Rebecca Long Bailey Portrait

Rebecca Long Bailey

Labour - Salford and Eccles

Rebecca Long Bailey is not a member of any APPGs
1 Former APPG membership
Light Rail
Shadow Secretary of State for Education
6th Apr 2020 - 25th Jun 2020
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
9th Feb 2017 - 6th Apr 2020
Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee
27th Sep 2015 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
27th Jun 2016 - 9th Feb 2017
Shadow Minister (Treasury)
18th Sep 2015 - 27th Jun 2016


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Protecting the Public and Justice for Victims
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 223 Noes - 0
Speeches
Wednesday 15th September 2021
Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits

The Secretary of State said that the best route out of poverty is to work. If only that were true. …

Written Answers
Friday 23rd July 2021
Public Transport: Social Distancing
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to monitor the implementation of his Department’s …
Early Day Motions
Monday 7th June 2021
Child poverty in the North West
That this House notes that recent End Child Poverty coalition research indicates that there were 4.3 million children living in …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 15th March 2021
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: Momentum Campaign (Services) Ltd.
Address of donor: Unit 303 Canon Wharf, Pell Street, London SE8 5EN
Amount …
EDM signed
Wednesday 22nd September 2021
Market failure and energy supply
That this House notes with concern Ofgem's announcement of the £153 energy price cap rise due to take effect on …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Rebecca Long Bailey has voted in 238 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Rebecca Long Bailey voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 176 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
View All Rebecca Long Bailey 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
Gavin Williamson (Conservative)
(15 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(5 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(5 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(21 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(9 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Rebecca Long Bailey's debates

Salford and Eccles 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

Weddings take months and even years of intricate planning. Myself and many others believe the maximum number of guests authorised at wedding ceremonies should be increased. The number of guests permitted at weddings should be calculated according to venue capacity.

Extend funding to nightclubs, dance music events and festivals as part of the £1.57bn support package announced by the government for Britain's arts and culture sector to survive the hit from the pandemic. #LetUSDance


Latest EDMs signed by Rebecca Long Bailey

20th September 2021
Rebecca Long Bailey signed this EDM on Wednesday 22nd September 2021

Market failure and energy supply

Tabled by: Jon Trickett (Labour - Hemsworth)
That this House notes with concern Ofgem's announcement of the £153 energy price cap rise due to take effect on 1 October 2021; further notes the rise will coincide with the end to the universal credit uplift and end to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; regrets that these measures combined …
24 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 19
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
6th September 2021
Rebecca Long Bailey signed this EDM on Wednesday 22nd September 2021

The Ministerial Code and the conduct of the Prime Minister

Tabled by: Dawn Butler (Labour - Brent Central)
That this House believes that trust in the ministerial code has been eroded by the actions of the Prime Minister; further believes that the Prime Minister should no longer be the guardian of the code as he has been shown to lack the moral aptitude needed; and therefore calls for …
96 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 40
Scottish National Party: 37
Liberal Democrat: 10
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Alliance: 1
Alba Party: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Rebecca Long Bailey's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Rebecca Long Bailey, 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.


Rebecca Long Bailey has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Rebecca Long Bailey has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Rebecca Long Bailey has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Rebecca Long Bailey has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


131 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
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason the December 2020 report of the independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee to the Committee on the Grant of Honours Decorations and Medals advised that a retrospective medallic award to nuclear test veterans should not be made; and if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of reviewing medallic recognition for Nuclear Testing Veterans.

The Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC) operates independently of the Government but I understand that the case for medallic recognition was considered at length by the Sub-Committee.

The AMSC concluded that, although the efforts of those involved in the campaign could not be discounted, the case did not meet the level of risk and rigour which is generally required for the award of a campaign medal or clasp.

The AMSC is an advisory body which has made recommendations based on the available evidence, including that provided by campaign groups. Its advice was provided in line with its terms of reference and will only be looked at again if significant new evidence becomes available. I understand that any new submissions which might have been provided have been passed to the Sub-Committee.

This decision in no way diminishes that commitment or the nations’ recognition of the contribution of veterans who served during these periods and contributed to the security of the United Kingdom and its Allies.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Mar 2021
What steps his Department is taking to improve transparency in procurement in its response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The government recognises the importance of maintaining public confidence in how we manage taxpayers’ money and I have set out before the challenges we faced in our response to the covid 19 outbreak. We are taking steps to improve the processes already in place and ensure public spending is fair and transparent.

Proposals in the Green Paper aim to improve transparency in procurement across the public sector and include specific measures to strengthen transparency through the commercial lifecycle from planning through to procurement, contract award, performance and completion.

We are also taking forward all 28 recommendations from the independent Boardman report to set out areas for improvement within the Cabinet Office’s own internal contracting procedures.

We have also made KPI data on 379 contracts available to the public, as a further step towards greater transparency.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department will publish the Government’s response to the consultation on the Fuel Poverty for England Strategy, which closed on 16 September 2019.

We intend to publish the Government response to the consultation on updating the Fuel Poverty Strategy for England shortly.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that the energy efficiency voucher scheme directly assists people affected by fuel poverty.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. Further detail on the scheme will be announced in due course, before the full launch of the scheme.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has in place to enable (a) private renters, (b) leaseholders and (c) people engaged in part ownership schemes in Salford to access the energy efficiency voucher scheme; and what income threshold he plans to put in place for each category to qualify for the maximum grant.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes.

Further detail on eligibility will be announced in due course, before the full launch.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has in place to enable social housing renters in Salford to access the energy efficiency voucher scheme; and at what income threshold those renters will qualify for the maximum grant.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery. Low income households will receive a higher rate of subsidy of up to 100% of the cost of measures.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes.

Further detail on eligibility will be announced in due course, before the full launch of the scheme.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) housing associations and (b) local authorities will be able to access the Government's efficiency voucher scheme to upgrade properties on behalf of their tenants.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. Low income households will receive a higher rate of subsidy of up to 100% of the cost of measures.

Further detail on eligibility will be announced in due course, before the full launch of the scheme.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) private and (b) social sector tenants will be able to require their landlord to access the Government's energy efficiency voucher scheme to upgrade their property.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. Low income households will receive a higher rate of subsidy of up to 100% of the cost of measures.

Further detail on eligibility will be announced in due course, before the full launch.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether a landlord that receives funding from the Government's energy efficiency voucher scheme is prevented from raising the level of (a) energy bills, (b) rent and (c) service charges applied to tenants as a result of work financed by that voucher scheme.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. Low income households will receive a higher rate of subsidy of up to 100% of the cost of measures.

Further detail on eligibility will be announced in due course, before the full launch.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on what date the reopening for tattoo parlours, nail and beauty salons, massage therapists, reflexologists and other close contact services will be confirmed.

We have now provided close contact services in England, except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

We appreciate that this is difficult for some businesses. Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, and every step is weighed against the evidence, remembering that the more we open up the more vigilant we will need to be.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what (a) criteria and (b) guidance he is following to determine (i) a date and (ii) the ancillary safety measures required for the reopening of tattoo parlours, nail and beauty salons, massage therapists, reflexologists and other close contact services.

We have now provided close contact services in England, except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines. Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, making any changes depends on us continuing to meet the five tests, and the fifth test, which is being confident any adjustments to the current measures will not risk a second peak of infections that overwhelms the NHS, is informed by the Chief Scientific Adviser and Chief Medical Officer’s opinion.

This guidance was developed with stakeholders like Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive, taking into account the latest scientific and medical advice, as our other guidance has.

We appreciate that this is a difficult time for some businesses. Every step is weighed against the evidence, remembering that the more we open up the more vigilant we will need to be.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what advice the Government has received from SAGE on the date of reopening for tattoo parlours, nail and beauty salons, massage therapists, reflexologists and other close contact services.

Our approach to the types of businesses that can reopen is guided by the scientific and medical advice. SAGE provides world-leading scientific advice to the Government. However, making any changes depends on us continuing to meet the five tests.

We have now provided other close contact services like tattoo parlours, nail and beauty salons, massage therapists and reflexologists in England, except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations the Government has received from representatives of industry organisations on the date of reopening for tattoo parlours, nail and beauty salons, massage therapists, reflexologists and other close contact services.

The Close Contact Services taskforce comprised stakeholders from a cross-section of the sector, including representative organisations. We consulted these stakeholders due to their expertise and real-life knowledge and experience of the challenges faced by the industry during the COVID-19 outbreak.

This taskforce was responsible for developing guidance to help businesses in this sector prepare to reopen safely; it was not focused on when a return to work might be brought about.

Representations have included:

  • All Party Parliamentary Group for Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing
  • Associated Beauty Therapists
  • Coalition letter from 180 businesses in the beauty, aesthetics, spa and wellness industry; and
  • The National Hair and Beauty Federation.

We have now provided other close contact services like tattoo parlours, nail and beauty salons, massage therapists and reflexologists in England, except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has to offer additional financial support to people working in tattoo parlours, nail and beauty salons, massage therapy, reflexology and other close contact services in the event that a date for reopening can not yet be confirmed.

Close contact services in England, except Leicester, have been able to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

The Government has introduced a comprehensive package of measures to support businesses through this difficult period, including Government-backed loan schemes providing facilities of between £2000 and £200 million, which will run for an initial period of six months.

The schemes offer generous terms to help firms manage debts: under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) Government covers any interest and lender-levied fees for the first 12 months.

Additionally, under BBLS no repayments are due for the first 12 months, and interest is capped at 2.5%. Businesses can also access support through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, deferral of VAT and income tax payment, grant funding for small businesses, and more.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent steps he has taken to decarbonise the (a) electricity and (b) heating sectors.

In 2019, the Government set a legally binding-target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions from across the UK economy by 2050. The Government has introduced many initiatives to decarbonise and increase the supply of renewable energy production in the UK and have already made great strides forward. Over 50% of our power now comes from low carbon sources and coal is all but being eliminated from the mix.

Earlier this month, the Government announced that onshore wind, solar and other established technologies, will be eligible for the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round in 2021. In March 2019, the Government published the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, which will build on the United Kingdom’s global leadership in offshore wind by working with the Sector to increase productivity and develop new offshore wind technologies. The Sector Deal also commits to increasing diversity in the sector, with the ambition of increasing the percentage of women and people from BAME backgrounds employed in offshore wind.

The Government also announced an investment of £800 million to deploy the first?carbon capture?storage (CCS) cluster by the mid-2020s. We are supporting wider industrial decarbonisation by investing £500 million to support energy-intensive industries adopt low-carbon?technologies, for which CCS will play a key part.

We also have an ambitious programme of work already underway to support heat decarbonisation. In the Budget we announced our intention to extend the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for 12 months, ahead of the launch of a new Clean Heat Grant scheme. We also announced a third allocation of Tariff Guarantees for the Non-Domestic RHI to continue support for large-scale plants which require investment certainty to proceed. This will help ensure continuous support before launch of the new Green Gas support scheme

We are investing up to £320m, through grants and loans, to accelerate the growth of the UK heat networks market through the Heat Networks Investment Project and have launched the £16.5 million Electrification of Heat Demonstration Project, to demonstrate the feasibility of a large-scale transition to electrification of heat in Great Britain. We have announced spending of up to £121 million on hydrogen innovation and working with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive programme of work to demonstrate the technical and practical feasibility of using hydrogen in place of natural gas for heating.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage homeowners to invest in energy efficiency; and what incentives the Government is providing to improve energy efficiency in homes.

In the Clean Growth Strategy, Government set an aspiration for as many homes as possible to be Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2035 and is developing a suite of mutually supporting policies and measures that will help deliver this:

Our current Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme and its successor will drive £6bn of additional investment to support energy improvements in low-income, vulnerable and fuel poor households between 2018 and 2028.

In order to improve rented properties, we introduced the Private Rented Sector Minimum standard regulations on 1?April 2018. The regulations require landlords to bring their properties to EPC Band E or above. We will consult on tightening the minimum energy standards in due course.

We have also committed to consult on requirements for mortgage lenders to help households improve the energy efficiency of the homes they lend to and last summer we launched the £5m Green Home Finance Innovation Fund to support the development of green finance products.

