Neale Hanvey Portrait

Neale Hanvey

Alba Party - Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

4 APPG memberships (as of 17 Nov 2021)
Pensions, Restorative Justice, Unconscious Bias, Whistleblowing
Health and Social Care Committee
29th Jun 2020 - 25th May 2021
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health Team Member)
19th Jun 2020 - 6th Feb 2021


Scheduled Event
Tuesday 14th December 2021
Ten Minute Rule Motion - Main Chamber
Details to be provided.
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 17th November 2021
Strengthening Standards in Public Life
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 1 Alba Party Aye votes vs 0 Alba Party No votes
Tally: Ayes - 231 Noes - 282
Speeches
Tuesday 30th November 2021
Offshore Renewables Wind Sector

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Betts. I would like to thank and congratulate my hon. …

Written Answers
Monday 15th November 2021
Copyright
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent representations he has received on the …
Early Day Motions
Monday 29th November 2021
The release of former Ambassador Craig Murray on St. Andrew’s Day
That this House welcomes the St. Andrews day release of former Ambassador and journalist, Craig Murray from his incarceration in …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 7th December 2020
1. Employment and earnings
Payments from YouGov, 50 Featherstone Street, London EC1Y 8RT, for completing surveys:
EDM signed
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Trodelvy
That this House welcomes the news that Trodelvy, a new treatment for women living with incurable metastatic triple negative breast …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Neale Hanvey has voted in 176 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Neale Hanvey 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
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(12 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(12 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(9 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(36 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(17 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(12 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Neale Hanvey's debates

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

There should be a public inquiry into Government contracts granted during Covid-19. Many contracts have been granted without full and open procurement processes. A public inquiry would be able to ascertain whether contracts had been procured fairly and represent value for money for tax payers.

As the Coronavirus escalates, there are concerns that a trade deal between the UK Government and the US deal might not exempt our NHS, leaving it vulnerable to privatisation and in direct contradiction to promises this would not happen.


Latest EDMs signed by Neale Hanvey

25th October 2021
Neale Hanvey signed this EDM on Wednesday 1st December 2021

Proscribing of Palestinian human rights organisations

Tabled by: Tommy Sheppard (Scottish National Party - Edinburgh East)
That this House condemns the declaration of 22 October 2021 made by Israeli Minister of Defence, Benny Gantz, which designated six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organisations; notes that the Israeli authorities have not provided any evidence to substantiate their claims about the organisations; further notes that the targeted …
57 signatures
(Most recent: 1 Dec 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 23
Scottish National Party: 18
Liberal Democrat: 6
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Alba Party: 2
Green Party: 1
22nd November 2021
Neale Hanvey signed this EDM on Wednesday 1st December 2021

Protections for shop workers

Tabled by: Robert Halfon (Conservative - Harlow)
That this House recognises the need to protect shop workers; further recognises that shop workers are too often subjected to abuse, threat and assault; acknowledges the difficulties experienced by hardworking employees such as residents in the constituency of Harlow, who have faced such behaviour; praises the incredibly important service that …
16 signatures
(Most recent: 1 Dec 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 3
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Scottish National Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Alba Party: 1
View All Neale Hanvey's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Neale Hanvey, 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.


Neale Hanvey has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Neale Hanvey has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Neale Hanvey has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Neale Hanvey has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


107 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Prime Minister, if he will publish a response to EDM 689 on Conduct of the Prime Minister.

When I stood on the steps of Downing Street one year ago, I pledged to be a Prime Minister for every corner of the United Kingdom. Whether you are from East Kilbride or Dumfries, Motherwell or Paisley, I promised to level up across Britain and close the opportunity gap.

The last six months have shown exactly why the historic and heartfelt bond that ties the four nations of our country together is so important and the sheer might of our union has been proven once again.

In Scotland, the UK’s magnificent armed forces have been on the ground doing vital work to support the NHS, from setting up and running mobile testing sites to airlifting critically ill patients to hospitals from some of Scotland’s most remote communities. And the UK Treasury stepped in to save the jobs of a third of Scotland’s entire workforce and kept the wolves at bay for tens of thousands of Scottish businesses.

More than ever, this shows what we can achieve when we stand together, as one United Kingdom.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent representations he has received on the potential impact of an international exhaustion regime on the publishing industry in the UK.

The Government recently held a consultation on the UK’s future exhaustion of intellectual property rights regime. During the consultation period, the Intellectual Property Office held constructive discussions with stakeholders from multiple business sectors, including representatives of the publishing industry. The Government is currently assessing consultation responses and will provide an update in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish expanded guidance for employers on the practice of fire and rehire; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has been consistently clear that we do not accept the inappropriate use by some employers of fire and rehire as a negotiation tactic.

Earlier this year we asked Acas to produce more comprehensive, clearer guidance to help all employers explore all the options before considering ‘fire and rehire’ and encourage good employment relations practice. Acas will publish the guidance shortly.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what communication his Department has had with (a) private companies and (b) public sector employers with the purpose of dissuading them from engaging in the practice of fire and rehire; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has made clear to all employers, including those in the private and public sector, that using threats to ‘fire and rehire’ as a tactic to pressure workers during negotiations is unacceptable. We have been consistent in telling employers that the use of firing and rehiring tactics in negotiations is unacceptable. I made a statement in the House in June urging employers to negotiate fairly and openly.

Earlier this year we asked Acas to produce more comprehensive, clearer guidance to help make our expectations clearer. It will set out the ways employers can explore all the options before considering ‘fire and rehire’ and encourage good employment relations practice.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the existing statutory protections of workers in relation to the practice of fire and rehire; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has been consistently clear that we do not accept the inappropriate use by some employers of fire and rehire as a negotiation tactic. The valid variation of contractually binding terms and conditions usually depends upon mutual agreement between the employer and worker as parties to the contract. Should an employer seek to enforce contractual variation without agreement, there are a number of legal obligations and protections they will need to comply with, depending on the circumstances. Where a business feels that redundancies must be made, they must follow the rules which include giving a notice period and consulting staff before a final decision is reached.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the total monetary value of reductions to previously agreed terms and conditions arising from the practice of fire and rehire on (a) wages, (b) holiday pay, (c) maternity leave and (d) pensions; and if he will make a statement.

The Department asked Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) to conduct an evidence gathering exercise to learn more about the use of fire and rehire practices. This report was published on 8 June and is available from https://www.acas.org.uk/fire-and-rehire-report. In addition, the Department has also welcomed further evidence from trade unions and employers on the nature and scale of the issue.

The Government has been consistently clear that we do not accept the inappropriate use by some employers of fire and rehire as a negotiation tactic. Earlier this year we asked Acas to produce more comprehensive, clearer guidance to help all employers explore all the options before considering ‘fire and rehire’ and encourage good employment relations practice. Acas will publish the guidance shortly.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations he has received from (a) individual companies, (b) employers organisations and (c) trade unions on the practice of fire and rehire; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has been consistently clear that we do not accept the inappropriate use by some employers of fire and rehire as a negotiation tactic.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State meets regularly with a diverse range of stakeholders including trade unions and employers to discuss various policy matters, across the sectors covered by the Department. The Department has also welcomed further evidence from trade unions and employers on the nature and scale of the issue.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent representations he has received from companies or organisations in the (a) aviation, (b) retail, (c) higher education, (d) further education, (e) local authorities, (f) manufacturing and (g) energy sectors on the practice of fire and rehire; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has been consistently clear that we do not accept the inappropriate use by some employers of fire and rehire as a negotiation tactic.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State meets regularly with a diverse range of stakeholders including trade unions and employers to discuss various policy matters, across the sectors covered by the Department. The Department has also welcomed further evidence from trade unions and employers on the nature and scale of the issue.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions his Department has had with companies or organisations in the (a) aviation, (b) retail, (c) higher education, (d) further education, (e) local authorities, (f) manufacturing, and (g) energy sectors on the practice of fire and rehire; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has been consistently clear that we do not accept the inappropriate use by some employers of fire and rehire as a negotiation tactic.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State meets regularly with a diverse range of stakeholders including trade unions and employers to discuss various policy matters, across the sectors covered by the Department. The Department has also welcomed further evidence from trade unions and employers on the nature and scale of the issue.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will undertake a review of the Transmission Network Use of System charges.

