Baroness Altmann Portrait

Baroness Altmann

Conservative - Life peer

Became Member: 19th May 2015


Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Pensions)
11th May 2015 - 15th Jul 2016


Scheduled Event
Friday 1st March 2024
10:00
Legislation - Main Chamber
1 Mar 2024, 10 a.m.
Alternative Investment Fund Designation Bill - second reading
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Automated Vehicles Bill [HL]
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 184 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 204
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
NHS: Dementia Commission Report
My Lords, with an ageing population it is inevitable that this illness is going to increase in prevalence across the …
Written Answers
Monday 22nd January 2024
Fractures: Health Services
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to comments by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 22nd November 2023
Alternative Investment Fund Designation Bill [HL] 2023-24
A Bill to amend the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations 2013 to remove Listed Investment Companies from Alternative Investment Fund …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Altmann has voted in 289 divisions, and 50 times against the majority of their Party.

24 Mar 2021 - Financial Services Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 219 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 296 Noes - 255
23 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 33 Conservative Aye votes vs 188 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 214
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 194 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 327 Noes - 229
2 Feb 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 40 Conservative Aye votes vs 165 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 359 Noes - 188
13 Jan 2021 - Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 13 Conservative Aye votes vs 208 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 339 Noes - 235
6 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 213 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 252
14 Dec 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 201 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 229
7 Dec 2020 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 143 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 287 Noes - 161
1 Dec 2020 - Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (All Tiers) (England) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 27 Conservative Aye votes vs 178 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 64 Noes - 246
23 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 203 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 242
23 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 197 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 285 Noes - 224
18 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 15 Conservative Aye votes vs 190 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 367 Noes - 209
18 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 194 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 327 Noes - 223
9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 44 Conservative No votes vs 147 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 165 Noes - 433
9 Nov 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 134 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 148 Noes - 407
20 Oct 2020 - United Kingdom Internal Market Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 39 Conservative Aye votes vs 158 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 395 Noes - 169
5 Oct 2020 - Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 174 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 298 Noes - 192
20 Jul 2020 - Business and Planning Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 201 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 128 Noes - 244
30 Jun 2020 - Pension Schemes Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 206 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 270 Noes - 236
30 Jun 2020 - Pension Schemes Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 204 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 263 Noes - 227
23 Jun 2020 - Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 203 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 160 Noes - 241
23 Jun 2020 - Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 183 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 136 Noes - 220
23 Jun 2020 - Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 7 Conservative Aye votes vs 191 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 155 Noes - 326
15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative Aye votes vs 125 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 388
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 156 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 93 Noes - 418
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative Aye votes vs 151 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 401
28 Apr 2021 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative Aye votes vs 144 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 70 Noes - 409
26 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 59 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 60
2 Nov 2021 - Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 165 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 220 Noes - 178
15 Dec 2021 - Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Entry to Venues and Events) (England) Regulations 2021 - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 105 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 38 Noes - 205
17 Jan 2022 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 9 Conservative Aye votes vs 157 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 261 Noes - 166
17 Jan 2022 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 145 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 236 Noes - 158
17 Jan 2022 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 122 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 128 Noes - 212
28 Feb 2022 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 141 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 237 Noes - 154
7 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 151 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 198 Noes - 158
22 Mar 2022 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 146 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 181 Noes - 157
22 Mar 2022 - Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 155 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 208 Noes - 166
5 Apr 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 8 Conservative Aye votes vs 132 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 177 Noes - 135
25 Apr 2022 - Elections Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 10 Conservative Aye votes vs 192 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 265 Noes - 199
27 Apr 2022 - Elections Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 194 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 181 Noes - 202
7 Dec 2022 - Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 157 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 172
7 Feb 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 178 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 283 Noes - 192
15 May 2023 - Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 16 Conservative Aye votes vs 147 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 245 Noes - 154
15 May 2023 - Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 146 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 222 Noes - 154
17 May 2023 - Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 15 Conservative Aye votes vs 155 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 231 Noes - 167
6 Jun 2023 - Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 12 Conservative Aye votes vs 167 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 257 Noes - 182
20 Jun 2023 - Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative Aye votes vs 166 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 241 Noes - 181
27 Jun 2023 - Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 4 Conservative Aye votes vs 141 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 164 Noes - 150
13 Sep 2023 - Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 150 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 156 Noes - 203
13 Sep 2023 - Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - View Vote Context
Baroness Altmann voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 3 Conservative No votes vs 154 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 161 Noes - 192
View All Baroness Altmann Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(62 debate interactions)
Lord Bethell (Conservative)
(45 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Legislation Debates
Pension Schemes Act 2021
(15,707 words contributed)
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(6,928 words contributed)
Financial Services Bill 2019-21
(5,233 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Baroness Altmann's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Altmann, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


2 Bills introduced by Baroness Altmann


A Bill to set a ceiling on the main and additional primary percentages, the secondary percentage and the upper earnings limit in relation to Class 1 national insurance contributions.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 17th December 2015 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to amend the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Regulations 2013 to remove Listed Investment Companies from Alternative Investment Fund designation; to make related changes to other relevant legislation; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 22nd November 2023
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 1st March 2024
Order Paper number: 1
(Certain to be Debated)

Baroness Altmann has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


185 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
16th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many companies provided bids for the contract to run their new emergency alert system.

Following a compliant procurement process through Crown Commercial Services Tech Services 3 framework RM6100, the WP2083 Emergency Alerts contract was awarded on 10 October 2022 to Fujitsu.

2 suppliers provided bids for the contract to run the new emergency alerts system.

The Cabinet Office operates a triple gateway process of approvals to ensure compliance and transparency in procurements. All contracts are reviewed and approved by delegated Cabinet Office Commercial Heads and then published. All procurements over £10,000 are subject to Commercial approvals. All contracts are then managed by accredited Contract Managers in accordance with Cabinet Office Commercial guidance.

Contract agreements are published within 30 days in accordance with our obligations.

Separately, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (as was) issued contracts totalling £18.6 million to mobile network operators, as well as further spending on security testing and legal work.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is their latest estimate of the numbers of (1) men, and (2) women, employees who earn less than £12,570 per annum in (a) full-time, and (b) part-time roles.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Noble Peer’s Parliamentary Question of 27 March is attached in the answer.

The Baroness Altmann CBE


House of Lords
London
SW1A 0PW

3 April 2023

Dear Lady Altmann,


As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking what is the latest estimate of the numbers of (1)
men, and (2) women, employees who earn less than £12,570 per annum in (a) full-time, and (b) part-time roles (HL6837).

The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) [1], carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom. ASHE is based on a 1% sample of employee jobs taken from HM Revenue and Customs' Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records. Table 1 (below) shows the numbers of (1) men, and (2) women, employees who earn less than £12,570 per annum in (a) full-time, and (b) part-time roles for April 20221 (the latest period for which ASHE estimates are available). As with any survey, estimates from ASHE are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Estimates of the number of employee jobs with annual earnings below £12,570, UK, 2022 [1,2,3]

Group

Number of employee jobs with annual earnings of less than £12,570 (thousands) [2,3]

Total number of
employee jobs in
group (thousands) [2, 3]

All employees

3,346

22,363

Male

907

11,294

Female

2,439

11,069

Full-time

309

16,547

Part-time

3,037

5,817

Full-time male

134

9,856

Full-time female

175

6,691

Part-time male

773

1,439

Part-time female

2,264

4,378

Source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings

[1] Estimates for 2022 are provisional

[2] Employees on adult rates who have been in the same job for more than a year

[3] Figures for Number of Jobs are for indicative purposes only and should not be considered an
accurate estimate of employee job counts

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people died from (1) influenza, and (2) pneumonia, in each of the last ten years; and of those, how many were aged (a) 60–69, (b) 70–79, (c) 80–89, and (d) 90–99,

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

Dear Baroness Altmann,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Questions asking how many people died from (1) influenza, and (2) pneumonia, in each of the last ten years; and of those, how many were aged (a) 60–69, (b) 70–79, (c) 80–89, and (d) 90–99 (HL5629); and how many people died from a stroke in each of the last ten years; and of those, how many were aged (a) 60–69, (b) 70–79, (c) 80–89, and (d) 90–99 (HL5630).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing mortality statistics for deaths registered in England and Wales. The most recent annual figures published are for deaths registered in 2018[1]. However, we do publish provisional weekly deaths registrations, which are currently published for deaths registered up to 5 June 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 caused by influenza, pneumonia and stroke are identified by the ICD-10 codes J09-J11, J12-J18 and I60-I69 respectively.

Table 1 contains the number of deaths involving influenza, pneumonia and stroke occurring in England and Wales in the years 2009-2018. This data is not yet available for 2019 and 2020. The finalised annual death registrations for 2019 will be presented in the forthcoming Death Registrations[3] publication, which we will send to you on 1 July 2020 when it is published.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths occuring where the underlying cause influenza, pneumonia or stroke by age group, 2009 and 2018, England and Wales[4][5][6][7][8][9]

Year

Cause of death

Age

59 and under

60-69

70-79

80-89

90-99

100 +

2009

Stroke

1,799

2,307

6,426

14,351

6,434

263

Influenza

175

20

13

25

11

0

Pneumonia

1,131

1,270

3,727

11,238

8,372

701

2010

Stroke

1,833

2,327

6,209

13,526

6,632

297

Influenza

170

25

27

9

4

1

Pneumonia

1,034

1,310

3,509

10,592

8,416

742

2011

Stroke

1,719

2,213

5,794

12,198

6,528

263

Influenza

236

51

29

28

3

0

Pneumonia

918

1,173

3,360

10,453

8,919

698

2012

Stroke

1,676

2,218

5,565

12,162

6,794

306

Influenza

25

9

9

21

23

0

Pneumonia

839

1,171

3,352

10,588

9,559

769

2013

Stroke

1,725

2,083

5,478

11,562

6,692

252

Influenza

53

25

17

36

23

2

Pneumonia

828

1,158

3,371

10,552

9,728

832

2014

Stroke

1,752

2,158

5,493

11,515

6,624

281

Influenza

50

16

24

28

14

1

Pneumonia

1,015

1,340

3,495

10,144

9,016

761

2015

Stroke

1,694

2,281

5,679

11,695

6,989

321

Influenza

41

41

38

78

64

7

Pneumonia

1,275

1,513

3,815

11,286

10,425

860

2016

Stroke

1,697

2,217

5,569

11,037

6,347

280

Influenza

165

93

74

70

46

1

Pneumonia

1,288

1,643

3,859

10,455

9,509

697

2017

Stroke

1,584

2,082

5,178

10,448

6,192

263

Influenza

38

36

77

141

131

9

Pneumonia

1,043

1,381

3,603

9,912

9,455

667

2018

Stroke

1,674

2,147

5,399

10,619

6,165

223

Influenza

176

147

321

551

360

17

Pneumonia

1,283

1,574

3,984

10,513

9,567

610

Source: Office for National Statistics

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

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending5june2020

[3] https://www.ons.gov.uk/releases/deathsregisteredinenglandandwales2019

[4]Figures based on occurrence (death-date)

[5]Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents.

[6]Influenza or pneumonia is the underlying cause of death and was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes J09 to J11.

[7]Pneumonia is the underlying cause of death and was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes J12 to J18.

[8]Stroke is the underlying cause of death and was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes I60 to I64.

[9]For information on how deaths are registered and mortality statistics are produced please see the Quality and methodology section

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people died from a stroke in each of the last ten years; and of those, how many were aged (a) 60–69, (b) 70–79, (c) 80–89, and (d) 90–99.

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

Dear Baroness Altmann,

As National Statistician and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, I am responding to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people died from a stroke in each of the last ten years; and of those, how many were aged (a) 60–69, (b) 70–79, (c) 80–89, and (d) 90–99 (HL5630).

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for publishing mortality statistics for 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 published for deaths registered up to 17 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 caused by stroke are identified by the ICD-10 codes I60-I69 .

Table 1 contains the number of deaths involving stroke occurring in England and Wales in the years 2009-2019. This data is not yet available for 2020. The finalised annual death registrations for 2020 will be published in summer 2021.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Sir Ian Diamond

Table 1: Number of deaths occuring where the underlying cause was stroke by age group, 2009 to 2019, England and Wales[3][4][5][6]

Year

Age

Under 59

60-69

70-79

80-89

90-99

100 +

2009

1,799

2,307

6,426

14,351

6,434

263

2010

1,833

2,327

6,209

13,526

6,632

297

2011

1,719

2,213

5,794

12,198

6,528

263

2012

1,676

2,218

5,565

12,162

6,794

306

2013

1,725

2,083

5,478

11,562

6,692

252

2014

1,752

2,158

5,493

11,515

6,624

281

2015

1,694

2,281

5,679

11,695

6,989

321

2016

1,697

2,217

5,569

11,037

6,347

280

2017

1,584

2,082

5,178

10,448

6,192

263

2018

1,674

2,147

5,399

10,619

6,165

223

2019

1,569

2,011

5,247

9,874

5,793

231


Source: Office for National Statistics

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

[2]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending17july2020

[3]Figures based on occurrence (death-date)

[4]Figures for England and Wales include deaths of non-residents.

[5]Stroke is the underlying cause of death and was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes I60 to I64.

[6]For information on how deaths are registered and mortality statistics are produced please see the Quality and methodology section

Lord True
Leader of the House of Lords and Lord Privy Seal
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to support businesses operating in the travel retail sector, amid rising inflation and constraints on consumer spending resulting from increases in the cost of living.

Our £13.6bn business rates package announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement will help retailers and small businesses. This comes after the Government reversed the Health and Social Care Levy, enabling smaller firms to reduce their National Insurance bills even further by increasing the Employment Allowance.

Furthermore, on 9 January, the Government announced the Energy Bills Discount Scheme. Under the new scheme, eligible non-domestic customers receive a per-unit discount to their energy bills during the 12-month period from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024, subject to a threshold level of £107/MWh for gas and £302/MWh of electricity.

Earl of Minto
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to bring forward legislation this year to enable the creation of the new Auditing, Reporting and Governance Authority.

The Government will bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.

Lord Johnson of Lainston
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that vulnerable customers fitted with a smart meter at home (1) understand how to use the meter, (2) have necessary training on how it operates, and (3) have the smart meter sited in a place that is accessible safely, should they need to press any buttons on it.

Energy suppliers are obligated by the conditions of their licence to ensure vulnerable consumers know how to use, and benefit from, their smart metering system. Any information provided must be available in a variety of formats, tailored for groups with specific needs. The energy regulator Ofgem is responsible for ensuring energy suppliers comply with their regulatory obligations.


An In-Home Display can be located in a position of the customer’s choosing within the home, in range of the meter’s communications hub, from which it receives information on energy consumption and costs.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Jul 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made on negotiations for associate membership of the EU Horizon programme; and when they will be in a position to make an announcement.

The Government is moving forward with discussions on the UK’s involvement in Horizon Europe and hope these will be successful. That is the UK’s preference. While the Government hopes negotiations will be successful, participation must work for UK researchers, businesses and taxpayers.

Talks are ongoing and therefore a deal has not yet been agreed. A deadline for these talks has not been set but to provide the industry with certainty, the UK must come to a resolution as quickly as possible. The Government has set out Pioneer, the UK’s bold alternative, which it is ready to implement if association cannot be secured.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the proportion of people in the UK who have no internet or Wi-Fi access in the following age groups: (1) 20–39, (2) 40–59, (3) 60–79, and (4) 80 and above.

Data on smartphone use, Wi-Fi and internet access is collected by the Office of Communications and the Office for National Statistics.

According to Ofcom data, in 2020, the vast majority (85%) of all adults used a smartphone. This rose to more than nine in ten for those aged 16-54. Use was lower for those aged 65+ (55%), who were more likely than average (29%) to use a mobile device that wasn’t a smartphone. The smartphone was the device most likely to be used by people to go online; 85% of internet users used it for this purpose. Older internet users, aged 65+, were less likely to go online via most devices asked about, and in particular, they were less likely to have adopted smart technology, such as a smartphone.

ONS data indicates that 92% of adults in the UK were recent internet users in 2020, up from 91% in 2019. Almost all adults aged 16 to 44 years in the UK were recent internet users (99%), compared with 54% of adults aged 75 years and over. While there has been little change in internet use for adults aged 16 to 44 years in recent years, the proportion of those aged 75 years and over who are recent internet users nearly doubled since 2013, from 29%, to 54% in 2020. 6.3% of adults in the UK had never used the internet in 2020, down from 7.5% in 2019.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the proportion of people in the UK that do not own a smartphone in each of the following age ranges: (1) 18–24, (2) 25–44, (3) 45–64, (4) 65–74, (5) 75–84, and (6) 85 and above.

Data on smartphone use, Wi-Fi and internet access is collected by the Office of Communications and the Office for National Statistics.

According to Ofcom data, in 2020, the vast majority (85%) of all adults used a smartphone. This rose to more than nine in ten for those aged 16-54. Use was lower for those aged 65+ (55%), who were more likely than average (29%) to use a mobile device that wasn’t a smartphone. The smartphone was the device most likely to be used by people to go online; 85% of internet users used it for this purpose. Older internet users, aged 65+, were less likely to go online via most devices asked about, and in particular, they were less likely to have adopted smart technology, such as a smartphone.

ONS data indicates that 92% of adults in the UK were recent internet users in 2020, up from 91% in 2019. Almost all adults aged 16 to 44 years in the UK were recent internet users (99%), compared with 54% of adults aged 75 years and over. While there has been little change in internet use for adults aged 16 to 44 years in recent years, the proportion of those aged 75 years and over who are recent internet users nearly doubled since 2013, from 29%, to 54% in 2020. 6.3% of adults in the UK had never used the internet in 2020, down from 7.5% in 2019.

Viscount Camrose
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to reforming the way in which Ofgem manages the energy price cap.

There are no plans to do this.

As the expert independent regulator, Ofgem is responsible for operating the price cap. Ofgem remains the sole decision-maker over how it is calculated and has consulted extensively on its methodology for determining the cap level. The Government has confidence in Ofgem to set the cap at a level that reflects the underlying efficient costs of supplying energy.

The price cap was never intended to be a permanent feature of the market. As announced in the Autumn Statement, we are developing a new approach to protecting consumers’ energy prices from April 2024.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what instructions they have given to Ofgem on ensuring that the costs of failed energy firms do not fall more heavily on vulnerable customers and single person households.

The costs of failed energy firms have contributed to an increase in standing charges. The energy regulator, Ofgem, reviewed whether the existing fixed charge was appropriate or whether a usage-based (volumetric) alternative would be more suitable.

Ofgem concluded that while some low consuming users, some of whom may be vulnerable, might benefit from change, there are a number of higher consuming users including vulnerable users that would pay more.

Ofgem’s current methodology protects users with greater energy needs, such as disabled users and users with electric heating in areas off the gas grid.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of increasing the retail customer energy standing charge; and what proportion of the increase in the standing charge is due to the need to compensate the customers of failed energy firms.

The maximum standing charge is limited by the Ofgem price cap. Ofgem reviewed the components of the standing charge in the Summer of 2022 and concluded that maintaining the existing methodology would protect consumers with the greatest energy needs.