In addition, we have launched Simple Energy Advice, a digital platform offering impartial and tailored advice for consumers on how to make their homes more energy efficient.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to improve the energy efficiency of housing for fuel poor households.

The Energy Company Obligation is worth £640m per year and since December 2018 has been focused on upgrading the homes of low income and vulnerable households.

In April 2018, we introduced for the first time a minimum energy efficiency standard of EPC Band E for private rented sector properties, with all private rented properties required to meet, or exceed, this standard by 1 April 2020.

In 2019, we launched Simple Energy Advice, a new digital and phoneline service to provide homeowners with impartial and tailored advice on how to cut their energy bills and make their homes greener, as well as information on any available financial support.

The latest fuel poverty statistics showed that there are 800,000 fewer fuel poor households living in the least efficient homes – Bands E, F and G – compared to 2010.

The Government will detail its future plans to tackle fuel poverty in due course.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the cost savings to the NHS of improving all housing to EPC Band C.

Understanding the benefits of improving the energy efficiency of homes to both householder health, and to the NHS is of great value. The benefits to households’ health from improving their homes’ thermal performance are already included in our impact assessments where relevant, and we are currently undertaking a study to enable us to quantify the cost savings to the health service of improving the energy efficiency of homes.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many homes the Government plans to upgrade to EPC Band C by 2030; and whether the Government has targets for such upgrades.

In the Clean Growth Strategy, Government set an aspiration for as many homes as possible to be EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, cost-effective and affordable, with an earlier target of 2030 for homes in fuel poverty. Good progress has already been made, with 34% of homes in England at Band C or above. This is an increase from 7% in 2007.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans the Information Commissioner's Office has to take regulatory action against banks and other financial lenders, who fail to meet their obligations relating to Subject Access Requests, submitted to them by law firms acting on behalf of clients bringing actions under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

The Information Commissioner is the UK’s independent regulator of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). Under the data protection legislation, people have the right to access and receive a copy of their personal data from organisations. This is commonly referred to as a subject access request. Individuals have a right to appoint a third party to act on their behalf, if they wish.

A subject access request must be responded to without undue delay and at the latest within one month of receiving the request. An extension of a further two months can be given if the request is complex, or if the individual has submitted a number of requests, for example, other types of requests relating to individuals’ rights.

The DPA provides a number of exemptions from the requirement to comply with a subject access request. For example, organisations can withhold information if that information could identify someone else, and it would not be reasonable to disclose that information to the individual; or if the information relates to legal proceedings and is subject to legal professional privilege. An organisation can also refuse to comply with a subject access request if the request is ‘manifestly unfounded’ or ‘manifestly excessive’.

People have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if an organisation fails to comply with a subject access request. The ICO can be contacted by telephone on 0303 123 1113 or through its website: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/. The ICO may take action against the organisation in appropriate cases, for example, by issuing the organisation with a warning, reprimand or enforcement notice. The ICO can issue a civil monetary penalty in the most serious cases.

The ICO exercises its enforcement powers in accordance with its Regulatory Action Policy, which can be found at: https://ico.org.uk/media/1853/data-protection-regulatory-action-policy.pdf. The ICO monitors patterns in complaints, and is not aware of any particular pattern of non-compliance by banks or other financial lenders with regards to subject access requests.

A requester may also apply for a court order in the event of non-compliance with a subject access request, requiring the organisation to comply or to seek compensation. It is a matter for the court to decide, in each particular case, what action to take.

30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what further steps he will take to ensure that banks and other financial lenders are meeting their obligations when responding to Subject Access Requests, submitted to them by law firms acting on behalf of clients bringing actions under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

The Information Commissioner is the UK’s independent regulator of the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). Under the data protection legislation, people have the right to access and receive a copy of their personal data from organisations. This is commonly referred to as a subject access request. Individuals have a right to appoint a third party to act on their behalf, if they wish.

A subject access request must be responded to without undue delay and at the latest within one month of receiving the request. An extension of a further two months can be given if the request is complex, or if the individual has submitted a number of requests, for example, other types of requests relating to individuals’ rights.

The DPA provides a number of exemptions from the requirement to comply with a subject access request. For example, organisations can withhold information if that information could identify someone else, and it would not be reasonable to disclose that information to the individual; or if the information relates to legal proceedings and is subject to legal professional privilege. An organisation can also refuse to comply with a subject access request if the request is ‘manifestly unfounded’ or ‘manifestly excessive’.

People have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if an organisation fails to comply with a subject access request. The ICO can be contacted by telephone on 0303 123 1113 or through its website: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/. The ICO may take action against the organisation in appropriate cases, for example, by issuing the organisation with a warning, reprimand or enforcement notice. The ICO can issue a civil monetary penalty in the most serious cases.

The ICO exercises its enforcement powers in accordance with its Regulatory Action Policy, which can be found at: https://ico.org.uk/media/1853/data-protection-regulatory-action-policy.pdf. The ICO monitors patterns in complaints, and is not aware of any particular pattern of non-compliance by banks or other financial lenders with regards to subject access requests.

A requester may also apply for a court order in the event of non-compliance with a subject access request, requiring the organisation to comply or to seek compensation. It is a matter for the court to decide, in each particular case, what action to take.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions on (a) the guidance for children's soft play centres to safely reopen in a covid-secure way, and (b) the limitations on maximum occupancy at soft play centres due to needing a minimum of 100 sq ft per person.

Officials in DCMS have been working closely with the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) and public health officials on the guidance for children’s indoor play centres, including soft play. Government officials supported BALPPA to develop COVID-secure guidance to enable the sector to safely reopen on 15 August. As part of this guidance, a series of robust measures have been put in place - including a regular enhanced cleaning schedule, removal of ‘clutter’ and systems to enable test and trace.

The guidance currently states that there is a maximum capacity of 40% for soft play frames based on the total number of users, including parents or guardian supervising. This measure was recommended by public health officials to ensure that venues are COVID-secure, which is necessary to help avoid the transmission of COVID-19.

The reference to 100sqft has since been removed from the guidance following conversations with BALPPA and other industry leaders.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the recent easing of covid-19 lockdown restrictions, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of permitting metal detecting hobbyists to return to their recreation.

This government recognises that finds made by the public, including those found by metal-detectorists, make an immense contribution to our knowledge of the archaeology and history of Britain.

The recent easing of lockdown restrictions means that since 13th May, people have been, and are, able to enjoy metal-detecting, as long as they adhere to social distancing measures. At the moment, in England, this means that groups of up to six individuals from different households are able to meet outside to metal detect as long as they maintain 2 meters between them.

To support the hobby, the department has published guidance on gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/guidance-on-searching-for-archaeological-finds-in-england-during-covid-19.

23rd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department consulted functional skills qualifications professionals prior to taking the decision of April 2021 that functional skills qualifications should resume based on examination wherever possible while in line with covid-19 public health measures rather than using coursework and/or teacher assessed grades.

The department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation in January 2021, seeking the views of teachers, students, parents, schools and colleges. We set out our proposals on exams and assessments for vocational and technical qualifications, including for Functional Skills qualifications, and the alternative arrangements that would be used where exams do not take place. We also conducted an equality impact assessment as part of the consultation. The majority of respondents agreed that all efforts should be made to allow learners to take a Functional Skills assessment, in line with public health measures or remotely. Where the learner is ready, but assessments cannot take place in centres on public health grounds, teacher assessed grades are available.

As set out in the consultation, the size, structure, assessment, and teaching practices of Functional Skills differ from other qualifications. Many are taken on-demand and by a wide range of learners including 16-19 year olds, adults and apprentices, in a wide range of contexts. Learners will take assessments when they are ready. This approach was designed to give the maximum opportunity to progress in learning or employment, as it allows learners to engage with live exams now or results based on teacher assessment where these are necessary and appropriate.

We recognise the challenges suffered by many students who will feel apprehensive about taking assessments and we are incredibly grateful for the tremendous efforts that teachers have made to continue to provide high quality education throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Awarding organisations have long-established arrangements for mitigating the effect of issues such as those relating to mental health. This year, Ofqual has required awarding organisations to review those arrangements to ensure they are fit for purpose. Those students who are able to take assessments but are concerned about the impact of mental health affecting their performance should speak to their centres and awarding organisation to understand the special consideration process.

Additionally, remote invigilation has offered the opportunity to take assessments at home and some providers have reported that this has helped with anxiety. Together with Ofqual, we have supported the roll out of remote invigilation by awarding organisations to give more options to learners and centres for taking assessments. We have seen an increase in volumes of assessments taken via remote invigilation and also live assessments as settings have re-opened.

The department will monitor and review the impact of disruption to learning in vocational and technical qualifications (including Functional Skills qualifications) and General Qualifications (including GCSEs and A levels).

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the decision of April 2021 that assessment by examination should resume wherever possible while in line with covid-19 public health measures for functional skills qualifications (FSQ), what the evidential basis is that those students affected will be as able to receive grades that reflect their ability under normal circumstances; and what comparative assessment his Department has made of the effect of disruption to learning following the covid-19 outbreak on (a) those students studying for FSQs and (b) students studying for (i) vocational training qualifications, (ii) GCSEs and (iii) A Levels.

The department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation in January 2021, seeking the views of teachers, students, parents, schools and colleges. We set out our proposals on exams and assessments for vocational and technical qualifications, including for Functional Skills qualifications, and the alternative arrangements that would be used where exams do not take place. We also conducted an equality impact assessment as part of the consultation. The majority of respondents agreed that all efforts should be made to allow learners to take a Functional Skills assessment, in line with public health measures or remotely. Where the learner is ready, but assessments cannot take place in centres on public health grounds, teacher assessed grades are available.

As set out in the consultation, the size, structure, assessment, and teaching practices of Functional Skills differ from other qualifications. Many are taken on-demand and by a wide range of learners including 16-19 year olds, adults and apprentices, in a wide range of contexts. Learners will take assessments when they are ready. This approach was designed to give the maximum opportunity to progress in learning or employment, as it allows learners to engage with live exams now or results based on teacher assessment where these are necessary and appropriate.

We recognise the challenges suffered by many students who will feel apprehensive about taking assessments and we are incredibly grateful for the tremendous efforts that teachers have made to continue to provide high quality education throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Awarding organisations have long-established arrangements for mitigating the effect of issues such as those relating to mental health. This year, Ofqual has required awarding organisations to review those arrangements to ensure they are fit for purpose. Those students who are able to take assessments but are concerned about the impact of mental health affecting their performance should speak to their centres and awarding organisation to understand the special consideration process.

Additionally, remote invigilation has offered the opportunity to take assessments at home and some providers have reported that this has helped with anxiety. Together with Ofqual, we have supported the roll out of remote invigilation by awarding organisations to give more options to learners and centres for taking assessments. We have seen an increase in volumes of assessments taken via remote invigilation and also live assessments as settings have re-opened.

The department will monitor and review the impact of disruption to learning in vocational and technical qualifications (including Functional Skills qualifications) and General Qualifications (including GCSEs and A levels).

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the decision of April 2021 that functional skills qualifications should resume based on examination wherever possible while in line with covid-19 public health measures rather than using coursework and/or teacher assessed grades, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of that decision on the mental health of students affected, including those wishing to enter further or higher education based on those grades in autumn 2021.

The department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation in January 2021, seeking the views of teachers, students, parents, schools and colleges. We set out our proposals on exams and assessments for vocational and technical qualifications, including for Functional Skills qualifications, and the alternative arrangements that would be used where exams do not take place. We also conducted an equality impact assessment as part of the consultation. The majority of respondents agreed that all efforts should be made to allow learners to take a Functional Skills assessment, in line with public health measures or remotely. Where the learner is ready, but assessments cannot take place in centres on public health grounds, teacher assessed grades are available.

As set out in the consultation, the size, structure, assessment, and teaching practices of Functional Skills differ from other qualifications. Many are taken on-demand and by a wide range of learners including 16-19 year olds, adults and apprentices, in a wide range of contexts. Learners will take assessments when they are ready. This approach was designed to give the maximum opportunity to progress in learning or employment, as it allows learners to engage with live exams now or results based on teacher assessment where these are necessary and appropriate.