Transmission charging is a matter for Ofgem as the independent regulator, and it published a call for evidence on 1 October 2021 on possible transmission charging reforms. The call for evidence is available at: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/tnuos-reform-call-evidence. BEIS is engaging with Ofgem as it progresses this work.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will calculate what the level of the Warm Home Discount Scheme would be in the event that it had been uprated in line with inflation in each subsequent year in which that scheme has been in operation.

In 2011, the Warm Home Discount scheme rebates were set at £120 per household. The rebates were subsequently increased in 2012 to £130, in 2013 to £135, and in 2014 to £140.

The rebate for winter 2021/22 is worth £140. The Government has proposed to increase the value of the rebate to £150 for winter 2022/23.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to increase the discounted sum available to eligible people through the Warm Home Discount Scheme provided by energy companies annually in line with inflation.

When it was established in 2011, the Warm Home Discount scheme rebates were set at £120 per household. Since then, the rebates have been increased to £140, and this winter around 2.2 million low-income and vulnerable households will receive rebates off their electricity bills.

Over the summer, the Government consulted on extending and expanding the Warm Home Discount scheme from next year until 2026 at least. This included an expansion of the overall spending envelope from around £350 million to £475 million (in 2020 prices) and setting the rebates at £150. These proposals would mean around 3 million households every year would receive a rebate. The Government will publish its response to the consultation in the coming months.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with representatives of energy companies on ensuring that the Warm Home Discount Scheme provided by those companies remains fit for purpose.

In the summer, the Government consulted on extending, expanding, and reforming the Warm Home Discount scheme from 2022 until 2026 at least. The measures included expanding the overall spending envelope from around £350 million to £475 million (in 2020 prices) and increasing the value of the rebates to households to £150, which would mean 3 million low-income and vulnerable households each winter would receive a rebate. We also proposed reforming the scheme to better target those in fuel poverty and enabling the vast majority of households to receive their rebates automatically without having to apply, as around half of recipients currently do.

The consultation received responses from a large cross-section of stakeholders, including from energy suppliers. We will publish the Government’s response to the consultation in the coming months.

In addition, officials from BEIS, the Department for Work and Pensions, and Ofgem continue to engage regularly with energy suppliers on the functioning of the scheme.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing support to pensioners to avoid fuel poverty ahead of the energy bill increases expected in October 2021.

This winter, the energy price cap will continue to protect around 15 million British households on default tariffs, saving them between £75 and £100 a year on dual fuel bills. A £500 million Household Support Fund has also been announced by the Department for Work and Pensions to help vulnerable people with essential household costs over this winter.

The Winter Fuel Payment provides pensioners with support for their energy bills over winter. The Government has committed to keeping the winter fuel payment and will continue to pay £200 to eligible households with those aged between state pension age and 79, and £300 to a household with those aged 80 or over.

The Warm Home Discount scheme, worth £354 million this year, further provides eligible low-income and vulnerable households with £140 off their fuel bill over winter. Around one million low-income pensioner households – in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of the Pension Credit – will receive a rebate this winter. The scheme will be extended to 2026 and continue to support low-income pensioners with their energy bills.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of the UK Government's notice of termination of the covid-19 vaccine supply agreement with Valneva on (a) vaccine provision and (b) science, research and innovation in the UK.

The UK has contracted for a portfolio of vaccines from a number of developers, and we have sufficient contracted supply for the expected booster campaign as well as to complete the first round of vaccinations.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with the Scottish Government (i) prior to and (b) since the UK Government's notice of termination of the covid-19 vaccine supply agreement with Valneva, on that matter.

Ministers regularly discuss COVID-19 vaccine matters with the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has discussed the termination of our supply agreement with Valneva with his counterpart in the Scottish Government and the UK Government will maintain dialogue with the Scottish Government on this matter.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will list those companies manufacturing vaccines or developing vaccines in the UK which use (a) messenger RNA and (b) inactivated virus.

The Government’s approach to seeking a vaccine for COVID-19 has, from the outset, been to secure access to a portfolio of candidate vaccines from a range of developers. This has resulted in four regulated COVID-19 vaccines within the portfolio to date providing both diversity of supply and diversity of vaccine type.

The Government has secured early access to 332 million COVID-19 vaccines doses through supply agreements with five separate vaccine developers. This includes agreements with:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech for 135 million doses of its mRNA vaccine;
  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses of its adenovirus vaccine;
  • Moderna for 17 million doses of its mRNA vaccine;
  • Novavax for 60 million doses of its protein adjuvant vaccine; and
  • Janssen for 20 million doses of its adenovirus vaccine.

Of these COVID-19 vaccines, the AstraZeneca vaccine is manufactured in the UK and Novavax has a UK supply chain subject to regulatory approval. Vaccine manufacture is a global business, and the response to COVID-19 a global effort, and we are proud of AstraZeneca’s contribution to that from the UK.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure diversity of (a) suppliers and (b) technology within vaccine provision in the context of the notice of termination of the covid-19 vaccine supply agreement with Valneva.

The Government’s approach to seeking a vaccine for COVID-19 has, from the outset, been to secure access to a portfolio of candidate vaccines from a range of developers. This has resulted in four regulated COVID-19 vaccines within the portfolio to date providing both diversity of supply and diversity of vaccine type.

The Government has secured early access to 332 million COVID-19 vaccines doses through supply agreements with five separate vaccine developers. This includes agreements with:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech for 135 million doses of its mRNA vaccine;
  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses of its adenovirus vaccine;
  • Moderna for 17 million doses of its mRNA vaccine;
  • Novavax for 60 million doses of its protein adjuvant vaccine; and
  • Janssen for 20 million doses of its adenovirus vaccine.

Of these COVID-19 vaccines, the AstraZeneca vaccine is manufactured in the UK and Novavax has a UK supply chain subject to regulatory approval. Vaccine manufacture is a global business, and the response to COVID-19 a global effort, and we are proud of AstraZeneca’s contribution to that from the UK.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what contingency measures the Government has put in place to ensure adequacy of covid-19 vaccine supply in response to the Government's notice of termination of the covid-19 vaccine supply agreement with Valneva.

Our vaccination programme is continuing to make phenomenal progress, with four out of every five adults now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

I cannot comment on commercial decisions, the termination of our supply agreement with Valneva will have no impact on our vaccine supplies for autumn.

The UK has contracted for a portfolio of vaccines from a number of developers, and we have sufficient contracted supply for the expected booster campaign as well as to complete the first round of vaccinations.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the impact of the UK Government's notice of termination of the covid-19 vaccine supply agreement with Valneva on his Department’s ability to meet vaccine supply requirements.

Our vaccination programme is continuing to make phenomenal progress, with four out of every five adults now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

I cannot comment on commercial decisions, the termination of our supply agreement with Valneva will have no impact on our vaccine supplies for autumn.

The UK has contracted for a portfolio of vaccines from a number of developers, and we have sufficient contracted supply for the expected booster campaign as well as to complete the first round of vaccinations.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions (a) he and (b) Ministers in his Department have had with the Scottish Government since the UK Government's notice of termination of the covid-19 vaccine supply agreement with Valneva was issued, on that matter.

Ministers regularly discuss COVID-19 vaccine matters with the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has discussed the termination of our supply agreement with Valneva with his counterpart in the Scottish Government and the UK Government will maintain dialogue with the Scottish Government on this matter.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has received a request from the Scottish Government to discuss the impact of the UK Government's notice of termination of the covid-19 vaccine supply agreement with Valneva.

Ministers regularly discuss COVID-19 vaccine matters with the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has discussed the termination of our supply agreement with Valneva with his counterpart in the Scottish Government and the UK Government will maintain dialogue with the Scottish Government on this matter.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has received a request from the Scottish Government to discuss the impact on Scotland of the UK Government's notice of termination of the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Agreement with Valneva.

Ministers regularly discuss COVID-19 vaccine matters with the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health has discussed the termination of our supply agreement with Valneva with his counterpart in the Scottish Government and the UK Government will maintain dialogue with the Scottish Government on this matter.

George Freeman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what funding he has allocated to support charity-funded medical research.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave the Hon. Member for Central Ayrshire on 1st December 2020 to Question 121276.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions the Government plans to have with representatives of travel agencies on the steps that the Government plans to take to help assist and accelerate the recovery of the travel agencies sector as part of its implementation of the Tourism Recovery Plan.

