Written Question
Medicines and Medical Devices Bill
4 Aug 2020, 1:12 p.m.

Questioner: Alex Norris

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to work with (a) the life sciences industry and (b) experts in radioligand therapy in relation to the development of secondary legislation to enact the provisions of the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill.

Answer (Helen Whately)

The Department has held a number of engagement events with over 150 representatives from the life sciences industry on the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill and we will continue to work collaboratively with the sector when making secondary legislation. The powers in the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill are subject to a duty to consult and therefore before making any regulations, the Department will consult with those considered appropriate. This will include the life sciences industry and expert stakeholders if they were to be affected by the proposed change.


Written Question
Expert Trade Advisory Groups
4 Aug 2020, 12:36 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Foster of Bath

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many meetings there have been of each of the 17 Expert Trade Advisory Groups, either in person or virtually; on what dates these meetings were held; and what plans there are for further meetings of each group.

Answer (Lord Grimstone of Boscobel)

Our Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs) have met 84 times to date. The table below shows how many meetings there have been for each of the 17 ETAGs and the dates on which they were held.

ETAG name

Total number of meetings held to date

Date of each meeting held

Agri-food

9

04/07/2019, 21/08/2019, 25/09/2019, 24/10/2019, 14/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 05/03/2020, 27/05/2020, 06/07/2020

Automotive

8

13/07/2019, 14/08/2019, 26/09/2019, 21/10/2019, 30/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 27/05/2020, 20/07/2020

Chemicals

2

22/08/2019, 10/02/2020

Creative

3

14/01/2020, 14/02/2020, 03/06/2020

Continuity

9

14/08/2019, 11/09/2019, 09/10/2019, 30/10/2019, 17/12/2019, 24/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 29/04/2020, 08/07/2020

Customs

3

08/07/2019, 14/02/2020, 21/07/2020

Digital

4

04.11.2019, 09/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 01/06/2020

Financial Services

7

16/09/2019, 28/10/2019, 10/01/2020, 31/01/2020, 02/03/2020, 29/05/2020, 03/07/2020

IP

4

30/09/2019, 20/01/2020, 08/06/2020, 21/07/2020

Investment

3

05/09/2019, 24/01/2020, 05/06/2020

Life Sciences

4

27/09/2019, 05/02/2020, 04/06/2020, 09/07/2020

PBS

4

03/09/2019, 28/01/2020, 28/04/2020, 03/06/2020

Procurement

4

17/02/2020, 20/03/2020, 12/06/2020, 02/07/2020

SMEs

3

16/08/2019, 13/02/2020, 15/05/2020

Sustainability

5

18/09/2018, 11/12/2018, 18/06/2019, 20/02/2020, 06/07/2020

TfD

7

02/02/2018, 24/10/2018, 21/03/2019, 15/07/2019, 09/10/2019, 28/02/2020, 19/05/2020

Transport Services

5

16/09/2019, 28/01/2020, 27/01/2020, 02/06/2020, 12/06/2020

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, HMG’s publication priorities shifted and the planned publication of ETAG membership was delayed in the Spring. The Department is now undertaking a review of the ETAGs, the outcome of which will be communicated in due course.


Written Question
Expert Trade Advisory Groups: Membership
4 Aug 2020, 12:36 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Foster of Bath

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 31 March (HL2935), when they will publish the membership of each of the 17 Expert Trade Advisory Groups; and why the membership has not been published to date.

Answer (Lord Grimstone of Boscobel)

Our Expert Trade Advisory Groups (ETAGs) have met 84 times to date. The table below shows how many meetings there have been for each of the 17 ETAGs and the dates on which they were held.

