Amy Callaghan Portrait

Amy Callaghan

Scottish National Party - East Dunbartonshire

First elected: 12th December 2019

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health and Social Care)

(since September 2023)

Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Pensions and Inter-Generational)
7th Jan 2020 - 12th Dec 2022
Health and Social Care Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 29th Jun 2020


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Amy Callaghan has voted in 521 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Amy Callaghan Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)
(12 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(12 debate interactions)
Victoria Atkins (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(10 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(38 debate contributions)
Department for Work and Pensions
(31 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(28 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Amy Callaghan's debates

East Dunbartonshire Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the UK to be neutral in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and withdraw offers of support for Israel.

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The UK Government should urge the Israeli Government to stop the blockade of Food, Fuel and Electricity to the already impoverished city of Gaza

Millions of UK citizens have a disability or serious medical condition that means they use more energy. Many people need to use a ventilator 24/7. People use electric pumps to feed through a tubes. People need to charge their mobility equipment, such as electric wheelchairs, stair lifts, bath seats.

Disabled people should be included alongside carers in the £650 one off payment as part of the Cost of Living support package. We have larger utilities bills and food costs when compared to non-disabled people. We rely on these utilities and food to stay alive.


Latest EDMs signed by Amy Callaghan

18th April 2024
Amy Callaghan signed this EDM on Friday 19th April 2024

RBS branch closures

Tabled by: Deidre Brock (Scottish National Party - Edinburgh North and Leith)
That this House recognises the importance of maintaining bank branch services; regrets the latest closures announced by the Natwest banking group, which operates Royal Bank of Scotland, and the decision to close 18 of its 86 RBS branches across Scotland, with three branches in Edinburgh set to close including Leith, …
11 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 11
21st March 2024
Amy Callaghan signed this EDM on Tuesday 16th April 2024

One year anniversary of the kidnapping of Elizabeth Tsurkov

Tabled by: Tommy Sheppard (Scottish National Party - Edinburgh East)
That this House notes that today marks the one year anniversary of the kidnapping of Elizabeth Tsurkov, a dual Russian-Israeli national, who is being held hostage in Iraq by the militant group Kata'ib Hezbollah; expresses dismay at her kidnapping and calls for her immediate release; extends solidarity to her family …
25 signatures
(Most recent: 18 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 11
Labour: 4
Liberal Democrat: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 1
Green Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
View All Amy Callaghan's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

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

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Amy Callaghan has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Amy Callaghan

Tuesday 5th September 2023

1 Bill introduced by Amy Callaghan


A Bill to exempt sun protection products from VAT; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 21st February 2023
(Read Debate)

Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
7th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps the Government is taking to support disabled people in the workplace.

The Government has a range of initiatives to support disabled people and people with health conditions to start, stay and succeed in work, which was recently expanded at Autumn Statement.

This includes Universal Support, WorkWell pilots, Disability Confident, Disability Employment advisors, reforming the fit note process, and establishing an expert group on Occupational Health.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, whether she has had discussions with her counterparts in (a) Malta, (b) France, (c) Canada, (d) New Zealand, (e) Greece and (f) representatives of regional or state governments in the (i) USA, (ii) Spain and (iii) Australia on protection for transgender people and banning conversion practices.

The Government has engaged with a wide range of international counterparts including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, and Malta, to understand the approaches they have taken to ban conversion therapy. We will continue to engage with counterparts around the world that are committed to protecting everyone from conversion practices to share insight and develop our approach.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much public funding his Department has spent on cancer research in each year since 2015.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a partner organisation of BEIS, funds research relating to cancer across all UKRI councils.

The table below presents spend data for each of the relevant Research Councils for each year from 2015/16 to 2020/21.

Cancer research

Year

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

UKRI spend £m[i]

98.1

116.9

109

114.4

119.1

125.5

MRC spend £m

96.2

102.7

93.4

96.3

101.6

106.6

BBSRC spend £m

Data not available

12.9

14.3

15.2

14.2

15.2

ESRC spend £m

1.9

1.3

1.3

2.9

3.3

3.7

Notes on cancer research figures

  1. Spend figures include data provided by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC).
  2. Spend data for Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Innovate UK (IUK), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Research England (RE) and Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) are not provided.
  3. BBSRC spend data for 2015/16 is unavailable.
  4. MRC and BBSRC spend is provided by the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI). Spend is based on the percentage of each research project that is relevant to cancer research.
  5. ESRC total spend for each relevant grant is included in the data above.
  6. BBSRC spend figures represent underpinning bioscience research relevant to cancer. BBSRC does not fund research directly to understanding specific human diseases.

