Paula Barker Portrait

Paula Barker

Labour - Liverpool, Wavertree

First elected: 12th December 2019


Home Affairs Committee
8th Feb 2022 - 27th Nov 2023
Shadow Minister (Levelling Up, Housing, Communities and Local Government)
28th Oct 2022 - 15th Nov 2023
Protection from Redundancy (Pregnancy and Family Leave) Bill
26th Oct 2022 - 2nd Nov 2022
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
27th Oct 2021 - 23rd Nov 2021
Justice Committee
11th May 2020 - 13th Jul 2021


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 4th March 2024
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Investigation into whistleblowing in the civil service
4 Mar 2024, 3:30 p.m.
At 4:00pm: Oral evidence
Fiona Ryland - Government Chief People Officer at Cabinet Office
Matthew Davies - HR Deputy Director at Cabinet Office
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 11th March 2024
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Progress in implementing Universal Credit
11 Mar 2024, 3:30 p.m.
At 4:00pm: Oral evidence
Peter Schofield CB - Permanent Secretary at Department for Work and Pensions
Neil Couling CBE - Change and Resilience Director General and Senior Responsible Owner for Universal Credit at Department for Work and Pensions
Helga Swidenbank - Director of Disability Services, Working Age and Move to UC at Department for Work and Pensions
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
13:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: DHSC Annual Report & Accounts 2022-23
13 Mar 2024, 1 p.m.
At 1:30pm: Oral evidence
Sir Chris Wormald - Permanent Secretary at Department of Health and Social Care
Shona Dunn - Second Permanent Secretary at Department of Health and Social Care
Andy Brittain - Director General, Finance at Department of Health and Social Care
Professor Dame Jenny Harries - Chief Executive at UK Health Security Agency
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 18th March 2024
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Non-executive director appointments
18 Mar 2024, 3:30 p.m.
At 4:00pm: Oral evidence
Sir Alex Chisholm - Permanent Secretary at Cabinet Office
Michael Jary - Government Lead Non-Executive at Cabinet Office
Sam Lister - DG (Strategy and Operations) at Department for Culture, Media and Sport
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th March 2024
13:00
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Lessons learned: Delivering value from government investment in major programmes
20 Mar 2024, 1 p.m.
At 1:30pm: Oral evidence
Conrad Smewing - Director General Public Spending at HM Treasury
Nick Smallwood - CEO at Infrastructure and Projects Authority
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 25th March 2024
15:30
Public Accounts Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Value for Money from Legal Aid
25 Mar 2024, 3:30 p.m.
At 4:00pm: Oral evidence
Antonia Romeo - Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Justice
Jane Harbottle - CEO at Legal Aid Agency
Jason Latham - Development Director at HM Courts and Tribunals Service
Jerome Glass - Director General Policy and Strategy Group at Ministry of Justice
View calendar
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Oral Answers to Questions
T2. The Vagrancy Act 1824 is 200 years old this year. Yes, it was supposedly repealed in 2022, but it …
Written Answers
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Asylum: Employment
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the economic benefits …
Early Day Motions
Monday 20th November 2023
Local Housing Allowance and housing supply
That this House acknowledges the endemic housing crisis which now affects all communities across the country and the unsustainable rent …
Bills
Tuesday 2nd May 2023
National Minimum Wage Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision about the national minimum wage; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 7th August 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: R & A Championships Limited
Address of donor: Beach House, Golf Place, St Andrews KY16 9JA
Amount …
EDM signed
Monday 20th November 2023
Sanctions imposed on Everton Football Club
That this House condemns the grossly unjust points deduction imposed on Everton Football Club by a Premier League Commission, a …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 7th September 2021
Transport (Disabled Passenger Charter) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to establish a passenger charter for disabled land transport passengers setting out their rights, the legal obligations of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Paula Barker has voted in 730 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Paula Barker voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Labour No votes vs 124 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
View All Paula Barker 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
Grant Shapps (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Defence
(8 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
(7 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(7 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(25 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(24 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(19 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Paula Barker's debates

Liverpool, Wavertree Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the UK to be neutral in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and withdraw offers of support for Israel.

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The UK Government should urge the Israeli Government to stop the blockade of Food, Fuel and Electricity to the already impoverished city of Gaza

Make it illegal for any employer to mandate vaccination for its employees. This should apply to all public sector (including the NHS, armed forces, care workers), third sector and all private sector.

The government is helping private firms to protect jobs by paying up to 80% of staff wages through this crisis. If it can do this why can it not help key workers who will be putting themselves/their families at risk and working extra hard under extremely challenging and unprecedented circumstances.

During the pandemic government workers have delivered vital public services and kept our country safe and secure. After ten years in which the real value of civil service pay has fallen, many face hardship. The Government must start to restore the real value of their pay with a 10% increase in 2020.


Latest EDMs signed by Paula Barker

20th November 2023
Paula Barker signed this EDM as the primary signatory on Monday 20th November 2023

Local Housing Allowance and housing supply

Tabled by: Paula Barker (Labour - Liverpool, Wavertree)
That this House acknowledges the endemic housing crisis which now affects all communities across the country and the unsustainable rent increases across the private rented sector; affirms the current inadequacy of Local Housing Allowance, frozen since April 2020; believes that Local Housing Allowance has not kept pace with rising rents; …
33 signatures
(Most recent: 10 Jan 2024)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 24
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
20th November 2023
Paula Barker signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 20th November 2023

Sanctions imposed on Everton Football Club

Tabled by: Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
That this House condemns the grossly unjust points deduction imposed on Everton Football Club by a Premier League Commission, a punishment lacking any legal or equitable foundation or justification for the level of sanction; notes that financial-not-sporting penalties for far more severe breaches have been applied, including the industry-and-community-threatening European …
28 signatures
(Most recent: 6 Dec 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 19
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Scottish National Party: 3
Independent: 2
View All Paula Barker's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Paula Barker, 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.


Paula Barker has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Paula Barker has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

2 Bills introduced by Paula Barker


A Bill to make provision about the national minimum wage; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 2nd May 2023
(Read Debate)

A Bill to make provision about the national minimum wage; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 5th February 2020

435 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
3 Other Department Questions
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment the UK Government has made of the potential merits of the Scottish Parliament's decision to provide sanitary products free of charge; and if she would make it her policy to adopt a similar initiative in England.

This Government takes the issue of period poverty very seriously and we are already taking steps to ensure that period products are available and affordable for those most in need.

Since January 2020, a Department for Education scheme provides free period products in schools and 16-19 education institutions in England. 97% of secondary schools, 92% of post-16 organisations and 68% of primary schools have made at least one order since the scheme began in January 2020.

In March 2019 NHS England announced that it would offer period products to every hospital patient who needs them (including long-term in-patients).

As part of our wider strategy to make period products affordable and available for all women, we have also made it clear that a zero rate of VAT applies to period products now that the UK has left the EU. These products are essential so it is right that there is now no VAT charge.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent steps the Government has taken to help tackle period poverty in England.

This Government takes the issue of period poverty very seriously and we are already taking steps to ensure that period products are available and affordable for those most in need.

Since January 2020, a Department for Education scheme provides free period products in schools and 16-19 education institutions in England. 97% of secondary schools, 92% of post-16 organisations and 68% of primary schools have made at least one order since the scheme began in January 2020.

In March 2019 NHS England announced that it would offer period products to every hospital patient who needs them (including long-term in-patients).

As part of our wider strategy to make period products affordable and available for all women, we have also made it clear that a zero rate of VAT applies to period products now that the UK has left the EU. These products are essential so it is right that there is now no VAT charge.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment he has made of the effect of the recent rise in gas prices on the commitments agreed at COP26.

Our exposure to high gas prices demonstrates the link between climate change, energy security and vulnerability caused by our global dependence on fossil fuels. Now more than ever, we must urgently work together to accelerate the shift to clean power generation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what due diligence checks the Honours committee conducted before Paula Vennells received an award in the 2019 New Year Honours list.

Names of honours committee members are published within the Government’s reports on the operation of the honours system, and are a matter of public record.

The process relating to individual honours nominations are conducted in confidence. There is an expectation that this remains so, in order to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the honours system. The Government has previously published information relating to routine checks carried out prior to the awarding of honours, which is available online.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
10th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will list the members of the Honours committee that approved the CBE for Paula Vennells in the 2019 New Year Honours list.

Names of honours committee members are published within the Government’s reports on the operation of the honours system, and are a matter of public record.

The process relating to individual honours nominations are conducted in confidence. There is an expectation that this remains so, in order to protect the integrity and confidentiality of the honours system. The Government has previously published information relating to routine checks carried out prior to the awarding of honours, which is available online.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what was the cost to the public purse of lecterns used by each Prime Minister since 7 May 2015.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer given to the Hon Member for Warwick and Leamington on 2 November 2022 (UIN 73117).

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the use of artificial intelligence on future levels of employment in the civil service.

The Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO), in the Cabinet Office, is working with departments to understand the full potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation and service optimisation.

In June 2022 as part of the Government Roadmap for Digital and Data, the government published our commitment to “systematically identify and capture opportunities arising from emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and quantum computing”. CDDO has convened external experts and digital leaders across government to rapidly respond to developments in this area.

CDDO is working with departments to establish the frameworks and policies to guide the responsible adoption of new technologies, including AI, and is already working with departments to realise opportunities in service delivery and optimisation. We are working to build a greater understanding of the potential impact of AI on Government work and efficiency which will further enhance our ability to plan future levels of employment in the civil service. Individual departments, within their own delegated authority, will be the ultimate decision maker as to the impact AI (or any other technology) has on their own levels of employment.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of covid-19 vaccine certificates; and what plans the Government has to introduce such certificates to access certain amenities.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by The Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment, Minister Nadhim Zahawi on 8 September 2021.

Our vaccination programme has given this nation a wall of protection against this deadly virus. Data from Public Health England estimates that two doses of a covid-19 vaccine offers protection of around 96% against hospitalisation and that our jabs have prevented over 100,000 deaths, over 143,000 hospitalisations and around 24 million infections. It is this protection that allowed us to carefully ease restrictions over the past few months. However, we must do so in a way that is mindful of the benefits that both doses of the vaccine can bring.

On 19 July, the Prime Minister announced that:

“by the end of September—when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed—we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.”

We will be confirming more details in due course.”

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average working days lost was for (a) civil servants who have and (b) have not declared themselves as having a disability in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The latest sickness absence data for the Civil Service was published on 4 February 2021 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-sickness-absence and includes average working days lost by sex and age for years ending 31 March 2019 and 2020. Sickness absence data by ethnicity and disability is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average working days lost was for civil servants aged (a) 30 and younger, (b) 30 to 50 (c) 50 to 60 and (d) over 60 in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The latest sickness absence data for the Civil Service was published on 4 February 2021 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-sickness-absence and includes average working days lost by sex and age for years ending 31 March 2019 and 2020. Sickness absence data by ethnicity and disability is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the average working days lost was for civil servants from (a) Black, Asian and minority Ethnic background and (b) recording themselves as White in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The latest sickness absence data for the Civil Service was published on 4 February 2021 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-sickness-absence and includes average working days lost by sex and age for years ending 31 March 2019 and 2020. Sickness absence data by ethnicity and disability is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the Average Working Days Lost were for (a) female and (b) male civil servants in the calendar years (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The latest sickness absence data for the Civil Service was published on 4 February 2021 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-sickness-absence and includes average working days lost by sex and age for years ending 31 March 2019 and 2020. Sickness absence data by ethnicity and disability is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 29 September 2020 to Question 95244 on Civil Service: Sustainable Development, how many requests for a meeting of the Sustainability Forum his Department received from the National Trade Union Committee in the last two years.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that public sector procurement contracts prioritise British manufactured goods and services after the UK leaves the EU.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ84363 on 15 September 2020.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of Cabinet Office guidance to government departments on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if he will make a statement.

This information is not held centrally.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how frequently Sustainability Forum meetings between civil service unions and the civil service take place.

Sustainability issues can be raised through the Civil Service Forum, which engages nationally with the National Trade Union Committee. Departments are responsible for determining their own sustainable development plans, and their engagement on these matters with relevant departmental trade unions.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans his Department has to increase (a) infrastructure spending and (b) the number of large infrastructure projects in the North West of England.

Spring Budget 2020 set out that the public sector will invest more than £600 billion in our future prosperity. The infrastructure plans set out at Budget included measures to invest in strategic roads around England, improve mobile coverage in rural areas, better support flood defences, and further fund urban transport systems. Specific allocations and delivery plans will be set out later this year.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the next meeting of the Sustainability Forum of Civil Service unions and the Civil Service will be held.

Sustainability issues can be raised through the Civil Service Forum, which engages nationally with the National Trade Union Committee. Departments are responsible for determining their own sustainable development plans, and their engagement on these matters with relevant departmental trade unions.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to secure frictionless trade with the EU.

We want to reach an agreement and we believe there is still time. We will continue to work hard to achieve it.

The eighth round of negotiations began on 8 September and we hope to make quick progress on an agreement based on our reasonable proposal for a standard free trade agreement, like the one the EU has agreed with Canada and so many others.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that raw materials imported into the UK and used for vital nutritional products will not be subject to tariffs at the end of the transition period.

The Government has been clear we want a free trade deal, based on friendly cooperation.

The Political Declaration sets as an aim a zero tariff and zero quota FTA. We would like to achieve that. Reducing the costs and processes associated with trade is in the interests of people and businesses across the UK and the EU.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether his Department is taking steps to help mitigate the carbon footprint of urban areas.

The Net Zero Strategy sets out how the Government is enabling local areas to deliver net zero in a way that recognises the differing needs of urban, rural and coastal areas.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to support the carbon capture and storage project, HyNet, to (a) safeguard manufacturing jobs in the North West and (b) position the UK as a global leader in clean growth.

The 2019 Manifesto and Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution position the UK as a global leader which will create and safeguard thousands of jobs.

We have already supported Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) deployment in the North West, with an award of over £30m of development funding to HyNet, earlier this year, through the Industrial Decarbonisation Challenge.

In our Ten Point Plan, the Government set out that we would deploy four CCUS clusters by 2030, at the latest. In May this year, BEIS launched Phase-1 of the CCUS Cluster Sequencing Process. An announcement on the results of Phase-1 in October of this year; as the process is ongoing, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the outcome at this stage.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the ability of the UK to achieve net zero by 2050; and whether the UK is currently on track to meet that target.

Over the last three decades, the UK has achieved record clean growth and has met its world-leading climate change commitments. Between 1990 and 2019, our economy has grown by 78% while our emissions have decreased by 44%, this is the fastest reduction in the G7.

The UK over-achieved against the first (2008-12) and second (2013-17) carbon budgets, and the latest projections show that we are on track to meet the third (2018-22). We recognise the need for further action to meet the fourth (2023-27) and fifth (2028-32) carbon budgets. Our sector decarbonisation strategies, and wider plans to deliver a green economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, will contain further proposals to support delivery of carbon budgets 4 and 5.

We have already published the Energy White Paper, Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, Transport Decarbonisation Plan and Hydrogen Strategy, and will publish the Heat and Building Strategy in due course. We will also publish a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy ahead of COP26, setting out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy. This will raise ambition as we outline our path to meet net zero by 2050, our Carbon Budgets and Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of biofuels, including the burning of wood pellets in the UK, on the loss of biodiversity and deforestation overseas.

The UK only supports biomass which complies with strict sustainability criteria. This considers a range of environmental issues including protecting the biodiversity of forests from which the biomass is sourced, irrespective of its location.

Where biomass is sourced from forests, it is typically waste wood and residues from commercial forestry operations that already occur, and it is a requirement that the relevant legal requirements to protect biodiversity and the environment are adhered to. The evidence does not show that deforestation or biodiversity loss have occurred in the areas from where UK electricity generators source their biomass.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of the Insolvency Service’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Insolvency Service has delegated authority for annual leave from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Insolvency Service has reviewed its policy and guidance and is content that it is compliant with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) medium and (b) long-term effect of automation on (i) the labour market and (ii) new job creation.

The Government is continuing to monitor the impact of automation on the labour market. The World Economic Forum estimate that robots will replace 75 million jobs globally between 2018 and 2022 but create 133 million new ones – a “net positive”.

We are committed to capitalising on this opportunity. The launch of the Robotics Growth Partnership will support our national ambition to put the UK at the cutting edge of the smart robotics revolution, turbo-charging economic productivity and unlocking benefits across society.

The Government also recognises that demand for skills will continue to change, in part in response to automation. We have committed to improving the UK's system for training in digital skills, ensuring that working people have the support they need to navigate the challenge of automation to a higher-wage future. This includes fully funding adults to take their first full level 3 qualification and a new entitlement to flexible loans over a lifetime, boosting opportunities to retrain and enhancing the nation’s technical skills.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government is taking steps to (a) help ensure energy independence and (b) limit the role of overseas state actors in the supply of (i) nuclear and (ii) other forms of energy.

UK energy supplies are currently derived from a wide range of sources; progress towards the UK’s target to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will further diversify our energy system.

The Department has supported measures and programmes to support the production and use of renewable energy infrastructure. For example, the Offshore Wind Sector Deal will support the delivery of up to 30GW of offshore wind by 2030 in Great Britain; the Government has made a £3 billion investment to support low-carbon innovation in the UK up to 2021; and there is an ongoing commitment to developing the UK’s domestic hydrogen sector.

Whilst inward investment into the UK energy sector is welcomed, all foreign involvement in critical national infrastructure undergoes the highest level of scrutiny. The UK civil nuclear sector has a strong regulatory system and companies involved in the industry are required to meet robust standards overseen by independent regulators.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to expand the nuclear energy sector.

The construction of Hinkley Point C in Somerset is well underway, employing thousands of workers and having already invested almost £1.7 billion in the regional economy.

In September 2020, the UK nuclear industry issued an update on progress towards the commitments and targets contained within the £200 million plus Nuclear Sector Deal. the industry also issued a report which set out how to cut the cost of new nuclear plants.

Building on the advanced nuclear spending commitments of the Nuclear Sector Deal, we have developed a package of funding now worth approximately £100 million, designed to turbocharge the UK’s advanced nuclear industry. This includes the initial £36 million received last year by the UK Small Modular Reactor consortium, led by Rolls-Royce, to further develop their design, as well as this year’s investment of £40 million in projects focused on developing advanced modular reactors and upskilling our world-class regulators.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what consultative arrangements are in place between trade unions and his Department to discuss sustainability issues at his Department.

The Department has a range of consultative practices in place to ensure regular and meaningful engagement with our Departmental Trade Unions on internal policy matters, including sustainability considerations.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will place in the Library his Department's plan to reduce its carbon emissions.

Work is in progress to reduce the Department’s carbon emissions and become net zero in the earliest possible timeframe, and by 2050 at the latest. BEIS has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 65% from a 09/10 baseline.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that UK steel is promoted in the Government’s post-covid-19 rebuild and recovery strategy.

In his speech of 30 June, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister made clear that as we recover from COVID-19, we must build back better, greener and faster, ensuring that our economy will be cleaner, more sustainable, and more resilient. This applies to all sectors of the economy, including those which are currently seen as difficult to decarbonise, such as steel.

The Government is supporting the steel sector throughout this difficult period, as well as providing the £250 million Clean Steel Fund, which will help UK steel producers to reduce emissions in line with our target to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is complemented by the £315 million Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to help energy intensive industries, such as steel, transition away from carbon-intensive energy sources.

The Department publishes a pipeline, identifying future steel requirements for all public infrastructure and construction projects annually. An update of this pipeline will be published shortly. We have also introduced steel-specific procurement guidance that requires Government Departments and public bodies to consider social and environmental factors when procuring steel.

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support the grime music scene in urban centres across England.

The Government is committed to supporting our world leading music sector, including at a grassroots level across the country. Grime music projects have been successful in applying for the Arts Council England’s (ACE’s) Supporting Grassroots Music Fund, to which the government last year committed an additional £5 million, taking our total investment through the Fund to almost £15 million. The Fund enables grassroots music organisations including venues, rehearsal and recording studios, festivals and promoters from all music genres to increase support for young, emerging and more diverse artists, improve equipment and physical infrastructure, and support them to be more financially resilient.

The Government also supports our world leading music industry through a range of export support programmes, including the Music Export Growth Scheme (MEGS) co-funded by DCMS and DBT. MEGS has supported over 300 musical acts from a range of genres and backgrounds, including grime artists, to grow their international profile and exports in global markets. As part of the Creative Industries Sector Vision we announced that funding for MEGS will be tripled to £3.2 million over the next two years, helping to support more artists than ever before.

DCMS works closely with ACE to develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences to enrich people's lives. ACE offers a range of grants and support offers, such as Developing Your Creative Practice and Project Grants, which are open to applicants from any music genre or background. DCMS officials continue to engage with a diverse range of stakeholders from across the music industry to better understand issues and concerns and to identify opportunities to support.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what recent progress her Department has made on implementing the £100 million fund for frontline charities announced at the Spring Budget 2023; whether there will be deadlines for applications; and whether organisations in the violence against women and girls sector be able to apply for funding.

As announced in the Spring Budget, the Government will provide over £100 million of support for charities and community organisations in England.

Around three quarters of the £100 million funding package will be targeted this year towards those frontline organisations most at risk as a result of cost of living pressures, due to increased demand from vulnerable people and higher delivery costs. The other quarter will be used to provide investment in energy efficiency measures to help civil society organisations reduce their future operating costs.

Officials are working at pace to finalise the delivery time frames and eligibility criteria. Further details, including how to apply for funding, eligibility criteria and application deadlines, will be announced as soon as possible.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what plans her Department has in place to support the entertainment industry in a (a) national emergency and (b) pandemic.

Responses to national emergencies and pandemics are led by the Cabinet Office, and the UK has well-developed contingency plans to respond to a wide range of scenarios.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) co-ordinated unprecedented levels of support for the cultural and creative sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme, the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme, and the Culture Recovery Fund. Evaluations and lessons learned from these schemes will allow the UK to respond effectively to any future scenario where similar initiatives may be required.

Following our experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, DCMS has established a small, permanent incident response team which will coordinate across the Department and with the central response team in the event of a national emergency.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what her planned timetable is for publishing the reassessment of the business case to privatise Channel 4.

Channel 4 is a great UK success story and, in a rapidly changing media landscape, the government wants it to thrive in the long-term while maintaining its distinctiveness.

As set out in our recent white paper, Up Next - the government’s vision for the broadcasting sector, Channel 4 - along with all broadcasters - is facing challenges to its future success and sustainability. This is due to the rapidly evolving media landscape, including unprecedented competition for viewers, programmes and talent from overseas as well as new, rapidly growing, streaming platforms.

As the Secretary of State has said, she is carefully considering the business case for a sale of Channel 4 and we will set out more detail in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has plans to increase the funding allocated to youth services in areas of high deprivation.

Local Authorities have a statutory duty to allocate funding to youth services in line with local need. This is funded from the Local Government settlement, which was over £12 billion last year. DCMS is currently reviewing the guidance associated with the statutory duty.

The Government recognises the vital role that youth services and activities play in improving the life chances and wellbeing of young people. The Government has committed to a National Youth Guarantee: that by 2025, every young person will have access to regular clubs and activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer. This will be supported by a three year £560 million investment in youth services, reflecting young people's priorities and addressing the inconsistencies in national youth spending, with a firm focus on levelling up.

The £368 million Youth Investment Fund will fund the construction or redevelopment of up to 300 youth facilities - such as small youth facilities, youth centres and activity centres - targeting investment in left-behind areas, where young people have the greatest need and lowest provision. Phase One of the Youth Investment Fund, administered by BBC Children in Need, has delivered £12 million of funding this year to over 400 local youth organisations in levelling up priority areas in England.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of state funding for grassroots sports across the UK; and what plans the Government has to increase that funding in response to achievements at the Tokyo Olympics and the European Championships.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health and all generations and communities should be able to enjoy the health, wellbeing, social and other benefits of being active. Because of this, we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of enhanced national restrictions and we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

National pride in our Olympic and Paralympic heroes has provided a source of genuine inspiration and motivation for the public. On 15th August, the Government announced that it will provide £232 million to support Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The £232 million will be invested into aspiring Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes as well as their coaches and support staff, in addition to funding from the National Lottery.

In recognition of how the sector has been impacted by the pandemic working closely with Sport England, UK Sport and the National Lottery, the Government have provided an unprecedented £1 billion to ensure the survival of the grassroots, elite and leisure sectors.

This includes the £220m Sport England has provided directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic, including their £35 million Community Emergency Fund in supporting people to be more active, including a specific focus on those people who are inactive and engaging people from underrepresented groups.

On 26 January, Sport England also published their strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’ and as part of this have committed an extra £50million to help grassroots sports clubs and organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This is on top of the £18m a year it spends on grassroots facilities through the Football Foundation.

The Government also announced an additional £25m for grassroots sports facilities earlier this year with the Prime Minister committing a further £50m in his Levelling Up speech on 15 July. These contributions are part of the government’s ambition to deliver the pitches that every community in the UK needs by 2030.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to empower football fans in response to failed plans by certain clubs to form a European Super League; and whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to prevent clubs forming breakaway leagues in the future.

The Government was vocal in its opposition to the European Super League (ESL) proposals, which were not in the interests of the game, and I was glad to see the withdrawal of all English teams from the project.

The Government launched the fan-led review of football governance in the immediate aftermath of the ESL. The Chair, the Honourable Member for Chatham and Aylesford, has heard extensively with fans over the past few months including on the subject of supporter engagement. The interim report has already been published and I look forward to receiving its full recommendations in the autumn.

The Government has already taken action to prevent a future ESL breakaway. We have worked with The Football Association (FA) to amend the Governing Body Endorsement criteria document. This criteria has been amended to ensure that overseas players can now only participate in competitions that have been organised and/or sanctioned by The FA. This would exclude such players from participating in the ESL.

The Government continues to work with the football authorities to understand what further policy interventions may be possible though, including legislative options.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what timeframe he plans for the rollout of superfast broadband and improved broadband connection speeds throughout the Liverpool area to help support business recovery as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased and as part of the Government's levelling up agenda.

Earlier Superfast contracts took place across Merseyside and were completed fully in March 2019. Across the two phases of the contract, 43,966 premises were connected to Superfast broadband.

Building Digital UK is looking at how to improve levels of gigabit-capable broadband across the UK, and has split the Project Gigabit programme into three phases of delivery. The programme will carry out a national Open Market Review with telecommunications providers across the country to establish which premises will not be covered by commercial plans for gigabit-capable broadband rollout in the coming 3 years. Merseyside and Greater Manchester are currently allocated as a single lot as part of the third phase of rollout which is expected to commence in 2022. At this stage, we will work with the local bodies in that region to highlight communities which require improved connectivity and the appropriate procurement processes for ensuring this takes place.

