Sam Tarry Portrait

Sam Tarry

Labour - Ilford South

Shadow Minister (Transport)

(since January 2021)
5 APPG memberships (as of 17 Nov 2021)
Britain-Pakistan Trade and Tourism, Crossrail, India, Rohingya, Rugby Union Football Club
3 Former APPG memberships
Burma, Nepal, Tamils
Transport Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 22nd Feb 2021


Department Event
Monday 29th November 2021
18:00
Department for Transport
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
29 Nov 2021, 6 p.m.
The draft Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations (Amendment) Order 2021
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Department Event
Thursday 16th December 2021
09:30
Department for Transport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
16 Dec 2021, 9:30 a.m.
Transport (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Health and Care Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 172 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
Speeches
Wednesday 17th November 2021
Randox Covid Contracts

The problem is that the Government are rotting from the head down. The Prime Minister has to get a grip …

Written Answers
Thursday 25th November 2021
Housing: Ilford South
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 25th February 2020
Harassment of trade unionists at London City Airport
That this House reaffirms the right of workers to organise collectively into trade unions; stipulates that this right includes workers …
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 28th June 2021
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: Wrightbus International Ltd
Address of donor: Galgorm Industrial Estate, Fenaghy Rd, Galgorm Parks, Ballymena BT42 1PY
Amount …
EDM signed
Monday 25th 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, Sam Tarry has voted in 313 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Sam Tarry 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
Nadhim Zahawi (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Education
(11 debate interactions)
Chi Onwurah (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
(10 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(9 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Department for Transport
(25 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(11 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Sam Tarry's debates

Ilford South 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 Ilford South signature proportion
Petitions with most Ilford South signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

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.

The Government should allow golf courses to remain open during the second lockdown, and any future restrictions. Shops and clubhouses can close, but courses should be allowed to remain open, with social distancing in place.

Urgent call for the government to close all nurseries and early years settings in light of the new lockdown to protect early years staff.

Consider keeping gyms open during lockdown because so many people have mental health and stress and they need something to do to take their mind off it closing all fitness facilities can affect us pretty badly.

We want the government to recognise the importance of gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and swimming pools in empowering people to look after their health and stay fit and for them to open first as we come out of lockdown.

We're also calling for government to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme.

The Coronavirus Act grants potentially dangerous powers including to detain some persons indefinitely, to take biological samples, and to give directions about dead bodies. Powers last up to 2 years with 6 monthly reviews, and lockdown powers could prevent protests against measures.

The Government must make a public statement on the #kissanprotests & press freedoms.

India is the worlds largest democracy & democratic engagement and freedom of the press are fundamental rights and a positive step towards creating a India that works for all.

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

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

To not decide to scrap free travel for those who are under 18. As a teenager who has relied so much on free travel, it has allowed for me to go to school without the worry of an extra expense and explore around the beautiful city of London also. Destroying free travel would hurt so many of us.


Latest EDMs signed by Sam Tarry

23rd September 2021
Sam Tarry signed this EDM on Monday 25th 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 …
132 signatures
(Most recent: 16 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 95
Scottish National Party: 13
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Conservative: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
22nd June 2021
Sam Tarry signed this EDM on Tuesday 22nd June 2021

GKN Automotive alternative plan

Tabled by: Jack Dromey (Labour - Birmingham, Erdington)
That this House is alarmed by GKN Automotive’s decision to close its Birmingham factory next year, with the loss of over 500 highly skilled jobs and work transferred to continental Europe; notes that GKN’s origins trace back to the industrial revolution, with over 260 years of history that include making …
67 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 63
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Sam Tarry's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Sam Tarry, 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.


Sam Tarry has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Sam Tarry has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Sam Tarry has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Sam Tarry has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


208 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
3 Other Department Questions
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what plans he has to work with local authorities to increase the rate of building affordable social homes.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing, and has taken a number of steps to support councils to deliver new homes. In March 2021 we announced a package of reforms to give councils more freedom in how they can spend the money they receive from Right to Buy sales on replacement homes, including homes for social rent. In May 2021, Homes England launched its Local Government Capacity Centre to provide councils with practical support to build their development skills and capacity.

This is on top of the removal of Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap in 2018, enabling local authorities greater flexibility to borrow for building. To further support the delivery of new homes we are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme. Councils are eligible for funding through the Affordable Home Programme and we want to see local authorities playing a key role in the delivery of this Programme, using it and the range of tools available to deliver a new generation of council housing.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what support the Government is giving to local authorities to urgently house the most vulnerable, in the context of the average waiting time for homeless applicants in Ilford wanting a two-bedroom house being eight years and eight months.

Between 2010 and 2020 the social housing waiting list fell from 1.74 million households to 1.15 million households. The waiting lists are falling because the Government has given councils the flexibility to manage them, and we have taken action to build more homes.

Temporary accommodation is an important way of ensuring no family is without a roof over their head. The Homelessness Reduction Act is also helping more people get help earlier, particularly single households who often would not have received help in the past and would have been at risk of sleeping on our streets. This year the Government is spending over £750 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, which will provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what progress the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities has made, including on their call for evidence on ethnic disparities and inequality in October 2020.

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities’ call for evidence closed on 30 November 2020 and the Commission aims to provide its full report to the Prime Minister shortly. The Commission also intends to publish the results of that call for evidence on gov.uk, following submission of its report.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing additional funding to retrofit homes in Ilford South constituency to help improve energy efficiency.

The Government sees improving the energy efficiency of homes as the best long-term solution to Improving energy efficiency. The UK has various schemes available including the Sustainable Warmth project, which comprises a third phase of the Local Authority Delivery scheme, as well as the first phase of the Home Upgrade Grant, which can be used for low-income households both on and off the gas grid respectively. These schemes form part of a wider package in which the Government is committing a further £3.9 bn over the next three years, taking total investment to over £6.6bn.

Through the recent Sustainable Warmth competition, grant funding has been offered to Local Authorities in every region across England to upgrade low-income households. The Greater London Authority was successful in their consortium bid and will receive funding to support households living in London Local Authorities, including Redbridge.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure that the UK meets its carbon reduction targets in conjunction with supporting developing countries reduce overall carbon emissions.

The UK is taking ambitious action through the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and landmark Net Zero Strategy to reach net zero, while creating jobs and reinvigorating new industries.

At the same time, the Government will support developing countries to decarbonise. Those efforts are at the heart of the UK’s COP Presidency and COP26, that took place in November 2021.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) short- and (b) long-term jobs that would be created by the Cambo oil field development.

The Government does not forecast estimates of the numbers of jobs associated with particular oil field developments as a matter of course, and this does not form part of the regulator’s decision-making processes.

The upstream oil and gas sector supports approximately 147,000 jobs both directly and in the supply chain. Many of these roles are highly skilled, providing quality employment for workers in locations right across the country and supporting many more local jobs.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government plans to take in response to the conclusion of the International Energy Agency that there can be no new oil, gas or coal development if the world is to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Since 31 March 2021, the UK Government no longer provides any new direct financial or promotional support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas, other than in limited circumstances, and is aligning its support to enable clean energy exports.

While the Government is working to drive down dependency for oil and gas, there will continue to be ongoing demand over the coming years, as recognised by the independent Climate Change Committee. Given the maturity of the UK Continental Shelf, even with continued development, the UK is projected to remain a net importer out to 2050. The North Sea Transition Deal sets out a path for the UK to manage the transition away from fossil fuels, with a goal of achieving a net zero basin by this timeframe. Further, as announced earlier this year, the Government will introduce a climate compatibility checkpoint for any new licences which will be used to assess whether any future licensing rounds remain in keeping with its climate goals, including net zero.

The Government has committed to phasing out unabated coal generation in Great Britain by October 2024. Coal’s share of our electricity supply has already declined significantly in recent years – from almost 40% in 2012 to less than 2% in 2020.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will prioritise funding to improve energy efficiency to create jobs and reduce energy demand over investment in new oil and gas projects.

The Government is committed to improving energy efficiency. We have recently committed £3.9 billion to decarbonising buildings over the next 3 years, taking our total investment to date during this parliament to almost £6.6bn

This will fund the next 3 years of investment through the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, the Home Upgrade Grant scheme, the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, the Heat Networks Transformation Programme and the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

Alongside these schemes, the Government is already providing energy-efficiency upgrades such as insulation and low-carbon heating to around 50,000 homes through the Local Authority Delivery Scheme. Furthermore, the Energy Company Obligation scheme has installed 3.3 million measures in 2.3 million homes since 2013.

Through our first Net Zero Strategy, published 19 October 2021, we committed to grow green industries and supply chains in the UK, which will support up to 240,000 jobs by 2035, resulting in £10 billion additional GVA in the same timeframe.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to set legally binding targets to 2030 to align with the timeframe for the UK’s nationally determined contribution targets and (b) set interim targets for 2025.

The UK Government has legislative targets already in place covering the period 2023-2027 (carbon budget 4) and 2028-32 (carbon budget 5). In April, the Government laid legislation for the UK’s sixth carbon budget, proposing a world-leading target which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. This builds on the momentum of our Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris Agreement, to reduce emissions in 2030 by at least 68% compared to 1990 levels.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how the funding that replaces the Green Homes Grant allocation for local authorities will tackle fuel poverty in Ilford South constituency; and what assessment he has made of the sufficiency of resources available to make the Ilford South housing stock energy-efficient in the next ten years.

The Government is funding a number of schemes as part of its commitment to retrofit homes to cut energy bills for households and to make them greener on the path to Net Zero.

The Local Authority Delivery Scheme (LAD), which supports projects to install energy efficiency measures such as various types of insulation, and low-carbon heating systems for low-income households, has already provided £500million to Local Authorities for upgrades to low-income households across England, and is being delivered up to December 2021. The London Borough of Redbridge has already been allocated £2.2 million of funding through the first phase of LAD, as well part of the £6.8 million of the Greater London Authority’s successful consortium-led bid in that phase.

On 16th June 2021, the Government launched the Sustainable Warmth Competition enabling Local Authorities to apply for further funding under the £200million Local Authority Delivery Phase 3 scheme and from an initial allocation of £150million for the Home Upgrade Grant Phase 1 scheme, for delivery up to March 2023.

In addition, the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Demonstrator has awarded £62million of funding to social landlords across England and Scotland to test innovative approaches to retrofitting at scale, seeing over 2300 social homes improved to at least EPC band C. The Government has announced around a further £160million for the first wave of the £3.8bn manifesto commitment in financial year 21/22, delivering up to March 2023.

The Government announced in the Sustainable Warmth Strategy a four-year, £4 billion successor scheme to ECO, to accelerate our efforts to improve homes to meet fuel poverty targets. ECO will continue to be an obligation on suppliers.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Heat and Building Strategy will include a carbon saving of at least 71 million tonnes of CO2 between 2023 and 2032 as a minimum target in order to align with the UK’s nationally determined contribution for COP26.

In order to meet our Net Zero by 2050 target, we must act now to tackle the emissions produced by heating. in order to ensure continued progress, we have set a series of legally binding “carbon budgets”, which are amongst the most stringent climate targets in the world.

The Government is planning to publish a Heat and Buildings Strategy in due course, which will set out the immediate actions we will take for reducing emissions from buildings, setting out the interventions required to meet our ambitious carbon budget targets, with a particular focus on carbon budgets 4 and 5. These actions include the deployment of energy efficiency measures and low carbon heating as part of an ambitious programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions on how we achieve the mass transition to low-carbon heat and set us on a path to decarbonising all homes and buildings.

We will also publish a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy ahead of COP26, setting out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy. This will raise ambition as we outline our path to meet net zero by 2050, our Carbon Budgets and Nationally Determined Contribution.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when shisha businesses will be allowed to open under the roadmap for easing covid-19 restrictions.

From Step 3 which took place on 17 May, indoor areas of hospitality venues reopened. Venues are prohibited from providing smoking equipment such as shisha pipes, for use on the premises.

The Government’s COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021 set out that the Government aims to reopen the remaining closed settings by Step 4. We have always said that we would be led by data, not dates. We have looked at the data very closely and assessed it against the four tests. It is on the basis of worsening data that we have taken the difficult call not to proceed with Step 4 reopening at this point, but to pause for four weeks until 19 July.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what software is approved for the 50 per cent discount voucher for companies using the Help to Grow Scheme; and what routes are open for a software company to apply for approval to be a supplier for that scheme.

Help to Grow: Digital is seeking to encourage small businesses to adopt software which will help them save time, money and grow.

Further detail covering the software the voucher can be used on and how vendors eligible for the scheme can apply will be published prior to the Autumn launch date.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what software is approved for the 50 per cent discount voucher for companies using the Help to Grow Scheme; and what routes are open for a software company to apply for approval to be a supplier for that scheme.

It has not proved possible to respond to the Hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance the Government has published for construction sites to ensure that companies are adhering to covid-19 workplace rules.

Construction workers play a crucial role in supporting our public services, maintaining vital infrastructure, and providing and maintaining safe, decent homes for people to live in. Throughout the pandemic, the Government has been clear that construction activity should continue, where it can take place safely.

The Government has worked with the Construction Leadership Council’s Coronavirus Task Force, construction firms, and other stakeholders to develop guidance on safer working on construction sites. This is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/construction-and-other-outdoor-work.

The construction industry has also developed Site and Branch Operating Procedures for firms and merchants, as well as guidance for small firms and mineral products suppliers. These provide advice as to how construction firms can apply the Government guidance on safer working.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the deadline for the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme on the development of sustainable jobs and skills.

The Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme which supports energy efficiency and low carbon heat projects for low-income households is being delivered in three phases:

- Phase 1A; over £74million was allocated to 55 Local Authorities in October 2020 to be delivered by June 2021.

- Phase 1B:  around £126million has been allocated to 81 Local Authorities for delivery by September 2021.

- Phase 2: funding of £300m has been allocated to the five Local Energy Hubs, who will work with Local Authorities in their region to deliver projects by December 2021.

BEIS estimates the LAD Scheme will support on average 8,000 jobs per annum over the years 2020/21 and 2021/22.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to support medical research charities through a life sciences-charity partnership fund.

The Government is aware of the challenges, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, that medical research charities are currently facing. We appreciate the globally recognised expertise of these charities, and the substantial contributions they make to our world-leading life sciences sector.

BEIS and DHSC regularly discuss the impacts of Covid-19 on charity-funded research with the Association of Medical Research Charities. We are continuing to engage with them and receive intelligence on the impacts facing the sector, such as the challenges facing fundraising activities.

The Government already provides significant funding to charities’ research, for example through Research England’s Quality Related (QR) charity support funding. This year charity QR will amount to £204m, to support charity funded research in universities in England and equivalent support is provided in Scotland through devolved funding arrangements.

The Government has demonstrated its ambitions for research by committing £14.6bn to R&D in 2021/22. This funding will support the life sciences sector within which Medical Research Charities operate alongside other research areas.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what consultation documents his Department has issued in the last five years for which a response by his Department is outstanding .
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will publish the findings of the 2016 security review into overseas nuclear investment.

The Government conducted a comprehensive review of the Hinkley Point C project in 2016. The conclusions of the review were set out in a statement made by the then Secretary of State on 15th September 2016, Official Report, Column 1066.

For reasons of national security, I am unable to publish the security assessments produced to support the 2016 review. However, all investment involving critical infrastructure is subject to thorough scrutiny and needs to satisfy our robust legal, regulatory, and national security requirements.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what types of company he plans on including within the scope of the proposed national security and investment Bill.

The 2018 National Security and Investment White Paper consultation indicated that the proposed legislative reforms would extend to the wider economy and not be limited to specific types of company.

