Stephen Timms Portrait

Stephen Timms

Labour - East Ham

Committee on Exiting the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on Exiting the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Education Committee
1st Feb 2016 - 31st Oct 2016
Education, Skills and the Economy Sub-Committee
1st Feb 2016 - 31st Oct 2016
Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)
8th Oct 2010 - 18th Sep 2015
Shadow Financial Secretary
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Shadow Minister (Digital Britain)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Digital Britain) (also HM Treasury)
6th Aug 2009 - 6th May 2010
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)
5th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Tax Law Rewrite Bills (Joint Committee)
12th Jan 2009 - 6th May 2010
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Employment and Welfare Reform)
25th Jan 2008 - 5th Oct 2008
Minister of State (Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) (Competitiveness)
2nd Jul 2007 - 25th Jan 2008
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
5th May 2006 - 28th Jun 2007
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th May 2005 - 5th May 2006
Public Accounts Committee
18th Oct 2004 - 12th Jul 2005
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Sep 2004 - 10th May 2005
Minister of State (e-Commerce & Competitiveness)
29th May 2002 - 9th Sep 2004
Minister of State (Education and Skills) (Schools)
11th Jun 2001 - 28th May 2002
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jul 1999 - 7th Jun 2001
Public Accounts Committee
3rd Nov 1999 - 11th May 2001
Minister of State (Department of Social Security)
1st Jan 1999 - 29th Jul 1999
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Social Security)
28th Jul 1998 - 30th Dec 1998
Treasury Committee
15th Jan 1996 - 21st Mar 1997
Consolidation etc. Bills (Joint Committee)
27th Jun 1994 - 21st Mar 1997


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 20th October 2021
09:15
Work and Pensions Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Children in poverty: No recourse to public funds
20 Oct 2021, 9:15 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Morgan Wild - Head of Policy at Citizens Advice
Caz Hattam - Coordinator at The Unity Project
Catherine Houlcroft - Principal Projects Officer at NRPF Network
Azmina Siddique - Policy and Research Manager (Child Poverty and Inequality) at Children’s Society
At 10.30am: Oral evidence
Susanne Miller - Chief Officer at Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership
Christianah Awodiji - Team Manager NRPF at Manchester Local Care Organisation
Cllr Jasmine Ali - Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education at Southwark Council
Penny Ademuyiwa - Assistant Director at North Kent
Leah Arnold - Service Manager, Strengthening Families at City of Wolverhampton Council
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Working People’s Finances: Government Policy
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 160 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 222 Noes - 300
Speeches
Monday 20th September 2021
Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right. That is why Independent Age has called on the Government properly to research who …

Written Answers
Monday 4th October 2021
Food Poverty: Pupils
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of trends in the …
Early Day Motions
Monday 21st June 2021
Alternative student finance
That this House notes that a significant number of Muslim young people do not take up a university place because …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: London City Airport
Address of donor: Royal Docks, London E16 2PB
Estimate of the probable value (or …
EDM signed
Thursday 23rd September 2021
Loss and Damage Awareness Day 2021
That this House welcomes the first ever Loss and Damage Awareness Day on 23 September 2021; recognises that many of …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Freedom of Information (Extension) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Stephen Timms has voted in 267 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Stephen Timms 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
Guy Opperman (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
(25 debate interactions)
Will Quince (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(23 debate interactions)
Thérèse Coffey (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(22 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Work and Pensions
(87 debate contributions)
Home Office
(23 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(23 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(19 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Stephen Timms's debates

East Ham 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 East Ham signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme


Latest EDMs signed by Stephen Timms

22nd September 2021
Stephen Timms signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 23rd September 2021

Loss and Damage Awareness Day 2021

Tabled by: Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrat - Bath)
That this House welcomes the first ever Loss and Damage Awareness Day on 23 September 2021; recognises that many of the communities worst affected by loss and damage are also the world's poorest; recognises the obligations of developed countries to support developing countries to mitigate the disastrous impacts of climate …
8 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 2
Labour: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Independent: 1
14th September 2021
Stephen Timms signed this EDM on Tuesday 21st September 2021

Role of Christian charity

Tabled by: Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
That this House celebrates the contribution of Christian charity, Faith in Later Life, as it seeks to mobilise the church to reach, serve and empower older people across the UK; notes the contribution of over 480 church champions, as it marks its first Annual conference to equip those who are …
12 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Sep 2021)
Signatures by party:
Democratic Unionist Party: 6
Conservative: 3
Liberal Democrat: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Labour: 1
View All Stephen Timms's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Stephen Timms, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Stephen Timms

Stephen Timms has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Stephen Timms has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


419 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
2 Other Department Questions
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department plans to take with the Department of Health and Social Care to expand housing options that include social care provision.

Offering vulnerable people a better choice of accommodation to suit their changing needs can help them live independently and feel more connected to their communities. Housing-with-care allows individuals to choose where they want to live, with whom, how they can best be supported, and what happens in their home. Both the Department of Levelling up, Housing and Communities and the Department of Health and Social Care provide capital funding to incentivise their supply.

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, where 10 per cent of delivery over the course of the programme will be used to increase the supply of much needed specialist or supported housing, including retirement housing. The Department of Health and Social Care are also continuing to subsidise new supply of specialist housing for older and disabled people through the Care and Support Specialised Housing (CASSH) Fund.

The Government's plan for health and social care, announced on Tuesday 7 September, also recognised the important role of housing, and supported housing in particular, in providing care and support to people in the community.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jul 2021
What plans he has to identify potential sources of finance to tackle climate-related loss and damage ahead of COP26.

I am taking a pragmatic approach to ensure that we increase overall finance moving to climate action, from both the public and private sector. Obviously, the 100 billion dollars a year promised by developed countries to support developing nations must be delivered and we also need to scale up finance for adaptation.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the change in the population of London since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a long-term target for floating wind platforms in securing economic benefits and UK supply chain growth.

The Government set an ambitious target of 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030 last year as part of the wider 40GW by 2030 offshore wind target, and is committed to ensuring the UK captures the economic benefits of deploying such technology.

We are committed to developing a strong supply chain for floating offshore wind in parallel with growing deployment and are working with industry and other stakeholders on this.

Floating offshore wind projects will be eligible to bid in the next Contract for Difference (CfD) allocation round, which will open in December 2021. Our approach to the next CfD allocation round will provide the foundation for investment in a sustainable, competitive UK based supply chain from which we will learn to help plan our future approach and the feasible scale of ramp up of deployment, building on the success of fixed bottom wind, which has this year delivered supply chain investments in blades, monopiles and transition pieces, creating and safeguarding over 1,800 direct jobs by 2030.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help secure the potential benefits of the supply chain position of the UK’s lead in floating wind technology.

The Government set an ambitious target of 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, last year as part of the wider 40GW by 2030 offshore wind target. This will stimulate development in projects and investment in the supply chain.

As part of the Government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio fund, announced in my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan, we are supporting innovation through the Floating Offshore Wind Demonstration Programme. This aims to support development and demonstration of state of the art technologies and products in the future offshore wind industry.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people started receiving (a) statutory paternity pay and (b) shared parental pay in each quarter since April 2015.

The Government is committed to supporting working parents. In 2015, we introduced Shared Parental Leave and Pay which gives eligible parents much more flexibility and choice in how they share care for their new child between them in the first year. The scheme is in addition to the Government’s 2-week Paternity Leave and Pay policy and gives fathers and partners access to up to 50 weeks of leave and 37 weeks of pay.

Take-up of Shared Parental Leave and Pay has been broadly in line with our initial estimates, which anticipated that a cultural change like this would take time to bed-in.

Table 1 below shows the number of individuals in receipt of Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Shared Parental Pay based on the month that the claim was first made.

Table 1: Individuals in receipt of Statutory Paternity Pay and Statutory Shared Parental Pay based on the month that the claim was first made by quarter, 2015/16 to 2019/20

Statutory Paternity Pay (month first claimed)

Statutory Shared Parental Pay (month first claimed)

Q1 15/16

51,900

1,200

Q2 15/16

55,000

1,400

Q3 15/16

52,200

1,500

Q4 15/16

54,200

1,900

Q1 16/17

55,100

2,000

Q2 16/17

56,200

2,000

Q3 16/17

52,900

1,700

Q4 16/17

54,000

2,000

Q1 17/18

51,400

2,100

Q2 17/18

55,500

2,200

Q3 17/18

52,600

1,900

Q4 17/18

51,200

1,900

Q1 18/19

48,300

2,300

Q2 18/19

50,300

2,600

Q3 18/19

47,600

2,200

Q4 18/19

54,000

2,400

Q1 19/20

50,800

2,900

Q2 19/20

53,100

3,500

Q3 19/20

50,400

2,400

  1. Data collected uses HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) and was extracted in March 2020. RTI is subject to revision or updates.
  2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
  3. For the 2015-16 tax year, those receiving Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) for children born before 6 April 2015 cannot be distinguished from those claiming ShPP within RTI data.

Data based on the month first claimed means that an individual who first claims statutory payment in a given month (i.e. had not claimed it in the previous month) and continues receiving statutory pay for multiple months would only be counted in the first month.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when she plans to reduce the age of entitlement to the National Living Wage to 21; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has announced that in April 2020 the National Living Wage (NLW) will increase by 6.2 per cent to £8.72 for those aged 25 and over. The Government has also announced inflation-beating increases in the National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates for younger workers and apprentices of between 4.6 per cent and 6.5 per cent.

My rt. hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has pledged that the National Living Wage will increase further, reaching two-thirds of median earnings by 2024, providing economic conditions allow. The Government also plans to expand the reach of the National Living Wage, bringing down the eligibility threshold first to age 23 in 2021 and then to 21 by 2024.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister to the Liaison Committee on 7 July 2021, Q79, that one of the key objectives of the Online Safety Bill is to tackle online fraud, if he will list the key objectives of the Online Safety Bill.

The Online Safety Bill will deliver the government’s manifesto commitment to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online while defending freedom of expression. The Bill’s key objectives are to protect users online and uphold users’ rights online.

With regard to protecting users, the Bill will focus on:

  • tackling criminal content online, including fraud where this is facilitated through user-generated content;

  • protecting children from harmful and inappropriate content; and

  • building trust between users and their online platforms.

To uphold users’ rights online, the legislation will defend freedom of expression and the invaluable role of a free press.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to the statement of the Prime Minister to the Liaison Committee on 7 July 2021, Q79, that one of the key objectives of the Online Safety Bill is to tackle online fraud, what plans he has for the Bill to tackle online fraud other than user-generated content.

Online fraud is in scope of the Online Safety Bill. This means that companies in scope of regulation will need to take action to tackle fraud, where it is facilitated through user-generated content or via search results.

Government is currently working with industry to remove the vulnerabilities that fraudsters exploit, with intelligence agencies to shut down known fraudulent infrastructure, and with law enforcement to identify and bring the most harmful offenders to justice. We are also working to ensure that the public have the advice and support they need.

We are continuing to explore additional legislative and non-legislative solutions to tackle fraud in the round. The Home Office is developing an ambitious Fraud Action Plan, which will be published after the 2021 Spending Review. The Online Advertising Programme, led by DCMS, will also consider further regulation of online advertising to reduce online fraud and we will be consulting on it later this year.

17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with his EU counterparts on UK productions touring in the EU; and if he will make a statement.

The UK’s creative industries are the finest in the world and this government is determined to support them. Touring is a vital part of musicians and performers’ careers, providing not only a vital income stream, but also enriching opportunities for cultural exchange across the world.

Being outside the European Union does not change this. It does, however, mean practical changes on both sides of the Channel that will require understanding and adaptation.

DCMS has established a working group with other key government departments, the devolved administrations, and over fifteen representatives from across the creative and cultural industries. The working group is seeking to build evidence on the impact leaving the EU has had on touring, to clarify the steps creative and cultural practitioners will need to take to tour in the EU, and identify ways to support those practitioners in touring confidently. We will set out next steps in due course.

We are now working urgently across government and in collaboration with the music and wider creative industries, including through a new working group, to help address these issues so that touring in Europe can resume with ease as soon as it is safe to do so.

17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department's working group has made on EU touring productions.

The UK’s creative industries are the finest in the world and this government is determined to support them. Touring is a vital part of musicians and performers’ careers, providing not only a vital income stream, but also enriching opportunities for cultural exchange across the world.

Being outside the European Union does not change this. It does, however, mean practical changes on both sides of the Channel that will require understanding and adaptation.

DCMS has established a working group with other key government departments, the devolved administrations, and over fifteen representatives from across the creative and cultural industries. The working group is seeking to build evidence on the impact leaving the EU has had on touring, to clarify the steps creative and cultural practitioners will need to take to tour in the EU, and identify ways to support those practitioners in touring confidently. We will set out next steps in due course.

We are now working urgently across government and in collaboration with the music and wider creative industries, including through a new working group, to help address these issues so that touring in Europe can resume with ease as soon as it is safe to do so.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of his Department's engagement with the live events supply chain businesses during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The government recognises the challenges faced by the arts and creative sector during the pandemic and has introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives. Supply chain organisations are recognised as a critical part of our sectors and were eligible to apply for the Culture Recovery Fund.

The discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) forms part of a wider package of support for businesses that have been mandated to close and also had their trade adversely affected by the Covid-19 Restrictions. The guidance for ARG funding encourages Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses which - while not legally forced to close - are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19.

This could include - for example - businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector. The guidance specifically refers to the live events sector.

We continue to engage with stakeholders, including through the Tourism Industry Council, and industry representatives, including the Chair of the Events Industry Board and the Events and Entertainment working group, to monitor the situation facing the sector.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussion he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on support for people working in the live event supply chain with previous operating profits of over £50,000 per year who are excluded from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

The Government recognises the significant challenge the current pandemic poses to the arts and creative sectors and to the many businesses, individuals and freelancers working across these industries. We are working very hard to help freelancers in those sectors access support, including through the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and funding from Arts Council England.

Live Event Supply chain organisations have benefitted from economy-wide support that the Government has provided, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The Government has announced that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and fifth grant. Individuals will be able to qualify for the new grants based on their 2019-20 tax returns. This means that over 600,000 self-employed individuals may be newly eligible for the SEISS, including many new to self-employment in 2019-20.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will take steps with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to encourage local authorities to provide financial support to live event supply chain businesses affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has introduced an unprecedented package of support for businesses that are required to close, or which are severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives. Supply chain organisations are recognised as a critical part of our sectors and were eligible to apply for the Culture Recovery Fund.

The discretionary Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) forms part of a wider package of support for businesses that have been mandated to close and also had their trade adversely affected by the Covid-19 Restrictions. The guidance for ARG funding encourages Local Authorities to develop discretionary grant schemes to help those businesses which - while not legally forced to close - are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19.

This could include - for example - businesses which supply the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, or businesses in the events sector. The guidance specifically refers to the live events sector.

It is up to each local authority to determine eligibility for the ARG based on their assessment of local economic need; however, we encourage local authorities to support businesses which have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, but which are ineligible for the other grant schemes.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using dormant assets to fund the delivery of national primary financial education; and if he will make a statement.

The Dormant Assets Scheme has allocated £96m to tackling financial exclusion and improving financial capability. Fair4All Finance has used this money to increase access to affordable financial products and services for people in vulnerable circumstances.

Following a 2020 public consultation, the government is developing new legislation to expand the Scheme, which could unlock £880m for social and environmental initiatives.

We are considering whether the ways that dormant assets funding can be spent should be reviewed, and will update on this.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he will launch the consultation on Online Advertising.

We intend to launch a public consultation during 2021 on measures to enhance the regulation of online advertising in the UK. The proposals in that consultation will build on the call for evidence we held in 2020, and we will consider options to enhance the regulation of advertising content and placement online.

6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to tackle the proliferation of online financial scam adverts; and if he will make a statement.

Fraudulent online financial advertising is illegal. Action Fraud, the national police centre for fraud and the Financial Conduct Authority as the financial regulator regularly investigate potential frauds.

Through DCMS's Online Advertising Programme (OAP) we are developing solutions that address harms in relation to general online advertising content and standards.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the prospects of securing a data adequacy agreement with the EU within the next six months.

The EU’s adequacy assessments, underway since March 2020, ascertain whether UK data protection standards are ‘essentially equivalent’ to the EU’s. Given we have an existing data protection framework that is equivalent to the EU’s, we see no reason why the UK should not be awarded adequacy and we expect the process to be concluded promptly.

The EU left insufficient time to adopt data adequacy decisions before the end of the transition period. We have therefore agreed with the EU a time-limited ‘bridging mechanism’ which will allow personal data to continue to flow as it did previously whilst EU adequacy decisions for the UK are adopted. In practice, we do not expect the bridging mechanism to be in place for more than 4 months, which is when the bridge is envisioned to expire, but there is scope to extend it to 6 months if required. As stated above, given the UK has an existing data protection framework that is equivalent to the EU’s, we see no reason why the UK should not be awarded adequacy in this timeframe.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the £5 billion announced in the 2020 Spring Budget to ensure all homes and businesses can access gigabit broadband by 2025 remains available for that purpose; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Our programme for gigabit-capable broadband has made dramatic progress. More than a third of UK premises now have access to gigabit-capable connections, up from nine per cent when the government took office in July 2019. By next year, more than half of all premises will have access. We are working with industry to target a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025 but will seek to accelerate rollout further to get as close to 100% as possible.

We remain committed to investing £5bn in bringing gigabit coverage to the hardest to reach areas and will continue to work with suppliers to accelerate this investment.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his target is for gigabit broadband coverage by 2025.

The Government remains committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Our programme for gigabit-capable broadband has made dramatic progress. More than a third of UK premises now have access to gigabit-capable connections, up from nine per cent when the government took office in July 2019. By next year, more than half of all premises will have access. We are working with industry to target a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025 but will seek to accelerate rollout further to get as close to 100% as possible.

We remain committed to investing £5bn in bringing gigabit coverage to the hardest to reach areas and will continue to work with suppliers to accelerate this investment.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to tackle financial crime in his forthcoming legislation on online harms; and if he will make a statement.

The government is deeply concerned about the scale and growth of financial crime online, including online fraud.

We have consulted widely on the proposals set out in the Online Harms White Paper. We are clear that regulation must be proportionate and targeted. The new regulatory framework will not duplicate existing government activity or impose undue burdens on companies in scope. We will be setting out further details on the scope of regulation in the full government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation, which will be published this year.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Prime Minister's announcement of 22 September 2020 that conferences and exhibitions will not be permitted for at least another six months, what plans he has to provide support to the exhibitions industry during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

We recognise the events industry’s disappointment at the delayed reopening of large business conferences and exhibitions.

We also recognise that the new national restrictions will have a significant impact on jobs and the economy, as well as on mental health and wellbeing. We’ve confirmed that there will be a package of financial support in place, with the furlough scheme extended for this period of lockdown.

We continue to engage with stakeholders, including through the Tourism Industry Council and the Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel, to assess how we can best support the sector’s safe reopening. The business events pilots we carried out in September will ensure that the correct advice and guidance is put in place to help larger events reopen when it is safe to do so.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to provide funding to the UK Safer Internet Centre when its funding from the EU ends.

The government recognises the important work the UK Safer Internet Centre delivers on online safety. The Centre currently receives funding from the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility programme. Officials regularly engage with the Centre, including on its funding position following the UK’s exit from the EU.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the oral contribution by the Minister for Safeguarding and Vulnerability to the Offensive Weapons Bill Committee on 11 September 2018, Column 280, what policy proposals he is discussing with the Home Secretary on preventing the sale of illegal knives on online platforms.

The Government is committed to delivering on the people’s priorities by tackling violent crime, including through the Offensive Weapons Act which received Royal Assent on 16 May 2019.

In addition, the Government published the initial response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation on 12 February 2020. This is a joint Home Office and DCMS publication that summarises themes from the 2019 consultation.

The interim response confirmed that the Government is developing legislation on online harms to establish a new duty of care on online companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator. This will ensure companies take action to address harmful behaviour online, including the sale of weapons and other illegal goods and services. The regulator will issue codes of practice on what companies need to do to fulfil their duty of care. The regulator will work with law enforcement regarding expectations relating to illegal content and behaviour to ensure they adequately keep pace with the threat.

We will set out our final policy position on this issue in a full Government response later this year, before moving to legislation.

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to support UK orchestras to tour throughout the world.

Our British orchestras are renowned across the globe for their world-leading performances; collectively touring to an average of 35 countries per year.
We understand the importance of being able to tour, and recognise that it depends on performers and crew being able to move quickly and easily between countries, taking necessary equipment with them.

As we increase and develop our links with countries across the globe, we will continue our close dialogue with the sector, maintaining our deep understanding of sectoral need and ambition. We will ensure that the interests of our great cultural institutions are considered at every opportunity, including during the development of future trade agreements.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to support orchestras in the UK.

In the past five years, Arts Council England (ACE) has invested over £107 million in orchestras and related classical music organisations in its National Portfolio. This figure does not include ACE investment in Opera companies, each of whom also support their own orchestra. As culture is a devolved matter, this figure excludes funding decisions taken by the devolved administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Orchestras have also benefited from the Government’s introduction of the Orchestras Tax Relief (OTR), which is helping to support the increase of productions, especially via touring. Since the introduction of the OTR in 2016, £23 million has been paid out relating to 170 claims and 770 productions.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the impact of child hunger on levels of lost learning.

We recognise that extended school and college restrictions have had a substantial impact on children and young people’s education and we are committed to helping pupils catch up as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The department commissioned Renaissance Learning to provide a baseline assessment of lost learning for pupils in schools in England and monitor progress over the course of the 2020/21 academic year. The latest interim findings from this research were published on 4 June: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupils-progress-in-the-2020-to-2021-academic-year-interim-report.

Since June 2020, we have announced more than £3 billion to support education recovery, including over £950 million flexible funding to schools and £1.5 billion for a national tutoring revolution. This will have a material impact in closing gaps that have emerged.

Recovery programmes have been designed to allow early years, school, and college leaders the flexibility to support those pupils most in need. This includes the most disadvantaged and will expand our reforms in two areas where the evidence is clear that our investment will have a significant impact for disadvantaged children - high quality tutoring and great teaching.

We have provided around £450 million worth of food vouchers to families whilst schools were largely closed. Now schools are open again, school food provision has returned to typical delivery arrangements, with meals being provided free of charge to eligible pupils at school. If pupils who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals are required to stay at home due to COVID-19, schools should continue to work with their school catering team or food provider to offer a good quality lunch parcel.

Throughout 2021 we are investing up to £220 million in our holiday activities and food programme. Taking place in schools and community venues across the country, delivery began at Easter, has run across the summer and will run in the Christmas holidays. It supports disadvantaged pupils and their families with enriching activities, providing them with healthy food, helping them to learn new things and supporting socialisation and well-being. We are also further investing with £24 million in the National Breakfast Club programme, providing breakfast clubs in schools in disadvantaged areas.

Beyond this, the Department for Work and Pension has provided £429 million through the Covid Local Support Grant. This is being run by local authorities in England to support the hardest hit families and individuals with food and essential utility costs.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to help increase the number of students studying mathematics at (a) A Level and (b) Higher Education.

Mathematics remains the most popular A level subject with 19% more entries since 2010. There has been an increase in entries to both A level Mathematics and further Mathematics of 3.8% and 7.1% respectively since 2020.

The Department has reformed the curriculum for Mathematics so that it matches standards set in the highest performing jurisdictions internationally. A new, more challenging GCSE provides a better foundation to study these subjects at A level, and the reformed mathematics A levels ensure that students are prepared for higher education.

The Department funds a national network of 40 maths hubs across England to raise the standard of Mathematics education to meet the standards achieved in top-performing jurisdictions. Through a school-led model, maths hubs aim to harness Mathematics expertise within an area to develop and spread excellent practice in the teaching of Mathematics, for the benefit of all students.

The Department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) to support schools and colleges to improve the effectiveness of level 3 Mathematics teaching and increase participation, including the provision of tailored support to schools and colleges in areas with low levels of progression.

The Government will nurture our top mathematical talent by delivering its commitment to have a 16-19 maths school in every region, 11 in total. The principal aim of maths schools is to help prepare more of our most mathematically able students to succeed in maths disciplines at top universities and pursue mathematically intensive careers.

This is part of a range of initiatives to improve maths provision, including the AMSP and additional funding via the Advanced Maths Premium to support schools to increase A level maths participation. It will also complement the work of maths hubs.

The AMSP also provides targeted support for students preparing for study in higher education.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans his Department has to help promote the study of mathematics at universities.

Universities are autonomous bodies, independent from government, and they have control over decisions about who to admit to their courses.

The department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme which aims to increase participation and attainment in level 3 mathematics through targeted support ensuring students in all 16-19 state funded schools and colleges can access AS and A level maths and AS and A level further mathematics and helping them study these subjects to a higher level.

We are working with universities and academy trusts to establish a specialist maths school in each region (and a total of 11 nationally). These aim to prepare more of our most mathematically able students to succeed in maths disciplines at top universities. They also deliver outreach work with teachers and students in schools in their surrounding areas to increase maths A level participation and attainment.

We strongly believe effective careers guidance and advice is key to supporting young people in their education and career choices, to undertake learning and develop skills in the areas employers are looking for.

The government’s Careers Strategy sets out a long-term plan to build a world class careers system to achieve this ambition. We are increasing the information available to students to ensure they can make informed choices about what and where to study. The delivery of the Careers Strategy also ensures that science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) encounters, such as with employers and apprenticeships, are built into school career programmes.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions his Department has had with Vice Chancellors on the promotion and protection of pure mathematics (a) teaching and (b) research at UK universities.

The department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) which aims to increase participation and attainment in level 3 mathematics. The AMSP targets ensuring students in all 16-19 state-funded schools and colleges can access AS/A level mathematics and AS/A level further mathematics and helps them study these subjects to a higher level.

With AS and A level mathematics, 100% of the course is prescribed, but with AS and A level further mathematics, 50% of the content is a prescribed pure mathematics core. For the remaining 50% of the content, different options are available. These options vary between specifications and may include mechanics, statistics, discrete/decision mathematics and additional pure mathematics.

In May, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), published the research and development budget for financial year 2021/22, outlining how his department will allocate £11.35 billion.

BEIS is investing more money than ever before in core research, which will include pure mathematics. At the Spending Review in November 2020, BEIS announced that the government will increase investment in core UK Research and Innovation and National Academy funded research by more than £1 billion by 2023/24.

The government announced up to an additional £300 million for mathematical sciences in January 2020. This was new investment for research projects, fellowships and doctoral awards where the research focus is in mathematical sciences, as well as providing additional funding to the Heilbronn Institute to support PhD students and research, and to the Isaac Newton Institute and International Centre for Mathematical Sciences to enable increased participation.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to universities on promoting and protecting the (a) teaching and (b) research of pure mathematics.

The department funds the Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) which aims to increase participation and attainment in level 3 mathematics. The AMSP targets ensuring students in all 16-19 state-funded schools and colleges can access AS/A level mathematics and AS/A level further mathematics and helps them study these subjects to a higher level.

With AS and A level mathematics, 100% of the course is prescribed, but with AS and A level further mathematics, 50% of the content is a prescribed pure mathematics core. For the remaining 50% of the content, different options are available. These options vary between specifications and may include mechanics, statistics, discrete/decision mathematics and additional pure mathematics.

In May, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), published the research and development budget for financial year 2021/22, outlining how his department will allocate £11.35 billion.

BEIS is investing more money than ever before in core research, which will include pure mathematics. At the Spending Review in November 2020, BEIS announced that the government will increase investment in core UK Research and Innovation and National Academy funded research by more than £1 billion by 2023/24.

The government announced up to an additional £300 million for mathematical sciences in January 2020. This was new investment for research projects, fellowships and doctoral awards where the research focus is in mathematical sciences, as well as providing additional funding to the Heilbronn Institute to support PhD students and research, and to the Isaac Newton Institute and International Centre for Mathematical Sciences to enable increased participation.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will publish data on the take-up of free school meals from children from families with No Recourse to Public Funds during the temporary extension period.

We have temporarily extended our eligibility for free school meals during the COVID-19 outbreak to include children of Zambrano carers, families with leave to remain under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, families receiving Section 17 support who also have a no recourse to public funds condition and to families receiving Section 4 support.

The department does not plan to publish data regarding the take-up of free school meals from children from families with no recourse to public funds during the temporary extension.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date university students will be able to return to their campus and resume face-to-face teaching.

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

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

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

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of extending free school meals eligibility to undocumented children.