Furthermore, due to Liverpool’s location, it benefits from a large amount of commercial investment from telecommunications providers. BDUK will be working over the coming months to establish which specific premises are excluded from these plans, and how these can be specifically addressed as part of Project Gigabit.

Statistics according to Thinkbroadband which also takes into account the commercial build undertaken by suppliers are:

Liverpool

Merseyside

UK

Superfast (>24mbps)

97.87%

98.86%

97.13%

Superfast (>30mbps)

97.85%

98.78%

96.82%

Gigabit-capable broadband (>1000mbps)

84.08%

73.44%

40.98%

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how the £1.57 billion support package for the arts and culture sectors has been allocated.

On 22nd August, the £3.36 million Emergency Grassroot Music Venues Fund was shared among 136 venues across England who applied for support to survive the imminent risk of collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The first independent cinemas to be funded by the BFI grants were also announced on 2nd October. In total, 42 independent cinemas across England received a share of £654,883 in funding to preserve the local cultural offer and rescue organisations at risk of insolvency. As this is a rolling fund, more funding decisions regarding cinemas will be announced over the coming weeks. Awards for cinemas can include £10k to help with safety improvements and up to £200k available for business sustainability.

On Friday 9th October 445 heritage organisations were awarded £103 million from the Culture Recovery Fund for Heritage. Grants of up to £1m will deliver a lifeline for the heritage sector in England with further support to follow and larger grants for capital projects awarded through the Heritage Stimulus Fund.

On Monday 12th October Arts Council England awarded £257 million to over 1,300 organisations which applied for less than £1 million. The funding goes to theatres, galleries, performance groups, arts organisations, museums and local venues facing the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure they have a sustainable future.

Further announcements of how the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will be allocated will be made in the coming weeks.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of indoor sport and leisure facilities that have not reopened since the easing of covid-19 restrictions.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Outdoor swimming pools have been able to open from 11 July, and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total up to £210 million.

The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for.

We are continuing to work across government to ensure the sector has the support it needs to continue providing their central role in helping people be active.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with the (a) Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on support for public indoor sport facilities; and if he will make a statement.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Outdoor swimming pools have been able to open from 11 July, and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total up to £210 million.

The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for.

We are continuing to work across government to ensure the sector has the support it needs to continue providing their central role in helping people be active.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to help ensure that (a) community indoor tennis centres and (b) other public sport and leisure facilities do not close permanently following their mandatory closure as a result of covid-19.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. Outdoor swimming pools have been able to open from 11 July, and from 25 July indoor gyms, leisure centres (including sports halls) and swimming pools in England should be able to reopen. These facilities will be able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance.

Sport England have announced a £195 million package of support to help community clubs through this crisis. It recently boosted its Community Emergency Fund by a further £15 million to meet the demand, taking the total up to £210 million.

The income scheme announced on Thursday 2 July by the Secretary of State for Local Government, aims to support local authorities who have incurred irrecoverable loss of income from sales, fees and charge which they had reasonably budgeted for.

We are continuing to work across government to ensure the sector has the support it needs to continue providing their central role in helping people be active.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the timeframe is to enable (a) non-league football and (b) amateur clubs to safely host small crowds at matches.

On 18th August, the Government amended its guidance to provide extra clarification for organisers of non-elite sports events to help them manage and admit spectators safely, adhering to social distancing.

Non-league football clubs from level seven of the pyramid, below the National League North / South, can admit spectators in line with the FA’s definition of non-elite football.

We continue to work closely with all sports, including the interests of football from National League and above to support the safe return of spectators to stadia more widely from October 1st. As announced by the Prime Minister, this remains subject to successful pilots events and wider prevailing public health factors, both of which remain under active consideration.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps with the Chancellor of the Exchequer to provide immediate (a) business and employment support packages and (b) access to finance for company directors in the (i) creative sector and (ii) night time economy.

We appreciate that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a huge challenge to the creative and night time industries and the freelancers and the self-employed workers within it. The Government’s response has been one of the most generous and comprehensive in the world, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and the Bounceback Loan Scheme and business rates reliefs. In addition, the Government has adapted the welfare system so that the self-employed can access Universal Credit in full, to help people get quicker and more generous support when they need it most.

On Sunday 5 July 2020, the Secretary of State announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of cultural and creative sectors including some businesses operating in the night time economy.

We are working closely with DCMS’ Arm’s Length Bodies to develop guidance indicating who can apply for the different elements of this funding, and we will publish detailed guidance as soon as possible in July.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will provide a conditional timeline for the re-opening of (a) clubs, (b) concert arenas and (c) other live music venues without covid-19 related social distancing restrictions.

We are committed to getting the performing arts sector fully back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so. It is a priority of my department to work with the arts and cultural sectors to address the challenges of reopening.

From the information we have been receiving from various organisations and professionals, we know that the picture is nuanced across the country, with different organisations facing different challenges when it comes to the question of reopening.

The Secretary of State recently revealed a five stage roadmap that the government will work through to get the performing arts sectors back up and running as soon as possible:

  • Stage One - Rehearsal and training (no audiences)

  • Stage Two - Performances for broadcast and recording purposes

  • Stage Three - Performances outdoors with an audience and pilots for indoor performances with a limited socially-distanced audience

  • Stage Four - Performances allowed indoors and outdoors (but with a limited socially-distanced audience indoors)

  • Stage Five - Performances allowed indoors / outdoors (with a fuller audience indoors)

From the 11th July, we will move to Stage Three. This means that performances outdoors - including outdoor concert arenas with a socially distanced audience - can take place in line with this guidance. DCMS will work with sector representative bodies to select a number of pilots for indoor performances with a socially distanced audience, as we look to move into Stage Four.

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many service sector apprenticeships were available in each of the last 12 months.

The department is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes and in all sectors, including the service sector, to benefit from the high-quality training that apprenticeships offer.

The department has removed the limit to the number of apprentices that small and medium sized enterprises can take on and have cut by a third the number of steps needed to register to take on an apprentice.

The department continues to promote apprenticeships in schools and colleges through the Apprenticeships Support and Knowledge Programme, supported by £3.2 million of investment each year. The Career Starter Apprenticeships campaign is also promoting apprenticeships at Levels 2 and 3, including Level 2 Hospitality Team Member, which offer great opportunities for those leaving full-time education. In addition, students can now see apprenticeship vacancies on their University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) hub and later this year they will be able to apply for apprenticeships on UCAS.

Apprenticeship starts by sector are published as part of the department’s apprenticeship statistics releases. The statistics released also show the number of apprenticeship vacancies published on the department’s Find an Apprenticeship service. These statistics are accessible at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships#explore-data-and-files.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to support service sector apprenticeships.

The department is increasing investment in the apprenticeships system in England to £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year to support employers of all sizes and in all sectors, including the service sector, to benefit from the high-quality training that apprenticeships offer.

The department has removed the limit to the number of apprentices that small and medium sized enterprises can take on and have cut by a third the number of steps needed to register to take on an apprentice.

The department continues to promote apprenticeships in schools and colleges through the Apprenticeships Support and Knowledge Programme, supported by £3.2 million of investment each year. The Career Starter Apprenticeships campaign is also promoting apprenticeships at Levels 2 and 3, including Level 2 Hospitality Team Member, which offer great opportunities for those leaving full-time education. In addition, students can now see apprenticeship vacancies on their University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) hub and later this year they will be able to apply for apprenticeships on UCAS.

Apprenticeship starts by sector are published as part of the department’s apprenticeship statistics releases. The statistics released also show the number of apprenticeship vacancies published on the department’s Find an Apprenticeship service. These statistics are accessible at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/apprenticeships#explore-data-and-files.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing (a) financial grants, (b) interest free and (c) lower interest loans to students in the context of rises in the cost of living.

The government recognises the cost of living pressures that are impacting students. The department has made £276 million of student premium and mental health funding available for the 2023/24 academic year to support students who need additional help to succeed, including disadvantaged students.

We have continued to increase maximum loans and grants for living and other costs each year, with a 2.3% increase for the 2022/23 academic year, and a further 2.8% increase for 2023/24. In addition, students eligible for benefits, such as those who are responsible for a child, qualify for higher rates of loans to help them with their living costs at university.

Students who have been awarded a loan for living costs for the 2022/23 academic year that is lower than the maximum, and whose household income for the 2022/23 tax year has dropped by at least 15% compared to the income provided for their original assessment, have been able to apply for their entitlement to be reassessed.

The government has no plans to reintroduce maintenance grants, as it believes that income-contingent student loans are a fair and sensible way of financing higher education. In 2022, we had record numbers of 18-year-olds going to university, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds. An English 18-year-old from a disadvantaged background today is 86% more likely to go to university than in 2010.

The student funding system must provide value for money for all at a time of rising costs. It is important that a sustainable student finance system is in place, that is fair to both students and taxpayers. Interest is an important part of this. If interest payments were removed altogether, it would increase the burden to taxpayers, not all of whom will attend university. The government does not plan to further reduce interest rates on student loans. In 2022/23, student loan interest reduced public sector net debt by around £4.8 billion according to published data from the Spring 2023 Office for Budget Responsibility Economic Outlook.

Student loans are different to commercial personal loans. Monthly student loan repayments are calculated by income rather than by interest rates or the amount borrowed. No borrower will be repaying more per month as a result of changes to interest rates. Borrowers are protected. If income is below the relevant repayment threshold, or a borrower is not earning, repayments stop. Any outstanding loan balance, including interest accrued, is written off after the loan term ends, or in case of death or disability, at no detriment to the borrower. Student loans are subsidised by the taxpayer, and the government does not make a profit from the loan scheme.

To further protect borrowers, where the government considers that the student loan interest rate is too high in comparison to the prevailing market rate, it will reduce the maximum Plan 2, Plan 3 and Plan 5 interest rate by applying a cap.

New students who start courses on or after 1 August 2023 will receive their loans on new Plan 5 terms. Students with Plan 5 loans will benefit from a reduction in the interest rate to Retail Price Index only. This change ensures that borrowers on the new Plan 5 terms will not repay more than they originally borrowed over the lifetime of their loans, when adjusted for inflation.

Decisions on student finance have had to be taken alongside other spending priorities to ensure the system remains financially sustainable and the costs of higher education are shared fairly between students and taxpayers, not all of whom have benefited from going to university.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what additional support her Department is providing in the educational setting to children and young people housed in temporary accommodation.

The department’s guidance on school attendance sets out clear expectations of schools, trusts and local authorities in relation to improving school attendance. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-improve-school-attendance. This guidance recognises that issues with housing (such as being in temporary accommodation) can impact on children’s ability to attend school regularly, and highlights the importance of effective multi-disciplinary support for the family to address attendance problems where that is the case.

The government provides a range of help to schools to support disadvantaged pupils, which may include those in temporary accommodation. The Pupil Premium, rising to around £2.9 billion next financial year, is supporting schools to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. School leaders use this extra funding to tailor support, based on the needs of their disadvantaged pupils, and to invest in proven practices that improve outcomes. Currently 1.9 million of the most disadvantaged children are eligible for and claiming a free nutritious meal. In addition, the government is committed to continuing support for school breakfasts. In November 2022, the department extended the National School Breakfast Programme for an additional year until the end of the summer term in 2024.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department issues guidance to school leadership teams on supporting children housed in temporary accommodation.

The department’s guidance on school attendance sets out clear expectations of schools, trusts and local authorities in relation to improving school attendance. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/working-together-to-improve-school-attendance. This guidance recognises that issues with housing (such as being in temporary accommodation) can impact on children’s ability to attend school regularly, and highlights the importance of effective multi-disciplinary support for the family to address attendance problems where that is the case.

The government provides a range of help to schools to support disadvantaged pupils, which may include those in temporary accommodation. The Pupil Premium, rising to around £2.9 billion next financial year, is supporting schools to improve outcomes for disadvantaged pupils. School leaders use this extra funding to tailor support, based on the needs of their disadvantaged pupils, and to invest in proven practices that improve outcomes. Currently 1.9 million of the most disadvantaged children are eligible for and claiming a free nutritious meal. In addition, the government is committed to continuing support for school breakfasts. In November 2022, the department extended the National School Breakfast Programme for an additional year until the end of the summer term in 2024.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment her Department has made of the level of school holiday hunger; and whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing support to local authorities to help tackle school holiday hunger.

The department is investing over £200 million a year in our holiday activities and food (HAF) programme. Delivered through grants to local authorities across England, HAF provides free holiday club places to children from low-income families, providing them with enriching activities and healthy meals over the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays.

Last summer, the department reached over 685,000 children and young people in England, including over 475,000 children eligible for free school meals.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the adequacy of child mental health provision in (a) primary and (b) secondary school settings.

I refer the hon. Member for Liverpool Wavertree to the answer I gave on 25 January 2023 to Question 126752.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if she will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the Waste Management Policy of schools in England; and if she will make an estimate of the number of schools that have policies in place to ensure that waste materials are recycled.

The Department does not currently collect data on waste management policies of schools in England. Due to the different services provided for recycling by Local Authorities, it is not possible to provide a national estimate.

In the sustainability and climate change strategy for the education system, the Department has set out its commitment to supporting schools to align with the Resources and Waste Strategy to reduce all waste, moving away from single use items and towards re-usable alternatives, wherever possible.

The Department will be supporting schools to establish climate action plans, which will set out the action they will take to enable greater sustainability in how their school operates, including waste management.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what process his Department has in place to measure social mobility in children and young people from primary school age to (a) leaving education and (b) entering higher education.

The department monitors key metrics internally and publishes data on outcomes of children and young people from early years to post-16. This includes breakdowns of data by disadvantaged and vulnerable cohorts, and by regions and local authority.

The most relevant measures that the department tracks by these cohorts are described below, with links to the latest statistical publications:

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans to guarantee places in higher education settings for disadvantaged students.

Access to higher education (HE) should be based on a student’s attainment and their ability to succeed, rather than their background.

In November 2021, the department issued guidance to the Office for Students (OfS) to refocus the Access and Participation Regime. We asked them to create a system that supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring students can make the right choices, accessing and succeeding on high-quality courses which are valued by employers and lead to good graduate employment. We have appointed John Blake as Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS, and he will play a pivotal role in driving this work forward.

It is very important that providers focus on supporting students to see good outcomes, not just getting more disadvantaged students through the door, this will ensure that HE remains an engine of true social mobility. We know that prior attainment is a key determinant of successful participation in HE, and that is why we are asking universities to take on a more direct role in driving up the standards in schools.

The department also recently consulted on the design of a new National State Scholarship, worth up to £75 million, which will help the highest achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds overcome barriers to attending and succeeding on the course that is right for them.

Ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to access a world-class education remains a top priority, and we expect universities to do all they can to help disadvantaged students. This year, more students from disadvantaged backgrounds went to university than ever before.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his planned timetable is for completing implementation of the commitments made in response to The Timpson review of school exclusion.

The government is actively taking forward the recommendations from the Timpson Review of School Exclusion through its ambitious programme of action on behaviour, exclusion and alternative provision, which will back head teachers’ powers to use exclusion when they need to, enable schools to support children at risk of exclusion, and ensure that excluded children continue to receive a good education.

The department published a call for evidence on behaviour management strategies, in-school units and managed moves in June this year and will shortly be consulting on new statutory guidance on suspensions and permanent exclusions. In addition, as part of the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) Review, we will be setting out our plans for reforming alternative provision so it can provide leadership and expertise across the whole school system to incentivise early support, and to ensure stable and high-quality provision for those children and young people most at risk of disengaging from education.

The department will be bringing forward proposals for public consultation in the first three months of 2022.

8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department plans to take to make schools accountable for the outcomes of permanently excluded SEND children.

The government is taking forward an ambitious programme of action on behaviour, exclusion and alternative provision (AP) which will respect head teachers’ powers to use exclusion when they need to, enable schools to support children at risk of exclusion, and ensure that excluded children continue to receive a good education.

The department knows that the vast majority of pupils in AP have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), particularly social, emotional, and mental health, and that AP is increasingly operating as part of the SEND system. In the SEND Review, we will set out our plans for reforming AP to incentivise early support and to ensure that those who are at risk of a suspension or being permanently excluded remain safe and supported in high-quality education.

8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his planned timetable is for completion of the SEND Review.

The government is working at pace, and extensively with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), parents and carers, as well as those working in local government, education, health and care services to ensure that proposals from our SEND Review translate into improved outcomes for children and young people, with a focus on preparing them for later life and adulthood.

The department will be bringing forward proposals for public consultation in the first three months of 2022.

8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of (a) involving SEND groups that have not to date been involved in the SEND Review in that process and (b) expanding the franchise of stakeholders beyond the National Network Parent Carer Forum in that review process.

The government continues to work extensively with a broad range of partners to ensure that proposals from our special educational needs and disability (SEND) Review translate into improved outcomes for children and young people, with a focus on preparing them for later life and adulthood.

Ministers and officials are meeting a widespread group of stakeholders, as well as establishing a new steering group in September 2021 that brings together government departments with representatives of parents, schools, colleges and early years, local government, health and care and independent experts. The group is helping the government conclude the SEND Review at pace and advise on proposals to be set out in a SEND Green Paper to be published in the first three months of 2022. Please see the following for further details about the new steering group: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/send-review-steering-group.

Public consultation of our proposals will provide an opportunity to hear further from children and young people, parents and those who work with them so they can continue to shape and challenge our thinking.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of universities resuming face-to-face teaching at the start of the new academic term in September 2021.

The government has now lifted the restrictions on higher education (HE) including removing all restrictions on face-to-face teaching. Providers are therefore able to shape courses without restrictions on face-to-face teaching and learning.

HE providers should therefore not be planning to restrict teaching based on COVID-19 restrictions. However, as autonomous institutions, it is for providers to determine their own provision, taking account of government guidance.

As a result of COVID-19, some providers have accelerated their digital teaching and learning plans, and some will retain an element of blended learning. We know that the COVID-19 outbreak has enabled many providers to identify new and innovative ways to teaching and learning, and students will continue to benefit from these alongside in-person provision.

We expect all universities to continue to deliver excellent teaching and learning, in line with guidance from the Office for Students (OfS), and that they should provide students with a full experience.

The OfS has made it clear that all HE providers must continue to comply with registration conditions relating to quality and standards and the OfS will be monitoring to ensure this is the case.

Universities should be open about what students can expect. If students have concerns, they should first raise them with their HE provider. If their concerns remain unresolved, students at providers in England or Wales can ask the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education to consider their complaint.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the quality of teaching provided to university students during the covid-19 outbreak; and whether he plans to support students pursuing a reduction in fees charged during that period.

This has been a difficult and uncertain time for students, however, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education and I have continued to work closely with higher education representative bodies, mission groups and the regulator throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. The government’s clear and stated expectation throughout the COVID-19 outbreak is that universities are expected to maintain quality and academic standards and the quantity of tuition should not drop.

The higher education regulator in England, the Office for Students (OfS), has also made it clear that all higher education providers must comply with registration conditions relating to quality and standards. This means ensuring that courses provide a high-quality academic experience, students are supported and achieve good outcomes, and standards are protected, regardless of whether a provider is delivering its courses through in-person teaching, remote online learning, or a combination of both.

The OfS has and continues to take very seriously the potential impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak on teaching and learning. It has actively monitored providers to ensure that they maintain the quality of their provision, that it is accessible for all, and that they have been clear in their communications with students about how arrangements for teaching and learning may change throughout the year. The OfS has also followed up directly with providers where they received notifications from students, parents or others raising concerns about the quality of teaching on offer.

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

Universities and other higher education providers are autonomous and responsible for setting their own fees within maximum fee limits set by Regulations.

Ultimately, whether an individual student is entitled to a refund of their tuition fees depends on the specific contractual arrangements between the provider and student. Students do have consumer rights, and it is for them to decide whether to seek to exercise these.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the quality of citizenship education for secondary age pupils; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of expanding that education to older pupils to increase participation in democracy when individuals reach voting age.

Citizenship education has been part of the National Curriculum at Key Stages 3 and 4 since 2002. The subject aims to prepare pupils to play a full and active part in society and covers topics such as parliamentary democracy, the key elements of the constitution of the United Kingdom, the power of Government and how citizens and Parliament hold it to account. Pupils are also taught about the different electoral systems used in and beyond the United Kingdom and how citizens can take part in democratic processes, including by voting, to influence decisions.

As part of the personal development judgment within school inspections, Ofsted is required to consider pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. Inspection of personal development includes areas such as democracy and preparing pupils for life in modern Britain, which are important elements of citizenship. This approach enables important aspects of citizenship to be considered in a proportionate and integrated way.

The Department does not provide a national curriculum beyond Key Stage 4. Further education (FE) colleges have the flexibility to offer aspects of citizenship education if it is in the best interest of their students.

As part of 16-19 study programmes, FE colleges can offer a qualification regulated by Ofqual, with a small number of citizenship qualifications at level 2 and below being eligible to receive public funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Also, as part of 16-19 study programmes, students are expected to take part in meaningful non-qualification activities that develop their character, broader skills, attitudes, and confidence.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of whether GCSE and A-level examinations will take place without disruption in academic year 2021-22.

The Government has made clear its firm intention that exams will take place in summer 2022. Exams are the fairest way of judging pupils’ performance. The Department has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders who have all called for exams to go ahead.

There is continued uncertainty about the path of the COVID-19 outbreak, including whether further disruption to education may occur over the course of the 2021/22 academic year. Even if some public health restrictions were to be needed over the coming academic year, the Department believes it will be possible for pupils to take exams safely, but we recognise the need to have plans in place for the unlikely event that that is not possible.

The Department is working with Ofqual, exam boards, and representatives of schools and colleges to ensure that contingency arrangements are in place for scenarios where exams cannot be held for any reason, or where individual pupils are unable to sit exams due to illness or self-isolation. The Department will announce the detail of these contingency plans in the autumn term.

The Department also recognises that pupils who will be taking exams in summer 2022 have had disruption to their education in the last two academic years. Whilst we believe it is in pupils’ interests that they cover as much of the curriculum as possible, we also recognise that in order to be fair, exams in 2022 will need to be adapted to take this disruption into account.  The Department has recently consulted jointly with Ofqual on a range of adaptations to exams. We are currently considering the responses to that consultation and will announce final decisions shortly.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what precautionary covid-19 related health and safety measures will be implemented in schools when the academic year begins in September 2021.

The Department’s priority is for all schools to deliver face to face, high quality education to all children, pupils and students. The Department has worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England to revise the guidance for schools. Schools should continue to ensure good hygiene for everyone, maintain appropriate cleaning regimes, keep occupied spaces well ventilated and follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19. As pupils will potentially have mixed with many other people during the summer holidays, all secondary school pupils should receive 2 on-site lateral flow device tests, 3 to 5 days apart, on their return in the autumn term.

Schools should continue to conduct risk assessments and take appropriate action in line with the control measures. Schools should have contingency plans in place outlining the actions they would take if pupils and staff test positive for COVID-19, or how they would operate if they were advised to take extra measures to help break chains of transmission.

The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, and mental and physical health. In making decisions, the Government has balanced education and health considerations, weighing the impact of these measures on teaching, wellbeing and the functioning of schools and nurseries, against the risks posed by COVID-19, in a context that has now fundamentally changed due to the success of the vaccination rollout.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of improving ventilation in school buildings to help prevent the spread of covid-19.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) have advised the Government that ventilation should be integral to the COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy, and that this should include identification of how a space is ventilated, as well as guidance to ensure the ventilation is adequate.​

On 21 August 2021, the Department announced that CO2 monitors will be provided to all state-funded nurseries, schools and colleges from September. Backed by a £25 million Government investment, the new monitors will enable staff to act quickly where ventilation is poor and provide reassurance that existing ventilation measures are working.

The programme will provide nurseries, schools and colleges with sufficient monitors to take representative readings from across the indoor spaces in their estate, assessing all spaces in a relatively short space of time. It is expected that monitors will confirm that in most cases, existing ventilation is sufficient.

The Department will also provide new guidance on how to better manage ventilation, including how using CO2 monitors can help.

The majority of the 300,000 carbon dioxide monitors will become available over the autumn term, with special schools and alternative provision prioritised to receive their full allocation from September.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which step of the Government’s covid-19 roadmap will allow all university students to return to their term-time addresses.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when students who have not yet resumed in-person teaching and learning at university will be able to do so during the covid-19 outbreak.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that music education provision in schools is not reduced during the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government is committed to ensuring that all pupils receive a high-quality music education. The guidance for the full opening of schools for academic year 2020-21 makes clear that the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including the arts. In Key Stage 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE and A level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take exams in music, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

As there may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing and the playing of wind or brass instruments takes place, the guidance sets out detailed advice on how schools can teach music safely.

In relation to risk assessments for rooms and equipment, the guidance includes advice on ventilation, room size and social distancing if teaching indoors, and how to use instruments and other equipment safely. This allows school leaders to make best use of their school estate and equipment so that all pupils can participate in music education.

In terms of wider support for music in schools, in January, the Department announced a further £80 million investment in Music Education Hubs for 2020-21 to ensure all children, whatever their background, have access to a high-quality music education. Music Education Hubs continue to provide a range of opportunities for young people, including whole class instrumental teaching, individual lessons, ensembles, choirs and more. Schools should work with their Hubs to ensure a quality music education for all pupils this year.

The Department also continues to support thousands of students to reach their full musical potential through the Music and Dance Scheme, with subsidised places at top music and dance schools across the country, and part time teaching at Centres for Advanced Training, all resuming this academic year.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department can provide to schools to ensure that their risk assessments during the covid-19 outbreak do not lead to reduced access to music rooms and equipment.

This Government is committed to ensuring that all pupils receive a high-quality music education. The guidance for the full opening of schools for academic year 2020-21 makes clear that the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including the arts. In Key Stage 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE and A level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take exams in music, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

As there may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing and the playing of wind or brass instruments takes place, the guidance sets out detailed advice on how schools can teach music safely.

In relation to risk assessments for rooms and equipment, the guidance includes advice on ventilation, room size and social distancing if teaching indoors, and how to use instruments and other equipment safely. This allows school leaders to make best use of their school estate and equipment so that all pupils can participate in music education.

In terms of wider support for music in schools, in January, the Department announced a further £80 million investment in Music Education Hubs for 2020-21 to ensure all children, whatever their background, have access to a high-quality music education. Music Education Hubs continue to provide a range of opportunities for young people, including whole class instrumental teaching, individual lessons, ensembles, choirs and more. Schools should work with their Hubs to ensure a quality music education for all pupils this year.