Standing charges vary by region, billing method and energy type and range from approximately £99 to £205. In figures published by Ofgem in November 2022, Supplier of Last Resort costs (for those customers whose provider ceases trading) accounts for £61 in the average customer’s energy bill.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what protections they have in place to prevent energy firms from leaving households without power in their homes; and what penalties are imposed on energy firms that do not take sufficient care of vulnerable customers or which wrongly disconnect customers.

Ofgem rules include an Ability to Pay Principle that requires suppliers to provide appropriate support for those struggling to pay their bills. Support may include setting up appropriate repayment plans based on a customer’s ability to pay, and by directing the customer to further support services.

Ofgem is responsible for ensuring licensed energy suppliers are complying with their licence conditions. Ofgem publishes details of its compliance and enforcement action on its website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
16th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many applications they have received for Green Home Grants; and how many of these are from (1) private residential landlords, (2) social landlords, and (3) owner-occupiers.

As of 18 November 2020, 42,507 grant applications have been received for the Green Homes Grant scheme, with 5,928 application from landlords and the remaining 36,579 from owner-occupiers.

As part of the scheme application process, landlords are not asked to declare if they let their property to private residential or social tenants. Therefore we are unable to provide information on the number of applications received, at this level of granularity.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, following the classification of (1) all people aged over 70, and (2) all pregnant women, as ‘clinically vulnerable’ to COVID-19, whether (a) employers are entitled to deny such people the same chance to work as others, regardless of their health, and (b) voluntary organisations are entitled to ban such people from volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. [T]

It is against the law to discriminate against someone because of their age or because of being pregnant or on maternity leave.

Under Health and Safety legislation, employers have a legal responsibility to protect workers and others from risk to their health and safety. They should do everything reasonably practicable to minimise the risks. Clinically vulnerable individuals, who are at higher risk of severe illness, have been asked to take extra care in observing social distancing and should be helped to work from home, either in their current role or in an alternative role.

If clinically vulnerable individuals cannot work from home, they should be offered the option of the safest available on site roles, enabling them to stay 2m away from others. The Health and Safety risk assessment should reflect this.

The Health and Safety Executive has guidance for business on how to manage risk and risk assessment at work along with specific advice to help control the risk of coronavirus in workplaces.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of people in the UK aged (1) 20–39, (2) 40–59, (3) 60–79, and (4) 80 and over, have no (a) internet, or (b) Wi-Fi, access in their own home.

At present, 94% of UK households have internet access and Her Majesty’s Government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Today, 69% of premises can access gigabit-capable broadband, up from just 9% in November 2019.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not hold information broken down by the specific age brackets registered.

According to 2021 Ofcom data, the percentage of those without internet access in their own home is (1) 1% for 18 - 24 year olds; (2) 0% for 25 - 34 year olds; (3) 3% for 35 - 44 year olds; (4) 2% for 45 - 54 year olds; (5) 3% for 55 - 64 year olds; and (6) 20% for those aged 65+.

In addition, the Office for National Statistics releases information relating to internet access across the UK. Its most recent release was in April 2021.

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what proportion of people in the UK aged (1) 20–39, (2) 40–59, (3) 60–79, and (4) 80 and over, do not own a smartphone.

According to Ofcom’s Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes report’, published in April 2021, smartphone usage by the following age categories was: 16-24 (96%), 25-34 (96%), 35-44 (96%), 45-54 (94%), 55-64 (86%), 65+ (55%).

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to protect the public from financial scams and fraud promoted by online platforms; whether such plans include preventing such platforms from profiting from fraudulent operators or scammers; and if so, how.

My department has been considering how online advertising is regulated through its Online Advertising Programme, and will be consulting on this issue later this year. The government will set out its plans in the consultation.

Our aim is to foster fair, accountable and ethical online advertising that works for citizens, businesses and society as a whole. In particular, we want to ensure standards about the placement and content of advertising can be effectively applied and enforced online so that consumers have limited exposure to harmful or misleading advertising.

As part of our departure from the EU HM Treasury removed an exemption to the financial promotions regime available to online platforms for incoming electronic communications from the EU.

As a result of that change, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking at the operations of the major online platforms to determine whether their communication of financial promotion is subject to the financial promotions restriction, and if so, whether they are compliant. Where they are not, the FCA will take action to ensure consumers are protected. HM Treasury is supporting the FCA in these conversations going forward.

Baroness Barran
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people they estimate have died from illnesses resulting from poor air quality or air pollution; and whether either (1) a monthly, or (2) a quarterly, breakdown of those figures is available for each such year.

The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants estimates that the mortality burden of the air pollution mixture (based on both PM2.5 and NO2) in the UK is equivalent to 28,000 to 36,000 deaths per year. Mortality burden is a statistical way of assessing the impact of diseases and pollution. The equivalent figures at a monthly or quarterly period are not available.

Public Health England has, however, estimated the fraction of adult mortality attributable to long-term exposure to particulate air pollution at local authority level in the Public Health Outcomes Framework. This is available to view and search online at: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/public-health-outcomes-framework.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the value for money of aid sent to the Palestinian Authority, following reports that it spends seven per cent of its budget, and up to 40 per cent of its foreign aid receipts, on payments to terrorists and their families.

No UK aid is used for payments to prisoners or their families or the so called Martyrs Fund. Our financial support to the Palestinian Authority health and education sectors goes into a dedicated bank account and is only paid to individual workers carefully vetted through the PEGASE mechanism (Palestinian-European Socio-Economic Management Assistance Mechanism). Each payment is independently audited to ensure it has been received by the intended recipient.

As is standard practice for all DFID programmes, we assess value for money for the UK taxpayer annually through our review process. Last year UK aid enabled 26,000 young Palestinians in the West Bank to get an education, delivered 3,300 MMR vaccinations for children and enabled 111,000 medical consultations. This is an important contribution towards supporting a stable Palestinian Authority (PA) that can deliver essential services to Palestinians and act as an effective partner for peace with Israel.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to support the commercial interests of airports and travel hubs as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions; and whether they are considering cost-neutral measures such as duty free on arrival stores.

The UK’s aviation sector largely operates in a competitive private market. Government’s role is primarily to develop and implement the regulatory and policy frameworks that have helped to shape this world-leading sector. Last year we published Flightpath to the Future to set out how we will work with the sector to help it grow and return to pre-pandemic levels of demand and profitability.

The Government recognises how our extensive airport network can act as a catalyst for national and local benefits. In April, we introduced a 50% cut in domestic Air Passenger Duty (APD) to help bolster domestic connectivity, while further aligning APD with UK environmental objectives by adding a new ultra-long-haul distance band.

Although there are no plans to introduce a scheme for Duty-free on arrival stores, the Government does keep all taxes under review. On 1 January 2021, the Government did extend duty-free sales to EU-bound passengers for the first time in over 20 years. This is a significant boost to all airports and international rail terminals in England, Scotland and Wales, including smaller regional airports and rail hubs, which have not been able to offer duty-free to the EU before.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many councils in (1) England, (2) Wales, (3) Scotland, and (4) Northern Ireland, have introduced parking which has no cash or credit card payment option and requires payment digitally or through an app.

Responsibility for traffic management on local roads rests with the relevant local authority, as they are best placed to consider how local needs can be effectively met. It is entirely a matter for individual authorities to decide on the nature and scope of parking policies including the operation of any pay to park schemes in their area. The Department does not hold information on local parking schemes of this nature in England and, because parking is a devolved matter, not for Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) drivers, (2) passengers, and (3) pedestrians, were (a) killed, and (b) seriously injured, in road accidents in each of the last ten years.

The number of killed and seriously injured casualties in reported road accidents as reported by the police to DfT, by casualty class in Great Britain, between 2009 and 2018 can be found in the below table:

Reported road casualties, by severity and casualty class, Great Britain, 2009-20181,2

Casualty Class3

Severity

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Driver or rider

Killed

1,321

1,148

1,151

1,041

1,041

1,065

1,068

1,055

1,049

1,062

Driver or rider

Seriously injured (unadjusted)

15,004

13,748

14,259

14,060

13,517

14,525

14,032

15,345

15,601

15,987

Passenger

Killed

401

297

297

293

274

264

254

289

274

266

Passenger

Seriously injured (unadjusted)

4,141

3,712

3,409

3,420

3,142

3,219

3,172

3,616

3,636

3,742

Pedestrian

Killed

500

405

453

420

398

446

408

448

470

456

Pedestrian

Seriously injured (unadjusted)

5,545

5,200

5,454

5,559

4,998

5,063

4,940

5,140

5,594

5,782

Source: DfT, STATS19

1. Figures for serious injuries are as reported by the police. Since 2016, changes in severity reporting systems for a large number of police forces mean that serious injury figures, and to a lesser extent, slight injuries are not comparable with earlier years. Adjustments to account for the change have been produced for high level series. More information on the change and the adjustment process is available in the 2018 annual report.

2. The data includes all motor vehicles, cyclists and horse riders.

3. Does not include casualties with unidentified class.

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their statistical release Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2018 annual report, published on 26 September 2019 and the reported 1,784 road deaths in 2018, how many such deaths there were in (1) each month, and (2) each quarter, of each of the last five years for which figures are available.

The number of fatalities in reported road accidents in Great Britain by month and quarter for the last five available years can be found in the tables below.

Fatalities in reported road accidents by month, Great Britain, 2014-2018

Month

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

January

128

141

150

137

137

February

117

128

133

132

121

March

131

110

143

121

124

April

140

134

148

122

125

May

128

147

154

140

159

June

160

139

140

142

129

July

153

164

147

138

154

August

146

161

158

167

157

September

158

129

150

163

148

October

145

155

145

196

186

November

170

149

153

176

170

December

199

173

171

159

174

Total

1,775

1,730

1,792

1,793

1,784

Source: DfT, STATS19

Fatalities in reported road accidents by quarter, Great Britain, 2014-2018

Quarter

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Q1 (Jan-Mar)

376

379

426

390

382

Q2 (Apr-Jun)

428

420

442

404

413

Q3 (Jul-Sep)

457

454

455

468

459

Q4 (Oct-Dec)

514

477

469

531

530

Total

1,775

1,730

1,792

1,793

1,784

Source: DfT, STATS19

Baroness Vere of Norbiton
Parliamentary Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of the change in value of the full basic state pension weekly payment in 2023–24 if it had been linked only to consumer price index inflation since 2010.

The full weekly amount of basic State Pension would have been worth £139.10 in 2023-24 if it had been uprated by inflation (CPI) since 2010.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimates they have made, if any, of the cost savings that would result from increasing the minimum years of National Insurance contributions required for a full State Pension from 35 to 45.

No such assessment has been made. The number of Qualifying Years required for a full State Pension strikes a balance between achieving wide coverage, maintaining the contributory principle and ensuring the overall affordability of the State Pension.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the savings to the Exchequer in total cost of paying UK State Pensions in 2023–24 if full state pensions for all newly retired individuals required a National Insurance record of 45 years instead of 35 years, assuming no purchase of additional voluntary years.

We have not made any estimate of the savings to the Exchequer of paying UK State Pensions in 2023–24 if a full state pension for all newly retired individuals required a National Insurance record of 45 years instead of 35 years. There are currently no plans to review the qualifying criteria for the new State Pension.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what the value of the full Basic State Pension weekly payment in 2023–24 would be if the pension had been tied only to average earnings since 2010, rather than the triple lock.

The full weekly amount of Basic State Pension would have been worth £138.05 in 2023-24 if it had been uprated by earnings, rather than the Triple Lock.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what their latest estimate is of the take-up of Pension Credit in the past five years.

Estimates for Pension Credit take-up in a financial year are available in the “Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up” publication, which can be accessed on the statistics section of gov.uk. Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up: financial year 2019 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The latest estimates for Pension Credit take-up relate to the financial year 2019 to 2020. The table below outlines take-up estimates for this year, and the four years preceding:

Financial Year

Estimate of Pension Credit take-up

2019 to 2020

66%

2018 to 2019

63%

2017 to 2018

61%

2016 to 2017

61%

2015 to 2016

61%

Please note – methodological refinements have been applied to the data from 2016 to 2017. Therefore, comparison to previous years should be treated with caution.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many claimants currently receiving Universal Credit are (1) self-employed, (2) employed, and (3) unemployed.

The total number of self-employed Universal Credit claimants in January 2023 was 493,300. This has been rounded to the nearest 100.

The latest statistics published monthly on Stat-Xplore show that, from the 5.8 million people on Universal Credit in February 2023, 2.2 million were in employment and 3.6 million were not in employment.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how many claimants currently receiving Universal Credit who are in employment or self-employment are earning (1) under £12,570 a year, (2) between £12,571 and £25,000 a year, (3) between £25,001 and £35,000 a year, (4) between £35,001 and £50,000 a year, and (5) over £50,000 a year.

Universal Credit is designed to reduce as household earnings increase, so the number of high income households receiving UC would likely be very small. The level at which entitlement ends will differ depending on individual circumstances and other unearned income.

As earnings information is only available at household level this has been provided below

In January 2023 there were:

  • 2,610,500 households with no take home pay
  • 974,000 households with monthly take home pay between £0 - £1048
  • 662,500 households with monthly take home pay between £1048 - £2084
  • 121,600 households with monthly take home pay between £2084 - £2917
  • 29,400 households with monthly take home pay between £2917 - £4167
  • 1,300 households with monthly take home pay greater than £4167.

Notes:

  1. The figures provided are monthly equivalents of the annual incomes specified in the question.
  2. These figures have been rounded to the nearest 100
Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how many claims for Pension Credit have been waiting for more than (1) two, (2) three, (3) four, (4) five, and (5) six, months for approval; and what percentage of applications this comprises.

This information is only available at disproportionate cost to The Department for Work & Pensions as the Department does not have a business requirement for this information to be retained.

7th Dec 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to reduce the waiting times for Pension Credit applicants.

Following the successful launch of our campaign to increase up-take of Pension Credit, we have received an unprecedented number of claims. We have increased the resources available to process the extra volume of claims and have also adapted our claims processing approach, which has enabled us to improve productivity and clear claims more effectively.

We are now clearing more cases per day than we are receiving. We are also prioritising the oldest cases, and those presenting in hardship, to ensure we get payments to those most in need.

With these measures in place and, assuming the current volumes of new claims for Pension Credit, we anticipate that both processing times and outstanding cases will return to the levels we had before the recent three-fold increase in claims.

Successful claims and arrears will be paid accordingly to ensure all those who are entitled do not miss out.

21st Nov 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government how much the threshold for (1) income support, (2) income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, (3) income-related Employment and Support Allowance, (4) housing benefit, (5) child tax credits, and (6) pension credits, has increased (a) in line with inflation, and (b) in monetary terms, each year since 1997.

For the benefits listed there are many different rates. The tables in the spreadsheet attached show a selection of illustrative examples for each benefit in both cash and real terms.

Child Tax Credits are administered by HMRC and are not a DWP responsibility. Rates are therefore not provided here.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people had appointments with the PensionWise helpline in each calendar quarter in (1) 2018, (2) 2019, (3) 2020, (4) 2021, and (5) 2022.

The information requested is available on the MoneyHelper pension take up data dashboard, where it is published quarterly by financial year. It is provided quarterly by calendar year below:

Calendar Year

QUARTER

Telephone Appts Attended

Face to Face Appts Attended

TOTAL

2018

Q2*

6,087

15,717

21,804

2018

Q3

7,035

17,085

24,120

2018

Q4

7,955

17,791

25,746

2019

Q1

9,432

20,641

30,073

2019

Q2

11,344

21,038

32,382

2019

Q3

13,051

21,363

34,414

2019

Q4

12,385

17,437

29,822

2020

Q1

13,477

21,581

35,058

2020

Q2

23,821

0

23,821

2020

Q3

27,363

0

27,363

2020

Q4

27,058

1

27,059

2021

Q1

34,783

1

34,784

2021

Q2

32,727

0

32,727

2021

Q3

29,061

0

29,061

2021

Q4

21,270

0

21,270

2022

Q1

31,620

0

31,620

*Q1 data from 2018 is not available

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what data is (1) collected, and (2) published, relating to trust-based pension (a) Defined Contribution schemes, or (b) MasterTrust schemes, in any year since 2015, to show how many people have accessed their pension funds; and whether they purchased an (i) annuity, (ii) income drawdown, (iii) uncrystallised pension fund lump sum, or (iv) withdrew funds in full.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) publish data on their website, based on what is reported to them, on the number of flexible payments made from pensions, the number of individuals who have received these flexible payments and the total value of all flexible payments. As this includes all flexible pension payments, the data represents a proportion of payments made from trust-based Defined Contribution (DC) schemes as well as contract-based schemes. As of December 2021, 1.9 million individuals have taken 16.0 million flexible payments from their DC pensions since the introduction of Pension Freedoms in 2015.

The Pensions Regulator (TPR) publishes data on their website from trust-based DC schemes on an annual basis. This publication provides a high-level snapshot of the current landscape of occupational DC trust-based pension provision in the UK, including information on the number, memberships, and assets of schemes. The most recent publication is TPR’s 12th edition, DC Trust: scheme return data 2021 to 2022, which includes data captured since 2015.

Included in this, they report the number of members for whom each scheme is directly providing (self-annuitisation) or facilitating (lifetime annuities) annuity payments. At the end of 2021, there were 1,000 memberships receiving lifetime annuities, excluding hybrid schemes (which have a mixture of guarantees and investments), and less than 1000 memberships receiving self-annuitisations, also excluding hybrid schemes. Number of memberships, or number of pension pots, does not equate to number of individuals, as many people are members of more than one pension scheme.

The data in this publication from TPR does not capture all pensioner members, as some members will have retired but transferred out of their scheme.

Members who transfer out of a trust-based DC scheme and access their pension savings via a contract-based provider will be included in the data collected by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and published in their Retirement Income Market Data. However, data is not currently collected on volumes of members that transfer out of trust-based DC schemes with the intention of accessing their savings. The FCA data shows that from October 2015- March 2021, over 3.3 million DC pots have been accessed in the contract-based market. This data is presented in Table 1 and can be found on the FCA webpage: Retirement income market data 2020/21. This data is also provided broken down by year in Annex A.

Table 1: Volumes and proportion of retirement income products, October 2015- March 2021 (FCA Retirement Income Data)

Product

Total volume

Proportion of all pots accessed

Annuities purchased in period

390,697

12%

New drawdown policies entered and not fully withdrawn in period

993,033

30%

Pots where first partial UFPLS payment taken and not fully withdrawn in period

130,247

4%

Full cash withdrawals from pots being accessed for first time in period

1,831,982

55%

Total pots accessed for the first time

3,345,960

100%

*Volumes prior to April 2018 were drawn from a representative sample of firms. The FCA started collecting data from all regulated firms providing retirement income products from 1 April 2018.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people (1) have booked, or (2) had appointments, in each calendar quarter of (a) 2021, and (b) 2022, with (i) the MoneyHelper Pension helpline, (ii) the PensionWise/MoneyHelper Pensions on divorce helpline, (iii) the PensionWise/MoneyHelper Pension safeguarding helpline, and (iv) the PensionWise/MoneyHelper mid-life pension helpline.

The information requested is available on the MoneyHelper pension take up data dashboard, where it is published quarterly by financial year. It is provided quarterly by calendar year below:

2021

MoneyHelper Pensions Helpline*

MoneyHelper Pensions Virtual appointments**

Pension Wise appointments attended

Pension Wise appointments arranged

Q1

71,522

125

34,784

45,376

Q2

56,089

93

32,727

45,221

Q3

39,166

113

29,061

38,344

Q4

36,465

107

21,270

27,620

2021 Total

203,242

438

117,842

156,561

*The Pensions Helpline is a general pensions guidance service that anyone can contact with any pensions query – this service does not require appointments booked and is delivered across multiple channels. As such, this data includes the following:

  • Helpline calls
  • Webchat
  • Online enquiries
  • Attendance at outreach events

**MoneyHelper Pensions virtual appointments cover Divorce appointments, Mid-Life Pensions Review appointments for the self-employed, and Pension Loss appointments. Data on Pensions Safeguarding appointments has not yet been published.

2022

MoneyHelper Pension helpline*

MoneyHelper Pensions Virtual appointments**

Pension Wise appointments attended

Pension Wise appointments arranged

Q1

52,779

93

31,620

41,624

*The Pensions Helpline is a general pensions guidance service that anyone can contact with any pensions query – this service does not require appointments booked and is delivered across multiple channels. As such, this data includes the following:

  • Helpline calls
  • Webchat
  • Online enquiries
  • Attendance at outreach events

**MoneyHelper Pensions virtual appointments cover Divorce appointments, Mid-Life Pensions Review appointments for the self-employed, and Pension Loss appointments. Data on Pensions Safeguarding appointments has not yet been published.

23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what were the customer satisfaction ratings for the PensionWise service for each year since the service began; and what are the figures for the past four quarters.

The below data on customer satisfaction is collected post-appointment.

Year

Customer Satisfaction

2016/17

94%

2017/18

92%

2018/19

93%

2019/20

94%

Prior to the formation of the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) in 2019, satisfaction data was taken from the Pension Wise annual service evaluation and was not published quarterly. During this time The Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service, and Pension Wise had in place their own Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), along with different approaches to measuring performance. MaPS wanted to have a single programme measuring performance of their three service areas in a more consistent and joined up way. During 2020/21, there was no Pension Wise evaluation because MaPS were setting in place a new evaluation programme to achieve this.

Satisfaction data from 2021/22 is published quarterly by financial year on the MoneyHelper pensions take up dashboard. Pension Wise satisfaction scores for telephone appointments are provided quarterly by calendar year below – Q4 data is not yet available.

Quarter

Customer Satisfaction

2021/22 Q1

93.2%

2021/22 Q2

93.9%

2021/22 Q3

93.5%

11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what new measures they have put in place, or plan to introduce, to ensure elderly pensioners who are facing sharply rising fuel bills are able to afford to keep their homes sufficiently warm this winter.

The Social Security (Up-rating of Benefits) Act 2021 introduced a double lock and allowed the Government to increase pensions by the higher of inflation or 2.5 per cent. From April 2022 state pensions will be increased by 3.1 per cent and this represents an additional £4bn spend on pensioner benefits in 2022/23. It should also be remembered that last year when earnings were negative this would have resulted in pensions being frozen, despite CPI being 0.5 per cent pensioners in receipt of state pension saw an increase of 2.5 per cent.

Pension Credit also provides invaluable financial support for vulnerable pensioners. Around 1.4 million eligible pensioners across Great Britain receive some £5bn in Pension Credit, which tops up their retirement income and is a passport to other financial help such as support with housing costs, council tax, heating bills and a free TV licence for those over 75.

Local Authorities in England have discretion to design their own bespoke local schemes within the overall parameters of the Household Support Fund, with support primarily focused on food, energy & water bills and wider essentials. Up to 50 per cent of the Fund is available for councils to spend on households without children, including those of State Pension age.

Other support for pensioners includes Winter Fuel Payments which continue to be payable to customers of State Pension age. We pay £200 to households with a customer aged between 66 and 79 and £300 to a household with someone aged 80 or over. We pay over 11 million winter fuel payments annually at a cost of £2bn which is a significant contribution to winter fuel bills.

Cold Weather Payments are also available and help vulnerable people in receipt of certain income-related benefits to meet additional heating costs, during periods of unseasonably cold weather between 1 November and 31 March. This includes older people in receipt of Pension Credit.

The Warm Home Discount Scheme provides those in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee Credit a discount of £140 on their energy bill providing their supplier is part of the scheme. There are now 200 thousand fewer pensioners in absolute poverty (both before and after housing costs) than in 2009/10.

There are now 200 thousand fewer pensioners in absolute poverty (both before and after housing costs) than in 2009/10.

11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to address the issue of new state pension claimants waiting weeks or months for their pension payments to start; and whether everyone reaching state pension age is now being paid their state pension on time.

We have deployed significant additional resource into the processing of new State Pension claims, the payment of which was particularly affected by the impact of the pandemic.

As a result, all claims received by DWP for UK State Pension should be paid on time, other than for those customers where further information is required, or evidence is awaited. State Pension is paid in arrears and, in most instances, the first payment will be due four weeks after the customer’s 66th Birthday.

11th Jan 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many women who were receiving less state pension than they were entitled to have (1) had their payments corrected, and (2) received back payments.

I refer you to the information published on gov.uk on 22 October 2021. Please see attached document.

12th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government for each of the past ten years, how many (1) women, and (2) men, have had their state pension reduced owing to the death of a partner.

The information requested is not normally held as part of normal business and cannot be provided as this would incur disproportionate cost.

14th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to contact all people aged over 80 who are receiving less than the basic State Pension of £82.45 per week, including those receiving no State Pension, so they can be paid their entitlement.

We encourage everyone to apply for the support they are entitled to. Information on how to make a claim can be found on GOV.UK.

The correction activity, which started on 11 January 2021, is identifying people over age 80 who may have been underpaid Category D State Pension in accordance with the law.

The law, which has been in place under successive governments, is that anyone who is not getting any State Pension when they reach age 80, is required to make a claim to get Category D State Pension (Social Security Administration Act 1992 (Section 1)). There is information on how to make a claim on GOV.UK.

14th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have identified why the Pensions Service helpline has been giving incorrect advice to women whose State Pension payments were too low about the accuracy of their payments; and what steps they are taking to improve the quality of the advice offered by the helpline.

The Department strives every day to deliver the highest possible customer service to millions of people we support.

It is not possible to comment on substantive assertions.

Department staff receive comprehensive training to ensure that they provide customers with accurate information. If a customer feels that we may have given inaccurate information, we will investigate this thoroughly.

The Department is delivering enhanced training for all staff dealing with State Pension cases and we have ensured that all staff, including our partner G4S, have updated lines to take when handling calls from customers.

14th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have identified why automatic pension uplifts were not applied since 2008 to women's State Pension when their husbands reached State Pension Age; and what steps they have taken to ensure that future pension payments are subject to checks.

As set out in the written statement of 4th March 2021, laid in both Houses, the Department IT systems produce an electronic prompt to consider if an individual’s State Pension amount should be increased. The prompt requires Department Staff to take further manual action and, in some cases, this did not take place.

The Department is undertaking additional quality assurance checks to ensure that State Pension payments are accurate.

14th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what interest rate is applied to the arrears payments for women whose automatic pension uplifts were not applied as they should have been since 2008, and who are now receiving the back-dated amounts due.

Where underpayments are identified, the Department is contacting individuals to inform them of the changes to their State Pension amount and of any arrears payment they will receive in accordance with the law.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase take-up of Pension Credit and reduce pensioner poverty, especially for older women.

There are now 200,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty than in 2009/10. The percentage of women aged 75 and over in absolute poverty after housing costs fell from 18 per cent in 2009/10 to 15 per cent in 2019/20.

The Government is committed to continuing to reduce pensioner poverty and Pension Credit has an important role to play, as a source of financial support for all eligible pensioners.

Department of Work and Pension Ministers recently met with stakeholders with an interest in pensioners’ financial wellbeing and the Director General of the BBC to explore opportunities to work together to support the promotion of Pension Credit.

The department continues to make the best use of all our channels to reach those who might be eligible as well as their family and friends. For example, over 11 million pensioners in Great Britain recently received messaging about Pension Credit with their annual State Pension up-rating letter. This highlighted that an award of Pension Credit can mean being eligible for other benefits such as Housing Benefit or a free over-75 TV licence. We also make use of proactive press activity and social media posts to encourage older people to check if they are eligible.

Our online Pension Credit material on gov.uk has also recently being updated, providing helpful information on how Pension Credit can help pensioners and how easy it is to claim particularly with the online service we introduced last year which enables family, friends and organisations to help pensioners, including older women pensioners, make a claim.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they currently impose, or intend to impose, any penalties on (1) employers, (2) scheme trustees, (3) pension providers, or (4) employer advisers, if automatic enrolment scheme members are contributing to a pension scheme which is unsuitable for them.

The government keeps all aspects of private pensions policy under review but there are no current plans to change the regulatory framework.

Employers have a duty to enrol their workers in a workplace pension scheme that is a qualifying scheme for automatic enrolment in accordance with the requirements set out in the Pensions Act 2008.

An automatic enrolment scheme must meet certain quality requirements. This is underpinned by the wider regulatory framework for all occupational and group personal pension schemes which helps to safeguard members’ pensions. Compliance and enforcement of these standards is the responsibility of The Pensions Regulator and the Financial Conduct Authority.

13th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 27 April (HL14861), whether the statistics provided include those aged over 80 who received no State Pension; and, if not, as of March 2021 how many (1) women, and (2) men, living in the UK aged over 80 were receiving no State Pension.

I can confirm that the figures provided in HL14861 only include those aged over 80 that are currently in receipt of a State Pension.

The Department does not hold the information to answer how many individuals are not in receipt of State Pension.

12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to protect members of workplace pension schemes whose employers have not selected a suitable scheme.

As part of the introduction of automatic enrolment, requirements were put in place, under the Pensions Act 2008, to ensure that workplace pension schemes selected by an employer to meet their obligations satisfy certain quality and governance standards. The Pensions Regulator enforces employer compliance with the Automatic Enrolment duties.

The Government regularly undertakes public consultations on private pensions policy and encourages all interested parties, including scheme members to submit their views.

In 2020, the department undertook a review of the charge cap and accompanying Pensions Charges Survey. The review concluded that the current level of the charge cap remained appropriate at 0.75 per cent of funds under management within the default arrangement, or an equivalent combination charge.

On 24th May, the department launched a public consultation looking at Permitted Charges within DC Pensions. The consultation seeks views on a proposal to move to a universal charging structure within the charge cap to improve member comprehension of charges, and in turn better enable members to compare pension products if they wish. This consultation also confirms our intention to set a de Minimis on the charging of flats fees within the cap. This will help limit the erosion of small pots of £100 or less, where a flat fee is charged.

12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps members of workplace pension schemes can take if they consider their employer scheme charges are excessively high.

As part of the introduction of automatic enrolment, requirements were put in place, under the Pensions Act 2008, to ensure that workplace pension schemes selected by an employer to meet their obligations satisfy certain quality and governance standards. The Pensions Regulator enforces employer compliance with the Automatic Enrolment duties.

The Government regularly undertakes public consultations on private pensions policy and encourages all interested parties, including scheme members to submit their views.

In 2020, the department undertook a review of the charge cap and accompanying Pensions Charges Survey. The review concluded that the current level of the charge cap remained appropriate at 0.75 per cent of funds under management within the default arrangement, or an equivalent combination charge.

On 24th May, the department launched a public consultation looking at Permitted Charges within DC Pensions. The consultation seeks views on a proposal to move to a universal charging structure within the charge cap to improve member comprehension of charges, and in turn better enable members to compare pension products if they wish. This consultation also confirms our intention to set a de Minimis on the charging of flats fees within the cap. This will help limit the erosion of small pots of £100 or less, where a flat fee is charged.

12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government where responsibility lies for the monitoring of pension scheme charges in automatic enrolment workplace schemes.

As part of the introduction of automatic enrolment, requirements were put in place, under the Pensions Act 2008, to ensure that workplace pension schemes selected by an employer to meet their obligations satisfy certain quality and governance standards. The Pensions Regulator enforces employer compliance with the Automatic Enrolment duties.

The Government regularly undertakes public consultations on private pensions policy and encourages all interested parties, including scheme members to submit their views.

In 2020, the department undertook a review of the charge cap and accompanying Pensions Charges Survey. The review concluded that the current level of the charge cap remained appropriate at 0.75 per cent of funds under management within the default arrangement, or an equivalent combination charge.

On 24th May, the department launched a public consultation looking at Permitted Charges within DC Pensions. The consultation seeks views on a proposal to move to a universal charging structure within the charge cap to improve member comprehension of charges, and in turn better enable members to compare pension products if they wish. This consultation also confirms our intention to set a de Minimis on the charging of flats fees within the cap. This will help limit the erosion of small pots of £100 or less, where a flat fee is charged.

13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many (1) women, and (2) men, over the age of 80 living in the UK received less than £80.45 a week in state pension in the past year.

As of March 2021, there were 15,739 women, and 5,354 men living in the UK that were aged 80 or over and in receipt of a State Pension of less than £80.45.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the number of women who did not receive the automatic uplifts to their State Pension under the rules applying from 17 March 2008, and (2) the number of women who failed to claim uplifts due prior to March 2008.

1) On the 4 March, I laid a written statement (UIN HLWS818) to inform the House that the Department had formally commenced a State Pension correction exercise on 11 January 2021. The estimates around the number of individuals effected by this issue are highly uncertain and will be continuously revised as the correction activity progresses.

2) No assessment has been made.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what reporting they require from (1) pension providers, (2) employers, and (3) payroll operators, to verify the accuracy of auto-enrolment pension contributions; and what steps they (a) have taken, or (b) plan to take, to ensure that pension contribution records are routinely (i) checked, and (ii) reconciled, for auto-enrolment data errors each year.

Automatic enrolment has been a great success, with over 10 million employees enrolled and more than 1.7 million employers having met their duties to date. Government has put in place a robust, proportionate compliance framework. This is administered by The Pensions Regulator (TPR), and includes detailed regulatory guidance about how to comply with the law. An employer is required to select a qualifying pension scheme; enrol qualifying staff into that scheme, and deduct any contributions payable under automatic enrolment.

Employers as well as the trustees or managers of pension schemes must keep certain records including details of the pension contributions payable in each relevant pay reference period by an employer to the scheme. This includes the contributions due on the employer’s behalf and deductions made from an individual’s earnings. As part of the Regulator’s guidance, employers and pension scheme trustees or managers must hold information about payment schedules and contributions for six years, except for opt-outs which must be kept for a minimum of four years.

TPR has published codes of practice on its website setting out how trustees of defined contribution pension schemes and managers of personal pension schemes should monitor the payment of contributions, provide information to help members check their contributions and report material payment failures to TPR. As part of TPR’s codes of practice and guidance, there is a requirement for scheme providers to have sufficient monitoring processes in place. This includes having a risk based approach to monitor employers who should have in place appropriate internal controls to ensure correct and timely payment of contributions due to meet their employer duties. If the trustee or manager becomes aware that this is not the case, or that the employer does not appear to be taking adequate steps to remedy the situation, for example where there are repetitive and regular payment failures, then it must be reported to TPR. The responsibility lies with the employer to ensure their payroll processes are correct whether in house or outsourced. TPR’s compliance checks include checks of employer payroll processes and detailed reviews of payroll software. TPR does hold payment failure reports from pension providers but these do not necessarily represent data errors.

In addition, TPR publishes regular assessments of its automatic enrolment compliance and enforcement activities as well as an annual commentary and analysis report, both of which are available on its website.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the number of women who did not receive an automatic uplift to their State Pension under the 2009 pension rule changes, and (2) the number of women who did not claim pension uplifts that they were due prior to 2009.

There has been no assessment of the numbers requested since there was no such State Pension rule change in 2009.

27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scott on 16 October (HL8845), what adjustments are made to ensure fairness of treatment between those pension contributions made under net pay arrangements and relief at source pension contributions when calculating the earnings figure used for Universal Credit entitlement.

It remains the policy, when assessing entitlement to Universal Credit, that all contributions to personal and occupational pension schemes are deducted from the calculation of earnings in the same way as any National Insurance or income tax paid in the assessment period. This ensures equity of treatment of pension contributions in the calculation of Universal Credit.

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stedman-Scotton 16 October (HL 8845), what are the Universal Credit earnings for a claimant earning £1,000 a month and paying £100 a month in relievable pension contributions into (1) a net pay arrangement pension scheme, and (2) a relief at source pension scheme.

Pension contributions are not used in the calculation of earnings. The earnings figure used in the calculation of UC entitlement is gross earnings less any occupational or personal pension contributions, tax and National Insurance contributions. From this figure any applicable work allowance and the earnings taper is applied to establish the amount of earnings to be used for a claimant in the calculation of their UC award.

7th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Department for Work and Pensions grosses up the net amount of relief at source pension contributions, taken from HMRC Real Time Information data, before deducting those contributions from Universal Credit claimants' earnings.

The earnings figure used in the calculation of Universal Credit entitlement is gross earnings: gross taxable pay minus income tax, National Insurance contributions, and ignoring 100 per cent of contributions made to an occupational or personal pension. Adjustments are made to ensure fairness of treatment between those pension contributions made under net pay arrangements and relief at source pension contributions.

6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether an individual’s pension contributions to a relief at source pension scheme reported to HMRC via Real Time Information are automatically deducted from the claimant’s earned income figure when calculations are made regarding their Universal Credit entitlement.

Pension contributions made by a claimant to a relief at source pension scheme, reported via Real Time Information, are automatically deducted from the earnings used to calculate their Universal Credit award.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to reports that women have received incorrect State Pension payments based on their husband’s record, what assessment they have made of the numbers of women who did not receive automatic uplifts to their State Pension under the post-2008 rules; and what has been their assessment of why the automatic uplifts were not paid.

As has been the case under successive governments of different political persuasions. Those who are already getting a State Pension based on their own National Insurance contributions must make a separate claim for the top up if their husband reached State Pension age before 17 March 2008.

Any women who believe they are being underpaid State Pension should contact the Department. Details on how to do this through the Pension Service are available on the Gov.uk website.

We are checking to find other individuals who may have been affected.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made, if any, of the costs of uprating the Pension Credit by the triple lock over the next 20 years, instead of uprating by earnings.

No estimate has been made on the cost of uprating the Pension Credit by the triple lock over the next 20 years, instead of uprating by earnings.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost to the Exchequer for each of the next 20 years of increasing state pensions by the best of price or earnings inflation in place of a triple lock.

The table below provides the estimated cost to the Exchequer for each of the next 20 years of increasing state pensions by the best of price or earnings inflation (‘double lock’) in place of a triple lock.

The figures assume that the change in uprating happens from 2023/24. They are based on analysis done in 2018, so they do not take into account any impacts of covid-19.