We are continuing to work with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the temporary extension of eligibility will continue until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

Once the review is complete, we will update our guidance accordingly. Our current guidance regarding the extension can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

At present, data is not available regarding the take-up of free school meals from children from families with no recourse to public funds during the temporary extension.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made from the October 2020 schools census of the number of children from families with no recourse to public funds accessing free school meals.

We are continuing to work with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the temporary extension of eligibility will continue until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

Once the review is complete, we will update our guidance accordingly. Our current guidance regarding the extension can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

At present, data is not available regarding the take-up of free school meals from children from families with no recourse to public funds during the temporary extension.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to (a) conclude and (b) publish the review in respect of the extension of free school meals to children from low-income families affected by no recourse to public funds.

We are continuing to work with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the temporary extension of eligibility will continue until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

Once the review is complete, we will update our guidance accordingly. Our current guidance regarding the extension can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

At present, data is not available regarding the take-up of free school meals from children from families with no recourse to public funds during the temporary extension.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he made of salary levels in London in deciding that London weighting should be removed from the higher education teaching grant; and if he will make a statement.

On 8 February 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, wrote to the Office for Students (OfS) to set out his priorities for the forthcoming year. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/48277145-4cf3-497f-b9b7-b13fdf16f46b/ofs-strategic-guidance-20210208.pdf.

One of these priorities is to change the name of the Teaching Grant to the Strategic Priorities Grant. This is to ensure the name of this funding reflects its important role in supporting providers and students to develop the skills and knowledge needed locally, regionally and nationally, to support the economy.

The Strategic Priorities grant will be reformed for the 2021/22 financial year to ensure that more of taxpayers’ money is spent on supporting higher education (HE) provision which aligns with national priorities, such as healthcare, STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) and subjects meeting specific labour market needs.

London weighting funding is a small proportion of the overall income of providers and it is right for the government to re-allocate public money where it is most needed. Universities should not receive additional investment for teaching simply because of where they are located. Excellent provision can be delivered across the country.

London already has, on average, the highest percentage of good or outstanding schools, the highest progression to HE, and more HE providers than any other region in England. This reform will invest more money directly into high quality institutions in the Midlands and the North.

The analysis we offer at this stage, as presented in the annex to the letter to the Office for Students (OfS), gives a broad indication of the impact of the changes to aid understanding. This letter can be accessed here: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/media/a3814453-4c28-404a-bf76-490183867d9a/rt-hon-gavin-williamson-cbe-mp-t-grant-ofs-chair-smb.pdf.

The OfS will consult on these changes shortly, before final allocations for the 2021/22 financial year are confirmed and will carefully consider the impact of any changes on providers.

We are also making available an additional £50 million of hardship funding this financial year. In total we have made £70 million of funding available for student hardship given the £20 million made available to higher education providers in December. Providers will have flexibility in how they distribute the funding to students, in a way that will best prioritise those in greatest need.

This money is in addition to the £256 million of Student Premium funding higher education providers are able draw on this academic year towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment, and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.

Furthermore, we have asked the OfS to allocate £15 million towards student mental health in 2021/2022 through the proposed reforms to Strategic Priorities grant funding, to help address the challenges to student mental health posed by the transition to university, given the increasing demand for mental health services. This will target those students in greatest need of such services, including vulnerable groups and hard-to-reach students.

The OfS has also been asked to allocate £5 million to providers in order to provide additional support for student hardship. This is to mitigate the rise in student hardship due to COVID-19 impacts on the labour market which particularly affect, for example, students relying on work to fund their studies, students whose parents have lost income and students who are parents and whose partner's income has been affected.

We have also asked the OfS for a £10 million increase to the specialist provider allocation, to support these institutions which are particularly reliant on Strategic Priorities Grant funding, many of whom are London-based. We want to ensure that our small and specialist providers, including some of our top music and arts providers, receive additional support, and that grant funding is used to effectively support students.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134699 on Religion: Education, whether his Department has a copy of the locally agreed syllabus for religious education for each local education authority in England.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134699 on Religion: Education, what requirement is in place for local authorities to ensure that any resident can read the locally agreed syllabus for religious education; and if he will make a statement.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134699 on Religion: Education, whether his Department has a record for each local education authority of (a) the date on which its religious education syllabus was last reviewed and (b) when the current syllabus was brought into effect.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his Department's 2012 guidance on Religious education (RE) and collective worship in academies and free schools, what information his Department holds on (a) the religious education syllabus operating in each academy school and (b) whether that syllabus is the agreed syllabus for its locality.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 16 April 2018 to Question 134699 on Religion: Education, what assessment his Department has made of the (a) adequacy of the different syllabuses for religious education in place in England and (b) extent to which those syllabuses take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain; and if he will make a statement.

Local authorities are responsible for convening an Agreed Syllabus Conference every five years, and for providing an agreed syllabus which specified maintained schools must comply with. This must reflect the fact that the religious traditions in Great Britain are Christian, in the main, whilst taking account of the teaching and practices of the other principal religions represented in Great Britain. The Department does not hold a copy of each local authority area’s agreed syllabus for religious education (RE) when it came into effect or was last reviewed. There is also no requirement for local authority areas to provide my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education with this information.

The Department would encourage any local authority to publish their locally agreed syllabus or a summary of its main provisions, although they are not required by legislation to do so. Both maintained schools and academies should, however, publish on their websites the curriculum of every subject taught in each academic year, including RE. Local residents can find details of the RE curriculum provided by state-funded schools in their area, whether in accordance with the locally agreed syllabus or otherwise. The Government guidance for the provision of RE in local authority maintained schools is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

Academies and free schools are not required to comply with a locally agreed syllabus, though they may choose to adopt it. The funding agreement for each academy and free school does, however, require these schools to teach RE. The Department does not hold information on the number of academies and free schools that have adopted a locally agreed syllabus, or the specific details of their RE curriculum. Similarly, the Department does not quality assure a school’s individual RE curriculum to assess their adequacy, or the extent to which they take account of the teaching and practices of the principal religions represented in Great Britain.

If the Department is informed that an agreed syllabus or an academy’s RE syllabus may be in breach of statutory requirements or their funding agreement, this will be investigated. Where needed, the Department will remind schools of their duty on this matter and advise on how this can be met.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 31 January 2019 to Question 213168, what plans his Department has to bring the former East Ham police station building back into use.

The Department has engaged with the Local Authority and will submit a planning application shortly. Once planning permission has been obtained, we will be able to deliver the expansion of Newham Collegiate Sixth Form.

17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 12 November to Question 106891 on Free School Meals: Immigrants, what plans he has to publish the outcome of the review being undertaken by his Department with the Home Department.

We are working with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the extension of eligibility will continue with the current income threshold until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

Once the review is complete, we will update our guidance accordingly. Our current guidance regarding the extension can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer dated 2 November 2020 to Question 106891, whether he plans to consult externally in working with the Home Office on how immigration status and no recourse to public funds interact with free school meals and other educational entitlements; and if he will make a statement.

We are working with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals and other educational entitlements for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the extension of eligibility for free school meals will continue until a decision on long-term eligibility is made. At present there are no plans for a statement to be made.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to calls by the Association of School and College Leaders that Ofsted inspections should not return until September 2021, what discussions he has had with the Chief Inspector for Ofsted on resuming inspections on state (a) schools, (b) nurseries and (c) colleges.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has regular discussions with Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, about a range of matters, including Ofsted’s inspection approaches and programmes. The Department is committed to keeping under review the current suspension of Ofsted’s routine inspections, which has now been in place since March 2020. That process continues. It will be important for school inspections to start up again in the new year, but at the right time and in the right way. The Department is carefully considering with Ofsted and the sector how this can be achieved safely and sensitively, with a clear focus on provision for pupils whether in the classroom or remotely.

5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the sustainability of outdoor education facilities affected by covid-19 restrictions; and if he will make a statement.

The guidance for full school opening enables schools to resume educational day visits but continues to advise against UK overnight educational residential visits. This guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The Department’s educational visits advice is in line with guidance from Public Health England, the Cabinet Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and will be reviewed again in November 2020. Information on support for businesses impacted by COVID-19 is available at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using UCAS predicted grades to determine the A-level results for external candidates who were unable to sit their exams in summer 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Ofqual and the exam boards explored the options for those students who did not have an existing relationship with an exam centre and who needed results this summer for progression purposes. The Joint Council for Qualifications published guidance which set out the options that would be available. The guidance can be found here: https://www.jcq.org.uk/jcq-publishes-supplementary-information-on-validation-of-evidence-by-centres-for-private-candidates/.

Ofqual and the Government asked organisations that represent higher and further education to consider the steps that they could take when making admissions decisions this summer for any external candidates who do not receive a grade. The Department have asked institutions to consider a range of other evidence and information for these students to allow them to progress wherever possible.

Where schools and colleges had accepted entries from external candidates, those students should have been taken into account in the process of producing centre assessment grades, where the head teacher or principal was confident that they and their staff had seen sufficient evidence of the student’s achievement to make an objective judgement. In addition, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) predicted grades can be provided by schools, colleges and other further education providers, including for external candidates. Other external candidates, such as those who work with private tutors or self study, may not be able to receive a UCAS predicted grade.

To support students who are unhappy with their summer grade or for whom there was not enough evidence for a grade to be awarded, the Department is running an additional series of exams in the autumn. AS and A level exams will take place in October and GCSE exams in November, and will be available in all GCSE, AS and A level subjects.

8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what criteria he plans to use to determine for how long families with No Recourse to Public Funds will have access to free school meals; and if he will make a statement.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds. The extension of free school meal eligibility to these groups will continue while the COVID-19 outbreak impacts upon schools, and it includes access to the COVID Summer Food Fund.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will update his Department’s online guidance to show that the current maximum income threshold for free school meals eligibility for children in families with No Recourse to Public Funds is £16,190.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are temporarily extending free school meal eligibility to include some children of groups who have no recourse to public funds. We will update the guidance as soon as possible.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, by what date schools will start teaching Relationships Education, Health Education and Relationships and Sex Education; and if he will make a statement.

The Department is committed to supporting all children to grow up happy, healthy and safe, and to provide them with the knowledge they need to manage the opportunities and challenges of modern Britain. That is why all primary age children will be taught Relationships Education, all secondary age children will be taught Relationships and Sex Education, and all children in state-funded schools will be taught Health Education.

The Department remains committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to deliver these subjects. In light of the circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and following engagement with the sector, the Department is reassuring schools that although the subjects will still be compulsory from 1 September 2020, schools have flexibility over how they discharge their duty within the first year of compulsory teaching.

Schools that are ready to teach these subjects and have met the requirements set out in the statutory guidance, including those relating to engagement with parents and carers, are encouraged to begin delivering teaching from 1 September 2020, or whenever is practicable to do so within the first few weeks of the new school year.

Schools that are not ready to teach these subjects or unable to adequately meet the requirements because of the challenging circumstances presented by COVID-19 should aim to start preparations to deliver the new curriculum and commence teaching the new content by at least the start of the summer term 2021.

To ensure teaching begins as soon as possible, schools are encouraged to take a phased approach, if needed, when introducing these subjects. Schools should consider prioritising curriculum content on mental health and wellbeing, as knowledge on supporting your own and others’ wellbeing will be important as pupils return to schools.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the current suspension of consultation exercises, what steps he will take to ensure adequate consultation is completed before the new relationships and sex education requirements take effect in schools; and if he will make a statement.

We want to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe. We also want to equip them for adult life and to make a positive contribution to society. That is why we are making Relationships Education compulsory for primary school-age pupils, Relationships and Sex Education compulsory for secondary school-age pupils and Health Education compulsory in all state-funded schools from September 2020.

The Department remains committed to supporting all schools in their preparations to deliver these subjects and has been working to assess the impact of COVID-19 on a school’s ability to discharge their duty relating to the implementation of these subjects. The Department will provide an update in due course.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of local authority Serious Case Reviews into child deaths have involved families with no recourse to public funds in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not held by the Department for Education. The Department for Education does not undertake internal analysis of serious case reviews but commissions an expert analysis of the main themes from serious case reviews on a biennial or triennial basis. The most recently published document is ‘Complexity and challenge: a triennial analysis of serious case reviews 2014 to 2017’, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/analysis-of-serious-case-reviews-2014-to-2017.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to introduce a national measure of children’s well-being; and if he will make a statement.

In October 2019, the government published the first ‘State of the Nation’ report on children and young people’s mental wellbeing, to improve understanding of the trends and issues that influence young people’s wellbeing. This report drew on a number of existing, large-scale, sample surveys.

The government plans to provide advice for schools later this year to help them to access evidence-based tools to measure and support their pupils’ mental wellbeing. This advice is intended to be used voluntarily by schools and will not include a requirement to report back to the government.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 8 February 2021 to Question 148675 on Overseas Trade: Israeli Settlements, which products originating from settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories must be labelled as such.

Under retained marketing and food information rules, country of origin information is required for unprocessed beef, pork, sheep, goat and poultry, fruit and vegetables, olive oil, fish and shellfish (whether pre-packed or loose), wine, and honey.

Under the provisions of the retained 1169/2011 Regulation on the provision of food information to consumers, the country of origin or place of provenance of food must also be given on prepacked food where failure to indicate this might mislead the consumer as to the true country of origin or place of provenance of the food, in particular if the information accompanying the food or the label as a whole would otherwise imply that the food has a different country of origin or place of provenance.

In addition, retained Regulation 775/2018 requires that if the origin or provenance of food is provided and is different to that of the primary ingredient of that food, the origin of the primary ingredient must also be given or an indication that it is not the same as that of the food.

In respect of wine, retained Regulation 1308/2013 requires that an indication of the provenance of a wine must be shown on the label. This should match the indication of provenance shown on the VI1 import certificate, and be authorised by the appropriate bodies in the exporting country.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jan 2020
What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on the potential effect of the Withdrawal Agreement on the Northern Ireland economy.

I regularly meet with my predecessor, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to discuss the deal, including the new Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, and will continue to do so.

As the Prime Minister has said, beyond the changes introduced by the Protocol, there will be no changes to GB-NI trade. Northern Ireland remains part of the UK’s customs territory.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how consumers can recognise before purchase products from the illegal Palestinian settlements; and if she will make a statement.

The United Kingdom does not recognise the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including settlements, as part of Israel. Certain products, such as food, originating from settlements must be labelled as such. Our retained EU legislation is clear that information on origin and provenance of goods must not be misleading and should be provided if failure to do so would itself be misleading to consumers.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2020 to Question 63203 on clothing: Bangladesh, what further discussions she has had since 21 May 2020 with UK retailers on payments to garment manufacturers in Bangladesh for products supplied during the covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statement.

My Department continues to work across HM Government and with British retailers on this important issue. We have been encouraging companies to honour existing orders, prioritising the labour portion of cost of goods to help protect workers’ incomes. We work with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and British garment retailers to combat payment issues through a regular working group too. Moreover, FCDO has recently launched the Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility, which will enable vulnerable garment workers in Bangladesh to recover from – and remain resilient to – the economic and social impacts of COVID-19.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what representations she has made to UK retailers who have not paid garment manufacturers in Bangladesh for products supplied during the covid-19 pandemic.

My Department is working across HM Government and with British retailers on this important issue.

There was a joint Ministerial meeting with the British Retail Consortium and its members on 21st May on the garment supply chains of British companies. Some of the topics for discussion included providing advice to businesses operating in Britain on how they can (a) support workers impacted by COVID-19; (b) support their supply chains in developing countries; and (c) meet their own duties to uphold rights and responsibilities overseas.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has for new infrastructure at ports to enable additional checks on vehicles and goods arriving from the EU from 1 January 2021; and if he will make a statement.

HMG will be engaging with ports, airports and other stakeholders at key border locations over the next few months to understand local constraints and opportunities and how the government can best support planning for operational readiness.

The Department for Transport has already committed £10 million, as part of the Port Infrastructure Resilience and Connectivity (PIRC) competition, to help deliver upgrades which will enhance capacity and maintain trade flow.

20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of trends in the level of food insecurity amongst school children since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have not made an assessment of this kind. Issues of food insecurity amongst school children fall within the remit of the Department for Education so assessments such as this would be their responsibility.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims awarded under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness have been reviewed by her Department following the end of their three-year award duration in each of the last five years.

Claims can be awarded under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) across a range of DWP benefits. The information requested in relation to reviews of SRTI awards is not readily available across all of these benefits, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason people with a terminal illness are required to reapply for a claim after three years under the special rules for terminal illness.

For the majority of cases made under the SRTI, people are given three year awards. This approach was based on a recommendation from an expert advisory group, initially for DLA, but later adopted in other benefits. The three year awards given to SRTI claims strikes a balance that recognises making a prognosis is not an exact science and that people who do live longer than expected should continue to receive the support provided to them by benefit system, while also enabling those who live for much longer than expected, to be looked at afresh in light of their circumstances as they come towards the end of their award.

As part of the Health and Disability Green Paper consultation, we are consulting on reform of assessments and seeking views on policy proposals, including the principle of receiving unnecessary assessments and reviews. Following the consultation, detailed proposals will then be brought forward in a White Paper next year.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will remove the three year award duration for benefits claims made under the special rules for terminal illness.

For the majority of cases made under the SRTI, people are given three year awards. This approach was based on a recommendation from an expert advisory group, initially for DLA, but later adopted in other benefits. The three year awards given to SRTI claims strikes a balance that recognises making a prognosis is not an exact science and that people who do live longer than expected should continue to receive the support provided to them by benefit system, while also enabling those who live for much longer than expected, to be looked at afresh in light of their circumstances as they come towards the end of their award.

As part of the Health and Disability Green Paper consultation, we are consulting on reform of assessments and seeking views on policy proposals, including the principle of receiving unnecessary assessments and reviews. Following the consultation, detailed proposals will then be brought forward in a White Paper next year.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on what date her Department received the final report of the NatCen research project entitled The Uses of Health and Disability Benefits; and for what reason that report has not been published.

The Government considers a broad range of analysis and evidence to support the formation of all its policy, including that which is both internally and externally commissioned. It is not necessary to publish all of this material, and the Government does not have plans to publish the NatCen report at this time.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will amend the severe conditions criteria so that people who have already been diagnosed with a terminal condition do not need to go through a work capability assessment to claim benefits.

The Department provides fast-track access to Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Universal Credit (UC) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for people who are nearing the end of their lives through the Special Rules for Terminal Illness. Claimants who have been diagnosed as being likely to live for 6-months or less, are able to claim under a fast-tracked process, without the requirement for waiting periods or a face-to-face assessment and usually receive the highest rate of benefit. On 8th July 2021, following an extensive evaluation into how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their lives the Department announced its intention to replace the current 6-month rule with a 12-month, end of life definition.

We would like to highlight that as announced in the Shaping Future Support: Health and Disability Green Paper published 20th July 2021 we are testing the possibility of a new Severe Disability Group for those with severe and lifelong conditions to access ESA/UC and PIP. This will simplify the process by removing the need for a long form or a face-to-face assessment for this group and build on existing provision such as Severe Conditions and Special Rules for Terminal Illness. We will consider the test results alongside the responses to the Green Paper when determining whether the policy should be rolled out further

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to extend awards under the special rules for terminal illness in line with changes made for claimants with severe lifelong conditions; and if she will make a statement.

The Department is committed to supporting people nearing the end of their lives. I can confirm that on 8th July 2021 I announced that following a wide-ranging evaluation, the Department intends to replace the current 6-month rule with a 12-month, end of life approach. This will mirror the current definition of end of life used across the NHS and ensure that people receive vital support through the Special Rules six months earlier than they do now. People who claim under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness are able to claim under a fast-tracked process, without the requirement for waiting periods or a face-to-face assessment and usually receive the highest rates of benefit.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will end the practice of Departmental assessors rejecting the clinical judgment of a medical professional that a patient is terminally ill in relation to accessing benefits under the special rules for terminal illness.

A claim made under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness is in most cases supported by a DS1500. DS1500 forms have never been a requirement for a claim under the terminal illness rules but remain the quickest and most appropriate route to gather evidence to support entitlement in these cases. The DS1500 form is completed by the claimant’s healthcare professional and provides information relating to their diagnosis, clinical features and past or current treatment. The Assessment Provider’s healthcare professionals may, on occasion, contact the claimant’s medical practitioner where additional information or clarification is required in order to process the claim under the Special Rules for Terminal Illness.

Where it is not possible to supply a DS1500 in support of a Special Rules for Terminal Illness claim we will consider alternative evidence and work flexibly and quickly with the claimant and/or their clinician(s) to make a determination.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average back payment was to personal independence payment claimants where the claimant has been awarded that benefit at a tribunal for the most recent period for which figures are available.

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

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in 2019-20, how many claimants received between zero and six points in their Work Capability Assessment and then subsequently had that benefit awarded on (a) mandatory assessment or (b) appeal.

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

The available information on Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) and appeals in relation to Employment Support Allowance Work Capability Assessments is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employment-and-support-allowance-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessment

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the recommendations of the review undertaken in 2019 and the findings of the coroner’s inquest in April 2021 into the murder in May 2017 of Emma Day by her ex-partner, what plans she has to review the management by the Child Maintenance Service of cases in which the parent with care is threatened by an ex-partner with violence; and if she will make a statement.

The Child Maintenance Service takes the safety of all its customers extremely seriously. It has significantly strengthened its processes to ensure customers experiencing domestic abuse are supported and can set up a child maintenance arrangement safely.

The Department has commissioned an independent review of ways in which the Child Maintenance Service supports victims of domestic abuse and the details of this review will be outlined in due course.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of paying childcare costs within universal credit in advance, to support parents who cannot afford to pay upfront charges; and if she will make a statement.

No assessment has been made.

With Universal Credit, working families can claim back up to 85% of their registered childcare costs each month, compared to 70% on the legacy benefits system regardless of the number of hours worked. This can be claimed up to a month before starting a job and for families with two children, this could be worth up to £13,000 a year.

Eligible claimants can get help from the Flexible Support Fund with initial up-front fees and costs as they move into work. Alternatively, help with upfront costs may also be available through Budgeting Advances.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure economically inactive disabled people are supported to find jobs; and if she will make a statement.

The Government is committed to improving the lives of disabled people, and will publish a National Disability Strategy later this year. The Strategy will be informed by insights from the lived experience of disabled people, focusing on the issues that disabled people say affect them the most in all aspects and phases of life, including employment.

A range of DWP initiatives are supporting disabled people to stay in and enter work. These include the Work and Health Programme, the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident and support in partnership with the health system, including Employment Advice in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services. The Government has also increased the number of specialist Disability Employment Advisors in Jobcentres.

In addition, the DWP will shortly publish a Green Paper on health and disability support which will consider how we can improve our current service, provide extra support to navigate the system and seek to better understand how we can improve the current employment support offer.

5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will extend eligibility for the Kickstart and Restart schemes to people in receipt of employment support allowance; and if she will make a statement.

There are currently no plans to extend the eligibility criteria of the Kickstart Scheme or the Restart Scheme.

Employment Support Allowance claimants who require more intensive employment support would have access to both the Work and Health Programme (WHP) and Intensive Personalised Employment Support (IPES) and can volunteer for this support at any time irrespective of benefit claimed or no benefit. The WHP predominantly helps people with a wide range of disabilities and health conditions to enter into and stay in work, and is suited to those who expect to find work within 12 months. IPES is an intensive, highly personalised voluntary support package that is flexible to participants’ needs. It supports disabled people with complex barriers to work who would be more than 12 months from the labour market without the benefit of IPES support.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will include whether a surveyed family has no recourse to public funds in the Family Resources Survey when the sample size is expanded in 2022; and if she will make a statement.

The Department is currently considering the questionnaire for next year’s Family Resources Survey, April 2022 to March 2023.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the £20 uplift in universal credit on levels of child poverty in (a) England and (b) East Ham constituency.

No assessment has been made.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending an estimated £112 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2020/21. This included around £7.4 billion of Covid-related welfare policy measures.

We introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme providing funding to Local Authorities in England to help the most vulnerable children and families stay warm and well fed during the coldest months. It will now until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

As the economy recovers, our ambition is to help people move into and progress in work as quickly as possible based on clear evidence around the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty. We are investing over £30 billion in our ambitious Plan for Jobs which is already delivering for people of all ages right across the country.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate she has made of the level of child poverty in (a) England and (b) East Ham constituency.

This Government is wholly committed to tackling poverty. Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to support the most vulnerable including through spending an additional £7.4billion to strengthen the welfare system, taking our total expenditure on welfare support for people of working age to an estimated £112 billion in 2020/21. Additionally, in December 2020 we introduced our Covid Winter Grant Scheme, providing funding to Local Authorities in England to enable them to support people with food and essential utility bills during the coldest months. It will now run until June as the Covid Local Support Grant, with a total investment of £269m.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. Data for East Ham is unavailable due to insufficient sample size.

Latest statistics for the levels of children who are in low income in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-for-financial-years-ending-1995-to-2020 ,“children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2019-20-tables” in table 4.16ts (relative low income, before and after housing costs) and in table 4.22ts (absolute low income, before and after housing costs).

In the three years to 2019/20, the absolute child poverty rate, before housing costs, in England was 18%, down 3 percentage points since the three years to 2009/10.

The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually.

In 2019/20 the absolute levels of child poverty, before housing costs, in East Ham was 22%. The latest figures on the number of children who are in low income in East Ham and in England, covering 2019/20, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-2014-to-2020/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-fye-2015-to-fye-2020

Due to methodological differences, the figures in these two publications are not comparable.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department plans to take to support people with No Recourse to Public Funds when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme have been extended to the end of September 2021 to recognise some industries will return no earlier than 21 June.

Immigration status holders who do not return to work because they have lost their employment will need to check the conditions attached to their leave. Where their immigration status is linked to a particular job, they may need to find alternative employment or another basis of stay, and make a further application if they wish to remain in the UK.

Non-UK nationals and family members who are issued with a residence permit with a NRPF condition are not eligible to access taxpayer-funded benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Benefit or housing assistance for the duration of their leave. DWP has no powers to award taxpayer-funded benefits to an individual whose Home Office immigration status specifies no recourse to public funds.

People with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have their NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if they are destitute or at risk of destitution, or if the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income. NRPF ‘change of conditions’ applications are prioritised and dealt with compassionately.

Other support is available to people with an NRPF condition once the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme comes to an end. Contribution-based benefits, such as New Style JSA, will continue to be available for those who meet the eligibility criteria.

27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the letter of 24 March 2021 from the Minister for Disabled People to the Work and Pensions Committee, how many claimants her Department has identified as being ineligible for a remote Work Capability Assessment in each month since the suspension of face-to-face assessments on 16 March 2020 in response to the covid-19 outbreak; and how many of those claimants so identified her Department has now assessed.

We have interpreted your question to mean how many claimants have been identified as not suitable for a telephone Work Capability Assessment (WCA) in each month since the 16 March 2020; and how many of those claimants have now been assessed.

The information requested is not available.

Initial guidance for those identified as not suitable for telephone assessments has evolved since WCA telephone assessments were introduced in May 2020. In addition, further case reviews, changes of circumstance or further medical information for example, may lead to a change in advice over whether a telephone assessment is appropriate.

DWP continues to work with Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA), to minimise the number of people identified as not suitable for a telephone assessment and we are currently exploring alternative ways of conducting health assessments. For example, we continue to complete paper based assessments and make recommendations based on the written evidence available where possible and have introduced some video assessments where appropriate. We are planning to resume face to face WCAs next month for those who we are unable to fully assess by other channels.

27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to improve employment rates of young people from (a) Black and (b) Asian backgrounds and if she will make a statement.

The Government is committed to levelling up and uniting the country, including by improving the employment outcomes of people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The Department has implemented the DWP Youth Offer for all 18 to 24 year olds making a claim for Universal Credit and who are in the intensive work search group. The Youth Offer includes Youth Hubs which are co-located and co-delivered with our network of external partners and Youth Employability Coaches who are flexibly supporting young people with significant complex needs and barriers to help them move into employment, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds as needed. We also have a range of support through our Plan for Jobs Programme, which includes the Kickstart Scheme that is providing funding to create new jobs for 16 to 24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long term unemployment.

We have a national programme of mentoring circles, involving employers offering specialised support to unemployed, young ethnic minority jobseekers.

The Government is also considering the recommendations on how to increase opportunity and ensure fairness for all made in the recent independent Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to oral evidence given by the Minister for Welfare Delivery on 9 March 2021 to the Work and Pensions Committee and the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, how her Department concluded that introducing non-repayable grants in universal credit would take two years or longer; and what assessment she has made of the barriers to introducing those grants more quickly.