The National Security and Investment Bill will be brought forward in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of WHSmith stores with in-store post offices; and what assessment he has made of the potential implications for the long-term resilience of the postal service of forthcoming restructuring and job losses at WHSmith.

WHSmith’s restructuring programme is not expected to impact Post Office services provided in the 206 Post Offices operated within WHSmith stores.

The restructuring programme review of WHSmith’s operations is to ensure the company is able to navigate the current uncertain economic times, particularly as a result of the decline in travel during Covid-19. However, the Department has an open dialogue with both Post Office Limited and WHSmith and will keep monitoring the situation closely.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) number of companies in receipt of a coronavirus large business interruption loan that paid out dividends to shareholders before restrictions were put in place and (b) average amount that was paid out in dividends to shareholders.

As of 16 August, 60,409 facilities have been offered through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS), worth a total of £13.68bn.

Restrictions on dividend payments have been in place since the introduction of the scheme on 20 April. Businesses taking out a loan through the scheme could continue making dividend payments, but could not increase the size of those payments for as long as any facility under CLBILS remained outstanding.

When the scheme was amended on 26 May to increase the maximum loan size to £200m, further restrictions on dividend payments were introduced for companies borrowing more than £50m. The new restrictions meant that borrowers seeking loans of over £50m could not make any dividend payments (other than those that have already been declared) until the facility had been repaid in full.

Shareholder dividends are listed in companies’ annual reports and are available through Companies House records.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing support to businesses that have received state aid during the covid-19 outbreak to help them address (a) long-term debt and (b) the risk of insolvency.

The Government has supported millions of firms over the course of the crisis to date, helping them protect jobs and stay in operation, ready to form part of the recovery.

We are aware that many companies have taken on substantial amounts of debt during the pandemic. Some of these companies have never taken on debt before and will need support to manage their debts and repayments. We are aware of external proposals by think tanks and other bodies to support companies to recapitalise and we regularly consider a variety of policy ideas to identify the best way to support businesses through and beyond the pandemic.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the coach industry was ineligible for support from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund; and what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on the coach industry.

Eligibility for the RHLGF was based on businesses being in scope of the Expanded Retail Discount Scheme for Business Rates, as set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-rates-retail-discount-guidance.

This eligibility definition was agreed as a way of ensuring that Local Authorities could target businesses at pace and ensure that the process of disbursing funding could proceed quickly.

The Department for Transport is monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the coach industry. Ministers and officials have met with the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) and considered an assessment provided by the CPT on the impact of COVID-19 on the coach industry.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, hosted a roundtable with the CPT and coach operators on the 15 July, and on 13 August spoke with the CPT’s CEO to discuss wider issues facing the coach sector. Department for Transport officials continue to meet with the CPT regularly to discuss a range of issues including the challenges facing the coach industry.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the devolved administrations on the Internal Market White Paper since its publication.

UK Government Ministers and officials have been open to engaging with all devolved administrations following the UK Internal White Paper publication on 16 July, with discussions held before and after receipt of the devolved administration’s consultation responses. Further discussions are planned at Ministerial and official-level with all three devolved administrations as the legislative Consent Motion process is engaged following the Bill's introduction.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of people who are directors of limited companies in the UK.

The last published Companies House statistics show that were a total of 6,902,173 directorships as of March 2019. Directorships are not the number of unique directors on the register, but the number of directorships appointed. Some individuals will have more than one appointment so the actual number of people who are directors will be lower than this figure.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information his Department holds on Post Office Limited's criteria for awarding new franchises.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. The criteria for awarding new franchises?is an operational matter for Post Office Limited.? I have therefore asked?Nick Read,?the Group Chief Executive of Post Office Limited, to write to the hon. Member on this matter. A copy of?his?reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information his Department holds on the number and location of Post Office franchises awarded to ZCO Ltd in the latest period for which information is available.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. The number and location of Post Office franchises awarded to ZCO Ltd ?is an operational matter for Post Office Limited.? I have therefore asked?Nick Read,?the Group Chief Executive of Post Office Limited, to write to the hon. Member on this matter. A copy of?his?reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the impact of online tracking and data harvesting activities by advertising and marketing companies on people's privacy.

The use of online tracking technology is regulated by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR). This legislation sets rules in relation to organisations’ use of cookies, tracking pixels and similar technologies that track information about people accessing a website or other electronic services. It also requires organisations to give people clear and comprehensive information about the use of tracking technologies, and a choice about whether or not they are applied on devices.

The ICO is the independent regulator for PECR and the UK GDPR and has produced guidance for organisations on the use of tracking technologies. It is currently conducting an investigation into use of personal data by the ad-tech industry and will publish its final findings, once the investigation is concluded. Further information can be found on the ICO’s website.

People who have privacy concerns in respect of the use of their personal data by any organisation can contact the ICO for further advice or to make a complaint. The ICO can be contacted by telephone on 0303 123 1113 and through their live chat facility. Further contact details are on the ICO’s website. The ICO has a number of tools to take action against those who breach the legislation. For example, it can require organisations to address unlawful practices and impose civil monetary penalties.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans her Department has to increase awareness of sudden cardiac arrest training offered by the FA and other organisations which teach people how to recognise a sudden cardiac arrest and respond accordingly.

The welfare and safety of everybody taking part in sport is of paramount importance. I welcome the work of The FA and other sports organisations in increasing access to first aid equipment and education.

Sport England, our arm’s length body for community sport, has funded UK Coaching’s free course for first responders to help them understand how to respond and act quickly to a sudden cardiac arrest:

https://www.ukcoaching.org/resources/topics/tips/sudden-cardiac-arrest-tips-to-help-you-be-prepared

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the provision of defibrillators at grassroots football clubs.

Events at both UEFA EURO 2020 earlier this year and more recently at Newcastle United have demonstrated the immense value of access to Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and first aid training for anyone involved in sport. Sports have a responsibility to make the safety and welfare of players their top priority, including through access to life-saving first aid equipment and relevant training and education.

At the grassroots level, all capital funding awards for sports venues made by Sport England, the Government’s arm’s length body for community sport, must include AED provision if it is not already available.

For football facilities, support over recent years has been provided by The Football Association (The FA) and the British Heart Foundation to help ensure AEDs are available. In June 2021 I welcomed the Premier League’s announcement of their new Defibrillator Fund, which will fund AEDs at thousands of football clubs and facilities across the country. Each grant recipient will be required to have at least one person successfully complete The FA Education Sudden Cardiac Arrest free online course. Sport England is working with the Football Foundation in support of the Premier League initiative to put £3 million into providing AED equipment for grassroots football clubs.

The Defibrillator Fund will see AEDs provided to Football Foundation funded facilities which currently are without a device onsite. A second phase of the project will allow grassroots clubs that own their facilities to apply for funding for a defibrillator.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to hold (a) Instagram and (b) other social media platforms to account for (a) racist and (b) other hateful content.

Online abuse of any kind is unacceptable. Racist abuse and other hateful content has no place in an open and tolerant society.

We are taking groundbreaking steps to hold companies accountable. Under new online safety laws, all companies in scope of the framework will need to take swift and effective action against criminal online abuse - including abuse which takes place anonymously. Major platforms will also need to address legal but harmful content for adults. Priority categories of legal but harmful content for adults will be set out in secondary legislation and these are likely to include some forms of online abuse.

Users will also be better able to report abuse, and should expect to receive an appropriate response from the platform. This might include the removal of harmful content, sanctions against offending users, or changing processes and policies to better protect users. If a company fails in these duties, it could face an investigation and enforcement action from the regulator, Ofcom, including large fines.

The draft Online Safety Bill, which will give effect to the regulatory framework, has now been published for pre-legislative scrutiny. It is for Parliament to determine how and when the Bill will be scrutinised, which the government hopes will be soon.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to support small cricket clubs that are experiencing financial difficulties due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. The £300m Sports Survival Package also aims to protect the immediate futures of major spectator sports in England.

Sport England has also provided £220million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic, via a range of funds including their £35million Community Emergency Fund. This includes £6,599,437 investment in cricket to 1,362 projects.

On 26 January Sport England also published their strategy ‘Uniting the Movement’ and as part of this have committed an extra £50million to help grassroots sports clubs and organisations affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his predecessor had in 2016 with the National Archives on the document entitled, FCO 37/3978 Involvement of UK companies training Sri Lankan security forces, 1985.

I am not aware of discussions between my predecessor and the National Archives specifically relating to the document entitled, FCO 37/3978 Involvement of UK companies training Sri Lankan security forces, 1985 during 2016.

4th Sep 2020
ARM
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions his Department has had with (a) ARM Holdings Ltd and (b) Nvidia on the proposed purchase of ARM Holdings Ltd; and if he will publish details of those discussions.

Ministers and officials have regular meetings and discussions with a wide range of stakeholders on a variety of issues. Details of Ministerial meetings are published quarterly on the Gov.uk website. It would be inappropriate to comment further on an ongoing commercial matter.



4th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what communications his Department has had with BT on potential takeover bids; and what assessment has been made of the potential effect of such a takeover on the UK's high-fibre broadband infrastructure and 5G network.

The department regularly engages with BT and others across the telecoms industry on a variety of issues, including the government’s ambitions for nationwide gigabit capable broadband and 5G mobile coverage. Despite recent speculation in the media, BT is not subject to a takeover bid at the current time.

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made contingency plans to support students in secondary education who were affected by exam cancellations in the last year.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the department has acted swiftly to help minimise the impact on pupils’ education and provided extensive support for schools.

Whilst we believe that exams are the fairest way of judging students’ performance, the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak meant we could not guarantee all students would be in a position to fairly sit their exams either in 2020 or 2021. Teachers were best placed to determine grades for GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in the absence of exams, as they have a good understanding of their students’ performance.

Given that some students have suffered more disruption than others, students were only assessed on the content they had been taught. Teachers were able to use evidence from across the duration of a student’s course to determine their grade.

Parents and pupils can have confidence in the grades awarded this summer. Supported by thorough guidance and a robust quality assurance process, the department trusted teachers’ judgements as they were best placed to understand the content students have covered and their students’ performance. Further to this, an appeals system was also in place as a safety net to fix any genuine errors that were not identified earlier on, and the Joint Council for Qualifications published detailed guidance to centres setting out the process for appealing results.

The department also encouraged schools and colleges to support students to take autumn exams if they have the capacity. In addition, we helped schools and colleges to offer autumn exams to students by assisting with additional space and invigilators where required, as well as covering fee deficits to ensure that exam fees are not passed on.

For those students who need support in catching up on lost education, we have announced education recovery funding of nearly £5 billion. Our latest investment of £1.8 billion is targeted at those we know will need it most, delivering a universal uplift of hours for those with the least time left in education, in 16-19 colleges and an additional £1 billion to extend the recovery premium for disadvantaged pupils for the next two academic years.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect that the reduction to the Strategic Priorities Grant allocated to universities and higher education colleges for the 2021-22 financial year will have on students in London.

In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, asked the Office for Students (OfS) to reform the Strategic Priorities Grant for the academic year 2021/22. The Strategic Priorities Grant is a limited funding pot provided by government to support the provision of higher education. Reprioritisation of this funding is needed to ensure value for money, and support strategic priorities across the sector, including provision of courses vital for the economy and labour markets, and continued support for disadvantaged students and underrepresented groups. The reforms for 2021/22 included the removal of the London Weighting element of the grant.

The OfS consulted on the Secretary of State for Education’s proposals and has recently published its conclusions[1]. The consultation responses were carefully analysed, and the issues raised were considered by both the OfS and the Secretary of State for Education in reaching their respective decisions about the allocation of the Strategic Priorities Grant for the 2021/22 academic year.

The London Weighting (additional grant money given to London-based providers to cover the higher costs of delivery in London) accounts for a small proportion of London-based providers’ income. Providers in London received around £64 million London Weighting in the 2020/21 academic year, which is less than 1% of their estimated total income.

The removal of London Weighting is required to enable the reprioritisation of the Strategic Priorities Grant towards the provision of high-cost subjects that support the NHS and wider healthcare policy, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and specific labour market needs. As a result of these reforms, including the removal of London Weighting, total funding for high-cost subjects for the 2021/22 academic year, such as medicine and engineering, is 12% higher than last year, an increase of £81 million. This additional high-cost subject funding will be available to providers in London, supporting provision for London-based students.

[1] https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/consultation-on-recurrent-funding-for-2021-22/

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department has made available to parents of children with special needs who are having to homeschool without any respite during the covid-19 outbreak.

During periods of national lockdown, settings remained open to vulnerable children and young people, including those with education, health and care plans. From 8 March 2021, pupils in all year groups have been expected to attend their education setting in line with the wider return to face-to-face teaching. Where it is not possible for a child or young person with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to attend their education setting, there is a legal duty on schools and colleges to use their best endeavours to meet the special educational needs of their pupils or students.

To support remote learning, the department has made £4.84 million available for Oak National Academy, both for the summer term of the 2019-20 academic year and the 2020-21 academic year, to provide video lessons in a broad range of subjects for Reception to Year 11. This includes specialist content for pupils with SEND, along with therapy-based lessons and resources.

We have recognised that some pupils and students with SEND may not have been able to access remote education without adult support and so have expected settings to work with families to deliver an ambitious curriculum appropriate for their level of need. Further details on delivering remote education for children and young people with SEND are set out here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/remote-education-good-practice/remote-education-good-practice. These decisions should be considered on a case-by-case basis which takes account of the needs of, and circumstances specific to, the child or young person, avoiding a ‘one size fits all’ approach. All settings should have systems for checking, daily, whether pupils and students are engaging with their work, and work with families to rapidly identify effective solutions where engagement is a concern.

We are also providing £40.8 million for the Family Fund in the 2020-21 financial year to support over 85,000 families on low incomes raising children with disabilities or serious illnesses. This includes £13.5 million to specifically address needs arising from the COVID-19 outbreak, which may include assistive technology to aid remote learning.

Throughout all restrictions to date, children's social care services and early help services have continued to support vulnerable children and young people and their families. Local authorities have been allocated an additional £4.6 billion to help their communities through the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding is un-ringfenced, recognising local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major COVID-19 service pressures in their local area, including support to children’s services.

Parents and carers may continue to access respite care to support them in caring for their disabled children while the restrictions are in force. This applies to services which care for children in and away from home. We continue to encourage local authorities to prioritise this support for disabled children, and to consider flexible and pragmatic options to deliver that support including using direct payments and carrying out activities virtually. Where parents have a disabled child under 5, we have enabled exemptions so they can establish a support bubble with another household to provide respite care.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the cost to schools of repairs for faulty devices provided via the Get help with technology programme.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

As of Monday 15 February, over one million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities (LA) and further education colleges.

The Department has signed contracts with Computacenter and XMA to supply a variety of device types according to the needs of schools and end-users. Unit costs of specific devices distributed by the programme are not published as these are commercially sensitive.

Every laptop and tablet that the Department provides meets a set of minimum specifications designed to enable children to learn remotely. Devices were issued with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer. All devices are still within warranty until at least June 2021.

The laptops and tablets are the property of the school, LA or academy trust, and they should assume responsibility for their ongoing maintenance and support as part of this. If a device develops a fault that is not caused by a user, a free replacement can be requested via our enhanced support service. Schools, academy trusts and LAs can raise requests for replacement devices on the Computacenter Support Portal. This service is designed to minimise the time the user is without a working device. Since June 2020, the Department has completed 2425 replacements.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the average cost is of a (a) Windows laptop, (b) Windows tablet and (c) Chromebook provided to schools via the Get help with technology programme.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

As of Monday 15 February, over one million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities (LA) and further education colleges.