The Department also continues to support thousands of students to reach their full musical potential through the Music and Dance Scheme, with subsidised places at top music and dance schools across the country, and part time teaching at Centres for Advanced Training, all resuming this academic year.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to support children who are missing education as a result of having to self-isolate.

The Department is committed to the continuation of high quality education for all pupils during this difficult time and expects all schools to have remote education contingency plans in place by the end of September. On 2 July, the Department published guidance that sets out what is expected from schools for their remote education provision. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-3-curriculum-behaviour-and-pastoral-support.

The Department has already delivered over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers to children who would not otherwise have online access, as part of over £100 million invested to support remote education and access to online social care. The Department is supplementing this support by making an initial 150,000 laptops and tablets available to support disadvantaged children through this scheme. Devices will be available to schools so they may support the most disadvantaged pupils in year 3 to year 11 who would not otherwise have access to a device, and whose education is disrupted.

Schools will also be able to support disadvantaged children across all year groups who might be shielding at home on official or medical advice due to them or a close family a member of their household being clinically extremely vulnerable.

Where education is disrupted in hospital schools, they will be able to order devices for children in all year groups. Further education colleges registered to teach 14-16 year olds may also apply for devices for disadvantaged children in Key Stage 4. Schools and colleges will be able to lend and reallocate the devices between pupils as they see fit.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether canaries can be transported without paperwork between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain and the return journey.

Owners should continue to follow existing arrangements with regards to the movement of canaries.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of glass recycling for reducing CO2 emissions.

The Government has consulted twice on the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and given careful consideration to the materials that should be part of the scheme. Feedback from stakeholders including representatives of the glass industry, raised concerns that including glass in a DRS could reduce recycling, reduce the products that can be made from recycled glass and increase overall carbon emissions, as well as requiring more complex reverse vending machines, and causing a handling risk to both residents and shop workers. Instead we will capture glass under Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and continue to collect and recycle high levels from the kerbside. We assess this will deliver a recycling rate for all glass packaging of 84% by 2033.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will reconsider excluding glass from the forthcoming Deposit Return Scheme.

The Government has consulted twice on the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and given careful consideration to the materials that should be part of the scheme. Feedback from stakeholders including representatives of the glass industry, raised concerns that including glass in a DRS could reduce recycling, reduce the products that can be made from recycled glass and increase overall carbon emissions, as well as requiring more complex reverse vending machines, and causing a handling risk to both residents and shop workers. Instead we will capture glass under Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and continue to collect and recycle high levels from the kerbside. We assess this will deliver a recycling rate for all glass packaging of 84% by 2033.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department plans to take to increase the glass recycling rate.

The Government has consulted twice on the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and given careful consideration to the materials that should be part of the scheme. Feedback from stakeholders including representatives of the glass industry, raised concerns that including glass in a DRS could reduce recycling, reduce the products that can be made from recycled glass and increase overall carbon emissions, as well as requiring more complex reverse vending machines, and causing a handling risk to both residents and shop workers. Instead we will capture glass under Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and continue to collect and recycle high levels from the kerbside. We assess this will deliver a recycling rate for all glass packaging of 84% by 2033.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the impact of excluding glass from the forthcoming Deposit Return Scheme on the (a) proportion of street litter that is glass and (b) glass recycling rate.

The Government has consulted twice on the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and given careful consideration to the materials that should be part of the scheme. Feedback from stakeholders including representatives of the glass industry, raised concerns that including glass in a DRS could reduce recycling, reduce the products that can be made from recycled glass and increase overall carbon emissions, as well as requiring more complex reverse vending machines, and causing a handling risk to both residents and shop workers. Instead we will capture glass under Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging and continue to collect and recycle high levels from the kerbside. We assess this will deliver a recycling rate for all glass packaging of 84% by 2033.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to discuss sustainability at his Department with civil service unions.

As with any plans that will impact on the way we work, we will be discussing these with staff and unions. This is because, in order to tackle the sustainability challenge, we need the support and engagement of all of our employees.

In addition to our internal engagement, as Senior Responsible Owner for Sustainable Information Technology (IT) Across Government and in partnership with the UNFCCC, we’ve produced learning and development material for 400,000 civil servants across Government, which we’ve also shared globally through the United Nations.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will place in the Library his Department's plan to reduce its carbon emissions.

Defra has a number of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions which include:

  • Reducing our property footprint
  • Generating renewable energy on our properties (such as solar panels) so that they are self-powered as much as possible
  • Increasing energy efficiency by increasing insulation, replacing lighting, heating and air handling systems and using modern building management systems to minimise energy consumption
  • Offsetting through tree-planting

As well as our internal initiatives, Defra is the Senior Responsible Owner for sustainable information technology (IT) across Government. Our vision for sustainability in Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS) is to show leadership and expertise as a “Centre of Excellence”. We have worked with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a centre of excellence in sustainable IT, to help 200,000 businesses with their net zero targets:

https://defradesa.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/14/working-towards-achieving-a-sustainable-future-defra-unfccc/

Our current commitments for carbon reduction are published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greening-government-commitments-2018-to-2019-annual-report. These will be updated for the next four years in April 2021 and they will set out our targets up until 2025.

Our DDTS have set out the Defra Group sustainable IT strategy to 2025. This is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defra-group-sustainable-information-technology-it-strategy

We are currently finalising our bid for funding under SR20. Once we know Defra’s settlement, we will be updating our plans to further reduce our carbon emissions over the next four years.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much revenue the DVLA accumulated through fulfilling KADOE requests for private parking enforcement companies in financial years (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22.

The fee for vehicle keeper data requests is set at £2.50 per enquiry. This sum covers the cost of releasing the information.

The total income for all data requests is as follows:

2019-20

£23.29m

2020-21

£13.18m

2021-22

£23.90m

The revenue received solely from dealing with requests from private parking companies cannot be separately identified from the wider range of requests for vehicle keeper details for other lawful purposes.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what charge the DVLA levies on private parking enforcement companies for fulfilling requests for information on (a) vehicle owners and (b) registered keepers through the KADOE system.

The fee for vehicle keeper data requests is set at £2.50 per enquiry. This sum covers the cost of releasing the information.

The total income for all data requests is as follows:

2019-20

£23.29m

2020-21

£13.18m

2021-22

£23.90m

The revenue received solely from dealing with requests from private parking companies cannot be separately identified from the wider range of requests for vehicle keeper details for other lawful purposes.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what personal information on (a) vehicle owners and (b) registered keepers can be provided to private parking enforcement companies through the KADOE system.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) records the details of UK vehicles and their registered keepers. The DVLA does not record owners of vehicles.

In response to requests from private parking companies received via the keeper at date of event service, the DVLA provides the name and address of the registered keeper. The vehicle registration number is also quoted back to the requestor.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
14th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of closing train station ticket offices in the Liverpool Wavertree constituency on the (a) safety and (b) accessibility of passenger rail travel in the Liverpool City Region.

When proposing major changes to ticket office opening hours, including closures, operators are required to take into account the adequacy of the proposed alternatives in relation to the needs of all passengers; and to include this in the notice of the proposal sent to other operators and passenger groups. We would also expect operators to consider other equality related needs and make this clear in the notice sent to other operators and passenger groups.

Together with industry, we want to improve and modernise the passenger experience by moving staff out from ticket offices to provide more help and advice in customer focused roles. No currently staffed station will be unstaffed as a result of industry changes, and train operators will ensure staff are well located to meet passenger needs in future.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will have discussions with Midland Expressway Ltd on seeking a review of its policy of charging recipients of higher rate Attendance Allowance for use of the M6 toll.

The Department for Transport has no contractual rights to intervene with Midland Expressway Ltd regarding toll rates under the terms of the concession agreement entered into between DfT and MEL dated 28th February 1992. Midland Expressway Ltd is a private entity; it would be inappropriate for the Secretary of State for Transport to seek to intervene on any aspect of tolling policy.

The Department would be pleased to offer a meeting to discuss this further.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost has been to (a) her Department and (b) train operating companies of cleaning services across the rail network provided by Atalian Servest.

The Department does not have a direct contractual relationship with Atalian Servest for cleaning services on rail.

We are unable to share the cost of contracts train companies may have in operation with Atalian Servest as these will be subject to commercial considerations.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when her Department last met with Avanti to discuss scheduling and booking problems on the West Coast mainline.

On a daily basis officials meet with Avanti to understand operational challenges, alongside ad hoc meetings on specific issues.

In addition to this DFT officials meet Avanti West Coast senior management on a weekly basis to discuss and review their recovery plan and management of key risks.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment her Department has made of the impact on the economy of the (a) North West of England and (b) Yorkshire and Humber region of not delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail in full.

The Department for Transport is currently finalising the business case for Northern Powerhouse Rail. As part of this, we are conducting economic analysis on a range of options including an assessment as to their levelling-up impact on different regions in the North of England.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the cost is to (a) her Department and (b) train operating companies of outsourced cleaning contracts across the rail network.

Specific data on outsourced cleaning contracts entered into by train operating companies is not held centrally by DfT. We estimate that the 14 DfT train operating companies spend a total of around £100 million per annum on outsourced cleaning (excluding Network Rail costs).

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what criteria her Department uses to assess whether a train operating company has provided an acceptable level of services for passengers.

The criteria the Department uses to evaluate the Performance-Based Fee are set out in the ERMA and NRC contracts.

Specifically, this area falls under Operational Performance and Customer Experience/Customer Satisfaction and Service Quality within the overall Scorecard.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate her Department has made of the wider economic costs of Avanti's performance in not providing adequate service provision on the West Coast mainline.

Avanti West Coast (AWC) has put forward a recovery plan for improvement of its services to passengers as part of the short-term contract extension announced on Friday 7 October. Both the Office of Rail and Road and Network Rail have reviewed Avanti’s plan and are supportive of the proposition, noting its full and successful delivery requires agreement with unions. The Department is monitoring AWC’s delivery and holding AWC to account as appropriate.

The Department recognises the importance of high performing rail services for the communities, businesses and local economies they serve. The issues experienced on Avanti are exactly why we need to modernise the railways, to ensure passengers get a reliable timetable no matter when they travel and are not relying on drivers working overtime in the first place.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what requirements her Department has placed on Avanti West Coast to improve their service levels on the West Coast Main Line.

Avanti West Coast (AWC) has put forward a recovery plan for improvement of its services to passengers as part of the short-term contract extension announced on Friday 7 October. Both the Office of Rail and Road and Network Rail have reviewed Avanti’s plan and are supportive of the proposition, noting its full and successful delivery requires agreement with unions. The Department is monitoring AWC’s delivery and holding AWC to account as appropriate.

The Department recognises the importance of high performing rail services for the communities, businesses and local economies they serve. The issues experienced on Avanti are exactly why we need to modernise the railways, to ensure passengers get a reliable timetable no matter when they travel and are not relying on drivers working overtime in the first place.

20th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether her Department has made a recent assessment of the adequacy of pay levels for staff working across the railway network.

According to data from the Office for National Statistics, in 2021 the median gross salary of all rail workers was £44,000. This is around 70% above the national median of £26,000.

A report, published on 6 October 2022 by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), benchmarked rail employment cost data for both Network Rail and for the first time Train Operating Companies with comparative roles. The report found aggregate industry level pay was broadly in line with (but towards the upper end of) that for comparable roles employed elsewhere in the UK economy.

The report can be found here: Review of rail industry employment costs (orr.gov.uk)

18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if she will make a comparative assessment of the effectiveness of smart motorways where the hard shoulder (a) remains and (b) has been removed.

We have paused the rollout of new smart motorways to collect more safety and economic data to make informed decisions on next steps. We will also consider alternative options for enhancing capacity on the Strategic Road Network. The latest evaluation of safety is found in Smart motorways stocktake - Second year progress report 2022, https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-work/smart-motorways-evidence-stocktake/. National Highways publishes Post Opening Project Evaluations for all individual smart motorway schemes when one-year data and five-year data is available. These are published at https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/post-opening-project-evaluation-pope-of-major-schemes/.

18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment her Department has made on the viability of new smart motorways; and what assessment she has made of the value for money of those motorways given that they do not have a hard shoulder.

We have paused the rollout of new smart motorways to collect more safety and economic data to make informed decisions on next steps. We will also consider alternative options for enhancing capacity on the Strategic Road Network. The latest evaluation of safety is found in Smart motorways stocktake - Second year progress report 2022, https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-work/smart-motorways-evidence-stocktake/. National Highways publishes Post Opening Project Evaluations for all individual smart motorway schemes when one-year data and five-year data is available. These are published at https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/post-opening-project-evaluation-pope-of-major-schemes/.

18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of the removal of hard shoulders on new smart motorways in the North West of England.

We have paused the rollout of new smart motorways to collect more safety and economic data to make informed decisions on next steps. We will also consider alternative options for enhancing capacity on the Strategic Road Network. The latest evaluation of safety is found in Smart motorways stocktake - Second year progress report 2022, https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-work/smart-motorways-evidence-stocktake/. National Highways publishes Post Opening Project Evaluations for all individual smart motorway schemes when one-year data and five-year data is available. These are published at https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/post-opening-project-evaluation-pope-of-major-schemes/.

18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of smart motorways in the North West of England.

We have paused the rollout of new smart motorways to collect more safety and economic data to make informed decisions on next steps. We will also consider alternative options for enhancing capacity on the Strategic Road Network. The latest evaluation of safety is found in Smart motorways stocktake - Second year progress report 2022, https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-work/smart-motorways-evidence-stocktake/. National Highways publishes Post Opening Project Evaluations for all individual smart motorway schemes when one-year data and five-year data is available. These are published at https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/post-opening-project-evaluation-pope-of-major-schemes/.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the viability of bringing forward phase 2a of HS2 between Birmingham and Manchester; and whether that project is on schedule to be completed on time.

On 16 June, the Government published an update on recently approved revised delivery arrangements for HS2 Phase 2a, between the West Midlands and Crewe, predicated on a delivery into service range of 2030 to 2034. These arrangements will be formalised at the next fiscal event, expected to be later in 2021.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the strength of industrial relations at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

The most recent assessment in relation to the strength of industrial relations was the ballot for industrial action which closed on 11 March 2021. Out of more than 6,000 Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency staff, the number of individuals entitled to vote in the ballot was 3,106. Of these, 1,561 individuals voted, 1,114 voted in favour of industrial action, 442 people voted against and there were five spoiled voting papers.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to provide covid-19 funding support for (a) light rail (b) buses and (c) active travel.

To date the Government has announced over £1 billion in emergency grant funding to support the bus sector in England, alongside over £150 million to support light rail. This funding has helped keep services running throughout the pandemic


Over £200 million has been made available to authorities during the current financial year, via the Active Travel Fund, to support an active and green recovery from Covid-19. This will enable them to deliver safe and direct cycling and walking measures in their areas, such as protected cycle lanes, widened pavements, safer junctions and cycle and bus-only corridors.

This is in addition to the issuing of over 100,000 £50 bike repair vouchers to encourage more people to embrace cycling as a means of travel during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Urban Transport Group and (b) city region transport authorities on covid-19 funding support.

Government officials and Ministers are in regular conversation with members of the Urban Transport Group and local transport authorities to understand the challenges faced by city region transport authorities in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. This engagement informs a range of Departmental policies, including the development and administration of Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) funding and Light Rail support funding.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to provide emergency bus funding directly to local transport authorities rather than to bus operators.

Local transport authorities do receive some Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) funding for tendered services. However, to ensure consistency with Bus Services Operators Grant (BSOG), the majority of CBSSG funding is paid directly to operators. The Government needs to be confident that the public transport system can restart swiftly as required. We do not believe that now is the right time to change our funding models.

We are also keen to avoid a situation where different funding models are operating in different parts of the country, which would cause additional challenges for cross-border services or operators whose businesses span multiple urban areas.

The allocation of CBSSG funding reflects the structure of the bus market and ensures that both Local Transport Authorities and operators have the funding they need to support up to 100% of pre-pandemic service levels, where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to consider the needs of people living in residential areas who may have to park on narrow roads and pavements as part of its plans to tackle pavement parking.

The Department carried out a public consultation on possible solutions to the complex pavement parking problem, which closed on 22 November 2020 with over 15,000 responses received. The Department is now carefully analysing the responses and the results will inform future policy decisions.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the compliance of his Department’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Department for Transport has reviewed its annual leave policy against the legislation and is content that no change to existing policy is required. Employees of the department and its agencies are encouraged to use their annual leave allowance if possible, but may already carry over excess annual leave.

The department has issued advice to staff about annual leave arrangements, reflecting the recent legislation and guidance from Civil Service Employee Policy.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will place in the Library his Department's plans to reduce its carbon emissions.

The Government is committed to going further and faster to tackle climate change, which is why we are developing a bold and ambitious Transport Decarbonisation Plan to achieve net zero emissions across all modes of transport. We published “Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge” to kick start this work at the end of March and will publish the final plan before the end of this year.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what consultative arrangements are in place between trade unions and his Department to discuss sustainability issues at his Department.

No specific arrangements are in place for consultation between the department and the trade unions on sustainability issues, but sustainability issues may feature in the consultation and negotiation undertaken between the department and its recognised trade unions.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, where the Government's fleet vehicles are produced; and whether the production of those vehicles uses UK steel.

Information on all Government fleets is not held centrally and this response is for the Government Car Service fleet which operates as a division of the Department for Transport. The table indicates the material that the car bodies are manufactured from, also indicating if UK steel has been used.

Make

Model

Country of Build

Material Used for Car Body

UK Steel Yes/No

Nissan

LEAF

UK (Sunderland)

Steel

Yes

Jaguar

I-PACE

Austria (Graz)

Aluminium

Yes*

Jaguar

F-PACE

UK (Solihull)

Aluminium & Steel

Yes*

Jaguar

XF

UK (Castle Bromwich)

Aluminium & Steel

Yes*

Jaguar

XJ

UK (Castle Bromwich)

Aluminium

Yes*

Land Rover

Range Rover

UK (Solihull)

Aluminium

Yes*

Honda

CRV

UK (Swindon)

Steel

Yes

Ford

Mondeo Hybrid

Spain (Valencia)

Steel

No

Ford

Galaxy

Portugal

Steel

No

*Jaguar Land Rover: British steel is used in mixed material bodies, and in components on all car lines.

51% of the GCS car fleet were built in the UK.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
18th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of not increasing Local Housing Allowance in line with inflation on levels of (a) homelessness and (b) the number of Section 21 notices.

No assessment has been made.

The causes of homelessness are multi-faceted and often complex, they interact dynamically making it difficult to isolate the relative importance of individual factors.

The Government is providing £316 million in Homelessness Prevention Grant funding to local authorities for 2022/23. This is part of £2 billion in funding which we have pledged to tackle homeless and rough sleeping over the next three years.

The Government has committed to a ban on section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions to protect tenants and will introduce a Renters Reform Bill in this Parliament.

In April 2020 investment in LHA rates was boosted by nearly £1 billion, providing 1.5 million claimants who rent in the private sector with an average £600 more housing support in 2020/21 than they would otherwise have received. Rates have been maintained at their increased 2020 levels since then so that claimants continue to benefit from the significant increase. LHA rates are not intended to cover all rents in all areas.

For those who require additional support with housing costs, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are available. Since 2011 we have provided nearly £1.5 billion in funding for DHPs. This is alongside the £421 million Household Support Fund which has been extended from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the effect the freeze on Local Housing Allowance on claimants during rising private sector rents.

Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates are not intended to meet all rents in all areas. For Great Britain in May 2022, 55% of the households on LHA had rents higher than the LHA rates. For these households the average gap was £146 per month.

In April 2020 LHA rates were increased to the 30th percentile of local rents. This investment of nearly £1 billion provided 1.5 million claimants with an average £600 more housing support in 2020/21 than they would otherwise have received.

LHA rates have been maintained at their increased levels since then, so that everyone who benefitted from the increase will continue to do so.

For those who require additional support with housing costs, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available from local authorities. Since 2011 we have provided almost £1.5 billion in DHPs. This is alongside the £421 million Household Support Fund which has been extended from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what amount of Discretionary Housing Payments funding his Department had spent on (a) 10 November 2021 and (b) 10 November 2022.

The Government allocated £140m in Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) funding in 2021-22 and £100m in 2022-23 to Local Authorities in England and Wales. Local Authorities administer the DHP scheme as they are best placed to make informed judgements about relative priorities and needs in their area to ensure that the most vulnerable are supported and the funds are targeted effectively.

Local Authorities mandatorily submit DHP expenditure information at mid-year, which covers expenditure over the first 6 months of the financial year (1st April to 30th September), and end-of-year which covers spend for the whole of the financial year (1st April to 31st March). These returns are used to produce statistics on Discretionary Housing Payments which are published twice a year and can be accessed here.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment has her department made on the cumulative impact on the living standards of households in receipt of universal credit of (a) not up-rating benefits in line with inflation, (b) the end of the £20 weekly uplift to universal credit and (c) the rise in living costs.

No assessment of the cumulative impact of these measures has been made.

The Government is uprating Universal Credit in line with inflation. The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions with reference to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September. The relevant benefits are increasing by 3.1% from April.

The Government is providing £12 billion of support to ease cost of living pressures, with help targeted at working families, low-income households and the most vulnerable. A further £9 billion has been announced to protect against the impact of rising global energy prices.

Since 2010 the Government has regularly published cumulative analysis of the impacts of its tax, welfare and public spending policies on households. The most recent assessment was published at Budget 2021. It showed that, in 2021/22, the poorest 60% of households will receive more in public spending than they contribute in tax. And households in the lowest income decile will receive more than £4 in public spending for every £1 they pay in tax on average.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made on the potential effect of not uprating benefits in line with inflation on levels of child poverty in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

No such assessment has been made. The Government is up-rating benefits in line with inflation. The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions with reference to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September. The relevant benefits are increasing by 3.1% from April.

The latest statistics on the number and proportion of children who are in low income families by local area, covering the six years, 2014/15 to 2019/20, can be found in the annual publication: Children in low income families: local area statistics 2014 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab).

This Government is committed to reducing poverty and supporting low-income families, and believes work is the best route out of poverty. Our approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment – particularly where it is full-time – in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for families and children.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have been affected by the underpayment of benefits after transitioning from incapacity benefit to employment and support allowance in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19th January to question number 104377.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the Landlord Portal will be made available to private landlords.

There has never been a plan to expand the landlord portal for social sector landlords to the 2 million private sector landlords.

We provide clear pathways for private landlords to raise general queries or concerns about individual cases, for example, through our Partnership Manager network.

In May 2020 we also introduced a new online system for private landlords to enable better interaction with Universal Credit. Private landlords are now able to request a Universal Credit tenant’s rent is paid directly to them online, which helps claimants who struggle with managing their money to pay their rent. This system replaces the arrangement of completing a form and submitting it via email or post.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many foodbank vouchers have been provided to claimants of all types by her Department in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21 to date.

This information is not available. The Department for Work and Pensions does not make direct referrals to food banks or issue claimants with food bank vouchers. Jobcentre staff can signpost customers in writing to a food bank where they have asked for details, and if all sources of statutory support have been exhausted.

Throughout the pandemic, this Government has delivered an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs and businesses and, for those in most need, injected billions into the welfare system. The new Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the compliance of the Health and Safety Executive’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if she will make a statement.

The Working Time Regulations 1998 (WTR) prevents the carryover of untaken annual leave from one leave year to the next. The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) policy does not. Specifically, HSE’s policy:

  • Makes provision for an automatic carry-over of 10 days annual leave from one leave year into the next.
  • Allows flexibilities to carry over more than the maximum 10 days in some circumstances, with senior manager agreement.

As a result, HSE has not needed to change its policy in response to the exception to the WTR which was introduced in March 2020, which allows allow carry-over of leave in response to the impacts of coronavirus.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the compliance of her Department’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if she will make a statement.

Following the introduction of the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, DWP revised its guidance on annual leave carry-over to ensure it is fully compliant with the Regulations. The new 2-year extension of carry-over limits is available to anyone who, for reasons related to the impact caused by COVID-19, cannot use their annual leave by their normal deadline.

The Department greatly values the contribution made by our employees, who have voluntarily postponed their leave to help out when our workloads have increased greatly over recent months. However, employees have been encouraged to use their leave where possible because it is important for their wellbeing that they do so, in order to have time away from work to rest

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what consultative arrangements are in place between trade unions and her Department to discuss sustainability issues at her Department.

The Department is creating an Estates Carbon Management plan with prioritised impactful activities. The resulting activities are currently being incorporated into the department’s CSR20 bid to Treasury.

Should the Department’s CSR20 Estates Sustainability bid be successful with HM Treasury, the practicalities and impacts of the plans will be consulted upon with the Departmental Trades Union and our Sustainability Champions network.

In 2019/20, we set up an extensive network of Sustainability Champions, covering the majority of the estate and with over 600 volunteers. A programme of monthly campaigns was underway, although this is currently on-hold due to COVID-19.

We will continue to work with our Sustainability Champions by:

  • Ensuring that there are regular campaigns addressing energy and water consumption, amongst the many other wider aspects of sustainability.
  • Communicating new sustainability targets, when they are confirmed.
  • Investigating how we can further utilise the Sustainability Champions to drive the Estates sustainability agenda.
Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to reduce carbon emissions arising from the operations of the Department.

DWP has performed well in reducing its carbon emissions to date. DWP recently submitted its annual Greening Government Commitments (GGC) return for 2019/20. Our analysis shows that we have exceeded our carbon targets for 2019/20.

DWP Estates are developing the Estates Carbon Management Plan, which makes reference to the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, as well as the UK’s commitment to Net Zero Carbon by 2050 and the UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Framework. The Carbon Management Plan utilises the OGP Net Zero Carbon tool, which DWP have been beta testing, to help determine prioritised impactful activities. These plans are currently being incorporated into the department’s CSR20 bid to Treasury. The plan includes recommendations to:

- Improve the operational performance of our estate;

- Invest in our estate to improve energy efficiency;

- Ensure we lease highly energy efficient buildings for our long term estate;

- Ensure that energy efficiency standards are adhered to when we refurbish or fit out buildings.

It is by implementing this Carbon Management Plan that we propose to meet the forthcoming new Greening Government Commitments targets, and in doing so meet the 2032 target to halve direct emissions on the public estate. This will also position the Department on the correct pathway towards the Net Zero Carbon 2050 target.