We recognise the challenges suffered by many students who will feel apprehensive about taking assessments and we are incredibly grateful for the tremendous efforts that teachers have made to continue to provide high quality education throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Awarding organisations have long-established arrangements for mitigating the effect of issues such as those relating to mental health. This year, Ofqual has required awarding organisations to review those arrangements to ensure they are fit for purpose. Those students who are able to take assessments but are concerned about the impact of mental health affecting their performance should speak to their centres and awarding organisation to understand the special consideration process.

Additionally, remote invigilation has offered the opportunity to take assessments at home and some providers have reported that this has helped with anxiety. Together with Ofqual, we have supported the roll out of remote invigilation by awarding organisations to give more options to learners and centres for taking assessments. We have seen an increase in volumes of assessments taken via remote invigilation and also live assessments as settings have re-opened.

The department will monitor and review the impact of disruption to learning in vocational and technical qualifications (including Functional Skills qualifications) and General Qualifications (including GCSEs and A levels).

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason his Department decided that functional skills qualifications should resume based on examination wherever possible while in line with covid-19 public health measures rather than coursework and/or teacher assessed grades as was decided for other qualifications and examinations that would have taken place in summer 2021.

The department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation in January 2021, seeking the views of teachers, students, parents, schools and colleges. We set out our proposals on exams and assessments for vocational and technical qualifications, including for Functional Skills qualifications, and the alternative arrangements that would be used where exams do not take place. We also conducted an equality impact assessment as part of the consultation. The majority of respondents agreed that all efforts should be made to allow learners to take a Functional Skills assessment, in line with public health measures or remotely. Where the learner is ready, but assessments cannot take place in centres on public health grounds, teacher assessed grades are available.

As set out in the consultation, the size, structure, assessment, and teaching practices of Functional Skills differ from other qualifications. Many are taken on-demand and by a wide range of learners including 16-19 year olds, adults and apprentices, in a wide range of contexts. Learners will take assessments when they are ready. This approach was designed to give the maximum opportunity to progress in learning or employment, as it allows learners to engage with live exams now or results based on teacher assessment where these are necessary and appropriate.

We recognise the challenges suffered by many students who will feel apprehensive about taking assessments and we are incredibly grateful for the tremendous efforts that teachers have made to continue to provide high quality education throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Awarding organisations have long-established arrangements for mitigating the effect of issues such as those relating to mental health. This year, Ofqual has required awarding organisations to review those arrangements to ensure they are fit for purpose. Those students who are able to take assessments but are concerned about the impact of mental health affecting their performance should speak to their centres and awarding organisation to understand the special consideration process.

Additionally, remote invigilation has offered the opportunity to take assessments at home and some providers have reported that this has helped with anxiety. Together with Ofqual, we have supported the roll out of remote invigilation by awarding organisations to give more options to learners and centres for taking assessments. We have seen an increase in volumes of assessments taken via remote invigilation and also live assessments as settings have re-opened.

The department will monitor and review the impact of disruption to learning in vocational and technical qualifications (including Functional Skills qualifications) and General Qualifications (including GCSEs and A levels).

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to university tuition fees for prospective students starting courses in the academic year 2021-22 who have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, whether the three-year residency rule relating to eligibility for home fee status excludes those ordinarily resident for the purpose of receiving full-time education in the last three years; what determines the main purpose of residence for a person who has been ordinarily resident in the UK to live with family or a partner as well as receiving full-time education during that same time period; and if his Department will expand the section entitled Settled status on page 4 to 5 of its document entitled, New eligibility rules for home fee status and student finance for the 2021-22 academic year, published in December 2020, to ensure that information on that matter is clear for prospective students.

EU, other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals, and their family members who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreements will continue to have access to home fee status and student financial support on broadly the same basis as now, subject to meeting the usual residency requirements, which are unchanged. Generally, this covers those who:

  • are living in the UK by 31 December 2020 having exercised a right to reside under EU law, the EEA Agreement or the Free Movement of Persons Agreement; and
  • continue to live in the UK after 31 December 2020.

Such persons will generally have applied for pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) before 30 June 2021, apart from Irish citizens, who are not required to apply as their rights will be protected as a result of Common Travel Area arrangements.

From 1 July 2021, a person eligible for the EUSS will be able to make a late application where there are reasonable grounds why they missed the 30 June 2021 deadline.

Those covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and who have been granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, will generally be eligible for home fee status, tuition fee, and maintenance support if they have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for at least 3 years.

In a case where that person's ordinary residence in the UK and Islands was wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education, they must have been ordinarily resident in the UK, Gibraltar, the European Economic Area or Switzerland immediately beforehand.

The requirement that ordinary residence be not wholly or mainly for the purpose of education is not a new requirement. It formed part of the previous rules which have been retained post-exit for those with EU settled status.

Student Finance England will determine on a case-by-case basis whether an applicant has been resident in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education. However, generally a student would not be prevented from qualifying for support simply because they have been receiving full-time education during some or all of the 3 year prescribed period where, for example, the main purpose of their residence in the UK is to be with their family.

All settled persons who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, including British citizens, must meet the requirement to have been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands for at least 3 years, and not wholly or mainly for the purposes of education.

The department regularly reviews its guidance and will publish updates in due course.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) criteria and (b) assessment process he has in place to ensure that food providers provide food parcels that are sufficient, nutritious and equal to the sum of £30 or above for eligible free school meal pupils who are at home during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

The continuing provision of free school meals to children from out of work families or those on low incomes is of the utmost importance to this government.

We have guidance in place allowing schools to decide the best approach for their pupils. School leaders know their communities best and have flexibility to select the most appropriate support for their pupils. This can be through lunch parcels, local vouchers or the national voucher scheme, which re-opened on Monday 18 January 2021. Our funding for schools to cover benefits-related free school meals equates to £15 per week per eligible child.

The pictures of food parcels circulating are not acceptable and not in line with guidance. On 13 January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State of Education, met the leading school food suppliers and caterers to insist on urgent action to make sure lunch parcels meet the standards we expect. I am grateful to those firms who are working hard with schools to provide nutritious, balanced lunches for children.

If a parent is concerned about the standards of their lunch parcel, they should speak directly with their school. If a parent cannot resolve their concern through their school, they can contact the department. The department will make contact with suppliers where concerns are escalated, to ensure they are following the good practice guidance we have set out. We will also alert the school to confirm appropriate contract management arrangements are in place, so that immediate improvements are made.

Schools and caterers have been provided with extensive guidance from the Department for Education and from the Local Authority Caterers Association on what each food parcel should include. They should follow our school food standards to ensure they are healthy, nutritious and sufficient – they should:

  • Contain food items rather than pre-prepared meals due to food safety considerations.
  • Minimise the fridge and freezer space that schools and families will need to store foods.
  • Contain items which parents can use to prepare healthy lunches for their child/children across the week.
  • Not rely on parents having additional ingredients at home to prepare meals.
  • Not contain items restricted under the school food standards, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standards-for-school-food-in-england.
  • Cater for pupils who require special diets, for example, allergies, vegetarians or religious diets - schools should ensure there are systems in place to avoid cross-contamination. Guidance on allergies is available here: https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-guidance-for-food-businesses.
  • Contain appropriate packaging sizes for household use, rather than wholesale sizes.

As was the case over Christmas, vulnerable children and families will continue to receive meals and other essentials over February half term via councils through the £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme launched last year. Local authorities understand which groups need support and are best placed to ensure appropriate holiday support is provided – which is why the funding will be distributed by them, rather than schools, who will continue providing meals disadvantaged children during term-time. Families who need support should speak to their local authority.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) proceeding with the January 2021 timetable for public vocational exams and assessments following the national lockdown announced on 4 January and (b) the disruption caused by the covid-19 outbreak in recent months on the health and safety of (i) students, (ii) staff and (iii) their families.

Students have worked hard and prepared for these exams and assessments, so it is right that schools and colleges have the option to run them. Some students need to complete a practical assessment to obtain a licence to practice and enter the workplace and it is right that they should have the opportunity to do so, so that they are not prevented from progressing onto the next stage of their lives.

Unlike GCSE and A level exams that were due to take place this summer, these students’ learning for their January exams has not yet been disrupted by the new public health measures we have announced to help limit the transmission of COVID-19.

The Department has provided advice to schools and colleges on extensive protective measures to make exams as safe as possible and that is why we are continuing to allow schools and colleges to deliver the January assessments, if they judge it right to do so. This advice is part of existing guidance on safely implementing the phased return to face-to-face education. Guidance can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950735/January_2021_FE_operational_guidance_FINAL.pdf.

No student will be disadvantaged if they cannot take their exam or assessment, or if they decide they do not want to. We will develop our approach to ensure students receive a fair grade, in consultation with Ofqual, awarding organisations and the sector.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he make an assessment of the potential merits of cancelling the GCSE examinations due to take place in 2021 in response to Year 11 pupils potentially having been disadvantaged by the (a) mass disruption to pupils and teachers and (b) amount of school teaching time lost as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Exams are the best and fairest way of judging students’ performance, and it is our intention that next year’s GCSE exam series will go ahead.

The Department is working with Ofqual to engage with the sector to develop contingency plans in the event that disruption as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak affects students’ ability to sit exams. Following a period of engagement, more detail will be published later in the autumn.

We have announced a number of measures to help schools and pupils make up for lost teaching time caused by the disruption to education this year, including extra time to prepare for exams next summer, and a catch-up package worth £1 billion: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/billion-pound-covid-catch-up-plan-to-tackle-impact-of-lost-teaching-time.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has held with the devolved Administrations on improving the clarity of the regulatory framework that applies to the import of colonies and packages of bees to Great Britain via (a) Northern Ireland or (b) other routes since the end of the transition period.

Since only queen honey bees can be imported into Great Britain, packages or colonies arriving here would be returned to the country of export. Guidance on the new rules for importing bees was published and known importers were contacted prior to the end of the transition period.

Movements of queens, packages and colonies from Northern Ireland to Great Britain remain permitted. There is, and will remain, unfettered access for Northern Ireland goods including honey bees to the rest of the UK market.

We are aware of concerns raised by some beekeepers and we continue to listen to beekeepers and their associations as part of our monitoring of the new trading arrangements. We have continued to update guidance in response to questions raised.

Regular discussions take place between Defra and colleagues in the devolved Administrations working in this policy area. We are keeping the situation under review to ensure that there are suitable trading arrangements for the UK beekeeping sector.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to protect (a) imported packages of and (b) colonies of bees in the context of (i) permissible bee imports to GB extending only to queen bees and (ii) sectoral uncertainty on bee imports via Northern Ireland.

Since only queen honey bees can be imported into Great Britain, packages or colonies arriving here would be returned to the country of export. Guidance on the new rules for importing bees was published and known importers were contacted prior to the end of the transition period.

Movements of queens, packages and colonies from Northern Ireland to Great Britain remain permitted. There is, and will remain, unfettered access for Northern Ireland goods including honey bees to the rest of the UK market.

We are aware of concerns raised by some beekeepers and we continue to listen to beekeepers and their associations as part of our monitoring of the new trading arrangements. We have continued to update guidance in response to questions raised.

Regular discussions take place between Defra and colleagues in the devolved Administrations working in this policy area. We are keeping the situation under review to ensure that there are suitable trading arrangements for the UK beekeeping sector.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to monitor the implementation of his Department’s Safer Transport Guidance for Operators, particularly with regard to social distancing on public transport; how the public can report non-implementation of that guidance by public transport providers; and what the sanctions are for public transport providers that do not adequately implement that guidance.

The success of vaccine deployment has paved the way for the gradual lifting of restrictions and this marks a new phase in the pandemic response where people manage the risks to themselves and others as the country learns to live with the virus. The Safer Transport Guidance for Operators contains non-statutory guidance that does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities and it is important that operators continue to comply with existing obligations and conduct risk assessments to identify any specific actions they need to take.