11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of (a) capping or (b) greater regulation of the profits of Distribution Network Operators to help give consumers greater confidence in the equity of energy bills.

Ofgem uses the price control process to set the amount that Network Operators can spend and the returns they can make on investment, in a way that allows the funding needed for a more resilient, low-carbon network while protecting consumers from excessive costs. The Government engages regularly with Ofgem and the network companies throughout the development of the price controls. The next electricity distribution network price control will commence in April 2023, with Final Determinations from Ofgem expected shortly.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has taken steps to establish an online fuel comparison tool.

The Competition and Markets Authority’s Road Fuel Review published on 8 July, recommended the Government considers an open data scheme to improve consumers’ access to fuel prices.

In response, the Government committed to further work and analysis to assess the feasibility of this recommendation. This includes implementation timescales, legislative vehicles, and its efficacy in delivering fuel price transparency.

The Government will gather evidence of existing schemes in other countries to understand how they work and their impact to date on consumer behaviour and fuel pricing. It will aim to conclude its assessment by Spring 2023.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his timetable is for notifying organisations on whether their application to the Turing scheme has been successful.

The Turing Scheme will provide funding for more than 40,000 participants from schools, colleges and universities to study and work across the globe during the 2021-22 academic year. 48% of these opportunities will be for disadvantaged participants.

Turing Scheme assessors received training early this year in preparation for bid assessment. The team that is processing applications and subsequent projects will receive ongoing training to support the delivery of the scheme.

All assessments on applications have been completed. All applicants have now been notified of the outcome of their application. A list of all funded organisations in higher education, further education and schools, as well as all destinations countries and territories, can be found on the Turing Scheme website at: https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk/project-community/funding-results/.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether staff working for the Turing Scheme delivery partner continue to be in receipt of training on the processing and assessment of applications to the Turing Scheme.

The Turing Scheme will provide funding for more than 40,000 participants from schools, colleges and universities to study and work across the globe during the 2021-22 academic year. 48% of these opportunities will be for disadvantaged participants.

Turing Scheme assessors received training early this year in preparation for bid assessment. The team that is processing applications and subsequent projects will receive ongoing training to support the delivery of the scheme.

All assessments on applications have been completed. All applicants have now been notified of the outcome of their application. A list of all funded organisations in higher education, further education and schools, as well as all destinations countries and territories, can be found on the Turing Scheme website at: https://www.turing-scheme.org.uk/project-community/funding-results/.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the Commission has made of the risk of covid-19 spreading in the House as a result of hon. Members and staff not wearing face coverings.

The Commission is led by the current Government advice on the use of face masks and coverings.

The Covid Planning Group has assessed the potential merits of wearing face coverings. It considered the advice from Public Health England (PHE) which states that face coverings may be beneficial in places where it is hard to follow and maintain social distancing measures, e.g. on public transport. PHE advised that the only work on the estate that requires face masks for protection against the coronavirus is undertaken by the occupational health team. Face coverings are available for the security team to wear if they wish, whilst processing a person through search and screening, but they are not an essential risk control.

Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing and regular handwashing which remain the most important actions. As hon. Members and staff can maintain social distancing and have easy access to handwashing facilities or hand sanitiser, it was concluded that face coverings were not necessary, though of course Members and staff are free to wear masks should they wish to.

21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has plans to introduce incentives to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles, in the context of the removal of the Vehicle Excise Duty.

From 2025, electric vehicles will still have preferential first year rates of VED in comparison to the most polluting vehicles, in addition to having preferential rates of company car tax out to April 2028.

21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential impact of introducing Vehicle Excise Duty on the uptake of electric (a) cars, (b) vans and (c) motorcycles.

HMT is responsible for setting tax rates, including vehicle excise duty and company car tax rates, and carry out assessments relating to fiscal measures they take.