It should be noted that, as a result of COVID-19, we are looking to lease additional estate capacity for the additional coach recruitment announced by the Chancellor. This will inevitably lead to a short-term increase in overall carbon emissions across the Estate during the period of these leases. However, the lease commitments for these additional properties will be short term (typically less than 3 years) and the Department is committed to implementing measures to reduce the carbon emissions within its longer-term property portfolio.

The Department is committed to supporting the Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) targets of 25% of its fleet to be electric vehicles (EV) by 2022 and 100% by 2030. Prior to COVID-19, plans were in place to start implementation this year. We are now reviewing the impact of COVID-19 on our plans.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the £60,000 life assurance payment for NHS and social care covid-19 victims is disregarded for means-tested benefits.

The Government launched the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance scheme on 20 May 2020. The £60,000 payment it provides is tax-free and aims to provide a substantial level of financial security to the families of health and social care workers who die from coronavirus. Benefits from the scheme are payable in addition to additional survivor benefits individuals may have purchased, such as those provided by the NHS Pension Scheme.

A key principle is that Universal Credit and other means-tested benefits should only go to people who do not have assets available to meet their basic needs. This is to ensure that we can maintain our focus on getting money to families who most need it.

As the NHS and Social Care Coronavirus Life Assurance scheme is non-contributory and taxpayer funded, payments are factored into means-testing to ensure fairness and affordability for the public purse.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Parliamentary constituencies do not contain any open JobCentre Plus sites.

Jobcentres have remained open to support our most vulnerable claimants throughout this health emergency, in accordance with PHE and Devolved Government guidelines on social distancing. By implementing safety measures across our Jobcentres we can provide face-to-face support to any claimant who needs it.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans her Department has to make medicinal cannabis more accessible to those who need it.

Licensed cannabis-based medicines are routinely available on the National Health Service. However, clinical guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) demonstrate a clear need for more evidence to support routine prescribing and funding decisions for unlicensed cannabis-based medicines.

The Government continues to call on manufacturers to invest in research and clinical trials to prove if their products are safe and effective and offers scientific and research advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the NICE.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to reduce NHS waiting lists in (a) the North West and (b) Liverpool.

Cutting waiting lists is one of this Prime Minister’s top priorities. To reduce the National Health Service waiting list, the Department plans to spend more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25. This funding will expand capacity through creating a new network of community diagnostic centres and maximising all available independent sector capacity.

In addition, we are managing demand through specialised advice in primary care and giving patients more control over where they receive their care. We are also increasing productivity through transforming outpatient services, developing new surgical hubs to increase theatre productivity, and working actively with trusts to support and challenge on their performance.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to restrict off-label prescription of diabetes medication.

We are aware of a supply issue with Ozempic. We have issued guidance in the form of Medicine Supply Notifications and, on 18 July 2023, issued a National Patient Safety Alert with advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients requiring this medicine. Our guidance is clear that glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist medicines, such as Ozempic, that are solely licensed to treat Type 2 diabetes should only be used for that purpose and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss.

The General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have also issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards in relation to these medicines. We have also added some of these products to the list of medicines that cannot be exported from, or hoarded in, the United Kingdom.

We are continuing to work closely with manufacturers and others working in the supply chain to help ensure the continued supply of these medicines for patients in the UK, for example by asking suppliers to expedite deliveries. We have provided advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients requiring this medicine whilst there are shortages and are keeping this under review as the situation evolves. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

14th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase stocks of diabetes medication.

We are aware of a supply issue with Ozempic. We have issued guidance in the form of Medicine Supply Notifications and, on 18 July 2023, issued a National Patient Safety Alert with advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients requiring this medicine. Our guidance is clear that glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonist medicines, such as Ozempic, that are solely licensed to treat Type 2 diabetes should only be used for that purpose and should not be routinely prescribed for weight loss.

The General Pharmaceutical Council, General Medical Council, Health and Care Professions Council, Nursing and Midwifery Council and Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have also issued a joint statement stressing the importance of health and care professionals meeting regulatory standards in relation to these medicines. We have also added some of these products to the list of medicines that cannot be exported from, or hoarded in, the United Kingdom.

We are continuing to work closely with manufacturers and others working in the supply chain to help ensure the continued supply of these medicines for patients in the UK, for example by asking suppliers to expedite deliveries. We have provided advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients requiring this medicine whilst there are shortages and are keeping this under review as the situation evolves. If any patient is concerned about their treatment, they should discuss this with their clinician at the earliest opportunity.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to require all integrated care boards to make reference to (a) homelessness and (b) rough sleeping populations in their local health strategies.

The Health and Care Act 2022 promotes local area autonomy to allow local areas to develop their own priorities to meet their local area needs. The Secretary of State would like local areas to assess their own needs and make policies that work best for their local population.

To support local areas, NHS England has published guidance on the development of Joint Forward Plans and the Department has published guidance on the development of integrated care strategies. Both reference inclusion health groups, which includes people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure rough sleepers are not discharged from hospital back onto the streets.

The Department is committed to promoting safe and timely discharge for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness, to appropriate accommodation. During 2020/21 and 2021/22, the Department, through the Shared Outcomes Fund, provided a total of £15.85 million to 17 sites to pilot Out of Hospital Care Models supporting people at risk of homelessness.

These models provide interim accommodation and care and support while full assessments of individual needs are carried out. Feedback from sites suggests these models are important in supporting discharge and maintain flow.

Whilst full evaluation is still underway, there are positive preliminary findings, including savings to the National Health Service and other public services due to the programme. A final evaluation of the programme will be delivered in December 2023 and from this we will share learning to encourage local areas to adopt similar models.

In addition, we will continue to work to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Duty to Refer people believed to be homeless or at risk of homelessness, from NHS services to local authorities with their consent.

Improving how discharges are arranged for people experiencing, or at risk of homelessness, will also be supported by our wider work to improve discharge processes. This includes ensuring effective care transfer hubs are in place for every system ahead of winter to coordinate and support timely discharge to the right setting for people with more complex needs.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of providing funding for people to access treatment abroad that is not available on the NHS.

We have no current plans to make an assessment. However, commissioners may choose to do this for individuals in exceptional circumstances. The reciprocal healthcare agreements that the United Kingdom has with the EU and Switzerland supports planned treatment abroad, when it would normally be available on the NHS, through the “S2 scheme”. Individuals must meet certain other eligibility criteria, such as experiencing undue delay when waiting for treatment.

21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of waiting times for MR-Guided Focused Ultrasound treatment on a patients quality of life.

The Department has not made an assessment of the waiting times for patients (who are eligible) for Transcranial magnetic resonance guided focused ultrasound thalamotomy.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's preparedness for quickly assessing new medicines licensed through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's international recognition framework that will be in place from 1 January 2024.

The new international recognition framework will allow the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to make the most of the expertise and decision-making of trusted regulatory partners to streamline assessments of specific products. As a result, cutting-edge medicines that have been approved in other countries will be licensed in the United Kingdom more quickly. The MHRA will continue to closely engage with key stakeholder groups in the development of their International Recognition Framework.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is committed to publishing guidance on new medicines close to the point of licensing wherever possible, and works closely with the MHRA to ensure that its appraisal timelines are aligned with the regulatory process. In 2022/23, NICE piloted a proportionate approach to health technology evaluation to drive rapid patient access to effective new medicines by optimising use of its appraisal capacity. NICE recommended five treatments through this proportionate approach, benefitting around 175,000 patients. For these topics, the appraisal process was completed 45% faster.

The Government is working with NICE and MHRA to consider the need for further changes to ensure that it is able to issue timely guidance.

14th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the potential impact of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency international recognition framework, starting on 1 January 2024, on the average time taken for medicines to become available to NHS patients.

The new international recognition framework will allow the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to make the most of the expertise and decision-making of trusted regulatory partners to streamline assessments of specific products. As a result, cutting-edge medicines that have been approved in other countries will be licensed in the United Kingdom more quickly. The MHRA will continue to closely engage with key stakeholder groups in the development of their International Recognition Framework.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is committed to publishing guidance on new medicines close to the point of licensing wherever possible, and works closely with the MHRA to ensure that its appraisal timelines are aligned with the regulatory process. In 2022/23, NICE piloted a proportionate approach to health technology evaluation to drive rapid patient access to effective new medicines by optimising use of its appraisal capacity. NICE recommended five treatments through this proportionate approach, benefitting around 175,000 patients. For these topics, the appraisal process was completed 45% faster.

The Government is working with NICE and MHRA to consider the need for further changes to ensure that it is able to issue timely guidance.

14th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which cancer medicines are being reviewed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency under Project Orbis as of 14 June 2023.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does not publish details on applications currently under review as this is considered commercially sensitive information. That said, details of the products approved by the MHRA under Project Orbis are published on the MHRA website available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-on-project-orbis#overview-of-orbis-project-approvals

14th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which cancer medicines have received (a) an innovation passport and (b) other support under the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway; and if he will make an assessment of the impact of the pathway on the time taken for innovative treatments to become available to patients.

The Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway (ILAP) was launched in January 2021, and has seen strong interest from both small and large companies in a variety of therapeutic settings. Companies who successfully gain an Innovation Passport designation are able to apply for the next step; the Target Development Profile. There are currently 55 cancer drugs that have been awarded an innovation passport as part of the Innovative Licensing and Access Pathway. Eight of these products have accessed the Target Development Profile and a further seven are in progress.

Holding an innovation passport is required to apply for Project Orbis. Project Orbis provides a framework for concurrent submission and review of oncology products among international partners, aiming to deliver faster patient access to innovative cancer treatments. 27 innovation passport holders have applied for Project Orbis.

Following the McLean report there is ongoing work to ensure enhanced speed and efficiency of ILAP.

14th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency plans to consult representatives of (a) patient organisations and (b) the pharmaceutical industry on its plans for new regulatory recognition routes for medicines under the international recognition framework, starting on 1 January 2024.

Regarding the first part of the question on consultation with patient organisations, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) held a workshop on 3 November 2022 to obtain patient views on the MHRA’s proposals for a new International Recognition Framework. The MHRA intends to hold another patient workshop this Summer to discuss its proposals in further detail.

Regarding consultation with members of the pharmaceutical industry, the MHRA has held a number of workshops and focus groups with Trade Associations and their members to generate insight from industry subject matter experts. This has included a workshop on the MHRA’s early-stage prototype for the recognition framework to obtain feedback on practical implications. The MHRA will continue to closely engage with key stakeholder groups in the development of its International Recognition Framework.

27th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the level of uptake for the bowel cancer screening programme.

In 2019 the Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) was rolled out in England for the bowel screening programme. FIT has found to be both more accurate and more acceptable to patients, because of its non-invasive nature.

To increase uptake of screening NHS England ran a ‘help us to help you’ campaign about bowel screening in February and March 2023. The aim of this campaign was to encourage people to take up the offer of bowel cancer screening.

1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to provide funding for mental health services for people under the age of 18.

It is the responsibility of integrated care boards (ICBs) to make available appropriate provision to meet the health and care needs of their local population, and we are supporting them to expand mental health services through the NHS Long Term Plan, which commits to increasing investment into mental health services by at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 so that an additional two million are able to access National Health Service funded mental health support.

The spend for children and young people’s mental health services has increased from £841.4 million in 2019/20 to £994.8 million 2021/22, with a planned spend of £1.0815 billion in 2022/23. This funding is across both NHS specialised commissioning which includes eating disorders services and local commissioning. The source of this data is from the NHS England dashboard. Previous and most recent NHS mental health dashboards is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-mental-health-dashboard

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of community provision of mental health services to under-18s.

The Department keeps the mental health of children and young people and the services available for them, under continuous assessment through studies such as the Mental Health and Young People Survey 2017 and its follow up reports. The mental health services dataset indicates that 689,621 under 18 year olds were supported through at least one contact with National Health Service funded mental health services in the year up to July 2022.

The NHS Long Term plan commits to increasing investment into NHS mental health services in England by at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 and aims for an additional 345,000 children and young people to be able to get the mental health support they need.

In recognition of the increased demand created by the COVID-19 pandemic, we invested an extra £79 million in 2021/22 to significantly expand children’s mental health services, including enabling around 22,500 more children and young people to access community health services, 2,000 more to access eating disorder services and a faster increase in the coverage of mental health support teams in schools and colleges.

There are currently 287 mental health support teams in place in around 4,700 schools and colleges across the country, offering support to children experiencing anxiety, depression, and other common mental health issue. Mental health support teams now cover 26 per cent. of pupils, a year earlier than originally planned and this will increase to 399 teams, covering around 35 per cent. of pupils, by April 2023 with over 500 planned to be up and running by 2024.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the scale of mental ill-health amongst the male population; and what plans his Department has to help reduce the number of deaths from male suicide.

‘Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey: Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, England, 2014’

Showed that one in five women (20.7%) and one in eight men (13.2%) were estimated to have symptoms of common mental health disorders.

From 2019/20, we are investing £57 million in suicide prevention through the NHS Long Term Plan. This will see investment in every area by 2023/24 to support local suicide prevention plans and establish suicide bereavement support services. We have ensured that this funding is testing different approaches to reaching men in local communities.

We also announced in May 2022 that 113 suicide prevention voluntary, community and social enterprises received a share of £5.4 million funding in 2021/22 to prevent suicide in high-risk groups, including men.

In addition, every local authority area has a suicide prevention plan in place, and the guidance we issued to local authorities highlights the importance of working across all local services, including the voluntary sector, to target high risk groups such as men.

The Department is working closely with the National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group and wider stakeholders over the coming months to develop the new National Suicide Prevention Strategy. This will include discussions on issues relating to high-risk groups, such as men.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of operation waiting times in the Liverpool Wavertree constituency as of 6 February 2023.

No specific assessment has been made.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that doorways in new hospital buildings are wide enough to allow beds to pass through them.

NHS England provides guidance for designing new hospitals. The current guidance is Health Building Note (HBN) 00-04 Circulation and Communication Spaces which sets out the door and corridor width requirements for bed movement.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Sir Mike Richards report of the independent review of adult screening programmes in England, whether he is taking steps to deliver a new IT system in the Breast Screening Programme.

NHS England have launched the Digital transformation of screening programme in response to the report’s recommendations. Discovery work on a new breast screening IT system has recently been completed.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of when a second provider will be commissioned for MR-guided focused ultrasound in the (a) North and (b) south of England.

No specific assessment has been made regarding the number of patients with essential tremor in Liverpool. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust provide this treatment in England and meet patient demand. There are no current plans to expand the number of providers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when her Department last discussed the local government finance settlement in respect to adult social care service provision demands across local council areas with the Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities.

We have regular discussions with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on adult social care service delivery and budgets.

The Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/23 made an additional £3.7 billion available to councils compared to 2021/22. Through the settlement, local authorities have access to an additional £1 billion for social care in 2022/23.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment her Department has made on the potential merit of local authorities providing adult social care services based on an in-house, insourced service model.

Local authorities are responsible for the commissioning of care and support services to meet the needs of the local population. The Health and Care Act 2022 includes provisions for the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to assess the performance of local authorities' of delivery adult social care duties, as set out under the Care Act 2014. The CQC has been working with local government and the care sector to develop a framework for these assessments, which includes consideration of how local authorities undertake commissioning and market shaping duties.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of private sector provision of adult social care services on the (a) quality of care outcomes and (b) ability to recruit and retain staff in England and Wales.

No specific assessment has been made. Local authorities are responsible for the commissioning of care and support services to meet the needs of the local populations. Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities have a duty to shape local markets to ensure a range of high quality, sustainable, person-centred care and support services are provided.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the effectiveness of Integrated Care Systems in involving local authorities in decision making and governance.

The Health and Care Act 2022 established integrated care boards and required the creation of integrated care partnerships as statutory elements of integrated care systems. Both organisations have governance and decision-making roles for local government.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of trends in the level of healthy life expectancy in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

No specific assessment has been made.

‘Our plan for patients’, published on 22 September, sets out the immediate priorities to support individuals to live healthier lives, including improving access to health and care services in all areas and preventing ill-health. Further information on measures to address health disparities will be available in due course.

18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of the level of wages in the care sector on the vacancy rate in the (a) short, (b) medium and (c) long term.

No specific assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of care homes were rated as good by the Care Quality Commission in Liverpool Wavertree constituency as of October 2022.

As of 13 October, 10 (90.9 per cent) out of 11 care homes were rated good overall by CQC in the Liverpool, Wavertree constituency.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people were diagnosed with diabetes in Liverpool Wavertree constituency in each of the last five years.

The following table shows the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Hammersmith constituency in each year from 2016 to 2020, by diabetes type.

Type 1

Type 2 and other

2016

20

420

2017

30

360

2018

25

375

2019

20

510

2020

15

320

The following table shows the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Weaver Vale constituency in each year from 2016 to 2020, by diabetes type.

Type 1

Type 2 and other

2016

10

315

2017

20

290

2018

15

365

2019

15

300

2020

15

265

The following table shows the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Liverpool Wavertree constituency in each year from 2016 to 2020, by diabetes type.

Type 1

Type 2 and other

2016

15

385

2017

30

330

2018

15

430

2019

20

530

2020

15

275

Source: National Diabetes Audit

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of social care capacity in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

No specific assessment has been made. Local authorities have a responsibility under the Care Act 2014 to ensure that the care needs of the local population are met.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of dental practices were rated as good by the Care Quality Commission in Liverpool Wavertree constituency as of 13th October 2022.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) does not currently rate providers of primary dental care services. The Care Quality Commission publishes an assessment against five ‘key aspects’ that determine whether a dental provider is meeting its regulatory requirements. These are, treating people with respect and involving them in their care, providing care, treatment and support that meets people's needs, caring for people safely and protecting them from harm, staffing and quality and suitability of management

The CQC’s website allows the public to search by service type and location to find local dentists and their profiles, which display their regulatory performance and inspection reports.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the NHS dentist provision in Liverpool Wavertree.

No specific assessment has been made. In September, we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how we will meet oral health needs and increase access to dental care, including in Liverpool Wavertree.

The plan includes improvements to ensure dentists are renumerated fairly for more complex work, allowing greater flexibility to reallocate resources and to utilise dentists with greater capacity to deliver National Health Service treatment, whilst enabling full use of the dental team. The plan also includes streamlining processes for overseas dentists and holding the local NHS to account for dentistry provision. In addition, Health Education England is also reforming dental education to improve the recruitment and retention of dental professionals.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help improve access to NHS dental services in Liverpool Wavertree.

No specific assessment has been made. In September, we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which outlines how we will meet oral health needs and increase access to dental care, including in Liverpool Wavertree.

The plan includes improvements to ensure dentists are renumerated fairly for more complex work, allowing greater flexibility to reallocate resources and to utilise dentists with greater capacity to deliver National Health Service treatment, whilst enabling full use of the dental team. The plan also includes streamlining processes for overseas dentists and holding the local NHS to account for dentistry provision. In addition, Health Education England is also reforming dental education to improve the recruitment and retention of dental professionals.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her department is taking to help support the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of GPs in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

We are working with NHS England, Health Education England and the profession to increase the general practice workforce in England, including in Liverpool Wavertree. This includes measures to improve recruitment, address the reasons why doctors leave the profession and encourage them to return to practice.

The updated GP Contract Framework announced a number of new schemes, alongside continued support for existing recruitment and retention schemes for the general practice workforce. This includes the GP Retention Scheme, the GP Retention Fund, the National GP Induction and Refresher, the Locum Support Scheme, the New to Partnership Payment and the Supporting Mentors Scheme.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if her department will take steps to increase the availability of face-to-face GP appointments in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

On 22 September 2022, we announced ‘Our plan for patients’, which contains measures to assist people make an informed choice on their general practitioner (GP) practice, book an appointment more easily, benefit from more care options and increase the diversity of general practice teams. This aims to increase the availability of appointment types, such as face-to-face, in England, including in Liverpool Wavertree.

NHS England’s guidance states that GP practices must provide face to face appointments and remote consultations and should respect preferences for face-to-face care unless there are good clinical reasons to the contrary.  While remote consultations can provide additional choice, flexibility and convenience for patients, this is not suitable for all patients or in all circumstances.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of GP surgeries were rated as good by the Care Quality Commission in Liverpool Wavertree constituency as of March 2020.

As at 2 March 2020, 16 or 84.2% of general practitioner practices in the Liverpool Wavertree constituency were rated by the Care Quality Commission as ‘good’ overall.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help support young people with eating disorders in Liverpool Wavertree.

In September we announced ‘Our Plan for Patients’, which outlines how we will increase access to National Health Service mental health and eating disorder services, including in Liverpool Wavertree. Making it easier to access general practice through our ABCD priorities will expand this route as a gateway to mental health care.

Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 to expand these services for adults, children and young people in England, including in Liverpool Wavertree.

We will invest approximately £1 billion in community mental health care for adults with severe mental illness, including eating disorders, by 2023/24 and an additional £53 million per year in children and young people's community eating disorder services to increase capacity in the 70 community eating disorder teams.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help improve access to mental health services in Liverpool Wavertree.

In September we announced ‘Our Plan for Patients’, which outlines how we will increase access to National Health Service mental health and eating disorder services, including in Liverpool Wavertree. Making it easier to access general practice through our ABCD priorities will expand this route as a gateway to mental health care.

Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 to expand these services for adults, children and young people in England, including in Liverpool Wavertree.

We will invest approximately £1 billion in community mental health care for adults with severe mental illness, including eating disorders, by 2023/24 and an additional £53 million per year in children and young people's community eating disorder services to increase capacity in the 70 community eating disorder teams.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of trends in rates of perinatal mortality in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

No specific assessment has been made. The national maternity safety ambition aims to halve the 2010 rates of stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths and brain injuries in babies occurring during or soon after birth, by 2025.

Since 2010, the rate of stillbirths has reduced by 19.3% and the rate of neonatal mortality for babies born over 24 weeks gestational age of viability has reduced by 36% and maternal mortality has reduced by 17%. We have introduced targeted interventions to accelerate progress, such as the Saving Babies Lives Care Bundle and the Brain Injury Reduction Programme.

NHS England has also invested £127 million into the National Health Service maternity workforce and improving neonatal care. This is in addition to the investment of £95 million made in 2021 to fund a further 1,200 midwives and 100 consultant obstetricians. NHS England is offering funding and support to trusts to recruit an additional 300 to 500 overseas midwives in the next 12 months.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate her department has made of the number of residential care homes that have closed in Liverpool Wavertree constituency since May 2015.

Since May 2015, nine care homes have been deactivated in Liverpool Wavertree. The Care Quality Commission records care homes which have closed as ‘deactivated’. The ‘deactivated’ locations exclude care homes where the provider continues to operate under a new, separate registration. This could be due to a legal entity change or a change in the provider.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help increase the uptake of breast cancer screening in Liverpool Wavertree.

The Department is working with NHS England to finalise the delivery of £10 million for breast screening units, including determining which areas will benefit from this investment.

National Health Service breast screening providers are also encouraged to work with Cancer Alliances, Primary Care Networks, NHS regional teams and the voluntary sector to promote the uptake of breast screening and ensure access to services.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her department has provided additional (a) financial and (b) other support to help tackle (i) patient backlogs and (ii) increased workloads in GP surgeries in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

The ‘Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care’, published in February 2022, stated the ambition to reduce patient backlogs for planned National Health Service treatments and the government plans to spend more than £8bn from 2022/23 to 2024/25. We made £520 million available to expand general practice capacity during the pandemic. This was in addition to at least £1.5 billion announced in 2020 by 2024 which includes supporting increased workloads in General Practice (GP) surgeries, including in Liverpool Wavertree. In September 2022, ‘Our plan for patients’ announced measures to support GP practices increase access and manage workload such as the provision of 31,000 phone lines and freeing up funding rules to widen the types of staff that work in general practice, including in Liverpool Wavertree.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her department is taking to help reduce waiting times for elective surgeries in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

The ‘Delivery plan for tackling the COVID-19 backlog of elective care’ sets out how the National Health Service will recover and expand elective services over the next three years, including in Liverpool Wavertree. We have allocated more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25, in addition to the £2 billion Elective Recovery Fund and £700 million Targeted Investment Fund already made available in 2021/2022 to increase elective activity. This funding aims to deliver the equivalent of approximately nine million additional checks and procedures and 30% further elective activity by 2024/25 than pre-pandemic levels. A proportion of this funding will be invested in workforce capacity and training and we have committed to invest £5.9 billion for new beds, equipment and technology.

The target to eliminate waiting times of two years or more for elective procedures was met in July 2022 and we aim to eliminate waiting time of eighteen months or more by April 2023. This will be achieved through increasing capacity, seeking alternate capacity in other trusts or the independent sector and engaging with patients to understand choices made regarding their care.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her department is taking to help support the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of midwives in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

NHS England retains oversight of local workforce plans and is updated on vacancy rates. However, recruitment and retention is undertaken at trust level.

In 2022, an additional £127 million has been invested in the National Health Service maternity workforce and improving neonatal care, including in Liverpool Wavertree. This is in addition to the £95 million invested in 2021 to fund a further 1,200 midwives and 100 consultant obstetricians. The NHS People Plan focuses on improving the retention of NHS staff by prioritising staff health and wellbeing. In 2022/23, £45 million has been allocated to support the continuation of 40 mental health hubs, the Professional Nurse Advocates programme and expanding the NHS Practitioner Health service.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her department is taking to help support the (a) recruitment and (b) retention of mental health specialists in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

The NHS Long Term Plan stated the aim of increasing the mental health workforce in England by an additional 27,000 professionals by 2023/24. NHS England and Health Education England are working with local integrated care systems, including in NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, to confirm plans for service models, supply, retention and recruitment until 2024.

NHS England continues to support local systems, including in NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, to develop tailored health and wellbeing offers to meet the needs of the local mental health workforce. This includes mental health hubs in each integrated care system and occupational health services which are being supported through the Growing Occupational Health and Wellbeing national programme.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) financial and (b) other steps her department is taking to help tackle NHS workforce shortages in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

The Department has commissioned NHS England to develop a long-term workforce plan. The plan will consider the number of staff and the roles required and will set out the actions and reforms needed to improve workforce supply and retention, including in Liverpool Wavertree.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of trends in the level of life expectancy in Liverpool Wavertree constituency.

No specific assessment has been made.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made (a) podiatry vacancy rates in the NHS in Liverpool Wavertree constituency and (b) the impact these vacancies may have on patient treatment for diabetic foot complications.

The information requested is not held centrally.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to increase provision of mental health services for young people.

We are investing at least £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 to support an additional 345,000 children and young people to access National Health Service-funded mental health services. There are currently 287 mental health support teams supporting children experiencing anxiety, depression and other common mental health issues in approximately 4,700 schools and colleges. This will increase to over 500 teams, providing services to approximately 35% of pupils by 2023/24. We have also launched a call for evidence to support the development of a new 10-year cross-Government plan for mental health and wellbeing in England, including children and young people’s mental health.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) local and (b) national steps he is taking to help ensure all patients across England can access free flap or autologous breast reconstruction and implant reconstruction.