The Department has signed contracts with Computacenter and XMA to supply a variety of device types according to the needs of schools and end-users. Unit costs of specific devices distributed by the programme are not published as these are commercially sensitive.

Every laptop and tablet that the Department provides meets a set of minimum specifications designed to enable children to learn remotely. Devices were issued with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer. All devices are still within warranty until at least June 2021.

The laptops and tablets are the property of the school, LA or academy trust, and they should assume responsibility for their ongoing maintenance and support as part of this. If a device develops a fault that is not caused by a user, a free replacement can be requested via our enhanced support service. Schools, academy trusts and LAs can raise requests for replacement devices on the Computacenter Support Portal. This service is designed to minimise the time the user is without a working device. Since June 2020, the Department has completed 2425 replacements.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many devices provided to schools via the Get help with technology programme have been returned to the manufacturer for repair.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services, including securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people.

As of Monday 15 February, over one million laptops and tablets have been delivered to schools, academy trusts, local authorities (LA) and further education colleges.

The Department has signed contracts with Computacenter and XMA to supply a variety of device types according to the needs of schools and end-users. Unit costs of specific devices distributed by the programme are not published as these are commercially sensitive.

Every laptop and tablet that the Department provides meets a set of minimum specifications designed to enable children to learn remotely. Devices were issued with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer. All devices are still within warranty until at least June 2021.

The laptops and tablets are the property of the school, LA or academy trust, and they should assume responsibility for their ongoing maintenance and support as part of this. If a device develops a fault that is not caused by a user, a free replacement can be requested via our enhanced support service. Schools, academy trusts and LAs can raise requests for replacement devices on the Computacenter Support Portal. This service is designed to minimise the time the user is without a working device. Since June 2020, the Department has completed 2425 replacements.

15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has written to academy schools requesting them to remain open throughout the second national lockdown and the latest tier 3 period in boroughs where the local authority had asked schools to consider closing.

There have been 3 cases involving writing directly to schools asking them to remain open throughout the second national lockdown and the latest tier 3 period, where some local authorities had asked, or were considering asking, schools to move to remote education provision for the remainder of the current school term.

The 3 cases are:

  • Royal London Borough of Greenwich – A letter was sent out to all schools in Greenwich on 14 December.
  • Waltham Forest – A letter was sent out to all schools in Waltham Forest on 15 December.
  • Islington – A letter was sent out to all schools in Islington on 15 December.

2nd Mar 2020
What steps he is taking to reduce the cost to parents of school uniforms.

No school uniform should be so expensive as to leave pupils or their families feeling unable to apply to the school of their choice. The Government is pleased to support the Private Member’s Bill to ‘make provision for guidance to schools about the cost aspects of school uniform policies’, which was recently introduced to Parliament on 5 February 2020. This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to ensuring that school uniform costs are reasonable.

It is for the governing body of a school (or in the case of academies, the academy trust) to decide whether there should be a school uniform, what it will be and how it should be sourced. To support them to do this the department issues non-statutory best practice guidance which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-uniform.

Our guidance clearly states that uniform items should be easily available for parents to purchase and schools should keep compulsory branded items to a minimum. It also states that schools should avoid single-supplier contracts, but where schools do choose to enter into such contracts, they should be subject to a regular competitive tendering process. This makes clear that we expect schools to ensure uniform costs are reasonable.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if the Government will help promote school street schemes which keep traffic away from schools at drop off and pick up times to reduce air pollution as a health issue for children.

The Prime Minister's Cycling and Walking Plan (Gear Change) was published in July 2020 and included a range of commitments to boost the amount of walking and cycling to school. Hundreds of School Streets have been delivered. These have led to local improvements in air quality and improved the safety of pupils, leading to significant rises in the number of children cycling and walking to school.

£338 million has been made available this year through active travel funding. This will enable local authorities to deliver new safe cycling and walking routes in their areas, which could include the delivery of School Streets.

Local authorities have a range of powers to take action to reduce pollution from road vehicles, such as introduce 20mph zones and enforcing anti-idling laws. Local authorities in England can install School Streets restricting vehicle access around schools using standard traffic signing.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to set legally binding interim targets for particulate matter 2.5 at the WHO recommendation of 20 grams per cubic metre.

Our landmark Environment Bill, which is currently passing through Parliament, requires the government to set long-term, legally binding environmental targets in four priority areas, including air quality. In addition to this, there is a duty to set a new target for PM2.5 based on annual mean concentrations.

As part of the process for setting air quality targets, essential work is being carried out to ensure that we have an understanding of the action that will be required to reach the targets, to ensure that they are feasible and assess the associated costs and benefits. A summary of this analysis will be included in a public consultation before the targets are set through secondary legislation in October 2022. We have always been clear that we will consider WHO air quality guidelines as part of this process. We are also working with experts such as AQEG (Air Quality Expert Group) and COMEAP (Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants) to seek their advice, views and recommendations on key aspects of how the targets are developed.

In the meantime, we are continuing to drive forward the ambitious actions outlined in the Clean Air Strategy, such as phasing out the sale of house coal and small volumes of wet wood for domestic burning, which is a major source of PM2.5.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has made of the compliance of Sri Lanka's Prevention of Terrorism Act with the criteria outlined in section21(2)(e) of SI No1438 regarding Trade Preference Scheme Regulations 2020.

The Department has not undertaken such an assessment.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has undertaken of Sri Lanka's eligibility for the Scheme of Preferences outlined in SI No.1438 regarding Trade Preference Scheme.

The Department has not undertaken such an assessment.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has undertaken of Sri Lanka's compliance with human rights criteria outlined in section 21(2)(a)(b) of SI No.1438 on Trade Preference Scheme Regulations 2020.

The Department has not undertaken such an assessment.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has undertaken of Sri Lanka’s compliance with human rights criteria as outlined in section 21 of Trade Preference Scheme (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 (S.I., 2020, No. 1438).

The Department has not undertaken such an assessment.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if the Government is continuing FTA talks with the US Administration virtually during the covid-19 pandemic.

Both the UK Government and the US Government are fully committed to negotiating a comprehensive free trade agreement with one another.

However, these are unprecedented times and both sides are looking at options to conduct the negotiations in a way that reflects the current situation and respects public health.

We remain in regular contact with the US on this matter.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps his Department has taken to help DVLA reduce the backlog of applications for driving licences.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services are the quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their driving licence within a few days. However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application for a driving licence and the DVLA receives 60,000 items of mail each day. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham to house more staff to help reduce waiting times while providing future resilience and business continuity.

These measures are having a positive impact. In particular, the focus on vocational driving licence applications to support the HGV driver shortage has been successful with routine vocational applications now being processed within normal turnaround times. Backlogs are also reducing in other areas.

The DVLA understands the impact that delays can have on people’s everyday lives and is working as quickly as possible to process paper applications and return people’s documentation to them.

I am pleased to say that the speed of reducing the number of paper applications awaiting processing will be improved by the recent positive news that the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) did not reach the minimum threshold of a 50 per cent turnout in its recent ballot of members to continue industrial action.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to provide further support to the DVLA in helping to reduce the shortage of HGV drivers.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has focused extra resource on vocational driving licence applications to support the driver shortage. This has been successful with routine applications for vocational driving licences, including for HGVs, now being processed within normal turnaround times of five working days. The DVLA has recently processed more than 40,000 applications for vocational licences in just 25 working days. It may take longer to process cases where medical investigations are needed.

On 15 November, legislation came into force to remove the requirement for HGV drivers to obtain entitlement to drive rigid lorries before being able to take a test to drive articulated lorries. This has streamlined the licensing process with the aim of getting fully qualified HGV drivers on the road as soon as possible.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the finding of Common Wealth's report, All Aboard: Transforming Bus Services, that high levels of deregulation and privatisation in the bus network disproportionately impacts people that are marginalised by the current economic system.

We have noted the publication of the Common Wealth report. The Government’s National Bus Strategy supports the delivery of more socially and economically necessary services and during this Parliament we will invest £1.2 billion of new funding to deliver improvements in services, fares and infrastructure.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the findings of the Common Wealth think tank's report, All Aboard: Transforming Bus Services, on the effect of bus privatisation, deregulation and austerity on (a) fares, (b) reliability of services and (c) pay and conditions of bus workers.

We have noted the publication of the Common Wealth report. The Government’s National Bus Strategy supports the delivery of more socially and economically necessary services and during this Parliament we will invest £1.2 billion of new funding to deliver improvements in services, fares and infrastructure.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to paragraph 2.109 of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, published on 27 October 2021, how many zero emission buses will be funded by the additional £355 million funding; and what the planned timescale is for (a) producing and (b) delivering those buses to roads.

As set out in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, £355 million of new funding has been made available for zero emission buses. £150 million of this funding has been made available for 2021-22 with the remaining funding available over the Spending Review period. The Department will provide further details on how the £355 million of new funding will be used in due course.

In addition, up to 900 zero emission buses and associated infrastructure will be supported through existing funding made available since February 2020 from the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, the All Electric Bus Town or City scheme and the Ultra Low Emission Bus scheme.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to data published by his Department which shows a reduction of 15.9 per cent in the total number of licensed taxi and private hire vehicles between March 2020 and March 2021, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the financial support provided by the Government to those vehicle industries.

The majority of taxi and PHV drivers are self-employed and were therefore able to apply for grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) before the scheme closed on 30 September 2021.

Drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles may also have been eligible for other sources of support, including locally administered grant funding. An online support finder tool was made available to help businesses and self-employed workers determine what support was available to them.

Ongoing engagement with sector stakeholders indicate that demand for taxi and private hire vehicles (PHVs) is very high with PHV operators seeking to increase driver numbers to meet this.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to data published by his Department which shows a reduction of 15.9 per cent in the total number of licensed taxi and private hire vehicles between March 2020 and March 2021, what financial support the Government plans to provide to help those vehicle industries to recover from the covid-19 outbreak.

The majority of taxi and PHV drivers are self-employed and were therefore able to apply for grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) before the scheme closed on 30 September 2021.

Drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles may also have been eligible for other sources of support, including locally administered grant funding. An online support finder tool was made available to help businesses and self-employed workers determine what support was available to them.

Ongoing engagement with sector stakeholders indicate that demand for taxi and private hire vehicles (PHVs) is very high with PHV operators seeking to increase driver numbers to meet this.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the report by Professor Philip Alston entitled Public transport, private profit: the human cost of privatizing buses in the United Kingdom, published on 19 July 2021, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding in that report that the Government’s National Bus Strategy amounts to a series of half measures that do not address the structural problems of the ongoing bus crisis or guarantee quality service.

Our National Bus Strategy, backed by £3 billion of investment, is the biggest reform and support package for buses in generations. It will deliver better bus services for passengers across England, through ambitious and far-reaching reform of how services are planned and delivered. Enhanced Partnerships and franchising arrangements will bring together the important skillsets and contributions of local transport authorities and bus operators, critical to a strong bus network. All local transport authorities have confirmed, as the strategy asked, that they are developing one or both of those approaches. Bus Service Improvement Plans for all areas, which will influence the share of the £3 billion which authorities receive, are being developed for the 31 October deadline.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to Philip Alston’s report, Public Transport, Private Profit: The Human Cost of Privatizing Buses in the United Kingdom, published in July 2021, what assessment he has made of the implications for his Department's policies of that report's conclusions on the effect of the deregulation of the bus network on the (a) effectiveness of the transport system and (b) climate change objectives.

The National Bus Strategy sets out how we will reform the way in which bus services across England outside London are provided. Instead of services being planned on a purely commercial basis with little or no engagement from local transport authorities, we want to see the important skillsets and contributions of local transport authorities and bus operators brought together in either Enhanced Partnership or franchising arrangements, to deliver ambitious local visions for better buses. This is backed by our £3 billion of investment. This approach can deliver the bus services that passengers deserve and support our decarbonisation goals by making the bus an attractive alternative to the car for far more people.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his oral contribution of 14 July 2021, Official Report, column 408 on the 900 buses in production, where those buses are being manufactured; and (a) where and (b) when those buses will enter service and c) when these buses will enter service.

We remain committed to introducing 4,000 zero emission buses and achieving an all zero emission bus fleet. Since February last year, we’ve made funding available for up to 900 zero emission buses, with over 50 of these already on the roads.

A number of UK bus manufacturers are well placed to benefit from this funding, supporting jobs and a green recovery for the sector.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to decarbonise the coach sector.

The Government continues to work with the coach sector, including through relevant trade bodies. The Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which was published this week, sets out further details on how we will decarbonise road transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the level of additional funding required for the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas scheme beyond 2021-22 to achieve the Government’s target of 4,000 new zero-emission buses.

Department for Transport budgets for 2022-23 onwards have not yet been set and will be agreed through the Spending Review later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions his Department has held with relevant stakeholders on prioritising UK bus manufacturers through the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas scheme.

Department officials are in regular contact with relevant stakeholders. UK bus manufacturers are well placed to benefit from funding from the ZEBRA scheme, which will support jobs and a green recovery for the sector.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has held with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on future funding beyond 2021-22 for the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas scheme.

Department for Transport budgets for 2022-23 onwards have not yet been set and will be agreed through the Spending Review later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the number of new zero-emissions buses funded through the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas scheme that will be manufactured in the UK.

UK bus manufacturers are well placed to benefit from funding from the ZEBRRA scheme, which will support jobs and a green recovery for the sector.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has held with (a) relevant stakeholders and (b) Cabinet colleagues on the potential continuation of the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas scheme into 2022-23.

My officials and I regularly engage with a range of relevant stakeholders and Ministerial colleagues to inform decisions on how best to drive the uptake of zero emission buses.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the number of new zero-emissions buses that will be funded through the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas scheme.

The Department has estimated that the £120m funding made available through the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme could support the introduction of up to 500 zero emission buses and the infrastructure needed to support them.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to announce the results from the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas application process.

On 6 July 2021, the Department announced that six local transport authorities had been progressed to the second phase of the ‘fast track’ element of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme:

  • Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority
  • Kent County Council
  • Leicester City Council
  • Milton Keynes Brough Council
  • Warrington Borough Council
  • West Midlands Combined Authority

An announcement on which local transport authorities have been awarded funding is expected to take place in the autumn.

The deadline for local transport authorities to submit Expressions of Interest to the ‘standard track’ element was 2 July 2021. The Department will announce which local transport authorities have been progressed to the next phase of the competition in due course.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many applications his Department has received for the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas scheme as at 8 June 2021.

As of 8 June 2021 the department had received 11 Expressions of Interest from 13 local transport authorities (two Expressions of Interest were submitted jointly by two local transport authorities) through the ‘fast track’ element of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to increase the availability of (a) electric charging points and (b) hydrogen refuelling stations required by bus and coach operators.

The Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme will provide up to £120 million funding to support zero emission buses and infrastructure. Local transport authorities were able to submit Expressions of Interest for funding for either battery electric buses and charging infrastructure or hydrogen fuel cell buses and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.

£50 million funding has been provided through the All-Electric Bus Town or City scheme which will support the introduction of up to 300 electric buses and the charging infrastructure to support them.

£48 million funding was awarded through the 2018-2021 Ultra Low Emission Bus Scheme which supported the introduction of both battery electric buses and charging infrastructure and hydrogen fuel cell buses and hydrogen refuelling infrastructure.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on (a) the production and distribution of green hydrogen to bus depots and (b) requirements of electricity capacity at bus depots to support an increase in zero-emissions vehicles introduced through the Zero Emissions Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme.

