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Written Question
Post Offices: ICT
3 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 20 October 2021 to Question 57139, on Post Offices, how many of the applications received after the Post Office's Historical Shortfall Scheme closed on 27 November 2020 have been assessed.

Answered by Paul Scully

While Post Office Limited is publicly owned, it operates as an independent business. Decisions on making awards under the Historical Shortfall Scheme are for the Post Office to make.


Written Question
Post Offices: ICT
3 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 20 October 2021 to Question 57139, on Post Offices, how many of the applications received after the Post Office's Historical Shortfall Scheme closed on 27 November 2020 have been refused payment from that scheme.

Answered by Paul Scully

While Post Office Limited is publicly owned, it operates as an independent business. Decisions on making awards under the Historical Shortfall Scheme are for the Post Office to make.


Written Question
Post Offices: ICT
3 Dec 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 20 October 2021 to Question 57139, on Post Offices, how many of the applications received after the Post Office's Historical Shortfall Scheme closed on 27 November 2020 have had an award made from that scheme.

Answered by Paul Scully

While Post Office Limited is publicly owned, it operates as an independent business. Decisions on making awards under the Historical Shortfall Scheme are for the Post Office to make.


Written Question
Employment and Support Allowance
4 Nov 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of claimants who have reached the end of their 12 month entitlement to contributions-based employment and support allowance before the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments has completed its work capability assessment to determine whether their entitlement remains after the initial 12 month period.

Answered by Chloe Smith

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.


Written Question
Employment and Support Allowance: Work Capability Assessment
4 Nov 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to support claimants who are awaiting a work capability assessment for contributions based employment and support allowance and whose assessment will not be able to take place before their award ends.

Answered by Chloe Smith

We are committed to assessing people as quickly as possible in order that they receive the benefit they are entitled to. Unfortunately, some Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) for contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA(C) claimants were not completed as quickly as we would have liked due to the the Covid-19 pandemic. The resumption of face-to-face assessments, together with enhanced telephony assessment processes, now allow us to assess all cases. We are prioritising assessments for contributory Employment and Support Allowance claims that have exhausted or are at risk of exhausting.

Furthermore, the measures we implemented during the pandemic remain in place to support ESA(C) claimants at risk of exhausting before a WCA. This includes a dedicated operational team to identify contributory ESA claims that we can progress without face-to-face assessment – for instance, those where further evidence might exist on other DWP benefit systems. If claimants have further evidence they think might help progress their claim, they should contact the Department.

Claimants whose ESA(C) exhausts before they have had a WCA should continue to supply medical evidence (i.e. Fit Notes). This will ensure that their claim can be reinstated if they are found to have limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA) at a future WCA, with any arrears of the LCWRA component paid in full.

Where an individual’s contributory ESA ends, they may be able to claim Universal Credit, depending on their personal circumstances.


Written Question
Politics and Government: Scotland
3 Nov 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

What recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Government's representation of (a) Scotland and (b) Scottish interests internationally.

Answered by Alister Jack

The FCDO provides a range of services to all parts of the UK, such as promoting trade and investment, delivering security and providing consular services. UK policy in this area was set out earlier this year in the Integrated Review. My Department is committed to representing Scottish interests on the world stage as demonstrated by my ministerial colleague, Lord Offord, on his recent visit to Mumbai.


Written Question
Employment and Support Allowance: Work Capability Assessment
2 Nov 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of claimants who are due to reach the end of their 12 month entitlement to contributions-based employment and support allowance before the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments has completed its work capability assessment by the end of 2021.

Answered by Chloe Smith

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.


Written Question
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
1 Nov 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the case for and against removing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from the list of organisations proscribed under the Terrorism Act 2000.

Answered by Damian Hinds

In October 2020 the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission allowed the appeal against the Government’s decision to maintain the proscription of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) on the basis of a procedural error. The Home Secretary subsequently undertook to reconsider the application for deproscription and, having reconsidered the application, determined that the LTTE should remain proscribed. The Home Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Home Affairs Committee on 31 August 2021 notifying the Chair of her decision. A copy of the Home Secretary’s letter was deposited in the libraries of both Houses of Parliament.


Written Question
Personal Independence Payment: Scotland
1 Nov 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate her Department has made of the average waiting time to process personal independence payment applications in (a) Scotland and (b) Fife.

Answered by Chloe Smith

We are committed to ensuring that people can access financial support through Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in a timely manner and reducing customer journey times for PIP claimants is a priority for the Department. We always aim to make an award decision as quickly as possible, taking into account the need to review all available evidence.

Average waiting times for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) new claims made under normal rules (i.e. excluding those processed under special rules for terminal illness, which typically take 3 days) are calculated as the median number of weeks from registration to DWP decision, and published as the “Average Actual Clearance Time”. For claims cleared in July 2021, which is the most recent data available:

(a) The Average (median) Actual Clearance Time for new claims in Scotland was 26 weeks.

(b) The Average (median) Actual Clearance Time for new claims in the Fife Local Authority was 26 weeks.

Notes:

Data Source: PIP Atomic Data Store (ADS)

  • Data for the Fife Local Authority is unpublished. It should be used with caution as there is likely to be more variability in clearance times at small geographical levels. It may be subject to future revision.
  • The status of claims as 'normal rules' and 'new claim' is shown as at the point of the DWP decision, in accordance with the measure. It is possible for claims to transition between normal and special rules, and between new claims and reassessments, during the course of the claimant journey.
  • Clearance time measures do not include claims that were withdrawn by the claimant or claims that were disallowed by DWP prior to referral to the Assessment Providers (e.g. for failure to meet basic eligibility criteria).

Written Question
Driving Licences: Internet
29 Oct 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 21 October 2021 to Question 57141 on Driving Licences: Internet, what his planned timetable is for his Department being able to offer the facility of renewing driving licences online for all applicants without a digital passport signature following the recent system interface enhancements between the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and Her Majesty's Passport Office.

Answered by Trudy Harrison

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has successfully delivered a digital service for customers applying for a provisional licence whereby they can upload their own signature. The immediate focus is on delivering further improvements to this provisional driving licence service to allow even more customers to be able to use it. The enhanced functionality is then expected to be rolled out to other driver services, such as renewals, during 2022.


Written Question
Cold Weather Payments
29 Oct 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to her letter to the hon. Member for Glenrothes dated 13 August 2021, what progress she has made on the annual review meeting for the Cold Weather Payment Scheme.

Answered by Guy Opperman

I can confirm that the annual review meeting has taken place. We will update Parliament on the outcome of this year’s review shortly.


Written Question
Green Deal Scheme: Appeals
22 Oct 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Green Deal appeal cases are still due to be processed as at 18 October 2021.

Answered by Greg Hands

As of 18 October 2021, there are 382 live Green Deal complaint cases referred to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for review.


Written Question
Driving Licences: Internet
20 Oct 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 23 February 2021 to Question 157213 on Driving Licences: Internet, what progress his Department has made with implementing system interface enhancements between the DVLA and Her Majesty’s Passport Office to allow driving licences to be renewed online for applicants without a digital passport signature.

Answered by Trudy Harrison

Since 24 June 2021, customers applying for their provisional driving licence are now able to upload their signature for the first time and track or update their application.

This functionality will enable the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to further develop services, including online renewals, without requiring a digital passport signature.


Written Question
Post Offices: ICT
20 Oct 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many of the applications received after the Post Office's Historical Shortfall Scheme closed on 27 November 2020 have (a) been assessed, (b) had an award made from that scheme and (c) been excluded from that scheme.

Answered by Paul Scully

There are a small number of individuals (107) who did not apply to the HSS before 27 November 2020 and Post Office is seeking fair and consistent solutions for these cases. Post Office is keeping those affected updated.

The Historical Shortfall Scheme which opened in May 2020 was advertised in national, regional and local media and individual letters were sent to all former postmasters that Post Office was able to obtain records for, plus all current postmasters. The HSS mailing was sent to 19,972 former and 7,155 current postmasters.


Written Question
Post Offices: ICT
20 Oct 2021

Questioner: Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many former postmasters applied to the Historical Shortfall Scheme after it closed on 27 November 2020.

Answered by Paul Scully

One hundred and seven current and former postmasters applied to the Historical Shortfall Scheme after it closed on 27 November 2020.