At step 4, social distancing rules were lifted, and the public will no longer need to stay 2 metres apart from people they do not live with. Guidance also sets out that the Government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport. It will be open for individual operators to consider developing their own face covering policies if they wish to do so. We will continue to work with operators to support passenger safety by ensuring service levels are high, asking passengers to plan ahead for their journeys, making hand sanitiser available and supporting ventilation where possible.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether humanitarian aid work and volunteering qualify for exemptions from covid-19 travel restrictions; and if he will update the online Government guidance on travel to clarify what travel restrictions apply to humanitarian aid work and volunteering.

Guidance for those intending overseas travel from England during the national restrictions is published on GOV.UK, at: https://www.gov.uk/travel-abroad

For humanitarian and volunteering there is relevant detail under the section on ‘Reasonable excuses for travel abroad’ on: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-declaration-form-for-international-travel

The guidance for persons returning to or travelling into the UK, is available at: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

Different international travel rules may apply in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and individuals should follow the guidance of the relevant devolved administration.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of implications for his policies of the Unesco World Heritage Committee’s concerns that proposed changes to the A303 near Stonehenge would impact adversely on the Stonehenge landscape because the tunnel is too short.

The Secretary of State’s decision to approve the A303 (Amesbury to Berwick Down) Development Consent Order (“A303 Stonehenge”) road scheme promoted by Highways England was issued on 12 November 2020. The reasons for his decision, including consideration of its impacts on the World Heritage Site, are set out in the decision letter which, along with the other decision documents, is available on the National Infrastructure Planning website. The decision is currently subject to a claim for judicial review and, therefore, no further comment can be made on either the decision or the live litigation case.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his department has made of the potential merits of extending the validity period of Compulsory Basic Training certification for frontline and key workers needing to commute during the pandemic whose two-year deadline has expired or is due to expire during lockdowns; and what steps he is taking to support workers who have lost their means of commuting due to a lack of extension to their certificates.

The two-year validity period of a compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate is set out in legislation. It is in place to ensure learner moped and motorcycle riders can ride safely on their own, with L-plates, while they practise for a full moped or motorcycle test. That includes critical workers. The Government has no plans, on road safety grounds, to waive that two-year validity period for any category of learner rider. Mobile emergency workers who hold a valid CBT certificate are, however, able to take a motorcycle test during the current restrictions if put forward by their employer.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when the Global Travel Taskforce held its first meeting.

A core function of the Global Travel Taskforce (GTT) is to bring together industry and government to devise a way to implement measures to reduce quarantine while protecting public health. In its work, the GTT will therefore seek to consult representatives from across the travel sector.

Further information on the GTT can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/global-travel-taskforce

The taskforce held its first meeting on 15 October 2020.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will instruct the Global Travel Taskforce to work with representatives of the business travel sector to help (a) design and (b) implement a covid-19 testing regime at airports.

A core function of the Global Travel Taskforce (GTT) is to bring together industry and government to devise a way to implement measures to reduce quarantine while protecting public health. In its work, the GTT will therefore seek to consult representatives from across the travel sector.

Further information on the GTT can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/global-travel-taskforce

The taskforce held its first meeting on 15 October 2020.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the (a) general publicity regarding the new covid-19 travel regulations and passenger compliance, (b) obligation on customers to wear a face covering on public transport, (c) requirement on operators to engage, encourage and explain the new regulations to their service users and (d) enforcement action against non-compliant passengers.

When we introduced this policy, the Secretary of State was clear that the early stages would focus on communications rather than enforcement. We are working with transport operators to ensure they are disseminating key messages to their staff and passengers, including making the exemptions clear to disability groups (Safer Transport Guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators).

Our approach has achieved high levels of compliance. ONS data for the week following implementation showed 84% saying they are wearing face coverings on public transport. Our guidance clearly sets out the role of operators, the police and TfL authorised enforcement officers. While the government expects the vast majority of people to comply with the changes, operators will be able to refuse travel or issue penalty fines for those who fail to wear a face covering

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of (a) trends in the use and (b) the effectiveness of (i) Stagecoach and (ii) other operator Journey Assistance Cards in (A) helping people who are exempt from wearing face coverings during the covid-19 outbreak and (B) making it clear to the public that the non-wearing of face coverings should not take place without adequate reason.

Our guidance sets out exemptions to mandatory face covering, including for health and disability reasons (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators). We are working with operators to include these in their communications, and have been clear that operators should continue to assist disabled passengers as they did before the pandemic.

There are a range of assistance cards provided to disabled people independently of Government. We do not have data to assess the trends and the effectiveness of these cards. Assistance cards can be used to help passengers identify themselves, but we are clear that passengers should not have to routinely 'prove' their exemption when challenged by transport operators.

The Department is working closely with transport operators, including Stagecoach, to understand their policies and procedures around mandatory face coverings and exemptions, and how these are working in practice.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the level of risk of (a) older and (b) vulnerable people catching covid-19 as a result of passengers on public transport that refuse to cover their faces.

Protecting the public, especially older and vulnerable citizens, from Covid-19 is the government’s primary focus. Since Monday 15 June, it has been mandatory for passengers to wear a face covering on public transport in England, unless they are exempt for health, disability or other reasons (full list of exemptions can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators#exemptions-from-mandatory-face-coverings). Operators are reporting high levels of compliance across the country.

Measures are in place to safeguard passengers from people who refuse to abide by this legislation. The regulations made under Public Health Act 1984 include powers for transport operators to deny access to a service, or direct someone to leave a service, who is not wearing a face covering. If a passenger still refuses to comply, there are new powers for the police or TfL authorised officers to issue fines.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whom in her Department constituents can contact for emergency support to arrange the payment of overdue winter fuel payments for 2020-21.

DWP customers can contact The Winter Fuel Payment Freephone helpline on 0800 731 0160 if they wish to raise an enquiry or request an urgent payment.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to tackle the technical issues that have caused delays to some households receiving their winter fuel payments for 2020-21.

DWP paid ninety-nine per cent of payments on time, which equated to 11.4 Million payments.

DWP has deployed additional resources to ensure that the remaining Winter Fuel Payments are made as soon as possible, as well as boosting our capacity to handle an increase in telephone enquiries.

The remaining 1% of payments, and supplementary payments generated by a customer’s change of circumstances, will be made by 31 March 2021.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to Treasury's Answer on 18 December 2020 to Question 127577 on Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus, with reference to the recommendations on uplift of legacy benefits in the report published by Scope in May 2020, entitled Disabled People and the Coronavirus, and with reference to the scheduled cessation of the universal credit £20 uplift in April 2021, if she will (a) commission and (b) review research on the potential merits of extending the covid-19 universal credit uplift to recipients of legacy benefits; and if she will make a statement.

There are no plans to extend the temporary £20 uplift to legacy benefits. Claimants on legacy benefits can make a claim for Universal Credit (UC) if they think they will be better off and should check carefully their eligibility and entitlements under UC before applying, as legacy benefits will end when claimants submit their UC claim and they will not be able to return to them in the future. For this reason, prospective claimants are signposted to independent benefits calculators on GOV.UK. Neither DWP nor HMRC can advise individual claimants whether they would be better off moving to UC or remaining on legacy benefits. There are special arrangements for those in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium, who will be able to make a new claim to Universal Credit from 27 January 2021.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 November 2020 to Question 118536 on Social Security Benefits: Coronavirus, with reference to the report published by Scope in May 2020, entitled Disabled People and the Coronavirus, what comparative assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on people receiving (a) legacy benefits and (b) universal credit; and for what reasons people receiving legacy benefits are not entitled to a £20 uplift during the covid-19 outbreak.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until March 2021. As the Government has done throughout this crisis, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context before making any decisions.

There are no plans to extend the uplift to legacy benefits. Claimants on legacy benefits can make a claim for Universal Credit if they believe that they will be better off. There are special arrangements for those in receipt of the Severe Disability Premium, who will be able to make a new claim to Universal Credit from 27 January 2021. Claimants should check carefully their eligibility and entitlements under Universal Credit before applying as legacy benefits will end when claimants submit their claim and they will not be able to return to them in the future.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons her Department opened the new Job Finding Support scheme to private tender.

Job Finding Support is designed to help those who have recently become unemployed, by offering tailored support and advice, to help them re-enter employment quickly. Work Coaches are at the core of our employment offer and this provision will complement their role by helping customers who would benefit from light-touch support delivered digitally. The provision is being let through a commercial competition to utilise the expertise and experience of those private, charitable and third sector organisations operating in this sector.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether an individual private buyer can purchase a second hand motability vehicle direct from Motability.

The Department for Work and Pensions is responsible for the disability benefits that provide a passport to the Motability scheme. While the Department works closely with Motability, it is an independent charitable organisation that is wholly responsible for overseeing the terms and the administration of the scheme. With this in mind, any questions should be directed to Motability. You can contact them at the following address:

Chief Executive of Motability, Motability, Warwick House, Roydon Road, Harlow, Essex, CM19 5PX.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on requiring front line NHS staff to be vaccinated against covid-19.

We would encourage all health and care staff to take up the offer of the vaccine, to help protect themselves and others they come into contact with including vulnerable patients. National Health Service staff are not currently required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on UK citizens studying for their degree as full time students abroad during the covid-19 pandemic; whether students who return home to the UK from countries on the red list will be exempt from hotel quarantine charges; and which (a) individuals and (b) groups will be exempt from hotel quarantine.

Students who return to the United Kingdom who have been in a ‘red list’ country in the last 10 days will be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine facility and will not be exempt from charges. There are limited exemptions which are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules

This is to maximise the public health benefits of the measures.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2021 to Question 141498 on Health Services: Police, whether he plans to issue guidance on the reopening of police treatment centres.

The Department has no plans to issue guidance to specific charities such as Police Treatment Centres on reopening decisions. It is for each individual setting to update their own risk assessment based on legislation and guidance published by the Government.

The latest national restrictions were introduced to reduce transmission and control the virus. We recognise the importance of people being able to continue to receive urgent treatment and personal care services provided for essential medical and health needs, which cannot be deferred, have been able to continue. Guidance on the types of treatment which can continue has also been published providing clarity to businesses, charities such as Police Treatment Centres, and the public.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria the Government used to determine which (a) professions and (b) services would be allowed to operate during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021; and for what reason Police Treatment Centres were excluded from that list.

The Department has no plans to issue guidance to specific charities such as Police Treatment Centres on reopening decisions. It is for each individual setting to update their own risk assessment based on legislation and guidance published by the Government.

The latest national restrictions were introduced to reduce transmission and control the virus. We recognise the importance of people being able to continue to receive urgent treatment and personal care services provided for essential medical and health needs, which cannot be deferred, have been able to continue. Guidance on the types of treatment which can continue has also been published providing clarity to businesses, charities such as Police Treatment Centres, and the public.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether parent and baby groups are permitted to meet during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown restrictions; and what guidance his Department has published on such groups meeting.

Support groups, such as baby and toddler groups, for the provision of support for parents and their children, that are necessary to deliver in person, can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes where parents and carers meet other parents and carers with or without their young children. Children under five years old are not included in the 15-person limit.

Guidance on such group meetings is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what statistical data is publicly available on the (a) location of test centres, (b) records of tests conducted daily, (c) types of tests used daily and (d) results from testing daily.

We publish a daily dashboard containing data on daily polymerase chain reaction, antibody and lateral flow testing, with daily data on positive cases by specimen date. The location of test sites is not published on GOV.UK but data on testing is published at national, regional and local authority level. The dashboard is available at the following link:

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

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the security from covid-19 transmission of Police Treatment Centres.

The Department has made no specific assessment.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) support and (b) covid-19 safety guidance his Department has provided to Police Treatment Centres, which operate as healthcare providers to injured and ill police officers, to allow them to remain open during covid-19 lockdown periods.

The Department does not offer specific support to Police Treatment Centres.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Question 112072, tabled by the hon. Member for Salford and Eccles on 5 November 2020.