The Government remains committed to meeting its decarbonisation targets and the Department for Transport and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy continue to work closely together on a range of issues.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with local authorities to ensure the roll-out of zero-emissions vehicles and infrastructure is coordinated across the UK, and aligns with the Government’s net-zero targets.

Local authorities have a crucial role to play in tackling air and climate emissions, and supporting the uptake of zero emission vehicles (EV). UK government has a suite of activities to work closer than ever with local authorities, to encourage leadership and widespread regional and local action in this space. This includes ministers writing to and engaging authority council leaders and chief executives, and officials from the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) working closely with the many tiers and structures of government across the UK.

This engagement has also fed into the development and delivery of our grant schemes for local authorities, including the existing On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) that supports public chargepoints for their residents without access to private parking; and, the upcoming £90m Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund.

Government has also been working closely with local authorities on the development of an EV Infrastructure Strategy. This will be published later this year, and will set out the vision and action plan for charging infrastructure rollout needed to achieve the 2030/35 phase out successfully. This will set expected roles for different stakeholders and how government will intervene to address the gaps between the current market status and our vision. Government also continues to fund the Energy Saving Trust to provide an impartial advisory service which helps local authorities in England to develop local policies and strategies to support charging infrastructure and zero emission vehicle uptake.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason the Extraordinary Funding and Financing Agreement for Transport for London contains a number of conditions while the operational support payments to franchised passenger rail operators under emergency agreements contain no conditions.

The Government is seeking to steer Transport for London towards a financially sustainable position by April 2023 and as well as offering substantial financial support, the Extraordinary Funding and Financing Agreement contains a number of conditions which reflect that position. This ensures that funding support achieves the best possible value for all taxpayers.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will launch a public consultation on the conditions set out in future funding settlements with Transport for London, including on the restoration of that organisation's operating grant.

Ministers and Officials at the Department for Transport hold regular discussions with key stakeholders on London Transport and funding. Alongside the extraordinary funding and financing support packages during the pandemic, the Government has made significant resources available to both Transport for London and the GLA, including new income from retained business rates, Business Rate Supplement and extended Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy (MCIL2).

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he plans to allow London to retain its share of Vehicle Excise Duty to pay for transport services in the capital.

The Secretary of State confirmed in a letter to the Mayor of London on 1 June 2021, that any proposal to transfer Vehicle Excise Duty from the Exchequer to TfL is, in effect, a permanent Government Grant.

The Government has provided over £4 billion of financial support to Transport for London since the start of the pandemic. These deals are proof of our commitment to moving TfL onto a more financially sustainable footing, with a target date for achieving financial sustainability of April 2023.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the joint review with Transport for London of demand for buses scheduled in July 2021.

In June the Government agreed a third extraordinary funding and financing package for Transport for London (TfL) worth around £1.08 billion. As part of this deal, the Mayor has agreed to carry out a review of service levels. This review is aimed at generating a range of service options to efficiently manage services and associated costs to support the achievement of financial sustainability by the target date of April 2023.

We will continue to monitor passenger demand over this period to accurately assess service levels and keep Londoners moving.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has had discussions with relevant stakeholders on steps TfL plans to take to raise an additional £500 million every year, in response to the most recent TfL funding agreement.

In June the Government agreed a third extraordinary funding and financing package for Transport for London (TfL), worth around £1.08 billion. This deal takes steps to put TfL on a financially sustainable footing, including the identification of between £0.5-£1.0 billion of new/increased revenue sources by 2023.

It is for the Mayor and TfL to lead this review and any consultation process, to ensure all stakeholders views are taken into consideration.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to establish a financial settlement with Transport for London (TfL) that is longer than the current TfL funding agreement.

Further waves of Covid-19 and national lockdowns have meant that the recovery from the pandemic has taken longer than hoped and therefore, transport demand remains uncertain. The third extraordinary funding support package was provided to Transport for London on a short term basis, to give more time to better understand future demand, and to work towards a possible longer-term funding agreement which all sides could support.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will consider rescheduling the joint review with Transport for London into the demand for buses scheduled in July 2021 to a later date when demand has returned to pre-covid-19 outbreak levels.

In June the Government agreed a third extraordinary funding and financing package for Transport for London (TfL) worth around £1.08bn. This deal takes steps to move TfL onto a more financially sustainable footing including a review of service levels to reflect changing travel patterns as a result of Covid.

This review is aimed at generating a range of service options to efficiently manage services and associated costs to support the achievement of financial sustainability by the target date of April 2023. TfL and DfT will continue to monitor demand as the country recovers from the Covid pandemic.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide Transport for London with a six-year capital funding settlement that would enable that organisation to deliver long-term transport policies for London.

Further waves of Covid-19 and national lockdowns have meant that future transport demand in London remains uncertain. It is therefore too early to make significant long-term capital funding commitments. The parameters of any future funding settlements are part of live policy making and subject to sensitive discussions between Government and Transport for London (TfL). The third extraordinary funding support package, provided to TfL, gives more time to better understand future demand, and to work towards a possible longer-term funding agreement which all sides could support.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the funding required to sustain bus networks at pre-covid-19 outbreak levels from September 2021 to April 2022 with passenger numbers at (a) 60 per cent, (b) 70 per cent, (c) 80 per cent and (d) 90 per cent of the corresponding period in 2018-19.

The Government is working with operators and local authorities to ensure that the transition away from emergency Coronavirus Bus Service Support Grant (CBSSG) funding is timed appropriately. To date, over £1bn in funding has been committed to this scheme. As part of this process, the Department has modelled a range of patronage scenarios, considering various factors that influence demand and which would affect the funding required.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of levels of service on bus networks between September 2021 and April 2022 compared to pre-covid-19 outbreak levels.

To date, the Government has committed over £1 billion in emergency funding to the bus sector through the COVID-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) scheme to help operators and local authorities safely facilitate essential journeys. CBSSG enables Operators to run up to 100% of their pre-Covid scheduled commercial mileage for a typical week excluding public holidays for the period of the scheme.

CBSSG funding has no pre-agreed end date and will continue until it is no longer needed. The Government is working with operators and local authorities to ensure that the transition away from emergency CBSSG funding is timed appropriately. Operators and Local Authorities should continue to work together to agree appropriate service levels in their area.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the European Union Aviation Safety Agency System on young trainees in the aviation industry who want to (a) undertake training and (b) obtain relevant qualifications in Europe; and whether the Government has come to a reciprocal agreement on recognition of (i) flight crew licenses and (ii) medical certificates with the EU.

The CAA have published information about the impact of leaving EASA on training organisations and trainees on their EU Exit Microsite. Trainees undertaking or considering commencing a course of training are recommended to contact their training organisation to understand what approvals the organisation holds and intends to seek. UK Approved Training Organisations may need to decide whether they wish to retain a national approval and also seek an European Aviation Safety Agency approval, in order to allow students to train for an EU licence and obtain an EU licence.

In terms of reciprocal agreements with the EU, following EU Exit, the UK and EU agreed a high-level Aviation Safety Agreement, with an annex on Airworthiness.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to support (a) aspiring pilots and (b) newly-qualified people entering the aviation industry with the cost of flight training.

The Government recognises the cost of pilot training as a particular barrier to young people pursuing a career within aviation, and a barrier for diversity and social mobility. My Department is actively engaging with industry stakeholders and other partners to develop options for increasing the accessibility of pilot training.

The Department launched the ‘Reach for the Sky’ programme in 2019 to improve future inclusion and career opportunities within the aviation sector. The programme aims to attract under-represented groups, and particularly young people, including aspiring pilots, to careers in aviation by addressing financial and wider social barriers and creating new opportunities in the sector.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to support the aviation industry and its personnel during the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government has provided significant support to the aviation sector. We estimate that by the end of September 2021, the air transport sector will have benefitted from around £7bn of Government support since the beginning of the pandemic. This includes support through loan guarantees, the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

To support aviation personnel, the Department launched the Aviation Skills Retention Platform, allowing aviation sector workers who are out of work to register their skills and pursue job and upskilling opportunities. Through the platform, we are funding training places to retain and develop skills within the sector. Moreover, we are working across government to maximise use of existing support measures to assist aviation workers at risk of redundancy to stay in employment or move between sectors.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he will take to regularly review those countries on the covid-19 travel red list.

The allocation of countries to the traffic light system, including those on the red list, will be reviewed every three weeks, unless concerning evidence means we need to act faster to protect public health.

The next review will take place in the week commencing 21st June 2021.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the UK's departure from the EU on the (a) number and (b) turnover of Civil Aviation Authority qualified commercial pilots.

Between September 2018 and December 2020 some UK commercial pilots decided to transfer their licence to another EU Member State before the UK left the EU.

Now that the UK is able to issue commercial pilot licences independently of the EU, we expect that many of these commercial pilots will now apply to hold a UK licence in addition to their transferred EU licence.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many UK commercial pilots have had to re-qualify for a CAA licence since the airline transport pilot licence ceased to be recognised.

No pilots have had to requalify. To secure privileges after the UK has left the EU, some UK commercial pilots transferred their licence to an EU Member State.

The EU Withdrawal Act ensures that transferred licences are recognised in the UK until the end of 2022. A new process now allows those who transferred the license to another Member State to obtain a UK license without having to requalify. Around 440 pilots have applied so far.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the total cost to the public purse was of all covid-19-related emergency financial support provided to train operating companies since 1 March 2020, by train operating company.

Train operators provide management accounts to the Government, and are paid by the Government, once per rail period and there are 13 such periods in each financial year. Therefore, reliable data cannot be produced on an exact quarterly basis as the dates do not align.

However, periodic data on operational support payments made to each franchised operator from 1 March 2020 to 6 February 2021, are published at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dft-payments-to-passenger-rail-operators-under-emergency-agreements

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the total cost to the public purse was of covid-19-related emergency financial support provided to train operating companies since 1 March 2020, broken down by quarter.

Train operators provide management accounts to the Government, and are paid by the Government, once per rail period and there are 13 such periods in each financial year. Therefore, reliable data cannot be produced on an exact quarterly basis as the dates do not align.

However, periodic data on operational support payments made to each franchised operator from 1 March 2020 to 6 February 2021, are published at the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dft-payments-to-passenger-rail-operators-under-emergency-agreements

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to encourage people to use public transport rather than cars as covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The Department is working with operators to ensure people feel safe when using public transport. Operators have already enhanced their cleaning regimes at stations and on-board services. We are asking people to plan their journeys so that they travel at less busy times where they can, and we have created a check list for safer travel. The Department mandates the wearing of face coverings on public transport and in transport hubs and compliance remains high. We will continue to work with operators to ensure service levels are high as we begin to ease restrictions so people can keep a safe distance where possible.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the RSSB report, Covid Transmission Rates on Rail, published in August 2020, what recent assessment his Department has made of the level of covid-19 transmission on rail journeys.

The Department for Transport’s decisions continue to be informed by the most up-to-date scientific evidence and advice, including advice from SAGE, its sub-groups, industry and academia.

The Department is working hard and collaborating across the UK’s research and innovation community, including with Rail Safety and Standards Board, to build and assess a broad base of evidence to better understand transmission and interventions that help reduce transmission risk. This includes working with SAGE, industry and academia on the Transport Risk Assessment for COVID Knowledge (TRACK) project. This is an 18-month, £2 million UK Research and Innovation-funded project designed to address critical knowledge gaps around transmission of SARS-CoV-2 on public transport, including on rail. Outputs from this project will continue to help inform decisions and practices for mitigating risk of transmission in public transport.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans the Government has to bring forward the end date for his Department's competition to select areas for bus orders so that the necessary infrastructure can be built.

On 30 March 2021 the Government launched the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme. Under this scheme local transport authorities will be able to bid for up to £120 million in 2021-22 to introduce zero emission buses and associated infrastructure.

Following feedback from local transport authorities and industry, local transport authorities can choose to follow a fast track application process if they already have well developed proposals. This will allow local transport authorities to move quickly in their bid to secure funding for zero emission buses and associated infrastructure.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, by what date orders should be placed to ensure the delivery of 4,000 zero emission buses by 2025.

The time between the allocation of Government funding for zero emission buses and their introduction into service will vary depending on a number of factors including: the vehicle technology that is chosen, the approach of the local area to procuring the vehicles, and the associated infrastructure required to support the vehicles.

On 30 March 2021, the Government launched the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme. Under this scheme local transport authorities will be able to bid for up to £120 million to introduce zero emission buses and associated infrastructure.

The scheme is a two-stage funding competition consisting of an Expression of Interest stage and a business case development stage. Local transport authorities will be able to choose whether they want to follow a fast track application process or a standard application process, depending on how well developed their proposals are.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average time taken is from the announcement of previous Government funding rounds for zero-emission buses to those buses being available to operators to run services.

Previous government funding schemes have supported the introduction of low emission, ultra-low emission and zero emission buses and associated infrastructure.

The time between the announcement of Government funding for zero emission buses and their introduction into service will vary depending on a number of factors including: the vehicle technology that is chosen, the approach of the local area to procuring the vehicles, and the associated infrastructure required to support the vehicles.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans the Government has to purchase the remaining 3,200 zero-emission buses in the 2021-22 financial year.

On 30 March 2021 the Government launched the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme. Under this scheme local transport authorities will be able to bid for up to £120 million in 2021-22 to introduce zero emission buses and the infrastructure needed to support them. The funding from this scheme could assist with the introduction of up to 500 zero emission buses and associated infrastructure.

In addition, £50 million was provided in 2020-21 through the All-Electric Bus Town or City scheme. This funding could assist with the introduction of up to 300 zero emission buses and associated infrastructure. Together, Government funding could support the purchase of an initial 800 zero emission buses and the infrastructure needed to support them.

The Department is currently considering how to support the introduction of zero emission buses and associated infrastructure in future years.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many of the new zero emission buses will be manufactured overseas.

On 30 March 2021 the Government launched the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme. Under this scheme local transport authorities will be able to bid for up to £120 million to introduce zero emission buses and associated infrastructure.

Decisions around the purchase of zero emission buses will be made by local areas.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many of the new zero emission buses will be manufactured in the UK.

On 30 March 2021 the Government launched the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme. Under this scheme local transport authorities will be able to bid for up to £120 million to introduce zero emission buses and associated infrastructure.

Decisions around the purchase of zero emission buses will be made by local areas.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what additional support he plans to provide to taxi drivers ineligible for grants or financial help under existing covid-19 financial support packages as a result of falling below the thresholds set out for those support packages during the covid-19 outbreak.

The majority of taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers are self-employed and can therefore apply for grants through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). A fourth round of the scheme, which will be available from the end of April, was announced in the Budget on 3 March (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension/self-employment-income-support-scheme-grant-extension).

An online ‘support finder’ tool is available to help businesses and self-employed workers determine what financial support is available to them during the pandemic (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19).

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking with international counterparts to compare the risks of covid-19 transmission in the provision of transport services.

Due to the diversity of the transport sector, the science evidence base for each mode will differ and the Department has commissioned research to reflect this.

The Department has worked with SAGE, Industry and Academia to develop the Transport Risk Assessment for COVID Knowledge (TRACK) project. This is an 18 month, £1.7 million UKRI-funded project to understand and model transmission of COVID-19 on public transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to standardise covid-19 transmission risk modelling across the transport sector to help give passengers confidence to return to public transport.

Due to the diversity of the transport sector, the science evidence base for each mode will differ and the Department has commissioned research to reflect this.

The Department has worked with SAGE, Industry and Academia to develop the Transport Risk Assessment for COVID Knowledge (TRACK) project. This is an 18 month, £1.7 million UKRI-funded project to understand and model transmission of COVID-19 on public transport.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Covid-19 Response: Spring 2021 roadmap, published on 22 February 2021, what assessment his Department has made of the risk of transmission of covid-19 on (a) rail, (b) bus, (c) tram and (d) London Underground settings.

There are significant uncertainties around transmission of COVID-19 in public transport and work is currently underway to better understand and model this. The measures we have introduced seek to reduce any risk of transmission on public transport, including making it the law to wear a face covering (unless exempt), and requiring passengers to stay 2 metres apart where possible.

As restrictions ease, we will expect journeys on public transport to increase. Safer travel guidance for both passengers and operators will ensure that passengers, including those who rely on public transport, can travel safely.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress has been made on implementing the recommendations in the 2018 report of the task and finish group on Taxi and private hire vehicle licensing.

The Government will continue to engage with the sector on our plans for reforming the regulation of taxis and private hire vehicles, including options to introduce new legislation. The Department is supporting licensing authorities to make use of their extensive existing powers through the Statutory Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Standards issued last year and will consult on updated best practice guidance later this year.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what his Department's timescale is for requiring audio-visual announcements to be available on all bus services.

We want disabled people to travel independently and with confidence. Accessible onboard information identifying the route and upcoming stops can help all passengers to use buses and we encourage operators to invest in suitable equipment on board their vehicles to enable this.

We consulted previously on proposals for increasing the provision of audible and visible information onboard local buses in Great Britain. We remain committed to this aim and will announce later in the year the steps we will take to achieve it.

In the meantime, we are supporting smaller operators to provide audible and visual information with £2 million of targeted funding.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the £2 million to provide audio and visual equipment for buses, announced on 29 October 2019, how much of that funding has been distributed to operators to date.

Accessible information plays an important role in making travel easier for everyone, but is particularly important for many disabled people. We want passengers to have access to audible and visible next stop information, regardless of the bus service they use.

On 29 October 2019 we confirmed our partnership with the Real Time Information Group to manage a £2 million fund to provide audible and visible information on buses. Whilst COVID-19 has constrained our ability to launch the competition earlier as we sought to minimise the burdens placed on bus companies, it is our intention to make payments to operators in the 2021/22 financial year.

In the meantime, we are encouraging operators to continue investing in accessible information when introducing new and upgraded vehicles, ensuring that all passengers can travel with confidence.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce mandatory disability equality training for taxi and private hire vehicle drivers.

The Government wants disabled people to be able to travel easily and confidently and considers that ensuring taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers complete effective disability awareness training is an important step in making this a reality.

In our response to the Chair of the Task and Finish Group on Taxi and PHV Licensing in 2019, we committed to mandate the completion by drivers of such training when Parliamentary time allowed. This remains our position.

In the meantime, we expect local licencing authorities to use their existing powers to ensure that all taxi and PHV drivers have the knowledge and skills necessary to assist every passenger.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many zero-emission buses his Department plans to provide funding for in the financial years (a) 2021-22, (b) 2022-23 and (c) 2023-24.

As set out in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and the Spending Review 2020, the Government will invest £120 million in 2021-22 to start the delivery of the 4,000 zero emission buses announced by the Prime Minister last year.

Together with existing funding for the All Electric Bus Town or City, Government funding for 2021/22 could support the purchase of 800 zero emission buses and the infrastructure needed to support them.

Further details on how funding in 2021-22 will be distributed will be announced in the spring.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish details on how the £120 million announced in the Spending Review 2020 for zero-emission buses can be accessed.

As set out in the Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution and the Spending Review 2020, the Government will invest £120 million in 2021-22 to start the delivery of the 4,000 zero emission buses announced by the Prime Minister last year.

Together with existing funding for the All Electric Bus Town or City, Government funding for 2021/22 could support the purchase of 800 zero emission buses and the infrastructure needed to support them.

Further details on how funding in 2021-22 will be distributed will be announced in the spring.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on the UK bus manufacturing industry of the covid-19 pandemic; and what steps he is taking to help secure the future of that industry in the UK.

The UK Government is committed to ensuring the UK has a strong public transport sector.

During the pandemic, bus manufacturing firms have benefited from participation in the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Going forward, the government expects that the All-Electric Bus Town or City competition and the planned introduction of 4,000 zero-emission buses will provide additional opportunities for bus manufacturers. Further details are expected to be included in the National Bus Strategy, which will be launched in the coming weeks.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the rates of pay for rail workers.

We took immediate action at the outbreak of the pandemic to support the rail industry, investing billions in an emergency support package to keep services running for passengers and key workers. The pandemic has had a significant impact upon the rail sector, and we will be engaging with industry and stakeholders as we consider the long-term impact. In terms of pay, according to Office for National Statistics data, rail workers earnings have on the whole since 2011 increased above inflation.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the fee paid to train operating companies as part of the emergency recovery measures agreements will be smaller than that paid as part of the emergency measures agreements; and by what formula that fee will be decided.

Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements have not yet been finalised and all terms and conditions remain commercially confidential at this time.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the length of time the (a) emergency measures agreements and (b) emergency recovery measures agreements on rail franchises will be in place.

Emergency Measures Agreement (EMAs) commenced on 1 April 2020 (with financial provisions applying retrospectively to 1 March 2020). For most rail operators they apply for an initial period of approximately 6 months (7 Rail Reporting Periods), with options for further extension or earlier termination in each case by agreement. These arrangements have allowed us to ensure that essential travel can continue. We are examining the options available to ensure continuity of services beyond this initial period, including the implementation of Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements, but these are not yet finalised.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of all emergency measures agreements on rail franchises since (a) 1 March 2020 and (b) 15 June 2020.

Payments made to Train Operating Companies from 1 March- 27 June are published on the gov.uk website, and further publication of payments beyond June will be made in due course. The publication shows that over the period from 1 March - 27 June 2020, the department had paid the industry £2.28bn in total. This figure includes the costs incurred by the two publicly owned franchise operators (East Coast and Northern) as well as payments to those in private ownership, and incorporates subsidy payments that (before the COVID-19 pandemic began) were expected to be made to some operators during this period.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the terms and conditions of the financial support (a) received by train operating companies under the emergency measures agreements and (b) available to train operating companies under the emergency recovery measures agreements.

The details of payments made to Train Operating Companies from March to June 2020 under Emergency Measures Agreements (EMAs) can be found on the gov.uk website[1]. This also includes details of how payments are calculated and made under EMAs, as well as information on support received by train operating companies that are not currently operating under EMAs. Further publication of payments and associated information will be made on the gov.uk website in due course. The Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements have not yet been finalised and all terms and conditions remain commercially confidential at this time.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/rail-emergency-measures-during-the-covid-19-pandemic

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the Williams Rail Review.

The Department remains committed to delivering wholescale reform of the rail industry to put the priorities of passengers first.

Our ambition is unchanged – we are committed to building on the detailed, evidence based priorities Keith Williams set out. We want to create a railway where passengers know who is in charge, that delivers value for money and that the UK can be proud of.

The Williams Rail Review was in the final stages of drafting at the outbreak of COVID-19. The Government views the purpose of the reforms as important as ever, but further work needs to be done now to reflect the impact of COVID-19 on the sector. We will publish the results of the review in due course.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what additional support her Department provides to asylum seekers whose universal credit payments have been stopped.

Those seeking asylum in the UK are not entitled to Universal Credit. However, Asylum Support is available to newly recognised refugees through the Home Office whilst their status is under consideration. This support continues for 28 days after refugee status is granted. A claim to Universal Credit can then be made immediately once refugee status is granted and Asylum Support is not deducted from their Universal Credit award during the 28 days run on period.

Work coaches receive training to help them build supportive relationships with claimants, including refugees, encouraging them to openly discuss any barriers, concerns or problems as they emerge. Provided the eligibility criteria for Universal Credit are met, we will offer an advance payment to a refugee when making a new claim, and staff have access to information on a range of services and support available in their local area for vulnerable claimants, including refugees. We also have access to a range of translation services to assist, should a claimant need support to overcome any language barriers.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the findings of research commissioned by Save the Children which found that 61 per cent of claimants said it would be harder to afford food and 48 per cent said it would be tougher to cover essential bills, whether she plans to reverse the decision to remove the £20 a week uplift to universal credit.

The Chancellor announced a temporary six-month extension to the £20 per week uplift at the Budget on 3 March to support households affected by the economic shock of Covid-19. Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and the temporary uplift was part of a COVID support package worth a total of £407 billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced. With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, and continues to do so through many measures, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending over £111 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2021/22.

Universal Credit has provided a vital safety net for six million people during the pandemic, and the temporary uplift was part of a COVID support package worth a total of £407billion in 2020-21 and 2021-22. With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of child poverty

We recognise that some people continue to require extra support, which is why we have introduced a £421 million Household Support Fund to help vulnerable people in England with essential household costs over the winter. The Barnett Formula will apply in the usual way, with the devolved administrations receiving almost £80 million (£41m for the Scottish Government, £25m for the Welsh Government and £14m for the NI Executive), for a total of £500 million. This new grant will run from 06 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The funding is being made available to County Councils and Unitary Authorities in England. Newcastle City Council will receive £2,898,403.85.

In April this year we increased the value of Healthy Start Food Vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25, helping eligible low income households buy basic foods like milk, fruit and vitamins. We are also investing up to £221m in the Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has been expanded to every Local Authority across England. Participating children are benefitting from a range of support, including healthy and nutritious meals as well as fun and engaging activities covering the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays in 2021.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of (a) suspending personal independent payment assessments (PIP) until recording equipment is provided and (b) allowing disabled claimants to be granted the right to refuse a PIP assessment without punitive action until a recording provision is in place.

The department continues to work closely with both Independent Assessment Services (IAS) and Capita to deliver an audio recording service for Personal Independent Payment (PIP) face to face assessments that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment. Arrangements are being finalised and we hope to have this in place as soon as practicably possible.

At present, claimants may use their own equipment to record their face to face assessment, should they wish to, as stated in the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG).

The option for a claimant to request an audio recording of their Personal Independent Payment (PIP) telephone assessment is available with both assessment providers.

PIP assessments will not be suspended whilst we are working to deliver an audio recording service for face to face assessments that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment.

Claimants are not penalised if they are unwilling to attend an assessment until their request for audio recording can be fulfilled. Any claimants who request an audio recording of their face to face assessment will be given the option of waiting for this to be implemented before their assessment takes place. In the meantime, claimants may use their own equipment to record their face to face assessment, should they wish to, as stated in the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG).

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, by which date recording equipment will be in place at all personal independent payment assessment centres to support disabled claimants.

The department continues to work closely with both Independent Assessment Services (IAS) and Capita to deliver an audio recording service for Personal Independent Payment (PIP) face to face assessments that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment. Arrangements are being finalised and we hope to have this in place as soon as practicably possible.

At present, claimants may use their own equipment to record their face to face assessment, should they wish to, as stated in the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG).

The option for a claimant to request an audio recording of their Personal Independent Payment (PIP) telephone assessment is available with both assessment providers.

PIP assessments will not be suspended whilst we are working to deliver an audio recording service for face to face assessments that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment.

Claimants are not penalised if they are unwilling to attend an assessment until their request for audio recording can be fulfilled. Any claimants who request an audio recording of their face to face assessment will be given the option of waiting for this to be implemented before their assessment takes place. In the meantime, claimants may use their own equipment to record their face to face assessment, should they wish to, as stated in the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG).

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has issued guidance to employers on the offer of halal-compliant pensions and employers' obligations under the Equality Act 2010.

The Pensions Regulator provides guidance for employers on matters they should consider when selecting a pension scheme to satisfy their automatic enrolment duties. As part of this guidance employers are invited to consider whether the scheme offers investment options that suit the needs of their staff, such as funds that comply with Sharia law. As with all official guidance, this is kept under review and updated where appropriate.

Since 2019, the Government has required trustees of occupational pension schemes to set out their policy publicly on how they take members’ views into account. Many have provided feedback mechanisms; some have created new fund options as a result of member demand.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she will take to ensure that recordings of personal independence payment assessments by private providers are stored securely; and who will have access to those recordings and for what purpose.

Claimants may use their own equipment to record their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) face to face assessment, should they wish to, as stated in the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG). Certain devices that are capable of editing, real-time streaming or video recording the session are not approved. Non-approved devices include (but are not limited to) PCs, tablets, smart phones, MP3 players, smart watches, and devices that are not capable of providing a verifiable media copy that can be easily checked during the assessment. Acceptable formats for such recordings are restricted to CD and audio cassette only.

We are currently working with providers to deliver an audio recording service for face to face assessments, which resumed on 17 May 2021, that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment and we aim to complete this as soon as practically possible.

Following assessment, a complete and accurate copy of the recording will be created for both parties. This will ensure that both the claimant and the department have access to an identical copy of the recorded assessment. It is not possible for the HP to provide the claimant with a copy of the audio recording in an acceptable format at the end of the assessment, however, a copy of the recording will be sent to the claimant following the assessment by secure delivery.

The department has worked closely with both PIP assessment providers to ensure the storage of recordings meet the required DWP Security Standards. Access to recordings in the provider space is strictly limited, monitored and controlled. Those who have access will only do so for the purposes of producing a claimant copy of the recording, for complaint resolution purposes or for benefit decision appeal proceedings.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy that claimants receive a copy of the recording of Personal Independence Payment assessments on the same day as that assessment.

Claimants may use their own equipment to record their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) face to face assessment, should they wish to, as stated in the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG). Certain devices that are capable of editing, real-time streaming or video recording the session are not approved. Non-approved devices include (but are not limited to) PCs, tablets, smart phones, MP3 players, smart watches, and devices that are not capable of providing a verifiable media copy that can be easily checked during the assessment. Acceptable formats for such recordings are restricted to CD and audio cassette only.

We are currently working with providers to deliver an audio recording service for face to face assessments, which resumed on 17 May 2021, that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment and we aim to complete this as soon as practically possible.

Following assessment, a complete and accurate copy of the recording will be created for both parties. This will ensure that both the claimant and the department have access to an identical copy of the recorded assessment. It is not possible for the HP to provide the claimant with a copy of the audio recording in an acceptable format at the end of the assessment, however, a copy of the recording will be sent to the claimant following the assessment by secure delivery.

The department has worked closely with both PIP assessment providers to ensure the storage of recordings meet the required DWP Security Standards. Access to recordings in the provider space is strictly limited, monitored and controlled. Those who have access will only do so for the purposes of producing a claimant copy of the recording, for complaint resolution purposes or for benefit decision appeal proceedings.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will take steps to ensure that recording equipment will be available on site for all personal independence payment assessments as soon as face-to-face assessments resume.

Claimants may use their own equipment to record their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) face to face assessment, should they wish to, as stated in the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG). Certain devices that are capable of editing, real-time streaming or video recording the session are not approved. Non-approved devices include (but are not limited to) PCs, tablets, smart phones, MP3 players, smart watches, and devices that are not capable of providing a verifiable media copy that can be easily checked during the assessment. Acceptable formats for such recordings are restricted to CD and audio cassette only.

We are currently working with providers to deliver an audio recording service for face to face assessments, which resumed on 17 May 2021, that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment and we aim to complete this as soon as practically possible.

Following assessment, a complete and accurate copy of the recording will be created for both parties. This will ensure that both the claimant and the department have access to an identical copy of the recorded assessment. It is not possible for the HP to provide the claimant with a copy of the audio recording in an acceptable format at the end of the assessment, however, a copy of the recording will be sent to the claimant following the assessment by secure delivery.