ETAG name

Total number of meetings held to date

Date of each meeting held

Agri-food

9

04/07/2019, 21/08/2019, 25/09/2019, 24/10/2019, 14/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 05/03/2020, 27/05/2020, 06/07/2020

Automotive

8

13/07/2019, 14/08/2019, 26/09/2019, 21/10/2019, 30/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 27/05/2020, 20/07/2020

Chemicals

2

22/08/2019, 10/02/2020

Creative

3

14/01/2020, 14/02/2020, 03/06/2020

Continuity

9

14/08/2019, 11/09/2019, 09/10/2019, 30/10/2019, 17/12/2019, 24/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 29/04/2020, 08/07/2020

Customs

3

08/07/2019, 14/02/2020, 21/07/2020

Digital

4

04.11.2019, 09/01/2020, 12/02/2020, 01/06/2020

Financial Services

7

16/09/2019, 28/10/2019, 10/01/2020, 31/01/2020, 02/03/2020, 29/05/2020, 03/07/2020

IP

4

30/09/2019, 20/01/2020, 08/06/2020, 21/07/2020

Investment

3

05/09/2019, 24/01/2020, 05/06/2020

Life Sciences

4

27/09/2019, 05/02/2020, 04/06/2020, 09/07/2020

PBS

4

03/09/2019, 28/01/2020, 28/04/2020, 03/06/2020

Procurement

4

17/02/2020, 20/03/2020, 12/06/2020, 02/07/2020

SMEs

3

16/08/2019, 13/02/2020, 15/05/2020

Sustainability

5

18/09/2018, 11/12/2018, 18/06/2019, 20/02/2020, 06/07/2020

TfD

7

02/02/2018, 24/10/2018, 21/03/2019, 15/07/2019, 09/10/2019, 28/02/2020, 19/05/2020

Transport Services

5

16/09/2019, 28/01/2020, 27/01/2020, 02/06/2020, 12/06/2020

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, HMG’s publication priorities shifted and the planned publication of ETAG membership was delayed in the Spring. The Department is now undertaking a review of the ETAGs, the outcome of which will be communicated in due course.


Written Question
Equal Pay
4 Aug 2020, 12:04 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Taylor of Warwick

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the research from University College London, published on 20 July, which suggests that teenage boys have more ambitious aims regarding higher education which contributes towards the gender pay gap.

Answer (Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay)

The government is committed to transforming the lives of children and young people so that they can go as far as their hard work and talent will take them, regardless of their background or where they live. Nowhere is this more important than in how our young people are educated and prepared for a successful future. This is why the government has set out an ambitious agenda and made record investments in opportunities for all young people in this country.

The government wants to ensure that all post-16 students can make an informed choice between high-quality options that support progression, whatever their attainment or aspirations. This includes access to higher education so that university places are available to those who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wish to do so, alongside other high-quality options such as further education and apprenticeships. Through the Careers Strategy, we have laid out foundations which aim to develop children’s ambitions. Careers guidance is vital in helping to develop talent and opportunities so that people have the skills that we need and that employers require.

In 2017, we introduced regulations requiring large employers to publish the differences in average salaries and bonuses for men and women. The national gender pay gap is at a record low of 17.3% - down from 17.8% in 2018. The full-time gender gap is at a near record low of 8.9%.

We continue to encourage employers to take action to provide equal opportunities for men and women in the workplace but also recognise that employers are facing unprecedented uncertainty and pressure due to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Written Question
Prison and Probation Service: Finance
4 Aug 2020, 11:33 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Bradley

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of the budget allocated to the HM Prisons and Probation Service Payment Plus scheme has been spent so far in the current financial year.

Answer (Lord Keen of Elie)

Payment Plus is funded through Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service’s staff pay budget from savings arising from any staff vacancies, which are then re-invested by each prison to fund the Payment Plus (PP) needed to cover operational staff vacancies.

Prison governors have always had the authority to use PP to allow for additional staff time to cover vacancies. They are given an annual budget for staff costs based on agreed staffing levels and are expected to manage PP within this.