We take parliamentary scrutiny incredibly seriously and it is fundamentally important that hon. Members are provided with accurate and timely information to enable them to hold the Government to account. We are working rapidly to provide all Members with accurate answers to their questions, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hon. Member’s question will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has he made of the (a) viability and (b) safety of gym classes being permitted to take place in tier 3 areas of covid-19 restrictions.

The Government are committed to publishing data that has informed its decision making, including the tier allocations. The Department publishes a weekly watchlist giving epidemiological COVID-19 data for each lower-tier local authority in England. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-cases-by-local-authority-epidemiological-data

Detailed data on hospital activity can be found at the following link: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

The public dashboard on the progress of the virus across a range of metrics is updated daily at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

The Contain framework sets out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks, this includes the allocation of areas to the appropriate tier, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf

This provides further information and context beyond the headline metrics as to why areas are in particular tiers currently.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Spending Review 2020, what steps he plans to take to increase the breast imaging and diagnostic workforce.

The Spending Review 2020 provides £260 million to continue to grow the National Health Service workforce and support commitments made in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Full details on funding allocations towards NHS workforce budgets, including relating to breast imaging and diagnostics, in 2021-22 will be subject to a detailed financial planning exercise and finalised in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of allowing specialist running shops to remain open for the duration of covid-19 lockdown periods, in line with the rules on cycle shops.

The Government keeps its restrictions, including those relating to specialist running shops, under continual review and will make changes if the data and science supports it.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have been ordered by (a) gender and (b) age category in the latest period for which that data is available; and if he will place a copy of that data in the Library.

Data is not available in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department’s guidance Framework to assist NHS trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services, published on 8 September 2020, how many NHS Trusts have (a) undertaken a risk assessment to facilitate updating their visiting policies and (b) taken steps towards permitting access to women’s partners, visitors or other supporters, whilst maintaining the safety of all service users, staff and visitors, as set out in that guidance.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have made it clear that they expect all trusts to now use this Framework and consider how access can be safely reintroduced as a priority. Reintroducing visits is challenging during a pandemic, and the priority must remain the safety of all service users, staff and visitors. The published Framework therefore recommends a stepwise approach for National Health Service trusts to take, following a meaningful and documented risk assessment, so any necessary changes can be made before relaxing current stringent approaches.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional (a) funding and (b) other resources he has provided to NHS Trusts to implement his Department’s guidance, Framework to assist NHS trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services, published 8 September 2020, while maintaining the safety of service users, staff and visitors.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have made it clear that they expect all trusts to now use this Framework and consider how access can be safely reintroduced as a priority. Reintroducing visits is challenging during a pandemic, and the priority must remain the safety of all service users, staff and visitors.

The published Framework recommends a stepwise approach for trusts to take, following a meaningful and documented risk assessment, so any necessary changes can be made before relaxing current stringent approaches. Risk factors for trusts to consider include the local COVID-19 transmission rate and constraints with the hospital estate, which cannot be easily solved with funding. Additional advice has been made available through various networks to support trusts in applying the Framework to their local circumstances.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's guidance entitled Framework to assist NHS trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services, published 8 September 2020, whether those NHS Trusts can apply for (a) funding or (b) other resources to support the reintroduction of familial access and maintain safety.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have made it clear that they expect all trusts to now use this Framework and consider how access can be safely reintroduced as a priority. Reintroducing visits is challenging during a pandemic, and the priority must remain the safety of all service users, staff and visitors.

The published Framework recommends a stepwise approach for trusts to take, following a meaningful and documented risk assessment, so any necessary changes can be made before relaxing current stringent approaches. Risk factors for trusts to consider include the local COVID-19 transmission rate and constraints with the hospital estate, which cannot be easily solved with funding. Additional advice has been made available through various networks to support trusts in applying the Framework to their local circumstances.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his review of the Framework to assist NHS trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services, published on 8 September 2020, if he will require each Trust to undertake (a) documented risk assessment and (b) a review of local policies.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have made it clear that they expect all trusts to now use this Framework and consider how access can be safely reintroduced as a priority. Reintroducing visits is challenging during a pandemic, and the priority must remain the safety of all service users, staff and visitors. The published Framework therefore recommends a stepwise approach for National Health Service trusts to take, following a meaningful and documented risk assessment, so any necessary changes can be made before relaxing current stringent approaches.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) protect the safety of consumers seeking (i) special treatments and (ii) other non-surgical cosmetic procedures and (b) ensure that all practitioners offering those treatments are appropriately qualified.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures through better training for practitioners, and clear information so that people can make informed decisions about their care.

The Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. This includes an assessment of the regulation of practitioners in the aesthetics sector and working with stakeholders to ensure that practitioners are able to identify providers of accredited training.

The Government expects providers of cosmetic procedures to operate responsibly by conducting a pre-treatment consultation and ensuring they hold the requisite knowledge and skills to safely deliver the treatments they offer.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to introduce mandatory requirements for formal training and qualifications for all practitioners providing (a) special treatments and (b) other non-surgical cosmetic treatments.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures through better training for practitioners, and clear information so that people can make informed decisions about their care.

The Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. This includes an assessment of the regulation of practitioners in the aesthetics sector and working with stakeholders to ensure that practitioners are able to identify providers of accredited training.

The Government expects providers of cosmetic procedures to operate responsibly by conducting a pre-treatment consultation and ensuring they hold the requisite knowledge and skills to safely deliver the treatments they offer.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that non-surgical cosmetic treatments available to consumers are carried out (a) by qualified practitioners and (b) in safe and hygienic premises.

The Government is committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures through better training for practitioners, and clear information so that people can make informed decisions about their care.

The Department is exploring the regulation of premises, practitioners, products and consumer safeguards. This includes an assessment of the regulation of practitioners in the aesthetics sector and working with stakeholders to ensure that practitioners are able to identify providers of accredited training.

The Government expects providers of cosmetic procedures to operate responsibly by conducting a pre-treatment consultation and ensuring they hold the requisite knowledge and skills to safely deliver the treatments they offer.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance he has issued to NHS Trusts on allowing partners of pregnant women to attend (a) appointments with midwives, (b) routine scan appointments, (c) non-routine scan appointments and (d) during labour.

The National Health Service is making arrangements to ensure that women are supported and cared for safely through pregnancy, birth and the period afterwards during this pandemic.

Decisions on partners attending scans and appointments is subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies.

A new Framework to assist NHS trusts to reintroduce access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women in English maternity services was published on 8 September at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/09/par001599-framework-for-the-reintroduction-of-visitors-throughout-maternity-services-sep-2020.pdf

We expect trusts to use this Framework and consider as a priority how access for partners, visitors and other supporters of pregnant women can be reintroduced whilst maintaining the safety of all service users, staff and visitors.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the transmission rate of covid-19 in socially-distanced (a) visits in household gardens and (b) indoor hospitality venues.

The rule of six has been put in place to keep social interactions as safe as possible with a simple and easily understood message. Going into winter, when more people will be socialising indoors or may start socialising outdoors and then move indoors, it is essential to have clear and well-understood rules, in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Venues like pubs, restaurants and other leisure settings like cinemas must follow COVID-19 Secure guidelines, including making sure there is adequate social distancing. Businesses are making significant efforts to ensure their workspaces are COVID-19 Secure and only then bring back employees. With these measures in place, employees should remain safe.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will (a) set out the decision-making process for decisions to impose local covid-19 lockdown restrictions on areas with high rates of covid-19 infections and (b) publish the evidence base on which those decisions are taken.

Infection rates and other data are closely monitored to get a picture of what is happening in local areas, to allow us to decide whether restrictions should be changed, eased or strengthened.

We are required to review local restrictions regularly, usually every two weeks.

A wide range of metrics are used to monitor the incidence of COVID-19 nationally and in local areas and progress made in tackling outbreaks. These are reviewed every day and are considered in light of both the changing national picture and the reports on the ground on how situations are being managed. The Contain Framework Watchlist is published every week and a variety of supporting data is published alongside this, including case data and maps of local authorities on the watchlist.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the criteria on which he bases decisions on when to lift local covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Infection rates and other data are closely monitored to get a picture of what is happening in local areas, to allow us to decide whether restrictions should be changed, eased or strengthened.

We are required to review local restrictions regularly, usually every two weeks.

A wide range of metrics are used to monitor the incidence of COVID-19 nationally and in local areas and progress made in tackling outbreaks. These are reviewed every day and are considered in light of both the changing national picture and the reports on the ground on how situations are being managed. The Contain Framework Watchlist is published every week and a variety of supporting data is published alongside this, including case data and maps of local authorities on the watchlist.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the criteria on which he bases decisions to impose local covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

Infection rates and other data are closely monitored to get a picture of what is happening in local areas, to allow us to decide whether restrictions should be changed, eased or strengthened.

We are required to review local restrictions regularly, usually every two weeks.

A wide range of metrics are used to monitor the incidence of COVID-19 nationally and in local areas and progress made in tackling outbreaks. These are reviewed every day and are considered in light of both the changing national picture and the reports on the ground on how situations are being managed. The Contain Framework Watchlist is published every week and a variety of supporting data is published alongside this, including case data and maps of local authorities on the watchlist.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people in cold homes and in fuel poverty will be at higher risk from the worst effects covid-19 in winter 2020-21.

As the United Kingdom heads into its first winter with COVID-19, the impacts of the concurrent risks of COVID-19, cold weather and fuel poverty are not yet known. In light of the concurrent risk of COVID-19, Public Health England will be reviewing the Cold Weather Plan for England and related resources ahead of this winter.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of fuel poverty on trends in the level of respiratory problems.

Respiratory problems are usually caused by a number of different factors, making it difficult to quantify the contribution of an individual risk such as fuel poverty.

Public Health England published the 2nd Atlas of variation in risk factors and healthcare for respiratory disease in England in 2019. This is available to view at the following link:

https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/atlas-of-variation

The atlas looks at variation in the percentage of houses that experience fuel poverty and the Excess Winter Deaths Index at lower-tier local authority level.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reinstating support to local authorities for food sampling.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is the central competent authority for food safety and has a statutory function to protect health and consumers interests for food and drink. Local authorities are responsible for the day to day delivery of controls and to carry out appropriate enforcement activity. Food sampling is just one of a wide range of different approaches that local authorities use to ensure compliance. It is the local authorities responsibility to ensure that appropriate resources are allocated to deliver these controls.

The FSA recognises the essential role of sampling in maintaining food standards and providing confidence in the food we eat. As part of this, the FSA is developing a sampling strategy, creating an intelligence led approach to delivering sampling to ensure it is effectively targeted to safeguard public health.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he held with his Indonesian counterpart on the extent to which closed borders may potentially prevent British citizens in Bali, or wider Indonesia, from returning to the UK; and what assessment he has made of the ability of those British citizens to purchase commercial flight tickets in order to return to the UK.

As Parliament rose earlier than planned and the first day for answer of this PQ was after the Easter recess, due to the pace of developments during the COVID-19 crisis, I submitted a response by email on 9 April, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

FCO officials are working with airlines and with the authorities of Indonesia and potential transit countries to help British travellers get home. The Foreign Secretary spoke with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on 1 April; she reassured him that Indonesia would keep flight routes running and would support the UK's repatriation efforts. The Foreign Secretary expressed appreciation of Indonesia's support in getting 7000 British Nationals home from Bali, including the role of national airline Garuda Indonesia. I (Minister Adams) spoke to Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahendra Siregar on 23 March. More widely, we are working urgently to ensure that governments worldwide have plans in place to enable the return of British and other travellers and to keep borders open for a sufficient period of time to enable returns to take place on commercial flights wherever possible. We are also working with airlines to ensure as many people as possible can get commercial flights home.

Nigel Adams
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he held with his Australian counterpart on the extent to which closed borders may potentially prevent British citizens in Australia from returning to the UK; and what assessment he has made of the ability of those British citizens to purchase commercial flight tickets in order to return to the UK.

Following the change to date for answer of this PQ, I submitted a response by email on 27 March, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

We are proactively engaging commercial airlines and governments worldwide, including Australia, on keeping flight routes and transit hubs open to enable British nationals to return home. Our British High Commissioner in Canberra has written to the Australian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on this issue. We are signposting British nationals to commercial flight options and continuing to explore new routes by which then can travel home. We have also set up an online registration tool for any British nationals in Australia who require our support. The Prime Minister last spoke to PM Morrison about the broader COVID-19 crisis on 14 March.

Nigel Adams
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs on organising repatriation flights for British nationals who wish to urgently return to the UK from Northern Cyprus.

Following the change to date for answer of this PQ, I submitted a response by email on 30 March, with the following response. The Table Office have agreed this approach.

Our teams around the world are working urgently to ensure that governments have sensible plans to enable the return of British and other travellers, and, crucially, to keep borders open for a sufficient period of time to enable returns to take place on commercial flights, wherever possible.

The administration in the north of Cyprus has introduced a total ban on entry for all foreign nationals, including the UK. This includes those holding residency, work, or student permits. Following policy changes announced by the Republic of Cyprus Government and the administration in the north, all crossing points between the Republic and the north are effectively closed to travellers. British travellers should contact their tour operator or transport provider now if they want to leave. We are working closely with the Government of Cyprus to explore options.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Jordanian counterpart on arranging repatriation flights for British nationals that wish to return to the UK as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working closely with local authorities, commercial airlines and other diplomatic missions to enable British people to get home. Our consular team is working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. British travellers should contact their tour operator or airline as soon as possible if they want to return to the UK. We are working intensively with the Governments of those countries, including Jordan, that have closed their borders to people travelling to and from the UK, to enable airlines to bring back British people to the UK, if that is what they want.

In light of the rapidly changing situation, we urge all travellers to sign up for our travel advice alert service. British nationals in Jordan should keep up to date with our travel advice for Jordan, which they can find on: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/jordan/coronavirus.

We have also published advice for British nationals who do not have immediate departure options available to them: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus#if-youre-abroad-and-you-want-to-return-to-the-uk

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Peruvian counterpart on organising repatriation flights for British nationals in Peru that wish to return to the UK.

The Foreign Secretary spoke with the Peruvian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, on 21 March about the impact of the ongoing State of National Emergency on UK nationals in Peru. He assured him that he would work together with the UK to make sure we could arrange flights home this week. Our Embassy is working closely with the Peruvian authorities to secure the appropriate permissions for those flights to land.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Moroccan counterparts on ensuring the immediate safe return of British nationals from Moroccan airports unable to return to the UK as a result of most outbound flights from Morocco having been suspended due to the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working intensively with the Governments of those countries that have closed their borders to people travelling to and from the UK, to enable airlines to bring back British people to the UK, if that is what they want. I spoke to the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Nasser Bourita, on 18 March to ask for additional flights to enter and leave Morocco. The British Embassy in Rabat has been working with tour operators and airlines to encourage them to offer additional flights, last week we facilitated 49 flights, taking 8,520 passengers to the UK. The welfare of British nationals remains our top priority, and we are focused on supporting those around the world who are being affected by the restrictions being put in place.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing grants for businesses that have accrued excess stock as a result of Government policy changes on covid-19 restrictions.

The Government recognises that this continues to be a challenging time for businesses in a wide variety of sectors, and that the restrictions which are necessary to save lives and protect the NHS cause disruption for businesses.

The Government has made available an unprecedented package of economic support, including several grant schemes. Businesses that are legally required to close due to Covid restrictions are eligible for cash grants from the Local Restrictions Support Grant of up to £3,000 per month. In addition, these businesses will benefit from one-off grants of up to £9,000 as announced on 5 January.

Businesses which are not eligible for grants for closed businesses may be able to benefit from the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG). We recently increased the funding available under this scheme to £1.6 billion across England. It is up to each local authority to determine eligibility for this scheme based on their assessment of local economic need; however, we encourage local authorities to support businesses which have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, but which are ineligible for the other grant schemes.

In addition to the grant schemes, businesses can benefit from an extension of the furlough scheme until April; an extension of the COVID-19 loan schemes until March; support for the self-employed via the SEISS; a business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure business properties; mortgage holidays; enhanced Time to Pay for taxes; and VAT cuts and deferrals.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the potential merits of extending business rates relief to food service wholesalers.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

The Government understands the impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses, and has provided various schemes to support specific firms such as wholesalers, including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, Bounce Back Loans, grants and VAT deferrals.

In line with the practice of successive administrations, details of ministerial discussions are not normally disclosed.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial provision is available within the 14-day self-isolation period for the parents of schoolchildren who have been told to stay at home and self-isolate through NHS Test and Trace but who have have not themselves been notified to self-isolate and therefore do not have an 8-digit NHS Test and Trace code with which to recoup lost earnings during that period.

The Government has committed to a significant package to support individuals through this difficult time. This includes the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, as well as the injection of an additional £9.3bn into the welfare system according to Office for Budget Responsibility estimates.

If an employee has average weekly earnings of at least £120 per week, they will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are self-isolating under Government guidance and cannot work from home. This includes parents living in the same households as children self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19. The Government has changed the rules so that SSP is now payable from day 1, not day 4, for COVID-19 cases.

Parents of children who are self-isolating under Government guidance may be eligible for “new style” Contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if they are ineligible for SSP and unable to work from home. The Government has made it easier for people to claim by removing the seven-day waiting period which means people can get support from day one.

In terms of wider support, the Chancellor has recently announced that the CJRS will be extended until the end of March 2021. The Government has striven to ensure that the CJRS can be accessed by as many people as possible. All employers with a UK bank account and a PAYE payroll scheme registered on or before 30 October can claim, while employees are required to have been employed and on an employer’s PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020. Any employee who meets the eligibility criteria can be furloughed by their employer.

Parents on lower incomes can also benefit from the Government’s wider changes to the welfare system to support the most vulnerable. These changes include a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit (UC) standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element, and a nearly £1 billion increase in support for renters through increases to the Local Housing Allowance rates for UC and Housing Benefit claimants.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the business rates holiday granted for retail, hospitality, leisure and nurseries for the 2020-21 tax year for (a) part or (b) all of 2021-22.

The unprecedented full business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure properties for the financial year is worth £10 billion to business in 2020-21. The Government will continue to look at how to adjust support in a way that ensures people can get back to work, protecting both the UK economy and the livelihoods of people across the country. The Government will consider all reliefs in the round, against the broader fiscal and economic impacts of COVID-19, as part of the Business Rates Review.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to subsidise employer contributions to future rollouts of the JSS for businesses in the sectors most effected by the covid-19 outbreak.

As the Chancellor recently announced, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) CJRS has now been extended until the end of March 2021. In light of that, the Job Support Scheme has been postponed.

Under CJRS, eligible employees will receive 80 per cent of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, and businesses will have flexibility to use the scheme for employees for any amount of time and shift pattern, including furloughing them full-time.

There is no employer contribution to wages for hours not worked. Employers will only be asked to cover National Insurance and Employer pension contributions for hours not worked. For an average claim, this accounts for just 5 per cent of total employment costs or £70 per employee per month. The Government will review the policy in January.

Additionally, we are supporting businesses affected by restrictions through:

The Local Restrictions Support Grant, giving businesses that are forced to close due to national or local restrictions up to £3,000 per month; this is worth over £1bn per four weeks with the new restrictions in place and will benefit over 600,000 business premises.

One-off funding available to every local authority in England under the Additional Restrictions Grant, worth £1.1bn nationally; this allows local authorities to help businesses affected but not closed by restrictions.
Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will introduce a mechanism for businesses to opt to close once they meet certain criteria to enable access to more appropriate financial support and furloughing schemes .

Throughout the pandemic the government’s economic priority has remained the same: to protect jobs and livelihoods. Since March, the government has provided support for people, businesses and public services totalling an estimated £200 billion. We are committed to ensuring we take the right action at the right time to support individuals and businesses in every region and nation of the United Kingdom.

That is why we have a substantial support package available for businesses regardless of whether they are open or closed. The Chancellor recently announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of March 2021. This provides businesses with a grant to cover 80% of the wages of their employees. We have added additional flexibility so it can be used to cover reduced hours as well as for businesses that are closed. To date CJRS has support 9.6 million jobs at the cost of roughly £41.9bn.

Alongside the CJRS, businesses have also benefited from the access to finance schemes, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme. Under the BBLS, the government provides lenders with a 100% guarantee to enable them to provide loans between £2,000 and £50,000 to the smallest businesses across the UK with a simple, streamlined application process. All eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will pay no business rates in England for 12 months from 1 April 2020. Businesses will also benefit from the reduced rate of VAT for tourist attractions and goods & services supplied by the hospitality sector.

For businesses that remain open but are severely affected by restrictions can receive support through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (open), which provides up to £2,100 of support per month. They can also access one-off funding through the Additional Restrictions Grant, worth £1.1bn nationally and distributed by local authorities.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the temporarily reduced rate of VAT for (a) retail, (b) hospitality and (c) other heavily effected sectors in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July to support the cash flow and viability of over 150,000 businesses and protect 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors, and will run until 31 March 2021. This relief comes at a significant cost to the Exchequer, and there are currently no plans to extend the scope to include other sectors.

The Government has announced a significant support package to help businesses through the winter months, which includes an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, an extension of the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant, and an extension of the application window for the government-backed loan schemes.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure the prosecution of the creators and promoters of disguised remuneration schemes relating to the Loan Charge.

The Government and HMRC are determined to continue to tackle promoters of tax avoidance schemes.

While there is no specific offence relating to the promotion of tax avoidance schemes, there are criminal offences under which promoters who commit fraud can be prosecuted, such as the offence of cheating the public revenue. HMRC always consider whether there are grounds for conducting a criminal investigation against promoters, including those who promote disguised remuneration schemes.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to ensure the settlement of Loan Charge cases by differentiating between (a) people who entered into tax avoidance schemes in full knowledge of their purpose and (b) people (i) who were entered into those schemes (A) without advice, (B) by their employers and (C) by an advisor and (ii) whose participation in those schemes was a condition of the provision of services.

When working with taxpayers to reach a settlement, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seek to clarify and confirm the relevant facts of each individual case with the taxpayer. To maintain a consistent approach, cases are settled in accordance with HMRC’s Litigation and Settlement Strategy, which requires that HMRC only settle for an amount that is consistent with the law. While the Government has sympathy for anyone who believes they were misled into using disguised remuneration schemes, it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their tax return and to understand the consequences of their decisions.

The Government will continue to tackle this type of tax avoidance and 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 actions against promoters of tax avoidance. The Promoter Strategy is available on GOV.UK.

The Government recognises the importance of taxpayers being able to get reliable tax advice which is competent, professional and trustworthy. In March 2020, the Government issued a call for evidence on raising standards in the tax advice market and has recently published a summary of responses and next steps. As a first step, the Government will consult on introducing a requirement for all tax advisers to hold professional indemnity insurance as a way of providing recourse, protecting taxpayers and raising standards in the tax advice market. The Government will also raise awareness of the HMRC standard for agents and review HMRC powers to enforce this standard.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether HMRC holds information on the number of people subject to the Loan Charge who have stated that they received incorrect or no advice from advisors or promoters when they entered into those taxation schemes.

When working with taxpayers to reach a settlement, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seek to clarify and confirm the relevant facts of each individual case with the taxpayer. To maintain a consistent approach, cases are settled in accordance with HMRC’s Litigation and Settlement Strategy, which requires that HMRC only settle for an amount that is consistent with the law. While the Government has sympathy for anyone who believes they were misled into using disguised remuneration schemes, it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their tax return and to understand the consequences of their decisions.

The Government will continue to tackle this type of tax avoidance and 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 actions against promoters of tax avoidance. The Promoter Strategy is available on GOV.UK.

The Government recognises the importance of taxpayers being able to get reliable tax advice which is competent, professional and trustworthy. In March 2020, the Government issued a call for evidence on raising standards in the tax advice market and has recently published a summary of responses and next steps. As a first step, the Government will consult on introducing a requirement for all tax advisers to hold professional indemnity insurance as a way of providing recourse, protecting taxpayers and raising standards in the tax advice market. The Government will also raise awareness of the HMRC standard for agents and review HMRC powers to enforce this standard.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he plans to take in facilitating Loan Charge settlements with HMRC to protect individuals who were misled or incorrectly advised by Loan Charge promoters or advisors on entering those taxation schemes.