This estimate was derived from the Spring 2020 forecasts, which are based on the Department’s inflow forecasts, with an assumed take-up rate of 100%. There are no plans to introduce a non-repayable grant.

New Claims Advances are the claimant’s benefit paid early, allowing claimants to access 100% of their estimated Universal Credit (UC) payment upfront. With a UC Advance, claimants receive an additional UC payment, resulting in 13 payments in a year rather than 12. From 12 April 2021, claimants have the option to spread twenty-five UC payments over twenty-four months, giving them more flexibility over the payments of their UC award. This will also allow claimants to retain more of their award, giving additional financial security.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Since October 2019, UC deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. We also recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions over the 30% cap can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The main aim of the deductions policy in Universal Credit is to safeguard the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt in a cost effective and efficient way. It provides protection for claimants from the consequences of homelessness, imprisonment or having vital utilities disconnected. Regulations protect claimants from excessive deductions and there are no plans to suspend them.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to oral evidence given by the Minister for Welfare Delivery on 9 March 2021 to the Work and Pensions Committee and the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, how her Department reached the conclusion that introducing a non-repayable grant for new universal credit claimants would cost about £2 billion to £2.5 billion per annum; and if she will publish the details of those costings.

This estimate was derived from the Spring 2020 forecasts, which are based on the Department’s inflow forecasts, with an assumed take-up rate of 100%. There are no plans to introduce a non-repayable grant.

New Claims Advances are the claimant’s benefit paid early, allowing claimants to access 100% of their estimated Universal Credit (UC) payment upfront. With a UC Advance, claimants receive an additional UC payment, resulting in 13 payments in a year rather than 12. From 12 April 2021, claimants have the option to spread twenty-five UC payments over twenty-four months, giving them more flexibility over the payments of their UC award. This will also allow claimants to retain more of their award, giving additional financial security.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Since October 2019, UC deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. We also recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions over the 30% cap can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The main aim of the deductions policy in Universal Credit is to safeguard the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt in a cost effective and efficient way. It provides protection for claimants from the consequences of homelessness, imprisonment or having vital utilities disconnected. Regulations protect claimants from excessive deductions and there are no plans to suspend them.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many regulatory interventions recorded by the Health and Safety Executive in relation to the covid-19 outbreak there were by each class of reason in each month since March 2020.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for formal enforcement action. HSE inspectors do not conclude an intervention until they are confident a business has the right controls in place. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

In response to PQ 21/165426, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns dealt with by Visiting / Regulatory Contact Officers

Concerns dealt with by Inspectors

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

203

1510

May 2020

148

835

June 2020

63

482

July 2020

55

339

August 2020

39

258

September 2020

74

330

October 2020

86

396

November 2020

94

387

December 2020

102

134

January 2021

154

271

February 2021

74

59

March 2021

4

6

Totals

1096

5,007

Notes:

i. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

ii. HSE systems do not distinguish (in a readily accessible format) between interventions by Regulatory Contact Officers and Visiting Officers, who carry out a similar role but in different operational divisions.

In response to PQ 165427, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns resulting in formal written correspondence

Concerns resulting in enforcement notices

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

46

1

May 2020

41

8

June 2020

37

10

July 2020

41

4

August 2020

23

4

September 2020

40

5

October 2020

30

1

November 2020

40

2

December 2020

17

0

January 2021

29

3

February 2021

14

1

March 2021

1

0

Totals

359

39

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165428, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Covid-19 interventions without site visit

Covid-19 interventions with site visit

Covid-19 interventions where visit status unclear from records

March 2020

4

2

-

April 2020

1,686

44

-

May 2020

924

134

-

June 2020

1,989

198

2

July 2020

2,527

1,646

48

August 2020

3,406

1,582

49

September 2020

9,008

2,202

52

October 2020

11,408

5,378

87

November 2020

11,256

9,382

52

December 2020

9,197

10,019

157

January 2021

11,721

13,586

42

February 2021

22,170

15,580

31

March 2021

6,586

3,870

8

Totals

91,882*

63,627

528

*In addition, there are over 14,500 ‘green’ concerns assessed as ‘low risk’ which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165429, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Workplace concern interventions

Spot check interventions

Outbreak interventions

RIDDOR investigations (fatalities)

RIDDOR investigations (non fatalities)

Totals

March 2020

331

6

0

0

0

337

April 2020

3,721

12

1

0

0

3,734

May 2020

2,060

71

0

39

14

2,184

June 2020

1,247

1,632

5

33

15

2,932

July 2020

1,269

3,774

51

10

31

5,135

August 2020

1,016

4,692

45

5

7

5,765

September 2020

1,152

10,779

76

13

21

12,041

October 2020

1,520

16,252

131

7

14

17,924

November 2020

2,347

20,043

149

10

65

22,614

December 2020

1,202

19,071

64

16

35

20,388

January 2021

3,105

24,850

55

23

29

28,062

February 2021

1,578

37,608

39

21

26

39,272

March 2021

187

10,454

3

5

22

10,671

Totals

20,735*

149,244

619

182

279

171,059

*This total includes those concerns listed in the table above in response to PQ 21/165426, with the remainder being those concerns categorised as ‘green’ (assessed as ‘low risk’) which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Notes:

i. For RIDDOR investigations the number relates to specific matters; typically, there will be more than one visit when dealing with the matter.

ii. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many regulatory interventions in relation to the covid-19 outbreak have been conducted (a) as a result of a site visit and (b) without a site visit in each month since March 2020.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for formal enforcement action. HSE inspectors do not conclude an intervention until they are confident a business has the right controls in place. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

In response to PQ 21/165426, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns dealt with by Visiting / Regulatory Contact Officers

Concerns dealt with by Inspectors

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

203

1510

May 2020

148

835

June 2020

63

482

July 2020

55

339

August 2020

39

258

September 2020

74

330

October 2020

86

396

November 2020

94

387

December 2020

102

134

January 2021

154

271

February 2021

74

59

March 2021

4

6

Totals

1096

5,007

Notes:

i. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

ii. HSE systems do not distinguish (in a readily accessible format) between interventions by Regulatory Contact Officers and Visiting Officers, who carry out a similar role but in different operational divisions.

In response to PQ 165427, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns resulting in formal written correspondence

Concerns resulting in enforcement notices

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

46

1

May 2020

41

8

June 2020

37

10

July 2020

41

4

August 2020

23

4

September 2020

40

5

October 2020

30

1

November 2020

40

2

December 2020

17

0

January 2021

29

3

February 2021

14

1

March 2021

1

0

Totals

359

39

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165428, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Covid-19 interventions without site visit

Covid-19 interventions with site visit

Covid-19 interventions where visit status unclear from records

March 2020

4

2

-

April 2020

1,686

44

-

May 2020

924

134

-

June 2020

1,989

198

2

July 2020

2,527

1,646

48

August 2020

3,406

1,582

49

September 2020

9,008

2,202

52

October 2020

11,408

5,378

87

November 2020

11,256

9,382

52

December 2020

9,197

10,019

157

January 2021

11,721

13,586

42

February 2021

22,170

15,580

31

March 2021

6,586

3,870

8

Totals

91,882*

63,627

528

*In addition, there are over 14,500 ‘green’ concerns assessed as ‘low risk’ which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165429, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Workplace concern interventions

Spot check interventions

Outbreak interventions

RIDDOR investigations (fatalities)

RIDDOR investigations (non fatalities)

Totals

March 2020

331

6

0

0

0

337

April 2020

3,721

12

1

0

0

3,734

May 2020

2,060

71

0

39

14

2,184

June 2020

1,247

1,632

5

33

15

2,932

July 2020

1,269

3,774

51

10

31

5,135

August 2020

1,016

4,692

45

5

7

5,765

September 2020

1,152

10,779

76

13

21

12,041

October 2020

1,520

16,252

131

7

14

17,924

November 2020

2,347

20,043

149

10

65

22,614

December 2020

1,202

19,071

64

16

35

20,388

January 2021

3,105

24,850

55

23

29

28,062

February 2021

1,578

37,608

39

21

26

39,272

March 2021

187

10,454

3

5

22

10,671

Totals

20,735*

149,244

619

182

279

171,059

*This total includes those concerns listed in the table above in response to PQ 21/165426, with the remainder being those concerns categorised as ‘green’ (assessed as ‘low risk’) which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Notes:

i. For RIDDOR investigations the number relates to specific matters; typically, there will be more than one visit when dealing with the matter.

ii. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many amber /red covid-19 concerns dealt with by Health and Safety Executive regulatory staff have resulted in (a) formal written advice and (b) enforcement in each month since March 2020.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for formal enforcement action. HSE inspectors do not conclude an intervention until they are confident a business has the right controls in place. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

In response to PQ 21/165426, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns dealt with by Visiting / Regulatory Contact Officers

Concerns dealt with by Inspectors

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

203

1510

May 2020

148

835

June 2020

63

482

July 2020

55

339

August 2020

39

258

September 2020

74

330

October 2020

86

396

November 2020

94

387

December 2020

102

134

January 2021

154

271

February 2021

74

59

March 2021

4

6

Totals

1096

5,007

Notes:

i. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

ii. HSE systems do not distinguish (in a readily accessible format) between interventions by Regulatory Contact Officers and Visiting Officers, who carry out a similar role but in different operational divisions.

In response to PQ 165427, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns resulting in formal written correspondence

Concerns resulting in enforcement notices

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

46

1

May 2020

41

8

June 2020

37

10

July 2020

41

4

August 2020

23

4

September 2020

40

5

October 2020

30

1

November 2020

40

2

December 2020

17

0

January 2021

29

3

February 2021

14

1

March 2021

1

0

Totals

359

39

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165428, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Covid-19 interventions without site visit

Covid-19 interventions with site visit

Covid-19 interventions where visit status unclear from records

March 2020

4

2

-

April 2020

1,686

44

-

May 2020

924

134

-

June 2020

1,989

198

2

July 2020

2,527

1,646

48

August 2020

3,406

1,582

49

September 2020

9,008

2,202

52

October 2020

11,408

5,378

87

November 2020

11,256

9,382

52

December 2020

9,197

10,019

157

January 2021

11,721

13,586

42

February 2021

22,170

15,580

31

March 2021

6,586

3,870

8

Totals

91,882*

63,627

528

*In addition, there are over 14,500 ‘green’ concerns assessed as ‘low risk’ which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165429, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Workplace concern interventions

Spot check interventions

Outbreak interventions

RIDDOR investigations (fatalities)

RIDDOR investigations (non fatalities)

Totals

March 2020

331

6

0

0

0

337

April 2020

3,721

12

1

0

0

3,734

May 2020

2,060

71

0

39

14

2,184

June 2020

1,247

1,632

5

33

15

2,932

July 2020

1,269

3,774

51

10

31

5,135

August 2020

1,016

4,692

45

5

7

5,765

September 2020

1,152

10,779

76

13

21

12,041

October 2020

1,520

16,252

131

7

14

17,924

November 2020

2,347

20,043

149

10

65

22,614

December 2020

1,202

19,071

64

16

35

20,388

January 2021

3,105

24,850

55

23

29

28,062

February 2021

1,578

37,608

39

21

26

39,272

March 2021

187

10,454

3

5

22

10,671

Totals

20,735*

149,244

619

182

279

171,059

*This total includes those concerns listed in the table above in response to PQ 21/165426, with the remainder being those concerns categorised as ‘green’ (assessed as ‘low risk’) which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Notes:

i. For RIDDOR investigations the number relates to specific matters; typically, there will be more than one visit when dealing with the matter.

ii. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many amber /red covid-19 concerns dealt with by Health and Safety Executive regulatory staff have been handled by (a) visiting officers, (b) regulatory contact officers and (c) inspectors in each month since March 2020.

HSE’s evidence is that more than 90% of the businesses checked have the right precautions in place or are willing to make necessary changes promptly and without the need for formal enforcement action. HSE inspectors do not conclude an intervention until they are confident a business has the right controls in place. HSE will continue to take enforcement action where appropriate, but the best use of its time and resource to ensure employers take the right action promptly is often to educate, persuade or require matters to be put right immediately.

In response to PQ 21/165426, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns dealt with by Visiting / Regulatory Contact Officers

Concerns dealt with by Inspectors

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

203

1510

May 2020

148

835

June 2020

63

482

July 2020

55

339

August 2020

39

258

September 2020

74

330

October 2020

86

396

November 2020

94

387

December 2020

102

134

January 2021

154

271

February 2021

74

59

March 2021

4

6

Totals

1096

5,007

Notes:

i. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

ii. HSE systems do not distinguish (in a readily accessible format) between interventions by Regulatory Contact Officers and Visiting Officers, who carry out a similar role but in different operational divisions.

In response to PQ 165427, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Concerns resulting in formal written correspondence

Concerns resulting in enforcement notices

March 2020

-

-

April 2020

46

1

May 2020

41

8

June 2020

37

10

July 2020

41

4

August 2020

23

4

September 2020

40

5

October 2020

30

1

November 2020

40

2

December 2020

17

0

January 2021

29

3

February 2021

14

1

March 2021

1

0

Totals

359

39

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165428, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Covid-19 interventions without site visit

Covid-19 interventions with site visit

Covid-19 interventions where visit status unclear from records

March 2020

4

2

-

April 2020

1,686

44

-

May 2020

924

134

-

June 2020

1,989

198

2

July 2020

2,527

1,646

48

August 2020

3,406

1,582

49

September 2020

9,008

2,202

52

October 2020

11,408

5,378

87

November 2020

11,256

9,382

52

December 2020

9,197

10,019

157

January 2021

11,721

13,586

42

February 2021

22,170

15,580

31

March 2021

6,586

3,870

8

Totals

91,882*

63,627

528

*In addition, there are over 14,500 ‘green’ concerns assessed as ‘low risk’ which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Note: Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

In response to PQ 165429, the information is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Workplace concern interventions

Spot check interventions

Outbreak interventions

RIDDOR investigations (fatalities)

RIDDOR investigations (non fatalities)

Totals

March 2020

331

6

0

0

0

337

April 2020

3,721

12

1

0

0

3,734

May 2020

2,060

71

0

39

14

2,184

June 2020

1,247

1,632

5

33

15

2,932

July 2020

1,269

3,774

51

10

31

5,135

August 2020

1,016

4,692

45

5

7

5,765

September 2020

1,152

10,779

76

13

21

12,041

October 2020

1,520

16,252

131

7

14

17,924

November 2020

2,347

20,043

149

10

65

22,614

December 2020

1,202

19,071

64

16

35

20,388

January 2021

3,105

24,850

55

23

29

28,062

February 2021

1,578

37,608

39

21

26

39,272

March 2021

187

10,454

3

5

22

10,671

Totals

20,735*

149,244

619

182

279

171,059

*This total includes those concerns listed in the table above in response to PQ 21/165426, with the remainder being those concerns categorised as ‘green’ (assessed as ‘low risk’) which have been dealt with by HSE’s Concerns and Advisory Team.

Notes:

i. For RIDDOR investigations the number relates to specific matters; typically, there will be more than one visit when dealing with the matter.

ii. Data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 10th March 2021 and is subject to change, eg.as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before information is uploaded to the system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to Written Statement HCWS824 made on 4 March 2021 by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, how much her Department has paid in backpayments as a result of the correction exercise to date.

Parliament was updated on this issue through a written statement laid on 4 March and a topical statement by the Secretary of State during DWP oral questions on 8 March.

I have committed to updating Parliament as the correction exercise progresses.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to Written Statement HCWS824 made on 4 March 2021 by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, how many underpayments her Department’s correction exercise has identified to date.

Parliament was updated on this issue through a written statement laid on 4 March and a topical statement by the Secretary of State during DWP oral questions on 8 March.

I have committed to updating Parliament as the correction exercise progresses.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many site-based Health and Safety Executive spot checks have been carried out by (a) covid-19 support officers, (b) visiting officers/regulatory contact officers and (c) inspectors in each month since March 2020.

Spot checks are one part of HSE’s blended approach in tackling Covid-19 risk in the workplace. With additional Government funding to support Covid-19 work, HSE engaged third party suppliers to deliver spot check calls and visits by spot check support officers to a protocol and script set out by HSE. Where these checks reveal cause for concern the case is passed to an inspector for a visit and enforcement action taken if necessary, to ensure the workplace is Covid-19 secure. The additional capacity provided by the spot check support officers has broadened HSE’s reach to many more workplaces than would have been possible and supported inspectors focus on planned key work.

In addition to spot checks, HSE inspectors have visited workplaces to support public health bodies in responding to outbreaks and to investigate Covid-19 concerns raised by workers and others. Also, in any site intervention with dutyholders, for example investigating a serious incident, carrying out targeted proactive inspection work where the focus is non Covid-19 activity or similar regulatory activity, HSE inspectors check compliance with Covid-19 standards.

Since March 2020, HSE has carried out 149,248 spot checks, 65,152 of these were physical site visits to check controls were in place which met the Government’s workplace Covid-19 secure guidelines.

The breakdown of visits is provided in the table below:

Month / Year

Spot Check Support Officer

HSE Visiting Officer / Regulatory Contact Officer

HSE Inspector

March 2020

2

April 2020

6

May 2020

15

June 2020

91

July 2020

20

1475

August 2020

18

1448

September 2020

38

1989

October 2020

2,263

26

2804

November 2020

7,395

41

1714

December 2020

8,948

20

974

January 2021

12,737

7

721

February 2021

14,805

11

723

March 2021

6,765

2

94

Totals

52,913

183

12,056

Note: Figures were obtained from HSE’s live operational database on 9th March 2020 and may be subject to change, e.g. as there can be a delay of up to ten working days before data is uploaded onto the system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March to Question 156242 on Carer's Allowance: Overpayments, what information her Department holds on the starting date and durations of the overpayments of Carer’s Allowance first identified in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The Government recognises and appreciates the vital role unpaid carers play in supporting loved ones who are ill, frail or disabled.

The Carer’s Allowance debts referred to Debt Management in each of the last 3 years, reflect individual overpayments; the starting dates and durations will therefore vary accordingly.

However, the average lengths of the recoverable Carer’s Allowance overpayments referred to Debt Management in each of the requested years was as follows:

2018/2019

2019/2020

2020/2021 YTD

Average Length (Days)

164

213

135

I can also confirm that the median start dates for those overpayments were:

2018/2019

2019/2020

2020/2021 YTD

Median Start Date

06/11/2017

17/12/2018

09/12/2019

These overpayments have arisen in the main because changes have not been reported on time. DWP takes every care to explain a claimant’s responsibilities when they apply for Carer’s Allowance; this includes the need to report changes on time. The Department has improved Carer’s Allowance communications to make this even clearer.

New technology and additional staffing have now made it easier to identify and prevent overpayments.

Notes:

  • The Department has a duty to recover overpaid benefits as quickly and efficiently as possible.

  • Overpayment recovery is subject to various legislative limitations and safeguards so customers do not experience financial hardship.

  • There are rules covering the amount of money we can take from a person’s benefit and customers are informed in advance before benefit deductions start.

  • Where a person claims they cannot afford the proposed rate of recovery, they are asked to provide details of their income and expenditure. When this information is provided, their financial circumstances can be taken into account and a reduction in their rate of repayment may be agreed. In these circumstances, the situation would be reviewed at regular periods. In exceptional circumstances, a temporary suspension of recovery may be agreed.
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the Health and Safety Executive's response is to representations made to it by the Road Haulage Association on tightening guidance on the provision of toilet facilities to visiting truck drivers; and if she will make a statement.

Early in the pandemic, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) produced guidance for drivers which can be found at https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/drivers-transport-delivery.htm. In addition, HSE published a joint letter with the Department for Transport on gov.uk in May 2020, reminding businesses of their legal obligation to provide toilet and handwashing facilities to drivers visiting their premises to deliver or collect goods as part of their work. The joint letter is available to download and print, via the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887867/dft-hse-letter-drivers-facilities.pdf.

This guidance continues to be reinforced with messages (for example that HSE is checking businesses in the transport sector are COVID-secure – https://press.hse.gov.uk/2020/11/23/hse-is-checking-businesses-in-the-transport-sector-are-covid-secure/ to explain expectations on businesses).

In mid-July 2020 HSE clarified that visiting workers must be allowed access to toilets in both their cleaning and hygiene guidance (https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/cleaning/bathrooms-toilets-washbasins.htm) and social distancing guidance (https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/social-distancing/common-areas.htm)

HSE has engaged extensively with industry associations and trade unions to set out the legal requirements. They used their communications channels including social media and newsletters to engage with stakeholders directly, and last year worked with other agencies such as Highways England and police forces to amplify our messaging on access to welfare facilities via their social media channels.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have been asked to repay overpayments of carer's allowance in each of the last five years.

The number of people asked to repay new overpayments of Carer’s Allowance, as referred to Debt Management between April 2016 and January 2021, is set out in the table below:

Financial Year

Volume

2016/2017

17.5k

2017/2018

13.0k

2018/2019

37.6k

2019/2020

51.9k

2020/2021 YTD

11.5k

Total

131.5k

1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of (a) formal written advice notices and (b) enforcement notices issued by HSE in each month since March 2020 were in relation to (i) employee safety concerns arising from covid-19 and (ii) concerns of inadequate ventilation as a risk of covid-19 transmission.

Since March 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has dealt with 18337 COVID-19 workplace concerns and has carried out a total of 103011 COVID-19 spot checks.

Table 1 below shows the numbers of COVID-19 workplace concerns and spot checks resulting in written correspondence and enforcement notices.

HSE’s systems do not record the level of detail which would be required to establish how many concerns related to inadequate ventilation, therefore it is not possible to determine what proportion of the cases identified related specifically to ventilation concerns.

Table 1

COVID concerns with an outcome of 'Written correspondence'

COVID concerns with an outcome of Notice

COVID spot checks with an outcome of ‘Written correspondence’

COVID spot checks with an outcome of Notice

Mar-20

0

0

0

0

Apr-20

45

1

0

0

May-20

42

8

3

1

Jun-20

38

10

18

8

Jul-20

41

4

128

25

Aug-20

22

3

134

23

Sep-20

39

5

160

30

Oct-20

32

0

251

30

Nov-20

36

1

127

22

Dec-20

16

0

104

14

Jan-21

15

1

63

7

February 2021 (to 02.02.21)

0

0

2

0

Totals

326

33

990

160

Note: This data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 3rd February 2021 and is subject to change e.g. as there can be a delay of up to 10 working days before actions are updated on the database.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the cost to the public purse of implementing the automated process under the Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020.

No such estimate has been made.

We expect to automate identification of affected claimants early in 2021. This will allow us to proactively correct awards before they are paid, without the need for the claimant to raise the issue.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when the automated process to deliver the Universal Credit (Earned Income) Amendment Regulations 2020 will be in place.

No such estimate has been made.

We expect to automate identification of affected claimants early in 2021. This will allow us to proactively correct awards before they are paid, without the need for the claimant to raise the issue.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) Stage 1 phone calls, (b) Stage 2 follow-up calls, (c) Stage 3 site visits and (d) covid support officer site visits have been undertaken by HSE in each month since March 2020 in relation to (i) all employee safety concerns arising from covid-19 and (ii) concerns of inadequate ventilation causing an increased risk of covid-19 transmission.

The stage 1, 2 & 3 approach you refer to relates specifically to proactive spot check calls and visits to business premises and not to those triggered by workplace concerns.

So far, HSE has proactively carried out a total of 92,566 spot checks, since March 2020, which includes both those passing through the staged process and those carried out separately from this process i.e. as a result of visits carried out by our inspectors. 83,718 went through the staged-process, of which 17,895 were referred to stage 2 and 3,311 of which were then referred to stage 3 for a visit.

With regard specifically to employee safety concerns arising from Covid-19, HSE categorises workplace COVID concerns into green, amber or red. Green concerns are those that can easily be resolved or where HSE is not the enforcing body. Amber and red COVID concerns have, to date, been dealt with by HSE regulatory operational staff.

Of these, HSE’s systems do not record the level of detail which would be required to establish how many concerns related to inadequate ventilation.

The table below provides by month the number of completed COVID concerns dealt with, the number of these that were investigated and completed by operational staff and the number that required a site visit. These numbers are additional to those listed in paragraph 2.

Month/Year

Completed COVID Concerns

COVID concerns investigated by regulatory staff.

Requiring a visit to site

03-2020

336

-

04-2020

3749

1715

37

05-2020

2006

982

119

06-2020

1238

548

103

07-2020

1272

393

127

08-2020

1008

295

93

09-2020

1132

399

125

10-2020

1437

473

203

11-2020

2228

462

157

12-2020

1132

195

38

01-2021

2177

178

41

Total

17715

5640

1043

NB the data was extracted from HSE’s live operational database on 27th January 2021. The number for completed COVID concerns is reported on a weekly basis and this is as of 24th January 2021.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the letter of 15 January 2021 from the Permanent Secretary to the Work and Pensions Committee, how her Department defines the acceptable service level for its telephone lines for (a) attendance allowance, (b) the Child Maintenance Service, (c) personal independence payment and (d) state pension; and in each month from August 2020 to December 2020 what service level was provided on each of those lines.

An acceptable level of service for all of the department’s telephony lines is defined as 80% of calls answered (a common industry standard). This service level indicates that customers are being quickly connected to team members and getting their problems resolved in a timely manner.

A reduced service may be necessary for a period where the balancing of resource (as experienced during this Pandemic) are of high priority within a particular business area.

Table below shows performance for Attendance Allowance (AA), Child Maintenance Service (CMS), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and State Pension (SP) telephony lines for the period August 2020 to December 2020.

% Calls Answered (PCA)

Aug-20

Sep-20

Oct-20

Nov-20

Dec-20

AA

61.10%

60.20%

64.40%

62.00%

64.00%

CMS

78.90%

75.60%

74.80%

74.30%

68.40%

PIP

70.60%

70.60%

63.30%

69.60%

69.20%

SP

60.60%

57.90%

52.10%

55.20%

60.30%

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's policy is on automatically extending personal independence payment awards.

In normal circumstances, PIP awards are time-limited with regular review dates to ensure the benefit best meets
claimants’ needs and there are no automatic extensions to PIP awards. However, on the limited occasions when it is not possible to review claimants in a timely manner, we may extend a claimant’s award until the point that we can
complete the review.

As part of its response to the Covid-19 situation, in Spring 2020 the Department extended award dates for existing
PIP claims. We restarted the PIP award review process in July. New decisions made since then will not have had their awards extended – reflecting these claims will on average not be subject to review until 2022 and beyond.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the letter of 15 January 2021 from the Permanent Secretary to the Work and Pensions Committee, in each month from August 2020 to December 2020 how many call attempts to her Department’s debt management service (a) were made, (b) were blocked and (c) were not blocked but were not answered.

The table below illustrates the extent of the telephony traffic in Debt Management since August 2020.

Call attempts

Calls answered

Calls blocked

Calls not answered

August

153,800

102,400

22,200

29,300

September

282,100

127,900

101,600

52,600

October

221,800

147,500

41,800

32,500

November

605,300

149,600

413,700

42,000

December

278,900

122,600

129,400

26,900

January (to 11/01/21)

46,500

42,700

100

3,700

*Figures are rounded to the nearest 100

In November 2020, there was a temporary spike in the number of calls received due to the recommencement of debt recovery, following a pause due to the outbreak of Covid-19. It should be noted that the number of blocked calls does not represent individual customers and that the volume will be substantially distorted by repeat attempts.

We have since updated our telephone messaging and guidance for call handlers as well as redeploying trained staff from clearing work to answering calls.

In addition, DWP expects to deploy approximately 450 new staff to the network in the next three months.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will publish the timetable for the National Disability Strategy, and whether that Strategy will be consulted on as a command paper.

The Government is committed to transforming the lives of disabled people, and will publish the National Strategy for Disabled People this year.

It will be informed by insights from the lived experience of disabled people, and will focus on the issues that disabled people say are most important across all aspects of life, from transport to education, and housing to employment. On Friday 15th January, we launched the online UK Disability Survey, which complements a range of engagement already undertaken and ongoing, including lived experience research with disabled people, discussions with the Disabled Charities Consortium, the Regional Stakeholder Networks and others. Contributions to the survey will feed not only into the development of the Strategy but also its delivery.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of modifications to Access to Work during the covid-19 outbreak on support for people with musculoskeletal conditions.