From 2025, electric vehicles will still have preferential first year rates of vehicle excise duty in comparison to the most polluting vehicles, in addition to having preferential rates of company car tax out to April 2028. This will continue to support the uptake of all electric vehicles.

5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he is making on recognising covid-19 vaccination certificates from overseas countries, particularly among British ex-pats who have received Sinovac or another vaccine rather than Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna or Janssen.

From 22 November, vaccines on the WHO Emergency Use Listing will be included in the Government’s inbound travel rules. In practice, this will mean accepting anyone with a valid vaccine certificate who has been fully vaccinated with Sinopharm Beijing, Sinovac or Covaxin (in addition to the vaccines currently accepted), from a country listed on the fully vaccinated travel policy, for the purposes of international travel.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
6th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many women applied for the two-child limit exemption in East Dunbartonshire constituency.

The requested information is only available at household level and are not broken down by gender.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what training Child Maintenance Service caseworkers receive.

All Child Maintenance Caseworkers receive 5 days of Child Maintenance Service (CMS) Gateway learning in the classroom, regardless of which part of the business they will be working in. This includes core digital skills, management of customers security, management of unacceptable customer behaviour and how to recognise and respond appropriately to domestic abuse.

CMS colleagues then receive up to 15 days of technical learning in the classroom, dependant on the role they will undertake. This includes management of customer information and queries on the telephone, in writing and digitally. Learning is also provided to recognise, manage and signpost customers with complex needs, for example living costs or threats of suicide or self-harm.

In addition, learners receive workplace support to embed learning. This is interspersed with the classroom learning and is completed by dedicated coaches who use live work to enhance the classroom theory. The ratio is 1 day classroom learning to 3 days workplace support.

Both classroom learning and workplace support can be flexible and extra time or support can be provided if learners have any additional needs. Classroom learning is normally completed in a ratio of 1 learning delivery officer to 12 learners. Workplace support is a ratio of 1 workplace support coach to 6 learners.

Learners also undertake the DWP Fundamental Learning Journey (FLJ) which is a standardised approach to learning that ensures you have the right level of skills and knowledge to deliver excellent service regardless of your role within DWP Service Delivery. The journey emphasises skills alongside technical knowledge required, making our service more consistent for customers. All the learning in the FLJ is expected to be completed within 26 weeks of the start date. The learning is flexible, to fit around any technical learning that is undertaken.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people under the age of 25 are in receipt of Universal Credit in each constituency in Scotland.

Statistics on the number of people in receipt of Universal Credit are published every month. The latest statistics are available by age and by Westminster parliamentary constituency, to February 2023, on Stat-Xplore.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of reviewing the level at which Universal Credit is set with reference to the prices of essential items.

There is no objective way of deciding what an adequate level of benefit should be as every person has different requirements. Income-related benefit rates are not made up of separate amounts for specific items of expenditure such as food or fuel charges, and beneficiaries are free to spend their benefit as they see fit, in the light of their individual commitments, needs and preferences.

The Government is increasing support for low income and vulnerable households with welfare expenditure forecast to rise from £275.6 billion in 2022/23 to £289.4 billion in 2023/24. The Spring Statement made clear, the focus is supporting workforce participation, helping people move into work and higher earnings.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of Universal Credit to enable claimants to meet the cost of essential items.

There is no objective way of deciding what an adequate level of benefit should be as every person has different requirements. Income-related benefit rates are not made up of separate amounts for specific items of expenditure such as food or fuel charges, and beneficiaries are free to spend their benefit as they see fit, in the light of their individual commitments, needs and preferences.

The Government is increasing support for low income and vulnerable households with welfare expenditure forecast to rise from £275.6 billion in 2022/23 to £289.4 billion in 2023/24. The Spring Statement made clear, the focus is supporting workforce participation, helping people move into work and higher earnings.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he provide data on the take up of Pension Credit by constituency in Scotland as of 8 March 2023.

Take-up statistics for Pension Credit are available at Great Britain level only. The most recent take-up statistics are publicly available in the “Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up” publication which can be found on the statistics section of gov.uk. The latest publication relates to the financial year 2019 to 2020.

Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up: financial year 2019 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The most recent caseload statistics for Pension Credit refer to August 2022, and are publicly available via DWP Stat-xplore. The table below shows the Pension Credit caseload statistics by constituency in Scotland in August 2022.

Aberdeen North

1766

Aberdeen South

1143

Airdrie and Shotts

2662

Angus

2043

Argyll and Bute

2290

Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock

2690

Banff and Buchan

1822

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk

2123

Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross

1744

Central Ayrshire

2714

Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill

2886

Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East

2102

Dumfries and Galloway

2877

Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

2201

Dundee East

1962

Dundee West

2414

Dunfermline and West Fife

1529

East Dunbartonshire

1123

East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow

2194

East Lothian

1936

East Renfrewshire

1479

Edinburgh East

2041

Edinburgh North and Leith

1618

Edinburgh South

1262

Edinburgh West

1251

Edinburgh South West

1457

Falkirk

2491

Glasgow Central

3089

Glasgow East

3939

Glasgow North

1878

Glasgow North East

3736

Glasgow North West

2829

Glasgow South West

3337

Glasgow South

2632

Glenrothes

2218

Gordon

1114

Inverclyde

2603

Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey

1941

Kilmarnock and Loudoun

2670

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

2300

Lanark and Hamilton East

2825

Livingston

2331

Linlithgow and East Falkirk

2412

Midlothian

1693

Moray

1895

Motherwell and Wishaw

2928

Na h-Eileanan an Iar

1043

North Ayrshire and Arran

2943

North East Fife

1338

Ochil and South Perthshire

1954

Orkney and Shetland

810

Paisley and Renfrewshire North

2006

Paisley and Renfrewshire South

2357

Perth and North Perthshire

2058

Ross, Skye and Lochaber

1628

Rutherglen and Hamilton West

3205

Stirling

1685

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

996

West Dunbartonshire

2858

Total

127080

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he plans to make it his policy to pay under 25s who are single parents the adult rate of benefits when they are claiming Universal Credit.

Universal Credit provides those who are under 25 with lower rates than those age 25 and over. This is to reflect the fact that these claimants are more likely to live in someone else’s household and have lower living costs. It also reflects the lower wages that younger workers typically receive. However, it is acknowledged that some claimants under 25 do live independently, which is why Universal Credit includes separate elements to provide support to claimants for these additional costs, such as housing costs. These additional amounts are provided to claimants at the same level irrespective of age.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he has made an assessment of the socioeconomic impact of changes to the state pension for 1950s-born women in each constituency in Scotland.

Successive governments have given due consideration to the impact of the proposals made in the Pensions Acts of 1995, 2007, 2011 and 2014, that introduced changes to the State Pension age. These assessments have been published.

No assessments have been made specifically on individual constituencies in Scotland.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what his planned timetable is for increasing the the state pension age to 68.

State Pension age is currently 66 and two further increases are currently in legislation: a gradual rise to 67 for those born on or after April 1960; and a gradual rise to 68 between 2044 and 2046 for those born on or after April 1977.

The Pensions Act 2014 requires Government to regularly review State Pension age. The first review in 2017 accepted a recommendation by John Cridland CBE to bring forward the increase in State Pension Age to 68 to between 2037 and 2039, subject to a further review before legislating. Work is underway on the second Government Review of State Pension age which, must be published by May 2023. This Review will consider a wide range of evidence, including findings from two independent reports, to assess whether the rules about State Pension age remain appropriate. We cannot pre-empt the outcome of the Review.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of not uplifting legacy benefits on the trends in the level of relative poverty of people with a disability in each constituency in Scotland.

It is not possible to do this, as DWP does not collect this constituency data.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the National Audit Office report entitled Child maintenance, published in March 2022, whether he has taken recent steps to help improve levels of customer service at the Child Maintenance Service.

The Minister for Lords and officials appeared at the Work and Pensions Select committee on 18 January 23 to discuss ‘Children in poverty: Child Maintenance Service’ which included discussion on recommendations from NAO and the domestic abuse review conducted by Dr Samantha Callan.

