everyone in the top four priority groups identified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) as follows:

- all residents in a care home for older adults and their carers;

- everyone over the age of 70 years old;

- all frontline health and social care workers; and

- those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

As of 29 January, over 7 million of the most vulnerable people in the United Kingdom had received their first jab and there are now over 2,700 sites across the UK offering vaccines to those at risk by age and clinical priority. In England, 96% of the population is within 10 miles of a vaccine service and by the end of January, everyone will live within 10 miles of a vaccination service. In a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccination centre will be a mobile unit.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department provides to parents of children told to self-isolate for fourteen days as a result of another person in their class bubble testing positive for covid-19.

Where someone needs to self-isolate because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been exposed to the virus through close recent contact with someone who has tested positive, NHS Test and Trace helps to make sure that they or, in the case of children, their parents or guardians know how to access local support through their local authority.

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme, developed by NHS England in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service, is also available to help support people in England who need it, including those who are self-isolating. NHS Volunteer Responders carry out simple, one-off non-medical tasks to support people who need help, for instance in accessing essentials.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that patients with pancreatic cancer receive treatment as quickly as possible.

Increasing the number of cancers that are diagnosed earlier is a top priority for the National Health Service. The NHS Long Term Plan sets an ambition to diagnose 75% of cancers at stage 1 or 2 by 2028, up from the current rate of just over 50%. To achieve this ambition, we will need to improve the stage of diagnosis for all cancers, including pancreatic cancer.

To deliver on this ambition, NHS England and NHS Improvement are setting up Rapid Diagnostic Centres (RDCs) which bring together diagnostic equipment and expertise to streamline diagnostic services for cancer. RDCs are focusing on cancers that generate non-specific symptoms and are harder to diagnose, such as pancreatic cancer.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to raise awareness of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer.

In 2017, Public Health England (PHE) ran a Be Clear on Cancer pilot campaign in the East and West Midlands which focussed on a range of abdominal symptoms, such as diarrhoea, bloating and discomfort that can be indicative of several cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Further information on the pilot is available at the following link:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/16-be-clear-on-cancer/Abdominal%20Symptoms%20Regional%20Pilot

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the safety of face-to-face GP surgery appointments as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

On 1 August the Government changed the National Health Service incident level from Level 4 (national) to Level 3 (regional) due to the COVID-19 demand on the NHS, after the Chief Medical Officers and the Government’s Joint Biosecurity Centre downgraded the United Kingdom’s overall COVID-19 alert level in June. As a result, on 31 August NHS England and NHS Improvement issued guidance stating that general practitioner (GP) practices must offer face-to-face appointments at surgeries and continue to use remote triage, video, online and telephone consultations where appropriate – whilst also considering those unable to access or engage with digital services.

The Government and the devolved administrations have published clear guidance on appropriate personal protective equipment for health and social care workers, including GPs. This has been written and reviewed by all four UK public health bodies and informed by NHS infection prevention and control experts. The guidance is consistent with World Health Organization guidance for protecting health and social care workers from COVID-19 and should allow the safe recommencement of regular face-to-face GP appointments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support people (a) with mental health issues and (b) who have not been able to access that support during the covid-19 outbreak.

National Health Service mental health services have remained open for business throughout this time. NHS community, talking therapies and children and young people’s services have deployed innovative digital tools to connect with people and provide ongoing support.

We have previously issued tailored guidance to help people deal with their mental health and wellbeing on GOV.UK and are promoting this through the ‘Every Mind Matters’ website. For those with severe needs or in crisis, NHS mental health providers have established all-age 24 hours a day, seven days a week mental health crisis lines.

As part of wider NHS England and NHS Improvement guidance concerning the restoration of non-COVID-19 services, mental health services have been asked to proactively review all patients on community mental health teams’ caseloads and increase therapeutic activity and supportive interventions to prevent relapse or escalation of mental health needs for people with severe mental illness in the community.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GP surgeries have offered online video appointments since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

Data provided by NHSX, based on information received from suppliers indicates that 6,369 general practices in England, or 94% of the total, had video consultation capabilities as at 11 May 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of whether there has been a change in the price of medicines and drugs for the NHS and pharmacists since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The costs of branded medicines are controlled by the 2019 Voluntary Scheme for Branded Medicines Pricing and Access and the statutory scheme for branded medicines.

For unbranded generic medicines the Department relies on competition to keep prices down. This has led to some of the lowest prices in Europe and allows prices to react to the market. In an international market this ensures that when demand is high and supply is low, prices in the United Kingdom can increase to help secure the availability of medicines for UK patients.

We continuously monitor overall movements in changes in prices of medicines through various methods including data from suppliers using the provisions in the Health Service Products (Provision and Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2018. However, it is too early to assess the full financial impact on the National Health Service and pharmacies in light of COVID-19.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what (a) unilateral and (b) multilateral steps the Government is taking to reduce tensions on the Poland-Belarus border.

As the Foreign Secretary wrote on 14 November, the situation at the Polish border marks the latest step by the Lukashenko regime to undermine regional security. He is using desperate migrants as pawns in his bid to create instability and to cling on to power regardless of the human cost. We have made clear to the Belarusian authorities, including through their Ambassador to the UK, that this harmful, aggressive and exploitative behaviour must stop. We were pleased to send a small team of personnel to provide engineering support to ease pressure at the border. The Foreign Secretary discussed the situation with her Polish counterpart on 16 November, reiterating the UK's support and solidarity with Poland. We continue to work closely with international partners, including through the OSCE, NATO and the G7.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Oct 2021
What recent assessment she has made of the human rights situation in Kashmir.

We recognise there are human rights concerns in both India-administered-Kashmir and Pakistan-administered-Kashmir and have raised these concerns with both governments. The continued use of some temporary restrictions is worrying: we are clear on the importance of rights being respected. The UK welcomes reports that some detainees have been released and calls for all remaining political detainees to be released. The UK condemns recent killings of civilians in Kashmir.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) political and (b) human rights situation in Kashmir.

It is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution on Kashmir, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. We recognise that there are human rights concerns in both India-administered and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. We encourage all states to ensure domestic laws are in line with international standards. Any allegation of human rights violation or abuse is deeply concerning and must be investigated thoroughly, promptly and transparently. We are in regular contact with the governments of India and Pakistan, with whom we discuss Kashmir.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to help make insurance coverage more accessible to low-income households.

The Government wants to ensure that people, regardless of their background or income, have access to useful and affordable financial products and services.

There are wider initiatives that low-income households will benefit from when accessing insurance. For example, from 1 January 2022, new FCA rules for home and motor insurance will require insurers to offer renewing customers a price that is no higher than they would pay as a new customer.

Additionally, since 2012, the Government has engaged in a voluntary signposting agreement with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) for motor and travel insurance. Where an insurer or insurance broker cannot offer cover due to upper age limits on their policies, it will refer the customer to another insurer who can provide cover, or an appropriate signposting service.

The Government also continues to engage closely with the sector, including the insurtech sector, on products available in the market to ensure that consumers can benefit from a wide range of products suited to their needs.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what (a) retail, (b) hospitality and (c) leisure properties will be eligible for the temporary business rates relief as announced in the Autumn Budget 2021.

Guidance setting out eligibility for the 2022-23 retail, hospitality and leisure relief will be published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in due course.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what heat networks will be eligible for the 100 per cent business rates relief as announced in the Autumn Budget 2021.

Further details on the eligibility for the improvement relief, heat networks relief, and green plant and machinery exemptions will be set out in a technical consultation later this year.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plant and machinery used in onsite renewable energy generation and storage will be eligible for the targeted business rate exemptions as announced in the Autumn Budget 2021.

Further details on the eligibility for the improvement relief, heat networks relief, and green plant and machinery exemptions will be set out in a technical consultation later this year.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what rateable value-increasing improvements to existing properties will be eligible for the 100 per cent improvement relief, as announced in the Autumn Budget 2021.