The NHS Cancer Programme has asked Cancer Alliances to ensure that wherever possible, surgery takes place with immediate breast reconstruction and to seek opportunities to accelerate reconstruction for those women who have not undergone the procedure following previous breast surgery during the pandemic. The NHS Cancer Programme has stated that no local time limits should be applied to reconstructive surgery, in particular where the reconstructive surgery has been delayed as a result of the pandemic.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) local and (b) national steps he is taking to help grow the oncoplastic workforce.

In 2022/23 Health Education England is investing an additional £50 million to expand the cancer and diagnostics workforce, including in oncoplastic surgery. Officials are currently analysing the responses received to the call for evidence to develop the forthcoming 10 Year Cancer Plan, which will ensure that the appropriate workforce is in place.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many dentist practices are not accepting NHS patients, broken down by each CCG area.

The data requested is not held centrally. Practices are responsible for regularly updating their NHS.UK profiles to inform the public whether new patients are accepted.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the accessibility for patients of NHS funded dentistry care.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with stakeholders, including the British Dental Association (BDA), on improvements to the National Health Service dental system, with negotiations currently underway. This aims to improve patient access, reduce health inequalities and make the NHS a more attractive place to work for dentists.   We will set out a timetable for implementation when these negotiations conclude.

Between April and June 2022, NHS England and NHS Improvement have asked practices to deliver at least 95% of contracted units of dental activity to safely improve access for patients.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure that hospital trusts are not using linear accelerator radiotherapy machines over the 10 year recommended lifespan.

As of 31 March 2022, there were approximately 20 linear accelerator radiotherapy machines (LINACs) aged 10 years or over in routine National Health Service use.

Since 2016, £162 million has been provided to support the replacement and upgrade of 100 LINACs. The 2021 Spending Review allocated £12 billion in operational capital for the NHS over the next three years. This investment will be managed by local systems and will include the modernisation of the radiotherapy estate, to replace any machine which is more than 10 years old.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of radiotherapy machines currently in use by the NHS which are older than 10 years.

As of 31 March 2022, there were approximately 20 linear accelerator radiotherapy machines (LINACs) aged 10 years or over in routine National Health Service use.

Since 2016, £162 million has been provided to support the replacement and upgrade of 100 LINACs. The 2021 Spending Review allocated £12 billion in operational capital for the NHS over the next three years. This investment will be managed by local systems and will include the modernisation of the radiotherapy estate, to replace any machine which is more than 10 years old.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will review the method by which radiotherapy is funded in the UK to (a) increase access to treatments, (b) modernise equipment and (c) grow the specialist cancer workforce.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to review the payment arrangements for radiotherapy, to ensure that appropriate incentives are in place to encourage providers to increase access to new treatments and techniques and upgrade and replace equipment.

While this has been delayed due to the pandemic and the temporary financial regime introduced to support the National Health Service response, it is expected to be completed during 2022/23. Each provider is responsible for ensuring it has the optimal workforce in place to deliver the service, balancing staff numbers, skills and technological innovations and allocating investment accordingly. This will be assisted by reforms to the payment model for radiotherapy.

To increase access to new treatments and techniques, NHS England and NHS Improvement have a ‘package price’ for stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) in place to ensure that trusts are reimbursed at a higher price for the treatment than under the National Tariff. With centrally funded external quality assurance and clinical mentoring arrangements, every NHS radiotherapy provider in England has established a local SABR service.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to commission a review of radiotherapy capacity and demand to include (a) the age of radiotherapy machines, (b) the current state of IT connectivity and (c) an estimate of the number of radiotherapy machines required by the NHS.

In 2022/23, NHS England and NHS Improvement will undertake a capacity and demand review of external beam radiotherapy capacity. This review is intended to support systems to plan radiotherapy provision, including the replacement of equipment. The review will not consider IT connectivity or the age of machines as these factors should form part of system planning for equipment replacement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commenced a three-year pilot of a new cloud-based technology ‘ProKnow’, as recommended in the Digital Playbook for Cancer. This system will enable clinicians to collaborate virtually within and across services to plan treatments, undertake peer review processes and participate in large-scale audit and quality improvement processes.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will undertake a capacity and demand review of radiotherapy cancer services; and if he will take steps to increase overall radiotherapy capacity.

In 2022/23, NHS England and NHS Improvement will undertake a capacity and demand review of external beam radiotherapy capacity. This review is intended to support systems to plan radiotherapy provision, including the replacement of equipment. The review will not consider IT connectivity or the age of machines as these factors should form part of system planning for equipment replacement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commenced a three-year pilot of a new cloud-based technology ‘ProKnow’, as recommended in the Digital Playbook for Cancer. This system will enable clinicians to collaborate virtually within and across services to plan treatments, undertake peer review processes and participate in large-scale audit and quality improvement processes.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to help increase access to radiotherapy treatments in the 10-year cancer plan; and if he will meet with parliamentarians and Radiotherapy UK to discuss that matter.

The forthcoming 10 Year Cancer Plan is currently in development and we are assessing evidence on a range of policy proposals. We are also analysing the responses received to the call for evidence which closed in early April. A meeting with members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Radiotherapy and representatives of Radiotherapy UK has been scheduled.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the national blood tube shortage affecting the NHS in England.

We have secured tens of millions of additional blood tubes, including importing additional supplies from the European Union and the United States of America which are now in use and there continues to be stock in place to ensure clinically urgent testing continues. The Department is working closely with NHS England, the devolved administrations and the National Health Service to minimise any impact on patient care and return to a normal service as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of NHS reforms on tackling the backlog of elective care patients requiring urgent treatment and/or operations that have been delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what the timeframe is for clearing the backlog for routine hospital treatment.

The reforms in the Health and Care Bill will support the National Health Service (NHS) to respond to challenges, both now and in the future, to tackle key issues such as patient waiting times.

The Department is unable to set a decisive timeframe for clearing the backlog for routine hospital treatment due to uncertainty around how many patients who did not seek treatment as a result of the pandemic will be coming forward and when.

The Department continues to support the NHS to step up activity as much as possible and tackle the backlog as a priority, with a particular focus on those who have been waiting the longest.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to review the guidance on wearing face coverings (a) in shops, (b) on transport and (c) in other public settings ahead of colder months in autumn and winter 2021.

The Government continues to assess the evidence and keeps the guidance on wearing face coverings under review. We will take further action if needed.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the viability of a covid-19 booster jab for vulnerable groups who were vaccinated earlier in 2021 ahead of winter 2021-22.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s (JCVI) interim advice is that COVID-19 booster vaccines should first be offered to the most vulnerable. The JCVI advises a two staged approach, with individuals in stage one offered a COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine, as soon as possible from September. Individuals in stage two would be offered a booster vaccine as soon as practicable after stage one, with equal emphasis on deployment of the flu vaccine where eligible.

Final decisions on the timing, scope and eligibility will be confirmed once the JCVI has provided their final advice.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of reducing or eradicating travel covid-19 test costs to support the travel industry; and what assessment he has made of the current effectiveness of those tests.

We have recently invited the Competition and Market Authority to conduct a review into pricing and standards in the market for international travel tests. The cost of NHS Test and Trace tests for international arrivals has been reduced from £88 to £68 for fully vaccinated travellers from ‘green’ or ‘amber’ list countries and from £170 to £136 for two tests for those who are not fully vaccinated arriving from ‘amber’ list countries. By the end of October, fully vaccinated passengers travelling from non ‘red’ list countries will also be able to replace their day two test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England.

All polymerase chain reaction currently used by private providers have been independently assessed as effective. Private providers of COVID-19 tests are assessed individually and in order to become accredited, a provider must demonstrate that their test device has been independently verified to meet the required clinical performance standards. This evidence is scrutinised as part of their initial application and further verified in the laboratory before accreditation is granted to that provider.

1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to make post-covid-19 vaccination screening available to patients who were prescribed anti-TNF medication to ascertain whether those patients have developed a suitable response to the vaccine.

For patients on immunosuppressive treatment such as anti-tumour necrosis factor medication, all vaccines should offer some level of protection. Post-vaccination testing may be considered, though it should be noted that low or absent antibody levels does not mean a vaccinated immunosuppressed patient has no protection.

As there is limited evidence on the immune response generated by COVID-19 vaccine in immunocompromised individuals, it is too early to assess what additional approaches, if any are needed to best support this group. The OCTAVE study will examine the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in clinically at-risk groups. Results of the study are expected shortly.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government before the decision was taken to withdraw the health, care and volunteer workers parking pass.

Departmental officials have had regular discussions with officials at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

No impact assessment has been undertaken. Local authorities are responsible for their own parking criteria and make decisions on providing this free parking locally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has carried out an impact assessment on the financial effect of withdrawing the health, care and volunteer workers parking pass from those eligible for that pass.

Departmental officials have had regular discussions with officials at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

No impact assessment has been undertaken. Local authorities are responsible for their own parking criteria and make decisions on providing this free parking locally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 132828, on Borderline Substances Advisory Committee, whether his Department has plans to undertake a performance review of the work carried out by the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances.

We have no plans to do so.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) type 1, (b) type 2 and (c) type 3 applications due to be considered by the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances are outstanding.

The information requested is shown in the following table.

Type of application

Submitted

Under Review

Type 1

1

0

Type 2

18

0

Type 3

3

6

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the ability of the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances to review product applications.

No recent assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 27 January 2021 to Question 132826 on Borderline Substances Advisory Committee, what assessment he has made of the performance of the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances since 31 March 2020.

The Department has made no assessment of the performance of the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances since 31 March 2020.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances, what assessment he has made of (a) the effectiveness of that committee's performance and (b) its timeliness in responding to applications in 2020-21.

The Department has made no assessment of the performance of the Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances since 31 March 2020.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to prioritise students for covid-19 vaccinations during summer 2021 before their departure to universities in the UK and across Europe as part of the Turin scheme.

There are currently no plans to prioritise students as a group. Students aged 18 years old or over will be prioritised on grounds of age in phase two of the COVID-19 vaccine programme if they have not been vaccinated as part of phase one.

Vaccination is not currently routinely recommended for those aged 16-17 years old and is not recommended for those under 16 years old except in specific limited circumstances. We are on track to offer a first dose of COVID-19 vaccination to all those aged 18 years old or over by 31 July.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on trends in the level of prescriptions for anti-psychotic medication in care homes since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The information is not available in the format requested. NHS Digital receives information on the prescribing of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia and without a diagnosis of psychosis. However, it does not include the location of those receiving the prescription and, therefore, cannot identify those in care homes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of health and social care staff that have refused the covid-19 vaccination; if he will publish that data; and what plan his Department has to mitigate the risk that those staff pose to other people.

Data on the number of health and social care staff who have not been vaccinated is not held centrally.

On 13 February we published the UK COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Plan, with the to increase the rate of vaccination amongst health and social care staff. Published data shows 79% of care home staff have received their first dose of the vaccine and the latest weekly data published on 15 April 2021 shows over half of National Health Service trust health care workers in the NHS Electronic Staff Record have received the second dose of their vaccine. The data is available at the following link:

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

Employers should consider how best to ensure those staff members and patients are safe. This could include measures such as the appropriate personal protective equipment is in place, infection control standards, appropriate training and that employees have an up to date risk assessment in place to identify their individual risks, taking into account latest Government and professional advice.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of prioritising for covid-19 vaccination NHS contractors providing critical equipment and medicine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that the first priorities for the current COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.  The JCVI recommend that within this group, priority should be given to frontline staff at high risk of acquiring infection, at high individual risk of developing serious disease and at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare setting.

The Public Health England Green Book provides supportive guidance on the roles that may be considered as ‘frontline healthcare’ staff to prioritise as being at a high risk of exposure to COVID-19, or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff in a healthcare environment. The guidance provides advice on what roles may be considered which includes ‘non-clinical staff in secondary or primary care/community healthcare settings’, specifically non-clinical ancillary staff who may have social contact with patients but are not directly involved in patient care. Those staff will be prioritised if they are at a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 or at risk of transmitting infection to multiple vulnerable persons or other staff.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of enabling couples who live in separate households to see each other without the need for social distancing in tiers (a) two and (b) three at the end of the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

From 2 December people should follow advise relevant to the Tier their area is in and some couples who live in separate households will be able to form a support bubble.

People do not need to socially distance from anyone they are in an established relationship with outdoors. If in the early stages of a relationship, particular care should be taken to follow the guidance on social distancing.

The Government will continue to review the measures and guidance, assessing them to ensure that they continue to be necessary and proportionate based on available scientific evidence.

7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to (a) clear the backlog of and (b) reduce the size of waiting lists for elective care procedures.

Local providers have been asked to produce plans for how they will meet the key actions outlined in the phase 3 guidance issued by NHS England at the end of July. The ambition is to recover elective services in October to 90% of last year’s levels for admissions and 100% for outpatients. In September, the National Health Service carried out 80% of the planned hospital inpatient procedures which it delivered last year, as well as 96% of last year’s level of computerized tomography (CT) scans and 86% of MRI scans.

We will do everything possible to tackle waiting lists between now and winter, but this must be done in a safe and managed way ensuring that we maintain the capacity for any further surge in COVID-19 activity.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the backlog is of elective care procedures in Liverpool CCG.

At the end of August 2020, there were 31,404 people on the elective waiting list for Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure that people who have contracted covid-19 and are in a hospital setting are not discharged into a care home.

It is our priority to ensure that everyone receives the right care, in the right place, at the right time. This includes ensuring people are discharged safely from hospital to the most appropriate place, and they receive the care and support they need.

Building on the commitments of the Adult Social Care Winter Plan, we are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the NHS to ensure that everyone due to be discharged to a care home has an up-to-date COVID-19 test result, with anyone who is COVID-positive being discharged to a setting that the CQC has assured is able to provide care and support for people who are COVID-positive.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with private care providers on the recent increase in rates of under occupancy in care homes in England.

Ministers regularly meet adult social care sector organisers including provider representatives and providers themselves to discuss current issues including the impact of COVID-19 on the sector.

Decisions on commissioning and provider occupancy rates are a matter for individual local authorities, who have a duty to ensure a sustainable and high quality adult social care market in their areas. We have now made £3.7 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including declines in occupancy in care homes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many officials of his Department performing a secretariat function for an advisory group were redeployed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; how many such staff worked for each such advisory group; and if he will make a statement.

Departmental support of advisory non-departmental public bodies (ANDPBs) and committees and their respective functioning capacity, has been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic and meetings have been successfully operating online. For example, of the 13 Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) staff providing secretariat support to the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and the Commission on Human Medicines, only one was redeployed to the COVID-19 taskforce. Similarly, out of four staff supporting the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards, one was seconded to the taskforce but the vacancy has since been filled.

With regard to expert/advisory committees, these operate like ANDPBs but as part of the Department, with some sponsored through Public Health England or the MHRA. Dedicated secretariat support ranges from one full time equivalent (FTE), such as the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO), up to nine FTE, such as the UK National Screening Committee. Their functioning capacity and Departmental support has been largely unaffected. Meetings have generally continued after a short pause, and in some cases meeting frequency has increased, such as with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, SaBTO, and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group.

An exception is the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling. It is now supported by nine analysts due to evolving from a planning and preparedness advisory committee that met three to four times a year, to a fully operational subgroup of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that meets at least weekly, with additional specialised subgroups of its own.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 on the functioning capacity of his Department’s advisory groups and committees.

Departmental support of advisory non-departmental public bodies (ANDPBs) and committees and their respective functioning capacity, has been largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic and meetings have been successfully operating online. For example, of the 13 Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) staff providing secretariat support to the British Pharmacopoeia Commission and the Commission on Human Medicines, only one was redeployed to the COVID-19 taskforce. Similarly, out of four staff supporting the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards, one was seconded to the taskforce but the vacancy has since been filled.

With regard to expert/advisory committees, these operate like ANDPBs but as part of the Department, with some sponsored through Public Health England or the MHRA. Dedicated secretariat support ranges from one full time equivalent (FTE), such as the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO), up to nine FTE, such as the UK National Screening Committee. Their functioning capacity and Departmental support has been largely unaffected. Meetings have generally continued after a short pause, and in some cases meeting frequency has increased, such as with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, SaBTO, and the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group.

An exception is the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling. It is now supported by nine analysts due to evolving from a planning and preparedness advisory committee that met three to four times a year, to a fully operational subgroup of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that meets at least weekly, with additional specialised subgroups of its own.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the latest minutes for each advisory group meeting overseen by his Department.

Information on the Department’s advisory non-departmental public bodies and advisory committees can be found on GOV.UK.

The Department has representatives on all committees, and officials regularly attend committee meetings. Chairs have regular appraisals and report to a Senior Departmental Sponsor. The Department provides secretariat either directly or through Public Health England or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Each body publishes details of its role, with meeting minutes and annual reports, under their appropriate listing on GOV.UK. Reports of external reviews are also published. Those groups that do not publish minutes, such as the NHS Pay Review Body and the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration (UK), do so on the grounds that it might prejudice further discussions with stakeholders.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department monitors the work of its (a) advisory groups and (b) committees.

Information on the Department’s advisory non-departmental public bodies and advisory committees can be found on GOV.UK.

The Department has representatives on all committees, and officials regularly attend committee meetings. Chairs have regular appraisals and report to a Senior Departmental Sponsor. The Department provides secretariat either directly or through Public Health England or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Each body publishes details of its role, with meeting minutes and annual reports, under their appropriate listing on GOV.UK. Reports of external reviews are also published. Those groups that do not publish minutes, such as the NHS Pay Review Body and the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration (UK), do so on the grounds that it might prejudice further discussions with stakeholders.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advisory groups and (b) committees in his Department.

Information on the Department’s advisory non-departmental public bodies and advisory committees can be found on GOV.UK.

The Department has representatives on all committees, and officials regularly attend committee meetings. Chairs have regular appraisals and report to a Senior Departmental Sponsor. The Department provides secretariat either directly or through Public Health England or the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.

Each body publishes details of its role, with meeting minutes and annual reports, under their appropriate listing on GOV.UK. Reports of external reviews are also published. Those groups that do not publish minutes, such as the NHS Pay Review Body and the Review Body on Doctors and Dentists Remuneration (UK), do so on the grounds that it might prejudice further discussions with stakeholders.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department processes consultations held by his Department’s advisory groups; and if he will publish a list of consultations undertaken in the last 12 months.

The Department runs a consultation if there is either a statutory duty to consult or a common law duty (a duty established by case law) to consult. It follows the Cabinet Office Guidance on Consultation and also guidance on GOV.UK on writing and launching a consultation. There is no set length of time that a consultation should run for, but most run for 12 weeks. The Cabinet Office’s consultation principles recommend a ‘proportionate amount of time’.

A list of consultations held in the last 12 months is not held centrally and to obtain this information would incur disproportionate cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to recognise and financially compensate Shared Lives carers for the additional care that they have provided to vulnerable adults during the covid-19 outbreak; and whether he plans to issue guidance to local authorities on that recognition and compensation.

We are grateful for everything that Shared Lives carers do and the compassion and dedication they show in providing care and support to thousands of people.

We understand that many Shared Lives carers have seen their usual pattern of providing care change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and have shown flexibility and resilience in responding to this situation.

The £546 million extension of the Infection Control Fund which came into place in October contains £126.8 million in support for community care providers. This includes Shared Lives services which are providing Care Quality Commission-regulated personal care.

Our aim is to ensure carers feel supported the Department has worked with Shared Lives Plus and local government during the pandemic to ensure that local commissioners can take appropriate action to support Shared Lives carers during this time.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to support (a) local authorities and (b) the care sector more widely to deliver care services in the event that the covid-19 outbreak affects the financial viability of those sectors.

The Government is committed to supporting the adult social care system in the face of the pressures arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. We have now made £3.7 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care.

In September we announced £546 million of additional funding to extend the Infection Control Fund to March 2021. This extension means we have now ringfenced over £1.1 billion to support social care providers with COVID-19 costs. The Government will continue to monitor the pressures on adult social care during this period and keep future funding under review.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that all practitioners providing (a) specialised cosmetic treatments) and (b) other non-surgical cosmetic treatments are suitably trained in relation to infection (i) prevention and (ii) control.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures and the Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. This includes an assessment of the regulation and qualifications of practitioners in the aesthetics sector.

The Government expects providers to have the requisite knowledge and skills to safely deliver the treatments they offer. Providers of aesthetic services should ensure they have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with Health and Safety legislation and the Government’s published guidance on close contact services.

The Government supports the principle of increased protection for children and young people and is exploring the legal implications and potential impacts of introducing age restrictions for some non-surgical procedures.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will make an assessment of the (a) adequacy and (b) effectiveness of the current regulation of non-surgical cosmetic treatments; and whether he plans to introduce a minimum age limit for these treatments.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures and the Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. This includes an assessment of the regulation and qualifications of practitioners in the aesthetics sector.

The Government expects providers to have the requisite knowledge and skills to safely deliver the treatments they offer. Providers of aesthetic services should ensure they have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with Health and Safety legislation and the Government’s published guidance on close contact services.

The Government supports the principle of increased protection for children and young people and is exploring the legal implications and potential impacts of introducing age restrictions for some non-surgical procedures.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that raw products imported into the UK for the use in advanced medical nutrition products will not be subject to tariffs at the end of the transition period.

With negotiations with the European Union ongoing, the Government is committed to achieving a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU by December 2020 that ensures zero tariffs and zero quotas on United Kingdom-EU trade. However, if no FTA is agreed then the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will apply to imports from the EU.

As part of the UKGT, the Government is dropping tariffs to zero across a wide range of products which are used in UK production, reducing the cost pressures of inputs into UK manufacturing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the supply chains of companies providing medical nutrition products are not adversely affected by the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

With negotiations with the European Union ongoing, the Government is committed to achieving a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU by December 2020 that ensures zero tariffs and zero quotas on United Kingdom-EU trade. However, if no FTA is agreed then the UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will apply to imports from the EU.

As part of the UKGT, the Government is dropping tariffs to zero across a wide range of products which are used in UK production, reducing the cost pressures of inputs into UK manufacturing.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to increase the level of public health funding allocated to Liverpool City Council.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care confirmed on 10 March 2020, Official Report, column 135, that the public health grant will increase in real terms in 2020/21 so local authorities can continue to invest in prevention and essential frontline health services. Individual allocations will be confirmed shortly.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what assessment he has made of the potential implications for his Department's policies of the Israeli government's policy on a two-state solution.

We support a two-state solution that guarantees security and stability for both the Israeli and Palestinian people; Gaza is Occupied Palestinian Territory and will be part of a future Palestinian state, and the Palestinian Authority has an important long-term role to play. We must work with our allies to provide serious, practical and enduring support needed to bolster the Palestinian Authority.

We want to see an end to the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible and are calling for an immediate pause to get aid in and hostages out, then progress towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, without a return to destruction, fighting and loss of life.

There are five vital steps:

- A political horizon which provides a credible and irreversible pathway towards a two-state solution.

- The formation of a new Palestinian Government for the West Bank and Gaza, accompanied by an international support package.

- Removing Hamas's capacity to launch attacks against Israel.

- The release of all Israeli hostages.

- Hamas no longer in charge of Gaza.

The Foreign Secretary has reiterated these messages with Prime Minister Netanyahu and other senior Israeli political leaders, including during his visit to Israel on 24 January.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking with his international counterparts to help expedite safe passage to the UK for Sudanese dependents of British nationals.

Between the 15 April and 3 May, the UK supported the departure of 2,450 people, including British nationals, dependants and other eligible nationals. The British Embassy in Khartoum is temporarily closed and the UK Government is only able to provide limited consular assistance to British Nationals still in Sudan, communicating through our telephone consular helpline and Travel Advice updates. We do not have verified data on those British nationals (including children) remaining in Sudan. Those who have left by alternative means to neighbouring countries are receiving consular support on a case-by-case basis. British nationals who require assistance can call us 24/7. Sudanese nationals who have travelled to a third country and wish to join family members in the UK will need to apply for a visa, if they do not already have the right to enter the UK. Further information can be found online at GOV.UK.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department is taking steps to provide ongoing assistance to help British nationals leave Sudan.

Between the 15 April and 3 May, the UK supported the departure of 2,450 people, including British nationals, dependants and other eligible nationals. The British Embassy in Khartoum is temporarily closed and the UK Government is only able to provide limited consular assistance to British Nationals still in Sudan, communicating through our telephone consular helpline and Travel Advice updates. We do not have verified data on those British nationals (including children) remaining in Sudan. Those who have left by alternative means to neighbouring countries are receiving consular support on a case-by-case basis. British nationals who require assistance can call us 24/7. Sudanese nationals who have travelled to a third country and wish to join family members in the UK will need to apply for a visa, if they do not already have the right to enter the UK. Further information can be found online at GOV.UK.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the number of British nationals located in Sudan; and what proportion of those nationals are children.

Between the 15 April and 3 May, the UK supported the departure of 2,450 people, including British nationals, dependants and other eligible nationals. The British Embassy in Khartoum is temporarily closed and the UK Government is only able to provide limited consular assistance to British Nationals still in Sudan, communicating through our telephone consular helpline and Travel Advice updates. We do not have verified data on those British nationals (including children) remaining in Sudan. Those who have left by alternative means to neighbouring countries are receiving consular support on a case-by-case basis. British nationals who require assistance can call us 24/7. Sudanese nationals who have travelled to a third country and wish to join family members in the UK will need to apply for a visa, if they do not already have the right to enter the UK. Further information can be found online at GOV.UK.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to secure a (a) cease fire and (b) peace agreement in Sudan.

Since conflict erupted in Sudan on 15 April, we have pursued all diplomatic avenues to end the violence, de-escalate tensions and secure humanitarian access. This includes at the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council, and through cooperation with counterparts from African, Quad (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, UK, US) and European countries. We regret the withdrawal of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) from the ceasefire talks , but welcome that the delegations from the SAF and Rapid Support Forces remain in Jeddah. The UK stands ready to support efforts to agree a new ceasefire, with the aim of reaching a permanent cessation of hostilities. The UK is now working through a new African Union-led Core Group aimed at getting the parties to the conflict back the negotiating table. The UK continues to advocate for a return to a civilian-led government in Sudan. We urge all Sudanese stakeholders to end hostilities and engage urgently in an inclusive dialogue that will deliver the peace and stability that the Sudanese people deserve.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has had recent discussions with his Iranian counterpart on the treatment of Iranian women campaigning for their rights.

The UK has made it abundantly clear that Iran must cease its violent repression of women and girls. Since October, the Foreign Secretary has ordered the summoning of Iran's Chargé d'Affaires five times over its human rights violations, including the regime's abhorrent treatment of women protesters. These messages are regularly reinforced through our Ambassador in Tehran. We also worked with partners to successfully remove Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women. These actions ensure the Iranian regime is left in no doubt about the UK's position. We continue to work closely with our international partners to hold Iran to account.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support her Department is providing to the Bangladeshi Government in the context of the flooding affecting that country.

The UK provided £195,000 to the START Fund Bangladesh in May to help during the first wave of flooding. In response to the most recent wave of flooding, the UK has contributed a further £442,500 to the START Fund. This funding will support the provision of cash assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, search and rescue operations, shelter management and provisional education materials.

6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the Government will (a) support a peace dividend for Yemen, (b) allocate funding to that county to restore public infrastructure, including health, education, roads, water supplies and sewerage systems, and (c) encourage regional powers to take similar steps in the context of the recent truce.

The UK welcomes the extension on 2 June of the UN-brokered truce in Yemen. We urge the parties to continue dialogue towards a durable ceasefire and an inclusive political settlement under UN auspices. After over seven long years of conflict, a negotiated political settlement is the only way to bring long-term stability to Yemen, end humanitarian suffering and enable the conditions for the sustainable recovery of public services. We continue to use our diplomatic relations and role as penholder on Yemen in the UN Security Council to support efforts towards political dialogue and peace.

The UK supports health, water and sanitation institutions across Yemen as part of our £88 million aid commitment this financial year. The UK is active in engaging regional partners on UN-led peace efforts and humanitarian issues and welcomes the recent announcement by Saudi Arabia and the UAE of the $3 billion economic support package for Yemen. The UK will continue to work with regional partners to help address both the immediate and longer term needs of vulnerable Yemenis.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he made a request to his US counterpart for an orderly and gradual US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Following President Biden's 14 April announcement, and NATO's 15 April decision to withdraw troops, we worked intensively with the US, both on military and civilian channels to ensure an orderly and co-ordinated withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government plans to take to hold the new Taliban Government in Afghanistan accountable to their promises of a peaceful Afghanistan; and what assessment his Department has made of the impact of economic sanctions on (a) the Afghan economy and (b) potential stability of the new Government.

As the Prime Minister has agreed with G7 partners, the international community needs to stand together in order to make clear to the Taliban our expectations, and achieve our counter-terrorism, humanitarian, regional stability and human rights objectives.
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) viability of supporting Afghan citizens through aid channelled through NGOs and (b) potential merits of increasing the funding allocated to those NGOs.

NGOs have been, and remain, vital partners for our work in Afghanistan. We are working closely with them to respond to the changing situation on the ground & consider how best we can respond collectively to the increasing humanitarian needs in the country


To ensure aid reaches the people that need it most, the FCDO are in daily contact with our partners in Afghanistan. We will continue to engage with them directly as the situation develops. Last week, in London, we hosted a round table with NGOs to better understand how we can support their life-saving work. On 20 August we met 30 NGOs working in the areas of development, humanitarian support, human rights and media freedom to understand the issues they are currently facing in country. There was a further meeting on 26 August, with 30 organisations, focussed on continued humanitarian access and the longer-term development needs.

Ministers are also in close touch with bilateral and multilateral partners, including the UN, on these issues.

24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential number of people who will be (a) internally, (b) regionally and (c) nationally displaced following climate changes in the next (i) 10, (ii) 20, (iii) 30 and (iv) 40 years.

Climate change is already negatively impacting people, economies and the environment. The poorest people are often the first and worst affected. The FCDO has begun looking at the studies and analysis available to better understand the links between migration and climate change, including current and future trends.

One of the key priorities for COP26 is to increase action to help communities adapt and build resilience to climate impacts. We will use our Presidency to encourage greater commitment to, and support for, practical adaptation and resilience action, helping those communities most at risk to deal with the impact of climate change.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what mechanisms are being put in place to ensure that British Arms exports are not being deployed by the Saudi Government in Yemen.

To address the Court of Appeal's judgement, we have developed a revised methodology against which all existing and new applications for Saudi Arabia for possible use in the conflict in Yemen will be assessed to consider whether there is a clear risk the equipment might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. If there is such a risk, we will not issue the export licence.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of charging tax on (a) scooters and (b) other smaller petrol motor vehicles.

Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is a tax on mechanically propelled vehicles kept or used on public roads. This includes petrol cars and motorcycles.

Rates for cars can vary based on date of first registration, engine size and emissions. Rates for motorcycles can vary based on engine size. For the purposes of VED, a motorcycle is defined as a motorbicycle or motortricycle that does not exceed 450kg unladen and therefore includes some vehicles that are commonly referred to as ‘scooters’.

Currently petrol cars, first registered between March 2001 and March 2017 and with emissions of less than 100g/km CO2 as well as all electrically propelled vehicles are exempt from VED.

At Autumn Statement 2022 the Chancellor announced that from 1 April 2025 all electric cars, vans and motorcycles would pay VED in the same way as petrol and diesel equivalents. This will mean that all cars, vans and motorcycles will pay VED unless otherwise exempt.

As with all taxes, VED is kept under review and any changes are considered and announced by the Chancellor.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the changes to the rates of Alcohol Duty on the wine industry.

The Government published a Tax Information and Impact Note setting out the assessment of impacts from changes to the duty rates made at the Spring Budget 2023.

The Government had to make some tough decisions at Spring Budget in line with its commitment to managing the UK economy responsibly. However, prior to this, the wine industry has benefitted from freezes at 4 out of the last 5 fiscal events. Further, through the Government’s historic alcohol duty reforms, we are standardising the treatment of still and sparkling wine, providing a substantial duty cut for sparkling wine. In addition, lighter wines below 10.4% will pay less duty from 1 August.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether all callers to HMRC are charged the same rate.

Phone providers set telephone call charges, including for calls to HMRC.

For more information on telephone call charges, please refer to the GOV.UK website here: https://www.gov.uk/call-charges.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his Department's rational is for applying call charges to incoming public telephone calls to His Majesty's Revenue & Customs.

HMRC does not charge customers for calls to 0845 or 03000 numbers. There is further information about 0300 numbers on the Ofcom website:

http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/phone/numbering/what-are-03-numbers/

For more information on call charges, please refer to GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/call-charges

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much income was accrued by HMRC through telephone call charges applied to incoming calls in financial year (a) 2021-22 and (b) 2022-23 to date.

HMRC does not charge customers for calls to 0845 or 03000 numbers. There is further information about 0300 numbers on the Ofcom website:

http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/phone/numbering/what-are-03-numbers/

For more information on call charges, please refer to GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/call-charges

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
20th Oct 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the increase risked in non-payment of mortgages in the context of a potential increase in Bank of England interest rates in (a) Liverpool Wavertree constituency and (b) the North West of England.

Mortgage arrears levels remain at historically low levels. According to the latest UK Finance data, there were 74,560 homeowner mortgages in arrears at the end of June, 10% fewer than in the same period in the previous year.

Around 75% of residential mortgage borrowers are on fixed-rate deals and are therefore shielded from interest rate rises in the short term.

However, the Government has already taken immediate action to help households, including those in the Liverpool Wavertree constituency and the North West of England, through the Energy Price Guarantee. This is in addition to the £37 billion of targeted support for the cost of living this financial year.

For mortgage borrowers that do enter financial difficulty and struggle to keep up with payments, Financial Conduct Authority guidance requires firms to provide support through tailored forbearance options. This could include a range of measures depending on individual circumstances.

The Government has also taken a number of measures aimed at helping people to avoid repossession, including Support for Mortgage Interest loans for those in receipt of an income-related benefit, and protection in the courts through the Pre-Action Protocol, which makes it clear that repossession must always be the last resort for lenders.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the age limit for a Lifetime ISA, in the context of people saving to buy a home.

The Lifetime ISA (LISA) was designed as a long-term savings product intended to support younger people saving for their first home, or for later life. Since April 2017, adults under 40 have been able to open a LISA and save up to £4,000 each year until they reach 50. The government provides a 25% bonus on all LISA contributions within these limits.

The government considers that those over the age of 40 are less likely to be first time buyers, and the Government's consultation on pensions tax relief in 2015 showed that younger people were in particular need of alternative support to save.

However, individuals aged 40 or over who have not previously opened a LISA are still able to save into another ISA type, benefitting from the annual subscription limit to £20,000.

The Government has no current plans to amend the terms of the LISA but keeps all aspects of savings tax policy under review.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the national debt; and what assessment he has made of the potential implications for the economy of the size of the national debt.

Thanks to responsible decisions taken by this Government, the public finances are back on a sustainable path, with debt on track to fall from 2022-23 and decrease to 83.1% of GDP by the end of the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) March 2022 forecast. High debt leaves the UK’s public finances vulnerable to shocks. It is important to rebuild fiscal space in order to safeguard against future threats and allow the Government to support the economy as and when it is needed. The Government aims to achieve a falling trajectory for debt given this heightened level of risk, as well as evidence suggesting debt trajectories are important to macroeconomic performance.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans to mitigate the impact of a potential rise in inflation to 11 per cent, as forecast by the Bank of England.

The Government recognises the impact that high inflation has on households and has taken significant action to support all families. The Government is providing over £15bn of additional support, building on the over £22bn announced previously, with government support for the cost of living now totalling over £37bn this year.

The Government has the tools and resolve to reduce inflation through three tools – independent monetary policy, fiscal responsibility and supply side reform. Monetary policy is the responsibility of the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England. Historically, the MPC have met the inflation target and inflation has averaged exactly 2% since independence. The Government retains full confidence in the Bank of England to take the necessary action to get inflation back on target and ensure inflation expectations remain anchored.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that workers are adequately remunerated in the context of the recent increase in the cost of living.

On 1 April 2022, the Government increased the National Living Wage by 6.6% to £9.50 an hour for workers aged 23+. This helps keeps us on track to meet our target to end low pay by 2024-25.

The April 2022 increase in the National Living Wage represents an increase of over £1,000 to the annual earnings of a full-time worker on the National Living Wage and is expected to benefit over 2 million workers.

We are also delivering a significant tax cut for low-income families by reducing the Universal Credit taper rate from 63p to 55p, and increasing Universal Credit work allowances by £500 p.a. This is essentially a tax cut for the lowest paid in society worth £2.2bn next year and means that around 2m families will save an extra £1,000 a year on average.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to (a) mitigate and (b) tackle the impact on people's personal finances of the recent increase in the cost of living.

Millions of households across the UK are struggling to make their incomes stretch to cover the rising cost of living. The government is providing over £15bn of additional support, targeted particularly on those with the greatest need. This package builds on the over £22bn announced previously, with government support for the cost of living now totalling over £37bn this year.

The government is helping all domestic electricity customers in Great Britain to cope with the impact of higher energy bills, with £400 off their bills from October through the expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS). This is a doubling of the £200 of support announced in February, and there will no longer be any repayments. The government will deliver equivalent support to people in Northern Ireland.

The government is supporting over 8 million households across the UK in receipt of means tested benefits with a one-off Cost of Living Payment of £650, paid in two instalments.

The government is giving additional UK-wide support to help disabled people with the particular extra costs they will face, with 6 million people who receive non-means tested disability benefits receiving a one-off disability Cost of Living Payment of £150.

The government is also providing extra support to help all pensioners across the UK stay warm this winter. Over eight million pensioner households will receive an extra one-off £300 this year to help them cover the rising cost of energy this winter.

For households that are not eligible for Cost of Living Payments or for families that still need additional support; the government is providing an extra £500 million of local support, via the Household Support Fund. The Fund will be extended from this October to March 2023, bringing total funding for the scheme to £1.5 billion.

Millions of the most vulnerable households will receive at least £1,200 of one-off support in total this year to help with the cost of living.

The government is also committed to tackling the underlying, long-term factors driving cost of living challenges. This includes: helping people into work and supporting them to keep more of what they earn; solidifying our supply chains and boosting our energy security; and driving economic growth through a lower tax, dynamic market economy.

8th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of employers with an annual Class 1 National Insurance liability greater than £91,699 and less than £100,000 in the latest tax year for which data are available.

For tax year 2020 to 2021, we estimate there are 4,800 employers with Class 1 National Insurance liabilities greater than £91,699 and less than £100,000. This represents around 0.5% of those who benefitted from the Employment Allowance in the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of removing plug-in hybrid vehicles from the additional vehicle tax levied on cars with a list price over £40,000 to help meet the UK's target on carbon neutrality in 2050.

Hybrid cars and vans, both non-plug in and plug in, have a role to play in reducing emissions from road transport during the transition to all new cars and vans being fully zero emission at the tailpipe. This is why hybrid vehicles receive a £10 annual discount on VED, although the greatest incentives are for zero-emission vehicles, which pay no VED.

Petrol, diesel and hybrid cars with a list price exceeding £40,000 also pay an additional supplement for five years as well as paying the standard rate, which means those who can afford the most expensive cars pay more than the standard rate imposed on other drivers. As over 80% of all new cars have a list price below £40,000, this was considered a suitable threshold for distinguishing the luxury end of the market. At Budget 2020, the Government announced that, from 1 April 2020, zero-emission cars registered prior to 1 April 2025 are exempt from this supplement.

As with all taxes, the Government keeps VED under review and any changes are considered by the Chancellor.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what action is being taken against people who promoted and operated schemes now subject to the Loan Charge.

The Government and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are committed to continuing to tackle promoters and operators of tax avoidance schemes. This includes challenging the entities and individuals who promote disguised remuneration loan schemes.

On 19 March 2020, HMRC published their strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes. The strategy sets out HMRC’s work to date and outlines how HMRC will continue to take robust action against promoters of tax avoidance. The Promoter Strategy is available on GOV.UK. HMRC consulted on a package of measures to tackle promoters of tax avoidance schemes over Summer 2020.

On 12 November 2020, the Government announced further proposals to tackle promoters, which it will consult on this spring. Umbrella companies advising individuals to use disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes are within the scope of the legislation that applies to promoters and others who facilitate tax avoidance. Where appropriate, they are subject to the range of measures laid out in HMRC’s strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) doctors and (b) nurses who (i) are subject to the Loan Charge and (ii) have settled to avoid that Charge.

HMRC do not hold the requested estimates and do not routinely collect data on professions.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many armed forces veterans (a) are subject to and (b) have settled to avoid paying the Loan Charge.

HMRC do not hold the requested estimates and do not routinely collect data on professions.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps HMRC is taking to tackle umbrella companies that advise their clients to use disguised remuneration schemes.

The Government and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are committed to continuing to tackle promoters and operators of tax avoidance schemes. This includes challenging the entities and individuals who promote disguised remuneration loan schemes.

On 19 March 2020, HMRC published their strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes. The strategy sets out HMRC’s work to date and outlines how HMRC will continue to take robust action against promoters of tax avoidance. The Promoter Strategy is available on GOV.UK. HMRC consulted on a package of measures to tackle promoters of tax avoidance schemes over Summer 2020.

On 12 November 2020, the Government announced further proposals to tackle promoters, which it will consult on this spring. Umbrella companies advising individuals to use disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes are within the scope of the legislation that applies to promoters and others who facilitate tax avoidance. Where appropriate, they are subject to the range of measures laid out in HMRC’s strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many contractors have worked for HMRC while using disguised remuneration schemes in relation to the Loan Charge.

I refer the Honourable Member to the answer given on 1 December 2020 to UIN 119261.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people facing bankruptcy as a result of the Loan Charge.

HMRC cannot provide an estimate for the number of people subject to the Loan Charge who have been declared bankrupt. There are many reasons why someone may be declared bankrupt. Moreover, HMRC are not always the only creditor; some individuals may be declared bankrupt as a result of a non-HMRC debt and some individuals may choose to enter insolvency themselves based on their overall financial position.

HMRC only ever consider insolvency as a last resort and encourage taxpayers to get in contact to agree the best way to settle their tax debts. Anyone who is worried about being able to pay what they owe is encouraged to get in touch with HMRC as soon as possible on 03000 599110.

24th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to consult with (a) recognised trade unions and (b) HMRC on environmental sustainability issues at his Department.

The UK is a world leader in tackling climate change, becoming the first major economy in the world to legislate to end its contribution to global warming by 2050.

The Treasury has a robust process for assessing the impact of spending decisions on achieving our environmental goals. Our world-leading Green Book mandates the consideration of climate and environmental impacts in spending.

Under the policy partnership between HMT and HMRC the two departments collaborate closely on areas of tax policy, including where this relates to the environment. We also engage regularly with a wide range of stakeholders outside the Government on these issues.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of increasing the discretionary grant fund afforded to local authorities in order to support SMEs.

The business grant funds, including the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund, were primarily intended to support small businesses which faced high fixed property-related costs during the strict lockdown period, when consumer footfall was dramatically reduced. As most businesses in most areas are now able to reopen, it is right that we wind up the grant schemes, all of which closed to new applicants on 28 August. The Government continues to review the economic situation and consider what support businesses need. However, there are currently no plans to make further support available through the Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund.

We do recognise that businesses which are forced to totally close for a substantial period in local lockdowns are likely to require additional support, which is why on 9 September the Government announced a new Local Lockdown Grant Fund, to enable Local Authorities to provide business properties which are required to shut due to nationally-imposed local lockdowns with grants of up to £1,500 for each three week closure period.

Businesses can still access a range of other support from the Government, including the furlough scheme which remains open, and Bounce Back Loans. In addition, all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses have had their business rates cancelled in full for the entire year.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the accuracy of its data on the number of (a) small business, (b) self-employed and (c) sole traders that have been ineligible for Government support during the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps the Government is taking to deliver financial support to those categories.

HMRC have a range of processes and checks built into the running of the tax system, which ensures the accuracy of their taxpayer information. To support the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) a number of additional processes and checks have been introduced to ensure the correct eligibility decisions have been reached, based on the information available, and HMRC have also undertaken a number of manual reviews to cross-check the information held on the taxpayer’s self-assessment account.

The Government has introduced a comprehensive package of support for individuals and businesses to help combat the impact of COVID-19. For the self-employed and sole traders, the Government introduced the SEISS, which has received more than 2.6 million claims worth over £7.6bn. The Government will continue its support for millions of self-employed individuals through the SEISS extension. An initial taxable grant will be provided to cover three months’ worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January 2021. This is worth 20% of average monthly profits, up to £1,875.

For those ineligible for the SEISS, the Government has increased the Universal Credit standard allowance and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor for the duration of the crisis meaning that if self-employed claimants’ earnings have significantly reduced, their Universal Credit award will now increase to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this they also have access to other elements of the package which includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

16th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will place in the Library his Department's plan to reduce its carbon emissions.

Detailed information on the steps the Treasury is taking to reduce our carbon emissions is contained in Chapter 6 – Sustainability Report of our most recently published Annual Report and Accounts 2018-19.
Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what further support he plans to provide to safeguard (a) public gyms, (b) leisure centres and (c) indoor sports courts due to restrictions in place during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the extreme disruption the necessary actions to combat Covid-19 are having on sectors like public leisure. We are working intensively alongside the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport to understand the long-term challenges facing the sector.

The Treasury has already announced unprecedented support during this pandemic for individuals and businesses, to protect against the current economic climate; including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, bounce-back loans and a year-long business rates holiday for all eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Where eligible certain public leisure services may further have benefited from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund; and the Discretionary Grant.

The Government has also provided a comprehensive package of support for councils to help with their response to Covid-19. Over £3.7bn in additional grant funding has been announced for councils in England, which can be used flexibly across all their services, including public gyms and leisure facilities. On 2nd July, the Government also announced an income guarantee scheme which will reimburse local councils for 75% of eligible irrecoverable income from sales, fees and charges, above 5% of planned income for 2020/21.

We will continue to monitor the impact of government support with regard to supporting public leisure as we respond to this pandemic.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to introduce full VAT exemption on ticket sales in the (a) creative sector and (b) night time economy.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Chancellor has pledged a range of measures to help individuals and businesses through the crisis, including grants, loans and relief from business rates worth more than £300 billion.

To support over 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs following the lifting of the Covid-19 lockdown, the Government will temporarily apply a reduced rate of VAT (5%) to tourist attractions and goods and services provided by the hospitality industry.

The Government has also announced a major £1.57 billion package to support key cultural organisations during this crisis. This funding will provide targeted support to organisations across a range of sectors, including performing arts and theatres, museums and galleries, heritage sites, live music venues and independent cinema.

16th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the economic benefits of allowing asylum seekers to work if they have been waiting six months or more for an initial decision.

Asylum seekers who have had their claim outstanding for 12 months or more, through no fault of their own, are allowed to work. Those permitted to work are restricted to jobs on the Shortage Occupation List. This is based on expert advice from the independent Migration Advisory Committee. It is the Home Office’s assessment that any analysis in this area is dependent on making assumptions from limited evidence and will therefore produce uncertain results.

Whilst we keep all policies under review, there are no immediate plans to change the existing policy, other than aligning it with the upcoming Immigration Salary List, which replaces the SOL. It is important that we distinguish between individuals who need protection and those seeking to work here who can apply for a work visa under the Immigration Rules. The Government has always been clear that asylum seekers do not need to make perilous journeys in order to seek employment in the UK. Those in need of protection should claim asylum in the first safe country they reach – that is the fastest route to safety.

Whilst there is mixed evidence that access to work in itself is a pull factor, it is reasonable to assume that this is one element in a range of factors that may drive illegal migration rather than use of legal routes to work in the UK. These routes include Skilled Worker, Global Talent, and Health and Care routes, which are supporting UK businesses to recruit workers with the skills and talent they need from around the world.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers had their accommodation support withdrawn after a rejected asylum application in (a) the UK and (b) Liverpool City council local authority area in (i) 2017-18, (ii) 2018-19, (iii) 2019-20 and (iv) 2022-23.

Data on the number of supported asylum seekers in accommodation is published in table Asy_D11 here: Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab). Data is published on a quarterly basis. The Home Office does not publish a breakdown of statistics which disaggregates the number of asylum seekers in Home Office accommodation by local authority, and figures on the number of discontinuations of asylum support are not available in a readily reportable format.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential effect of decriminalising cannabis (a) possession, (b) supply and (c) manufacture on the prison population.

No assessment has been made. The Government has no plans to decriminalise cannabis.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department has issued to police forces in England on the use of the Vagrancy Act 1824 to arrest rough sleepers.

The Government is committed to ending rough sleeping, and published their cross Government strategy, Ending Rough Sleeping for good, on 3 September 2022 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ending-rough-sleeping-for-good .

This strategy sets out the work that is underway, including the joint commitment of both the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to ensure “everyone experiencing rough sleeping to have an appropriate and timely offer of support, tailored to their needs and the services they are eligible for, and that all agencies have the tools they need to unlock this support.”

The Strategy is backed by vital funding of £2 billion over three years.

Police officers can reference the ASB toolkit, with specific pages on Rough Sleeping which is produced by the National Police Chiefs Council. The Government are considering what further guidance is required alongside work on the repeal and replacement of the Vagrancy Act.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with refence to her Department's Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, published on 27 March 2023, whether the Government plans to issue guidance to police forces on the treatment of rough sleepers.

The Government is committed to ending rough sleeping, and published their cross Government strategy, Ending Rough Sleeping for good, on 3 September 2022 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ending-rough-sleeping-for-good .

This strategy sets out the work that is underway, including the joint commitment of both the Home Office and the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to ensure “everyone experiencing rough sleeping to have an appropriate and timely offer of support, tailored to their needs and the services they are eligible for, and that all agencies have the tools they need to unlock this support.”

The Strategy is backed by vital funding of £2 billion over three years.

Police officers can reference the ASB toolkit, with specific pages on Rough Sleeping which is produced by the National Police Chiefs Council. The Government are considering what further guidance is required alongside work on the repeal and replacement of the Vagrancy Act.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made with Cabinet colleagues of the potential implications of his Department's Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, published on 27 March 2023, on police treatment of rough sleepers.

The Government has been clear that it does not want to criminalise rough sleeping and is working with across Departments to repeal and replace the Vagrancy Act 1824 as outlined within the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan. The implications of the replacement Vagrancy Act measures are being taken into account through consideration of the responses to the public consultation run by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities last year, and our wider stakeholder engagement.

Monitoring and evaluation of the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan will be important in understanding whether we are delivering the action plan effectively and that it is achieving the intended outcomes and impacts in tackling ASB across a range of funded measures.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, published on 27 March 2023, what guidance her Department plans to publish on the definition of (a) nuisance and (b) blight caused by homeless people.

We are carefully considering a statutory definition and will be using existing definitions where possible and appropriate.

Further details will be set out in legislation and accompanying guidance at the earliest opportunity, following further engagement with stakeholders.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of the sale of razors and pencil sharpeners in shops to minors on their subsequent use for self-harm or violent purposes.

Section 141A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988, created the offence of selling any knife, knife blade, razor blade, axe or any other article which has a blade or which is sharply pointed and which is made or adapted for use for causing injury to the person, to a person under the age of 18. Pencil sharpeners would not usually fall under the definition of the age restricted items.

When the legislation was debated in parliament, it was considered whether any exemptions should apply. The Government’s approach was to balance the need for young people to have access to certain small, bladed items, for example disposable razor blade cartridges, against the intended aim of reducing knife crime. The legislation reflects this approach and disposable razor cartridges are exempt from the age restriction by way of s2 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (Offensive Weapons) (Exemption) Order 1996.

The Home Office does not hold figures on the use of pencil sharpener blades or razor blades for use in self-harm or for violent purposes.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Anti-social behaviour action plan, published on 27 March 2023, whether her Department plans to take steps to help ensure police officers are trained in referring rough sleepers deemed to be in breach of the law to appropriate support services.

The Government is clear that no one should be criminalised simply for having nowhere to live.  We have already embarked on a strategy to end rough sleeping with a focus on prevention and multi-agency support for vulnerable individuals, backed by £2 billion over three years.

However, there are some instances of behaviour by those begging or sleeping rough that can cause harm or distress to the individuals and the wider public. Where this happens the Government wants to ensure police forces and local authorities are given the tools to direct vulnerable individuals into support where appropriate and help the public feel safe.

We will continue to engage with stakeholders on these complex issues, before separate legislation is brought forward at the earliest parliamentary opportunity.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Anti-social behaviour action plan, published on 27 March 2023, whether her Department plans to take steps to avoid the criminalisation of rough sleeping.