These discussions highlighted the following;

  • Continuing to improve our service, in particular our online services through the wider Departmental Service Modernisation.

o Services that have been made available online and therefore 24/7 and, in many cases, now delivered via automation and therefore faster and more responsive.

o The introduction of online Get Help Arranging Child Maintenance service providing support to separated parents in managing their own affairs as well as making the CMS more accessible.

o A wider organisational redesign is underway with a key priority to improve customer experience.

  • Dr Samantha Callan Review recommendations:

o Recommendations on training have been adopted: domestic abuse awareness training is in place and training is being reviewed with a view to strengthening.

o Recommendation on single caseworker treatment is being piloted currently.

  • Use of the DWP customer experience survey to track satisfaction levels and provide insight.

o The Department’s 2020/21 Customer Experience Survey and the CMS Customer Experience Survey are currently unpublished, so we are unable to share the findings at this time.

o The reason for the delay is because of the impacts of Covid on the survey, resulting in an extended QA process.

o Steps are in place to publish the findings and the final sign off procedures are currently taking place within the Department, with the intention to publish by Summer 2023.

  • Real time customer feedback has been piloted now considering how to introduce at scale.
  • Sessions planned in March for MP researchers to support them in constituency casework relating to Child Maintenance.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of removing the charge paid by single parents when seeking support from a former partner through the Child Maintenance Service.

The £20 Child Maintenance Service (CMS) application fee is designed to encourage parents to consider whether they can make their own private family-based arrangements rather than apply to the statutory scheme by default as this tends to be in the best interests of children.

The fee is waived if domestic abuse has been experienced by the applicant or any children in the household and for parents aged under 19 to ensure the most vulnerable do not face a barrier in accessing the statutory scheme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the Child Maintenance Service’s system of payment enforcement.

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) continues to take rigorous action to collect maintenance, combining robust negotiation activity with the highly effective use of its extensive range of Enforcement Powers. This approach is driven by the Payment Compliance strategy increasing CMS compliance influencing activities to tackle non-paying cases and challenge non-compliant behaviours. CMS applies a Continuous Improvement focus to Enforcement strategy and processes.

Total child maintenance collected using Enforcement Actions amounted to £36.1 million in the quarter to September 2022 compared with £33.8 in September 2021 and £28.4 in September 2020. This rise in collections is linked directly to increased collections through Deductions from Earnings Orders, lump sum and regular deductions taken directly from paying parents’ bank accounts, Liability Order and Bailiff actions and making full use of all available sanctions.

(Source – Child Maintenance Service published Statistics : National Tables – table 7.1 ‘Enforcement Actions’, April 2015 to September 2022).

As a result of a focussed effort to increase enforcement activity £49.4 million was paid through the Collect & Pay service in the quarter ending September 2022 compared to £47.4. million in the quarter ending September 2021.

(Source – Child Maintenance Service published Statistics : National Tables – table 5 ‘Money Due and Paid each quarter’ January 2015 to September 2022).

There has been a consistent downward trend in the proportion of unpaid maintenance as a proportion of maintenance arranged since 2017, falling from 12.5% in 2017 to 8.2% in September 2022.

(Source – Child Maintenance Service published Statistics : National Tables - table 6 ‘ how much maintenance CMS has arranged March 2015 to September 2022).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the National Audit Office report entitled Child maintenance, published in March 2022, whether his Department has taken recent steps to help increase the number of successful child maintenance arrangements.

As at September 2022 there were 872,000 children covered by Child Maintenance Service (CMS) arrangements. The service has recorded an increase in the number of children covered by CMS arrangements increasing by 25,700 between June 2022 and September 2022.

Under the Direct Pay service Child Maintenance Service provides the calculation and no further use of the service is required. Parents are issued a text message three months after they set up their arrangement and at each annual review, to check the arrangement is still meeting their requirements. If they cannot arrange payments between themselves or a Paying Parent does not keep up with the payments, the Receiving Parent can ask to switch to the Collect and Pay Service.

61% of all Child Maintenance Service arrangements use Direct Pay with 37% using Collect and Pay.