In the first quarter of this financial year, the total spend on PP was £20.4m, which includes additional overtime cover in response to the impact of COVID-19.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a high risk of increased staff absence and to mitigate this, staff were asked to volunteer for additional PP hours in advance of need. Since the start of the scheme in mid-March, to end June, about 60% of the total extra PP hours volunteers had committed to work were used and the remainder are being used as prisons move into recovery.


Written Question
Prison and Probation Service: Finance
4 Aug 2020, 11:33 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Bradley

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the total budget allocated to the HM Prisons and Probation Service Payment Plus scheme for the current financial year.

Answer (Lord Keen of Elie)

Payment Plus is funded through Her Majesty’s Prisons and Probation Service’s staff pay budget from savings arising from any staff vacancies, which are then re-invested by each prison to fund the Payment Plus (PP) needed to cover operational staff vacancies.

Prison governors have always had the authority to use PP to allow for additional staff time to cover vacancies. They are given an annual budget for staff costs based on agreed staffing levels and are expected to manage PP within this.

In the first quarter of this financial year, the total spend on PP was £20.4m, which includes additional overtime cover in response to the impact of COVID-19.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a high risk of increased staff absence and to mitigate this, staff were asked to volunteer for additional PP hours in advance of need. Since the start of the scheme in mid-March, to end June, about 60% of the total extra PP hours volunteers had committed to work were used and the remainder are being used as prisons move into recovery.


Written Question
Students: Loans
4 Aug 2020, 11:30 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Greaves

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether having (1) settled status, or (2) pre-settled status, is a sufficient qualification for an application for a student loan; and if not, why not.

Answer (Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay)

We have agreed with the European Union (EU) that current EU principles of equal treatment will continue to apply for those people covered by the citizens’ rights provisions in the Withdrawal Agreement. This means that EU nationals resident in the UK before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020 will be eligible for support on a similar basis to domestic students.

EU nationals with settled status or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme must meet the relevant residency requirements when they start their course in order to access home fee status and student financial support.

Other European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss nationals benefiting from citizens’ rights under the EEA European Free Trade Association Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively, and meeting the relevant residency requirements, will continue to have access to student finance on the same basis as now.


Written Question
Overseas Students: Coronavirus
4 Aug 2020, 11:29 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Allen of Kensington

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 on the number of international students wishing to study at UK universities; and what steps they will take to counter the effects of a long-term reduction in international student numbers.

Answer (Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay)

The government recognises that the COVID-19 outbreak will have an unparalleled impact on all elements of the global and UK economy. The higher education sector, including student recruitment, is no exception. We have been working closely with the sector to monitor possible impacts of COVID-19 on international student numbers, including restrictions on travel.

We have been clear that our world-leading universities, which thrive on being global institutions, will always be open to international students. Engaging closely with other government departments and the higher education sector, the Department for Education is working to reassure current and prospective international students that UK higher education is ‘open for business’ and remains world-class, and that the UK is a safe and welcoming place to study. This engagement includes continued work with Study UK (the government’s international student recruitment campaign, led by the British Council), support for the sector-led #WeAreTogether campaign, and a package of communications targeted directly at international students, making clear our world-leading offer.

My hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, wrote an open letter to current international students in April, setting out flexibilities that HM Government and higher education providers were introducing to ensure that international students could continue or resume their studies. With her counterparts in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, she also wrote on 22 June to prospective international students to outline the support and guidance available to those considering studying in the UK from this autumn. This letter reiterates a number of flexibilities that the government has already announced for international students. These include allowing for the switching of visa categories within the UK, confirmation that distance/blended learning will be permitted for the 2020/21 academic year (provided that international students’ sponsors intend to move to face-to-face learning as soon as circumstances allow) and steps further to promote the new graduate route, which will be introduced from summer 2021.

The graduate route will be simple and light-touch: it will permit graduates at undergraduate or Masters level to remain in the UK for 2 years and PhD graduates to remain in the UK for 3 years after they have finished their studies in order to work or look for work at any skill level. This represents a significant increase in the generosity of our offer to international students and will help ensure the UK higher education sector remains competitive internationally. On 16 June, the government also confirmed that international students present in the UK before 6 April 2021 will be eligible for the graduate route if they meet the other requirements of the route when it is introduced.

My hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, also announced that Sir Steve Smith would act as the UK’s new International Education Champion. He will assist with opening up export growth opportunities for the whole UK education sector, which will include attracting international students to UK universities. In addition, our review of the International Education Strategy this autumn will respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19 across all education settings.


Written Question
China: British National (Overseas)
4 Aug 2020, 11:20 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Alton of Liverpool

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take, when determining the eligibility of British National (Overseas) passport holders to settle in the UK, to ascertain whether the applicants (1) have supported the Chinese Communist Party in the past, and (2) are committed to democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Answer (Baroness Williams of Trafford)

The Home Secretary was pleased to recently announce details of the new immigration route for Hong Kong British National (Overseas) citizens, which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hong-kong-bno-visa-policy-statement

The eligibility requirements are set out in the policy statement.


Written Question
Palliative Care: Coronavirus
4 Aug 2020, 10:57 a.m.

Questioner: Christian Wakeford

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support he plans to provide for end-of-life care in community settings to support families and carers in (a) Bury South constituency and (b) England during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answer (Helen Whately)

The funding and commissioning of end-of-life care is a local matter, over which individual clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) have responsibility. CCGs are best placed to understand the needs of local populations and to commission services accordingly. During the pandemic, a range of additional support for end-of-life care in community settings has been put in place. This is to help commissioners and clinicians support patients with palliative and end-of-life care needs, as well as their families and carers.


Written Question
Unmanned Air Vehicles
4 Aug 2020, 10:51 a.m.

Questioner: Baroness Stern

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent progress they have made on the Zephyr High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellite programme, following the reported mishaps in 2019.

Answer (Baroness Goldie)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is sponsoring a High-Altitude Pseudo-Satellite (HAPS) Operational Concept Demonstrator (OCD) utilising the Airbus Defence and Space (ADS) Zephyr platform to explore the utility of this cutting edge and novel technology.

There are always setbacks when you push the boundaries of technology to explore future concepts. The unfortunate incidents in 2019 led to investigations being carried out by the relevant authorities and ADS have taken the findings and implemented improvements. ADS planned to demonstrate these improvements during the HAPS OCD this summer, but trials have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The MOD continue to work with Airbus to progress the OCD and to identify further opportunities for demonstration in order to fully explore the utility of HAPS.


Written Question
Hearing Impairment: Coronavirus
4 Aug 2020, 10:35 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Storey

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support they have given to deaf children and young people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answer (Baroness Berridge)

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the department published guidance on online education resources for home learning, including support for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

To support the hard work of schools in delivering remote education, in April, the Oak National Academy was launched. 40 teachers from leading schools across England formed this brand-new enterprise which provides 180 video lessons each week, across a broad range of subjects from maths to art to languages, for every year group from Reception through to year 10. Oak also launched a specialist curriculum for children and young people with SEND on 4 May, available here:
https://classroom.thenational.academy/specialist#subjects.

The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up on missed schooling. This is made up of £650 million to be shared across all state-funded mainstream schools, special schools, and alternative provision over the 2020-21 academic year, and a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million to provide additional, targeted support for disadvantaged children and young people.

The universal £650 million catch-up premium funding recognises that all pupils, irrespective of their background or location, have lost time in education. Whilst school leaders will decide how it is used, the intention is that this money will be spent on the most effective interventions.

On Monday 20 July, we announced more details about how the funding will be distributed to schools. This confirmed that a primary school of 200 pupils will receive £16,000 while a secondary school of 1,000 pupils will receive £80,000. Special schools, alternative provision and hospital schools will be funded at 3 times the rate of mainstream schools for the 2020-21 academic year.

All schools should use their catch-up premium funding as a single total from which to prioritise support for all pupils, including children with SEND or children who have education, health and care plans, according to their need.

This year, we are also providing £780 million of additional high needs funding across England for children with the most complex SEND. We are providing a further £730 million in 2021-22, which will bring the total high needs budget to over £8 billion. This is in addition to the catch-up premium funding.


Written Question
Children and Young People: Coronavirus
4 Aug 2020, 10:35 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Storey

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans are in place to ensure that deaf children and young people can catch-up on missed schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answer (Baroness Berridge)

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the department published guidance on online education resources for home learning, including support for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

To support the hard work of schools in delivering remote education, in April, the Oak National Academy was launched. 40 teachers from leading schools across England formed this brand-new enterprise which provides 180 video lessons each week, across a broad range of subjects from maths to art to languages, for every year group from Reception through to year 10. Oak also launched a specialist curriculum for children and young people with SEND on 4 May, available here:
https://classroom.thenational.academy/specialist#subjects.

The government has announced £1 billion of funding to support children and young people to catch up on missed schooling. This is made up of £650 million to be shared across all state-funded mainstream schools, special schools, and alternative provision over the 2020-21 academic year, and a National Tutoring Programme, worth £350 million to provide additional, targeted support for disadvantaged children and young people.

The universal £650 million catch-up premium funding recognises that all pupils, irrespective of their background or location, have lost time in education. Whilst school leaders will decide how it is used, the intention is that this money will be spent on the most effective interventions.

On Monday 20 July, we announced more details about how the funding will be distributed to schools. This confirmed that a primary school of 200 pupils will receive £16,000 while a secondary school of 1,000 pupils will receive £80,000. Special schools, alternative provision and hospital schools will be funded at 3 times the rate of mainstream schools for the 2020-21 academic year.

All schools should use their catch-up premium funding as a single total from which to prioritise support for all pupils, including children with SEND or children who have education, health and care plans, according to their need.

This year, we are also providing £780 million of additional high needs funding across England for children with the most complex SEND. We are providing a further £730 million in 2021-22, which will bring the total high needs budget to over £8 billion. This is in addition to the catch-up premium funding.


Written Question
Developing Countries: Health Services
4 Aug 2020, 10:34 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of progress towards the Every Woman Every Child goals.

Answer (Baroness Sugg)

The UK government welcomes the Independent Accountability Panel’s recently published report. The report highlights that global progress towards the Every Woman Every Child 2030 targets were already lagging by around 20%, and now with the current COVID-19 pandemic are likely to slip further, with significant impacts for pregnant women, children and adolescents.

The UK Government is committed to work with others to end preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children by 2030. We are working to ensure essential health services continue despite the challenges of the pandemic. Our approach covers sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and new-born health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene services, all of which can help prevent mothers, new-borns and children dying unnecessarily.

We are also leading internationally: the UK hosted the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June and raised $8.8 billion for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance’s, next five years (2021-2025) of work, including the UK’s pledge of £1.65 billion. Using these vital funds, GAVI will immunise a further 300 million children and save up to 8 million lives against vaccine preventable diseases.


Written Question
Terrorism: Prison Sentences
4 Aug 2020, 10:33 a.m.

Questioner: Lord Hylton

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of additional prison sentences likely to be imposed if the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill is passed in its present form; and how many longer sentences are likely to be imposed as a result.

Answer (Lord Keen of Elie)

We conducted and published an impact analysis for the Counter-Terrorism and Sentencing Bill, which is based on historical volumes of convictions and assumes that trends in sentencing remain stable. The Bill will not increase the overall number of sentences, but will increase sentence lengths for terrorist offenders. We assess that this will result in increased sentence lengths resulting in a maximum of 50 additional offenders in prison at any given time.


Written Question
Criminal Proceedings: Ethnic Groups
4 Aug 2020, 10:32 a.m.