The Government is clear that no one should be criminalised simply for having nowhere to live.  We have already embarked on a strategy to end rough sleeping with a focus on prevention and multi-agency support for vulnerable individuals, backed by £2 billion over three years.

However, there are some instances of behaviour by those begging or sleeping rough that can cause harm or distress to the individuals and the wider public. Where this happens the Government wants to ensure police forces and local authorities are given the tools to direct vulnerable individuals into support where appropriate and help the public feel safe.

We will continue to engage with stakeholders on these complex issues, before separate legislation is brought forward at the earliest parliamentary opportunity.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what asylum accommodation placements were procured from 23 September 2022 to 23 November 2022, broken down by local authority area.

The Home Office and its accommodation providers are working closely with Local Authorities across the UK to secure the additional accommodation required to meet our statutory duties toward asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute. Since 13 April 2022, all Local Authority areas in England, Scotland and Wales are expected to participate in a new system of full dispersal accommodation. This Full Dispersal model, announced on 13 April 2022 is supported by £21million of grant funding to ensure eligible Local Authorities can provide wraparound support locally. Local authorities will also receive £3,500 for each new dispersal accommodation bed space in the 22/23 financial year.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area. These statistics can be found at Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Data is published on a quarterly basis, with the latest information published 25 August 2022. The next quarterly figures are due to be released later this month.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many individuals have been charged in relation to offences under the Vagrancy Act 1824 between 1 January and 23 November 2022.

The information requested is not held by the Home Office.

The Ministry of Justice publish information on the outcomes of prosecutions by offence, which can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-june-2022

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many rough sleepers were charged under the Vagrancy Act 1824 between 11 May 2010 and 23 November 2022.

The information requested is not held by the Home Office.

The Ministry of Justice publish information on the outcomes of prosecutions by offence, which can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/criminal-justice-system-statistics-quarterly-june-2022

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers were staying in accommodation in (a) the North West and (b) the South East of England, excluding London, as of 23 November 2022.

The Home Office has a statutory obligation to provide accommodation and other support to asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute while their application for asylum is being considered.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area. These statistics can be found at Asylum and resettlement datasets www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets Data is published on a quarterly basis, with the latest information published 25 August 2022. The next quarterly figures are due to be released later this month.

18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made on the impact of a potential national Fire and Rescue service strike on home safety assessments.

The Home Office encourages Fire Chiefs to consider and test the resilience of their plans in the event of industrial action.

Section 6 of the fire and rescue services act 2004 places a statutory duty on fire and rescue authorities to promote fire safety in their areas. This statutory duty remains during periods of industrial action.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made on the viability on police enforced buffer zones around abortion clinics.

At the Report Stage for the Bill in the House of Commons on the 18th October, MPs voted to accept an amendment that creates national buffer zones outside abortion clinics.

The Government respects the will of Parliament and will now work with Parliamentarians, the police, abortion service providers and religious and civil liberty groups to implement the amendment, should it also be backed by the House of Lords.

Tom Tugendhat
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
8th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the findings and recommendations of the Monitoring Committee set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership will be published.

An independent Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership will monitor the entire relocation process and compliance with assurances in the Memorandum of Understanding, including the processing of asylum claims and provision of support in Rwanda.

The terms of reference and membership of the Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership are in the process of being developed. The Monitoring Committee is due to become established over the next few weeks. More details on this will be set out in due course.

8th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what resources will be provided to the Monitoring Committee set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership to enable it to fulfil its functions.

An independent Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership will monitor the entire relocation process and compliance with assurances in the Memorandum of Understanding, including the processing of asylum claims and provision of support in Rwanda.

The terms of reference and membership of the Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership are in the process of being developed. The Monitoring Committee is due to become established over the next few weeks. More details on this will be set out in due course.

8th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will ensure that the Monitoring Committee set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership is established before anyone is transferred under the scheme.

An independent Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership will monitor the entire relocation process and compliance with assurances in the Memorandum of Understanding, including the processing of asylum claims and provision of support in Rwanda.

The terms of reference and membership of the Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership are in the process of being developed. The Monitoring Committee is due to become established over the next few weeks. More details on this will be set out in due course.

8th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Monitoring Committee set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Rwanda for the provision of an asylum partnership will be established.

An independent Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership will monitor the entire relocation process and compliance with assurances in the Memorandum of Understanding, including the processing of asylum claims and provision of support in Rwanda.

The terms of reference and membership of the Monitoring Committee for the Migration and Economic Development Partnership are in the process of being developed. The Monitoring Committee is due to become established over the next few weeks. More details on this will be set out in due course.

8th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that her policy of transferring asylum applications to Rwanda does not result in the separation of families.

With the exception of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, any individual who has arrived in the UK through dangerous, illegal and unnecessary methods since 1 January 2022 may be considered for relocation to Rwanda. Decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis, and nobody will be relocated if it is unsafe or inappropriate for them.

Everyone considered for relocation will be screened and have access to legal advice.

We have published our Inadmissibility guidance on GOV.UK to make clearer provisions for removals to a safe third country under a model like the MEDP Partnership.

Those with family links in the UK, who want to be considered for entry to the UK, should seek to do so via safe and legal routes. Nobody needs to put their lives into the hands of criminal people smuggling gangs by making dangerous and irregular journeys. People with family in the UK may still be relocated to Rwanda subject to a detailed consideration of their Article 8 rights under the Human Rights Act.

16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether ferries operating from UK ports registered on the (a) Bahamas, (b) Bermudan and (c) Cypriot shipping registers are subject to the provisions of the UK-France Maritime Security Treaty.

The UK-France Maritime Security Treaty sets out the UK and France’s shared preparedness for and joint response to a high threat security incident on a vessel in the Channel.

There are many provisions within the Treaty, some of which are relevant to all vessels in the Channel, irrespective of their flag state. Other provisions apply only to UK and French-flagged vessels. The details of all the provisions can be found in the Explanatory Memorandum which was published alongside the Treaty. UK/France: Agreement on Cooperation in Matters relating to Maritime and Port Security, and specifically, in relation to Passenger Vessels in the Channel [CS France No.3/2022] - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of P&O Ferries' mass dismissal of UK resident seafarers employed on cross-channel routes on 17 March 2022 on the operation of the UK-France Maritime Security Treaty.

The UK-France Maritime Security Treaty sets out the UK and France’s shared preparedness for and joint response to a high threat security incident on a vessel in the Channel.

We do not expect recent decisions by P&O ferries to affect the operation of the Treaty, and we will continue to work closely with the Department for Transport, industry, and France to ensure the Treaty is implemented smoothly and effectively.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many transit visas have been issued by UK Visas and Immigration to non-UK resident seafarers employed by (a) Clyde Marine Recruitment and (b) International Fleet Management to work on P&O Ferries vessels on regularly scheduled services from UK ports between 1 February and 16 May 2022.

Home Office Migration Statistics do not publish the number of seafarers who have been granted visas to enter the UK to join Clyde Marine Recruitment and International Fleet Management to work on P&O Ferries vessels. To capture numbers would require a manual trawl of data and to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what minimum service level agreements her Department has in place with companies that administer asylum seeker accommodation in respect to the maintenance of their properties.

The current Asylum Accommodation and Support Services Contracts commenced in September 2019 and are provided by three commercial providers.

The contracts are published and in the public domain. Further information can be found at: New asylum accommodation contracts awarded - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The Home Office have access to providers’ systems to monitor compliance.

The Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts have a robust performance management system, against which providers are expected to deliver. This is supplemented by a formal governance process which includes quarterly Strategic Review Management Boards and monthly Contract Management Groups. Service credits and subsequent improvement plans are discussed and monitored as part of this process. Service Delivery Managers speak daily with providers about service delivery and performance. In response to the global pandemic, officials also have formal meetings on a weekly basis to ensure individuals are housed safely, services are delivered in line with their contractual obligations and adherence to guidance from Public Health England (PHE) is followed.

Asylum seekers can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on particular areas of concern.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of the roll out and implementation of the Afghanistan resettlement scheme; and when hon. Members will receive a detailed briefing on that scheme.

On 18th August the Prime Minister announced a new and bespoke Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS) to relocate 5,000 vulnerable Afghans in its first year, rising to 20,000 over the long-term – one of the most generous schemes in British history.

On 6th September, the Prime Minister provided further information on the Scheme, including announcing that those arriving through the ACRS will be granted immediate Indefinite Leave to Remain, allowing them to benefit from full rights and entitlements and providing them with the certainty and stability they need to build their life here.

Given the current complex picture in Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries, it is important that the Government fully considers the operational delivery of the scheme with its international partners. We are working urgently to open this route and further details will be announced in due course on gov.uk. Parliamentarians will be kept informed in the usual ways.

The ACRS is an integral part of the UK’s response to the humanitarian situation and will provide protection for thousands of Afghan citizens and other refugees identified as most at risk.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of verbal and/or physical attacks on workers during the covid-19 outbreak, by sector of the economy.

There are no official figures for the number of verbal or physical attacks on workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office collects data relating to assaults and threats made against staff in different business sectors via the Commercial Victimisation Survey (CVS). However, the latest estimates are from the 2018 CVS, available in the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/crime-against-businesses-findings-from-the-2018-commercial-victimisation-survey.

Survey results for the year ending March 2021 will be available in March 2022 and will cover only the wholesale and retail sector.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment her Department has made of the standard of temporary asylum accommodation in the UK; and what plans she has to increase the amount of available accommodation as part of the New Plan for Immigration.

We expect appropriate standards from our providers, who are expected to conduct regular checks across the accommodation estate. Throughout the pandemic, the ability to inspect accommodation in the usual way has faced some understandable logistical challenges, however we have robust systems in place to monitor and ensure continued accordance with the standards of service we and those we accommodate expect.

Service users can also raise specific issues or concerns about their accommodation through the 24/7 Advice, Issue Reporting and Eligibility (AIRE) service operated by Migrant Help. The Home Office and our providers receive feedback on complaints raised through our regular dialogue with Migrant Help, which enables attention to be focussed on any areas of concern.

All Asylum Accommodation and Support Services contracts (AASC) must adhere the Asylum Accommodation and Support Schedule Statement of Requirements. The standards of accommodation and service are set within the AASC contract and represent a higher standard of quality than the preceding COMPASS contracts.

The new contracts have resulted in significant investment in the accommodation estate and its itinerary – improved facilities in Initial Accommodation, clear requirements on room sharing and greater inventory in Dispersal Accommodation. The new AIRE contract also introduces more independent and transparent oversight of standards through clearer complaints mechanisms for service users and supporting data which allows more intelligent targeting of performance improvement.

We are working closely with local authorities across the UK to secure additional accommodation and ensure service users can move through and ‘move-on’ from the support system. We urge local authorities to work with us to identify new accommodation.

Procurement of properties is being conducted at pace, but in all cases is subject to the consultation process set out within the Asylum Accommodation Support Contracts (AASC), whereby Local Authorities are able to raise objections to procurement of each specific property being proposed for use.

The Home Office is committed to working closely with communities and stakeholders to ensure destitute asylum seekers are housed in safe, secure and suitable accommodation, and they are treated with dignity while their asylum claim is considered.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the change in the number of hate crime incidents since the onset of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of hate crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales on an annual basis.

The next scheduled release of such data is on 13 October and this will include an analysis of changes in levels of hate crime since the onset of the covid-19 outbreak.

24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether any part of the asylum casework process is outsourced by her Department.

No part of the asylum case work process has been outsourced by her department. Asylum interviews have not been outsourced, at this stage we are only exploring the potential feasibility.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that fire and rescue services conduct covid-secure home safety assessments during the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has provided guidance to Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs), to support the safe resumption of prevention activities, including Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSVs)

FRSs will adopt a risk- based approach to HFSVs to avoid the spread of Covid-19 to vulnerable groups and to protect staff, while continuing to deliver their statutory duty of promoting fire safety. The NFCC guidance provides factors that FRSs should consider when working in the home setting. The guidance is available on the NFCC website: https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/write/MediaUploads/COVID-19/prevention/Strategic_Intention_COVID-19_Prevention.pdf

During the pandemic the Home Office has continued to collaborate with the NFCC through the Fire Kills campaign to raise awareness of pertinent fire safety messages. Campaign materials were developed and made available online and to fire and rescue services to support local interventions addressing specific and topical issues.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what guidance her Department has provided to fire and rescue services on safety and contingency planning to tackle the reduction in the number of home safety assessments conducted by those services due to the covid-19 outbreak.

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) has provided guidance to Fire and Rescue Services (FRSs), to support the safe resumption of prevention activities, including Home Fire Safety Visits (HFSVs)

FRSs will adopt a risk- based approach to HFSVs to avoid the spread of Covid-19 to vulnerable groups and to protect staff, while continuing to deliver their statutory duty of promoting fire safety. The NFCC guidance provides factors that FRSs should consider when working in the home setting. The guidance is available on the NFCC website: https://www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/write/MediaUploads/COVID-19/prevention/Strategic_Intention_COVID-19_Prevention.pdf

During the pandemic the Home Office has continued to collaborate with the NFCC through the Fire Kills campaign to raise awareness of pertinent fire safety messages. Campaign materials were developed and made available online and to fire and rescue services to support local interventions addressing specific and topical issues.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many claims have been made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

Information on the amount of compensation claims made, processed and how much compensation each claimant has received, is available to view on GOV.UK at:

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

The data will be updated on the 28th September 2020 and cover the period up to 31st August 2020. In relation to the average time taken from a claim being made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme and a payment being made, we are processing claims as quickly as possible – this is our absolute priority.

We are making interim payments where parts of a claim can be resolved more easily and quickly than others. But this is not a one size fits all compensation scheme. Each person’s claim is deeply personal and requires detailed consideration to understand their individual circumstances and experiences.

Some claims are more complex than others and it is right we take the time to ensure each one is considered carefully. We want each person to get the maximum compensation to which they are entitled and we will work with individuals on their claims accordingly. This holistic approach necessarily takes time but ultimately is beneficial to individuals.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Windrush compensation claims have been processed; and how much compensation each claimant has received.

Information on the amount of compensation claims made, processed and how much compensation each claimant has received, is available to view on GOV.UK at:

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

The data will be updated on the 28th September 2020 and cover the period up to 31st August 2020. In relation to the average time taken from a claim being made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme and a payment being made, we are processing claims as quickly as possible – this is our absolute priority.

We are making interim payments where parts of a claim can be resolved more easily and quickly than others. But this is not a one size fits all compensation scheme. Each person’s claim is deeply personal and requires detailed consideration to understand their individual circumstances and experiences.

Some claims are more complex than others and it is right we take the time to ensure each one is considered carefully. We want each person to get the maximum compensation to which they are entitled and we will work with individuals on their claims accordingly. This holistic approach necessarily takes time but ultimately is beneficial to individuals.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time taken is from a claim being made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme and a payment being made.

Information on the amount of compensation claims made, processed and how much compensation each claimant has received, is available to view on GOV.UK at:

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

The data will be updated on the 28th September 2020 and cover the period up to 31st August 2020. In relation to the average time taken from a claim being made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme and a payment being made, we are processing claims as quickly as possible – this is our absolute priority.

We are making interim payments where parts of a claim can be resolved more easily and quickly than others. But this is not a one size fits all compensation scheme. Each person’s claim is deeply personal and requires detailed consideration to understand their individual circumstances and experiences.

Some claims are more complex than others and it is right we take the time to ensure each one is considered carefully. We want each person to get the maximum compensation to which they are entitled and we will work with individuals on their claims accordingly. This holistic approach necessarily takes time but ultimately is beneficial to individuals.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how long on average it takes her Department (a) to make an initial decision on asylum applications and (b) to carry out substantive interviews with asylum applicants.

The Home Office does not publish data on how long it takes to make an initial decision on asylum applications or to carry out a substantive interview.

However, the Home Office does publish data on the number asylum applications awaiting an initial decision by duration. This data can be found at This data can be found at Asy_04 of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/list-of-tables

The Home Office are committed to ensuring asylum claims are considered without unnecessary delay, individuals who need protection are granted asylum as soon as possible and can start to integrate and rebuild their lives, including those granted at appeal.

Whilst we take steps to increase capacity, with focus on process improvements, to deliver better quality decisions, more efficiently, we have moved away from the six-month service standard to concentrate on older claims, cases with acute vulnerability and those in receipt of the greatest level of support, including Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children (UASC). Additionally, we are prioritising cases where an individual has already received a decision, but a reconsideration is required. The intention is for this approach to bring balance back to the asylum system.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of asylum applications are granted upon first application.

The Home Office routinely publishes information on the total number of initial decisions on asylum applications, by outcome. This data can be found at This data can be found at Asy_02a of the published Immigration Statistics:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/list-of-tables

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the potential security threat to the UK of a new Taliban administration in Kabul; and what steps the Government is taking in response to that potential threat.

The principal threat to the UK’s national security stemming from the withdrawal of NATO from Afghanistan and the new Taliban administration will centre on the extent to which Afghanistan is once again used by terrorist groups to prepare attacks against the West in general and the UK in particular. The future relationship between the Taliban and Al Qaeda remains unclear, but in the short term it is unlikely that they would act contrary to the Taliban’s interest. We do not judge that the Taliban themselves have any intent to carry out attacks outside of Afghanistan.

The Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) will highly likely continue to target the Taliban in Afghanistan to exacerbate social and ethnic tensions whilst seeking areas for settlement and sanctuary for their fighters. The UK continues to work to counter ISKP through means other than military presence in Afghanistan, working with partners in the region to diminish the threat they pose.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the compliance of his Department’s rules on annual leave carry-over with the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The Ministry of Defence amended its policy for civilian employees' annual leave carry-over to comply with the change to the Working Time (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. This was done immediately and in line with Cabinet Office guidance. This means that none of our key workers should lose their statutory leave entitlement of 20 days (if they work full time) excluding public holidays because the necessary carry-over provision is in place. We collect and analyse metrics on annual leave and discuss our findings with the departmental Trade Unions.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department is taking steps to assist local authorities with the highest proportion of spend on temporary accommodation relative to their overall revenue.

The Government publishes statistics on local authority revenue expenditure and financing in England, which can be found here: Local authority revenue expenditure and financing England: 2023-24 budget - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Councils are ultimately responsible for the management of their own finances. At the last Local Government Finance Settlement, Government made available up to £59.7 billion for local government in England, an increase in Core Spending Power of £5.1 billion or 9.4% in cash terms on 2022/23.

The Homelessness Advice and Support Team (HAST) in DLUHC are set up across the country to provide advice, support and challenge to Local Authorities to help them improve the delivery of homelessness services to families and single people. Each Local Authority has a dedicated adviser.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he has made an assessment of the potential impact of funding temporary accommodation on the financial stability of local authorities.

The Government publishes statistics on local authority revenue expenditure and financing in England, which can be found here: Local authority revenue expenditure and financing England: 2023-24 budget - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Councils are ultimately responsible for the management of their own finances. At the last Local Government Finance Settlement, Government made available up to £59.7 billion for local government in England, an increase in Core Spending Power of £5.1 billion or 9.4% in cash terms on 2022/23.

The Homelessness Advice and Support Team (HAST) in DLUHC are set up across the country to provide advice, support and challenge to Local Authorities to help them improve the delivery of homelessness services to families and single people. Each Local Authority has a dedicated adviser.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has made an estimate of the ten local authorities with the highest expenditure on temporary accommodation as a proportion of their total revenue budgets.

The Government publishes statistics on local authority revenue expenditure and financing in England, which can be found here: Local authority revenue expenditure and financing England: 2023-24 budget - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Councils are ultimately responsible for the management of their own finances. At the last Local Government Finance Settlement, Government made available up to £59.7 billion for local government in England, an increase in Core Spending Power of £5.1 billion or 9.4% in cash terms on 2022/23.

The Homelessness Advice and Support Team (HAST) in DLUHC are set up across the country to provide advice, support and challenge to Local Authorities to help them improve the delivery of homelessness services to families and single people. Each Local Authority has a dedicated adviser.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to help Hastings Council (a) reduce their expenditure on temporary accommodation, (b) reduce housing pressures and (c) manage their financial stability.

The Government publishes statistics on local authority revenue expenditure and financing in England, which can be found here: Local authority revenue expenditure and financing England: 2023-24 budget - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Councils are ultimately responsible for the management of their own finances. At the last Local Government Finance Settlement, Government made available up to £59.7 billion for local government in England, an increase in Core Spending Power of £5.1 billion or 9.4% in cash terms on 2022/23.

The Homelessness Advice and Support Team (HAST) in DLUHC are set up across the country to provide advice, support and challenge to Local Authorities to help them improve the delivery of homelessness services to families and single people. Each Local Authority has a dedicated adviser.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to monitor local authority homeless strategies in respect of their ability to (a) prevent homelessness, (b) achieve value for money and (c) promote best practice.

The Government publishes statistics on local authority revenue expenditure and financing in England, which can be found here: Local authority revenue expenditure and financing England: 2023-24 budget - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Councils are ultimately responsible for the management of their own finances. At the last Local Government Finance Settlement, Government made available up to £59.7 billion for local government in England, an increase in Core Spending Power of £5.1 billion or 9.4% in cash terms on 2022/23.

The Homelessness Advice and Support Team (HAST) in DLUHC are set up across the country to provide advice, support and challenge to Local Authorities to help them improve the delivery of homelessness services to families and single people. Each Local Authority has a dedicated adviser.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that temporary accommodation used to house homeless children is a suitable standard.

Local authorities must ensure any temporary accommodation placement is suitable and should try to place individuals within their own area. Government has been clear that the long-term use of B&B accommodation for families with children is inappropriate and unlawful and we are determined to stop this practice.

If an authority places a household in temporary accommodation outside of the local area, this should be as a last resort, and they should still try to place the household as near as possible to the original local authority.

The Government is taking steps to increase quality and regulation across all housing stock, including temporary accommodation. This includes reviewing the Decent Homes Standard, improving the way social housing is regulated through The Social Housing Regulation Act and delivering a better deal for renters through the Renters Reform Bill.

The Government has provided local authorities in excess of £1 billion over the next 3 years through the Homelessness Prevention Grant to help them prevent homelessness and provide temporary accommodation.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the provisions of the Renters (Reform) Bill on the stepping stone accommodation model.

I refer the Hon. Member to my answer to Question UIN 184765 on 17 May 2023.

28th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the differences in levels of (a) resources and (b) powers granted in devolution deals in England.

Our Devolution Framework sets out a clear menu of options for places in England that wish to unlock the benefits of devolution.

The devolution framework is designed to let areas deepen their devolution arrangements over time and at their own pace, recognising that, as institutions mature, they can gain greater responsibility.

22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of (a) increasing devolution in England and (b) giving Metro Mayors local tax raising powers.

We are already extending devolution across England.

Through the announcement of six new devolution deals last year and most recently ground-breaking trailblazer devolution deals with Greater Manchester and West Midlands Combined Authorities, as well as the publication of the English Devolution Accountability Framework, the Government is empowering local leaders by ensuring they have more control and influence over the decisions that affect their communities. We will continue to work with local government in England to establish and grow new mayoral combined authorities, combined county authorities, and county deals. Our existing mayors are already playing a powerful role in driving economic growth, improving public services and giving local areas a voice on the national stage. The Government recognises the importance of fiscal devolution in England.

14th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department is taking steps to recruit more supported lodgings hosts to care for teenagers and care leavers aged 16 to 25.

The Government supports the use of supported lodgings as a good option for some care leavers to assist with the transition from care to independent living, but only where it is high-quality and the young person is ready for the level of independence it promotes.

As set out in the Stable Homes, Built on Love Implementation Strategy our long-term ambition is to have a universal offer of wrap around support and accommodation for care leavers through the expansion of Staying Close and by promoting and sharing good practice on supported lodgings.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what guidance his Department issues on the meaning of priority need in the context of tackling homelessness and rough sleeping.

Guidance on priority need is in Chapter 8 of the Homelessness Code of Guidance .

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of his policies on renters reform on stepping stone accommodation for vulnerable young people that offer fixed term housing at deflated rents.

In the Government response to our consultation 'A New Deal for Renting', we committed to introduce specific grounds for possession for supported and temporary accommodation providers. These will apply in limited situations, where it is necessary to enable them to continue to operate critical services.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan, published on 27 March 2023, on the level of (a) noise complaints against and (b) evictions of victims of domestic abuse.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to Question UIN 175715 on 18 April 2023.

24th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the social housing sector in helping to tackle (a) homelessness and (b) rough sleeping.

The latest homelessness statistics can be found here and include information on the social rented sector.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that local connection tests do not lead to victims of domestic violence being denied access to housing.

Last year we launched a consultation on regulations relating to LAs applying a local connection test for victims of domestic abuse who apply for social housing.

We are currently reviewing the responses.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of expertise available within local authorities in rural areas on providing advice and access to homelessness services.

The Government is clear that local authorities must ensure temporary accommodation is suitable in relation to the applicant and to all members of their household who normally reside with them, or who might reasonably be expected to reside with them. In particular this means that accommodation must be suitable for any minors. Applicants may request a review of the housing authority's decision that the accommodation offered to them is suitable.

We have committed to providing over £650 million to councils in England over the next two years through the Homelessness Prevention Grant. This is part of the £2 billion the government is spending to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years, including in rural communities, to tackle youth homelessness and to reduce the number of families in temporary accommodation.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the structural causes of youth homelessness.

The Government is clear that local authorities must ensure temporary accommodation is suitable in relation to the applicant and to all members of their household who normally reside with them, or who might reasonably be expected to reside with them. In particular this means that accommodation must be suitable for any minors. Applicants may request a review of the housing authority's decision that the accommodation offered to them is suitable.

We have committed to providing over £650 million to councils in England over the next two years through the Homelessness Prevention Grant. This is part of the £2 billion the government is spending to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years, including in rural communities, to tackle youth homelessness and to reduce the number of families in temporary accommodation.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department will take to tackle youth homelessness.

The Government is clear that local authorities must ensure temporary accommodation is suitable in relation to the applicant and to all members of their household who normally reside with them, or who might reasonably be expected to reside with them. In particular this means that accommodation must be suitable for any minors. Applicants may request a review of the housing authority's decision that the accommodation offered to them is suitable.

We have committed to providing over £650 million to councils in England over the next two years through the Homelessness Prevention Grant. This is part of the £2 billion the government is spending to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years, including in rural communities, to tackle youth homelessness and to reduce the number of families in temporary accommodation.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made with Cabinet colleagues of the potential impact of placing children in temporary accommodation that is deemed unsuitable on the health outcomes of those children.