At the end of September 2022:

  • 548,800 children were covered by 384,600 Direct Pay arrangements
  • 304,200 children were covered by 231,000 Collect & Pay arrangements
    • 164,800 of these children were covered by 117,500 Collect & Pay arrangements where the Paying Parent paid some maintenance during the quarter
    • 139,400 of these children were covered by 113,500 Collect & Pay arrangements where no maintenance was paid during the quarter

The number of children covered by CMS arrangements has increased steadily over the last 2 years.

(Source – Child Maintenance Service published statistics – data to September 2022)

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) continues to take rigorous action to collect maintenance, combining robust negotiation activity with the highly effective use of its extensive range of Enforcement Powers. This approach is driven by the Payment Compliance strategy increasing CMS compliance influencing activities to tackle non-paying cases and challenge non-compliant behaviours. CMS applies a Continuous Improvement focus to Enforcement strategy and processes.

Total child maintenance collected using enforcement actions amounted to £36.1 million in the quarter to September 2022 compared with £33.8 in September 2021 and £28.4 in September 2020. This rise in collections is linked directly to increased collections through Deductions from Earnings Orders, lump sum and regular deductions taken directly from paying parents’ bank accounts, Liability Order and Bailiff actions and making full use of all available sanctions.

(Source – Child Maintenance Service published Statistics : National Tables – table 7.1 ‘Enforcement Actions’, April 2015 to September 2022).

As a result of a focussed effort to increase enforcement activity and influence Paying Parents to pay their child maintenance £49.4 million was paid through the Collect & Pay service in the quarter to September 2022 compared to £45.6 million in the quarter ending March 2022 when the NAO report was published.

(Source – Child Maintenance Service published Statistics : National Tables – table 5 ‘Money Due and Paid each quarter’ January 2015 to September 2022).

There has been a consistent downward trend in the proportion of unpaid maintenance as a proportion of maintenance arranged since 2017, falling from 12.5% in 2017 to 8.2% in September 2022.

(Source – Child Maintenance Service published Statistics : National Tables - table 6 ‘ how much maintenance CMS has arranged March 2015 to September 2022).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make it his policy to increase social security payments available to parents under 25 years old, in line with payments available to parents over 25.

There are no plans to change the policy around the standard allowance rates for those under 25 at this time.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s reports on the Women's State Pension age, if he will hold discussions with representatives of Women Against State Pension Inequality on the Ombudsman's fundings.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has not completed his investigation into communication of changes to women’s state pension. It would be inappropriate to discuss the investigation whilst it is ongoing. Section 7(2) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 states that Ombudsman investigations “shall be conducted in private”.

The Department is cooperating fully with the PHSO in their investigation.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s reports on the Women's State Pension age, whether he is taking steps to improve communications processes in his Department.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s investigation into the communication of changes to women’s State Pension age is ongoing. Section 7(2) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 states that Ombudsman investigations “shall be conducted in private”.

It would be inappropriate to comment whilst the investigation is ongoing.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of his Department's communications on changes to the State Pension age for women born in the 1950s.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman’s investigation into the communication of changes to women’s State Pension age is ongoing. Section 7(2) of the Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967 states that Ombudsman investigations “shall be conducted in private”.

It would be inappropriate to comment whilst the investigation is ongoing.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
28th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether his Department has made a recent assessment of the potential merits of extending the extra cost of living payment for pensioners that receive a winter fuel payment beyond 2023.

Pensioner households will receive a one-off pensioner Cost-of-Living payment in 2022/23, worth £300. This will be paid in November or December as a top up with the Winter Fuel Payment. Therefore, a household with someone of State Pension age will receive £500 and a household with someone aged 80 or over will receive £600.

No decisions have been taken regarding 2023/24.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether any support in addition to the energy bill rebate will be made available to disabled universal credit claimants.

This Government is committed to supporting people on lower incomes through a range of measures, including by spending around £59 billion on people with disabilities and health conditions in 2021/22, which will increase by £3.5 billion to over £62 billion in 2022/23.

We have announced our new package of measures worth £9.1bn in 2022-23 to protect the majority of households from half of the forecast £700 rise in energy bills. Alongside this, we are providing £12 billion of support over this financial year and next to ease cost of living pressures, including help for working families, low-income households and the most vulnerable.

4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what progress her Department is making on clearing the backlog of state pension payments; and what her Department's timeframe is for making those payments.