Recognising the challenges Covid-19 has for employers and disabled people, Access to Work introduced a new more flexible offer to support disabled people to move into and retain employment. The new flexible offer complements support provided by employers and contains a combination of support that can be tailored to meet the needs of new Covid-19 working arrangements. The offer includes:

  • support to work from more than one location,
  • a package of home working support which can be blended with workplace support,
  • mental health wellbeing support for people returning to work after a period of furlough or shielding,
  • travel-to-work support for those who may no longer be able to safely travel by public transport due to the nature of their disability, and
  • prioritising Access to Work applications from disabled people in the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Group.

Recognising the benefits equipment/support within the workplace provides, Access to Work can contribute towards the costs of transferring that equipment or where working from both the office and home occurs Access to Work can consider providing funding for additional equipment/support to enable the disabled person to retain their job.

Background

Access to Work (ATW) is a demand-led, discretionary grant to de-risk the recruitment and retention of disabled people for employers. The grant contributes to the disability related extra costs of working faced by disabled people and those with a health condition that are beyond reasonable adjustment, but it does not replace an employer’s duty under the Equality Act to make reasonable adjustments. The grant provides personalised support and can provide workplace assessments, travel to/in work, support workers, specialist aids and equipment to enable disabled people and those with a health condition to move into or retain employment. And can fund up to £60,700 worth of flexible, personalised support per person per year.

We have not carried out a formal assessment of the new offer, but following its immediate introduction telephone call to Access to Work increased by approximately 40%.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 7 December 2020 to Question 123507, how much funding was allocated to promote the Access to Work scheme in the last financial year; and what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of that promotion in relation to the uptake of that scheme.

In the context of the current lockdown restrictions we are currently reviewing our messaging on Access to Work and the most appropriate time to launch paid advertising to ensure optimum value for money. We will continue the already extensive no cost and stakeholder promotion of Access to Work and look to supplement with paid advertising at the most appropriate point. Within this context, we are unable to provide a final spend estimate for the 20/21 financial year.

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of calls to her Department’s Debt Management team were answered in (a) August (b) September (c) October and (d) November 2020.

It is important to note, since March the caseload on UC has increased from around 3 million people on UC to 5.8 million.

The proportion of calls presented to agents answered by Debt Management for the months requested are shown in the table below:

August

September

October

November

Proportion of calls presented to agents that are answered

77%

71%

80%

78%

The Debt Management queueing system allows only so many calls into the telephony system, matching volumes to the number of telephony agents available. The Percentage of Calls Answered therefore underestimates the number of attempted calls.

There were, however, large numbers of callers who could not make it into the system and are therefore not included in the proportion of calls answered.

November saw a large increase in the volume of notifications issued, largely due to the automated nature of the system used by Debt Management to manage customer accounts. This caused a significant increase in the number of customers attempting to contact the service as a result, starting on 20th November.

Debt Management have put steps in place to address this issue. A limit to the number of notifications issued has been set to ensure the resulting contact is manageable. Improvements have been made to the messages customers hear when they call; this will ensure they are made aware of any high call volumes and are also directed to the right place, to help reduce the time spent waiting. This includes directing customers to GOV.UK if they want to make a payment by bank transfer. Debt Management are also recruiting more telephony agents - 90 additional agents have now joined Debt Management and are being trained, and a further 100 will join early in the New Year.

Debt Management continues to monitor the number of notifications issued and their call handling data. At the height of this issue, an average of over 51,000 calls were blocked each day. For the last 5 days for which we have data, from 7th–11th December, this had fallen to less than 6,000 each day.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of written complaints to her Department’s Debt Management team were answered within 15 working days in (a) August (b) September (c) October and (d) November 2020.

The proportion of written complaints answered by Debt Management within 15 working days for the months requested are set out in the table below:

August

September

October

November

Proportion of complaints answered by Debt Management within 15 working days

93%

88%

88%

49%

It is important to note the caseload of people on UC has increased since March from around 3 million to 5.8 million. Deductions were paused at the height of the pandemic and staff from the Debt Management team were redeployed to process claims. Staff have now returned to their roles, and deductions restarted in a phased way from July 2020.

Therefore the number of complaints received by Debt Management increased during this period. This was due to the increased caseload leading to some customers experiencing difficulties when trying to contact Debt Management by telephone.

Debt Management have put steps in place to address this issue. Firstly, a limit to the number of notifications issued has been set to ensure any resulting contact is manageable. Improvements have been made to the messages customers hear when they call; this will ensure they are made aware of any high call volumes and are also directed to the right place, to help reduce the time spent waiting. This includes directing customers to GOV.UK if they want to make a payment by bank transfer. Debt Management are also recruiting more telephony agents. 90 additional agents have now joined Debt Management and are being trained, and a further 100 will join early in the New Year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her letter of 20 July 2020 to the Work and Pensions Committee, how many cases of universal credit identity hijack her Department (a) has investigated since October 2018 and (b) is currently investigating.

In terms of UC Advances cases where an individual’s identity has been hijacked, we have investigated a significant number of potential or alleged UC Advances frauds and to date have found 36 cases where the person had been a genuine victim of hijacked id. Other cases are still in the process of being investigated. We cannot provide details of any potential identity frauds as the outcomes (of each case) cannot be pre-determined.

In addition, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Cyber Resilience Centre within the Department for Work and Pensions thwarted attempts made to defraud the Government of an estimated £1.7bn through organised criminal attacks on the Universal Credit system.

The Department was able to intervene on around 133,000 linked fraudulent claims and prevent the vast majority from being paid. Some claims received an advance or progressed to payment, but were subsequently detected and payments stopped immediately, with less than £50 million paid out in total.

These claims used hijacked identities, but the identities were not stolen from the Department. Of the attempted fraudulent claims only a very small minority used the identities of existing benefit claimants. Where existing claims have been affected, the Department has reinstated the original claim.

All figures used in this response are correct as of 20 November 2020.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the letter of 21 November 2020 from the Permanent Secretary to the Work and Pensions Committee, how many cases of universal credit identity hijack have been referred to the Stolen Identity Team since 24 June 2020.

As at 8 December 2020, the total number of suspected cases of Universal Credit identity hijack referred to the Stolen Identity Team since 24 June 2020 was 5,894.

The vast majority of benefit expenditure is paid correctly, with front line staff working hard to prevent incorrect and fraudulent payments. We are constantly improving our processes and continue to use data to identify fraud and better target our investigations.

The Department continues to take fraud seriously, and will continue to challenge people who seek to abuse the system, employing the full range of penalties at its disposal.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much has been spent on promoting the Access to Work scheme in the 2020-21 financial year.

The Department delivers regular communications about Access to Work support using a variety of high reach channels including social media, proactive press releases explaining the support available and how to apply via Gov.uk. Activity also includes working with a variety of organisations to increase awareness of Access to Work support among disabled employees, including the Disability Confident network of more than 19.000 employers, and regular stakeholder communications to encourage them to promote Access to Work to their clients. Remploy and Ingeus deliver Access to Work Mental Health Support Service (MHSS) on the Department’s behalf. The Department works with those providers to support activity to promote their Access to Work Mental Health Support Services externally using their communications channels to reach customers experiencing mental health issues or conditions within the workplace. All promotional activity delivered by Access to Work MHSS providers has to be approved by the Department.

The Department also targets information about Access to Work at the point of need where it can have maximum impact, for example when someone is offered a job, or develops a health condition that impacts their work. This means using key touch points with disabled people, including employers, Jobcentre work coaches, Disability Employment Advisers and partners who engage directly with disabled people.

This approach has been highly effective as Access to Work is supporting thousands more people with disabilities and health conditions than ever before. In the most recent official statistics published in September 2020, Access to Work funded tailored and flexible support for 43,000 people in 2019/20, a 20% increase on the previous year, demonstrating the Department’s approach to promoting Access to Work continues to be highly effective. Access to Work support has also led to increased take up among underrepresented groups including those with Mental Health conditions, with 8,710 successful applications in 2019/20, almost double the number compared to the previous year and the highest ever.

The increased consumption and reach of digital channels, in particular social media, and the Department’s extensive reach with employers and stakeholder organisations means that key audiences can be reached in a much more cost-effective way than previously. However, to ensure that Access to Work information reaches as many people as possible, the Department is planning to supplement this already extensive promotion with paid advertising from January 2021. Final proposals are currently being worked on for the paid advertising campaign and detailed media planning will determine final spend, therefore at this stage we are unable to confirm the final spend estimate.

1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the amount her Department will have spent on promoting the Access to Work scheme in the current financial year, 2020-21, by the end of the financial year.

The Department delivers regular communications about Access to Work support using a variety of high reach channels including social media, proactive press releases explaining the support available and how to apply via Gov.uk. Activity also includes working with a variety of organisations to increase awareness of Access to Work support among disabled employees, including the Disability Confident network of more than 19.000 employers, and regular stakeholder communications to encourage them to promote Access to Work to their clients. Remploy and Ingeus deliver Access to Work Mental Health Support Service (MHSS) on the Department’s behalf. The Department works with those providers to support activity to promote their Access to Work Mental Health Support Services externally using their communications channels to reach customers experiencing mental health issues or conditions within the workplace. All promotional activity delivered by Access to Work MHSS providers has to be approved by the Department.

The Department also targets information about Access to Work at the point of need where it can have maximum impact, for example when someone is offered a job, or develops a health condition that impacts their work. This means using key touch points with disabled people, including employers, Jobcentre work coaches, Disability Employment Advisers and partners who engage directly with disabled people.

This approach has been highly effective as Access to Work is supporting thousands more people with disabilities and health conditions than ever before. In the most recent official statistics published in September 2020, Access to Work funded tailored and flexible support for 43,000 people in 2019/20, a 20% increase on the previous year, demonstrating the Department’s approach to promoting Access to Work continues to be highly effective. Access to Work support has also led to increased take up among underrepresented groups including those with Mental Health conditions, with 8,710 successful applications in 2019/20, almost double the number compared to the previous year and the highest ever.

The increased consumption and reach of digital channels, in particular social media, and the Department’s extensive reach with employers and stakeholder organisations means that key audiences can be reached in a much more cost-effective way than previously. However, to ensure that Access to Work information reaches as many people as possible, the Department is planning to supplement this already extensive promotion with paid advertising from January 2021. Final proposals are currently being worked on for the paid advertising campaign and detailed media planning will determine final spend, therefore at this stage we are unable to confirm the final spend estimate.

1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of her Department's promotion of Access to Work in the current financial year on the number of applications to that scheme.

The Department delivers regular communications about Access to Work support using a variety of high reach channels including social media, proactive press releases explaining the support available and how to apply via Gov.uk. Activity also includes working with a variety of organisations to increase awareness of Access to Work support among disabled employees, including the Disability Confident network of more than 19.000 employers, and regular stakeholder communications to encourage them to promote Access to Work to their clients. Remploy and Ingeus deliver Access to Work Mental Health Support Service (MHSS) on the Department’s behalf. The Department works with those providers to support activity to promote their Access to Work Mental Health Support Services externally using their communications channels to reach customers experiencing mental health issues or conditions within the workplace. All promotional activity delivered by Access to Work MHSS providers has to be approved by the Department.

The Department also targets information about Access to Work at the point of need where it can have maximum impact, for example when someone is offered a job, or develops a health condition that impacts their work. This means using key touch points with disabled people, including employers, Jobcentre work coaches, Disability Employment Advisers and partners who engage directly with disabled people.

This approach has been highly effective as Access to Work is supporting thousands more people with disabilities and health conditions than ever before. In the most recent official statistics published in September 2020, Access to Work funded tailored and flexible support for 43,000 people in 2019/20, a 20% increase on the previous year, demonstrating the Department’s approach to promoting Access to Work continues to be highly effective. Access to Work support has also led to increased take up among underrepresented groups including those with Mental Health conditions, with 8,710 successful applications in 2019/20, almost double the number compared to the previous year and the highest ever.

The increased consumption and reach of digital channels, in particular social media, and the Department’s extensive reach with employers and stakeholder organisations means that key audiences can be reached in a much more cost-effective way than previously. However, to ensure that Access to Work information reaches as many people as possible, the Department is planning to supplement this already extensive promotion with paid advertising from January 2021. Final proposals are currently being worked on for the paid advertising campaign and detailed media planning will determine final spend, therefore at this stage we are unable to confirm the final spend estimate.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions her Department is having with representatives of (a) Equity and (b) other similar organisations on social security support for self-employed workers in the creative industries during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

The department has met with representatives for the self-employed, such as the Federation of Small businesses (FSB) and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to discuss the impact of covid-19 on independent businesses and self-employed people and the support available. We have also met with representatives from organisations including Pinewood Studios and ScreenSkills to discuss employment opportunities in the arts sector.

For those who can’t work or suffer a loss of earnings due to the pandemic the government announced an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes, including the temporary relaxation of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed UC claimants affected by covid-19, for the duration of the outbreak.

This means a drop in earnings due to sickness or self-isolation or as a result of the economic impact of the outbreak is reflected in claimants’ awards. It ensures that the self-employed are supported by the benefit system so that they can follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing and self-isolation.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance she has given to jobcentre staff on relaxing normal work search requirements for benefit claimants who are self-employed and highly experienced but temporarily unable to find work in their usual field during the covid-19 outbreak.

The frequency of interventions that Universal Credit Work Coaches undertake with claimants is determined by the individual circumstances of the claimant, the duration of their claim, and the level of support required at that particular time. Work Coaches are not routinely undertaking Work Search Reviews with claimants who have declared themselves as Self-Employed; but are instead available to support them in seeking alternative work/careers if they require it.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 16 November 2020 to Question 114047 on Immigrants: Coronavirus, if she will issue guidance to local authorities to clarify that families with No Recourse to Public Funds are eligible for help from Government funds provided for supporting disadvantaged families.

Our £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme will enable local authorities to support children and vulnerable households this winter with food and key utilities.

We are in regular discussion with Local Authorities about how the Covid Winter Support Grant should be delivered. Detailed guidance, including on support for those with No Recourse to Public Funds, was published on gov.uk on 24 November:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-winter-grant-scheme

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with representatives (a) among the self-employed and (b) workers in the creative arts sector on the operation of the social security system during the covid-19 outbreak.

The department has met with representatives for the self-employed, such as the Federation of Small businesses (FSB) and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to discuss the impact of covid-19 on independent businesses and self-employed people and the support available. We have also met with representatives from organisations including Pinewood Studios and ScreenSkills to discuss employment opportunities in the arts sector.

For those who can’t work or suffer a loss of earnings due to the pandemic the government announced an unprecedented package of measures to protect millions of people’s jobs and incomes, including the temporary relaxation of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed UC claimants affected by covid-19, for the duration of the outbreak.

This means a drop in earnings due to sickness or self-isolation or as a result of the economic impact of the outbreak is reflected in claimants’ awards. It ensures that the self-employed are supported by the benefit system so that they can follow Public Health England guidance on social distancing and self-isolation.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to her oral statement of 9 November 2020, Official Report, column 637 on supporting disadvantaged families, whether children in families whose immigration status has the No Recourse to Public Funds condition will be eligible for help if they are (a) born in the UK and (b) born outside the UK.

The eligibility rules relating to immigration status have not changed. Local authorities can and do use their judgement in assessing what support they may lawfully give those who are ineligible for public funds or housing support, on an individual basis taking into account their specific needs and circumstances. This includes providing basic safety net support if it is established that there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution; for example, where there are community care needs, migrants with serious health problems, or family cases where the wellbeing of a child is in question.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to increase the rate of (a) jobseekers' allowance and (b) employment and support allowance in line with the increase in universal credit; and if she will make a statement.

The Government introduced a package of temporary welfare measures worth around £9.3 billion this year to help with the financial consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the £20 weekly increase to the Universal Credit Standard Allowance rates as a temporary measure for the 20/21 tax year. There are no plans to extend this to legacy benefits.

The Government will update Parliament accordingly on any future decisions on benefit spending.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what method her Department has used to conduct personal independence payment medical assessments since face-to-face assessments were paused in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

As previously advised to the Rt Hon Stephen Timms on the 10 September 2020, during the Covid-19 period, all assessments are currently being progressed on the basis of the paper based evidence alone or that evidence together with a telephone assessment to ensure decisions on Personal Independence Payment can be made without delay.

The health and safety of our claimants and our staff are our key priority. Face to face assessments for health and disability benefits remain suspended at present; this is being kept under review in line with the latest public health guidance.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2020 to Question 106889 on State Retirement Pensions, how many people were having deductions and adjustments made to their State Pension payments by her Department to repay claimant debts owed to Government on the most recent date for which that data is available.

17,215 claimants are currently having deductions made from their State Pension in respect of benefit overpayments or repayment of outstanding Social Fund loans. The figure excludes accounts managed by the Department for Communities.

Regulations allow a number of deductions and adjustments to be made from State Pension. There are also limits on the amount that can be taken. Deductions taken to repay claimant debts owed to Government include those in respect of benefit overpayments and civil and administrative penalties.

All such debts are first notified to the customer in writing; notifications also include information on what action can be taken by the customer if they wish to dispute the amount stated as owing. A further notification is issued before any deductions from State Pension commence.

Anyone unable to afford the rate of recovery proposed is encouraged to contact DWP so an affordable rate of repayment can be negotiated.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on a joined-up approach by Government and regulators to implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures; and if she will make a statement.

As a result of action by this Government, the UK is the first major economy to put TCFD into statute for pension schemes - leading the way on this issue, having already legislated for net zero by 2050 and introduced ESG legislation through 2018 amendments to the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations.

As part of the Green Finance Strategy, the Government has established a working group of Government Departments and regulators that meets monthly to take forward implementation of the recommendations of the Task Force on TCFD. This board is important in fostering co-ordination and consultation given the overlaps and interdependencies within the UK financial services sector.

For DWP, the Financial Conduct Authority is particularly relevant to DWP’s recent proposals on TCFD for occupational pension schemes, given the relationship between trustees and their asset managers.

On 2 October, we published a letter exchange with the FCA’s Interim Chief Executive Chris Woolard on this topic in which he committed to work closely with the Department when developing proposals.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/financial-conduct-authoritys-plans-for-climate-related-financial-disclosures

This demonstrates the importance of ongoing bilateral engagement in supporting the co-ordination of any proposals for TCFD requirements.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy for the Money and Pensions Service to reintroduce the Pension Wise usage data reports, showing monthly Pension Wise take up by channel, which were published by her Department up to January 2019.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) publishes Pension Wise usage data as part of their annual evaluation report which details not only volumes but satisfaction with the service.

Figures can fluctuate monthly, for example due to seasonality and the numbers of people reaching aged 50, who are eligible for the Pension Wise service. The annual reporting allows for wider analysis and commentary against the figures rather than that previously published month by month.

MaPS continually reviews its reporting processes across its customer facing brands and we work very closely with MaPS to analyse their services, along with seeking any opportunities to improve.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to promote diversity in pension schemes governance; and if she will make a statement.

In 2018, Government made amendments to the Occupational Pension Schemes (Investment) Regulations 2005 which required trustees to state their policy on environmental, social and governance considerations in their investment strategy, typically including consideration of the diversity of the firms in which they invest. It also supports greater diversity in trustee board representation.

The primary focus on pensions schemes is ensuring that trustees in all occupational pension schemes meet standards of honesty, integrity and knowledge appropriate to their role.

The Pensions Regulator is already looking at the issue of trustee board diversity across all schemes and began work on this in Spring 2020. The proposed industry working group will bring together the wealth of material and experience that is available to help pension schemes improve the diversity of their boards.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants are having deductions made from their State Pension as a result of debts owed to the Government.

Regulations allow a number of deductions and adjustments to be made from State Pension. There are also limits on the amount that can be taken. Deductions taken to repay claimant debts owed to Government include those in respect of benefit overpayments and civil and administrative penalties.

All such debts are first notified to the customer in writing; notifications also include information on what action can be taken by the customer if they wish to dispute the amount stated as owing. A further notification is issued before any deductions from State Pension commence.

Anyone unable to afford the rate of recovery proposed is encouraged to contact DWP so an affordable rate of repayment can be negotiated.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in what circumstances her Department makes deductions from State Pension payments to repay claimant debts owed to the Government.

Regulations allow a number of deductions and adjustments to be made from State Pension. There are also limits on the amount that can be taken. Deductions taken to repay claimant debts owed to Government include those in respect of benefit overpayments and civil and administrative penalties.

All such debts are first notified to the customer in writing; notifications also include information on what action can be taken by the customer if they wish to dispute the amount stated as owing. A further notification is issued before any deductions from State Pension commence.

Anyone unable to afford the rate of recovery proposed is encouraged to contact DWP so an affordable rate of repayment can be negotiated.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants will be subject to the minimum income floor when its suspension ends on 12 November 2020.

The Information requested on the minimum income floor is not available.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit claimants were self-employed in the last period for which data is available.

In August 2020, the number of self-employed people claiming Universal Credit and required to report self-employed income, stood at 746,000.

This represented 13.4% of all people claiming Universal Credit.

Notes:

Volumes are rounded to the nearest thousand

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy for pensions dashboards to highlight information on responsible investment; and if she will make a statement.

The Pensions Dashboards Programme consulted on what additional information dashboards could initially show in its summer Call for Input on data. This included the potential to signpost users to schemes’ Statement of Investment Principles and Implementation documents, which include information on schemes’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies and work.

A summary of the responses to the Call for Input will shortly be published alongside the Programme’s next Progress Update Report, on its website – www.pensionsdashboardsprogramme.org.uk.

The Government will work with the Pensions Dashboard Programme to assess and review their recommendations as to the extent of content on the dashboard. The initial dashboard will be simple in design bit it is intended that it will have much more information as it develops.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Universal Credit claimants rented from a private landlord and had (a) dependent children and (b) no dependent children in (i) the most recent month for which data is available and (ii) the same month in 2019.

The available information on the number of households on Universal Credit with Housing Entitlement, by Tenure and Family Type is published and the latest statistics to May 2020 can be found at:

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

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

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

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people of state pension age received Housing Benefit for a private rented home in (a) the most recent month for which data is available and (b) the same month in 2019.

The available information on the number of households of state pension age receiving Housing Benefit is published and the latest statistics to May 2020 can be found at:

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

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

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

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 October 2020 to Question 96745 on Universal Credit, what the timetable is for her Department to bring forward legislative proposals to address the issues raised by the Court of Appeal.

I can confirm the Department’s timetable for laying legislation in response to the Court of Appeal judgment made on 22 June in the case of Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart, which concerned claimants who receive two calendar monthly payments of earnings in one Universal Credit assessment period.

I am intending to make today and lay tomorrow, secondary legislation that will allow us to reallocate a payment of earnings reported via the Real Time Information service to a different Universal Credit assessment period, either because it was reported in the wrong assessment period or (in the case of calendar monthly paid employees) it is necessary to maintain a regular payment cycle. This will mean that claimants who are paid calendar monthly will therefore have one salary payment taken into account in each assessment period. It also means that certain claimants will also benefit from any applicable work allowance.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 October 2020 to Question 96745, whether the proposed legislation will be applied retrospectively to households whose Universal Credit was previously reduced by the unlawful approach to calculating their earned income.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the way the Department calculated Universal Credit awards involving earnings in an assessment period was a correct application of the regulations, but that not considering the impact on the specific cases of those paid calendar monthly who are affected a ‘a non-banking day salary shift’ was irrational. The legislation we are making today and laying tomorrow, revises those arrangements and provides a remedy that satisfies the Court of Appeal Judgment in the case of Johnson and Others. It will mean that in future for cases affected by this issue, monthly earnings will be reallocated to another assessment period, which means that only one set of earnings will be taken into account rather than two, and certain claimants will be able to benefit from any applicable work allowance.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Welfare Delivery on 25 June 2020 Official Report, column 1455, what progress she has made on implementing the Court of Appeal judgment of 22 June 2020 in the case of Johnson, Woods, Barrett and Stewart v. the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

In its deliberations, the Court of Appeal recognised the complexity of the issue which the Department is working to resolve for claimants as soon as possible.

We intend to bring forward legislation to address the issues raised by the Court of Appeal, so that in future for cases affected by this issue monthly earnings can be reallocated to another assessment period, which means that only one set of earnings should be taken into account rather than two.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit limited capability for work assessments were successful at the initial assessment in each month in the last 12 months.

The Department publishes Universal Credit statistics on the total number of households in receipt of limited capability work entitlement – either the limited capability for work element, or the limited capability for work and work related activity element. This information is available via Stat-Xplore and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on for users can be found at:

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

Statistics on outcomes of Work Capability Assessments for Universal Credit are intended for publication in the near future as Official Statistics.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people who applied for (a) employment and support allowance and (b) personal independence payments needed reasonable adjustments in order to make their claim in the last 12 months.

In relation to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

In relation to PIP, it is important that all of our claimants are able to access our services and that they do not face obstacles in applying and communicating with the Department and its providers. We have a variety of reasonable adjustments to make the claims process and communications easier for some of our most vulnerable customers and we offer a range of services to help claimants who have accessibility needs.

In relation to ESA, we offer a number of different ways for customers to make the claims that would negate the need of a customer needing a reasonable adjustment. They can make a claim online, by telephone or on a paper based form. The Alternative Format team can arrange for reasonable adjustments to be applied such as correspondence in braille.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether updated assessment guidance stating that new-style employment and support allowance claimants who are unable to do a telephone assessment will receive the assessment rate until they have a face-to-face assessment also applies to universal credit limited capability for work claimants.

Universal Credit (UC) claimants who are unable to participate in a work capability assessment (WCA) by telephone will continue to receive their appropriate UC Standard Allowance, plus any additions, for example, housing costs and children, during the period they are waiting for the outcome decision of a face-to-face WCA.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many (a) universal credit and (b) employment and support allowance claimants were found fit for work but were awarded (i) limited capability for work and (ii) limited capability for work related activity after appeal in each month in the last 12 months.

Statistics on Employment and Support Allowance Work Capability Assessment (WCA) outcomes are published quarterly. The latest figures covering the outcome of completed initial and repeat WCAs including appeals decisions and mandatory reconsiderations, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employment-and-support-allowance-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessment

Additional breakdowns of the ESA WCA figures can be found at:

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

Guidance for users is available at:

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

The information requested for Universal Credit is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit limited capability for work and limited capability for work related activity mandatory reconsiderations resulted in a change of award since the beginning of May 2020.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to continue (a) paper and (b) telephone assessments for (i) personal independence payment and (ii) disability living allowance after the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

Paper based assessments of entitlement to Disability Living Allowance have always been offered in preference to other forms of assessment and will continue as normal.

Paper based assessments have also always been a feature of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). Face-to-face assessment are currently suspended and are being kept under review. We will be considering the next steps for PIP assessments and how we could re-introduce face-to-face assessments when it is safe and operationally feasible to do so, our key priority being the health and safety of our claimants and our staff.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to develop (a) paper and (b) telephone versions of work capability assessments; and if she will make a statement.

Paper based reviews have always been a feature of Work Capability Assessments. Wherever possible, if there is sufficient evidence available, our Assessment Provider will make a recommendation based on a paper-based review. If this is not possible, our provider will currently look to offer a telephone assessment, where appropriate.

We remain fully committed to making continuous improvements to the support we provide to people with health conditions and disabilities, and are evaluating the changes temporarily introduced to inform the approach taken to conducting assessments in the future.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Written Statement of 9 July 2020, WS 353, whether she plans to permit disability benefit claimants to choose a face-to-face, telephone or paper assessment; and if she will make a statement.

We are considering the next steps for assessments when public health advice allows face to face assessments to be re-introduced. We are using a range of information to inform these decisions, including research with PIP and ESA/UC claimants about their experiences of telephone assessments, which will take place over the Summer. Further discussions with stakeholders will also be welcomed to ensure we take a range of views into consideration.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claims for financial redress have been made to her Department by people who claimed universal credit after lockdown restrictions came into effect and are worse off than on their previous benefits.

The information requested can only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many payments of financial redress her Department has made since March 2019 to claimants who moved from legacy benefits to universal credit on her Department's advice and became worse off.

The information requested can only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much of the £14 million additional funding for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been (a) allocated by HSE and (b) allocated by HSE for additional inspection capacity.

The government has made available up to an extra £14.2 million for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to support the provision of advice and regulatory activities. HSE has, to date, applied for and received £4m of this to establish an inbound COVID-19 enquiry service and to undertake proactive compliance spot checks in relation to business compliance with COVID-19 requirements.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the preparedness of the Chemical Regulation Division of the Health and Safety Executive in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Work and Pensions makes regular assessments on the readiness of projects under its EU Transition Programme. Regardless of the circumstances, the Health and Safety Executive will be ready with an independent regulatory regime for the approval and use of chemicals for the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many personal protective equipment specialists were made redundant in the science division of the Health and Safety Executive in 2019; and if she will make statement.