The department has worked closely with both PIP assessment providers to ensure the storage of recordings meet the required DWP Security Standards. Access to recordings in the provider space is strictly limited, monitored and controlled. Those who have access will only do so for the purposes of producing a claimant copy of the recording, for complaint resolution purposes or for benefit decision appeal proceedings.

15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason personal independence payment claimants are not permitted to use their own digital recording devices to record their assessments.

Claimants may use their own equipment to record their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) face to face assessment, should they wish to, as stated in the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG). Certain devices that are capable of editing, real-time streaming or video recording the session are not approved. Non-approved devices include (but are not limited to) PCs, tablets, smart phones, MP3 players, smart watches, and devices that are not capable of providing a verifiable media copy that can be easily checked during the assessment. Acceptable formats for such recordings are restricted to CD and audio cassette only.

We are currently working with providers to deliver an audio recording service for face to face assessments, which resumed on 17 May 2021, that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment and we aim to complete this as soon as practically possible.

Following assessment, a complete and accurate copy of the recording will be created for both parties. This will ensure that both the claimant and the department have access to an identical copy of the recorded assessment. It is not possible for the HP to provide the claimant with a copy of the audio recording in an acceptable format at the end of the assessment, however, a copy of the recording will be sent to the claimant following the assessment by secure delivery.

The department has worked closely with both PIP assessment providers to ensure the storage of recordings meet the required DWP Security Standards. Access to recordings in the provider space is strictly limited, monitored and controlled. Those who have access will only do so for the purposes of producing a claimant copy of the recording, for complaint resolution purposes or for benefit decision appeal proceedings.

23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will review the weekly Statutory Sick Pay rate prior to its planned uprating on 6 April 2020.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be uprated on 6 April 2020 in line with inflation from £94.25 per week to £95.85. SSP provides financial support to an employee when they are off work sick. Those on low pay can receive more help through the welfare system, depending on their personal circumstances.

17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help support charities which are researching Type 1 diabetes.

The Department supports research charities, including those researching type 1 diabetes, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Research England’s Quality Related Charity Research Support Fund. This includes supporting the charity-funded ADDRESS-2 diabetes research database resource through the NIHR’s Clinical Research Network.

The Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy announced a £20 million initiative to support medical research charity-funded early career researchers. All fundraising medical research charities in the United Kingdom, including charities researching type 1 diabetes, which have funded an early career researcher in 2021/22 were eligible to apply.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that victims of medical negligence are able to seek redress for (a) damage, (b) suffering and (c) diminished earnings that have been found to result from receiving inadequate care from less experienced doctors.

A cross-system National Patient Safety Programme Board was established in February 2021 to provide new coordination and monitoring of improvements in patient safety and response to harm across the National Health Service. All registered healthcare professionals must keep within their scope of practice at all times to ensure they are practising safely, lawfully and effectively.

A person who believes they have been injured as a result of negligent medical treatment can take legal action to claim appropriate compensation. Where a claim is upheld, compensation is determined with the aim of restoring the person, as far as possible, into the same position they were in had the negligent injury not occurred. This could include compensation for loss of earnings and for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support he is providing to hospitals that have backlogs of patients awaiting emergency operations.

We expect all National Health Service trusts to prioritise patients based on clinical need and then by length of wait. We therefore expect there to be little to no backlog for emergency operations.

We have provided £2 billion to support the wider recovery of elective surgery and increase activity in addition to £8 billion over the next three years to transform elective services. This funding, together with the £1 billion Elective Recovery Fund, could deliver the equivalent of approximately nine million more checks, scans and procedures or the equivalent of 30% more elective activity by 2024-25.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason people who have been fully vaccinated against covid-19 on a mixed-vaccine course and are travelling from an amber list country have to quarantine for ten days.

There is now a single ‘red list’ of countries. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the ‘red list’ is dependent on the individual’s vaccination status. Those who are fully vaccinated with a mixed doses of one of the four vaccines authorised for supply in the United Kingdom arriving from countries and territories currently approved for relaxed inbound travel measures do not have to quarantine.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether British citizens residing overseas who have been double vaccinated abroad and want to return to the UK from amber list countries need to quarantine after returning from those countries; and what steps he is taking to alleviate the need for those people to have to enter quarantine on arrival in the UK.

Currently, British citizens returning to England must have received the full course of COVID-19 vaccination under any of the following programmes in order to qualify for ‘amber list’ countries relaxed inbound travel measures and need not quarantine:

- A United Kingdom vaccination programme approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA);

- A UK vaccine programme overseas, approved by the MHRA;

- A vaccination programme authorised by the European Medicines Agency or Swissmedic;

- A vaccination programme authorised by the Food and Drug Administration and must also be resident in the United States of America.

From 4 October, the ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ traffic light system will be replaced with a single ‘red list’ of countries and the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the ‘red list’ will depend on the international arrivals’ vaccination status. Fully vaccinated British citizens residing in seventeen countries and territories will be able to travel to the UK without the need to quarantine.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a UK national returning to the UK from a country that is on the red list for travel is required to quarantine for 10 days in a covid-19 hotel; and what guidance his Department has published on measures in place for those travelling to the UK (a) to visit a family member who is currently in palliative care and (b) for other emergency reasons.

United Kingdom nationals returning to the UK who have been in or transited through a country on the red list in the past 10 days are required to book into managed quarantine facility to quarantine for 10 days.

Individuals entering a managed quarantine facility will only be able to leave their room, other than for daily exercise, in very limited circumstances. This includes visiting a close family member who is dying and for medical assistance. Further guidance is provided at GOV.UK.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that adequate funding is made available to support the physical and mental health of families of children with autism.

As set out in the Mental Health Wellbeing and Recovery Plan published on 27 March 2021, there is an additional £31 million allocated in 2021/22 to improve support in the community for autistic adults and children and for people with a learning disability, with £3 million allocated for respite and short breaks aimed at helping families, including those of autistic children. During 2020/21 we allocated £3.6 million to voluntary sector organisations to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of autistic people, people with a learning disability and their families impacted by COVID-19 by funding services providing direct, practical support. We are refreshing the national autism strategy and extending its scope to include children and young people. The strategy, which we expect to publish this spring, will include actions to improve physical and mental health support for autistic children and their families.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason UK residents returning from abroad are required to pay for the two compulsory covid-19 tests that are required during the 10-day quarantine period.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what covid-19 workplace protections have been put in place for keyworkers who are travelling to and from work and are living with vulnerable people.

The Government has not put in place specific protections for key workers travelling to work. However, safer travel guidance for all passengers is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

Guidance for working safely during COVID-19 is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Although shielding is not currently in place, clinically extremely vulnerable people who are at higher risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19 are advised to take extra precautions to reduce their risk of infection. Updated guidance, including advice to maintain social distancing when meeting with people from outside their household, is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what protections his Department has put in place for key workers that travel to work and live with vulnerable people during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has not put in place specific protections for key workers travelling to work. However, safer travel guidance for all passengers is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

Guidance for working safely during COVID-19 is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

Although shielding is not currently in place, clinically extremely vulnerable people who are at higher risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19 are advised to take extra precautions to reduce their risk of infection. Updated guidance, including advice to maintain social distancing when meeting with people from outside their household, is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to (a) tackle the backlog of cancer screenings and (b) shorten the referral time for treatment for patients in north east London.

Bowel screening in London is within national standards while cervical screening services are expected to recover its sample deficit by July 2021. The YouScreen cervical self-sampling project is also taking place within some practices in north east London to support increase in coverage. We are also looking to increase the offer of choice for cervical sampling options for women through expanding commissioning of cervical screening in sexual health services. Breast screening services in north east London are expected to tackle their backlogs by March 2022.

We have invested £1 billion to help the NHS recover from the pandemic and begin to address backlogs in elective care, with cancer care a key priority. Decisions on funding affecting patients in North East London are being made at local levels.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to increase the allocation of funding from the public purse to NHS cancer services in (a) north east London and (b) England.

To receive national funding the North East London Cancer Commissioning Group are creating delivery plans, in line with the National Health Service 2021/22 Planning Guidance, across elective inpatient, outpatient and diagnostic services for adults and children for April 2021 to September 2021, with the aim to reach the funding threshold of 85% of activity by July.

Nationally, the Spending Review 2020 confirmed an additional £3 billion for the NHS on top of the long-term settlement, to support the NHS recovery from the impact of COVID-19. Cancer patients will continue to be prioritised with the NHS and will benefit from the approximately £1 billion to begin tackling the elective backlog and approximately £1.5 billion to help ease existing pressures in the NHS caused by the pandemic. This package will be supported by £325 million capital funding for NHS diagnostics, which is enough to replace over two thirds of imaging equipment over 10 years old.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of Oximeters on the treatment of covid-19; and what plans he has to make them more widely available.

There are ongoing data collection and evaluation workstreams underway as part of the COVID-19 oximetry programmes. Oximeters are not used in the treatment of COVID-19 but in the early detection ‘silent hypoxia’ which seems to present more commonly in patients with risk factors. Measuring decreases in blood oxygen levels using oximeters helps identify patients who are at risk of clinical deterioration which in turn improves outcomes. Oximeters are already widely available in primary care and secondary care across England for patients with COVID-19 and with risk factors based on clinical judgement.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the sickness absence rates of employees working for outsourced NHS Soft FM providers (a) from January 2020 to July 2020 and (b) from January 2019 to July 2019.

The Department does not hold the data requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the sickness absence rates for social care workers (a) from January 2020 to July 2020 and (b) January 2019 to July 2019.

The sickness absence rates for social care workers is not collected centrally by the Department.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of all social care providers operating on publicly funded contracts.

This information is not held centrally. Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities are responsible for commissioning publicly funded adult social care services. They have a legal duty to fund care for people with eligible needs and who meet the financial thresholds for public funding, and to commission care services for anyone who meets these requirements. The local government transparency code requires local authorities to publish details of any commissioned activity with a value that exceeds £5,000.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the total value is of NHS Soft FM contracts for the most recent period in which such information is available.

Information is not collected centrally on Soft Facility Management (FM) providers working for the National Health Service.

Data is collected annually through the Estates Return Information Collection on the NHS estate including its facility management services. The reported Soft FM (Hotel services) costs for 2018-19 were £3,156 million.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a list of all Soft FM providers operating on publicly funded NHS contracts.

Information is not collected centrally on Soft Facility Management (FM) providers working for the National Health Service.

Data is collected annually through the Estates Return Information Collection on the NHS estate including its facility management services. The reported Soft FM (Hotel services) costs for 2018-19 were £3,156 million.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the NHS has an adequate supply of antiviral and immune therapy drugs to treat patients; and what the timescale is for the supply of those drugs to be sufficient to meet demand.

The Department and Public Health England hold, or have contracts with suppliers for, stockpiles of a wide range of essential medicines. The Department is working closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help ensure patients can access the medicines they need.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to issue guidance on aerosol production in dentistry and the risk of spreading covid-19 to staff and patients.

NHS England and NHS Improvement issue regular updates to general dental practices and community dental services regarding the emerging COVID-19 situation. The latest update was issued on 20 March 2020 and includes guidance on aerosol generating procedures. This can be viewed online at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/preparedness-letters-for-dental-care/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when supplies of personal protective equipment will be increased to meet the added demand in the NHS resulting from covid-19.

There is currently adequate national supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) in line with Public Health England’s recommended usage, and the pandemic influenza stockpile has now been released. Millions more items of personal protective equipment for frontline staff have been delivered over the last few days to hospitals.

There are well-established procedures to deal with supply issues, should they arise, by working closely with industry, the National Health Service and others in the supply chain to help prevent shortages. We are constantly monitoring this and working to manage demand and secure additional stocks to further enhance our preparedness.

The army and Clipper are now supporting the effort to manage and offload supplies in busy NHS settings, helping to distribute and deliver urgent PPE supplies directly to the frontline.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the NHS will get an adequate supply of covid-19 testing kits and reagents.

The Government has bought 17.5 million antibody tests with ongoing orders for millions more.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are asking identified pathology network laboratories to start working up validation of commercially available kits that can be automated to further increase the available testing capacity across England. Once the test is validated and risk assessments have been completed, a 24 hours a day, seven days a week offering will be considered, and testing should be prioritised above other pathology tests as urgent and high priority, including the return of results.

The British In Vitro Diagnostics Association said the problem was a shortage of reagent kits in the global supply chain. While manufacturers are producing the kits as rapidly as they can, the firms are having to prioritise what products are shipped where.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the NHS plans to offer testing for covid-19 to staff members.

We know that dedicated National Health Service staff want to be caring for patients on the frontline, but without a test, if they or a member of their household develops symptoms they are required to self-isolate.

NHS frontline staff tests started on 27 March, with hundreds of staff to be tested. On 29 March, the Government confirmed that a testing programme to support NHS staff will increase throughout this week and tests will be turned around as quickly as possible. If a NHS worker falls ill, they can now come into one of the drive-in centers and get tested, so they know whether or not they have COVID-19.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether immediate access to covid-19 testing will be made available to (a) vital staff and (b) primary care staff to avoid unnecessary self-isolation.

Our first priority is to make sure that we use those tests on the people who need them most.

Public Health England has rolled its own test out to a number of National Health Service collaborators to increase daily testing capacity and it is evaluating commercial tests to allow the NHS to consider faster tests. On 17 March the Prime Minister announced that capacity would increase to 25,000 a day in two weeks

Testing of healthcare workers is happening already and will continue to expand as capacity increases.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure provision of public information on covid-19 guidance in all languages spoken in cities throughout the UK.

As part of the Government's work to ensure the population are informed about COVID-19 and how best to respond, work is ongoing to translate the stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) and the guidance on social distancing for everyone in the United Kingdom and protecting older people and vulnerable adults (COVID-19) into a range of languages. These are the critical pieces of guidance that are relevant to a general public audience.

The translations include Polish, Welsh, Arabic (Modern), French, Simplified Chinese (Mandarin), Traditional Chinese (Cantonese), Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, and Portuguese.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how long the covid-19 testing and diagnosis process takes; and what steps he is taking to make covid-19 testing more (a) accessible and (b) efficient.

Testing in most laboratories currently takes 24-48 hours from the time a sample arrives. This is because of the numbers received and handling the COVID-19 specimens safely involves a complex laboratory process.

Public Health England (PHE) has rolled its own test out to a number of National Health Service collaborators to increase daily testing capacity and it is evaluating commercial tests to allow the NHS to consider faster tests.

On 17 March, the Prime Minister announced that capacity would increase to 25,000 a day in two weeks.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many fatalities the Government has estimated from its herd immunisation modelling of covid-19.

Herd immunity is not part of our action plan but is a natural by-product of an epidemic. Our aims are to save lives, protect the most vulnerable, and relieve pressure on the National Health Service.

We have now moved out of the contain phase and into delay, and we have experts working round the clock. Every measure that we have or will introduce will be based on the best scientific evidence.

Our awareness of the likely levels of immunity in the country over the coming months will ensure our planning and response is as accurate and effective as possible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what assessment he has made of the availability of personal protective equipment for (a) workers who deliver primary care services and (b) GPs; and what additional resources have been allocated to the provision of that equipment.

The Government is working around the clock to give the National Health Service and social care sectors the PPE equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. We are working to expand supply from overseas and improve domestic manufacturing capability. The NHS, industry and the Armed Forces have created a PPE distribution network almost from scratch, providing drops of critical equipment to 58,000 healthcare settings including GPs and pharmacies. The Government is working with e-commerce expertise to pilot a new online portal to help primary and social care providers to order critical PPE.