As of 4 November, there were 3,220 claims where we await further information from the customer before we can finalise their claim.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the financial effect of the covid-19 outbreak on women born in the 1950s.

The Government has introduced significant measures to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. It is committed to providing financial support for people at every stage of their life, including when they near or reach retirement. The welfare system will continue to provide support to men and women who are unable to work or those who are on a low income but who are not eligible to pensioner benefits because of their age.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions he has had on the potential merits of granting 1950s-born women that are not eligible for universal credit but would otherwise be eligible for pension credit, early access to pension credit in response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a range of issues.

The Government has introduced significant measures to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19. It is committed to providing financial support for people at every stage of their life, including when they near or reach retirement. The welfare system will continue to provide support to men and women who are unable to work or those who are on a low income but who are not eligible to pensioner benefits because of their age.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to ensure that people are provided with information on the potential effect of making a claim for universal credit claim on the continued receipt of existing benefits.

The Department has prioritised ensuring people have the information they need to understand the benefits and employment support they may be eligible for, including launching a new website to help people navigate the range of support available and apply for it.

Although DWP cannot advise existing claimants of legacy benefits whether they should claim UC, we actively encourage them to use benefit calculators to check their eligibility for Universal Credit before applying, and have strengthened communications to ensure that people understand that claiming UC will stop existing legacy benefits. This includes adding information to HMRC’s Interactive Voice Response for people calling on the phone, and updating GOV.UK pages. We have used the DWP Twitter and Facebook channels to share messages, and have used paid media to ensure we reach millions of people.

The Department continually makes improvements to the UC service in response to feedback and user research. Therefore, on 3 June we introduced a check-through box to remind claimants to check their eligibility before making a claim and to remind them that legacy benefits will cease when the UC claim is submitted.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of increasing the basic rate of the state pension during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with Cabinet Ministers, but has not had any meetings on this.

The Government remains committed to providing dignity and security in retirement to all pensioners. In April 2020, full amounts of the basic and new State Pensions increased by 3.9%, in line with average earnings growth. This was the highest increase since 2012.

The full yearly amount of the basic State Pension is worth around £700 more in 2020/21 than if it had been uprated by earnings since 2010. That is over £1,900 in cash terms.

Pension Credit provides a safety net for people of State Pension age most in need. It provides a top up for people with a weekly income below £173.75 (for single people) or £265.20 (for couples). On 6th May we introduced an online claim process for Pension Credit in addition to the existing ways of claiming by telephone and by post, making it quicker and easier for people to apply.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of civil servants on temporary contracts in his Department are women.

As of 30 September 2023, 62% of the Department’s workforce on temporary contracts were women.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of civil servants (a) at grade senior civil servant 2 and (b) on full-time equivalent contracts in his Department are women.

The following table shows the gender split of senior civil servant (SCS) 2 civil servants within the Department as of 30 September 2023. 47% of our SCS 2 cadre are female. Of that 47% that are female, 43% are full-time.

SCS 2

Male

Female

Grand Total

Full-time

45%

43%

88%

Part-time

8%

4%

12%

Grand Total

53%

47%

100%

22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the needs of children and young people with cancer are met in the Major Conditions Strategy.

The Major Conditions Strategy will look at the treatment and prevention of cancer in people of all ages, covering the patient pathway. The strategy will look at a wide range of interventions and enablers to improve outcomes and experience for cancer patients.

This Strategy will draw on previous work on cancer, including over 5,000 submissions provided to the Department as part of our Call for Evidence last year.  We will continue to work closely with stakeholders, citizens and the National Health Service in the coming weeks to identify actions for the Strategy that will have the most impact.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how the Major Conditions Strategy will address the psychological needs of children, teenagers and young adults with cancer.

The Major Conditions Strategy will look at the treatment and prevention of cancer in people of all ages, covering the patient pathway. The strategy will look at a wide range of interventions and enablers to improve outcomes and experience for cancer patients.

This Strategy will draw on previous work on cancer, including over 5,000 submissions provided to the Department as part of our Call for Evidence last year.  We will continue to work closely with stakeholders, citizens and the National Health Service in the coming weeks to identify actions for the Strategy that will have the most impact.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of medical grade radioisotopes in the UK including (a) Molybdenum-99 generators and and (b) Iodine-131.