Expenditure Prices (£billion) as a percentage of GDP

Financial Year

Double Lock

Triple Lock

2020/21

4.6

4.6

2021/22

4.7

4.7

2022/23

4.7

4.7

2023/24

4.7

4.7

2024/25

4.8

4.8

2025/26

4.9

4.9

2026/27

4.9

4.9

2027/28

4.7

4.8

2028/29

4.8

4.8

2029/30

4.9

4.9

2030/31

5.0

5.0

2031/32

5.1

5.2

2032/33

5.2

5.3

2033/34

5.3

5.4

2034/35

5.4

5.5

2035/36

5.5

5.6

2036/37

5.6

5.7

2037/38

5.6

5.7

2038/39

5.6

5.7

2039/40

5.7

5.7

2040/41

5.7

5.8

Source: DWP modelling. The figures include the cost of the State Pension. They do not include the cost of Pension Credit or other pensioner benefits.

10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the (1) total number, and (2) percentage, of pensioners who had an annual income above £50,000 in each of the last three years, broken down by gender.

Data on pensioners’ incomes at the breakdowns requested are not available.

Data on estimates of the levels, sources and distribution of pensioners’ incomes can be found on the government website www.gov.uk.

7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what duties the trustees of non-associated multi-employer pension schemes have to employers contributing to the scheme; and whether all such employers have a right to be consulted when trustees grant apportionment arrangements to departing employers.

The employer debt legislation (section 75 of the Pensions Act 1995 and the Occupational Pension Schemes (Employer Debt) Regulations 2005) sets out the requirements on departing employers where any shortfall between liabilities and assets in a Defined Benefit pension scheme is treated as due.

Trustees of all occupational pension schemes including non-associated multi-employer pension schemes have a duty to employers contributing to the scheme to ensure that the scheme is correctly administered in accordance with its rules and that the promised benefits are paid. Where a restructuring event takes place, trustees are required to consult the exiting employer and receiving employer about the likelihood of the receiving employer being able to meet all the exiting employer’s liabilities in relation to the scheme. The trustees must also notify the exiting and receiving employer (in writing) of their decision as to whether they consider the receiving employer capable of meeting all the exiting employer’s liabilities to the scheme.

Whilst there is no general requirement for trustees to consult employers when granting apportionment arrangements to departing employers, the Occupational Pension Schemes (Employer Debt) Regulations 2005 require the consent of employers within the scheme when trustees grant Regulated Apportionment Arrangements, Scheme Apportionment Arrangements and Flexible Apportionment Arrangements to departing employers.

The Government’s Green and subsequent White Paper on Defined Benefit pension schemes looked very closely at this issue and considered carefully what could be done to relieve the pressure some employers face from their obligation to pay an employer debt.

The White Paper concluded that the existing arrangements in legislation, along with the deferred debt arrangement introduced in April 2018, provide enough flexibility for employers to manage their employer debts and the current “full-buyout” calculation method is the most secure and effective way of protecting members and remaining employers in a multi-employer scheme.

7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the pensions industry routinely checks for auto-enrolment contribution data errors; and whether they receive reports from (1) pension providers, (2) employers, and (3) payroll operators, which verify the accuracy of such contributions.

Successive governments have put in place a robust, proportionate, compliance framework for automatic enrolment, which is administered by The Pensions Regulator, and includes detailed regulatory guidance about how to comply with the law.

In addition, employers and their pension scheme trustees, managers and providers must keep certain records including details of the pension contributions payable in each relevant pay reference period by an employer to the pension scheme, and the amounts payable. This includes the contributions due on the employer’s behalf and deductions made from an individual’s earnings towards automatic enrolment.

The Pensions Regulator has published codes of practice on its website setting out how trustees of trust based defined contribution pension schemes and managers of contract based defined contribution pension schemes should monitor the payment of contributions, provide information to help members check their contributions and report material payment failures to The Pensions Regulator.

The Pensions Regulator receives payment failure reports from pension providers, but these do not necessarily represent data errors. While The Pensions Regulator does not hold statistics on contribution data errors, the regulatory regime is designed so that errors can be identified and material failures can be reported. The Pensions Regulator can then require restitution and, where necessary, make use of its enforcement powers.

The Pensions Regulator publishes regular assessments of its automatic enrolment compliance and enforcement activities as well as an annual commentary and analysis report, both of which are available on its website.

10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what are the top five causes of (1) disability, and (2) premature death, in England; and how the NHS plans to mitigate or reduce each cause.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study provides a comprehensive picture of mortality and disability across countries, time, age, and sex. It quantifies health loss from hundreds of diseases, injuries, and risk factors, so that health systems can be improved and disparities eliminated.

According to the data for England published by the GBD study in 2019, the top 5 causes of years lived with disability for England were low back pain, diabetes, depressive disorders, headache disorders and falls.

Data for 2022 for England indicates that the five leading causes of death aged under 75 were cancers, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, deaths from external causes, and digestive system diseases.

On the 24 January 2023, we announced our plan to publish the Major Conditions Strategy. This strategy will explore how we can tackle the key drivers of ill-health in England, reduce pressure on the NHS and reduce ill-health related labour market inactivity.

To deliver on these objectives, the strategy will focus on tackling the six major conditions groups – cancers, mental ill-health, cardiovascular disease (including stroke and diabetes), dementia, chronic respiratory diseases, and musculoskeletal disorders – that account for around 60% of ill-health and early death in England.

Focusing on these groups of conditions that contribute most to mortality and morbidity will allow us to focus our efforts on the key actions needed to achieve our Levelling-Up mission to gain five extra years of Healthy Life Expectancy by 2035.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to comments by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health and Social Care in the Sunday Express on 20 August 2023, when they plan to publish details on ways to establish more fracture liaison services.

Fracture liaison services (FLS) are commissioned by integrated care boards which are well placed to make decisions according to local need. NHS England is supporting requests from health systems to introduce FLS and other secondary fracture prevention services, including through the Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme.

The Government recognises the value of quality-assured secondary fracture prevention services, including Fracture Liaison Services. In the online-only Major Conditions Strategy: Case for change and our strategic framework, we set out that we will look to, together with NHS England, explore supporting the provision of fracture liaison services. The intention is to publish the Major Conditions Strategy early this year.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to ask the Royal Osteoporosis Society to establish ‘lived experience’ focus groups for people with Osteoporosis to inform their Major Conditions Strategy; and what plans they have to include the issue of bone fractures in the Strategy.

The Major Conditions Strategy will look to tackle the six major condition groups including musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. In August 2023, we set out our initial plans in the online-only Major Conditions Strategy:Case for change and our strategic framework including that we will look to, together with NHS England, explore supporting the provision of fracture liaison services.

There are no current plans to ask the Royal Osteoporosis Society to establish ‘lived experience’ focus groups for people with Osteoporosis. However, the Department has worked closely with stakeholders to develop the Major Conditions Strategy including people with lived experience and organisations representing patients, carers, and conditions. This includes engagement with the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance, an umbrella body bringing together patient organisations and professional bodies representing the breadth of MSK health. The development of the strategy has also been informed by the Call for Evidence, which received over 400 responses from both individuals and organisations. Our intention is to publish the Major Conditions Strategy early this year.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to prioritise early detection of osteoporosis in older adults, especially women, and to enhance the timely diagnosis and treatment of people with osteoporosis, following ministerial commitments to do so.

On 24 January 2023, we announced our plan to publish the Major Conditions Strategy. The Strategy will focus on six major groups of conditions, including musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders such as osteoporosis.

We have now published our initial report ‘Major conditions strategy: case for change and our strategic framework’, which is available on GOV.UK in an online-only format. It sets out what we have learned so far, and shares what we plan to focus on next to develop the final strategy.

For MSK conditions, it sets out that we will look to aim to improve services where medical treatment is necessary. Together with NHS England, we will explore supporting the further provision of fracture liaison services. This could include identifying people at risk of further osteoporotic fragility fracture and implementing strategies to reduce the risk of future fracture, including falls, and mortality.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to announce funding for improved fracture liaison services across England to avoid a postcode lottery relating to early detection of osteoporosis.

Fracture Liaison Services (FLS) are commissioned by integrated care boards (ICBs) which are well placed to make decisions according to local need. NHS England is also supporting requests from health systems to introduce FLS and other secondary fracture prevention services, including through the Falls and Fragility Fracture Audit Programme.

On 24 January 2023, we announced our plan to publish the Major Conditions Strategy. This strategy will explore how we can tackle the key drivers of ill-health in England, reduce pressure on the National Health Service and reduce ill-health related labour market inactivity. The Strategy will focus on six major groups of conditions including musculoskeletal conditions, such as osteoporosis, and will be published early next year.

As stated in the Major Conditions Strategy: Case for change and our strategic framework, the Government will work together with NHS England to explore supporting the provision of fracture liaison services. The framework was published on GOV.UK on 21 August 2023 in an online-only format.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the potential cost savings to (1) the NHS, and (2) employers, in the next 20 years as a result of early detection and treatment of osteoporosis.

We have made no estimate of the potential cost savings to the National Health Service, and to employers, in the next 20 years as a result of early detection and treatment of osteoporosis.

Information on the number of working days lost each year that result from bone fractures is not available. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Sickness absence in the United Kingdom labour market publication is produced from data collected from the Labour Force Survey; however, this survey does not specifically ask the question of sick days taken due to fractures.

A document is attached with tables showing, firstly, the number of deaths where bone fractures were the secondary cause of death, by broad age group and sex, registered between 2014 and 2023 in England and Wales; and secondly, the number of deaths involving bone fractures, by broad age group and sex, registered between 2014 and 2023 in England and Wales.

Government will continue to consider options for further work to support those with osteoporosis and at risk of fractures, including working together with NHS England to explore supporting the provision of fracture liaison service.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that immunocompromised people for whom vaccination is not suitable are protected against COVID-19.

Those who are at higher risk of serious outcomes from COVID-19, including the immunosuppressed and/or immunocompromised, remain a priority for the Government and as such are offered enhanced protections and interventions such as treatments, vaccines, and public health advice. The Government recently updated the online-only COVID-19: guidance for people whose immune system means they are at higher risk on 30 January 2023.

In rare cases where people may have a medical contraindication to currently available COVID-19 vaccines, individuals are able to access services such as a referral to an allergist or other appropriate specialist, to consider administration of the implicated mRNA vaccine under medical supervision in a suitable environment. When mRNA vaccines are not considered clinically suitable, the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine Nuvaxovid, a protein subunit vaccine, may be used as an alternative for people who are contraindicated against and cannot have any alternative clinically suitable United Kingdom-approved COVID-19 vaccine. The Government continues to be guided by the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation on the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Immunosuppressed individuals are also a priority cohort for research into therapeutic and prophylaxis treatments such as monoclonal antibody therapies, novel antivirals, and repurposed compounds.

The Government has made available a range of new treatment options within the community for National Health Service patients at greater risk from COVID-19. These treatments are licensed for use in non-hospitalised patients to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death.

There are two ways for clinically eligible patients to access these new treatments. Those in the highest risk group from COVID-19 with a positive COVID-19 test result can access the treatments directly, following advice from a clinician at a COVID Medicines Delivery Unit. In addition, oral antiviral treatments are available through the national study, PANORAMIC, run by the University of Oxford. This study is open to clinically eligible individuals living anywhere in the UK. Further details about eligibility can be found on the PANORAMIC website in an online-only format.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to (1) the Written Answer by Lord Markham on 20 February (HL5171), and (2) the conclusion from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that "Evusheld is not recommended for vulnerable adults who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 because there is not enough evidence of its effectiveness against current variants and those likely to be circulating in the next 6 months", what steps they will now take to ensure that immunocompromised individuals have access to passive immunisation via relevant human-derived antibody products from convalescent plasma, instead of through monoclonal antibody treatments.

For treatment of patients with COVID-19, the REMAP-CAP and RECOVERY trials both found convalescent plasma did not provide any benefit to the overall patient group. However, detailed analysis within subgroups of the REMAP-CAP data found there was a likelihood that people who are immunosuppressed may benefit from convalescent plasma with very high antibody levels - unfortunately there was insufficient data for a definite result. Consequently, REMAP-CAP has now decided to reopen the convalescent plasma arm to collect more data.

Further research is needed to determine the benefit of using human-derived convalescent plasma, or products derived from it, for immunocompromised individuals before this could be approved and available to patients. The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including immunoglobulins and convalescent plasma.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the finding from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) that "Evusheld is not recommended for vulnerable adults who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 because there is not enough evidence of its effectiveness against current variants and those likely to be circulating in the next 6 months", what consideration they have given to using human-derived convalescent plasma for immune compromised individuals; and what trials they have undertaken, if any, to test its effectiveness.

For treatment of patients with COVID-19, the REMAP-CAP and RECOVERY trials both found convalescent plasma did not provide any benefit to the overall patient group. However, detailed analysis within subgroups of the REMAP-CAP data found there was a likelihood that people who are immunosuppressed may benefit from convalescent plasma with very high antibody levels - unfortunately there was insufficient data for a definite result. Consequently, REMAP-CAP has now decided to reopen the convalescent plasma arm to collect more data.

Further research is needed to determine the benefit of using human-derived convalescent plasma, or products derived from it, for immunocompromised individuals before this could be approved and available to patients. The Department commissions research through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including immunoglobulins and convalescent plasma.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the decision by regulatory authorities in the United States of America to disallow further use of the Evusheld monoclonal antibody product; and what steps they will take to ensure appropriate prophylaxis and treatment against COVID-19 for vulnerable immunodeficient and immunocompromised patients.

The Antivirals and Therapeutics Taskforce engages with other nations to share learning on the use, deployment and evaluation of therapeutics and antivirals. Evusheld (tixagevimab and cilgavimab) has a conditional marketing authorisation in the United Kingdom for the pre-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 and has been referred to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to make recommendations for the National Health Service on whether it should be routinely funded by the NHS based on an assessment of clinical and cost effectiveness.

The final outcome of NICE’s evaluation on the use of Evusheld as a pre-exposure prophylactic treatment against COVID-19 is expected in April 2023.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many social care workers earning more than £20,480 they estimate will be recruited from overseas as a result of the new immigration visa rules; and what proportion of staff vacancies are expected to be filled further to those rules.

No specific estimate has been made. However, we are working with Skills for Care and the Home Office to produce guidance and seminars to equip adult social care providers with necessary tools and information to recruit successfully from overseas.

14th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many individuals are medically unable to be vaccinated against COVID-19, either because they are (1) immuno-compromised, (2) undergoing cancer treatment, or (3) undergoing any other treatment rendering them unsuitable for vaccination.

Public Health England does not hold this data.

14th Jun 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to protect individuals who are immuno-compromised and therefore cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19; and whether they plan to offer those individuals plasma from people who have either (1) recovered from COVID-19, or (2) been fully vaccinated.

All immunocompromised people have been offered a COVID-19 vaccination. We continue to monitor vaccine efficacy to identify groups, such as the immunocompromised, who may require additional support. Immunocompromised individuals are a priority cohort for research into therapeutic and prophylaxis treatments such as monoclonal antibody therapies, novel antivirals and repurposed compounds.

It is not yet possible to determine the exact cohort of patients who may benefit from these treatments, as this will depend on results released by ongoing trials as they conclude, licensing approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and deployment planning. We are taking steps to ensure supply of treatments in the event that they are found to be effective. We are developing options for further clinical trials where necessary.

Convalescent plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 was found to not provide a clinical benefit in hospitalised patients in the RECOVERY clinical trial. However, we keep the evidence under review for all neutralising antibody therapies including convalescent plasma. The NHS Blood and Transplant study C-VELVET will provide information on the levels of antibodies produced by patients post vaccination and could support further research and development of antibody therapies.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to instruct all care homes to ensure any Do Not Attempt CPR orders imposed since 1 March on any of their residents’ files are reviewed immediately, in consultation with residents or their representatives.

The Department has asked the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to review how Do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) decisions were used during the COVID-19 pandemic, building on concerns that the CQC reported earlier in the year. Interim findings are expected to be reported later this year with a final report in early 2021.

Until the review reports its findings in early 2021, we will continue to work across the health and care system to address the issue. The Adult Social Care Winter Plan reiterates that DNACPR decisions should only ever be made on an individual basis and should be led by the clinical team. All health professionals nationally are expected to follow the clear statements on the use of individual DNACPR orders.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what criteria they have established to assess independently the capacity of care homes to accept safely COVID-19 positive patients from hospital; and who is responsible for that assessment.

We are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the National Health Service to ensure everyone discharged from hospital has an updated COVID-19 test result and anyone testing positive is discharged to a setting that is assured to be able to provide safe care.

The CQC has worked with experts to develop an online infection prevention and control (IPC) inspection tool. If settings meet the expectations set out in the CQC’s IPC tool, they will be assured as having the practices and processes in place, at the time of the inspection, to provide appropriate post-discharge care for people who have tested COVID-19 positive.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a national system to enable care home residents to have meaningful visits from relatives by treating named family members in the same way as key workers who are tested weekly.

We understand how vital it is to allow care home residents to meet their loved ones safely. We appreciate the particular challenges visiting restrictions pose for people with dementia, people with learning disabilities and autistic adults, amongst others, as well as for their friends and family.

On 16 November, we began a trial of testing visitors to care homes. The aim is to support care home providers and families to work together to find the right balance between the benefits of visiting on wellbeing and quality of life, and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 to social care staff and vulnerable residents. This trial is currently taking place in around 21 care homes across three local authorities - Devon, Cornwall and Hampshire - with a view to rolling out nationally in December.

Visitors will still be expected to follow infection prevention and control procedures. Holding hands and hugs can be allowed with a negative test and personal protective equipment, but visitors should minimise contact as much as possible to reduce the risk of transmission.

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial stability of care home providers in England and Wales in the light of any additional pressures arising as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We draw on a range of information to assess the financial position of the care sector in England. The Adult Social Care – our COVID-19 Winter Plan 2020/21, published on 18 September, underlines the Government’s commitment to support local authorities in England and the wider care sector, including care homes, to ensure that high quality, safe and timely care is provided to everyone who needs it. A copy of the Plan is attached.

We recognise that COVID-19 is imposing significant pressures on the social care sector. We have now made £4.6 billion available to local authorities so they can address pressures on local services caused by the pandemic, including in adult social care. The responsibility for adult social care in Wales is a devolved matter.

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the fees paid by local authority commissioners to private care home providers in each area of the country; and whether the fees paid are sufficient to cover the costs of care provision.

Local authorities have the autonomy and flexibility to determine the fee rates they pay care providers. Their decision on appropriate rates of care is based on local market conditions. The Department continues to support local authorities with their Care Act 2014 duties to ensure that their local market remains effective and able to meet people’s care needs.

We are committed to bringing forward a plan for social care to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect and to find long term solutions for one of the biggest challenges we face as a society.

27th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the fees paid by privately funded residents in care homes, relative to the fees paid by local authority funded residents in the same homes in the past three years.

Where individuals are not eligible for financial support, they make their own arrangements for care services and pay the fees. The fees are set out in a contract between the individual and the care provider.

We are committed to bringing forward a plan for social care to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect and to find long term solutions for one of the biggest challenges we face as a society.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people they estimate have missed cancer treatment since March in (1) England and Wales, (2) Scotland, and (3) Northern Ireland; and what estimate they have made of the impact of this on future cancer mortality statistics.

In England, there have been no estimates made of this kind. The Government cannot comment for Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland as this is a devolved matter.

The long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on service provision and outcomes will be widespread and complex to identify and evaluate.

Critical care services, including for heart disease and stroke, as well as urgent and essential cancer treatments have remained open and continued throughout the pandemic, and have not been interrupted. The data show that the timeliness and quality of care have been broadly equivalent to, or better than, pre-COVID-19.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people likely to die during 2020 as a result of interruption to normal medical services, in particular (1) the failure to carry out cancer assessments or treatment, (2) individuals suffering stroke but not receiving timely treatment, and (3) individuals not receiving treatment for heart disease in normal timescales.

In England, there have been no estimates made of this kind. The Government cannot comment for Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland as this is a devolved matter.

The long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on service provision and outcomes will be widespread and complex to identify and evaluate.

Critical care services, including for heart disease and stroke, as well as urgent and essential cancer treatments have remained open and continued throughout the pandemic, and have not been interrupted. The data show that the timeliness and quality of care have been broadly equivalent to, or better than, pre-COVID-19.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to enable young adults who are (1) autistic, or (2) disabled, and who are living in care homes and who do not have any specific risk factors for COVID-19 to be able to visit family at home; and if they have any such plans, what is the timetable to enable such visits. [T]

We are aware that limiting visits out of care homes is difficult for many families and residents. The Government recognises that this is a particularly challenging time for many disabled people and we are absolutely committed to ensuring they receive the support they need.

Guidance on visits out of care homes is in development and will be published shortly.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Public Health England report stating that the largest number of people in critical care due to COVID-19 are aged between 50 and 70, whether they consider this age group to be particularly vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19.

Public Health England’s report found that COVID-19 diagnosis rates increased with age for both males and females. When compared to all-cause mortality in previous years, deaths from COVID-19 have a slightly older age distribution, particularly for males.

Among people with a positive test, those who were between 50-59 were nine times more likely to die, compared with those under 40. Also, people who were between 60-69 were 25 times more likely to die than those under 40.

These disparities exist after taking ethnicity, deprivation and region into account, but they do not account for the effect of comorbidities or occupation, which may explain some of the differences.

8th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the vulnerability of people aged between 70 and 80 without underlying health conditions to the impact of COVID-19; and how this compares to the vulnerability of someone aged 40 with underlying health problems including (1) diabetes, (2) heart disease, or lung disease.

Public Health England (PHE) led a rapid review to better understand how a number of different factors can impact on how people are affected by COVID-19. This included an analysis of age, sex (male and female), deprivation, geography, ethnicity, and other factors, where surveillance data was available to PHE.

The review found that among people with a positive test, those who were 80 or older were 70 times more likely to die, compared with those under 40. These were the largest disparities found in this analysis and are consistent with what has been previously reported in the United Kingdom.

No comparisons have been made between the vulnerability of someone aged between 70 and 80 and someone aged 40 with underlying health problems to the impact of COVID-19.

Some analyses outlined in the review are provisional and will continue to be improved. Further work is planned to obtain, link and analyse data that will complement these analyses.

A copy of PHE’s report Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19 is attached.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of COVID-19 of the financial sustainability of (1) the for-profit care home sector, and (2) care homes operated by charities.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitors the financial health of the largest and most difficult-to-replace adult social care providers through its Market Oversight Scheme. The scheme covers both commercial providers and charities. Under the scheme, the CQC has a duty to notify local authorities if they consider that a provider’s services are likely to be disrupted because of business failure. This allows local authorities time to step in and ensure that people continue to receive the services they need. As a minimum, all providers in the scheme are required to provide the CQC with financial information on a quarterly basis. However, where the CQC perceives a greater risk to continuity of care, more regular engagement is undertaken.

We recognise the pressures that all parts of the sector are facing, and we provided local authorities with £1.6 billion funding in March to help them deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19. On top of this, on 18 April the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government (Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick MP) announced an additional £1.6 billion of funding to support local authorities delivering essential frontline services.

On 13 May we announced an additional £600 million for an Infection Control Fund for Adult Social Care. This funding is to support adult social care providers in England reduce the rate of transmission in and between care homes and to support workforce resilience.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have of the number of people discharged from NHS hospitals into care homes who had (1) not been tested, or (2) tested positive, for COVID-19. [T]

Information is not available in the format requested.

The attached table shows a count of the finished discharge episodes, with the number of diagnosis confirmed by test and diagnosis not confirmed by test for all discharges listed by destination for each month in 2020.

The data shows the number of completed episodes and not the number of people as some individuals may have been admitted and discharged on more than one occasion during the period.

The data is provisional and is subject to review.

5th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the risk posed to the health of (1) individuals, and (2) the general public, of extending restrictions to address the COVID-19 pandemic for specific groups including (a) all over 60s regardless of health, (b) all over 70s regardless of health, (c) all BAME citizens, (d) all male citizens, and (e) all those with a body mass index over 30; how many people in each such group have been admitted to intensive care due to COVID-19; and what proportion of the total population of each group such numbers represent. [T]

On 2 June Public Health England published Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19. This report was subsequently updated in August 2020. The report finds that among people already diagnosed with COVID-19, people who were 80 years or older were seventy times more likely to die than those under 40. It also sets out that the risk of dying among those diagnosed with COVID-19 was also higher in males than females; higher in those living in the more deprived areas than those living in the least deprived; and higher in those in black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups than in white ethnic groups. The report notes that these inequalities largely replicate existing inequalities in mortality rates in previous years, except for BAME groups, as mortality was previously higher in white ethnic groups. The report’s analyses take into account age, sex, deprivation, region and ethnicity, but it does not take into account the existence of co-morbidities, which are strongly associated with the risk of death from COVID-19 and are likely to explain some of the differences. A copy of the report is attached.

On 22 October the Minister for Equalities, (Kemi Badenoch MP) published the first Quarterly report on progress to address COVID-19 health inequalities report to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on progress to tackle COVID-19 disparities experienced by individuals from an ethnic minority background, making 13 recommendations. This includes reviewing the effectiveness and impact of current actions being undertaken by relevant Government departments to directly lessen disparities in infection and death rates of COVID-19. As well as taking action to modify existing policy and policy in development to address these disparities, all of which the Prime Minister has accepted. A copy of this quarterly report is attached.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial strength of the companies in charge of the majority of elderly care homes.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitors the financial health of the largest and most difficult-to-replace adult social care providers through their Market Oversight Scheme. Under the scheme, they have a duty to notify local authorities if they consider that a provider’s services are likely to be disrupted because of business failure. This allows local authorities time to step in and ensure that people continue to receive the services they need. As a minimum, all providers in the Market Oversight Scheme are required to provide the CQC with financial information on a quarterly basis. However, where the CQC perceives a greater risk to continuity of care, more regular engagement is undertaken.

We recognise the pressures that all parts of the sector are facing, and we have provided councils with £1.6 billion funding in March to help local authorities deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19. On top of this, on 18 April the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced an additional £1.6 billion of funding to support local authorities delivering essential frontline services.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there are any regulations or requirements placed on owners of care homes to demonstrate financial strength; and what plans they have, if any, to place limits on the level of debt such companies may be allowed to have.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) monitors the financial health of the largest and most difficult-to-replace adult social care providers through their Market Oversight Scheme. Under the scheme, they have a duty to notify local authorities if they consider that a provider’s services are likely to be disrupted because of business failure. This allows local authorities time to step in and ensure that people continue to receive the services they need. As a minimum, all providers in the Market Oversight Scheme are required to provide the CQC with financial information on a quarterly basis. However, where the CQC perceives a greater risk to continuity of care, more regular engagement is undertaken.

We recognise the pressures that all parts of the sector are facing, and we have provided councils with £1.6 billion funding in March to help local authorities deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19. On top of this, on 18 April the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced an additional £1.6 billion of funding to support local authorities delivering essential frontline services.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the average weekly fees paid by local authorities to care homes run by (1) local authorities, and (2) private operators, for elderly (a) residential care, and (b) elderly nursing care.

Care and support is arranged on an open market where prices and fee rates are negotiated locally by commissioners for state funded clients, whilst individuals and their families do so for those who self-fund. The Government has no say in these individual negotiations, as the level of fees charged to people who fund their own care is a private contractual arrangement.

The Government has taken and continues to take steps to support adult social care providers and local authorities, including providing regular advice and guidance, and working with the sector on contingency and preparedness.

We recognise the pressures that all parts of the sector are facing, and we have announced £1.6 billion to help local authorities deal with the immediate impacts of COVID-19. On top of this, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government announced an additional £1.6 billion of funding to support local authorities delivering essential frontline services.

18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people are estimated to have died of influenza in the last five years; and whether either (1) a monthly, or (2) a quarterly, breakdown of those figures is available for each such year.

The number of flu cases and deaths as a result of related complications varies each flu season. The average number of estimated deaths in England over the last five seasons (2014/15 to 2018/19) was 17,000 deaths annually. This ranged from 1,692 deaths last season (2018/19) to 28,330 deaths in 2014/15. Of these deaths, many were in people with underlying health conditions.

The following table shows the number of deaths associated with influenza observed through the FluMOMO algorithm with confidence intervals, England, 2014 to 2015 season to 2018 to 2019.

Season

All ages

0-4 years

5-14 years

15-64 years

65+ years

2014/15

28,330 (27,462 to 29,208)

91 (79 to 104)

13 (9 to 18)

701 (635 to 769)

25,143 (24,368 to 25926)

2015/16

11,875
(11,237 – 12,2524)

84
(72 to 96)

11 (6 to 16)

1,259 (1,178 to 1,342)

9,459 (8,941 to 9,987)

2016/17

18,009
(17,260 to 18,786)

77 (66 to 89)

20 (14 to 26)

578 (519 to 639)

15,167 (14,546 to 15,798)

2017/18

26,403 (17,260 to 18,768)

6 93 to 10)

2 (0 to 5)

1,462 (1,373 to 1,553)

22,237 (21,482 to 23,000)

2018/19*

1,692 (1,352 to 2,056)

3 (0 to 7)

10 (6 to 15)

192 (142 to 241)

914 (666 to 1,186)

*Data up to epidemiological week 15 2019

Notes:

  1. Source: Surveillance of Influenza and other respiratory viruses in the UK 2018 to 2019 report,
  2. The above annual data is modelled data.

Influenza related mortality data from hospital confirmed deaths are published weekly, but the modelled data on all deaths due to flu related complications are not available at a monthly or quarterly level. However, a weekly flu report is published throughout the flu season, providing information, data on flu cases and cases of mortality.

10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many care (1) homes, and (2) beds, in England, broken down by region, are operated by (a) local authorities, (b) private firms, and (c) charities.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has provided information relating to care homes that fall within the Market Oversight scheme.

The following table shows Market Oversight CQC registered care home beds and locations, by region, as at 1 February 2020

Number of care home beds

Region

For profit

Not for profit

Total

East Midlands

10,372

1,991

12,363

East of England

13,626

3,173

16,799

London

8,777

3,728

12,505

North East

9,207

1,291

10,498

North West

14,437

3,445

17,882

South East

18,719

6,833

25,552

South West

8,166

4,414

12,580

West Midlands

10,785

3,897

14,682

Yorkshire and the Humber

9,788

3,281

13,069

Totals

103,877

32,053

135,930

Number of care home locations

Region

For-profit

Not-for-profit

Total

East Midlands

276

70

346

East of England

295

96

391

London

201

110

311

North East

198

37

235

North West

280

94

374

South East

492

223

715

South West

242

135

377

West Midlands

278

114

392

Yorkshire and the Humber

231

74

305

Totals

2,493

953

3,446

16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what information they hold about how aid money given to the Palestinian Authority in the 10 years is spent.

Following Official Development Assistance (ODA) prioritisation exercises undertaken in March 2021, the UK no longer provides direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. All UK support to the Palestinian Authority is provided through technical advice, procured through commercial suppliers.

The FCDO aid budget is allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against a challenging financial climate. There is a robust framework in place for allocating ODA. Data on ODA spend in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is available on DevTracker (https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/countries/PS). More than 80 per cent of our ODA spend this year of UK support will be used to meet humanitarian need, or to provide vital health, education, and protection services for Palestinian Refugees.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the breakdown of aid spend by Government departments to the Palestinian Authority in the past 10 years.

Following Official Development Assistance (ODA) prioritisation exercises undertaken in March 2021, the UK no longer provides direct financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. All UK support to the Palestinian Authority is provided through technical advice, procured through commercial suppliers.

The FCDO aid budget is allocated in accordance with UK strategic priorities against a challenging financial climate. There is a robust framework in place for allocating ODA. Data on ODA spend in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is available on DevTracker (https://devtracker.fcdo.gov.uk/countries/PS). More than 80 per cent of our ODA spend this year of UK support will be used to meet humanitarian need, or to provide vital health, education, and protection services for Palestinian Refugees.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what recent discussions they have had with (1) the government of Israel, and (2) Palestinian representatives, about the Middle East peace process.

The UK remains committed to making progress towards a two-state solution. The Foreign Secretary discussed the Middle East Peace Process with Israeli FM Lapid on 29 November and Minister Cleverly raised with Deputy FM Roll on 9 November. Minister Cleverly met with Israeli Minister Frej and Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh on 17 November in Oslo at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking, if any, (1) to strengthen the Abraham Accords, and (2) to expand those accords to additional nations.

The United Kingdom (UK) warmly welcomed the normalisation agreements between Israel, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Sudan. These were historic steps which see the normalisation of relations between friends of the UK.

Restoring cooperation is an important and constructive step towards peace, and shows both sides are willing to put the needs and security of both Israelis and Palestinians first. We need to build on this momentum through further dialogue and compromise to move towards a two state solution and a lasting solution to the conflict. The United Kingdom will continue to work towards a more peaceful and prosperous future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Institute for Science and International Security Analysis of IAEA Iran Verification and Monitoring Report, published on 13 September, and in particular the finding that Iran is only one month away from producing weapons-grade uranium for an atomic bomb.

The information in the International Atomic Energy Authority's report of 13 September shows that Iran's nuclear programme has never been more advanced or more worrying than it is today. This includes Iran's continued efforts to increase its stockpile of enriched uranium, including at 60% and 20%; and developing and operating powerful advanced centrifuges, permanently improving its enrichment capabilities. Our priority continues to be to find a diplomatic solution to bring Iran back into compliance with its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) commitments. Iran urgently needs to return to talks in Vienna and to conclude the deal on the table.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they oppose initiatives at the United Nations which promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the government of Israel.

The UK is strongly opposed to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel. While we do not hesitate to express disagreement with Israel whenever we feel it necessary, we are firmly opposed to boycotts/sanctions.


We believe that open and honest discussions, rather than imposing sanctions or supporting anti-Israeli boycotts, best supports our efforts to help progress in the peace process and achieve a negotiated solution.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to support victims of the fire at the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos; and whether they plan to bring any of those affected, including children, to the UK.

The UK is responding to requests by the Greek Government to provide specific humanitarian goods and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office is urgently making plans for the delivery of these goods.

The UK has a long and proud history of welcoming those in need and escaping persecution. Throughout the pandemic the UK has remained ready to receive those accepted for transfer under the Dublin III Regulation. We remain in regular contact with sending Member States, including Greece, who are responsible for arranging transfers.

15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken in response to the arrest of Rami Aman in Gaza in April for engaging in online dialogue with Israelis; and whether they have called for his release.

We strongly condemn the detention of Rami Aman by Hamas. The UK retains a policy of no contact with Hamas in its entirety. Hamas has de facto control over the Gaza Strip. We monitor the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories closely, including reporting on human rights violations in the FCO's annual Human Rights and Democracy Report.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what proportion of people aged 55 to 66 have a National Insurance record of more than 35 years.

Information in the form requested is not readily available and could only be obtained/compiled/collated at disproportionate cost.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what proportion of people aged 55 to 66 have a National Insurance record of more than 40 years.

Information in the form requested is not readily available and could only be obtained/compiled/collated at disproportionate cost.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost to the UK economy of removing duty-free shopping for passengers arriving in the UK, and for overseas shoppers across the country.

Duty-free on arrival would place additional pressure on the public finances to which excise duty makes a significant contribution. Tax generated by the Government helps fund key spending priorities such as important public services, including the NHS, education, and defence.

Although there are no plans to introduce a duty-free on arrival scheme, the Government keeps all taxes under review and welcomes representations to help inform future decisions on tax policy, as part of the tax policy making cycle and Budget process.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the successes of duty free on arrival stores in the 65 other countries that have legislated for these; and whether they intend to assess the potential merits of implementing arrivals duty free in the UK.

Duty-free on arrival would place additional pressure on the public finances to which excise duty makes a significant contribution. Tax generated by the Government helps fund key spending priorities such as important public services, including the NHS, education, and defence.

Although there are no plans to introduce a duty-free on arrival scheme, the Government keeps all taxes under review and welcomes representations to help inform future decisions on tax policy, as part of the tax policy making cycle and Budget process.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government how much (1) gross tax relief, and (2) National Insurance relief, was given to (a) Defined Benefit or hybrid pension scheme employers, (b) Defined Benefit or hybrid pension scheme members, (c) Defined Contribution workplace scheme employers, (d) Defined Contribution pension scheme auto-enrolment members, and (e) other Defined Contribution pension scheme members, in each of the past three years.

Estimates of the cost of Income Tax and National Insurance Contribution relief on total pension contributions made in 2020 to 2021 can be found in Tables 1 and 2 below. Figures are provided in millions and rounded to the nearest hundred million pounds. Hybrid defined contribution and defined benefit schemes are counted as defined benefit schemes for the purpose of this analysis.

HMRC do not publish estimates of total pension contributions.

Table 1: Income Tax relief on pension contributions in 2020 to 2021 by type of contribution, £million

Income Tax relief in 2020 to 2021 [provisional] on:

Defined benefit scheme

Defined contribution scheme

Individual contributions to net pay arrangements

3,600

900

Individual contributions to relief at source schemes

0

4,900

Salary sacrificed contributions

1,100

3,600

Employer contributions to net pay arrangements

16,800*

4,100

Employer contributions to relief at source schemes

0

5,900*

Table 2: National Insurance Contribution (NIC) relief on pension contributions in 2020 to 2021 by type of contribution, £million

NIC relief in 2020 to 2021 [provisional] on:

Defined benefit scheme

Defined contribution scheme

Class 1 Primary (employee) NIC relief on employer contributions to net pay arrangements

4,900*

1,000

Class 1 Primary (employee) NIC relief on employer contributions to relief at source schemes

0

1,500*

Class 1 Primary (employee) NIC relief on salary sacrificed contributions

300

800

Class 1 Secondary (employer) NIC relief on employer contributions to net pay arrangements

8,200*

1,800

Class 1 Secondary (employer) NIC relief on employer contributions to relief at source schemes

0

2,700*

Class 1 Secondary (employer) NIC relief on salary sacrificed contributions

500

1,500

*These figures contain forecasts rather than being entirely based on outturn data sources.

Please note that the figures provided are estimates only.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the impact of quantitative easing since 2009 on the distribution of wealth by (1) age, and (2) region, across the UK.

Monetary policy, including quantitative easing, is the responsibility of the independent Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England. The Government is working closely with the Bank to ensure that monetary and fiscal policy are well coordinated, and fully supports the Bank in their mission to drive down inflation. The Government does not comment on the conduct or effectiveness of monetary policy.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what recent estimate they have made of how many people over the age of 60 have ISAs in the UK; and what is the (1) total, and (2) average, value of those ISAs.

The latest information is available in Hansard under reference HL1263, which gives this specific breakdown for the 2019 to 2020 tax year. Breakdowns of ISAs by age bands for tax year 2020 to 2021 will be published in HMRC’s Annual savings statistics in June 2023. These statistics show ISA breakdowns for individuals aged over 65.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government which (1) social security, and (2) other taxpayer-funded benefits, are (a) taxable, and (b) tax-free.

The long-standing tax treatment of social security benefits is based on how each type of payment would otherwise be treated in income tax legislation.

Whether a benefit is taxable or exempt from income tax is set out in the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA).

The position for the most common UK state benefits is summarised online at gov.uk[1].

The most common taxable State benefits include Bereavement Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, contribution- based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Incapacity Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), pensions paid by the Industrial Death Benefit scheme, the State Pensions, and Widowed Parent’s Allowance. For an extensive list of taxable UK benefits please refer to section 660[2] ITEPA.

The most common tax-exempt state benefits include Attendance Allowance, Bereavement support payment, Child Benefit, Child Tax Credit, Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Guardian’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Industrial Injuries Benefit, Maternity Allowance, Pension Credit, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Severe Disability Allowance, Universal Credit, War Widow’s Pension, Winter Fuel Payments, and Working Tax Credit. An extensive list of UK social security benefits wholly exempt from income tax can be found at section 677[3] ITEPA.

[1] www.gov.uk/income-tax/taxfree-and-taxable-state-benefits

[2] Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (legislation.gov.uk)

[3] Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (legislation.gov.uk)

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Financial Conduct Authority on the regulation of investment consultants for pension fund investors, including the regulation of their net zero and sustainability strategies.

The principal finding of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) 2018 Investment Consultants Market Investigation report was that the investment consultancy and fiduciary management market was insufficiently competitive, leading to adverse impacts for their customers. One of the recommendations of that report was that investment consultants should be brought into Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulation.

In the March 2019 response to the recommendations of the CMA’s final report, HM Treasury committed to consulting on the CMA’s recommendation that the FCA’s regulatory perimeter be extended to cover the activities of investment consultants. A number of other priorities, including the urgent work required to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, meant that the work to develop this consultation has been delayed.

However, a number of other recommendations made by the CMA to address competition in this market have been taken forward, such as the Department for Work and Pensions’ legislation requiring pension scheme trustees to carry out a competitive tender for fiduciary management services.

HM Treasury works closely with the FCA and has held regular discussions with them on this matter.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Feb 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to adopt the Competition and Market Authority’s recommendation of December 2018 to make investment consultants advising on pension funds subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority; and if so, when.

The principal finding of the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) 2018 Investment Consultants Market Investigation report was that the investment consultancy and fiduciary management market was insufficiently competitive, leading to adverse impacts for their customers. One of the recommendations of that report was that investment consultants should be brought into Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) regulation.

In the March 2019 response to the recommendations of the CMA’s final report, HM Treasury committed to consulting on the CMA’s recommendation that the FCA’s regulatory perimeter be extended to cover the activities of investment consultants. A number of other priorities, including the urgent work required to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, meant that the work to develop this consultation has been delayed.

However, a number of other recommendations made by the CMA to address competition in this market have been taken forward, such as the Department for Work and Pensions’ legislation requiring pension scheme trustees to carry out a competitive tender for fiduciary management services.

HM Treasury works closely with the FCA and has held regular discussions with them on this matter.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people aged over 60 in the UK have ISAs; and what is the (1) total, and (2) average, value of those ISAs.

The number of people aged over 60 in the UK who have ISAs as of the end of the 2019 to 2020 tax year is 9,273,000, with a total market value of £401 billion. The average market value per individual for this group is £43,274.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd May 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Financial Conduct Authority has (1) collected, and (2) published, data in any of the years since 2015 showing how many members of contract-based pension schemes have fully withdrawn their pension fund, paying more than 20 per cent in tax; and if so, how many of these had no other pension provision.

This issue is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who are operationally independent from the Government.

These questions have therefore been passed to the FCA who will respond by letter. Copies of the letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
25th Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the lower earnings limit for National Insurance will be set at for the years 2022–23; and whether any changes are proposed from July 2022.

As set out in The Social Security (Contributions) (Rates, Limits and Thresholds Amendments and National Insurance Funds Payments) Regulations 2022, the Lower Earnings Limit will be £123 per week in 2022-23. The threshold is not impacted by changes announced at Spring Statement 2022, so will remain at this level throughout the 2022-23 tax year.
Baroness Penn
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effects their planned protection regime for minimum pension ages will have on their policies for pension simplification and consumer engagement, including (1) the implications of increased complexity for simple Annual Statements, (2) the challenges for pension forecasts to be produced by Pension Dashboards, and (3) consolidation of smaller pension pots.

In February 2021 the government reconfirmed that normal minimum pension age (NMPA) will rise to 57 in 2028 (as announced in 2014) and published a consultation on the implementation of the increase and a proposed protection regime. That consultation received 117 responses. The government published draft legislation in July. Throughout these consultations the government has been in regular dialogue with a wide variety of stakeholders about the proposals, including the design of the protection regime and the interplay between the implementation of the Normal Minimum Pension Age and the impact on other policy initiatives. We are considering these responses and representations carefully and will publish full details of the protection regime in due course.

26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have consult with industry on the practicalities of implementing the proposed protection regime for increasing the normal minimum pension age to 57 in April 2028.

In February 2021 the government reconfirmed that normal minimum pension age (NMPA) will rise to 57 in 2028 (as announced in 2014) and published a consultation on the implementation of the increase and a proposed protection regime. That consultation received 117 responses. The government published draft legislation in July. Throughout these consultations the government has been in regular dialogue with a wide variety of stakeholders about the proposals, including the design of the protection regime and the interplay between the implementation of the Normal Minimum Pension Age and the impact on other policy initiatives. We are considering these responses and representations carefully and will publish full details of the protection regime in due course.

26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their proposed introduction of a protection regime to allow pension scheme members to protect a minimum pension age of 55, how many pension accounts they expect to be opened for children before 5 April 2023 to protect a minimum pension age of 55 for their future.

In February 2021 the government reconfirmed that normal minimum pension age (NMPA) will rise to 57 in 2028 (as announced in 2014) and published a consultation on the implementation of the increase and a proposed protection regime. That consultation received 117 responses. The government published draft legislation in July. Throughout these consultations the government has been in regular dialogue with a wide variety of stakeholders about the proposals, including the design of the protection regime and the interplay between the implementation of the Normal Minimum Pension Age and the impact on other policy initiatives. We are considering these responses and representations carefully and will publish full details of the protection regime in due course.

26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their proposal to increase the normal minimum pension age from 55 to 57 in 2028, what estimate they have made of the number of people who will transfer existing pensions to new providers to take advantage of the planned protection regime that will be available up to 5 April 2023.

In February 2021 the government reconfirmed that normal minimum pension age (NMPA) will rise to 57 in 2028 (as announced in 2014) and published a consultation on the implementation of the increase and a proposed protection regime. That consultation received 117 responses. The government published draft legislation in July. Throughout these consultations the government has been in regular dialogue with a wide variety of stakeholders about the proposals, including the design of the protection regime and the interplay between the implementation of the Normal Minimum Pension Age and the impact on other policy initiatives. We are considering these responses and representations carefully and will publish full details of the protection regime in due course.

26th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their proposal to increase the normal minimum pension age from 55 to 57 in 2028, how many pension scheme members they estimate will benefit from the planned protection regime before 5 April 2023.

In February 2021 the government reconfirmed that normal minimum pension age (NMPA) will rise to 57 in 2028 (as announced in 2014) and published a consultation on the implementation of the increase and a proposed protection regime. That consultation received 117 responses. The government published draft legislation in July. Throughout these consultations the government has been in regular dialogue with a wide variety of stakeholders about the proposals, including the design of the protection regime and the interplay between the implementation of the Normal Minimum Pension Age and the impact on other policy initiatives. We are considering these responses and representations carefully and will publish full details of the protection regime in due course.

12th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will introduce savings incentives to help people pay for elderly care.

The government is committed to both supporting individuals at all stages of life to save and delivering world-leading health and social care across the whole of the UK.

The government already provides extensive support to individuals to save for retirement and later life. Individuals are currently able to save up to £20,000 each year across the four types of Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs), which offer a range of mechanisms to save or invest tax-free. This includes the Lifetime ISA which allows savers to benefit from a 25% government bonus on up to £4,000 of savings each year and supports saving towards later life. These savings, including the government bonus, can be withdrawn from the age of 60 and may be used to pay for care.

And more broadly, for the majority of savers, pension contributions made from income during working life is tax-free. Investment growth of assets in a pension scheme is also not subject to tax and, from age 55 (or when scheme rules allow a pension to be taken), up to 25 per cent of the pension can be taken tax-free, depending on scheme rules.

12th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how much money has been invested in individual savings accounts (ISAs) in total, (2) how much money has been invested in ISAs by different age groups, (3) how many individuals have invested in ISAs, and (4) what is the average amount invested in ISAs per person.

HMRC produces an Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) tables document as part of its Annual savings statistics publication on Gov.uk.

The amount invested in ISAs, how many individuals have invested in ISAs and the average amount invested in ISAs is in table 9.4. This information is on a per account basis; individuals may sign up to multiple ISA accounts.

The number of individuals that have invested in ISAs and average amount invested per person for the 2018 to 2019 tax year can be found in table 9.11.

An age breakdown of the money invested in ISAs can only be made available at a disproportionate cost. However, table 9.11 gives a breakdown of ISA market values by age.

The ISA Tables are found on the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-savings-statistics

12th Oct 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) what rate of interest is applied to refunds of public sector workers’ partner pension contributions if the pension holder retires without a partner, and (2) how much money has been refunded to such pension holders for each of the past ten years.

Partner pension contributions are refunded with interest to members of the Classic section of the PCSPS when they leave at or after age 60 with immediate payment of pension in full if they neither married nor entered a civil partnership throughout their service, or in part for members who have been married or in a civil partnership for part of their service. The interest rate applied is currently 0.25%.

Partner pension contributions can also be refunded in the 1981 Judicial Pension Scheme and the Judicial Pension Scheme 1993 (JUPRA). The interest rate applied in the 1981 Judicial Pension Scheme is 4% while the interest rates used in JUPRA follow those in the PCSPS.

Data on refunds in the PCSPS in the years from 2015 to 2021 (year to date) is as follows:

Year

Total paid as WPS refund

2015

£26,939,123.32

2016

£30,835,627.79

2017

£26,790,088.99

2018

£25,628,031.08

2019

£25,314,289.97

2020

£20,698,765.32

2021

£19,692,619.50

Refunds in years prior to 2015 occurred under a previous administrative arrangement and so data could only be collected to a longer timeline.

Similarly, administrators for the judicial pension schemes do not keep cumulative records of refunds awarded by year, and the second part of the question could thus only be answered to a longer timeline.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to implement legal obligations on (1) pension scheme trustees, (2) pension advisers, and (3) pension scheme providers, to ensure that the take-home pay of members of auto-enrolment pension schemes take-home pay is not reduced as a direct result of the pension scheme’s tax relief administration system.

The Government recognises the different impacts of the two systems of paying pension tax relief on pension contributions for workers earning below the personal allowance. The Government committed in its manifesto to review this issue and published a Call for Evidence on 21 July 2020. The Call for Evidence set out the Government’s views on proposals already put forward by stakeholders, invited further proposals, and sought views on the operation of the relief at source method of tax relief for pension contributions.

The Call for Evidence is now closed. The Government is carefully analysing this issue and the responses received to understand what deliverable options for change may exist. These responses have raised technical points that we are continuing to explore with HMRC and others. The Government will respond to the Call for Evidence in due course.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans do they have to implement legal obligations on employers (1) to select a suitable pension scheme for low-paid workers, and (2) to inform those workers about the lower take-home pay as a result of enrolling onto a Net Pay scheme.

The Government recognises the different impacts of the two systems of paying pension tax relief on pension contributions for workers earning below the personal allowance. The Government committed in its manifesto to review this issue and published a Call for Evidence on 21 July 2020. The Call for Evidence set out the Government’s views on proposals already put forward by stakeholders, invited further proposals, and sought views on the operation of the relief at source method of tax relief for pension contributions.

The Call for Evidence is now closed. The Government is carefully analysing this issue and the responses received to understand what deliverable options for change may exist. These responses have raised technical points that we are continuing to explore with HMRC and others. The Government will respond to the Call for Evidence in due course.

25th May 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate have they made of the number of (1) women, and (2) men, earning less than the personal tax threshold who were automatically enrolled in workplace pension schemes which operate on net pay basis in each tax year since 2017–18.

HMRC cannot determine which individuals have been automatically enrolled in a workplace pension. However, HMRC estimates that 1.5m individuals earning below the personal allowance in 2018-19 made workplace pension contributions via Real time Information (RTI) using net pay arrangements. Around 75% of these individuals are estimated to be female and 25% are estimated to be male.

The personal allowance in 2018-19 was £11,850. HMRC’s Survey of Personal Income (SPI) and administrative data was used to produce the estimates. The 2018-19 SPI (published in March 2021) is the latest year available. The SPI is published annually.
26th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that future regulation of ‘buy now, pay later’ products sufficiently protects consumers.

The Government will legislate in a proportionate way to counter the detriment that customers could face as use of Buy Now Pay Later products grows. The Government is engaging stakeholders and will publicly consult to gather views as it develops its approach.

20th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will begin the review process of the Payment Services Regulations 2017, in accordance with section 158 of those regulations.

As noted in Regulation 158 of the Payments Services Regulations 2017, HM Treasury must from time to time carry out a review of the regulatory provision contained in these Regulations and publish the report setting out the conclusions of the review. The first report under this regulation must be published on or before 13 January 2023. HM Treasury will conduct this review in accordance with Regulation 158.

20th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they have taken, with the Financial Conduct Authority, to enforce the implementation of the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code by the Code's signatories.

The Government is committed to tackling fraud and ensuring that victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams are protected.

The Government recognises the work industry has undertaken to date, including the introduction of a voluntary reimbursement Code, which has demonstrably had a beneficial impact. However, the Code, whilst improving matters, comes with limitations, including disparity in how different payment service providers are interpreting their obligations under it, as well is its lack of comprehensive cover across providers.

The Government therefore welcomed the publication of the Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) call for views on APP scams in February 2021, which set out various potential measures for reducing APP scams and improving customer outcomes. The Government is of the view that the introduction of Faster Payments Service rules setting reimbursement requirements on all scheme participants is the best possible solution to the issue of APP scams; this will ensure the rules underpinning Faster Payments are fit for purpose.

The PSR’s call for views has now closed and the Government is engaging with the PSR on next steps, including considering what further actions may be necessary to make progress on this issue.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) works closely with the Government and PSR through a range of channels to help combat APP scams. In January 2019, the FCA changed its rules to provide victims of alleged APP scams with prompt and fair complaints resolution, and access to dispute resolution through the Financial Ombudsman Service for complaints against payment service providers which receive payments relating to the alleged scam.

In February 2021, the FCA also updated its formal guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers to reinforce the significance of the Code’s provisions on how firms should take into account vulnerability in cases of APP scams.

20th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Financial Conduct Authority has (1) prepared, or (2) submitted to the Treasuy, any reports on (a) the supervision of the implementation of the Contingent Reimbursement Model Code by its signatories to date, and (b) how the Code is operating.

The Government is committed to tackling fraud and ensuring that victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams are protected.

The Government recognises the work industry has undertaken to date, including the introduction of a voluntary reimbursement Code, which has demonstrably had a beneficial impact. However, the Code, whilst improving matters, comes with limitations, including disparity in how different payment service providers are interpreting their obligations under it, as well is its lack of comprehensive cover across providers.

The Government therefore welcomed the publication of the Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) call for views on APP scams in February 2021, which set out various potential measures for reducing APP scams and improving customer outcomes. The Government is of the view that the introduction of Faster Payments Service rules setting reimbursement requirements on all scheme participants is the best possible solution to the issue of APP scams; this will ensure the rules underpinning Faster Payments are fit for purpose.

The PSR’s call for views has now closed and the Government is engaging with the PSR on next steps, including considering what further actions may be necessary to make progress on this issue.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) works closely with the Government and PSR through a range of channels to help combat APP scams. In January 2019, the FCA changed its rules to provide victims of alleged APP scams with prompt and fair complaints resolution, and access to dispute resolution through the Financial Ombudsman Service for complaints against payment service providers which receive payments relating to the alleged scam.

In February 2021, the FCA also updated its formal guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers to reinforce the significance of the Code’s provisions on how firms should take into account vulnerability in cases of APP scams.

20th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to legislate to enable the Payment Services Regulator to mandate protection against authorised push payment fraud; and what plans they have to introduce new Faster Payments Services rules.

The Government is committed to tackling fraud and ensuring that victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams are protected.

The Government recognises the work industry has undertaken to date, including the introduction of a voluntary reimbursement Code, which has demonstrably had a beneficial impact. However, the Code, whilst improving matters, comes with limitations, including disparity in how different payment service providers are interpreting their obligations under it, as well is its lack of comprehensive cover across providers.

The Government therefore welcomed the publication of the Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) call for views on APP scams in February 2021, which set out various potential measures for reducing APP scams and improving customer outcomes. The Government is of the view that the introduction of Faster Payments Service rules setting reimbursement requirements on all scheme participants is the best possible solution to the issue of APP scams; this will ensure the rules underpinning Faster Payments are fit for purpose.

The PSR’s call for views has now closed and the Government is engaging with the PSR on next steps, including considering what further actions may be necessary to make progress on this issue.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) works closely with the Government and PSR through a range of channels to help combat APP scams. In January 2019, the FCA changed its rules to provide victims of alleged APP scams with prompt and fair complaints resolution, and access to dispute resolution through the Financial Ombudsman Service for complaints against payment service providers which receive payments relating to the alleged scam.

In February 2021, the FCA also updated its formal guidance for firms on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers to reinforce the significance of the Code’s provisions on how firms should take into account vulnerability in cases of APP scams.

13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of quantitative easing on the reliability of capital asset pricing models and volatility of different asset classes (1) in the UK, and (2) in other countries.

The separation of fiscal and monetary policy is a key feature of the UK’s economic framework, and essential for the effective delivery of monetary policy. The Government does not comment on the conduct or effectiveness of monetary policy.

13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of monetary policy on the distribution of wealth across different (1) age groups, and (2) regions of the UK.

Monetary policy, including decisions on Bank Rate and quantitative easing, is the responsibility of the independent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England.

The separation of fiscal and monetary policy is a key feature of the UK’s economic framework, and essential for the effective delivery of monetary policy, so the Government does not comment on the conduct or effectiveness of monetary policy.

The Bank of England’s estimates on the distributional impacts of monetary policy can be found in the Bank’s working paper: “The distributional impact of monetary policy easing in the UK between 2008 and 2014.”

13th Apr 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many responses they received to the call for evidence on pensions tax relief administration published in July 2020; when they plan to publish the outcome; and what plans they have to carry out further consultation on the issue of low earners in net pay administration schemes who are paying 25 per cent more for their pensions than if their employer used a relief at source scheme.

The Government recognises the different impacts of the two systems of paying pension tax relief on pension contributions for workers earning below the personal allowance. The Call for Evidence – in line with the Government’s manifesto commitment to undertake a comprehensive review of this issue – set out the Government’s views on proposals already put forward by stakeholders, invited further proposals, and sought views on the operation of the relief at source method of tax relief for pension contributions.

The Call for Evidence is now closed. The Government is carefully analysing this issue and the responses received to understand what deliverable options for change may exist. These responses have raised technical points that we are continuing to explore with HMRC and others. The Government will respond to the Call for Evidence in due course.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the Payment Systems Regulator regarding the need to introduce mandatory protections for victims of authorised push payment scams.

The Government is committed to tackling fraud and ensuring that victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams are protected.

The Government recognises the work industry has undertaken to date, including the introduction of a voluntary reimbursement Code, which has demonstrably had a beneficial impact. However, the Code, whilst improving matters, comes with limitations, including disparity in how different payment service providers are interpreting their obligations under it, as well as its lack of comprehensive cover across providers.

The Government therefore welcomed the publication of the Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) call for views on APP scams in February 2021, which set out various measures that could improve customer outcomes. The Government is of the view that the introduction of Faster Payments Service rules setting reimbursement requirements on all scheme participants is the best possible solution to the issue of APP scams; this will ensure the rules underpinning Faster Payments are fit for purpose.

The Government looks forward to engaging with the outcomes of the PSR's call for views, including considering what further actions may be necessary to make progress on this issue.

The Government continues to engage closely with the PSR on this issue.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the Payment Systems Regulator has requested additional powers to create mandatory protections for victims of authorised push payment scams.

The Government is committed to tackling fraud and ensuring that victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams are protected.

The Government recognises the work industry has undertaken to date, including the introduction of a voluntary reimbursement Code, which has demonstrably had a beneficial impact. However, the Code, whilst improving matters, comes with limitations, including disparity in how different payment service providers are interpreting their obligations under it, as well as its lack of comprehensive cover across providers.

The Government therefore welcomed the publication of the Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) call for views on APP scams in February 2021, which set out various measures that could improve customer outcomes. The Government is of the view that the introduction of Faster Payments Service rules setting reimbursement requirements on all scheme participants is the best possible solution to the issue of APP scams; this will ensure the rules underpinning Faster Payments are fit for purpose.

The Government looks forward to engaging with the outcomes of the PSR's call for views, including considering what further actions may be necessary to make progress on this issue.

The Government continues to engage closely with the PSR on this issue.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for mandating the voluntary protections for victims of authorised push payment scams; whether the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR) has powers to do this using Faster Payment Scheme rules; and, if not, what plans they have to legislate to provide the PSR with such powers.

The Government is committed to tackling fraud and ensuring that victims of Authorised Push Payment (APP) scams are protected.

The Government recognises the work industry has undertaken to date, including the introduction of a voluntary reimbursement Code, which has demonstrably had a beneficial impact. However, the Code, whilst improving matters, comes with limitations, including disparity in how different payment service providers are interpreting their obligations under it, as well as its lack of comprehensive cover across providers.

The Government therefore welcomed the publication of the Payment Systems Regulator’s (PSR) call for views on APP scams in February 2021, which set out various measures that could improve customer outcomes. The Government is of the view that the introduction of Faster Payments Service rules setting reimbursement requirements on all scheme participants is the best possible solution to the issue of APP scams; this will ensure the rules underpinning Faster Payments are fit for purpose.

The Government looks forward to engaging with the outcomes of the PSR's call for views, including considering what further actions may be necessary to make progress on this issue.

The Government continues to engage closely with the PSR on this issue.

24th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to consider the energy use of cryptocurrencies as part of their preparations for COP26 and other international meetings on climate change during 2021; and what plans they have to investigate how cryptocurrencies affect their requirements for public and private sector organisations to meet climate change targets.

The Government has been monitoring developments within the cryptoasset industry, including rising energy usage.

The Cryptoasset Taskforce, comprising HM Treasury, the FCA, and the Bank of England, explores the impact of cryptoassets and assesses what, if any, regulation is required in response.

The Government has already taken actions to signal a commitment to green technology, including a pledge to make Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) aligned financial disclosures mandatory across the economy by 2025, making the UK the first G20 nation to make such a commitment.

Additionally, the Government has committed to the implementation of a green taxonomy. This will allow us to accelerate our work towards a greener financial sector, by providing a common definition for environmentally sustainable economy activities.

The Government’s objective for the upcoming COP26 climate change forum is to ensure that every professional financial decision takes climate change into account. The recovery from COVID-19 will determine the mitigation and adaptation pathways for decades to come. We must all do our part – we are working with the financial services sector, international financial institutions, central banks, regulators, and finance ministries to unlock rapid action at scale.

The finance campaign will provide the conditions for a future that is genuinely greener, more resilient and more sustainable than the past. Action on finance underpins all the other COP campaigns: adaptation & resilience, energy transition, nature and zero-emission vehicles. Without the right levels of finance, the rest is not possible.

The Government stands ready to respond to emerging risks or changes in the market and will continue to monitor how cryptoassets are being used in the UK.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people recorded by HMRC as earning below the Personal Allowance for taxable income who contributed to a workplace pension using ‘relief at source’ tax relief in all tax years since 2017; and of this number, how many were (1) women, and (2) men.

HMRC estimate that 1.3m individuals earning below the personal allowance in 2017-18 made workplace pension contributions via Real Time Information (RTI) using relief at source arrangements. About 65% of these individuals are estimated to be female and 35% are estimated to be male.

The personal allowance in 2017-18 was £11,500.

HMRC’s Survey of Personal Income (SPI) and administrative data was used to produce the estimates. The 2017-18 SPI data (published in March 2020) is the latest year available.

As indicated in HMRC’s statistics announcement, the 2018-19 Personal Incomes Statistics (Distributional analysis) is expected to be published on 31 March 2021 and the Personal Incomes Statistics (Regional analysis) is expected to be published on 28 April 2021.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of people recorded by HMRC as earning below the Personal Allowance for taxable income who contributed to a workplace pension using ‘net pay’ tax relief in all tax years since 2017; and of this number, how many were (1) women, and (2) men.

HMRC estimates that 1.5m individuals earning below the personal allowance in 2017-18 made workplace pension contributions via Real Time Information (RTI) using net pay arrangements. Around 75% of these individuals are estimated to be female and 25% are estimated to be male.

The personal allowance in 2017-18 was £11,500.

HMRC’s Survey of Personal Income (SPI) and administrative data was used to produce the estimates. The 2017-18 SPI data (published in March 2020) is the latest year available. The SPI is updated annually.

As indicated in HMRC’s statistics announcement, the 2018-19 Personal Incomes Statistics (Distributional analysis) is expected to be published on 31 March 2021 and the Personal Incomes Statistics (Regional analysis) is expected to be published on 28 April 2021.

10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to publish the results of their call for evidence on pensions tax relief administration, and in particular those relating to the issue of low earners paying 25 per cent extra for their pension if their employer chooses to use a ‘net pay’ auto-enrolment pension scheme.

The Government recognises the different impacts of the two systems of paying pension tax relief on pension contributions for workers earning below the personal allowance. At Budget 2020, the Government announced it would launch a Call for Evidence on pensions tax relief administration, in line with its manifesto commitment to undertake a comprehensive review of this issue.

This Call for Evidence set out the Government’s views on proposals already put forward by stakeholders, invited further proposals, and sought views on the operation of the RAS method.

The Call for Evidence is now closed. The Government is analysing the responses and will respond in due course.

17th Dec 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 11 December (HL10795), what was the total number of paid employees residing in (1) each of region in England, and (2) each country of the UK, from April 2019 to March 2020 recorded in HMRC Pay As You Earn Real Time Information data.

The table below sets out the number of paid employees residing in each of region in England from April 2019 to March 2020, as recorded in HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data.

Month

North East

North West

Yorkshire and the Humber

East Midlands

West Midlands

East

April 2019

1,065,409

3,137,816

2,300,551

2,120,447

2,485,313

2,772,974

May 2019

1,066,080

3,137,620

2,300,333

2,120,439

2,485,075

2,771,953

June 2019

1,066,562

3,138,906

2,302,000

2,121,030

2,484,875

2,772,962

July 2019

1,065,660

3,139,186

2,301,235

2,119,597

2,481,664

2,772,737

August 2019

1,069,074

3,144,592

2,306,052

2,122,111

2,486,040

2,776,981

September 2019

1,071,202

3,146,634

2,309,501

2,124,047

2,487,774

2,779,943

October 2019

1,071,728

3,147,835

2,308,300

2,123,763

2,488,441

2,780,209

November 2019

1,072,399

3,150,222

2,309,815

2,124,824

2,487,414

2,781,880

December 2019

1,072,789

3,150,342

2,310,246

2,124,354

2,486,609

2,783,622

January 2020

1,074,192

3,152,781

2,312,715

2,126,676

2,488,194

2,785,231

February 2020

1,075,642

3,153,077

2,312,765

2,127,755

2,488,819

2,785,062

March 2020

1,076,053

3,152,661

2,313,687

2,124,924

2,488,551

2,783,615

Month

London

South East

South West

April 2019

4,116,863

4,076,344

2,408,685

May 2019

4,112,387

4,077,830

2,412,936

June 2019

4,117,530

4,079,886

2,414,122

July 2019

4,117,859

4,079,868

2,411,973

August 2019

4,125,424

4,084,737

2,417,680

September 2019

4,131,487

4,090,166

2,420,027

October 2019

4,132,412

4,088,062

2,419,985

November 2019

4,133,033

4,090,528

2,420,215

December 2019

4,139,300

4,092,004

2,421,205

January 2020

4,142,490

4,094,403

2,425,980

February 2020

4,139,134

4,094,158

2,422,459

March 2020

4,132,450

4,088,675

2,420,358

The table below sets out the number of paid employees residing in each country of the UK, from April 2019 to March 2020, as recorded in HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data.

Month

England

Wales

Scotland

Northern Ireland

April 2019

24,484,402

1,255,933

2,391,779

741,714

May 2019

24,484,653

1,256,903

2,392,995

742,256

June 2019

24,497,873

1,257,748

2,392,860

743,088

July 2019

24,489,779

1,257,585

2,391,974

745,959

August 2019

24,532,691

1,260,027

2,393,484

746,570

September 2019

24,560,781

1,260,392

2,395,389

747,484

October 2019

24,560,735

1,259,622

2,395,250

748,139

November 2019

24,570,330

1,260,986

2,394,490

750,560

December 2019

24,580,471

1,261,581

2,397,707

751,309

January 2020

24,602,662

1,264,215

2,401,985

752,946

February 2020

24,598,871

1,264,787

2,396,300

754,489

March 2020

24,580,974

1,262,454

2,395,550

755,739

Please note:

(1) These figures have been taken from the publication “Earnings and employment from Pay As You Earn Real Time Information” published jointly by HMRC and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 15 December 2020[1].

(2) These figures are as accurate as reported through PAYE RTI. However, PAYE schemes not paying any of their employees above the NICs threshold are not obliged to report employees' earnings through RTI. Therefore, some employees may be excluded from these statistics.

(3) The address information has been taken from individuals’ addresses as at March 2020.

[1] https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/datasets/realtimeinformationstatisticsreferencetableseasonallyadjusted

27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many workers earned below the personal income tax threshold in (1) England, (2) Scotland, (3) Wales, and (4) Northern Ireland, for the tax year 2018/19.

The table below sets out the number of paid employees residing in English regions who were paid below £12,500 from April 2019 to March 2020, from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data.

Region

Employees

North East

423,000

North West

1,292,000

Yorkshire and the Humber

959,000

East Midlands

881,000

West Midlands

1,050,000

East

1,128,000

London

1,777,000

South East

1,639,000

South West

1,038,000

The table below sets out the number of paid employees in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from April 2018 to March 2019 who were paid below £11,850, from HMRC’s PAYE RTI data.

Country

Employees

England

9,900,000

Scotland

893,000

Wales

503,000

Northern Ireland

301,000

Please note:

(1) These figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand employees.

(2) These figures are as accurate as reported through PAYE RTI. However, PAYE schemes not paying any of their employees above the NICs threshold are not obliged to report employees' earnings through RTI. Additionally, PAYE RTI does not include income from self-employment, or any other source of income. Therefore, some employees may be excluded from these estimates and other employees may be included but have total income from all sources above the personal allowance.

27th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many employees earned below £12,500 in each region of England in the most recent year that statistics are available.

The table below sets out the number of paid employees residing in English regions who were paid below £12,500 from April 2019 to March 2020, from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Real Time Information (RTI) data.

Region

Employees

North East

423,000

North West

1,292,000

Yorkshire and the Humber

959,000

East Midlands

881,000

West Midlands

1,050,000

East

1,128,000

London

1,777,000

South East

1,639,000

South West

1,038,000

The table below sets out the number of paid employees in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from April 2018 to March 2019 who were paid below £11,850, from HMRC’s PAYE RTI data.

Country

Employees

England

9,900,000

Scotland

893,000

Wales

503,000

Northern Ireland

301,000

Please note:

(1) These figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand employees.

(2) These figures are as accurate as reported through PAYE RTI. However, PAYE schemes not paying any of their employees above the NICs threshold are not obliged to report employees' earnings through RTI. Additionally, PAYE RTI does not include income from self-employment, or any other source of income. Therefore, some employees may be excluded from these estimates and other employees may be included but have total income from all sources above the personal allowance.

17th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much they estimate they have spent on paying auto-enrolment pension contributions for furloughed workers during the COVID-19 pandemic; how many workers are having auto-enrolment pension contributions made for them by the Government as a result of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; and what estimate they have made of the ongoing costs to the Exchequer of these pension contributions for the year 2020/21. [T]

Official Statistics on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) were published on 11 June 2020 by HM Revenue and Customs. The statistics contain Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims by employer size, sector, region, Westminster parliamentary constituency and local authority.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has published estimates of the cost of the CJRS. These do not include separate estimates for the auto-enrolment pension contributions element of the scheme.

The latest OBR estimates are available in the OBR’s coronavirus policy monitoring database, which can be found at on the OBR website.

The Official Statistics on the Job Retention Scheme can be found on the gov.uk website.

18th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Agnew of Oulton on 31 March (HL2729), how many people, recorded in HMRC’s Real Time Information records as earning below the personal tax threshold, were contributing at work to a pension scheme using the Relief at Source method of income tax relief in the tax years after 2016; and, of these, how many were (1) women, and (2) men.

HMRC estimate that 1.3m individuals earning below the personal allowance in 2017-18 made workplace pension contributions via Real Time Information (RTI) using relief at source arrangements. About 65% of these individuals are estimated to be female and 35% are estimated to be male.

The personal allowance in 2017-18 was £11,500.

HMRC’s Survey of Personal Income (SPI) and administrative data was used to produce the estimates. The 2017-18 SPI data (published in March 2020) is the latest year available. The SPI is updated annually.

28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to assist pension funds in matching their liabilities, in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic-related issues in asset markets, by issuing (1) longevity or mortality gilts; (2) gilts linked to the consumer prices index; and (3) gilts specifically linked to limited consumer price inflation measures. [T]

The Debt Management Office (DMO) continues to issue long-dated conventional gilts and index-linked gilts (linked to the Retail Prices Index), which are instruments often used by pension funds to match longer term liabilities. Decisions on the exact composition of debt issuance are informed by an assessment of investor demand for debt instruments by maturity and type as reported by stakeholders, and as manifested in the shape of the nominal and real yield curves; and by the government’s appetite for risk. The former is noted at quarterly consultation meetings with market participants, held by the DMO.

At present, the UK Government does not have any plans to introduce any new debt financing instruments in response to Covid-19. The government remains open to the introduction of new debt instruments, but would need to be satisfied that any new instrument would meet value-for-money criteria, enjoy strong and sustained demand in the long-term and be consistent with wider fiscal objectives.

18th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Buscombe on 31 October 2018 (HL10750), how many (1) women, and (2) men, recorded in HMRC’s Real Time Information records, earning below the personal tax threshold, were contributing at work to a Net Pay Pension scheme in the tax years after 2016-17; and how often they plan to update these figures.

HMRC estimate that 1.5m individuals earning below the personal allowance in 2017-18 made workplace pension contributions via Real Time Information (RTI) using net pay arrangements. About 75% of these individuals are estimated to be female and 25% are estimated to be male.

The personal allowance in 2017-18 was £11,500.

HMRC’s Survey of Personal Income (SPI) and administrative data was used to produce the estimates. The 2017-18 SPI data (published in March 2020) is the latest year available. The SPI is updated annually.

10th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bates on 13 December 2017 (HL3799), what estimate they have made of the number of people aged (1) 50–59, (2) 60–69, (3) 70–79, (4) 80–89, and (5) 90 or over, who own ISAs; and for each age group, what is the monetary value of the average holding.

The number of people in the age bands (1) 50–59, (2) 60–69, (3) 70–79, (4) 80–89, and (5) 90 or over, who own ISAs; and the average holding is set out in the table below for the most recent year for which we have data (2016/2017):

ISA Holders (16/17)

Numbers: thousands

Age

Total Number of ISA holders

Average ISA Market Values

50-59

4,100

£26,900

60-69

3,900

£41,600

70-79

3,000

£47,400

80-89

1,400

£48,300

90 and over

300

£51,000

Total1

21,200

£27,600

Footnotes

1 Total is for all ages, including those not shown in the table.

This table is based on information used in HMRC Individual Savings Account (ISA) statistics, which is available on the Gov.uk website.

7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of pensioners paid tax at (1) 40 per cent, and (2) 45 per cent, in the last tax year.

The answer given on 15th July 2019 to HL 16778, contains the information requested for the last tax year, 2018-19, and remains HM Revenue and Customs’ most recent estimate of the data requested.

7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Buscombe on 31 October 2018 (HL10750), how many (1) women, and (2) men, recorded in HMRC’s Real Time Information records, earnt below £12,500 and contributed to a net pay arrangement in the last tax year.

HMRC’s Survey of Personal Income (SPI) and administrative data was used to produce the estimates that follow. 2016-17 is the latest year where SPI data is available. The personal allowance in 2016/17 was £11,000, not £12,500 (which is the current personal allowance for 2019-20).

HMRC estimates that a total of 6.8m individuals made workplace pension contributions using relief at source via RTI in 2016-17. Around 45% of these individuals are estimated to be female and 55% are estimated to be male.

HMRC estimates that 1.3m individuals earning below the personal allowance in 2016-17 made workplace pension contributions via Real Time Information (RTI) using net pay arrangements. Around 75% of these individuals are estimated to be female and 25% are estimated to be male.

7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Buscombe on 31 October 2018 (HL10750), how many (1) women, and (2) men, recorded in HMRC’s Real Time Information records, contributed to a relief at source pension scheme in the last tax year.

HMRC’s Survey of Personal Income (SPI) and administrative data was used to produce the estimates that follow. 2016-17 is the latest year where SPI data is available. The personal allowance in 2016/17 was £11,000, not £12,500 (which is the current personal allowance for 2019-20).

HMRC estimates that a total of 6.8m individuals made workplace pension contributions using relief at source via RTI in 2016-17. Around 45% of these individuals are estimated to be female and 55% are estimated to be male.

HMRC estimates that 1.3m individuals earning below the personal allowance in 2016-17 made workplace pension contributions via Real Time Information (RTI) using net pay arrangements. Around 75% of these individuals are estimated to be female and 25% are estimated to be male.

7th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Treasury provided in tax relief to UK pension schemes in each of the past ten years.

HMRC publishes figures relating to tax relief for registered pension schemes in Table 6 of the publication series ‘Personal pensions: contribution and tax relief statistics’. Table 6 (published in 2019) contains information for the years 2012 to 2013 through 2017 to 2018. Please see below:

Year

Pension tax relief (net of tax received on pension income) (£m)

2012-13 r

19,200

2013-14 r

18,200

2014-15 r

17,900

2015-16 r

20,700

2016-17 r

18,900

2017-18 p

19,000

The above figures reflect the net cost of tax relief on pension contributions and any investment growth within pensions, less the tax paid on payments from pension schemes to those accessing their pensions that year. Also, please note:

i. The figures are based on HMRC administrative data and information compiled from a variety of sources by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Costs are subject to large revisions and have a particularly wide margin of error.

ii. The cost of the tax relief is calculated as the tax that would be paid on contributions to registered pension schemes presuming they were not registered and the payments were subject to the normal tax rules applying to individuals' remuneration. The estimates do not represent the yield from withdrawing tax relief as there would be significant changes in taxpayers' behaviour.

iii. Figures for tax liabilities on pensions in payment are now calculated using administrative taxpayer data on RTI payments made by pension schemes.

Historical figures relating to older years are available on the national archive (see relevant figures below), however due to substantial revisions to methodology, figures for these years are not comparable with 2012 to 13 onwards.

Year

Pension tax relief (net of tax received on pension income) (£m)

2009-10

20,100

2010-11

24,000

2011-12

22,800

28th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many of the total number of Health and Care Worker visas issued in Q1 2022 were issued to people due to work in (1) the health sector, and (2) the social care sector.

The Home Office publishes data on Health and Care Worker visas in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’.

Data on the number of Health and Care visas issued are published in table Vis_D02 of the ‘entry clearance visa applications and outcomes detailed datasets’. Data on work sectors can be found in table CoS_D01 of the ‘Work sponsorship (Certificate of Sponsorship)’ dataset. Information on how to use these datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to year ending March 2022.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

The Home Office does not publish the number of Health and Care worker visas granted by sector.

The published sector (industry) data show visa applications where a certificate of sponsorship was used. The ‘Human Health and Social Work Activities’ sector cannot be disaggregated to differentiate social care from health.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many unaccompanied migrant children from refugee camps in Greece they have committed to allow into the UK since 1 January; when such children will be received in the UK; how many of those children they decided to allow into the UK as a direct result of COVID-19.

The Home Office does not hold detailed information on the location of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children within European Member States.

The Home Office publishes data on the Dublin III Regulation on an annual basis (each February) in the Immigration Statistics This includes data on the number of requests to transfer into and out of the UK and the number acceptances and transfers into and out of, broken down by article. The latest data, covering up to 2019, can be found at:https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/asylum-and-resettlement-datasets#dublin-regulation

Instructions on how to use the data can be found in the ‘Notes’ sheet.

Despite Covid-19 restrictions, the UK remains fully committed to meeting our obligations under the Dublin III Regulation. Arrangements to complete a transfer have always been and still are the responsibility of the sending State who have 6 months to enact transfer after acceptance. We continue to liaise with our counterparts in Member States so that we can effect transfers as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.

The Government remains committed to relocating the specified number of 480 unaccompanied children from Europe to the UK under Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 (‘the Dubs amendment’). Over 220 children were transferred to the UK under section 67 when the Calais camp was cleared in late 2016. Since then we have continued to make further progress with participating States including Greece, to move closer to achieving this commitment.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
28th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the difficulties of social distancing in refugee camps in Greece, what (1) financial, (2) medical, and (3) infrastructure, support they have provided in such camps.

The UK has a strong bilateral relationship with Greece and continues to offer support and exchange expertise on effective migration management to alleviate the pressures on the islands. In previous years, this has included expert deployments to advise on camp security and functioning, and translators to assist with the processing of arriving migrants. Current UK humanitarian support includes a UK Border Force cutter to conduct search and rescue in the Aegean, as well as over £500,000 of humanitarian supplies.

The UK Government is concerned about the risk of coronavirus in relation to the migrant camps on the islands. The Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum has enacted emergency measures to contain potential coronavirus outbreaks in the migrant camps, including the provision of additional medical facilities and staff through the EU’s Emergency Support Instrument – these measures have so far been effective and there are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 in the camps on the Greek islands. Our Embassy in Athens continues to closely follow developments.

In total, the EU has provided 700 million euros, half of it immediately on 3 March 2020, to help Greece manage the current migrant situation and COVID-19. The UK Government currently has no plans to provide funds to Greece for development of infrastructure.

Baroness Williams of Trafford
Captain of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms (HM Household) (Chief Whip, House of Lords)
13th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Scott of Bybrook on 19 May (HL7668), whether the Local Government Pension Scheme should still expect that, in line with the Local Government Pension Scheme (England and Wales): Governance and reporting of climate change risks consultation proposals, which closed on 24 November 2022, Local Government Pension Scheme trustees or managers will be required to produce Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures reports by December 2024.

We recognise that clarity on the timetable for implementation will be helpful to funds as they make plans and secure appropriate advice. The Government wrote to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) Advisory Board on 15 June confirming we will not be implementing any requirements related to the governance or disclosure of climate-related financial risks for the financial year 2023/24. The Government is continuing to analyse the responses received to the consultation and will respond in due course.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th May 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government when they will respond to the Local Government Pension Scheme (England and Wales): Governance and reporting of climate change risks consultation, which closed on 24 November 2022, and for which the regulations were expected to be in force by April 2023.

The Government is continuing to analyse the responses received to the consultation and will respond in due course.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that all parking facilities and essential public services, including (1) medical appointments, (2) council enquiries, (3) service payments, and (4) registrations, are always available to those who do not have internet access, Wi-Fi connection or smartphones.

The Secretary of State recently wrote to all local authorities in England setting out his expectations that parking services for which councils are responsible for remain accessible. For example, it would not seem appropriate for parking on a high street to be solely available for those who have access to a mobile phone. Nor would it appear sensible for local authorities to phase out paper-based parking options such as 'scratch cards' if the only available replacement is an entirely digital option.

All local authorities have statutory duties to ensure that they do not discriminate in their decision making against older people or those with vulnerabilities. Cash remains legal tender and it will continue to be used by people who favour its accessibility and ease. Local authorities should ensure that there are alternative provisions for parking payments available so that no part of society is digitally excluded.

A copy of the letter is available on gov.uk

Questions about medical appointments should be directed to the Department of Health and Social Care. Responsibility for local government is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but officials in this department will engage counterparts on these matters.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they have issued any guidance to councils to protect older people in (1) England, (2) Wales, (3) Scotland, and (4) Northern Ireland, who have removed cash or telephone credit card payment options from parking services and have introduced digital or app-only payments that require ownership and Wi-Fi connection of smartphones.

The Secretary of State recently wrote to all local authorities in England setting out his expectations that parking services for which councils are responsible for remain accessible. For example, it would not seem appropriate for parking on a high street to be solely available for those who have access to a mobile phone. Nor would it appear sensible for local authorities to phase out paper-based parking options such as 'scratch cards' if the only available replacement is an entirely digital option.

All local authorities have statutory duties to ensure that they do not discriminate in their decision making against older people or those with vulnerabilities. Cash remains legal tender and it will continue to be used by people who favour its accessibility and ease. Local authorities should ensure that there are alternative provisions for parking payments available so that no part of society is digitally excluded.

A copy of the letter is available on gov.uk

Questions about medical appointments should be directed to the Department of Health and Social Care. Responsibility for local government is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but officials in this department will engage counterparts on these matters.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Apr 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the compliance of digital or app-only payment options for essential services such as parking in public spaces with the Equality Act 2010.

The Secretary of State recently wrote to all local authorities in England setting out his expectations that parking services for which councils are responsible for remain accessible. For example, it would not seem appropriate for parking on a high street to be solely available for those who have access to a mobile phone. Nor would it appear sensible for local authorities to phase out paper-based parking options such as 'scratch cards' if the only available replacement is an entirely digital option.

All local authorities have statutory duties to ensure that they do not discriminate in their decision making against older people or those with vulnerabilities. Cash remains legal tender and it will continue to be used by people who favour its accessibility and ease. Local authorities should ensure that there are alternative provisions for parking payments available so that no part of society is digitally excluded.

A copy of the letter is available on gov.uk

Questions about medical appointments should be directed to the Department of Health and Social Care. Responsibility for local government is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but officials in this department will engage counterparts on these matters.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jun 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made on the formation of the cross-departmental taskforce on older people’s housing, as outlined in the Levelling Up the United Kingdom white paper, published on 2 February.

This Government is committed to further improving the diversity of housing options available to older people and boosting the supply of specialist elderly accommodation.

The Older People's Housing taskforce will look at ways we can provide greater choice, quality and security of housing for older people, and support the growth of a thriving older people's housing sector in this country. This work will be taken forward in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care. Further details about the taskforce including panel membership and scope will be confirmed in due course.

6th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much has been paid out by local authorities as a result of Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigations into adult care complaints each year in the last five years; and how they plan to support local authorities to improve adult care services.

The Government does not monitor how much local authorities pay out as a result of Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigations. Local authorities are independent bodies and ministers have no remit to intervene in their day to day affairs.

The Ombudsman recommends a range of outcomes to achieve justice for individuals. The individual case reports, as well as the focus reports, public interest reports, and annual reviews the Ombudsman publishes on his website set out wider service improvement recommendations.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many retirement properties have been empty while awaiting sale for more than (1) six months, and (2) two years, in (a) England, and (b) Wales.

The Department does not collect data on the types of properties that have been empty while awaiting sale in England and Wales.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assistance is available to bereaved relatives who are being required to pay council tax at full or double rate after being unable to sell an inherited retirement property that has been on the market while potential purchasers have been unable to view or move during the COVID-19 pandemic.

When a property is empty following the death of its owner or occupant, and there is no other liable person, it is exempt from council tax for as long as it remains unoccupied and until probate is granted. A further six months exemption is then possible. Authorities have powers to provide further discounts where they consider that the circumstances merit it. Authorities can also agree alternative payment arrangements, such as deferring payment until the proceeds of a sale are made available. Potential purchasers who wish to move home can do so, and guidance on home moves is available (attached) at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/government-advice-on-home-moving-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

2nd Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the problems facing owners of retirement properties who are unable to sell such property; and whether councils are able to rent such properties to house older eligible individuals in need of housing.

The Government recognises the benefits of specialist retirement housing, however, we are aware that some owners of retirement properties have experienced difficulties in selling or renting their properties due to a range of factors.

The Law Commission published a report in 2017 of their review of event fees in retirement properties. The Government responded to the Law Commission in March 2019, agreeing to implement the majority of the recommendations.

We would encourage all prospective purchasers of retirement homes to take legal advice on their purchase and ensure they understand any restrictions on the use or sale of the property. The Government’s How to Buy Guide (attached) has further advice on what to look out for when buying specialist retirement properties.

Where existing covenants are preventing the property being sold or rented there are a variety of potential remedies and the owner should take their own legal advice. For instance - it may be possible to vary or reduce restrictions through an application to the land tribunal.

Local authorities and housing associations already provide specialist accommodation for older and disabled people who are in need of it. The Government is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and has recently confirmed the details of £12.2 billion of investment. This includes a new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme providing up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow, and 10% of delivery will be used to increase the supply of specialist or supported housing.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their decision to extend the ban on tenant evictions by a further two months, what plans they have to support private landlords with tenants who had already built up rent arrears before the restrictions to address the COVID-19 pandemic were introduced and who are receiving no income from their property.

The Government has put in place an unprecedented support package to help ensure that tenants are able to pay their rent throughout this period. We have introduced support for business to pay staff salaries with income support also available to the self-employed and have strengthened the welfare safety-net with a nearly £7 billion boost to the welfare system. This includes increasing Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents in each area.

To support landlords who are experiencing a temporary loss of income, mortgage lenders have agreed to offer payment holidays of up to three months where this is needed due to coronavirus-related hardship, including for buy-to-let mortgages. On 2 June, the Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that borrowers can apply for an extension to any holiday already taken while extending the window for new applications to 31 October. Landlords should contact their lender at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss if the payment holiday is a suitable option for them.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish their response to the consultation Considering the case for a Housing Court, which closed in January 2019; and what are their reasons for not publishing it to date.

We remain committed to working with the judiciary to improve court processes for users and the responses to the Call for Evidence will inform this work. However, it is important that any changes to court processes are considered as part of a wider package of reforms, which will deliver a fairer and more effective private rental market.

Our Renters’ Reform Bill will enhance renters’ security and improve protections for tenants by abolishing ‘no-fault’ evictions. However, we want to ensure that under the new tenancy framework, landlords are able to swiftly and smoothly regain their property through the courts where they have a legitimate reason to do so.

We will publish our response to the consultation ‘Considering the case for a Housing Court’ in due course.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to their decision to extend the ban on tenant evictions by a further two months, what provisions are or will be in place to ensure that private landlords, who obtained a legal possession order prior to the suspension of evictions in March, are able to reclaim possession of their properties without further delay.

On 5 June the Government announced that the current suspension of evictions from social or private rented accommodation will be extended by two months until 23 August 2020.

From 24 August 2020, the courts will begin to process possession cases again. This is an important step towards ending the lockdown and will protect landlords’ important right to regain their property. Work is underway with the judiciary, legal representatives and the advice sector on arrangements, including new rules, to ensure that judges have all the information necessary to make just decisions and that the most vulnerable tenants can get the help they need when possession cases resume.

31st Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government when they plan to publish their response to the Mental Capacity Act: Small Payments Scheme, which closed on 12 January, to help disabled families access Child Trust Funds.

We are preparing the Government's response to the consultation and are aiming to provide an update to the House in the near future. The consultation exposed a number of issues which warranted further consideration, especially in relation to the design, security, simplicity and effectiveness of a scheme when compared to existing processes. In the meantime we have been collaborating with the Court of Protection to improve access to payments under current legislation, and pilot processes and documentation are currently being developed.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th Feb 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken in the last 12 months to maintain visiting rights for prisoners while there have been restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic; how many visits were permitted for each category of prisoner each month; what estimate they have made of the percentage of all prisoners who have received visitors since March 2020; and whether all prison visitors are required to produce a negative COVID-19 test.

In response to COVID-19, the MoJ/HMPPS took decisive action to protect staff and prisoners. These changes are set out in ‘COVID-19: National Framework for Prison Regimes and Services’, available attached and here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services. In line with this framework and public health advice, at different times during the pandemic social face-to-face visits in the adult estate have had to be temporarily suspended (other than on exceptional compassionate grounds which need to be agreed in advance with the prison). Visits to children in the Youth Custody Estate (YCS) have continued. Official/ legal visits have continued, conducted remotely where possible.

Social visits during the pandemic have taken place in line with the National Framework and a regime Exception Delivery Model with additional measures put in place to ensure that they can do so in a COVID-19 secure manner. These have had to include restricting the numbers of visits, length of visits and numbers of visitors in each session. We do not require evidence of a negative test as a pre-cursor to visiting. Decisions as to how visits operate at each establishment within this framework are determined through locally led assessments informed by Public Health advice. Information on how visits operate is set out on each establishment’s information page on GOV.UK, available here; https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/prisons-in-england-and-wales, and communicated to those wishing to visit as part of the local booking arrangements. In line with the National Framework, arrangements for social visits remain under constant review in light of public health guidance.

Data on the numbers of visits is not collated and held nationally. This information cannot therefore be provided without disproportionate cost.

As part of a wider package of measures to enable those in prison and the YCS to maintain contact with families and significant others throughout the pandemic, we also introduced circa 1,500 additional mobile PIN phones, have provided additional PIN credit and have introduced an emergency secure Video Calling service which to date has supported over 100,000 calls.

7th Sep 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what provisions have been made in Her Majesty’s Prisons for visiting rights for prisoners since the introduction of restrictions to address the COVID-19 pandemic; how many (1) visits, and (2) visitors, are permitted for each category of prisoner each week; and what special protective measures have been introduced for (1) visitors, and (2) prisoners, to ensure their protection against COVID-19.

We fully recognise the importance of family contact for those in custody in line with the recommendations of Lord Farmer’s Reviews. This is why following the necessary suspension of prison visits in March, to keep prisoners, their families and staff safe during the pandemic, we introduced a range of measures. We rolled-out more than 1,200 secure mobile PIN phone handsets which are being used to contact family and friends, bolstered support for the Prisoner’s Families Helpline and introduced secure video calls which are currently operating in over 100 prisons across England and Wales, including all female and youth establishments.

We published arrangements for the recommencement of face-to-face social visits in the National Framework for Prison Regimes and Services, and visits recommenced in early July, in an adapted, Covid-secure manner. Currently most prisons have now commenced physical visits.

Currently, up to two adults and two children are permitted to visit for a minimum of 45 minutes in prisons where it is safe to do so. Guidance on visits protocols for each prison, including steps we are taking to keep visitors safe, is published on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visit-someone-in-prison-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

This sets out differences in the adult and youth estates but otherwise this applies for visits to all categories of prisoner. We aim to continue to expand visit arrangements as part of further relaxations to prison regimes, as it is safe to do so, and in line with public health advice.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to ensure that courts deal more speedily with landlord and tenant cases concerning anti-social behaviour and domestic violence, once possession cases related to rented housing recommence.

The listing of court cases, including possession, is a judicial function. The Master of Rolls has set up a judiciary-led cross-sector working group to consider and address matters affecting litigants to inform arrangements that will be in place when the current stay on possession is lifted. The work of this group will consider the needs of all users involved in the possession process.
22nd Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many possession orders had been made by the courts following a claim by (1) private, and (2) social landlords, and were outstanding prior to eviction proceedings being suspended from 27 March.

The requested information is not held by HMCTS.