Over 1.6billion items of PPE have been distributed across the health and social care system.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps she is taking with international partners to ensure that religious liberties and human rights are upheld in Slovakia.

Promoting freedom of religion and human rights is an important part of our work in Slovakia. We continue to promote women's and minority rights, and have regular dialogue with inter-religious groups, local human rights organisations and activists, and international partners. We welcomed Slovakia's appointment of an Ambassador for Human Rights and the convening of a conference on human rights by the Slovak Foreign Ministry in Bratislava on 26 October which was attended by the UK Human Rights Ambassador.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reason the UK voted against the UN Resolution A/RES/75/237 calling for action for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

The UK Government is committed to tackling all forms of racism, including antisemitism. We could not agree with the multiple references to the Durban Conference in the UN resolution, given our historic concerns over antisemitism related to that Conference. We also could not accept language welcoming the recent commemorative event in New York, which the UK and many other states did not attend, because of those concerns.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support the Government is providing to third world countries to tackle climate change.

As the Prime Minister has said, Climate is the top priority for the UK. I am looking forward to COP next week which will be the key moment to promote international cooperation on tackling climate change.

Since 2011 UK International Climate Finance has helped over 88 million people cope with the effects of climate change, installed 2,400 megawatts of clean energy and reduced or avoided 180 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries.

We remain committed to our pledge to spend £11.6 billion on international climate finance between 2021 and 2026 and to continuing to support developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change, adopt clean growth pathways and reduce carbon emissions.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has been made of the effectiveness of Police Scotland's training programme in Sri Lanka in reducing instances of torture and human rights violations.

The UK's police training programme has focused on developing community policing, supporting women in the Sri Lankan police service, and improving the response to sexual and gender-based violence. The UK's programme work in Sri Lanka is subject to regular and robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programme in Sri Lanka is also subject to an annual review, which can be found by visiting https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/projects/GB-GOV-3-CSSF-09-000003/documents

7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions officials in his Department have had with their Sri Lankan counterparts on the UK General Scheme of Preferences.

The UK replicated the EU's General Scheme of Preferences (GSP) (a trade preferences scheme) from January 2021. Sri Lanka, as a member of the EU's GSP, was automatically enrolled into the UK's Enhanced Framework which requires countries to ratify and effectively implement the same 27 international conventions on human and labour rights, sustainability and good governance. Lord Ahmad spoke with the Sri Lankan Minister responsible for Money, Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms, Minister Ajith Cabraal, in June and raised the importance of good governance and the rule of law to ensure a positive business environment for increased trade.

20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will undertake and publish an assessment of the human rights impact of the £6.3 million the Government has spent on supporting security reform in Sri Lanka.

The UK government's aim for security sector reform in Sri Lanka is to encourage the development of a modern, accountable and human rights compliant military, and support the development of a police service that is gender sensitive and respects human rights. Promoting adherence to international humanitarian law and human rights compliance is integral to our engagement.

All UK assistance, including training and defence engagement, is subject to robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations. Annual review summaries of our Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) programmes can be found online at: https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/projects/GB-GOV-3-CSSF-09-000003/documents

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he plans to apply sanctions against (a) General Shavendra Silva and (b) other officials in Sri Lanka accused of committing human rights abuses in that country.

Sanctions are one response among a number of diplomatic tools we can deploy around the world as part of a broader political strategy in order to change or send a political signal regarding particular behaviours. The Global Human Rights Sanctions regime gives the UK a powerful tool to hold to account those involved in serious human rights violations or abuses. We will continue to consider targets globally, guided by the objectives of the human rights sanctions regime and the evidence. However, it is not appropriate to speculate on who may be designated in the future, as to do so could reduce their impact.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will condemn the actions of the Israeli military in Gaza in response to the recent deaths of 28 Palestinians.

The ongoing violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is deeply concerning and must stop. Every effort must be made to avoid loss of life, especially that of children. The Prime Minister has called for an urgent de-escalation of tensions. The Foreign Secretary delivered messages of de-escalation in calls to Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 16 May, and Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh on 12 May. I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador and Palestinian Head of Mission in London on 11 May to urge them to de-escalate and restore calm and reiterate our position on this issue. We have also engaged the UN Security Council, calling for measures to reduce further violence. UK embassies throughout the Middle East are engaging regional partners, and we remain in close contact with the US administration and European allies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will condemn the violence in Gaza.

The ongoing violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is deeply concerning and must stop. Every effort must be made to avoid loss of life, especially that of children. The Prime Minister has called for an urgent de-escalation of tensions. The Foreign Secretary delivered messages of de-escalation in calls to Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 16 May, and Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh on 12 May. I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador and Palestinian Head of Mission in London on 11 May to urge them to de-escalate and restore calm and reiterate our position on this issue. We have also engaged the UN Security Council, calling for measures to reduce further violence. UK embassies throughout the Middle East are engaging regional partners, and we remain in close contact with the US administration and European allies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to deescalate the growing conflict in the Gaza Strip.

The ongoing violence across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is deeply concerning and must stop. Every effort must be made to avoid loss of life, especially that of children. The Prime Minister has called for an urgent de-escalation of tensions. The Foreign Secretary delivered messages of de-escalation in calls to Israeli Foreign Minister Ashkenazi on 16 May, and Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh on 12 May. I spoke to the Israeli Ambassador and Palestinian Head of Mission in London on 11 May to urge them to de-escalate and restore calm and reiterate our position on this issue. We have also engaged the UN Security Council, calling for measures to reduce further violence. UK embassies throughout the Middle East are engaging regional partners, and we remain in close contact with the US administration and European allies.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he will take to pressure the Israeli Government to end the eviction of Palestinians from their homes and adhere to international law.

The UK regularly raises forced evictions of Palestinians from property with the Government of Israel. The Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to all occupied territories, prohibits demolitions or forced evictions absent military necessity. The UK is clear that in all but the most exceptional of circumstances, evictions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to Palestinians and is harmful to efforts to promote peace.

I tweeted on the 8 May outlining our concern over tensions in Jerusalem linked to the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. We continue to urge Israel to cease such actions. UK Officials at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv continue to raise the issue regularly with the Israeli Authorities.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will condemn the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound by Israeli forces, including (a) the attack on worshippers and (b) threatened evictions of Palestinians from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.

Violence against worshippers of whatever faith is unacceptable. It is important that policing is particularly sensitive around religious holy sites in Jerusalem, and particularly so during religious festivals like the holy month of Ramadan.

We remain concerned over tensions in Jerusalem linked to the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah. We continue to urge Israel to cease such actions, which in all but the most exceptional cases are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to arrange additional flights for UK nationals stranded in covid-19 red list countries to return to the UK.

British nationals currently in red listed countries can make use of the commercial options available if they need to return to the UK. We continue to carefully monitor the situation, including flight availability. British nationals are advised to regularly check travel advice and follow local guidance until they return to the UK. The FCDO continues to offer tailored consular assistance to British nationals overseas in need 24/7.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department is providing to the Government of the Maldives to (a) help combat terrorism, (b) support transitional justice mechanisms and (c) support security and defence; and if he will publish the programme documents for those activities.

Through the Conflict, Security, and Stabilisation Fund (CSSF), the UK provides assistance to the Government of Maldives to implement reforms in governance, security and justice and community development. This programme includes supporting the legislative branch, broader governance support on judicial reform and providing military training for the Maldives National Defence Force as part of UK defence engagement. Our counter-terrorism focus includes capability building programmes for protection against terrorist attacks, preparation and resilience from the impact of terrorism, improvements to the criminal justice sector and inter-operability between key Counter Terrorism stakeholders. CSSF programme summaries for 2020/21 will be published before parliament rises for summer.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will publish the human rights risk assessments undertaken for the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund in the Maldives in relation to the Government’s policy on Overseas Security and Justice Assistance.

UK assistance in Maldives is subject to robust Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) assessments that analyse the potential human rights, international humanitarian law, political and reputational risks of any proposed assistance to ensure that it supports our values and is consistent with our domestic and international human rights obligations. OSJAs are not published as they are internal documents which include a sensitive UK assessment of the human rights situation in a country at a given time. Disclosure could prejudice the UK's relations with foreign states, as well as its interests and ability to promote those interests. To be useful, OSJA assessments must be honest and remain relevant. In some cases, assessments may draw on material that is not publicly available and has been provided to the UK "in confidence". Disclosure could affect provision of such information in the future and compromise the ability to make sound OSJA assessments going forward.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to roll out the AstraZenica covid-19 vaccine to the developing world.

The UK is committed to rapid equitable access to safe and effective vaccines, and has committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC), which is the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines, 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 will contribute to the supply of at least 1.3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 for up to 92 developing countries.

We are proud that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is in the COVAX portfolio. The UK invested over £88 million into its development, and it is a testament to the UK's global scientific leadership. The COVAX portfolio includes 170 million AstraZeneca doses. COVAX has now delivered more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers: AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech, and the Serum Institute of India (SII). Agreements with additional vaccine suppliers will be announced shortly. Of the over 100 economies reached, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Nov 2020
What discussions he has had with his Sri Lankan counterpart on human rights in that country.

The UK Government takes the human rights situation in Sri Lanka very seriously.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for South Asia, raised a number of human rights concerns, including harassment of civil society and militarisation of civilian functions, when he spoke with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Gunawardena on 5 November.

We have urged Sri Lanka to address concerns in our statements to the UN Human Rights Council in February, June and September.

The UK will continue to highlight our concerns to the Government of Sri Lanka, and we will support human rights through our programme work including resettlement of victims of conflict and improving responses to sexual and gender based violence.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, for what reasons his Department was not aware of a collection of Defence Adviser reports for Sri Lanka from the 1970s to 1980s before 2020.

The central archive team in the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) was informed of these files in 2018 as part of long-running systematic project to identify, and to transfer into the FCDO central archive for review under the Public Records Act, historical files held in UK departments and at overseas posts. These files have been held at the British High Commission in Colombo. They are in the process of being transferred into the FCDO central archive for subsequent review under the Act.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Nov 2021
What steps he plans to take in response to the publication of the Pandora Papers to tackle (a) tax avoidance, (b) money laundering and (c) other financial crimes.

This government is committed to making the UK a hostile place for illicit finance and economic crime. We are determined to crack down on dirty money and financial exploitation, to protect our security and prosperity. We have taken action through our ‘No Safe Havens’ strategy to ensure the correct UK tax is paid; and our landmark 2019 Economic Crime Plan outlines a comprehensive response to ensure the UK cannot be abused for economic crime.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason his Department does not hold complaints in respect of the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme centrally.

HM Treasury operates a complaints procedure to review and respond to expressions of dissatisfaction with the services provided by the department. The complaints procedure is available on GOV.UK.

Separate procedures exist for questions or complaints about Government policy. If someone submitted an issue under the Treasury’s complaints procedure that concerned Government policy, the complaints team would pass this issue on to the relevant policy team.

While the Treasury records a total figure for the amount of correspondence received regarding the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), this represents a wide range of suggestions, thoughts and concerns. It would not be reasonable for the Treasury to determine whether each individual piece of correspondence could informally constitute a “complaint” about the SEISS. Given this, this information is not recorded centrally.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many complaints (a) his Department and (b) HMRC received from self-employed people who were unable to access the self-employment income support scheme; and whether his Department has conducted an impact assessment for that scheme on people with protected characteristics.

The information requested in point (a) is not held centrally by HM Treasury, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

On point (b), the Customer Services Group at HMRC received 7,253 complaints about the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). Of this number, 89 per cent were not fully upheld. Approximately 82 per cent of the total complaints were in relation to eligibility for the SEISS.

The Government takes equality considerations seriously and has been careful to give due regard to its Public Sector Equality Duties throughout its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In designing and refining the SEISS scheme, the Treasury undertook an analysis of how this may affect individuals with protected characteristics, in line with its Public Sector Equality Duty, and to ensure that equalities considerations inform the decisions taken by ministers.

18th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2020 to Question 52599 on Directors: Pay, how many of those directors reported as directors of a close company in the (a) less than £10,000, (b) £10,000-20,000, (c) £20,000-30,000, (d) £30,000-40,000 and (e) £40,000-50,000 bands of income reported in the last 12-month period for which figures are available.

Individuals can report that they are a director, and whether this directorship is of a Close Company, to HMRC on their Self-Assessment return.

The estimates are based on HMRC administrative data for the 2018/19 tax year. The data will not account for some late filing, those who have chosen not to report this information on the form, nor those who do not need to complete Self-Assessment returns.

Estimates of the number of directors of close companies and their income is set out in the table below. These numbers are rounded to the nearest 10,000 for individuals and the nearest £10 million for total dividends.

Total Income Reported

  • 60890
Number of Close Company Directors

  • 60891
Total dividend income of directors

  • 60891
Median dividend income of directors

Less than £10k

100,000

£50m

£0

£10-20k

220,000

£1.07bn

£2,000

£20-30k

180,000

£2.55bn

£10,750

£30-40k

160,000

£3.78bn

£20,000

£40-50k

220,000

£8.01bn

£31,000

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 26 May 2020 to Question 52599, what (a) total and (b) median dividend income was reported by directors who reported total income of (a) less than £10,000, (b) £10,000-20,000, (c) £20,000-30,000, (d) £30,000-40,000 and (e) £40,000-50,000 in the last 12 month period for which figures are available.

Individuals can report that they are a director, and whether this directorship is of a Close Company, to HMRC on their Self-Assessment return.

The estimates are based on HMRC administrative data for the 2018/19 tax year. The data will not account for some late filing, those who have chosen not to report this information on the form, nor those who do not need to complete Self-Assessment returns.

Estimates of the number of directors of close companies and their income is set out in the table below. These numbers are rounded to the nearest 10,000 for individuals and the nearest £10 million for total dividends.

Total Income Reported

  • 60890
Number of Close Company Directors

  • 60891
Total dividend income of directors

  • 60891
Median dividend income of directors

Less than £10k

100,000

£50m

£0

£10-20k

220,000

£1.07bn

£2,000

£20-30k

180,000

£2.55bn

£10,750

£30-40k

160,000

£3.78bn

£20,000

£40-50k

220,000

£8.01bn

£31,000

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the value of the forfeiture of tax revenue as a result of non-domiciled residents remaining in the UK after the 60-day covid-19 extension period.

The number of UK residents who claimed non-domicile tax status in the UK in each of the last five years can be found in Table 1 of ‘Statistics on Non-domiciled Taxpayers in the UK,’ available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-non-domiciled-taxpayers-in-the-uk.

COVID-19 measures and guidance related to the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) have been estimated to have a negligible cost to the exchequer. This is because they will in most cases preserve what an individual's tax residence determination would be in the absence of COVID-19. Individuals who utilise these changes in 2020-21 will, where necessary, be required to declare this in their Self-Assessment returns which are due in January 2022.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the average annual income of non-domiciled residents in the UK.

The number of UK residents who claimed non-domicile tax status in the UK in each of the last five years can be found in Table 1 of ‘Statistics on Non-domiciled Taxpayers in the UK,’ available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-non-domiciled-taxpayers-in-the-uk.

COVID-19 measures and guidance related to the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) have been estimated to have a negligible cost to the exchequer. This is because they will in most cases preserve what an individual's tax residence determination would be in the absence of COVID-19. Individuals who utilise these changes in 2020-21 will, where necessary, be required to declare this in their Self-Assessment returns which are due in January 2022.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the value of the forfeiture of tax revenue from non-domiciled residents that remained in the UK for the 60-day covid-19 extension period, who are exempt from paying the higher tax rate as a result of exceptional circumstances.