We are working closely with officials in the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero who are leading a £6 million funded Medical Radionuclide Innovation Programme. This is focused on safeguarding the provision and development of radiopharmaceuticals for United Kingdom patients in the medium and long-term and encouraging innovation in technologies and techniques that could support access to radioisotopes in order to increase the UK’s resilience in times of global supply constraints or shortages. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has commissioned a landscape assessment to inform Government action in this area.

We routinely monitor short-term threats to the supply of medical grade radioisotopes, including through regular contact with UK suppliers, and has well-established processes which aim to prevent supply issues occurring in the first instance, and to manage or mitigate them when they occur. There are currently no active UK supply issues with medical radioisotopes.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the price of sunscreen on the rate of people wearing sunscreen and the risk of cancer among those who do not wear it.

No specific assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has held discussions with the devolved administrations on developing consistent guidance and support for people with Huntington's disease.

While there have been no specific discussions, we regularly engage with the devolved administrations on support for people with rare conditions, such as Huntington’s disease.

The UK Rare Diseases Framework, published in January 2021, sets out the ambition to improve the lives of those with rare diseases. The nation-specific action plans provide details on how each administration will meet the shared priorities of the Framework.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of public funding for the research of (a) adult- and (b) juvenile-onset Huntington’s disease.

The Government primarily funds research into rare conditions, such as Huntington’s disease and Juvenile-onset Huntington’s disease, via the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

From 2017/18 to 2021/22, funding for research into Huntington’s disease was £32.6 million and in 2021/22, expenditure was £4.9 million. The NIHR and UKRI welcome funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including adult Huntington’s disease and Juvenile-onset Huntington’s disease. While it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions, the NIHR and UKRI award funding through open competition to ensure the highest quality research is funded.

16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to procure the Evusheld drug for treatment of covid-19 for clinically extremely vulnerable people.

On 17 March 2022, Evusheld was granted conditional marketing approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). However, the MHRA highlighted uncertainty over the appropriate dose needed for protection against the Omicron variant. Understanding its efficacy is necessary prior to any procurement or deployment decisions. The UK Health Security Agency is currently undertaking further testing on the treatment’s effectiveness against the Omicron variant to inform any such decisions.

24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to procure and roll out (a) AstraZeneca's Evusheld and (b) other preventative treatments, for those in the clinically extremely vulnerable group and immunosuppressed people, as remaining covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Evusheld is not currently authorised for use in the United Kingdom. The Government continues to monitor a range of products, including Evusheld. However, negotiations with companies are commercially sensitive.

The RAPID C-19 collaboration has enabled active multi-agency oversight of national and international trial evidence for COVID-19 therapies as it emerges, both in potential treatment and prophylactic indications. Where material evidence is identified, this has enabled the rapid formation and implementation of UK wide clinical access policies. To date, the evidence has most strongly supported treatment use, although the evidence around prophylactic use will continue to be reviewed.

There are currently two routes to accessing treatments for COVID-19 for non-hospitalised patients in England with 1.3 million of the highest risk patients eligible directly for monoclonal antibody sotrovimab and antiviral drugs molnupiravir, Paxlovid and Remdesivir. In addition, over 20 million people are eligible for the antiviral molnupiravir through the PANORAMIC national study run by the University of Oxford. These treatments are used to prevent progression to severe disease and hospitalisation.

22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will hold discussions with the EU on making the 90 days within 180 rule for travel to the Schengen area more flexible.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 16 March 2023 to Question UIN 161257 which can be found on the Q&A webpages: Written questions and answers - Written questions, answers and statements - UK Parliament.

https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2023-03-08/161257

Leo Docherty
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
21st Jun 2022
What recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of discrimination faced by Palestinians in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

We are concerned about increased tensions in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and are monitoring the situation closely. We are committed to achieving a negotiated two-state solution, which envisions both Israel and a viable Palestinian State, living side by side in peace and security and mutual recognition. We have a regular dialogue on human rights with the Government of Israel to encourage them to abide by obligations under international law and to do all it can to uphold the values of equality for all.

Amanda Milling
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury