Neil Coyle Written Questions

295 Questions to Government Departments tabled by Neil Coyle


Date Title Questioner
25 Mar 2020, 4:43 p.m. Food Banks: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans the Government has to allocate funding to foodbanks to help them support people affected by covid-19.

Answer (Will Quince)

Food banks are independent charitable organisations and, as such, are best placed to decide on the most appropriate arrangements for supporting people who use them. As both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

I also refer the honourable member to the response given by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in response to an oral question made on 19 March:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-03-19/debates/EBB8F3D7-F9F4-4C5C-B913-86FD27851B5D/VulnerablePeopleFoodSupplies

Additionally announcements were made at the Prime Minister’s daily briefings on 21 and 22 March in relation to food supply.

25 Mar 2020, 1:03 p.m. Jobcentres: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what additional resources she plans to allocate to job centres to ensure that those centres can support people affected by covid-19.

Answer (Mims Davies)

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

24 Mar 2020, 4:28 p.m. Local Government Finance: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Hardship Fund announced in Budget 2020; and how the effectiveness of the Hardship Fund will be measured.

Answer (Mr Simon Clarke)

The Government will provide English councils with £500 million to support financially vulnerable residents, and expects that most of the funding will be used to provide additional council tax relief.

Further guidance is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/council-tax-covid-19-hardship-fund-2020-to-2021-guidance.

24 Mar 2020, 12:59 p.m. Business: Loans Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the ability of small and medium-sized businesses to access the Business Interruption Loan Scheme to help cover the costs of coronavirus.

Answer (Paul Scully)

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is now live. Eligible businesses can apply for a loan or other form of finance through one of 40-plus providers accredited by the British Business Bank to offer the scheme. These include all the major UK banks. The application process is typically online for smaller amounts and the lending decision is made by the provider concerned.

Full guidance, including eligibility criteria, is available on the British Business Bank website at www.british-business-bank.co.uk/cbils and this information is being widely disseminated online, through the Government’s Business Support Helpline and by accredited providers.

24 Mar 2020, 11:46 a.m. Non-domestic Rates: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the viability of businesses affected by coronavirus in (a) north Southwark and (b) other areas with higher than average business rates which are not covered by the business rates exemption for companies with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

On 17 March, in response to Covid-19, the Government introduced a 12 month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England, including Southwark, with no cap on rateable values. Eligible businesses, large and small, will benefit from this exceptional step worth an additional £9.5bn in 2020-21.

23 Mar 2020, 5:39 p.m. Local Government Finance: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timescale is for the allocation of funding from the £500 million fund for local authorities to support individuals affected by covid-19, announced in Budget 2020.

Answer (Mr Simon Clarke)

The Government will provide English councils with £500 million to support financially vulnerable residents, and expects that most of the funding will be used to provide additional council tax relief.

The Government will set out further details and allocations for individual authorities in the coming days.

23 Mar 2020, 5:39 p.m. Local Government Finance: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how the £500 million in funding announced in Budget 2020 to help people affected by covid-19 will be allotted to local authorities; and what steps his Department will take to ensure that it is allocated on the basis of need.

Answer (Mr Simon Clarke)

The Government will provide English councils with £500 million to support financially vulnerable residents, and expects that most of the funding will be used to provide additional council tax relief.

The Government will set out further details and allocations for individual authorities in the coming days.

23 Mar 2020, 4:59 p.m. Small Businesses: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the guidance published by Public Health England on 16 March 2020, what plans he has to provide additional underwriting to SMEs that will be affected by social distancing.

Answer (John Glen)

For businesses which have a policy that covers pandemics, the government’s action is sufficient and will allow businesses to make an insurance claim against their policy. Furthermore, we are providing £10,000 grants to over 700,000 SMEs across England, and increased grants for qualifying retail, hospitality and leisure businesses of up to £25,000 per property. These measures are part of a wider, unprecedented package of support for businesses and workers to ensure as best we can that people remain employed and firms financially secure. The Government stands ready to do whatever it takes to support businesses through this outbreak.
23 Mar 2020, 4:50 p.m. Business: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when each of the measures announced in Budget 2020 to mitigate the effects of covid-19 will be implemented to support businesses that are adversely affected.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

On 17 March, in response to Covid-19, the Government introduced a 12 month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England, including Southwark, with no cap on rateable values. Eligible businesses, large and small, will benefit from this exceptional step worth an additional £9.5bn in 2020-21.

23 Mar 2020, 1:13 p.m. British Nationals Abroad: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to UK embassies and missions to enable them to support UK nationals trying to return to the UK as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

Answer (Nigel Adams)

Like other organisations, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will be affected if large numbers of staff become infected with covid-19. The same will be true of our overseas network. In that context, we are reprioritising activities and reassigning staff to make sure that we can continue to lead a global response to Covid-19 and deal with other urgent matters as they arise.

We are continuing to work closely with local authorities, commercial airlines and other diplomatic missions to enable British people to get home. Our consular team is working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. The situation is fast moving, and our advice at this time is for British nationals to secure safe accommodation and to speak to their tour operator, airline and insurance company to discuss the options available to them.

23 Mar 2020, 1:02 p.m. British Nationals Abroad: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking with (a) TUI and (b) other flight operators to ensure they bring back UK nationals currently stranded abroad.

Answer (Nigel Adams)

We are in daily touch with the travel industry. We are working together to respond to the unprecedented challenges created by the far-reaching entry restrictions and other measures countries are introducing, often without notice.

23 Mar 2020, 8:23 a.m. Peru: Coronavirus Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support British nationals in (a) Lima and (b) Peru trying to return to the UK during the covid-19 pandemic.

Answer (Wendy Morton)

We are working closely with local authorities, commercial airlines and other diplomatic missions to enable British people in Peru to get home. Our consular team is working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. The situation is fast moving, and our advice at this time is for British nationals to secure safe accommodation and to speak to their tour operator, airline and insurance company to discuss the options available to them.

19 Mar 2020, 4:55 p.m. Children: Exploitation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with the Home Secretary on the establishment of a support programme for families with children at risk of exploitation, following the introduction of the Tackling Child Exploitation Support Programme in 2019.

Answer (Vicky Ford)

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, meets regularly with other ministers to discuss the Department of Education’s agenda.

We are committed to protecting children at risk of exploitation and this is why the government has commissioned a consortium, led by Research in Practice, and the International Centre at the University of Bedfordshire and The Children’s Society, to deliver the Tackling Child Exploitation (TCE) Support Programme.

The TCE Support Programme will help safeguarding partners in local areas develop an effective multi-agency response to a range of threats to children from outside the family, including sexual and child criminal exploitation, county lines, all forms of modern slavery of children and child trafficking. It will operate from 2019 up until 2022 with funding of up to £2 million.

19 Mar 2020, 4:33 p.m. Wines Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with UK-based winemakers on (a) importing and (b) making wines from non-UK grapes after the transition period.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government is committed to reviewing the alcohol duty regime. As part of this review, ministers and Treasury officials will continue to meet regularly with representatives of the UK alcohol industry, including winemakers.

Details of ministerial meetings can be found on the GOV.UK website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel

19 Mar 2020, 3:53 p.m. Railway Stations: Access Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many train stations will (a) become step-free and (b) acquire an accessible toilet changing place through Access for All funding.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

So far, more than 200 stations have been made step free through the programme, with a further 1500 receiving smaller scale access improvements. By 2024 more than 100 additional stations will receive a step free route, and 11 will acquire an accessible toilet, 2 of which will be changing places toilets.

19 Mar 2020, 2:17 p.m. Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what criteria her Department uses to monitor the accuracy of desk-based benefit assessments.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

I have interpreted ‘desk based’ to relate to paper-based assessments whereby the Health Professional has deemed there is enough existing evidence without the need to see the claimant face to face.

Audit, in relation to completed desk based and face to face benefit assessments, refers to a comprehensive check of the elements of the assessment, including the evidence collection, further evidence provided and the assessment report completed by the Health Professional. The check is completed against a set of guidelines to ensure a consistent approach is taken. This ensures that assessment reports are fit for purpose, clinically justified and sound, and provide sufficient information for the department to make a reasonable decision on entitlement to benefit.

19 Mar 2020, 1:25 p.m. Social Security Benefits: Disability Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that disabled people do not face delays in the absence of face to face assessments as a result of covid-19.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

As announced on Monday 16 March we are stopping all face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits and introducing alternative measures to assess from Tuesday 17 March. We are working at pace with our Assessment Providers to minimize any inconvenience and delays as much as possible.

No estimate has yet been made on the average waiting times for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Universal Credit (UC) while these alternative arrangements are in place. Claims to ESA and UC will be payable prior to a Work Capability Assessment having been carried out and payments for Personal Independence Payment will be backdated from the date of decision in line with normal rules following an assessment.

19 Mar 2020, 1:25 p.m. Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an estimate of the expected average waiting time for (a) personal independence payment (b) employment and support allowance and (c) universal credit (i) phone and (ii) desk-based assessments during the outbreak of covid-19.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

As announced on Monday 16 March we are stopping all face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits and introducing alternative measures to assess from Tuesday 17 March. We are working at pace with our Assessment Providers to minimize any inconvenience and delays as much as possible.

No estimate has yet been made on the average waiting times for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Universal Credit (UC) while these alternative arrangements are in place. Claims to ESA and UC will be payable prior to a Work Capability Assessment having been carried out and payments for Personal Independence Payment will be backdated from the date of decision in line with normal rules following an assessment.

18 Mar 2020, 6:50 p.m. Digital Technology: Proof of Identity Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to publish its response to the consultation on digital identity that closed on 15 September 2019.

Answer (Matt Warman)

The Department intends to publish its response to the Digital Identity Call for Evidence in Spring 2020.

18 Mar 2020, 3:50 p.m. Railways: Disability Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect of improving the accessibility of rail infrastructure on employment opportunities for disabled people.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

Departments are working together through the Disability Unit in the Cabinet Office which has been established in recognition of the barriers faced by disabled people in their lives.

The National Strategy for Disabled People due to be published later this year will focus on the issues that most affect disabled people: housing, education, transport and jobs. As part of this, Departments across Whitehall are considering how they can make the greatest contribution to the lives of disabled people in our nation.

17 Mar 2020, 4:30 p.m. European Arrest Warrants: Gibraltar Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the maintenance of a framework similar to the European Arrest Warrant for Gibraltar after UK access to the European Arrest Warrants ends.

Answer (James Brokenshire)

The Government has always been clear that Gibraltar is an integral part of our negotiations with the EU and we have committed to involve Gibraltar fully as we negotiate the next stage of the UK-EU relationship.

The UK is not seeking to participate in the European Arrest Warrant as part of the future relationship. The agreement should instead provide for fast-track extradition arrangements, based on the EU’s Surrender Agreement with Norway and Iceland which came into force in 2019, but with appropriate further safeguards for individuals beyond those in the European Arrest Warrant.

17 Mar 2020, 3:10 p.m. Access to Work Programme: Greater London Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the level of uptake of the Access to Work scheme in (a) Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency and (b) London.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

The latest figures for Access to Work may be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/access-to-work-statistics-april-2007-to-march-2019

There are two main types of Access to Work provision: Assessments and Elements. More than one item of Access to Work provision of the same type or of different types can be approved for the same person in a given financial year or in different financial years. Table 3 of the Access to Work Statistics includes the number of people who had any Access to Work provision approved by various customer characteristics. Within the regions breakdown you will find the number of people who were approved for any Access to Work provision in London.

In 2018/19, 80 people in the Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency had any Access to Work provision approved. We do not routinely publish geographic breakdowns to constituency level. This figure was obtained from the Department for Work and Pensions’ Disability Service Client (DiSC) administrative system and is rounded to the nearest 10.

17 Mar 2020, 12:22 p.m. Crime: Victims Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the Queen's Speech December 2019 Background Briefing Notes, what his timescale is for (a) publishing and (b) introducing a revised victims' code; and whether that revised code will include a children's victims' code.

Answer (Alex Chalk)

Our consultation ‘Improving the Victims’ Code’ is due to close on 16 April 2020. We will publish a finalised version of the revised Victims’ Code as part of the response to this consultation as soon as possible and introduce it later this year.

As outlined in our first consultation on the Victims’ Code held in 2019, ‘Proposals for revising the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime’, we are fully committed to publishing child/young person friendly guidance alongside the revised Victims’ Code.

16 Mar 2020, 2:49 p.m. Access to Work Programme Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce the time taken for Access to Work applications to be processed.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

Access to Work is focused on reviewing and improving our customer journey to ensure we provide an excellent level of service. In order to support customers to move into work as quickly as possible we prioritise any applications where the customer is due to begin work in four weeks or less.

12 Mar 2020, 5:53 p.m. Crime: Exploitation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the Queen's Speech December 2019 Background Briefing Notes, whether she plans to include a statutory definition of criminal exploitation in the Serious Violence Bill.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Queen’s Speech set out an ambitious package of reforms to deliver on the people’s priorities, to tackle violent crime and to safeguard people’s streets and neighbourhoods. This includes the introduction of the Serious Violence Bill. The Bill will create a new legal duty on a range of local agencies, including the police, councils and local health bodies, to prevent and reduce serious violence. It will also introduce new court orders, which will make it easier for the police to stop and search those convicted of knife and offensive weapon offences, and prevent them from carrying knives on our streets.

The Bill and draft guidance for local agencies will be published in due course.

12 Mar 2020, 5:43 p.m. Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an estimate of the number of benefits claimants that will be affected by the European Court of Human Rights judgement of 24 October 2019 on the classification of panic rooms for the purposes of the spare room subsidy.

Answer (Will Quince)

We are carefully considering the court’s decision.

12 Mar 2020, 5:43 p.m. Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an estimate of the annual cost to the public purse of amending benefit claimants' payments in line with the European Court of Human Rights judgement of 24 October 2019 on the classification of panic rooms for the purposes of the spare room subsidy.

Answer (Will Quince)

We are carefully considering the court’s decision.

12 Mar 2020, 3:28 p.m. Self-employed: Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing regulations to prevent companies who employ temporary agency contractors operating disguised remuneration schemes before the reforms to off-payroll working rules are made in April 2020.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

It is possible to comply with the off-payroll working rules without using disguised remuneration schemes. The Government remains committed to tackling the continued use of disguised remuneration schemes, and set out further action to tackle these schemes at the Budget. HMRC have already published a factsheet to support contractors to prepare for the changes to the off-payroll working rules, and are continuing to step up their communications in the run up to implementation. HMRC have also launched further products to support contractors in understanding the changes, including a self-help guide on how to spot tax avoidance schemes.

12 Mar 2020, 3:18 p.m. Self-employed: Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to improve the usability of the Check Employment Status Tool ahead of the introduction of reforms to the off-payroll working rules.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

HMRC developed the Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) online tool to help organisations and individuals determine employment status for tax and decide whether the off-payroll working rules apply.

The CEST service was developed in conjunction with tax specialists, contractors and other stakeholders. It was rigorously tested against established case law and settled cases to ensure it provides accurate results in line with current binding judgments. In the vast majority of uses, CEST will determine whether the engagement is employed or self-employed for tax purposes. HMRC will stand by CEST’s results provided accurate and correct information is used, in accordance with their guidance.

In November 2019, HMRC launched an enhanced version of CEST, having worked with over 300 stakeholders to identify improvements. The tool’s enhancements included making questions and the results clearer, increasing the number of questions to provide a more thorough assessment, and building in features to reduce user errors.

Since launch, HMRC have monitored customer feedback and have updated the tool’s language where this improves the customer experience. This includes providing additional help text and links to off-payroll guidance in HMRC’s Employment Status Manual. HMRC are continuing to monitor feedback with a view to making future usability updates.

12 Mar 2020, 2:56 p.m. Self-employed: Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on employment rights of the proposed reforms to off-payroll working rules.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

It is fair that two people working as employees pay broadly the same tax and NICs, even if one of them works through their own company and the other is directly employed. There is no direct link between employment status for rights and employment status for tax; however, those who wish to challenge their employment status for rights can take their case to an employment tribunal, regardless of their tax status.

12 Mar 2020, 2:52 p.m. Self-employed: Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) preparedness of businesses for the reforms to off-payroll working rules due to be implemented in April 2020 and (b) the potential merits of delaying that implementation date.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

As announced at Budget 2018, the reform of the off-payroll working rules will come into effect from 6 April 2020. The Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) published in July 2019 sets out HMRC’s assessment that the reform to the off-payroll working rules is expected to affect 170,000 individuals. The TIIN can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020.

As part of the review published on 27 February 2020, HMRC engaged with a number of affected individuals and businesses through a series of stakeholder roundtables to test business readiness.

The Government is committed to working with organisations to ensure changes to the off-payroll working rules are implemented correctly from April 2020. HMRC are undertaking an extensive programme of education and support to help organisations prepare for the reform. This includes:

  • Offering one-to-one support to more than 2,000 of the UK’s biggest employers, and writing directly to 43,000 medium sized businesses and other organisations.
  • Providing large and medium sized businesses, public bodies, and charities with factsheets to share with their contractors, and publishing this factsheet on gov.uk.
  • Holding workshops with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, and public bodies.
  • Holding at least weekly webinars, with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, public bodies and contractors.
  • Publishing an enhanced version of the Check Employment Status for Tax online tool in November 2019 to help individuals and organisations make the right status determinations and apply the off-payroll rules correctly.
12 Mar 2020, 2:52 p.m. Self-employed: Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on labour market flexibility of the proposed reforms to off-payroll working rules.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

As announced at Budget 2018, the reform of the off-payroll working rules will come into effect from 6 April 2020. The Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) published in July 2019 sets out HMRC’s assessment that the reform to the off-payroll working rules is expected to affect 170,000 individuals. The TIIN can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020/rules-for-off-payroll-working-from-april-2020.

As part of the review published on 27 February 2020, HMRC engaged with a number of affected individuals and businesses through a series of stakeholder roundtables to test business readiness.

The Government is committed to working with organisations to ensure changes to the off-payroll working rules are implemented correctly from April 2020. HMRC are undertaking an extensive programme of education and support to help organisations prepare for the reform. This includes:

  • Offering one-to-one support to more than 2,000 of the UK’s biggest employers, and writing directly to 43,000 medium sized businesses and other organisations.
  • Providing large and medium sized businesses, public bodies, and charities with factsheets to share with their contractors, and publishing this factsheet on gov.uk.
  • Holding workshops with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, and public bodies.
  • Holding at least weekly webinars, with small tax agents, recruitment agencies, charities, public bodies and contractors.
  • Publishing an enhanced version of the Check Employment Status for Tax online tool in November 2019 to help individuals and organisations make the right status determinations and apply the off-payroll rules correctly.
12 Mar 2020, 12:36 p.m. Housing Benefit: Social Rented Housing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much money from the public purse was spent on legal fees for cases relating to the classification of panic rooms as spare rooms for the purposes of the spare room subsidy in each of the last five years.

Answer (Will Quince)

Case “A” a property adapted under the sanctuary scheme, including the installation of a panic room, was heard from the Court of Appeal upwards alongside a number of other cases challenging the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (RSRS) policy. Therefore, we are unable to apportion the specific costs in relation to case A.

In the majority of the cases it was found that the removal of the RSRS policy was lawful and that Discretionary Housing Payments(DHPs) were an appropriate mitigation.

Since 2011 the Government has provided over £1bn in DHPs to local authorities (LAs) to help support vulnerable people affected by different welfare reforms including the RSRS. Additionally, we announced a further £40m for DHPs in 2020/21.

10 Mar 2020, 5:24 p.m. National Probation Service for England and Wales: Bermondsey and Old Southwark Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the timetable is for the relocation of the Probation Service Offices on Harper Road in Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The National Probation Service (NPS) occupies 21 Harper Road on a leasehold basis and the tenancy is due to expire in 2059. We understand the proposed redevelopment of the area will provide valuable employment and the department has been exploring options for relocating staff currently in situ to other offices while keeping any disruption to a minimum. We expect to be able to recommence discussions shortly with the landlord regarding the lease and the Probation Service’s office at 21 Harper Road.

9 Mar 2020, 5:36 p.m. Sleeping Rough: Death Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many deaths have been recorded as a result of homeless people taking shelter in bins which are then removed by refuse workers in each of the last twelve months; what steps he is taking to help prevent further such deaths; and whether he plans to provide training to refuse workers to help reduce the risk of further deaths.

Answer (Luke Hall)

Every premature death of someone homeless is one too many and we take this matter extremely seriously. It should not happen that people die prematurely and on the street because they are homeless.

We are absolutely committed to ending rough sleeping by the end of this parliament. To achieve this, we are providing £437 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in 2020/2021.This marks a £69 million increase in funding from the previous year.

This year we have expanded the Rough Sleeping Initiative with investment of £46 million for 246 areas – providing funding for an estimated 2,600 bed spaces and 750 staff. Next year, we are allocating a further £112 million to around 270 areas, funding up to 6,000 bed spaces and 2,500 staff. And this is having an impact. The RSI impact evaluation shows that the Initiative has reduced the number of people sleeping rough by 32 per cent in the areas funded, compared to the number it would have been had the RSI not been in place.

We do not hold data on the number of deaths as a result of people taking shelter in refuse bins. However, we understand some local councils and businesses have conducted research and supplied advice on this issue in recent years.

This Government is aware that a skilled frontline workforce is essential to delivering good services and ultimately reducing homelessness. Delivery of the Key Groups Training programme launched in Summer 2019.  The training programme is expected to cater for 3,450 members of the frontline homelessness workforce by the end of June 2020.

Local authorities and outreach teams work tirelessly to ensure that appropriate support is given to all rough sleepers regardless of where they are found, be that in tents, doorways, bins or on the street.

4 Mar 2020, 4:28 p.m. Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will allocate resources to HMRC in the forthcoming Budget to help ensure that people who promoted the Loan Charge scheme are held accountable.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government is determined to continue to tackle promoters of tax avoidance schemes, including disguised remuneration schemes. HMRC are on track to deliver the Government’s commitment to double the resources dedicated to tackling promoters by the end of 2019-20.

In the response to the Loan Charge review, the Government announced a package of measures to reduce the scope for promoters to market tax avoidance schemes. HMRC have committed to publishing a revised strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes by the end of March 2020.

4 Mar 2020, 4:25 p.m. Spirits: Excise Duties Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if the Government will take steps to reduce excise duty on UK spirits.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

All taxes are kept under review, and any changes to tax will be announced through the Budget process.

4 Mar 2020, 4:23 p.m. Alcoholic Drinks: Excise Duties Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will undertake a review of alcohol duty and postpone changes to excise duty collection arrangements for post duty point dilution until the results of that review are available.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

As committed to in the manifesto, the Government will undertake a review of alcohol duties. Further announcements will be made in due course.

However, there are no plans to postpone the prohibitive actions against post duty point dilution for wine. UK drinks manufacturers have been given over 18 months’ notice to adapt their business models. The Treasury does keep all taxes under review, including their impact on drink manufacturers.

4 Mar 2020, 4:22 p.m. Wines: Excise Duties Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the HMRC Alcohol Duty Statistics (October 2019), what assessment he has made of the effect of the increase in duty on wine in 2019 Budget on duty receipts from wine.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Announced at Budget 2018, Wine Duty rates on ‘wine of fresh grape’ and ‘made-wine’ at or below 22% Alcohol by Volume (ABV) increased by Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation from 1 February 2019.

Between February 2019 and January 2020, HMRC received £4,406 million from Wine Duty; an increase of £94.9 million (2.2%) compared to February 2018 to January 2019. The latest Wine Duty receipts are published in ‘HMRC tax receipts and National Insurance contributions for the UK’: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hmrc-tax-and-nics-receipts-for-the-uk.

HMRC do not receive information on brands, prices and volumes and are therefore unable to disaggregate how much of this increase is linked to the 1 February 2019 RPI rate rise compared to other wine market changes.

2 Mar 2020, 3:15 p.m. Taxation: Advisory Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to further regulate tax advisers.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

As announced in the response to the independent review of the loan charge, the Government will launch a call for evidence on what steps it can take to raise standards in the tax advice market.

28 Feb 2020, 2:45 p.m. Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens' Rights Agreements Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the nomination process and timetable is for the appointment of members to the Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizen’s Rights Agreements, as proposed in the Withdrawal Agreement.

Answer (Alex Chalk)

Under the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, the Secretary of State is to appoint the chair and the other non-executive members of the IMA. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor will ensure that these appointments are made in good time, before the end of the transition period. Once appointed, the non-executive members will need to appoint certain executive members. The 2020 Act also empowers the Secretary of State to appoint an interim chief executive of the IMA.

24 Feb 2020, 6:39 p.m. Organs: Donors Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what the date presumed consent for organ donation will be implemented.

Answer (Helen Whately)

The Organ Donation (Deemed Consent) Act 2019 heralds a new system of consent for organ and tissue donation in England, known as ‘opt-out' or ‘deemed consent’. The new consent arrangements mean that all adults over 18 will be considered potential organ and tissue donors after death, unless they make a decision that they do not want to be a donor, they have nominated a representative to make a decision on their behalf after death or are in an excluded group.

The Government intends to implement the new system later this spring and is planning to announce the exact date shortly.

18 Feb 2020, 1:34 p.m. Sexual Offences: Prosecutions Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent discussions he has had with the Director of Public Prosecutions on ensuring more effective prosecutions of cases involving (a) rape and (b) other sexual offences.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The Secretary of State for Justice and the Director of Public Prosecutions meet regularly to discuss a number of joint workstreams in the Criminal Justice System, including rape prosecutions, and most recently met in January. Both the Secretary of State for Justice and the Director of Public Prosecutions are committed to working together to ensure rape and other sexual offences are prosecuted more effectively. It is encouraging that the CPS is working with the police to develop new ways of working to improve case progression, digital capability and disclosure, expertise, supporting victims, and stakeholder engagement.

14 Feb 2020, 11:06 a.m. Offenders: Health Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made on publishing a health and justice plan; what the timetable is for publishing that plan; and which (a) Government departments, (b) arms-length bodies and (c) external stakeholders are involved in publishing that plan.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

The health and justice partners include: Ministry of Justice (MoJ), Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS), Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), NHSE/I, and Public Health England (PHE). In English prisons, this relationship has been formally set out in the National Partnership Agreement for Prison Healthcare in England, which has been in place since April 2018. Its associated workplan sets out a detailed programme of work, agreed by health and justice partners, to deliver safe, decent, effective healthcare for offenders.

Changes in Ministers in both Departments over the past six months, followed by the General Election, means we have been reconsidering how we best deliver our objectives in this area.

In order to improve health outcomes and tackle the root causes of offending it is essential we take a whole system approach to healthcare provision for people in the criminal justice system. The Ministry of Justice and the Department of Health and Social Care are continuing to work together and with partners to articulate a coherent picture of how healthcare is delivered throughout the criminal justice pathway, from the point of arrest through to release.

13 Feb 2020, 12:55 p.m. Prisoners: Self-harm Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to reduce incidents of self-harm among adult prisoners.

Answer (Lucy Frazer)

Far too many prisoners are self-harming and we know that relationships between staff and prisoners plays an important role in tackling this. We have therefore invested in the recruitment of over 4,500 more prison officers since 2016, an increase which has helped us to roll out the key worker scheme in the adult male estate. Key workers provide a consistent individual prison officer with whom prisoners can establish a relationship, build trust and receive encouragement.

We have delivered improved Introduction to Self-Harm and Suicide training to over 25,000 new and existing staff, and we are investing an extra £2.75 billion to modernise prisons, combat drug use and improve the environment in which prisoners live. We’ve recently issued further guidance to help staff support those who self-harm.

We are continuing our partnership with the Samaritans, awarding a grant of £500k each year for the three years to 2021. This supports the excellent Listeners scheme, through which selected prisoners are trained to provide emotional support to their fellow prisoners.

We have also sought to revise and update the Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) care planning process designed to manage prisoners at risk of self-harm. Changes to ACCT were piloted between February and June 2019 and, following a full evaluation of the pilot, a revised version will be rolled out across the estate later in the year.

12 Feb 2020, 12:24 p.m. Disability Living Allowance: Older People Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people over state retirement age receiving disability living allowance have had their lifetime awards reassessed in each of the last 10 years.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

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

11 Feb 2020, 3:47 p.m. Vagrancy Act 1824 Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the timetable is for conclusion of the review of the Vagrancy Act 1824.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The cross-Government Rough Sleeping Strategy, which was published in August 2018, committed to reviewing homelessness and rough sleeping legislation, including the Vagrancy Act 1824 by March 2020.

11 Feb 2020, 3:40 p.m. Anti-terrorism Control Orders Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is her Department’s policy to reinstate Control Orders.

Answer (Brandon Lewis)

Protecting the British public is the Government’s first priority.

This Government is committed to ensuring that appropriate tools are available to the police and Security Service for the protection of national security.

There are no plans at this time to re-introduce control orders. Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs) give the Security Service and police powerful measures to help manage the risk posed. They provide some of the most restrictive measures available in the democratic world. TPIMs have been endorsed by the courts, counter-terrorism reviewers, the police, and the Security Service. The police and Security Service believe TPIMs reduce the national security risk posed by those subject to them.

We also have a range of other measures available. These include: stringent conditions during any post-release licence period; notification requirements for terrorist offenders, which only last year the Government strengthened; and Serious Crime Prevention Orders, which were extended to terrorist offenders last year and provide the police with strengthened powers to manage terrorists on their release.

Last week we also announced that we are considering whether new legislation is required to provide additional assurance when terrorist offenders are released from prison.

We will do everything we can to protect the public.

11 Feb 2020, 3:40 p.m. Anti-terrorism Control Orders Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she has had discussions with Cabinet colleagues on the reintroduction of Control Orders.

Answer (Brandon Lewis)

Protecting the British public is the Government’s first priority.

This Government is committed to ensuring that appropriate tools are available to the police and Security Service for the protection of national security.

There are no plans at this time to re-introduce control orders. Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (TPIMs) give the Security Service and police powerful measures to help manage the risk posed. They provide some of the most restrictive measures available in the democratic world. TPIMs have been endorsed by the courts, counter-terrorism reviewers, the police, and the Security Service. The police and Security Service believe TPIMs reduce the national security risk posed by those subject to them.

We also have a range of other measures available. These include: stringent conditions during any post-release licence period; notification requirements for terrorist offenders, which only last year the Government strengthened; and Serious Crime Prevention Orders, which were extended to terrorist offenders last year and provide the police with strengthened powers to manage terrorists on their release.

Last week we also announced that we are considering whether new legislation is required to provide additional assurance when terrorist offenders are released from prison.

We will do everything we can to protect the public.

10 Feb 2020, 4:55 p.m. National Security Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Prime Minister, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament’s report on the Russian threat to the UK is published without delay.

Answer (Boris Johnson)

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave the Hon. Member the Member for Midlothian on 5 February 2020, Official Report, Col. 314.

https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-02-05/debates/9EAB35C6-1EF6-4A18-B345-56F34D5D4504/Engagements

10 Feb 2020, 4:51 p.m. Intelligence and Security Committee: Public Appointments Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Prime Minister, what discussions he has had with the Leader of the Opposition on nominations to the Intelligence and Security Committee.

Answer (Boris Johnson)

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to the Hon. Member the Member for St Albans on 3 February 2020, UIN 9144.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-01-28/9144/

6 Feb 2020, 11:11 a.m. Disability Living Allowance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people receiving disability living allowance over state retirement age have had their lifetime awards reviewed in each of the last six years.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

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

8 Oct 2019, 4:11 p.m. Metropolitan Police: Recruitment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many of the additional police officers will be recruited (a) to the Metropolitan Police and (b) to work in Southwark.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

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

8 Oct 2019, 3:04 p.m. Domestic Abuse Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether he has plans to bring forward legislative proposals on Domestic Abuse in autumn 2019.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

The landmark Domestic Abuse Bill was introduced in the Commons on 16 July 2019. The Bill sits alongside a package of non-legislative measures targeted at tackling this abhorrent crime.

The Government is committed to progressing this Bill and Second Reading took take place on 2 October. The Bill will be carried carried over into the next session of Parliament.

8 Oct 2019, 11:38 a.m. Yemen: Overseas Aid Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 5 September 2019 to Question 282383 on Yemen: Overseas Aid, which UK funded assets were damaged and which parties were identified as responsible for that damage; and how much UK Aid funding has been spent on those facilities.

Answer (Dr Andrew Murrison)

Since the Yemen conflict started in 2015, our partners have reported two UK funded assets have been damaged by alleged airstrikes. These are a Norwegian Refugee Council warehouse in the Harradh area of Hajjah governorate on 21 June 2015 and a UNICEF water and sanitary health facility in Sahar district on 22 July 2018.

We closely monitor such incidents, but we are not able to conduct investigations which would allow us to conclude which parties were responsible.

Losses to DFID following the Norwegian Refugee Council warehouse incident were £3,127, while DFID suffered no direct losses as a result of damages to the UNICEF facility.

30 Sep 2019, 5:09 p.m. Cystic Fibrosis: Medical Treatments Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the stabilisation of cystic fibrosis is part of the NICE quality of life measurement system.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an independent body and is responsible for the methods it uses in the development of its guidance. In developing its guidance, NICE will take into account any health benefits that impact on quality of life and length of life, including disease stabilisation in conditions such as cystic fibrosis, in deciding whether an intervention represents a clinically and cost effective use of National Health Service resources.

30 Sep 2019, 4:11 p.m. Disguised Remuneration Loan Charge Review Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to issue a moratorium 2019 Loan Charge payments for the duration of the independent review of that charge.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government remains committed to tackling tax avoidance schemes, but it has listened to concerns about the impact of the Loan Charge on individuals. An independent review is under way to consider the appropriateness of the Loan Charge as a policy response, and its impact on individuals.

The reviewer, Sir Amyas Morse, has been asked to provide recommendations by mid-November so that any individuals affected can have certainty about their next steps in advance of the 31 January 2020 Self - Assessment deadline.

While the Review is under way, it is right that the Loan Charge remains in force, in line with current legislation.

HMRC has made clear it will consider all personal circumstances to agree a manageable and sustainable payment plan wherever possible and there is no maximum limit on how long a customer can be given to pay the charge.

Further information about the Review and guidance for affected taxpayers is available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/disguised-remuneration-independent-loan-charge-review.

9 Sep 2019, 5:24 p.m. Mental Health Act 1983 Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timeframe is for the publication of a White Paper on reforming the Mental Health Act.

Answer (Ms Nadine Dorries)

We recently announced that the Government will publish a White Paper by the end of the year.

9 Sep 2019, 4:58 p.m. Domestic Abuse Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it is Government policy to bring forward the Domestic Abuse Bill in autumn 2019.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

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

9 Sep 2019, 3:31 p.m. Sleeping Rough Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to meet the target to end rough-sleeping by 2027.

Answer (Luke Hall)

No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why this Government committed to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and then eliminate it altogether by 2027. Last summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy, set out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.

As part of this, the Rough Sleeping Initiative has delivered over 1,750 new bed spaces as well as enabling the areas with the highest levels of rough sleeping to hire more than 500 new staff to focus solely on this issue. The Rapid Rehousing Pathway provides local areas with support to deliver ‘Somewhere Safe to Stay’ hubs, specialist navigators, local lettings agencies and supported lettings. Figures from the Official 2018 Rough Sleeping Snapshot show that the number of people sleeping on our streets on one night in 2018 was 2 per cent lower compared to the previous year.

9 Sep 2019, 3:26 p.m. Taxis: Licensing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 9 May 2019 to Question 252472 on taxis: licensing, if he will reconsider introducing statutory definitions of plying for hire and pre-booked; and what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the judgment on 14 January 2019 in which a private hire driver was prosecuted for illegally plying for hire in Reading.

Answer (George Freeman)

The Government response to the Task and Finish Group report published on 12 February 2019 advised that the recommendation in respect of providing a statutory definition of plying for hire would not be taken forward as it would not provide a practical improvement on the current position.

The Law Commission came to this view in accordance with the advice received from a panel of distinguished licensing lawyers convened specifically for the purpose of discussing reform of plying for hire. The main reason for this conclusion was that whether a driver is plying for hire in particular circumstances is a matter of fact and degree that a court must consider. The Department regularly monitors cases but does not consider that any recent cases necessitate a change in approach.

Private hire vehicles are already only permitted to carry passengers when a booking has been made through a licensed operator.

9 Sep 2019, 3:04 p.m. Cystic Fibrosis Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on the availability of treatments and medication for cystic fibrosis of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Answer (Chris Skidmore)

As part of a responsible Government, the Department is doing everything appropriate to prepare for European Union exit. We want to reassure patients that our plans should ensure the supply of medicines and medical products remains uninterrupted when we leave the European Union on 31 October.

The Department, in consultation with the devolved administrations, has been working with trade bodies, product suppliers, and the health and care system in England to make detailed plans that should ensure continuation of the supply of medicines, including those for people with cystic fibrosis, to the whole of the United Kingdom and its Crown Dependencies.

On 26 June, we wrote to suppliers of medicines to the UK from or via the EU or European Economic Area setting out our continuing multi-layered approach to support continuity of supply of medicines and medical products in a potential ‘no deal’ exit scenario on 31 October.

Further details can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/medicines-and-medical-products-supply-government-updates-no-deal-brexit-plans

9 Sep 2019, 2:54 p.m. High Speed 2 Railway Line Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it remains his Department's policy to deliver the High Speed 2 rail line.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Prime Minister has appointed Douglas Oakervee to chair an independent review of HS2 to consider whether and how we proceed with the project. The review will consider all existing evidence on the project and consider a number of aspects of the programme, including its benefits and impacts; affordability and efficiency; deliverability; and scope and phasing, including its relationship with Northern Powerhouse Rail. The Review’s full terms of reference are available on gov.uk.

A final report will be sent to the Department in the autumn to inform the Government’s decision on the next steps for the project. We will publish this Review and take decisions on the HS2 project once we have considered the findings.

9 Sep 2019, 12:48 p.m. Religious Hatred: Islam Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if the Government will take steps to adopt the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims' definition of Islamophobia.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Government is committed to defining and tackling anti-Muslim hatred. We have appointed Imam Qari Asim MBE, Deputy Chair of the Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, to lead a process for establishing a definition jointly with further advisers to be confirmed in due course.

This new work will draw on a wide range of opinions and work in collaboration with the cross-government Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group, to ensure that it commands broad support within Muslim communities and wider society.

6 Sep 2019, 2:45 p.m. Immigration Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether it remains her Department's policy to reduce immigration to the UK; and what her policy is on international students coming to the UK to study.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

We strongly believe in the benefits of migration and we will continue to ensure that we attract the best and brightest talent to the UK. We will deliver a system that welcomes to this country the people who want to contribute, but that enables us to control migration.


We want to attract international students to study in the UK and study at our world class institutions.

6 Sep 2019, 11:29 a.m. Northern Ireland Government Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps his Department is taking to restoring devolved Government in Northern Ireland.

Answer (Julian Smith)

Since May, the five main Northern Ireland parties have engaged in a series of cross-party talks, focused on the key issues that are central to restoring the power-sharing institutions. I am doing everything I can to support the political parties in coming to an agreement, including continuing having detailed discussions with everyone involved.

The report I laid before the House on Wednesday 4 September contains a fuller update on the progress towards restoring the Executive.

The people of Northern Ireland deserve strong political leadership from locally elected politicians. They do not deserve the current impasse.

5 Sep 2019, 4:26 p.m. Yemen: Overseas Aid Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether any UK Aid-funded facilities in Yemen have been (a) damaged and (b) destroyed by airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition.

Answer (Dr Andrew Murrison)

Since the Yemen conflict began in 2015, our partners have reported two incidents to us in which UK funded assets incurred damage as a result of the conflict.

5 Sep 2019, 4:25 p.m. Overseas Aid Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the Government remains committed to contributing 0.7 per cent of UK GNI in Official Development Assistance.

Answer (Dr Andrew Murrison)

The Government’s commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of our Gross National Income on Official Development Assistance is enshrined in law and in the Conservative manifesto and was re-affirmed by the Secretary of State upon his appointment. The chancellor reiterated this commitment announcing the Spending Round.

4 Sep 2019, 3:45 p.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government remains committed to doubling the number of places on the PrEP Impact Trial; and what steps he is taking towards achieving that goal.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

Following my Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s announcement on 30 January that the number of places on the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial would be doubled to 26,000, expansion of the trial is now underway across the country.

NHS England has committed to funding the PrEP drug and research costs of these additional places, in line with current arrangements. Around 80% of participating clinics have now confirmed they have the capacity to accept additional trial places and the majority of sites have also received approval from their Local Authority commissioners to proceed. In London, boroughs have so far agreed to accept 60% of the total number of additional places available to them. London local authority commissioners have been asked to confirm whether they can accept any further additional places. In addition, sexual health services not taking part in the trial have been given an opportunity to participate following trial expansion.

4 Sep 2019, 11:16 a.m. Heathrow Airport Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it is Government policy to support the construction of a third runway at Heathrow airport.

Answer (Paul Maynard)

The Airports National Policy Statement was designated as government policy in June 2018 following a vote in the House of Commons.

It sets out that there is a need to increase airport capacity in the South East of England by 2030 by constructing one new runway and that this need is best met by the Northwest runway scheme at Heathrow airport.

The government is clear that expansion cannot come at any cost, and must be in the interest of the consumer. The Airports National Policy Statement includes strict environmental requirements which an applicant for development consent must demonstrate it can meet.

The Court of Appeal has granted permission to hear from appellants in October this year. This follows the High Court’s decision to dismiss all 26 grounds raised in the judicial review of the previous Secretary of State’s decision to designate the Airports National Policy Statement.

3 Sep 2019, 4:47 p.m. Orkambi Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timescale is for NICE to make a decision on Orkambi.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

In July 2016 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published guidance on Orkambi for treating cystic fibrosis in people 12 years and older who are homozygous for the F508del mutation. This guidance is scheduled for review this year (2019). If NICE updates the existing recommendations, and the company participates, updated guidance for these patients is expected late 2020/early 2021.

In March 2019, NICE received Ministerial referral to appraise Orkambi in people aged between 2 and 11 years old who are homozygous for the F508del mutation. NICE is in the process of inviting the company and other stakeholders to participate in this appraisal. If the company participates, NICE expects to be able to come to a decision on the use of Orkambi for this group of children in the autumn of 2020.

The Secretary of State for Health wrote to Vertex in August offering a further meeting again with Vertex, as soon as possible, to consider what the barriers are to an agreement and how the situation can be resolved. We continue to urge Vertex to accept NHS England’s generous offer. In the absence of an agreement NHS England and Improvement continue to explore other options.

3 Sep 2019, 4:25 p.m. Police: Recruitment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the timeline is for recruiting the 20,000 extra police officers announced by the Prime Minister on 24 July 2019.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The Prime Minister has said that 20,000 extra police officers will be recruited over the next three years.

3 Sep 2019, 2:39 p.m. Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of people who have not reached an agreement with HMRC under the Loan Charge scheme following its introduction in April 2019.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government estimates that around 50,000 individuals will be affected by the 2019 loan charge. More than 28,000 scheme users expressed an interest in settling their tax affairs, with over 19,000 returning their information under the settlement terms, which were published in November 2017.

HMRC are currently working through the settlement process with scheme users who came forward to settle their tax affairs before 5 April 2019. However, for those customers who are at the final stages of settling, HMRC will allow sufficient time for them to make their decision and sign their settlement paperwork. HMRC will ensure that no one is disadvantaged by any HMRC delay.

Since the loan charge was announced, HMRC have agreed around 7,000 settlements with employers and individuals, worth over £1.5 billion. It is too early to determine how many scheme users who are liable to the loan charge, will have complied with their filing/reporting obligations.

3 Sep 2019, 2:39 p.m. Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the settlement deadline for the 2019 Loan Charge.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government estimates that around 50,000 individuals will be affected by the 2019 loan charge. More than 28,000 scheme users expressed an interest in settling their tax affairs, with over 19,000 returning their information under the settlement terms, which were published in November 2017.

HMRC are currently working through the settlement process with scheme users who came forward to settle their tax affairs before 5 April 2019. However, for those customers who are at the final stages of settling, HMRC will allow sufficient time for them to make their decision and sign their settlement paperwork. HMRC will ensure that no one is disadvantaged by any HMRC delay.

Since the loan charge was announced, HMRC have agreed around 7,000 settlements with employers and individuals, worth over £1.5 billion. It is too early to determine how many scheme users who are liable to the loan charge, will have complied with their filing/reporting obligations.

3 Sep 2019, 1:29 p.m. Defence: Expenditure Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the Government remains committed to spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence as a NATO member.

Answer (Mark Lancaster)

The UK remains committed to spending at least 2% of our GDP on Defence. NATO estimate that we will spend 2.13% of our GDP on Defence in 2019-20.

3 Sep 2019, 12:44 p.m. Religious Hatred: Islam Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government plans to take through the Online Harms Bill to tackle Islamophobia.

Answer (Matt Warman)

Islamophobia is completely unacceptable and has no place in our society. The Online Harms White Paper sets out our plans for world-leading legislation to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online, by making companies more responsible for their users’ safety online. We will establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, overseen by an independent regulator. Companies will be held to account for tackling a comprehensive set of online harms, and hate crime is one of the harms in scope of these proposals. We will continue to work closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which has the cross-government lead on countering Islamophobia, as this policy is developed.

It is also important that the criminal law is fit for purpose to deal with online harms. The Law Commission has recently started the second phase of its review of abusive and offensive online communications, which will review existing communications offences and make specific recommendations about options for legal reform in a final report in 2021. In parallel, the Law Commission is looking into the adequacy of protection offered by hate crime legislation, and this strand of work is expected to report in 2020.

3 Sep 2019, 12:41 p.m. Internet: Safety Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the timetable is for bringing forward legislative proposals on online harms.

Answer (Matt Warman)

We plan to publish the Government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation before the end of the year. We will then introduce legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

3 Sep 2019, 10:47 a.m. Yemen: Peace Negotiations Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support a negotiated peace settlement in Yemen.

Answer (Dr Andrew Murrison)

​Peace talks are the top priority – there can be no military solution to the conflict. A political settlement is the only way to bring long-term stability to Yemen and to address the humanitarian crisis. The Yemeni parties must engage constructively and in good faith to overcome obstacles and find a political solution to end the conflict.

The UK has played a leading role in diplomatic efforts, including bringing together key international actors to try to find a peaceful solution. I met Yemeni, Saudi, Emirati and Omani representatives during my recent visit to the Gulf to press for continued commitment to the UN-led peace process. The UN Special Envoy is discussing the timing and location of the next round of talks with the parties. We urge the parties to co-operate with the Special Envoy in this and act in good faith to implement the agreements made in Stockholm.

5 Aug 2019, 10:10 a.m. Electronic Commerce: Regulation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his policy is on the regulation of third-party sellers on online marketplaces; and whether he plans to include those sellers in the forthcoming online harms legislation.

Answer (Matt Warman)

Consumer protections already apply to online traders operating directly or as a third party through a platform.


The Online Harms White Paper sets out the Government's plan to establish a statutory duty of care to make companies take more responsibility for the safety of their users and tackle harm caused by content or activity on their services. We have consulted on our proposals for the new duty of care to apply to companies and other bodies that allow users to share or discover user-generated content or interact with each other online.


Companies in scope of the regulatory framework will be held to account for tackling a broad range of harmful and illegal content or activity on their services. However, where there is already an effective regulatory framework, this will be excluded from scope to avoid duplication.


The Online Harms White Paper consultation closed on 1 July. The Government will publish its response later this year.

18 Jul 2019, 9:39 a.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he is having with local authorities in London on increasing access to the PrEP Impact trial.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial is managed by the Trial Sponsor. Recruitment to places in the Trial is managed locally by participating clinics. All information regarding the Trial, including the research clinics which are open to recruitment is available at the following link:

https://www.prepimpacttrial.org.uk/

Following funding from NHS England to pay for extra PrEP drug and research costs and the Secretary of State’s announcement on 30 January that the number of places on the PrEP Impact Trial would be doubled to 26,000, expansion of the Trial is now underway across the country.

In London, boroughs have so far agreed to accept 60% of the total number of additional places available to them, which equates to over 4,000 extra places on the Trial. London local authority commissioners have been asked to confirm that they will accept the remaining 40% of additional places available to them by the end of August at the latest. Participation in the Trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for research clinics and local authorities to decide whether they wish to take part.

18 Jul 2019, 9:35 a.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to advertise extra places on the PrEP Impact trial to people who are at risk of HIV.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) Impact Trial is managed by the Trial Sponsor. Recruitment to places in the Trial is managed locally by participating clinics. All information regarding the Trial, including the research clinics which are open to recruitment is available at the following link:

https://www.prepimpacttrial.org.uk/

Following funding from NHS England to pay for extra PrEP drug and research costs and the Secretary of State’s announcement on 30 January that the number of places on the PrEP Impact Trial would be doubled to 26,000, expansion of the Trial is now underway across the country.

In London, boroughs have so far agreed to accept 60% of the total number of additional places available to them, which equates to over 4,000 extra places on the Trial. London local authority commissioners have been asked to confirm that they will accept the remaining 40% of additional places available to them by the end of August at the latest. Participation in the Trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for research clinics and local authorities to decide whether they wish to take part.

18 Jul 2019, 9:04 a.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the Dean Street Clinic, GUM, is not permitting gay and bisexual men to take part in the PrEP impact trial.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not currently a routinely commissioned service, but is provided by the National Health Service through the three year PrEP Impact Trial. Participation in the trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide whether they wish to take part.

18 Jul 2019, 9:04 a.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that gay and bisexual men using Dean Street Clinic (GUM) have access to PrEP as part of the PrEP Impact trial.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is not currently a routinely commissioned service, but is provided by the National Health Service through the three year PrEP Impact Trial. Participation in the trial is on a voluntary basis and it is for clinics and local authorities to decide whether they wish to take part.

17 Jul 2019, 1:24 p.m. Flexible Support Fund and Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to increase awareness of the (a) universal support and (b) flexible support fund.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Alongside the Universal Credit telephony and face to face support for non-digital and vulnerable claimants, The Help to Claim service is being delivered from 1 April 2019 by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland. Some aspects of this were previously delivered by Local Authorities before 31 March 2019 under the name “Universal Support”.

DWP works together with Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland through the Help to Claim partnership to ensure that support is signposted for claimants and partners: this is not a fund but a support offer for claimants making their claim to Universal Credit through to receiving their first payment.

The Flexible Support Fund (FSF) is a discretionary fund that work coaches can use to support eligible claimants to get closer to or move into work. On 11 January 2019, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions announced that the FSF could also be used more widely to pay for upfront childcare costs until the claimant receives their first wage. The availability of this fund is actively promoted in jobcentres and to all claimants who might benefit.

1 Jul 2019, 1:42 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what sums her Department expended on funding the additional two weeks' of housing benefit for new universal credit claimants in each month since April 2018.

Answer (Will Quince)

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. However, since it was introduced in April 2018, all Housing Benefit claimants whose Housing Benefit award was ended because of a new claim to Universal Credit have been awarded the two-week Transition to Universal Credit Housing Payment.

1 Jul 2019, 1:42 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many new universal credit claimants received an additional two weeks' housing benefit in each month since April 2018.

Answer (Will Quince)

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. However, since it was introduced in April 2018, all Housing Benefit claimants whose Housing Benefit award was ended because of a new claim to Universal Credit have been awarded the two-week Transition to Universal Credit Housing Payment.

27 Jun 2019, 2:11 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of people who will be moved on to universal credit through natural migration in 2019.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Department currently estimates that there will be approximately 600,000 households who will have moved to Universal Credit due to a change of circumstance in 2019: as with all our estimates we keep this under review.

25 Jun 2019, 4:46 p.m. Genito-urinary Medicine: Finance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to allocate additional funding for the provision of sexual health services in the next four years.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

The Government provides funding to local authorities for their public health responsibilities, including sexual health services, through a public health grant. It is for individual local authorities to decide their spending priorities based on an assessment of local need, including the need for sexual health services taking account of their statutory duties. They are required by regulations to provide services for sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment and contraception.

Future funding for local authorities’ public health responsibilities will be determined in the next spending review.

24 Jun 2019, 4:48 p.m. Public Health: Finance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to increase public health funding for local authorities.

Answer (Seema Kennedy)

Future funding for local authorities’ public health responsibilities will be considered carefully in the next spending review, taking full account of the available evidence.

18 Jun 2019, 2:53 p.m. Taxis: Licensing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of restricting cross border hiring by taxis and private hire vehicles; and whether representations from external stakeholders are being taken into account in that assessment.

Answer (Ms Nusrat Ghani)

The Task and Finish Group on Taxi and Private Hire Vehicle Licensing considered the regulation of the industry, including the issue of cross border hiring. The report of the Task and Finish Group was published on 24 September 2018.

On 12 February 2019 the Government published a response to the recommendations made by the Chair of the Task and Finish Group - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/taxi-and-private-hire-vehicle-licensing-government-response-to-independent-report.

As indicated in the response, the Government will consider further, with a view to legislation, the Chair's recommendation around tackling cross-border working, including how it might work in detail.

The Task and Finish Group was made up of external stakeholders and the Group sought and received representations from a range of stakeholders within the taxi and PHV sector. The Department will continue to liaise with stakeholders on any cross border proposals.

29 May 2019, 12:14 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the compatibility of universal credit implementation with the socio-economic duty in Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

The Department published an Equality Impact Assessment for Universal Credit (UC) in 2011, which stands overall, although in line with Ministers’ legal duties equality impacts have been considered on all major changes to UC. This can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/universal-credit-equality-impact-assessment

An Equality Impact assessment is currently being produced to cover details of the selection of Move to UC claimants to take part in the first phase of the pilot.

29 May 2019, 11:46 a.m. Universal Credit: Disability Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to consult (a) disabled people and (b) the organisations that represent disabled people to ensure that her digital by default programme for universal credit is compatible with the assistive technology that many disabled people rely on to access online services.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

All Department for Work and Pensions’ digital services are designed and built in line with Government Digital Service guidelines, and international standards for IT accessibility (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1). The intention is to make the services usable by as many people as possible without the use of assistive technology, and to be compatible with screen reading and magnifying tools for those people requiring them.

To ensure that they meet these standards, the services are tested during the development process and prior to implementation. This includes both a range of technical tests and assessment of their usability by intended end users.

Feedback from users of the services is encouraged and acted upon.

Specifically, for Universal Credit Full Service (UCFS), we continue to work closely with service users and their representatives and have recently completed our second external Audit that provided WCAG AA accreditation. The Department has a dedicated team ensuring that user experience (and accessibility is key to this) is at the heart of the way we develop the service.

For people unable to access or use digital services, assistance to make and maintain their claim is available via the Freephone Universal Credit helpline. Face-to-face support is also available in Jobcentres. In exceptional circumstances, a home visit can be arranged to support a claimant in making and maintaining their claim.

From 1 April 2019 Citizens Advice (England and Wales) and Citizens Advice Scotland are delivering the new ‘Help to Claim’ support to claimants making a new Universal Credit (UC) claim or moving from a legacy benefit to UC because of a change of circumstances. The Citizens Advice Help to Claim offers tailored, practical support to help people make a UC claim up to receiving their first full correct payment on time. It is available online, through web-chat, through a Freephone number and face to face through local Citizens Advice services.

29 May 2019, 11:06 a.m. Social Security Benefits: Disqualification Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of a moratorium on benefit sanctions for (a) low-income and (b) single-unit families during the school summer holidays.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Department works to design and deliver a compassionate approach that supports claimants on Universal Credit and other benefits.

The Department has not made an assessment of the potential merits of a moratorium on benefit sanctions during the school summer holidays for a) low-income and (b) single-unit families, as we are in the process of reviewing the effect of sanctions on work incentives.

There are a number of measures designed to help the claimant’s financial situation. Hardship payments are available to eligible claimants who will face hardship as a result of a sanction. Additionally, we have recently announced that the length of the maximum single sanction any benefit claimant could face will be reduced from three years to six months.

28 May 2019, 2:08 p.m. Children: Day Care Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing financial assistance to enable (a) low-income and (b) single-unit families to cover childcare costs during the school summer holidays.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The government has taken significant steps to raise the living standards of low-income and single-unit families. This includes raising the minimum wage, raising the personal tax allowance and improving financial incentives to work.

To support parents into work, the government spends £6 billion on childcare each year:

  • Doubling free childcare to 30 hours a week for nearly 400,000 working parents of 3 and 4-year olds.
  • Introducing tax-free childcare, worth up to £2,000 per child per year.
  • With Universal Credit, parents can claim up to 85% of their childcare costs back compared to 70% on the legacy benefit system.

We recently announced £9 million of funding for the 2019 summer holidays where we will be exploring how the local coordination of the provision of nutritious food and enriching and healthy activities can help more disadvantaged pupils to access free high quality holiday club provision during the school holidays in 11 areas across the country.

24 May 2019, 12:35 p.m. Mental Health Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that advance decisions on mental health treatment are respected and adhered to.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

Last year Professor Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal Society of Medicine, submitted his independent review of the Mental Health Act. The review made 154 recommendations – including the establishment of new statutory advance choice documents, so that people’s wishes and preferences carry far more legal weight.

We have accepted this recommendation.

The Government is currently considering the detailed recommendations of the review and will respond in due course. We remain committed to reforming mental health law and will develop and bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.

24 May 2019, 12:35 p.m. Mental Health Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure the adequate (a) monitoring and (b) use of advance decisions in mental health care.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

Last year Professor Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal Society of Medicine, submitted his independent review of the Mental Health Act. The review made 154 recommendations – including the establishment of new statutory advance choice documents, so that people’s wishes and preferences carry far more legal weight.

We have accepted this recommendation.

The Government is currently considering the detailed recommendations of the review and will respond in due course. We remain committed to reforming mental health law and will develop and bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.

23 May 2019, 1:11 p.m. Wines: Excise Duties Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of a rise in excise duty on wine sales.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

HMRC publishes a Tax Information Impact Note explaining the impact of the change, each time a duty rate is amended. Please refer to the GOV.UK website to find these (or the following link https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/increase-in-alcohol-duty-rates)

15 May 2019, 4:10 p.m. Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018 Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the timeframe is for bringing into force the provisions of the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

We remain committed to implementing fully the provisions within the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018. We will work closely with key stakeholders in preparing the relevant statutory guidance and bring the legislation into force in due course.

14 May 2019, 12:33 p.m. Mental Health Services: Capital Investment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allocating additional capital funding to the mental health estate in the forthcoming Spending Review.

Answer (Elizabeth Truss)

Government has committed £3.9bn of new capital investment by 2022/23 to transform and modernise NHS buildings.

Of this, £2.6bn of capital funding has been allocated to 153 STP transformation schemes – the single biggest injection of its kind in the NHS in over a decade. This includes about £300m for mental health and learning disability schemes.

In addition, the Department of Health and Social Care spent almost £25m capital last year on central programmes to support mental health services. This includes schemes to deliver Perinatal Mental Health Mother & Baby Units to deliver more personalised care to expectant and new mums with serious mental ill health.

Improving mental health is at the heart of this government’s agenda and the STP capital investment is another step in the government’s ambition to achieve greater parity between physical and mental health care.

All future capital funding proposals will be assessed at the forthcoming Zero-Based Capital Review at the Spending Review.

The government is increasing NHS spending by £33.9bn in cash terms by 2023/24 – reflecting that the NHS is this government’s top spending priority.

14 May 2019, 11:12 a.m. Mental Health Act 1983 Independent Review Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act, published in December 2018, what progress his Department, when his Department plans to respond to the recommendations contained in that review.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

We are considering the report and its recommendations in detail and will respond in due course. We remain committed to reforming mental health law and will develop and bring forward legislation when Parliamentary time allows.

We have already accepted two important recommendations: the establishment of new statutory advance choice documents, so that people’s wishes and preferences carry far more legal weight, and the creation of a new role of ‘nominated person’, to be chosen by the patient, to replace the current nearest relative provisions.

14 May 2019, 11:11 a.m. Police Custody: Death Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Ministerial Council on Deaths in Custody last met; and whether it has has plans to consider the recommendations of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act relating to deaths in custody.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Ministerial Board last met on 27 February 2019, and the Independent Advisory Panel last met on 2 May 2019. The recommendations of the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act relating to deaths in custody are included on the Board’s work programme, and the Government welcomes views from the Council on them.

The Government will publish its response to the Independent Review in due course.

26 Apr 2019, 1:06 p.m. Female Genital Mutilation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the mandatory reporting duty for female genital mutilation on access to healthcare.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The decision by a patient to disclose female genital mutilation (FGM) to a healthcare professional is complex. The FGM Mandatory Reporting duty (which applies only when the patient is under 18) is just one aspect of this.

The Home Office amended the police Annual Data Requirement (ADR) to allow police forces the opportunity from April 2018 to record, on a voluntary basis, offences of FGM which were initially reported to the police under the FGM Mandatory Reporting Duty. Subject to data quality checks, we expect the first dataset under this new voluntary ADR collection to be published later this year. From April 2019, recording of this data under the ADR is mandatory.

With this information in combination with the FGM Enhanced Dataset, published by NHS Digital, we will be able to consider whether there is evidence of impact of the FGM Mandatory Reporting duty.

24 Apr 2019, 2:30 p.m. Female Genital Mutilation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department is taking to improve the evidence base for understanding the levels and risks of female genital mutilation in the UK.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime and it is child abuse. The Government is clear that we will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong suffering to women and girls.

In March 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government allocated £375,000 for 37 local authority areas to fund locally-driven out-reach, engagement and communications on the practice of FGM. It is for Local Authorities to determine how best to utilise funding to combat the practice of FGM in their areas.

Data on FGM includes a 2015 City University and Equality Now study, part funded by the Home Office, which estimated that 137,000 women and girls who had migrated to England and Wales were living with the consequences of FGM, and approximately 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born in England and Wales to mothers who had undergone FGM. The study also provides a breakdown of FGM prevalence estimates by local authority area which is available online at http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/12382/.

In addition, NHS Digital publishes data on the prevalence of FGM within the NHS in England. The most recent quarterly statistics were published in February 2019. A detailed breakdown of these statistics, including by local authority and age, is available online at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/female-genital-mutilation.

To improve understanding of the prevalence of so-called ‘Honour Based Abuse’ (HBA), we introduced a mandatory HBA collection to the Annual Data Requirement (ADR) of police forces in England and Wales. This requires police forces to record where a crime has been committed in the context of preserving the honour of a family or community. This new collection is also capturing police recorded offences of FGM which were initially reported to the police under the mandatory reporting duty https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory-reporting-of-female-genital-mutilation-procedural-information

24 Apr 2019, 2:30 p.m. Female Genital Mutilation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how his Department measures the efficacy of funding to prevent and protect girls and young women from female genital mutilation.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime and it is child abuse. The Government is clear that we will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong suffering to women and girls.

In March 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government allocated £375,000 for 37 local authority areas to fund locally-driven out-reach, engagement and communications on the practice of FGM. It is for Local Authorities to determine how best to utilise funding to combat the practice of FGM in their areas.

Data on FGM includes a 2015 City University and Equality Now study, part funded by the Home Office, which estimated that 137,000 women and girls who had migrated to England and Wales were living with the consequences of FGM, and approximately 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born in England and Wales to mothers who had undergone FGM. The study also provides a breakdown of FGM prevalence estimates by local authority area which is available online at http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/12382/.

In addition, NHS Digital publishes data on the prevalence of FGM within the NHS in England. The most recent quarterly statistics were published in February 2019. A detailed breakdown of these statistics, including by local authority and age, is available online at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/female-genital-mutilation.

To improve understanding of the prevalence of so-called ‘Honour Based Abuse’ (HBA), we introduced a mandatory HBA collection to the Annual Data Requirement (ADR) of police forces in England and Wales. This requires police forces to record where a crime has been committed in the context of preserving the honour of a family or community. This new collection is also capturing police recorded offences of FGM which were initially reported to the police under the mandatory reporting duty https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory-reporting-of-female-genital-mutilation-procedural-information

24 Apr 2019, 2:30 p.m. Female Genital Mutilation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how his Department plans to advise local authorities on the targeting of funding for tackling female genital mutilation across the UK.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a crime and it is child abuse. The Government is clear that we will not tolerate a practice that can cause extreme and lifelong suffering to women and girls.

In March 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government allocated £375,000 for 37 local authority areas to fund locally-driven out-reach, engagement and communications on the practice of FGM. It is for Local Authorities to determine how best to utilise funding to combat the practice of FGM in their areas.

Data on FGM includes a 2015 City University and Equality Now study, part funded by the Home Office, which estimated that 137,000 women and girls who had migrated to England and Wales were living with the consequences of FGM, and approximately 60,000 girls aged 0-14 were born in England and Wales to mothers who had undergone FGM. The study also provides a breakdown of FGM prevalence estimates by local authority area which is available online at http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/12382/.

In addition, NHS Digital publishes data on the prevalence of FGM within the NHS in England. The most recent quarterly statistics were published in February 2019. A detailed breakdown of these statistics, including by local authority and age, is available online at https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/female-genital-mutilation.

To improve understanding of the prevalence of so-called ‘Honour Based Abuse’ (HBA), we introduced a mandatory HBA collection to the Annual Data Requirement (ADR) of police forces in England and Wales. This requires police forces to record where a crime has been committed in the context of preserving the honour of a family or community. This new collection is also capturing police recorded offences of FGM which were initially reported to the police under the mandatory reporting duty https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory-reporting-of-female-genital-mutilation-procedural-information

1 Apr 2019, 2:44 p.m. Gift Aid Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department plans to take steps to prevent organisations from making a profit on Gift Aid claims when they receive a donation.

Answer (Mims Davies)

The Charities Act 1992 requires all professional fundraisers, including online fundraising platforms, to inform potential donors of their fees and charges.

The Fundraising Regulator strengthened its Code of Fundraising Practice in June 2018 to clarify what is expected of online fundraising platforms in terms of their transparency.

Improved transparency requirements enable potential donors to make informed choices about their giving.

28 Mar 2019, 10:04 a.m. Local Housing Allowance: Sleeping Rough Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2019 to Question 229224, whether her Department plans to make an assessment of the effect of the Local Housing Allowance freeze on levels of rough sleeping.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

There are no plans to make an assessment of the effect of the Local Housing Allowance freeze on levels of rough sleeping.

27 Mar 2019, 12:50 p.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using e-services in London for the proposed expansion of the PrEP Impact Trial.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

E-services have potential to help support a sustainable expansion of the PrEP Impact Trial in London. London authorities are currently in discussion with the PrEP Impact Trial team about how best to utilise the potential option of online testing for trial participants.

25 Mar 2019, 2:53 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2017 to Question 113562 on Personal Independence Payment: Appeals, if it remains the Government's intention that Presenting Officers attend 50 per cent of personal independence and employment and support allowance tribunals.

Answer (Justin Tomlinson)

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer provided to Question 229226.

The Department’s main objective is to ensure that Presenting Officers (POs) attend hearings of those complex cases where their presence will be of most benefit to the tribunal in reaching the right decision. The 50% attendance figure was an aspiration based on a set of assumptions made when the Department originally began recruiting additional POs. As POs became established their remit adapted to focus on complex cases; but they also needed to be trained in presenting Universal Credit work capability assessment appeals, as the replacement for ESA. So whilst the initial aspiration has not been met, critically PO attendance for these types of cases has nevertheless been high and will continue to be so in the future.

12 Mar 2019, 11:29 a.m. Employment and Support Allowance: Arrears Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many next of kin of the estimated 20,000 deceased disabled people who did not receive their full employment and support allowance entitlement due to errors by her Department have been contacted; how many of those next of kin have received a backpayment; and what the average backpayment has been.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

Due to the complex and sensitive nature of reviewing these cases, we have established an intensive checking process to identify instances where deceased claimants did not receive their full award of ESA entitlement.

It is important we get this right to avoid making undue contact with families and causing further distress, which is why these cases are initially checked against information held on various departmental administrative systems. We continue to review our processes to ensure we are as thorough as possible and have previously announced our aim of reviewing these cases by the end of 2019.

Out of the estimated 20,000 potential cases, we have reviewed 4,700 with 3,100 requiring no further action and next of kin contacted in 1,600 cases.

Of those, 600 were entitled to an average back payment of around £5,000

Notes:

  • Data was extracted from Department for Work and Pensions Management Information on 25 February 2019
  • Numbers of cases are rounded to the nearest 100.
  • The average payment is rounded to the nearest £1,000.
  • Completing case reviews includes cases identified on DWP administrative systems as not entitled or who have identified themselves as not entitled prior to assessment, and also cases which have been through the full journey to assessment
7 Mar 2019, 6:48 p.m. Immigrants Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2019 to Question 222021, how many changes of circumstance applications to gain recourse to public funds were granted by his Department in 2015-16.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

These statistics are not included in Governments published migration statistics. The Government has no current plans to collect and collate the statistics in the manner requested as it would incur disproportionate cost to the public purse.

7 Mar 2019, 6:48 p.m. Immigrants Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2019 to Question 222021, how many changes of circumstance applications to gain recourse to public funds were granted by his Department in 2016-17.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

These statistics are not included in Governments published migration statistics. The Government has no current plans to collect and collate the statistics in the manner requested as it would incur disproportionate cost to the public purse.

7 Mar 2019, 6:48 p.m. Immigrants Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2019 to Question 222021, how many changes of circumstance applications to gain recourse to public funds were granted by his Department in 2017-18.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

These statistics are not included in Governments published migration statistics. The Government has no current plans to collect and collate the statistics in the manner requested as it would incur disproportionate cost to the public purse.

7 Mar 2019, 6:23 p.m. Immigrants: Children Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 25 February 2019 to Question 222020, how many migrant families were supported by local authorities under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 in (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17, (c) 2017-18.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Home Office does not hold information centrally on how many migrant families were supported by local authorities under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989.

5 Mar 2019, 2:34 p.m. Radioisotopes Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of radioisotope suppliers have confirmed that freight provisions are in place to avoid delays at ports preventing people accessing cancer treatments as a result of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Answer (Stephen Hammond)

Leaving the European Union with a deal remains the Government’s top priority - this has not changed. However, as a responsible Government, we must plan for every possible outcome including ‘no deal’. The Department has published guidance to industry and the health and care system to allow them to make informed plans and preparations. This is available on GOV.UK.

We are reliant on transport and freight being re-routed but are confident that, if everyone – including suppliers, freight companies, the health and care system and international partners - does what they should do, the supply of medicines and other medical products, including medical radioisotopes, will be uninterrupted.

The Department has put in place a multi-layered approach to minimise any supply disruption:

- securing, via the Department for Transport, additional roll on roll off freight capacity (away from the short straits crossings to Dover and Folkestone) for goods to continue to come into the United Kingdom from 29 March;

- asking industry to build up stockpiles in the UK before 29 March;

- buying extra warehouse space for the additional stock to be held in;

- supporting companies in booking space on aeroplanes for products which require an immediate shipment due to short shelf-life, including medical radioisotopes, or specific storage conditions;

- making changes to, or clarifications of, certain regulatory requirements so that companies can continue to sell their products in the UK even if we have ‘no deal’; and

- strengthening the processes and resources used to deal with shortages in the event that they do occur.

There is cross-Government agreement that all medicines and medical products will be prioritised on these alternative routes to ensure that the flow of all these products may continue unimpeded. For any products that require air freight, such as medical radioisotopes, we are continuing to work with suppliers to ensure this continues as normal.

4 Mar 2019, 4:33 p.m. Employment and Support Allowance: Appeals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister of State on 25 February 2019, Official Report, column 33, when her Department plans to reach the target of Presenting Officers attending 50 per cent of tribunals; what lessons her Department have learned from Presenting Officers attending tribunals in the last 12 months; and what changes to the assessment and decision-making process she has made as a result of those lessons learned.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

Presenting Officers (POs) represent the Secretary of State at ESA and PIP tribunals and support them in understanding the detail of the case making the right decision. POs are in the main used where: a) the Department is directed by the tribunal judge; and b) asked to attend by a DWP Appeals Writer because the appeal relates to a complex area of the law. Around 150 POs have been recruited with further recruitment planned to enable increased attendance.

The feedback they provide for the Department’s Decision Makers and the Assessment Providers, is an important element of the improvement work being done to increase the overall quality of the decisions made. Examples of feedback include how we present information to the Tribunal in the most effective way and ensuring attention is drawn to new evidence that arrives after the appeal has been lodged. .

The Department continues to monitor and review how the feedback is collected and shared – it is used in team talks, bulletins and workshops; and the impact it is having on the quality of decisions made.

25 Feb 2019, 5:11 p.m. Immigrants Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 February to Question 216277, how many change of circumstance forms relating to no recourse to public funds his Department received in (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17 and (c) 2017-18.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

These statistics are not included in published migration statistics.The Government has no current plans to collect and collate the statistics in the manner requested and to do so would incur disproportionate cost to the public purse.

25 Feb 2019, 5:10 p.m. Immigrants: Children Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 February 2019 to Question 216277, if his Department will start to collect data on how many children are living in households with parents subject to no recourse to public funds.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Government has no current plans to start collecting this data. No recourse to public funds is a general restriction applied to the majority of migrants whether here as short-term visitors or with a view to settlement. The restriction can be removed following application for those with a right to remain on a specified human rights basis who would otherwise be destitute. It is not applied to those granted leave for international protection reasons and certain other vulnerable migrants.


Migrants who remain here without leave will not have access to public funds. The nature of illegal entry or overstaying make it difficult to accurately be confident on the numbers of children in these households, but local authorities do collect data on those supported under s.17 of the Children Act and where migrant families are involved this data is provided to the Home Office. The Home Office works regularly with local authorities to help lift the restriction for those who are eligible. In addition, immigration legislation does not prevent the provision of necessary support and assistance in order to safeguard the wellbeing of children.

25 Feb 2019, 5:10 p.m. Immigrants: Children Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 February 2019 to Question 216277, for what reasons his Department does not collect data on how many children are living in households with parents subject to no recourse to public funds.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Government has no current plans to start collecting this data. No recourse to public funds is a general restriction applied to the majority of migrants whether here as short-term visitors or with a view to settlement. The restriction can be removed following application for those with a right to remain on a specified human rights basis who would otherwise be destitute. It is not applied to those granted leave for international protection reasons and certain other vulnerable migrants.


Migrants who remain here without leave will not have access to public funds. The nature of illegal entry or overstaying make it difficult to accurately be confident on the numbers of children in these households, but local authorities do collect data on those supported under s.17 of the Children Act and where migrant families are involved this data is provided to the Home Office. The Home Office works regularly with local authorities to help lift the restriction for those who are eligible. In addition, immigration legislation does not prevent the provision of necessary support and assistance in order to safeguard the wellbeing of children.

12 Feb 2019, 5:42 p.m. Parents: Finance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make representations to the Children’s Commissioner on that office undertaking an assessment of the effect on children of their parents being subject to no recourse to public funds.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England (OCC) is a non-departmental public body, therefore acts with independence from the government. The OCC is currently developing the business plan for 2019/20, setting out their priorities for the year ahead, and I will ask my officials to raise this issue with the Commissioner’s Office for her consideration.

12 Feb 2019, 5:30 p.m. Immigration: EU Nationals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the (a) average time is and (b) longest time it has taken for a family subject to No Recourse to Public Funds conditions to achieve settled status.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Within the family migration route an individual and their dependants become eligible to apply for settlement after five years. If the requirements of the Immigration Rules for settlement are not met, then leave can be extended for 30 month periods at a time until they are, otherwise they will qualify after ten years. These periods of leave to remain, including leave granted to parents with children in the UK, will be subject to a no recourse to public funds condition, unless to avoid destitution or there are exceptional financial circumstances.

12 Feb 2019, 11:49 a.m. Immigrants: Children Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many children are living in households with parents subject to No Recourse to Public Funds.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Home Office does not hold the data requested.

24 Jan 2019, 5:51 p.m. Sexually Transmitted Infections: Crime Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has any plans to ensure that people sentenced for deliberately transmitting sexual diseases to other people are placed on the sex offenders' register.

Answer (Victoria Atkins)

There is no specific offence of deliberately transmitting a sexual disease. This behaviour can be charged under Sections 18 and 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

There are no current plans to make persons convicted of these offences subject to notification requirements (commonly referred to as being placed on the Sex Offenders Register).

24 Jan 2019, 5:44 p.m. Sexually Transmitted Infections: Crime Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has plans to provide police with additional powers police to assist investigations into cases involving the deliberate transmission of sexual diseases.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

There is no specific offence of deliberately transmitting a sexual disease. This behaviour can be charged under Sections 18 and 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

There are no current plans to make persons convicted of these offences subject to notification requirements (commonly referred to as being placed on the Sex Offenders Register).

Where an allegation is made to the police of deliberate transmission of a sexual disease, the police already have powers to investigate under Sections 18 and 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

24 Jan 2019, 5:40 p.m. Criminal Investigation: Medical Records Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Government has plans to ensure police forces can access the medical records of suspects in (a) rape, (b) transmitted disease, (c) grievous bodily harm with intent and (d) other cases.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The general position is that if information is given in circumstances where it is expected that a duty of confidence applies, that information cannot normally be disclosed without the information provider's consent.

Three circumstances making disclosure of confidential information lawful are:

• where the individual to whom the information relates has consented;
• where disclosure is in the public interest; and
• where there is a legal duty to do so, for example a court order.

So, under the common law, a healthcare provider wishing to disclose a patient's personal information to anyone outside the team providing care should first seek the consent of that patient.

There are legal gateways for sharing data and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE and Codes issued under the Act). These include a range of explicit and implied powers enabling the police to seek and share information, in pursuit of their policing purposes, including preventing a crime and protecting persons from harm.

16 Jan 2019, 5:12 p.m. Infectious Diseases: Crime Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans the Government has to ensure that people reporting crimes involving the deliberate infection of (a) HIV and (b) other diseases can access specialised support services whilst investigations are undertaken and completed.

Answer (Edward Argar)

All victims of crime are entitled to receive appropriate support to help them, as far as possible, cope and recover. Under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime (Victims’ Code), the police must conduct a needs assessment of a victim and refer them to victim support services, unless the victim chooses not to be. This may include referral to services which specialise in supporting people diagnosed with HIV and sexual transmission of infections.

In the Victims Strategy, published in September last year, we committed to consulting on a revised Victims’ Code to ensure that the entitlements better reflect victims’ needs.

16 Jan 2019, 4:35 p.m. Immigration: EU Nationals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the settled status scheme will apply in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

We will continue to run the EU Settlement Scheme in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, for EU citizens resident in the UK by 29 March 2019.

As confirmed by the policy paper “Citizens’ Rights – EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU” published by the Department for Exiting the European Union on 6 December 2018, the basis for qualifying for status under the scheme will remain the same as proposed in a ‘deal’ scenario and will be focused on residence in the UK. This means that any EU citizen living in the UK by 29 March 2019 will be eligible to apply to the scheme, securing their status in UK law

16 Jan 2019, 4:13 p.m. Migrant Workers: EU Nationals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what advice the Government is providing to employers on employing non-UK EU nationals in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The statutory code of practice and guidance published on gov.uk https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/right-to-work-checks-employers-guide is clear that employers already need to carry out right to work checks on EU citizens, as they do with all prospective employees to prevent illegal working.

Current arrangements, under which EU citizens can demonstrate their right to work in the UK by producing their national passport or identity card, will continue after the UK leaves the European Union until the future border and immigration system is introduced. The White Paper https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/766465/The-UKs-future-skills-based-immigration-system-print-ready.pdf on the future immigration system is clear that when we move to the future system, we will not require employers to undertake retrospective right to work checks on existing EU employees.

Employers will not be required to distinguish between those who arrived before and after March 2019.

15 Jan 2019, 4:13 p.m. HIV Infection: Drugs Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will increase the number of places on the pre-exposure prophylaxis impact trial.

Answer (Steve Brine)

The Department recognises the importance of the pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) impact trial. NHS England has announced its support for expansion of the trial and we are actively considering the next steps in relation to PrEP. We will make an announcement on this as soon as possible.

14 Jan 2019, 5:14 p.m. Offences against Children Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of crimes committed against children in each of the last five years.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

14 Jan 2019, 2:15 p.m. Prisoners: Homelessness Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people entering prison were homeless before custody in each year since 2012.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

Table 1 below provides data on the number of prisoners that declared their accommodation status as of ‘No Fixed Abode’ on their reception into custody, April 2016 – June 2018. The system for collecting this information did not exist prior to 2015 and so data for 2012 – 2015 is not available.

Table 1

Year

2016

2017

2018 (Jan - Jun)

Total prisoner receptions into custody (Basic Custody Screening Tool)

105,782

103,225

50,198

Number of homeless prisoners

24,942

26,700

13,755

Percentage

23.58%

25.87%

27.40%

Notes

  1. The Basic Custody Screening Tool (BCS) is completed on entry to custody for all prisoners. It therefore will include a mix of those received into custody on remand and those sentenced from court. Using just the BCS, there is no way to determine which of those received into custody on remand were released un-convicted, therefore it is important to stress that this data covers prisoners, and can’t be used to describe offenders, as some of those counted will ultimately not have been found guilty of any offence.

  2. The BCS Part 1 is completed by the prison with no input from a Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) as they complete Part 2 of the BCS.

  3. These questions from the BCS Part 1 are recorded as per the prisoner’s answers and are not assessed.

  4. The total number of prisoners shown is for the number of fully completed BCS Part 1s for each year, based on the Reception Date for each prisoner.

  5. A proportion of prisoners will enter custody multiple times each year and for this PQ all responses have been included as a prisoner may provide different answers to these questions over time.

The Government published its Rough Sleeping Strategy in August 2018, launching a £100 million initiative to reduce and ultimately eliminate rough sleeping across England. As part of this strategy, MoJ and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), will be investing approximately £6m in a pilot scheme to support ex-offenders secure suitable accommodation upon release; the pilots will operate in HMPs Pentonville, Bristol and Leeds. Staff in both Community Rehabilitation Companies and the National Probation Service continue to work together with local authorities and other providers of accommodation with the aim of ensuring all offenders under our supervision have accommodation, especially when they are released from prison.

14 Jan 2019, 2:14 p.m. Drugs: Death Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to prevent drug-related deaths among homeless people.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Government is committed to halving rough sleeping by 2022 and ending it by 2027. The Department is delivering several commitments through the Rough Sleeping Strategy, published in August 2018, to ensure that the healthcare needs of rough sleepers are addressed; this includes measures to prevent substance-misuse related deaths among homeless people: a rapid audit of health services targeted at rough sleepers to identify gaps in service provision; and the provision of up to £2 million in health funding to test models of community-based health and support services for people who are rough sleepers. Both measures include a focus on substance-misuse services.

Public Health England is taking action to improve access to drug and alcohol treatment services for homeless people with drug and alcohol problems so that they get the help that they need. They will be issuing commissioning guidance to local authorities in 2019.

11 Jan 2019, 2:16 p.m. Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department has taken to make people aware of the change in loan charges; how they have identified the number of people so affected; and how many people have been informed of the changes to date.

Answer (Mel Stride)

Since November 2017, HMRC has been writing directly to individuals and employers who may be impacted by the loan charge. HMRC has written directly to over 40,000 users, identified through its compliance work, IT records and tax return data.

In addition, it is actively encouraging disguised remuneration scheme users to come forward and settle through its regular contact with customers and has raised additional awareness through its series of Spotlight publications, tweets and webinars. In July 2018, an HMRC issue briefing on disguised remuneration charge on loans was published on GOV.UK. This provides additional information about the loan charge, links to the settlement terms and relevant Spotlights along with helpful information for those who may have difficulty paying what they owe.

HMRC is working hard to help individuals get out of tax avoidance for good and is encouraging anyone who is concerned about their ability to pay to contact them as soon as possible to discuss their options. In November 2017, HMRC set up a dedicated helpline for those wanting to settle their avoidance scheme use, and discuss payment options. HMRC will work with all individuals to reach a manageable and sustainable payment plan wherever possible.

11 Jan 2019, 2:15 p.m. NHS: Tax Avoidance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) current and (b) former (i) employees, (ii) contractors and (iii) agency workers that will be affected by changes to loan charge schemes; and what support the NHS is providing to those affected.

Answer (Mel Stride)

The 2019 loan charge is targeted at artificial tax avoidance schemes where earnings were paid via a third party in the form of ‘loans’ which in reality were never repaid – ‘disguised remuneration’ (DR) schemes.

The Government recognises that the charge on DR loans will have a significant impact on some people who have used DR schemes. The impact of the DR loan charge on these individuals was considered at Budget 2016, when the measure was first announced. ­HMRC consulted on the measure in August 2016. The latest tax information and impact note (TIIN) can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disguised-remuneration-further-update/disguised-remuneration-further-update.

The Government estimates that up to 50,000 individuals will be affected by the 2019 loan charge. The loan charge applies to all users of DR tax avoidance schemes. It does not single out a specific group or industry, such as contractors or doctors. HMRC data indicates that fewer than 3% of those affected work in medical services (doctors and nurses) and teaching. Further information can be found in the Government’s issue briefing at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hmrc-issue-briefing-disguised-remuneration-charge-on-loans/hmrc-issue-briefing-disguised-remuneration-charge-on-loans

The Government does not have any data on support the NHS provides to those affected by the DR loan charge.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is working hard to help individuals get out of tax avoidance for good and is encouraging anyone who is concerned about their ability to pay to contact them as soon as possible to discuss their options. In November 2017, HMRC set up a dedicated helpline for those wanting to settle their avoidance scheme use, and discuss payment options. HMRC will work with all individuals to reach a manageable and sustainable payment plan wherever possible.

11 Jan 2019, 1:59 p.m. Voting Rights: EU Nationals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government will take steps to ensure the voting rights of citizens of other EU member states in local elections under all possible scenarios after March 2019.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

The issue of electoral voting rights is part of the wider issue of the rights of EU citizens and UK expats that need to be considered during the Brexit preparations. The rights of both sides should be taken together. The UK pushed hard in negotiations for reciprocal voting rights for EU citizens in the UK, and UK nationals in the EU, but they will not form part of the Withdrawal Agreement. The Government has made clear that we will seek to discuss this issue bilaterally with individual Member States with a view to protecting the rights of UK nationals resident in those Member States, where they will not otherwise continue.

We do not anticipate any changes to the current UK primary legislative framework for candidacy and voting rights being made before the May 2019 English and Northern Ireland local elections. The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly are responsible for their own franchises.

To provide certainty to prospective candidates, it will be the policy intent of the UK Government that candidates who are validly nominated and elected at or before the May 2019 local elections in England and Northern Ireland should be able to serve that term of office in full, notwithstanding any wider changes to voting and candidacy rights in the future.

10 Jan 2019, 10:47 a.m. Quintessential Brands Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department had with Quintessential Brands or their representatives in each of the last four years.

Answer (Robert Jenrick)

Based on available records, there were no meetings held between Treasury Ministers and officials with Quintessential Brands during January 2015 to September 2018.

Treasury Ministers’ meetings and hospitality are published quarterly and can be found at the following link.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel

Senior Treasury Officials’ meetings and hospitality are published quarterly and can be found at the following link.

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/senior-officials-expenses

Details of meetings taking place between non-senior officials and the listed company are not readily available and would cost a disproportionate amount to identify and report.

21 Dec 2018, 9:02 a.m. Brexit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, pursuant to the Answer of 12 December 2018 to Question 200131 on Brexit, what steps his Department (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to prepare for (i) revoking and (ii) extending Article 50.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The Government’s firm policy position has not changed - we will not be revoking our notification to withdraw under Article 50. We will be leaving the EU on 29 March 2019 and have made clear that we will not be extending Article 50.

20 Dec 2018, 10:37 a.m. Emergencies Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the National Emergencies Trust will be established; which organisation will provide the fundraising platform for that trust; and what the criteria his Department used to make that decision.

Answer (Mims Davies)

The charity sector has developed proposals to establish a new charity, the National Emergencies Trust. Its purpose would be to co-ordinate charitable fundraising and distribution in response to a major incident. The proposed charity would be independent from Government, and questions relating to how the charity would operate would be for the charity itself, once established.

18 Dec 2018, 4:50 p.m. Schools: LGBT People Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of (a) schools, (b) teachers and (c) school governors and administrators in (i) London and (ii) Englandthat were subject to a sanction for failure related to the welfare of LGBT children in the most recent year for which figures are available.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The information requested relating to sanctions imposed at a local level for failure relating to the welfare of LGBT children is not held centrally. Where failures are identified, there is a range of sanctions at both a local level and at a national level to deal with them.

The welfare of all children, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children, is of central importance to schools, teachers and school governors and administrators. This Government is delivering an important programme to ensure that LGBT children receive the best possible support in school. The recent anti-bullying week is one example of ensuring a clear focus on these matters.

The Teaching Regulation Agency has powers to consider the prohibition of teachers for the most serious failures which are found to be unacceptable professional conduct. The Teaching Regulation Agency has not issued a prohibition order against a teacher in relation to failure related to the welfare of LGBT children.

18 Dec 2018, 3:50 p.m. Schools: Females and LGBT People Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of applications to (a) open and (b) take over an (i) academy, (ii) free school and (iii) faith school that were rejected because the applicant was unable to provide satisfactory assurances on the education and protection of (A) girls and (B) LGBT+ pupils.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The department considers a range of information when considering applications to open and take over an academy, free school and faith school in England, including information relating to the public sector equality duty.

The department does not always specifically request or record information on the impact of the change on the education and protection of girls and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender+ pupils, unless it is relevant to a particular application. We do not hold sufficient information on applications rejected on these grounds to provide an estimate.

17 Dec 2018, 5:47 p.m. Sleeping Rough Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 10 December 2018 to Question 199419 on Sleeping Rough, how much funding his Department will provide to Streetlink in winter 2018.

Answer (Mrs Heather Wheeler)

As previously noted, MHCLG have provided annual funding of £300,000 to StreetLink since it was launched in 2012. This annual funding arrangement is the most effective method to support the running and development of the service, including preparing for and responding to the peak in demand during the winter period. We, therefore, do not provide additional funding during the winter period. Last winter, StreetLink made significant improvements to the website and app and these continue to be reviewed to improve capability. StreetLink is also supported through the recruitment of dedicated and hardworking volunteers. MHCLG works closely with Homeless Link and St Mungo’s, the organisations responsible for StreetLink, to ensure the service continues to run effectively.

StreetLink provides early intelligence to local homelessness services helping to get people off the streets as quickly as possible. However, we know this is only the first step and this response relies on other vital services. On 31 October, we launched the Cold Weather Fund of up to £5 million, for all local authorities to provide a robust, local response to support rough sleepers off the streets prior to the impending winter period. This is available now until March 2019.

The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping. No one should ever have to sleep rough. That is why this summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period.

17 Dec 2018, 4:57 p.m. Brexit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the ruling of the European Court of Justice that the UK can revoke Article 50 unilaterally, what assessment he has made of whether legislation is needed for the UK to revoke Article 50.

Answer (Chris Heaton-Harris)

The Government notes the judgment of the CJEU. But we have been clear that we will not be revoking Article 50. The British people gave the Government a clear instruction, and we will be leaving the EU on 29th March 2019.

12 Dec 2018, 4:50 p.m. UK Membership of EU: Referendums Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister of 4 December 2018, Official Report, column 879, what information his Department has received from the Electoral Commission on whether the EU referendum 2016 was a fair poll.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

In September 2016, the Electoral Commission Report on the 23 June 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union found the referendum had been delivered without any major issues and the result announced in a clear, timely manner.

Since then, the Electoral Commission has published the conclusions of its investigation into the campaign spending of referendum campaigners. That electoral rules have been breached is rightly a cause for concern. However, that does not mean that the rules themselves were flawed.

The Government will continue to work closely with the Electoral Commission, along with many other stakeholders in the electoral system, to protect the integrity, security and effectiveness of referendums and elections.

3 Dec 2018, 4:27 p.m. Leasehold: Reform Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will include the Association of Residential Managing Agents in his departmental working group on the future of leasehold reform.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

There are no plans to make the Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) a member of the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group. The composition of the working group's membership needs to reflect a balance of interests between property agents and housing consumers. Already included within the working group are two professional bodies with knowledge and experience of property management: the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Residential Property Management. Both these organisations have members who are also members of ARMA, or work on behalf of them. The working group will wish to invite others to personally provide evidence and give their views. When the working group discusses managing agents, ARMA will be at the forefront of the list of organisations for this purpose.

9 Nov 2018, 10:51 a.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how his Department's arrangement with Citizens Advice to provide universal credit support to claimants will operate in (a) constituencies and (b) local authority areas that do not have a Citizens Advice bureau.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice Scotland have committed to providing coverage across England, Wales and Scotland

5 Nov 2018, 3:57 p.m. NHS: Crimes of Violence Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional (a) security and (b) other staff are planned to be recruited to deliver the zero tolerance approach towards violence against NHS employees.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

Employers across the National Health Service in England are responsible for protecting their staff and it is for them to decide locally whether they need any more security or other staff to address and manage challenging behaviours.

The new Violence Reduction Strategy will help NHS organisations support their staff by ensuring they receive appropriate training, for example in de-escalation techniques and what to do if they are attacked or abused, improving the safety of the environments in which they work and ensuring local security management specialists who are appointed by trusts locally maintain their skills and knowledge through continuing professional development.

The use of body cameras is being piloted by a few ambulance trusts to assess their effectiveness in protecting paramedics.

1 Nov 2018, 5:13 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will place copies of the transcripts of all universal credit adverts that have been broadcast on radio stations and music-streaming platforms in the Library.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

A copy of the requested transcripts will be placed in the library.

29 Oct 2018, 12:04 p.m. Gift Aid Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the economic analysis published by Development Economics that over the course of a decade £30 million of taxpayers' Gift Aid donations could be taken in fees by private sector fundraising platforms; and if he will take steps to ensure that Gift Aid donations reach the causes, charities and beneficiaries they are intended for.

Answer (Tracey Crouch)

Digital fundraising platforms raise significant funds for charitable causes and therefore must ensure high standards of transparency to allow donors to make informed decisions.

The Fundraising Regulator has updated the Code of Fundraising Practice to include requirements for these platforms, including new transparency requirements about charges. This helps donors ensure that as much money as possible, including Gift Aid, goes to the intended charities and beneficiaries, which is important.

In addition, one of the largest digital fundraising platforms, Just Giving, has recently announced they will no longer charge fees on donations made to campaigns for major incidents, which will also ensure more money, including Gift Aid, is passed to charities

4 Sep 2018, 12:05 p.m. Social Rented Housing: Construction Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on contributions to the public purse of the implications of increases in the building of social rented housing for (a) construction sector contributions to the economy and the exchequer, (b) the cost of temporary accommodation provision, (c) welfare spending, (d) income, corporation and council tax receipts and (e) any other factors.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

For all types of affordable housing that are grant-funded by the Government (including Social Rent, Affordable Rent, and Low Cost Home Ownership), we assess the impact that the new homes have on the Housing Benefit bill, as well as the broader economic benefits associated with making more efficient use of land, the distributional benefits of supporting lower-income groups, and the health benefits associated with improved housing circumstances.

18 Jul 2018, 3:47 p.m. Financial Services: Education Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure schools are equipped to teach fraud prevention skills.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Schools can teach pupils about fraud prevention and online safety through personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE). The PSHE Association's non-statutory programme of study, which references to online safety, is here: https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/curriculum-and-resources/resources/programme-study-pshe-education-key-stages-1%E2%80%935.

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 grants power to the Secretary of State for Education to make PSHE, or elements therein, mandatory in all schools. Teaching about online safety will be considered as part of this process. The Department is intending to launch a consultation on the draft regulations and statutory guidance shortly, and will say more about the implementation timetable at that point.

Financial matters are also taught through citizenship studies. The subject is designed to provide the skill to help young people understand how to manage their money well and make sound financial decisions. For example in Key Stage 3, pupils are taught the functions and uses of money, the importance and practice of budgeting, and managing risk; and at Key Stage 4, they are taught income and expenditure, credit and debt, insurance, savings and pensions, financial products and services, and how public money is raised and spent. The issue of fraud is taught at various levels, and pupils gain the knowledge of identifying and managing the risks. The full programme for study can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-curriculum-in-england-citizenship-programmes-of-study.

18 Jul 2018, 1:57 p.m. Affordable Housing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of linking the definition of affordability for new build homes to average local earnings.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

The current definition of affordable housing was recently consulted on as part of the revised draft National Planning Policy Framework. This is in line with the existing statutory definition of social housing as set out in legislation from the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008. Eligibility is determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices, and the Framework does require that plan making authorities should identify the size, type and tenure of homes required for those who require affordable housing. This is a matter to be determined at a local level based on relevant evidence which may include consideration of average local earnings. We intend to publish the final version of the revised Framework before summer recess.

18 Jul 2018, 1:40 p.m. Affordable Housing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of devolving the means of setting affordable homes to local planning authorities.

Answer (Kit Malthouse)

For affordable housing delivered through the planning system it is up to local authorities to set policies for affordable housing in plans, and determine planning applications accordingly.

Proposals in the draft revised National Planning Policy Framework aim to support local authorities in creating clearer policy requirements in plans for developer contributions expected for affordable housing and infrastructure.

16 Jul 2018, 5:02 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people have had universal credit payments reduced as a result of receiving carers allowance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Certain types of income are disregarded when calculating a claimant’s Universal Credit award, including; Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, and Attendance Allowance. Therefore, no payments should be reduced as a result of people claiming these benefits.

The information requested concerning those claimants whose payments are affected as a result of Carer’s Allowance is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. While Carer’s Allowance can impact a Universal Credit award, claimants do receive a supplementary element towards their total Universal Credit award, known as a Carer Element.

16 Jul 2018, 5:02 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of universal credit have had their payments reduced as a result of receiving disability living allowance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Certain types of income are disregarded when calculating a claimant’s Universal Credit award, including; Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, and Attendance Allowance. Therefore, no payments should be reduced as a result of people claiming these benefits.

The information requested concerning those claimants whose payments are affected as a result of Carer’s Allowance is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. While Carer’s Allowance can impact a Universal Credit award, claimants do receive a supplementary element towards their total Universal Credit award, known as a Carer Element.

16 Jul 2018, 5:02 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of universal credit have had payments reduced as a result of receiving personal independence payment.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Certain types of income are disregarded when calculating a claimant’s Universal Credit award, including; Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, and Attendance Allowance. Therefore, no payments should be reduced as a result of people claiming these benefits.

The information requested concerning those claimants whose payments are affected as a result of Carer’s Allowance is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. While Carer’s Allowance can impact a Universal Credit award, claimants do receive a supplementary element towards their total Universal Credit award, known as a Carer Element.

16 Jul 2018, 5:02 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of universal credit have had payments reduced as a result of receiving attendance allowance.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Certain types of income are disregarded when calculating a claimant’s Universal Credit award, including; Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, and Attendance Allowance. Therefore, no payments should be reduced as a result of people claiming these benefits.

The information requested concerning those claimants whose payments are affected as a result of Carer’s Allowance is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost. While Carer’s Allowance can impact a Universal Credit award, claimants do receive a supplementary element towards their total Universal Credit award, known as a Carer Element.

11 Jul 2018, 12:45 p.m. Alcoholic Drinks: Misuse Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Public Health England's blog of 9 November 2017, Alcohol and drug treatment in England: the picture from the 2016-17 data, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the 12 per cent fall in the number of people seeking treatment for alcohol in the last three years.

Answer (Steve Brine)

Public Health England is working with local authorities to review treatment numbers and assess the reasons for changes in the number of people in treatment. The findings are currently being analysed and advice will be provided to local authorities.

9 Jul 2018, 4:40 p.m. Alcoholic Drinks: Rehabilitation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the total local authority expenditure on alcohol treatment services in England was in (a) 2014, (b) 2015, (c) 2016 and (d) 2017; and if he will publish that same information by region.

Answer (Rishi Sunak)

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government hold partial records of the information requested. Spend on alcohol treatment was first recorded as a separate item in 2016-17 (£191,000 for England).

MHCLG has not produced statistics at regional level since 2012, as per Ministerial Statement:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/local-statistics

Figures on local authority expenditure on public health services, are collected on the Revenue Outturn (RO3) form available from:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/local-authority-revenue-expenditure-and-financing-england-2016-to-2017-individual-local-authority-data-outturn

6 Jul 2018, 1:57 p.m. Citizenship: Education Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendations in the House of Lords Citizenship and Civic Engagement Committee’s report entitled The Ties that Bind: Citizenship and Civic Engagement in the 21st Century, published on 18 April 2018.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The House of Lords Citizenship and Civic Engagement Committee’s report covered a complex area with inter-linking themes. The policies and activities it examines span the responsibilities of several Government Departments as well as those of local authorities and other organisations.

The Government’s response was published on the 28 June and sets out in detail our assessment of the individual recommendations made. A copy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/citizenship-and-civic-engagement-government-response-to-select-committee-report.

6 Jul 2018, 1:51 p.m. Citizenship: Teachers Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of financial support available to trainee citizenship teachers.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Government offers student finance for all tuition fee funded citizenship teacher training courses, including a tuition fee loan, which means that trainee teachers do not need to pay fees upfront. Citizenship trainee teachers can also apply for a maintenance loan of up to £11,354 to support their living costs. Other student funding is also available depending on individual circumstances, such as the Childcare Grant or Disabled Students’ Allowances. This ensures that trainee citizenship teachers can access student finance to support their training.

4 Jul 2018, 1:17 p.m. Immigrants: Caribbean Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff have been allocated to the Windrush generation task group; and how many countries will be covered by the work of that taskforce.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Pursuant to the reply to Question 137147 given to the hon. Member for Bermondsey and Old Southwark on 26 June, the Taskforce consists of approximately 150 staff.

The Windrush Scheme, launched on 30-May, is not limited to the Windrush generation or those from Commonwealth countries. The Scheme also allows for some people who are nationals of countries other than the Commonwealth, settled in the UK prior to 31 December 1988, to make an application free of charge for a document that confirms their lawful status.

26 Jun 2018, 2:19 p.m. UK Visas and Immigration: Staff Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to her oral contribution of 16 April 2018, Official Report, column 27, on Windrush Children (Immigration Status), how many staff she plans to deploy to the dedicated team to help people to evidence their right to be here and to access the necessary services.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Taskforce currently consists of approximately 150 staff, who have been seconded from a number of areas of UKVI, including Premium Service Centre, Citizenship, Work and Study commands. Of these around two thirds deal with the casework elements of the process. The remainder run the helpline and associated outreach work. We are carefully monitoring the impact that the secondments are having on the business as usual areas that the staff came from and are considering what the shape of a long-term unit for this work may take.

26 Jun 2018, 2:19 p.m. UK Visas and Immigration: Staff Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to her oral contribution of 16 April 2018, Official Report, column 27, on Windrush Children (Immigration Status), how she plans to recruit staff to work in the dedicated team to help people to evidence their right to be here and to access the necessary services.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Taskforce currently consists of approximately 150 staff, who have been seconded from a number of areas of UKVI, including Premium Service Centre, Citizenship, Work and Study commands. Of these around two thirds deal with the casework elements of the process. The remainder run the helpline and associated outreach work. We are carefully monitoring the impact that the secondments are having on the business as usual areas that the staff came from and are considering what the shape of a long-term unit for this work may take.

26 Jun 2018, 2:19 p.m. UK Visas and Immigration: Staff Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to her oral contribution of 16 April 2018, Official Report, column 27, on Windrush Children (Immigration Status), whether the staff she plans to deploy to the dedicated team to help people to evidence their right to reside in the UK and to access the necessary services will be (a) new Civil Service recruits or (b) reassigned from within her Department.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The Taskforce currently consists of approximately 150 staff, who have been seconded from a number of areas of UKVI, including Premium Service Centre, Citizenship, Work and Study commands. Of these around two thirds deal with the casework elements of the process. The remainder run the helpline and associated outreach work. We are carefully monitoring the impact that the secondments are having on the business as usual areas that the staff came from and are considering what the shape of a long-term unit for this work may take.

26 Jun 2018, 12:34 p.m. Police: Greater London Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if his Department will take steps to ensure that the National and International Capital Cities Grant funding meets all London's policing needs.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

We have been clear that the police will have the resources they need to fight crime and protect the public. The Metropolitan Police Service will receive over £2.5bn in direct revenue funding for 2018/19 including the £174m National and International Capital City (NICC) Grant and over £640m in precept, up by £49m from last year. In addition, the Mayor decided to provide additional funding from business rates income, meaning that the MPS will receive a total of £110m additional funding this year compared to 2017/18.

Decisions on future funding levels, including the NICC Grant, will be taken in due course noting that the Home Secretary has stated that he will be prioritising funding for the police at the next Spending Review.

21 Jun 2018, 4:09 p.m. Sleeping Rough: Temporary Accommodation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the availability of emergency accommodation for people sleeping rough.

Answer (Nigel Adams)

Rough sleeping is dangerous and no one should ever have to sleep rough. The Government is building a country that is fit for the future which cares for the most vulnerable in our society. We remain committed halving rough sleeping over the course of this parliament and ending it by 2027, ensuring everyone has a roof over their head and receives all the support they need to rebuild their lives.

Homeless Link conducts an annual survey of the capacity, support and services available to people who become homeless in England, including emergency accommodation, which is available online: https://www.homeless.org.uk/facts/our-research/annual-review-of-single-homelessness-support-in-england

Through our Rough Sleeping Initiative we have been working closely with 83 local authorities, looking at existing provision and proposals to boost the immediate support available to people living on the streets and help them into accommodation. The £30 million fund will be used to provide an additional 1,750 additional bed spaces for rough sleepers and an additional 531 dedicated homelessness workers. The funding will also help improve the co-ordination of services available to those in need and at risk.

21 Jun 2018, 11:33 a.m. Sleeping Rough Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the availability of assessments under the Care Act 2014 for people sleeping rough.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Care Act 2014 requires that where an adult or carer appears to have care and support needs the local authority must carry out an assessment. This includes adults who are rough sleepers with care or support needs. The local authority must then decide if the person has eligible needs by considering the outcomes the person wants to achieve, what needs they have, and how these impact on their wellbeing.

Where any person, is assessed as having eligible care and support needs, these must be met by their local authority.

21 Jun 2018, 11:31 a.m. Sleeping Rough: Mental Health Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the availability of mental health services for people sleeping rough.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Department has not made a recent assessment of the availability of mental health services for people sleeping rough. The Department is working closely with a range of other Government departments, seeking to understand the extent of the problem and to develop a new strategy to implement the Government’s commitment to halve the number of rough sleepers by 2022 and eliminating rough sleepers by 2027. Effective access to health, social care and wider support services will be one important contributing factor in achieving this aim.

20 Jun 2018, 4:08 p.m. Homelessness: Death Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to tackle the number of homeless people dying.

Answer (Nigel Adams)

The death of any homeless person is a tragedy. One person without a home is one too many and we are determined to tackle this issue, which is why this Government has committed to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and end it by 2027.

In order to achieve this target I will be publishing a Rough Sleeping Strategy this July. As part of this work my Department has established the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel and a cross-Government Taskforce. By drawing upon the knowledge of the Panel and the support from across Whitehall, the strategy will not only end rough sleeping by 2027, but in the meantime ensure the right support is provided to prevent rough sleepers dying on our streets.

We have recently allocated £30 million that will be used to provide an additional 1,750 bed spaces for rough sleepers and an additional 531 dedicated homelessness workers ahead of next winter.

Furthermore, the Government recently implemented the most ambitious legislative reform in this area in decades, the Homelessness Reduction Act, which will mean that more people will get the help they need sooner.

20 Jun 2018, 11 a.m. Sleeping Rough: Death Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the value of the process of safeguarding adult reviews into the deaths of people sleeping rough.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Department has not made any specific assessment of the value of the process of safeguarding adult reviews into the deaths of people sleeping rough.

The Care Act statutory guidance states that Safeguarding Adult Boards are required to order a Safeguarding Adult Review if an adult dies in their area and there is concern that partner agencies could have done more to prevent the death and protect the adult. This is because Safeguarding Adult Reviews are about learning and improving to prevent future deaths.

13 Jun 2018, 2:18 p.m. Rwanda: Politics and Government Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Rwanda in 2020, what steps he has taken to encourage the Rwandan President to (a) release political prisoners and (b) lift restrictions on the freedom of the press.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The Foreign Secretary met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on 17 April where we discussed human rights and democratic development in Rwanda. We will continue to speak candidly with Rwanda, raising concerns about human rights, freedom of expression, media freedoms and the lack of political space.

13 Jun 2018, 2:16 p.m. Rwanda: Politics and Government Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to the Rwandan Government on ensuring the safety of Rwandan exiles (a) in the UK and (b) abroad.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

When the Foreign Secretary met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting on 17 April, he raised the case of alleged threats to Rwandan dissidents resident in the United Kingdom and abroad, making clear that the UK takes a zero tolerance approach to violence and threats of violence.

12 Jun 2018, 1:59 p.m. Rwanda: Overseas Aid Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of Rwanda’s progress on the goals outlined in the revised 2012 UK-Rwanda Memorandum of Understanding.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

The UK and Rwanda signed a Development Partnership Agreement in 2017, which includes commitments to a set of partnership principles. We assess that the Government of Rwanda continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to poverty reduction, economic and social rights, anti-corruption and sound public financial management. Commitment to civil and political rights and domestic accountability is limited and we remain particularly concerned about civil and political rights.

12 Jun 2018, 1:56 p.m. Rwanda: Overseas Aid Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the implications for UK aid to Rwanda of that country's £30 million sponsorship of Arsenal football club.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

No UK aid money was used for Visit Rwanda’s deal with Arsenal football club, which the Government of Rwanda has made clear is funded from tourism revenue. All UK aid to Rwanda is earmarked for specific programmes, such as education and agriculture, and is subject to robust monitoring to ensure it is achieving results and value for money for the UK taxpayer.

11 Jun 2018, 11:40 a.m. Employment Schemes: Young People Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many young people have received support through the Youth Obligation to date; and how many of those people have subsequently gone on to (a) an apprenticeship, (b) a traineeship and (c) a work placement.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to Question 138342 on 1 May.

11 Jun 2018, 11:37 a.m. Employment Schemes: Young People Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of young people have stopped receiving benefits since being on the Youth Obligation programme.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

I refer the hon. Member to my answer to Question 138343 on 1 May.

11 Jun 2018, 11:30 a.m. Employment Schemes: Young People Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many young people have been sanctioned while receiving support through the Youth Obligation programme.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

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

11 Jun 2018, 11 a.m. Social Services: Disability Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has made an assessment of the potential effect on disabled people of lowering the eligibility criteria for social care; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Care Act 2014 set out the eligibility criteria for social care which is set at a national minimum level. We are not making a specific assessment of the potential effects on disabled people as the Government published an Impact Assessment of the Care Act in 2014. We are currently evaluating implementation of the Care Act as a whole.

Where a person is assessed as having eligible care and support needs, these must be met by their local authority. For those who do not meet the eligibility criteria, local authorities should signpost people to relevant services.

8 Jun 2018, 9:49 a.m. Cars Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to support World Car Free Day 2018.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Department supports the principles behind World Car Free Day, of encouraging an increase in cycling and walking for short journeys to reduce traffic congestion and emissions from road transport, as well as increasing health benefits from more active lifestyles. It is for cities and local authorities to determine if, and how, they choose to participate as part of World Car Free Day. The Government’s statutory Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy, published in April 2017, outlines £1.2 billion of funding that may be invested in cycling and walking in England over the period to 2021.

8 Jun 2018, 8:27 a.m. Apprentices: Taxation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of devolving the (a) level and (b) operation of the apprenticeship levy to (i) the devolved administrations, (ii) local authorities and (iii) other local bodies.

Answer (Anne Milton)

As skills is a devolved matter, the devolved administrations already receive their share of the apprenticeship levy. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive £460 million between them in 2019/20 from HM Treasury. It is for these administrations to decide how they develop their skills policy, including how they fund and operate their apprenticeship programmes.

While we have devolved some elements of our skills policy to the local level, such as the adult skills budget, we have been clear that we need to keep the development of apprenticeships policy as a nationally driven and funded programme. This is critical if the system is to produce the skills employers need. As the apprenticeship programme is demand led, we expect employers to request the training they require at the local level.

The apprenticeships levy is devolved to individual employers. Those paying the levy decide how the funds in their accounts are used and there are a number of measures in place to support smaller employers and encourage them to offer apprenticeships. One example of this would be the co-investment of 90 per cent of apprenticeship training and assessment costs provided by government, and our recent procurement to deliver apprenticeship training to non-levy payers (including smaller employers). Through this we have procured over £550 million of apprenticeship training with providers who will work locally with smaller employers to deliver the apprenticeships they want.

7 Jun 2018, 1:13 p.m. Social Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to ban 15-minute personal care visits.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Care Act 2014 is clear that commissioning services without properly considering the impact on people’s wellbeing is unacceptable. However, it would be inappropriate to introduce a blanket ban on 15 minute homecare visits. They may be appropriate in certain circumstances, for instance, checking a person’s medication has been taken.

Ultimately, local authorities are responsible for the commissioning of services. We are supporting local authorities to improve commissioning of care.

The Department has also worked with local government and the care sector to develop and encourage good practice in commissioning and managing local adult social care markets. A suite of guidance is now available at the on-line Hub on GOV.UK.

The Department is working with organisations from across the adult social care sector to implement Quality Matters – a shared commitment to take action to achieve high quality social care. Under this initiative, the Local Government Association has published the Integrated Commissioning for Better Outcomes framework to support sector-led improvement in adult social care commissioning.

7 Jun 2018, 1:03 p.m. Care Homes: Minimum Wage Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of the Social Care Compliance Scheme participants that will cease to be viable by the completion of that scheme.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Social Care Compliance Scheme (SCCS) is an interim scheme administered by HM Revenue and Customs. The SCCS has been designed to assist social care providers in becoming compliant with National Minimum Wage legislation.

HM Revenue and Customs does not discuss individual cases, as such no assessment can be made. However, the Government is exploring options to minimise the impact of sleep-ins liabilities on the social care sector.

6 Jun 2018, 10:05 a.m. Social Services: Minimum Wage Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department has provided to (a) local authorities and (b) other providers to help them retrospectively fund sleep-in shifts at the national minimum wage rate.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Government recognises the pressures that sleep-in liabilities are placing on local authorities and social care providers, and is exploring options to minimise any impact on the sector. Any intervention to support the sector would need to be proportionate and necessary.

In the interim the Government will continue to work closely with stakeholders to ensure that we have a clear understanding of any impact the sector may face.

25 May 2018, 10:42 a.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to Autumn Budget 2017, what progress her Department has made on the review of the taper rate for universal credit.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

In April 2017 we made the taper more generous by reducing it from 65% to 63% so people can now keep even more of the money that they earn.

The taper rate remains under review and the Government will continue to consider the case for further changes.

24 May 2018, 10:51 a.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Oral Statement of 23 November 2017 on universal credit, Official Report, column 1200, what steps her Department has taken to ensure (a) that all new claimants in need are able to access an advance payment and (b) greater collaboration between Citizens Advice and her Department.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Additional work has been done by the Department to further raise awareness of the availability of advances nationally, including a communications campaign in jobcentres and guidance to staff to support them to ensure that all claimants are aware of advances at the outset, how much they can claim and what the maximum repayment period is. Information about advances is also available on Gov.uk at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/universal-credit-advances.

We are currently working with Citizens Advice to determine how best we can support Universal Credit claimants together. These discussions are on-going.

22 May 2018, 4:55 p.m. Developing Countries: HIV Infection Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she is taking to ensure the (a) adequacy and (b) reliability of funding provided by her Department to (i) regional and (ii) global civil society network programmes to respond to the HIV epidemic.

Answer (Alistair Burt)

The UK government is well aware of the barriers faced by global and regional civil society networks pressing for a human rights-based response to HIV. That is why the UK government played a leadership role with other founding donors in setting up the Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund. So far the UK has committed £9 million. We will make our decision on future investments to the Fund later this year.

14 May 2018, 4:35 p.m. Higher Education: Admissions Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department has had with (a) representatives of the universities sector and (b) the Home Office on ensuring that British-born children of immigrants are not deterred from applying to university by the application fee for such children to register as British citizens.

Answer (Mr Sam Gyimah)

I want to promote a higher education system in England that it is open and inclusive. The Department for Education is not aware of any prospective students being deterred by the application fee in question. However, I will endeavour to meet with my counterpart at the Home Office to discuss this important issue.

4 May 2018, 1:13 p.m. Foxes Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government plans to take steps to tackle urban fox population growth.

Answer (Dr Thérèse Coffey)

The Government has no plans to control the number of urban foxes in England.

The Government’s policy is that individuals should be free to manage wildlife within the law. The decision on whether or not to control foxes lies with the owner or occupier of the property where the problem occurs.

Advice on the management of foxes can be obtained from Natural England.

3 May 2018, 12:50 p.m. Homelessness Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of Housing First targets to (a) reduce rough sleeping and (b) fund supported housing.

Answer (Mrs Heather Wheeler)

International evidence shows that Housing First can be successful at ending the homelessness of those with the most complex needs. The Government is investing in three regional pilots to test the effectiveness of the approach in England.

These pilots build upon learning from the Housing First Feasibility study Government co-funded in Liverpool City region, published in July 2017, which showed that Housing First could work to end the homelessness of those with the most complex needs

Regarding Supported Housing funding reforms, an interim response to the consultation on the models was published on 3 April 2018 and a full response will be published in the summer.

2 May 2018, 5:14 p.m. Employment and Support Allowance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure disabled people in receipt of employment and support allowance do not face repeated work capability assessments when they move to a Universal Credit full-service area.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

A claimant should not be referred for a Work Capability Assessment just because he or she has moved from Employment Support Allowance (ESA) to Universal credit (UC).

1 May 2018, 12:33 p.m. Homelessness Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the wrap-around substance misuse and mental health services that will required to help ensure the targets for Housing First are met.

Answer (Mrs Heather Wheeler)

These pilots build upon learning from the Housing First Feasibility study Government co-funded in Liverpool City region, published in July 2017, which showed that Housing First could work to end the homelessness of those with the most complex needs, if delivered as an integrated part of wider homelessness services. The report set out a blue print for the necessary mental health provision embedded within the core Housing First Teams and the relationships with other local services necessary to make the approach a success.

Government committed £28 million at budget 2017 to implement three regional Housing First pilots in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, and Liverpool City Region.

30 Apr 2018, 2:50 p.m. Kashmir: Human Rights Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that Commonwealth citizens in disputed Kashmir territories have their human rights upheld.

Answer (Mark Field)

The British Government encourages all states to ensure that their domestic laws meet international human rights standards. We raise the issue of Kashmir, including human rights, with the Governments of India and Pakistan. The British Government also works with the Indian and Pakistani Governments to build capacity and share expertise to tackle challenges, including the promotion and protection of human rights.

30 Apr 2018, 2:44 p.m. Kashmir: Human Rights Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help tackle alleged human rights abuses in Indian-occupied Kashmir.

Answer (Mark Field)

We recognise that there are human rights concerns in India-administered Kashmir. We have recently discussed this situation in India-administered Kashmir with representatives of the Indian Government. We encourage all States to ensure that their domestic laws are in line with international standards. The FCO believes that any allegations of human rights abuses must be investigated thoroughly, promptly and transparently.

27 Apr 2018, 10:51 a.m. Trade Marks Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, whether UK trade mark attorneys will maintain rights of representation at the EU Intellectual Property Office during the transition period under the terms of the European Commission's draft withdrawal agreement; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Mr Robin Walker)

The UK and EU negotiating teams have reached agreement on the terms of an implementation period that will start on 30 March 2019 and last until 31 December 2020. As part of this, UK lawyers will maintain their rights of audience before EU courts.

We are currently in discussions with the EU on the IP title of the Withdrawal Agreement, seeking to ensure that where intellectual property rights more generally are within the scope of separation discussions, the Withdrawal Agreement provides the greatest possible legal certainty for users, applicants, right holders and attorneys.

24 Apr 2018, 11:55 a.m. Immigration Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how long the average leave to remain application takes from application to decision; and whether there is a backlog.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Information on processing of cases against service standards, and on work in progress levels, by case type, is published in the Home Office’s in-country Migration Transparency data, at

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/in-country-migration-data-february-2018

23 Apr 2018, 10:34 a.m. Visas Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the current backlog of visa applications is; and how long on average a visa application takes to be processed from application to decision.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The published information on processing times for visa applications is published as part of the Migration Transparency data, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data#uk-visas-and-immigration

19 Apr 2018, 4:53 p.m. Immigrants Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people excluding those on student visas have been granted leave to remain in the UK with no recourse to public funds since 2010.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

Where recourse to public funds is not automatic, leave to remain in the UK is normally granted with a condition of No Recourse to Public Funds unless to prevent destitution. The number of those granted leave with no recourse to public funds excluding those on student visas is not held in a format which can be reported on.

However the total number of in-country grants of leave to remain is recorded and can be found in the quarterly Immigration Statistics, Extensions tables, latest edition at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/immigration-statistics-october-to-december-2017/list-of-tables

26 Mar 2018, 4:41 p.m. United Kingdom Accreditation Service Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the Government's policy is on (a) international and (b) EU recognition of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Andrew Griffiths)

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the UK’s National Accreditation Body. We are working closely with UKAS to ensure that its future relationships with international and European bodies continue to support a productive, open and competitive business environment in the UK. The UK Government recognises the valuable role of accreditation and conformity assessment in providing business confidence.

26 Mar 2018, 9:01 a.m. Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will certify the attempted murder of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 as an act of terrorism.

Answer (Mr Ben Wallace)

Police are treating this incident as an attempted murder and it has not been declared a terrorist incident.

22 Mar 2018, 4:22 p.m. Department for Exiting the European Union: Expenditure Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, how much his Department has spent on (a) Ministerial salaries, (b) staff salaries, (c) travel and transport costs, (d) accommodation, (e) staff expenses, (f) hospitality, (g) publicity and information and (h) administrative costs since its creation.

Answer (Mr Steve Baker)

The information requested is published in the Department's Annual Report and Accounts which is made publicly available on GOV.UK.

13 Mar 2018, 4:29 p.m. Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how the members of the Government's Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel were selected.

Answer (Mrs Heather Wheeler)

The aim of the Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel is to draw together a range of expertise and insight to inform the development of the Government’s forthcoming strategy to halve rough sleeping by 2022 and eradicate it by 2027. Members were invited from across local government, homelessness and housing sectors to bring that depth of expertise.

We are already taking action to support rough sleepers – including providing £28 million to pilot the Housing First approach for rough sleepers with the most complex needs. The pilots will cover the West Midlands Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, and the Liverpool City Region.

13 Mar 2018, 12:24 p.m. Water Supply Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that water companies prepare for cold weather; whether his Department plans to improve the provision of information to consumers on disruption to water supplies; and whether his Department is taking steps to compensate people who experienced disruption to their water supply.

Answer (Dr Thérèse Coffey)

Companies have a statutory duty to provide clean and reliable water to customers under the Water Industry Act 1991 and water company licences, plus any special requirements to service vulnerable customers. They also have a statutory duty to plan to balance supply and demand over the long-term (25 years minimum). Companies should be planning to be resilient to all foreseeable risks, including severe weather and in response to climate change projections and population growth.

Water customers are entitled to guaranteed minimum standards of service. If a company fails to meet any of the guaranteed standards, customers are entitled to a payment under the Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS). Ofwat may also take enforcement action against the companies it regulates where these companies fail to comply with their statutory duties and licence obligations. Ofwat will work with the water companies to establish whether licence conditions have been breached and to what extent the GSS regulations require them to make compensation payments.

Ofwat is reviewing formally the performance of the companies during this period once the situation is restored to normal. This will be a thorough review and as well as identifying problems, Ofwat will identify excellent examples of practice and preparation shared across the sector. The review will include consideration of planning for such cold weather events and customer communications. The government will consider any recommendations from the review and act decisively to address any shortcomings exposed.

Ofwat will also consider as part of the review whether the companies have proactively provided fair and speedy compensation to customers. The government has made clear to water companies that it expects them to use their discretion to offer compensation to customers, recognising the impacts that they have experienced.

1 Mar 2018, 2:30 p.m. Social Services: Minimum Wage Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will publish the Deloitte report on the financial liability for sleep-in overnight care in the social care sector.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Government has commissioned market analysis to assess the impact on the sector, however this forms part of the evidence base that is being used to assess options and is subject to further analysis and refinement. Consequently there is no timetable for publication.

The Government recognises the pressures these liabilities are placing on providers of social care, and we are exploring options to minimise any impact on the sector.

1 Mar 2018, 2:30 p.m. Social Services: Minimum Wage Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how his Department has calculated the figures for the financial liability for sleep-in overnight care in the social care sector.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Government has commissioned market analysis to assess the impact on the sector, however this forms part of the evidence base that is being used to assess options and is subject to further analysis and refinement. Consequently there is no timetable for publication.

The Government recognises the pressures these liabilities are placing on providers of social care, and we are exploring options to minimise any impact on the sector.

26 Feb 2018, 5:09 p.m. Ophthalmic Services Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase funding for the national NHS ophthalmic services contract for adults and children with learning disabilities and for people who are homeless.

Answer (Steve Brine)

There are no patient charges for those entitled to free National Health Service sight tests or cap on the budget from which NHS sight tests are funded. Many people with learning disabilities and those who are homeless will either meet the criteria for a free NHS sight test or qualify on income grounds for help with the costs of a private sight test.

26 Feb 2018, 3:58 p.m. Business: VAT Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support businesses to adhere to changes to VAT reporting from 2019.

Answer (Mel Stride)

There will be a range of support available to help businesses prepare for VAT digital reporting in 2019. HMRC has been working closely with software providers, business representative bodies and the accountancy profession to ensure the right support is in place to help businesses adapt. The customer support model will guide businesses to the most appropriate help including technical support, webchat, YouTube training videos, webinars, helpline and agent and business guides. A pilot will start in Spring 2018 to test the system, including the support model, well ahead of April 2019.

20 Feb 2018, 5:28 p.m. Insurance: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to update the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 to enable insurance companies to pay compensation to businesses after terrorism attacks when there is no damage to property.

Answer (John Glen)

There is nothing in current legislation in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 that prevents insurers from offering terrorism insurance beyond property damage to businesses, and indeed such products exist on the market.

That said, I understand the concerns that businesses have raised about terrorism insurance cover for business interruption losses that are not linked to damage to commercial property and want to do everything we can to help. The Treasury remains in discussions with the insurance industry, Pool Re and other interested parties to ensure that the Act continues to enable appropriate terrorism cover to be available for all businesses in the UK.

We are actively exploring options, including legislation, to address this and will confirm our next steps in due course.

20 Feb 2018, 5:28 p.m. Business: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of terrorism insurance in compensating businesses after an act of terror.

Answer (John Glen)

There is nothing in current legislation in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 that prevents insurers from offering terrorism insurance beyond property damage to businesses, and indeed such products exist on the market.

That said, I understand the concerns that businesses have raised about terrorism insurance cover for business interruption losses that are not linked to damage to commercial property and want to do everything we can to help. The Treasury remains in discussions with the insurance industry, Pool Re and other interested parties to ensure that the Act continues to enable appropriate terrorism cover to be available for all businesses in the UK.

We are actively exploring options, including legislation, to address this and will confirm our next steps in due course.

20 Feb 2018, 5:28 p.m. Insurance: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to introduce legislation to update the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 to enable insurance companies to pay compensation to businesses after terrorism attacks when there is no damage to property.

Answer (John Glen)

There is nothing in current legislation in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 that prevents insurers from offering terrorism insurance beyond property damage to businesses, and indeed such products exist on the market.

That said, I understand the concerns that businesses have raised about terrorism insurance cover for business interruption losses that are not linked to damage to commercial property and want to do everything we can to help. The Treasury remains in discussions with the insurance industry, Pool Re and other interested parties to ensure that the Act continues to enable appropriate terrorism cover to be available for all businesses in the UK.

We are actively exploring options, including legislation, to address this and will confirm our next steps in due course.

20 Feb 2018, 5:12 p.m. Trinidad and Tobago: British Nationals Abroad Neil Coyle

Question

What support his Department is providing to the families of British citizens murdered in Trinidad and Tobago and to the investigating authorities in that country.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

Our dedicated consular team in London supports families bereaved through murder committed overseas. They work with officials across our network to provide information about the local police and legal system and guidance on repatriation. They also provide updates on investigations and trials. We cannot interfere in judicial process or police investigation of another country, just as we would not accept such interference in the UK.

20 Feb 2018, 1:44 p.m. Jordan: Migrant Camps Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps the Government is taking to improve the humanitarian situation for (a) refugees and (b) displaced persons in the informal al-Rukban camp at the Jordan-Syria border.

Answer (Alistair Burt)

The UK currently funds UNICEF to provide clean water and clinic-based health and nutrition services, for the population at Rukban. The UK also made funding available to UNICEF to support logistical costs for a distribution of aid in January.

The UK continues to monitor the situation at Rukban very closely – most recently when officials visited the Rukban clinic on 4 February – as well as advocating for a viable solution to be found that will enable regular aid deliveries to take place in line with International Humanitarian Law.

20 Feb 2018, 12:06 p.m. Immigrants: Detainees Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the number of deaths of detainees held in immigration detention centres.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

The prevention of deaths in detention is a priority for the Home Office. The adults at risk in immigration detention policy, which came into force on 12 September 2016, was part of the Government’s response to Stephen Shaw’s review of the welfare of vulnerable people in immigration detention. It introduced a case-by-case evidence-based assessment of the appropriateness of detention for any individual who is considered vulnerable, balanced against the immigration control considerations that apply in their case. Mr. Shaw’s follow up to his original review started on 4 September 2017 and will include an assessment of the implementation of all of his earlier review recommendations.

The treatment and health services received by individuals in immigration detention should be equivalent to that received by people in the community. Individuals are offered a physical and mental examination within 24 hours of admission to detention, and there is a requirement for IRC doctors to report to the Home Office any special illness or conditions that might affect the decision to continue the detention of an individual. There are also in place processes for staff to follow when there has been a change to the physical or mental health of a detainee, or a change in the nature or severity of their identified vulnerability, which may impact on the decision to detain.

Staff at all immigration removal centres (IRC) are trained to identify those at risk of self harm so that action can be taken to minimise the risk. All incidents of self harm are treated very seriously and every step is taken to prevent incidents of this nature. Formal risk assessments on initial detention and systems for raising concerns at any subsequent point feed into established self harm procedures in every IRC, which are in turn underpinned by the Home Office Operating Standard on the prevention of self-harm and Detention Services Order 06/2008 Assessment Care in Detention Teamwork (ACDT).

Each death in immigration detention is subject to investigation by the police, the coroner (or Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) and the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman. Every effort is made to learn lessons from these investigations.

20 Feb 2018, 11:52 a.m. Employment and Support Allowance: Appeals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many tribunal hearings for appeals against the award of Employment Support Allowance were attended by presenting officers; and how many of the original decisions were (a) upheld and (b) overturned between 1 December 2016 and 31 December 2017.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The information is not readily available, and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

20 Feb 2018, 11:15 a.m. British Nationality: Children Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much parents with no recourse to public funds must pay to establish that their children are UK nationals.

Answer (Caroline Nokes)

A child born in the UK will be a British citizen if at the time of the birth one or more of their parents is settled or a British citizen. Evidence of these facts is sufficient to establish that a child is British.

13 Feb 2018, 3:04 p.m. Insurance: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what meetings his Department has held with providers of terrorism insurance in the last 12 months.

Answer (Andrew Griffiths)

BEIS Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings

13 Feb 2018, 12:07 p.m. Insurance: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what meetings his Department has held with terrorism insurance providers in the last 12 months.

Answer (John Glen)

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery.

Details of ministerial and permanent secretary meetings with external organisations on departmental business are published on a quarterly basis and are available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmt-ministers-meetings-hospitality-gifts-and-overseas-travel

The government remains in regular discussion with the insurance industry, Pool Re and other interested parties on the provision of terrorism insurance in the UK.

5 Feb 2018, 3:42 p.m. Universal Credit: Housing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when he expects the Universal Credit landlord portal to be fully accessible to all housing associations, mutuals and co-operatives.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Our plans will be to rollout the landlord portal to all sizeable landlords in the social rented sector by the end of the year. We estimate around 50% of properties in the Social Rented Sector are already covered by the landlord portal.

23 Jan 2018, 5:15 p.m. Africa: United Nations Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, for what reasons his Department was not represented at the UN Regional Meeting on People of African Descent of 23 to 24 November 2017 in Geneva.

Answer (Mark Field)

Her Majesty's Government was represented at the UN Regional Meeting on People of African Descent on 23 to 24 November 2017 by officials from our mission in Geneva. We actively contributed to the European Union's opening statement and to the 'Outcome document' which was agreed by all states present.

23 Jan 2018, 5:14 p.m. Africa: Anniversaries Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans his Department has to mark the UN International Decade for People of African Descent.

Answer (Mark Field)

Her Majesty's Government has no specific plans to mark the UN International Decade for People of African Descent. However, the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance remains a high priority for the UK.

Domestically, the UK has one of the strongest legislative frameworks in the world in place to protect communities from hostility, violence and bigotry and we keep it under review to ensure that it remains effective and appropriate in the face of new and emerging threats.

Internationally, we work through the United Nations to ensure the international community focuses on strengthening national, regional and international legal frameworks, in order to make a reality of the protections contained in the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

17 Jan 2018, 5:15 p.m. Eyesight: Testing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the NHS sight test fee on the accessibility of sight tests for people with severe learning disabilities.

Answer (Steve Brine)

For those entitled to a National Health Service sight test, the service is free at the point of need. There are no costs to patients to form a barrier to accessibility. All children under the age of 16, those under the age of 19 in full time education, as well as all adults aged 60 or over are entitled to an NHS sight test. Those on a low income and defined categories of people at particular risk of developing eye disease are also entitled to NHS sight tests.

The eligibility criteria are long standing and target help on those most at risk of eye disease or least able to pay for a private sight test. This will include most people with severe learning disabilities or those who are homeless. There is recognition however that there are particular practical challenges for these groups in accessing services. NHS England is responsible for commissioning NHS sight tests. NHS England advises it is currently looking at the accessibility issues those with learning disabilities may face and is considering similar work in the future on the impact of homelessness on accessibility.

17 Jan 2018, 5:15 p.m. Eyesight: Testing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons people who (a) have a learning disability and (b) are homeless are not specified as eligible for NHS sight tests under the Primary Ophthalmic Services Regulations 2008.

Answer (Steve Brine)

For those entitled to a National Health Service sight test, the service is free at the point of need. There are no costs to patients to form a barrier to accessibility. All children under the age of 16, those under the age of 19 in full time education, as well as all adults aged 60 or over are entitled to an NHS sight test. Those on a low income and defined categories of people at particular risk of developing eye disease are also entitled to NHS sight tests.

The eligibility criteria are long standing and target help on those most at risk of eye disease or least able to pay for a private sight test. This will include most people with severe learning disabilities or those who are homeless. There is recognition however that there are particular practical challenges for these groups in accessing services. NHS England is responsible for commissioning NHS sight tests. NHS England advises it is currently looking at the accessibility issues those with learning disabilities may face and is considering similar work in the future on the impact of homelessness on accessibility.

12 Jan 2018, 2:26 p.m. Access to Work Programme Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what cost benefit analysis his Department uses to measure the effectiveness of the Access to Work programme.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

We are in the process of commissioning a piece of feasibility work to investigate robust methods for estimating the quantitative impact of Access to Work on employment entry and retention

8 Jan 2018, 5:03 p.m. Employment and Support Allowance: Suicide Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for what reasons his Department's report, Preventing suicide in England: third progress report of the cross-government outcomes strategy to save lives, published in January 2017 does not prioritise employment and support allowance claimants for additional help and support.

Answer (Jackie Doyle-Price)

The Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Strategy for England (2012) identified high risk groups and groups of people for whom tailored approaches to their mental health are required to address the risk of suicide. This includes people who are unemployed and those with long-term health conditions.

8 Jan 2018, 2:47 p.m. Social Security Benefits Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many recommendations advanced in independent reviews of the operation of (a) personal independence payments and (b) employment support allowance his Department has (i) accepted and (ii) implemented.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The Government has welcomed the publication of both the first and second statutory Independent Reviews of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) carried out by Paul Gray. Paul Gray made a total of twenty-eight recommendations and the Government has accepted or partially accepted all of them.

The Government published its response to the second Independent Review on 18 December 2017. Annexes A and B in our response sets out the progress we have made since the first Independent Review on implementing the recommendations and what we will do next to further improve PIP .

The DWP had a statutory commitment to independently review the Employment and Support Allowance Work Capability Assessment (WCA) annually for the first five years. Professor Malcolm Harrington carried out the first three Independent Reviews and Dr Paul Litchfield carried out the remaining two. In all, the Department accepted and implemented over 100 recommendations.

The Government responses to the Independent Reviews of PIP can be found at:

The first response to the first review -https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-pip-assessments-first-independent-review-government-response

The second response to the first review – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-pip-assessments-first-independent-review-second-government-response

The response to the second review - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/personal-independence-payment-pip-assessment-second-independent-review-government-response

The Government responses to the reviews of the WCA can be found at:

Year 1 - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-work-capability-assessment-independent-review-year-1

Year 2 - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-work-capability-assessment-independent-review-year-2

Year 3 - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-work-capability-assessment-independent-review-year-3

Year 4 - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-work-capability-assessment-independent-review-year-4

Year 5 - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-work-capability-assessment-independent-review-year-5

21 Dec 2017, 3:45 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Extinguishers Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the criteria by which his Department is assessing the adequacy of local authorities' funding for the retrospective fitting of sprinklers in tower blocks.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Building owners are responsible for funding fire safety measures in their buildings, and local authorities should draw on existing resources to implement these measures. However, if a local authority considers works to be essential, based on expert advice and taking into account any recommendations or advice from the local fire and rescue service, we will consider the removal of financial restrictions. This might be either extending the ability to borrow within the Housing Revenue Account, or possibly a one off agreement to use general fund money.

Any local authority that wishes to discuss their position should contact my Department.

19 Dec 2017, 4:07 p.m. High Rise Flats: Fire Extinguishers Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether there is any funding pending to the London Borough of Southwark for the retrofitting of sprinklers in tower blocks.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

As we have said, we will consider the removal of financial restrictions for local authorities where these stand in the way of essential fire safety work being done, and we would welcome a discussion with London Borough of Southwark if they feel financial flexibilities are needed to carry out essential fire safety work in order to make their buildings safe.

It is down to the local authority to determine what measures are essential. Building owners are responsible for funding fire safety measures in their buildings. If a local authority building owner considers a building to be unsafe, they will need to determine what measures are essential to make a building safe, based on expert advice and taking into account any recommendations or advice from the local fire and rescue service.

4 Dec 2017, 5:30 p.m. Côte d'Ivoire: Overseas Aid Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what proportion of UK foreign aid goes to Ivory Coast; and what assessment she has made of the effect of that aid.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

In 2016, 6 million or 0.007% of the UK’s bilateral ODA contributions went to Cote d’Ivoire. In addition, Cote D’Ivoire will have benefitted from funding from the United Nations, World Bank, IMF and African Development Bank, to which the UK provides core funding. UK aid has increased the efficiency and capacity of a major power plant near Abidjan which now provides 15% of the country’s electricity, and has also funded delivery of over 2 million treatments for schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths which will help prevent anaemia, stunting and developmental problems in children.

4 Dec 2017, 2:41 p.m. Cote d'Ivoire: Politics and Government Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the political situation in the Ivory Coast?

Answer (Rory Stewart)

​Our Embassy in Abidjan monitors the situation and regularly engages with the Government of Côte d'Ivoire. My Rt. Hon. Friend Tobias Ellwood MP visited Côte d'Ivoire in March this year, when he was Minister for Africa, and the Foreign Secretary was in Côte d'Ivoire last week for the EU-AU Summit, when he had a short meeting with President Ouattara.

4 Dec 2017, 2:38 p.m. Cote d'Ivoire: Human Trafficking Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the trafficking of citizens from Ivory Coast.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

Tackling modern slavery is a domestic and foreign policy priority for the British Government, with personal commitment from the Prime Minister. In September, the Prime Minister launched a Call to Action to End Forced Labour, Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking at the UN General Assembly. President Ouattara endorsed the Call to Action on behalf of the Government of Côte d'Ivoire at the event. We are supporting Côte d'Ivoire's efforts to ensure its effective implementation.

29 Nov 2017, 5:15 p.m. Driverless Vehicles Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to encourage, the continuing trials of semi-autonomous, ground based Personal Delivery Devices; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

Through its world-leading Code of Practice for testing, the Government is encouraging the trialling of automated vehicle technologies in the UK. The Code is clear that trials must comply with all UK law. It is for testers to satisfy themselves that they are in full compliance, and they should speak to the relevant road owners and enforcement agencies. The Government has no plans relating to any specific current trials of semi-autonomous, ground based Personal Delivery Devices.

29 Nov 2017, 4:56 p.m. Personal Independence Payment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of removing mobility payments from former disability living allowance recipients reassessed for personal independence payments on the ability of those people to sustain employment.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a non-means tested disability benefit that is available to people regardless of whether they are in or out of employment and is intended to help people with the additional costs of their disability. Therefore, the employment status of the claimant is not collected at point of claim and no ongoing monitoring is made of employment status.

A proportion of claimants who were previously entitled to the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) did not receive the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP following reassessment. However, by October 2016 56,000 claimants who were not previously entitled to the higher rate mobility component of DLA were now receiving the enhanced rate mobility component of PIP.

In addition to DLA and PIP, Access to Work is also available, which can provide practical and financial support with the additional costs, beyond reasonable adjustments, faced by individuals whose health or disability affects the way they do their job. The type of support is tailored to an individual’s needs and can include travel to work, support workers and specialist aids and equipment.

29 Nov 2017, 10:30 a.m. Driverless Vehicles Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish an updated Code of Practice for the operation of autonomous vehicles: and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

The Government’s Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles will be engaging with the public and developers on the planned update to the Code of Practice in early 2018, with a view to publishing the updated version in Summer 2018.

28 Nov 2017, 4:52 p.m. Funeral Payments Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what representations he has received on concern about the adequacy of the funeral fund to cover basic funeral costs; and whether he plans change to that fund.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

DWP have advertised 1,053 External Vacancies since January 2015 containing 21,432 posts. The breakdown provided by Government Recruitment Services is provided as requested overleaf. It is worth considering these vacancies are not guaranteed to have been filled.

These are the vacancies we advertised. Not all roles advertised were filled and therefore this data will include repeat adverts.

Month

Number of Vacancies

Number of Posts Advertised

Jan-15

8

214

Feb-15

15

353

Mar-15

9

60

Apr-15

8

62

May-15

13

54

Jun-15

20

311

Jul-15

15

326

Aug-15

26

1698

Sep-15

15

1479

Oct-15

13

469

Nov-15

28

397

Dec-15

14

239

Jan-16

14

290

Feb-16

47

1274

Mar-16

50

2107

Apr-16

74

1309

May-16

31

500

Jun-16

58

1081

Jul-16

26

214

Aug-16

34

804

Sep-16

61

1251

Oct-16

50

542

Nov-16

34

567

Dec-16

5

48

Jan-17

101

1540

Feb-17

35

483

Mar-17

17

131

Apr-17

4

22

May-17

42

891

Jun-17

64

1238

Jul-17

24

433

Aug-17

21

243

Sep-17

18

66

Oct-17

30

605

Nov-17

29

131

Total

1053

21432

The Department has had a number of discussions with representatives from the funeral industry and groups supporting bereaved people about Social Fund Funeral Expenses Payments and in particular the maximum amount of £700 available for other costs. We have made clear that we will ensure that Funeral Expenses Payments continue to meet the necessary costs of a cremation or burial for eligible claimants. Average payments have increased year-on-year to meet these necessary costs. We have had to make difficult choices about welfare spending and it has not been possible to increase the £700 maximum for other costs. However, we have made interest-free Social Fund Budgeting Loans available for funeral costs in addition to Funeral Expenses Payments.

We have also been carrying out reforms to the Funeral Expenses Payments Regulations which are coming into force in April 2018. The reforms focused primarily on clarifying a number of issues around eligibility and to simplify the process for claiming a Funeral Expenses Payment. The formal response to the consultation on the Reform of the Funeral Expenses Payment Regulations was published on 3 July 2017 and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656887/consultation-response-reforms-to-funeral-expenses-payments.pdf.

27 Nov 2017, 5:59 p.m. Defence Neil Coyle

Question

What assessment he has made of the effect of the UK leaving the EU on the defence and aerospace industries.

Answer (Harriett Baldwin)

We are leaving the EU, but remain fully committed to maintaining Europe’s security. We will ensure our respective industries can continue to collaborate to deliver the battle winning defence and aerospace capabilities we need to keep us safe.

27 Nov 2017, 5:47 p.m. Personal Independence Payment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department takes to ensure that assessors for personal independence payments have at least two years post-registration experience.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

DWP has set clear requirements on the professions, skills, experience and training of the Health Professionals that the Assessment Providers can use to carry out Personal Independence Payment assessments.

Health Professionals must have at least 2 years post full registration experience (this refers to either UK registration or equivalent overseas registration for non-UK HPs) or less than 2 years post full registration experience by individual, prior, written agreement with the Department. Requests by providers to employ Health Professionals with less than 2 years post full registration experience is rare and exceptional. During the period 2015-2017, Independent Assessment Service (IAS) employed 1181 Health Professionals and only requested written approval for 7 Health Professionals with less than 2 years’ experience.

Assessment Providers are required to confirm that Health Professionals meet these standards, including the requirements around post registration experience, as part of their recruitment process.

Prior to granting approval for a Health Professional to carry out PIP assessments, DWP will also undertake checks to ensure all Health Professionals are registered with the relevant professional bodies.


27 Nov 2017, 5:19 p.m. Personal Independence Payment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, in what proportion of random samples of personal independence payment assessments problems with those assessments are identified.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The Department has set standards for the quality of assessments which both Personal Independence Payment providers must meet. Our Independent Auditors monitor assessments against these standards.

We are continually working with the Assessment Providers to further improve the quality of assessments including increasing clinical coaching, feedback and support available to each assessor.

The Department is considering whether it is feasible to produce the statistics requested and, if so, will issue them in an official statistics release in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

27 Nov 2017, 5:03 p.m. Personal Independence Payment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when he plans to respond to the second review of the personal independence payment assessment process.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

We are still considering the review’s recommendations and plan to respond in due course.

27 Nov 2017, 3:49 p.m. Social Security Benefits: Appeals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average salary is of the presenting officers who will represent the Department at personal independence payment and employment support allowance tribunals.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The majority of presenting officers within DWP are at the Executive Officer (EO) grade. The

information requested is not available specifically for presenting officers, however, the average

annual salary for an individual on DWP’s EO generalist pay scales is £25,631.

2 Nov 2017, 5:22 p.m. Extreme Sports: Urban Areas Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to introduce provisions for bringing prosecutions against urban climbers and base jumpers who access tall buildings and major tourist attractions.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The police have a range of powers to deal with criminal activity, which includes public order offences, aggravated trespass and anti-social behaviour. There are also measures that can be taken to combat trespass through civil courts. When criminal activity does occur, the decision whether to arrest individuals is an operational matter for the police in line with their duties to keep the peace, to protect communities, and to prevent the commission of offences.

The Home Office keep the available police powers under constant review and work closely with National Police Leads to ensure they are fit for purpose and allow the police to respond appropriately to a range of offences.

30 Oct 2017, 5:20 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 19 July 2017 to Question 4292, on universal credit, when his Department plans to publish further data on payment timeliness of that benefit.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

We updated the payment timeliness ad hoc statistics publication on 2nd October 2017.

The latest estimates, for UC Full Service payments due in the week from 11th September 2017, show: 81% of new claims to UC Full Service received full payment on time.

Across the whole of Universal credit 92% of all households received full payment on time.

The publication is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/universal-credit-payment-timeliness-january-to-june-2017

26 Oct 2017, 4:31 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit recipients have an alternative payment agreement in place.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

The latest official statistics on Managed Payment to Landlord Alternative Payment Arrangements are published at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/universal-credit-29-apr-2013-to-10-aug-2017 .

26 Oct 2017, 4:29 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of universal credit recipients have an advance payment agreement.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

The latest statistics on Universal Credit Advances were published on 02 October 2017 which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/universal-credit-payment-advances-may-2016-to-june-2017

26 Oct 2017, 4:28 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance his Department provides to individual claimants and Jobcentre Plus work coaches specifically on universal credit advance payments and alternative payment arrangements.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

Work coaches are trained to offer personal budgeting support and discuss whether claimants need help to manage until their first Universal Credit payment. The work coach will discuss with the claimant whether an advance payment of Universal Credit or an alternate payment arrangement of rent to their landlord is suitable.

The guidance for work coaches has been refreshed for new claims advances, change of circumstances advances, benefit transfer advances and budgeting advances. It gives an overview and sets out the elements of the Personal Budgeting Support, also eligibility and advice on how and when Alternative Payment Arrangements can apply. It also refers to making claimants aware that they are able to claim the maximum advance and are able to repay at the maximum repayment period.

The Department has undertaken recent work to raise awareness of advances nationally, including providing options on the UC Helpline, and signposting through the new “Universal Credit & you” guide for claimants. The UC helpline and guide also provide information on alternate payment arrangements.

25 Oct 2017, 4:58 p.m. Pool Re: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, when his Department was first notified of the need to update Pool Reinsurance to cover knife, vehicle and cyber terrorism; and what the timetable is for its reform.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

The Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 established the government-backed terrorism reinsurer, Pool Reinsurance. The scheme reinsures against business losses caused by physical damage after an act of terrorism, in recognition of the specific challenges in relation to a lack of insurance for industrial and commercial property at that time. It was not designed to cover personal injury claims, such as those caused by a knife or vehicle attack, or non-physical damage, such as data theft.

Within the remit of providing this type of reinsurance, the scheme was recently amended to remove the cyber exclusion. This means that physical damage caused remotely, e.g. by a “cyber trigger”, is included in the scope of cover. This change will come into effect on 1 April 2018.

The government is in regular discussion with the insurance industry, Pool Re and other interested parties to make sure that the Reinsurance Act 1993 continues to enable appropriate terrorism cover to be available for businesses.

I have also met the hon Member to discuss this.

16 Oct 2017, 1:44 p.m. Personal Independence Payment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the effect of regulations introduced earlier in 2017 to restrict access to personal independence payments (PIP) for some groups on take-up of PIP.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) amendment regulations were introduced to clarify the assessment criteria, restore the original aim of the policy and make sure we are giving the most support to those who need it most. The regulations did not represent a change in policy, hence there will be no impact on forecast take-up of PIP.

12 Oct 2017, 3:33 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the oral Answer of 9 October 2017, Official Report, column 12, what proportion of personal independence payment assessments were overturned at mandatory reconsideration or tribunal appeals in the latest period for which figures are available.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

In the latest 12 months of available figures 5% of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decisions were overturned at mandatory reconsideration (MR), and 5% of PIP decisions were overturned at tribunal appeals.

These proportions are calculated from the latest available data on PIP clearances which can be found at https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk, the latest available data on MRs which can be found in table 7B at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/643744/tables-pip-statistics-to-july-2017.ods, and the latest available data on PIP appeals which can be found in table SCSS3 at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/644444/tribunal-and-GRC-main-tables-1718q1.xlsx.

20 Sep 2017, 11:03 a.m. Employment and Support Allowance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of sanctioning employment and support allowance claimants on assisting such people into work; and if he will undertake to review the use of sanctions on such claimants.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

Sanctions are only used in a minority of cases. For Employment and Support Allowance claimants the proportion of those sanctioned each month on average is 0.6% (based on the last year).

ESA claimants are able to apply for hardship payments from the first day of a sanction. If the application is successful they will receive the payment from day 1 of the sanction.

To keep the sanctions system clear, fair and effective in promoting positive behaviours, we keep the operation of the conditionality and sanction policies and processes under continuous review. Where we identify an issue, we act to put it right.

However, the use of conditionality and sanctions is only part of the story and cannot be seen in isolation to the work we are doing to continually improve the support we offer. The government continues to invest in trials, proofs of concept and feasibility studies to test ways to provide specialist support for people with health conditions, including those with mental health problems, and ensure that we are providing access to the most effective health and employment support when it is needed.

Next steps for longer-term reform will be set out in the autumn in response to the Improving Lives: The Work, Health and Disability Green Paper.

18 Sep 2017, 11:09 a.m. Business: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to introduce legislation to update the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 to enable insurance companies to offer terrorism insurance beyond property damage to businesses.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

There is nothing in current legislation in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 that prevents insurers from offering terrorism insurance beyond property damage to businesses, and indeed such products exist on the market.

It is up to businesses to decide what risks they would like to be insured against, and for insurers to assess the extent of the risks they are willing to cover. The Government does not generally intervene in these commercial decisions by businesses and insurers.

That said, we remain in discussions with the insurance industry, Pool Re and other interested parties to ensure that the 1993 Reinsurance Act continues to enable appropriate terrorism cover to be available for all businesses in the UK.

I am due to meet the Honourable Member shortly and I am happy to discuss his questions in further detail.

18 Sep 2017, 11:09 a.m. Business: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to introduce legislation to update the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 to enable insurance companies to pay compensation to businesses after terrorism attacks when there is no damage to property.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

There is nothing in current legislation in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 that prevents insurers from offering terrorism insurance beyond property damage to businesses, and indeed such products exist on the market.

It is up to businesses to decide what risks they would like to be insured against, and for insurers to assess the extent of the risks they are willing to cover. The Government does not generally intervene in these commercial decisions by businesses and insurers.

That said, we remain in discussions with the insurance industry, Pool Re and other interested parties to ensure that the 1993 Reinsurance Act continues to enable appropriate terrorism cover to be available for all businesses in the UK.

I am due to meet the Honourable Member shortly and I am happy to discuss his questions in further detail.

18 Sep 2017, 11:09 a.m. Business: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to require insurance companies to offer terrorism insurance on all business policies.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

There is nothing in current legislation in the Reinsurance (Acts of Terrorism) Act 1993 that prevents insurers from offering terrorism insurance beyond property damage to businesses, and indeed such products exist on the market.

It is up to businesses to decide what risks they would like to be insured against, and for insurers to assess the extent of the risks they are willing to cover. The Government does not generally intervene in these commercial decisions by businesses and insurers.

That said, we remain in discussions with the insurance industry, Pool Re and other interested parties to ensure that the 1993 Reinsurance Act continues to enable appropriate terrorism cover to be available for all businesses in the UK.

I am due to meet the Honourable Member shortly and I am happy to discuss his questions in further detail.

13 Sep 2017, 2:54 p.m. Social Security Benefits Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the implications for his policies on waiting times for (a) employment and support allowance, (b) jobseeker's allowance and (c) other out-of-work benefits are of the findings of the report, Financial insecurity, food insecurity and disability, published by the Trussell Trust in June 2017.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

On 10th July I met with the Trussell Trust to discuss their report.

Waiting days are an unpaid period at the start of a new claim to benefit, where a claimant has no entitlement to Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), but must continue to meet the relevant benefit conditions.

Not all claimants are required to serve waiting days. For example claimants who have a linking claim to another benefit within 13 weeks, JSA claimants under 18 and in severe hardship or ESA claimants who are terminally ill do not serve waiting days.

The fundamental principle behind the waiting days policy is that benefits are not intended to provide financial support for very brief periods, for example when someone is between jobs or during short periods of sickness.

The application of waiting days at the outset of a new claim means that more support can be targeted at initiatives to help move people off benefits and into work, for example, measures to improve the literacy and numeracy skills of claimants and provide more resources to support lone parents to return to employment.

JSA and ESA claimants are made aware that waiting days may apply when they make their new claim. This ensures that anyone suffering hardship can seek assistance as early as possible. Anyone who makes a new claim can apply for a Short Term Benefit Advance (STBA).

STBAs provide an advance of up to 60 per cent of the value of the first full benefit payment and are repaid through deductions from subsequent benefit payments. STBAs can provide a way to smooth the impact of extending waiting days across a longer period. The offer of a STBA is subject to checks to make sure that the claimant can afford the repayments.

There are similar arrangements for other out of work benefits where waiting days apply.

12 Sep 2017, 5:02 p.m. Rwanda: Overseas Aid Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to monitor the use of UK Foreign Aid in Rwanda.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

All UK aid in Rwanda is earmarked for specific programmes only, such as education and agriculture, and is subject to robust monitoring to ensure results and value for money for the UK taxpayer. Our aid helps to lift a quarter of a million Rwandans out of poverty every year.

12 Sep 2017, 4:51 p.m. Conservation Areas: Greater London Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to create more conservation areas across London.

Answer (John Glen)

In this, the 50th anniversary of their introduction, I can confirm that in total nearly 10,000 localities in England have been designated as conservation areas, including over 1,000 in London. Though the Secretary of State has discretion to designate conservation areas, local planning authorities are generally best placed to do so by identifying those parts of their locality that possess special architectural or historic interest. Historic England has recently published guidance to support local planning authorities through this process.

12 Sep 2017, 1:39 p.m. Social Security Benefits: Disability Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how his Department monitors claimant commitment obligations placed on disabled people to ensure that they are reasonable obligations.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

Local managers are responsible for monitoring claimant commitment obligations placed on all claimants including disabled people to ensure that they are appropriate and reasonable. They do this using quality assurance standards, observation of work coach interviews and through feedback and coaching. This supplements work coach learning, development and accreditation that is focussed on a tailored customer service that ensures commitments are reasonable given individual circumstances and that customers get the personalised support they need. Claimant commitments are reviewed at every intervention, ensuring that they are still reasonable and take into account possible changes in claimant circumstances.

12 Sep 2017, 1:28 p.m. Employment and Support Allowance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of employment and support allowance payment levels; and if he will undertake a review of the adequacy of the financial support provided for people who are in the employment and support allowance work-related activity group.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The Government published its assessment of the impacts of the change to the work-related activity component on 20 July 2015. http://www.parliament.uk/documents/impact-assessments/IA15-006B.pdf

12 Sep 2017, 12:10 p.m. Construction: Industrial Health and Safety Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans his Department has to improve health and safety standards and risk assessment processes on contractors working in the construction industry when drawing up construction plans.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) sets out its intervention priorities for the construction industry in its Construction Sector Plan that will be published later this year. A draft version of the Plan is available on HSE’s website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/aboutus/strategiesandplans/sector-plans/construction.pdf

This includes HSE inspectors undertaking a programme of targeted, risk based interventions of construction projects, including annual inspection campaigns aimed at the refurbishment sector and smaller projects.

HSE also works with industry through the Construction Industry Advisory Committee (CONIAC) to deliver the aims of the strategy for Great Britain’s occupational health and safety system launched in 2016: Helping Great Britain work well, which can be found at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/strategy/index.htm

12 Sep 2017, 10:56 a.m. Supported Housing: Finance Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what the effect has been of changes in the timetable for introducing supported housing funding on the availability of new accommodation.

Answer (Mr Marcus Jones)

Developing a workable and sustainable funding model for supported housing is a priority for the Government. This includes new supply. We will set out further details in the autumn.

We are committed to protecting and boosting the supply of supported housing. Since 2011, we have delivered 27,000 supported housing units and at Autumn Statement 2015, we announced £400 million of funding as part of DCLG’s Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme, to deliver new supported housing.

The Homes and Community Agency publishes official statistics on its affordable housing delivery programme in England (excluding London, where the Mayor of London has oversight), including on supported housing, which may be found here for the last 2 years:

2015-16

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/532222/Housing_Statistics_tables_June_2016.pdf

2016-17

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/620147/Housing_Statistics_tables_June_2017.pdf

11 Sep 2017, 4:53 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average wait time is for personal independence payment appeals to be heard by the Courts and Tribunals Service.

Answer (Dominic Raab)

The average waiting time for Personal Independence Payment appeals between April 2016 and March 2017 (the latest period for which figures are available) was 15.6 weeks.

11 Sep 2017, 3:56 p.m. Rwanda: Human Rights Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how the findings of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative report on Rwanda, published in 2009, have affected policy on (a) aid to Rwanda and (b) Rwanda's continued membership of the Commonwealth.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

UK aid policy in Rwanda has evolved considerably since 2009. The UK has not provided General Budget Support to Rwanda since 2013 and stopped Sector Budget Support in 2014. The British Government continues to speak candidly with the Government of Rwanda on all issues of human rights, freedom of expression and governance. Commonwealth membership is a matter for the Commonwealth Secretariat.

11 Sep 2017, 2:08 p.m. Entry Clearances Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July to Question 4282, how many people waiting beyond the normal standard response times currently have no estimate of when their decision will be made.

Answer (Brandon Lewis)

When an application is defined as non-straightforward due to complexity, the customer will be written to and in this correspondence it is explained that their case will not be decided within the normal standard timeframes but that a decision will be made as soon as possible, and that the customer will be notified if there is any change. Cases deemed non-straightforward are subject to regular review.

Published data on UKVI’s performance against service standards for applications made in the UK and from overseas, including the proportion of cases classified as non-straightforward, is available at:https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data#uk-visas-and-immigration

11 Sep 2017, 1:43 p.m. Industrial Health and Safety: Construction Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that contractors working in the construction industry are in possession of all appropriate licenses before being allowed to operate in public areas and walkways.

Answer (Jesse Norman)

This is a matter for local highway authorities as they are responsible for issuing licences or permits for temporary work on their roads. Developers need to apply to them for the relevant licences and permits under the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991, the Highways Act 1980, the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Traffic Management Act 2004, as appropriate.

11 Sep 2017, 12:18 p.m. Universal Credit: Surveys Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans his Department has to undertake a new universal credit satisfaction survey in roll-out areas.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

The DWP claimant satisfaction and experience survey currently only covers Universal Credit Live Service claimants. The available figures cover the financial year 2015/16.

We continue to monitor and evaluate the delivery of Universal Credit. To date there have been a number of published reports where claimants responded to surveys. As Universal Credit is rolled out to new areas of the country we will continue to involve claimants in the overall evaluation.

8 Sep 2017, 11:48 a.m. Rwanda: Politics and Government Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the accuracy of reports of disappearances, political arrests and assassinations and government brutality in Rwanda.

Answer (Rory Stewart)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office takes all credible reports of disappearances, political arrests, assassinations and government brutality in Rwanda seriously. The British High Commission in Kigali is closely monitoring the investigations into Diane Rigwara and her family following their recent detention. We remain concerned about the limited democratic space and constrained civil and political rights in Rwanda, and regularly raise these concerns with the Rwandan Government.

7 Sep 2017, 4:46 p.m. Business: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that businesses affected by terrorism do not experience unnecessary delays in receiving payments from insurance providers.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

There is an established legal process for the Treasury to certify an act of terrorism for insurance purposes, following formal notification by Pool Re. The Treasury recognises the urgency of responding to requests for certification and treats this as a matter of priority.

After the Treasury has issued their certification, it is up to insurers to process any claims from their customers. They will make an assessment based on the evidence available and the insurance coverage purchased by the customer.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) sets the conduct standards required of insurance firms to ensure that these customers are treated fairly, including provisions relating to the handling of claims. The FCA has the power to punish insurers if they are found to be delaying payments unnecessarily. Furthermore, the Enterprise Act 2016 introduced a legal requirement for claims to be made within a reasonable timescale, and created an entitlement to damages where claims are paid late.

I am due to meet the Honourable Member shortly and I am happy to discuss his question in further detail.

7 Sep 2017, 4:29 p.m. Employment Schemes: Disadvantaged Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans his Department has to replace funding from the European Social Fund for employment programmes after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

Leaving the EU means we will take our own decisions about how to deliver the policy objectives previously targeted by EU funding, including supporting young people from disadvantaged groups and communities. For European Social Fund projects signed before we leave the EU which continue after we have left the EU, funding will be honoured provided they are value for money and in line with domestic strategic priorities.

7 Sep 2017, 3:59 p.m. Pensioners: Personal Independence Payment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people over state retirement age have applied for personal independence payments; and how many of those people are now in receipt of that benefit.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

PIP and DLA are only available to people who claim before they reach the age of 65. All existing claimants to Disability Living Allowance who were aged between 16 and 64 when Personal Independence Payment was introduced on 8 April 2013 were invited to make a claim and were assessed for the new benefit if they choose to claim it.

I would like to refer you to the detailed statistics for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) that can be found in Stat-Xplore: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/.

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here:

https://sw.stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/index.html.

These statistics provide a breakdown, by age of the number of PIP claims registered for both new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) reassessment claims for each month since PIP was introduced in April 2013.

These statistics also provide monthly breakdowns of the number of claims in payment (e.g. awarded PIP) by age.

7 Sep 2017, 3:58 p.m. Pensioners: Work Capability Assessment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people over retirement age in receipt of disability living allowance have been called in for a review in the last four years.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

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

7 Sep 2017, 3:37 p.m. Toys and Games: Counterfeit Manufacturing Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to stop the sale of counterfeit toys online.

Answer (Joseph Johnson)

The Government works closely with online retailers to detect and remove counterfeits from sale, and this work to tackle counterfeit toys and games by Trading Standards has been highlighted as best practice with European Partner agencies. The UK’s Border Agency, Border Force, also detains items at UK ports suspected of being counterfeit and works closely with other Government departments, enforcement agencies and trusted private sector partners to share intelligence and take action against those responsible.

According to statistics shortly to be published by the UK’s IP Crime Group in their Annual Report, 26% of local authorities in the UK investigated counterfeit toys, an increase compared to the previous years. Across the EU nearly 7 million counterfeit toys, games and sporting articles were seized in 2016/17.

7 Sep 2017, 2:13 p.m. Certification Quality Marks Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the UK will continue to mandate the use of the CE mark for goods sold in the UK after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Margot James)

The UK wants to ensure a smooth and orderly exit that provides legal certainty and minimises disruption to citizens, consumers and businesses across Europe in terms of the availability of goods. It will be important that business and consumers are confident that goods on the market and in use across the UK and EU comply with relevant product legislation.

The Government is currently reviewing all options regarding CE marking for goods sold in the UK after the UK leaves the EU. We have three aims: to provide confidence to business and consumers that goods on the market and in use across the UK and the EU comply with relevant product legislation; provide legal certainty; and minimise disruption to citizens, consumers and businesses across Europe in terms of the availability of goods.

7 Sep 2017, 2:10 p.m. Comite Europeen de Normalisation and Comite Europeen de Normalisation Electrotechnique: Membership Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department plans for UK membership of the CEN and CENELEC committees after the UK leaves the EU.

Answer (Margot James)

The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) are not EU bodies, although they have a special status in the EU. We are working with BSI, the UK’s national standards body and the UK member of CEN and CENELEC, to ensure that our future relationship with CEN and CENELEC continues to support a productive, open and competitive business environment in the UK.

6 Sep 2017, 4:20 p.m. Fire Prevention: Disability Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that disabled people being evacuated from buildings that fail fire safety inspections are found suitably accessible housing.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

The Government believes it is important that people who require accessible housing are given the right level of priority under a council’s housing allocation scheme, and that councils and social landlords are able to make the best use of affordable housing in their area, including accommodation which is accessible or has been adapted. We have retained the statutory ‘reasonable preference’ requirements which ensure that priority for social housing is given to those who need to move on medical and welfare grounds, and this includes grounds relating to a disability.

The Government also funds the Disabled Facilities Grant, which pays for adaptations to the homes of disabled people to help them live safely and independently. Local housing authorities are under a statutory duty to provide adaptations for those people who qualify for the grant. The Disabled Facilities Grant funding for England for 2017-18 is £431 million.

26 Jul 2017, 11:45 a.m. Universal Credit: Students Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on disabled full-time students of the introduction of universal credit.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

Most full time students including disabled students and those with health conditions are not entitled to UC because financial support is available through various loans. As such, the rules are designed so that a person in receipt of UC because of disability or ill health is not discouraged from taking up education that may help them in the future.

25 Jul 2017, 1:37 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average difference is in points awarded at initial assessment and on appeal for those who claim personal independence payment following an appeal.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The department does not hold the required information on point scores at appeal. We therefore cannot provide the average difference in points awarded at initial assessment and on appeal for those who claim personal independence payment following an appeal.

24 Jul 2017, 4:01 p.m. Fires: Disability Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if the Grenfell public enquiry will give due regard to the needs of disabled people and make recommendations on their protection and means of escape in case of fire.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Before the public inquiry starts, the inquiry Chair will consult all those with an interest, including survivors and victims’ families, about the terms of reference. Following that consultation the Chair will make a recommendation to the Prime Minister, who will return to Parliament with the final terms of reference for the inquiry once this process has taken place. Matters of procedure and conduct for the inquiry are for the Chair to determine.

21 Jul 2017, 1:42 p.m. Apprentices: Engineering Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she expects agreed apprenticeship standards for consultancy in (a) level 6 building services design engineering and (b) level 6 civil engineering design engineering to be published.

Answer (Anne Milton)

The Institute for Apprenticeships is an independent body with responsibility for the development and approval of apprenticeship standards. I have therefore asked the Institute to write to the hon. Member directly, responding to your question about the publication of apprenticeship standards in consultancy in level 6 building services design engineering, level 6 civil engineering design engineering and construction at levels 4 and 6.

A copy of that response will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses when it is available.

21 Jul 2017, 1:42 p.m. Apprentices: Construction Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she expects agreed apprenticeship standards related to construction at levels 4 and 6 to be published.

Answer (Anne Milton)

The Institute for Apprenticeships is an independent body with responsibility for the development and approval of apprenticeship standards. I have therefore asked the Institute to write to the hon. Member directly, responding to your question about the publication of apprenticeship standards in consultancy in level 6 building services design engineering, level 6 civil engineering design engineering and construction at levels 4 and 6.

A copy of that response will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses when it is available.

20 Jul 2017, 4:52 p.m. Council Housing: Fire Prevention Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if the Government will cover the costs incurred by leaseholders of council-owned property for any necessary fire safety improvements.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

We are aware of the potential impact on leaseholders in council owned properties and are currently working to understand them.

17 Jul 2017, 4:14 p.m. Visas Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many of her Department's and UK Border Agency decisions were not made within the standard timeframe under the classification of complexity in each of the last 10 years.

Answer (Brandon Lewis)

Published data on UKVI’s performance against service standards for applications made in the UK and from overseas, including the proportion of cases classified as non-straightforward, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data#uk-visas-and-immigration.

Where an application is defined as non-straightforward due to complexity, the customer will be written to within the normal processing time to explain why it will not be decided within the normal standard, and to explain what will happen next.

14 Jul 2017, 1:56 p.m. Personal Independence Payment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make it his policy to share copies of assessors' reports with individual claimants before decisions on personal independence payment claims are made.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

There are no plans in place to include copies of the assessors’ reports before assessment decisions are made

One of Paul Gray’s recommendations following his recent review of PIP Assessments was to share copies of assessors' reports with individual claimants with their decision letter. We are currently considering all 14 of Paul Gray’s recommendations and plan to respond later this year.

13 Jul 2017, 10:38 a.m. Personal Independence Payment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how the performance of PIP assessors is monitored.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The Department robustly monitors the performance of contracted suppliers and assessments are independently audited to ensure that the advice provided to the Department’s decision makers is of suitable quality, fully explained and justified. Assessment reports deemed unacceptable are returned to the provider for reworking. We continue to work extensively with PIP assessment providers to make improvements to guidance, training and audit procedures in order to ensure a quality service is maintained.

Detailed guidance on how reports are audited and the criteria to be used are set out in section 4.5 of the Personal Independence Payment Assessment Guide, which can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/547146/pip-assessment-guide.pdf.

Both assessment providers are committed to continuous improvement. We are examining the merits of audio-recording face-to-face assessments to support a more consistent application of the assessment process and also changes to the way information is gathered during the assessment.

11 Jul 2017, 9:49 a.m. Rented Housing: Fire Prevention Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what timeframe the Government has provided to (a) local authorities, (b) housing associations and (c) private landlords to undertake fire safety inspections; and what additional resources the Government plans to provide for those inspections.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

In his statement of 26 June, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government urged those authorities and landlords which have not yet submitted samples to do so urgently.

Where Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding is present on social housing over 18 metres in height, the Government is providing testing for local authorities and housing associations free of charge. If the screening tests indicate that such cladding would not meet the limited combustibility requirements of the current Building Regulations guidance, local authorities housing associations and the fire and rescue service will determine the best course of action, communicating closely with residents. Where work is necessary to ensure the fire safety of a building, we will ensure that lack of financial resources will not prevent them going ahead.

11 Jul 2017, 9:38 a.m. Housing: Fire Extinguishers Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if the government will ensure that it fully funds any change in policy on retrofitting sprinklers in (a) local authority housing, (b) other housing used by public bodies and (c) NHS property.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

Where work is necessary to ensure the fire safety of social houing, we will ensure that lack of financial resources will not prevent it going ahead.

10 Jul 2017, 1:14 p.m. Universal Credit Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many applications for universal credit have been closed as a result of an absence of agreement on claimant commitments.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

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

7 Jul 2017, 9:33 a.m. Broadband: Greater London Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the oral statement of the First Secretary of State and Minister for the Cabinet Office of 26 June 2017, Official Report, column 329, when the Rotherhithe and Poplar SE16 postcode area will have full access to superfast broadband.

Answer (Matt Hancock)

The Government is committed to improving digital connectivity right across the country. Overall UK superfast broadband national coverage is on track to reach 95% of premises by December 2017. The Government expects the commercial sector to ensure full superfast broadband coverage within dense urban areas such as Rotherhithe and Poplar. In Greater London, superfast broadband now covers approximately 96% of premises, an increase of 2% in the last 12 months.

Additionally, our Universal Service Obligation will ensure that by 2020 every home and every business in Britain has access to high speed broadband.

5 Jul 2017, 4:40 p.m. Local Government Finance: Fire Prevention Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what additional resources the Government plans to provide to councils for fire safety inspections.

Answer (Alok Sharma)

My Department has issued advice on the interim mitigating measures landlords should implement. Cost considerations must not get in the way of making sure that residents are safe. Where work is necessary to ensure the fire safety of a building, we will ensure that lack of financial resources will not prevent them going ahead.

5 Jul 2017, 3:58 p.m. Terrorism: Compensation Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure prompt payment of compensation by insurance companies to businesses affected by recent terrorist attacks; and if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to improve the speed with which such payments are made.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

The Government is determined that insurers should treat customers fairly and firms are required to do so under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules. The FCA sets the conduct standards required of insurance firms which aim to ensure consumers are treated fairly. This includes provisions relating to the handling of claims by insurers. The rules state that insurers must handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. Furthermore, through the Enterprise Act 2016, the Government introduced a legal requirement for claims to be made within a reasonable timescale, and created an entitlement to damages where claims are paid late.

Following discussions with the Metropolitan Police, the Treasury has formally certified the London Bridge attack as an act of terrorism, following an established legal process. This is a necessary step before any claims can be made on the terrorism reinsurer, Pool Re. The Treasury recognises the urgency of responding to requests for certification and treats this as a matter of priority.

5 Jul 2017, 3:29 p.m. Housing: Students Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent communications the Government has had with the higher education sector on fire safety inspections of student accommodation.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department has written to all Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)-funded Higher Education Institutions and Alternative Providers of Higher Education to identify any student accommodation buildings that may require further investigation. We have requested that institutions flag any concerns immediately. We are also engaging with the sector directly and via key sector bodies including Universities UK and Guild HE.

5 Jul 2017, 2:42 p.m. Fire Prevention: Southwark Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government has taken to ensure fire prevention work is conducted in Southwark since the closure for Southwark Fire Station.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

Each fire and rescue authority is required to produce an integrated risk management plan identifying and assessing the fire and rescue related risks facing its communities, and to demonstrate how their resources will be used to mitigate these. It is the responsibility of each fire and rescue authority to manage their resources across prevention, protection and operational response to meet local risk.

5 Jul 2017, 12:30 p.m. Fire Stations Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fire stations there were in England in (a) 2010 and (b) 2017.

Answer (Mr Nick Hurd)

The latest published information on numbers of fire stations can be found in Table 1403 of the “Fire and rescue authorities: operational statistics bulletin for England 2015 to 2016” available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-data-tables

4 Jul 2017, 4:25 p.m. Borough Market and London Bridge Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what compensation and other support his Department is making available to businesses affected by the recent terror attack at Borough Market and London Bridge.

Answer (Margot James)

My officials have remained in close contact with the Mayor’s Office and Southwark Council to ensure that public agencies are pulling together to respond to the recent terrible events at Borough Market and London Bridge.

I welcome the Mayor’s announcement on Thursday, 29 June of a new £300,000 fund to help businesses to recover from these attacks, as well as the attack at Finsbury Park Mosque and the Grenfell Tower fire. Government is considering what more support may be needed to address the impact of these events on businesses.

Support is already available for affected businesses through the standard business support services offered by Growth Hubs, including the London Growth Hub and the many local agencies supporting businesses on the ground.

4 Jul 2017, 3:28 p.m. Schools: Non-domestic Rates Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether her Department plans to exempt all schools from business rates.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

Schools receive funding for rates based on what they actually pay, so if a school’s rates increase, it will receive additional funding to compensate. This has not changed since the business rates revaluation which took effect on 1 April 2017.

For maintained schools, local authorities withhold from individual schools’ allocations that portion of their funding to cover their liability to business rates.

3 Jul 2017, 1:15 p.m. Teachers: Recruitment Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when her Department plans to launch its own webpage to match schools and teachers and save the recruitment costs that schools incur.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

We are creating a new national teacher vacancy service that will make it easier for schools to advertise vacancies and for teachers to find jobs quickly and easily. We will provide further details of the service in due course.

29 Jun 2017, 12:13 p.m. Borough Market Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will meet Borough Market traders affected by the recent terrorist attack to discuss their business needs.

Answer (Margot James)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 28 June 2017 to Question UIN 1002.

28 Jun 2017, 4:26 p.m. Insurance: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that insurance companies pay out compensation due to businesses affected by recent terrorist attacks as quickly as possible.

Answer (Steve Barclay)

The Government is determined that insurers should treat customers fairly and firms are required to do so under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules. The FCA sets the conduct standards required of insurance firms which aim to ensure consumers are treated fairly. This includes provisions relating to the handling of claims by insurers. The rules state that insurers must handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. Furthermore, through the Enterprise Act 2016, the Government introduced a legal requirement for claims to be made within a reasonable timescale, and created an entitlement to damages where claims are paid late.

Following discussions with the Metropolitan Police, the Treasury has formally certified the London Bridge attack as an act of terrorism, following an established legal process. This is a necessary step before any claims can be made on the terrorism reinsurer, Pool Re. The Treasury recognises the urgency of responding to requests for certification and treats this as a matter of priority.

28 Jun 2017, 2:17 p.m. Borough Market: Terrorism Neil Coyle

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will meet Borough Market traders to discuss their business needs in the aftermath of the recent terror attack which forced those businesses to close temporarily.

Answer (Margot James)

It is important that local traders are adequately supported in the aftermath of this tragic event. I will be happy to meet with Borough Market traders whose businesses have been forced to close temporarily in order to discuss their business needs going forward.