We recognise the severe impact of COVID-19 on tourism, and have published the Tourism Recovery Plan to help the sector recover back to pre-pandemic levels and build back better for the future. The plan aims to recover domestic tourism to pre pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023 - both at least a year faster than independent forecasts predict. The government will continue to engage with industry bodies, consumer groups, and businesses in the travel sector regularly – such as the Association of British Travel Agents, the Association of Independent Tour Operators and UKInbound – to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and support the sector's recovery from the pandemic.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the total value is of Government support made available to (a) the tourism sector and (b) travel agencies sector in (i) grants, (ii) loans and (iii) tax breaks to assist in their recovery from the covid-19 outbreak since the start of that outbreak.

We recognise the severe impact of COVID-19 on tourism, and have published the Tourism Recovery Plan to help the sector recover back to pre-pandemic levels and build back better for the future. The plan aims to recover domestic tourism to pre pandemic levels by 2022 and international tourism by 2023 - both at least a year faster than independent forecasts predict. The government will continue to engage with industry bodies, consumer groups, and businesses in the travel sector regularly – such as the Association of British Travel Agents, the Association of Independent Tour Operators and UKInbound – to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and support the sector's recovery from the pandemic.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will extend the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme beyond 31 March 2021.

The Government is fully committed to supporting listed places of worship and has committed to the present level of funding until 31 March 2021. We recognise the importance of this scheme and the reliance which is placed on it. We are presently working through the implications of DCMS's Spending Review settlement with HMT and within DCMS. We will be able to provide an update shortly.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals similar to those recently brought forward by the French Government to require that all new washing machines are fitted with microfilters to help prevent synthetic microfibres from entering rivers and oceans and consequently entering the food chain.

The Government currently has no plans to require manufacturers to install microplastic filters on new washing machines. We are working with industry to encourage improved environmental outcomes and reduce water pollution on a voluntary basis. We will continue to assess new and emerging evidence and consider the need for legislation in the future if the current approach is not successful.

Water infrastructure is recognised as an important pathway for contaminants, including microplastics, to the wider environment. The Government is working with the industry and scientific community to focus on research which addresses the evidence gaps in knowledge of the issues and the real world impacts these materials are exerting on our ecosystems and people.

Defra has published the outcome of research - Investigating the sources and pathways of synthetic fibre and vehicle tyre wear contamination into the marine environment . The report highlights the prevalence of tyre-wear particles and fibres from clothing in air/water and storm drain pathways to the marine environment. A key conclusion from this research was that there are many textile fibres in the air close to roads, particularly those with pedestrians, which would settle into waterways. Comparatively, there were fewer fibres entering the marine environment from waste-water treatment plants. Before considering options to prevent microfibres entering the water environment, such as washing machine filters, there needs to be more certainty about the impacts of policy measures designed to reduce microplastic fibres entering freshwater and marine environments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the Government's proposed tariff structure on economic recovery for UK manufacturers after the transition period.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) is a tariff schedule tailored to the UK economy as a whole and balances the interests of UK consumers, producers and our wider trade objectives. In designing the UKGT, we have assessed all available evidence submitted as part of the public consultation in depth and considered a range of factors, such as the five principles set out in the Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018.

We will publish more analysis in the Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) alongside the legislation, as is standard practice.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to allow UK citizens who have been fully vaccinated whilst working overseas, irrespective of location, to return to their families in the UK without requiring a hotel quarantine.

Anyone travelling to the UK from a red list country will be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine service, irrespective of vaccination status.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with his French counterpart on recognition for UK driving licences in France after 31 December 2021.

At the end of 2020, the Department for Transport had successfully agreed arrangements with all EU Member States - including France - for the mutual recognition of photocard licences. As such, UK photocard licence holders will not need to carry an additional International Driving Permit when driving in France – nor any EU Member State. We have also secured interim arrangements with the French authorities which will allow UK licence holders resident in France, to continue to use their valid UK licence until 1 January 2022. We are working with the French Government to finalise a permanent licence exchange agreement.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the covid-19 recovery plan for the aviation sector..

The impact of a second wave of COVID and the need for the Government to respond has impacted on the aviation sector.

The government has therefore announced through the Global Travel Taskforce, a number of measures to assist the sector to restart over the winter period. This includes the ‘Test to release for international travel’ (TTR) which will boost consumer confidence in air travel.

Following the successful implementation of these measures, the government will then put forward its strategic framework for the medium and long-term recovery of the aviation sector.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has in place to ensure that UK-based pilots with an EASA licence can continue to work unrestricted in the EU from 1 January 2021 without incurring the costs of converting their licence to maintain those licence privileges in EASA member states.

In the event that mutual recognition of EU Member State/UK pilot licences ceases at the end of the transition period, pilots with UK-issued licences who wish to fly EU-registered aircraft would need to transfer their licence to a European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) member state before the transition period ended, or subsequently seek a second licence from an EASA member state. The UK has no control over the charges that may be applied by an EASA Member State for this process.

Pilots currently holding a commercial licence from an EASA member state would need to seek a time-limited validation from the UK’s CAA to operate UK-registered aircraft outside the UK. The CAA has developed processes to make this as seamless as possible and with no associated cost.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to protect regional connectivity in the UK following the collapse of Flybe.

The Government recognises the impact Flybe’s collapse and the subsequent COVID-19 constraints on services, regional airports, regional economies and connectivity across the UK. We are working with industry to identify where key routes are being re-established and we remain committed to supporting regional connectivity, recognising the importance of maintaining a thriving competitive aviation sector in the UK to deliver this. In May the Government announced a £5.7million funding package of measures,?temporarily supporting?two airlinks,?from Belfast and Londonderry to London,?and associated airport services at City of Derry Airport and Belfast City Airport. The funding package ensured that lifeline connectivity services continued to both Belfast and Londonderry during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Government has provided an unprecedented package of measures to support the UK economy. These measures are open to businesses across the aviation sector and include a Bank of England scheme for firms to raise capital, Time to Pay flexibilities with tax bills, financial support for employees and VAT deferrals.?In exceptional circumstances, where a viable company has exhausted all options and its failure would disproportionately harm the economy, the Government is prepared to enter discussions with individual companies seeking bespoke support as a last resort. Any intervention would need to represent value for money for taxpayers. We will continue to engage with stakeholders across the sector, including regional airports, to understand the situations they face.

The Chancellor has announced that there will be a consultation on aviation tax reform. As part of this consultation, the Government will consider the case for changing the APD treatment of domestic flights, such as reintroducing a return leg exemption, and for increasing the number of international distance bands

The Government remains committed to supporting regional connectivity across all transport modes, as well as the importance of maintaining a thriving competitive aviation sector in the UK to deliver connectivity. The Department is currently working on a recovery plan for the sector out to 2025. The plan will have a strong focus on regional connectivity and will be developed in consultation with industry for an Autumn publication.

18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending legislation on workplace occupational pensions for the purposes of guaranteeing that retirees receive back at least the (a) actual sums invested into their pension pot or (b) amount invested into their pension pot uprated for inflation.

No assessment has been made.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the steps her Department could take to help pensioners avoid fuel poverty ahead of energy bill increases.

The Government is committed to tackling fuel poverty and protecting low income and vulnerable households.

The Winter Fuel Payment provides pensioners with support for their energy bills over winter. Government has committed to keeping the Winter Fuel Payment and will continue to pay £200 to eligible households with someone between State Pension age and 79, and £300 to a household with someone aged 80 or over. The payment is intended to give reassurance to pensioners that they can keep warm during the colder months.

Cold Weather Payments are also available for periods of extreme weather to those in receipt of Pension Credit, including those receiving the Savings Credit element. The Scottish Government will in due course replace Winter Fuel and Cold Weather Payments with its own provision under the terms of the Scotland Act 2016.

The Warm Home Discount scheme, worth £354 million this year, further provides eligible low-income and vulnerable households with £140 off their fuel bill over winter. Around one million low-income pensioner households – in receipt of the Guarantee Credit element of the Pension Credit – will receive a rebate this winter. Most eligible pensioners will receive their rebates automatically, without having to take any action. The scheme will be extended to 2026 and continue to support low-income pensioners with their energy bills.

We recognise that some people continue to require extra support, which is why we have introduced a £421 million Household Support Fund to help vulnerable people in England with essential household costs over the winter as the economy recovers. The Barnett Formula will apply in the usual way, with the devolved administrations receiving almost £80 million (£41m for the Scottish Government, £25m for the Welsh Government and £14m for the NI Executive), for a total of £500 million.