Health and Safety Executive did not make any redundancies to personal protective equipment specialists within their Science Division in 2019.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many full-time equivalent Band 3 Regulatory inspectors are employed by the Health and Safety Executive in each region and nation of the UK.

The table below shows the number of full-time equivalent Band 3 regulatory inspectors employed by the Health and Safety Executive by region as at 30th June 2020:

Civil Service Region

30/06/2020

East Midlands

14

East of England

44

London

30

North East

29

North West

64

Scotland

48

South East

30

South West

24

Wales

31

West Midlands

26

Yorkshire and Humber

50

Total

390

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of enforcing social distancing in workplaces on (a) limiting the spread of covid-19 and (b) ensuring workplace safety.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) uses a range of strategies, including regulatory activities, policy and research; which contribute to and maintain Great Britain’s world class safety record. This blend of approaches has been used in dealing with Covid-19 risks (including social distancing) in the workplace through, for example; inspections, investigations of workplace concerns, provision of advice (with over 3 million Covid-19 webpage views), influencing duty holders through third parties such as the Construction Leadership Council and trade bodies and supply chain work. In addition, HSE has utilised its research work and proactive communications. A measure of the success that HSE’s contribution has made can be seen in the very high levels of compliance with Covid-19 guidance that HSE is seeing in the workplace. HSE has continually reviewed its approach, during the Covid-19 outbreak, to ensure it can respond quickly and efficiently as needed.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to implement the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change report, Reducing UK emissions Progress Report to Parliament, published in June 2020 by making all her (a) Department's buildings and (b) vehicle fleets zero-carbon in the long-term; and if she will make a statement.

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

COVID-19 has delayed confirmation by DEFRA of the 2025 GGC targets. When these targets are received our view forward will be clearer, however in the meantime we are developing the Estates Carbon Management Plan, which makes reference to the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy, as well as the UK’s commitment to Net Zero Carbon by 2050 and the UKGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Framework. The plan includes recommendations to:

- Improve the operational performance of our estate;

- Invest in our estate to improve energy efficiency;

- Ensure we lease highly energy efficient buildings;

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

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

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial support is available for people who do not qualify for sick pay and who are required to self-isolate.

We have made changes so that Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance are payable to people who are self-isolating, including those who are shielding, and who satisfy the conditions of entitlement. We have removed the waiting days so these are paid from day one. Households may also be eligible for Universal Credit.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what financial support is available for people who do not qualify for sick pay or universal credit and who are required to self-isolate.

We have made changes so that Statutory Sick Pay and Employment and Support Allowance are payable to people who are self-isolating, including those who are shielding, and who satisfy the conditions of entitlement. We have removed the waiting days so these are paid from day one. Households may also be eligible for Universal Credit.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to support people who earn less than the Lower Earnings Limit who are required to stop work to self-isolate under the covid-19 test and trace system.

Those who are not already in receipt of benefits may be able to claim Universal Credit and/or new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their personal circumstances, to support them when they are unable to work.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether a UK citizen who is married to a person with leave to remain in the UK but has no recourse to public funds is permitted to claim universal credit; and if she will make a statement.

Where only one member of a couple is eligible for UC (for example the other adult in the couple is subject to immigration control) then that ineligible person’s circumstances will not be brought to bear in calculating how much the maximum amount of UC payable is. Their capital, income and earnings will, however, be taken into account in adjusting the actual UC award. The term ‘assessment unit’ is used to capture both members of a couple where one adult is not eligible for UC.

Non-UK nationals and family members who are issued with a residence permit with a NRPF condition are not eligible to access taxpayer-funded benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Benefit or housing assistance for the duration of their leave. Contributions-based benefits and the State Pension are not classed as public funds. DWP has no powers to award taxpayer-funded benefits to an individual whose Home Office immigration status specifies no recourse to public funds.

DWP decision makers undertake rigorous training and are expected to offer a high standard of support to help people identify the evidence they need to provide as part of their application for income-based benefits.

5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 4 June to Question 51540, on Social Security Benefits, if she will publish the equality impact assessment on the potential effect of the benefit cap in relation to the recent increase to (a) the standard allowance of universal credit and (b) local housing allowance.

The Secretary of State has complied with her duties under the Equality Act 2010 in respect of the recent policy changes and the potential impacts of the interaction with other policies. There is no requirement to record this in the form of an equality impact assessment and therefore, we do not intend to publish the analysis.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has in place to ensure that benefit claimants who (a) are shielding due to the covid- 19 outbreak and (b) have caring responsibilities are not sanctioned if they are unable to take up employment when conditionality easements for (i) universal credit and (ii) jobseeker's allowance come to an end on 30 June 2020.

We made the decision to temporarily suspend the requirement for face-to-face Jobcentre Plus appointments for all claimants in Universal Credit, New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), old-style JSA and ESA, and Income Support.

Arrangements after the 30th June will be communicated in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has carried out a recent equality impact assessment into the effect of the benefit cap in relation to the recent increase to (a) the standard allowance of universal credit and (b) local housing allowance.

The Secretary of State has complied with her duties under the Equality Act 2010 in respect of the recent policy changes.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether housing benefit claimants unable to return to the UK after an overseas visit as a result of travel restrictions imposed in response to the covid-19 pandemic will continue to be able to receive that benefit for longer than the normal permitted period of absence; and if she will make a statement.

Easements are in place for claimants who are unable to return to Great Britain as a result of travel restrictions. Guidance has been issued to Local Authority staff advising them to keep Housing Benefit claims open where the claimant has informed them that they were temporarily unable to return home due to Covid-19 travel related restrictions.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much money from the public purse her Department spent on the housing cost element of universal credit in each of the last twelve months.

The requested information is not readily available and the cost of undertaking such analysis would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of a parliamentary question.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the appropriateness of the savings thresholds for means tested benefits during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

A key principle is that Universal Credit (UC) should only go to people who do not have assets available to meet their basic needs. While it is important to protect the incentive to save for claimants on low earnings, people with substantial capital must take responsibility for their own support. This is to ensure that we can maintain our focus on getting money to citizens who need it and safeguarding the most vulnerable.

If capital exceeds £16,000 there will be no entitlement to UC, unless the capital can be disregarded, for example personal injury compensation payments. Capital above £6,000 will reduce the amount of UC paid by £4.35 per month for every £250 of capital or part thereof.

If someone has money in their account that is to be used for business purposes, for example for paying tax, it will not be counted towards their capital, but they may be asked to prove that the money is for business purposes. People should make clear in their application the savings that are business assets, and note it in their online journal.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases related to covid-19 have been reported to the Health and Safety Executive; and how many of those cases have led to enforcement action.

Between 9 March 2020 and 4 May 2020, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has received reports of 50 dangerous occurrences, 1859 cases of occupational disease and 56 deaths to workers resulting from suspected COVID-19, under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013. HSE is processing these reports and progressing investigations as appropriate. No investigation has yet reached the stage of identifying the need for enforcement action.

HSE has received 6780 calls and on-line enquiries between 9 March 2020 and 4 May 2020 on covid-19 matters, including some specifically raising concerns about a workplace. HSE handles these concerns through a triaging process with the most serious cases being dealt with by an inspector. In 280 cases an inspector provided advice and checked the employer had acted on the advice. In 25 cases HSE has written formally to the business requiring improvements.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Health and Safety Executive has ordered any businesses to close in response to covid-19-related concerns; and if she will make a statement.

The Health and Safety Executive has not ordered any businesses to close in response to covid-19 concerns.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Health and Safety Executive has taken to promote online and telephone reporting of covid-19-related concerns.

I refer the Rt. Hon. member to my recent answer to question 37708.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has a documented formal change management process for IT changes to deliver any alterations to universal credit's scope or policy decided by Ministers.

Yes

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish a response to her Department’s consultation on statutory sick pay.

We plan to publish the response to the consultation ‘Health is everyone’s business: proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss’ later this year. The consultation set out proposals to encourage all employers to take positive action to support employees who are managing health conditions in work, and to manage sickness absence more effectively.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people started receiving (a) statutory maternity pay and (b) maternity allowance in each quarter since April 2016.

DWP does not hold information on the number of people who started receiving Statutory Maternity Pay in each quarter. The latest annual estimate is that around 360,000 women commenced Statutory Maternity Payments in 2018/2019.

Information on the number of Maternity Allowance claims commencing in each quarter is published and is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/maternity-allowance-quarterly-statistics

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Chancellor of the Exchequer of 17 March 2020, Official Report column 953, that self-employed people who self-isolate can apply for employment and support allowance (ESA), whether ESA will be available to people who are not themselves ill.

Everyone infected with Covid-19 or required to self-isolate will be treated as having Limited Capability for Work in ESA and UC without the requirement for fit notes or undergoing a Work Capability Assessment. Those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 5 March 2020 to Question 23566 on Local Housing Allowance, if she will publish her Department's equality impact assessment on its decision to uplift local housing allowance by 1.7 per cent.

The Department completed an equality analysis on its decision to uplift local housing allowance by 1.7 per cent which will be published on gov.uk in due course.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Independent Serious Case panel; and if she will make a statement.

The panel was developed to take themes and systemic issues that come out of various case reviews and make recommendations for improvements. The Department understands the importance of the work of the Serious Case Panel and is committed to getting this right. We need to do so carefully and therefore we are iterating where necessary to ensure it is effective. The Secretary of State will update the House in due course.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has carried out an equality impact assessment on its decision to uplift local housing allowance by 1.7 per cent.

The Secretary of State has considered the impact on her decision to uplift Local Housing Allowance rates by 1.7% on persons with protected characteristics.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what improvements have been identified in the Internal Process Reviews undertaken in the last 12 months.

The Department is committed to improving the way it learns lessons from customers’ experiences.

We are improving our internal guidance and communication to all staff and we are strengthening how we analyse reports and recommendations to identify systemic themes and issues so that effective improvements can be put in place.

And, a centralised team has been established to coordinate improvement activity, including monitoring where issues have occurred and the implementation of improvements.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what percentile of local rents the maximum local housing allowance rate is for each (a) home size and (b) broad rental market area.

In response to COVID-19, this Department has increased Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates to the 30th percentile of local market rents from April for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants, giving additional financial support for private renters.

This means that 30% of properties in each broad rental market area (BRMA) in England, Scotland and Wales are within the LHA rate with the exception of 15 rates in central and inner London where the national maximum caps continue to apply. The national caps have also been increased and are now based on the Outer London LHA rate plus 20%.

The proportion of properties in central and inner London that are within the LHA rate are set out below:

BRMA

Room

1 Bed

2 Bed

3 Bed

4 Bed

Central London

30%

less than 5%

less than 5%

less than 5%

less than 5%

Inner East London

30%

15%-20%

25%-30%

15%-20%

30%

Inner North London

30%

15%-20%

20%-25%

15%-20%

20%-25%

Inner South East London

30%

30%

30%

30%

30%

Inner South West London

30%

25%-30%

30%

25%-30%

20%-25%

Inner West London

30%

30%

30%

25%-30%

30%

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of care leavers aged between 22 and 25 who are living in one bedroomed accommodation and are entitled to the shared accommodation rate of local housing allowance.

We do not collect data on the number of care leavers aged 22 to 25 in receipt of housing support and therefore this information is not available.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an estimate of the cost of extending the exemption from the local housing allowance shared accommodation rate to care leavers up to the age of 25.

The cost of extending the exemption from the local housing allowance shared accommodation rate to care leavers up to the age of 25 would be £5m in 2021/22 rounded to nearest £5m.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when she plans to publish the outcome of her Department’s review of the Special Rules for Terminal Illness and Severe Conditions.

The Department is taking forward as a priority its evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life and those with severe conditions. We have made progress on all areas of this work and will be continuing to engage with clinicians and claimants to ensure their views are heard.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the Independent Serious Case Panel established in 2019; and if she will make a statement.

We are absolutely committed to improving our services, especially to the most vulnerable, which is why we have set up the Serious Case Panel. The panel was developed to take themes and systemic issues that come out of various case reviews and make recommendations for improvements.

More information about the Serious Case Panel will be published in due course.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2020 to Question 9581 on Universal Credit, to which legislative provisions that Answer refers.

The rate of Universal Credit deductions for court fines is detailed in the Fines (Deduction from Income Support) Regulations 1992, Regulation 4(1B). This piece of legislation was amended to include Universal Credit and can be viewed at: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/2182/regulation/4

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit claimants with deductions due to court fines have had the maximum deduction taken from their allowance in each of the last five years.

We are unable to provide figures for court fine deductions over the last five years as improvements to third party data reporting commenced in November 2018. Information which is available can be found in the table below.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. It maintains our policy to enforce social obligations such as the payment of court fines, ensure Government debt is recovered and vitally to safeguard claimants from the potential impacts of not repaying priority debts, such as homelessness or loss of utilities. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. The Budget 2020 also set out that the maximum level will be further reduced, so that standard deductions will not exceed 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance from October 2021.

Payment Month

Number of claimants with deduction for court fines

% of claimants with deductions for court fines

Number of claimants with the maximum deduction for court fines (£108.35)

Percentage of those with deductions for court fines who have the maximum deduction (£108.35)

November 2018

7,000

0.62%

Less than 500

6%

December 2018

7,000

0.59%

Less than 500

6%

January 2019

8,000

0.56%

Less than 500

5%

February 2019

8,000

0.56%

Less than 500

5%

March 2019

13,000

0.84%

1,000

5%

April 2019

37,000

2.23%

2,000

7%

May 2019

61,000

3.49%

4,000

7%

June 2019

83,000

4.51%

5,000

7%

July 2019

102,000

5.28%

7,000

7%

August 2019

112,000

5.57%

9,000

8%

September 2019

117,000

5.59%

13,000

11%

October 2019

114,000

5.22%

9,000

8%

November 2019

109,000

4.82%

2,000

2%

Notes:

1. Figures rounded to the nearest 1,000

2. The increase in the proportion of claimants with deductions for fines is due to an improved manual process phased in between February and the end of March for courts to send through their court deductions.

3. Figures are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available

4. Claim numbers may not match official statistics caseloads due to small methodological differences.

5. Court fines are first taken at a 5% fixed rate, then again at the end of the priority order up to the maximum deductions limit, up to a maximum deduction of £108.35. Figures show the number of people having court fine deductions at £108.35 per month.

6. The decrease in proportion of claimants with deductions for fines from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance.

7. The decrease in proportion of claimants with the maximum deduction for fines from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many universal credit claimants have had their payments reduced as a result of deductions for court fines in each of the last five years.

We are unable to provide figures for court fine deductions over the last five years as improvements to third party data reporting commenced in November 2018. Information which is available can be found in the table below.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. It maintains our policy to enforce social obligations such as the payment of court fines, ensure Government debt is recovered and vitally to safeguard claimants from the potential impacts of not repaying priority debts, such as homelessness or loss of utilities. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously. The Budget 2020 also set out that the maximum level will be further reduced, so that standard deductions will not exceed 25% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance from October 2021.

Payment Month

Number of claimants with deduction for court fines

% of claimants with deductions for court fines

Number of claimants with the maximum deduction for court fines (£108.35)

Percentage of those with deductions for court fines who have the maximum deduction (£108.35)

November 2018

7,000

0.62%

Less than 500

6%

December 2018

7,000

0.59%

Less than 500

6%

January 2019

8,000

0.56%

Less than 500

5%

February 2019

8,000

0.56%

Less than 500

5%

March 2019

13,000

0.84%

1,000

5%

April 2019

37,000

2.23%

2,000

7%

May 2019

61,000

3.49%

4,000

7%

June 2019

83,000

4.51%

5,000

7%

July 2019

102,000

5.28%

7,000

7%

August 2019

112,000

5.57%

9,000

8%

September 2019

117,000

5.59%

13,000

11%

October 2019

114,000

5.22%

9,000

8%

November 2019

109,000

4.82%

2,000

2%

Notes:

1. Figures rounded to the nearest 1,000

2. The increase in the proportion of claimants with deductions for fines is due to an improved manual process phased in between February and the end of March for courts to send through their court deductions.

3. Figures are subject to retrospective change as later data becomes available

4. Claim numbers may not match official statistics caseloads due to small methodological differences.

5. Court fines are first taken at a 5% fixed rate, then again at the end of the priority order up to the maximum deductions limit, up to a maximum deduction of £108.35. Figures show the number of people having court fine deductions at £108.35 per month.

6. The decrease in proportion of claimants with deductions for fines from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance.

7. The decrease in proportion of claimants with the maximum deduction for fines from October 2019 is because the maximum deductions limit was reduced from 40% of the standard allowance to 30% of the standard allowance

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of universal credit deductions on the (a) cost of living and (b) health and well-being of former rough sleepers.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Deductions for court fines are based on rates provided in legislation. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously.

We recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The Department engages a range of stakeholders, including welfare rights organisations, to ensure we understand the effect Universal Credit has, which helps us to design improvements. In addition, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Justice, on a range of economic and social issues.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the rate of universal credit deductions for claimants with court fines.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Deductions for court fines are based on rates provided in legislation. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously.

We recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The Department engages a range of stakeholders, including welfare rights organisations, to ensure we understand the effect Universal Credit has, which helps us to design improvements. In addition, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Justice, on a range of economic and social issues.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has plans to reduce the level of universal credit deductions for claimants with court fines.

The Department’s deductions policy strikes a fair balance between a claimant’s need to meet their financial obligations and their ability to ensure they can meet their day-to-day needs. Deductions for court fines are based on rates provided in legislation. Since October 2019, Universal Credit deductions are a maximum of 30% of a claimant’s standard allowance down from 40% previously.

We recognise the importance of safeguarding the welfare of claimants who have incurred debt, so last resort deductions can be applied to protect vulnerable claimants from eviction and/or having their fuel supply disconnected, by providing a repayment method for arrears of these essential services.

The Department engages a range of stakeholders, including welfare rights organisations, to ensure we understand the effect Universal Credit has, which helps us to design improvements. In addition, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Justice, on a range of economic and social issues.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether claimants in receipt of transitional protection following their migration to universal credit will continue to receive that protection after an involuntary change in their employer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations.

Claimants in receipt of transitional protection following managed migration to Universal Credit, who change employers, will continue to be eligible for transitional protection provided that they remain in work and continue to earn above the Administrative Earnings Threshold.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many mobility payments were awarded following an initial personal independence payment assessment scoring between zero and four points and subsequent (a) mandatory assessment and (b) appeal in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

Information for initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment, including the number where the award was changed after a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) or appeal is published as part of Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2019, in Table 5c of Data tables: “PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019”.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which work capability assessments received between zero and six points on initial assessment had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory re-assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

The available information on Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) and appeals in relation to Employment Support Allowance Work Capability Assessments is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employment-and-support-allowance-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessment

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which work capability assessments received zero points on initial assessment had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

The available information on Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) and appeals in relation to Employment Support Allowance Work Capability Assessments is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employment-and-support-allowance-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessment

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which personal independence payment assessments received zero points on initial assessment for the mobility allowance had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

Information for initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment, including the number where the award was changed after a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) or appeal is published as part of Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2019, in Table 5c of Data tables: “PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019”.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which personal independence payment assessments received between zero and four points on initial assessment for the daily living allowance had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

Information for initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment, including the number where the award was changed after a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) or appeal is published as part of Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2019, in Table 5c of Data tables: “PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019”.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases in which personal independence payment assessments received zero points on initial assessment for the daily living allowance had benefit subsequently awarded (a) on mandatory assessment and (b) on appeal, in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

Information for initial disallowance decisions following a PIP assessment, including the number where the award was changed after a Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) or appeal is published as part of Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2019, in Table 5c of Data tables: “PIP award rates, clearance/outstanding times and tracking of initial decisions following a PIP assessment through to mandatory reconsiderations or appeals, to October 2019”.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2019

9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of job centres operate a universal credit full digital service.

Rollout of the Universal Credit Full Service was completed on 12 December 2018 and is available in every Jobcentre Plus.

Universal Credit is a 24 hour, seven days a week, digital service that allows every claimant to manage their own data and account online at a time which is convenient for them. Claimants can check their Universal Credit benefit payments through their account, notify us of changes and record notes on the online journal facility.

Universal Credit has been designed to be as quick and easy as possible for the user, ensuring that claimants receive money at the earliest opportunity. It is designed to be a ‘digital-first’ service, ensuring we make best use of technology to deliver a modern and effective working-age welfare system.

Our Universal Credit Claimant Survey, found that 98 per cent of claimants have internet access and did claim online, and the majority of those said they found the claim process overall to be straightforward and this can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-full-service-claimant-survey

All Jobcentre Plus offices across the country have Wi-Fi and computers available for claimants to access the internet. For those that are still unable to access or use digital services, or are not able to travel, assistance to make and maintain their claim is available via the Freephone Universal Credit helpline – which is clearly displayed on GOV.UK.

Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland have been delivering the ‘Help to Claim’ service on a pilot basis since April 2019. The Citizens Advice ‘Help to Claim’ service offers tailored, practical support to help people make a Universal Credit claim up to receiving their first full correct payment on time, and is available online, on the phone and face-to-face through local Citizen’s Advice services.

Although the Department offers comprehensive support for claimants to use our digital service, there will be occasions when people are unable to make their claim online, so telephone applications can be accepted. In these instances, information normally available through a claimant’s online account will be communicated in an alternative format, which is best suited to an individual’s circumstances.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of universal credit applicants manage their claims primarily (a) online, (b) via telephone, (c) face-to-face, (d) in other ways; and if she will make a statement.

To provide this information would incur a disproportionate cost to the Department.

Universal Credit is designed to be a ‘digital-first’ service, ensuring we make best use of technology to deliver a modern and effective working-age welfare system, allowing our staff to concentrate on those people who require additional support.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of Universal Support in helping people who are not digitally literate to make an online claim for universal credit; and if she will make a statement.

The Department offers comprehensive support for claimants to use our digital service, but we recognise there will be occasions when people are unable to make and/or maintain their Universal Credit claim online, and so telephone and face to face support is available. In these instances, information normally available through a claimant’s online account, will be communicated in an alternative format which is best suited to an individual’s circumstances. The Help to Claim service, which replaced the previous “Universal Support” service was introduced on 1 April 2019 and is delivered by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland.

Help to Claim offers tailored, practical support to help people make their claim to Universal Credit and can work with claimants up to receiving their first full correct payment on time. It is available online, through a Freephone telephone number and face to face channels.

The Department is committed to ensuring that delivery of support services, such as Help to Claim, is carefully monitored and evaluated to provide effective support to our most vulnerable claimants, whilst ensuring value to taxpayers.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of universal credit claimants who have been offered a free of charge call back by her Department have accepted that offer in the latest period for which figures are available.

The Department does not hold the data requested.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she will make it her policy that all universal credit claimants making phone calls to her Department should be informed that staff can phone them back free of charge.

The Department takes seriously the need to support claimants, and wants Universal Credit to be easy to access. It is designed to be a ‘digital-first’ service, ensuring we make best use of technology to deliver a modern and effective working-age welfare system. This allows our staff to concentrate on those people who require additional support through different channels.

Since 29 November 2017 all Universal Credit telephone lines are Freephone ‘0800’ numbers. Once connected to this service, a virtual telephone network will route the call to the most appropriate agent available with required skills to support the caller. Should a claimant call a previous chargeable Universal Credit telephone number, they will be redirected to our current numbers and the call will terminate.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has plans to (a) end the benefits freeze and (b) uprate the value of (i) universal credit and (ii) other social security payments in the next twelve months.

The freeze on working age benefits will end in April 2020.

A table of benefit and pensions rates pending Parliamentary approval were deposited in the House Library on 29 November 2019 -

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/business-papers/commons/deposited-papers/

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason working families without permanent residence in the UK, who pay income tax and National Insurance, are also required to pay NHS surcharges.

The National Health Service is a residency-based healthcare system, meaning that people who do not live here on a lawful, settled basis must contribute to the cost of their care, regardless of individual tax status. All temporary migrants of more than six months are subject to the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) at the point of visa application. This allows them to access NHS services without further charge while they are here with some exceptions. The IHS ensures that individuals do not face unexpected treatment bills and reduces the administrative burden on frontline staff of identifying chargeable patients and recovering charges.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the (a) contribution to the public purse of tax, National Insurance and NHS surcharges paid by families without permanent residence in the UK and (b) cost to the NHS of care provided by the NHS to those families.

The Department of Health and Social Care has indicated that it will not be possible to answer this question within the usual time period. An answer is being prepared and will be provided as soon as it is available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect on the number of NHS staff planning to leave the UK to care for their adult dependents living abroad of the change in the level of dependent visa applications granted on the first attempt.

The Department has not made a specific assessment. Information on the number of staff leaving for this reason is not collected centrally.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what preparations his Department has made for covid-19 hotel quarantine for international students from (a) India and (b) other countries in autumn 2021; and if he will make a statement.

The Department will continue to ensure that the system has enough capacity to meet the challenges of arrivals from overseas, which includes international students arriving from red-list countries. The Department of Health and Social Care and Department for Education are working together on this issue.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Answer of 26 April 2021 to Question 187127 on Dementia: Prescription Drugs, what steps the Government is taking to (a) assess the reasons for the recent increase in anti-psychotic prescriptions in dementia care and (b) reduce the number of anti-psychotic prescriptions being administered in dementia care; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to monitor the monthly data published by NHS Digital on the prescribing of anti-psychotic medication for people diagnosed with dementia and have regular conversations with regional clinical network leads and local services to understand the patterns in prescribing and potential reasons for trends being seen.

To aid reduction of unwarranted prescribing of antipsychotic medication, NHS England and NHS Improvement are promoting good practice in respect of prescribing anti-psychotic medication in line with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 22 April 2021 to Questions 180914 and 180915 on Dementia: Prescription Drugs, what information his Department holds on the number and proportion of people on the Dementia Register who have been issued with an anti-psychotic drug prescription since March 2020; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the number of doses of anti-psychotic medication prescribed for people with dementia has increased during the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

NHS Digital publishes monthly data on the prescribing of anti-psychotic medication for people diagnosed with dementia. The number of people with a diagnosis of dementia that also had a prescription for an anti-psychotic medication was 42,942 in February 2021 or 10% of those on the Dementia Register. The trend has been stable over the last 12 months. The data does not include information on the level of doses of the medication prescribed.

NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to monitor the NHS Digital data and take steps to understand the patterns in prescribing and potential reasons for trends being seen.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the changes in the level of anti-psychotic medication prescriptions in dementia care in recent periods of covid-19 lockdown; and if he will make a statement.

NHS Digital publishes monthly data on the prescribing of anti-psychotic medication for people diagnosed with dementia. The number of people with a diagnosis of dementia that also had a prescription for an anti-psychotic medication was 42,942 in February 2021 or 10% of those on the Dementia Register. The trend has been stable over the last 12 months. The data does not include information on the level of doses of the medication prescribed.

NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to monitor the NHS Digital data and take steps to understand the patterns in prescribing and potential reasons for trends being seen.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Apr 2021
What assessment he has made of the public health impact of household overcrowding during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has continuously monitored emerging evidence to understand the effect of household overcrowding on public health. The Government has carefully considered robust advice from medical advisers and the scientific community to ensure we are taking the right action at the right time. We have published a range of guidance to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including for those living in overcrowded housing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for a multi-disciplinary approach to rehabilitation for people affected by dementia following the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are committed to delivering high quality care and support for every person with dementia and central to this is the provision of personalised care. This person-centred approach is set out in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s resource ‘Dementia wellbeing in the COVID-19 pandemic’ which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/C0747_Dementia-wellbeing-in-the-COVID-19-pandemic.pdf

This resource accompanies the ‘Well Pathway for Dementia’ and sets out the adjustments and amendments needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including specific considerations for rehabilitation. Key priorities and actions for support are included for each step in the pathway. These initiatives will support people living with dementia in care homes and in the community.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Feb 2021
What plans his Department has for the covid-19 vaccination of undocumented migrants.

The main aim for the COVID-19 vaccine programme is to protect all those individuals most at risk from mortality and morbidity, without discrimination.

As a result, all undocumented migrants will be able to access COVID-19 vaccinations free of charge in line with the advice on prioritisation set out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether support payments are available to people with no recourse to public funds who are unable to access Test and Trace Support Payments; and if he will make a statement.

Those who do not meet the criteria for Test and Trace Support Payments, are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of self-isolating could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment. Local authorities are responsible for the criteria used for discretionary payments in their area. Local authorities can make a £500 discretionary payment to individuals who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, are employed or self-employed and are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether, once care home residents have received both covid-19 vaccinations, normal visits will be permitted by family members.