Further details on the eligibility for the improvement relief, heat networks relief, and green plant and machinery exemptions will be set out in a technical consultation later this year.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plant and machinery will qualify for the super-deduction.

All new main rate plant and machinery is eligible for the super-deduction, save assets purchased for leasing. HM Treasury have published more detail in the super-deduction factsheet, available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/967202/Super_deduction_factsheet.pdf.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether indoor cleaning companies will be given financial compensation for bookings that have been cancelled due to covid-19 restrictions.

The Government recognises the disruption that the necessary restrictions to protect public health have had on businesses across the UK. That is why we have provided one of the most comprehensive packages of support globally.

Indoor cleaning companies and other businesses who cannot trade or have suffered reduced demand can access the government backed loan schemes, which are open until 31 March 2021, and both the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme remain open until the 30 April 2021. The Government has also provided a total of £1.6 billion of discretionary funding to local authorities in England to enable them to provide grants to local businesses who have been affected by restrictions.

The Government is continuing to collect evidence on the impact of the pandemic on businesses to ensure the support provided is appropriate.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support the hospitality sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government understands that this is a very challenging time for the UK’s hospitality sector and night-time businesses, and recognises that the hospitality sector has been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Throughout the crisis the Government’s priority has been to protect lives and livelihoods. The Government is delivering support to this sector and these businesses through:

  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which has supported 1.4 million jobs across the hospitality sector and has been extended until the end of April 2021.
  • Cash grants of up to £3,000 for businesses forced to close. In addition, the Government has announced one-off top up grants worth £4 billion for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property. The Government expect over 600,000 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure business premises in England to benefit from these grants. Previously, the Small Business Grant Fund; Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund; and the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund all provided around a million business properties with over £11.6 billion worth of grants.
  • Local Authorities (in England) have been given an additional £500 million of discretionary funding to support their local businesses. This builds on the £1.1 billion discretionary funding which local authorities in England have already received to support their local economies and help businesses impacted.
  • An additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ who missed out on business during the busy Christmas period.
  • A VAT deferral ‘New Payment Scheme’ whereby businesses which deferred their VAT due between March and June until March 2021 will have the option of making 11 payments spread throughout the year rather than one lump sum.
  • Access to affordable, Government-backed finance through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBLS) for larger firms, along with the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises.
  • A reduced rate of VAT (5 per cent) to goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sectors.
  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England, saving around 350,000 ratepayers a combined £10 billion.

The Government is continuing to collect evidence on the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry and work with businesses and representative groups to ensure that support provided is right for this industry and the economy as a whole.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to facilitate the deportation of foreign criminals.

The Government is clear foreign nationals who abuse our hospitality by committing crimes should be in no doubt of our determination to deport them.

We make every effort to ensure that a Foreign National Offender’s (FNO) removal by deportation coincides, as far as possible, with their release from prison on completion of sentence. Since January 2019 we have removed 8,441 FNOs and since April 2020, we have utilised over 99 charter flights to deport FNOs and other immigration offenders to countries across Europe and around the rest of the world.

The Home Office operates the Facilitated Return Scheme (FRS) which offers non-European Economic Area FNOs the opportunity to volunteer to return to their country of origin early. From 1 April 2021, this has been extended to allow more FNOs to benefit from reintegration support which will lead to an increase in take up and the speedier removal of FNOs accepted onto the scheme, including any immediate qualifying family members.

Our New Plan for Immigration will make it easier to remove foreign criminals and those with no right to be in the UK and keep our citizens safe. The Nationality and Borders Bill will extend the period an FNO can be removed from prison under the early removal scheme (ERS) from a maximum of 9 months to 12 months, providing the minimum requisite period has been served. The Bill will also streamline the appeals process by introducing an expanded one stop process aimed at reducing the extent to which people can frustrate removals through sequential or unmeritorious claims, appeals or legal action. The Bill will also create a new power to impose visa penalties on countries who do not cooperate with the UK on the removal of their nationals who do not have a right to be in the UK.

Further information can be found in the New Plan for Immigration Policy Statement and the factsheet Nationality and Borders Bill: - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to (a) reduce incidences of fraud and (b) increase the rate at which reported fraud cases are closed.

The Government takes fraud very seriously. Victims of fraud suffer both serious financial and emotional harm. The money fraudsters steal can go on to fund other serious and organised crimes and even terrorism.

This is why the Home Office is working with other departments, law enforcement and the private sector to better protect the public and businesses from fraud, reduce the impact on victims, and ensure fraudsters have no space to operate. This includes the development of a new Fraud Action Plan, the relaunch of the Joint Fraud Taskforce and publication of charters with the retail banking, telecommunications and accountancy sectors.

We need to ensure that victims of fraud have the confidence to come forward and know that their case will be dealt with and closed with the best outcome possible. With this in mind, we recognise the need to boost local police capacity and strengthen our criminal justice system to ensure we put victims first. As part of the Police Uplift Programme to recruit an additional 20,000 officers by 2023, we have prioritised more investigators in the City of London Police to fulfil their role as a world class fraud specialist force. We have also channelled additional resource into the Regional Organised Crime Unit network to work on a host of serious and organised crime threats including fraud.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help reduce incidents of antisocial behaviour.

The Government is committed to tackling and preventing anti-social behaviour (ASB). We know the serious impact that ASB has on both individuals and communities.

We have provided the police, local authorities and other local agencies with a range of tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to all forms of ASB through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for local agencies to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances.

In January of this year, the Home Office updated statutory guidance to support local agencies to make effective use of these powers. In July the Beating Crime Plan laid out the Government’s plan for tackling crime and its commitment to working with local agencies and partners to drive down anti-social behaviour using the full range of powers and tools in the 2014 Act.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to further tackle the misuse of nitrous oxide.

The Government takes the supply of substances for their psychoactive effect very seriously. There are legitimate uses for nitrous oxide, such as in medicine, dentistry and as a propellant for whipped cream canisters, but those who supply nitrous oxide who know, or who are reckless as to whether, it will be used for its psychoactive effect may be subject to a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. On 3 September, the Government asked the independent statutory advisory body, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, to provide an updated assessment of the harms of nitrous oxide and the adequacy of controls.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many cases of assaults against pharmacists were reported in each region in each of the last six months.

The Home Office collects data relating to violence against retail staff within the ‘Commercial Victimisation Survey’ (CVS) but the latest estimates are from the 2018 CVS. This includes information on assaults and threats experienced by staff working in Wholesale and Retail premises, but these figures cannot be broken down specifically for pharmacists.

The Government recognises the damaging impact that crime can have on victims, businesses, and the wider community. Pharmacies provide vital services to our communities and it is important that they should be free to trade without fear of crime or disorder, particularly in these unprecedented times. I am working closely with the police and industry to continue to monitor these types of incidents during this challenging period.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Prisons Drug Strategy in (a) reducing the availability of drugs in prisons and (b) providing effective drug rehabilitation support to prisoners.

Since publishing the Prison Drug Strategy in April 2019, we have implemented a range of evidence-based programmes to help restrict supply, reduce demand, and build recovery from substance misuse at a local and national level.

Through the Security Investment Programme, we have invested £100 million to tackle crime in prisons, including stopping the supply of drugs. Between 2020 and 2021, the number of incidents where drugs were found in prisons decreased by 6%. We are also focused on ensuring our prisons support meaningful recovery, with Incentivised Substance Free Living wings in 15 prisons encouraging prisoners to live drug free, and the Drug Recovery Prison at HMP Holme House using innovative whole prison approach to restricting supply and engaging prisoners in treatment.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department is taking to improve support for victims of fraud.

In April 2021, the new Code of Practice came into force setting out the key rights of victims of crime, including the right of referral to specific support services. This may include referral to specialist support services for victims of fraud.

In 2021/22, the MoJ is providing £150.5m for victim and witness support services. This will support victims of all crime types, including victims of fraud.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)