HM Treasury

HM Treasury is the government’s economic and finance ministry, maintaining control over public spending, setting the direction of the UK’s economic policy and working to achieve strong and sustainable economic growth.



Secretary of State

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Labour
Rachel Reeves (LAB - Leeds West)
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Kramer (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Treasury and Economy)
Christine Jardine (LDEM - Edinburgh West)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Treasury)

Scottish National Party
Alison Thewliss (SNP - Glasgow Central)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Treasury)

Democratic Unionist Party
Sammy Wilson (DUP - East Antrim)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury)

Labour
Lord Tunnicliffe (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury)

Plaid Cymru
Ben Lake (PC - Ceredigion)
Shadow PC Spokesperson (Treasury)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Scottish National Party
Peter Grant (SNP - Glenrothes)
Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Chief Secretary)

Labour
Pat McFadden (LAB - Wolverhampton South East)
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury
James Murray (LAB - Ealing North)
Shadow Financial Secretary (Treasury)
Tulip Siddiq (LAB - Hampstead and Kilburn)
Shadow Minister (Treasury)

Scottish National Party
Richard Thomson (SNP - Gordon)
Shadow SNP Deputy Spokesperson (Treasury - Financial Secretary)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Abena Oppong-Asare (LAB - Erith and Thamesmead)
Shadow Exchequer Secretary (Treasury)
Ministers of State
John Glen (CON - Salisbury)
Minister of State (Treasury) (City)
Simon Clarke (CON - Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland)
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
Michael Ellis (CON - Northampton North)
Paymaster General
Lucy Frazer (CON - South East Cambridgeshire)
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
Lord Agnew of Oulton (CON - Life peer)
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
John Glen (CON - Salisbury)
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
Helen Whately (CON - Faversham and Mid Kent)
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 19th January 2022
14:00
Treasury Committee - Oral evidence - Select & Joint Committees
19 Jan 2022, 2 p.m.
Bank of England Financial Stability Report
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Scheduled Event
Monday 24th January 2022
15:00
Treasury Committee - Private Meeting - Select & Joint Committees
24 Jan 2022, 3 p.m.

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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 26th January 2022
14:00
Treasury Committee - Private Meeting - Select & Joint Committees
26 Jan 2022, 2 p.m.

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Scheduled Event
Tuesday 1st February 2022
11:30
HM Treasury
Oral questions - Main Chamber
1 Feb 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Treasury (including Topical Questions)
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Debates
Tuesday 18th January 2022
Select Committee Docs
Monday 17th January 2022
00:00
Select Committee Inquiry
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Written Answers
Tuesday 18th January 2022
Limited Liability: National Insurance
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the loss of national insurance contributions in regards to …
Secondary Legislation
Thursday 18th November 2021
Tax Credits and Child Benefit (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2021
These Regulations amend a number of statutory instruments in relation to tax credits and child benefit.
Bills
Tuesday 2nd November 2021
Finance (No. 2) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the national debt …
Dept. Publications
Tuesday 18th January 2022
13:27

HM Treasury Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Dec. 07
Oral Questions
Jan. 11
Urgent Questions
Jan. 13
Written Statements
Jan. 18
Westminster Hall
View All HM Treasury Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

HM Treasury does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Introduced: 8th September 2021

A Bill to make provision about the meaning of references to Article 23A benchmarks in contracts and other arrangements; and to make provision about the liability of administrators of Article 23A benchmarks

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 15th December 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 8th September 2021

A Bill to make provision imposing a tax (to be known as the health and social care levy), the proceeds of which are payable to the Secretary of State towards the cost of health care and social care, on amounts in respect of which national insurance contributions are, or would be if no restriction by reference to pensionable age were applicable, payable; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 20th October 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 12th May 2021

A Bill to provide for the payment out of money provided by Parliament of expenditure incurred by the Treasury for, or in connection with, the payment of compensation to customers of London Capital & Finance plc; provide for the making of loans to the Board of the Pension Protection Fund for the purposes of its fraud compensation functions; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 20th October 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 30th June 2021

A Bill to authorise the use of resources for the year ending with 31 March 2022; to authorise both the issue of sums out of the Consolidated Fund and the application of income for that year; and to appropriate the supply authorised for that year by this Act and by the Supply and Appropriation (Anticipation and Adjustments) Act 2021.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 19th July 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 9th March 2021

A Bill to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the national debt and the public revenue, and to make further provision in connection with finance.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 10th June 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 21st October 2020

A Bill to make provision about financial services and markets; to make provision about debt respite schemes; to make provision about Help-to-Save accounts; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 9th March 2021

A Bill to make provision increasing the maximum capital of the Contingencies Fund for a temporary period.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 15th March 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 10th March 2021

A Bill to authorise the use of resources for the years ending with 31 March 2019, 31 March 2020, 31 March 2021 and 31 March 2022; to authorise the issue of sums out of the Consolidated Fund for the years ending 31 March 2020, 31 March 2021 and 31 March 2022; and to appropriate the supply authorised by this Act for the years ending with 31 March 2019, 31 March 2020 and 31 March 2021.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 15th March 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 4th February 2021

A Bill to make provision for payments to or in respect of Ministers and holders of Opposition offices on maternity leave.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 1st March 2021 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 8th December 2020

A Bill to make provision (including the imposition and regulation of new duties of customs) in connection with goods in Northern Ireland and their movement into or out of Northern Ireland; to make provision amending certain enactments relating to value added tax, excise duty or insurance premium tax; to make provision in connection with the recovery of unlawful state aid in relation to controlled foreign companies; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 17th December 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 9th July 2020

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 13th July 2020

A Bill to make provision to reduce for a temporary period the amount of stamp duty land tax chargeable on the acquisition of residential property.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 17th March 2020

A Bill to grant certain duties, to alter other duties, and to amend the law relating to the national debt and the public revenue, and to make further provision in connection with finance.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 22nd July 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 24th March 2020

A Bill to make provision increasing the maximum capital of the Contingencies Fund for a temporary period.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday 25th March 2020 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 2nd March 2020

A Bill to authorise the use of resources for the years ending with 31 March 2020 and 31 March 2021; to authorise the issue of sums out of the Consolidated Fund for those years; and to appropriate the supply authorised by this Act for the year ending with 31 March 2020.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Monday 16th March 2020 and was enacted into law.