While the vaccines provide protection to a vaccinated person from serious disease, we do not yet know if they prevent someone from passing on the virus to others. This means it is still important to follow the visiting guidance. We will be looking to ensure that a wider range of visiting arrangements are made available when it is safe to do so. We will publish updated guidance as this period of national restrictions ends.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the eligibility criteria are for local authorities' discretionary hardship payments under the NHS Test and Trace support scheme.

From 19 January 2021, an individual can make a claim for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme or a discretionary payment up to 28 days after the first day of their self-isolation period. If they are not eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment but meet the other criteria, are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of self-isolating, they could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment. Local authorities are responsible for the criteria used for discretionary payments in their area.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people declined the Test and Trace support payment; and what assessment he has made of the reasons for the rejection of those applications.

We are working closely with all 314 lower tier and unitary local authorities to collate information on how the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is progressing, and will release information on the number of applications, number of successful applications and amounts paid out in due course.

Information on the number of people declined for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is not currently available.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to designate Anna Chaplains for Older People as key workers for the purposes of visiting residential care homes; and if he will make a statement.

We recognise how important visits from chaplains and others who provide religious and spiritual support are for some residents. We have published visiting guidance setting the next step in our cautious opening up of visiting in line with the roadmap, enabling indoor visiting supported by lateral flow device (LFD) testing.

Care home managers are best placed to decide how their care home can deliver the visiting outlined in the guidance in a way that meets the needs of their residents. There is nothing to stop chaplains, ministers of religion or others making visits where residents would like to see them and where the care home manager is content this is in line with the home’s visiting policy based on a dynamic risk assessment.

All visitors must follow infection control measures to keep residents and staff safe. To this end, personal protective equipment is being provided for free until the end of June and care homes have been provided with sufficient LFD tests to ensure that visitors can take a test each time they visit.

On that basis, visits of this type are already enabled.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of reduced visitor access on the levels of (a) loneliness and (b) mental ill health of care home residents since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

New visiting arrangements started on 8 March. Our guidance states that each resident can nominate one named person who can have regular, indoor visits. Those residents with the highest care needs can also nominate an “Essential Care Giver”. These visitors will be able to visit more often in order to provide essential care.

Visiting arrangements that have been available throughout the period of national lockdown should continue i.e. using screens, visiting pods, behind windows or outdoors. Visits in exceptional circumstances including end of life should always be supported and enabled.

We are working with the National Health Service, Public Health England and others to gather evidence and assess the potential longer-term mental health impacts of COVID-19 and plan for how to support the public’s mental health and wellbeing throughout the coming weeks and months.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to allow (a) ministers of religion and (b) pastoral chaplains to visit residential care homes during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Our first priority is to prevent infections in care homes and protect staff and residents. As part of the winter plan, we have set out tightened infection prevention and control measures to enable visits to continue safely. This was incorporated in the update we made on 15 October to our care home visiting guidance, first published on 22 July 2020.

These measures build on the published framework that allows local decision making, based on the assessment of the Director of Public Health and the care provider.

Where there is a restriction on visiting, alternative ways of communicating between residents and their families and friends should be discussed and offered. The care home should also provide regular updates to residents’ loved ones on their mental and physical health, how they are coping and identify any additional ways they might be better supported, including any cultural or religious needs.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people with No Recourse to Public Funds are eligible to apply for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must be employed or self-employed, unable to work from home, and currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Where an individual is not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits but meets the other eligibility criteria and may face financial hardship if they have to self-isolate, local authorities can make a £500 discretionary payment. Depending on their individual circumstances, people who have no recourse to public funds may be eligible for a discretionary payment.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 on the vulnerability of people living with (a) beta-thalassaemia, (b) sickle cell disease and (c) other haemoglobinopathies; and if he will make a statement.

NHS England, as part of its response to COVID-19, has worked closely with the Haemoglobinopathy Coordinating Centres (HCCs) across the country to provide an expert clinical panel to understand, assess and inform on the effect of COVID for patients with beta-thalassemia, sickle cell disease and other haemoglobinopathies. The HCC teams formed an HCC COVID-19 specific group to meet weekly from 20 April.

The HCC COVID-19 group are now able to collect real time COVID-19 specific data which has found that patients with haemoglobinopathies were affected by COVID-19. This was found to be in older patients and with other medical conditions, and was fully explored and published by the group. Further information is available at the following link:

https://haematologica.org/article/view/haematol.2020.259440

In response to the pandemic the clinical services have adapted the delivery of clinical practices to support patients safely. One example of this has been achieved through redesigning outpatient appointments to run through virtual clinics. The teams have been able to stay in touch with patients providing advice and support alongside clinical care throughout this period.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the higher mortality rates from covid-19 reported by the Office for National Statistics among disabled people; and if he will make a statement.

We know that many people with long standing, limiting illnesses or health conditions are at higher risk of poorer outcomes from COVID-19.

This provisional analysis suggests that this is the case for some disabled people. We are continuing to review all the available evidence and commissioning new research to better understand the specific impact of COVID-19 on disabled people. This will inform future policy development and what practical measures we can take to better protect disabled people.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to permit family visits to patients with dementia in hospital during the covid-19 lockdown.

On 5 June 2020, NHS England revised its guidance on how National Health Service organisations may choose to facilitate visiting across healthcare inpatient settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The national suspension on visiting was lifted with immediate effect. Visiting is now subject to local discretion by trusts and other NHS bodies. The revised guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/C0524-visiting-healthcare-inpatient-settings-5-June-2020.pdf

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on hospital patients with dementia of the recent bans on family visits as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Visits are not banned for hospital patients with dementia. The guidance on visiting in inpatient settings during the COVID-19 period has consistently been that there should be reasonable adjustments to allow certain groups of people, including people with dementia, to have a family member or friend visit them if not being present would cause the patient to be distressed. This applies to all inpatient settings.

The Government has made no formal assessment of the effect on hospital patients with dementia of hospital visiting policies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The health, safety and wellbeing of patients, communities and individuals and teams remain an absolute priority. We are working hard to develop guidance to ensure people are able to visit their families and friends safely.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has made for communications through the covid-19 track and trace system with people who are not English speakers.

The Government launched NHS Test and Trace for England on 28 May 2020.

We aim to ensure that NHS Test and Trace is accessible for all groups in society. Equality assessments have been undertaken to inform policy decisions to implement the service and, in line with our legal duties, we continue to assess impact as NHS Test and Trace is rolled out. We will make ongoing improvements to ensure the service is fully inclusive and accessible to all.

Information and guidance about NHS Test and Trace follows the GOV.UK accessibility standards, but we intend to ensure it is also available in other languages. We are seeking to put in place translation services at testing sites, and the NHS 119 call centre uses the Language Line interpreter service and staff are trained to manage language barriers, including through use of this service.

The online contact tracing platform, and the NHS COVID-19 app are currently only available in English, but we have ensured the use of simple, plain English and are working towards making this available in other languages in future. Currently, for non-English speaking cases and contacts if they cannot complete the online tool, they are referred to contact tracers who have access to translation services which should be used if necessary. Further work is ongoing to refine the customer journey for these users as call handlers will not be aware of special requirements ahead of making a call.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 3 June 2020 to Question 47169, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the resourcing of NHS England to enable it to publish timely standard operating procedures during the covid-19 outbreak.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s top current priority is responding to COVID-19, and this has been made clear in the Government’s 2020 to 2021 mandate, which was published on 25 March at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-mandate-2020-to-2021

NHS England and NHS Improvement are continuing to progress the Government’s wider goals as much as possible within that context and will increasingly do so as COVID-19 is brought under control. In the meantime, they have published various COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures related to COVID-19, which are available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus?s=standard+operating+procedures

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to reinstate the NHS Injuries Benefit Scheme; and if he will make a statement.

The NHS Injury Benefits Scheme was removed after negotiations with the trade unions from April 2013. It was replaced by a contractual Temporary Injury Allowance that tops up sick pay for up to a year when the reason for the absence was a work-related injury.

National Health Service staff receive good quality risk benefits through the NHS Pension Scheme, including ill health pensions and survivor benefits where a member dies in service.

It is also open to NHS staff to seek compensation through the courts for work related injuries.

There are no plans to reinstate the Injury Benefits Scheme.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much revenue accrued to the public purse from payment of the Immigration Health Surcharge in the most recent year for which data is available.

The latest figures available taken from page 137 of the Home Office Annual Reports 2018/19 state “other income” (expressed in £000s) of £251,220 for Core Department and Agencies and £46,707 for Core Department and Agencies (payable to Consolidated Fund) for 2018/19.

Data are available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/807126/6.5571_HO_Annual_Report_201920_WEB.PDF

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the monies that will be accrued to his Department from payments of the Immigration Health Surcharge in financial year 2021-22.

This information is not currently available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for (a) NHS England and (b) NHS Improvement to publish its standard operating procedure for children’s palliative care in (i) children’s hospices and i(ii) the community during the covid-19 pandemic; and if he will make a statement.

Working with key stakeholders, NHS England and NHS improvement have developed a standard operating procedure (SOP), for palliative care for children and young people in community and hospice settings during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is due to be published shortly.

The SOP is aimed at supporting staff who are providing care or supporting children and young people, and their families, who have palliative and/or end of life care needs in the community, including home and hospice care. Palliative care will include some children and young people who have life-limiting long-term conditions and complex health needs. It encourages all providers of children’s palliative care (statutory and voluntary sector) to work collaboratively and flexibly across health settings to support this group of children and young people and keep them safe during the pandemic.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase support for areas identified by the Office for National Statistics as having the largest number of deaths involving covid-19.

The Government has asked Public Health England to review how difference factors, such as ethnicity, age, gender, obesity and geographical location, can impact on people’s health outcomes from COVID-19. Findings from the review will be published by the end of May 2020.

The Government remains committed to levelling up and spreading opportunity around this country, and this will be an important part of the economic and social recovery from COVID-19. We have introduced unprecedented measures to protect jobs and incomes, and we have strengthened the safety net for those who need it.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has on covid-19 testing for NHS mental health staff; and if he will make a statement.

Anyone with symptoms can ask for a test through the National Health Service website, whatever their age. Essential workers, which include NHS mental health staff or anyone with symptoms that live with an essential worker are prioritised for testing in England and can access testing through the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to share understanding and co-ordinate support for people with arthritis across the NHS in England.

Local commissioners are best placed to understand the needs of their local populations and to deliver high-quality care for patients with arthritis, taking into account best practice guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and other relevant organisations.

On 3 April 2020, NICE published ‘Rheumatological autoimmune, inflammatory and metabolic bone disorders’, that sets out best practice for clinicians and commissioners on managing disorders, including arthritis, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, on 8 April 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement published a clinical guide for the management of rheumatology patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, covering patients with arthritis. Finally, NHS England and NHS Improvement have also supported the development of a self-management resource, that provides a range of advice for patients, including those with arthritis, in managing their condition during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both sets of guidance and the self-management resource can be found at the following links:

www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG167

www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/secondary-care/other-resources/specialty-guides/

www.csp.org.uk/conditions/managing-pain-home

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effect of home working on people's musculoskeletal health.

Improving musculoskeletal health is a key priority for this Government and we made specific commitments to tackle musculoskeletal ill-health last year in the Prevention Green Paper. We recognise that homeworking and other specific working practices may affect physical and mental health and wellbeing. Working with partners, we will continue to monitor available data and shape new data to ensure that the association between work circumstances and a range of health effects can be examined.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to work with the charity and voluntary sector during the covid-19 outbreak pandemic to co-ordinate support for people with (a) arthritis and (b) other health conditions to (i) manage their condition and (ii) get help and advice on medication and treatment.

On 8 April 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a package of £750 million to support the charity and voluntary sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included measures to directly support activity undertaken by organisations as part of the Government’s response to the pandemic, and broader support to enable organisations to continue the important work they undertake every day on behalf of the individuals, communities and sectors they represent.

Many organisations have produced advice for people to manage their conditions during the pandemic, and NHS England and NHS Improvement have supported efforts in this area. For example, NHS England and NHS Improvement worked to develop a self-management resource for patients as part of the musculoskeletal leadership group, which also includes the British Orthopaedic Association, the British Society for Rheumatology, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Versus Arthritis and the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance.

Both the resource and details of the Chancellor’s announcement can be found at the following links:

www.csp.org.uk/conditions/managing-pain-home

www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-sets-out-extra-750-million-coronavirus-funding-for-frontline-charities

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of charging for maternity services on the willingness of pregnant women without indefinite leave to remain to access NHS services.

The Department is committed to continually consider evidence it receives in relation to the NHS (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 2015.

The Department’s guidance to National Health Service trusts is that all maternity treatment must be provided to any chargeable woman, regardless of her ability to pay, and that they must not be discouraged from receiving it.


Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to relieve the private finance initiative obligations of Barts Healthcare NHS Trust; and if he will make a statement.

This Government is determined to tackle the worst excesses of previous private finance initiative (PFI) deals, and we are currently considering options on how best to take this forward.

As a minimum, we will be helping all National Health Service trusts with PFI contracts, including Barts, to ensure they are implementing high quality contract management to get the most out of their contracts. The Department’s PFI Centre of Best Practice is assessing PFI contracts and supporting trusts in developing their contract management capabilities. This will help achieve better value for money and deliver efficiencies from existing PFI contracts.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women not entitled to NHS healthcare were charged for the cost of maternity care in 2018-19.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Feb 2020
NHS
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to bring forward legislation for a long-term NHS plan.

The Government’s priority is to support the National Health Service to improve patient outcomes by delivering the Long Term Plan.

We are currently considering the NHS’s recommendations thoroughly and will bring forward detailed proposals shortly

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much was (a) invoiced and (b) collected in charges for maternity care in 2018-19.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to help people affected by the abolition of the Pharmacy First scheme.

The Pharmacy First scheme across London was a locally commissioned National Health Service scheme providing people with self-limiting minor conditions with products that could mainly be bought over the counter. The scheme has been replaced by the nationally commissioned NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service which commenced in October 2019 and people can still access self-care advice direct from their community pharmacy. We are recommending people look to their pharmacy first by way of treatment for minor ailments.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to review the right of patients under the NHS constitution to access services commissioned by NHS bodies within maximum waiting times.

A clinically-led review of National Health Service performance standards was announced by the Prime Minister in June 2018. The NHS England and NHS Improvement Clinically-led Review of Access Standards is considering the appropriateness of operational standards for physical and mental health relating to planned, unplanned (urgent or emergency care), as well as cancer care.

The existing performance standards remain in place. The testing of potential new approaches is still underway, and the Government will respond to the recommendations of the review once it is concluded

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether it is his Department's policy to maintain the target set out in section 45 of the Health Service Commissioning Board and Clinical Commissioning Groups (Responsibilities and Standing Rules) Regulations 2012 for 92 per cent of patients to access elective treatment within a maximum waiting time of 18 weeks.

A clinically-led review of National Health Service performance standards was announced by the Prime Minister in June 2018. The NHS England and NHS Improvement Clinically-led Review of Access Standards is considering the appropriateness of operational standards for physical and mental health relating to planned, unplanned (urgent or emergency care), as well as cancer care.

The existing performance standards remain in place. The testing of potential new approaches is still underway, and the Government will respond to the recommendations of the review once it is concluded

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report of the UN Human Rights Office on business activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories published on 28 February 2020, what steps his Department plans to take in response to the identification of three UK firms involved in the demolition of Palestinian structures in breach of international law.

The UK Government neither encourages nor offers support to individuals or companies who operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Ultimately, it will be the decision of an individual or a company whether to operate in occupied territories.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy of reports that British-made military components and hardware were used by Israeli forces carrying out airstrikes on Gaza.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. HM Government publishes quarterly and annual statistics on all our export licensing decisions, including details of export licences granted, refused and revoked. These can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/export-control-organisation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of UK firms operating in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The UK's position on settlements is articulated in the Overseas Business Risk Guidance: settlements are illegal under international law. There are therefore clear risks related to economic and financial activities in the settlements, and we do not encourage or offer support to such activity. Ultimately it is the decision of each individual or company whether to operate in settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The UK Government is clear that advancement of settlements across the West Bank should be suspended immediately.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what enquiries he has made of the Government of Israel about whether arms purchased under export licences from the UK were used in the recent action against Gaza; and if he will make a statement.

HM Government takes its export control responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. We consider all export applications thoroughly against a strict risk assessment framework and keep all licences under careful and continual review as standard. HM Government will not grant an export licence if to do so would be inconsistent with the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will call on the Government of Israel to cease its airstrikes on Gaza.

The UK welcomes the announcement of a ceasefire in Israel and Gaza on 20 May, which is an important step to ending the cycle of violence and loss of civilian life. The UK offers our condolences to the families of those civilians killed. The UK worked actively to urge the parties to work with mediators towards an immediate ceasefire. We fully supported Egyptian, Qatari and UN efforts to that end, working closely with the US. Hamas must now end all attacks on Israel. It is also important for Israel to facilitate rapid humanitarian access in and out of Gaza. As the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary have made clear, this cycle of violence must stop, and every effort must be made to avoid loss of life.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make representations to the Government of Israel to provide (a) compensation and (b) restitution for the destruction of UK-funded humanitarian aid structures in the occupied West Bank which led to the displacement of people in the community of Khirbet Humsah al-Foqa in February 2021.

The UK regularly raises the demolition of Palestinian property with the Government of Israel, including over the repeated confiscation and demolition of donor-funded assistance and structures at Humsa al Bqai'a. We continue to monitor the situation in Humsa al Bqai'a closely. Officials from the British Consulate General in Jerusalem most recently visited on 16 February. UK and European UN Security Council members delivered a joint statement on 25 February, calling for unimpeded access for the delivery of vital humanitarian aid to the community. The UK Ambassador alongside European Ambassadors urged an end to demolitions in Humsa Al-Baqai'a in a meeting with Israeli authorities on 25 February. There have been no further demolitions or confiscations in the community since 22 February.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the sexual violence reportedly committed against a Palestinian child in Israeli detention on 13 January 2021.

The UK continues to make representations to the Israeli authorities on reports of ill-treatment of Palestinian minors in Israeli military detention. In instances where there have been accusations of ill-treatment, we advocate swift, transparent investigation.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of Brazilian (a) deforestation and forest burning and (b) mining of indigenous lands on (i) climate and environment and (ii) indigenous peoples in Brazil.

We continue to be concerned by the rising rates of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. We have a long-established partnership with Brazil, supported by over £200 million of UK Climate Finance which aims to: i) improve the capacity of governments to reduce deforestation; ii) incentivise forest protection through results-based payments that are re-invested to protect forests, and boost livelihoods; iii) enable businesses and communities to grow rural economies sustainably whilst protecting forests. Implementation arrangements for HMG-funded programmes regularly assess deforestation levels as well as their underlying drivers. The UK stands ready to support Brazil's efforts to counter increasing deforestation rates. We welcome the recent reduction of approximately 25% in areas under deforestation alerts in Brazil, driven particularly by state level action.

The Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for International Trade have spoken to Brazilian counterparts about a range of issues, and raised with them the crucial importance of combating illegal deforestation at the UK-Brazil Strategic Dialogue (October 2020), and Joint Economic and Trade Committee (November 2020). We regularly discuss issues affecting indigenous peoples with the Brazilian authorities, and will continue to do so. The UK continues to support work with indigenous communities across Brazil, including in the Amazon region. In Brazil, UK programmes on building back better after the COVID-19 pandemic include a focus on vulnerable groups, and in the Amazon region, work on issues such as solar energy, primary health, and skills development.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the proposed reductions to the UK’s allocation of 2021-22 official development aid on civil society groups in Syria.

The FCDO is in the process of a rigorous internal prioritisation process in response to the announcement on the reduction in Official Development Assistance spend. We are still working through what this means for individual programmes and no decisions have yet been made.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the UK is taking as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to put pressure on the Syrian regime to disclose the fates of disappeared civilians.

On 15 March we raised the plight of detainees held by the Asad regime, affiliated militias and proscribed terrorist organisations at the UN Security Council. We are also showing leadership at the Human Rights Council, where this month we are hosting a side event to discuss next steps for accountability. We have provided over £1m in funding to the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) since 2019 to support Syrian families of the missing to secure their rights to justice, truth and reparations. We wholly support ICMP as the holder of an impartial database of all those who have gone missing, regardless of their origin, role in the conflict, or the circumstances of their disappearance.

We support the UN's request to the Asad regime and Syrian armed groups to allow humanitarian actors and medical teams unhindered access to prisons and expect all parties to the Syrian conflict to respect their obligations and responsibilities towards civilians under the applicable international law regimes that apply, including international humanitarian law. Additionally we continue to pursue sanctions as a policy tool to hold the Syrian regime to account and to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the results of UK Government support for Syrian civil society.

Although the Assad regime continues to impede a UN-led political process for Syria, we assess that our support to civil society has produced positive results. Recent outreach has included support to the NGO Search for Common Ground, contributing £800,000 to capacity-building for civil society actors across Syria, focused on local needs. We supported the International Commission on Missing Persons' work with Syrian civil society, which contributed to data collection on missing persons and provision of assistance to the families of the missing. On gender related issues, since 2018, we have contributed £2 million to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and together we have strengthened women's participation in decision-making, and gender sensitive transitional justice.

The UK government engages widely with Syrian civil society to promote their voices and inform our policy on the Syria crisis. On 15 March I hosted an event at the 46th Human Rights Council to discuss accountability for human rights abuses in Syria. The next day I attended a joint Syria Relief UK and Syrian British Council event, developing policy for alleviating the crisis. We believe civil society, women and minorities must play a role in reaching a lasting settlement in Syria.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the evidential basis to suggest that the Chinese state is committing genocide against Uyghur Muslims; and if he will make a statement.

The Government remains gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang, and closely monitors the significant volume of credible, open source evidence suggesting serious, systemic violations are occurring in the region. The UK continues to work closely with international partners to hold China to account. On 22 March, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK has imposed, under the UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime, asset freezes and travel bans against four Chinese government officials, as well the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, the organisation responsible for enforcing the repressive security policies across many areas of Xinjiang.

It is the long-standing policy of the UK Government that any judgment as to whether genocide has occurred is a matter for a competent court.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken at the UN Security Council on tackling the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in China.

The Government will continue to work with international partners to hold China to account for its gross violations of human rights in Xinjiang, including at the UN. We have regularly raised our concerns about Xinjiang in debates in the UN Security Council. Minister Cleverly, the Minister for Middle East and North Africa, did so most recently on 12 January 2021. We also regularly raise Xinjiang at the UN Human Rights Council and UN Third Committee. Last month, the Foreign Secretary used a personal address at the UN Human Rights Council to reiterate his call for China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, or another independent expert, urgent and unfettered access to Xinjiang.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in that country.

We have repeatedly raised our deep concerns about the human rights situation in Xinjiang at senior levels with the Chinese government, including the Foreign Secretary raising directly with his Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister and State Counsellor Wang Yi on a number of occasions. Through these regular representations we have underlined a wide range of specific concerns, including the extra-judicial detention of Uyghurs and other minorities and the credible reports of forced labour, torture and forced sterilisation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the new US Administration to work towards a political settlement to end the Syrian conflict.

HMG regularly discusses the situation in Syria with the US administration. Most recently the Foreign Secretary, US Secretary of State Blinken, along with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Syrian uprising on 15 March. In the statement we jointly made clear our support for a political solution to end the conflict, as set out in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. We stressed that in order to reach a settlement to bring lasting peace the Assad regime must seriously engage with the peace process and perpetrators of the most serious crimes committed in Syria must be held to account.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to press for international access to monitor the conditions of Syrian detainees held by (a) the Assad regime, (b) ISIS, and (c) the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The latest UN report from the Commission of Inquiry is a shocking reminder of why Syria remains one of the worst human rights crises in the world. The UK has repeatedly condemned the use of illegal detention. We support the UN's request to the Asad regime and Syrian armed groups to allow humanitarian actors and medical teams unhindered access to prisons. We have raised the plight of detainees held by the Asad regime, affiliated militias and proscribed terrorist organisations at the UN Security Council, most recently during our national statement on 15 March and through our leadership at the Human Rights Council, where this month we are hosting a side event to discuss next steps for accountability. We expect all parties to the Syrian conflict to respect their obligations and responsibilities towards civilians under the applicable international law regimes that apply, including international humanitarian law - this includes providing the necessary access for humanitarian organisations to reach those in need.

Justice and accountability for detainees is a central issue for the UN-led political process and we fully support the UN Syria Envoy's efforts to work for the release of detainees, as a vital step towards a political settlement to end the conflict. Additionally we continue to pursue sanctions as a policy tool to hold the Syrian regime to account and to bring about a peaceful solution to the conflict.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2021 to Question 164342, what assessment he has made of whether the forcible transfer of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem potentially constitutes a war crime.

It is the policy of this government that any judgment on whether serious crimes under international law have occurred is a matter for judicial decision after consideration of all the available evidence, rather than for governments or non-judicial bodies. The UK regularly engages with Israel on issues of concern related to its occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including evictions and demolitions. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances forcible transfers and demolitions are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what support his Department is providing to Palestinian farmers in Area C of the West Bank to help them to remain on their land.

We regularly call on Israel to halt the expropriation of land in the West Bank, and to improve Palestinians' route to securing building permissions for homes and infrastructure, including agriculture and farming, in Area C. The UK continues to support Palestinians to stay on their land, including through the West Bank Protection Consortium which provides essential infrastructure for vulnerable Palestinians in Area C; and funding legal aid which helps Palestinian communities challenge eviction and demolitions decisions in the Israeli legal system. Officials from the British Consulate Jerusalem regularly visit communities in Area C to show UK support for those communities at risk of evictions and demolitions.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the UK’s diplomatic efforts to end demolitions and settlement expansion in the West Bank; and if he will make a statement.

The UK has a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation. We do not hold back from voicing or raising concern about Israel's actions when warranted. We continue to believe that the best way to advance a two state solution is through dialogue, including by urging an end to settlement expansion and the demolition of Palestinian property in the West Bank. As a proud friend of Israel, and one which has stood up for Israel when it faces bias and unreasonable criticism, we will continue to urge Israel to not take steps such as these, which move us away from shared goals of peace and security.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with relevant stakeholders on the conformity of the forcible transfer of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem with international criminal and humanitarian law; and if he will make a statement.

We regularly make clear our concerns about the evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem to the Israeli authorities. The UK Ambassador in Tel Aviv raised ongoing demolitions with the Israeli Authorities in a meeting alongside like-minded partners on 25 February 2021. On 25 November 2020, the UK Consul General Jerusalem visited families at risk of eviction in Sheikh Jarrah, restating UK opposition to evictions of Palestinians from their homes. I raised the issue of evictions of Palestinians from their homes with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 29 October 2020. Our position on demolitions and evictions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is clear. The Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to all occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, prohibits demolitions or forced evictions absent military necessity.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department has taken since 2018 to press for an end to the practice of holding Palestinian children in Israeli military detention.

We remain committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention and regularly raise this with the Israeli Ministry of Justice, most recently on 23 February 2021. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv will continue to have a regular dialogue with Israel on this issue. We also fund projects providing legal aid to assist children with legal representation and capacity building assistance to local lawyers. We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent to which UK-made arms are being used in activities which are in breach of international law; and if he will make a statement.

The Government takes its export control responsibilities seriously and every licence application is rigorously assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. We draw on a range of sources in making assessments, including NGOs and international organisations, our diplomatic posts and reports from our overseas networks. We continue to monitor developments closely, and are able to respond quickly to changing situations. We will not issue any export licences when to do so would be inconsistent with these Criteria.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Kenyan authorities on the non-payment since January 2019 of pensions to former Kenyan Government employees now living in the UK; and if he will make a statement.

This matter is the responsibility of the Kenyan authorities. FCDO officials spoke to the Kenyan High Commission in London last month for an update on the non-payment of pensions to former Kenyan civil servants. I can confirm that the Kenyan Treasury Pensions Department was in touch with Crown Agents Bank in the UK at the beginning of October to request additional information in order to take this matter forward. We will stay in touch with both parties (the Kenyan Treasury Pensions Department and Crown Agents Bank), and continue to encourage them to resume pension payments as soon as possible.

10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, pursuant to the Answer on 27 April 2020 to Question 37391 on Repatriation: Coronavirus, how many UK nationals have returned to the UK from India on repatriation flights organised by the Government; and if he will make a statement.

The Government ran 66 charter flights to bring home nearly 18,000 passengers from India, after sifting out multiple registrations made by some individuals and those who were not eligible. Since then we have supported commercial airlines to run regular return flights. The Government submitted a full response to the Foreign Affairs Committee's report into the FCDO's consular response to COVID-19 on 23 October.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
13th Oct 2020
What information the US Administration is required to provide to his Department on its activities at RAF Croughton.

The US military stationed at RAF Croughton are covered by the Ministry of Defence and governed by the NATO Status of Forces Agreement and Visiting Forces Act. Under an arrangement reached in 1995 there is also an Annex of the US Embassy in London based at RAF Croughton. The US Embassy, including the Croughton Annex, is under the same obligations as any other diplomatic mission.

Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations they must notify us of the appointment of members of the mission, their arrival and their final departure or the termination of their functions; and the arrival and final departure of members of their families. They must also notify us if someone becomes, or ceases to be, a member of such a family. These obligations apply as much to US Embassy staff at the Annex at RAF Croughton as they do in London.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what the relationship is between his Department’s counter-terrorism partner ARCTIC and the Kenyan paramilitary unit, the Rapid Response Team.

It is the long standing practise of successive governments not to comment on details of national security.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether the Secret Intelligence Service requires ministerial approval to share intelligence on the location of terror suspects with Kenyan intelligence agencies; and if he will make a statement.

It is the longstanding policy of successive British Governments not to comment on the detail of intelligence operations.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the covid-19 pandemic, how many UK nationals registered an interest with his Department by 19 April 2020 to return to the UK from (a) India, (b) Pakistan and (c) Bangladesh; and if he will make a statement.

Helping British travellers who need and want to return to the UK is one of the Government's highest priorities. Since the outbreak in Wuhan, we estimate that over 1.3 million people have returned to the UK via commercial routes globally - the majority supported by our work to keep vital routes open. Additionally we have brought home over 32,000 people on 155 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 29 countries and territories. The number of British travellers that may still require support to return home across the globe is now in the low tens of thousands. It is difficult to be more precise because there have been instances of multiple registrations by the same individual, people not reporting their return to the UK via other means, and long term residents registering for flights even though they were not eligible.

Repatriating British travellers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is a priority for the UK Government and we have been working closely with both airlines and the governments of each of those countries to ensure British travellers can return home. We have worked with international allies to lobby authorities to keep commercial air routes open and work together to return travellers globally. Where commercial flights have not been available, the UK Government has organised charter flights. As of 19 May we have arranged 64 charter flights from India and 21 from Pakistan which have repatriated more than 19,000 British travellers in total. 1,600 British travellers have been repatriated from Bangladesh.

Our High Commissions are providing consular assistance to those who need it, including the most vulnerable, and are continuing to provide regular updates on social media. We encourage British travellers to subscribe to our travel service updates: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 11 May 2020 to Question 43580 on South Asia: Coronavirus, how many UK nationals who registered an interest by 19 April 2020 to return from (a) India, (b) Pakistan and (c) Bangladesh were categorised as vulnerable; and if he will make a statement.

Repatriating British travellers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is a priority for the UK Government and we have been working closely with the government of each country and airlines to ensure British travellers can return home. As of 19 May, we have arranged 64 charter flights from India and 21 from Pakistan which have repatriated more than 19,000 British travellers. Over 1,600 British travellers have been repatriated from Bangladesh. These have carried almost all of those who registered, are eligible, and took up the option of a flight when given the chance to do so. The small numbers who are unable to travel are being looked after by our consular teams in region.

We reserve as many seats as possible on all flights for the most vulnerable British nationals - these are our top priority. It is difficult to be more precise because there have been instances of multiple registrations by the same individual, people not reporting their return to the UK via other means, and people registering for flights even though they were not eligible.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his oral contribution of 11 May 2020, Official Report, column 12 on repatriation, how many of the 30,000 British nationals who returned on the 141 flights chartered from 27 countries and territories were from (a) India, (b) Pakistan and (c) Bangladesh; and if he will make a statement.

Helping British travellers who need and want to return to the UK is one of the Government's highest priorities. Since the outbreak in Wuhan, we estimate that over 1.3 million people have returned to the UK via commercial routes - the majority supported by our work to keep vital routes open. As of 19 May, we have brought back over 32,000 people on 155 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 29 countries and territories.

Repatriating British travellers from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is a priority for the UK Government and we have been working closely with both airlines and the governments of each of those countries to ensure British travellers can return home. We have worked with international allies to lobby authorities to keep commercial air routes open and work together to return travellers globally.

As of 19 May we have arranged 64 charter flights from India and 21 from Pakistan which have repatriated more than 19,000 British travellers. Over 1,600 British travellers have been repatriated from Bangladesh.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK nationals had registered with his Department an interest to return from the Democratic Republic of Congo prior to 11 May 2020; and if he will make a statement.

Helping British nationals who need and want to return to the UK is one of the Government's highest priorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is working around the clock, through our Posts overseas and in London, to make sure all British people who need help are receiving the support and information they need. We have now brought home nearly 31,000 people on 146 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 27 countries and territories.

A repatriation flight, with capacity for 150 British Nationals, departed DRC on 14 May with 102 British nationals registered on the manifest. The flight then continued on to Cameroon to collect more British Nationals. This is in addition to the 73 British nationals previously assisted to depart DRC on chartered commercial flights in conjunction with other Embassies.

Our British Embassy in Kinshasa continues to provide support to British nationals who require assistance.

Our consular team continues to work around the clock to provide support, advice and information to British nationals in DRC. Our travel advice pages are also regularly updated to ensure that those wishing to return are aware of further developments. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/congo.

5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK nationals registered an interest by the close of registration on 19 April 2020 to return to the UK as a result of the covid-19 pandemic from (a) India, (b) Pakistan and (c) Bangladesh; and if he will make a statement.

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are priorities for the UK Government and we have been working closely with the government of each country and airlines to ensure British nationals can return home. We cannot provide an accurate figure for those currently registered for Her Majesty's Government charter flights because many passengers have registered more than once, have already returned by commercial flights or no longer want to return to the UK.

We reserve as many seats as possible on all flights for the most vulnerable British nationals - these are our top priority. We will continue working to bring British nationals back to the UK where commercial options do not exist, focusing on the most vulnerable. We are still working through future plans, identifying where needs are greatest, and where charter flights will have the greatest impact on vulnerable British nationals overseas.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many of those UK nationals who had registered by 19 April 2020 to return to the UK from (a) India, (b) Pakistan and (c) Bangladesh were categorised as vulnerable by Corporate Travel Management; and if he will make a statement.

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are priorities for the UK Government and we have been working closely with the government of each country and airlines to ensure British nationals can return home. We cannot provide an accurate figure for those currently registered for Her Majesty's Government charter flights because many passengers have registered more than once, have already returned by commercial flights or no longer want to return to the UK.

We reserve as many seats as possible on all flights for the most vulnerable British nationals - these are our top priority. We will continue working to bring British nationals back to the UK where commercial options do not exist, focusing on the most vulnerable. We are still working through future plans, identifying where needs are greatest, and where charter flights will have the greatest impact on vulnerable British nationals overseas.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer on 27 April 2020 to Question 37392 on Bangladesh and Pakistan: Coronavirus, how many UK nationals have returned to the UK from (a) Pakistan and (b) Bangladesh on repatriation flights organised by the Government as of 27 April 2020; and if he will make a statement.

As of the 28 of April, 2,102 passengers have returned to the UK from Pakistan on our Phase One flights. Since 21 April we have helped 970 people return to the UK from Bangladesh and have five further flights scheduled to take place between 29 April and 7 May. There will be a second round of nine direct charter flights from 30 April, including one from Karachi.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his Answer of 27 April 2020 to Question 37391, how many UK nationals have returned to the UK on repatriation flights organised by the Government as of 27 April 2020, and if he will make a statement.

As of 30 April, we have brought back more than 21,000 people on 102 flights organised by the Foreign Office from 21 different countries and territories.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how the ticket cost of £600 per person for nationals returning from Bangladesh was determined; and if he will make a statement.

Flight prices are based on the actual cost of each charter, which varies. To set a limit on the costs to travellers, we have capped prices: for flights under 6 hours at £400; 6-10 hours at £600; and 10 hours + at £800 (using the airline industry's 'time in air' calculator).

Costs above this amount are borne by the Government. We are determined that the cost of a flight will not be a barrier to bringing British travellers home. Often the cost will be covered by travel insurance; financial support is available where necessary.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made an estimate of the costs incurred by UK citizens trapped in (a) India, (b) Pakistan and (c) Bangladesh after each country's recent ban on international flights.

We do not have an estimate of the costs incurred by British nationals overseas.

However, we recognise that this crisis will have had a significant financial impact on people who have found themselves overseas for a longer period than planned or faced cancellations. Our consular staff continue to provide advice and support to British nationals who face financial difficulties overseas.

We are working to ensure airlines recognise their responsibility for transporting their passengers with pre-booked tickets home. This includes offering alternatives where routes are cancelled and encouraging airlines to allow passengers to change tickets - including between airlines.

We have worked with other Whitehall departments to help ensure that British travellers who normally live in the UK are eligible for furlough, business grants, and mortgage holidays on the same basis as they would be if they had been at home in the UK.

If people are struggling to afford ticket prices, emergency loans will be available as a last resort. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has streamlined the process for emergency loans, and is working with a commercial travel agency to ensure loan recipients have travel arrangements in place to return home.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how the ticket cost of £581 per person for UK nationals returning from India was determined; and if he will make a statement.

Flight prices are based on the actual cost of each charter, which varies. To set a limit on the costs to travellers, we have capped prices: for flights under 6 hours at £400; 6-10 hours at £600; and 10 hours + at £800 (using the airline industry's 'time in air' calculator).

Costs above this amount are borne by the Government. We are determined that the cost of a flight will not be a barrier to bringing British travellers home. Often the cost will be covered by travel insurance; financial support is available where necessary.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK nationals registered an interest with his Department by 9 April 2020 to return to the UK due to the covid-19 outbreak from the Indian states of (a) Gujarat, (b) Punjab, and (c) Maharashtra; and if he will make a statement.

By 9 April, over 21,000 people had registered their interest in travelling to the UK on HMG Charter flights.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many UK nationals registered an interest with his Department by 9 April 2020 to return to the UK due to the covid-19 outbreak from (a) Pakistan and (b) Bangladesh; and if he will make a statement.

As of 9 April, 10,522 British travellers in Pakistan and 4,072 British travellers in Bangladesh registered interest to return to the UK.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
20th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what changes HMRC made to the process for registering occupational pension schemes in (a) 2006 and (b) 2014; and what the reasons were for those changes .

HMRC is responsible for registering pension schemes where they wish to benefit from the tax reliefs available to pensions.

As a result of pension tax simplification, pension scheme registration was moved to a new online digital system in 2006.

As part of a wider government response to concerns surrounding pension scams, in 2014 legislation was introduced to enable HMRC to refuse registration where the scheme administrators were not considered to be fit and proper.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2021 to Question 31282 on Non-domestic Rating (Telecommunications Infrastructure Relief) (England) Regulations, how many of the 71 certificates were issued to BT.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for the valuation of non-domestic properties for business rates purposes in England and Wales. The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 restricts the VOA from providing specific information about companies, in order to protect ratepayer confidentiality.

6th Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July 2021 to Question 31282 on Non-domestic Rating (Telecommunications Infrastructure Relief) (England) Regulations, on what dates the (a) first and (b) tenth of those 71 certificates was issued.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) issued the first certificate on 30 September 2019, and the tenth certificate on 8 September 2020.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to remove incentives for oil and gas extraction from the tax system; and if he will make a statement.

Our domestic oil and gas industry produces the equivalent of around half of the UK’s primary energy needs and will continue to play an important role as we transition to a net zero economy. The industry has paid around £375bn in production taxes to date and supports around 147,000 jobs directly and in their supply chains, employing people in locations right across the country and supporting many more local jobs in sectors that rely on a vibrant oil and gas industry.

The Government places additional taxes on the extraction of oil and gas to ensure a fair return for the nation while also supporting the industry to address genuine costs through targeted tax reliefs, such as those to encourage the safe removal of infrastructure at the end of a field’s life.

The Government keeps all taxes under review, and any changes are made in the round at fiscal events.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many certificates the Valuation Office Agency has issued to BT pursuant to The Non-Domestic Rating (Telecommunications Infrastructure Relief) (England) Regulations 2018; and what the total value of those certificates is.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is responsible for the valuation of non-domestic properties for business rates purposes in England and Wales. The Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 restricts VOA from providing specific information about companies, in order to protect ratepayer confidentiality.

22nd Jun 2021
What recent discussions he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority on tackling online financial crime.

Whilst the FCA is an independent, non-governmental regulator, the Treasury, as the department jointly responsible for economic crime policy with Home Office, is in regular contact with the FCA on matters to do with online financial crime. I can confirm that my officials hold regular discussions with their FCA counterparts on these issues, including on the delivery of the Economic Crime Plan, the prevention of online harms, including financial promotions and online fraud, and issues related to anti-money laundering supervision. In addition, the FCA is a member of the Economic Crime Strategic Board, through which the government, regulators, law enforcement, and industry discuss and drive forward the UK’s overall response to economic crime.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what proportion of PAYE Real Time Information records received by HMRC cannot be matched to a taxpayer.

99.25% of the Individual Payment Submissions held by HMRC are attached to an employment with a valid National Insurance number.
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what provisions are in place for HMRC to (a) receive and (b) share tax return data with the Home Office for immigration enforcement purposes.

HMRC and the Home Office (HO) have a long-established relationship underpinned by a single Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement sets out the framework under which HMRC and HO work together. Sitting under this Partnership Agreement are a number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and Data Usage Agreements (DUAs) regarding the sharing of data for immigration enforcement purposes.

These documents are signed off by both departments and outline the approved legal gateway for the data share, the purpose of the data share, how the data will be used, what data is to be shared and how, data security obligations, and data retention policy.

HMRC have extensive senior governance in place to assure that Data Sharing Agreements (DSAs) adhere to legal requirements and are proportionate in their requests. All DSAs are assessed under relevant legislation and are reviewed under a regular schedule. Secure data transfer infrastructure is in place for data exchange, and data is only permitted to be used for the agreed purpose.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the level of revenue lost to the public purse as a result of the effect of covid-19 pandemic on the travel sector.

The Government recognises the challenging circumstances facing the travel sector as a result of Covid-19, and firms experiencing difficulties can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills and the extended furlough scheme.

As set out in the Covid-19 Impact Assessment last November, the Government cannot forecast with confidence the precise impact of specific changes to restrictions, including those on the travel sector, as this will depend on a broad range of factors which are, in many cases, difficult to estimate. The Treasury does not prepare forecasts for the UK economy and public finances, these are the responsibility of the independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).

The economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented fiscal support has caused significant but necessary increase in borrowing and debt. However, borrowing costs continue to be low, making the current costs of servicing this increase in debt affordable.

The Budget will set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a reformed Social Investment Tax Relief to support the Government’s policy of levelling up; and if he will make a statement.

The Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) was introduced in 2014 to incentivise risk finance investments in qualifying social enterprises and charities. HMRC statistics show that up to 2018-19, about 110 enterprises have used the scheme to raise £11.2 million.

The Government keeps all taxes and reliefs under review in order to ensure they continue to meet policy objectives and represent value for money for taxpayers. The Government previously published a Call for Evidence on SITR’s use to date. A response to the consultation will be published in due course and a decision on SITR’s future will be announced at the Budget ahead of its sunset clause in April 2021.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the extent to which employees being supported under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are being required, unlawfully, to work for their employer while furloughed; and if he will make a statement.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme forms part of a much wider national effort to protect people’s jobs. Fraudulent claims put at risk the provision of public services and the protection of livelihoods. They could include employers claiming on an employee’s behalf and not then paying them what they are entitled to, asking employees to do work while on furlough, or making a backdated claim that includes times when workers were working.

Employees can play a vital role by reporting fraudulent claims to HMRC, via their online fraud reporting tool: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/customs-excise-and-vat-fraud-reporting.

Compliance investigations are now under way. HMRC are checking claims made through this scheme. Payments may be withheld or need to be repaid in full to HMRC if the claim is based on dishonest or inaccurate information or found to be fraudulent.

HMRC have made clear that they will not hesitate to act on reports of abuse. The first arrest made in relation to CJRS fraud was on 8 July 2020.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to Q82 of the oral evidence taken before the Treasury Committee on 4 November 2020, HC950, what plans the Financial Conduct Authority has to set a target for take-up of Pensions Wise.

This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is operationally independent from Government. The question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply directly to the right honourable Gentleman’s question by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 3 September to Question 81494 on Pensions, on what date he is planning for that change to take effect.

In 2014 the government announced it would increase the minimum pension age to 57 from 2028, reflecting trends in longevity and encouraging individuals to remain in work, while also helping to ensure pension savings provide for later life.

Further details, and plans for legislation, will be published in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to increase the minimum age at which people can access their private pension under the tax rules; and if he will make a statement

In 2014 the government announced it would increase the minimum pension age to 57 from 2028, reflecting trends in longevity and encouraging individuals to remain in work, while also helping to ensure pension savings provide for later life.

That announcement set out the timetable for this change well in advance to enable people to make financial plans and will be legislated for in due course.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the additional tax receipts that would be raised from a national licensing scheme for residential landlords.

All individual landlords are liable to income tax at normal rates on any taxable profits they receive from property that they rent. Landlords must contact HMRC if they have any taxable profits from property.

13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his most recent estimate is of the tax revenues lost through residential landlords failing to declare their rental income.

The information requested is not available as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not make a separate estimate of the proportion of the total tax gap attributable to residential landlords.

However, HMRC does estimate the tax gap arising from individuals in employment who have not declared and therefore not paid tax on lettings income. The latest estimate of this tax gap was £540 million for the tax year 2018-19.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether child benefit is payable in respect of a child who is a UK national but whose parents have leave to remain in the UK with no recourse to public funds; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given on 21st October 2019. Access to Child Benefit follows the long-standing Government policy that those who have not established their right to remain permanently in the UK should not have welfare provision on the same basis as those whose citizenship or status here gives them an entitlement to benefits. All those admitted to the UK for a temporary purpose are required, under the immigration rules, to be able to maintain and accommodate themselves without recourse to public funds.

For this reason, apart from specified exceptions – set out in the Social Security (Immigration and Asylum Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2000 – persons subject to immigration control are not eligible for Child Benefit.

However, individuals who have no recourse to public funds can access many services including the NHS, statutory sick pay and some other work-related benefits. Local Authorities also have a statutory duty to provide support to families subject to the NRPF condition where a child’s wellbeing is in question.

In addition, they are able to access support measures put in place to respond to the Covid-19 global pandemic, including the Job Retention and Self-Employed Income Support schemes, free school meals, mortgage payment holidays and protection from eviction.

Eligible immigrants with a condition of NRPF can apply to the Home Office to have this lifted if their financial circumstances change.

Further information on the support that is available for migrants subject to NRPF can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to Part 2, regulation 7 of the Non-Domestic Rating (Telecommunications Infrastructure Relief) (England) Regulations 2018, (S.I., 2018, No. 425), which companies have (a) applied for and (b) received a certificate for fibre rates relief.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has issued a number of certificates but it is not possible to disclose the specific companies involved, as the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 restricts the VOA from providing this information, in order to protect ratepayer confidentiality.

19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason the form to apply for change of conditions of leave to allow access to public funds requires applicants to provide a five year address history.

A reply to the Unity Project’s letter of 11 April was sent on 14 May and Home Office officials met with the Unity Project on 17 June as part of the No Recourse to Public Funds forum. My officials remain happy to meet with them again to discuss any outstanding concerns about the Change of Conditions application process.

We are currently reviewing that process to see how it can be improved. We will update the Unity Project and other stakeholders once this review is complete.

We do require core details of an applicant’s background information to ensure an accurate assessment of their application can be made, including recent previous addresses. In most cases this information reduces the need to request further documentary evidence and therefore speeds up the consideration process.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her Department has to simplify and shorten the Change of Condition application process; and if she will make a statement.

A reply to the Unity Project’s letter of 11 April was sent on 14 May and Home Office officials met with the Unity Project on 17 June as part of the No Recourse to Public Funds forum. My officials remain happy to meet with them again to discuss any outstanding concerns about the Change of Conditions application process.

We are currently reviewing that process to see how it can be improved. We will update the Unity Project and other stakeholders once this review is complete.

We do require core details of an applicant’s background information to ensure an accurate assessment of their application can be made, including recent previous addresses. In most cases this information reduces the need to request further documentary evidence and therefore speeds up the consideration process.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans her officials have to meet representatives of the Unity Project to discuss improving the Change of Conditions application process in response to their letters of 11 April and 11 June 2021; and if she will make a statement.

A reply to the Unity Project’s letter of 11 April was sent on 14 May and Home Office officials met with the Unity Project on 17 June as part of the No Recourse to Public Funds forum. My officials remain happy to meet with them again to discuss any outstanding concerns about the Change of Conditions application process.

We are currently reviewing that process to see how it can be improved. We will update the Unity Project and other stakeholders once this review is complete.

We do require core details of an applicant’s background information to ensure an accurate assessment of their application can be made, including recent previous addresses. In most cases this information reduces the need to request further documentary evidence and therefore speeds up the consideration process.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to reports that fewer than one in 25 adult dependent visa applications were granted on the first attempt over a period of four years, whether her Department has made an assessment of the impact on the NHS of staff leaving to care for their adult dependents living abroad; and if she will make a statement.

It is not possible to make an assessment of the impact on the NHS of staff leaving to care for their relatives living abroad as the Home Office does not record the reason why individuals leave the UK.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in September on the number of destitution change of conditions applications received by her department.

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is currently extended until 30 September 2021. Whilst it is not necessarily an automatic consequence that change of conditions applications will increase at the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Home Office will respond as appropriate if this is the case, adjusting operational resources as necessary.

Many applicants impacted by the coronavirus will already have been granted recourse to public funds and the expectation is that as restrictions lift those on furlough should be able to return to work.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to (a) raise awareness and (b) improve the accessibility of the Destitution Change of Conditions application process.

We engage regularly with external stakeholders through our No Recourse to Public Funds forum, seeking feedback to help improve our services. The Destitution Change of Conditions application form is being reviewed to see if improvements can be made, and any additional feedback is welcomed.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the principal reasons are for which Destitution Change of Conditions applications have been rejected since March 2020; and if she will make a statement.

We cannot provide the data that you have requested because this information is not readily available and would require a manual examination of all Change of Conditions cases within the range to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Answer of 2 November 2020 to Question 106891 on Windrush Lessons Learned Review, with reference to the review of how immigration status and no recourse to public funds interact with free school meals and other educational entitlements, which was planned to conclude by the end of 2020, what (a) recent steps she has taken to progress that review, (b) reason that review did not conclude in accordance with that timeframe, and (c) her revised timetable is for completing that review; and if she will make a statement.

The Department for Education is finalising its review of access to free school meals and other educational entitlements for families with no recourse to public funds. Home Office officials are supporting that work and I understand you met my Rt hon Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, earlier this year to discuss progress on the review. In the meantime, the temporary extension of eligibility to free school meals will continue until a long-term policy position has been agreed.

Current guidance regarding the extension to free school meals can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/guidance-for-the-temporary-extension-of-free-school-meals-eligibility-to-nrpf-groups(opens in a new tab).

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to applications for change of conditions for leave to remain as a result of imminent risk of destitution, how many and what proportion of those applicants have been support by an organisation in each quarter since Q3 2017.

The Change of Conditions Application is a free of charge application. There is no formal right to an administrative review of Change of Conditions decisions. However, a form of review was introduced as a pilot for Change of Conditions rejections in February 2020 and is ongoing.

The data relating to these reviews is not held centrally and is not currently captured in a publishable form.

Other Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here: Immigration and protection data: Q1 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) relevant data are in tabs CoC_01 to CoC_04.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of the administrative reviews applied for, in cases where Destitution Change of Conditions Applications have been rejected, have succeeded in overturning the rejection in each quarter since the third quarter of 2017.

The Change of Conditions Application is a free of charge application. There is no formal right to an administrative review of Change of Conditions decisions. However, a form of review was introduced as a pilot for Change of Conditions rejections in February 2020 and is ongoing.

The data relating to these reviews is not held centrally and is not currently captured in a publishable form.

Other Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here: Immigration and protection data: Q1 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) The relevant data are in tabs CoC_01 to CoC_04.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many administrative reviews have been applied for in cases where Destitution Change of Conditions Applications have been rejected, in each quarter since the third quarter of 2017.

The Change of Conditions Application is a free of charge application. There is no formal right to an administrative review of Change of Conditions decisions. However, a form of review was introduced as a pilot for Change of Conditions rejections in February 2020 and is ongoing.

The data relating to these reviews is not held centrally and is not currently captured in a publishable form.

Other Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here: Immigration and protection data: Q1 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) The relevant data are in tabs CoC_01 to CoC_04.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2021
What progress she has made on resolving the immigration status of overseas students who have been falsely accused of cheating in English language tests.

I am grateful to the Rt. Hon Gentleman for this question, I know he has been a staunch advocate on this issue.

As the Rt. Hon member is aware there is an important Upper Tribunal judgment pending on this matter and it is right to wait for the outcome of that. But we have been reviewing our approach in the meantime and I will meet the Hon. Member once that review is complete.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the judgment in ST (a child, by his Litigation Friend VW) & VW v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1085 (Admin), what plans she has to update guidance for no recourse to public funds change of conditions applications to reflect her discretion over transfering applicants from the five year to the 10 year route; and if she will make a statement.

The No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) policy is by its nature an evolving one and is subject to amendment from time to time. We have studied the judgment in ST (a child, by his Litigation Friend VW) & VW v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1085 (Admin), and are planning to make amendments to the NRPF policy that are required by that judgment. This includes decisions made following a Change of Conditions application. The different ways in which an individual can be transferred from the five-year route to the 10-year route did not form part of the Court’s findings and is currently undergoing separate consideration by the Home Office.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to prepare for potential changes to the number of No Recourse to Public Funds change of conditions applications as a result of the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and if she will make a statement.

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is currently extended until 30 September 2021. UK Visas and Immigration constantly monitor intake volumes and adjust resources accordingly. Whilst it is not necessarily an automatic consequence that change of conditions applications will increase at the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, UK Visas and Immigration will respond as appropriate if this is the case.

Published transparency data on Change of Conditions applications can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-february-2021 At the end of the last calendar year the average turnaround for Change of Conditions applications was 18 days.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to change Rule GEN 1.11A of the Immigration Rules, in response to the decision in R (ST and VW) v SSHD [2021] EWHC 1085 (Admin) that the no recourse to public funds policy is unlawful.

The policy of No Recourse to Public Funds has been upheld by successive governments and maintains that those seeking to establish their family life in the UK must do so on a basis that prevents burdens on the taxpayer and promotes integration.

In the case of ST vs SSHD the High Court dismissed five of the six grounds raised by the claimant challenging the lawfulness of the policy. We are currently reflecting on the judgment in relation to our child welfare responsibilities.

People with leave under family and human rights routes can already apply, free of charge, to have the no recourse to public funds condition lifted.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of the end of the furlough scheme on people with leave to remain but no recourse to public funds; and if she will make a statement.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme have been extended to the end of September 2021 to recognise some industries will return no earlier than 21 June.

Immigration status holders who do not return to work because they have lost their employment will need to check the conditions attached to their leave. Where their immigration status is linked to a particular job, they may need to find alternative employment or another basis of stay, and make a further application if they wish to remain in the UK.

People with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply to have their NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if they are destitute or at risk of destitution, or if the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income. NRPF ‘change of conditions’ applications are prioritised and dealt with compassionately.

Data published in February 2021 for quarter 4 of 2020 shows the average time taken to make a decision on change of condition cases is 18 days. Of the decisions taken in the same period, 86% were granted. More information can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-february-2021.

Other support available to people with an NRPF condition, such as contribution-based benefits, will continue to be available for those who meet the other eligibility criteria.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people her Department has on record as being in the UK with leave to remain but no recourse to public funds in each year since 2010.

The no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition applies to millions of people, the vast majority of whom are visitors or other temporary migrants who have no need for public funds during their stay. It also applies to those without status, many of whom may not be in touch with the Home Office. We are not able to produce estimates of the total population present in the UK who are subject to NRPF

We do, however, publish quarterly immigration statistics on the number of entry clearance visas granted outside the UK almost all of whom will be travelling to the UK under the NRPF condition, and the latest figures for the year ending December 2020 can be found here: Entry clearance visa applications and outcomes (publishing.service.gov.uk)

The immigration statistics data for in-country extensions from 2010 to year ending December 2020 can be found here: Extensions (publishing.service.gov.uk)

The Home Office’s Chief Statistician wrote to the Office for Statistics Regulation last July to explain why the Home Office is not able to provide a figure for the total number of people currently in the UK to whom the NRPF condition applies. His letter can be found at:
https://osr.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/correspondence/response-from-daniel-shaw-to-ed-humpherson-parliamentary-question-response/

Since this letter was published, the Home Office has begun to publish statistics on the numbers of people on the family and human rights routes who apply to the Home Office to have the NRPF condition lifted, and these are available in the Home Office transparency data relating to Changes of Condition, published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-february-2021

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of people living in the UK without leave to remain who entered the UK legally; and if she will make a statement.

By its very nature, it is not possible to know the exact number of the illegal population and so we do not seek to make any official estimates on this. The Government’s New Plan for Immigration will make it harder for people to enter and live in the UK illegally, whilst ensuring that those who do have the right to reside in the UK can do so.

The vast majority of people leave the UK on time, in line with the expiry of their visa or leave to remain. However, those who have no right to remain in the UK and do not return home voluntarily should be in no doubt of our determination to remove them.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrant’s report, We Are Here, published April 2021, what steps victims of domestic abuse should take who are without leave to remain and who are unwilling to report the abuse for fear of deportation.

This Government is committed to supporting all victims of domestic abuse, regardless of their immigration status. Victims of crime are treated first and foremost as victims and are encouraged to report crimes to the police. If in doing so an individual is found to have no status in the UK, we carefully consider the individual’s circumstances before determining whether enforcement action is appropriate.

We undertook to review our overall response to migrant victims of domestic abuse in response to the recommendations of the Joint Committee on the Draft Domestic Abuse Bill.

It is clear from the review that we need a better evidence base before we can make robust policy decisions about the longer-term support group of victims. That is why the Government has launched the £1.5m Support for Migrant Victims Scheme which will be run by Southall Black Sisters and their delivery partners. This scheme will provide accommodation and support for migrant victims of domestic abuse with no recourse to public funds, as well as providing wrap around provisions, including emotional support, and more practical support such as immigration advice. Additionally, it will provide the data required to inform subsequent policy decisions.

Already, we offer support to migrant victims of domestic abuse on certain spousal visas through our Destitute Domestic Violence Concession, which enables individuals to access public funds for three months and can be used to fund safe accommodation. Furthermore, victims can apply for the Domestic Violence Indefinite Leave to Remain route (DVILR).

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what agreements and safeguards there are in respect of the General Data Protection Regulation of using tax return data held by HMRC for informing immigration enforcement decisions.

The Home Office and HMRC have a long-established relationship underpinned by a single Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement sets out the framework under which HMRC and the Home Office work together. Sitting under this Partnership Agreement are a number of Memorandums of Understanding regarding the sharing of data for immigration enforcement purposes.

In accordance with such arrangements, the Home Office has policies and procedures in place to support fulfilling its data protection obligations when processing personal data.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what provisions her Department has in place to (a) receive and (b) share tax return data with HMRC for immigration enforcement.

The Home Office and HMRC have a long-established relationship underpinned by a single Partnership Agreement. The Partnership Agreement sets out the framework under which HMRC and the Home Office work together. Sitting under this Partnership Agreement are a number of Memorandums of Understanding regarding the sharing of data for immigration enforcement purposes.

In accordance with such arrangements, the Home Office has policies and procedures in place to support fulfilling its data protection obligations when processing personal data.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the growth in the number of scams facilitated by content hosted on online platforms through adverts or user-generated content in the last twelve months.

Fraudsters have shown they can and will exploit any vulnerability to commit their crimes, including through the use of technology and the internet. We are working with law enforcement and industry to close down these vulnerabilities.

Last year, the National Cyber Security Centre launched the Suspicious Email Reporting Service which has already led to tens of thousands of harmful websites and scams being shut down. We are also seeking to expand membership of the Joint Fraud Taskforce to involve a wider network of stakeholders in our fraud prevention activity.

We are also considering other routes to ensure the public are safe from all forms of online fraud, including legislation. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is leading efforts on the Online Advertising Programme which will consider further regulation of online advertising to tackle harms including fraud.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to tackle user-generated or non-paid-for content on online platforms that leads to scams or fraud.

Fraudsters have shown they can and will exploit any vulnerability to commit their crimes, including through the use of technology and the internet. We are working with law enforcement and industry to close down these vulnerabilities.

Last year, the National Cyber Security Centre launched the Suspicious Email Reporting Service which has already led to tens of thousands of harmful websites and scams being shut down. We are also seeking to expand membership of the Joint Fraud Taskforce to involve a wider network of stakeholders in our fraud prevention activity.

We are also considering other routes to ensure the public are safe from all forms of online fraud, including legislation. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport is leading efforts on the Online Advertising Programme which will consider further regulation of online advertising to tackle harms including fraud.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to implement its commitment to external engagement and transparency as part of its review of the compliant environment; and if she will publish the (a) past and (b) future programme of external consultation on that review.

As part of our commitment to external engagement we have already spoken to a range of external stakeholders including employer groups, non-governmental organisations and other government departments. We will continue to do this throughout the review.

I can confirm we intend to publish a progress report on the evaluation at a suitable juncture. As set out in the Comprehensive Improvement Plan, initial analysis of data and evidence on the compliant environment will be completed by autumn 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what external consultation has been conducted for the review of Right to Rent as detailed in the Windrush Lessons Learned Comprehensive Improvement Plan.

An independent evaluation on right to rent is currently being carried out with the final report due this summer.

Progress is being made to examine all of the individual measures that comprise the compliant environment as part of the response to recommendation 7. Healthcare is being assessed concurrently with all the other measures. As discussed in the Comprehensive Improvement Plan initial findings will be available in Autumn 2021.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress her Department has made on reviewing the health stream of the compliant environment.

An independent evaluation on right to rent is currently being carried out with the final report due this summer.

Progress is being made to examine all of the individual measures that comprise the compliant environment as part of the response to recommendation 7. Healthcare is being assessed concurrently with all the other measures. As discussed in the Comprehensive Improvement Plan initial findings will be available in Autumn 2021.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what progress the Joint Fraud Taskforce has made on tackling online scams; and if she will make a statement.

The Government is committed to tackling all forms of crime, including those which exploit technology and the internet. The Government continues to work alongside various industries to close down vulnerabilities and prevent fraud that occurs both online and offline. We are also considering all routes to ensure law enforcement have the tools they need to go after these criminals and to protect the vulnerable.

Our efforts to tackle online scams have been ramping up, including working with the National Cyber Security Centre to establish a new Suspicious Email Reporting Service which was launched in April 2020. This service allows the public to report potential scams safely and effectively. As of 28 February 2021, the number of reports received stand at more than 5,000,000 with the removal of more than 36,000 scams and 71,000 URLs.

We are currently in the process of reforming the Joint Fraud Taskforce to reinvigorate the forum to expand our public-private partnership approach, as outlined in the Economic Crime Plan. The refreshed board, chaired at Ministerial level, will have an expanded membership to involve a wider network of stakeholders in our fraud prevention activity.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment the Race Disparity Unit has made of the effect of the No Recourse to Public Funds condition applied to the immigration status of people working lawfully in the UK during the covid-19 outbreak; and if she will make a statement.

The Government remains committed to protecting vulnerable people and has acted decisively to ensure we support everyone through this pandemic, including those lawfully working migrants with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) condition.

Many of the wide-ranging COVID-19 measures the Government has put in place have been made available to migrants with NRPF. The assistance being given under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-employed Income Support Scheme are not classed as public funds and are available to all those in work or self-employment respectively, including those with NRPF status and those on zero-hour contracts.  Both schemes have been extended to end of September 2021.

Support is also available from local authorities for those with NRPF in England, in the form of a payment comparable to the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which provides a £500 payment to people on low incomes who cannot work from home and have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, provided they meet the criteria set by the local authority for discretionary payments in their area. Further information on this scheme can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support/claiming-financial-support-under-the-test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme

Migrants who rent will continue to be protected from eviction during the new national lockdown period. The Government has extended existing legislation to ensure bailiffs do not serve eviction notices or carry out evictions until at least the end of 31 May but there are exemptions for the most serious circumstances that present the most strain on landlords.

Migrants who have been granted leave on the basis of their family life / human rights can apply to have the NRPF condition on their stay lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application.  For these routes, the NRPF condition can be lifted where there is evidence that the applicant is destitute (or at risk of destitution), the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income, or there are other exceptional financial circumstances.

We have also temporarily extended the eligibility criteria for free school meals in England to support some families with NRPF, in recognition of the difficulties they may be facing during these unique circumstances. More information, including eligibility details can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance.

More information on the support available to migrants during the pandemic, including those with NRPF, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-get-support-if-youre-a-migrant-living-in-the-uk.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what notification her Department provides to a local authority of the placement of Section 95 asylum seekers in dispersal accommodation in its area; in what circumstances such notification is provided; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office and Property providers have developed close working relationships with the Local Authorities in which asylum seekers are accommodated to support the effective coordination of delivered services, acting in the best interests of the asylum seekers.

The Home Office will consider individual requests for specific accommodation or location on a case by case basis. The provider is instructed by the Home Office to provide accommodation that meets the needs of each individual case subject to the availability of accommodation.

We do not provide Local authorities with details of each individual placement of asylum seekers into their area. However, we do provide statistical data on the number of people living in each local authority area and the number of new arrivals to the Strategic Migration Partners who are expected to share this with Local Authorities. Where there is a safe guarding or urgent care need referrals are made to the local authorities to coordinate appropriate services for the individual.

Furthermore, our providers are instructed to consult Local Authorities when procuring dispersed property. A standard operating process for procurement allows for consultation with LAs and statutory bodies.

We have established the Local Government Chief Executive Group (HOLGCEX) group to bring together senior representatives from Home Office, Local Government Association and local authorities with the aim of working in partnership to improve the asylum dispersal process for the people who use this service and the communities in which they reside.

We are trying to implement national structures across 150 LAs who will have a localised view and their own processes and practice. To allow us to better engage, we fund Strategic Migration Partners within each UK region to enhance engagement.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish the Immigration and Protection data for quarter 4 of 2020.

The Q4 2020 Transparency Data, which includes a range of statistics relating to Immigration and Protection, was released on 26th February 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many section 95 asylum seekers were accommodated in dispersal accommodation for the first time in each quarter in each of the last two years, by local authority.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area. These statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Data is published on a quarterly basis, with the latest information published 25 February 2021. The next quarterly figures are due to be released in May 2021.

The Home Office does not publish a breakdown of these statistics which disaggregates the number of asylum seekers accommodated in dispersal accommodation for the first time in each quarter in each of the last two years, by local authority. These figures are not available in a reportable format and to provide the information could only be done at disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people claiming asylum were placed by her Department in accommodation in the London Borough of Newham in each of the last six months.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of asylum seekers accommodated in each local authority area, which includes those in hotel and wider government facilities. These statistics can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#asylum-support

Data is published on a quarterly basis, with the latest information published 26 November 2020. The next quarterly figures are due to be released on 25February 2021.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the successful integration of people arriving from Hong Kong into UK communities after the British National Overseas Passport route opens on 31 January 2021; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office is working in collaboration with other Government departments including the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, and the Devolved Administrations to plan for the arrival of British National (Overseas) citizens from Hong Kong, including their integration in the UK. We are also engaging with local authorities via the regional strategic migration partnerships and interested civil society organisations.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to tackle the online sale of illegal weapons in the forthcoming legislation on online harms; and if she will make a statement.

The Online Harms White Paper set out an indicative list of harms that would be included in the scope of the legislation, which included the online sale of illegal weapons. While the list isn’t exhaustive or fixed it provided the starting point for our policy development.

We have published the Full Government Response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation, which sets out the new expectations on companies to keep their users safe online.

The new regulatory framework will establish a duty of care on companies to improve the safety of their users online, overseen and enforced by an independent regulator, and will take particularly strong action against the most egregious illegal harms.

We will follow the Full Government Response by introducing Online Harms legislation when parliamentary time allows.

The government will set out in secondary legislation the priority harms for three types of harms: illegal harms, harms to children, and legal but harmful content.

This sits alongside the Government’s continuing action to tackle serious violence, including the use of weapons such as knives. The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 strengthens the law in relation to knives and we have in place some of the toughest firearms controls in the world to prevent criminals gaining access to dangerous and illegal weapons.

18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 November 2020 to Question 105275, for what reason the figure provided for in-country family extensions in the Immigration statistics referred to in that answer does not equate with the figure provided for the proportion of people with no resource to public funds.

Pursuant to question 105275, the data on how many people were granted an extension to their Leave to Remain with No Recourse to Public Funds were produced from Management Information on a live database, and caveated subject to change. The published statistics do not include a breakdown of those granted with or without the No Recourse to Public Funds condition; the link to the published statistics was provided in the response to the written Parliamentary Question 105275 to provide context and to show where the headline figures for extensions are published.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2020 to Question 106891 on Windrush Lessons Learned Review, what plans she has to update Parliament after receiving the regular progress reports on the review and evaluation of the compliant environment.

The review and evaluation of the compliant environment will look at all the measures individually and then cumulatively, building on existing work.

There are six primary streams to the compliant environment – some of which only apply to England and Wales – which will be covered in our response to this recommendation. These are:

  • Work – to prevent those who are ineligible from working;
  • Housing – to prevent those without lawful status from accessing the private rental sector.
  • Public Funds – to prevent those who are ineligible from accessing mainstream support and benefits;
  • Health – to charge upfront for non-urgent health care and recover costs for emergency treatment where payment upfront was not possible;
  • Financial Services – to prevent people deemed as disqualified due to lack of lawful status from accessing current accounts;
  • Driving – to prevent those without lawful status from holding licences while in the UK.

Wendy Williams will return in September 2021 to review our progress. In line with the wording of recommendation 7, we will publish the outcomes of the review in a timely way. This may include updates to Parliament.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 November 2020 to Question 106891 on Windrush Lessons Learned Review, what data on ethnicity she plans to collect to inform the review and evaluation of the public funds stream to the compliant environment.

I accepted the Windrush Lessons Learned Review’s important findings, including those relating to measures designed to regulate access to work, benefits and services, including access to public funds

We are currently in the discovery phase of the review. We are scoping what data is available on the cohort that may not have recourse to public funds. This scoping phase will include what demographic data is available for analysis.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to The Response to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review: A comprehensive improvement plan, published in September 2020, CP293, what the scope is of the review and evaluation being undertaken of the public funds stream to the compliant environment; and if she will make a statement.

The comprehensive improvement plan set out the aim to review all the compliant measures and cumulatively. We are currently in the discovery and scoping phase of the review.

There are six primary streams to the compliant environment – some of which only apply to England and Wales – which will be covered in our response to this recommendation. These are:

  • Work – to prevent those who are ineligible from working;
  • Housing – to prevent those without lawful status from accessing the private rental sector.
  • Public Funds – to prevent those who are ineligible from accessing mainstream support and benefits;
  • Health – to charge upfront for non-urgent health care and recover costs for emergency treatment where payment upfront was not possible;
  • Financial Services – to prevent people deemed as disqualified due to lack of lawful status from accessing current accounts;
  • Driving – to prevent those without lawful status from holding licences while in the UK.

A full evaluation of the Right to Rent scheme is already underway. The evaluation includes a call for evidence to tenants, landlords and letting agents; a large mystery shopping exercise; and surveys of landlords. Members of the right to rent consultative panel provided input into the design of the evaluation. COVID-19 has impacted the field work and delivery of the final implementation report is now scheduled for spring 2021.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 November to Question 105275, whether the figures for Leave to Remain with No Recourse to Public Funds extensions in that Answer include applicants on the five year route.

We can confirm that the figures published in the Answer to Question 105275 for Leave to Remain with No Recourse to Public Funds extensions does include applicants on the five year route.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 November to Question 105275, what routes are included in the other category referred to in the data for in-country extensions included in that Answer.

Information regarding the routes included in the ‘Other’ category are included in notes for table Exe_01 ‘Grants of an extension of stay in the UK, by category of extension’ available from Immigration Statistics, year ending June 2020 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/list-of-tables#extensions

The ‘Category of leave group’: ‘Other’ includes discretionary leave, long residence, parents of children at school, stateless leave, other reasons and cases where the category of grant has not been recorded. ‘Other’ also includes extensions granted to individuals who are unable to travel home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19) as detailed in the notes to summary table Exe_01. A more detailed breakdown is available in the ‘Category of leave sub group’ variable in the published detailed dataset.

As indicated in the commentary accompanying extensions data in Immigration Statistics, year ending June 2020, the increase in the number of extensions granted in Q1 2020 compared to Q4 2019 reflects extensions granted under the separate policy for those currently unable to return home due to COVID-19 (63,048 grants up to the end of March 2020).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 6 November to Question 105275, what assessment she has made of the reasons for the increase in the number of people in the other category extending their leave from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020.

Information regarding the routes included in the ‘Other’ category are included in notes for table Exe_01 ‘Grants of an extension of stay in the UK, by category of extension’ available from Immigration Statistics, year ending June 2020 at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-year-ending-june-2020/list-of-tables#extensions

The ‘Category of leave group’: ‘Other’ includes discretionary leave, long residence, parents of children at school, stateless leave, other reasons and cases where the category of grant has not been recorded. ‘Other’ also includes extensions granted to individuals who are unable to travel home because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19) as detailed in the notes to summary table Exe_01. A more detailed breakdown is available in the ‘Category of leave sub group’ variable in the published detailed dataset.

As indicated in the commentary accompanying extensions data in Immigration Statistics, year ending June 2020, the increase in the number of extensions granted in Q1 2020 compared to Q4 2019 reflects extensions granted under the separate policy for those currently unable to return home due to COVID-19 (63,048 grants up to the end of March 2020).

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to publish the transparency data on no recourse to public funds applications to change conditions of leave for quarter 3 of 2020.

Data relating to ‘no recourse to public funds applications to change conditions of leave’ was published on 30 July.

The Home Office is committed to updating this data quarterly, as it does for most other statistics relating to the immigration system, and we will release it as part of the next quarterly migration transparency data publication. Our statisticians keep this data under review and will look to provide additional breakdowns of the statistics where possible.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 2 October to Question 85927, whether the data on no recourse to public funds applications to change conditions of leave can meaningfully be broken down further; and if she will make a statement.

Data relating to ‘no recourse to public funds applications to change conditions of leave’ was published on 30 July.

The Home Office is committed to updating this data quarterly, as it does for most other statistics relating to the immigration system, and we will release it as part of the next quarterly migration transparency data publication. Our statisticians keep this data under review and will look to provide additional breakdowns of the statistics where possible.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the oral contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department of 8 October 2020, Official Report, column 223WH, what progress her Department has made on improving the time taken to determine applications for exemption from the No Recourse to Public Funds condition.

Migrants with leave under the Family and Human Rights routes can apply, for free, to have their NRPF condition lifted by making a ‘change of conditions’ application if they are destitute or at risk of destitution, if the welfare of their child is at risk due to their low income, or where there are other exceptional financial circumstances.

Change of conditions decisions are being prioritised and are being dealt with compassionately. This approach is working. Data published in November shows that 85% of change of condition applications have been granted and the average time taken to make a decision is now just 17 days, down from 45 days in the previous quarter.

Local authorities, who have been allocated more than £6.4 billion to help them respond to Covid-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, may provide basic safety net support, regardless of immigration status, if it is established that there is a genuine care need that does not arise solely from destitution.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to The Response to the Windrush Lessons Learned Review: A comprehensive improvement plan, published in September 2020, CP293, what her planned timescale is for reviewing the public funds stream to the compliant environment; and if she will make a statement.

The review and evaluation of the compliant environment is taking a phased approach and will report regularly to Ministers. As a first step on public funds, the Home Office is working with the Department for Education (DfE) on how immigration status and no recourse to public funds (NRPF), interact with free school meals and other educational entitlements, which are administered by DfE. This review will be completed by the end of the year.

Transparency and engagement will remain at the heart of our approach to the evaluation of the compliant environment.

Priti Patel
Home Secretary
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were granted an extension to their Leave to Remain with No Recourse to Public Funds in each quarter in the five years prior to June 2019.

The data for in-country extensions from 2010 onwards is published here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/910638/extensions-datasets-jun-2020.xlsx

The requested data on how many people were granted an extension to their Leave to Remain with No Recourse to Public Funds in each quarter in the five years prior to June 2019 is stated below.

No Recourse to Public Funds

% No Recourse to Public Funds

2015 Q3

In-country 'family' extensions

12,000

85%

2015 Q4

In-country 'family' extensions

13,100

92%

2016 Q1

In-country 'family' extensions

17,600

94%

2016 Q2

In-country 'family' extensions

17,400

93%

2016 Q3

In-country 'family' extensions

15,000

93%

2016 Q4

In-country 'family' extensions

14,000

96%

2017 Q1

In-country 'family' extensions

15,200

95%

2017 Q2

In-country 'family' extensions

13,700

94%

2017 Q3

In-country 'family' extensions

19,500

94%

2017 Q4

In-country 'family' extensions

22,600

91%

2018 Q1

In-country 'family' extensions

23,000

90%

2018 Q2

In-country 'family' extensions

20,800

92%

2018 Q3

In-country 'family' extensions

20,800

92%

2018 Q4

In-country 'family' extensions

24,000

91%

2019 Q1

In-country 'family' extensions

26,900

92%

2019 Q2

In-country 'family' extensions

24,900

93%

2019 Q3

In-country 'family' extensions

27,700

90%

2019 Q4

In-country 'family' extensions

25,300

89%

2020 Q1

In-country 'family' extensions

21,400

89%

2020 Q2

In-country 'family' extensions

6,700

86%

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 13 October 2020 to Question 100882 on Immigration, whether the figures given for in-country family extensions include all family and human rights extensions.

We can confirm that the figures given in the Answer of 13 October 2020 to Question 100882 include all initial decisions for ‘family and human rights’ applications.

Fee Waiver applications are recorded as a separate case in our systems and so the data does not allow us to report which immigration decision a successful Fee Waiver application relates to, although caseworkers making immigration decisions are able to see all relevant information when considering the application. To manually check each immigration decision would incur a disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 13 October 2020 to Question 100882 on Immigration, in how many cases in each of the four quarters given were fee waivers granted for extension applications in which it was subsequently decided (a) to apply the No Recourse to Public Funds condition and (b) to grant Recourse to Public Funds.

We can confirm that the figures given in the Answer of 13 October 2020 to Question 100882 include all initial decisions for ‘family and human rights’ applications.

Fee Waiver applications are recorded as a separate case in our systems and so the data does not allow us to report which immigration decision a successful Fee Waiver application relates to, although caseworkers making immigration decisions are able to see all relevant information when considering the application. To manually check each immigration decision would incur a disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to recommendation 6 of her Department's Policy Equality Statement of 17 April 2020, when she plans to reissue that Policy Equality Statement on No Recourse to Public Funds so that it addresses the point relating to the impact on British citizen children.

The Home Office has published its policy equality statement on the impact of the No Recourse to Public Fund (NRPF) policy on migrants on the 10-year human rights route and specifically addresses the point relating to the impact on British children. It can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/application-for-change-of-conditions-of-leave-to-allow-access-to-public-funds-if-your-circumstances-change

The NRPF policy is based on the well-established principle that migrants coming to the UK are expected to maintain and support themselves and their families without posing a burden on the UK’s welfare system. Access to benefits and other publicly funded services reflects the strength of a migrant’s connections to the UK and is normally linked to indefinite leave to remain.

Individuals with leave under the family or private life routes, including those with British children, can apply for the restriction on accessing public funds to be lifted or not imposed if they are at risk of destitution or where there are concerns about the welfare of their child.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were granted an extension to their Leave to Remain in the last 12 months with No Recourse to Public Funds conditions.

In the year ending June 2020, there were 357,273 extensions of stay in the UK granted, the majority of which

would have the No Recourse to Public Funds condition imposed. See Exe_01: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/910110/extentions-summary-jun-2020-tables.xlsx

Across in-country extension routes (not including Settlement), only the ‘family and human rights’ categories have the No Recourse to Public Funds lifted at the initial decision point. All other grants of limited leave(as shown in published statistics) would have the NRPF condition applied. Should a person’s financial circumstances change and they are on a ‘family and human rights’ category, then they may apply for the NRPF condition to be lift through a Destitution Change of Circumstances application. Data on Destitution Change of Circumstances can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020.

The table below shows further analysis of the initial decision for grants, in the year ending June 2020, made in those routes where the condition may not have been applied, giving an indication of how many grantsdo not have the No Recourse to Public Funds condition imposed at this initial point of extension.

No Recourse to Public Funds

Recourse to Public Funds

% No Recourse to Public Funds

2019 Q3

In-country 'family' extensions

27,768

2,993

90%

2019 Q4

In-country 'family' extensions

25,314

3,222

89%

2020 Q1

In-country 'family' extensions

21,411

2,608

89%

2020 Q2

In-country 'family' extensions

6,720

1,080

86%

Across in-country extension routes (not including Settlement), only the ‘family and human rights’ categories have the No Recourse to Public Funds lifted at the initial decision point. All other grants of limited leave would have the NRPF condition applied. Should a person’s financial circumstances change, then they may apply for the NRPF condition to be lift through a Destitution Change of Circumstances. Data on Destitution

Change of Circumstances can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to her oral statement of 19 March 2020, Official Report, column 1168, on Windrush Lessons Learned Review, what progress she has made on looking into the treatment of the overseas students falsely accused of cheating in English language tests; and if she will make a statement.

Shortly after the oral statement in March I met with the Rt Hon member and subsequently met with some of his constituents affected by this this issue.

During our meeting I explained the position we were taking on this subject.

I have recently asked my officials for further advice on the specific issue he raised around what leave is granted to those who are found not to have practiced deception, but who do not otherwise qualify for leave as a result of their Article 8 rights.

I will write to the Rt Hon member with a further update in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of change of conditions applicants with no recourse to public funds were required to respond to a request for additional information in each quarter since the third quarter of 2017; and what proportion of those applications were (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data that you have requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further. The next update of this data is due to be published in November 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of change of conditions applications made by people with to no recourse to public funds were successful following administrative review in each quarter since the third quarter of 2017.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data that you have requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further. The next update of this data is due to be published in November 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what reasons for refusal were given to unsuccessful change of conditions applications from people with no recourse to public funds, in each quarter since quarter 3 of 2017.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data that you have requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further. The next update of this data is due to be published in November 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether administrative review was offered to people with no recourse to public funds who applied unsuccessfully for a change of conditions since quarter 3 of 2017; and in how many cases administrative review was sought.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data that you have requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further. The next update of this data is due to be published in November 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in how many cases administrative review was offered in response to unsuccessful change of conditions applications from people with no recourse to public funds, in each quarter since quarter 3 of 2017; and in how many of those cases it was pursued.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data that you have requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further. The next update of this data is due to be published in November 2020.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many change of conditions applications have been made by people with no recourse to public funds by country of nationality of the main applicant in each quarter since quarter 3 of 2017.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of change of conditions applications from people with no recourse to public funds were made by people who identified their gender as (a) female, (b) male and (c) unspecified, in each quarter since quarter 3 of 2017.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of change of conditions applications from people with no recourse to public funds were made by people who identified themselves as having disabilities or health issues, in each quarter since quarter 3 of 2017.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of change of conditions applications were made by people with dependents and with no recourse to public funds and who had the relationship status (a) single, (b) married or a civil partner, (c) unmarried partner, (d) divorced or civil partnership dissolved, (e) separated and (f) widowed or a surviving civil partner in each quarter since quarter 3 of 2017.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many change of conditions applications made by people with no recourse to public funds were re-applications in each quarter since quarter 3 of 2017; and what proportion of those re-applications were (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for a change of conditions to the no recourse to public funds condition were made (a) with and (b) without a representative; and what proportion of each type of application has been (i) successful and (ii) unsuccessful in each quarter since the third quarter of 2017.

Following previous questions and the commitment given to UK Statistics Authority (UKSA), Change of Conditions information is now part of the transparency data which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-protection-data-august-2020. The relevant data is in tab CoC_01.

Currently we cannot provide the data requested because this information is not readily available and would require a more detailed examination of all Change of Conditions cases to establish whether the data requested is held and would meet the quality requirements for release.

As part of the regular publication of this data the Home Office will review whether the data can be meaningfully broken down any further.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)