The number of UK residents who claimed non-domicile tax status in the UK in each of the last five years can be found in Table 1 of ‘Statistics on Non-domiciled Taxpayers in the UK,’ available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-on-non-domiciled-taxpayers-in-the-uk.

COVID-19 measures and guidance related to the Statutory Residence Test (SRT) have been estimated to have a negligible cost to the exchequer. This is because they will in most cases preserve what an individual's tax residence determination would be in the absence of COVID-19. Individuals who utilise these changes in 2020-21 will, where necessary, be required to declare this in their Self-Assessment returns which are due in January 2022.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether self-assessment tax return forms that were amended between the period 26 March 2020 to 20 April 2020 will be accepted in consideration for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS); and whether discretion will be used to ensure that people who made amendments to their self-assessment forms due to genuine error will receive the appropriate support from SEISS.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is designed to be delivered quickly and so is based on information HMRC already hold. This also provides some protection against fraud and abuse.

The SEISS is governed by a Direction issued by the Treasury. That Direction clearly sets out the parameters of the scheme, including the eligibility and payment calculation rules. The 2018-19 return must have been filed by 23 April 2020, and no amendments made after 6pm on 26 March will be taken into account. The SEISS makes no provision to accept later returns or amendments, for example on reasonable excuse or error grounds. If claimants feel HMRC have got their eligibility decision wrong they may ask for a review, following the process set out on GOV.UK.

26th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people who are directors of limited companies received total payments, including dividends, of (a) under £10,000, (b) £10,000-£20,0000, (c) £20,000-£30,0000, (d) £30,000-£40,000, (e) £40,000-£50,000, (f) £50,000-£100,000 and (g) £100,000 and above, in the last 12 month period for which figures are available.

Individuals can report that they are a director on their Self-Assessment return. HMRC have provided data based on these individuals for the 2018/19 tax year, but this will not account for late filing behaviour, those who have chosen not report this information on the form, or those who do not need to complete Self-Assessment returns. Based on this data, HMRC have estimated responses to the questions, rounded to the nearest 10,000 individuals.

52599:

Total Income Reported

Number of Directors

Less than £10k

150,000

£10-20k

340,000

£20-30k

260,000

£30-40k

230,000

£40-50k

310,000

£50-100k

330,000

Greater than £100k

170,000

52600:

Dividends Income Reported

Number of Directors

Less than £10k

900,000

£10-20k

250,000

£20-30k

200,000

£30-40k

220,000

£40-50k

70,000

£50-100k

120,000

Greater than £100k

40,000

52601:

The mean income of directors based on HMRC data is £59,000, and the median is £36,400, both rounded to the nearest £100.

26th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people who are directors of limited companies received total dividend payments of (a) under £10,000, b) £10,000-£20,0000, (c) £20,000-£30,0000, (d) £30,000-£40,000, (e) £40,000-£50,000, (f) £50,000-£100,000 and (g) £100,000 and above for the latest 12 month period for which figures are available.

Individuals can report that they are a director on their Self-Assessment return. HMRC have provided data based on these individuals for the 2018/19 tax year, but this will not account for late filing behaviour, those who have chosen not report this information on the form, or those who do not need to complete Self-Assessment returns. Based on this data, HMRC have estimated responses to the questions, rounded to the nearest 10,000 individuals.

52599:

Total Income Reported

Number of Directors

Less than £10k

150,000

£10-20k

340,000

£20-30k

260,000

£30-40k

230,000

£40-50k

310,000

£50-100k

330,000

Greater than £100k

170,000

52600:

Dividends Income Reported

Number of Directors

Less than £10k

900,000

£10-20k

250,000

£20-30k

200,000

£30-40k

220,000

£40-50k

70,000

£50-100k

120,000

Greater than £100k

40,000

52601:

The mean income of directors based on HMRC data is £59,000, and the median is £36,400, both rounded to the nearest £100.

26th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the (a) median and (b) mean payment, including dividends, was to directors of limited companies in the last 12 month period for which figures are available.

Individuals can report that they are a director on their Self-Assessment return. HMRC have provided data based on these individuals for the 2018/19 tax year, but this will not account for late filing behaviour, those who have chosen not report this information on the form, or those who do not need to complete Self-Assessment returns. Based on this data, HMRC have estimated responses to the questions, rounded to the nearest 10,000 individuals.

52599:

Total Income Reported

Number of Directors

Less than £10k

150,000

£10-20k

340,000

£20-30k

260,000

£30-40k

230,000

£40-50k

310,000

£50-100k

330,000

Greater than £100k

170,000

52600:

Dividends Income Reported

Number of Directors

Less than £10k

900,000

£10-20k

250,000

£20-30k

200,000

£30-40k

220,000

£40-50k

70,000

£50-100k

120,000

Greater than £100k

40,000

52601:

The mean income of directors based on HMRC data is £59,000, and the median is £36,400, both rounded to the nearest £100.

16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to help build trust with Muslim communities and to work with faith leaders in eradicating extremism.

The Government remains determined to promote British values actively, working in partnership and alongside all communities to demonstrate what we have in common as the best defence against extremists who would seek to divide us.

We will not tolerate those who spread divisive and harmful narratives. We are committed to tackling those who spread views of any ideology that promote violence and hatred against individuals and communities in our society, and that radicalise others into terrorism.

Our work to counter radicalisation through Prevent works best when it is delivered in partnership with communities and civil society, including faith institutions. We also work with our delivery partners to facilitate a comprehensive programme of engagement events aimed at local communities around the country. This programme invites members of the public to learn more about Prevent and also discuss and offer their views on Prevent.

In addition, Sara Khan has been appointed by the Prime Minister as the government’s Independent Adviser for Social Cohesion and Resilience, as part of government action to tackle extremism in our communities.

She will hear from both victims of extremism and those on the frontline working to combat it – from teachers to faith leaders to local councils – to understand and ultimately counteract its effects.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to provide financial support for visa fees to people in receipt of personal independence payments and universal credit.

The Home Office provides exceptions to the need to pay application fees in a number of specific circumstances to ensure the Home Office’s immigration and nationality fee structure complies with international obligations and wider government policy.

Fee waivers are available on affordability grounds where the payment of a fee would be incompatible with an applicant’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. Detailed guidance can be found via the following link:

Fee waiver - casework guidance (publishing.service.gov.uk)

The Home Office keeps fees for immigration and nationality applications under review and ensures they are within the parameters agreed with HM Treasury and Parliament.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to provide mental health support to (a) asylum seekers who have come to the UK from war torn countries with a record of severe human right abuses and (b) other people seeking asylum in the UK.

Asylum seekers can access the same NHS health services as UK citizens while their asylum claim is pending, and this of course includes mental health services. Home Office staff and contractors may make referrals to NHS healthcare providers where they become aware of serious health issues.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the Government will take steps to review the English B1 and Life in UK Test for spouses and carers of disabled and extremely vulnerable patients in light of the role that carers and spouses have played during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government believes those seeking to make a permanent home in the UK should be equipped to integrate successfully in the UK, with an appropriate level of English and an understanding of British life and society’s expectations.

All applicants between the ages of 18 and 65 are therefore required to pass the Life in the UK test; and meet the English language requirement, either when applying for settlement or citizenship.

There is discretion to waive these requirements if a person’s physical or mental condition means it would be unreasonable for them to have to pass the test or learn English. Applicants must submit a medical waiver form completed by a medical practitioner to support their request for exemption from these requirements.

Unless the requirement is met because the applicant is a national of a majority English-speaking country, or they have a degree taught or researched in English, we need to be satisfied as to their English language skills through the passing of a specified test at or above the required level.

We have established a range of measures to support those affected by the covid-19 outbreak. We continue to monitor the situation closely and take these exceptional circumstances into account.

Where a test centre is closed or inaccessible due to covid-19, an application will be put on hold and applicants are permitted to submit their test certificates at a later date. Further information about the current concessions in place can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-uk-visa-applicants-and-temporary-uk-residents.

If there is evidence the inability of an applicant to meet these requirements due to covid-19 will lead to significant detriment to the circumstances, dignity, and well-being of any disabled and extremely vulnerable patient who is dependent on them for their care, the Secretary of State has the power to grant leave on a discretionary basis outside the Immigration Rules. Further information on the requirements for cases considered outside the Immigration Rules can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/chapter-1-section-14-leave-outside-the-immigration-rules.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many workers have no recourse to public funds; and what steps the Government will take to support those workers financially during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is keeping the situation under constant review. For example, COVID19 has been added to the list of communicable diseases so anyone experiencing symptoms, regardless of their immigration status will be treated for free by the NHS.

The no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition is applied to the leave of most migrants in the UK as a legitimate means of maintaining and protecting our economic resources. Information about NRPF is held on individual case files so wider population data, such as that requested for all households nationally, is not held by the Home Office.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for which countries the armed forces provided training for in (a) 2018-19 and (b) 2019-20; and which armed service provided the training for each of those training programmes so provided.

The information requested has been placed in the library of the House.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, which munitions the RAF dropped on Iraq in April 2020; what the cost of each munition was; how many enemy combatants were killed from those munitions; whether and (d) whether any death or injury was caused to civilians from those munitions.

In April 2020, fourteen Paveway IV and one GBU-12 munitions were released in Iraq by the RAF. The weapon release mission reports indicate an estimate of three enemy killed in action. There are no reports of civilian causalities associated with the weapon release events.

Missile procurement costs are dependent on the quantity of missiles being procured, customer priorities and market conditions at the time. Specific cost details are commercially sensitive and therefore are not disclosed by the Ministry of Defence.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, on how many occasions did RAF (a) C-17s, (b) C-130s and (c) A400M’s departing from RAF Akrotiri land in Syria in April 2020.

The safety of military personnel on operations and UK assets in the Middle East is of great importance to Her Majesty's Government, which has a duty to protect sensitive information the release of which could jeopardise UK security. It is therefore Ministry of Defence, and wider Government, policy to not comment on or disclose details of operational movements, including the details which you have requested.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, for what reason RAF Akrotiri refuels BAE Systems’ weekly freighter flight between Warton Aerodrome in Lancashire and Ta’if in Saudi Arabia; whether his Department is aware of the contents of the freight being delivered on those flights; and for what reason those flights have been assessed as essential during the covid-19 lockdown.

These BAE Systems operated flights provide logistics support for UK-supplied aircraft and systems operated by the Royal Saudi Air Force, which play a key role in the defence and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These flights night-stop at RAF Akrotiri, both inbound and outbound from Saudi Arabia, for the wellbeing of the crew, to refuel and to assure the security of the aircraft and its cargo.

These flights do not carry passengers, nor is cargo loaded or off-loaded at RAF Akrotiri. During the present Covid-19 crisis the crews are provided with dedicated on-base accommodation, which allows them to be isolated fully from RAF Akrotiri personnel.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to publish further guidance on the full reopening of places of worship during the covid-19 outbreak.

Faith communities across the country have steadfastly observed nationwide restrictions and we are immensely grateful for their support and cooperation. I am pleased that, in large part because of the outstanding work of faith leaders and the efforts of their communities to observe guidance and keep people safe, places of worship have been able to remain open - including for communal worship - during recent restrictions.

The Guidance for the Safe Use of Places of Worship was updated on 12 April to reflect measures to ease restrictions from Step 2 of the Roadmap. We will keep the guidance updated as decisions on further Steps in the Roadmap are taken, and continue to support faith communities to understand and implement guidance to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he will consider amending covid-19 restrictions wedding guidelines to accommodate cultural ceremonies during the current outbreak.

Under current national lockdown restrictions, ceremonies and services are limited to six people and should be concluded in the shortest time reasonable. The Roadmap launched by the Prime Minister in February set out our ambition to progressively release these restrictions. At Step 2, the limit on those attending will increase to 15 and wedding receptions can also restart, also limited to 15. At Step 3, the limit will rise to 30 people. By Step 4, the aim is to remove all limits on weddings and other life events. ​​​​​​​

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including measures of (a) crime, (b) barriers to housing and services, (c) living environment deprivation and (d) inequalities within a local authority area when developing the index of economic resilience for the (i) UK Community Renewal Fund and (ii) Levelling Up Fund.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Feb 2021
What steps he is taking to ensure the remediation of residential buildings with unsafe cladding that are under 18 metres in height.

The Government has announced a generous financing scheme which will mean that buildings of 11-18 metres in height will be able to access finance for the remediation of unsafe cladding, with a commitment that leaseholders will not need to pay more than £50 a month towards this. By providing this financing scheme we are ensuring that money is available for remediation, accelerating the process and making homes safer as quickly as possible.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions he has had with representatives of charities that specialise in support for victims of domestic violence since March 2020.

The Government recognises the important role domestic abuse charities play in providing vital support to victims and sharing their expertise to help improve our response to this horrific crime. This is why ministers meet regularly with a range of sector organisations, as well as with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner, who works to ensure that views of victims and the support sector are conveyed to the Government.

Details of ministerial meetings, including with domestic abuse charities, are published proactively on gov.uk. The most recent release for the Ministry of Justice can be found at https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-releases?parent=%2Fgovernment%2Fgovernment-efficiency-transparency-and-accountability&topic=f3f4b5d3-49c4-487b-bd5b-be75f11ec8c5&organisations%5B%5D=ministry-of-justice&order=updated-newest. Updated information will be published shortly.

In March 2020, the Ministry of Justice also established the Victim and Witness Silver Command Group as a Covid-19 crisis management group to identify and respond to developing risks and issues likely to impact on victim and witness strategy, policy or operational effectiveness. The Group includes representatives from a range of domestic abuse organisations and continues to meet on a fortnightly basis.

We are determined to do more to protect victims and recently announced £40m for specialist rape and domestic abuse support services, on top of an extra £125m for local authorities to help provide safe accommodation for victims and their children. On 15th March, the government announced an additional £11m to recruit more Independent Domestic Violence Advisors and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors over the next two years.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to increase domestic violence victims’ access to legal aid in response to increasing levels of domestic violence during the covid-19 outbreak.

Domestic abuse is an abhorrent crime and we are determined to protect and support the victims of abuse and their children and bring perpetrators to justice.

The legal aid scheme is designed to target funding at those that need it most, and this government has always been clear that publicly-funded legal advice is available to victims of domestic abuse in family proceedings, subject to certain criteria being met.

Legal aid is and remains available for the purpose of obtaining urgent protection, such as non-molestation orders, without any evidence requirements and the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has the power to waive all upper financial eligibility limits. Victims of domestic abuse are also eligible for legal aid when applying for indefinite leave to remain or for residence cards, subject to the statutory means and merits tests.

We recently widened the evidence requirements for domestic abuse victims, making it easier for victims to obtain and provide the evidence they need to access legal aid.

We are currently conducting a review of the means test, where we are specifically considering the experiences of victims of domestic abuse. The review is scheduled to conclude in Spring 2021, at which point we will publish a full consultation paper.

We have also committed an extra £76 million to support the most vulnerable during the pandemic, including survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence. We’re also providing £3 million that will go to specialist services for children who have both been directly and indirectly affected by domestic abuse.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
27th Apr 2020
What steps he is taking to ensure that private (a) prisons and (b) probation contractors are taking appropriate measures in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Some contracted prisons are among our best performing establishments and I would like to thank Directors of private prisons for their resolute cooperation during this challenging time. All public and private prisons are aligned and working together during the COVID-19 pandemic, which gives testament to the good function of a mixed economy in prisons.

As with prisons, contracted probation services are running more streamlined delivery models, aligned with the models used by public probation services during the COVID-19 crisis. And we must not forget the good work of other contracted services such as the Electronic Monitoring Service and Prisoner Escort and Custody Service.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)