HM Treasury - Secondary Legislation

These Regulations amend a number of statutory instruments in relation to tax credits and child benefit.
These Regulations amend the Authorised Investment Funds (Tax) Regulations 2006 (“the principal Regulations”) to make provision for the tax treatment of a new type of authorised investment fund called a long-term asset fund and make provision in relation to the application of Part 3A of the Corporation Tax Act 2010 (“CTA 2010”) to qualified investor schemes.
View All HM Treasury Secondary Legislation

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).

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Petitions with most signatures
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3,377 Signatures
(3,177 in the last 7 days)
Petition Debates Contributed

Extending the Stamp Duty Holiday for an additional 6 months will assist many buyers who are looking to move to a property that they will not be able to afford otherwise.
This will help to stabilise the housing market

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

Air pollution kills 64,000 people in the UK every year, yet the Government provides annual fossil fuel subsidies of £10.5 billion, according to the European Commission. To meet UK climate targets, the Government must end this practice and introduce charges on producers of greenhouse gas emissions.

View All HM Treasury Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Treasury Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Treasury Committee
Mel Stride Portrait
Mel Stride (Conservative - Central Devon)
Treasury Committee Chair since 27th January 2020
Alison Thewliss Portrait
Alison Thewliss (Scottish National Party - Glasgow Central)
Treasury Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Julie Marson Portrait
Julie Marson (Conservative - Hertford and Stortford)
Treasury Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Angela Eagle Portrait
Angela Eagle (Labour - Wallasey)
Treasury Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Anthony Browne Portrait
Anthony Browne (Conservative - South Cambridgeshire)
Treasury Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Harriett Baldwin Portrait
Harriett Baldwin (Conservative - West Worcestershire)
Treasury Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Rushanara Ali Portrait
Rushanara Ali (Labour - Bethnal Green and Bow)
Treasury Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Siobhain McDonagh Portrait
Siobhain McDonagh (Labour - Mitcham and Morden)
Treasury Committee Member since 11th May 2020
Emma Hardy Portrait
Emma Hardy (Labour - Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle)
Treasury Committee Member since 20th April 2021
Gareth Davies Portrait
Gareth Davies (Conservative - Grantham and Stamford)
Treasury Committee Member since 19th October 2021
Kevin Hollinrake Portrait
Kevin Hollinrake (Conservative - Thirsk and Malton)
Treasury Committee Member since 14th December 2021
Treasury Committee: Upcoming Events
Treasury Committee - Oral evidence
Bank of England Financial Stability Report
19 Jan 2022, 2 p.m.
At 2.15pm: Oral evidence
Andrew Bailey - Governor at Bank of England
Sir Jon Cunliffe - Deputy Governor for Financial Stability at Bank of England
Dame Colette Bowe - External Member at Financial Policy Committee
Elisabeth Stheeman - External Member at Financial Policy Committee

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Treasury Committee - Private Meeting
24 Jan 2022, 3 p.m.
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Treasury Committee - Private Meeting
26 Jan 2022, 2 p.m.
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Treasury Committee: Previous Inquiries
Budget 2021 Work of National Savings and Investments Appointment of Carolyn Wilkins to the Financial Policy Committee Appointment of Tanya Castell to the Prudential Regulatory Committee The work of the Prudential Regulation Authority Reappointment of Jill May and Julia Black to the Prudential Regulation Committee Spring Budget 2020 Appointment of Sarah Breeden to the Financial Policy Committee Appointment of Catherine Mann to the Monetary Policy Committee Reappointment of Jonathan Haskel to the Monetary Policy Committee Economic Crime Regional Imbalances in the UK economy The Work of the Debt Management Office Appointment of Richard Hughes as Chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility Reappointment of Professor Silvana Tenreyro to the Monetary Policy Committee Reappointment of Andy Haldane to the Monetary Policy Committee Appointment of Jonathan Hall to the Financial Policy Committee Appointment of Nikhil Rathi as Chief Executive of the Financial Conduct Authority UK Customs Policy Infrastructure Appointment of Andrew Bailey as Governor of the Bank of England Work of Government Actuary’s Department Work of the Financial Ombudsman Service The appointment of John Taylor to the Prudential Regulation Committee UK’s economic and trading relationship with the EU The appointment of Antony Jenkins to the Prudential Regulation Committee Access to Cash Review Bank of England Financial Stability Reports Bank of England Inflation Reports Consumers’ Access to Financial Services Decarbonisation of the UK Economy and Green Finance Economic Crime The effectiveness of gender pay gap reporting HMRC Annual Report and Accounts inquiry Tax enquiries and resolution of tax disputes IT failures in the financial services sector Appointment of Dame Colette Bowe to the Financial Policy Committee Re-appointment of Professor Anil Kashyap to the Financial Policy Committee Work of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme Spending Round 2019 The impact of Business Rates on business Work of the Court of the Bank of England Independent Review of the Co-Operative Bank Regional Imbalances in the UK Economy Re-appointment of Michael Saunders to the Monetary Policy Committee Re-appointment of Ben Broadbent as Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy, Bank of England Maxwellisation RBS's Global Restructuring Group and its treatment of SMEs SME Finance Spring Statement 2019 The future of the UK’s financial services HM Treasury Annual Report and Accounts Service Disruption at TSB The UK's economic relationship with the European Union VAT The work of the Bank of England The work of the Chancellor of the Exchequer The work of the Financial Conduct Authority The Work of the Treasury The work of the Prudential Regulation Authority

50 most recent Written Questions

(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

5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in each of the last six years, (1) how many times the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has asked a firm to outline how it calculates its annual percentage rates (APRs) except at the point of granting of authorisation; (2) where the FCA has discovered representative APR breaches, how many times it has required changes to a firm’s (a) website, and (b) product literature; and (3) how many firms have been referred to the enforcement division for resolution.

This question has been passed on to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government, in each of the last six years, how many Skilled Persons Reports the Financial Conduct Authority has commissioned where the issue of representative annual percentage rates (APRs), including the formulation or deployment of representative APR in the market, has been the “matter concerned”.

This question has been passed on to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has decided as part of its supervision strategy to make no independent periodic checks on the compliance of FCA regulations by authorised firms, in particular the accuracy of key consumer protection information such as representative annual percentage rates.