The Government is clear that local authorities must ensure temporary accommodation is suitable in relation to the applicant and to all members of their household who normally reside with them, or who might reasonably be expected to reside with them. In particular this means that accommodation must be suitable for any minors. Applicants may request a review of the housing authority's decision that the accommodation offered to them is suitable.

We have committed to providing over £650 million to councils in England over the next two years through the Homelessness Prevention Grant. This is part of the £2 billion the government is spending to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years, including in rural communities, to tackle youth homelessness and to reduce the number of families in temporary accommodation.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to help reduce the number of children in temporary accommodation.

The Government is clear that local authorities must ensure temporary accommodation is suitable in relation to the applicant and to all members of their household who normally reside with them, or who might reasonably be expected to reside with them. In particular this means that accommodation must be suitable for any minors. Applicants may request a review of the housing authority's decision that the accommodation offered to them is suitable.

We have committed to providing over £650 million to councils in England over the next two years through the Homelessness Prevention Grant. This is part of the £2 billion the government is spending to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years, including in rural communities, to tackle youth homelessness and to reduce the number of families in temporary accommodation.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of cot provision in temporary accommodation.

The Government is clear that local authorities must ensure temporary accommodation is suitable in relation to the applicant and to all members of their household who normally reside with them, or who might reasonably be expected to reside with them. In particular this means that accommodation must be suitable for any minors. Applicants may request a review of the housing authority's decision that the accommodation offered to them is suitable.

We have committed to providing over £650 million to councils in England over the next two years through the Homelessness Prevention Grant. This is part of the £2 billion the government is spending to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years, including in rural communities, to tackle youth homelessness and to reduce the number of families in temporary accommodation.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not normally disclosed.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many and what proportion of local housing teams apply local connection tests to domestic violence victims fleeing to another geographic area.

The Government is committed to addressing the needs of victims of domestic abuse, as set out in the Domestic Abuse Plan. We understand domestic abuse and security of tenure are issues that often co-exist, and our reforms take steps to support victims. As set out in the “A Fairer Private Rented Sector” White paper, the Government is committed to abolishing Section 21, so called 'no fault' evictions, which will make tenants significantly more secure in their homes, while periodic tenancies will ensure that tenants who are experiencing domestic abuse are not financially 'locked in' to a dangerous situation, as they will be able to end their tenancy at any point. We have also published guidance making clear that the Secretary of State strongly encourages local authorities to disapply the local connection test for victims of domestic abuse.

The information requested on local connection tests is not held centrally.

28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will take steps to ensure victims of domestic abuse are not evicted from their homes following anti-social behaviour complaints.

The Government is committed to addressing the needs of victims of domestic abuse, as set out in the Domestic Abuse Plan. We understand domestic abuse and security of tenure are issues that often co-exist, and our reforms take steps to support victims. As set out in the “A Fairer Private Rented Sector” White paper, the Government is committed to abolishing Section 21, so called 'no fault' evictions, which will make tenants significantly more secure in their homes, while periodic tenancies will ensure that tenants who are experiencing domestic abuse are not financially 'locked in' to a dangerous situation, as they will be able to end their tenancy at any point. We have also published guidance making clear that the Secretary of State strongly encourages local authorities to disapply the local connection test for victims of domestic abuse.

The information requested on local connection tests is not held centrally.

20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has made an estimate of the number of Ukrainian households admitted under the Homes for Ukraine scheme at risk of homelessness in each of the next two years.

We want to avoid households becoming homeless wherever possible. Local authorities provide a statutory safety net Ukrainian households can access if they need help.

Government is monitoring the number of Ukrainian households seeking homelessness assistance through our management information, which is published monthly on gov.uk here.

To help prevent homelessness, we have announced £150 million for councils across the UK, as well as a £500 million Local Authority Housing Fund in England to help house Ukrainians. This is on top of the £2 billion in funding Government is spending over three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in England.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing support to Ukrainian refugees to move into the private rented sector at the end of a Homes for Ukraine scheme placement.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 148806 on 23 February 2023.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, further to the Answer of 9 March 2023 to Question 156308 on Bed and Breakfast Accommodation: Children, whether his Department issues guidance to local authorities on reducing the number of households with dependent children in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation for longer than six weeks; and what steps his Department is taking, through its continuing work with local authorities, to tackle this issue.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure temporary accommodation is suitable for all members of an applicant’s household. Consideration of whether accommodation is suitable will require an assessment of all aspects of the accommodation in the light of the relevant needs, requirements and circumstances of the household. This includes any requirements to meet the needs of a person who is disabled or has specific medical needs.

We do not hold data relating to schools and temporary accommodation. Where possible, housing authorities should try to secure accommodation that is as close as possible to where an applicant was previously living. Where an out-of-borough placement is necessary, the authority should seek to retain established links, including education, wherever possible.

As set out in legislation and Chapter 16 of the Homelessness Code of Guidance, the Government has been clear that the long-term use of bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation for families with children is inappropriate and unlawful. We will continue to work with local authorities to limit the use of B&B accommodation.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an estimate of the number of homeless children required to move schools as a result of moving to temporary accommodation in each of the past 12 months.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure temporary accommodation is suitable for all members of an applicant’s household. Consideration of whether accommodation is suitable will require an assessment of all aspects of the accommodation in the light of the relevant needs, requirements and circumstances of the household. This includes any requirements to meet the needs of a person who is disabled or has specific medical needs.

We do not hold data relating to schools and temporary accommodation. Where possible, housing authorities should try to secure accommodation that is as close as possible to where an applicant was previously living. Where an out-of-borough placement is necessary, the authority should seek to retain established links, including education, wherever possible.

As set out in legislation and Chapter 16 of the Homelessness Code of Guidance, the Government has been clear that the long-term use of bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation for families with children is inappropriate and unlawful. We will continue to work with local authorities to limit the use of B&B accommodation.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the availability of suitable temporary accommodation for disabled homeless people.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure temporary accommodation is suitable for all members of an applicant’s household. Consideration of whether accommodation is suitable will require an assessment of all aspects of the accommodation in the light of the relevant needs, requirements and circumstances of the household. This includes any requirements to meet the needs of a person who is disabled or has specific medical needs.

We do not hold data relating to schools and temporary accommodation. Where possible, housing authorities should try to secure accommodation that is as close as possible to where an applicant was previously living. Where an out-of-borough placement is necessary, the authority should seek to retain established links, including education, wherever possible.

As set out in legislation and Chapter 16 of the Homelessness Code of Guidance, the Government has been clear that the long-term use of bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation for families with children is inappropriate and unlawful. We will continue to work with local authorities to limit the use of B&B accommodation.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an estimate of the number of disabled people who have been served section 21 eviction notices in the last 12 months.

The information is not held centrally.

1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to his Department's Rough sleeping snapshot in England: autumn 2022, published on 28 February 2023, what analysis his Department has made of the reasons for the increase in rough sleeping numbers.

Further to the answers given in response to questions UIN 155208 and UIN 75824 on 8 March 2023 and 7 November 2022, the Government has been clear that the long-term use of B&B accommodation for families with children is inappropriate and unlawful and we are determined to stop this practice. We will continue to work with local authorities to limit the use of bed and breakfast accommodation.

The latest statutory homelessness statistics for April to June 2022 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-july-to-september-2022. This includes data on the number of households in temporary accommodation in England, including the number of children. The latest rough sleeping snapshot can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate his Department has made of the number of households with dependent children in temporary accommodation in 2023.

Further to the answers given in response to questions UIN 155208 and UIN 75824 on 8 March 2023 and 7 November 2022, the Government has been clear that the long-term use of B&B accommodation for families with children is inappropriate and unlawful and we are determined to stop this practice. We will continue to work with local authorities to limit the use of bed and breakfast accommodation.

The latest statutory homelessness statistics for April to June 2022 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-july-to-september-2022. This includes data on the number of households in temporary accommodation in England, including the number of children. The latest rough sleeping snapshot can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to his Department's statistics entitled Statutory homelessness in England: July to September 2022 published 28 February 2023, what steps his Department are taking to reduce the number of households with dependent children who have lived in temporary bed and breakfast accommodation for longer than 6 weeks.

Further to the answers given in response to questions UIN 155208 and UIN 75824 on 8 March 2023 and 7 November 2022, the Government has been clear that the long-term use of B&B accommodation for families with children is inappropriate and unlawful and we are determined to stop this practice. We will continue to work with local authorities to limit the use of bed and breakfast accommodation.

The latest statutory homelessness statistics for April to June 2022 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-july-to-september-2022. This includes data on the number of households in temporary accommodation in England, including the number of children. The latest rough sleeping snapshot can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Department's policies on reducing the number of children in temporary accommodation since 2010.

Further to the answers given in response to questions UIN 155208 and UIN 75824 on 8 March 2023 and 7 November 2022, the Government has been clear that the long-term use of B&B accommodation for families with children is inappropriate and unlawful and we are determined to stop this practice. We will continue to work with local authorities to limit the use of bed and breakfast accommodation.

The latest statutory homelessness statistics for April to June 2022 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-july-to-september-2022. This includes data on the number of households in temporary accommodation in England, including the number of children. The latest rough sleeping snapshot can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to his Department's statistics entitled Statutory homelessness in England: July to September 2022, published on 28 February 2023, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of increases in the number of households living in bed and breakfast accommodation with dependent children.

Further to the answers given in response to questions UIN 155208 and UIN 75824 on 8 March 2023 and 7 November 2022, the Government has been clear that the long-term use of B&B accommodation for families with children is inappropriate and unlawful and we are determined to stop this practice. We will continue to work with local authorities to limit the use of bed and breakfast accommodation.

The latest statutory homelessness statistics for April to June 2022 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statutory-homelessness-in-england-july-to-september-2022. This includes data on the number of households in temporary accommodation in England, including the number of children. The latest rough sleeping snapshot can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022/rough-sleeping-snapshot-in-england-autumn-2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of changes in the levels of section 21 evictions on the demand for homelessness services.

The department publishes official statistics on homelessness duties owed, including the number of households that are threatened with homelessness following service of a valid section 21 notice.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what information his Department holds on how many times permitted development rights have been used (a) to convert buildings and other dwellings into temporary accommodation and (b) for other purposes in England in the last two years.

The Department publishes data on how many applications for prior approval for the change of use to residential are able to proceed and how many homes the permitted development rights have delivered.

The figures are readily available online and can be found at Housing delivery Table 123 and Application data PDR 1.

The department does not collect data on the type of buildings local authorities use as temporary accommodation, for more information on the temporary accommodation data please see here.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has made an (a) estimate of the number of councils converting office blocks to accommodation through permitted development rights and (b) assessment of the suitability of that practice for tackling homelessness.

The Department publishes data on how many applications for prior approval for the change of use to residential are able to proceed and how many homes the permitted development rights have delivered.

The figures are readily available online and can be found at Housing delivery Table 123 and Application data PDR 1.

The department does not collect data on the type of buildings local authorities use as temporary accommodation, for more information on the temporary accommodation data please see here.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what information his Department holds on how many councils are using buildings previously designated as office blocks to house the temporarily homeless.

The Department publishes data on how many applications for prior approval for the change of use to residential are able to proceed and how many homes the permitted development rights have delivered.

The figures are readily available online and can be found at Housing delivery Table 123 and Application data PDR 1.

The department does not collect data on the type of buildings local authorities use as temporary accommodation, for more information on the temporary accommodation data please see here.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has made a comparative assessment of the demand for homelessness services across the English regions.

Homelessness data for English regions can be found online here.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans his Department havs to rhelp educe the number of homeless children being placed out of their home borough.

Local authorities must ensure any temporary accommodation placement is suitable and should try to place individuals within their own area. If an authority places a household in temporary accommodation outside of the local area, this should be as a last resort and they should still try to place the household as near as possible to the original local authority.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the levels of demand for temporary accommodation since September 2022.

The latest statutory homelessness statistics for April to June 2022 can be found here . This includes data on the number of households in temporary accommodation in England.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when his Department most recently had discussions with the Mayor of London on (a) homelessness and (b) rough sleeping in London.

The technical consultation on the Homelessness Prevention Grant (HPG) funding arrangement closed last year. A summary of which can be found here. Local authorities in England have been allocated a total of £654 million HPG for 2023-24 and 2024-25.

We have made good progress towards our goal to end rough sleeping, with rough sleeping levels falling 49% since 2017, according to the annual snapshot which can be found here. As has been the case with successive administrations, details of internal meetings are not normally disclosed. Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on gov.uk.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what progress he has made on ending rough sleeping.

The technical consultation on the Homelessness Prevention Grant (HPG) funding arrangement closed last year. A summary of which can be found here. Local authorities in England have been allocated a total of £654 million HPG for 2023-24 and 2024-25.

We have made good progress towards our goal to end rough sleeping, with rough sleeping levels falling 49% since 2017, according to the annual snapshot which can be found here. As has been the case with successive administrations, details of internal meetings are not normally disclosed. Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on gov.uk.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on homeless asylum seekers and refugees.

The technical consultation on the Homelessness Prevention Grant (HPG) funding arrangement closed last year. A summary of which can be found here. Local authorities in England have been allocated a total of £654 million HPG for 2023-24 and 2024-25.

We have made good progress towards our goal to end rough sleeping, with rough sleeping levels falling 49% since 2017, according to the annual snapshot which can be found here. As has been the case with successive administrations, details of internal meetings are not normally disclosed. Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on gov.uk.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has (a) consulted and (b) had discussions with key stakeholders in the homelessness sector since September 2022 on potential rises in demand for homelessness services.

The technical consultation on the Homelessness Prevention Grant (HPG) funding arrangement closed last year. A summary of which can be found here. Local authorities in England have been allocated a total of £654 million HPG for 2023-24 and 2024-25.

We have made good progress towards our goal to end rough sleeping, with rough sleeping levels falling 49% since 2017, according to the annual snapshot which can be found here. As has been the case with successive administrations, details of internal meetings are not normally disclosed. Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on gov.uk.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent discussions his Department has had with the Local Government Association on the (a) effectiveness and (b) adequacy of the Homeless Prevention Grant.

The technical consultation on the Homelessness Prevention Grant (HPG) funding arrangement closed last year. A summary of which can be found here. Local authorities in England have been allocated a total of £654 million HPG for 2023-24 and 2024-25.

We have made good progress towards our goal to end rough sleeping, with rough sleeping levels falling 49% since 2017, according to the annual snapshot which can be found here. As has been the case with successive administrations, details of internal meetings are not normally disclosed. Ministerial meetings with external organisations are published on gov.uk.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support given to local authorities to support Ukrainian refugees.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme relies on cooperation between Government, local government, the voluntary sector, and faith / Ukrainian representative organisations. We engage with local government and other partners through several different conversations and working groups to date. This has included Ministerial roundtables attended by local government representatives, official led working group meetings, and ongoing bilateral engagement with local authority Chief Executives and senior representatives.

Further, I refer the Hon. Member to the written statement (HCWS447) made by my Rt. Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, on 14 December 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he last met with the Local Government Association to discuss support for Ukrainian refugees.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme relies on cooperation between Government, local government, the voluntary sector, and faith / Ukrainian representative organisations. We engage with local government and other partners through several different conversations and working groups to date. This has included Ministerial roundtables attended by local government representatives, official led working group meetings, and ongoing bilateral engagement with local authority Chief Executives and senior representatives.

Further, I refer the Hon. Member to the written statement (HCWS447) made by my Rt. Hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, on 14 December 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of trends in levels of homelessness in rural areas.

The department publishes homelessness data here.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the supply of housing in the private rented sector.

The English Housing Survey provides information on households and housing stock. The proportion of Private Rented Sector (PRS) households has remained relatively stable for nearly a decade. The PRS was 19% of households in 2013-14 and continues to be at 19% according to the latest data for 2021-22.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of expanding Housing First to areas beyond existing pilots.

The department has commissioned a consortium, led by ICF, to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the sub-regional Housing First pilots, which will run for the duration of the pilots.  Four reports have been published to date, with the final report due at the end of 2023. The reports are available here.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of housing supply in Housing First pilot areas.

The department has commissioned a consortium, led by ICF, to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the sub-regional Housing First pilots, which will run for the duration of the pilots.  Four reports have been published to date, with the final report due at the end of 2023. The reports are available here.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact on workforce recruitment and retention in the homelessness support sector of not uprating commissioned contracts in that sector in line with inflation.

This Department is aware of the increasing concerns people are facing as a result of inflation and continues to monitor its effects. Local authorities have received £316 million through the Homelessness Prevention Grant in 2022/23. This is part of the £2 billion of funding committed to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the role of trauma in causing homelessness and rough sleeping.

On 3 September 2022, the Government published 'Ending Rough Sleeping for Good', building on the lessons learned during the pandemic. This set out how we will spend an unprecedented £2 billion over the next three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

There are multiple, complex and overlapping drivers behind rough sleeping, which include trauma. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) sets out core principles for how care and support should be approached for people experiencing homelessness, including rough sleeping. Their guidance can be found here.

On deaths of homeless people, I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 87907, on 23 November 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many rough sleeping deaths have been recorded between 11 May 2010 and 23 November 2022.

On 3 September 2022, the Government published 'Ending Rough Sleeping for Good', building on the lessons learned during the pandemic. This set out how we will spend an unprecedented £2 billion over the next three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

There are multiple, complex and overlapping drivers behind rough sleeping, which include trauma. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) sets out core principles for how care and support should be approached for people experiencing homelessness, including rough sleeping. Their guidance can be found here.

On deaths of homeless people, I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 87907, on 23 November 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will take steps to introduce a new Everyone In initiative to help prevent rough sleeping in winter 2022.

On 3 September 2022, the Government published 'Ending Rough Sleeping for Good', building on the lessons learned during the pandemic. This set out how we will spend an unprecedented £2 billion over the next three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

There are multiple, complex and overlapping drivers behind rough sleeping, which include trauma. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) sets out core principles for how care and support should be approached for people experiencing homelessness, including rough sleeping. Their guidance can be found here.

On deaths of homeless people, I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 87907, on 23 November 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effectiveness of the Everyone In scheme launched by Crisis UK at tackling rough sleeping in the UK.

On 3 September 2022, the Government published 'Ending Rough Sleeping for Good', building on the lessons learned during the pandemic. This set out how we will spend an unprecedented £2 billion over the next three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

There are multiple, complex and overlapping drivers behind rough sleeping, which include trauma. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) sets out core principles for how care and support should be approached for people experiencing homelessness, including rough sleeping. Their guidance can be found here.

On deaths of homeless people, I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 87907, on 23 November 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department intends to take additional steps to help tackle any potential rise in the level of rough sleeping during winter 2022-23.

On 3 September 2022, the Government published 'Ending Rough Sleeping for Good', building on the lessons learned during the pandemic. This set out how we will spend an unprecedented £2 billion over the next three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

There are multiple, complex and overlapping drivers behind rough sleeping, which include trauma. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) sets out core principles for how care and support should be approached for people experiencing homelessness, including rough sleeping. Their guidance can be found here.

On deaths of homeless people, I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to Question UIN 87907, on 23 November 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many clients on the West Midlands Combined Authority Housing First pilot are housed in (a) hostels and (b) other forms of temporary accommodation.

The department does not hold the data requested.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many clients on the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Housing First pilot are in (a) hostels and (b) other forms of temporary accommodation.

The department does not hold the data requested.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many clients on the Liverpool City Region Housing First pilot are currently housed in (a) hostels and (b) other forms of temporary accommodation.

The department does not hold the data requested.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what trauma-related mental health support is available to clients on the three Housing First pilots in England.

Each client on the Housing First pilots has access to wrap-around support as appropriate, including mental health, and drugs and alcohol misuse support.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has had recent discussions with homelessness charities that provide frontline services on (a) budgetary pressures and (b) the provision of services into the 2023-24 financial year.

I refer the Hon. Member to my answer to Question UIN 84910 on 21 November 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing homelessness charities that offer accommodation services with additional financial support for energy costs.

I refer the Hon. Member to my answer to Question UIN 84910 on 21 November 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of (a) inflation and (b) other rising costs on budgets for homeless services commissioned by local authorities.

I refer the Hon. Member to my answer to Question UIN 84910 on 21 November 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department will take to support homelessness services with rising costs in winter 2022.

I refer the Hon. Member to my answer to Question UIN 84910 on 21 November 2022.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support available to prevent care leavers from becoming homeless.

The Government's Rough Sleeping Strategy confirmed funding for specialist personal advisers who provide targeted support to young people leaving care most at risk of homelessness in 69 local authorities.

The Government will also continue investment into the 'Staying Put' programme which requires local authorities to support young people to remain with their former foster care to age 21 if the carer and young person want the fostering arrangement to continue, and scale up the number of local areas offering the 'Staying Close' programme, which enable young people leaving care to stay with, or in touch with, former foster families and children's homes for longer - building their resilience as they transition to independent living.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many domestic abuse victims were in exempt accommodation with other homeless people as of 11 November 2022.

This information requested is not held centrally. We have however introduced new funding duties on local authorities within the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 for the provision of accommodation-based support.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the provision of mental health to those (a) at risk of homelessness and (b) already homeless in temporary accommodation and rough sleeping.

My department has commissioned a comprehensive evaluation of the sub-regional Housing First pilots. Four reports have been published to date and are available here.

We recognise the important role mental health can play in ending rough sleeping, and this is reflected in the content of our Rough Sleeping strategy. Our commitments to support people sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness span across health and social care systems, including hospital discharge, mental health and substance misuse.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of Housing First Pilots at offering trauma related mental health support.

My department has commissioned a comprehensive evaluation of the sub-regional Housing First pilots. Four reports have been published to date and are available here.

We recognise the important role mental health can play in ending rough sleeping, and this is reflected in the content of our Rough Sleeping strategy. Our commitments to support people sleeping rough or experiencing homelessness span across health and social care systems, including hospital discharge, mental health and substance misuse.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many and what proportion of care leavers were homeless, as of 10 November 2022.

The latest statutory homelessness statistics for England cover the period January-March 2022 and are available here.

The published data shows that there were 900 care leavers aged 18-20, and 1,160 care leavers aged 21 and over who were threatened with homelessness or homeless in January-March 2022. This is 3% of all households owed a homelessness duty in that period. The department will publish the Statutory Homelessness Statistics for April to June 2022 shortly.

The department collects data from local authorities that covers totals over a quarter.

Since 2018/19 the Department for Education has provided funding to local authorities with the highest number of care leavers at risk of homelessness or rough sleeping. The Government's Rough Sleeping Strategy confirmed this investment will continue funding in 2022/23 to provide targeted support to young people leaving care most at risk of homelessness, in 69 local authorities.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the report of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee entitled Exempt Accommodation published 27 October 2022, what steps his Department is taking to improve the quality of exempt accommodation.

The Government believes that it is unacceptable that unscrupulous landlords are profiting at the expense of vulnerable people in supported housing. We remain committed to addressing this issue - on Friday Government announced its support for Bob Blackman’s Private Members Bill to regulate supported housing.I will be working closely with Bob Blackman MP on his Private Members' Bill to deliver tough new laws to end unscrupulous practices.

We welcome the publication of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee's report on the issue of poor-quality supported housing and we will carefully consider its findings and respond in due course.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment has his Department made of the adequacy of exempt accommodation as of 10 November 2022.

The Government believes that it is unacceptable that unscrupulous landlords are profiting at the expense of vulnerable people in supported housing. We remain committed to addressing this issue - on Friday Government announced its support for Bob Blackman’s Private Members Bill to regulate supported housing.I will be working closely with Bob Blackman MP on his Private Members' Bill to deliver tough new laws to end unscrupulous practices.

We welcome the publication of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee's report on the issue of poor-quality supported housing and we will carefully consider its findings and respond in due course.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the availability of specialist accommodation for domestic abuse victims.

As part of the Part 4 accommodation-based support duties on local authorities in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, we initiated a National Expert Steering Group, chaired by a DLUHC Minister and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner. This expert group monitors the delivery of the duty and provides advice and challenge on progress.

In addition, we are working with the Local Government Association, local authorities and domestic abuse service providers including Women's Aid and Refuge, looking at how the duties are being implemented at the local level. To support local authorities with the delivery of their duties we have run a number of joint workshops with the Local Government Association.

Under the new duties local authorities are required to report back to the Department on a yearly basis on how they have delivered their duties. We have committed to publishing progress reports, the first of which will be issued shortly.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many families were temporarily housed outside their home local authority area in England as of 9 November (a) 2021 and (b) 2022.

Detailed information on local authority revenue expenditure and financing can be found here.

Local authorities have received £316 million through the Homelessness Prevention Grant in 2022/23, helping them to prevent homelessness and help more people sooner. This is on top of the £375 million Homelessness Prevention Grant funding local authorities received in 2021/22.

Local authorities should avoid placing households out of their borough. In some areas where there is a limited supply of suitable accommodation, we are aware that it can be necessary to place households in temporary accommodation outside of the local area. This, however, should be as a last resort.

The Statutory Homelessness Statistics show that in 2021 there were a total of 105,360 households placed in temporary accommodation outside their area. The most recent publication of January - March 2022 show there was 26,620 households placed in temporary accommodation outside their area during that quarter.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent steps his Department has taken with local authorities to help improve the standard of temporary accommodation in England.

Detailed information on local authority revenue expenditure and financing can be found here.

Local authorities have received £316 million through the Homelessness Prevention Grant in 2022/23, helping them to prevent homelessness and help more people sooner. This is on top of the £375 million Homelessness Prevention Grant funding local authorities received in 2021/22.

Local authorities should avoid placing households out of their borough. In some areas where there is a limited supply of suitable accommodation, we are aware that it can be necessary to place households in temporary accommodation outside of the local area. This, however, should be as a last resort.

The Statutory Homelessness Statistics show that in 2021 there were a total of 105,360 households placed in temporary accommodation outside their area. The most recent publication of January - March 2022 show there was 26,620 households placed in temporary accommodation outside their area during that quarter.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking with Cabinet colleagues to reduce the cost to the public purse of Government spending on temporary accommodation.

Detailed information on local authority revenue expenditure and financing can be found here.

Local authorities have received £316 million through the Homelessness Prevention Grant in 2022/23, helping them to prevent homelessness and help more people sooner. This is on top of the £375 million Homelessness Prevention Grant funding local authorities received in 2021/22.

Local authorities should avoid placing households out of their borough. In some areas where there is a limited supply of suitable accommodation, we are aware that it can be necessary to place households in temporary accommodation outside of the local area. This, however, should be as a last resort.

The Statutory Homelessness Statistics show that in 2021 there were a total of 105,360 households placed in temporary accommodation outside their area. The most recent publication of January - March 2022 show there was 26,620 households placed in temporary accommodation outside their area during that quarter.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)