Questioner: Baroness Whitaker

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Keen of Elie on 15 July (HL Deb, cols 1659–61), how the situation of Black and other minority ethnic defendants, including those from Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities, will be taken into account in (1) the membership, and (2) the terms of reference, of the Royal Commission on criminal justice.

Answer (Lord Keen of Elie)

The Government is committed to a justice system that is fair, open and accessible to all.

In defining the terms of reference and membership of the Royal Commission, we are taking into account the need for the Commission to understand effectively the experiences of all those that engage with the criminal justice system. This will of course need to include taking account issues of race and the experiences of Black and other minority ethnic people, including those from Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities.

Further details will be announced in due course.


Written Question
Marriage
4 Aug 2020, 10:31 a.m.

Questioner: Baroness Whitaker

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government in which circumstances marriages in England and Wales are legally recognised by virtue of (1) the building in which the marriage takes place, (2) the registrar or officiant conducting the ceremony, and (3) the religion of the marriage.

Answer (Lord Keen of Elie)

In general terms, the law requires couples to give due notice of the marriage and to marry in the place specified when they gave notice and in the presence of certain people. Marriages are not automatically valid because they involve a certain building, person or religion: on the contrary, they are capable of legal recognition because they follow a route set out in statute. The statute law also sets out circumstances in which a marriage will be void.

As part of its review of the law on how and where couples may marry in England and Wales, the Law Commission will make recommendations regarding what the consequences of failing to comply with all or some of the requirements for a valid marriage should be. The Government looks forward to publication of its consultation paper in September.


Written Question
Marriage: Humanism
4 Aug 2020, 10:30 a.m.

Questioner: Baroness Blackstone

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what reforms to marriage law they are currently working on; whether they plan to bring forward proposals for legal recognition of humanist marriages; and if not, why not.

Answer (Lord Keen of Elie)

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

Separately, the Government continues to explore both limited reform and non-legislative options relating to religious weddings, as well as to explore interim reform of the law governing approved premises for marriages and civil partnerships.


Written Question
Small Business Commissioner
3 Aug 2020, 4:40 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Mendelsohn

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Callanan on 26 February (HL1663), what progress they have made on the measures announced in June 2019 to strengthen the role of the Small Business Commissioner.

Answer (Lord Callanan)

The Government is fully committed on fulfilling its manifesto commitment to strengthen the powers of the Small Business Commissioner. We still plan to consult on extending those powers, to allow the Commissioner to advocate for and support small businesses, as soon as we are able to do so.


Written Question
Community Charge: Non-payment
3 Aug 2020, 4:40 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Jones

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the total amount of uncollected poll tax, post poll tax abolition.

Answer (Lord Greenhalgh)

The Department no longer collects data on the amount of community charge that remains uncollected.


Written Question
Housing: Construction
3 Aug 2020, 4:38 p.m.

Questioner: Baroness Thornhill

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of their proposed First Homes policy on the provision of social and affordable rented homes.

Answer (Lord Greenhalgh)

The Government recognises the important role of affordable housing and supplying new homes of all affordable tenures. Affordable homes will help support people into home ownership; reduce the impact of high rents in the private rented sector where people struggle to afford it; and mitigate the risk of homelessness.

The Government is mindful of the trade-off between the level of ambition for First Homes, funded through developer contributions, and the supply of other affordable housing tenures. There are many factors that will affect this trade off beyond the level of First Homes delivery through section 106, especially any price/income caps or additional discounts in high value areas to increase affordability. We therefore do not consider it appropriate to make predictions until these factors are better understood through our response to the consultation, which we hope to publish soon.

The proportions of section 106 described in the consultation are illustrative examples and should not be taken as Government intentions at this stage. The lowest proportion at 40% was chosen as it is roughly equal to the current proportion of section 106 which delivers home ownership products (37% in 2018-2019).


Written Question
Sizewell C Power Station: Construction
3 Aug 2020, 4:37 p.m.

Questioner: Lord West of Spithead

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government when they estimate the construction of Sizewell C nuclear power station will begin; and what funding model will be used for that construction.