This question has been passed on to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA will reply directly to the noble Lord by letter. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the availability of independent information resources for consumers to check that representative annual percentage rates (APRs) are fairly and accurately stated; and what action the Financial Conduct Authority advises customers to take where they are concerned they have been mis-sold under a representative APR that was not fairly stated.

Firms are required by FCA rules to include a representative APR in certain circumstances. The FCA’s handbook provides further rules and guidance on when a representative APR must be shown, how it should be denoted and the level of prominence it must be given.

If an advertisement includes an interest rate or any amount relating to the cost of credit, it must also include a representative example. This must contain certain standard information including a representative APR. The example must be clear and concise and must be no less prominent than the information that triggered the inclusion of the example.

If a customer is concerned that they have been mis-sold a credit agreement, the customer can make a formal complaint to the firm in question in the first instance. If they feel that their complaint has not been dealt with satisfactorily, they are able to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – an independent body set up to provide arbitration in such cases.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
5th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the (1) cashflow difficulties, and (2) compliance costs, faced by (a) small, and (b) medium, sized UK businesses from recent changes to the VAT regime when trading with EU countries.

Following the end of the transition period, sales from UK businesses to the EU are exports and are zero-rated for VAT purposes. This means that the UK business seller should not charge UK VAT on the sale and should retain evidence of export.

How goods sent to the EU are treated upon import into the EU is a matter for the EU. On 1 July 2021, the EU removed low value consignment relief for VAT on imported goods not exceeding €22 and introduced a new optional simplification scheme for the collection and payment of VAT on goods not exceeding €150, known as the Import One Stop Shop.

The UK does not provide an impact assessment of policy measures that are introduced outside of the UK by jurisdictions.

Nonetheless, the Government appreciates that small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) are more likely to find the changes to trading with the EU challenging. In response, following the end of the transition period, the Government introduced the SME Brexit Support Fund, which closed to new applications on 30 June 2021. The Recovery Loan Scheme has continued to provide support since then. This helps businesses of any size access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and the transition period. Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders which are listed on the British Business Bank's website.

Lord Agnew of Oulton
Minister of State (HM Treasury)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how much and what proportion of research spending from the Overseas Development Assistance budget is allocated by (a) her Department, (b) research councils and (c) the NHS.

In 2021/22, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) was allocated an Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) research and development budget of £251m. This is equivalent to 43% of the total ODA research and development budget this year.

Research councils were allocated £139m of ODA research and development expenditure in 2021/22 by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). This is equivalent to 24% of the total ODA research and development budget this year.

The NHS is not responsible for the allocation of any ODA research and development expenditure.

The UK reports ODA spending on a calendar year basis in our annual Statistics on International Development publication: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-on-international-development.
Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the changes to rebated diesel and biofuels scheduled for April 2022 on (a) consumers and (b) suppliers in Northern Ireland.

At Budget 2020, the Chancellor announced that the Government will remove the entitlement to use rebated diesel and biofuels from most sectors from April 2022. This will more fairly reflect the negative environmental impact of the emissions they produce and help to ensure that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternative technologies. As part of the changes, duty will also be extended to biodiesel used for heating.

The Government recognised that these reforms would be a significant change for some businesses and ran a consultation to gather information on the expected impact and make sure it had not overlooked any exceptional reasons why affected sectors should be allowed to continue to use rebated diesel and biofuels beyond April 2022. During the consultation period, the Government engaged directly with a wide variety of organisations from all parts of the UK, including sectors which consume rebated diesel and biofuels, and fuel suppliers.

Following the consultation, the Chancellor granted entitlements to use rebated diesel and biofuels after April 2022 for a limited number of users, including for use in non-commercial heating and power generation. In the case of non-commercial heating, the Government felt there was a risk that removing entitlement would significantly increase the heating bills of households that use diesel, especially those in areas off the gas grid where there is no alternative.

The Government did not believe that the cases made by sectors that will not retain their red diesel entitlement outweighed the need to ensure fairness between the different uses of diesel fuels and the Government’s environmental objectives.

To support the development of alternatives that affected businesses can switch to, the Government is at least doubling the funding provided for energy innovation through the new £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. From that portfolio, the Government announced the £40 million Red Diesel Replacement Competition, which will provide grant funding for projects that develop and demonstrate lower carbon, lower cost alternatives to red diesel for the construction, and mining and quarrying sectors.

HMRC have published interim guidance on the implementation of the changes to the tax treatment of rebated fuels, which is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-rebated-fuels-entitlement-from-1-april-2022

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of proposed fuel duty on (a) biodiesel, (b) bio blends and (c) fuel substitutes used in heating on the attractiveness of transitioning to lower carbon fuels as part of a transition to net zero emissions.

At Budget 2020, the Chancellor announced that the Government will remove the entitlement to use rebated diesel and biofuels from most sectors from April 2022. This will more fairly reflect the negative environmental impact of the emissions they produce and help to ensure that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternative technologies. As part of the changes, duty will also be extended to biodiesel used for heating.

The Government recognised that these reforms would be a significant change for some businesses and ran a consultation to gather information on the expected impact and make sure it had not overlooked any exceptional reasons why affected sectors should be allowed to continue to use rebated diesel and biofuels beyond April 2022. During the consultation period, the Government engaged directly with a wide variety of organisations from all parts of the UK, including sectors which consume rebated diesel and biofuels, and fuel suppliers.

Following the consultation, the Chancellor granted entitlements to use rebated diesel and biofuels after April 2022 for a limited number of users, including for use in non-commercial heating and power generation. In the case of non-commercial heating, the Government felt there was a risk that removing entitlement would significantly increase the heating bills of households that use diesel, especially those in areas off the gas grid where there is no alternative.

The Government did not believe that the cases made by sectors that will not retain their red diesel entitlement outweighed the need to ensure fairness between the different uses of diesel fuels and the Government’s environmental objectives.

To support the development of alternatives that affected businesses can switch to, the Government is at least doubling the funding provided for energy innovation through the new £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. From that portfolio, the Government announced the £40 million Red Diesel Replacement Competition, which will provide grant funding for projects that develop and demonstrate lower carbon, lower cost alternatives to red diesel for the construction, and mining and quarrying sectors.

HMRC have published interim guidance on the implementation of the changes to the tax treatment of rebated fuels, which is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-rebated-fuels-entitlement-from-1-april-2022

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the proposed changes to rebated gas and oil scheduled for April 2022 on the sustainability of the construction sector in Northern Ireland.

At Budget 2020, the Chancellor announced that the Government will remove the entitlement to use rebated diesel and biofuels from most sectors from April 2022. This will more fairly reflect the negative environmental impact of the emissions they produce and help to ensure that the tax system incentivises the development and adoption of greener alternative technologies. As part of the changes, duty will also be extended to biodiesel used for heating.

The Government recognised that these reforms would be a significant change for some businesses and ran a consultation to gather information on the expected impact and make sure it had not overlooked any exceptional reasons why affected sectors should be allowed to continue to use rebated diesel and biofuels beyond April 2022. During the consultation period, the Government engaged directly with a wide variety of organisations from all parts of the UK, including sectors which consume rebated diesel and biofuels, and fuel suppliers.

Following the consultation, the Chancellor granted entitlements to use rebated diesel and biofuels after April 2022 for a limited number of users, including for use in non-commercial heating and power generation. In the case of non-commercial heating, the Government felt there was a risk that removing entitlement would significantly increase the heating bills of households that use diesel, especially those in areas off the gas grid where there is no alternative.

The Government did not believe that the cases made by sectors that will not retain their red diesel entitlement outweighed the need to ensure fairness between the different uses of diesel fuels and the Government’s environmental objectives.

To support the development of alternatives that affected businesses can switch to, the Government is at least doubling the funding provided for energy innovation through the new £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. From that portfolio, the Government announced the £40 million Red Diesel Replacement Competition, which will provide grant funding for projects that develop and demonstrate lower carbon, lower cost alternatives to red diesel for the construction, and mining and quarrying sectors.

HMRC have published interim guidance on the implementation of the changes to the tax treatment of rebated fuels, which is available at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/changes-to-rebated-fuels-entitlement-from-1-april-2022

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how revenue from the Soft Drinks Levy was allocated in financial years (a) 2018-19 (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21 .

The Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) is not formally linked to any individual spending programme.

However, the government will continue to invest in supporting public health and tackling obesity, including the Department for Education’s Holiday Activities and Food programme, which was extended by £200 million per year at the 2021 Spending Review, and the £320 million per year PE and Sport Premium.

The money allocated to these causes exceeds the revenue raised by the SDIL.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of the proposed changes to the Alcohol Duty System announced in October 2021 on the prices of (a) port, (b) sherry and (c) fortified wines.

To better support public health and provide a more level playing field, we are moving to a system where all drinks between 8.5% and 22% ABV will pay the same rate of duty, linked to the alcohol content of the product. This means that the stronger the drink, the more duty will be paid, and vice versa.

Subsequently, higher strength fortified wines, port and sherry will increase in price, while still wines below 11.5% ABV will become cheaper. However, the changes will also mean that the duty on spirit-based liqueurs will reduce, and will for the first time pay the same duty as wines.

The Government is continuing to engage with industry on these reforms. A consultation was launched in October and industry members are encouraged to respond to the alcohol review consultation before the deadline of 30 January 2022.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has had any (a) financial contract and (b) meetings with (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

HM Treasury has contracted with Clifford Chance LLP in the last five years as follows:

Service Description

Start Date

End Date

Value

Provision of legal services to support the issuance of UK Sovereign Sukuk

28/10/2019

20/08/2024

£1,000,000

Provision of legal services to support the launch of the inaugural UK Green Gilt

03/03/2021

02/03/2023

£200,000

Provision of legal services supporting UK engagement with the European Commission on financial services equivalence questionnaires

04/06/2020

31/07/2020

£90,000

Provision of legal services supporting UK engagement with the European Commission on financial services equivalence questionnaires

09/04/2020

31/07/2020

£35,000

Provision of additional legal resource for Treasury Legal Advisors

01/02/2018

24/05/2019

£1,000,000

The department has not contracted with the other named suppliers in that period.

Details of ministerial meetings are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the economic impact of covid-19 on the brewing sector.

The Government is continuing to monitor the economic impact of covid-19 on the brewing sector and is taking steps to support pubs and brewers in their recovery.

As announced at Autumn Budget, the duty rates on alcohol including beer will be frozen for another year. This is expected to save beer drinkers £900 million over the next five years, and has resulted in beer duty rates being at their lowest level in real terms since the 1990s.

In addition, as part of our alcohol duty review, the Government has announced a number of reforms which will further support brewers. This includes our proposal to widen the reduced rate for lower strength beers from 2.8% alcohol by volume (ABV) to extend to beers below 3.5% ABV, and to move the higher rate for beers above 7.5% ABV to start at 8.5% ABV.

The Government has also announced it will reduce the duty on draught beer by 5% from 2023. This will cut the duty on a pint of beer served in a pub by 3p.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to support the brewing sector.

The Government is continuing to monitor the economic impact of covid-19 on the brewing sector and is taking steps to support pubs and brewers in their recovery.

As announced at Autumn Budget, the duty rates on alcohol including beer will be frozen for another year. This is expected to save beer drinkers £900 million over the next five years, and has resulted in beer duty rates being at their lowest level in real terms since the 1990s.

In addition, as part of our alcohol duty review, the Government has announced a number of reforms which will further support brewers. This includes our proposal to widen the reduced rate for lower strength beers from 2.8% alcohol by volume (ABV) to extend to beers below 3.5% ABV, and to move the higher rate for beers above 7.5% ABV to start at 8.5% ABV.

The Government has also announced it will reduce the duty on draught beer by 5% from 2023. This will cut the duty on a pint of beer served in a pub by 3p.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many queries HMRC has received from UK businesses about the VAT regimes and operation of EU member states.

HMRC is not able to advise on the VAT regimes of EU member states and its correspondence systems do not systematically record where queries specifically relate to EU VAT regimes. When HMRC receives such enquiries, it directs businesses to guidance on EU websites or advises them to contact the relevant tax authority.
Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of removing all VAT from costs incurred as a result of building works undertaken in residential properties that are required to adapt a property to meet a disabled persons needs prior to the economic and fiscal forecast in spring 2022.

Disabled people benefit from the zero rate of VAT on certain building works, the reduced VAT rate of 5 per cent on residential construction under certain conditions, and some additional zero-rates on alterations, such as work on ramps, bathrooms, lifts, and widening doorways. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/reliefs-from-vat-for-disabled-and-older-people-notice-7017

Extending the current reliefs further would come at a cost to the Exchequer, and this must be viewed in the context of around £50 billion worth of requests which have been received since the EU referendum.