When working with taxpayers to reach a settlement, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seek to clarify and confirm the relevant facts of each individual case with the taxpayer. To maintain a consistent approach, cases are settled in accordance with HMRC’s Litigation and Settlement Strategy, which requires that HMRC only settle for an amount that is consistent with the law. While the Government has sympathy for anyone who believes they were misled into using disguised remuneration schemes, it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of their tax return and to understand the consequences of their decisions.

The Government will continue to tackle this type of tax avoidance and 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 actions against promoters of tax avoidance. The Promoter Strategy is available on GOV.UK.

The Government recognises the importance of taxpayers being able to get reliable tax advice which is competent, professional and trustworthy. In March 2020, the Government issued a call for evidence on raising standards in the tax advice market and has recently published a summary of responses and next steps. As a first step, the Government will consult on introducing a requirement for all tax advisers to hold professional indemnity insurance as a way of providing recourse, protecting taxpayers and raising standards in the tax advice market. The Government will also raise awareness of the HMRC standard for agents and review HMRC powers to enforce this standard.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people are subject to the 2019 Loan Charge in (a) Greater Manchester and (b) Salford and Eccles constituency.

The Government estimates that about 50,000 individuals are affected by the 2019 Loan Charge. Information is not held at constituency, borough or regional level.
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps HMRC is taking to pursue and issue penalties to promoters of (a) disguised remuneration and (b) other tax avoidance schemes through the (i) Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Scheme, (ii) Promoters of Tax Avoidance Scheme and (iii) Enablers Penalty.

In March 2020, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published their strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes, including disguised remuneration 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 are committed to challenging promoters, and will always pursue penalties in appropriate cases, under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS), the Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes (POTAS) and the Enablers regimes. The Government announced on 12 November further proposals in the L-Day package to tackle promoters, which it will consult on in Spring.

In 2019-20 HMRC doubled the resources committed to tackling promoters and disrupting their business models by persuading taxpayers to get out of avoidance at an early stage. HMRC now have about 200 Full Time Equivalents working in this area; the teams use all the powers available to HMRC to tackle promoters. HMRC do not have separately identified staff pursuing each penalty type in isolation.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many HMRC staff have been appointed to pursue and issue penalties to promoters of disguised remuneration and other tax avoidance schemes under (a) Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes, (b) Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes and (c) Penalties for Enablers of Defeated Tax Avoidance.

In March 2020, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published their strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes, including disguised remuneration 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 are committed to challenging promoters, and will always pursue penalties in appropriate cases, under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS), the Promoters of Tax Avoidance Schemes (POTAS) and the Enablers regimes. The Government announced on 12 November further proposals in the L-Day package to tackle promoters, which it will consult on in Spring.

In 2019-20 HMRC doubled the resources committed to tackling promoters and disrupting their business models by persuading taxpayers to get out of avoidance at an early stage. HMRC now have about 200 Full Time Equivalents working in this area; the teams use all the powers available to HMRC to tackle promoters. HMRC do not have separately identified staff pursuing each penalty type in isolation.

14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has held with the Secretary of State for Transport on introducing a bespoke package of financial support for businesses and employees operating in the aviation and travel industries in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Chancellor speaks to his colleagues on a regular basis about a range of matters.

The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation and travel industries as a result of COVID-19. Firms experiencing difficulties can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital and flexibilities with tax bills and, where eligible, grant schemes and business rate holidays.

Firms in the aviation and travel industries will also be able to take advantage of the targeted package of measures the Chancellor announced as part of the Winter Economy Plan to support jobs and businesses through the Winter months, including the new Job Support Scheme.

The Government has also recently launched a new Global Travel Taskforce to support the travel industry and the safe recovery of international travel. The border quarantine measures in the UK are being kept under constant review, and where possible the Government has looked to open up travel corridors in order to facilitate increased travel.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will provide sector specific financial support for (a) businesses and (b) employees operating in the (i) aviation industry and (ii) business travel sector in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aviation and travel industries as a result of COVID-19.

Firms experiencing difficulties can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital and flexibilities with tax bills and, where eligible, grant schemes and business rate holidays.

Firms in the aviation and travel industries will also be able to take advantage of the targeted package of measures the Chancellor announced as part of the Winter Economy Plan to support jobs and businesses through the Winter months, including the new Job Support Scheme.

The Government has also recently launched a new Global Travel Taskforce to support the travel industry and the safe recovery of international travel. The border quarantine measures in the UK are being kept under constant review, and where possible the Government has looked to open up travel corridors in order to facilitate increased travel.

The Government will continue to engage closely with these sectors on the impact of COVID-19.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Government’s call for employees to work from home where possible, if his Department will grant a 12 months’ business rates holiday to the flexible workspace industry, in line with other service sectors.

The Government has provided enhanced support through business rates relief to eligible businesses occupying properties used for retail, hospitality and leisure.

A range of other measures to support all business, including the flexible workspace industry, have also been made available. On 8 July the Chancellor set out a package of measures to support jobs across the UK, including a Job Retention Bonus to help firms keep furloughed workers. On 24 September the Chancellor went further and announced the Job Support Scheme to further protect jobs.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of her Department's efficiency in responding to Members of Parliament correspondence in relation to immigration casework.

The Department works to a target of responding to 95% of MPs written correspondence within 20 working days. Performance has been impacted by a very significant increase in the volume of correspondence received, alongside the need for Ministers and officials to instigate a remote process for drafting and signing correspondence during the period of COVID-19 restrictions.

The Department recognises it has not been able to meet the service standard in some cases but has implemented an action plan to clear backlogs and drive up performance.

Staff unable to perform front facing roles in the Department have been redeployed to assist in clearing MPs correspondence backlogs. The Department are also contacting MPs offices by telephone to offer to close urgent cases by telephone, whilst continuing to work through the backlog and to offer regular engagement surgeries to discuss and resolve some of the enquiries they have made.

The Department uses a workflow tool which records all Operational MPs correspondence. The Department runs reports each day which summarise the daily situation in relation to intake and output and the age of each piece of MPs correspondence. The report also monitors the daily progress of output towards the weekly 95% target.

Presently different areas of the Department work on different IT systems for Correspondence, but the Department is undergoing a transfer so all Correspondence is on one system to help improve efficiency. This should be completed in 2021.

The latest published data on UKVI performance against the service standard, which includes data up to and including the end of quarter 3-2020/21, is held at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/customer-service-operations-data-november-2020.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers have been evicted from their homes in England in areas where covid-19 local lockdown measures have been in place.

We have commenced the cessation of support for both positive cases (who move on to be supported in Local Authority accommodation) and negative cases (failed Asylum seekers).

A Notice to Quit is served on all discontinued cases by the provider and steps taken to remove people from the accommodation following the end of grace period.

Due to the sequencing of both cessations themselves and the additional local restrictions being put in place the number who have received a Notice to Quit where Covid 19 measures are in place is not available in a recordable format.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what (a) health measures and (b) radiobiological monitoring did the Government introduce after the British Nuclear Test Programme ended in 1991 for (i) all service personnel involved in the operations, (ii) all indigenous peoples living near or on the test sites during or after the time of operations, (iii) any others locally present during operations or now living near the test sites.

The UK atmospheric nuclear test programme experimented on weapons not Service personnel; the health of all those involved was a vital consideration, as shown by the detailed documented safety measures and radiobiological monitoring that took place during experiments. The Service personnel who took part were not subject to ongoing routine health measures or radiobiological monitoring after the programme ended. To date, any published peer-reviewed research has found no evidence of a general excess of illness or mortality among nuclear test veterans as a group that could be linked to their participation in the tests. Any nuclear test veterans who believe they have suffered ill health due to service, have the right to apply for no-fault compensation under the War Pensions Scheme.

In 1968, the UK and Australia signed an agreement confirming that the clean-up of all test sites had been completed satisfactorily. As announced to the House on 10 December 1993, (Official Report, column 421), the Government agreed to make an ex gratia payment of £20 million to the Federal Government of Australia as part of a full and final settlement of the UK Government’s liability for any claims resulting from the British test programme. A copy of the note giving effect to this agreement was placed in the Library of the House. The note also records that the Government of Australia indemnified the Government of the UK against claims from Australian nationals or residents. The Government now regards the matter as closed.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the potential effects of the British Nuclear Test Programme 1952 - 1991, what assessment (a) his Department has and (b) other Government Departments have made of internationally published peer-reviewed evidence on increased rates of congenital defects in children born to parents at risk of exposure to ionising radiation.

The position of this, and previous Governments, is that there is no published peer-reviewed evidence of excess illness or mortality among Nuclear Test Veterans (NTVs) as a group that could be linked to participation in the tests or to exposure to radiation as a result of that participation. Formal and well-documented procedures were in place to ensure the health and safety of those participating in the testing programme.

In response to health concerns of some NTVs in the 1980s, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) commissioned epidemiological studies into the mortality and cancer incidence among nuclear test participants. These were conducted by the independent National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), now part of Public Health England (PHE). Three analyses were carried out, of which the latest report published in 2003 concluded that overall levels of mortality and cancer incidence in NTVs have continued to be similar to those in a matched Service control group and lower than in the general population. That report is available from the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mortality-and-cancer-incidence-1952-1998-uk-nuclear-weapons-tests

To provide further reassurance, the MOD commissioned a fourth study in the NRPB series in order to bring the evidence completely up to date. The study was carried out by PHE and commenced in December 2018. The study will extend the analysis by a further almost 20 years, again considering overall mortality and cancer incidence and mortality, and comparing veterans present at the tests with a control group of age matched veterans serving at the same time, but who were not NTVs, and with the UK general population. The Department's understanding is that the study has been completed and the researchers are preparing a paper for submission to a mainstream scientific/medical journal. This will then be peer reviewed. Further details about the study are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nuclear-weapons-test-participants-study/plan-for-the-fourth-analysis-of-the-nuclear-weapons-test-participants-study

Analysis of the international published peer-reviewed evidence to date provides no support for increased rates of congenital defects in children born to parents at risk of exposure to ionising radiation.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the results will be published of the fourth follow up study carried out by the National Radiological Protection Board (Public Health England) considering overall mortality and cancer incidence in Nuclear Testing Veterans, comparing veterans present at the tests with a control group of age matched veterans serving at the same time but who were not nuclear test veterans, and with the UK general population.

The position of this, and previous Governments, is that there is no published peer-reviewed evidence of excess illness or mortality among Nuclear Test Veterans (NTVs) as a group that could be linked to participation in the tests or to exposure to radiation as a result of that participation. Formal and well-documented procedures were in place to ensure the health and safety of those participating in the testing programme.

In response to health concerns of some NTVs in the 1980s, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) commissioned epidemiological studies into the mortality and cancer incidence among nuclear test participants. These were conducted by the independent National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), now part of Public Health England (PHE). Three analyses were carried out, of which the latest report published in 2003 concluded that overall levels of mortality and cancer incidence in NTVs have continued to be similar to those in a matched Service control group and lower than in the general population. That report is available from the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mortality-and-cancer-incidence-1952-1998-uk-nuclear-weapons-tests

To provide further reassurance, the MOD commissioned a fourth study in the NRPB series in order to bring the evidence completely up to date. The study was carried out by PHE and commenced in December 2018. The study will extend the analysis by a further almost 20 years, again considering overall mortality and cancer incidence and mortality, and comparing veterans present at the tests with a control group of age matched veterans serving at the same time, but who were not NTVs, and with the UK general population. The Department's understanding is that the study has been completed and the researchers are preparing a paper for submission to a mainstream scientific/medical journal. This will then be peer reviewed. Further details about the study are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nuclear-weapons-test-participants-study/plan-for-the-fourth-analysis-of-the-nuclear-weapons-test-participants-study

Analysis of the international published peer-reviewed evidence to date provides no support for increased rates of congenital defects in children born to parents at risk of exposure to ionising radiation.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to correspondence (ref D/Min(Lords)/AGMC2021/01429e) between the Rt Hon Baroness Goldie DL and the hon Member for Salford and Eccles, what research studies have been reviewed by or on behalf of his Department demonstrating that the health and well-being of British Nuclear Test Programme 1952 -1991 Veterans is comparable with the age and sex matched population of both their Service peers and the general community.

