Rushanara Ali Portrait

Rushanara Ali

Labour - Bethnal Green and Bow

Select Committees
Treasury Committee (since March 2020)
Panel of Chairs (since June 2020)
Treasury Sub-Committee
14th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Treasury Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Energy and Climate Change Committee
26th Oct 2015 - 17th Oct 2016
Treasury Committee
24th Nov 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Shadow Minister (Education)
7th Oct 2013 - 26th Sep 2014
Shadow Minister (International Development)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2013


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 1st November 2021
11:00
Treasury Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021
1 Nov 2021, 11 a.m.
At 11.05am: Oral evidence
Richard Hughes - Chairman at Office for Budget Responsibility
Professor Sir Charlie Bean - Member of Budget Responsibility Committee at Office for Budget Responsibility
Andy King - Member of Budget Responsibility Committee at Office for Budget Responsibility
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Select Committee Meeting
Monday 1st November 2021
15:00
Treasury Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021
1 Nov 2021, 3 p.m.
At 3.15pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP - Chancellor of the Exchequer at HM Treasury
Dan York-Smith - Director of Strategy, Planning and Budget at HM Treasury
Conrad Smewing - Director of Public Spending at HM Treasury
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Division Votes
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 165 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 321 Noes - 220
Speeches
Tuesday 19th October 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

T6. As the Secretary of State knows, the NHS is facing extreme pressure because of rising covid infection rates and …

Written Answers
Tuesday 26th October 2021
Temporary Accommodation: Bethnal Green and Bow
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the maximum permissible period tenants and leaseholders …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 23rd March 2021
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence
That this House celebrates the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971 and recognises the historical significance of …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 17th May 2021
6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
From 7 September 2020, a residential property in London, co-owned with a family member: (i). (Registered 29 April 2021)
EDM signed
Wednesday 27th October 2021
Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Rushanara Ali has voted in 263 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Rushanara Ali Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(14 debate interactions)
Nigel Adams (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
(9 debate interactions)
Priti Patel (Conservative)
Home Secretary
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(32 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(12 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Rushanara Ali's debates

Bethnal Green and Bow Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Bethnal Green and Bow signature proportion
Petitions with most Bethnal Green and Bow signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

Undocumented Migrants are suffering in silence, with no access to adequate Financial support, or any help. The Government should grant an urgent Amnesty of 5years to those with no criminal record so that they could live their lives as normal human beings and pay tax to help the UK economy.

Recognise the state of Palestine to help stop the conflict from Israel. Not recognising the Palestinian state allows Israel to continue their persecution of the Palestinians.

The Government should introduce sanctions against Israel, including blocking all trade, and in particular arms.

A significant number of students will sit their final 2021 examinations. The outcome of which undoubtedly will be their passport, for many of their future life chances and successes. In order for this to be done fairly, it is imperative that the amount of content they are tested on is reduced.

We want the Education Secretary and the Government to step in and review the exam board’s decision on how GCSE and A-Level grades will be calculated and awarded due to the current coronavirus crisis. We want a better solution than just using our previous data to be the basis of our grade.

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.

We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.

The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.

To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.

The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.

To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare

Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.


Latest EDMs signed by Rushanara Ali

23rd September 2021
Rushanara Ali signed this EDM on Wednesday 27th October 2021

Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall

Tabled by: Afzal Khan (Labour - Manchester, Gorton)
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; notes that this memorial now includes over 150,000 hand-painted hearts to symbolise all those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic; praises the work of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for …
110 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 76
Scottish National Party: 11
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Plaid Cymru: 3
Conservative: 2
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
25th October 2021
Rushanara Ali signed this EDM on Tuesday 26th October 2021

Proscribing of Palestinian human rights organisations

Tabled by: Tommy Sheppard (Scottish National Party - Edinburgh East)
That this House condemns the declaration of 22 October 2021 made by Israeli Minister of Defence, Benny Gantz, which designated six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organisations; notes that the Israeli authorities have not provided any evidence to substantiate their claims about the organisations; further notes that the targeted …
28 signatures
(Most recent: 27 Oct 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 13
Scottish National Party: 10
Independent: 3
Liberal Democrat: 1
Alba Party: 1
View All Rushanara Ali's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Rushanara Ali, 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.


Rushanara Ali has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Rushanara Ali has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Rushanara Ali has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Rushanara Ali has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


143 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
5 Other Department Questions
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department has received an application from Clarion Housing Group to the Building Safety Fund for fire safety measures at Clare House.

The Department has not received an application to the Building Safety Fund in respect of Clare House.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, in the context of Clarion Housing Group’s decision to decant Clare House, if he will urgently commission independent research into the progress of steps taken by social landlords to (a) undertake works to make safe Large Panel System Bison-design tower blocks and (b) move tenants and leaseholders out of those blocks since 2017.

The Government is actively raising awareness and facilitating the dissemination of best practice for large panel system buildings with those responsible for their maintenance. In addition, the government has established a new Building Safety Regulator, empowered under the Building Safety Bill. This regulator will have additional powers as well as duties to help ensure that all blocks of flats – including large panel system building – above 18m in height are safe.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will request a report from Clarion Housing Group on (a) the reasons for its decision to institute a waking watch at a 21 story tower block from September 2020 and (b) the timeline for its decision to urgently decant Clare House from 29 September 2021, including the date on which the original report was received by the Clarion Housing Group senior management team and Board of Directors.

The Department has been in regular contact with Clarion Housing Group and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets regarding the situation at Clare House. Clarion Housing Group are the owners of Clare House and have responsibility for the safety of residents in the building. Clarion has provided the Department and the local authority with information provided by their technical experts on structural and fire safety at Clare House.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the maximum permissible period tenants and leaseholders decanted from Clare House for fire safety reasons by Clarion Housing Group can be expected to reside in hotel accommodation before being moved into suitable self-contained temporary accommodation.

The Department has been in regular contact with Clarion Housing Group and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets regarding the situation at Clare House. Clarion Housing Group has responsibility for the safety of residents at Clare House and for providing residents with appropriate alternative accommodation in the event of an evacuation of the building. Clarion Housing Group has confirmed that they have made residents a comprehensive offer of support which will include permanent alternative accommodation. The Department and the Local Authority expects Clarion Housing Group to move quickly to provide alternative permanent accommodation and provide support to evacuated residents for as long as it is required.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make a statement on the steps taken by his Department following notification by Clarion Housing Group of its decision to urgently decant 122 tenants and leaseholders from Clare House from 29 September 2021.

The Department has been in regular contact with Clarion Housing Group and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets regarding the situation at Clare House. Clarion Housing Group has responsibility for the safety of residents at Clare House and for providing residents with appropriate alternative accommodation in the event of an evacuation of the building. Clarion Housing Group has confirmed that they have made residents a comprehensive offer of support which will include permanent alternative accommodation. The Department and the Local Authority expects Clarion Housing Group to move quickly to provide alternative permanent accommodation and provide support to evacuated residents for as long as it is required.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement on UK exports to the EU.

The latest factual information on exports to the EU can be found in the 13 April report of the Office of National Statistics. https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/bulletins/uktrade/february2021.

The vast majority of traders and hauliers have adapted well, and our focus now is on making sure that any business that is still facing challenges gets the support they need.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has issued guidance on (a) landlords using energy agents to manage utility bills and (b) the rights of tenants to access information about their own billing costs.

The Government’s How to Rent guide gives some general advice to tenants on paying bills: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-rent/how-to-rent-the-checklist-for-renting-in-england.

The How to Let guide (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-let/how-to-let) gives advice to landlords on bills.

Additionally, our Tenant Fees Act guidance (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/922900/Tenant_Fees_Act_-_Tenant_Guidance.pdf) tells tenants: ‘You are responsible for your bills if these are not included within your rent. Landlords must not overcharge tenants if they pay utilities separately from the rent’.

Ofgem’s guide for tenants on how to switch energy supplier https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/household-gas-and-electricity-guide/how-switch-energy-supplier-and-shop-better-deal/how-switch-energy-supplier-if-you-re-tenant says that:

Under consumer protection law, if you are a renting a property and are directly responsible for paying the gas and/or electricity bills, you have the right to choose your own energy supplier. Your landlord or letting agent should not unreasonably prevent this’.

‘Your landlord has the right to choose your energy supplier only when they are directly responsible for paying for the gas or electricity’.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of companies that have not (a) complied with manufacturing contracts and (b) honoured the cost of orders made as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department does not have assessments of the number of companies that have not (a) complied with manufacturing contracts and (b) honoured the cost of orders made as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. However, the Government encourages all companies to honour their contracts and orders where possible.

We are seeing examples of both good and bad payment practice from large businesses as a result of Covid-19. The Small Business Commissioner has written to individual businesses who are protecting themselves by holding back payments to suppliers and has urged them to rethink their strategy to ensure their small business suppliers can survive the negative impacts of Covid-19. Conversely, the Small Business Commissioner has written to thank those businesses showing leadership by ensuring their smallest suppliers are paid more quickly, recognising the positive steps that they are taking.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it is his policy that workers from Romania brought to the UK by the Government to work in food production will be guaranteed the minimum wage.

The Government is committed to fair pay by ensuring workers are paid at least the National Minimum Wage (NMW).

Migrant workers who work in the UK are entitled to the NMW rate relevant to their age. Anyone concerned about underpayment of the NMW should call Acas’s confidential helpline on 0300 123 1100 or visit http://www.acas.org.uk/nmw. HMRC will look into every complaint it receives.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will take steps to ensure that the British Business Bank reduces the time taken for the accreditation process for (a) fintech banks and (b) other new lenders to be eligible to provide Government backed covid-19 loans.

Accrediting new lenders for the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) is a priority for the British Business Bank. The Bank is working at pace to accredit more lenders to further extend the Schemes’ reach and provide more choice for businesses whilst ensuring the accreditation process remains robust.

The Bank has put substantial additional resources in lace to create a streamlined process within the Bank to help onboard new lenders seeking accreditation as quickly as possible. For example, existing lenders accredited under the CBILS may have an expedited accreditation process for the BBLS.

There are currently 16 accredited lenders for BBLS, over 60 accredited lenders for CBILS and 10 accredited lenders for CLBILS.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to (a) reduce non-essential construction work (b) help ensure social distancing is observed on building sites during the covid-19 outbreak.

Construction workers play a crucial role in supporting our public services, maintaining the nation’s infrastructure, and providing safe, decent homes for people to live in. Therefore, the Government has stated that construction work can continue where it can take place safely.