Although the Government keeps all taxes under review, going further would impose additional pressure on the public finances, to which VAT makes a significant contribution. VAT raised around £130 billion in the year 2019-20, and helps to fund key spending priorities, including on health, education, and defence.
Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the status is of the Shared Outcomes Fund; whether that fund is (a) reserved or (b) devolved; and how much the Welsh Government has received for that fund as a result of the Barnett consequential.

The Shared Outcomes Fund is a UK government fund testing innovative ways of working across the public sector with an emphasis on thorough evaluation. Where funding is given for a Shared Outcomes Fund project in a devolved area, the Barnett formula will apply in the normal way.

HM Treasury’s Block Grant Transparency publication sets out the breakdown of changes in the devolved administrations’ block grants, including all Barnett consequentials related to the Shared Outcomes Fund, since the 2015 Spending Review. This is available on the gov.uk website here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/block-grant-transparency-december-2021

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of delivering targeted support for creative freelancers, via grant funding, to include (a) newly self-employed people, (b) people with less than 50 per cent of their income from self-employment, (c) PAYE freelancers and (d) limited company directors.

The government has provided around £400 billion of direct support for the economy through the pandemic to date, which has helped to safeguard livelihoods and public services in every region and nation of the UK.

The government recognises the impact Omicron is having on businesses and individuals, which is why we announced £1 billion of targeted financial grant support for the hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors to protect jobs and businesses.

The package includes £30 million which will be made available through the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF), to support theatres, museums and other vital cultural institutions through the temporary disruption this winter, helping in turn to support the livelihoods of those working in this sector.

In addition to the CRF, government funding via Arts Council England will also provide an immediate £1.5 million to support freelancers affected by the pandemic, alongside a further £1.35 million contribution from the theatre sector. This will provide grants of £650,000 each directly to the Theatre Artists Fund, Help Musicians, and £200,000 to a-n the Artists Information Company, a charity for visual artists which will distribute cash to freelancers over the coming weeks.

The government is also waiving late filing and late payment penalties for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) taxpayers to support cashflow and ease administrative burdens. Self-Assessment taxpayers with up to £30,000 of tax debt can spread their tax payments online, through HMRC’s “time to pay” service, and all others can call HMRC to arrange a repayment plan. For those on low income whose earnings continue to be affected by Covid-19 restrictions, work coaches will continue to be able to suspend the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor on an individual basis for up to six months.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of over how many years the £17 billion cost to the public purse will be realised as a result of the remedy contained in the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill.

The remedy proposed in the Public Service Pensions and Judicial Offices Bill is designed to address the discrimination identified by the McCloud and Sargeant judgments. For the main unfunded public service pension schemes, in effect, remedy offers members in scope a choice between legacy or reformed scheme benefits for the remedy period, which runs from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2022. Members in scope of remedy are those with service on or before 31 March 2012 and on or after 1 April 2015.

The cost of remedy is the cost of additional pension benefits accrued due to remedy. Those benefits will typically be paid out across the retirement of eligible members. The estimated £17 billion cost of remedy will, therefore, be paid out over many decades as the pensions of those in scope come into payment.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with representatives of the travel industry on the potential impact of removing VAT from the price of covid-19 PCR tests.

VAT is a broad-based tax on consumption. The standard rate of 20 per cent applies to most goods and services, including PCR tests. Medical testing, where it is administered by a registered health professional or where it is supervised by a relevant health professional and supplied as part of a single testing service, is exempt from VAT. The Government also continues to offer free Covid-19 testing for those with Covid-19 symptoms.

The Government recognises that the cost of PCR tests can be high, which is why we are working with the travel industry and private testing providers to see how we can further reduce the costs for the British public, whilst ensuring that travel remains as safe as possible. From 7 January 2022, eligible fully vaccinated passengers will no longer need to take a pre-departure test or self-isolate on arrival in England.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether it remains his policy to increase the rate of National Insurance in April 2022.

The Government announced the Health and Social Care Levy on 7 September 2021 and passed the legislation on 20 October 2021.

The Levy will allow the Government to implement necessary adult social care reform, tackle the elective backlog in the NHS as it recovers from Coronavirus, develop our pandemic response and preparedness, and ensure the NHS has the resources it needs throughout this Parliament.

The Government is committed to responsible management of the public finances and it is important that this spending is fully funded, particularly in the context of record borrowing and debt to fund the economic response to COVID-19.

A levy charged on the National Insurance Contributions base is the fairest way to raise the funds needed to support health and social care. It ensures the lowest earners are protected from increases as National Insurance has a threshold to protect the lowest paid. The highest earning 15 per cent will pay over half the revenue raised from the Levy and 6.1 million people earning less than the Primary Threshold (£9,880 in the year 2022-23), will not pay the Levy. In addition, using National Insurance as the basis ensures businesses will also pay the Levy. Businesses benefit from having a healthy workforce, so it is only fair that they contribute.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many prosecutions of umbrella companies found to have committed tax avoidance there have been in each of the last five years.

The vast majority of marketed tax avoidance schemes, including those involving umbrella company arrangements, do not work and can lead to large tax bills building up for those that use them. The promotion or use of these tax avoidance schemes is not in and of itself a criminal offence. However, there may be a range of fraud offences which might be committed by those who use or promote specific schemes or advise on their use.

Whilst HMRC does not routinely record whether criminal investigations into tax fraud feature the use of umbrella companies, and therefore are currently unable to provide a precise number, HMRC has confirmed that it has criminally investigated umbrella businesses in the past and has a number of current active criminal investigations involving umbrella arrangements.

The Government and HMRC are committed to tackling those who market and sell tax avoidance schemes. HMRC will continue to use its anti-avoidance regimes to challenge the entities and individuals who promote these schemes.

Prosecutions are only one type of intervention available where HMRC identify concerns.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many prosecutions of people providing tax advisory services without being a legal financial advisor were made in the last five years.

There is currently no overarching definition of ‘tax advice’ or ‘tax adviser’ in legislation and it is legal for tax advice to be provided by a wide range of professionals and individuals, including accountants, legal professionals, payroll companies, bookkeepers, and software developers. Therefore, HMRC is unable to provide any data in response to this request. The Government intends to hold a consultation in 2022 to explore options to improve the wider regulatory framework that supports standards in tax advice. This consultation will also test a potential legislative definition of tax advice.

HMRC remains committed to maintaining agent standards and tackling those who enable and facilitate tax evasion. They currently have nearly 150 enablers, including those who have provided tax advice as part of their involvement in the fraud, under criminal investigation. Over 60 enablers have been prosecuted in the past 4 financial years.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason businesses in the personal care industry are not included as recipients of financial support grants for businesses affected by the omicron variant; and what steps his Department is taking to support that industry.

As a result of the Omicron variant, hospitality and leisure businesses saw significant numbers of cancellations and reduced footfall throughout their peak trading period around Christmas. The aim of the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant is to support businesses offering in-person services, where social mixing is the primary motivation for their customers.

However, the Government also recognises that other businesses, including in the personal care industry, may also have been impacted by the Omicron variant. That is why we have provided an extra £102 million of discretionary funding through the Additional Restrictions Grant, on top of the £250 million that local authorities have left from previous allocations.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he plans to publish further guidance for local authorities on distributing the £1 billion of support to help businesses that have been most impacted by the omicron variant, as announced by the Government on 21 December 2021.

Guidance for the Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grants and revised guidance for the Additional Restrictions Grant scheme were published on 30 December 2021, and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-restrictions-support-grants-lrsg-and-additional-restrictions-grant-arg-guidance-for-local-authorities

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the total cost has been of the Trader Support Service to date.

The total spend on the Trader Support Service since its commencement to December 2021 is £213 million.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed increase in the rate of National Insurance on living standards in Newport West constituency.

The Government has made several assessments of the overall impact of the introduction of the Health and Social Care Levy, which were published alongside the announcement. These include the distributional analysis of the impact of the combined tax and spending announcements, a technical annex in the Government’s plan for health and social care, and a Tax Information and Impact Note.

The Office for Budget Responsibility set out their assessment of the economic effects of the Levy, including the impact on labour supply and wages, in their latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook. This can be found here: https://obr.uk/efo/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-october-2021/

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the proposed increase in the rate of National Insurance on the level of unemployment in Newport West constituency.

The Government has made several assessments of the overall impact of the introduction of the Health and Social Care Levy, which were published alongside the announcement. These include the distributional analysis of the impact of the combined tax and spending announcements, a technical annex in the Government’s plan for health and social care, and a Tax Information and Impact Note.

The Office for Budget Responsibility set out their assessment of the economic effects of the Levy, including the impact on labour supply and wages, in their latest Economic and Fiscal Outlook. This can be found here: https://obr.uk/efo/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-october-2021/

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what forecast he has made of trends in food prices in the UK for 2022.

The government is taking targeted action worth more than £4.2 billion a year over the next 5 years to help families with the cost of living. This includes the £500 million Household Support Fund (October 2021 to March 2022) to help vulnerable households with costs for essentials over the winter. The fund is ringfenced so that at least 50 per cent of it will be spent on households with children and should primarily be used to support households in the most need with food, energy, and water bills.

The government continues to maintain a zero-rate of VAT on many food and drink products, including fresh fruit, vegetables, cereals, meat, bread, milk, tea and coffee.

The government monitors consumer food prices using the ONS Consumer Price Index published statistics.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps he plans to take to reduce the cost of food.

The government is taking targeted action worth more than £4.2 billion a year over the next 5 years to help families with the cost of living. This includes the £500 million Household Support Fund (October 2021 to March 2022) to help vulnerable households with costs for essentials over the winter. The fund is ringfenced so that at least 50 per cent of it will be spent on households with children and should primarily be used to support households in the most need with food, energy, and water bills.

The government continues to maintain a zero-rate of VAT on many food and drink products, including fresh fruit, vegetables, cereals, meat, bread, milk, tea and coffee.

The government monitors consumer food prices using the ONS Consumer Price Index published statistics.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps he plans to take to reduce the cost of fuel in Newport West constituency.

Recognising that fuel is a major cost for households and businesses, the government announced at the Autumn Budget 2021 that fuel duty rates would remain frozen on a UK-wide basis in 2022-23. Twelve consecutive years of the fuel duty freeze will save the average UK car driver around £15 in fuel duty per tank of fuel, compared to what would have been paid under the pre-2010 escalator.

The Government does not set pump prices or wider oil prices.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether any revenue raised by the Tonnage Tax is allocated to Scotland.

Tonnage tax is an alternative method of calculating Corporation Tax profits by reference to the net tonnage of the ship operated. It is a reserved tax and applies UK wide.

The Consolidated Fund receives the proceeds of tonnage tax and other tax revenues, such as those collected by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Tonnage tax is not a hypothecated tax.

When funding is allocated to UK Government departments from the Consolidated Fund the Barnett formula is applied. The Barnett formula provides the devolved administrations with a population share of changes in the UK’s available resources consistent with the principles set out in the Statement of Funding Policy.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to restore the £20 universal credit uplift.

The government has always been clear that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit (UC) was a temporary measure to support households whose incomes and earnings were affected by the economic shock of COVID-19.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health and economic situation since the uplift was first announced. Now that the economy has reopened, the government is focusing on supporting people to move into and progress in work.

To continue to boost employment, wages and living standards, the government is continuing or enhancing the most successful Plan for Jobs schemes and introducing a new package of measures – taking the total DWP spend on labour market support to more than £6 billion over the next three years. This includes investing over £900m each year on work coaches, who will provide effective support to help job seekers on Universal Credit move into work and, for the first time ever, help people progress once in work, and funding for the Kickstart scheme, which has so far supported over 112,000 young people into Kickstart jobs.

The government has also taken decisive action to make work pay by cutting the Universal Credit taper rate from 63p to 55p, and increasing Universal Credit work allowances by £500 a year. This is effectively a tax cut for the lowest paid in society worth around £2.2bn in 2022-23 and strengthens incentives to move into and progress in work. 1.9m households will keep, on average, around an extra £1000 on an annual basis.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his oral contribution of 10 January 2022, Official Report, column 283, what consequential funding will be made available to the Welsh Government.

As set out in the Statement of Funding Policy, the Barnett formula applies to changes in UK Government department budgets.

The Welsh Government's existing funding already includes Barnett consequentials on changes in overall funding provided to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which is responsible for cladding remediation in England. Most recently, Spending Review 2021 provided the Welsh Government with the biggest annual block grants, in real terms, of any spending review settlement since devolution in 1998.

It is for the Welsh Government to allocate funding as it sees fit across its devolved responsibilities including tackling unsafe cladding in residential properties in Wales.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of increasing the £150,000 threshold to the VAT Flat Rate Scheme in the context of increased costs faced by businesses during the recovery from the covid-19 pandemic.

The VAT Flat Rate Scheme was introduced in 2002 as an administrative simplification scheme for small businesses. All taxes are kept under review, but there are no current plans to change the entry threshold for the Flat Rate Scheme.

The Government has made a comprehensive package of support available, worth billions, to a wide range of businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes extensions to the reduced rate of VAT for tourism and hospitality, the furlough scheme, extensions to the COVID-19 loan schemes, grant support, a business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, and leisure business properties, mortgage holidays, enhanced Time to Pay for taxes, and VAT deferrals.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many cyber attacks against Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs have been recorded in each of the last three years.

The Government can neither confirm nor deny whether HMRC has been the target of any cyber-attacks.

HMRC is responsible for the collection of around £700 billion in tax annually and undertakes a range of actions to monitor and maintain the security of their systems and services from cyber-attacks. To disclose the number is likely to attract additional questions which may include specific threats or incidents identified and dealt with, aiding criminals to determine weaknesses in HMRC’s defences or the methods used to identify and respond to such threats.

To provide the information requested would reveal the extent to which HMRC had been subject to such attacks, revealing where cyber intrusion had been successful.

The National Cyber Security Centre advice continues to be that Government departments should withhold detailed and specific information which may provide insight into the likelihood of success of specific techniques. In some cases, the successful application of such insight may still pose a security risk with the potential to prejudice the prevention of crime and/or national security. A successful attack could lead to the loss of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of Government information.

HMRC publish details about security breaches reported to the Information Commissioner in their annual reports: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmrcs-annual-report-and-accounts

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on unemployment levels.

The free trade agreement with the EU is the first the EU has ever reached based on zero tariffs and zero quotas, supporting families and businesses in every part of the UK.

Labour market data since January 2020 has been affected significantly by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and does not provide an indication of the effect of leaving the EU on unemployment or average earnings.

According to the latest Office for National Statistics nominal average weekly earnings stood at £586 in October 21. Unemployment stood at 1.4 million in the 3m to October 2021.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what effect the UK leaving the EU has had on average earnings.

The free trade agreement with the EU is the first the EU has ever reached based on zero tariffs and zero quotas, supporting families and businesses in every part of the UK.

Labour market data since January 2020 has been affected significantly by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and does not provide an indication of the effect of leaving the EU on unemployment or average earnings.

According to the latest Office for National Statistics nominal average weekly earnings stood at £586 in October 21. Unemployment stood at 1.4 million in the 3m to October 2021.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with the hospitality sector on economic support in response to the effect of covid-19 and staff shortages on that sector.

Government ministers, including the Chancellor, as well as officials, meet regularly with business leaders and representative organisations from the hospitality sector and other sectors impacted by Covid-19.

On 21 December, the Chancellor announced a package of support for businesses impacted by the Omicron variant. This included cash grants of up to £6,000 per premises for the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors; a further £102m of discretionary funding for local authorities to deliver to businesses most in need; and the reintroduction of the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate scheme for small- and medium-sized employers.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the state of the economy in respect to the environmental impact of businesses and individuals.

Since 1990 the UK has reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 44%, while growing our economy by over 75%.

The Net Zero Strategy sets out our long-term plan to end the UK’s domestic contribution to man-made climate change by 2050. However, the government recognises that sustainable economic growth goes further than tackling climate change.

Our response to the Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity recognises that nature sustains our economies, livelihoods and well-being, and commits to a nature positive future in which we leave the environment in a better condition than we found it. The world leading Environment Act 2021 supports this ambition.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the total floor area of his departmental estate was in each year from 2010-11 to 2020-21.

The State of the Estate series of reports published by Cabinet Office provides information on HM Treasury’s occupied floor area on an annual basis. The reports from 2010-11 to 2013-14 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/state-of-the-estate. Subsequent reports from 2014-15 to 2020-21 can be found by using links in the following style: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/state-of-the-estate-2014-to-2015.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the analysis by the Institution of Civil Engineers that improving strategic planning of infrastructure investment would unlock more benefits than the current, siloed sector-by-sector approach, as outlined in its policy position statement, Evolving the UK strategic infrastructure planning system post-National Infrastructure Strategy, published July 2021.

The government is committed to the approach to infrastructure that was set out in the National Infrastructure Strategy (NIS) in November 2020. This addresses the long-term issues that have held back investment in and delivery of UK infrastructure, and ensures a coherent cross-sectoral approach to decision-making.

As committed to in the NIS, last year the government reviewed the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC’s) role and responsibilities, and the NIC’s fiscal remit. As a result of those reviews, at Spending Review 2021 the government updated the NIC’s objectives to reflect the government’s climate commitments and increased the NIC’s fiscal remit. These changes will inform the NIC’s Second National Infrastructure Assessment, to be published in 2023, which launched recently with the publication of a baseline report and will set out the NIC’s expert independent assessment of the UK’s economic infrastructure needs. ICE’s policy statement was one of the sources that informed the reviews, and ongoing engagement with industry stakeholders and representative organisations remains central to the government’s infrastructure strategy.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the implications for its policies of the analysis by the Institution of Civil Engineers that improving strategic planning of infrastructure investment would unlock more benefits than the current, siloed sector-by-sector approach, as outlined in its policy position statement, Evolving the UK strategic infrastructure planning system post-National Infrastructure Strategy, published July 2021.

The government is committed to the approach to infrastructure that was set out in the National Infrastructure Strategy (NIS) in November 2020. This addresses the long-term issues that have held back investment in and delivery of UK infrastructure, and ensures a coherent cross-sectoral approach to decision-making.