Answer (Lord Callanan)

It is for individual developers to consider milestones, such as estimates of when construction will commence. Any funding model would be agreed as part of a negotiation, should the Government enter into one.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Death
3 Aug 2020, 4:33 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Marlesford

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 28 May (HL4424), what estimate they have made of the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in the UK in each week since 1 May.

Answer (Lord True)

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

Dear Lord Marlesford,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking, further to the Written Answer by Lord True on 28 May (HL4424), about the total number of deaths from COVID-19 in the UK in each week since 1 May (HL7234).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing numbers of deaths registered in England and Wales. The most recent annual figures published are for deaths registered in 2019[1]. However, we do publish provisional weekly deaths registrations, which are currently available for deaths registered up to 10 July 2020[2]. National Records Scotland (NRS) and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) are responsible for publishing the number of deaths registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland respectively.

Cause of death is defined using the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th edition (ICD-10). Deaths involving COVID-19, as either a contributory or underlying cause of death, are identified by the ICD-10 codes U07.1 and U07.2.

The accompanying dataset2 to our provisional weekly deaths bulletin includes UK data on deaths involving COVID-19, which refer to deaths where COVID-19 was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate.

Table 1 shows the provisional number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered each week in the UK from the week ending 8 May up to the week ending 10 July 2020, broken down by country.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths involving COVID-19 registered each week in the UK, week ending 8 May up to the week ending 10 July 2020[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Week number

Week ended

UK

England

Wales

Scotland

Northern Ireland

19

08-May-20

4,426

3,716

211

415

84

20

15-May-20

4,214

3,624

180

336

74

21

22-May-20

2,872

2,455

134

230

53

22

29-May-20

2,000

1,715

105

131

49

23

05-Jun-20

1,697

1,488

100

89

20

24

12-Jun-20

1,204

1,057

57

69

21

25

19-Jun-20

849

744

39

49

17

26

26-Jun-20

651

574

30

35

12

27

03-Jul-20

561

497

35

18

11

28

10-Jul-20

388

344

22

13

9


[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathsregisteredinenglandandwalesseriesdrreferencetables

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/weeklyprovisionalfiguresondeathsregisteredinenglandandwales

[3]Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes U07.1, U07.2

[4]Figures are based on deaths registered up to 1 May 2020

[5]All figures for 2020 are provisional

[6]Weekly deaths for Scotland are produced by NRS: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats

[7]Weekly deaths for Northern Ireland are produced by NISRA: https://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/covid19stats

[8]England, Wales and Northern Ireland weekly deaths run from Saturday to Friday, Scotland deaths run from Monday to Sunday

[9]Northern Ireland week allocation differs from other countries. For example, week 1 is week ending 10-Jan. This has been adjusted for the purpose of aggregating the data


Written Question
Subversion: Russia
3 Aug 2020, 4:32 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to instruct the intelligence agencies to produce a plan to address any interference by the government of Russia in UK (1) democratic processes, and (2) society.

Answer (Lord True)

The Security and Intelligence Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of the threat posed by Hostile State Activity. We keep such assessments under review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence. It is, and will always be, an absolute priority to protect our democracy and elections. In July 2019 we announced the Defending Democracy programme to bring together government, civil society and private sector organisations to ensure our democracy stays open, vibrant and transparent.


Written Question
Subversion
3 Aug 2020, 4:32 p.m.

Questioner: Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to make certain that no future (1) election, or (2) referendum, in the UK will be subject to outside interference.

Answer (Lord True)

The Security and Intelligence Agencies produce and contribute to regular assessments of the threat posed by Hostile State Activity. We keep such assessments under review and, where necessary, update them in response to new intelligence. It is, and will always be, an absolute priority to protect our democracy and elections. In July 2019 we announced the Defending Democracy programme to bring together government, civil society and private sector organisations to ensure our democracy stays open, vibrant and transparent.