The position of this, and previous Governments, is that there is no published peer-reviewed evidence of excess illness or mortality among Nuclear Test Veterans (NTVs) as a group that could be linked to participation in the tests or to exposure to radiation as a result of that participation. Formal and well-documented procedures were in place to ensure the health and safety of those participating in the testing programme.

In response to health concerns of some NTVs in the 1980s, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) commissioned epidemiological studies into the mortality and cancer incidence among nuclear test participants. These were conducted by the independent National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB), now part of Public Health England (PHE). Three analyses were carried out, of which the latest report published in 2003 concluded that overall levels of mortality and cancer incidence in NTVs have continued to be similar to those in a matched Service control group and lower than in the general population. That report is available from the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mortality-and-cancer-incidence-1952-1998-uk-nuclear-weapons-tests

To provide further reassurance, the MOD commissioned a fourth study in the NRPB series in order to bring the evidence completely up to date. The study was carried out by PHE and commenced in December 2018. The study will extend the analysis by a further almost 20 years, again considering overall mortality and cancer incidence and mortality, and comparing veterans present at the tests with a control group of age matched veterans serving at the same time, but who were not NTVs, and with the UK general population. The Department's understanding is that the study has been completed and the researchers are preparing a paper for submission to a mainstream scientific/medical journal. This will then be peer reviewed. Further details about the study are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nuclear-weapons-test-participants-study/plan-for-the-fourth-analysis-of-the-nuclear-weapons-test-participants-study

Analysis of the international published peer-reviewed evidence to date provides no support for increased rates of congenital defects in children born to parents at risk of exposure to ionising radiation.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to ensure that the environmental health profession is supported through adequate (a) funding and (b) skills and training to deliver its services.

We understand that regulatory services teams, including environmental health officers, have faced significant pressures during the period of pandemic response. The Regulatory Services Task and Finish Group, which was set up by the Department in December 2020, has considered these issues in partnership with the Local Government Association and with senior colleagues from local authorities. The Group is currently finalising a set of recommendations which will aim to support the development and retention of a skilled environmental health workforce.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make it his policy to make additional resources available to increase the number of apprentices in environmental health training within local authorities.

To ensure the effective operation of regulatory services teams, the Department convened the Regulatory Services Task and Finish Group in December 2020. The purpose of this group is to help coordinate central government’s expectations of local regulatory services and to propose short and long-term options to support the sector. The Group has already taken action to help local authorities (LAs) manage the capacity of their regulatory services teams. In January 2021 the Group issued LAs with a letter setting out government’s perspective on priority regulatory activities to help LAs to prioritise their resources during the pressures of the winter period. In March 2021, the Group produced a forward look of upcoming regulatory activities coming into effect in the next year to assist LAs with their forward planning.

The Group is now focussed on developing a suite of recommendations to address the immediate and systemic issues faced by local authority regulatory services teams. These recommendations will consider areas including the availability and number of apprentices in regulatory services teams.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent steps he has taken to help ensure that (a) environmental health and (b) other local regulatory services are operating effectively with sufficient resources.

To ensure the effective operation of regulatory services teams, the Department convened the Regulatory Services Task and Finish Group in December 2020. The purpose of this group is to help coordinate central government’s expectations of local regulatory services and to propose short and long-term options to support the sector. The Group has already taken action to help local authorities (LAs) manage the capacity of their regulatory services teams. In January 2021 the Group issued LAs with a letter setting out government’s perspective on priority regulatory activities to help LAs to prioritise their resources during the pressures of the winter period. In March 2021, the Group produced a forward look of upcoming regulatory activities coming into effect in the next year to assist LAs with their forward planning.

The Group is now focussed on developing a suite of recommendations to address the immediate and systemic issues faced by local authority regulatory services teams. These recommendations will consider areas including the availability and number of apprentices in regulatory services teams.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to Homes England's press release of 8 December 2020 on the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on housing starts, if his Department will ensure that buyers already in the process of purchasing properties will not lose access to Help to Buy scheme finance in the event of covid-related delays to the construction of their properties.

Following the initial effects of Covid-19 there was a hiatus to construction during the first national lockdown. That is why the Government working with Homes England on 31 July announced changes to the Help to Buy contractual deadlines, which provided developers an extra two months’ build time. This gave developers using Help to Buy until 28 February 2021 to build out properties, with the deadline for legal completion remaining at 31 March 2021. However, additionally, where reservations were agreed before 30 June 2020, they were granted some further flexibility allowing such reservations to practically complete by 30 April and legally complete by 31 May 2021.

Working in line with sector guidance, the construction industry has been allowed to continue during the subsequent Covid-19 restrictions. Reservations for the current scheme were closed on 15 December, providing builders sufficient time to complete their orders.

Meanwhile, to mitigate against the risk of outstanding reservations not completing in time, Homes England announced on 15 January that it will not enforce the practical completion deadline of 28 February 2021 for the current scheme, thereby maximising the remaining time available time for developers to build out.

These measures provide relief for developers to build out homes delayed by Covid-19. We nevertheless continue to monitor the situation closely.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Fifth Report of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Pre-legislative scrutiny of the Building Safety Bill, published on 24 November 2020, HC 466, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for building remediation works.

In the March 2020 budget, the Government announced that it will provide £1 billion in 2020/21 to support the remediation of unsafe non-ACM cladding systems on residential buildings 18 metres and over, in both the private and social housing sectors. This funding is in addition to the £600 million which Government has already made available to ensure remediation of the highest risk ACM cladding, the type that was in place on Grenfell Tower.

This will go a long way to addressing the most significant safety risks and, in many cases, address the costliest remediation works necessary.

Government’s decision to place the scope of the Building Safety Fund at buildings over 18m reflects the exceptional fire risk that certain cladding products pose at that height, as previously noted by the Independent Expert Advisory Panel and Dame Judith Hackitt.

Government support is focused on cladding because unsafe cladding acts as an accelerant to fire spread, and funding will remove any financial barriers to remediation proceeding.

Our impact assessment also identifies work not related to cladding that will need to be remediated. Michael Wade, senior adviser to?MHCLG, is accelerating work with leaseholders and the financial sector to identify financing solutions that defend leaseholders from unaffordable costs of building safety works while ensuring that taxpayers are protected.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the capacity of the construction industry to carry out cladding remediation work.

From the outset of the Building Safety Programme, the Department has engaged industry to ensure sufficient capacity exists to meet demand and to have arrangements in place to address any blockages in the supply chain.

We are providing £600 million to speed up the removal of the most dangerous ACM cladding, making homes safer, quicker. We are also providing £1 billion to remove other forms of unsafe cladding

Where funding alone has not been enough to increase the pace of remediation we have provided direct expert support to projects.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support and regulations he has put in place nationwide to protect and rehouse relatives who have been sharing accommodation but then become ineligible for that size property when a resident family member passes away; and if he will take steps to assess the effectiveness of legislation on evicting remaining resident family members to ensure that they do not become homeless.

The Localism Act 2011 has made changes to the rules on succession to social tenancies. From April 2012, rather than being limited by law to providing only one statutory succession, social landlords are able to give to new tenants whatever additional succession rights they deem to be appropriate in the tenancy agreement. This means that, for example, adult children who have lived in a property for many years can be provided with the assurance of a right to succeed to the tenancy regardless of whether a previous succession has already taken place.

In addition social landlords are able to grant, to those who remain in the home after the death of the tenant but have no succession rights, a new tenancy on the same or another more suitable property, provided that is in line with their own policies for allocating tenancies.

On 18 November I wrote to all local housing authorities to encourage them to consider how they can make best use of these existing flexibilities and to ask them to provide examples of good practice so that these can be shared more widely.

In addition, where family members other than a spouse or partner have a statutory right to succeed to a local authority tenancy, the landlord may seek to evict them if the property is or will become under-occupied. However, the landlord must ensure that suitable alternative accommodation is made available.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will take steps to help ensure that leaseholders are supported with the costs of (a) remediating non-compliant cladding on buildings and (b) other fire safety measures; and if he will increase the Building Safety Fund to ensure that all buildings are remediated at no cost to leaseholders.

The Government is making £1.6 billion available to support the remediation of unsafe cladding. This will deal with some of the highest risk and highest cost safety defects in our existing high rise stock, protecting leaseholders from the vast majority of these costs. However, government funding is not the only means of funding remediation.

The Government expects building owners to meet costs without passing them on to leaseholders wherever possible, through their own resources or by recovering costs from applicable warranty schemes or from the developers or contractors who were responsible for the installation of installed unsafe cladding, as has happened with more than half of the private sector buildings with Aluminium Composite Material cladding.

In parallel, Government adviser Michael Wade, is developing a financing solution that will help protect leaseholders from unaffordable remediation costs while making sure these do not fall to the taxpayer.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how applications for the Building Safety Fund are being assessed; what the criteria is for prioritising those applications; and how many have been assessed to date.

Following registration, MHCLG contacts building owners or the responsible person to ask for supporting evidence for their technical eligibility for the fund. This will include evidence of the height of the building and materials that are in place. Once a technical assessment of the building is complete and eligibility confirmed, successful registrants are then invited to apply for funding.

The application stage is administered by our partners in Homes England and the Greater London Authority. The rate at which applications are progressed will be dependent on the readiness of building owners to provide the required information.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when the outcome of an application to the Building Safety Fund in relation to Imperial Point, Salford, M50 3RB, will be confirmed.

We are currently reviewing registrations and any additional information that has been requested. We understand that some buildings are awaiting the outcome of their registrations and we will be in touch with eligible building owners as soon as we have verified the information received, at which point eligible registrants will be asked to apply for funding. We are working to do this as quickly as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many buildings are registered to the Building Safety Fund.

We are currently reviewing registrations to the Building Safety Fund and verifying the registration data. We will publish registration statistics in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timeframe is for his Department to assess registrations to the Building Safety Fund; and whether that timescale allows for works to commence on those buildings before April 2021.

We are currently reviewing registrations and any additional information that has been requested. We understand that some buildings are awaiting the outcome of their registrations, and we will be in touch with eligible building owners as soon as we have verified the information received, at which point eligible registrants will be asked to apply for funding. We are working to do this as quickly as possible


The speed with which registrations and applications are processed is dependent on the readiness of building owners to provide the required information.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what additional resource the Government is providing to local authorities to help meet the Government’s air quality and carbon-neutral targets.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 14 February to question UIN 13580.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the judgment in Smyth, Re Judicial Review [2017] NIQB 55, for what reasons the remit of the Law Commission's review of weddings law includes the legal recognition of humanist marriages.

The Government announced in June 2019 that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of granting legal recognition to humanist marriages in advance of the report from the Law Commission.

Government consulted in 2014 on marriages by non-religious belief organisations. Assessment of these matters can be found in the Government response at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/marriages-by-non-religious-belief-organisations.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of public support for legal recognition of humanist marriages in England and Wales.

Government consulted in 2014 on marriages by non-religious belief organisations. Assessment of these matters can be found in the Government response at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/marriages-by-non-religious-belief-organisations.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of choices available to non-religious couples to have a legally-recognised wedding conducted in line with their own beliefs.

Government consulted in 2014 on marriages by non-religious belief organisations. Assessment of these matters can be found in the Government response at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/marriages-by-non-religious-belief-organisations.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to legalise humanist marriages in England and Wales.

The Government announced last June that the Law Commission will conduct a fundamental review of the law on how and where people can legally marry in England and Wales. As part of that review, the Government invited the Law Commission to make recommendations about how marriage by humanist and other non-religious belief organisations could be incorporated into a revised or new scheme for all marriages that is simple, fair and consistent.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)