In order to help ensure that it is safe for construction workers to operate in their workplace, the Government has worked with Public Health England (PHE) to develop sector-specific guidance on social distancing. We have also worked with the Construction Leadership Council to develop Site Operating Procedures, which provide practical advice to those seeking to implement the guidance.

The Health and Safety Executive has the powers to take enforcement action if a site is not consistently implementing the measures set out by PHE.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps is he taking to help disabled children recover from lost progress in managing their conditions in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow to the answer I gave on 9 June 2021 to Question 10230.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of funding additional therapies for disabled children.

I refer the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow to the answer I gave on 9 June 2021 to Question 10531.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of funding additional respite care for the families of disabled children to mitigate exhaustion and social isolation among carers.

I refer the hon. Member for Bethnal Green and Bow to the answer I gave on 2 June 2021 to Question 7328.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support schools with high numbers of pupils from inter-generational family units during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has been clear that all pupils, in all year groups, should return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. On 2 July, the Department published guidance to help schools prepare for this. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Shielding advice for all adults and children paused on 1 August. This means that even the small number of pupils who remain on the shielded patient list can return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.

The above guidance sets out a system of controls which provides a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. This includes the public health advice that schools must follow to minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission.

Schools should bear in mind the potential concerns of pupils, parents and households who may be reluctant or anxious about returning and put the right support in place to address this. This may include pupils who have themselves been shielding previously but have been advised that this is no longer necessary, those living in households where someone is clinically vulnerable, or those concerned about the comparatively increased risk from COVID-19, including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds or who have certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

If parents of pupils with significant risk factors are concerned, we recommend schools discuss their concerns and provide reassurance of the measures they are putting in place to reduce the risk in school.

7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support schools with high numbers of pupils with family members with severe health risks during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has been clear that all pupils, in all year groups, should return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. On 2 July, the Department published guidance to help schools prepare for this. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Shielding advice for all adults and children paused on 1 August. This means that even the small number of pupils who remain on the shielded patient list can return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.

The above guidance sets out a system of controls which provides a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. This includes the public health advice that schools must follow to minimise the risks of COVID-19 transmission.

Schools should bear in mind the potential concerns of pupils, parents and households who may be reluctant or anxious about returning and put the right support in place to address this. This may include pupils who have themselves been shielding previously but have been advised that this is no longer necessary, those living in households where someone is clinically vulnerable, or those concerned about the comparatively increased risk from COVID-19, including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds or who have certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes.

If parents of pupils with significant risk factors are concerned, we recommend schools discuss their concerns and provide reassurance of the measures they are putting in place to reduce the risk in school.

13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what representations she has made to her Bangladeshi counterpart on the internet ban in Rohingya refugee camps.

Ministers and the British High Commission in Dhaka continue to raise the issue of telecommunications restrictions in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in Bangladesh with representatives of the Government of Bangladesh. The Minister of State for South Asia Lord Ahmad has raised this recently with the Bangladesh High Commissioner.

Restrictions on 3G and 4G communications in the Rohingya camps are hindering COVID-19 preparedness. The first case of a refugee with COVID-19 was confirmed within the refugee camps on May 14th. These restrictions limit the ability of agencies to share information with the refugees and with each other; and for the Rohingya to self-organise. Good communications are critical for preparedness, surveillance, response, delivering critical services, and for maintaining stability in the camps.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support workers in the ready-made garment factories in developing countries who depend on business contracts from fashion firms in the UK and other western nations during the covid-19 pandemic.

Measures to control the spread of COVID-19 are having a profound impact on global trade and supply chains. We are aware that businesses have been affected by cancelled orders, and the Department is engaging with businesses in the UK and in developing countries to understand the challenges they face with respect to protecting incomes and livelihoods in their supply chains. We are working very closely with other parts of the UK government including the Department for International Trade.

We are also investing in sector analyses to understand the impacts of the crisis on factories, workers and supply chains and we are working with retailers to ensure that there is workplace and hygiene safety in place where factories are continuing to operate.

For example, in Bangladesh, through the Better Jobs in Bangladesh programme, DFID will be supporting around 1000 factories and their workers safely return to work when the factories re-open.

Officials have met with many British businesses in this sector and are working to establish a programme that would protect people working in overseas supply chains, including in these sectors, to ensure that their livelihoods are protected and British people can access the goods they need.

My Ministerial colleagues and I will continue to engage with businesses as we work together to support vulnerable workers in supply chains.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support people in developing countries at risk of falling into poverty as a result of covid-19.

COVID-19 is the biggest threat this country has faced in a generation. And we are not alone. All over the world we are seeing the devastating impacts of this pandemic, to health and economies.

The UK is a global leader in international efforts on the COVID-19 response, having already pledged £744 million in UK aid. This assistance includes immediate life-saving humanitarian and health interventions as well as assistance for countries and populations coping with the economic shock of the pandemic. At the global level we have given an additional contribution of up to £150 million of UK aid to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust. This will help to provide Governments with the financial space to support health and social protection responses. We have also doubled our £2.2 billion loan to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust. At the country level we are working with our partners to review and, where necessary, adjust our programmes to support the most vulnerable populations, including preventing the reversal of so many hard-won development gains.

The UK is also using its foreign aid budget and British expertise to stop the spread of COVID-19 internationally, build resilience in vulnerable countries, find a vaccine, new drugs and therapeutics. This is the only long-term solution to the pandemic.

We are helping to prevent the poorest countries – which represent a quarter of the world’s population - from collapse by supporting their economies and access to skills and education. This will help save millions of lives and reduce the risk of future waves of infection, that could come to the UK.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent steps her Department has taken to ensure the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

DFID is working closely with our partners to ensure the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance. As the second largest donor to the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh, with £256 million provided since August 2017, the UK is committed to protecting the Rohingya community, among the world’s most vulnerable people. We ensure consistent, in-depth monitoring, including regular field visits, though these are now restricted due to the COVID-19 crisis. We are also actively involved in UN and development partner coordination processes to identify and address issues which are affecting the effectiveness of the response. This includes active engagement with the Government of Bangladesh Inter-sector Coordination Group and individual sectors of the response working on, for example, shelter, nutrition, and reproductive health services.

We work closely with the UN Office for Project Services to maintain oversight of our support on the ground. We recently assisted them to establish an office in Cox’s Bazar, including staff funded by UK aid, to enhance coordination and routine monitoring.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of the provision of (a) treatment, (b) beds and (c) medical facilities in Cox’s Bazaar for people with covid-19.

From the start of the crisis, DFID has worked with partners to help mitigate the impact of the virus on the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. UK funding is helping to establish isolation and treatment centres to treat severe and critical cases, as well as the delivery of home-based healthcare and monitoring. We are also assisting with the provision of oxygen supplies for the isolation and treatment facilities; and supporting WHO to coordinate the health response with the Government, including surveillance, diagnosis, infection prevention and control, triage, referral, case management, and logistics.

Whilst every effort is being made to prevent transmission in the camps and scale up the health care system, the highly congested conditions and vulnerability of the population will pose major challenges when cases appear and reach peak levels.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to reports that some UK companies have not honoured contracts with suppliers in developing countries during the covid-19 pandemic, what steps her Department is taking to promote the UK as a reliable market globally.

It is more important than ever for UK businesses to take responsibility for conditions in their supply chains and honour their obligations. We are working across government, including with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the Home Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to encourage retail businesses to uphold commercial commitments with international suppliers and support workers.

15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is able to take to uphold the UK's global reputation as a reliable market as a result of UK companies reportedly ignoring contracts with suppliers in developing countries.

The Government is engaging with businesses in the UK and in developing countries to understand the huge challenges they are facing in response to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The UK is also providing support to Business Fights Poverty to accelerate a global learning process to enable businesses to support vulnerable workers in global supply chains.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect on poverty levels of reintroducing universal credit sanctions and conditionality in the next six months.

New and updated claimant commitments for Universal Credit claimants have been reintroduced from 1 July 2020 in a phased approach and as capacity allows. Only once a new or updated claimant commitment has been agreed, can claimants receive a sanction if they fail to meet those commitments without good reason.

Work Coaches are empowered to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that conditionality is tailored to a claimant’s individual circumstances, that only realistic and reasonable requirements are set, and that they can apply easements and take additional steps to help protect the most vulnerable.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what representations she has received from food bank providers on levels of demand for emergency food assistance in the last six months.

The Department engaged with food bank providers throughout the Covid pandemic and will continue to do so.

The Department quickly introduced welfare changes worth over £9 billion and worked closely with other departments on the cross-government Task Force on Food and Other Essential Supplies for Vulnerable People, led by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her plans are for the future of face-to-face assessments for welfare payments.

The health and safety of our claimants and staff is our key priority. We suspended all face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits in March. This temporary suspension, brought in to protect people from unnecessary risk of coronavirus at the outset of the pandemic, remains in place, and is being kept under review in line with the latest public health guidance.

We continue to do telephone-based assessments, and as usual also undertake paper-based assessments where possible. Any re-introduction of face-to-face assessments would involve additional Covid-related safety measures, and guidance for claimants and assessment providers to ensure compliance with the relevant public health guidance.

14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to investigate and rectify underpayment made in error of the state pension to retired women.

We are aware of a number of cases where individuals have been underpaid Category BL basic State Pension. We are checking for further cases, and if any are found awards will also be reviewed and any arrears paid in accordance with the law.

As soon as any underpayments are identified the individuals affected are reimbursed and their records corrected. Any individual who believes they are being underpaid State Pension should contact the Department on the Freephone number 0800 731 0469. Further details on how to do this through the Pension Service are available on the gov.uk website.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the number of families with children affected by the benefit cap.

The available information on the number of households, receiving Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, who were affected by the Benefit Cap, by Family Type, is published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 15 May 2020 to Question 43913 on the Independent Case Examiner, how many new Independent Case Examiners were recruited between 1 February 2020 and 31 March 2020 to help reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation.

Funding has been made available in the 2020/21 financial year to allow the Independent Case Examiner’s (ICE) Office to help reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation. Its headcount will increase from 89 to 112. The recruitment of additional Investigation Case Managers commenced in February 2020, but was paused following the introduction of the Coronavirus lockdown measures. That pause has now been lifted and the Office is currently concluding the recruitment exercise.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 14 January 2020 to Question 1734 on the Independent Case Examiner, what the average length of time taken was to (a) commence and (b) complete an investigation into a complaint against her Department between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020.

The cases that reach the ICE Office are the most complex and investigations will not be compromised in order to be completed within certain timescales. Having accepted a complaint for examination, the ICE Office will initially try to broker a solution between the complainant and the relevant department or supplier, without having to request evidence to inform an investigation – this is known as “resolution”. If it’s not possible to resolve the complaint, the evidence will be requested and the case will await allocation to an Investigation Case Manager (ICM). Complainants are kept updated on the progression of their complaint and the vast majority are satisfied with the service they receive.

During the period 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020, it took the Independent Case Examiner’s Office an average of: 62 weeks to commence an investigation (from the point at which the complaint was accepted for examination); and 18 weeks to complete an investigation (from the point at which it was allocated to an ICM).

The Independent Case Examiner’s Office began the process of recruiting additional ICMs, to help it reduce the time complaints wait to be brought into investigation, prior to the introduction of the Coronavirus lockdown measures. That process will recommence as soon as it is practicable to do so.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish her Department's assessment of the effect of the £20 a week uplift to universal credit during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has insufficient data at this time to estimate the effect of increasing the four standard allowances in Universal Credit by £20 a week in 2020/21.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to review the policy of benefit sanctions during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are focused on the processing of claims and will not be checking conditionality compliance regarding preparing for, looking for and being available for work until the end of June. This means that claimants won’t receive any new sanctions if they are unable to meet these commitments during this period. We continue to review our policies as the situation evolves.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the £20 a week uplift to universal credit introduced during the covid-19 outbreak will be made permanent.

The standard allowance in Universal Credit has been increased by £87.67 a month (equivalent to £20 per week) on top of the planned annual uprating. All Universal Credit households will see an increase in their payment and this additional increase means claimants will be up to £1040 better off over the next 12 months.

This uplift is part of a wider package of measures which represent an investment of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system. These measures, along with the other job and business support programmes announced by the Chancellor, represent one of the most comprehensive packages of support by an advanced economy in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many families who have made a claim for universal credit since 23 March 2020 have three or more children.

From 23rd March 2020 to 5th May 2020, 57,000, applications made by claimants with children to Universal Credit had three or more children in their family.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in London have submitted claims for universal credit by local authority area since 23 March 2020.

Information on new Universal Credit claims is not available by local authority. However, data surrounding starts to UC by postcode area is published online and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

This includes data on the number of new Universal Credit claims in the postcode areas of London up to 9th April 2020.

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many pensioners will see their income reduce as a result of the abolition of the Adult Dependency Increase; and what estimate he has been made of the number of pensioners who are entitled to alternative benefits.

In 2007 the then Labour Government decided to end State Pension ADIs as part of a package of reforms included in the Pensions Act 2007. The link to the Act is: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/22/contents - the legislation relating to State Pension ADI changes can be seen at Section 4 of the Act.

This overall reform package, which took account that State Pension ADIs would stop from April 2020, improved the State Pension position for women meaning more women would get a full basic State Pension. The reforms also provided more generous National Insurance credits for carers. Successive Governments of differing political persuasions since 2007 have continued to support this change.

As at May 2019, the latest data available, the number of people in receipt of State Pension Adult Dependency Increases was 10,817. At the same date, 2,274 of these persons were also in receipt of either Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit and may, consequently, be entitled to increases in these benefits.

Those who are already receiving Income Related Benefits (such as Pension Credit or Housing Benefit) should have their entitlement reassessed once their State Pension Adult Dependency Increase ends. We are encouraging those who are not currently getting an Income Related Benefit to check out if they are now entitled.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to review the effect on pensioner poverty of the requirement that pensioners make a claim for universal credit on retirement and not pension credit because their partner has not yet reached pension age.

We spend around £100 billion on the State Pension in 2019/20, and as a result of the triple lock, from April 2020 (subject to Parliamentary approval), the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension will be around £700 higher than if it had just been up-rated by earnings since April 2010. There are 100,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty (before housing costs) than in 2009/10. Rates of material deprivation for pensioners are also at a record low: since 2009/10 material deprivation for pensioners has fallen from 10% to 7% in 2017/18. Entitlement to the State Pension, and eligibility to claim it, are unaffected by the changes made to support for people on low incomes through the system of income-related benefits.

This change does not apply to couples already claiming Pension Credit and/or Housing Benefit for pensioners on 14 May 2019 for as long as they remain entitled to either benefit.

In regard to encouraging people below State Pension age to remain in the labour market and continue saving for their own retirement, the Government believes this is important both for individuals and wider society. We do not therefore believe it is right that different labour-market conditions should apply to people below State Pension age based on the age of their partner.

This change in the way support is provided to couples where one partner is below State Pension age will ensure that the same incentives to work and save for retirement apply to the younger partner as apply to other people of the same age. Unlike Pension Credit, which in most cases allows a couple to retain only £10 a week of earned income, Universal Credit provides clear incentives for people to find and progress in work.

The younger partner in a mixed-age couple claiming Universal Credit will get the personalised support provided by Work Coaches to help them find and progress in work where appropriate. If the younger partner is unable to work because of disability or caring requirements, additional amounts may be payable and conditionality requirements adjusted. No work-related requirements will be applied to the older partner. The Government is committed to action that helps to alleviate levels of pensioner poverty.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the net saving that will be made by the public purse from the abolition of the Adult Dependency Increase for pensioners from April 2020.

In 2007 the then Labour Government decided to end State Pension ADIs as part of a package of reforms included in the Pensions Act 2007. This overall reform package, which took account that State Pension ADIs would stop from April 2020, improved the State Pension position for women meaning more women would get a full basic State Pension. The reforms also provided more generous National Insurance credits for carers. Successive Governments of differing political persuasions since 2007 have continued to support this change.

The savings from ending the provision of State Pension Adult Dependency Increases are estimated to be £125m between 2020/21 and 2024/25, based on analysis from 2018. This only reflects savings on Adult Dependency Increases expenditure and does not take into account any offsetting impacts on other benefits.

We have not made an estimate of the net saving once offsetting impacts on other benefits are taken into account. As at May 2019, total annual expenditure on State Pension Adult Dependency Increases in 2019/20 for people in receipt of both Adult Dependency Increases and at least one of Pension Credit or Housing Benefit was estimated at £7m.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many pensioners have been required to make a claim for universal credit rather than pension credit because their partner has not yet reached pension age.

In 2012, Parliament voted to modernise the welfare system to ensure that couples, where one person is of working age and the other person is over State Pension age, access support, where it is needed, through the working age benefit regime. This replaces the previous system whereby the household could access either Pension Credit and pension-age Housing Benefit, or working-age benefits.

Pension Credit is designed to provide long-term support for pensioner households who are no longer economically active. It is not designed to support working age claimants. This change will ensure that the same work incentives apply to the younger partner as apply to other people of the same age, and taxpayer support is directed where it is needed most.

Between 15 May 2019, when the mixed age couples policy was implemented, and mid

August 2019, there were 1,800 new claims to Universal Credit where one member of the couple was above State Pension age and the other below (a “mixed age couple”).

Notes:

1. This is the number of couples/new claims (rounded to nearest 100) and not the number of people.

2. The data is up to mid-August as this is the latest available data.

3. The data is from the DWP management information which has been collected for internal departmental use only and has not been quality assured to National Statistics or Official Statistics publication standard.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, further to her Answer of 14 January 2020 to Question 1734 on the Independent Case Examiner, what the average length of time taken was to (a) commence and (b) complete an investigation into a complaint against her Department in (i) July to September 2019 and (ii) October to December 2019.

The information requested is provided in the table below. In order to provide some context, we have included details of the number of complaints received and accepted for examination by the Independent Case Examiner’s Office in the last two full reporting years.

We want to make sure people can get the support they are entitled to if they have been treated unfairly and are hiring and training new staff as quickly as we can, clearing more complaints last year than in 2017/18.

The cases that reach the Independent Case Examiner are the most complex and investigations will not be compromised in order to be completed within certain timescales.

We keep people updated about the timings involved with their case and the vast majority of complainants are satisfied with the service they receive.

Year (April to March)

Complaints received

Complaints accepted for examination

2017/18

5,885

2,784

2018/19

4,824

1,299

Period

Average time taken to commence an investigation (from date complaint accepted for examination)

Average time taken to complete an investigation (from date case allocated to an investigation case manager)

July - September 2019

57 weeks

20 weeks

October - December 2019

61 weeks

21 weeks

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 14 January 2020 to Question 1733, on the Independent Case Examiner (ICE), if she will request that the ICE's annual report for 2019-20 includes data on the average number of weeks taken to complete a determination from the date of (a) the complaint and (b) commencement of the investigation.

As explained in response to Question 1733, the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) is an Office Holder, appointed under contract to review complaints about DWP and its contracted service providers, and identify wider system issues associated with service failures. Decisions on what information to include in their Annual Report rest with the Office holder, however, your suggestion has been shared with them, to inform future considerations.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons the Independent Case Examiner’s Annual Report for 2018-19 only includes data on the number of weeks taken for a full investigation to be completed from the date of commencement and not from the date on which the complaint was made.

The Independent Case Examiner (ICE) is an Office Holder, appointed under contract to review complaints about DWP and its contracted service providers. In addition to adjudicating on escalated complaints and making case specific findings and recommendations for redress, the ICE looks to identify wider systemic issues associated with service failures: one of their contractual requirements is to report annually on their work to the Permanent Secretary. DWP provides an Office to support the ICE discharge their contractual obligations, but they have no role in the management of that Office or its resources. Their Annual Report therefore has its focus on findings associated with case examinations and outcomes, rather than the wider administration of the ICE Office.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average length of time taken was by the Independent Case Examiner to (a) begin and (b) complete an investigation into a complaint against her Department in the first six months of 2019.

In the first six months of 2019 (January to June 2019) it took the Independent Case Examiner’s Office an average of: 59 weeks to commence an investigation (from the point at which the complaint was accepted for examination); and 23 weeks to complete an investigation (from the point at which it was allocated to an investigation case manager).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many complaints regarding quality of service were received by the Independent Case Examiner in 2018-19; and how many of those complaints related to delays in commencing or completing an investigation.

During the 2018/19 reporting year the Independent Case Examiner’s Office received 418 complaints about the service it provided; of which 289 concerned delays in commencing or completing an investigation (of those 164 took the form of a standard letter, from those complaining about communications associated with changes to women’s State Pension age).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on children's mental health and wellbeing of banning youth sport during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

We recognise how critical sport and physical activity is for children and young people’s physical and mental wellbeing and their personal and social development. Schools remain open and children can participate in physical education and sport where it is part of the curriculum or part of the core timetable of the school.

Unfortunately, most organised children’s sport outside school activity has had to cease temporarily during this second period of lockdown, but sport and physical activity is permitted as part of other supervised activities, such as wraparound care or childcare facilities, where it is necessary to enable parents or carers to work, seek work, attend education or training, or for respite care.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on ensuring that the correct supply chain requirements have been made for distributing a covid-19 vaccine.

The Government closely monitors plans for the requirements across the supply chain for COVID-19 vaccines and associated material. For the provision of potential vaccines and their onward deployment, there are clearly defined supply chain plans for manufacturing, transport, storage and distribution.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set up more post-covid 19 clinics to support people who are chronically ill with coronavirus symptoms.

In July 2020, the National Health Service launched the ‘Your COVID Recovery’ service to support the recovery of people who have been in hospital or suffered at home with the virus. This is a two-phase endeavour with phase one being available as an open, publicly available site containing general information on all aspects of recovering from COVID-19, including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing. Over 100,000 people have used the online service since it was launched in July.

On 7 October the NHS announced £10 million is be invested this year to help kick start and designate ‘long COVID-19’ clinics that will be available to all patients in England. Alongside this, new guidance has been commissioned by NHS England from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) on the clinical case definition of ‘long COVID-19’. This will include patients who have had COVID-19 who may not have had a hospital admission or a previous positive test. It will be followed by evidence-based NICE clinical guidelines that will outline the support that ‘long COVID-19’ patients should receive, enabling NHS doctors, therapists and staff to provide a clear and personalised treatment plan. This will include education materials for general practitioners and other health professionals to help them refer and signpost patients to the right support.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support he plans to make available to general practices (a) during and (b) after the coronavirus outbreak.

The Government is supporting general practices in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in several ways. We have facilitated remote working by distributing over 22,000 laptops to general practice staff; have provided a COVID-19 Support Fund to cover additional costs incurred by practices as a result of the response to the virus; have enabled flexibility in the delivery of services to relieve pressures; and have reduced bureaucratic burdens.

In addition, we are supporting the wellbeing of the primary care workforce in collaboration with the Royal College of General Practitioners via the #LookingAfterYouToo: Coaching Support for Primary Care Staff service, which provides access to mental health services for all primary care workers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with medical logistics experts on the roll-out of a covid-19 vaccine.

The safe and efficient delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine is a top priority for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. Discussions are held regularly on a wide range of topics with experts about the logistics, warehousing, transport and end-destination ‘clinic’ storage, for delivering a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has a target date for each health and social care provider to receive adequate levels of personal protective equipment.

There is no target date for each health and social care provider to receive adequate levels of personal protective equipment. The Government has always been clear that every health and care worker should get the personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to tackle this outbreak. We are working around the clock to achieve this.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many healthcare workers have been tested for covid-19 to date.

The National Health Service has made testing available to all symptomatic NHS staff as a priority.

We are also testing those who are asymptomatic in specific circumstances where appropriate. For NHS workers specifically, NHS England has published guidance on when testing of this nature might be appropriate, including where an incident has taken place, an outbreak or where high prevalence has been established.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government (a) is taking and (b) plans to take protect (i) the BAME community, (ii) people in the most deprived areas (iii) older people and (iv) people with medical conditions that put them at greater risk from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP) is reviewing the findings from Public Health England’s reports to better understand the drivers behind the disparities and the relationships between the different risk factors. Her work will help us to improve understanding of the virus and who it affects so we can build on the existing action we are taking to tackle health inequalities. This includes, for example, our childhood obesity plan, National Health Service health checks, our tobacco control plan and diabetes prevention programme.

In addition, the NHS Long Term Plan commits all major national programmes and every local area across England to set out specific measurable goals and mechanisms by which they will contribute to narrowing health inequalities over the next five and ten years. As areas vary, so will the focus of their goals.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of improving the process for hospitals who wish to become recognised as specialist NHS Trust hospitals.

Specialist hospitals are widely recognised for their excellence within individual specialties, including rare and complex cases. However, there is no formal specialist trust designation, and many National Health Service trusts provide both specialist and non-specialist services.

NHS England is responsible for the commissioning of prescribed specialised services. The specialised services directly commissioned by NHS England are listed in Schedule 4 to the National Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the cost-effectiveness of (a) maintaining the services provided by Mildmay Mission Hospital and (b) providing those services in NHS acute wards.

The national tariff is a set of prices and rules used by providers of National Health Service care and commissioners to deliver the most efficient, cost effective care to patients.

The tariff for Mildmay Mission Hospital tariff is 50% higher than the acute provider tariff.

Admissions to Mildmay Mission Hospital are based on agreed clinical criteria and on the ability of the service to meet a patient’s needs, and are not based on cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the cost to the public purse of a bed at (a) Mildmay Mission Hospital and (b) an acute ward at an NHS hospital for one night.

The national tariff is a set of prices and rules used by providers of National Health Service care and commissioners to deliver the most efficient, cost effective care to patients.

The tariff for Mildmay Mission Hospital tariff is 50% higher than the acute provider tariff.

Admissions to Mildmay Mission Hospital are based on agreed clinical criteria and on the ability of the service to meet a patient’s needs, and are not based on cost.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the level of demand for food assistance in Myanmar (a) for internally displaced people, (b) in Kachin, and (c) in Northern Shan.

The UK remains one of the leading donors supporting the humanitarian response in Myanmar. Since the coup, we have provided £15.3 million in humanitarian funding for the Red Cross, UN, and local and International Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Where necessary, we have also reprioritised humanitarian funding towards urgent needs, including food and Covid assistance, in Kachin, Shan, Chin and the Southeast. Over the last year the UK has been building up the humanitarian response capacity of communities themselves through partners. This has enabled the UK to get support to very hard to reach communities. Through a network of local responders and communities, 25,000 newly displaced people have been reached with cash and emergency food support in Northern Shan. In Kachin, our partners have reached over 7,500 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) with food and cash assistance. UK support has been critical in covering major food gaps in several IDP camps between March and August 2021, when other partners could not reach or support these people. The UK remains strongly committed to helping those most in need in Myanmar.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the political situation in Myanmar.

The UK Government condemns the military coup in Myanmar, the violence against the people of Myanmar and the detention of members of the civilian government and civil society, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. The state of emergency, and all restrictions on rights and freedoms, should be lifted immediately and power should be returned to a democratically elected government. I [Minister Milling] am particularly concerned at recent reports of significant, indiscriminate violence by the military in Chin State, and elsewhere in the country. The UK is committed to supporting a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Egyptian counterpart on the case of Karim Ennarah, a human rights activist who faces terrorism charges, travel restrictions and an asset freeze.

We are concerned that human rights defenders in Egypt are being subjected to arrests, travel bans and asset freezes. The Foreign Secretary has raised concerns about human rights defenders with his Egyptian counterpart directly. Senior officials in London and Cairo underlined these concerns with the Egyptian authorities; the Prime Minister raised human rights when he spoke to President Sisi in March 2021 and Minister Cleverly has also recently raised our serious concerns at a senior level. Human rights defenders make a vital contribution to society, and we continue to call on the Egyptian authorities to allow these people to be able to conduct their work and live their lives unimpeded, fully benefiting from their rights under the Egyptian Constitution.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Egyptian counterpart on the arrests, travel bans and the freezing of assets of human rights advocates in that country.

We are concerned that human rights defenders in Egypt are being subjected to arrests, travel bans and asset freezes. The Foreign Secretary has raised concerns about human rights defenders with his Egyptian counterpart directly. Senior officials in London and Cairo underlined these concerns with the Egyptian authorities; the Prime Minister raised human rights when he spoke to President Sisi in March 2021 and Minister Cleverly has also recently raised our serious concerns at a senior level. Human rights defenders make a vital contribution to society, and we continue to call on the Egyptian authorities to allow these people to be able to conduct their work and live their lives unimpeded, fully benefiting from their rights under the Egyptian Constitution.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the extent of human rights abuses under the current Egyptian regime.

Egypt remains a human rights priority country for the UK and we want to see more political progress and better protection of human rights in Egypt. This includes implementation of the rights guaranteed by Egypt's constitution. These rights and freedoms are essential for Egypt's long-term stability. We regularly raise our human rights concerns with the Egyptian authorities, both privately and in forums such as the UN Human Rights Council. We have raised our concerns at the highest level, including in the Prime Minister's call with President Sisi in March 2021.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether there are outstanding loans from British banks to the Myanmar army.

We are clear that British businesses should not be doing business with the Myanmar military or military owned entities. The Foreign Secretary and International Trade Secretary have written to UK businesses in Myanmar to make this expectation clear.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when he plans to introduce new measures under the UK's Magnitsky Act to target corruption and illicit finance as outlined in the Integrated Review.

On 6 July 2020 the UK Government established the Global Human Rights ('Magnitsky') sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament under the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018. This sanctions regime enables the UK to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses.

As the Foreign Secretary announced to the House, work is underway to consider how an anti-corruption sanctions regime could be added to our armoury. Sanctions are powerful tools, capable of having a significant impact, and are complex to design. We are taking the time to ensure we get them right and will update Parliament in due course.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether his Department is aware of British companies providing insurance, reinsurance, financial services or consultancy services to Myanmar military companies; and whether the Government is taking steps to prevent British companies from providing such services to the military.

The Foreign Secretary and International Trade Secretary have written to UK companies active in Myanmar to make clear the expectation that they do not do business with the military through their trading relationships. HMG expects them to conduct due diligence to ensure that they aren't supporting any military linked businesses.

As set out in the written ministerial statement of 25 February, we are reviewing our approach to Trade and Investment in Myanmar, and while that review takes place have suspended all trade promotion activity.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government has taken steps to freeze assets of the Government of Myanmar in the UK, including all bank accounts and properties.

We have imposed travel bans and asset freezes on nine senior military officers responsible for serious human rights violations during the coup. This is in addition to the 16 individuals previously designated for serious human rights violations in Myanmar. It is the Myanmar military that are responsible for the coup and the abhorrent human rights violations associated with it and we are determined to impose a cost on them. We will consider all tools at our disposal, including further sanctions on individuals and entities.