As committed to in the NIS, last year the government reviewed the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC’s) role and responsibilities, and the NIC’s fiscal remit. As a result of those reviews, at Spending Review 2021 the government updated the NIC’s objectives to reflect the government’s climate commitments and increased the NIC’s fiscal remit. These changes will inform the NIC’s Second National Infrastructure Assessment, to be published in 2023, which launched recently with the publication of a baseline report and will set out the NIC’s expert independent assessment of the UK’s economic infrastructure needs. ICE’s policy statement was one of the sources that informed the reviews, and ongoing engagement with industry stakeholders and representative organisations remains central to the government’s infrastructure strategy.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to support an extension of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative and cancelling debts with the aim of enabling countries to respond more effectively to climate change.

The UK has supported significant action on debt through the G20-Paris Club Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). Preliminary estimates suggest the DSSI has suspended over $12.7 billion in debt service repayments due by the poorest countries in the world. In April 2021, the G20 and Paris Club endorsed a final extension of the DSSI to the end of 2021.

The DSSI was designed as a short-term initiative to tackle the immediate financing needs of eligible countries. To deliver a longer-term, more sustainable approach to dealing with debt vulnerabilities the UK, along with the G20, also agreed a new Common Framework for Debt Treatments beyond the DSSI, designed to provide more efficient, equitable and effective debt treatments. The UK is fully committed to implementing the Common Framework in coordination with our international partners. This will support those countries who request a debt treatment in returning to a more fiscally sustainable path and support their development goals, including responding to climate change.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential risks to financial stability of the growth in cryptocurrency and other cryptoasset holdings; and if he will place a copy of that assessment in the Library.

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) noted in its December 2021 Financial Stability Report that direct risks to the stability of the UK financial system from cryptoassets are currently limited. However, it also noted at the current rapid pace of growth, and as these assets become more interconnected with the wider financial system, cryptoassets will present a number of financial stability risks.

The Chancellor laid the Financial Stability report in Parliament on the 14th December.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published consumer research in June 2021, which offered insight into the cryptoassets market in the UK. The FCA found that 4.4% of UK adults currently hold cryptocurrency, or approximately 2.3 million consumers. The FCA also found that the median value of holdings of crypto owners was £300, and 47% of crypto owners (who chose to declare their holdings) had £260 or less in crypto.

According to the December 2021 Financial Stability Report, no major UK banks have reported having direct exposures to cryptoassets as yet, some UK and global banks are starting to offer a variety of services, such as cryptoasset derivatives trading, and custody services.

The UK authorities continue to monitor developments in this area very closely and have already taken a series of actions to support innovation while mitigating risks to stability and market integrity. These include launching a new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime for cryptoassets in 2020; consulting on proposals to ensure cryptoasset promotions are fair, clear and not misleading; and consulting on a proposal to ensure cryptoassets known as ‘stablecoins’ meet the same high standards expected of other payment methods. The Government will issue responses to the consultations shortly.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the estimated value of cryptocurrencies and other cryptoassets held in the UK by (a) households, (b) non-financial businesses, (c) financial businesses and (d) other organisations; and if he will place a copy of those estimates in the Library.

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) noted in its December 2021 Financial Stability Report that direct risks to the stability of the UK financial system from cryptoassets are currently limited. However, it also noted at the current rapid pace of growth, and as these assets become more interconnected with the wider financial system, cryptoassets will present a number of financial stability risks.

The Chancellor laid the Financial Stability report in Parliament on the 14th December.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published consumer research in June 2021, which offered insight into the cryptoassets market in the UK. The FCA found that 4.4% of UK adults currently hold cryptocurrency, or approximately 2.3 million consumers. The FCA also found that the median value of holdings of crypto owners was £300, and 47% of crypto owners (who chose to declare their holdings) had £260 or less in crypto.

According to the December 2021 Financial Stability Report, no major UK banks have reported having direct exposures to cryptoassets as yet, some UK and global banks are starting to offer a variety of services, such as cryptoasset derivatives trading, and custody services.

The UK authorities continue to monitor developments in this area very closely and have already taken a series of actions to support innovation while mitigating risks to stability and market integrity. These include launching a new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regime for cryptoassets in 2020; consulting on proposals to ensure cryptoasset promotions are fair, clear and not misleading; and consulting on a proposal to ensure cryptoassets known as ‘stablecoins’ meet the same high standards expected of other payment methods. The Government will issue responses to the consultations shortly.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support businesses that have not sufficiently recovered from the impact of the covid-19 pandemic to be able to afford repayments on their Bounce Back Loans, even after they have taken advantage of the six month repayment holiday.

Any business concerned about repayments should get in touch with their lender who will be able to provide support and talk them through their options.

In order to give businesses who have borrowed under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme further support and flexibility in making their repayments, the Chancellor announced “Pay as You Grow” (PAYG) options in September 2020. In addition to the six month full repayment holiday, PAYG gives businesses the option to extend their Bounce Back Loan repayments over ten years, reducing their average monthly repayments on the loan by almost half. Businesses also have the option to move to interest-only payments for periods of up to six months (an option which they can use up to three times). If borrowers want to take advantage of these options, they should notify their lender.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate he has made of the number of adults in (a) York and (b) York Central constituency living in households where there is personal debt.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) monitors financial difficulty in the UK through the Debt Need Survey, with data on levels of over-indebtedness at a local authority level last published in 2018. MaPS will publish the results of the 2021 Debt Need Survey early this year, which will include a regional breakdown of their new Need for Debt Advice measure.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the potential reintroduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in the context of the spread of the omicron covid-19 variant.

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. We will continue to respond proportionately to the changing path of the virus.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Government has a strong track record of responding quickly, flexibly, and comprehensively in supporting jobs, businesses, individuals, and families when needed.

The effectiveness of our £400 billion package of interventions since the start of the pandemic, and the strength of the recovery that we have seen from previous waves means the economy is in a different place now.

Employee numbers are above February 2020 levels in every part of the country and have grown consistently through this year.

So, it is right that our economic response in the face of Omicron adapts too and that our support is better targeted at the businesses that need it the most, providing better value for taxpayers and helping the economy to bounce back more quickly.

However, we recognise the impact Omicron and Government guidance is having on businesses and individuals, which is why on 21 December 2021 we announced £1 billion of new grant support for the hospitality, leisure, and cultural sectors, and reintroduced the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme. This is on top of the existing package of support, in place through to Spring 2022, which includes the Recovery Loan Scheme, business rates relief, VAT reduction, and the ongoing commercial rent moratorium.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)