This winter, the energy price cap will continue to protect around 15 million British households on default tariffs, saving them between £75 and £100 a year on dual fuel bills. In addition, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reached a Voluntary Agreement with energy suppliers last year which remains in place this winter. Vulnerable people and those experiencing financial difficulty should contact their supplier to discuss support available under the agreement, including reassessing, reducing or pausing debt repayments.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to ensure that the Winter Fuel Payment will be uprated annually to keep pace with inflation.

The Government has committed to keeping the winter fuel payment and will continue to pay £200 to eligible households with someone between state pension age and 79, and £300 to a household with someone aged 80 or over. The payment provides reassurance to pensioners that Government assistance is available and that they can keep warm during the colder months.

The Scottish Government will in due course replace these payments with its own provision under the terms of the Scotland Act 2016.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she plans to take ahead of expected energy bill increases to help ensure that the Winter Fuel Payment is fit for purpose.

The Government has committed to keeping the winter fuel payment and will continue to pay £200 to eligible households with someone between state pension age and 79, and £300 to a household with someone aged 80 or over. The payment provides reassurance to pensioners that Government assistance is available and that they can keep warm during the colder months.

The Scottish Government will in due course replace these payments with its own provision under the terms of the Scotland Act 2016.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the take-up rate of the Bereavement Support Payment since its introduction in April 2017.

It is not possible to accurately measure take-up of BSP, out of those who are eligible, by year as this would require monthly data on deaths by age and marital status.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the universal credit monthly assessment period on the financial stability of claimants.

Universal Credit (UC) is a calendar monthly assessed benefit that is paid monthly in arrears. This approach reflects the world of work, where the majority of all employees receive wages monthly.

Unlike the legacy benefit system, Universal Credit takes income and earnings into account in a way that is fair and transparent across all claimant circumstances, such as different frequencies in earnings and income received. The amount of Universal Credit paid reflects, as closely as possible, the actual circumstances of a household for each monthly assessment period, including any income and/or earnings reported by the employer during that period.

Monthly reporting allows Universal Credit to be adjusted on a monthly basis, which ensures that if a claimant's income falls, which results in a rise in their Universal Credit award, they will not have to wait several months to receive it.

In addition, Work Coaches are trained to gauge claimants’ financial needs from their first contact and can refer them to more specialist support for personal budgeting, money guidance and debt advice if required, including through the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS).

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many workers in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency (a) are receiving auto-enrolment pension contributions through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (b) have stopped contributing towards a pension since the beginning of the covid-19 outbreak.

Complete data is not available on the employees for whom employers have claimed automatic enrolment minimum pension contributions under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This is because the necessary information is collected at employee level only on claims where 100 or more staff are furloughed.

An estimate of the number of employees resident in the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency that are no longer making employee pension contributions, via their employers payroll, is not currently available and to provide one would incur disproportionate cost.

In the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency, since 2012, approximately 7,000 eligible jobholders have been automatically enrolled and 2,310 employers have met their duties.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the cost of day two and day eight NHS covid-19 test packages used during the covid-19 outbreak was formulated.

The cost of the testing packages was formulated to ensure public sector pricing was at the approximate mid-point of the private sector market. Since the requirements were introduced for international travel testing, the costs have fallen significantly. We have now made tests available around the market mid-point to ensure testing is available at an appropriate cost.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of reducing the cost of covid-19 tests for people who are obligated to take those tests frequently as a result of their employment requiring rotational posts overseas.

We have expanded the inbound vaccination policy to recognise vaccinations from over 100 countries and territories. We have removed the pre-departure testing requirement for fully vaccinated passengers travelling from non- ‘red list’ countries and territories. From 24 October, eligible vaccinated passengers arriving from rest of world countries can take a cheaper lateral flow test on or before day two after their arrival.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health and Social Care of 7 July 2021, Official Report, column 920, if he will specify the key tests that are required to be met in relation to emergency contracting procedures.

‘Procurement Policy Note 01/20: Responding to COVID-19’ guidance on public procurement regulations is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-0120-responding-to-covid-19

Authorities are allowed to procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances using regulation 32(2)(c) under the Public Contract Regulations 2015. The Department must demonstrate on a case by case basis that it is satisfied the tests set out in the guidance permitting use of the negotiated procedure without prior publication have been met. The Regulations state that the Department should ensure there are genuine reasons for extreme urgency; the events that have led to the need for extreme urgency were unforeseeable; it is impossible to comply with the usual timescales in the Public Contract Regulations; and the situation is not attributable to the contracting authority.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his most recent estimate is of the total number of (a) items of personal protective equipment, (b) face masks and (c) surgical gowns procured during the covid-19 outbreak which could not be used by the NHS as a result of them failing to meet appropriate standards of safety; and what the cost involved in each case was.

The data is not available in the format requested.

The Department is taking steps such as repurposing or recycling items and seeking to recover costs in instances where contracts have resulted in the supply of substandard personal protective equipment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish details of the (a) individual covid-19 related public procurement contracts which were awarded using emergency contracting procedures, (b) value of each of those contracts and (c) purpose for which each of those contracts was awarded in each month since March 2020.

Regulation 32(2)(c) of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 allows for the direct award of a contract without advertising in cases of “extreme urgency brought about by events unforeseeable by the contracting authority”. The majority of COVID-19 related contracts were awarded using this Regulation. However, to obtain the information requested incur disproportionate cost. The Department’s data does not distinguish between the use of this Regulation and other procedures under the Regulations which also allow for a direct award.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his most recent estimate is of the number of people who have received (a) one and (b) two doses of a covid-19 vaccine in (i) England, (ii) Scotland, (iii) Wales and (iv) Northern Ireland by (A) health authority, (B) age and (C) sex.

Data regarding the number of people who have received one and two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are available at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations

As health is devolved, vaccination is managed by the health services in each nation and vaccination data is published in their respective dashboards. The Government is working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure an aligned approach to vaccine deployment across the UK.

Data on the number of vaccinations provided in England by one and two doses; age; sex; and health geographies is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December 2020 to Question 118115 and with reference to the High Court ruling of 18 February 2021 that the Secretary of State acted unlawfully by failing to comply with the Transparency Policy, if he will publish the names of the companies awarded contracts after being introduced to a high-priority lane by (a) Ministers, (b) hon. Members or Peers and (c) officials, including the private office of the Permanent Secretary of his Department; setting out (i) the relationship between each company and the minister, member, peer or official responsible for introducing them to the priority lane; (ii) material, financial or fiduciary interests between those parties; and (iii) whether any such interest between those parties was declared or recorded; and (iv) how those interests were assessed.

We do not intend to publish the list of suppliers referred through the high priority lane as there may be associated commercial implications. The Department has to consider the position of suppliers which were referred to the high priority channel in terms of the recognition that disclosure of their names may damage the supplier’s reputation, affecting their competitive position, their revenue and ability to obtain future contracts.

The High Court ruling of 19 February 2021 concerned the Department’s compliance with publishing the Contract Award Notices for all contracts awarded to suppliers of personal protective equipment. The ruling found that Contract Award Notices were not all published within in 30 days as per the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 or 20 days as per the Cabinet Office guidance. The Department takes its transparency requirements very seriously and as such has now published most of the Contract Award Notices and the contracts themselves.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 5 February 2021 to Question 122899 on Coronavirus: screening, in what format his Department (a) presents, (b) holds or (c) publishes data related to the information requested; what clinical or scientific evidence underpins his Department's policy on Innova lateral flow devices; and how much and what proportion of funding allocated to those devices has been disbursed.

The Government has published ‘Liverpool COVID-19 community testing pilot: interim evaluation report summary’, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/liverpool-covid-19-community-testing-pilot-interim-evaluation-report-summary/liverpool-covid-19-community-testing-pilot-interim-evaluation-report-summary

This is an interim report from an evaluation led by the University of Liverpool into the pilot of community open-access testing for COVID-19 among those without symptoms. A final assessment and a more detailed report on the effectiveness of mass testing and the data to support will follow in early 2021.

The Department cannot comment on individual contracts due to commercial sensitivity.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 January 2021 to Question 136640, what criteria will be used to determine who qualifies as the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill and should therefore be offered the covid-19 vaccination in priority group six.

Unpaid carers are included in the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s priority group six. This also includes those who are eligible for a carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for unpaid carers has now been published. The SOP draws on national and local sources for known carers, to help identify and enable them to be invited quickly for a vaccination, as well as making provision for those unpaid carers who may not already be known to the health and social care system to come forward.

The SOP is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/03/C1182-sop-covid-19-vaccine-deployment-programme-unpaid-carers-jcvi-priority-cohort-6.pdf

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he was first made aware that Track and Trace activity was not automatically triggered by a positive lateral flow test; what steps his Department took in response to that matter; how many positive lateral flow test results were not referred to contact tracers; and what steps his Department is taking to (a) assess the risk of unchecked community transmission as a result of that matter (b) trace those people who were close contacts of someone who received a positive lateral flow test.

Contact tracing following a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test commenced on 27 January 2021 in England for LFD tests carried out in supervised conditions, in view of increased prevalence of COVID-19. Prior to this, contact tracing commenced following a positive confirmatory polymerase chain reaction test after a positive LFD test.

Data is not currently held on the number of positive LFD tests not referred to contact tracers for the period before 27 January. There are no plans to carry out a separate assessment of the implications for community transmission, as this is monitored on an ongoing basis. Nor are there plans to trace contacts of people who had a positive LFD test from this time.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure adequate staff across the (a) health and (b) social care sectors under the new UK immigration rules.

In August 2020 my Rt hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department launched the Health and Care Visa for health and care professionals from overseas, giving them a faster and cheaper route to come and work in the United Kingdom. This visa route is conditional on having a job offer for an eligible role from an eligible sponsor. Overseas health and care staff are also either exempt from paying the Immigration Health Surcharge when applying for a visa or can claim a reimbursement.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to give vaccination priority to people who live with and care for clinically extremely vulnerable people.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level.  For the first phase, the JCVI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, people aged over 80 years old and frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors

Those who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill, should also be offered vaccination in priority group six.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the lengthened time between vaccine doses on clinically extremely vulnerable people who are immuno-compromised; and whether his Department plans to administer second doses sooner to those people.

The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) advises the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation. After studying all the available data, the JCVI concluded that the first dose of both vaccines currently deployed provides substantial protection within two to three weeks of vaccination from severe COVID-19 infection.

The second vaccine dose is important to sustain the protection and extend its duration. In the short term however, the additional impact of the second dose is likely to be modest and most of the initial protection from clinical disease is after the first dose of vaccine. The four UK Chief Medical Officers agreed with the JCVI that at this stage of the pandemic prioritising the first doses of vaccine for as many people as possible on the priority list would protect the greatest number of at-risk people in the shortest possible time.

Operationally this means that second doses of both vaccines will be administered towards the end of the recommended vaccine dosing schedule of 12 weeks. This will maximise the number of people getting the vaccine and receiving protection within the next 12 weeks.

The JCVI’s statement on changing of the dose interval is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/prioritising-the-first-covid-19-vaccine-dose-jcvi-statement/optimising-the-covid-19-vaccination-programme-for-maximum-short-term-impact

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of purchasing Innova lateral flow tests in 2021.

We are unable to provide information on the purchasing of Innova Lateral Flow Tests in 2021 as this is commercially sensitive.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its recent policy on mass testing asymptomatic populations and using lateral flow tests for access to care homes of its subsequent advice that swab testing people with no symptoms is not an accurate way of screening the general population, as there is a real risk of giving false reassurance. Widespread asymptomatic testing could undermine the value of testing, as there is a risk of giving misleading results.

Following the development of approved new technologies, NHS Test and Trace launched small scale pilots to allow more asymptomatic testing in populations where prevalence of COVID-19 was thought to be higher or where individuals are more at risk. Extensive clinical evaluation has been carried out on the lateral flow or swab tests. Evaluations from Public Health England and the University of Oxford show these tests are accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes. While false positives or false negatives can never be completely ruled out, the likelihood of a false positive remains low at approximately four in 1,000 people tested.

Extensive testing has shown lateral flow devices are suitable for use in care homes where they can help to identify people who are the most likely to spread the virus further and therefore support the prevention of transmission of the disease from staff and visitors.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there is a process in place to record informed consent for the unlicensed use of Innova lateral flow tests.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the design of the Liverpool Innova later flow test programme was developed; which research protocol was used to conduct the study; how informed consent was secured from participants of the study; and which Research Ethics Committee approved the study.

The Liverpool City testing pilot was developed in collaboration between NHS Test and Trace, Liverpool City Council, NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership and the 8th Engineer Brigade. This was a service evaluation and not intended as a research study. The Department and NHS Test and Trace liaised with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority over the use of the Innova lateral flow device in this post-validation pilot service.

The secondary analysis of data provided in a health protection activity is not classified as research and so does not require research ethics committee review. Where the gathering of additional information required interactions that were not a routine element of the pilot service, the local research ethics committee approvals were obtained.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Innova lateral flow studies conducted in Liverpool, how many participants were double tested at the site with Innova lateral flow assay and PCR; how many participants were PCR positive; of those how many were Innova positive; how many participants were PCR negative; of those how many were Innova positive; how many participants were sent a PCR home testing kit when they were found to be Innova positive; how many of those test kits were returned; and how many of those tests were PCR negative.

We do not publish the information in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the National Audit Office investigation into contracts for providing personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak, which companies were awarded contracts after being introduced to a high-priority lane by (a) Ministers, (b hon. Members or Peers and (c) officials, including the private office of the Permanent Secretary of his Department.

The Government issued a public call to action to support the increased requirements of personal protective equipment (PPE). This resulted in over 15,000 suppliers offering their help and support.

The cross-Government PPE team considered that leads referred by Government officials, Ministerial private offices, Parliamentarians, senior National Health Service staff and other health professionals were possibly more credible and needed to be initially reviewed with more urgency. This was commonly referred to as a ‘priority’ or ‘VIP’ channel.

At the point of being prioritised these offers went into exactly the same due diligence, technical assurance, closing or contract negotiation and contract award process as all the other offers. About one in ten suppliers processed through this channel - 47 out of 493 - obtained contracts. We do not intend to publish the list of these suppliers as there may be associated commercial implications.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what evidence EU citizens will be required to provide of settled status in order to receive NHS treatment after the transition period.

European Economic Area and Swiss citizens do not require Home Office confirmation of settled or pre-settled status to access National Health Service care. Settled or pre-settled status is an immigration status related to the European Union Settlement Scheme. This scheme is about securing an individual’s rights under the Withdrawal Agreement to reside in the United Kingdom beyond 31 December 2020.

Access to free NHS secondary care is unrelated to the EU Settlement Scheme and is entirely based on being ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK. Being ordinarily resident means, broadly, living in the UK on a lawful and properly settled basis for the time being, with non-EEA nationals who are subject to immigration control also required to have an immigration status of ‘indefinite leave to remain’. From 2021, the new global immigration system will apply the same requirements to migrants from the EEA and Switzerland.

Where a patient’s ordinarily resident status is not known, it will be for the NHS organisation that provides the treatment to assess this, based on the evidence of lawful, settled residence the patient provides.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions she has had with the Home Secretary on the clarity of advice issued to hon. Members and their staff about which Government department they should approach with enquiries from constituents who have relatives or friends in Afghanistan seeking (a) safe passage to or (b) refuge in the UK.

The Government continues to press the Taliban to allow safe passage and to respect human rights, and to work to enable Afghan nationals who were employed by the UK Government, or who were notified by the Government that they were called forward or specifically authorised for evacuation, to come to the UK. Further guidance and helplines numbers for British and non-British nationals in Afghanistan are available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-british-and-non-british-nationals-in-afghanistan. This page will be updated when new information is available.

Hon. Members should approach the MoD with enquiries regarding Afghan nationals who might be eligible for the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP) scheme. The eligibility criteria for the ARAP scheme are set out here, alongside details of how to apply: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy/afghan-relocations-and-assistance-policy-information-and-guidance.

They should approach the Home Office regarding the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), information on which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/afghan-citizens-resettlement-scheme.

FCDO provides consular support to British nationals. We encourage all British nationals who remain in Afghanistan to confirm their presence using this form: https://www.register-afghanistan.service.csd.fcdo.gov.uk/afghanistan-20210828/confirm-your-presence-in-afghanistan-to-fcdo to give us detailed information of those remaining. All British nationals who have correctly registered their details with the FCDO will receive important updates via email.

If constituents' relatives or friends in Afghanistan are not British nationals and are not otherwise eligible to come to the UK, then there is a limit to what the British Government can do for them as individuals. The Government is committed to supporting Afghanistan and we will use every diplomatic and economic lever at our disposal to restore stability to Afghanistan.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps her Department has taken in order to assist (a) UK citizens seeking to return to the UK and (b) Afghan nationals seeking safe passage to the UK following the fall of the previous Afghan Government in August 2021.

Since 15 August, the UK has evacuated over 15,000 people from Afghanistan. That includes: over 8,000 British Nationals, close to 5,000 Afghans who loyally served the UK, along with their dependents, and around 500 special cases of particularly vulnerable Afghans, including Chevening scholars, academics, researchers, journalists, human rights defenders, campaigners for women's rights, judges and many others. All these figures include dependants. This is in addition to the almost 2,000 people we brought to the UK between April and August under the ARAP scheme.

Our immediate focus is on ensuring safe passage for anyone remaining in Afghanistan who is eligible to come to the UK and wishes to leave. We continue to work closely with the Qatari authorities to facilitate the evacuation of British nationals from Kabul.

Rapid Deployment Teams have been sent to Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to reinforce our Embassy staff to process arrivals from Afghanistan. Teams have also deployed to Qatar and UAE to assist our operations there and we are providing consular support to British nationals who were evacuated by other allies, including via US airbases in Europe.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the potential role for (a) UK and international volunteers and (b) UK Non Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations which facilitate volunteering in the delivery of the UK's global aid priorities.

The UK Government appreciates the contribution volunteers and civil society organisations can make to the UK's global aid priorities. Our Volunteering for Development (V4D) programme is helping poor and marginalised people globally to access more relevant and inclusive education, health, and livelihoods services. For example, through V4D's Sisters for Sisters project in Nepal, women community volunteers have improved participation by younger girls in schools through a focus on gender inclusion and addressing barriers that prevent or limit participation.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with relevant stakeholders on the steps her Department can take to support international (a) volunteering and (b) civil society in the delivery of (i) the UK’s global aid priorities and (ii) UK Aid Direct programmes to support civil society to deliver solutions to achieve sustained poverty reduction overseas.

The International Development Strategy will outline the UK government's strategic priorities and approach to development. My ministerial colleagues have held meetings with several stakeholders, including civil society organisations, to discuss the Strategy, as part of our wider engagement process which included a public call for evidence. We intend to publish the Strategy later this year.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking to help ensure that (a) UK and international volunteers and (b) UK Non Governmental Organisations and Civil Society Organisations which facilitate volunteering are actively involved in his Department's initiatives to strengthen and promote (i) global peace, security and governance, (ii) humanitarian preparedness and response and (iii) efforts to tackle extreme poverty and help the world’s most vulnerable people.

The UK funded Volunteering for Development (V4D) programme works through volunteers, including UK and international volunteers, across five of the UK Government's seven strategic priorities for ODA. This includes the promotion of open societies and conflict resolution; humanitarian preparedness and response; and the overarching pursuit of poverty reduction.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many civil servants have been engaged in dealing with enquiries from hon. Members since the fall of the previous Afghan government with regard to (a) UK citizens seeking to return to the UK and (b) Afghan nationals seeking safe passage to the UK.

Responding to MPs' cases and correspondence remains a top priority for the Government and the FCDO has been working tirelessly to undertake the task. Staff from across the global FCDO network have been pulled into the crisis surge team along with colleagues from MOD and HMRC. We have had multiple shifts of over 100 people working throughout the day and night, 7 days a week to deliver and will continue to prioritise incoming correspondence.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many (a) UK citizens have returned to the UK and (b) Afghan nationals seeking safe passage to the UK have been resettled in the UK since the fall of the previous Afghan government.

Since 15 August, the UK has evacuated over 15,000 people from Afghanistan. That includes: over 8,000 British Nationals, close to 5,000 Afghans who loyally served the UK, along with their dependents, and around 500 special cases of particularly vulnerable Afghans, including Chevening scholars, academics, researchers, journalists, human rights defenders, campaigners for women's rights, judges and many others. This is in addition to the almost 2,000 people we brought to the UK between April and August under the ARAP scheme. Rapid Deployment Teams have been sent to Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to reinforce our Embassy staff to process arrivals from Afghanistan. Teams have also deployed to Qatar and UAE to assist our operations there and we are providing consular support to British nationals who were evacuated by other allies, including via US airbases in Europe.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much funding the Government has allocated to support for (a) UK citizens seeking to return to the UK from Afghanistan and (b) Afghan nationals seeking safe passage to the UK following the fall of the previous Afghan government.

On 3 September FCDO announced £30 million of additional humanitarian funding to assist the regional response to the surge in refugees. £10 million was immediately made available to humanitarian partners, such as the UNHCR, in order to enable essential supplies such as shelters, sanitation and hygiene facilities to be erected at the Afghanistan border. The remaining £20 million will be allocated to countries that experience a significant increase in refugees to support reception and registration facilities and provide essential services and supplies. In addition, the FCDO chartered 30 flights for the Afghan evacuation, at a total cost of circa £7 million.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many enquiries his Department has received from hon. Members since the fall of the previous Afghan government with regard to (a) UK citizens seeking to return to the UK and (b) Afghan nationals seeking safe passage to the UK.

Since the start of Operation Pitting we have received over 200,000 emails, including approximately 30,000 from Hon. Members .

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of amending legislation on pension commencement lump sums in order to allow for the option of a minimum regular monetary sum as tax free, as an alternative to the 25 per cent tax free portion of the total pension pot.

The Government keeps all aspects of the tax system under review, as part of the annual Budget process, and in the context of the wider public finances. In 2015, pension freedoms were introduced to give individuals the choice as to how to access their own pension savings including full pot withdrawal, purchasing an annuity, flexi-access drawdown or taking an uncrystallised funds pension lump sum. In the five years since pension freedoms were introduced, over £45bn has been accessed by over 1.8 million individuals. The Government believes it is right that individuals are trusted to choose how to access their pension income and provides a range of options for them to do so.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent representations he has received on the discrepancy between the 5 per cent VAT incurred for home charging for electric vehicles and 20 per cent VAT for on-street electric vehicle charging.

Electricity supplied at electric vehicle charging points in public places is subject to the standard rate of VAT (twenty per cent). In order to keep costs down for families, the supply of electricity for domestic use, including charging electric vehicles at home, attracts the reduced rate of VAT (five per cent).

Expanding the relief would come at a cost. VAT makes a significant contribution towards the public finances, raising around £130 billion in 2019/20, and helps fund the Government's priorities including the NHS, schools, and defence. Any loss in tax revenue would have to be balanced by a reduction in public spending, increased borrowing or increased taxation elsewhere.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to take steps to tackle the discrepancy between the 5 per cent VAT incurred for home charging for electric vehicles and 20 per cent VAT for on-street electric vehicle charging.

Electricity supplied at electric vehicle charging points in public places is subject to the standard rate of VAT (twenty per cent). In order to keep costs down for families, the supply of electricity for domestic use, including charging electric vehicles at home, attracts the reduced rate of VAT (five per cent).

Expanding the relief would come at a cost. VAT makes a significant contribution towards the public finances, raising around £130 billion in 2019/20, and helps fund the Government's priorities including the NHS, schools, and defence. Any loss in tax revenue would have to be balanced by a reduction in public spending, increased borrowing or increased taxation elsewhere.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on tackling the discrepancy between the 5 per cent VAT incurred for home charging for electric vehicles and 20 per cent VAT for on-street electric vehicle charging.

Electricity supplied at electric vehicle charging points in public places is subject to the standard rate of VAT (twenty per cent). In order to keep costs down for families, the supply of electricity for domestic use, including charging electric vehicles at home, attracts the reduced rate of VAT (five per cent).

Expanding the relief would come at a cost. VAT makes a significant contribution towards the public finances, raising around £130 billion in 2019/20, and helps fund the Government's priorities including the NHS, schools, and defence. Any loss in tax revenue would have to be balanced by a reduction in public spending, increased borrowing or increased taxation elsewhere.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the (a) Scottish Government, (b) Welsh Government and (c) Northern Ireland Executive either individually or collectively have requested additional borrowing capacity for the purposes of responding to the covid-19 outbreak.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic and following requests from the devolved administrations for more certainty over their funding, including greater borrowing powers, the UK Government announced the unprecedented Barnett guarantee in July 2020. The guarantee initially provided £12.7bn of additional funding and was uplifted three times to reflect the changing situation – eventually reaching £16.8bn.

The guarantee provided the devolved administrations with the necessary funding certainty to decide how and when to provide support without having to wait for the UK Government to announce new funding first. It also meant that the devolved administrations benefitted from the strength of HM Treasury and the Bank of England rather than needing to borrow themselves.

Further information on the Barnett guarantee can be found on the following gov uk page:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/barnett-consequentials-and-the-barnett-guarantee/barnett-consequentials-and-the-barnett-guarantee

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the total value is of Government support made available to businesses in the (a) tourism sector and (b) travel agencies sector through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

HM Revenue and Customs publish statistics on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) regularly.

The statistics published in August 2020 can be found on gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-august-2020.

These statistics report that employers classified under Travel agency and tour operator activities (Standard Industrial Classification 2007, group 79.1) claimed £214 million for staff on furlough between the start of the scheme and 31 July 2020.

Further statistics published on 3 June 2021 report that employers in the Travel agency and tour operator activities sector claimed £232 million from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021. These figures can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-3-june-2021.

There are no figures available for the value of CJRS claims for Travel agency and tour operator activities from 1 August 2020 to 31 October 2020, nor for employers in sectors connected with tourism.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the total value is of the Barnett consequentials made available to the Scottish Government arising from UK Government expenditure for the provision of support to the (a) tourism and (b) travel agencies sector in (i) grants, (ii) loans and (iii) tax breaks to assist in the recovery of those sectors from the covid-19 outbreak since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

As outlined in the Statement of Funding Policy, the Barnett formula determines changes to each devolved administration’s funding with reference to changes in DEL funding for UK Government departments. The Barnett formula is not typically applied on a sector level and does not apply to UK-wide schemes such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

In total, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the Scottish Government has benefitted from £14.5 billion of additional funding through the Barnett formula. It is for the Scottish Government to decide how to use this funding.

A full breakdown of the devolved administrations’ block grant funding will be published shortly in this year’s iteration of Block Grant Transparency.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the total value is of the Barnett consequentials made available to the Scottish Government arising from UK Government expenditure for the (a) tourism sector and (b) travel agencies sector through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since the start of the covid-19 outbreak..

As outlined in the Statement of Funding Policy, the Barnett formula determines changes to each devolved administration’s funding with reference to changes in DEL funding for UK Government departments. The Barnett formula is not typically applied on a sector level and does not apply to UK-wide schemes such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

In total, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the Scottish Government has benefitted from £14.5 billion of additional funding through the Barnett formula. It is for the Scottish Government to decide how to use this funding.

A full breakdown of the devolved administrations’ block grant funding will be published shortly in this year’s iteration of Block Grant Transparency.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
19th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with (a) hon. Members and (b) representatives from the Equitable Members Action Group on further compensation for people affected by the Equitable Life scheme.

I refer the Honourable Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath to the answer I gave on 17 May 2021.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to reassess the calculation of the compensation payments made to people affected by the Equitable Life scheme.

I refer the Honourable Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath to the answer I gave on 17 May 2021.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make a statement on the methodology for the calculation of payments made through the Equitable Life Payment Scheme.

I refer the Honourable Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath to the answer I gave on 17 May 2021.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of making additional compensation payments to people affected by the Equitable Life scheme.

There are no plans to reopen the Payment Scheme or review the £1.5 billion funding allocation previously made to it. The Equitable Life Payment Scheme closed to claims in 2015 and further guidance on the status of the Payment Scheme after closure is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equitable-life-payment-scheme#closure-of-the-scheme.

The methodology for calculating payments to Equitable Life policyholders was published in 2011 and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equitable-life-payment-scheme-design.

I can assure the Hon Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath that relevant records are currently retained and will continue to be as long as it is legal to do so.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to (a) retain and (b) maintain data needed to make further payments to Equitable Life policy holders.

There are no plans to reopen the Payment Scheme or review the £1.5 billion funding allocation previously made to it. The Equitable Life Payment Scheme closed to claims in 2015 and further guidance on the status of the Payment Scheme after closure is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equitable-life-payment-scheme#closure-of-the-scheme.

The methodology for calculating payments to Equitable Life policyholders was published in 2011 and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equitable-life-payment-scheme-design.

I can assure the Hon Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath that relevant records are currently retained and will continue to be as long as it is legal to do so.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of payments made under the Equitable Life Payment Scheme.

There are no plans to reopen the Payment Scheme or review the £1.5 billion funding allocation previously made to it. The Equitable Life Payment Scheme closed to claims in 2015 and further guidance on the status of the Payment Scheme after closure is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equitable-life-payment-scheme#closure-of-the-scheme.

The methodology for calculating payments to Equitable Life policyholders was published in 2011 and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equitable-life-payment-scheme-design.

I can assure the Hon Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath that relevant records are currently retained and will continue to be as long as it is legal to do so.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he plans to take in 2021 to help people affected by the Equitable Life scandal.

There are no plans to reopen the Payment Scheme or review the £1.5 billion funding allocation previously made to it. The Equitable Life Payment Scheme closed to claims in 2015 and further guidance on the status of the Payment Scheme after closure is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equitable-life-payment-scheme#closure-of-the-scheme.

The methodology for calculating payments to Equitable Life policyholders was published in 2011 and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equitable-life-payment-scheme-design.

I can assure the Hon Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath that relevant records are currently retained and will continue to be as long as it is legal to do so.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) Ministers in his Department on (i) compensation and (ii) support for people affected by the Equitable Life scandal.

There are no plans to reopen the Payment Scheme or review the £1.5 billion funding allocation previously made to it. The Equitable Life Payment Scheme closed to claims in 2015 and further guidance on the status of the Payment Scheme after closure is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equitable-life-payment-scheme#closure-of-the-scheme.

The methodology for calculating payments to Equitable Life policyholders was published in 2011 and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/equitable-life-payment-scheme-design.

I can assure the Hon Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath that relevant records are currently retained and will continue to be as long as it is legal to do so.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to provide support for newly self-employed people who are ineligible for support from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

In delivering the SEISS, the Government has had to balance reaching as many people as possible, while protecting the public purse from the substantial risk of fraud by organised criminals and others who would seek to exploit these schemes. This has meant using data that HMRC already hold, in the form of Self-Assessment Tax Returns for the years up to and including 2018-19.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed. The Universal Credit standard allowance has been temporarily increased for 2020-21 and the Minimum Income Floor relaxed for the duration of the crisis, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have fallen significantly, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answers of 25 January to Questions 137329 and 140287, what steps his Department is taking to overcome the practical issues that have prevented the Government from being able to include the newly self-employed in 2019-20 in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

In delivering the SEISS, the Government has had to balance reaching as many people as possible, while protecting the public purse from the substantial risk of fraud by organised criminals and others who would seek to exploit these schemes. This has meant using data that HMRC already hold, in the form of Self-Assessment Tax Returns for the years up to and including 2018-19.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed. The Universal Credit standard allowance has been temporarily increased for 2020-21 and the Minimum Income Floor relaxed for the duration of the crisis, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have fallen significantly, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, they may also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish details on the Government’s approach to the compensation scheme for London Capital & Finance bondholders.

I refer the Honourable Member to my answer given on 28 January to PQ UIN 143081. The Written Ministerial Statement of 17 December 2020 set out the three main channels through which London Capital & Finance plc (LCF) bondholders can seek compensation. These are the administration process, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Complaints Scheme.

The Written Ministerial Statement also set out that, taking into consideration the specific and complex set of circumstances surrounding the collapse of LCF, the Treasury will set up a compensation scheme which will assess whether there is justification for further one-off compensation payments in certain circumstances for some LCF bondholders. The Government will announce further details in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the report of the Independent Investigation into the Financial Conduct Authority’s Regulation of London Capital & Finance plc by Dame Elizabeth Gloster, published in November 2020, whether the 11,625 London Capital & Finance bondholders will be offered compensation for their losses.

I refer the Honourable Member to my answer given on 28 January to PQ UIN 143081. The Written Ministerial Statement of 17 December 2020 set out the three main channels through which London Capital & Finance plc (LCF) bondholders can seek compensation. These are the administration process, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), and the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Complaints Scheme.

The Written Ministerial Statement also set out that, taking into consideration the specific and complex set of circumstances surrounding the collapse of LCF, the Treasury will set up a compensation scheme which will assess whether there is justification for further one-off compensation payments in certain circumstances for some LCF bondholders. The Government will announce further details in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 137329 on Self-employed: Coronavirus, what steps he is taking to include the newly self-employed in 2019-20 in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Government recognises that taxpayers have faced immense challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and it has prioritised delivering support to as many people as possible while guarding against the risk of fraud or abuse.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is one of the most generous in the world and has received claims from almost 2.7 million people so far, totalling over £18.5 billion.

The practical issues that prevented the Government from being able to include the newly self-employed in 2019-20 in the SEISS, namely that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) do not have access to the full set of 2019-20 self-assessment returns in order to verify their eligibility, still remain. The latest year for which HMRC have tax returns for all self-employed individuals is 2018-19.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a substantial package of support for the self-employed which includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the recommendation of the Treasury Committee in its report Economic impact of coronavirus: Gaps in support that the Government undertake an urgent review to see how it can extend support to the newly self-employed who are unable to benefit from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Government has acknowledged the recommendations of the Treasury Select Committee report, the Economic impact of coronavirus: Gaps in Support.

The Committee states in its report that it recognises the challenges of offering support to those who need it while implementing the safeguards required to mitigate the very real risk of fraudulent claims for support.

The practical issues that prevented the Government from being able to include the newly self-employed in 2019-20 in the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) still remain. The latest year for which HMRC have tax returns for all self-employed individuals is 2018/19.

30th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to help people with savings that have been affected financially by low interest rates since (a) 2020 and (b) the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The pricing of financial products (including the interest rates offered on savings accounts) is a commercial decision for firms and the government does not seek to intervene in such decisions. Monetary policy, including recent interest rate cuts, is the responsibility of the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England. The government therefore seeks to avoid commenting on the conduct and effectiveness of monetary policy.

The MPC’s primary objective, as set out in law, is to maintain price stability and its secondary objective is to support the government’s economic policy. The government believes that low and stable inflation is an essential pre-requisite for economic growth; providing certainty for households and businesses, helping them in their day-to-day economic decision making. The MPC is sensitive to the effect of low interest rates on savers and does consider the effect that their decisions may have on all households.

That said, the government is very aware of the challenges faced by savers in the current circumstances and has taken action on a number of fronts. In order to support savers and to reflect the government’s funding requirements during the Covid-19 pandemic, in April 2020 National Savings and Investments (NS&I) reversed planned rate reductions on NS&I’s variable rate products that were due to take effect on 1 May 2020. The government also announced on 1 May 2020 that the Lifetime ISA withdrawal charge will be reduced temporarily to 20% from 25% for any unauthorised withdrawal made between 6 March 2020 and 5 April 2021 recouping the government bonus and any interest or growth that may have accrued on that bonus, but with no further charge. Finally, the government has made significant changes over recent years to the way that income from savings is taxed, as part of its commitment to supporting people of all incomes and at all stages of life to save – this means that around 95% of people with savings income have no tax to pay on that income.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the effect of NHS pension rules on trends in the level of recruitment and retention of NHS staff.

The Government is listening carefully to concerns raised by senior doctors and NHS employers about the effect of limits on pensions tax relief. As part of a wider drive to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs to meet demand and transform care, the Government is carrying out an urgent review of the pensions annual allowance taper problem that has caused some doctors to turn down extra shifts for fear of high tax bills. Ministers at HM Treasury and the Department for Health and Social Care have met the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the British Medical Association as part of this review.

The review is also considering the responses to the Department for Health and Social Care’s consultation on pension flexibility. The review will report at Budget.

In addition, in September 2019 guidance was issued by NHS Employers informing employers of the short-term approaches that they could take to mitigate the effect of pension tax on their workforce this tax year. The NHS has also implemented an immediate measure to preserve clinical capacity amid the increased pressure on services during the winter period. This has enabled NHS employers to compensate NHS clinicians for the effect on their pensions of annual allowance charges incurred in 2019/20.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2020 to Question 23401 which states that confirmation of settled or pre-settled status is not required to access NHS care, for what reason get hospital treatment is listed as a reason on the online EU settled status scheme form for proving one’s status to a requesting organisation/individual from 1 January 2021 onwards.

It is correct European Economic Area and Swiss citizens do not require Home Office confirmation of settled or pre-settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme to access National Health Service care.

Individuals may wish to rely on the fact they have been granted status under the Scheme as part of demonstrating their ordinary residence in the UK. The online View and Prove service therefore offers this as an option, should users wish to share their status for this purpose. It is entirely optional.

EEA and Swiss citizens continue to be able to use their passport or national identity card to evidence their right to access services and this will not change until 30 June 2021.

From 2021, when the new immigration system is introduced, EEA or Swiss patients will be required to demonstrate they are ordinarily resident in the UK, as is already presently the case for non-EEA nationals who are not the family member of an EEA citizen. They can do this by relying on the status they have been granted under the Scheme.

EEA nationals who do not have protected rights will be bound by the new global immigration system.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether EU citizens that have not applied for settled status by 31 December 2020 will be able to remain in the UK after this date in the event that an agreement is not reached by the end of the transition period.

The UK left the EU on 31 January on the basis of the Withdrawal Agreement reached in October 2019. No further agreement is required and the protections for resident EU citizens provided in the Withdrawal Agreement are now underpinned by the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 and by the EU Settlement Scheme.

In line with the Withdrawal Agreement, EU citizens resident in the UK by the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 will be eligible to apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Their current residence rights under EU law will be protected during the grace period which will apply from 1 January 2021 until the application deadline of 30 June 2021. In addition, where a person has reasonable grounds for missing this deadline, they will be given a further opportunity to apply.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the funding allocated to charitable organisations to support vulnerable EU citizens to apply for EU Settled Status will be continued beyond March 2020.

The current grant funded organisations have had their funding extended until September 2020. In March, the Home Office announced a further £8 million would be made available to ensure funding for support organisations could continue through to March 2021. A new grant scheme has been launched and the bidding process started in May 2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps will be taken by UK Border Force to ascertain whether EU citizens entering the UK have settled status after the transition period.

After the Transition Period EU citizens will not be routinely asked to prove they have been granted status under the EU Settlement scheme in order to re-enter the UK, but systems will be in place to allow border officials to make such checks where necessary.

Once the new points-based immigration system is fully introduced, Border Force will be able to identify those individuals granted status digitally without the need for the individual to provide evidence.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 14 October 2020 to Question 101319, how hon. Members should contact the MOD Prime Contractor for the remediation works at Dalgety Bay in order to seek clarification and updates on the progress of the licence application and subsequent stages of the project.

I will be happy to update the hon. Member directly regarding who to contact within the Ministry of Defence for updates on the progress of the licence application and the remediation works at Dalgety Bay, or indeed do so myself, and will be in contact with the hon. Member.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
9th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on what date his Department submitted an application to Scottish Environmental Protection Agency for the requisite licence to commence remediation works of the Dalgety Bay contaminated shoreline site for work scheduled to begin in summer 2020.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is not the authority responsible for applying for a licence to Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to commence remediation works at Dalgety Bay, the responsibility lies with the MOD Prime Contractor to whom the Final Contract Award was made in February 2020.

The Prime Contractor is intending to submit an application to SEPA by the end of November 2020.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what training was provided by the UK to the Belarusian armed forces between 2018 and 2020.

The UK's engagement?with the Belarusian Armed Forces has been modest and driven by a need to build mutual understanding and trust on NATO's longest border with the CSTO. It includes Winter Survival Training, International Arms Control skills, Language Tuition and Peacekeeping.

Between 2018 and 2020, English language training has been provided (in support of Belarusian Personnel destined for UN Peacekeeping Operations) and one Belarusian Officer has completed the Advanced Command and Staff Course at the Defence Academy. Other training has focussed on Arms Verification techniques plus improving Governance in Defence as well as Command and Staff structures. Junior Leadership development alongside peers from other Former Soviet States has been delivered by UK personnel in the Czech Republic and Belarus. In 2018-19 the UK provided preparatory training for Belarusian Teams to participate in CAMBRIAN PATROL, an international military skills competition. Since 2018, the UK has trained around 60 Belarusians.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what specific police and military training is being provided by the UK to (a) Turkey, (b) Bahrain and (c) the Philippines.

We currently provide limited military training with Bahrain and the Philippines. As a NATO ally, our defence relationship with Turkey is one based on collaboration and partnering rather than direct training of their forces. All three countries routinely send officer cadets to UK military academies such as the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Royal Britannia Naval College in Dartmouth and the Royal Air Force College in Cranwell. We have also been training Bahrain's security forces for a number of years to better counter the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices.

The Defence Education & Training we provide to foreign nations, stresses the need to respect International Law and the importance of adhering to international standards, for example with regard to human rights, human security, transparency & corruption, and civilian oversight and control of the Armed Forces.

In line with the policy of successive governments, we do not comment on operational policing matters.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)