We have used the Burma sanctions regime and the Global Human Rights regime to target those responsible for human rights violations in Myanmar. On Thursday 26 March we imposed sanctions on military owned entity Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL), in concert with the US to incur a cost on the military for the coup.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether a date has been set for making a decision on whether the UK will make an intervention in the Rohingya genocide case at the International Court of Justice.

The UK supports the International Criminal Justice (ICJ) process which is putting pressure on Myanmar to protect the Rohingya. We are clear that Myanmar must comply with the provisional measures ruling. We have reiterated our support to the ICJ process in Parliament, at the UN Security Council, and through public statements. We provided funding to enable Rohingya refugees to attend the ICJ hearing in December 2019. We are monitoring developments closely and have not yet decided whether to intervene. The rules governing an intervention are set out in the Statute and Rules of Court of the ICJ. Myanmar filed preliminary objections on 20 January 2021, and the Gambia now has until 20 May 2021 to file observations and submissions on those objections. The Court has not yet determined the timetable beyond that point.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if the Government will take steps to hold the Myanmar military accountable by using provisions of universal jurisdiction applicable in British law.

The UK is deeply concerned at the serious human rights violations perpetrated by the Myanmar security forces during the coup. The UK is clear that there must be accountability for these acts. Crimes of universal jurisdiction can be reported to the police in the same way as any other offence, and the same standards of evidence and independence of process will apply in respect of any investigation, arrest or prosecution. The operational responsibility for deciding whether to commence or pursue a criminal investigation falls to the police, who exercise their discretion and responsibility to investigate independently of the executive.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support health systems in the poorest countries to distribute and administer covid-19 vaccinations.

The UK is committed to rapid equitable access to safe and effective vaccines. The UK has committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), which is the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines, and of which the UK is one of the largest bilateral donors. Our commitment helped encourage other donors to commit $1 billion by the end of 2020, and our funding will contribute to the supply of at least 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 for up to 92 developing countries.

The COVAX AMC aims to supply fully subsidised doses to vaccinate up to 20 percent of country populations, initially prioritising healthcare workers, and then expanding to cover other priority groups. Countries will then be able to procure additional doses to increase coverage further, subject to vaccine availability. COVAX is supporting countries in assessing vaccine introduction readiness, and to develop detailed national deployment and vaccination plans, including support needed to strengthen delivery systems. Our network of health advisers in relevant AMC countries are working to support host governments tin applying to the COVAX AMC, and preparing for vaccine delivery.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the level of food insecurity in Gaza in the context of the covid-19 pandemic.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in OPTs has exacerbated the humanitarian and food insecurity situation. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, food insecurity, driven by high poverty and unemployment, affected 1.6 million Palestinians. Latest projections from the World Food Programme show an increase to 2 million Palestinians now food insecure - 40% of the population in OPTs.

To support the humanitarian situation in the OPTs, we are providing £2.5million to the World Food Programme to provide food and cash assistance to the most vulnerable Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza. We have also contributed £1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's Emergency Appeal in the OPTs which will help provide emergency food to over one million food-insecure refugees in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle the gap in oxygen supply for covid-19 patients in Gaza.

We have provided £1.25 million funding (the World Health Organisation with £630,000 and the United Nations Children's Fund with £620,000) to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment including personal protective equipment for over 4000 heath workers and 15 oxygen concentrators, treat critical care patients, train frontline health workers and scale up laboratory testing capacity - mainly in Gaza.

The UK has also committed to equitable access to effective vaccines as demonstrated by our £548 million contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. We are pleased that the OPTs will be among the first to benefit from the COVAX scheme with delivery of a first batch of more than 37,000 doses of the of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine anticipated shortly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent the collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system in the context of the occupied Palestinian territory’s surge of covid-19 cases.

We have provided £1.25 million funding (the World Health Organisation with £630,000 and the United Nations Children's Fund with £620,000) to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment including personal protective equipment for over 4000 heath workers and 15 oxygen concentrators, treat critical care patients, train frontline health workers and scale up laboratory testing capacity - mainly in Gaza.

The UK has also committed to equitable access to effective vaccines as demonstrated by our £548 million contribution to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) - the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines. We are pleased that the OPTs will be among the first to benefit from the COVAX scheme with delivery of a first batch of more than 37,000 doses of the of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine anticipated shortly.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure access to covid-19 vaccinations for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

The British High Commission in Dhaka has been working closely with the Government of Bangladesh to ensure the Rohingya refugees are included in the national vaccination plan. In the first phase starting in March, around 125,000 of the more vulnerable refugees are due to receive their first vaccination dose. 5,000 frontline health and other workers engaged in the refugee camps will also be vaccinated in this initial phase. The refugees will receive vaccines through COVAX, the multilateral initiative designed to support global and equitable access to vaccines. The COVAX Advance Market Commitment, to which the UK has committed £548m, will supply vaccines to 92 developing countries.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
19th Jan 2021
What assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 on forcibly displaced people in fragile and developing countries.

Crowded conditions where social distancing, regular handwashing and self-isolation are difficult, and mean refugees and displaced people are among the most vulnerable. UK funding is helping to install handwashing stations, isolation and treatment centres, providing protection and education services and improved access to clean water for displaced people

We will continue to ensure displaced people are factored into the global COVID response, including access to national testing, health-care and prioritisation of vaccines.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of arrests of peaceful protestors and other restrictions on freedom of expression in Myanmar on the credibility of its 2020 general election.

The UK has long been a supporter of Myanmar's democratisation. We strongly believe all individuals should have the right to participate freely in the democratic process. Our Ambassador and Development Director have both highlighted the importance of allowing free and open debate when they meet the Union Election Commission and the Government of Myanmar.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the authorities in Myanmar on the decision by the Union Election Commission to cancel voting in parts of that country.

We are concerned by ongoing conflict which restricts the ability to hold a free and fair vote. We were concerned by the announcement of cancellations across Rakhine and elsewhere in the country. The Foreign Secretary raised these concerns with the Myanmar Minister for International Cooperation in the run up to the elections. He pressed for further transparency on the mechanism through which constituencies are declared safe for voting to take place. He also urged the Government to commit to holding elections in areas of cancellation as soon as it is possible.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Government plans to review its support to the peace process in Myanmar in response to increased conflict in that country since that process began.

The UK is deeply concerned about ongoing conflict across Myanmar, including in Rakhine and Chin which pose challenges for Myanmar's formal peace process. In May we called a meeting at the UNSC to discuss the conflict and afterwards issued a national statement calling for a ceasefire. We continue to raise our concerns with the Government and call on all sides for a de-escalation of hostilities, a resumption of political dialogue and an inclusive process. We know that it will take time to secure peace and inclusive political settlement, but it is essential if the country is to consolidate its transition to a prosperous and democratic future. We remain committed to supporting Myanmar's Peace Process and democratic transition.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans his Department has for monitoring the forthcoming elections in Myanmar, both in the days before and after polling day and on election day itself, to ensure internationally accepted democratic norms are upheld and human rights are respected.

Independent election monitoring is vital for free and fair elections. Covid-19 prevented largescale international observation missions like those seen in 2015. This year, the UK Embassy will run a small in country observation mission.

We are funding domestic observation to ensure that there was some level of monitoring and oversight of the polling process. We have consistently raised the importance of domestic monitoring in country with both the UEC and the Government, to ensure transparency and oversight of the process.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to Aung San Suu Kyi on the detention of almost 200 political prisoners in Myanmar; and if he will make a statement.

The United Kingdom is deeply concerned that repressive laws have been used to violate people's civil liberties, including freedom of expression and religious belief in Myanmar. The UK regularly voices its concerns about democratic and religious freedoms in Myanmar and uses its communications with the Government to raise cases of those imprisoned for expressing their opinions on government policies. The UK is clear that freedom of expression and the rule of law are necessary components of a democratic system. We will continue to urge the Government of Myanmar to avoid the use of repressive legislation to clamp down on free speech and criticism.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government has taken in response to the disenfranchisement of the Rohingya from the 2020 general election in Myanmar.

As we made clear in our statement on 9 November, the UK is very concerned that the Rohingya and other minority ethnic groups, were excluded from these elections. Universal suffrage for all people in Myanmar, including the Rohingya, and the right to stand as a candidate, is a key part of achieving effective democracy. We are clear that the 1982 Citizenship Law is deeply flawed and enables the exclusion of Rohingya and other minorities on spurious grounds. The Rohingya, who have lived in Myanmar for generations, should be granted full citizenship and the associated rights. They should not be excluded from Myanmar elections. We have made this clear to the Myanmar government. The Foreign Secretary raised these issues with the Minister for International Cooperation in advance of the election and I [Minister Adams] raised my concerns when I spoke to the same Minister in June. We continue to call for elections to be credible and inclusive, allowing individuals of all communities to participate.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure that increased CDC investment in Myanmar does not benefit military companies.

Development Finance Institutions like CDC can bring investments in infrastructure, renewable energy and the financial sector to help support inclusive growth and tackle poverty. As part of the UK's enhanced private sector due diligence regime, the FCDO requires partners to review supply chains and remove military owned companies from their supply chains. This includes careful work to ensure CDC investment does not benefit the military. CDC's investments in Myanmar are subject to a rigorous assessment of business integrity risks; this assessment includes a review of a business's potential exposure to the military. CDC proactively manages this risk at three levels; through pre-investment due diligence, ongoing monitoring and engagement with investees, and requirements placed on investees. CDC continues to evolve its approach to learn lessons of how businesses can become exposed to the military and how to decrease and eliminate this exposure for its investees.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what plans he has to review the provision of support to the Union Election Commission in Myanmar in response to its decisions to prevent voting in parts of the country.

The UK provides technical assistance to the Union Election Commission through IFES and other partners. This is to help the UEC to implement reform to align with international and regional best practices, and to provide the training (e.g. on countering hate speech, women's political participation etc.) that will allow the UEC to work towards more fair, credible, open and inclusive elections.

We are not providing any direct financial support to the UEC. Support is aimed at building the principles of inclusion and impartiality. We will continue to watch and assess UEC conduct in relation to these values. Impartiality of the election commission is an essential part of a fair democratic process. Our Ambassador and Development Director regularly raise issues of concern with the UEC.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Oct 2020
What steps he is taking to ensure equitable access internationally to vaccines and medical equipment to tackle the covid-19 pandemic.

The Prime Minister recently announced up to £500 million to the COVAX Advanced Market Commitment to provide access to COVID-19 vaccines for 92 developing countries, contributing to the supply of one billion doses in 2021, and the vaccination of up to 500 million people. The FCDO is also using its international partnerships to support the delivery of the medical supplies and PPE.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Palestinian refugees are amongst the most vulnerable and marginalized communities in Lebanon. The deteriorating economic conditions have further increased the risk that limited job opportunities will push the most vulnerable, including women, girls and young people, into harmful survival strategies.

Managing the spread of coronavirus is a top priority, with currently over 230 recorded cases amongst Palestinian refugees and active transmission in the wider Lebanese population. UNRWA is working with partners to balance continuity of care with provision of support to education and primary health care facilities.

This financial year the UK has provided £34.5m to UNRWA in addition to the over £710 million of UK humanitarian, development and stability funding to Lebanon since 2011, including to Palestinian camps.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report to the UN Human Rights Council of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, dated 15 July 2020, what representations he has made to the Government of Israel on ending all measures amounting to collective punishment of Palestinians including the closure of Gaza.

We have serious concerns about the use of punitive acts against the families of Palestinians who have been accused of violent acts by Israel, including Israel's policy of demolitions to destroy the homes belonging to suspected Palestinian terrorists or their families. Such punishments, in all but the most exceptional of cases, are contrary to international humanitarian law. Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv have registered concerns about this policy with Israeli authorities. The UK also remains deeply concerned about the situation in Gaza. We continue to stress to the Israeli authorities the damage that their restrictions are doing to the economy and to the living standards of ordinary Palestinians in Gaza. There remains an urgent need for all parties to reach an agreement that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the rate of (a) demolitions and (b) confiscations of (i) Palestinian homes and (ii) other structures by Israel in 2020 compared to the last five years.

The UK is concerned by the demolition of Palestinian property by Israeli authorities. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. We also remain concerned about Israeli confiscations of Palestinian homes and structures. These practices are harmful to the peace process. We continue to urge the Government of Israel to develop improved mechanisms for zoning, planning and permitting in Area C for the benefit of the Palestinian population, including by facilitating local Palestinian participation in such processes.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department plans to provide to vulnerable Palestinians through the £2.7m UK aid package that he announced on 25 August 2020.

The Foreign Secretary recently announced a £2.7 million UK aid package to UN agencies to help provide food assistance, medical supplies and personal protection for the most vulnerable Palestinians. This includes food vouchers for over 120,000 people for one month to prevent malnutrition; cash assistance for 1,114 households for eight months and personal protection for frontline doctors and aid workers to stop the spread of the virus.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the humanitarian situation in Gaza in relation to recent locally-transmitted cases of covid-19.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned by the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), which has now reached over 30,000 (as of 6 September). The capacity of the Palestinian health system, especially in Gaza, to cope with the increase in COVID-19 cases has been severely impaired by longstanding Israeli movement and access restrictions and shortages in specialised staff, drugs and equipment.

The UK's recent £840,000 funding contribution has enabled the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity. The Foreign Secretary also recently announced a further £2.7 million funding to UN agencies to provide food assistance, medical supplies and personal protection for the most vulnerable Palestinians.

In addition to our commitment to funding, our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem frequently urge the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to take steps to improve conditions in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the capacity of the health system in Gaza to cope with the recent increase in locally-transmitted covid-19 cases.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned by the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), which has now reached over 30,000 (as of 6 September). The capacity of the Palestinian health system, especially in Gaza, to cope with the increase in COVID-19 cases has been severely impaired by longstanding Israeli movement and access restrictions and shortages in specialised staff, drugs and equipment.

The UK's recent £840,000 funding contribution has enabled the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity. The Foreign Secretary also recently announced a further £2.7 million funding to UN agencies to provide food assistance, medical supplies and personal protection for the most vulnerable Palestinians.

In addition to our commitment to funding, our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem frequently urge the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to take steps to improve conditions in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support the covid-19 response in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The UK Government remains deeply concerned by the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs), which has now reached over 30,000 (as of 6 September). The capacity of the Palestinian health system, especially in Gaza, to cope with the increase in COVID-19 cases has been severely impaired by longstanding Israeli movement and access restrictions and shortages in specialised staff, drugs and equipment.

The UK's recent £840,000 funding contribution has enabled the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF to purchase and co-ordinate the delivery of medical equipment, treat critical care patients, train frontline public health personnel and scale up laboratory testing capacity. The Foreign Secretary also recently announced a further £2.7 million funding to UN agencies to provide food assistance, medical supplies and personal protection for the most vulnerable Palestinians.

In addition to our commitment to funding, our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem frequently urge the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to take steps to improve conditions in Gaza.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues to ensure that no products made from human hair taken from the Uighur population in Xinjiang, China are (a) imported and (b) sold within the UK.

HMG advises in our Overseas Business Risk Guidance that all businesses involved in investing in Xinjiang or with parts of their supply chains, including businesses that import goods from Xinjiang, should consider conducting appropriate due diligence to satisfy themselves that their activities do not support, or risk being seen to be supporting, any human rights violations or abuses. We keep our advice to UK business under review, working closely with relevant departments across government.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the size of the Uighur population in Xinjiang region for each of the last five years.

Official figures from the Chinese Government state that, in 2018, the population of Xinjiang was approximately 24.9 million. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) does not produce its own population statistics for the region.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the number of detention camps in Xinjiang region, China where Uighurs and other minority communities are allegedly being held.

Open source reports indicate that there may be over 250 detention camps in Xinjiang. We judge that at least one million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been extra-judicially detained in these camps.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he has made recent representations to his Chinese counterpart on the detention and repression of the Uighur people in Xinjiang region.

We have serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang including the extra-judicial detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in "political re-education camps", systematic restrictions on Uyghur culture and the practice of Islam, and extensive and invasive surveillance targeting minorities.

On 28 July, the Foreign Secretary raised our serious concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi. On 30 June, the UK read out a formal statement on behalf of 28 countries at the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council highlighting arbitrary detention, widespread surveillance and restrictions, particularly those targeting Uyghurs and other minorities, and urging China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights meaningful access to Xinjiang. We will continue to raise our concerns with China bilaterally, and through the UN working with international partners.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what provisions he has made to freeze individual Chinese assets if they have played a role in the repression of the Uighur minority population; and if he will make a statement.

On 6 July, the UK Government established the Global Human Rights ('Magnitsky') sanctions regime by laying regulations in Parliament. This sanctions regime allows for asset freezes and travel bans on targeted individuals and organisations. It is not appropriate to speculate who may be designated under the sanctions regime in the future, as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations. We will keep all evidence and potential listings under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what diplomatic steps he plans to take to hold the Myanmar military to account for the killing and maiming of children and for sexual violence against them as identified in the UN Secretary-General's Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict.

The UK will continue to shine a spotlight on gross human rights violations committed by the Myanmar Military across the country. This includes grave violations against children. On 23 June, I [Minister Adams] spoke to the Myanmar Minister for International Cooperation. I encouraged Myanmar to continue to engage with the International Court of Justice process, and highlighted the need for dialogue to de - escalate the conflict in Rakhine which has seen a significant increase in crimes against children in the first half of this year. On 6 July, the UK's Global Human Rights sanction regime (GHR) listed the Myanmar military's Commander-in-Chief and Deputy Commander-in-Chief in the first tranche of listings, for overseeing the systematic and brutal violence against the Rohingya and other minorities, as set out in the Independent Fact Finding Mission Report. This is in addition to the sanctions which the UK secured through the EU, against 14 members of the Myanmar military responsible for serious human rights violations. The UK led the international effort to establish the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism on Myanmar (IIMM), which collects and preserves evidence for use in future domestic or international accountability processes.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made on the Rohingya refugees currently still stranded at sea in the Bay of Bengal.

We continue to monitor the extremely concerning reports of hundreds of Rohingya still at sea in the Bay of Bengal. We continue to engage with the Government of Bangladesh, other countries in the region, UN agencies and the international community to support the safety and well-being of all Rohingya refugees. The UK supports the UN's call for a regional effort to ensure the safety of these vulnerable refugees.

The Minister of State for South Asia, Lord Ahmad, has raised the issue of Rohingya refugees stranded at sea with the Bangladesh Foreign Minister and the Bangladesh High Commissioner in London, and the British High Commission in Dhaka have raised this matter with the Government of Bangladesh. Officials from the British Embassy in Bangkok have discussed with the Thai Government the importance of the provision of humanitarian assistance to Rohingyas aboard vessels that enter Thai waters. Our High Commission in Kuala Lumpur continues to raise our concerns about the situation of the Rohingya community with the Malaysian Government. We continue to urge the Governments of Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and other governments in the region to assist boats carrying Rohingya refugees to land. The UK is committed to protecting the Rohingya community, some of the world's most vulnerable people.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 5529, whether it remains the Government’s policy that Israeli annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank could not go unchallenged.

It is UK policy that unilateral moves towards annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel would be damaging to efforts to re-start peace negotiations and contrary to international law. Any changes to the status quo cannot be taken forward without an agreement negotiated by the parties themselves. We reiterated our deep concerns about annexation and restated our position on this issue at the UN Security Council remote meeting on the Middle East Peace Process on 23 April.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2021
What economic contingency planning his Department has undertaken in the event of a third wave of covid-19.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods while also supporting businesses and public services across the UK.

We have put in place an economic package of support totalling £352 billion through the furlough and self-employed income support schemes, support for businesses through grants and loans, business rates and VAT relief.

At the Budget, the Chancellor extended this package of economic support to accommodate even the most cautious view about the time it might take to exit restrictions and to provide certainty and continuity to business. The Government continues to keep all impacts and policies under review.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
20th Oct 2020
What steps the Government is taking to help prevent the fraudulent use of Government schemes to provide financial support for people and businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

HMRC, and the Government more generally, take the risk of fraud arising from the use of COVID-19 support schemes very seriously. Accordingly the Government has established a ministerial board, chaired jointly by ministers from the Cabinet Office and Home Office. This board has set direction on the fraud response, with work coordinated by the Government's Counter-Fraud Function. COVID-19 schemes have been assessed for fraud risk and appropriate controls have been designed and implemented. Departments are working together to share intelligence, and to identify and investigate cases of suspected fraud.

11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to extend the mortgage holiday period for people who have recently been made redundant or who are unemployed as a result of the covid-9 outbreak.

We are continuing to work closely with lenders and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that people are supported during these challenging times, especially if they are facing financial distress.

Lenders are continuing to show forbearance as required, working together with borrowers to establish how they can best affordably and gradually get back on track. Customers who are concerned about their current financial situation should get in touch with their lender at the earliest possible opportunity.?

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to enable fintech banks to provide loans to tech start-ups.

The UK is home to a world-leading fintech sector and an impressive amount of talent and expertise in this area. The government knows that fintech firms play an important role in the lending market, especially for smaller businesses.

The government is grateful for the way the sector has responded to the current crisis by identifying opportunities where technology may support our response. Already, a number of leading UK fintechs have been accredited by the British Business Bank (BBB) to help deliver the government’s business lending schemes. As of 17 May 464,393 facilities have been approved under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, totalling £14.18bn.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many workers in the tourism industry have been furloughed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20 April. By close of 11 May, HMRC had received 935,000 claims representing 7.5m furloughed employments and £10.1bn.

This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many self-employed workers have been successful with an application to the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme went live on 13 May 2020.

By midnight on 14 May, about 1.1 million claims representing £3.1 billion had been made.

6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if his Department will issue guidance to big businesses using the Job Retention Scheme to not issue large bonuses to their executives.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. All employers are eligible for the scheme and the Government recognises that different businesses will face different impacts from coronavirus.

To claim, employers must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020; enrolled for PAYE online; and have a UK bank account. No other eligibility conditions apply. Full guidance can be found at: www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme. Adding further restrictions would reduce the number of employees who would be eligible for this important financial support.

6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have been refused.

To be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme an employer must have furloughed employees for a minimum of 3 weeks, have a PAYE scheme registered on HMRC’s real time information system for PAYE on 19 March 2020, be enrolled for PAYE online and have a UK bank account. If an employer is eligible a claim will be accepted.

6th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many applications for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme have been refused.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) claims service opened on 13 May 2020, ahead of schedule. Eligibility for SEISS is based on average trading profits for sole traders and income from partnerships. More information on the eligibility criteria can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme

HMRC do not refuse applications for the scheme. People are either eligible to apply for SEISS and therefore given access to the service, or they are ineligible and not given access. Eligibility is based strictly on the criteria set by the Chancellor.

Figures relating to the number identified as potentially eligible, yet not claiming, are not available as this is not a HMRC decision. Once the scheme is closed, HMRC will be able to quantify how many of those identified as potentially eligible did not apply.

Those ineligible for SEISS may still benefit from other support. Individuals may have access to a range of grants and loans depending on their circumstances, and the SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/.

28th Sep 2020
If she will hold discussions with Cabinet colleagues on ensuring public understanding of covid-19 lockdown regulations and legislation.

Everyone is making huge sacrifices in the fight against coronavirus, but, the recent worrying rise in cases means we are not out of the woods yet. The work of the Home Office is critical in protecting and serving our citizens. Ensuring everyone follows the rules is vital to controlling the virus this winter.

Across Cabinet and Government we have been clear on regulations and have enshrined them in law. Engagement, explaining and enforcement of those laws will be provided by the police and local authorities.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many firefighters were available for duty in (a) Cumbria, (b) West Yorkshire, (c) Lancashire, (d) Greater Manchester and (e) London in 2015; and how many such firefighters are available in each of those areas in 2020.

The Home Office publishes annual workforce figures for fire and rescue services (FRSs) in England. Figures for 2020 will be published in Autumn 2020.

The full published data are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables#workforce-and-workforce-diversity

The Home Office does not hold data on how many of these firefighters are available for duty.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to Fire and Rescue Services in (a) West Yorkshire, (b) Cumbria, (c) Lancashire, (d) Greater Manchester and (e) London in each year since 2010.

Spending power for West Yorkshire and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Services can be found at the following link.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing#history

Fire and Rescue in Cumbria, Manchester and London are part of an overall parent authority which sets the budget for the fire and rescue services in their area from their overall un-ringfenced funding. The spending power for these parent authorities can also be found in the MHCLG tables published in the link above.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people who were stopped during the recent public automated facial recognition technology trials by the Metropolitan Police were wrongly identified.

The Metropolitan Police Service publish data about their use of live facial recognition on their website - https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/met/facial-recognition/latest-past-deployment-data.pdf.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what additional resources from the public purse have been allocated to Fire and Rescue Services to respond to the effects of recent storms and flooding in 2020.

Overall fire and rescue authorities will receive around £2.3 billion in 2019/20. Single purpose fire and rescue authorities will see an increase in core spending power of 2.3% in cash terms in 2019/20 and an overall increase of 0.3% from 2015/16 to 2019/20, in addition to Home Office funding for High-Volume Pumps and training for their use as part of the New Dimensions Grant to Fire and Rescue Authorities which, together with other National Resilience capabilities, totals approximately £18m.

Fire and Rescue Authorities are funded to respond to incidents, including flooding, demonstrated by the fantastic response of Fire and Rescue Services to the 2020 storms and a range of incidents in 2019 including the Wainfleet and Yorkshire floods and the Toddbrook Reservoir incident.

The Home Office provides a further £9m funding to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, the Lead Authority for National Resilience, in support of the maintenance and assurance of National Resilience Capabilities, including High Volume Pumps. Local Authorities responding to flooding in England also can make an application under the Bellwin Scheme for eligible additional costs.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the announcement by his Department on 4 March 2021 of funding for accessible toilets under the Changing Places scheme, when his Department plans to provide further information on the application process for that funding.

District and Unitary Authorities in England will receive full details of how they can access this funding soon. Local authorities will be invited to 'opt in' to receive a proportion of this £30 million funding to install facilities in their communities and boost the number of Changing Place toilets in existing buildings.

This programme will be delivered in partnership with the charity Muscular Dystrophy UK who will be supporting local authorities in their delivery and are undertaking the largest consultation to date with users of Changing Places toilets in England to help develop our understanding of user needs and priorities.

In the meantime, local authorities are encouraged to consider where Changing Places toilets are most needed in their communities and are encouraged to begin identifying and working in partnership with other organisations who may help to deliver these facilities.

26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to mandate developers to take full responsibility for covering the costs of unsafe cladding.

The Government has been clear that it is the building owner or responsible person that is responsible for removing unsafe cladding from their buildings and it is the building owner or responsible person that faces enforcement action if they do not do so.

Depending on the terms of individual leases, building owners may be entitled to pass on costs to leaseholders. However, the Government expects building owners to meet remediation 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 unsafe cladding, as is happening with more than half of the private sector buildings with unsafe ACM cladding.

Where this may not be possible the Government is providing over £5 billion of funding to protect leaseholders living in residential buildings over 18m with unsafe cladding from the costs of remediation.

However, it is fundamental that the industry that caused this legacy of unsafe buildings is made to contribute for compromising public safety. We will be setting out details of a forthcoming industry/developer levy.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that funding allocations for local authority children’s services account for (a) geographical differences in deprivation and (b) levels of need.

The 2021-22 Local Government Finance Settlement provided £1.7 billion in Social Care Grant, which will support local authorities to provide care to vulnerable children, children in care, looked after children, and children with disabilities. Councils are also free to use any un-ringfenced funding, including their annual core settlement allocation, to support local priorities, such as Children's Social Care


This Government is committed to putting funding where there is relative need. Both Social Care Grant and the core settlement are distributed through relative needs formulas, and these formulas take into account local levels of need and deprivation


We are also in the process of updating both the Adult and Children's needs formulas, and will work with councils on how best to use these new formulas in the future.

26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the report by children's charities, entitled Children and young people’s services: Funding and spending 2010-11 to 2018-19, published in May 2020, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the £2.2 billion reduction in funding available for local authority children’s services since 2010-11 identified in that report.

The last three local government finance settlement announcements have all included real terms increases to local authorities. For 2021-22, Government is making £2.3 billion extra available to local government in 2021-22. This means that next year, Core Spending Power in England will rise by up to 4.6% in cash terms.

Supporting councils to maintain critical mainstream services, such as Children’s Services continues to be our key priority. This year’s local government finance settlement rolled forward £1.4 billion of Social Care Grant funding from 2020-21, and added a further £300 million funding, taking the total Social Care Grant to £1.7 billion for 2021/22.

26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to ensure that people living in homes with unsafe cladding are not excluded from access to insurance cover.

The Department is aware that obtaining affordable building insurance for some multi storey, multi occupied buildings can be challenging. The Department is working with industry to understand this better and to scope out potential resolutions.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how his Department plans to ensure that the proposed new levy on developers raises at least as much value as is currently captured through the Community Infrastructure Levy and section 106 payments.

We intend to reform the current approach to developer contributions by creating a new, single system, the Infrastructure Levy. This new levy would be a flat rate, value based charge, set nationally, at either a single rate, or at area specific rates, and charged on the final value of a development.


We will aim for the new Levy to raise more revenue than under the current system of developer contributions. Our proposals are set out in our White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ which was published on 6 August and is out to consultation until 29 October. The consultation responses will support the assessment of the proposals, and detailed design.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether it is his policy that local authorities will be able to determine the new infrastructure levy on developers; and at what level he plans to set the value-based minimum threshold for that levy.

We intend to reform the current approach to developer contributions by creating a new, single system, the Infrastructure Levy. This new levy would be a flat rate, value based charge, set nationally, at either a single rate, or at area specific rates, and charged on the final value of a development.


We will aim for the new Levy to raise more revenue than under the current system of developer contributions. Our proposals are set out in our White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ which was published on 6 August and is out to consultation until 29 October. The consultation responses will support the assessment of the proposals, and detailed design.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of homes that could be repossessed due to the economic effects of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department does not forecast future repossession rates. Currently, both arrears and repossession rates are close to historically low levels.

The Government is determined that lenders should treat borrowers fairly. The independent Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is responsible for the regulations that are in place to protect customers in their dealings with financial services firms, and these include at their heart a requirement that firms must deal fairly with customers in payment difficulties. Their rules require lenders to consider a variety of options to help the borrower cope with these difficulties and any agreed solution should meet the needs of both borrower and lender.

The Government has been working to keep repossessions at a minimum at this time. The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including an initial £330 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15 per cent of UK GDP. This includes the extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which will help keep people in employment, protecting livelihoods and helping people to remain in their homes. On 17 March the Chancellor announced, on behalf of the sector, that banks and building societies will offer a ‘mortgage holiday’ for borrowers struggling financially as a result of COVID-19. This forbearance measure enables affected borrowers to defer their mortgage payments while they get back on their feet. Lenders have also agreed to a moratorium on residential and Buy-to-Let possession action to provide customers with reassurance that they will not have their homes repossessed at this difficult time. The Master of the Rolls, with the agreement of the Lord Chancellor, has also suspended?all ongoing and new housing possession cases for 90 days?from 27 March 2020. These measures have been strengthened by the Financial Conduct Authority’s new draft guidance for lenders which sets out the expectations for firms and the options available to their customers. This includes extending the application period for a mortgage holiday until 31 October so customers that have not yet had a payment holiday and are experiencing financial difficulty will be able to request one. In combination, these measures will serve to protect homeowners from repossession at this time.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of expanding the Building Safety Fund to include the removal of dangerous cladding from buildings below 18 metres in height.

The Government has made £1 billion available to fund the removal of unsafe non-Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding. This is in addition to the £600 million made available already to ensure the remediation of the highest risk ACM cladding. The 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. There are no plans to extend the Building Safety Fund below 18m. It remains building owners’ responsibility to address unsafe cladding on buildings of all heights. We have provided advice from the Expert Panel on the measures building owners should take to ensure their buildings are safe.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when his Department plans to publish data on the number of private blocks above 18 metres in height that have non-ACM cladding.

The Department has commenced a data collection exercise which will enable us to build a picture of external wall systems in use on high rise residential buildings. The exercise will collect data on residential buildings 18 metres and over covering private and social buildings, student accommodation and hotels in England. The data collection is not yet complete. We have asked local authorities and housing associations to provide final responses as soon as possible. We will publish appropriate summary information from the data collection in our monthly Building Safety Programme data release in due course once the data collection has been completed.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his department will publish data on the number of blocks between 11 metres and 18 metres in height that have (a) ACM cladding and (b) other kinds of potentially dangerous cladding.

Information on the external wall systems for residential buildings below 18 metres in height is not currently being collected by the Department while the data collection on external wall systems for residential buildings 18 metres or over in height is being undertaken. It is important to gain accurate information on these higher risk buildings first. We will consider further collections in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will issue updated guidance to landlords on rent liability for tenants as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has published relevant guidance for landlords and tenants which is available on the gov.uk website. This guidance makes clear that rent levels agreed in the tenancy agreement remain legally due and that tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity. It is important that landlords offer support and understanding to tenants who may start to see their income fluctuate during this period.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will issue updated guidance for tenants on how to manage rent arrears as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has published relevant guidance for landlords and tenants which is available on the gov.uk website. We have been clear in our guidance that tenants who are unable to pay their rent should contact their landlord to agree a sensible approach to manage the situation and agree a plan to deal with any rent arrears that may accrue. We are, of course, keeping guidance under review. There is also advice available for tenants dealing with rent arrears from specialist providers such as Citizens Advice and The Money Advice Service.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many complaints about poor services by Clarion Housing Group were received by the Housing Ombudsman Service in (a) 2018-19 and (b) the first three financial quarters of 2019-20; and how many of those complaints (i) have been determined, (ii) are under investigation and (iii) are awaiting allocation to an adjudicator for an investigation.

In relation to Clarion, the Housing Ombudsman Service received;
a) in 2018-19; 444 complaints
b) in the first three financial quarters of 2019-20; 347 complaints

Of these, 84 and 43 respectively entered their formal remit, 127 in total.

Of these formal complaints,

i) 95 have been determined,
ii) 6 are under investigation and
iii) 26 are awaiting allocation.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will ask the Regulator for Social Housing to explain why Clarion Housing Group’s failure to ensure that its contractor Ecolution responded within 24 hours as an urgent appointment to reports by tenants of a loss of heating and hot water in its all-electric blocks does not represent serious detriment to tenants amounting to a breach of the Home Standard.

While the framework within which the Regulator of Social Housing operates is set out in legislation, the regulator is operationally independent and it would not be appropriate for me to direct it as to how it carries out its functions.

It is important to note, however, that when considering whether consumer standards have been breached the regulator is looking to identify systemic failings in an organisation.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 9 May 2019 to Question 249190 on Clarion Housing Group and with reference to the oral contribution of the former Minister for Housing and Planning of 31 October 2016, Official Report, column 754, on Social Housing: Regulation, whether the Housing Ombudsman has referred any complaints about Clarion Housing Group to the Regulator of Social Housing as involving evidence of potentially systemic issues relating to any registered providers since the 31 October 2016.

The Housing Ombudsman has not referred Clarion Housing Group to the Regulator of Social Housing under this Scheme for potentially systemic issues or non-compliance with the Ombudsman’s orders since 31 October 2016.

The Regulator of Social Housing continues to monitor the level of complaints and referrals from individual Clarion tenants made to the Regulator and to take any follow up engagement as appropriate. The Regulator also liaises closely with the Housing Ombudsman.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will ask the Regulator for Social Housing to state (a) how many complaints it has received about services provided by Clarion Housing Group in each of the last four years and (b) what the outcome of each of those complaints was.

The Regulator of Social Housing received 36 referrals complaining about Clarion in 2017 and 21, 31 and 3 in 2018, 2019 and so far in 2020 respectively.

Once received the regulator carries out an initial review to assess whether it can, within its remit, consider these further. In 2017, six of the cases were investigated further and nine and eight cases in 2018 and 2019 respectively. None of the referrals were considered to have breached the regulator’s consumer standards.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will ask the Chief Executive of Clarion Housing Group to report how many tenants in all-electric blocks who suffered a loss of heating and/or hot water since the new contract for those utilities commenced with Ecolution Energy Services were given appointments for an electrician or engineer to attend those blocks within (a) 24 hours, (b) 72 hours and (c) 28 days.

As a private registered provider of social housing, Clarion is required to meet the Regulator of Social Housing’s standards. This includes a requirement that landlords provide a cost-effective repairs and maintenance service that responds to the needs of and offers choices to tenants. It also has the objective of getting repairs and improvements right the first time. However, it is up to housing associations to develop their own procedures for tenants to report repairs and complaints and their own service commitments to their tenants.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 8 October 2019 to Question 291215 on Housing Ombudsman Service: Complaints, what the average length of time taken was to determine complaints to the Housing Ombudsman Service for (a) July to September and (b) October to December 2019; and how many complaints were determined in each of those quarters.

The average time taken to determine complaints and the number of complaints determined by the Housing Ombudsman Service is set out below.

  1. July to September 2019: average time taken was 5.6 months and 576 determinations were issued.
  2. October to December 2019: average time taken was 5.4 months and 553 determinations were issued.
Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many people living in social housing have been denied the right to succeed a tenancy after the death of their parent(s) in (a) London and (b) Bethnal Green and Bow constituency in the 12 months.

The Department does not hold this information.

I am looking forward to meeting the Hon. Member in due course to discuss the issue of succession to social housing tenancies.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish the results of his Department's consultation entitled, Consultation on changes to the intervention, enforcement and use of powers guidance, published in June 2019.

This consultation was carried out by the Regulator of Social Housing. The consultation closed on 16 August 2019 and the regulator published its response on 16 December 2019



6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much funding the Department for Work and Pensions allocated to Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service in (a) 2018-19 and (b) 2019-20; and what proportion of the cost of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) that funding represented in each of those years.

Responsibility for the funding of the operation of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) transferred, with funding from the Department for Work and Pensions to the Ministry of Justice on the creation of the Tribunals Service on 1 April 2006.

The contribution that the Department for Work and Pensions currently makes towards the costs of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support), covers the additional costs of that tribunal because of the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment benefit. This has led to an increase both in the number of appeals to the tribunal and, due to the increased complexity of the tests involved, their length and cost.

£000s

2018-19

2019-20

a

Contribution from DWP

35,341

39,998

b

Total Costs1

117,804

n/a

c

Proportion

30%

n/a

1 Total cost of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) includes both direct and indirect costs. Total cost information by jurisdiction for 2019-20 will not be available until the financial accounts have been audited.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the formula is for calculating the Department for Work and Pensions’ contribution to the cost of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support).

Prime responsibility for the funding of the operation of what is now the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) transferred, along with funding from what is now the Department for Work and Pensions to what is now the Ministry of Justice on the creation of the Tribunals Service on 1 April 2006.

The contribution that the Department for Work and Pensions currently makes towards the costs of the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) covers the additional costs of that tribunal as a consequence of the introduction of the Personal Independence Payment benefit, which has led to an increase both in the number of appeals to the tribunal and, due to the increased complexity of the tests involved, their length and cost.

The formula is based upon incremental costs for the increase in complexity and increase in volumes of cases coming through the system. The incremental costs are primarily judicial and staff costs to process and hear the cases. A fixed charge reflexing the increased complexity is levied for the baseline number of cases (70,687). All receipts and disposals above the baseline are charged based on the full incremental cost incurred.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Answer of 3 July 2019 to Question 270759, what recent estimate he has made of the cost to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service of administering appeals against the Department for Work and Pensions’ disallowance of employment and support allowance.

The information requested is not held centrally. The cost of hearings for employment support allowance and personal independence payment are included in the overall cost of the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support Appeal).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of universal credit data collected by the First Tier Tribunal (Social Security & Child Support) which relates to (a) limited capability for work, (b) right to reside and (c) other issues.

Universal Credit (UC) is a benefit made up of component parts, known as ‘Elements’. An award of UC may comprise one or more Elements, depending on the circumstances of the claimant.

The Elements are:

- Standard allowance

- Child element

- Childcare costs

- Limited cap ability for work-related activity element (LCWRA)

- Carer element

- Housing costs element

For the period October to December 2019, the latest period for which data are available, LCWRA represented 66% of the Elements recorded against UC appeals.

Under each Element is a wide range of disputable issue types. The type of issue most closely corresponding to the category ‘right to reside’ is ‘habitual residence test’ (HRT).

As a proportion of the issues recorded under all Elements of all UC appeals, between October and December 2019, HRT was 7%, with issues other than HRT being 93%.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many appeals against the disallowance of (a) employment and support allowance, (b) personal independence payment and (c) disability living allowance lapsed prior to the date of their hearing at the First Tier Tribunal in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019.

This information is not held centrally.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service keeps a statistical record of appeals according to the benefit, and underlying issue, in dispute. However, no issue type corresponds to ‘disallowance’.

General information about appeals to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) (SSCS) is published at: www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)